Thursday, February 28, 2019

Laura’s Top 10 Books of 2018

I’m always a little behind on my top ten books from the past year.  I’ve got links to reviews of my favorite books of 2018 below in my list.  I had a hard time narrowing down my list so I have quite a few books in my runner’s up list as well.  Let’s discuss what you think of my list in the comments below.  What were your favorite books of 2018?  Were any the same as mine?

These are the ten books I loved the most that I read in the year 2018.  It doesn’t mean they were necessarily published in 2018.  I also didn’t count books that I was reading again for the second time (The Long Winter for example by Laura Ingalls Wilder).  These were the books I read and then couldn’t stop thinking about long after I’d read the final page.  They are in no particular order, but are my top ten favorite books.  They are a mix of non-fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, literary fiction and classics.

  1. And Then There were None by Agatha Christie - This was pretty much the perfect mystery novel.
  2. My Grandmother Asked Meto Tell you She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman - An exceptional and interesting story with magical elements woven throughout about a gifted girl learning how to deal with grief and bullying.
  3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon  - A great coming of age story and a mystery seen through the eyes of the autistic narrator.  I just thought it was a mystery and was blindsided by the deep emotional turn the book took. 
  4. Every Note Played and Still Alice by Lisa Genova - Both of these novels were 2018 Kewaunee Library Book Club picks, and both were excellent looks at how neurological diseases affect someone and their family.  They were both great books to discuss.
  5. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller - Awesome in both print and audiobook, this classic novel is a wild ride into the hypocrisy and lunacy of war.  I can't wait for George Clooney's new series based on this book.
  6. The Giver by Lois Lowry - I will admit, I'm still creeped out by the end of this book.  A good look into the horror we can create when we try to make the perfect world.
  7. Between Earth and Sky by Amanda Skenadore - This historical fiction novel blew me away with a heart rending story involving the boarding schools that were used to assimulate Native American Children and tear them away from their culture.
  8. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood - Another great book for book club, The Handmaid's Tale provided a lot of discussion.  Could you see this dystopian future happening?
  9. The Children’s Blizzard by David Laskin - There is a reason why we call off school when we know the weather will be cold, and it's The Children's Blizzard.  It's a horrifying true story of the blizzard of 1888.
  10. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion - A hilarious love story told by an autistic professor. It was a unique novel that made me laugh out loud a lot while reading it.

Winner of Courage Between Love and Death by Joseph Pillitteri

The lucky winner of Courage Between Love and Death by Joseph Pillitteri is Stacybuckeye of the blog Stacy's Books who left a comment on February 12th.  Stacy has been notified via email and has one week to send me her mailing address before a new winner is chosen.

Stacy was chosen using Thank-you to all who entered the giveaway and to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be a part of the tour and host the giveaway.  To read more about this book, please check out my review at this link.

Stay tuned this month for another great giveaway!

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Sisters Hemingway by Annie England Noblin (TLC Book Tour)

Three sisters have returned to their small hometown of Cold River Missouri for the funeral of their Great-Aunt Bea.  Aunt Bea raised them after the tragic death of their mother and sister.  As soon as they were able, Hadley, Pfeiffer, and Martha left their small town never to return.  They’ve all had a mixture of success and heartache since their departure.  They discover on their return that Aunt Bea had family secrets of her own.  Why did she never speak again after she turned seventeen?  Why is she so persistent that the farm stays within the family?

The Sisters Hemingway was a real page turner for me.  I read this book in a matter of a day.  I really liked all three sisters and wanted to learn more about them, but I especially wanted to learn about Aunt Bea’s secret.  Hadley is the wife of a senator and seems to lead the perfect life.  But is it perfect and why is she still attracted to her old boyfriend Brody?  Pfeiffer was a successful editor in New York City until she made mistake that cost her job.  Her life was her job and she is not sure where to go from here.  Martha became a country music star, but after her messy divorce and a stint in rehab, she is also not sure where to start again.

I liked the interaction between the sisters and how their relationship bloomed when they were together again.  I admit I was puzzled by the girls’ names with the mix of new and traditional and really enjoyed when it was revealed that the four sisters were named after Hemingway’s four wives. 

I was wrapped up in reading this novel as I wanted to know how the mystery would end, but I must admit that I did guess the ending.  It was still an enjoyable mystery even if it didn’t surprise me.
Overall, The Sisters Hemingway is a real page turner with a great family mystery as well as a family drama as three sisters find their way back to each other and the importance of family.

Book Source:  Review Copy from William Morrow Books.  Thank-you!

For more stops on this TLC Tour, check out this link

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Author Links: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram