Everyday Tidbits...

A new year and new opportunities..

Friday, February 5, 2016

What draws you to a book?

What draws you to a new book?

I will admit that a book cover carries more weight than it should. I judge books by their covers and if I don't like a cover, it will take a really good recommendation for me to pick it up. Covers also make it incredibly easy to recognize self-published books. Which fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on who you are, can be a good thing.

A title should be catchy. I love when a title accurately reflects the subject matter in a book. I hate when a title goes for the obscure and vague and you never do quite figure out how it's related to the actual story.

I look at reviews, absolutely. I appreciate honest reviews. I like knowing ahead of time if a book has excessive profanity or sex, because it will affect my decision to read it. I like reading two and four star reviews because I believe those to be the most honest. If a book has only 4 or 5 star reviews, I am instantly on guard and I will assume that most of those reviews are from the author's friends and family. In the same vein, I sometimes question a book that is only 1 or 2 stars. The quality of the reviews always makes a difference regardless of whether it's positive or negative. When the reviewer can give me specific reasons, I am more likely to give that review weight.

Just because a book is on a best selling or newspaper list, won't make a big difference on my decision to read. Last year, I saw several lists of "must read" or "best books of 2015" and it was interesting to note that many of the books on those lists weren't books that I'd read.

If a friend directly recommends a book to me, I am more likely to look at it. If they have a copy I can borrow, that's even better! I loan out a lot of my books to friends and family because we share the same tastes.

What about you? What draws you to a book?

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Cover Crush: Jody Hedlund

I will freely admit that I judge books by their covers. The cover is usually what first captures my attention when browsing Goodreads or Netgalley. Actually, in all honesty, it isn't just usually, it's pretty much all the time. The cover determines if I look at the synopsis and reviews.

I love these two Jody Hedlund covers because they capture the strength of women. The colors are lovely and the settings historical. The scenes evoke a feeling of struggle and hardship, but each woman is facing those challenges head on, unwavering in her strength, conviction and faith.

What about you? Any book covers capture your attention this week?

Cover Crush is a weekly series that originated with Erin at Flashlight Commentary. Click over to see the gorgeous cover she shared along with A Bookaholic Swede.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Books I have forgotten...

One of the reasons I started this book blog was to remember what books I have read. My memory isn't the greatest anymore and I would read a book and then not remember if I liked it or what it was even about.

So, I threw this blog together and it was a place simply for my own reference purposes. It didn't take long for me to discover the world of book blogging and reviewing. It's been a blast and I've read so many books I probably never would have considered, if it hadn't been for blogging.

I was browsing through some past reviews and many books I didn't remember reading or even whether or not I liked them. So, I thought it would be fun to revisit past reads. Maybe one of these will prompt you to seek out an older, but amazing book. Or, if you've read one of these and your review was different, please share!


Persuasion by Jane Austen
4/5 Stars

Anne Elliot is one of my favorite Austen heroines, and Captain Wentworth is just divine.  Anne is intelligent and witty, thoughtful and compassionate. Her family is nuts. It's not easy reading, but it's a good novel. Watch the adaptation with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds. It's the best.

Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
5/5 Stars

Winter Solstice is delightful and thought-provoking. Pilcher's narratives are pure prose. You find yourself immersed in the world of Scottish tweeds and cottages and hospitality. She captures the intense feelings of grief, and the hope that comes when you learn to love again. This is a book that I reread over and over again.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
2/5 Stars

My review is too long to summarize. Suffice it to say it wasn't my favorite and I think that this book would have been better if it weren't written in first person. Bella is so shallow that you don't get the character development from the other characters. In this story, especially, there would have been so much more depth if it was told in third person, where we actually get Edward's reaction to Bella, rather than simply Bella's confusion.

What about you? What are some of the books you've read in previous years?

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Fall of Marigolds...Review

About the book:
A beautiful scarf, passed down through the generations, connects two women who learn that the weight of the world is made bearable by the love we give away....

September 1911. On Ellis Island in New York Harbor, nurse Clara Wood cannot face returning to Manhattan, where the man she loved fell to his death in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Then, while caring for a fevered immigrant whose own loss mirrors hers, she becomes intrigued by a name embroidered onto the scarf he carries …and finds herself caught in a dilemma that compels her to confront the truth about the assumptions she’s made. Will what she learns devastate her or free her?

September 2011. On Manhattan’s Upper West Side, widow Taryn Michaels has convinced herself that she is living fully, working in a charming specialty fabric store and raising her daughter alone. Then a long-lost photograph appears in a national magazine, and she is forced to relive the terrible day her husband died in the collapse of the World Trade Towers …the same day a stranger reached out and saved her. Will a chance reconnection and a century-old scarf open Taryn’s eyes to the larger forces at work in her life?

Two women. Clara is a nurse on Ellis Island in the early 20th century and lost the man she loved when he fell to his death in a famous fire. Taryn lost her husband when the twin towers fell on September 11th. Both struggle to come to terms with their losses; both come to understand their new meaning and purpose. They each realize the importance of the people left in their lives. Two women, separated by one hundred years, but whose stories are similar, are linked by a simple scarf. A scarf that figures prominently is each woman's life.

Susan Meissner is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Her writing is beautifully lyrical and descriptive. She has an amazing way of capturing emotions in words. The story is multi-faceted and compelling. I read it in nearly one sitting.

I need to purchase my own printed copy of this beautiful story, just so I can mark it up and underline sentences and phrases that I absolutely loved. Our book club enjoyed the story and highly recommended it.

Thanks to my local library for having a copy I could borrow. You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/16

* * * * *
5/5 Stars