February 19, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
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Hi everyone, hope you had a great reading week. I did indeed. Summer continues to roll on. They say bad weather is coming but not sure if we will feel the effects of the weakening cyclone here or not. Hoping not!                                                          

What I read last week:

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What I am reading at present:

I am about to start reading...
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And still listening to Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper

Up next:

At this point in time I am not sure! I read I'll Be Your Blue Sky very quickly because I was liking it so much so I will have a little space from review books to choose one off my own shelf, but can't decide what just yet.  Or maybe I'll go to the library.

Last Weeks Posts
Hearts of Resistance   Soraya M. Lane

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February 14, 2018

Hearts of Resistance by Soraya Lane

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Published: Lake Union Publishing
Date: 10th January 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 324
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4.5 stars                      Add to Goodreads
At the height of World War II, three women must come together to fight for freedom, for the men they love—and for each other. When Hazel is given the chance to parachute into Nazi-occupied France, she seizes the opportunity to do more for the British war effort than file paperwork.

Alongside her childhood friend, French-born Rose, she quickly rises up the ranks of the freedom fighters. For Rose, the Resistance is a link to her late husband, and a way to move forward without him. What starts out as helping downed airmen becomes a bigger cause when they meet Sophia, a German escapee and fierce critic of Hitler who is wanted by the Gestapo. Together the three women form a bond that will last a lifetime.

But amid the turmoil and tragedy of warfare, all three risk losing everything—and everyone—they hold dear. Will their united front be strong enough to see them through?


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Hearts of Resistance starts with a short prologue filled with danger that immediately starts me both worrying and asking questions about will these women survive? 

Then we are taken back in time and introduced one by one to three women, whom by the time the book finished I did not want to leave. Three women - one English, one German, one French and their lives are utterly changed by WW11.

There is Hazel - English - engaged and watching her fiance go off to war, and in an environment that did not believe women were capable of contributing significantly to the cause. Hazel will prove that wrong, once recruited by the SOE.

There is Sophia - a young German girl already helping Jewish people to escape from Berlin and hiding her Jewish boyfriend in her apartment. The horrors of the Nazi regime and her own father drive her from Germany and into the Resistance.

Finally Rose a young French woman married to her dearly loved husband and as the war carries on also finds herself by circumstance caught up in the covert operations against the Germans.

Eventually these three come together - work together - carry out mind and heart stopping work that really counts. They are highly trained, ready to kill if necessary and hugely passionate about the extremely dangerous work they do. Three powerful women.

These three women, while fictitious, do represent so many women who showed that they were very capable and courageous during this period of history.  Soraya M. Lane obviously researched this well, and she has presented an extremely wonderful tribute to these brave women.

I loved the strength of these three women and the bonds of friendship that they formed. While not always an easy read it was a very realistic and eye opening read. If you coped with Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale - you'll manage this one too.

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February 12, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
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Well I was away a few more days than I intended as on the final leg of my journey I overheated my car - badly! Out in the country unsure where I was, I was panicking a little,  quite a bit (although my sister and hubby were on the way) when a wonderful policeman pulled over and helped me sort things. He was so good, a dog handler, he even tried pouring some of the dog's water into my radiator! But it all poured out!  In the end the car was dead, had to be towed and short story is I bought a completely new one and drove home a few days later. Drama!  Even though my little yellow car was a 1992 I loved it. The new car is beautiful but,,,, its not yellow!  However it has all the latest safety features etc and probably won't break down! And I concede - the blue is a lovely shade of blue!

I had a lovely time away with my two sisters but it is nice to be back.                                                      

What I read last week:

I had two big reads really in the past week. The first was a somewhat dark, angsty read set in Alaska from Kristin Hannah. I fell into the camp that liked it - a 4.5 star read for me.
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The other one was an audiobook and I am so happy I went this way with reading this one as it was in my opinion the best narrated of the series. Some of the narrations have really annoyed me for this series, but not this made me happy.  Almost 20 hours long, I raced through it.  I loved the Australian setting.

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What I am reading at present:

I am about to start this review book, this is my first time reading this author.
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It has taken me over 2 hours just going through Audible trying to decide what I wanted to listen to next. When I finish listening to a good book sometimes nothing seems right for the next listen. In the end I went for one a few of my Goodreads friends had liked plus Katherine at I Wish I Lived in a Library.

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Up next:

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Last Weeks Posts
The Upside  Abdel Sellou
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February 6, 2018

The Upside: Abdel Sellou

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Published:Perseus Books, Weinstein Books
Date: February 6th 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 224
Genre: Memoir
Source:Little Bird Publicity via NetGalley
Rating:
4 srars                  Add to Goodreads
The story of Abdel Sellou's surprising friendship with aristocrat Philippe Pozzo di Borgo has been told and retold around the world-most recently in the major motion picture with comedian and movie star Kevin Hart portraying Abdel and his edgy charm. In this appealing memoir, Sellou shows us the real man behind Kevin Hart's smiling face. The book takes us from his childhood spent stealing candy from the local grocery store, to his career as a pickpocket and scam artist, to his unexpected employment as a companion for a quadriplegic. Sellou tells his story with a stunning amount of talent, humor, style, and-though he denies that he has any-humility.


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I have not seen the documentary or the movie that have recounted some of Abdel Sellou's activities, however I didn't need to, reading The Upside was complete in itself. Although if I got the opportunity to ever view the other media I would.

I couldn't help but become fascinated by Abdel Sellou's story.  It would seem the world came to know him first as an aide to wealthy Phillippe Pozzo di Borgio -  a tetraplegic.  They are well suited to each other.  Abel Sellou is irreverent, fun-loving and sure to shake up the household. He arrived in France when he was four, given to an uncle and aunt as is often the custom in Algeria. 

He tells his story of those days - of how he learned to live on the streets, steal and break laws until the age of eighteen when he can be held responsible for his actions. And so he has a little stint in jail. If there is one word that describes this character for me - it is resilient. He may have escaped a formal education by mainly just not turning up, but in many other ways he was smart.

His childhood underlined for me what happens when a child has no boundaries and is allowed to do what he likes. His new parents loved him, but didn't know how to raise him, he raised himself. 

However his friendship with Phillippe Pozzo di Borgio gradually educates and grows Abel Sellou.  While this man is more in the background in the memoir, he himself is very inspiring. What abides with me as I finish the book is the power of a deep friendship that enriches two lives.

This memoir was well worth the read.


February 5, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
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I am away this week travelling up north to Rotorua so I won't be here to visit you all this week. I'll be back later in the week.                                          

What I read last week:

The Duchess was okay, although I found the telling of the story a little too much. This Must Be the Place  was very well written and told in an interesting structure that required me to keep track of all the jigsaw pieces.
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I listened to Still Me on audio and it was very well done on the whole. And I enjoyed it.

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What I am reading at present:

As soon as I saw this in the shop I had to buy it! I am only a little way in and not missing one word of it.  But no... I am not going to live in Alaska.

Just started listening to this one. Again I was going to borrow it from the library but a long waiting list and as I have a road journey I thought I'd get into this one while travelling.  I have at least 500 books in my wish list at Audible and I find it so hard to choose. Almost went for a reread.
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Up next:

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Last Weeks Posts
Reading Month in Review
Tempest   Beverly Jenkins
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January 31, 2018

Reading Month in Review.

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Welcome in, do join me by sharing your link to your look back at this month. I'm looking forward to visiting and seeing what everyone has been up to.  The link will be open for you to share your post whenever you post over the next few days.  Do visit each others' posts.

Total books read this month: 15

Books Read:
The Sea of Tranquillity   Katja Millay    5 stars
The Promise Between Us  Barbara Claypole White 5 stars
Falling Upward    Richard Rohr    5 stars
Hearts of Resistance   Soraya M. Lane 4. 5 stars
Spring Forward   Catherine Anderson  4.5 stars
The Secret Hour   Luanne Rice   4.5 stars
Tempest   Beverly Jenkins   4 stars
Deep Work : Rules for Focussed Success in a Distracted World  Cal Newport   4 stars
Hold Your Breath  Katie Ruggle   4 stars
The Upside   Abdel Sellou  4 stars
A Grown Up Kind of Pretty   Joshilyn Jackson    4 stars
Promise Not to Tell   Jayne Ann Krentz   4 stars
The Tuscan Child  Rhys Bowen    4 stars
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work      Mason Currey  3 stars
The Duchess    Danielle Steele  3 stars

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Book Formats:

PaperbackOne
E-BookEleven
AudiobookThree
From TBR shelfOne
Review BooksSix
From my New Shelf   Four


Genres Read

Contemporary RomanceTwo
Crime/SuspenseTwo
FantasyZero
Mainstream FictionThree
Historical FictionFour
MemoirOne
Non FictionThree

New to me authors.
Rhys Bowen
Soraya M. Lane
Cal Newport
Katja Millay
Katie Ruggle
Mason Currey

Top Books for January

Loved The Promise Between Us
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And this audiobook had me glued to my ear buds!
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Looking forward to reading in February...

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Incoming Books.
Paperback Books Purchased:
Okay being virtuous I put in a request at the Library for this some time back, but then on the 30th January I was in our local bookshop and it was a good price plus I had a $5 discount and well... the rest is history and its now looking good sitting on my shelf until I can fit it in.... which will be soon!
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E Books Purchased:
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Library Books: 
I am on a mission to improve my Library use, and to do less clicking at online shops.
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Books coming from NetGalley 
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Audio Books 
Using one credit at Audible
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So how did your reading month pan out?

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