Shop Amazon

Friday, January 25, 2019

Books & Buddies


Hello, dear friends.  TGIF. We had a mother of a rain and wind storm yesterday.  The good news was that the temps hit the mid 50's.  The bad news was a huge tree limb has now taken residence on our driveway.  More good news:  I spent a delightful day with my neighbor and friend, Kathy lunching and shopping.  Even more good news:  it's always sunny in Homegoods.  

I have a treat for you today.  About a month ago, I asked a few of my nearest and dearest to share with us their favorite and not-so-favorite reads, and they were kind enough to agree.

As a side note, the lovely participants sent me their answers, and I put them together.  If there are any typos, it is all on me.  



Tanya

I have known Tanya through blogging for several years.  She is a Texas girl, and the name of her fabulous blog is  The Other Side of the Road.  She does a monthly post called Media Monday in which she reviews books, TV, and movies.  Tanya also hosts a monthly link-up called Prime Purchases where bloggers link up and review their Amazon purchases.



1.  What were the best books of 2018 and why?

Amazon

Overall best book and the one I thought about the most after reading.


Amazon

A middle-grade novel that also left me thinking about it for weeks after reading.
An exceptional audiobook.


Amazon

A fun chick-lit book that had me laughing out loud.  
Class Mom was a close second in that category.



Amazon

I read several 5-star mystery/thrillers this year, but this was the one that I absolutely could not put down!

Also Still Me and The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell.



2. The biggest disappointment?


Amazon

I tend to just put a book down if it's not grabbing my attention.
I was really looking forward to the follow up to Girl On The Train - Into The Water - but I couldn't Finish it. 



3.  Who are your favorite authors?

Elin Hildebrand, Jojo Moyes, and Linda Castillo for quick reads that I know I'll enjoy.  I tend to jump around a lot, so I don't have one specific favorite.  I like the latest books that are: suspense, mystery, British, or WWII themed.



4. What are you reading now?


Amazon

Reading this.



Amazon

Listening to this.


5. Where's your favorite place to read?

  Lately, my favorite place to read is listening to an audiobook while on a walk.

I also like my cozy office that I blogged about here.



6.  Your all-time favorite book?








Annie


I met my buddy Annie several years ago when her Sister, Cookie, admired my powder room wallpaper on Instagram and she sent Annie a note suggesting we meet.  We met for lunch and spent 4 hours chatting it up.

Annie has a huge job in the government.  If I told you what it is I'd have to kill you.  She spends hours in the car and commutes to Beantown on the ferry.

Annie is a voracious reader.  Annie and I have enjoyed many Meet the Author functions as well as House Tours and double dates with our guys.  


1.  What were the best books of 2018 and why?




2. The biggest disappointment?


Amazon

I have tried to get beyond page 20 several times even during a blizzard.  Just can't force myself to do it.


3.  Who are your favorite authors?

Christopher Buckley, Carl Hiaasen, William Martin, John Grisham, and no day in the sun is complete without Elin Hilderbrand.  

As someone who loves to read, cook, and read about cooking, Boston's local Louise Miller is a gem.  Rumor has it that she is at work on her third book, her first two are absolute joys.  



4. What are you reading now?


Loving every page!



5. Where's your favorite place to read?

I can and do read anywhere at any time.  With a glass of wine on the deck or at the beach with a good book is my idea of perfection.



6.  Your all-time favorite book?


Amazon



Amazon 







Anne

Anne was one of the first friends that I made when I moved to Massachusetts.  She read my blog and sent me a note asking me to lunch.  We couldn't believe how much we had in common.  It was at that lunch that we discovered that Anne's college roommate lived two streets away from me growing up.

Anne is an avid reader. The first question I ask her whenever I see her is:  what are you reading?  I've gotten wonderful recommendations from her.

When she is not reading, Anne is a busy realtor in Duxbury. 




1.  What were the best books of 2018 and why?


Amazon


An astonishing story of overcoming adversity told without self-pity.  Beautifully written and occasionally tough to read.

Amazon

I read this during the lead up to the midterm elections.  Well-written and believable tale of a woman running for office while juggling marriage, kids, and ideals.


Amazon


A fascinating memoir of growing up as Leonard Bernstein's daughter. A portrait of living in a world of great music with a seriously flawed genius.  Still manages to be more sympathetic than a Tell-All.




Amazon

A funny fly-on-the-wall report of the nerve center of DC.  And a reminder of an executive branch that worked.  And worked with a responsible press.  Sorry for the political jab but this is painful.



Amazon


Amazon


Katie said it was ok if I pick a couple of cookbooks. In a year of exceptional ones, I am choosing two.  I've had success with both, and they're fun to read.


2. The biggest disappointment?

I usually love her books, but this one just left me cold. 


3.  Who are your favorite authors?

Anthony Trollope
Jane Austen
E.B. White
Nancy Mitford
Dorothy Sayres
Margery Allingham


4. What are you reading now?



5. Where's your favorite place to read?

In the Winter you can find me in a velvet chair in front of the fireplace in our living room.  In Summer, I read on our screened-in porch.



6.  Your all-time favorite book?

This has changed many times since Katie posed the question and it's a bit like naming your favorite child, so I'm cheating.  I've read these three multiple times.







Linda


If you scroll through my Instagram, you will notice the majority of sites that I follow are of Bookstagrammers.  My favorite in this category is Linda, otherwise known as Bookbimbo

This lady is a master reviewer.  Linda's reviews are razor sharp and often more entertaining than the actual book.  Bookbimbo is my number one stop when I visit Instagram. 


1.  What were the best books of 2018 and why?

Harry's Trees is easily the one book I feel is under-appreciated and did not get the kudos it so richly deserved.  I am beginning to think you have to obtain a celebrity recommendation for massive press.  This makes me sad.  Harry's Trees has such depth and covers so many themes that even months later, I'm still thinking about it. Harry's Trees is a magical story about finding yourself in the midst of despair and learning to let go of those we love while simultaneously believing in the magic of a future.  A future filled with love. 

The Family Tabor is written by a personal favorite, Cherise Wolas.  This is the second year in a row that finds Ms. Wolas is in my top 3 spots.  This novel is a tour de force centering around a father with a secret that changes the family dynamics.  We find themes of love, loss, forgiveness, and a willingness to become better at all costs.  Ms. Wolas is a stunning wordsmith with an ability to finely craft a beautiful story.  OMG... read this book. 


A Place For Us by debut author, Fatima Farheen Mirza, writes an astounding story of a family in tatters.  I was blown away by this story and the fine line between love and hate, delight and disappointment.  I see an amazing future ahead for Ms. Mirza.



2. The biggest disappointment?




3.  Who are your favorite authors?

Jenny Colgan
Louise Penny
Diana Gabaldon
Cherise Wolas
Daphne DuMaurier
Fredrik Backman
Leo Tolstoy
F. Scott Fitzgerald



4. What are you reading now?



5. Where's your favorite place to read?

Home in my favorite leather chair or in the car line waiting for the grandkids.


6.  Your all-time favorite book?







Mary

My sweet friend, Mary, was a reader of my blog and wrote me a sweet note about five years ago.  We had a delightful lunch and have been great buddies ever since.  Mary is my Partner In Crime every year at the Beacon Hill Garden Tour as well as numerous other house tours.  

When Mary is not reading, she is a nurse in ICU at Children's Hospital.


1.  What were the best books of 2018 and why?

Two women who randomly connect at the younger woman's wedding.  Flashback 1950 - Present.


Set in 1918 Philadelphia.  This book captures the end of WWI and influenza outbreak. The time period is seen through the eyes of 3 sisters, mother, father, and uncle.  This author has written several other books worth reading, such as Secrets of a Charmed Life.



This novel completes the half-finished draft by the author, Margery Allingham - creator of the Albert Campion character.
The timeline is 1935-1970's. There is plenty of intrigue, spies, and character development.


First of a series featuring Maggie Hope.  Overqualified "secretary' working for PM Churchill during WWII.
History, intrigue, espionage, and duplicity.


The third in a series featuring an FBI agent, Kendra Donovan, who "lands" in Regency England via time travel.  Contrasts Regency period detail - social mores, food and lifestyle with 21st Century mores, women's roles, etc.


2. The biggest disappointment?

None that come to mind... or so bad I never bothered to finish.  I lean toward a specific genre:  classic British mystery, historical fiction with a WWI time period, books that feature a character in a series.


3.  Who are your favorite authors?

Charles Todd (Ian Rutledge Detective)
Jacqueline Winspear (Maisie Dobb's character)
Barbara Cleverly (Detective Joe Sandilands of Scotland Yard)
Julie EmElwan


4. What are you reading now?


5. Where's your favorite place to read?

In the Summer - on the screen porch that overlooks my garden.  Mid-afternoon in the sun/shade is my favorite time.

In the winter - bundled up in a blanket, sitting in a winged chair in my study.


6.  Your all-time favorite book?

Too many to list.





Katie Clooney

I have to tell you... this Weight Watchers thing is really working for me.  Granted I've still got a few lbs. to go.



1.  What were the best books of 2018 and why?

Amazon

My #1 favorite book of 2018.


Amazon

I'm a sucker for a story chronicling life on the campaign trail ever since I read Elizabeth Edwards' first book. 


Amazon

Thrillers of all thrillers.


Amazon

I'm a big fan of Jojo Moyes.  


2. The biggest disappointment?


Both books got rave reviews and lots of press.  
I couldn't finish either one of them.


3.  Who are your favorite authors?

Pat Conroy
Jodi Picoult
Jojo Moyes
Sally Hepworth




4. What are you reading now?

5. Where's your favorite place to read?



When it's cold, I like to snuggle up in front of the fire.



When it's warmer, I love the sunroom for the bright light.
Sometimes I can't get a seat on the couch, though.


6.  Your all-time favorite book?







Amazon

A big thank you to all my dear friends that helped me out today.  I loved hearing about all the books that you have read.  I downloaded quite a few of them.

What's your favorite book of all time?



Until next time...


Preppy Empty Nester
Preppy Empty Nester

I'm Katie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am an empty nester meandering through my middle-aged years while entangled in the never-ending process of renovating an antique home on the South Shore of Massachusetts. I love to write about books, movies, TV, celebrities, decorating, and weekend adventures. My favorite writing material is derived from my family: the Mister, my girls, #1 and #2, and my two untrainable, rambunctious pups, Chowdah and Chili.

23 comments:

  1. I am jotting so many of these books down. I may have to quit work to have enough time to read!!! Thanks for all the picks. I have also abandoned reading a couple of the "disappointment" books.

    Have a wonderful weekend. We are MINUS 35°F here this morning and, sadly, I have to brave the cold and go to the office. UGH!!! xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
  2. This post!! I'm bookmarking it because there are so many books I need to add to my list. Thank you so much for including me on the "all star" list. I was truly surprised and honored. I love seeing everyone's disappointing books, because they often line up with those books I just couldn't finish. Reassuring to know I'm not the only one!

    ReplyDelete
  3. My sister introduced me to your blog because we both love sharing book recommendations with one another. I have just spent the past hour looking up these links before a trip to the library today. Thanks - I think? And I'm sure I'll be back to visit your blog again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am always on the hunt for a good book. 2018 was not a good book year for me because I just cant say I found too many that really spoke to me. I did find Kate Hepworth because of you Katie and I do like her books. This year I have shopped my own library and re read some favorites that never get old. One of my favorites is In This House of Brede by Rumor Godden. In fact I came to find most of Ms Godden's books really hold my attention and make me think. I am hosting Book Club at my house on Monday and we are doing The Woman on the Orient Express by Lindsay Jane Ashford. Agatha Christie never gets old for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oops...that should be Rumer...spell check changed the name.lol

      Delete
  5. Hi Katie. Thank you for this post! I have several new titles to now add to my reading list .

    I loved I'LL BE YOUR BLUE SKY and thought HARRY'S TREES was fabulous. I just discovered it this month otherwise it would be my favorite book of 2018.

    My favorite book last year was THE LIDO by Libby Page.

    Stay warm and happy reading. They are using Polar Vortex to describe my weather in Columbus, Ohio where I live.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Well, thanks, Sis. I know what I'll be doing for the next couple of months. And I love your gown. Does it come in blue?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I need to have tea with Mary and Anne. Of course you can come too -- we'd have a ball! Thanks for the introduction to these women and their book lists. My already long one is longer!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Here it is, my personal library index! This was so fun to see the kinds of books that your friends are loving!. Tanya is a favorite of mine so I love seeing her pretty face here. You keep good company pretty lady!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is such a great post! So many wonderful suggestions. You have such lovely friends, Katie. And you look mahhhvelous! -Jenn

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was also VERY disappointed in The Witch Elm! But there are so many other fantastic books on this post!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow! Thanks for putting this together for your readers!! Well done and very interesting to meet fellow bloggers with similar interests! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  12. So many books, so little time! My favorite book of all time is Gone With the Wind and I'm rereading it at present. It's in my pool bag so just snippets here and there, but enjoying it again.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks for introducing me to these lovely ladies and compiling their lists. My book list just got longer. I could not choose my all-time favorite book. I only wish I had kept up with all the books I have read since 5th grade!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love this post! Thank you for introducing us to your friends and their book recommendations. I hope to read more in 2019! By the way you are looking fabulous :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. This post was fabulous and now I have even more on my Goodreads list. Thank you for sharing your adorable friends.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hello Katie & Sista,
    Great post. I agree with most of everyone's picks.
    But, sadly, whenever I hear Elizabeth Edwards' name I always take a moment to pray that she is resting in peace and that her children are okay but most of all that that rat she was married to is living in hell.

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a great post, I am going to be sending this one on to all my book-loving (voracious reader) friends. I think there are some on here that they haven't read! I was intrigued by the novel set in the post WW I era about the outbreak of influenza. My grandparents had only been married a short while and were new parents to their son, George (my dad) when my grandfather came down with the virus and died. My grandmother never remarried and they had only the one child. Such an interesting family story there. I have read all the Maggie Hope books and they are a quick, delightful read, chockful of history. They remind me of the Maisie Dobbs series which spans the period between the two great wars. I am a fan of a satisfying mystery though and did not see any of my favorites here: Jonathan Kellerman, the incomparable Michael Connelly, and Boston local, Hank Phillippi Ryan. But, I will be tracking down more than a few of these titles as it is that time of year when you often just want to skip the cold and snow and opt for a cozy day indoors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Paula!! Thanks for your author suggestions. I’m on my way to Amazon right now. Very interesting story about your family. I downloaded the book about the influenza outbreak. Have a wonderful week and thank you for taking the time to comment!!

      Delete
  18. Katie, excellent post. I can't wait to be done my coursework so I can read some of these wonderful books. I tell everyone I know to read the Extra-ordinary Life of Sam Hell, it was my absolute favorite book of 2018. I am going to have to save the link to this post because I'll never find it otherwise. Take Care.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you Katie, you always have such a wide range of recommendations in a variety of subjects and genres, much appreciated!
    Jenna

    ReplyDelete
  20. How on earth did I miss this post! So great to see Tanya over here! I am definitely pinning this because there are a whole bunch I want to look into. I already have a few of them on my stack to read but I love getting recommendations! Have a great week!
    Shelley

    ReplyDelete

Home and Garden

Recent Posts


Best Sellers