Last lines of my Top 15 Faves

Do you ever open a new book and check out the last page before you start reading? Ack! I never do that! I have to start at the beginning and finish at the end. But last lines can say a lot about stories, so I thought I’d take a look at my favorites.

A couple weeks ago, I posted the first lines of my favorite books. Here are the last lines of these Top 15 Faves.

I worried a bit about spoilers in sharing these, but I don’t think any of the lines below ruin the stories. Instead, they might make you want to check them out. I know I’m thinking about re-reading them!

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

“Until all she can hear are the sighs of cars and the rumble of trains and the sounds of everyone hurrying through the cold.”

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

“I am haunted by humans.”

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

“After a while I went out and left the hospital and walked back to the hotel in the rain.”

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

“After all, tomorrow is another day.”

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

“She looked up and across the barn, and her lips came together and smiled mysteriously.”

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

“I ran.”

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

“Then, starting home, he walked toward the trees, and under them, leaving behind him the big sky, the whisper of wind voices in the windbent wheat.”

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

“When you’re a scientist, it means that you’re doing it right.”

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

“And I say: ‘Less!’”

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

“You won’t be going anywhere in a hurry tonight.”

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

“He has just been awarded the cross of the Legion of Honor.”

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

“She did not want to leave it yet.”

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.”

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

“Way out yonder, where the crawdads sing.”

Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk

“Then the merciful curtains closed, and she was back in the crowded automobile, in the present day, beside her husband, going home to her children.”

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Book Club Mom’s July 2020 recap

The calendar advances but for everyone much is the same with the many ups and downs of the pandemic. Our birdfeeder continues to be a major source of entertainment. The new development is that squirrels and chipmunks have discovered the food and are very good at jumping on the feeder and sticking their faces in the holes! This poor bird had to wait its turn.

I’m back on track with reading and read three very good books and listened to one audiobook. The River was a great choice to listen to during my walks. Hidden Valley Road is a nonfiction account of one family’s battle with schizophrenia. Six out of twelve children suffered from this debilitating mental illness. Force of Nature is a great atmospheric mystery set in Australia and my fourth read was actually a re-read – Bel Canto by Ann Patchett, a fascinating story of the relationships between and among terrorists and hostages set in South America.

Book Reviews

The River by Peter Heller

Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Miscellaneous posts

Grammar check – lay low or lie low?

Grammar check – dos and don’ts or do’s and don’ts?

On YouTube today – sharing a book I got for my birthday

Short reviews from 2013: Twisted, The Shoemaker’s Wife and Steve Jobs

Book trivia and first lines of my Top 15 Faves

2020 Beach Reads

Many thanks to my recent Top Commenters!

Who’s That Indie Author – I posted one author profile this month and now I’m taking a break while I rework this feature with new questions so stay tuned!

Joanne Kukanza Easley

And now on to August. I hope you’re all healthy and doing well – leave a comment and share your updates!

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Many thanks to my recent Top Commenters!

Image: Pixabay

The nicest thing about blogging is engaging with reader comments. Today I want to thank my recent Top Commenters who always visit and stop to chat. They are terrific supporters of the blogging community and I consider them great blogging friends.  I hope you will visit their blogs too!

Fiction Favorites with John Howell – Thriller author John Howell started his blog as a forum for the free exchange of information and ideas. John follows a daily schedule of entertaining themed posts. From views of his neighborhood, top things not to do, and posts about the family dogs to John’s own “Johnku,” personal thoughts and original fiction, there is always something interesting going on at Fiction Favorites.

Jill Weatherholt – Jill is the author of inspirational romance novels and has just finished her fourth, A Home for Her Daughter, in stores August 25. Jill is a great supporter of authors and bloggers and a great blogging and Twitter friend. One of my favorite things about Jill’s blog is her “Would You Rather” feature – great questions that make you think!

The Chatter Blog – Author Colleen Faherty Brown is also a talented artist and deep thinker. She posts original sketches with philosophical thoughts, sometimes light, sometimes heavy and always thought-provoking. I especially like when she adds her drawings to the photographs she takes.

Darlene Foster’s Blog – Darlene is the author of children’s stories, a retired employment counsellor, and ESL tutor, a wife, mother and grandmother. She created her blog for writers, readers, travelers, dreamers and friends, old and new. She believes everyone has a right to dream and everyone has the capability to make their dreams come true.

Retirement Reflections – Prior to retirement, Donna lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years. Leaving international life behind, she and her husband retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. She started her blog to document both this transition and their new adventures. Her hiking photos and descriptions make me want to get outside and experience the same!

Robbie’s Inspiration – Robbie Cheadle is the author of children’s picture, middle grade and young adult books. She also writes adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Robbie is an expert baker and fondant creator and she shares her artistry on her blog. These creations also appear in her Sir Chocolate children’s books. Robbie is a wonderful supporter of bloggers near and far.

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2020 Beach Reads

Photo by Jonas Ferlin on

Hey Everyone!

I’m heading to the beach soon for a quick day trip. Now I’m trying to decide whether to bring my Kindle, which is packed with new books, or a paperback so I don’t have to worry about sand and surf.

Meantime, there are plenty of great book recommendations out there so take a look at what these bloggers are saying:

Grab Some Sun and a Book: Ten Beach Reads from Plucked from the Stacks

Summer Beach Reads 2020 from Sunshine and Books

Top 5 Summer Reads! from Books and Co.

And who can resist checking out a book that’s actually titled Beach Read? See what two of my favorite bloggers have to say about this new book by Emily Henry:

Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies

What good beach reads have you discovered this summer? Leave a comment below!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book trivia and first lines of my Top 15 Faves

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You never know when book trivia is going to come up in conversation. I was once asked at a job interview to recite the first line of Moby Dick by Herman Melville. I pulled that line out of nowhere (“Call me Ishmael.”) and, although I didn’t get the job, I had a moment of victory.

That’s the thing about trivia, isn’t it? It’s seemingly useless information that comes in handy at unexpected times.

I was thinking about that yesterday and decided I’d better brush up on my favorite books. Here are the first lines of my Top 15 Faves:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

“At dusk they pour from the sky.”

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

“First the colors. Then the humans. That’s usually how I see things. Or at least, how I try.”

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

“In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains.”

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

“Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.”

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

“To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth.”

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

“I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975.”

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

“The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call ‘out there.’”

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

“There is nothing in the world more perfect than a slide rule.”

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

“From where I sit, the story of Arthur Less is not so bad.”

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

“A fug of tobacco smoke and damp clammy air hit her as she entered the café.”

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

“We were in class when the head-master came in, followed by a ‘new fellow’ not wearing the school uniform and a school servant carrying large desk.”

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

“For many years Henry Kitteridge was a pharmacist in the next town over, driving every morning on snowy roads, or rainy roads, or summertime roads, when the wild raspberries shot their new growth in brambles along the last section of town before he turned off to where the wider road led to the pharmacy.”

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

“When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.”

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

“The morning burned so August-hot, the marsh’s moist breath hung the oaks and pines with fog.”

Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk

“Have you ever known a famous man before he became famous?

Do you remember the first lines of your favorite books?

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Celebrating 7 years of blogging!

This month is a big month for me because I reached my 7-year blogging anniversary and I’m also celebrating 1000 WordPress followers. So yay!

Today I’m sharing three of my most-viewed posts.

“House of Flowers” by Truman Capote

The Grapes of Wrath and the Great Depression

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

Thanks to everyone who follows, reads, comments and shares. I’m ready for another 7 years!


On virtual book hauling

So last week I went to a virtual conference sponsored by Library Journal. I attended in a webinar on Editors’ Picks and got a chance to learn about a lot of new books coming out. I didn’t know what to expect, but I have to tell you it was a lot of fun visiting all of the publishers’ virtual booths and seeing so many new books!

I also came away with a lot of ARCs, many via NetGalley and some PDFs. All titles will be released this summer, into the fall and a couple in 2021.

I’m looking forward to reading these books, despite the problem of already having too many books in my pile.

Here’s what I got and hope to read this summer:

Waiting approval, but I got a special NetGalley widget from Library Journal so I think they’re a go.

Don’t these book covers look nice? What’s on your summer reading list?

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Pretty, colorful and unique book covers

Don’t listen to the old saying because book covers are everything. They are often the sole reason we pick up one book, and pass on another. Today, I’m sharing some pretty, colorful and unique book covers.

Pretty covers (also colorful, by the way)

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett – Published in 2019. Did you know that The Dutch House  was a finalist for this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction? I loved this book! You can read my review here. (FYI: The winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead.)

If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim – Published in 2018. From Goodreads:  “debut novel about war, family, and forbidden love, the unforgettable saga of two ill-fated lovers in Korea and the heartbreaking choices theyre forced to make in the years surrounding the civil war that continues to haunt us today.”

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin – Published in 2018. In 1969, four siblings sneak through their New York neighborhood to visit a mysterious woman. They hear she’s a fortune teller and that she will tell them the dates of their deaths. Varya is thirteen. Daniel is eleven. Klara is nine and Simon is seven. Should they believe? Read my review here.

The Moment of Tenderness by Madeline L’Engle – Published in 2020. From Goodreads: “This powerful collection of short stories traces an emotional arc inspired by Madeleine L’Engle’s early life and career, from her lonely childhood in New York to her life as a mother in small-town Connecticut.”

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali – Published in 2019. From Goodreads: “A novel set in 1953 Tehran against the backdrop of the Iranian Coup about a young couple in love who are separated on the eve of their marriage, and who are reunited sixty years later, after having moved on to live independent lives in America, to discover the truth about what happened on that fateful day in the town square.”

Colorful covers (also pretty, by the way)

All Adults Here by Emma Straub – Published in 2020. From Goodreads: “When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she’d been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence?”

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner – Published in 2020. From Goodreads: “The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Everything returns with an unforgettable novel about friendship and forgiveness set during a disastrous wedding on picturesque Cape Cod.”

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano – Published in 2020. From Goodreads: “One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. And then, tragically, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.” Definitely want to read this.

The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich – Published in 2020. From Goodreads: “Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich’s grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C.”

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson – Published in 2019. From Goodreads: “Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson’s taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child.”

Unique covers

Almond by Won-pyung Sohn and Joosun Lee – Published in 2017. From Goodreads: “Yunjae was born with a brain condition called Alexithymia that makes it hard for him to feel emotions like fear or anger. He does not have friends—the two almond-shaped neurons located deep in his brain have seen to that—but his devoted mother and grandmother aren’t fazed by his condition.”

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid – Published in 2019. If you like stories about bands in the 60s and 70s, I think you will like this novel. The author was inspired by the band Fleetwood Mac and the relationships between its members, and her character Daisy Jones closely resembles Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac. Read my review here.

Educated by Tara Westover –  Imagine growing up in isolation, with a father who regarded the government with paranoid distrust, who prepared the family for an impending apocalypse by stockpiling food, fuel and ammunition and “head for the hills” bags. Who made his children work with him in a dangerous scrap yard, where they were often severely injured. This and much more. Read my review here.

Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson – Published in 2019. From Goodreads: “Kevin Wilson’s best book yet a moving and uproarious novel about a woman who finds meaning in her life when she begins caring for two children with remarkable and disturbing abilities.”

There There by Tommy Orange – Published in 2018. From Goodreads: “Tommy Orange’s wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize.” Want to read this one, too.

What covers have caught your eye?

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Book Club Mom’s March recap

I don’t think it’s possible to write a light recap of March. Or to write anything that we don’t already know. We’re all going through, or are about to, some version of stay-at-home restrictions, as well as the fear of getting sick. So I’ll just say that I’m working to find new ways to spend my time, inside our house.

The picture above is from the bird feeder we put out on our deck. All winter, there was no activity, but now it’s a hot spot for a few different kinds of small birds. It’s perfect timing to have something like that to look out at.

Here’s a rundown of what happened on my blog in March:

Book Reviews

Howard Hughes: The Untold Story by Peter Harry Brown and Pat H. Broeske

No Place Like Home by Rebecca Muddiman

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Maid by Stephanie Land

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian

Short reviews from 2013

Fahrenheit 451, The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Weird Sisters

Rebecca, Little Bird of Heaven and The Sun Also Rises

Who’s That Indie Author?

Stevie Turner

David Ruggerio

Gary D. Hillard

Michael J Moore

Author Update

Oskar’s Quest by Annika Perry

What’s That Movie?

The Aviator – a Martin Scorsese picture starring
Leonardo DiCaprio and Cate Blanchett

Blog Views and other obsessions

Free Photo Library on WordPress

Coping with the Coronavirus

Miscellaneous Posts

Books to Pen – Book Club Mom’s creative writing blog

Books to make you laugh

How are you all doing? I hope everyone is healthy and able to manage at home, whether you are working or not working, and that you are finding the groceries and other things you need. Leave a note in the comments section and tell us how you are managing.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!


Books to make you laugh

We need an escape from the bad news out there, so today I’m sharing some books I thought were very funny!

Have a Nice Day by Billy Crystal and Quinton Peeples

Have a Nice Day is a play, but this version is a live script-reading in New York from 2018. In addition to the headliners, the cast is full of stars, including Rachel Dratch and Darrell Hammond. Funny and moving, with a feel-good finish, it’s a quick listen and is currently available on Amazon Audible.

Joy in the Morning  from Just Enough Jeeves and My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

Pure entertainment and a great escape into the frivolous upper crust world of a lovable good chap who gets himself into the wildest predicaments. As in all of Wodehouse’s books, everyone counts on the ever-wise Jeeves for a solution and he does not disappoint.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Arthur Less is turning 50 and he’s at the edge of a crisis: his writing career has stalled and his former younger lover, Freddy Pelu, is getting married. To guarantee he’ll be out of the country on the day of the wedding, Less accepts a string of unusual writerly engagements that take him around the world. His goal? Forget Freddy and rework the novel his publisher has taken a pass on.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Great story about being different and making it anyway. Through a rambling, often irreverent and always hilarious “where is this story going?” narration, with plenty of colorful vocabulary, Lawson tells you about her childhood, depression, anxiety and illness, her family, early jobs, marriage, motherhood and how she became a blogger and writer.

I also found a list from of 100 funny books. Some of these are on their list too and you can check out the rest in this linked article:  August 20, 2019 article: “We Did It For The LOLs: 100 Favorite Funny Books” by Petra Mayer

What funny books do you recommend?

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