Currently Reading · Recommendations · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: November 2019

Total Books Read in November: 4

Total Books Read in 2018: 33
The Enigma

The Enigma by T.C. Badcock
Genre: Historical Fiction
My Rating: 3.5/5

15713049

Shattered (Alaskan Courage, #2) by Dani Pettrey 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Christian Fiction, Romance, Suspense 
My Rating: 4/5

13337342

The Shoe Box (A Christmas Story) by Francine Rivers 
Genre: Christian Fiction, Audio Book
My Rating: 4/5

13547154

The Bridge by Karen Kingsbury
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Christian Fiction
My Rating: 5/5

The Stats


Total Number of Books Read: 4
Total Number of Fiction: 4
Total Number of Non-Fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 0
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 2 
Total Library Books Read: 2

Formats Read


Physical Books: 2
eBooks: 1
Audio Books: 1

Currently Reading

10426868
25057909

December TBR

6420
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Book Reviews · Charlie's Corner · Recommendations

Charlie’s Corner: Book Review: Deadly Voyage

Welcome to Charlie’s Corner, named after my little boy. Here I will share baby/children’s product and book reviews.

Deadly Voyage: RMS Titanic, Jamie Laidlaw, April 14, 1912 (I am Canada)
By: Hugh Brewster

Published: September, 2011
Published by: Scholastic Canada
Format Read: Hardcover
Genre: Middle Grade, Historical Fiction, Canadian Fiction

Rating: 4/5
♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

Fourteen-year-old Jamie Laidlaw is returning to Canada from England aboard the Titanic. In his four days on board, he busies himself with new friends, finding ways to explore the ship’s forbidden areas, and generally landing himself in trouble.
When disaster strikes and the horrifying scramble for survival ensues, Jamie is on the front lines — struggling to help free the lifeboats and get people on board them. When a huge wave washes over the ship’s sloping deck, it’s time for Jamie to take action — and take his fate into his own hands. With hundreds of others, he dives into the sea, hoping he will find a way to survive.
Since its launch in Fall 2010, the I Am Canada series has been praised for its accurate and energetic exploration of fascinating moments in Canadian history, through the eyes of young men who lived through them. In Deadly Voyage, awardwinning
author and noted Titanic historian Hugh Brewster draws from his vast knowledge of that fateful journey to create an enthralling tale of historical fiction — the ultimate adventure, whose terrifying end we know all too well.

My Thoughts

For young readers who are interested in learning more about historical events and time periods, there are several different series that offer fictional retellings from the perspective of children their age. In Hugh Brewster’s Deadly Voyage, which is apart of the I am Canada series, he tackles the sinking of the Titanic.

Readers follow a young Canadian boy named Jamie Laidlaw as he embarks upon the maiden voyage of the ship. It felt as if we were being taken on a private tour along with the man whose photos of the Titanic would become famous; Father Frank Browne. Some of these photos are included in the back of the book, among other bonus material. Jamie would also encounter other characters based on real people including; the Astor’s and the Molson’s.

The foreshadowing and superstitions many passengers had was interesting and eerie. As someone who has had a longtime fascination with the sinking of the Titanic, I appreciated the coverage of the events that occurred after the tragedy, including being rescued by the Carpathia and resulting inquiries.

I would highly recommend Deadly Voyage to middle grade readers and Titanic enthusiasts. I hope to have the opportunity to read more from the I Am Canada series.
Book Reviews

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

Baby Proof
By: Emily Giffin

 

Published: June 2006
Published By: St. Martin’s Press
Format Read: Trade Paperback
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary

Rating: 3.5/5
♥♥♥.5

Synopsis

From the author of the smash hits Something Borrowed and Something Blue comes a novel that explores the question: is there ever a deal-breaker when it comes to true love?

First comes love. Then comes marriage. Then comes . . . a baby carriage? Isn’t that what all women want?

Not so for Claudia Parr. And just as she gives up on finding a man who feels the same way, she meets warm, wonderful Ben. Things seem too good to be true when they fall in love and agree to buck tradition with a satisfying, child-free marriage. Then the unexpected occurs: one of them has a change of heart. One of them wants children after all.

This is the witty, heartfelt story about what happens to the perfect couple when they suddenly want different things. It’s about feeling that your life is set and then realizing that nothing is as you thought it was—and that there is no possible compromise. It’s about deciding what is most important in life, and taking chances to get it. But most of all, it’s about the things we will do—and won’t do—for love.

My Thoughts

Emily Giffin’s Baby Proof follows Claudia a successful, intelligent woman who has decided that she doesn’t want to have any children. It explores the expectations of society and the pressure that is put on women over a certain age to reproduce. This book also delves into relationships (marriage specifically) and how they evolve over time.

Unfortunately it took quite a while for me to get into this book. While I respect Claudia’s opinion and understood her reasoning behind not wanting children, I found her very hard to relate to. In fact her cynicism and lack of compassion made for an unlikable character.

Although Baby Proof wasn’t the most enjoyable book for me personally, Claudia’s reflections on society and its expectations were thought provoking. I think it would make for a good book club selection, as it would lead to some interesting discussions.
Book Reviews · Recommendations

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1) by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie Dobbs
(Maisie Dobbs, #1)
By: Jacqueline Winspear
Narrated by: Rita Barrington

Published: March 2005
Published by: Sound Library
Format Read: Audio book, Libby, Library book
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Rating: 4/5
♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

Hailed by NPR’s ‘Fresh Air’ as part ‘Testament of Youth’, part Dorothy Sayers, and part ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’, this astonishing debut has already won fans from coast to coast and is poised to add Maisie Dobbs to the ranks of literature’s favorite sleuths.

Maisie Dobbs isn’t just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence — and the patronage of her benevolent employers — she works her way into college at Cambridge.

When World War I breaks out, Maisie goes to the front as a nurse. It is there that she learns that coincidences are meaningful and the truth elusive. After the War, Maisie sets up on her own as a private investigator. But her very first assignment, seemingly an ordinary infidelity case, soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

My Thoughts

The first book in the Maisie Dobbs mystery series has been one of my most anticipated reads and it definitely lived up to my expectations.

Set after the first World War, it explores the lasting effects trauma had on the survivors, including the soldiers who fought and (in the case of Maisie Dobbs) the medics who saved their lives. Many of these heroes returned home with devastating injuries, both physically and mentally. This is the first time I have read about how their experiences at war have changed their opinions about society and their countries. I didn’t expect for this mystery novel to touch on a topic I would find so thought provoking.

I did find it odd when the main story was put on hold, as the author went into a very detailed section about Maisie Dobbs youth. Although her backstory was interesting and pertained to the main plot, it was oddly arranged.
Rita Barrington’s narrative of the novel was spot on and I enjoyed her interpretation of the different accents.

In closing Maisie Dobbs is a solid thought provoking, historical mystery that I would highly recommend. I look forward to reading book two soon.
Book Reviews · Recommendations

An Amish Kitchen by Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston & Kelly Long

An Amish Kitchen
By: Beth Wiseman, Amy Clipston & Kelly Long
Narrated by: Heather Henderson

 

Published: December. 2012
Published by: Oasis Audio
Format Read: Audio Book, Library Book, Libby App.
Genre: Amish Fiction, Christian Fiction, Romance

Rating: 4/5
♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

The Amish kitchen is the heart of the home – and the ideal setting for stories of love and hope.  Fall in Paradise, Pennsylvania, always brings a brisk change in the weather. This season also ushers in unexpected visitors, new love, and renewed hope for three women. Fern has a green thumb for growing healing herbs, but longs for love to bloom in her life. Then the next-door neighbor’s oldest son, Abram, comes running into Fern’s kitchen seeking help for his little sister. The crisis soon leads to a promise of romance — until mistrust threatens to end their growing attraction. Nearby, Hannah runs her parents’ bed and breakfast, Paradise Inn — but her life feels nothing like Paradise. She longs for a man of integrity to enter her life, but never expected him to knock on the front door looking for a room. Will she be able trust Stephen with her future once she discovers his mysterious past? When a storm blows a tree onto Eve’s farmhouse, she has little choice but to temporarily move her family into her parents’ home. Outside of cooking together in the kitchen, Eve and her mother can’t agree on anything. But this may be just the recipe for hope in healing old wounds. Three Amish stories — each celebrating love, family, and faith — all taking place in a tight-knit community where the kitchen truly is the heart of the home.

My Thoughts

An Amish Kitchen is a collection of three stories that highlights the fact that the heart of a family home is found in the kitchen. This is a important point in many different cultures including the Amish and one I can definitely relate to.

The first story A Taste of Faith was interesting in that it followed a young woman who takes care of the minor medical needs of her community using herbs and natural remedies. Unfortunately I couldn’t quite warm up to the male lead.

The characters in the second story (A Spoonful of Love) were wonderful with detailed backgrounds. Romance was depicted more passionately than I expected for an Amish novel. This was a pleasant surprise and added some spice to the book.

The final story (A Recipe for Hope) focused on the importance of sharing family recipes and passing down the memories attached to each one.

I thought the narrator Heather Henderson did a great job throughout. She was enjoyable and engaging to listen to. This is the first Amish fiction I have listened to on audio, so it was nice to hear the correct pronunciations of certain words that I had previously read in other novels from this genre.

An Amish Kitchen was a wonderful collection of stories that I would highly recommend to fans of Amish romance novels and family tales.
Currently Reading · Recommendations · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: October 2018

Total Books Read in October: 5
Total Books Read in 2018: 29

Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce
Genre: Historical Fiction
My Rating: 4/5

 

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler 
Genre: Contemporary, Literary Fiction
My Rating: 2.5/5

 

Her Royal Spyness (Her Royal Spyness Mystery, #1) by Rhys Bowen
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Series
My Rating: 3.5/5

 

The Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol 
Genre: Historical Fiction
My Rating: 5/5

Toward the Sunrise (Until the Dawn 0.5) by Elizabeth Camden
Genre: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Romance
My Rating: 2.5/5
Quick Thoughts: Toward the Sunrise was a quick novella introducing some of the characters in Elizabeth Camden’s Until the Dawn series. I enjoyed the historical setting as well as the brief parts set in New York City. The romance was just alright, but I found the main character to be entitled and overly bold. I have yet to decide if I will continue on with this series.

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 5
Total Number of Fiction: 5
Total Number of Non-Fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 0
Total Books Read from My Shelves: 2
Total Library Books Read: 3

 

Formats Read

Physical Books: 1
eBooks: 4
Audio Books: 0

 

Currently Reading