Annual Reading Challenge 2019

willowsnn3

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2009
#42/50
The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman
On a summer evening in 1931, Lilly Blackwood glimpses circus lights from the grimy window of her attic bedroom. Lilly isn't allowed to explore the meadows around Blackwood Manor. She's never even ventured beyond her narrow room. Momma insists it's for Lilly's own protection, that people would be afraid if they saw her. But on this unforgettable night, Lilly is taken outside for the first time--and sold to the circus sideshow.

More than two decades later, nineteen-year-old Julia Blackwood has inherited her parents' estate and horse farm. For Julia, home was an unhappy place full of strict rules and forbidden rooms, and she hopes that returning might erase those painful memories. Instead, she becomes immersed in a mystery involving a hidden attic room and photos of circus scenes featuring a striking young girl.

At first, The Barlow Brothers' Circus is just another prison for Lilly. But in this rag-tag, sometimes brutal world, Lilly discovers strength, friendship, and a rare affinity for animals. Soon, thanks to elephants Pepper and JoJo and their handler, Cole, Lilly is no longer a sideshow spectacle but the circus's biggest attraction. . .until tragedy and cruelty collide. It will fall to Julia to learn the truth about Lilly's fate and her family's shocking betrayal, and find a way to make Blackwood Manor into a place of healing at last.

Really liked this one!
 

Swimnoid

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 28, 2003
I need to catch up! I haven't updated since April!

33. The Children of Willisden Lane. Beyond the Kindertransport: A Memoir of Music, Love and Survival by Mona Golabek
A memoir written by the main character's granddaughter. The story of a child's journey from Nazi Germany to London on the Kindertransport. Very good

34. Invisible by James Patterson
FBI agent on leave Emmy Dockery searches for a diabolical killer along with her ex-boy friend. Better than I make it sound.

35. The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee
Think Hallmark movie romance. Kind of cute, quick and light.

36. Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
Russ has everything a beautiful wife, a wonderful child a good job. Then it all falls apart. You just want to slap his wife!

37. Invisible City by Julia Dahl
First book of the Rebekah Roberts series. Rebekah is a new reporter who is sent to cover the murder of a Hasidic woman. Her mother was a Hasidic jew who abandoned her as a child. Rebekah digs into this story and also discovers clues to her mother. Good!

38. Journey From Darkness by Gareth Crocker
Set in 1918 Africa, twin brothers set to follow their father's footsteps in trying to protect the dwindling elephant population. Very good

39. Personal by Lee Child
Jack Reacher novel #19

40. You Knew Me When by Emily Liebert
Estranged childhood friends are brought back together in their hometown. Can they overcome their differences? Good.

41. The Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
In a small isolated college town people begin falling asleep...and not waking up. No one can figure out why and it becomes more widespread by the day.

42. The Julian Chapter by RJ Palacio
This is a novelette based on the book "Wonder" but from Julian's point of view. If you have read Wonder this is an interesting follow up.

43. The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah
This is the New Hercule Poirot Series #1. Based on Agatha Christie's character Poirot solves a a seemingly impossible murder. Told from the point of view of Catchpool, the local detective.

44. Star Gazing by Linda Gillard
Developing relationship between a blind woman and a stranger.

More to come!
 

bobbiwoz

I'm happy to dance with you!
Joined
Aug 26, 2003
49/75. Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen...this adventure takes mother and daughter to America via Transatlantic crossing that’s marred by a jewel thief.
 
  • Kirby

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2000
    30/50 - A Mother's Love by Charlotte Hubbard. Genre - Inspirational
    For widow Rose Raber, it's been a year of tragic loss and difficult decisions. She thought providing for her young daughter was the greatest challenge she faced. Until her dying mother revealed that Rose was adopted - and her birth mother is someone with much to lose if the secret comes out. As Rose struggles to reconcile the truth with her faith - and her troubling curiosity - outgoing newcomer Matthias Wagler is another surprise she didn't expect. His optimism and easy understanding inspires her. And his prospective partnership with wealthy deacon Saul Hartzler promises a possible new life for them - together. But with this second chance comes yet another revelation for all involved.

    When Saul's wife unexpectedly turns up at Rose's new job, their bond as mother and daughter is instant and unmistakable. And it isn't long before an unforgiving Saul discovers the truth, threatening Matthias's livelihood and Rose's future. Now with more than just their happiness at stake, Rose and Matthias must find the strength and courage to stand strong - and trust God's enduring miracles of motherhood, forgiveness, and love.
     

    Tiggerish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 1999
    On The Come Up by Angie Thomas. This novel is all about hip-hop rapping and is set in a "ghetto" community and the main protagonist is a high school minority student being bused to a magnet school to fulfill a grant requirement. I am old enough for social security and about as pale white as a caucasian can get. But I could not put this book down. The story of her trying to find her voice was amazing.

    69 of 104
     

    bobbiwoz

    I'm happy to dance with you!
    Joined
    Aug 26, 2003
    50/75. The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe

    A hurricane threatens Fl and friends are invited to a horse farm in North Carolina as a safe haven. Horses and dogs are welcomed. There’s a lot of interesting tidbits about dressage and jumping, all laced with human interest as the group rides out the storm.
     

    Tiggerish

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 17, 1999
    Sea of Memories by Fiona Valpy. From a windswept island off the coast of France to the rugged hills of Scotland this novel is a journey about the power of memory, love and second chances. Ella recruits her granddaughter to write her memoir and shares with her, her memories, old letters and photos. It spanned from just before WWII to the present. I enjoyed this book.

    70 of 104
     
  • willowsnn3

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 1, 2009
    #43/50
    Hush by Kate White
    When Lake Warren learns that her husband, Jack, is suing for full custody of their two kids four months after their separation, she's pretty certain that things can't get any worse. The upside is that she's working with the Advanced Fertility Center as a marketing consultant, alongside the attractive, flirtatious Dr. Keaton. But the morning after their one-night stand, Lake finds Keaton with his throat slashed and discovers that things can indeed become worse-they can become deadly. So as not to jeopardize her case for custody, Lake is forced to lie to the police.

    Having just been intimate with a man who has been murdered, and wanting to protect herself from being charged with the crime, she begins her own search for the truth. Meanwhile, the police start looking at her closely, people at the clinic start treating her with hostility, and strange clues begin dropping-quite literally-on her doorstep, and Lake realizes that she is dangerously close to dark secrets, both about Keaton and the clinic. But can Lake stop what she's started before it's too late?

    This one was ok. Might try another by this author.
     

    bobbiwoz

    I'm happy to dance with you!
    Joined
    Aug 26, 2003
    51/75. Malice at the Palace by Rhys Bowen
    Murder at Kensington Palace and could the second in line to the throne be the murderer?

    Series is light mystery with likable characters. It looks as if I will be reading them all....The Royal Spyness Mysteries.
     

    luvmarypoppins

    <font color=darkorchid>I am debating whether to pu
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2003
    18/30 - A Reluctant Bride by Jodie Hedlund Fiction based on bride ships that brought women from England to British Columbia.
    19/30 - Alaskan Hideout by Sarah Varland suspense
    20/30 - Derby Divas by Kathi Daley cozy mystery
    21/30 - Dying for Devil 's Food by Jenn McKinlay cozy mystery I am craving
    a cupcake now!
     

    luvmarypoppins

    <font color=darkorchid>I am debating whether to pu
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2003
    Oops forgot one from the donation pile
    22/30 - Low Country Hero by Lee Tobin McClain romance about a domestic violence survivor
     
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  • tiggrbaby

    <font color=deeppink><marquee>We must work harder
    Joined
    Jun 26, 2004
    #42/50
    The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman
    On a summer evening in 1931, Lilly Blackwood glimpses circus lights from the grimy window of her attic bedroom. Lilly isn't allowed to explore the meadows around Blackwood Manor. She's never even ventured beyond her narrow room. Momma insists it's for Lilly's own protection, that people would be afraid if they saw her. But on this unforgettable night, Lilly is taken outside for the first time--and sold to the circus sideshow.

    More than two decades later, nineteen-year-old Julia Blackwood has inherited her parents' estate and horse farm. For Julia, home was an unhappy place full of strict rules and forbidden rooms, and she hopes that returning might erase those painful memories. Instead, she becomes immersed in a mystery involving a hidden attic room and photos of circus scenes featuring a striking young girl.

    At first, The Barlow Brothers' Circus is just another prison for Lilly. But in this rag-tag, sometimes brutal world, Lilly discovers strength, friendship, and a rare affinity for animals. Soon, thanks to elephants Pepper and JoJo and their handler, Cole, Lilly is no longer a sideshow spectacle but the circus's biggest attraction. . .until tragedy and cruelty collide. It will fall to Julia to learn the truth about Lilly's fate and her family's shocking betrayal, and find a way to make Blackwood Manor into a place of healing at last.

    Really liked this one!
    Just finished this one in two days! Very good!
     

    Disney_Alli

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 4, 2010
    35/50 - In Danger's Path: The Corps Book VIII W.E.B. Griffin

    The last of the series set in WWII - books 9 and 10 just forward to 1950 and Korea. I like this book but the middle is too long and the end is rushed - probably because the page count was so high before he got there/
     

    virge

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2011
    45/50 Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
    Tells the story of the rise & fall of a fictional 70’s rock band. The story is told like a Rolling Stone type article interviewing the band members and some of their family members.
    This was a book club read. I thought the book was fine, but I didn’t seem to enjoy it as much as the other members of my book club did. It’s being made into a miniseries for Amazon Prime.

    46/50 The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah
    Kate “returns to her family’s ancestral vineyard in Burgundy and unexpectedly uncovers a lost diary, an unknown relative, and a secret her family has been keeping since World War II.”
    This was another book club read. I’ve had my fill of WWII female heroine novels, so I was not looking forward to reading this book. I didn’t love it, but I enjoyed it more than I expected.
     

    Kirby

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2000
    31/50 - When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin. Genre - Inspirational
    A man with a painful past. A child with a doubtful future. And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts.

    It begins on the shaded town square in a sleepy Southern town. A spirited seven-year-old has a brisk business at her lemonade stand. Her latest customer, a bearded stranger, drains his cup and heads to his car, his mind on a boat he's restoring at a nearby lake. But the little girl's pretty yellow dress can't quite hide the ugly scar on her chest. The stranger understands more about it than he wants to admit. And the beat-up bread truck careening around the corner with its radio blaring is about to change the trajectory of both their lives.

    Before it's over, they'll both know there are painful reasons why crickets cry...and that miracles lurk around unexpected corners.


    This is the second book I have read by this author. The first one was Wrapped In Rain. They are both classified as Inspirational but I don't know if I would say that they are. I really don't know how I would classify either one. I'm looking forward to reading another book by him.

    Edited to add: Wrapped In Rain has a sentence beneath the title "A Novel of Coming Home" and When Crickets Cry it reads "A Novel of the Heart". I didn't even notice that sentence until I just now went to order a third book and saw the "A Novel of Discovery" on it's cover.
     

    Swimnoid

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 28, 2003
    Catching up some more...

    45. A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin
    4th book of the Song of Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones) series. OK these books tend to get bogged down but the ultimate story is good.

    46. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
    the book that the HBO series is based on. I liked the series but liked the book much better.

    47. The Christmas Scorpion by Lee Child
    Interesting Jack Reacher short ebook.

    48. Bury the Lead by David Rosenfelt
    Andy Carpenter series #3. Attorney Andy Carpenter usually does more investigative work. Typical thriller with a little bit of dog love mixed in.

    49. American Housewife by Helen Ellis
    A collection of short stories of stereotypical housewife types...with a twist. Some fo the stories are witty and sharp. some are forgettable.

    50. Pandemic by Robin Cook
    Jack Stapleton/Laurie Montgomery series #11. Both Jack and his wife Laurie work for the NYC medical examiner's office. Jack always gets in trouble and his wife has to keep close tabs on him since she is the chief. Ultimately they find answers to grisly or perplexing murders.

    51. Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
    Set in the future where families may only have 2 children Luke is a secret third. He must stay hidden from the rest of the world or be killed. What happens when he discovers there is another hidden 3rd child living near by? First of the Shadow Children series.

    52. Blindsight by Robin Cook
    Jack Stapleton/Laurie Montgomery #1. I went back to the beginning of the series after reading # 11. This book introduces Dr. Laurie Montgomery and doesn't really mention Jack yet. Fiesty Laurie sees a possible connection between several cocaine related deaths and digs deeper to the opposition of everyone else in the ME's office.

    53. The Cornwalls are Gone by James Patterson
    A new series starring Amy Cornwall. Amy, an army intelligence office comes home to find her husband and daughter gone. She receives a call giving her an ultimatum or else they will die. PRetty good.

    54. The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo
    Kate Burkholder #6. Pretty good addition to the series.

    More later!
     

    Kirby

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 7, 2000
    32/50 - The Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray. Genre - Inspirational
    The Schwartz family is happy to be spending Christmas on their new farm in Hart County. But when Susanna Schwartz hears gunshots that cause her buggy to overturn, and then her little sister falls through a wooden bridge into an icy creek, it becomes clear from these dangerous "accidents" that someone wants the family gone.

    Neil Vance has been heartbroken ever since his parents lost their family farm. He knows it's not the Schwartz family's fault, but he can't help but be resentful...until he meets Susanna. She is kindhearted and bold, and Neil can't stop thinking about her pretty green eyes.

    While Neil believes the accidents are just chance, Susanna's father is convinced that the Vance family is responsible. Yet Susanna can't imagine Neil would do anything to harm her. She's fallen in love with him and knows he is a good man. But her family is ready to pack up and move, and time is running out to uncover the truth before someone gets hurt...or worse.
     

    bobbiwoz

    I'm happy to dance with you!
    Joined
    Aug 26, 2003
    52/75 Crowned and Dangerous by Rhys Bowen

    Darcy’s father is accused of murder, and it looks as if he is guilty.
     

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