March 6, 2021

February 2021 Book Update

Books I read this month

Where the Heart Takes You by Virginia Wise

Pennsylvania, 1737. Greta Scholtz braved a perilous journey--and the loss of her beloved father--to find religious freedom in America. With two orphan children she's taken under her wing, she's trying hard to survive this rugged new world. So she won't let settlement elders pressure her into marrying reserved widower Jacob Miller. She and Jacob simply can't agree on anything--even if the unexpected feeling between them is proving an irresistible force . . .

After losing his wife and baby, grief-stricken Jacob keeps everyone at arm's length. Duty is the only reason he began helping the headstrong Greta make a life for herself and her charges. Yet he's grown to admire her, especially her strength in the face of obstacles--including him and his wounded ways. But wrenching misunderstandings and a jealous rival could separate them forever. To find harmony--and perhaps even a future together--Greta and Jacob must take a leap of faith and risk opening their hearts . . .

My review
I liked this book but I have mixed feelings about it as well. I really liked the characters of Gretta, Ruth and Jacob. I was also super frustrated by Greta and Jacob. They knew they wanted to be with each other but they kept finding reasons not to be. I thought that scenario lasted a bit long and was making me angry reading it. But the end of the book had me so happy that it made up for the angriness. I was hoping for a little more history weaved into the book about them settling here for the first time. All in all I am glad I read the book.

Courting Can Be Killer by Amanda Flower

Some Amish men don't know what's good for them. That's what Millie Fisher told herself when young Ben Baughman set his heart on marrying Tess Lieb. With Tess's father refusing to give his blessing and Tess's
ex-boyfriend being a wet blanket, the hapless couple was bound to butt heads more than Millie's Boer goats. But when Ben tragically dies in a mysterious fire, Millie wonders if someone in her hometown of Harvest, Ohio, wanted Ben out of the wedding picture altogether...

With the help of her quilting buddies, and her outspoken Englischer friend Lois, Millie is determined to patch together all the clues without even dropping a stitch. She only hopes it won't be the death of her...

I enjoyed this second installment of this series. I felt bad when Ben was killed in the flea market and then for some to say he was the cause of his own death. It was also hard to watch Millie go through the trauma of losing him. I liked how close Lois and Millie are they make a good team.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Mauier

So the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter remembered the chilling events that led her down the turning drive past the beeches, white and naked, to the isolated gray stone manse on the windswept Cornish coast. With a husband she barely knew, the young bride arrived at this immense estate, only to be inexorably drawn into the life of the first Mrs. de Winter, the beautiful Rebecca, dead but never forgotten...her suite of rooms never touched, her clothes ready to be worn, her servant -- the sinister Mrs. Danvers -- still loyal. And as an eerie presentiment of the evil tightened around her heart, the second Mrs. de Winter began her search for the real fate of Rebecca...for the secrets of Manderley.

I tried read this book but had trouble getting into it so I switched to the audio book which I enjoyed better. I have to say I really did not like the head house keeper she was not nice and therefore I felt bad for the new wife there was a big twist at the end that I did not see coming. I also watched the movie which o thought was good and explained a few more things for me.

Hundred in the Hand by Joseph Marshall III

Beautifully written and reminiscent of the oral tradition, Hundred in the Hand brings a new slant to the traditional Western: historical fiction written from the Native American viewpoint.

I have read more than one book by this author and really enjoyed them so I thought I would give this one a try. I hate to say it but I was disappointed in this one and think I will stick to his other books that I have. I just felt this one did not flow for me.

Murder with Clotted Cream by Karen Rose Smith

Margaret Vaughn has hired Daisy to provide afternoon tea for her theater group. A local girl who left long ago for an acting career in New York, Margaret has returned home—with a multimillionaire husband in tow. But while Daisy bustles around Margaret’s historic farmhouse, she senses that there’s tension behind the scenes. Then she discovers the hostess on the floor of the pantry—dead and covered with clotted cream.

Barely recovered from her previous sleuthing adventure, Daisy joins forces with the former detective she’s been dating to help solve the case. Should she cast suspicion on the stars of the upcoming play? Can Margaret’s sister shine a spotlight on potential culprits? Or are there clues to be found in the victim’s past? With plenty of family stress of her own to deal with, all Daisy knows is she better act fast .

I enjoyed this book and liked that it addressed postpartum depression as many women have this but don't discuss it. This time we got to learn a little more about Daisy and her mom's relationship, which explains some things. I am liking that this series is continuing on.

Murder with Oolong Tea by Karen Rose Smith

The faculty of Willow Creek High School are having a get-together after the spring concert with refreshments provided, courtesy of Daisy's Tea Garden. Oolong tea and chocolate biscuits are just what the staff needs to help them unwind from Althea Higgins' demanding curriculum. Her lessons on such controversial subjects as school uniforms and under qualified substitute teachers are earning her an F from her colleagues.

But a failing grade was preferable to Althea falling victim to foul play. Daisy was there when her body was discovered in the school swimming pool, murdered by strangulation. Althea was certainly a strict, opinionated taskmaster, unliked by both teachers and students, but would any of them actually want to kill her? As Daisy starts asking questions, she gets a real education in Althea's history, discovering more than enough enemies with more than enough motives to cancel her classes permanently...

Another great installment in a fun series. I will say this one had me sad for a little while but was good in the end. I enjoyed seeing what was happening with my friends. I liked that Daisy helped Jazzie’s friend and there was a little more of the Amish included.

Books I acquired this month
The Man Who Sent the SOS by Paul Amirault
Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese
Signing Their Lives Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the United States Constitution by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese
John Adams Under Fire by David Fisher

February 2, 2021

January 2021 Book Update


I have decided that instead of individual posts I will be doing a monthly post of what books I have read, what books I have received and other updates. 

Books I have read

Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading

Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading by Lucy Mangan


The Cat in the Hat? Barbar? The Very Hungry Caterpillar? Whoever it was for you, it’s very hard to forget the vivid intensity of your first encounter with a book.

As a bespectacled young bookworm, Lucy Mangan devoured books: from early picture books, to Swallows and Amazons, Enid Blyton to Little Women, and from trashy teen romances to her first proper ‘grown-up’ novels. In Bookworm, she revisits this early enthusiasm; celebrating the enduring classics, and disinterring some forgotten treasures.

This is a love letter to the joys of childhood reading, full of enthusiasm and wit, telling the colourful story of our best-loved children's books, the extraordinary people who created them, and the thousand subtle ways they shape our lives. It also comes packed with brilliant recommendations to inspire the next generation of bookworms and set them on their way.

This impassioned book will bring the unforgettable characters of our collective childhoods back to life – prompting endless re-readings, rediscoveries, and, inevitably, fierce debate. It will also act as an invaluable guide to anyone looking to build a children’s library and wondering where to start, or where to go next.


I listened to the audio version of this book. This book was not a bad book but I have to say if I was reading it instead of listening to it I don't know that I would have finished. It is just not exactly what I was expecting. I did enjoy hearing the author's thoughts on the books that we have both read. There were quite a few books that I did not recognize since the author is from England. Some of the children's books I have never heard of. I am glad I finished the book though. It made me think of the books I read as a child and brought back good memories as I too am a bookworm.

Secrets of the Chocolate House (Found Things, #2)

Secrets of the Chocolate House by Paula Brackston - Book two of the Found Things Series


After her adventures in the seventeenth century, Xanthe does her best to settle back into the rhythm of life in Marlborough. She tells herself she must forget about Samuel and leave him in the past where he belongs. With the help of her new friends, she does her best to move on, focusing instead on the success of her and Flora’s antique shop.

But there are still things waiting to be found, still injustices needing to be put right, still voices whispering to Xanthe from long ago about secrets wanting to be shared.
While looking for new stock for the shop, Xanthe hears the song of a copper chocolate pot. Soon after, she has an upsetting vision of Samuel in great danger, compelling her to make another journey to the past.
This time she'll meet her most dangerous adversary. This time her ability to travel to the past will be tested. This time she will discover her true destiny. Will that destiny allow her to return home? And will she be able to save Samuel when his own fate seems to be sealed? 


I enjoyed this second installment of this series. It is neat to go along with Xanthe as she is learning how to be a spinner to help people. It is also nice to watch her relationships grow with the townspeople. I really like Harley, he is just a fun character. There is a major cliffhanger at the end of this book so I will have to be reading the next one soon to continue on the adventure.

Fever 1793


I listened to the audio version of this book. It's late summer 1793, and the streets of Philadelphia are abuzz with mosquitoes and rumors of fever. Down near the docks, many have taken ill, and the fatalities are mounting. Now they include Polly, the serving girl at the Cook Coffeehouse.

But fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook doesn't get a moment to mourn the passing of her childhood playmate. New customers have overrun her family's coffee shop, located far from the mosquito-infested river, and Mattie's concerns of fever are all but overshadowed by dreams of growing her family's small business into a thriving enterprise. But when the fever begins to strike closer to home, Mattie's struggle to build a new life must give way to a new fight-the fight to stay alive.


This was a really good book. I felt so bad for Madie the main character. She went through so much in such a short time. Reading about the yellow fever pandemic of 1793 makes you think of some of the things that are happening today. We are lucky to have modern medicine to help us as those people were so helpless. I recommend this book as a must read.



The story of "Titanic's" tragic maiden voyage still tugs at the heartstrings and sparks universal curiosity. This Eyewitness book uncovers the story behind the story of this majestic ship, from its borth in a Belfast shipyard to its death in the icy Atlantic. Renderings, photographs, and deck plans accompany a compelling narrative of courage and cowardice, sacrifice, and survival.


I enjoyed reading this as I am a fan of the Titanic. With all the books I have read about the Titanic, I was still able to learn from this book. The pictures and stories shared in this book were interesting.

Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown (Audiobook)


I listed to an audio version of this book. An extraordinary memoir of drama, tragedy, and royal secrets by Anne Glenconner--a close member of the royal circle and lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. As seen on Netflix's The Crown.
Anne Glenconner has been at the center of the royal circle from childhood, when she met and befriended the future Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, the Princess Margaret. Though the firstborn child of the 5th Earl of Leicester, who controlled one of the largest estates in England, as a daughter she was deemed "the greatest disappointment" and unable to inherit. Since then she has needed all her resilience to survive the vipers of court life with her sense of humor intact.

A unique witness to landmark moments in royal history, Maid of Honor at Queen Elizabeth's coronation, and a lady in waiting to Princess Margaret until her death in 2002, Anne's life has encompassed extraordinary drama and tragedy. In Lady in Waiting, she will share many intimate royal stories from her time as Princess Margaret's closest confidante as well as her own battle for survival: her broken-off first engagement on the basis of her "mad blood"; her 54-year marriage to the volatile, unfaithful Colin Tennant, Lord Glenconner, who left his fortune to a former servant; the death in adulthood of two of her sons; a third son she nursed back from a six-month coma following a horrific motorcycle accident. Through it all, Anne has carried on, traveling the world with the royal family, including visiting the White House, and developing the Caribbean island of Mustique as a safe harbor for the rich and famous-hosting Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Raquel Welch, and many other politicians, aristocrats, and celebrities.


I enjoyed listening to this book. I especially liked that the author was the narrator as I could hear her emotion while she was reading it. She had an interesting life and I loved hearing about her relationship with Princess Margaret.

Books that I have acquired

These are books I have either bought, were given to me to review or given as gifts

Crockett of Tennessee by Cameron Judd
One Poison Pie by Lynn Cahoon
Back Bay by William Martin
Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin
Death Bee Comes Her by Nancy Coco
Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo
Daniel Boone's Own Story by Daniel Boone
Creek Mary's Blood by Dee Brown
The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin
Answering Liberty's Call by Tracy Lawson