Sorry this is a day late! I was having some updates done on my website. But better late than never, right?
I’m plugging right along with my reading-in-the-time-of-pandemic. Another several books logged for the month of April. So let’s get right to them!
City of Thieves by David Benioff
My husband read this book after reading a review of it somewhere. And he loved it. Great storytelling, great writing, he said. And he was correct on both counts. However, I have to say that this story was way too crass and violent for my tastes. To be fair, those things fit the story, which is essentially a coming of age set story during the German siege of Leningrad/St. Petersburg during WWII. But even though it is not necessarily to my taste, I could still appreciate the writing.
Yesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West
I met Catherine years and years ago (maybe 2005? 2006?) when we were both trying to find publishers for the first time. I’ve wanted to read this one for a while—even had it sitting in my kindle for over a year before I finally opened it this month. And what I story! I think I loved it so much because it is an era and a place I know little about. And Catherine really put the reader in war-torn Vietnam, both as a physical and en emotional setting. I’m so glad I finally read this book! It’s one I won’t forget for a long time.
A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green
I love Jocelyn’s books, and this was no exception! All I knew going in was that the main character was a French lacemaker. I loved the history of the French community of Asylum in Pennsylvania during the late 1700s, and the divided loyalties of the fledgling United States as they viewed the French Revolution from afar. Great history set behind great characters who you want to root for. Definitely a good read!
The Lost Letter by Mimi Matthews
The only Mimi Matthews book I had left to read. And it was soooo good! Now I have to wait for her new release in the fall! Though the plot of this books didn’t contain a huge twist (the title kind of gives it away!), I still loved how it all played out.
The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen
I picked up the book not realizing one of its major components was the Women’s Land Army in Britain during the Great War! Why did that surprise me so? Because I’ve just discovered that bit of history and have been interested in it! I knew it happened during WWII, but not earlier. I loved this story of a woman figuring out who she is during a time of upheaval and uncertainty.
Abigail’s Secret by Marilyn Turk
I was privileged to read a pre-release copy of this delightful story! Marilyn weaves a contemporary story with a historical element around a lighthouse being transformed into a Bed & Breakfast. It made me want to stay in a lighthouse B&B! Look for this one when it releases. (Fall, I think?)
To Wed An Heiress by Roseanne E. Lortz
I stumbled on the third book in this Pevensey Mysteries series a couple of years ago when looking for a historical set at Christmas. It was delightful, so I tagged the other two in my to read list. I finally got around to the first one! I confess, if there is head-hopping I am usually unable to overlook it and put the book down, but for some reason hers doesn’t bother me so much. I guess it’s that “story trumps everything” thing that happens sometimes! A regency love story and mystery wrapped into one. Exactly my cup of tea.
Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany by Jane Mount
This book, given to me by a dear friend for my birthday, is a book lover’s dream! Part coffee table book, part encyclopedia, part travel book, part love letter to books, it entranced me from the first page with its whimsical illustrations (also by Jane Mount), its list of books in different genres, its highlights of bookstores and libraries across the globe and its book recommendations. My already enormous To Read list swelled again while combing through each page of this love letter to books.
Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan
Another that has been on my radar for a long while! I love C.S. Lewis, but didn’t know much about Joy. I confess, the first half to the book was hard to get through. Lovely writing, but just heavy emotionally. But I persevered because I know only the end of the real story wanted to know how it got there! At the halfway point the pages seemed to turn themselves. Even the bittersweetness of the ending was satisfying somehow. Knowing her story makes my enjoyment of and respect for C.S. Lewis even greater.
The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis
A fascinating “coincidence” that our church small group was currently reading/discussing this work, for I felt Patti Callahan drew on much of his discussion of the different types of love for Becoming Mrs. Lewis. Some great nuggets in this books, but I confess it is a really difficult read. Very philosophical and heavy on literary references that aren’t really common today. Still, I would slog through it again for those few glimmering jewels of truth.
That’s if for April! We’ll see where the reading leads in May!