My Virtual Bookshelf - adding to my TBR list in February.....

Follow along each month as I share with you the books that caught my attention enough to get added to my TBR - and why. Be sure and let me know in the comments if you've read any of them already and have input about whether the book should stay on my TBR! Back of Beyond #1, C.J. Box Published 2011, 382 pages Why I added this book: I've read a couple by this author; this is the beginning of a new series; it was on sale for $2 via #Bookbub so I bought it Synopsis: an alcoholic cop (recently on the wagon) discovers his sponsor dead and as he tracks the killer, finds that his son is also in danger; wilderness mystery Fiction Can Be Murder, Becky Clark Published 2018, 284 pages Why I added this

Racing with donkeys - doesn't everyone? Running With Sherman is a delightful nonfiction story!

Running with Sherman, Christopher McDougall Genre: Nonfiction Published 2019, 334 pages Anyone who reads this story will fall in love with Sherman. He’s such a resilient little donkey. Chris and his wife live in Amish country in Pennsylvania. They rescue Sherman from an animal hoarder who kept Sherman in a shed, on old hay, with barely enough room to turn around. The first thing they needed to contend with when they got Sherman home was his “hooves curved like the nails of a Hindu holy man” – it was painful for him to walk. As Sherman begins his recovery, Chris’ goofy goat, Lawrence, who likes to playfully head-butt all the other animals (as goats do!), approached Sherman and Chris worriedly

EIGHT MINI REVIEWS - a smorgasbord of books to whet your appetite for reading

February quick reviews cover a wide range of reading interests from fantasy to mystery to nonfiction. Donna and I didn't read any duds this month but have a couple of favorites - skim the short reviews and see which ones make your TBR list. This month we reviewed Storm Front by Jim Butcher, Her Final Breath by Robert Dugoni, The Blue by Lucy Clarke, The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey, Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence, The Day the World Came to Town by Jim deFede, Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs by Dave Barry, and Blue Heaven by C.J. Box. Storm Front #1, Jim Butcher Genre: Fantasy Published 2000, 322 pages Terrie's Read (Donna read it too) As the first in a new-to-me series, this

A new series, The K Team, springs into action

The K Team #1, David Rosenfelt Genre: Mystery, Animals Published 3/24/20, 304 pages It's been a while since I've read a David Rosenfelt book (though I have a couple waiting on my bookshelves). This introduction to a new series is off to a good start. The characters are connected to Andy Carpenter, Rosenfelt's long-time leading character, so fans of the series will find some familiar faces, even Andy makes an appearance. However, you don't have to have any history with the previous series - this works perfectly well as a stand-alone novel. For this new series, Andy's wife Laurie (a former policewoman) joins with another former cop, Corey, his K9 partner Simon Garfunkel (?!), and Marcus, the

One-in-a-Million Boy is heartwarming, quirky, charming, unputdownable!

The One in a Million Boy by Monica Wood Genre: General Fiction Published 2016, 416 pages What a delightful, beautiful, surprise of a story! A bright, socially awkward boy helps out a 104 year old lady. (How many young boys do you know who would actually do this? If you know one, he's a gem!) As he helps her with yard work and errands, a very unexpected friendship develops between these two lonely people. I loved feisty Ona, the 104 year old lady who needed just a little help. I felt for the heartbroken mom, I sympathized with the clueless but trying-hard dad, and I was enchanted by the boy. I often feel like stories about broken relationships try too hard and descend into cliches. I didn't

Women form a strong bond while delivering library books in Jojo Moyes' The Giver of Stars

The Giver of Stars, Jojo Moyes Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Reese Bookclub selection Published 2019, 399 pages I LOVED this book. I’ve read many of Jojo Moyes’ books so when I was wandering through the library and saw this new release with her name on it AND I saw it was about a mobile library, I snatched it up. Based on a true story set in the poor southern Appalachia town of Baileyville, Kentucky during the depression era, it’s a story of five strong women who deliver mail to families in remote areas by horseback, and in one case a mule. Called The Baileyville Packhorse Library these women ride through blazing summers and freezing winters. They fight against nature when a flood threa

Wednesday Web Wanderings

Another Wednesday filled with online bookish finds and delights - I wonder which one will catch your eye and make you pause....just for a minute? Planning a vacation and you'd like to do something different, you just don't know quite what? Here's an excellent idea. Stay at an AirBnB with a bookish twist - in an old bookstore or library or just a retreat filled with books. Book Riot did some research to get you inspired. I've heard much about the bookshop in Scotland, but all these other options are a surprise to me. This one is Sleep Above a Bookstore in Springfield, MO. The inaugural Ripped Bodice Romance book awards were given out recently. I guess there has been some controversy in the Ro

How to Create the Perfect Reading Environment

Let's explore creating a reading environment. Of course, having the perfect reading space means different things to each of us, but let's pretend it's a perfect world and you could have whatever makes your little heart happy. Many of us would LOVE to have a dedicated home library - a room filled with our favorite books and all the stacks of books we want to read. This home library would welcome us every time we were in the mood to settle in with a good book. In reality, most of don't have that kind of "extra" space so we have to be creative. We try to claim a corner of a family room, a bedroom, a loft, or home office space. We cram in a few mismatched bookcases and add a chair (if we're luck

Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier is historical fiction loosely based on an actual person

Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier Genre: Historical Fiction Published 2006, 422 pages I picked this book up at a sale because I loved Cold Mountain by Frazier. This one is told as memories from an old man of his life as a young boy sent away from his family. He knocks around and eventually finds a father figure and life with the Cherokee. Loosely based on the life of William Holland Thomas, it's set in the 1800s during the Cherokee 'Trail of Tears' as they were being forced off their traditional lands in North Carolina. That's a sad story in and of itself. "Even in those early days when I was first getting to know Bear and his people, I could see that change and brutal loss had been all they

The World According to Tom Hanks

The World According to Tom Hanks, Gavin Edwards Genre: Biography Published 2018, 301 pages (an additional 40 pages of Sources at the end) Not a typical biography, this book is a compilation of Hanks’ youth, relationships, movies, and interests. It’s a lighthearted read that will probably appeal mostly to fans of the actor and his movies – that’s me! I especially enjoyed the chapter titled Random Acts of Hilarity and Kindness – many stories I had not heard. In the author’s acknowledgements at the end of the book he says: "Thanks most of all to Tom Hanks himself. This is not an authorized biography, but when I first contacted him about this book, he sent back a delightful letter (typed of cour

A Murderous Relation is a Victorian novel at its best

A Murderous Relation #5, Deanna Raybourn Genre: Historical Fiction Published March 2019, 320 pages Thanks to #NetGalley and #StMartinsPress for the ARC of this delightful book. I received it for free and the opinion expressed is entirely my own. I read the first installment, A Curious Beginning, last year and no others since then. I'm pleased to say that these can be read as stand alone books. I enjoy reading a series but really appreciate one that can also mostly stand alone AND doesn't spend half of the book explaining and retelling earlier plots. There were a few references to "when Sir Hugo asked us last time" or "remember when you got shot in shoulder" but while that might have been a g

Binti - a sci-fi trilogy about a teen who leaves her world to go to university

Binti, Binti: Home, Binti: The Night Masquerade; Nnedi Okorafor Genre: Sci-Fi, YA Award: Hugo and Nebula awards Published 2015, 356 pages The first installment of this trilogy is the award winning novella (95 pages), Binti. This library book had all three novellas to be read together and I much preferred the continuity of reading the series that way. This book has action, danger, introspection and character growth, foreign creatures on foreign worlds - it has it all! I don't read much sci-fi; I often find it too technical or sciencey for me. However, this one was readable and while the potential science didn't always make sense to me, it didn't hamper my enjoyment of the overall story. Bri

Recursion is a brain-twister of a book that is un-put-down-able

Recursion, Blake Crouch Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller Published 2019, 336 pages Wow. I mean, wow! I did not want to put this book down. I hardly know where to start. Last year I read this author’s novel Dark Matter and loved it equally as much, although I understood that story/concept better! HA! Even when I didn’t fully comprehend every aspect of Recursion, it still kept me totally fascinated and involved. This is one of the most imaginative and complex (don’t let that word scare you off) stories I’ve ever read. Briefly, this is a story of false memories – a mysterious affliction drives its victims mad with memories of a life they never lived. Trying to invent technology that would store

Wednesday Web Wandering #1

As I wander the depths of bookish places on the web, I come across some interesting, fun, amazing things - take a look at these! Did you know you could read a novel via Instagram for free??? Look what the NY Public Library is doing. For fans of Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale, here's the latest on the movie adaptation. This fanciful 17 story building is Wat Samphran in near Bangkok, Thailand. I discovered this via the blog Strong Sense of Place, a great blog (and new podcast) recommending books and travel tips for those of us who like to explore the world - from our armchairs, or in person. Have you ever wondered what the best selling book (in America) was the year you were born? Here's a

3 things saving my life right now

Over at #ModernMrsDarcy today she is sharing her feelings about the winter blues and what she's doing to help her get through it. She invites others to share their, here goes. First, I'm not a winter person. I hate the snow, I don't like the freezing cold - I just hibernate when Seattle gets snow. In this month, the middle of winter, here in Seattle, it's wet. Very wet. Gray. Very gray. We had almost record setting volumes of rain in January. Usually a PNW (Pacific Northwest) rain is a drizzle, you know a kind of steady spritz from the sky. Not hard enough to need an umbrella because, you know, it's just a drizzle. Not this winter. We've had RAIN. As in pounding, bounce

Historical fiction: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson Genre: Historical Fiction Published 2019, 308 pages This novel about the book women of Kentucky was eye opening for me. Wonderfully written, SO evocative of place and time, vividly emotional, and on top of all that, it's educational. I love that surprise that happens when I pick up a novel expecting a pleasant read and instead find myself going online to research Blue People of Kentucky and Horse Pack Librarians. The best of both worlds! And, by the way, Troublesome Creek is a real place. Set in hill country of Kentucky in the 1930s, poverty is rampant, coal mines are the main job opportunities and are killing the workers, educat

Part mystery, part coming-of-age, lots of heart in Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Ordinary Grace, William Kent Krueger Genre: Mystery Awards: Edgar Award, Barry Award, Anthony Award Published 2013, 307 pages "And what is happiness? In my experience, it's only a moment's pause here and there on what is otherwise a long and difficult road. No one can be happy all the time. Better, I think, to wish for her wisdom, a virtue not so fickle." I expected a mystery. There is a mystery, but not in a traditional police-procedure type of way. More in a quiet, thoughtful, slow-developing way. It's actually more a coming-of-age story about loss and how it affects a young teen and his family as well as the community, of growing up in a simpler age but still with big feelings and though

January Review Roundup - 30 book review links

In January we ramped up our reading from December and managed to get more reviews posted. In case you missed any, here's what we reviewed in January: On January 1, Donna and I made the extreme effort to quantify our favorite books over the last decade. Not an easy task, I can tell you! Our reflections on our reading over the last 10 years can be found on this post. The list of our 20 favorite books (plus a few honorable mentions) can be found in the Our BEST Lists tab in the top menu. This month's Buddy Reads are The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan, historical fiction about the Mughal Empire of India in the 1600s and I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh, contemporary fiction about a mom whose

Welcome to Bookshelf Journeys. My goal is to encourage, support and enrich your reading life. I'll share reviews, news, decorating and gift ideas - whatever might be of interest. Let's talk books!

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© Bookshelf Journeys, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terrie Purkey and Bookshelf Journeys with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.   2019

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