The Victory Garden

Book 66 in 2019.

“The Victory Garden” by, Rhys Bowen.

Rhys Bowen has written two series that I absolutely loved. “The Molly Murphy Series”, and “The Royal Spyness Series”. I have also read two of her stand alone books and thought they were great. She writes almost all historical fiction. I was so excited to read this new book.

It takes place in England during WWI , where recently turned twenty one year old, Emily Bryce is trying to find her way to help out with the war. She ends up working as a land girl against her parents wishes. She also meets an Australian pilot and falls in love. Her parents make her choose him or them. She of course chooses him. When the war ends she has to continue to make her way in this new world apart from her family.

Ok. So there is obviously a lot more to the story. I felt like it jumped all over the place. It moved fast and took a lot of twists and turns at a weird pace. It was not my favorite, and I forced myself to finish. Needless to say, it is the first book of Rhys Bowen’s that I did not enjoy. If she comes out with something new again, I will still pick it up because I have faith in her! Overall afterthought, pretty disappointed.

The Winemaker’s Wife

Book 65 in 2019.

“The Winemaker’s Wife” by Kristin Harmel.

Well it has been a while since I have read a WWII book. This… was ok. I have read better and I have read worse.

The story goes back and forth between three characters. Two are from France wine country during WWII. The third is from present day, visiting with her ninety nine year old grandmother in Paris. Each lady has her path intertwined with the other. Their stories and journeys they choose directly effect each other and those around them.

So, I don’t know. I always feel bad when I don’t like a book. Ha. I know there is a lot of work that went into it. Maybe the circumstances just weren’t my favorite. I had a hard time finishing. Overall afterthought, not my favorite.

A Bollywood Affair

Book 64 in 2019.

“A Bollywood Affair” by, Sonali Dev.

I just absolutely love Sonali Dev! Her books are so good and complex. I think I have read them all now. I have that kind of sad feeling of “now what”?

This story was about a child from a rural area in India who was married as a four year old to a twelve year old boy. She waited twenty years to meet him, but he never came. In the mean time she was able to go to school and received a scholarship to study in America. What she did not know was that “husband” had been told that their child marriage was not legal and he married a different woman and was expecting his first child. When he received a letter from a lawyer in the mail about paying his “first” wife what she was owed, he sent his younger brother to take care of this “problem” before his child was born.

Of course drama, deception, and romance ensues. Misunderstood feelings, miscommunication and misunderstandings. Not super lighthearted, but the depth was welcomed. I really enjoyed everything about this book. (It did have some racy situations. It was not all throughout, just a couple parts.) Overall afterthought, Sonali Dev is my girl.

The Royal Holiday

Book 63 in 2019.

“The Royal Holiday” by, Jasmine Guillory.

This is the third book of Jasmine Guillory’s that I have read. They are very chick lit, and light and fluffy. So they are a perfect “hallmark” type story for this upcoming holiday season.

The characters in this story are a spin off from her other books. Vivian is going on vacation to London with her daughter Maddie for Christmas. While she is there she meets an amazing man named Malcolm, and has the best week. He invites her to stay longer and she stays an additional couple days and cannot believe that there is someone like him. Unfortunately vacations come to an end and she returns home to California. They continue corresponding with old fashion post cards, and wish they could be together.

Fluffy, fluffy, fluff. I think I have fulfilled my quota of cuteness for the year. Ha. Overall afterthought, just ok.

Dark Matter

Book 62 in 2019.

“Dark Matter” by Blake Crouch.

So I get my love of reading from my dad. He got it from his mom. I have vivid memories of my grandma sitting down after a day of work at her summer lake house and reading. I remember looking at my dad’s large collection of Louis L’Amour books. I know my kids will have memories of me reading too, but none of them have got the “love of reading gene”, yet. Ha.

My dad suggested this to me. I tried to read Blake Crouch’s “Recursion”, but could not get through it.

So. Much. Science.

My dad said it was an easier read , so I gave it a try. I could not put it down. It is the first time in a long time I finished a book in two days. Such an insane story. I feel like I don’t want to give away anymore of the plot other than it is a severely science fiction story about a man trying to find his way home to the woman he loves.

Bam. Isn’t everything ultimately a love story? Ha. I like to think it is.

There was some foul language scattered throughout, but otherwise the book as a whole was very clean. Overall afterthought, loved it.

The Full Moon Bride

Book 61 in 2019.

“The Full Moon Bride” by, Shobhan Bantwal.

Awe, well, I really enjoy Shobhan Bantwal’s writing! This is the second book of hers that I have read. I am a sucker for a great love story. Even one that involves arranged marriages. I also love learning about other cultures. With four boys, and the daunting thought of only being the mother in law when they are having families of their own, I feel like arranged marriages might be the way to go…

Soorya Giri is an accomplished lawyer in New York City. She is an only child of her father, a prosperous plastic surgeon and a loving, doting mother. She is a thirty year old Indian-American and her traditional immigrant family is growing impatient waiting for her to settle down. On her twelfth bride viewing, she meets Rajesh. He is so unlike her in every way she does not believe it could ever work. However an arranged marriage may be her only chance at finding love.

Chick lit at it’s finest. Great story. Engaging characters. Very clean. Happy Ending. Overall afterthought, yay for sappy.

Not Our Kind

Book 60 in 2019.

“Not Our Kind” by Kitty Zeldis.

I grabbed this off the library shelf during a random browse session. Sometimes I research what to read next, sometimes I just blindly pick. So, Eh. I don’t know. I really just felt like I was waiting for more to happen.

It’s about a Jewish girl living in New York City in the 1950’s. She has to deal with prejudices for her ethnicity, gender and for being in her 20’s and still single. The story was ok, just not my favorite. Overall afterthought, moving on.

Do you mind if I talk about something that is my favorite? Ha. Well, I’m going to. Have you seen those crazy memes with the ladies yelling, and the cat sitting there? If not, it is a combination of two memes put together with different sayings. There are so, so many. I am going to embarrassingly admit, they make me laugh harder than they should. Like make me smile when I am sitting by myself. Like get weird looks from my boys as they shake their heads at how weird I am. I may have built it up too much , but I can not stop laughing at this one. Their faces 😂

The Summer Country

Book 59 in 2019.

“The Summer Country” by, Laura Willig.

This was a little bit different type of historical fiction for me. It was also kinda big, well almost five hundred pages. Which is just a bit longer than usual. I can’t remember why I picked it up from the library? It could be I like summer? Or simply the fact that is has a hibiscus on the cover. I am that methodical at the library, ha.

The story takes place on two timelines that span between generations of a sugar cane plantation in Barbados. The first timeline is in the early 1800’s and the second is in the 1850’s. It deals with love, legacy, slavery, freedom and family. I enjoyed Laura Willig’s style. She kept me going through the long read. I really needed to know how everything was going to come together. Overall afterthought, intriguing story.

The Marsh King’s Daughter

Book 58 in 2019.

“The Marsh King’s Daughter” by, Karen Dionne.

I am not really a fan of Halloween. I don’t like scary creepy stuff. I let my kids dress up for the candy. But we don’t make a big to do about it. This week however, I got a little swept up in a “creepy” theme and read a psychological thriller.

This story was so, so good. Don’t get me wrong it was intense. I almost didn’t read it, because I thought it might be more “true crime”, but it didn’t get into graphic details. I don’t usually read anything that has bad things that happen to children. Yuck.

Helena Pelletier’s parents were not in a loving relationship. Her father kidnapped her mother when she was fourteen and Helena came two years later. She was raised secluded, in a cabin deep in the marshes of the Michigan Upper Peninsula. She is now an adult, married with two children trying to escape her past. When a news report comes out that her father has escaped prison, she knows he is coming for her and she is the only one who can stop him.

I am not always up for a story like this, but I will definitely check out some more of Karen Dionne’s books. Overall afterthought, could not put it down.

Approaching Jehovah’s Witnesses in Love

Book 57 in 2019.

“Approaching Jehovah’s Witnesses in Love” by, Wilbur Lingle.

A couple weeks ago I had a Jehovah’s Witness come to my door. I have been reading Bob Goff’s “Everybody Always” again, with the companion bible study. It has really been challenging me to talk to people I normally would not have on my radar. So I went outside and met them, they didn’t even have to knock on my door! Ha.

(Insert Bob Goff laugh)

Our conversation was short and simple. They shared a bible verse with me then left. They asked if they could come back and talk some more, so I said absolutely.

I really don’t know much about the Jehovah’s Witness. So I did what I do best, I went to the library.

So with every nonfiction “how to” book, I have to “chew the meat, and spit out the bones”. Meaning, there are some things I can walk away with, and some that are just a bit much for me. This was very informative in what the JW’s believe. So in that sense I learned a lot. It was not my favorite read. But I wasn’t looking for entertainment. Overall afterthought, I may look for another book for more information.