Library Lady’s Favorite Books of 2018

I’ve been doing a lot of travel writing lately but feel it’s time to get back to my roots and write  some book reviews!  I’m lucky enough to be a book-lover who works at a library, so have plenty of opportunities to learn about great reads. As many of you ask me for book recommendations, here’s some of my favorites for 2018.

Fiction Books

bird

Dear Mrs. Bird – A.J. Pearce

Set in London during WWII this book is about an adventurous young woman who takes a job as a war correspondent, or so she thinks, but when the dust settles, she finds herself working as an advice columnist for a women’s magazine. Emmaline can’t resist answering letters that her boss has deemed unfit, and so the fun begins.  Warm and funny, an eye opening look at life during the bombing of England.

indigoIndigo Girl – Natasha Boyd

Set in the 1700’s, this is the story of Eliza Lucas Pinckney, a young Southern woman who must run her father’s plantation when he is called away.  To save the family from ruin, Eliza decides to grow Indigo, an unheard-of crop for that area.  With help from the plantation workers she attempts this risky endeavor, but not everyone is on her side. Based on a true story. “Reader’s Choice” winner for Salt Lake County Libraries.

 

   Sprig Muslin, The Reluctant Widow, and Beauvallet – Georgette Heyer

I love almost anything by Georgette Heyer. Her stories are humorous, full of charming characters and fun plots. Her books, 56 historical fiction and mystery novels, along with several short stories and essays, were written during the early 1900’s. Georgette has a huge fan base which is ever growing and after reading one of her books you’ll understand why. Pictured are three of my favorites. Are you a Regency fan? You’ll love these.

newsNews of the World – Paulette Giles

In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kidd is responsible for returning a young white girl, recently rescued from the Indians, back to her family. Captain Kidd is an elderly widow and while he and his charge are a mismatched duo at first, they soon form a delightful bond which changes the course of their lives.

 

gentlemanA Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles

The Author takes us to Russia in 1922, where the aristocratic Count Alexander Rostov, has been condemned to death by a Bolshevik tribunal. Thanks to his popularity and social prominence his life is spared, but the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol Hotel for the rest of his life. As he adjusts to his new circumstances, we get to know this witty and elegant gentleman and the profound effect  he has on those around him. (One of my favorites!)

black rabBlack Rabbit Hall

A mystery about two women who, though separated by time are linked by the secrets of black Rabbit Hall. Lorna is determined to be married within the ivy-covered walls of her family’s summer home, but the more she learns about Black Rabbit Hall the stranger it seems.

chilburyThe Chilbury Ladies Choir

This book, set in England during the second World War, is the story of a choir who refuses to disband after all the men are called to battle. While the local vicar tries to shut them down, the choir ladies rally their village around them and stand fast.  Chilbury is about the lives and loves of a population affected by war. A must read – great for book clubs.

Non Fiction Books

call the nurseCall the Nurse – Mary J. Macleod

Looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of London, Mary J. Macleod and her husband relocate to a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides where her nursing skills catapult her into unfamiliar territory. The subtitle – True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle – pretty much sums it up.  Did you like James Herriot?  This is a people version.

fine romanceA Fine Romance – Susan Branch

Now I want to go to England! This delightful book – part diary, part travel guide will tempt even the most stubborn couch potato to see the world.  Susan Branch, a talented artist, illustrates her books with whimsical watercolors. That and the hand-written font make this a captivating read.

grandmaGrandma Gatewood’s Walk, the Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail – Ben Montgomery
Grandma Gatewood is a tough cookie.  After enduring years of abuse at the hands of a cruel husband, she decides to take a walk. – a long walk – and proceeds to hike the entire 2,050 miles of the Appalachian Trail.  This inspiring book tells about her adventures and why at the age of 67 she decided to hit the road.

nestingThe Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful – Myquillyn Smith

I’m not usually into decorating books, but this author dished out a lot of wisdom along with her excellent décor tips. (Her own home has been featured in several magazines) For years she lived in rental homes and felt she couldn’t embrace her space because it wasn’t really what she wanted. This book tells of her attitude change, and inspires readers to love their homes wherever they may be.

rudyRudy’s Rules for Travel – Mary K. Jensen

Rudy was a traveler extraordinaire.  This is his wife’s hilarious account of their frugal but extensive travels – and how she survived. Humorous and informative.  You can tell they were a match made in heaven, even though their travel styles were miles apart.

 

great halifax goodThe Great Halifax Explosion – John U. Bacon

A shocking yet riveting true story, this was one I couldn’t put down.  The collision of two ships in the Halifax harbor in 1917, caused the biggest man-made explosion prior to the atomic bomb.  Unfortunately, the harbor was surrounded on three sides by bustling communities, all rocked both physically and emotionally by this unimaginable catastrophe. Inspiring      heroes and an epic recovery.

reasonsReason’s My Kid is Crying – Greg Pembroke

Sure to make you laugh out loud.  Anyone who’s spent time around toddlers will relate. The author started out posting a few pics of his child having major meltdowns over minor things and his blog went viral.  Other parents joined in the fun and the result is a book that will crack you up.

life changThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo

Well, it changed my life.  This author inspires readers to get rid of their junk.  Can’t part with something because you paid too much for it? Read this book for Marie’s solution. Her breezy style and to the point tips on decluttering are the result of a lifetime of simple living. It’ll make you want to clean your closet!


Junior Fiction Books

 

The Penderwicks – Jeanne Birdsall

This delightful story of four sisters and their well-meaning but distracted father, will make you smile.  Children of all ages should read this book to learn how to have fun with their siblings. An uplifting and heartfelt tale. I loved this and will read more of the Penderwicks in the future.

I Will Always Write Back  – Martin Ganda and Caitlin Alifirenka

Thanks to a class assignment, Martin from Zimbabwe, and Caitlin from Pennsylvania become pen pals.  Their letters link two lives, each saving the other in their own way. Teen and Young adult fiction. A true story and a New York times best seller.

Listen Slowly – Thanhha Lai

Mai, a California girl of Vietnamese descent is looking forward to spending the summer on the beach with her friends. Plans change when her grandmother requires a travelling companion to return to the land of their heritage. This book tells a great story about family, life in a foreign country and how people who may seem very different are all basically the same. Recommended for fifth grade and up.

For more Library Lady book recommends click here!

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Rosie Bear Retires

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Rosie Bear

As many of you know, this blog originated in 2013 as “The Library Lady and Rosie Bear”.  While I wrote adult book reviews and web content, my lifelong friend and teddy bear Rosie, focused on children’s book reviews  and acted as adviser on all things blog related.

At this time, I am sad to announce Rosie’s  retirement. At the age of 61, she feels it is time to explore her options.  I can’t wait to see what fun plans this adventurous brown bear has in mind. Rosie’s parting words? “Read till your eye falls off.” Excellent advice for all.

As for the blog, it will  continue without her (bearly) and in the future will  be known as The Library Lady Writes.  For a humorous look at the world in general, travel tips and whatever else crosses my mind, please continue to read and follow.  I’m grateful for those who have been with me all these years, and hope to continue our acquaintance. Best to all!

Don’t Do This!

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy mother and I recently enjoyed a long-awaited tour of  Ireland. All in all it was a delightful trip, as long as you don’t count the part where I was held hostage in the Shannon airport. I have no one to blame for this international incident but myself . . . well actually, I could blame my mother.  She’s the one who put one name on my birth certificate then called me something entirely different for the rest of my life.  As a result, I don’t think in terms of my given name, unless I’m applying for something official like a driver’s license.

This was my first mistake – putting my Christian name on my driver’s license. It seemed like the thing to do at the time but has caused me untold amounts of trouble over the years since the name on my license never matches anything else.  My second mistake was in putting my nickname on my airline tickets. Continue reading