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  • Writer's pictureTerrie

5 star reads - so far this year

Since we're about half way through 2020, I asked my sister Donna to join me in this article sharing the best of the best of what we've read so far this year. These are books that have surprised us, thrilled us, made us keep reading, and that we just loved for one reason or another. (presented alphabetically by author) What are some of your five-star reads so far?

Ninth House #1 by Leigh Bardugo

Genre: Fantasy

I couldn't put this page turner down! Secret magic houses at Yale, a woman who can see ghosts, great ghostly interactions, secret rituals and a most unusual heroine. TERRIE Reviewed here

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

Genre: General Fiction

An elderly widower meets a troubled teenager and she and his nosy female neighbor change his life. I enjoyed the way these three lives came together and became entwined. - DONNA Reviewed here

Recursion by Blake Crouch

Genre: Sci-Fi

This story line is nearly impossible to describe – at times I’m not sure I completely understood it while reading it. However, it was innovative and made me think – what would I do if I had memories of a life I never lived? The core couple were key to the story and while one remembers what has happened, the other doesn't - great love, tragedy - it's all there. I enjoyed this book just as much as I did Crouch’s Dark Matter. If you want to read something different, pick up one of his books. - DONNA Reviewed here

Guilty by Laura Elliot

Genre: Mystery

When a thirteen-year-old girl goes missing and a journalist starts accusing her uncle, in print, of being a suspect, his life is damaged beyond repair. Six years later the tables are turned! This strongly spotlights how the media can twist and influence events. Great read. - DONNA

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Genre: Fantasy

A fabulous fantasy novel for people who don't read much of the genre. It's creative, the characters are complete and captivating, and it's an easy story to get 'lost' in. A young girl discovers she can see doorways between worlds.....where might that take her? - TERRIE Reviewed here

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Genre: General Fiction

A socially awkward, shy young woman makes a friend that changes her life in extraordinary ways. This book made me laugh and brought a tear to my eyes! - DONNA Reviewed here

Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini

Genre: Children's General Fiction

This is one of the first books I read in January and it is excellent. Only 48 pages it's written as a letter from a day to his young son about why they are fleeing their home in Syria; so touching, it made me cry! - TERRIE Reviewed here

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Genre: Historical Fiction

The classic story about two Texas Rangers on a cattle drive to Montana. This is a classic for a reason – it’s a terrific story with colorful characters. I’ve seen the TV miniseries with Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones so often that I was worried the book couldn’t hold up to it. But it does because it started with the book and the amazing depiction of the time and the people! I don’t read a lot of westerns but I’m so glad I finally read this one. - DONNA Reviewed here

The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes

Genre: Historical Fiction

Based on a true story, this entertaining book follows five women in depression-era Kentucky as they run a mobile library from horseback. There’s hardship galore, some romance, and a lot of perseverance. I loved this book. - DONNA

Reviewed here

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

Genre: Historical Fiction

On the face of it, I wouldn’t think a story about Nazi war hunters would interest me. I would have been wrong. This is an engrossing read with wonderful characters. There are four main characters and initially the chapters flip between them until they all converge and are finally linked. Each character is fascinating in their own way. I couldn’t put this book down! - DONNA Reviewed here

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Michele Kim Richardson

Genre: Historical Fiction

What a fascinating slice of history, these horseback librarians! I absolutely loved the story from beginning to end - what amazingly strong women in extraordinarily difficult times. Definitely strongly recommended. - TERRIE

Reviewed here

So between the two of us we've read 11 books that rate at the top of our enjoyment scale. There's a range of genres here from which you can choose your very own next great read! Let us know if you try one and what you think.

Welcome to Bookshelf Journeys.

It's my goal to provide real reviews of the books I read without totally rehashing every plot. I'll never spoil a story by giving away a plot twist! Hopefully you'll find one or two of interest and will discover a new book or author to add to YOUR TBR list.  Take a moment to explore, read a couple reviews, and let me know what you think.


For your convenience, I use #hashtags in the reviews and when you click on one, you'll find more books with that theme. Hopefully you'll find it a helpful way to navigate the site and find books you'll enjoy. I've also recently added tags that will show up at the end of each review that serve the same purpose.

The review ratings are based on a 5 star  (1/2 stars sometimes) system with a 3 being an average read for me. I hope you find that helpful. Knowing, of course, that all opinions are just that - my opinion!  Let me know if you agree or disagree - I'd love to hear from you.

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