July Reading Round-Up

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Here we are – the last day of June already and time once again to share what I have been reading this past month.

This past month the total read was  27, with the following breakdown:
Fantasy/scifi –11
Memoir – 2
Picture books – 5
Romance – 6
Women’s Fiction -3
(Ebooks – 4)
(Diverse books – 2)
(TBR books -1)

For the Reading Challenges I participate in, I’ve read these books:

Beyond the Bookends.
The theme for June was to read a banned book. I read:
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Monthly Key Word Challenge
The key word I chose this month was “blue” . I read:
I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos
The Sugarhouse Blues by Mariah Stewart
Boycott Blues by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Monthly Motif
The theme this month was “Vacation Reads”.
I took this as books about summer and the beach. Here are the book’s I read:
Summer’s Lease by Carrie Elks
Firefly Summer by Nan Roberts

52 Books in 52 Weeks
I read from 3 categories this past month:
A foreign book translated into English: The Little French Bistro by Nina George
A banned book – A Wrinkle in Time
A book published in 2018 – The Sugarhouse Blues

Swords and Stars Reading Challenge.
I read 8 books for one challenge: Read a book with a weapon on the cover.
All the Magic books in this series by Ilona Andres had a sword on it.

Writers Write Book Reading Challenge
I read several books for this challenge
17. A book with colour in title: Sugarhouse Blues by Mariah Stewart
I’ll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos
25. Translated to English – The Little French Bistro – Nina George

Memoir Reading Challenge
I finally read a couple of memoirs this month:
Leonard by William Shatner
Rose Colored Glasses by JoAnn Simon

Summer Reading Challenge
I read several books for this challenge
A memoir: Rose Colored Glasses by JoAnn Simon
Translated book: The Little French Bistro

For July, my top reads ( all 5 stars) were:

I’ll Be your Blue Sky by Marisa de Los Santos
The Sugarhouse Blues by Mariah Stewart
The Little French Bistro by Nina George
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Firefly Summer by Nan Rossiter
Rose Colored Glasses by JaAnn Simon
And the Magic Series by Ilona Andrews of which I read 8 books this month (2 to go!)


My main goal for August is to continue to read lots of books on my TBR pile – a must!


Linking with:


Best of the Bunch at “A cocoon of Books”

2018-Monthly-Wrap-Up-Round-Up400 (1)

Monthly Wrap-Up at “Feed Your Addiction”


Month in Review 6

Month in Review at “Bookdate”


WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour for “Rose Colored Glasses” by Jo Ann Simon

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I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Jo Ann Simon’s memoir “Rose Colored Glasses”, which I read and reviewed.
(I received an advance copy to read and review.)

                                           My Review

I was initially drawn to Jo Ann’s book as I could relate to parts of her story. As I read, I felt that connection more and more. Two points of commonality:
-I remarried later in life, even though I had vowed not to marry again. We were friends first, then love bloomed.
– My husband faces severe health challenges and I am his advocate as we face an often seemingly indifferent medical field.

I found Jo Ann’s memoir to be hopeful, even at her most dire times. Her optimism, her love for her husband and his for her, shine throughout the book. I enjoyed reading her letters to her husband as well, and his love cards to her , both of which appear throughout the book.

Living with a partner with a terminal diagnosis wears a person down. As Tom became sicker, Jo Ann describes so well how they were “sent into the vortex of the medical field, to be whirled about in pandemonium”. We trust our doctors to help heal us. When even they cannot help us, we can despair. But Jo Ann just dug deeper and researched and sought other medical interventions. She never gave up.

Jo Ann shares Tom’s illness and ultimate death with such compassion, honesty, detail and love. We are quickly drawn into their love story and throughout, to the end, we hope for a miracle. As JoAnn says “Tom’s illness took a backseat to living life.” And live they did.

Both Tom and Jo Ann give advice on how to live well. Wearing those rose colored glasses certainly helped Jo Ann cope. But, Jo Ann follows Tom’s advice: to make the most of every day and love life, and share that love.
“Do what you want to do, be who you want to be and go where you want to go”
What a wonderful way to live.

I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir and would highly recommend it. I was touched by their forever love and the hope that filled this book.

Book Summary


Dear Tom,
I’m back on Anna Maria Island… missing you.
But walking down these beautiful beaches reminds me of us and makes
me feel a little less far away from you. And that encourages me as I am writing our story.
Hopefully this will help other people who are feeling our pain too.
I love and miss you every day, darling.

When he first saw me, Tom said that he would spend the rest of his life with me. To my surprise, he actually did. He was the love of my life. We shared a story that felt like a dream. Every moment was an adventure… and then Tom became ill.As his mysterious symptoms persisted we were hurtled through a maze of fear, tests, doubts and sorrow. But while doctors toyed with diagnoses- Lyme disease, ALS- we filled each day with joy, hope, good food, wine, music and travel.Even when death came to crush our storybook romance, we found that the human spirit is greater than the frailties of the body, greater than suffering and grief.

From the fateful tick bite on Block Island to central nervous system failure, to healing my grief and loss, I stayed afloat, upbeat, and connected to Tom through devotion, true love, and by donning my own special pair of rose-colored glasses.

Paperback: 288 Pages
Publisher: WiDO Publishing (May 29th 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1947966049
ISBN-13: 978-1947966048

About the Author

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Jo Ann Simon, a corporate executive, is a lifelong nutmegger, living in various locations in the Nutmeg state of Connecticut. She is a constant traveler, exploring the world including her favorite country, Italy. When she is not traveling, Jo Ann loves spending time with her family, friends and her seven grandchildren. Her day job running a company, painting fine art, gardening and writing fill in the blanks of her life. Palm trees are essential in her personal landscape with beaches to match.

Find JoAnn Online:

Website: https://www.joann-simon.com/

Blog: https://forgetmenotjosi.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ForgetMeNotJoSi

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joannsimonauthorpage/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jo-ann-simon-27626518/

Instagram: forgetmenotjosi

Check out the other stops on the blog tour here:

Monday, July 23rd @ The Muffin
Author Interview and Giveaway

Tuesday, July 24th @ JoAnn Simon
Crystal Casavant-Otto reviews “Rose Colored Glasses” by JoAnn Simon – don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about JoAnn’s touching memoir.

Wednesday, July 25th @ Bring on Lemons with Michelle DelPonte
Wisconsin mother, wife, and autism advocate Michelle DelPonte reviews “Rose Colored Glasses” by JoAnn Simon and shares her thoughts with readers at Bring on Lemons. This is an unforgettable memoir!

Thursday, July 26th @ Beverley Baird
Beverley Baird reviews “Rose Colored Glasses” by JoAnn Simon. This touching memoir is one readers won’t soon forget! You’ll want to add this one to your #TBRPile today!

Friday, July 27th @ Choices
The readers at Madeline Sharples blog, Choices, are in for a special treat today as JoAnn Simon pens the guest post “Seeing Art Through the Artist’s Eye”. Readers can enjoy this post while also learning about Simon’s memoir “Rose Colored Glasses” recently published by WiDO Publishing.

Monday, July 30th @ Selling Books with Cathy Stucker
Cathy Stucker interview JoAnn Simon about her recently published memoir “Rose Colored Glasses”

Tuesday, July 31st @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles reviews “Rose Colored Glasses” by JoAnn Simon and shares her thoughts with readers at World of My Imagination. Don’t miss a chance to learn about this memoir of love and loss.

Thursday, August 2nd @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Today’s post at Memoir Writer’s Journey includes a guest post titled “Simplicity in Life” written by JoAnn Simon. There is also a link to Kathleen Pooler’s review of Simon’s recently published memoir “Rose Colored Glasses”. Readers won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn more about Simon and her lovely memoir.

Tuesday, August 7th @ Bring on Lemons
Today’s author spotlight at Bring on Lemons is JoAnn Simon featuring her recently published memoir “Rose Colored Glasses”. Don’t miss a chance to learn about Simon and check out Crystal’s review of this touching memoir.

Wednesday, August 8th @ Lisa Haselton
Lisa Haselton interviews JoAnn Simon about her memoir “Rose Colored Glasses” (and more)!

Wednesday, August 8th @ Margo Dill
Today’s guest author is JoAnn Simon of “Rose Colored Glasses” – and today’s topic is “A Positive Attitude”. Don’t miss this blog stop!


Monday, August 13th @ Write Happy
Catherine Brown reviews “Rose Colored Glasses” a touching memoir by JoAnn Simon.

Monday, August 13th @ Coffee with Lacey
Lacey reviews “Rose Colored Glasses” by JoAnn Simon. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn more about this inspirational memoir about love, loss, and hope!

Thursday, August 16th @ Ellen Valladares
Fellow author Ellen Valladares reviews “Rose Colored Glasses” by JoAnn Simon.

Wednesday, August 22nd @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Fellow memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro shares her thoughts after reading “Rose Colored Glasses” by JoAnn Simon.

Thursday, August 23rd @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Wisconsin educator, mother, and business owner Cathy Hansen reviews the memoir “Rose Colored Glasses” by JoAnn Simon.


Top Ten Tuesday


Time for Top Ten Tuesday – and this week we are asked to share our top 10 reads so far this year. We are now half way through the year – a perfect time to reflect on our favourites so far.

My Top Ten Favourite Reads – So Far
1 I’ll Be your Blue Sky by Marisa de Los Santos
2 The Last Chance matinee and The Sugarhouse Blues by Mariah Stewart
3 Summer Rental by Mary kay Andrews
4 Come Back to the Ballpark, Maisy Gray by Cynthia Tennent
5 The Seafront Tearoom by Vanessa Greene
6 The Hidden memory of Objects by Danielle Mages Amato
7 The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr
8 Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley (* My top favourite)    bellewether 25094955
9 Just Breathe by Susan Wiggs
10 Vintage by Susan Gloss

I also read several fantasy books that I loved:
1. The Solace trilogy by Jaleigh Johnson
2. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
3. Tin Star and Stone in the Sky by Cecil Castellucci
4. Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan
5. 5. The Hobbit by Tolkien