Welcome to my newly vamped Book Reviews page wherein I will be posting my review of the books I have read during each season. This makes it much easier for me as posting each review on its own was time-consuming and hindered me from uploading reviews in a consistent, timely fashion. From time to time, as my schedule allows, I am hoping to post some new book release information regarding books I personally deem worthy of special attention. It brings me great pleasure to read and write reviews and so I do not wish to curtail that due to my own writing goals. I post my reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram, TikTok and when applicable, to NetGalley.
I hope you enjoy this gallery of my summarized book reviews for summer 2022. This month (September), I already dove into some wonderful books and will be posting those current reviews on all my social media communications as noted above but will post them on this page in a gallery alongside the other books I read in autumn.
Sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea or whatever beverage you prefer and dive into the reviews below... some of which reflect the flavor of this past summer.
SUMMER 2022 BOOK REVIEWS
Title: In Too Steep (Fiction)
Author: Kate Kingsbury
I truly enjoyed reading "In Too Steep" written by Kate Kingsbury. It was my first encounter with this author and I was certainly not disappointed.
The book cover is truly lovely and first attracted me to the book. It matched the contents within satisfactorily.
Ms. Kingsbury is a strong writer with a wonderful ability to create a cozy, deeply engaging setting that draws the reader in. The atmosphere was warm, inviting ad the relationship depicted between the ladies was heartfelt and genuine. The characters were amply fleshed out, contributing to the overall cozy effect.
I think I gained an extra five pounds just reading about the succulent desserts, sandwiches and teas the author described in significant detail.
In summation, the story was even-paced and flowed beautifully from one scene to the next which made for a pleasurable read. It was not an effort to read this book.
Thank you to NetGalley, Crooked Lane Books and Kate Kingsbury for the opportunity to read an advanced reader copy of this delightful book. It is scheduled to be released on August 9, 2022 and I am sure it will not disappoint.
Title: The Branch That I Am (Poetry)
Author: Mary Grave van der Kroef
I feel as though my thoughts and the skin that surrounds my flesh have been carefully peeled away to reveal my inner core and all it's hidden truths. This is the raw effect that is created through reading Mary Grace van der Kroef's deeply moving poetry book, "The Branch That I am." Her writing is a branch, indeed, that triggers your emotions and makes you question the purpose of your own, personal journey in life.
Mary's poetic verses are authentic and deeply engaging in their stark simplicity. I felt both uplifted and somehow gratified reading her work as her writing is detailed and visionary in the way she expounds on faith, a prevalent theme in the book. As we wander through life, our thoughts may become heavier, we endure more life experiences that accumulate and change us and this is an excellent book to read that is very much on par with our inner growth.
Mary's writing flowed beautifully and I am humbled to have experienced her work. Her thought processes crafted a poetry book that can easily connect with readers on a sentimental, meaningful level.
Title: Seashells In My Pocket (Non-fiction)
Author: Jennifer Melville
If you are looking for a very light, relaxing summer read then this is the book for you. The chapters are short and the book is a quick read. It has a nice, "beachy" tone to it, just as promised by the author. It was a great read in bed as the summery descriptions lulled me into a calm state before bed time which was wonderful. I am from Canada, too, and I have always wanted to travel to the east coast to experience its raw beauty. This book reminded me to make my travel wish a reality. I enjoyed this book and I do recommend you picking up a copy for your relaxing, summer beach read.
Title: Rain (Poetry)
Author: Jennifer Melville
This poetry compilation will illuminate your thoughts and the dark spaces within your heart. Beautifully written, each poem speaks to you, dives into your senses and draws out your emotions in ways that stay with you, long after you read the final page. The poet's writing is deep, sensual, raw and unforgiving, transporting your own soul on a wave of thoughtfulness. Her writing... it stays with you. That is her innate power as a poet. To make you think. To make you feel. To leave a mark. I enjoyed every one of her poems. "Love Quivers" and "She Was Home" amongst many others found a permanent home within my heart. I recommend this powerful poetry book for your reading pleasure.This poetry compilation will illuminate your thoughts and the dark spaces within your heart. Beautifully written, each poem speaks to you, dives into your senses and draws out your emotions in ways that stay with you, long after you read the final page. The poet's writing is deep, sensual, raw and unforgiving, transporting your own soul on a wave of thoughtfulness. Her writing... it stays with you. That is her innate power as a poet. To make you think. To make you feel. To leave a mark. I enjoyed every one of her poems. "Love Quivers" and "She Was Home" amongst many others found a permanent home within my heart. I recommend this powerful poetry book for your reading pleasure.
Title: Less Is More (Non-Fiction)
Author: Kristi Belle
Was looking for something like this to read while sipping lemonade in the garden. It fit the bill. The writer's tone was personal, as if in a jovial conversation. She expounded on a few simple ideas which I jotted down after reading as I noted I can implement them in my own life. New ideas that make day-to-day life "better" are always welcome. A very quick, easy-peasy read.
Title: Paris In My Panties (Non-Ficion)
Author: Jennifer Melville
That title, "Paris In My Panties,' in conjunction with my previous experience reading Jennifer Melville's chic, inspiring books, propelled me to read her latest work. And... I was not disappointed. What a delight this book turned out to be. I immersed myself in the dreamy world of Paris as depicted by the author's detailed descriptions and personal renditions of her own experiences. Such a pleasant read, I felt uplifted while reading this book which is something I look for when I read a book during my much cherished quiet time. I am looking forward to reading more books from this inspiring author. I recommend this chic, lovely book to any reader looking for a pleasant read.
Title: The City Wife (Fiction)
Author: R.M. Carpus
From beginning to end, this riveting novel by R.M. Carpus was a delightful page-turner. The plot flowed from paragraph to paragraph and the characters were amply fleshed out, drawing the reader into the storyline. The bond between mother and daughter is a tangible thing and as such, the reader is vested in their relationship and its ensuing journey. It carries the story beautifully, subtly, in a most natural fashion. There is no straining to find depth within the characters by the reader.
It is pertinent to note that the author's writing style is authentic, vivid in its delivery. Take for instance this line that is laced with striking imagery: "Vibrations spread from the ground up, rattling my teeth. Behind me I heard books jumping from their shelves, and crashing glass evoked a string of screams across the pitch-black space." This plethora of words that paint moving pictures is witnessed throughout the book. The author's writing almost borders on being poetic. There is this elegant flair that elevates her work... a unique style that has the unique potential to stand out from other books in this genre. The cover is simply beautiful and elegant.
The book ends and the reader is left wanting more. There is anticipation. It is an ominous, yet gentle ending that sets the stage for the next book. Dramatic and yet subtle. Perfectly executed.
This is a wonderful debut novel from this author, leaving the reader anticipating a second book.
Title: Dispatches From The Gilded Age: A Few More Thoughts on Interesting People, Far-Flung Places, and the Joys of Southern Comforts (Non-Fiction)
Author: Julia Reed / Editor: Everett Bexley
What a plethora of carefully curated information that made for a solid, entertaining read. My thoughts were taken on a historical journey from chapter to chapter, never knowing what to expect, thereby heightening my anticipation. Julia Reed was a keen writer, endowed with a mind that is akin to a focal lens that took a snapshot of a current situation and expounded upon it in minute detail. I actually heard myself expressing my own commentary to her writings. She had me fully engaged.
I particularly enjoyed the chapters on fashion, beauty and food and was riveted by the chapter about Sister Helen Prejean. Some chapters were lighthearted and some were more serious in tone. But, you are guaranteed that each chapter is brimming with detailed information.
In summation, this was a lovely, light read I found highly entertaining. You will have to pick up a copy of this book and dive into it for yourself.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this ARC. All opinions expressed are my own.
Title: Skirts: Fashioning Modern Femininity In The Twentieth Century (Non-Fiction)
Author: Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell
When I first saw the title of this book my eyes widened in wonder and I thought: "no way... there is no way an author can write an entire 272 page book about... skirts!" And so... my interest was piqued.
Oh my goodness! Wow... I was wrong. The author wrote a very thorough book about the role "skirts/dresses" have played in the twentieth century within a social and fashion-historical context. It is very clear that Chrisman-Campbell has thoroughly researched her subject. I liked her clean, matter-of-fact tone which was not bogged down by superfluous wording. It let her research shine and got her message across to the reader.
From era to era, "skirts" have prevailed, influenced and paved the way of fashion and stood the test of time, evolving and adapting in an effort to stay relevant. One of my personal favorite is the section on Coco Chanel. For me, she was an incomparable fashion influencer, as was her iconic little black dress which never faltered in its popularity to this day. The section about the "tennis dress" was an entire movement that could have had its own book. My "oh wow" senses kicked in during that discussion. To be honest, each chapter was fascinating as it was enjoyable to read about past celebrities/influencers as pertaining to their context with skirts/dresses.
I found this book to be thoroughly detailed in its execution, a "smart" book endowed with a plethora or facts that made for an entertaining read. You will have to pick up a copy to learn of all the juicy details.
Thank you to the author, St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the lovely opportunity to read this ARC and submit an honest review.
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