As with last month, I had HONESTLY planned to take a reading break this month. And exactly like last month, reality did not align with my intentions.
Why try to take a reading break when I love reading, you might ask. This Loryn Brantz cartoon sums up my dilemma perfectly! Unlike previous months, all books were fiction.
Without further ado, here is what was on my bookshelf (or, more likely, my Kindle) this past month. I listed the first five in order of my preference. Having Jane Austen rated smack dab in the middle was highly unusual for me.
When reading a book, I almost always think of at least one person I think would enjoy that book. This month, I added this feature.
Title: Remarkably Bright Creatures.
Author: Shelby Van Pelt
Book’s Blurb: A charming, witty and compulsively readable exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope that traces a widow’s unlikely connection with a Giant Pacific Octopus.
Who Might Enjoy this Book: Deb V, octopus lovers and anyone who enjoys feel-good stories told from an animal’s perspective that take life’s tough challenges and make them easier to swallow.
Title: Love Stories
Author: Trent Dalton
Book’s Blurb: Trent Dalton spent two months in 2021 pounding city pavements, speaking to Australians from all walks of life and asking them one simple and direct question: ‘Can you please tell me a love story?’ The result is a warm, wise, poignant, funny and moving book about love in all its guises.
Who Might Enjoy this Book: Hopefully, my local book club will enjoy this book. I recommended it to them, and they agreed to read it for their January selection.
Title: Northanger Abbey
Author: Jane Austen
Review from my friend, Jeri: “This novel is more than “just” a satire, however; it’s also an insightful critique of romantic love (at least as portrayed in novels ) while simultaneously containing a full-throated defence of novel reading. Austen’s caustic asides on Catherine’s rather miserable abilities at being a romantic heroine are laugh-out-loud funny.”
Who Might Enjoy this Book: My friend, Jeri (quoted above), went through a phase of reading gothic novels in high school, so this hilarious spoof is her favourite Austen novel. If you also enjoy wit, humour and anything gothic (including parodies), this book may be for you.
Title: Cool Waters
Author: Dianne Warren
This wonderfully entertaining, witty, deeply felt novel brims with forgiveness as its flawed people stumble toward the future.
Who Might Enjoy this Book: Two people I met through blogging immediately came to mind when I read this book. Bernie, who blogs at Equipoise Life and Mona, who currently doesn’t blog but should! This book would be well-suited to fans of Alice Munro and Carol Shields.
Title: Nine Perfect Strangers
Author: Lianne Moriarty
Book’s Blurb: Could ten days at a health resort change you forever? Nine perfect strangers are about to find out.
Who Might Enjoy this Book: It is difficult for me to recommend this book as it was not my favourite. My friend Janis said she felt like the author had phoned in the manuscript, and the connection was not good. That at least made me laugh!
My Review: More here
Advanced Reader Copy:
Title: The Wishes of Sisters and Strangers
Author: Antoinette Truglio Martin
Book’s Summary: It is the Christmas and Hanukkah holidays, 1911, in a crowded three-bedroom New York City Apartment. Endless chores, the heaviness of grief, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire Trial squash any hope for a peaceful holiday season. The large Sicilian immigrant Taglia family continues to expand, especially with the arrival of a mysterious woman and two boys claiming to be close relatives. With little room or money and constant danger and heartbreak, can the wishes of sisters possibly come true?
Order details: Here or Here.
My Review: I was delighted to receive an Advanced Reader Copy of Antoinette Truglio Martin’s The Wishes of Sisters and Strangers (to be published November 7, 2022). I devoured the previous novels in this series, The Heart of Bakers and Artists and Dreams of Singers and Sluggers and was anxious to discover how these stories continued. I absolutely loved how the Taglia story unfolded.
Partly based on the author’s family accounts of coming to America from Sicily in the early 1900s, this series highlights the struggle, barriers and sorrow that so many immigrants endured. Targetted at middle-grade readers, these books can be enjoyed by any age group and would be wonderful shared and discussed. Although I highly recommend reading the entire series, the author has carefully structured The Wishes of Sisters and Strangers so that it also works well as a standalone.
Congratulations to Antoinette Truglio Martin for achieving First Place in the Purple Dragonfly Book Award and receiving The Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. I am confident that more awards are to follow.