Can’t Wait Wednesday: Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan

Christmas on an island halfway between Scotland and Norway!

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books set to publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Christmas at the Island Hotel

by Jenny Colgan

Series: Mure #4

Published by William Morrow

Publishing date: October 29

Genre: Fiction, Christmas

352 pages

Synopsis: On the tiny, beautiful, and remote island of Mure, halfway between Scotland and Norway, a new hotel opening is a big event. New mother Flora MacKenzie and her brother Fintan are working themselves half to death to get it ready in time for Christmas. 

The new hotel’s impressive kitchens throw together two unlikely new friends: Isla Gregor is the hardworking young girl who has been a waitress in the island’s cafe, dreaming of a bigger, better life now that she’s at a proper fancy hotel. Konstantin Pederson is working his way up in the hotel’s kitchens too…but he is also, secretly, the only son of the Duke of Utsire. Konstantin has been sent to learn what it is to work hard for a living, before receiving his inheritance. Although he’s initially resentful, the place grows on him; he has never met anyone quite like Isla and her fellow Murians before. 

As the island’s residents and special VIP guests gather for the hotel’s grand opening gala, Christmas is in the air. But so are more than a few small-town secrets…

……………..

I like Jenny Colgan’s writing and especially in these pandemic times her books are heartwarming and calming for me!

I read book 3 in this series–Christmas on the Island–a couple years ago and it was a perfect Christmas book for me. The book made me happy, but it wasn’t saccharine sweet. Life goes on for people and life isn’t always what we expect or hope for–but people can rise to the occasion and that’s what can make me happy (even through the tears) and give me hope I can handle my problems!

Connect 5 Friday: Five books I want to read before the end of the year

Five books from my TBR to read in 2020 I hope will make me happy

Connect Five Friday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. (The hashtag is #connect5books). This is a fun and creative way to think about my books and reading. Check out Kathyrn’s blog and link up your Friday Five!

The five book-related items need to connect in some way, but each person who participates can decide for themselves what the book subject and connection is. For example, you could write about five books read last year or five books you want to read. It could even be favorite bookstores or five movies made from books.

………………………..

This week I’m talking about the five books I want to make sure I’ve read by the end of 2020. These are all books which have a good possibility to make me happy–and that’s what I’ve wanted with most of my books this year.

Night Shift Dragons by Rachel Aaron

I’ve read all the Heartstriker series–the previous series Rachel Aaron wrote. This DFZ series is set in that same world.

I like how original Rachel Aaron is with her dragons and with the world building in these books.

The Green Man’s Foe by Juliet E. McKenna

This is not horror (though the cover looks like it)! I read the first book in this series and really liked it.

Ms. McKenna shows a conception of fantasy in the United Kingdom I would love to see!

Dead Blow by Lisa Preston

This is the second Horseshoer mystery. I’d never read a book about a female Horse Shoer!

That was the first thing which attracted me to this series. Then I discovered the series takes place in Oregon in the area I grew up. And it’s a mystery with horses and a dog and some romance. All things I liked in the first series.

Stars Beyond by S.K. Dunstall

I like S.K. Dunstall’s science fiction space opera. She writes really interesting characters and exciting stories.

I have an audiobook version of this book and look forward to listening to it.

The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon

I’ve read several of Lucy Dillon’s books. Her books are a joy to read.

I love the way she writes about dogs, women’s friendships and that her books have some romance in them.

Have you read any of these books? How did you like them? What books are you interested in reading before the end of the year?

Connect 5 Friday–Beach reads

Five books with a setting near a body of water

It’s Friday and I’ve decided to try a new meme since I have come back to blogging after a few months away. Connect Five Friday is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. The hashtag is #connect5books

The five book/reading list needs to connect in some way, but each person who participates can decide for themselves what the book subject and connection are. For example, you could write about five books read last year or five books you want to read. It could even be favorite bookstores or five movies made from books.

This sounds like a fun and creative way to think about my books and reading. Check out Kathyrn’s blog and link up your Friday Five!

Since the upcoming weekend is Labor Day in the U.S. and this traditionally marks the end of summer for the U.S. I decided to talk about five beach reads for those who want to stretch summer out. Of course, some beach reads are light and frothy books that have nothing to do with a beach. (You just wish you were at the beach when you read them!) I haven’t been to a beach or an ocean or lake lately so I read about those in my books and dreamed about them as I read.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

This even has the right name!

I read this a couple of months ago and really liked it. It’s about a romance author with writer’s block. She no longer believes in happy endings which makes it hard for her to write romance.

The beach is on Lake Michigan at North Bear Shores, Michigan.

It’s funny, sometimes sad, but also heartwarming.

Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews

I had lots of fun reading this book. I loved the characters–especially Conley Hawkins who has to come home to her family’s small town newspaper after a new job in Washington, DC falls through.

The Florida beach where lots of the action takes place sounds wonderful.

The Body on the Beach by Anna Johannsen

Takes place on an island off the coast of Germany. I really like reading about islands and I haven’t read any books taking place on islands in this area before.

A body is found on the beach and DI Lena Lorenzen is sent to investigate. She’s not too happy with the assignment since she grew up on the island.

Stormy Cove by Bernadette Calonego

Takes place on the island of Newfoundland in a fishing village called Stormy Cove. I’ve thought Newfoundland would be so interesting to visit.

Lori Finning is a freelance photographer from Vancouver, BC who’s hired to take photos in a fishing village. She tells everyone it’s for a coffee table book of a way of life that’s disappearing, but what about an unsolved murder that happened twenty years ago?

Holy Island by L.J. Ross

Takes place on the island Lindisfarne which has become known as Holy Island. It’s located off the Northumberland coast in the north east of England just a few miles south of Scotland. (It sounds like a fascinating spot!)

DCI Ryan travels to Holy Island when he’s forced to take leave from his homicide job. However, he can’t get away from his job when a murdered girl is found on the island.

Have you read any of these books? Do you have favorite beach reads? What do you think of when you think of “beach reads?”

February 2020 books on my list

Books published in February 2020 I might read — What books have I missed?

books-on-my-list

I keep a list of all the books I might want to read and add to it as the year goes on. As each month comes along I create a list on my blog for others and for me to keep track of as the months go by.

I don’t buy all these books–since I already have way too many books to read and some of the new books are expensive. I’m trying to stick to a budget!

I hope people reading my post may find some new books to read. I also hope these people will point me toward books I might not know about! The links to the following books will take you to the book on Goodreads.

February 4

Great title plus a mystery–shows slums in India and the often ignored disappearance of children.

Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

by Deepa Anappara

Series: Unknown

Published by Random House

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, India

368 pages

Synopsis: Down market lanes crammed with too many people, dogs, and rickshaws, past stalls that smell of cardamom and sizzling oil, below a smoggy sky that doesn’t let through a single blade of sunlight, and all the way at the end of the Purple metro line lies a jumble of tin-roofed homes where nine-year-old Jai lives with his family. From his doorway, he can spot the glittering lights of the city’s fancy high-rises, and though his mother works as a maid in one, to him they seem a thousand miles away. Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line plunges readers deep into this neighborhood to trace the unfolding of a tragedy through the eyes of a child as he has his first perilous collisions with an unjust and complicated wider world.

Jai drools outside sweet shops, watches too many reality police shows, and considers himself to be smarter than his friends Pari (though she gets the best grades) and Faiz (though Faiz has an actual job). When a classmate goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from TV to find him. He asks Pari and Faiz to be his assistants, and together they draw up lists of people to interview and places to visit.

But what begins as a game turns sinister as other children start disappearing from their neighborhood. Jai, Pari, and Faiz have to confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force, and rumors of soul-snatching djinns. As the disappearances edge ever closer to home, the lives of Jai and his friends will never be the same again.

Drawing on real incidents and a spate of disappearances in metropolitan India, Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line is extraordinarily moving, flawlessly imagined, and a triumph of suspense. It captures the fierce warmth, resilience, and bravery that can emerge in times of trouble and carries the reader headlong into a community that, once encountered, is impossible to forget.

One of my favorite mystery series. Ms. Armstrong always finds new problems to throw at the characters.

Alone in the Wild

by Kelley Armstrong

Series: Rockton #5

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

368 pages

Synopsis: Every season in Rockton seems to bring a new challenge. At least that’s what Detective Casey Duncan has felt since she decided to call this place home. Between all the secretive residents, the sometimes-hostile settlers outside, and the surrounding wilderness, there’s always something to worry about.

While on a much needed camping vacation with her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, Casey hears a baby crying in the woods. The sound leads them to a tragic scene: a woman buried under the snow, murdered, a baby still alive in her arms.

A town that doesn’t let anyone in under the age of eighteen, Rockton must take care of its youngest resident yet while solving another murder and finding out where the baby came from – and whether she’s better off where she is.

A library book wagon in a future American Southwest and an LGBT character.

Upright Women Wanted

by Sarah Gailey

Series: Unknown

Published by Tor.com

Genre: Fantasy, LGBT

176 pages

Synopsis: “That girl’s got more wrong notions than a barn owl’s got mean looks.”

Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her–a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.

The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.

A new mystery series and police procedural from an author I haven’t read before.

One Day You’ll Burn

by Joseph Schneider

Series: LAPD Detective Tully Jarsdel Mysteries #1

Published by Poisoned Pen Press

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

336 pages

Synopsis: A body so badly burned that it could be mistaken for a movie prop… except for the smell. That’s not something the LAPD finds lying on the street every day. And when Detective Tully Jarsdel is called to the scene, it’s clear to him that something about the placement of the corpse is intentional, even ritualistic. Jarsdel’s former career in academia seems to finally be coming in handy, rather than serving merely as material for jokes from his partner, Morales.

But nothing Jarsdel learned in school can prepare him for the deep evil behind this case, which appears to be as hopeless as it is violent. As Jarsdel and Morales attempt to settle their differences and uncover the motive behind the horrendous crime, they find themselves dragged into the underbelly of a city notorious for chewing up and spitting out anyone dumb enough to turn their back on survival.

February 11

This historical mystery set in Queen Victoria’s time sounds good and I like Rhys Bowen’s writing. I hope this is the beginning of a new series.

Above the Bay of Angels

by Rhys Bowen

Series: Unknown

Published by Lake Union Published

Genre: Historical Mystery

348 pages

Synopsis: Isabella Waverly only means to comfort the woman felled on a London street. In her final dying moments, she thrusts a letter into Bella’s hand. It’s an offer of employment in the kitchens of Buckingham Palace, and everything the budding young chef desperately wants: an escape from the constrictions of her life as a lowly servant. In the stranger’s stead, Bella can spread her wings.

Arriving as Helen Barton from Yorkshire, she pursues her passion for creating culinary delights, served to the delighted Queen Victoria herself. Best of all, she’s been chosen to accompany the queen to Nice. What fortune! Until the threat of blackmail shadows Bella to the Riviera, and a member of the queen’s retinue falls ill and dies.

Having prepared the royal guest’s last meal, Bella is suspected of the poisonous crime. An investigation is sure to follow. Her charade will be over. And her new life will come crashing down—if it doesn’t send her to the gallows. 

I want to find out more about this book since I love space opera.

The Light Years

by R.W.W. Greene

Series: Unknown

Published by Angry Robot

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera

400 pages

Synopsis: Before Hisako Saski is even born, her parents make a deal on her behalf. In exchange for a first-class education and a boost out of poverty, Hisako will marry Adem Sadiq, a maintenance engineer and self-styled musician who works the trade lanes aboard his family’s sub-light starship, the Hajj.

Hisako is not happy when she finds out about the plan. She has little interest in the broken branch of physics the deal requires her to study, and is not keen on the idea of giving up her home and everything she knows to marry a stranger.

Sparks fly when Adem and Hisako meet, but their personal issues are overshadowed by the discovery of long-held secrets and a chance at faster-than-light travel.

February 25

I really like this urban fantasy series and hope it finally gets published this month since the publication date has been postponed several times.

False Value

by Ben Aaronovitch

Series: Rivers of London #8

Published by DAW

Genre: Urban Fantasy

304 pages

Synopsis: Peter Grant is facing fatherhood, and an uncertain future, with equal amounts of panic and enthusiasm. Rather than sit around, he takes a job with émigré Silicon Valley tech genius Terrence Skinner’s brand new London start up—the Serious Cybernetics Company.

Drawn into the orbit of Old Street’s famous ‘silicon roundabout’, Peter must learn how to blend in with people who are both civilians and geekier than he is. Compared to his last job, Peter thinks it should be a doddle. But magic is not finished with Mama Grant’s favourite son.

Because Terrence Skinner has a secret hidden in the bowels of the SCC. A technology that stretches back to Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage, and forward to the future of artificial intelligence. A secret that is just as magical as it technological—and just as dangerous.

Beautiful cover and a series I need to read more of so I can get to this book.

Murder in an Irish Cottage

by Carlene O’Connor

Series: Irish Village Mystery #5

Published by Kensington

Genre: Mystery, Cozy

304 pages

Synopsis: In a remote—and superstitious—village in County Cork, Ireland, Garda Siobhán O’Sullivan must solve a murder where the prime suspects are fairies . . .
 
Family is everything to Siobhán: her five siblings; her dear departed mother for whom the family business, Naomi’s Bistro, is named; and now her fiancé, Macdara Flannery. So precious is her engagement that Siobhán wants to keep it just between the two of them for a little longer.
 
But Macdara is her family, which is why when his cousin Susan frantically calls for his help, Siobhán is at his side as the two garda rush from Kilbane to the rural village where Susan and her mother have recently moved. Unfortunately, tragedy awaits them. They find Susan, who is blind, outside the cottage, in a state. Inside, Aunt Ellen lies on her bed in a fancy red dress, no longer breathing. A pillow on the floor and a nearby teacup suggest the mode of death to their trained eyes: the woman has been poisoned and smothered. Someone wanted to make sure she was dead. But who?
 
Devout believers in Irish folklore, the villagers insist the cottage is cursed—built on a fairy path. It turns out Ellen Delaney was not the first to die mysteriously in this cottage. Although the townsfolk blame malevolent fairies, Siobhán and Macdara must follow the path of a murderer all too human—but just as evil . . .

I have a soft spot for books taking place in schools, but young adult books don’t always work for me if there’s too much angst. I do love the cover and the sound of the book though so I want to give it a try.

Rebelwing

by Andrea Tang

Series: Rebelwing #1

Published by Razorbill

Genre: YA Fantasy, Dragons

368 pages

Synopsis: Business is booming for Prudence Wu.

A black-market-media smuggler and scholarship student at the prestigious New Columbia Preparatory Academy, Pru is lucky to live in the Barricade Coalition where she is free to study, read, watch, and listen to whatever she wants. But between essays and exams, she chooses to spend her breaks sweet-talking border patrol with her best friend, Anabel, in order to sell banned media to the less fortunate citizens of the United Continental Confederacy, Inc.

When a drop-off goes awry, Pru narrowly escapes UCC enforcers to find that her rescuer is, of all things, a sentient cybernetic dragon. On the one hand, Pru is lucky not to be in prison, or worse. On the other, the dragon seems to have imprinted on her permanently, which means she has no choice but to be its pilot.

Drawn into a revolution she has no real interest in leading, Pru, Anabel, and friends Alex and Cat become key players in a brewing conflict with the UCC as the corporate government develops advanced weaponry more terrifying and grotesque than Pru could have ever imagined.

Another new author to me plus a mystery and a police procedural.

Firewatching

by Russ Thomas

Series: Unknown

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

320 pages

Synopsis: A taut and ambitious police procedural debut introducing Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler, a cold case reviewer who lands a high-profile murder investigation, only to find the main suspect is his recent one-night stand . . .

When financier Gerald Cartwright disappeared from his home six years ago, it was assumed he’d gone on the run from his creditors. But then a skeleton is found bricked up in the cellar of Cartwright’s burned-out mansion, and it becomes clear Gerald never left alive.

As the sole representative of South Yorkshire’s Cold Case Review Unit, Detective Sergeant Adam Tyler is not expected to get results, but he knows this is the case that might finally kick start his floundering career. Luckily, he already has a suspect. Unluckily, that suspect is Cartwright’s son, the man Tyler slept with the night before.

Keeping his possible conflict-of-interest under wraps, Tyler digs into the case alongside Amina Rabbani, an ambitious young Muslim constable and a fellow outsider seeking to prove herself on the force. Soon their investigation will come up against close-lipped townsfolk, an elderly woman with dementia who’s receiving mysterious threats referencing a past she can’t remember, and an escalating series of conflagrations set by a troubled soul intent on watching the world burn . . . 

What books are you excited about this month?

Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey

A dog on the cover–and in the book. I’m excited to read this.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books set to publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

The Love Story of Missy Carmichael

by Beth Morrey

Series: Unknown

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Publication date: April 7

Genre: Fiction, Dogs

Synopsis: Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. Woman meets dog…

The world has changed around Missy Carmichael. At seventy-nine, she’s estranged from her daughter, her son and only grandson live across the world in Australia, and her great love is gone. Missy spends her days with a sip of sherry, scrubbing the kitchen in her big empty house and reliving her past–though it’s her mistakes, and secrets, that she allows to shine brightest. The last thing Missy expects is for two perfect strangers and one spirited dog to break through her prickly exterior and show Missy just how much love she still has to give. Filled with wry laughter and deep insights into the stories we tell ourselves, The Love Story of Missy Carmichael shows us it’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks. It’s never too late to love. 

………………………….

The dog on the cover caught my interest and then I read about the book and it sounds so good. And I do love that cover!

My favorite books of 2019

In 2019 I read lots of books that made me happy I can read!

I’m finally getting my favorite books of the year completed. 2019 was a good reading year since I read many books I liked and many that filled me with joy. So I have lots of favorites this year!

I had set a goal for myself to read 95 books and only read 90, but that’s okay. I love to read. I think I’m reading a little slower these days. However, the important thing for me is that I’m still reading and that I enjoy most of the books I read.

I’ve added links to the books I reviewed (only three books). 😦

Mystery

Mercy Falls by William Kent Krueger, Cork O’Connor #5

This series takes place in northern Minnesota’s lake country. I love the series which features wonderful descriptions of northern Minnesota and well-written mysteries. However, I need to read them a little quicker since there are already 17 books in the series!

Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima, Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries #4

This is another series I love. I’m up-to-date with this series and have read these books since started being published a few years ago. I love reading about working dogs and Robo is a great example of a K-9 dog in a police department. He and Mattie are a wonderful team.

Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong, Rockton #4

This police procedural is set in one of the oddest towns I’ve read about in a mystery and there’s lots of suspense. Each book ratchets up the suspense a little more.

Fractured Truth by Susan Furlong, Bone Gap Travellers #2

Former Marines Brynn and her K-9 partner Wilco suffer from PTSD and both carry the scars from an IED explosion. Brynn tries to control the flashbacks with alcohol and pain pills–not a good combination especially since she’s now working for the McCreary County Sherrif’s Department. She’s also trying to straddle two worlds–that of the Irish Travellers (a nomadic group from Ireland who came to the U.S. during the Great Famine) and the settled townspeople (most of whom distrust the Travellers.) The mysteries are good in this series and the world of the Travellers is fascinating.

The First Eagle by Tony Hillerman, Leaphorn & Chee #13

I’ve read these mysteries since I was a teenager. My mom and I would talk about the books through the years since we both loved them. One of the best things about this series is that it’s set in the United States Southwest. For a while I stopped reading mysteries so now I’m catching up with this series. And I’m so happy that Tony Hillerman’s daughter Anne Hillerman has continued writing the series after he died.

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #8

The books in this series are so well written. Sometimes they’re difficult to read since heartbreaking things happen to characters I like. Things that happen in one book may have far-reaching impact several books later and then we see how skillfully Louise Penny has intertwined so much into her books.

A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie, Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James #18

I was so happy to read this book since it has been several years since Deborah Crombie had written a book in the series. When I read about Duncan and Gemma and their family it’s like having a chat with old friends. And the mysteries are good, too!

The Chalk Pit by Elly Griffiths, Ruth Galloway #9

I’m always happy to return to Ruth’s world. She’s such an interesting character and I love the mysteries which always have something to do with her forensic archaeology work.

Science Fiction

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells, The Murderbot Diaries #4

I’ve loved every single one of the Murderbot books. They are original, an adventure story and also thought-provoking.

Borderline by Janet Edwards, Hive Mind #4

I like everything I’ve read by Janet Edwards. This series is one I especially love. Ms. Edwards has a great way of writing exciting stories about characters I care about. And her world building is so good. It takes place in Earth’s future.

Mantivore Dreams by S.G. Higbee, Arcadian Chronicles #1

I like the way this book slowly unfolds so that it gives readers time to try to figure things out themselves. I also like that by the end of the book there are threads for future books, but that this book is a complete story. I need to get that next book read! The world building is especially good and I like the way Kyrillia grows and changes throughout the book.

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher

I chose to read this book because it was about a dog! I love the bond between Griz and the dogs. However, the book is a post apocalyptic science fiction so the book is good, but also has an overall feeling of sadness.

The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley

I feel like a lot of science fiction really makes you think in a different way and that’s kind of what this book did for me. It’s also post apocalyptic, military science fiction and during parts of the book I wasn’t really sure what was happening! It went different directions than I thought it would.

Ascending by Meg Pechenick, The Vardeshi Saga #1

Margaret (Meg) Pechenick is a new author to me. (S.G. Higbee @ Brainfluff reviewed this book. I find out about so many good books from her.) I loved this science fiction about aliens visiting Earth and inviting a group of Earthlings to visit their part of space.

Doing Time by Jodi Taylor, The Time Police #1

This was book one of a new series–The Time Police–that came out in fall 2019. It’s a spin-off of The Chronicles of St. Mary’s series. These are both time travel series and so much fun. I’m doing a happy dance that Jodi Taylor decided to start another series which comes at the time travel idea from a slightly different angle. Can’t wait for the next book!

Urban Fantasy

These are my favorite urban fantasies (which are about the only fantasies I read these days) and I’ve read every book as they’ve been published!

Wild Country by Anne Bishop, The World of the Others #2 (The Others #7)

The world building in these books is one of the most appealing parts of this series. It very different from other urban fantasy series I read.

Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs, Mercy Thompson #11

Mercy Thompson is such a great character. She doesn’t always do the smart thing, but she’s such a loyal friend and she tries to do what’s right for the people she’s responsible for. And I love the world Patricia Briggs has created.

Between Homes by W.R. Gingell, The City Between #5

This series is so unique and the last book has really ratcheted up the suspense. I hope another book comes soon in this world where Fae often come and go in the human world, but very few humans manage to survive a trip either Between or Behind. And most humans don’t even know they exist.

Fiction

Doggirl by Robin Brande

I loved this book! It’s young adult which I seldom like or read, but this book about a high school girl who wants to be an animal trainer for movies is just lovely. And the dogs are wonderful!

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

An out-of-work librarian, a bookstore on wheels and remote towns without libraries all come together in this wonderful book. There’s even some romance in it! And it’s set in Scotland!

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon

I loved all the dogs in this book plus the human characters are great fun to read about.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

At the end of the book I felt so happy I’d read this which is one of the reasons I love reading. It’s set in Maine which is one of my favorite places and Evvie Drake is a great character. She’s certainly not perfect, but she’s someone I’d love to talk to. Linda Holmes is also one of the hosts of the Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast which I love to listen to.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

One of my most favorite books of 2019! So glad I read it. The language flows and the characters are so vivid–especially Kya (aka “Marsh Girl”). The book is heartbreaking at times, but ultimately a wonderful read. It’s historical fiction, almost a natural history of the North Carolina swamps and marshland and a mystery all set in swamps along the North Carolina Coast. It switches back and forth between Kya’s childhood in the 1950’s and a murder that happens in 1969. Cassandra Campbell narrated the audiobook and made my enjoyment of the book so vivid and immersive.

Memoir

Becoming by Michelle Obama

I don’t usually read memoirs or biographies, but I enjoyed this one a lot–especially since I listened to the audiobook narrated by Michelle Obama. By the end I felt like we had met! So interesting to hear about her childhood, her meeting and marriage to Barack Obama, and then her life as the First Lady in the White House. She’s such an inspirational person.

Have you read any of these books? What were some of your favorite books of the year?

My favorite books of the last decade

50 Favorite books from 2010 – 2019

Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy did her best books of the decade post which I thought was great so I’ve created my own. It was lots of fun to look back at the last 10 years and remember books I’ve loved. I’ve kept a spreadsheet of the books I’ve read every year since 2004 so I went back through my spreadsheets and picked out these books. I didn’t give all of them an A, but these are the ones that have stuck with me.

I’ve listed anywhere from three to six favorite books a year. These books span a number of genres and some are books published that year and some are books published years and years ago. I don’t review all the books I read so if I have a review for the book on my blog I will show a link after the book covers. (I started my blog during 2013 so there are no reviews before that.)

2019

Doggirl by Robin Brande

2018

What the Dog Ate by Jackie Bouchard

Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf

2017

The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson

2016

Killing Trail by Margaret Mizushima

Cold in the Earth by Aline Templeton

In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicki Delany

2015

Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal

Lock In by John Scalzi

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

The Martian by Andy Weir

2014

The Cloud Roads by Martha Wells

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Nice Dragons Finish Last by Rachel Aaron

Iron Night by M.L. Brennan

Old Man’s War by John Scalzi

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards

2013

The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Death Masks by Jim Butcher

The Touchstone Trilogy by Andrea K. Höst

2012

2011

2010

Have you read any of these books? How did you like them? Are any of them favorites of yours?

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Who Rescued Who by Victoria Schade

Just look at that cover! I’m loving reading about dogs and this puppy is so cute.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books set to publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Who Rescued Who

by Victoria Schade

Series: Unknown

Published by Berkley

Publishing date: March 24, 2020

Genre: Women’s Fiction

336 pages

Synopsis: A few rough breaks lead a woman at the end of her leash to journey across the pond to fetch a suprise inheritance–but the dogs she rescues along the way have other ideas.

The plan was simple: Elizabeth would suffer through a quick trip to her late father’s family homestead in the English countryside, try not to think about how she was unjustly fired from her dream job, claim her inheritance, and hop on the next flight back to Silicon Valley where she can get her life back on track.

The plan does not include rescuing an abandoned black and white puppy. Or bonding with her long-lost aunt and uncle, their Border Collie, and their two very opinionated sheep. Or falling for the handsome local who runs the town’s craft brewery. As Elizabeth’s brief visit to Fargrove turns into an extended stay, she discovers that she has more in common with the new puppy than she realized. 

………………………….

I haven’t read anything by this author, but I love that cover and the synopsis sounds just like something I’d like.

November 2019 books on my list

Books published in November 2019 I might read — What have I missed?

books-on-my-list

I keep a list of all the books I might want to read and add to it as the year goes on. As each month comes along I create a list on my blog for others and for me to keep track of as the months go by.

I don’t buy all these books–since I already have way too many books to read and some of the new books are expensive. I’m trying to stick to a budget!

I hope people reading my post may find some new books to read. I also hope these people will point me toward books I might not know about!

November 5

Science fiction, space opera, military SF, short stories by authors such as Becky Chambers, Tanya Huff and Robert Heinlein. Yes!

Infinite Stars: Dark Frontiers

Edited by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Series: None

Published by Titan Books

Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Military SF, Short Stories

600 pages

Synopsis: Continuing the definitive space opera anthology series. Today’s most popular writers produce new stories
set in their most famous universes, alongside essential and seminal short fiction from past masters.


The follow-up to the critically acclaimed INFINITE STARS anthology, INFINITE STARS: DARK FRONTIERS continues to present today’s finest science fiction authors writing new stories set in their most famous worlds. With a new introduction and a short story by David Weber, the authors include Becky Chambers (Wayfarers), Curtis C. Chen (Kangaroo), Orson Scott Card (Ender), Susan R. Matthews, Larry Niven and Steven Barnes (Dream Park), Tanya Huff (Confederation), Jack Campbell (Lost Fleet) and many more. All new stories are exclusive to this volume for 18 months. The unparalleled collection also offers masterpieces by famous writing legends including Arthur C. Clarke, E.E. “Doc” Smith, C.L. Moore, and Robert Heinlein. 

I liked the first book in this series about a retired Army MP and her bomb sniffing dog so I’m looking forward to this one and I love the cover.

Blind Search

by Paula Munier

Series: Mercy & Elvis Mysteries #2

Published by Minotaur Books

Genre: Mystery

352 pages

Synopsis: It’s October, hunting season in the Green Mountains—and the Vermont wilderness has never been more beautiful or more dangerous. Especially for nine-year-old Henry, who’s lost in the woods. Again. Only this time he sees something terrible. When a young woman is found shot through the heart with a fatal arrow, Mercy thinks that something is murder. But Henry, a math genius whose autism often silences him when he should speak up most, is not talking.

Now there’s a murderer hiding among the hunters in the forest—and Mercy and Elvis must team up with their crime-solving friends, game warden Troy Warner and search-and-rescue dog Susie Bear, to find the killer—before the killer finds Henry. When an early season blizzard hits the mountains, cutting them off from the rest of the world, the race is on to solve the crime, apprehend the murderer, and keep the boy safe until the snowplows get through.

Inspired by the true search-and-rescue case of an autistic boy who got lost in the Vermont wilderness, Paula Munier’s mystery is a compelling roller coaster ride through the worst of winter—and human nature.

I haven’t read the first book in the series, but this historical mystery sounds good and I like the cover!

Tell Me No Lies

by Shelley Noble

Series: Lady Dunbridge Mystery#2

Published by Forge

Genre: Historical Mystery

368 pages

Synopsis: Rise and shine, Countess, you’re about to have a visitor.

Lady Dunbridge was not about to let a little thing like the death of her husband ruin her social life. She’s come to New York City, ready to take the dazzling world of Gilded Age Manhattan by storm. The social events of the summer have been amusing but Lady Phil is searching for more excitement—and she finds it, when an early morning visitor arrives, begging for her help. After all, Lady Phil has been known to be useful in a crisis. Especially when the crisis involves the untimely death of a handsome young business tycoon.

His death could send another financial panic through Wall Street and beyond.

With the elegant Plaza Hotel, Metropolitan Museum of Art and the opulent mansions of Long Island’s Gold Coast as the backdrop, romance, murder, and scandals abound. Someone simply must do something. And Lady Dunbridge is happy to oblige. 

The first book in this series was one of my favorites of 2018. Rainy is a great character and I love that she’s a horseshoer!

Dead Blow

by Lisa Preston

Series: Rainy Dale Horseshoer Mystery#2

Published by Arcade Crimewise

Genre: Mystery

264 pages

Synopsis: A dead blow hammer leaves little to no mark on the surface it strikes. It’s not a shoer’s tool, but horseshoer Rainy Dale knows them and knows there are more questions than answers about how her new client became a widow. The old woman says there was hardly a bruise on her dead husband. Why was he driving his tractor so dangerously near the killer bull? How long did it take him to die after the machine rolled and pinned him? The whole town seems aware of the dead man’s wandering eye. Did the widow know? It all happened just before Rainy came to town, about the time that her fiancé, Guy, volunteered with his buddy to help search for a young woman who went missing from Cowdry, Oregon. Rainy is supposed to be making wedding plans and friends, but she can’t help being drawn into the town’s old intrigues.

Once again, Rainy will have to dig deep and use all the tools in her box to both defend herself and the people she’s just learning to love. 

November 12

I love a book with a dog on the cover! And this sounds really good.

The Dog I Loved

by Susan Wilson

Series: Unknown

Published by St. Martin’s Press

Genre: Fiction

368 pages

Synopsis: After spending years in prison for a crime she didn’t intend to commit, Rose Collins is suddenly free. Someone who knows about the good work she has done—training therapy dogs while serving time—has arranged for her early release. This mysterious benefactor has even set her up with a job in the coastal Massachusetts community of Gloucester, on the edge of Dogtown, a place of legend and, for the first time since Rosie’s whole world came crashing down, hope. There she works to rebuild her life with the help of Shadow, a stray dog who appears one rainy night and refuses to leave Rose’s side.

Meghan Custer is a wheelchair-bound war veteran who used to be hopeless, too. Living at home with her devoted but stifling parents felt a lot like being in prison, in fact. But ever since she was matched with a service dog named Shark, who was trained in a puppy-to-prisoner rehabilitation program, Meghan has a brand new outlook. Finally, she can live on her own. Go to work. And maybe, with Shark by her side, even find love again.

Two strong women on a journey toward independence whose paths collide in extraordinary ways. Two dogs who somehow manage to save them both. A tale of survival and a testament to the human spirit, The Dog I Loved is an emotional and inspiring novel that no reader will soon forget. 

November 14

An interesting sounding science fiction and a great cover!

Body Tourists

by Jane Rogers

Series: Unknown

Published by Sceptre

Genre: Science Fiction

240 pages

Synopsis: In this version of London, there is a small, private clinic. Behind its layers of security, procedures are taking place on poor, robust teenagers from northern Estates in exchange for thousands of pounds – procedures that will bring the wealthy dead back to life in these young supple bodies for fourteen days.

It’s an opportunity for wrongs to be righted, for fathers to meet grandsons, for scientists to see their work completed. Old wine in new bottles.

But at what cost?

What books are you excited about this month?

They Call It Puppy Love Challenge Wrap-up

Barb @ Booker T’s Farm hosted They Call It Puppy Love Challenge during the month of February.

The challenge was lots of fun. I read six books about and enjoyed them all. It was fun finding different books featuring dogs.

The books:

Lost Dogs and Lonely Hearts by Lucy Dillon (my rating: A-) — Women’s Fiction

Burning Ridge by Margaret Mizushima (my rating: B+) — Mystery, police procedural

Rescue Me, Maybe by Jackie Bouchard (my rating: B+) — Women’s Fiction

Soldier Dogs by Maria Goodavage ((my rating: B+) — Nonfiction

Fractured Truth by Susan Furlong (my rating: B+) — Mystery, police procedural

Doggirl by Robin Brande (my rating: A-) — Young Adult

I reviewed two of the books and show links to my reviews. I’ve added the ratings I gave each book after I read it. I’m working on reviews for the other books and hope to post them in the next couple of weeks.

Have you read any of these books? Did you take part in the challenge? What books did you read? Did you enjoy them?