It’s Monday! What are You Reading?


It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, “It’s Monday! What are You Reading?”, hosted at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.


What I Read Last Week

I read 8 books – 5 romances, an historical romance, a non-fiction, and a picture book.

Seemed to be a need for romance last week. We got bad news about the kidney transplant my husband needs if he is to get off dialysis. He already has a donor – his sister. But, because he had the bowel removed and he was classed as category 2, he must wait 2 years and have 2 clear colonoscopies. This is actually Ministry of Ontario guidelines to doctors. On top of that, he has a nodule in his thyroid and there is another infection in his stomach wound. Back to the hospital. There are 3 things – NO MORE please!

What I Read Last Week

I read 8 books – 5 romances, an historical romance, a non-fiction, and a picture book.

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Paws for Love and Cold Nose, Warm Heart by Mara Wells. I read the third and then the first of this series and really enjoyed the books.

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The Cake List by Dianne J. Wilson. I’ve always enjoyed list looks and this was no exception. Labeled a Christian contemporary romance, it drew me in from the beginning.

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The Duke’s Disaster by Grace Burrowes. I so enjoy her historical romances. Loved it.

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One Perfect Night by Bella Andre. I had started this a while ago and finally got around to finishing this short novel. Enjoyed it.

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Hawk by Kat Savage.

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The Giblin Guide to Writing Children’s Books by James Cross Giblin, this was a book club read. Good for review but not much new.

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Missing Mimama by Melanie Florence, illus. by Francois Thisdale. What a powerful book. It is the first children’s book I have read about Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women. So well done.

What I’m Reading Now 

A Tail for Two by Mara Wells

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer (Reading this for my book club- will finish it this week)


What’s Up Next

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout (just got it from the library)

5 Little Indians by Michelle Good

Connect Five Friday – Fav. Summer Reads



It’s time once again for Connect Five Friday, hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.

It is now officially fall and the weather is starting to feel like it. I’m in jeans and a sweater already. But at least the heat isn’t on yet.

I was looking at the books I’ve read over the summer and realized just how many wonderful books I had read the past 3 months. I decided to pick my favourite 5 – a very difficult decision let me tell you. (Book info from Goodreads)

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When Stars Collide by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

“It’s Mozart meets Monday Night Football as the temperamental soprano and stubborn jock embark on a nationwide tour promoting a luxury watch brand. Along the way, the combatants will engage in soul-searching and trash talk, backstage drama and, for sure, a quarterback pass. But they’ll also face trouble as threatening letters, haunting photographs, and a series of dangerous encounters complicate their lives.”

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The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

“Ailsa Rae is learning how to live.
She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that – just in time – saved her life. Life should be a joyful adventure. But . . . Her relationship with her mother is at breaking point.
She knows she needs to find her father.
She’s missed so much that her friends have left her behind.
She’s felt so helpless for so long that she’s let polls on her blog make her decisions for her. And now she barely knows where to start on her own.”

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The Forever Girl by Jill Shalvis

“A heartfelt story of family, forgiveness, and secrets that have the power to change the course of more than one life. When Maze returns to Wildstone for the wedding of her estranged bff and the sister of her heart, it’s also a reunion of a once ragtag team of teenagers who had only each other until a tragedy tore them apart and scattered them wide.”

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Love for Beginners by Jill Shalvis

“the moving story of a young woman who has to start her life—and her love life—over again.

When Emma Harris wakes up from a coma, she learns that her fiancé and her BFF have fallen in love, she’s lost her job, and the life she knew is gone. Overwhelmed but grateful to be alive, she decides to start over from scratch. Not as easy as it sounds, of course. But she’s never been a quitter, even if she wishes she could quit rehab, where her hot but evil physical therapist, Simon, puts her through the wringer.”

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Pack Up the Moon by Kristan Higgins.

Every month, a letter. That’s what Lauren decides to leave her husband when she finds out she’s dying. Each month, she gives Josh a letter containing a task to help him face this first year without her, leading him on a heartrending, beautiful, often humorous journey to find happiness again in this new novel from the New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins.

Top Ten Tuesday – Fall TBR Reading List

ttt-new-1 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted byThat Artsy Reader Girl. This week, the topic is “Books on My Fall 2021 TBR” – as fall begins this Wednesday. Summer is almost over. At the start of each season, I enjoy creating a must-read list of books for the coming season, as well as a vision board of what I hope to accomplish. Even though I make the lists with good intentions to read them all, I don’t often do. I usually end up reading other books to meet the challenges that I am committed to (e.g., Pospsugar, 52 Books 52 Weeks are 2 of my favourites). But there are several books I am looking forward to reading this season, books that have been on former lists or that are on my TBR shelves. I am determined to read these books this time – once and for all! Here is my list: Books on My Fall 2021 TBR deadly hours48768157 The Deadly Hours, an historical anthology including Susanna Kearsley glass houses33602101 Glass Houses by Louise Penny Five Little Indians 52214103._SX318_SY475_ Five Little Indians by Michelle Good becoming 38746485 Becoming by Michelle Obama man called ove18774964 A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman hate u give 32075671._SY475_ He Hate U Give by Angie Thomas into the abyss13330916 Into the Abyss by Carol Shaben road 350540._SY475_ The Road by Cormac McCarthy book of Longings52698452._SX318_SY475_ The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd as you wish 21412202 As You Wish by Cary Elwes

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?


It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, “It’s Monday! What are You Reading?”, hosted at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

What I Read Last Week

I read 8 books – 2 romances, a woman’s fiction, 2 historical romances, a graphic novel (MG), and 2 middle grade novels.

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Touching Stars by Emilie Richards. Another of her Shenandoah series which I loved.

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The Unveiling                 The Yielding

2 historical novels by Tamara Leigh. So enjoying this medieval series.

3 MG novels:

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The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner. Extremely well-done MG novel about 9/11

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Wave by Eric Walters. Another well-done MG novel, this time about the tsunami in Thailand in Dec. 2004.

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Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. This graphic novel is a must read for young people.

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Before Dawn by Suzanne Halliday. A romance ebook that I really enjoyed.

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Three Dates with You by Lauren Blakely. A short romance novella that was a fun read.

What I’m Reading Now 

Paws for Love by Mara Wells

What’s Up Next

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

5 Little Indians by Michelle Good

Connect Five Friday – Beach House novels

It’s time once again for Connect Five Friday, hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.

This is the last weekend of summer. Hard to believe. This summer sped by and not once did we get to go swimming or go to the beach. I did read some books about summer, about being at the beach.

I was surprised to see so many books entitled “The Beach House”.

 Here are 5 books with that title:

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Mary Alice Monroe. This is the only one I have read and I loved the whole series.

“Caretta Rutledge thought she’d left her Southern roots and troubled family far behind. But an unusual request from her mother coming just as her own life is spinning out of control has Cara heading back to the scenic Lowcountry of her childhood summers. Before long, the rhythms of the island open her heart in wonderful ways as she repairs the family beach house” 

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Jane Green

“Nan Powell is a free-spirited, sixty-five-year-old widow who’s not above skinny-dipping in her neighbors’ pools when they’re away and who dearly loves her Nantucket home. But when she discovers that the money she thought would last forever is dwindling, she realizes she must make drastic changes to save her beloved house. So Nan takes out an ad: Rooms to rent for the summer in a beautiful old Nantucket home with water views and direct access to the beach.”

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James Patterson

“Jack Mullen is a driven student of the law. His brother Peter is a servant of the rich, parking the cars of the Hamptons’ elite — and perhaps satisfying their more intimate needs as well. Then Peter’s body is found on the beach. Jack knows the drowning was no accident, but someone’s unlimited power and money have bought the cops, the judges, the system. Now Jack is learning a lesson in justice he never got in law school ..”

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Rachel Hanna

“Julie’s husband of twenty-one years was living a secret life, which ended her marriage and forced her to start over alone at forty-three years old.

Faced with a new reality, she decides to rebuild her life on an island off the coast of South Carolina and learn to make it on her own.”

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Georgia Bockoven

“The beach house is a peaceful haven, a place to escape everyday problems. Here, three families find their feelings intensified and their lives transformed each summer.”

Here are some photos from beaches I have visited over the years:











It’s Monday! What are You Reading?


It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, “It’s Monday! What are You Reading?”, hosted at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

What I Read Last Week

I read 6 and 6 PBs books –2 romances, a woman’s fiction, an historical romance, a memoir, and a paranormal novel..

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The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland. So enjoyed this romance, that involved a heart transplant patient, who desires to live and be bold.

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Pack Up the Moon by Kristan Higgins. This was such a lovely romance, an epistolary, with letters written to her father and to her husband as part of the story.

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The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elizabeth Tova Bailey. This short memoir was a treasure. A woman bedridden for months, observed a snail and gives us glimpses of life and nature

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When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn. Another of the Bridgerton historical romance series- which I am really enjoying.

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Midlife Alchemy by Kate Swansea. This was a free ebook, a paranormal novel which I found most enjoyable. Love that these heroines are usually over 40 and coming into their powers.

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Chaos and the Geek by Elizabeth Stevens. Another free ebook, a romance, that was a fun hot read.

also read 6 PBs. My 2 favourites were:

West Coast Wild by Deborah Hodge and Karen Reczuch

How to Wear a Sari by Darshana Khiani, illus. Joanne Low-Vriethoff

What I’m Reading Now 

What’s Up Next

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

5 Little Indians by Michelle Good

Connect Five Friday – Books about 9/11



It’s time once again for Connect Five Friday, hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.


It’s hard to believe that it will be 20 years for 9/11 tomorrow. Twenty years since so many lives were lost to terrorist attacks.

Most people remember where they were when the planes crashed into the Twin Towers.

 I was teaching and did not hear anything until recess, when we were told to check the tv in the library. None of us could believe the news. Then parents started arriving to take their children out, as there was fear that Darlington Nuclear station might be bombed.

 My daughter was in high school and had a spare first period so she an a few others were at a coffee shop. She saw the first pictures – the ones that were later omitted – of people jumping to their deaths.

There are many books that have tried to tell the story of that day and all the ramifications from it.

In Canada, the landing of so many planes in Gander led to an amazing musical – Come From Away – that highlighted the amazing compassion of the people of Gander.

Here are 5 fiction books written for young people, to help them understand the horrors of that day. (summaries from Goodreads)


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The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

“On the morning of September 11, 2001, sixteen-year-old Kyle Donohue watches the first Twin Tower come down from the window of Stuyvesant High School. Moments later, terrified and fleeing home to safety across the Brooklyn Bridge, he stumbles across a girl perched in the shadows, covered in ash, and wearing a pair of costume wings.”

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Ground Zero by Alan Gratz

“It’s September 11, 2001. Brandon, a 9-year-old boy, goes to work for the day with his dad . . . at the World Trade Center in New York City. When two planes hit the towers, Brandon and his father are trapped inside a fiery nightmare as terror and confusion swirl around them. Can they escape — and what will the world be like when they do?
In present-day Afghanistan, Reshmina is an 11-year-old girl who is used to growing up in the shadow of war, but she has dreams of peace and unity. When she ends up harboring a wounded young American soldier, she and her entire family are put in mortal danger. But Reshmina also learns something surprising about the roots of this endless war. “


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Nine, Ten by Nora Raleigh Baskin

“Ask anyone: September 11, 2001, was serene and lovely, a perfect day — until a plane struck the World Trade Center.   But right now it is a few days earlier, and four kids in different parts of the country are going about their lives. Sergio, who lives in Brooklyn, is struggling to come to terms with the absentee father he hates and the grandmother he loves. Will’s father is gone, too, killed in a car accident that has left the family reeling. Nadira has never before felt uncomfortable about being Muslim, but at her new school she’s getting funny looks because of the head scarf she wears. Amy is starting a new school in a new city and missing her mom, who has to fly to New York on business.

These four don’t know one another, but their lives are about to intersect in ways they never could have imagined. Award-winning author Nora Raleigh Baskin weaves together their stories into an unforgettable novel about that seemingly perfect September day —the day our world changed forever.


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Towers Falling by Jewell parker Rhodes

“Award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes tells a powerful story about young people who weren’t alive to witness this defining moment in history, but begin to realize how much it colors their every day.”



Eleven by Tom Rogers

“This is a story about bullies and heroes. About tragedy and hope. About enemies with two legs and friends with four, and pesky little sisters and cranky old men, and an unexpected lesson in kindness delivered with a slice of pizza. This is “Eleven”: the journey of a boy turning eleven on 9/11.


Check here for books about the history before, during and after 9/11.

It’s Monday! What are You Reading?

It’s time once again for Kathryn’s weekly meme, “It’s Monday! What are You Reading?, hosted at Book Date, where we share what we’re reading and have read over the past week.

My hubby is doing well. Still getting daily visits from a nurse and this could be the norm for some time, at least til the pocket inside shrinks and the wound heals.


What I Read Last Week

I read 7 books –3 romances, a woman’s fiction, 2 fantasies, and a graphic memoir.

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Wild at Heart and Forever Wild by K.A. Tucker. The first, a romance novel in her Wild series which I thoroughly enjoyed. The second, a romance novella that was just as enjoyable,

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The Hope Chest by Carolyn Brown. A Woman’s fiction that focused on family dynamics and healing. So good.

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Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder. This graphic memoir really touched me. For such a young woman, she was so able to grasp and with such depth, what it means to lose your mother. So well done.

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Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh. I had put Singh’s Psy/Changeling series on hold for a while, but I am so glad it was this book that got me back to read this series. Loved it.

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Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout. A fantasy/scifi YA series that I have really enjoyed. One more to go.

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Show Stopper by B.J. Harvey. An enjoyable romance ebook.

What I’m Reading Now 

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland


What’s Up Next

Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

5 Little Indians by Michelle Good

Six Degrees of Separation – From Cusk to Good



This is the first Saturday of the month which means that it is time for “Six Degrees of Separation“, the book challenge, hosted by Kate from “Books are My Favourite and Best “.

This is such a fascinating challenge and one I am always eager to begin, then follow the search for connected books. The fun is in the search for connections and each chain that is created is always so different.

The starting point for us this round is to begin with Second Place by Rachel Cusk, who was a Booker Prize nominee for this book. Cusk was born in Canada but moved to Britain at age 8, where she still lives.

There were several possible paths to follow, but I decided to focus on Canadian women authors who had won awards (and there are many!)

 1st Degree: Another Canadian author who moved to Britain is Mary Lawson. Her novel A Town Called Solace was also on the 2021 Booker Prize longlist.

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“A Town Called Solace–the brilliant and emotionally radiant new novel from Mary Lawson, her first in nearly a decade–opens on a family in crisis: rebellious teenager Rose been missing for weeks with no word, and Rose’s younger sister, the feisty and fierce Clara, keeps a daily vigil at the living-room window, hoping for her sibling’s return.”

2nd Degree: Another novel by Lawson is Crow Lake which was her debut novel and which won several awards

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“Here is a gorgeous, slow-burning story set in the rural “badlands” of northern Ontario, where heartbreak and hardship are mirrored in the landscape. For the farming Pye family, life is a Greek tragedy where the sins of the fathers are visited on the sons, and terrible events occur—offstage.”

3rd Degree: Another novel set in northern Canada with intriguing characters is Late Nights on Air by Elizabeth Hay, also Canadian who won the Giller Prize for this book in 2007.

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“Harry Boyd, a hard-bitten refugee from failure in Toronto television, has returned to a small radio station in the Canadian North. There, in Yellowknife, in the summer of 1975, he falls in love with a voice on air, though the real woman, Dido Paris, is both a surprise and even more than he imagined.”

4th Degree: This led me to another Canadian Giller Prize winner – Alice Munro. She won the 2004 Giller Prize for her short story collection Runaway. (She also won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013.)

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“The incomparable Alice Munro’s bestselling and rapturously acclaimed Runaway is a book of extraordinary stories about love and its infinite betrayals and surprises, from the title story about a young woman who, though she thinks she wants to, is incapable of leaving her husband, to three stories about a woman named Juliet and the emotions that complicate the luster of her intimate relationships.”

5th Degree: This of course, led to the great Canadian author Margaret Atwood, who has written numerous novels and won so many awards. Wilderness Tips, a book of short stories, was a finalist for the Governor General’s award in 1991.

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“In each of these tales Margaret Atwood deftly illuminates the single instant that shapes a whole life: in a few brief pages we watch as characters progress from the vulnerabilities of adolescence through the passions of youth into the precarious complexities of middle age.  By superimposing the past on the present, Atwood paints interior landscapes shaped by time, regret, and life’s lost chances”

6th Degree: This led finally, to another Canadian author, who won the 2020 Governor General Award– Michelle Good , for her amazing book Five Little Indians. It details the lives of 5 people impacted by residential schools.

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“Michelle Good’s FIVE LITTLE INDIANS, told from the alternating points of view of five former residential school students as they struggle to survive in 1960s Vancouver—one finding her way into the dangerous world of the American Indian movement; one finding unexpected strength in motherhood; and one unable to escape his demons – and the bonds of friendship that sustain them, inspired by the author’s experiences. “

I began with Second Place and ended with Five Little Indians– two books by Canadian women who have won numerous awards for their writing.

Next month (October 2, 2021), we’ll start with a (frightening) short story – The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.

Connect 5 Friday: Books to Movies


It’s time once again for Connect Five Friday, hosted at Book Date by Kathryn – the meme where we share five book/reading things that connect in some way.

There have been many movies over the past couple of years that have been adapted from books. I prefer to read the book before I see the movie and so these are 5 books I really have to read before I see the movie (books that just happen to be on my TBR shelf!) (Summaries from Goodreads):

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer.”

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The Last Letter From Your Lover by JoJo Moyes

“It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply “B”, asking her to leave her husband.
Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper’s archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career.”

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Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

“An unforgettable true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to end mass incarceration in America — from one of the most inspiring lawyers of our time.
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit law office in Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated to defending the poor, the incarcerated, and the wrongly condemned.”

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The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

“In love we find out who we want to be.   In war we find out who we are.
FRANCE, 1939: 
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says good-bye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France…but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything.”

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Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance

“Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside.”