Tuesday, June 28, 2022

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Books On My Summer 2022 To-Read List


The topic this week is My Summer TBR list. I've been reading a bit less, and simultaneously have so many books I want to read that this list is harder than usual. I'm only picking a few books as I am not feeling like putting books on here that I may not read. Being able to make a reasonable list is as important as crossing off the books. I'm an NOT putting Cop Killer or Shuggie Bain on this list because they have been added to so many of these lists I am getting tired of not reading them. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

TOP TEN TUEDAY: Books With a Unit of Time in the Title


Thursday, June 2, 2022

CHALLENGE: Historical Fiction Reading, May


Just the one historical fiction in May, and it barely makes the 50 year mark, but I think it still counts. Good read! I am part way through my next historical fiction, but it will be in the June wrap-up.

The Island of Missing Trees - Elif Shafak

1970s Cyprus, late 2010s England

Canadians have been on a UN Peacekeeping mission to Cyprus since 1964, although it is a much smaller presence these days. I have a cousin who spent time there, so it is a place I have heard of and was always aware of the conflict there. Not the reasons or details, but by this point, it barely matters, as in any long term conflict. 

This is the story of a teenager in late 2010s London, Ada, but it is also the story of her parents and how they met in Cyprus in the 1970s. Kostas, Greek and Christian, and Defne, Turkish and Muslim, meet and fall in love as teenagers. Back and forth we go, seeing Ada in the present and her parents sneaking to the Happy Fig Tavern where they can be together. A fig tree does a fair bit of narrating, which was an interesting touch, especially if you have read The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. 

There is much tragedy, sadness, but also families, and the nature of trees. Shafak writes with humor as well. There is just a lot going on but done in a very well done way. I liked the story a lot, even while flipping back and forth in time so much. That is on me as I was listening and sometimes I miss things on audio. I was predisposed to like Defne as I taught a Turkish student a few years ago named Defne, which makes the name have wonderful associations. 

I'll look for another book by Shafak.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Comfort Reads

What makes a comfort read? It should be a quick read, not too long, there should be no terrible things happen and it should feel like there will be a happy ending (spoiler- there will be a happy ending). Here's my list of books, several of which I've read more than once, that as I read the title, I get a happy feeling of remembrance.

For more posts, and future topics for Top Ten Tuesday, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Blue Castle by LM Montgomery

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winnifred Watson

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

A Guide to Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson

Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding

Evening Class by Maeve Binchy

The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

The Penderwick: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Bookish Quotes Freebie


This week is Bookish Quotes. I'm not a reader who underlines, or takes note of interesting quotes. There is one character, however, whose quotes have stayed quite familiar to me. Partially because they are really good, and partially because I see them all the time on touristy things. But really, these are wonderfully postive quotes and could easily be a set of life mottos. Yes, our favourite red head, Anne of Green Gables has enough quotes for a complete Top Ten Tuesday. For more varied quotes, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.”

“It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable.”

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

“Do you think amethysts can be the souls of good violets?”

really, Marilla, one can’t stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?”

“I know it is just plain red, and it breaks my heart. It will be my life long sorrow.”

“It’s delightful when your imaginations come true, isn’t it?”

“Which would you rather be if you had the choice--divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?”

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”

and my all time favourite quote:

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Bookish Characters


The topic this week is Bookish Characters (these could be readers, writers, authors, librarians, professors, etc.). I've gone through books I've read and enjoyed a lot and highly recommend! And found extra reasons to read each book. And maybe listed eleven, lol, because I liked the topic.

For more posts and future topics, visit That Artsy Reader Girl who hosts.

Unless - Carol Shields (author)
The main character, an author, is struggling as her daughter has dropped out of life and is sitting on a street corner, with a sign around her neck, 'goodness'
Bonus: feminist slant to all the naval gazing

Misery - Stephen King (author)
What happens to an author who stops writing a series, and a crazy fan is not impressed? 
Bonus: you can watch the excellent movie as well

The Magpie Murders - Anthony Horowitz (author/agent)
The manuscript has been passed in and then the author disappears. The author's agent must figure out what happened, based on the unpublished manuscript. 
Bonus: you get two books in one because you also read the manuscript.

The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon (librarian, book seller)
A young boy finds an old book and while looking for more books by the author, discovers all the author's books are being destroyed. 
Bonus: the setting is a gothic Barcelona

Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery (reader/writer)
Poor orphan Anne has always escaped into books and writing to offset her miserable life, before she comes to Green Gables
Bonus: later book, Anne of Windy Poplar, is all letters written by Anne to Gilbert

The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde (just all about books!)
A whole world within books, with book detectives trying to keep the endings the way they should be without rouge characters trying to change things.
Bonus: all your favourite books/characters are here, and there are sequels

The Book Thief - Markus Zuzak (reader)
A little girl sneaks into a home library and reads books. In Berlin, during the war, and she is Jewish. 
Bonus: Death is the narrator

The Giver of Stars - Jojo Moyes (mobile librarians)
Women librarians taking books on horseback to isolated farms
Bonus: try Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey for the same version of story, but in a future America

Eight Perfect Murders - Peter Swanson (bookseller)
A bookseller who wrote a list of the most unsolvable murders from literature gets caught up in a murder investigation when someone begins using his list to actually kill
Bonus: You get a list of 8 great murder mysteries to read afterward

The Sentence - Louise Erdrich (bookstore worker)
I wanted a book I've read recently on the list and this one was good, and topical, set in Minnesota during 2020 so expect Covid lockdowns and George Floyd murder. Much of the book is set in a bookstore where the main character is being haunted by a dead patron.
Bonus: books list at the back, of books the main character referenced