I have very eclectic tastes in reading. I enjoy everything from the earliest of children's books to the driest nonfiction. That said, I'll always read a book that has to do with the English countryside, books, and a hot cuppa!
A coming-of-age story for every age! A mother, her grown children and their children navigate secrets and struggles, both large and small, in a quaint town where everyone knows everything about their neighbors. Engaging and captivating!
Two creature comforts are wrapped up in this light romance novel: knitting and books! This quick and easy read is reminiscent of a Hallmark Channel movie. It is a heartwarming story of family and community coming together to save Mama Joy’s Harlem knitting shop and, along with it, a few lost souls. For her whole life, Kerri sought refuge and comfort from Mama Joy and her shop. With Mama Joy’s support and Kerri’s true grit and perseverance, she has been able finish school to make something of her self. All of her plans are stalled when Mama Joy unexpectedly passes away. How will Mama Joy’s four sons handle the shop now that she’s gone? Will they stay and try to make a go of it? Will they sell and cut their losses? Who will Kerri turn to and what is her role in this drama now that the matriarch is gone? Bonus: real men knit in this story!
Grace and her Aunt Lily spend most afternoons together. While Aunt Lily hosts her writer's group, Grace eavesdrops and illustrates what she hears. Grace has a brand new journal with her name on it but she is convinced she has nothing to write about. A bit of magic appears on the doorstep in the form of Rex, a loving, old Black Lab. This friendly canine gives both Grace and her aunt the nudge they need. Soon they are writing from the heart. It's "a wondrous thing!" A comforting story to enjoy curled up with your favorite person and canine.
We all have longings that dwell within our "holy of holies," that hold our truest selves and beliefs. The main character, Ana, is a feminist in a time when women are silenced or written out of history, who bravely lives her truth, always strong, passionate and determined. From the first sentence, this book pulled me into Biblical times, walking right alongside Ana as her powerful story unfolds. Sue Monk Kidd has crafted a thoroughly engaging novel--my favorite of hers yet--built with reverence and respect for centuries of history that tell the story of Jesus. In it she has created Ana's story, "Herstory," that will forever leave an indelible mark on "History" for me. This book is going on my bookshelf right next to Anita Diamant's The Red Tent!
This book is comical, heart-wrenching and heartwarming. It also includes a loveable Sheltie! I thoroughly enjoyed the local setting--Laura is a Cambridge resident--quirky characters and the real feelings, fears and anxieties they embodied.
In an abandoned church lot, Ware, an introverted medieval knight-in-the making, meets and befriends Jolene, a tough, street-wise realist. Together, they find refuge and purpose in building a sanctuary for themselves and the area flora and fauna. This touching story is full of real-life worries and ups-and-downs but leaves your faith in humanity intact and your heart happy.
Fly over to Paris with Sarah Smith and enjoy the City of Lights through a newcomer's eyes. Will she get the happy ending that she craves as a reader of romance novels? Curl up, get cozy and enjoy this light read!
This is an intricately woven fantasy full of magic and mystery. You will travel through many doors and sail upon a sea of golden honey, crossing through different dimensions of time, unable to stop turning the pages until you come to the very end! Highly recommended!!!
Secrets of the Chocolate House are revealed as you journey between a quaint antique shop in present-day rural England and a 1600s chocolate house in the same community. I really enjoyed this second installment in Brackston's trilogy. This fast-paced novel is laced with history, fantasy, mystery and a sprinkle of romance. This is a delicious read that anyone can enjoy whether or not they've read The Little Shop of Found Things, its precursor. This novel is like a mug of hot chocolate with a shot of your favorite spirit, topped off with a dollop of a cliff-hanger! Now the wait for book three begins!
When you sit down to read this story you will not be able to stop! Dynamic characters, a story within a story, and an intricately woven setting will fill your senses and draw you in to many fantastical worlds. Fast-paced yet so beautifully written, I found myself slowing down to absorb every last detail. Very clever and entertaining with themes of family, loyalty and self-discovery, this is a new favorite that I suggest everyone read!
Readers will fall into Bernard's story and hang on for his whole adventure! Fans of George Selden and Cynthia Rylant will welcome this cast of little creatures into their hearts and root for the underdogs as they go up against the cruel Pork Pie Gang. (The Libro.fm audiobook is also thoroughly delightful!)
A dash of historical fiction, a pinch of coming-of-age: New York City showgirls circa 1940 lead you through riotous and raucous late-night shenanigans. It's told in letter format but reads like a memoir, and is masterfully crafted with wit and wisdom. A great summer read--dive in!
This book has all the feels! It perfectly captures life in middle school-- the push and pull of growing up, the pangs of peer pressure, the courage to try new things, to be your authentic self (even if it's not the popular choice), to reach out to others, the heartbreak of separation, the comfort of forever friends. Blecher has woven a tapestry of modern day core values with societal conventions, pop culture and the contrast of island living with city dwelling around the themes of friendship and relationships. Those who love realistic fiction will devour this middle-grade read. I finished this book with "a smile that came from behind my eyes and spread across my cheeks."
Have you ever noticed how happy dogs are? Dave Barry has! As he begrudgingly faced turning 70 (equivalent in human years to the age of his dog, Lucy) he decided to pay close attention to how Lucy remains happy day in and day out. Thus came "seven lessons" from Lucy. Barry is his wonderfully witty self. I laughed out loud and loved it!
A Piglet Named Mercy is a PERFECT prequel to the Mercy Watson series! The Porcine Wonder popped into the lives of the Watsons, and their lives were never to be predictable ever again. A great backstory with fun illustrations (by original Mercy Watson illustrator Chris Van Dusen) that POP!
What do a wishing well and a stolen gem have to do with each other? Writer Keith Calabrese has crafted a story of unlikely friendships that bring a downtrodden town back to life. Sixth grade students Ryan, Ernest, and Lizzy team up to solve a mystery and unexpectedly end up helping their peers and the community. This is a great story about friendship, kindness and, most importantly, hope--and an uplifting read!
Imagine finding out that Jackie O. is your editor! Over multiple heart-to-hearts, the marvelous Mrs. Onassis mixes daiquiris with straightforward compassion and helps an author overcome his writer's block and family conflicts.
"I didn't want to die with everything in my head. The knowledge that all my memories would be lost was too painful" says our main character, Doris. At 96, her life has spanned countries and continents along with love in all of its incarnations. A red leather address book has become the map of her life. In it she has collected all the people she has met and all the places she has been since receiving it on her tenth birthday. Doris has decided to write her life story for her grandniece, Jenny. Along the way Doris and Jenny both come to find you are never too old for surprises! A lovely read
Mystery, intrigue, travel and more than one romance makes this a pleasing page-turner! The purchase of a little antique shop in the English countryside sets this novel circa present day. A troubled ghost and rare antique trinket magically sends our protagonist back in time to the early 1600s. This first book in a new series is a fun jump between now and then. The only downside is finishing it and having to wait for book two to come out!
If you like magic, wordplay, and all-around tomfoolery then you'll love this madcap adventure from Lincoln Peirce, author of the Big Nate series! It's 14th century style with 21st century humor! Max and the Midknights is great fun. And if you like a touch of drama, listen to this story performed in full as an audio book on Libro.fm. A full cast of talented actors bring this story to life.