Monday, October 2, 2023

Monthly Rewind - September



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As you can see, it was a great month for reading. I mean a lot were audiobooks and it definitely helped finishing up the Chronicles of Narnia series. I went out on a limb, based on several high recommendations and read a romantasy book. Now I really can't get Fourth Wing out of my head. It is so worth the hype and the 2nd one comes out in November. I would also highly recommend Kissing Kosher and Don't Forget to Write


What did you read in September?


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Sunday, October 1, 2023

Sunday Skim




Week of 9/17/2023 and 9/24/2023:
Finished:






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Looking Forward To:





Still can't stop thinking about Fourth Wing. Seriously and it's not my usual genre; November can't come soon enough for me. It was a pretty big book hangover for me. JoJo Moyes never disappoints and I enjoyed her latest. 








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Sunday, September 17, 2023

Sunday Skim





Week of 9/10/2023:
Finished:





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I've got a little bit of time until I need to start my October reads, so I thought I'd get to a couple back list books. Fantasy novels aren't really my thing but my niece said I had to read Fourth Wing, so I'll see what the hype is about. 

I've been on a kick lately for watching some movies on Netflix based on books. Of course I've seen the To All the Boys I loved Before trilogy, The Kissing Booth trilogy and almost done with the After series if I could just stream the last movie. I watched Love at First Sight which is based on a book by Jennifer E. Smith and started The Other Black Girl on Hulu and I'm definitely intrigued after reading the book. I'm happy to see so many books getting adapted for the "small" screen. 












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Sunday, September 10, 2023

Sunday Skim




Week of 9/3/2023:
Finished:





Currently Reading:



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Looking Forward To:


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Friday, September 8, 2023

Julie's Review: The Summer of Songbirds


Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey
Series: None
Publication Date:  August 1, 2020
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 368
Obtained: Purchased
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: Sign me up for adult summer camp but only if it's Holly Springs
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: Nearly thirty years ago, in the wake of a personal tragedy, June Moore bought Camp Holly Springs and turned it into a thriving summer haven for girls. But now, June is in danger of losing the place she has sacrificed everything for, and begins to realize how much she has used the camp to avoid facing difficulties in her life. June’s niece, Daphne, met her two best friends, Lanier and Mary Stuart, during a fateful summer at camp. They’ve all helped each other through hard things, from heartbreak and loss to substance abuse and unplanned pregnancy, and the three are inseparable even in their thirties. But when attorney Daphne is confronted with a relationship from her past—and a confidential issue at work becomes personal—she is faced with an impossible choice. Lanier, meanwhile, is struggling with tough decisions of her own. After a run-in with an old flame, she is torn between the commitment she made to her fiancĂ© and the one she made to her first love. And when a big secret comes to light, she finds herself at odds with her best friend…and risks losing the person she loves most. But in spite of their personal problems, nothing is more important to these songbirds than Camp Holly Springs. When the women learn their childhood oasis is in danger of closing, they band together to save it, sending them on a journey that promises to open the next chapters in their lives. ~amazon.com 

Review: I did go to summer camp but it was church camp and we didn't have all the freedoms that Camp Holly Spring provided BUT I did have a blast. No long-term friendships but that doesn't mean that I don't remember people fondly. I think what Daphne, Mary Stuart and Lanier find at Camp Holly Springs is rare and extraordinary. To be that close 25+ years later and to count on each other on a daily basis is something I admire. 
I love how they rally around June and figure out a way to try to save Camp Holly Springs. They each have their strengths and count on that to pull of the plans they put in place. This is of course while 2 of them are wrestling with their love lives. They also don't keep secrets from each other so when Daphne's profession causes her to keep something from Lanier, she feels guilty but she does have a child she needs to think of as well.
Much of the book focuses on Daphne and Lanier with Mary Stuart being the secondary character but she is one of the reasons why the trio works. Each of them bring something to their friendship; even if they have their fights. 
I love the way Ms. Harvey writes her female characters, their friendships and sisterhood. She has a knack for making you want to walk into her books to chat and befriend her characters. Plus she always has the most gorgeous settings for her novels. 
If you haven't read her books, then you can start here or go to her backlist. Either way, you won't be disappointed. 

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Thursday, September 7, 2023

Julie's Review: The Coffee Shop of Curiosities


Author: Heather Webber
Series: None
Publication Date:  August 1, 2023
Publisher: Forge Publishing
Pages: 320
Obtained: publisher via Netgalley
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, Magical Realism
Rating: 4.5/5
Bottom Line: Sometimes you have to take chances to live
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
SummaryA mysterious letter. An offer taken. And the chance to move forward. When Ava Harrison receives a letter containing an unusual job listing one month after the sudden death of her ex-boyfriend, she thinks she’s being haunted. The listing―a job as a live-in caretaker for a peculiar old man and his cranky cat in Driftwood, Alabama―is the perfect chance to start a new life. A normal life. Ava has always been too fearful to even travel, so no one’s more surprised than she is when she throws caution to the wind and drives to the distant beachside town. On the surface, Maggie Mae Brightwell is a bundle of energy as she runs Magpie’s, Driftwood’s coffee and curiosity shop, where there’s magic to be found in pairing the old with the new. But lurking under her cheerful exterior is a painful truth―keeping busy is the best way to distract herself from the lingering loss of her mama and her worries about her aging father. No one knows better than she does that you can’t pour from an empty cup, but holding on to the past is the only thing keeping the hope alive that her mama will return home one day. Ava and Maggie soon find they’re kindred spirits, as they’re both haunted―not by spirits, but by regret. Both must learn to let go of the past to move on―because sometimes the waves of change bring you to the place where you most belong. ~amazon.com

Review: There is something special about Heather Webber's books for me. Perhaps is the bit of magic that she sprinkles along the way but I think it's also how she writes her characters. From the eccentric, to the secretive to the hurting, all of them are key parts to the story she's weaving. The story begins and ends with Ava but it is her journey that ends up bringing the small town together and healing old wounds. 

I loved all of the characters in this novel and the interpersonal relationships even if they were complicated at times because well life is complicated. Dez and Maggie have always had a special father/daughter relationship but lately Dez has been acting odd and Maggie is getting concerned. Maggie has her own health issues to worry about and she needs to take care of herself but she's too busy worrying about and taking care of the town. Plus there's all kinds of rumors abound about Dez selling the coffee shop that Maggie's mom opened before she disappeared years ago and Maggie can't let it go. Plus an old flame of hers and re-emerged and wants to rekindle what they had. 

Then there's the mysterious Sam who Ava finds herself drawn to him and of course his dog, Norman. Ava who is still working through the grief of her friend, Alexander and trying to live a normal life. She's worried about her own health issues she had when she was younger. 

I loved the matching of the curiosities from the coffee shop with people that seemed random but really put them on their correct path in life. 

If you are a fan of Sarah Addison Allen's novels, then you should definitely pick up Heather Webbers's books. 


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