Favorite Books of 2022 – eBooks and Audiobooks

It is always a challenge to pick out our favorite reads of the year and 2022 had many. I’ve narrowed it down to twelve once again, one in each month. 

As always, these are a mix of Indie authors, favorite authors, as well as bestselling authors and cover a good range of genres including domestic drama, historical fiction, suspense, and thrillers. And I do so love audiobooks as well as eBooks.

Listed by month, thinking next year I’m going to note my No. 1 pick in the monthly recaps, hopefully to make a year-end wrap-up easier. Links on titles are my full review and pics are links to Amazon (US).

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene WeckerJan – The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker. Yes! An audiobook narrated by George Guidall (one of my favorite narrators). It’s an immersive fantasy brought to life with characters that create an enchanting tale of the ancient arts and magic. It’s way outside my normal reads as #HistoricalFantasy published in April, 2013. So why did I fail to give it my coveted five stars? I disliked what happened to one of the main characters. Ya gotta listen to it—or read it—your choice. My 4.5 stars

The Lincoln Highway audiobook coverFeb – The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. No. 5 on the Amazon Charts the week I reviewed—yes—another audiobook! I adored this book! Right up until the end. Another sabotage with my happy ending. This #ComingofAge – #HistoricalFiction was released on October 5, 2021 and got a lot of attention. It should have. Right up to the end (sob). Still, it’s one you shouldn’t miss. My 4.5 stars

Poison PenMar – Poison Pen by Sheila Lowe. (Claudia Rose Forensic Handwriting Mysteries Book 1). The CE gave this one five stars in March, Reading Ireland Month, and I included it here as I read a number of Irish authors, all of whom were good. A #domesticthriller released on February 22, 2021, the CE noted it was a fascinating study of handwriting analysis—a unique plot device. His 4.5 stars

The LosstApr – The Lost by Jeffrey B Burton. A Mace Reid K-9 Mystery. I had to include one of my favorite doggy stories and this is a sweet one. Vira is a cadaver dog almost on a paranormal level with her handler, Mace Reid. It’s a fast-paced and well-plotted #animalfiction released on June 28, 2022. My 4.5 stars

The Physicists' DaughterMay – The Physicists’ Daughter by Mary Anna Evans. A big reading month and this #historicalmysteries captured the CEs attention and kept it. He noted it was well written and he could not put it down. (I believe it—he burned through it.) His 4.5 stars

Before We Were YoursJun – Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. OMG, this Goodreads Choice Award Winner also got five full stars from me. Loved it! Authentic, emotional (I listened to the audiobook), and as my heart rose and sank throughout this unputdownable narrative could find no reason to shave a half-star. Published in June 2017, a #fictionsagas #literaryfiction, it is indeed a beautiful #historicalfiction. 5 stars!

Lessons in ChemistryJul – Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. Another audiobook takes the month as a #HumorousLiteraryFiction.This NY Times bestseller and a book club pick is a cerebral argument for the ability of women to expand beyond the “big three” for women (teacher, nurse, secretary—now called Adminstrative Assistant—no additional pay). It attains that lofty five star peak, also showing as No. 20 on the Amazon Charts the week I reviewed. In the early 60s, this brainiac woman wants to be a chemist (gasp!). The author does it up right, although it definitely garnered a lot of criticism. My 5 stars

The Lindberg NannyAug – The Lindbergh Nanny by Mariah Fredericks. The CE was very impressed with this #HistoricalBiographicalFiction and gave it five stars. So many tidbits included that he notes is very well written and “has some literary license” to support the final court decision. A very well known and tragic case in our history that led to the creation of the Lindbergh (kidnapping) Law. His 5 stars

The Dutch HouseSept – The Dutch House by Ann Patchett an Amazon Editors’ pick for Best Literature & Fiction. Another audiobook and I’d be willing to bestow an honorary Audie for Tom Hanks’ narration. Heavy family dynamics, abandonment, love, loss, redemption. A #literaryfiction and my 5 stars. But, also vying for that 5 star mention are Painting with Fire by Amanda Hughes and The Quarryman’s Girl by Melanie Forde both by favorite authors of mine and whose works continue to be top drawer. You can’t go wrong with any of these September reads. All my 5 stars (Unusual, huh?)

Her Deadly GameOct – Her Deadly Game by Robert Dugoni. A CE review, his turn for a Robert Dugoni book and how can you go wrong with that? You can’t and he gave it 5 stars. He says the novel contains a myriad of legal wrangling and is engaging and entertaining. Dugoni books are consistently fresh and well-crafted with relatable, well-developed characters. #legalthrillers His 5 stars

Hang the Moon by Jeannette WallsNov – Hang the Moon by Jeannette Walls. A unique look at the 20s and Prohibition whose main character is a woman—and a strong, savvy, and smart one at that. Loved the atmospheric narrative with themes of religious passion, bootlegging, and gang wars. (Guess nothing changes, huh?) #biographicalhistoricalfiction My 4 stars. (Loved the book, wasn’t keen on the ending, but can still recommend.)

Swamp StoryDec – Swamp Story by Dave Barry. This is a case of an ugly cover but winning the month for the content of the book. Perhaps the cover is meant to convey this is not going to be a serious book. It’s the epitomy of #darkhumor and it’s hilarious, tongue-in-cheek rapid fire snark, twists, unique atmospherics, and an outrageously imaginative plot. That’s Dave Barry for you. So funny I had the CE read it. We both agreed. It’s a solid 5 stars and heartily recommended.

Obviously, not all the monthly favorites were five stars but still impressed us. So, in looking over this list, a strong pattern is becoming obvious. We are definitely leaning to #historicalfiction and #audiobooks. It’s another argument for just how many sub-genres fall under the general historical fiction category.

Reads by Genre

Do any of the above grab your interest? Read it already? Disagree with our reviews? I’d love to know and always welcome your comments!

©2023 V Williams

Rosepoint Recommended-5 Stars

The Girl Across the Sea by Noëlle Harrison – #AudiobookReview – #fictionsagas

The Girl Across the Sea by Noelle Harrison

Book Blurb:

“I need you to find out what happened to my mother. The woman who sent me across the sea to Ireland. And never came to find me.”

Mairead’s world is falling apart. Recently separated, she has returned to her beautiful childhood home in Ireland to nurse her dying mother. But as Brigid sits pale and papery thin, looking out over the Atlantic Ocean, she has one last request for her only daughter . . .

Brigid hands Mairead a stunning turquoise necklace and a small black-and-white photograph of her mother, Ellen, a woman she never met. She begs Mairead to go to New York, the last place Ellen was seen alive, and find out what became of her. Mairead cannot ignore her mother’s dying wish.

But when Mairead arrives in America, she is shocked by the secrets she uncovers. In an old church in Arizona she discovers her grandmother was a wanted woman in Ireland, accused of murder. What lies in her family’s past? And what does the turquoise necklace mean?

As she digs deeper, the trail leads Mairead to a small mossy graveyard in Ireland where she might finally learn the truth. But if she does, will she re-open old wounds, and put her own future into terrible danger?

My Review:

Ellen Lavelle realizes she can’t risk returning to Ireland with her husband and young daughter as she harbors a dark secret she hasn’t shared. She leaves them to sail from New York without her and flees, hoping to find a new life.

In the telling of the multi-plotted generational timeline, we are gradually fed the tragic story of Ellen Lavelle, her daughter Brigid, and her daughter Mairead. It is not until the 1980s when Mairead has a tragic turn in her marriage and is made aware of her mother’s terminal condition that she really gets to know the mother who was so cold in her affection for Mairead. Brigid begs her to find Ellen and discover the reason behind her abandonment.

The Girl Across the Sea by Noelle HarrisonAs the reader is taken through the different timelines, the plot digs ever deeper into the characters’ lives, struggles, and talents. We gradually begin to understand how the events that began with Ellen shaped the lives of her daughter Brigid and her granddaughter Mairead.

I had a little difficulty accepting Ellen’s deadly response to the two men who were initially an unexpected rescue. It seemed a bit extreme, although I could certainly understand the anger. And Mairead, rebounding from her failed marriage reacted on the extreme side as well—what I thought was totally out of character.

Mired in the subplot is the family home and the call back to Ireland—there to discover once and for all just who Ellen was and the circumstances that created the misfortune that shaped three generations.

Still, it is well-plotted, well-paced with flipping between the different timelines and characters. The characters were so well developed that when they stepped unexpectedly into the extreme it was disturbing. Descriptions of locations whether Ireland or the US (especially Arizona) bordered on prose, poems, and quotes often lent weight to the often nostalgic atmosphere.

It is an engaging and entertaining narrative, if not emotional and disconcerting at times; the resolution of the castle a bit fanciful, but there is a drive to resolve all the loose ends which are covered admirably in conclusion. It keeps the reader reading (or listening, the narrator also performing admirably).

The CE read The Last Summer in Ireland in October 2022, and greatly enjoyed it. I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library and enjoyed it as well. These are my honest thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: Fiction Sagas, Women’s Fiction, Family Saga Fiction
Publisher: Tantor Audio
ASIN: B09YVPMN8T
Listening Length: 11 hrs 7 mins
Narrator: Esther Wane
Publication Date: May 17, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Girl Across the Sea [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four Stars 4 stars

Noelle Harrison - authorThe Author: Welcome to my Author’s Page!

I’m an Irish author who’s been writing novels and plays for nearly thirty years. My first novel, Beatrice was published in August 2004 which was a bestseller in Ireland. This was followed by A Small Part Of me in 2005, I Remember in 2008, The Adulteress in 2010, The Secret Loves of Julia in 2012, The Gravity of Love in 2018, and The Island Girls in 2020.

My books have been published in over 12 different countries.

I am also published under the pen name Evie Blake and my Valentina Trilogy hit the Der Spiegel Bestseller List in 2013.

In 2014 I was one of 56 Irish Writers included in the anthology and exhibition Lines of Vision Irish Writers on Art at the National Gallery of Ireland, and published by Thames & Hudson.

I have also written five plays – Northern Landscapes, Black Virgin, Runaway Wife, The Good Sister, and Witches’ Gets, which featured in Cymera and Audacious Women Festivals in Edinburgh to sell out houses.

I currently live in Edinburgh in Scotland, and I am one of the founders of Aurora Writers’ Retreats, and part of the wellness hub The Space To BE.

If you like stories written from the heart, historical with contemporary timeslip, family mysteries and secrets, and always, always a love story set against evocative landscapes, you might like to pick up one of my books. My aim is to tell women’s stories from the past and present and to give voice to those who are rarely heard. Want to know more about me and my writing, go to http://www.noelleharrison.com

©2022 V Williams

K, luv u, bye

Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age by Sanjay Gupta – #Audiobook Review – #medicalnonfiction

Keep Sharp by Dr Sanjay Gupta

Editors' pick Best Nonfiction 

Book Blurb:

Keep your brain young, healthy, and sharp with this science-driven guide to protecting your mind from decline by neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Throughout our life, we look for ways to keep our minds sharp and effortlessly productive. Now, globetrotting neurosurgeon Dr. Sanjay Gupta offers “the book all of us need, young and old” (Walter Isaacson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Code Breaker) with insights from top scientists all over the world, whose cutting-edge research can help you heighten and protect brain function and maintain cognitive health at any age.

Keep Sharp debunks common myths about aging and mental decline, explores whether there’s a “best” diet or exercise regimen for the brain, and explains whether it’s healthier to play video games that test memory and processing speed, or to engage in more social interaction. Discover what we can learn from “super-brained” people who are in their eighties and nineties with no signs of slowing down—and whether there are truly any benefits to drugs, supplements, and vitamins. Dr. Gupta also addresses brain disease, particularly Alzheimer’s, answers all your questions about the signs and symptoms, and shows how to ward against it and stay healthy while caring for a partner in cognitive decline. He likewise provides you with a personalized twelve-week program featuring practical strategies to strengthen your brain every day.

Keep Sharp is the “must-read owner’s manual” (Arianna Huffington) you’ll need to keep your brain young and healthy regardless of your age!

My Review:

Keep Sharp by Dr Sanjay GuptaGuess I’ve never been really big on TV doctors or what they’re selling. I’m from the generation of Watkins and Fuller Brush products. Many of those old products were based on old tonics and elixirs that worked. Remember, Coca-Cola included minute amounts of cocaine up until 1929. You might have still been sick but no longer cared. (snicker)

So, I guess what I’m trying to say is that the information we’ve grown old with is still, even glaring in the face of new, improved drugs, medicines, lightning-fast tests, machines, and improved systems of care, managed to come back to the same tried and true doctrine:

Five points to work on NOW

  1. Exercise, exercise, exercise
  2. Eat right; veggies, fruit—no sugar, refined white flour, nothing fun
  3. Keep challenging yourself, brain games (forget jigsaw puzzles), and learn something new
  4. Take the time (after the exercise I guess) to relax using yoga, tai chi, or the relaxation method of your choice—no distractions
  5. Cultivate your healthy relationships, whether long-term spouse, close friends, or volunteer, join a group—get yourself out there.

“Food for Thought: The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not…Mark Twain”

Alzheimer’s and Dementia–is it too late?

Few have not had these themes bombarding us since the advent of television or the internet. Dr. Gupta refers us to Dr. Internet to research information on Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other degenerative problems of the brain. It’s free.

Dr. Gupta cites the guidance as being scientifically based, but there is not much new information here.  He talks extensively about Alzheimer’s and dementia. However, the bad news is that by the time you figure that out—obviously it’s in evidence—and your time for heading off the problem was possibly decades previous.

One type of glial cell, microglia, engulfs and destroys waste and toxins in a healthy brain. In Alzheimer’s, microglia fail to clear away waste, debris, and protein collections, including beta-amyloid plaques.*

Did he decide whether or not that’s an inheritable trait? Apparently, as you probably know already—they can identify the culprit cell. Does that mean the person with the evidence will have the disease? Not necessarily. It’s as clear as mud.

He talks about cognitive reserve. The big keys here are specific activities that extend to the brain functions of reasoning and problem-solving. Jigsaw puzzles don’t do that.

My Take-Away

Okay, if not anything new, having it driven home again the importance of moving, moving, moving, and learning, keeping up social contacts (that includes you, my readers), and EATING  right (duh), I’ve resolved once again to look into the Mediterranean diet. (Is this something you are doing? I’d love to hear some of your ideas for meals.) Writing these posts has provided a plethora of learning opportunities. And walking, riding our bikes in the winter? Probably not. But I’ve acquired a few exercise tools—now I need to supply the incentive.

He advises seeking sources of information that include tests and I jumped on my own (United) health insurance as I am aware they are big on health and prevention which led me to their version of “Brain Games.” Behind that is a link through AARP into “Staying Sharp” that provides a number of tests. Scary stuff! And some REAL brain tests and games. (My problem is accessing and holding the website.) Also, I discovered another great link with solid content, brainHQ, has a minimal free hook into a subscription.

Dr. Gupta narrates his own book and delivers it in a pleasant, albeit authoritative voice, often punctuating it with well-known celebrities and colleagues’ names as backup experts. I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. You may get the same advice from myriad sources–many of which are free. These are my honest thoughts. Are you a Gupta devotee?

Book Details:

Genre: Memory Improvement, Cognitive Neuroscience & Neuropsychology, Aging & Longevity
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
ASIN: B07Z6Q5BYB
Listening Length: 10 hrs
Narrator: Sanjay Gupta MD
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Links: Keep Sharp [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Audible

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing: Four stars 4 stars

The Author:

Dr Sanjay Gupta - author Sanjay Gupta

Born in Novi, Michigan, The United States

October 23, 1969

Website

http://www.cnn.com/CNN/anchors_reporters/gupta….

Genre

Health, Mind & BodyScience

(Librarian Note: There is more than one author with this name in the Goodreads database)
Sanjay Gupta is an American physician and a contributing CNN chief health correspondent based in Atlanta, Georgia. An assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine and associate chief of the neurosurgery service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, he is also a frequent guest on the news program Anderson Cooper 360°. “Charity Hospital” won a 2006 Emmy Award for Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast. From 1997 to 1998, he served as one of fifteen White House Fellows, primarily as an advisor to Hillary Clinton. Gupta currently publishes a column in TIME magazine. He is also host of House Call with Dr Sanjay Gupta. His book Chasing Life was a New York Times and National bestseller. As of January 2009, he has been offered the position of Surgeon General of the United States in the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama; the final vetting is currently under way. [Goodreads]

©2022 V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday

*NIA NIH.gov/Health

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister – #Audiobook Review – #domesticthrillers

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
Editors' pick Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense 

Book Blurb:

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK

Can you stop a murder after it’s already happened?

Late October. After midnight. You’re waiting up for your eighteen-year-old son. He’s past curfew. As you watch from the window, he emerges, and you realize he isn’t alone: he’s walking toward a man, and he’s armed.

You can’t believe it when you see him do it: your funny, happy teenage son, he kills a stranger, right there on the street outside your house. You don’t know who. You don’t know why. You only know your son is now in custody, his future shattered.

That night you fall asleep in despair. All is lost.

Until you wake . . .

. . . and it is yesterday.

And then you wake again . . .

. . . and it is the day before yesterday.

Every morning you wake up a day earlier, another day before the murder. With another chance to stop it. Somewhere in the past lies an answer. The trigger for this crime—and you don’t have a choice but to find it . . .

My Review:

Ouch! My head is spinning again and trying to grasp the new reveal. Now all I have to do is connect it to the previous reveals and then stack them in the proper order.

I’m a tried and true fan of the time travel premise. In this novel, a mother witnesses her son committing a murder. Shocked beyond comprehension, no way her son could have done this. She absolutely could not allow that to happen. Murder a stranger. Go to prison.

No.

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllisterGranted, I listened to the audiobook—more difficult to stop it to take notes—particularly when working out in the garden. So for the life of me, I cannot remember how, HOW in the world—what was it that occurred–to make her wake the next morning—a day before the murder.

Yeah, but it doesn’t end there. And each time she goes back—not necessarily the day before that—her investigation gets deeper and deeper and begins to uncover more shattering truths.

The twists keep coming. The reader has little chance to digest the last revelation when he/she is side-swiped with the next. But my gosh—the whole narrative? I’m not a terribly patient person and by three-quarters into the book was anxious just to get to the bottom of the whole thing; at this point so far from anything you might have imagined.

“But knowing the future is worse than not knowing. Isn’t it?

I can imagine the author’s plot line was probably written on an entire roll of butcher paper—how to keep all of this straight? Details missed, then grasped. How to explain away this whole phenomenon, an expert, becomes her go-to. A way to keep her sanity.

I must admit to becoming impatient with the protagonist–a mother who will stop at nothing to get to the bottom of the story—to rewrite history. The only way to prevent a catastrophe—change the circumstances leading to the event. The author’s careful devotion to her main character—driven almost beyond reason. The husband comes off empathetic and believable, a strong support character.

The hook reels in the reader and doesn’t slow the pace often, so it’s important to pay attention—no distractions from the audiobook. The tension is set, the tone turns dark, and then starts the twists, tumbling in one after the other. Not a mystery to try and predict. Best to just allow the storyline to flow to conclusion, which by the way is satisfying but did not answer all my questions. Good job, Gillian, I’m left just slightly off-balance!

I received a complimentary review copy of this audiobook from my locally well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Thrillers, Suspense
Publisher:  HarperAudio
ASIN: B09PSNQYYR
Listening Length: 10 hrs 7 mins
Narrator: Lesley Sharp
Publication Date: August 2, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Wrong Place Wrong Time [Amazon]
Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads

 

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

 

Gillian McAllister - authorThe Author: Gillian McAllister is the Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of the following novels:

Everything But The Truth (2017)

Anything You Do Say (2018) called The Choice in America

No Further Questions (2018) called The Good Sister in America

The Evidence Against You (2019)

How To Disappear (2020)

That Night (2021)

Wrong Place Wrong Time (2022)

All are standalone and can be read in any order.

Her latest release is Wrong Place Wrong Time, available now and selected for the Radio 2 book club and was the Reese’s Book Club August ’22 pick. It debuted at number 4 on the Sunday Times Bestseller List and number 2 on the New York Times Bestseller List. She has been selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club, the Radio 2 Book Club and is published in over 25 languages.

You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @gillianmauthor and at http://www.gillianmcallister.com.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Audiobooks

The New Neighbor by Karen Cleveland – #Audiobook Review – #DomesticThriller @RandomHouseAudio

The New Neighbor by Karen Cleveland

Book Blurb:

Idyllic neighborhood, perfect family, meaningful career. CIA analyst Beth Bradford has it all—

Until she doesn’t.

Now, facing an empty nest and a broken marriage, Beth is moving from the cul-de-sac she’s long called home, and the CIA is removing her from the case that’s long been hers: tracking an elusive Iranian intelligence agent known as The Neighbor.

Madeline Sterling moves into Beth’s old house. She has what Beth once had: an adoring husband, three beautiful young children, and the close-knit group of neighbors on the block. Now she has it all. And Beth—who can’t stop watching the woman stepping in to her old life—thinks the new neighbor has something else too: ties to Iranian intelligence.

Is Beth just jealous? Paranoid? Or is something more at play?

After all, most of the families on the cul-de-sac have some tie to the CIA. They’re all keeping secrets. And they all know more about their neighbors than they should. It would be the perfect place to insert a spy—unless one was there all along. 

My Review:

I love me a good thriller, although not usually of the espionage variety. Still, I was caught by the blurb, the recent release already in my well-stocked library which is no stranger to the author.

I’m not sure what to think of a CIA agent on the hunt for seventeen years of an Iranian intelligence agent who is now coded as “The New Neighbor.” Beth Bradford is married with children, the last of three now about to leave the nest of a lovely home in a neighborhood they’ve lived in almost the entirety of the children’s lives. They know and love their neighbors but as their circumstances are changing, think it’s time they scaled down.

That is, right up until the time Beth’s husband allows as to how they’ve both been hanging on until the kids leave. He wants to leave too, but into his own quarters with a new squeeze. They sold their home to Madeline and somehow Beth immediately suspects Madeline isn’t who she says she is.

The New Neighbor by Karen ClevelandMadeline is making friends in the hood (her friends) and keeps an odd schedule. Beth raises the question to her boss who immediately shuts her down and cautions that perhaps she’s experiencing overload with losing her kids, her husband, her home, and now after seventeen years taken off the hunt for The New Neighbor as well. The proximity to their headquarters is too coincidental, along with other points she can tick off. Can you spell neurotic?  J-e-a-l-o-u-s?

Must she lose everything? NO! She will not lose that too and determined to ferret out The New Neighbor finds ways to short cut her new assignment in order to watch Madeline.

Okay, seventeen years is a long time to work on one assignment, especially if it lacks success, why wasn’t she reassigned years ago? Has the woman just gone off the deep end? Is this all really too much for her?

The character definitely can be annoying, ramping into paranoia quickly. She’s jumping all over the place with theories forcing the reader to consider another possible neighbor when really suspicion rose early as to who it might have been and was borne out in conclusion. 

Having to concede it was an entertaining narrative, well-plotted if not redundant, it did pose several thought-provoking questions. I didn’t care for her character nor most of those in her neighborhood—her best friend also failing support for her as well.

Engaging, bordering on annoying. I read Need to Know back in 2018 and enjoyed it, noting a continuation between the family life and this one—that conflicted tension with family and her CIA position in counterintelligence searching for Russian sleeper cells in the US that she is (or was) apparently still working.

I received a copy of this audiobook from my locally well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: Domestic Thrillers, Espionage Thrillers
Publisher:  Random House Audio
ASIN: B09MVDNPNF
Listening Length: 8 hrs 10 mins
Narrator: Lisa Flanagan
Publication Date: July 26, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link:  [Amazon]
 

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

 

Karen Cleveland - authorThe Author: Karen Cleveland is a former CIA counterterrorism analyst and the New York Times bestselling author of Need to Know and Keep You Close. She has master’s degrees from Trinity College Dublin and Harvard University. Cleveland lives in North Carolina with her husband and three children.

 

 

 

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Enjoy your day

 

The War Librarian by Addison Armstrong- #Audiobook Review – #historicalfiction

The War Librarian by Addison Armstrong

Book Blurb:

The Paris Library meets The Flight Girls in this captivating historical novel about the sacrifice and courage necessary to live a life of honor, inspired by the first female volunteer librarians during World War I and the first women accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy.

Two women. One secret. A truth worth fighting for. 1918. Timid and shy Emmaline Balakin lives more in books than her own life. That is, until an envelope crosses her desk at the Dead Letter Office bearing a name from her past, and Emmaline decides to finally embark on an adventure of her own—as a volunteer librarian on the frontlines in France. But when a romance blooms as she secretly participates in a book club for censored books, Emmaline will need to find more courage within herself than she ever thought possible in order to survive.    

1976 Kathleen Carre is eager to prove to herself and to her nana that she deserves her acceptance into the first coed class at the United States Naval Academy. But not everyone wants female midshipmen at the Academy, and after tragedy strikes close to home, Kathleen becomes a target. To protect herself, Kathleen must learn to trust others even as she discovers a secret that could be her undoing.

My Review:

A dual timeline story, which I always enjoy, this one combines 1918 during WWI and another in 1976, with one of the first women to be accepted into the US Naval Academy.

Emmaline Balakin has always been a shy and quiet woman. She had a sweetheart once, but it didn’t work out. Now working in the Dead Letter Office, she dares to check out a familiar name on a letter refused and returned. She knows the intended recipient is married. She never lost feelings for the sender (now a soldier) and the letter discloses where he is located.

The War Librarian by Addison ArmstrongEmmaline discovers she could qualify as a volunteer librarian on the frontlines in France. Indeed, the men spend long lonely, boring hours with nothing and books have proven to be a lifeline—in more ways than one.

Kathleen Carre has always dreamed of being in the Navy—of following in her Nana’s brave footsteps who participated in the first world war as a driver. But Nana doesn’t reciprocate the enthusiasm.

Indeed, both women discover unexpected hurdles, frightening aspects, and each faces a desperate situation of their own. Emmaline finds her past love but denies him a truth that will badly damage their newly found relationship. Kathleen discovers it’s not as difficult to pass the physical aspect of those first months than to defy the opposition to female inductees into a long-established all-male bastion.

Both women make errors of judgment, denying courses of action, or boldly forcing courses of action that create further conflict. As the chapters switch back and forth between the tales of each, something is becoming apparent.

Emmaline becomes the more sympathetic of the two. Kathleen is too strongly obsessed and I never want to hear one more “Nana.” Yes, the Nana thing was repeated (over and over)—but the reader (or listener) got it the first time. For some reason, I never warmed to Kathleen; the thing with Nana and her mother.

So I’ll mention that the shocking twist in the conclusion was not unexpected, but I did like the way it was drawn. Emmaline’s story divulged some stats of which I was unaware—the book drives for the men—something a later generation would not have considered.

Kathleen is fully involved in crashing a glass ceiling—she is driven—and triumphed with a satisfying revelation you’ll want to read for yourself. It’s an engaging and entertaining audiobook, well narrated, suffering only one slow segment in the pace.

I received a complimentary review copy of this audiobook from my locally well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts.

Book Details:

Genre: World War II Historical Fiction, Family Life Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Audio
ASIN: B09M6FQN81
Listening Length: 10 hrs 8 mins
Narrators: Saskia MaarleveldLauren Ezzo
Publication Date: August 9, 2022
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The War Librarian [Amazon]

 

Add to Goodreads

Rosepoint Publishing:  4.5 stars 4 1/2 stars

 

Addison Armstrong - authorThe Author: [Addison Armstrong] I’ve wanted to be an author since I was a five-year-old writing stories about talking school supplies and ants getting their revenge on exterminators. While a junior at Vanderbilt University studying elementary education, I wrote my first historical fiction novel, The Light of Luna Park, and sold it to G.P. Putnam’s Sons in January of my senior year. Now that I’ve graduated with my Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Language & Literacy Studies, as well as a Master’s in Reading Education with an ESL endorsement, I’m teaching third grade English language learners in Nashville and continuing to write.

©2022 V Williams V Williams

Happy Thursday!

 

Rosepoint Reviews – July Recap—The Dog Days of Summer

Rosepoint Reviews – July Recap

Rosepoint Reviews - July Recap

Last month I mentioned new food possibilities from Amazon in addition to my veggie garden and sad to say, the mushroom block was a bust. Nothing happened. No mushrooms. I’ve been enjoying lots of spouts though, they add a tang to salads and sandwiches.

The cherry tomatoes are finally ripening, so slow this year. Contrary to most of the country, our temperatures have been temperate, almost comfortable, but tomatoes like it hot so they are slow. They are so sweet though—will be like candy when I get them dried. (See book graphic below)

Fermenting jarNow the new thing in July is “fermenting.” Got a couple lids and started on sauerkraut, but blew it by not exercising more patience. Then I got a gallon size glass bottle with a special fermenting lid (see that lid? It will exhaust but not allow oxygen back in) and trying that with carrots and cucumbers. Gotta be patient with this one and let it go at least thirty days. It’s been a week today…You can see why I might do more reading in the winter.

So of course I rely heavily on the CE for his reviews, so much of my time spent otherwise. He’s into the reading thing—now if I can just get him into the reviewing thing! We did read or listen to seventeen books in July, most from NetGalley as I’m working on the 500 badge, now up to a count of 482 and my ratio continues to be 95%.

Rosepoint Reviews-July Recap

The Peaceful Village by Paulette Mahurin (CE review)
Dream Town by David Baldacci (audiobook)
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (audiobook)
Cold Justice by Nolon King (CE review)
The Faithful Dog by Terry Lee Caruthers (CE review)
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (audiobook)
The Iron Way by Tim Leach (CE review)
The Secret Keeper by Siobhan Curham (CE review)
Growing Wild in the Shade by Jean Grainger
Deadly Spirits by Mary Miley
This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub (audiobook)
The Line by Helen Scott (CE review)
Canned Hunt by Kerry K Cox (CE review)
Still Waters by Sara Driscoll
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (audiobook)
Do No Harm by Robert Pobi (CE review)
I Remember You by Brian Freeman (CE review)

Reading Challenges

My challenges—goodness, I just neglect them something awful. Okay—maybe winter? My challenges for 2022 are all listed and linked in the widget column on the right. When I get them updated, you can check out the progress of my challenges by clicking the Reading Challenges page. I’m now at 64% of the Goodreads Challenge of 180 books at 116.

Looking forward to catching Where the Crawdads Sing (my review of the book here by Delia Owens) starring Daisy Edgar-Jones—they finally released it—and not sure now it’s even still there. Did you get a chance to view it? Does it do justice to the book?

I’m experiencing a drought of books that really glue me to the Kindle app and now with audiobooks as well (after The Nightingale—well, how do you follow that?), having started several and dumped. I hesitate to keep going back to favorites, but not having a lot of success with throwing a dart and hoping it sticks. Any suggestions?

How was your July? The US is either frying, in severe drought, or flooding and it appears we’ll get a taste of the former next week. Fortunately, the winds off the Great Lakes shift and give us a retrieve after a few days.

Welcome to my new followers and as always I appreciate those who continue to read, like, share, and comment. Please let me know if you saw something above that got your interest. I hope August will be kind to you and yours wherever you live.

©2022 V Williams

Medicina, Cultura, e Legge.

Articoli su Medicina, Legge e Diritto, ma anche Aforismi, Riflessioni, e Poesie.

Kiran ✨

Reading And Writing is the best Investment of Time ✨ ( Motivational Thoughts) "LIFE IS A JOURNEY"

Taking On a World of Words

Homepage for fledgling writer Sam A. Stevens

Reading Is My SuperPower

BOOK REVIEWS, GIVEAWAYS, AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

Psychic Devis

Lane is mine!🚦🚙😊

Barb Taub

Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee.

Learning with Life

A learner for life….wants to live fully….destination matter so does the journey…every movement to feel alive…and die with peace in eyes…being me…

Premier Tech Studios

You press Digital, We Do The Rest

Akwafrigeria

Truth to Light

Reading with My Eyes

lots of tales from the spine, your place for book reviews of all kinds

Oma's Minute

The heart and thoughts of man is broad. I share reasonings that alot of people out there needs to hear and hopefully adds value to their world***

beauty care products

I am a blogger of beauty care products

skyy

Short Story Blogger

Emma's Writing Things

A place to share the things that I write

An Amyzing Journey

A spiritual journey with adventures & side quests

coolpeppermint

memories and musings

Scribbles 'n Bits

Original poetry, short stories, and other bits.

BEST WEB DESIGNING INSTITUTE

BEST WEB DESIGNING INSTITUTE

Let's talk

Vibe alone for a while

Barbara Crane Navarro

Rainforest Art Project - Pas de Cartier !

RealStuff by RealMe

Before, After, Then, Now and NEVER!

Islamic Dua and Wazifa For Love back and Solve All problems

Love problem Solution in just 2 Days: Lost love back, ex love back, ex husband back, ex boyfriend and other all love problem Solution. Call and Whatsapp +91 9571300113

Poetic reflections

Poetry and expression of ideas

Julia's Bookshelves

Book Reviews and Book Adventures

stephiebooks.wordpress.com/

Book Reviews, Tags, Vlogs, & More.

a.mermaid'spen_

I read, rant and write ;)

Beneath The Bones

seeking inspiration

Learning Thursdays

It is hard to fail, but worse to have never tried - Abraham Lincoln

ARBIND KUMAR BLOG

arbindkumar475151597. wordpress.com

Bhuvana Chakra

The Power of Living God Ministries

The Wild Coach

You are an important nexus of energy

Virtualidades

Blog do jornalista e professor Solon Saldanha

Happiness for a moment with you....

I'm glad I learned to express my thoughts clearly and everyone loves to read them. Sometimes it takes a lot of thinking power to think about the surroundings. Someone who likes it, someone who enjoys it, appreciates that he is writing very well. Reading and commenting on the post I wrote would give me a lot of bullshit and I would get new ideas to write new ones. I'm really glad I got your response.

Brian Cook's Blog

When the gods wish to punish us they answer our prayers. - Oscar Wilde

Writing Roses

Welcome to the Roses

Sophrosyne

I'm a Doctor with so many random thoughts, so I decided to blog.

Scott Clark | Teaching, Writing, Research

Portal to primary school blogs, research and resources | Middle Years/Young Adult story writing

UNITBALL

a medical education website

%d bloggers like this: