Book cover eye candy – similar, very similar, confusing, pretty and more book covers

Happy Sunday Everyone! I’m being very superficial today and sharing book covers that caught my eye for different reasons. Sometimes, and I’ve said this before, I think I’ve already read a book because the cover is so much like another cover!

Similar Covers

These are both pretty and similar. A bit hard to read because they’re so busy and colorful, but I do like looking at them.

Very Similar Covers

The handwritten slanted font, often in all caps, is very popular these days. And look at all the ones that feature a rocky coast!

Sunglasses Covers

Yes, summer is over but the sunglasses stay.

Confusing Covers

Honestly, these books might be great, but these covers are too hard to look at.

Prettiest Covers

You may have figured out that I like colorful book covers! These are also a bit similar to each other, but that’s okay with me because I like looking at them!

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In case you missed them! BCM post recap September 2022

Hey Everyone,

In case you missed them, here’s a quick look at Book Club Mom’s posts in September.

I reviewed three books this month. I just finished Girl in the Rearview Mirror by Kelsey Rae Dimberg so look for that review and a new YouTube video in the next couple days.

How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue – 3 stars. I was disappointed in this story about a fictional African farming village, Kosawa, and their fight against Pexton, an American oil company. My main complaint was that it was too heavy with its message and a little boring. It got a lot of hype. I should have known!

Love Marriage by Monica Ali – 4.5 stars. This one was a winner! Set in London, it follows the lives of a young Indian woman, about to be married, and her fiancé, whose family background is much different and who comes to the relationship with a burdensome secret. I think the best part of the book is how what seems to be a simple story develops and reveals complex problems within and between its characters.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith – 5 stars. Another winner and an oldie but a goodie! Totally enjoyable mystery featuring Mma Precious Ramotswe who opens a detective agency in Botswana. The first in a series of twenty-two novels.

I made two YouTube videos and in one of them, I’m playing more Bach! I know, maybe Bach isn’t your guy but he’s fun to play! I have some ideas about how to make my piano videos more interesting, so stay tuned. My other video this month is another episode of Read React and Decide in which I select random books from the library, react to random lines from them, then decide which to read.

Book Club Mom is playing more Bach

New Episode of Read React Decide

I introduced two indie authors and published updates on two other indie authors this month. Make sure you stop by and read about their writing experiences!

J.Q. Rose

Heather J. Bennett

News from Leon Stevens

News from Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Miscellaneous posts

Thank you to these superstar commenters!

Books to relax with on Labor Day

Youngblood Hawke playlist on Spotify!

Blog Views and Other Obsessions – tentatively happy 🙂

Page to Screens I want to watch

Banned Books Week, challenges and bans

Free or For Free???

I hope you all had a great month. On to the next book!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Free or For Free???

I’ve been thinking a lot about which is correct: “free” or “for free.”  

Grammar Monster says “Strict grammarians will tell you that ‘for free’ is grammatically incorrect because ‘free’ is not a noun, and this means it cannot be preceded by ‘for’ (a preposition). In their view, something is ‘sold for nothing’ or is ‘sold free.’ However, through common usage, ‘for free’ has become acceptable.”

Collins Dictionary, My English Teacher, and StackExchange back this up. What do you think? Leave a comment!

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Banned Books Week, challenges and bans

We’re nearing the end of Banned Books Week, which runs through September 24 and celebrates the freedom to read. We’ve all heard of banned and challenged books, but what do those terms mean?

Challenges and bans explained:
A challenge is when there is an attempt to remove or restrict materials from a library, school or university. A ban is when the materials are removed. In spite of these attempts, the majority of challenged materials remain available, “thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.” (American Library Association)

What were the most challenged books in 2021?

Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe
Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison
All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson
Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
This Book is Gay by Juno Dawson
Beyond Magenta by Susan Kuklin

Why were they challenged? LGBTQIA+ content, sexually explicit, profanity, depictions of abuse, child sex abuse, use of derogatory terms, degrading to women and, for The Hate U Give, promotion of an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agenda.

I’ve only read two on the 2021 list, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian and The Bluest Eye.

What are the top banned and challenged classics?
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Ulysses by James Joyce
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
1984 by George Orwell
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Native Son by Richard Wright
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Women in Love by DH Lawrence
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Rabbit, Run by John Updike

I’ve read a bunch of these, but definitely not all. Seeing this list makes me want to go back and read the rest! You can read more about banned and challenged books here.

Have books ever been challenged or banned in your community? Leave a comment.

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Page to Screens I want to watch

Here are three excellent books that have been adapted to film. The first two were released in 2022 and the third comes out in 2023.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: Kya Clark is six years old when her mother walks out of the shack they call home. The falling-down structure is hidden in the marshes of North Carolina, outside the fictional coastal town of Barkley Cove, a place where racial tension and small-town prejudices are firmly in place. The shack is the only place the Clark family knows, where her father’s abusive rages have terrified Kya, her mother and her siblings. Soon her older siblings run, leaving only Kya and her father, who provides her with nothing but fear. And then one day it’s just Kya, known in town and shunned as the wild Marsh Girl.

The story begins in 1952 and jumps to 1969, when a young man named Chase Andrews has died. In alternating chapters, readers learn Kya’s story of survival and how she becomes part of the investigation into Chase’s death.

The 2022 film, directed by Olivia Newman, stars Daisy Edgar-Jones, Taylor John Smith and Harris Dickinson. Screenplay by Lucy Alibar. It’s currently in theaters is available on Prime Video.

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque: This is the story of World War I trench warfare and of Paul Baumer, a nineteen-year-old German soldier who has enlisted in the army. He and his schoolmates joined up at the recommendation of their schoolmaster and in short time must face the reality of a ruthless war. The novel mostly takes place on the front, where Paul and his comrades are fired upon and shelled and do the same to their French enemies in what becomes one of the most famous stalemates in history. Paul narrates his experiences and the deep bonds he develops with the men in his platoon, including the already close friendships with his boyhood friends and Albert Kropp, their superior.

The 2022 Netflix film, directed by Edward Berger, stars Daniel Brühl, Albrecht Schuch and Sebastian Hülk. Screenplay by Ian Stokell.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann: a true-crime account of a shameful period of American history in which members of the Osage tribe were murdered for the headrights to oil-rich land on their reservation in Oklahoma. David Grann tells this shocking story, including the investigation of the murders led by J. Edgar Hoover’s newly-formed Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The events in Killers of the Flower Moon depict a deep-seated racism against the Osage, in which the white business leaders and citizens of Gray Horse, Oklahoma pretended to befriend and help the Osage, only to kill them for their money. Killers of the Flower Moon is a thorough historical account of the Osage murders, but this is one story you won’t see in school history books.

This upcoming 2023 film, directed by Martin Scorsese, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Lily Gladstone. Screenplay by Eric Roth.

Have you watched Where the Crawdads Sing and/or All Quiet on the Western Front? Do you want to watch Killers of the Flower Moon? All three are on my list. Leave a comment and tell me what you think!

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Books to relax with on Labor Day

It’s Labor Day in the U.S., and a perfect time to relax with a book! Here are five I enjoyed. Maybe you will too!

The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman – I thoroughly enjoyed this story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife, who live alone on an island off Western Australia. They discover a boat that has washed ashore, carrying a dead man and a crying baby and their decisions on that day shape the rest of their lives.

Miss Emily by Nuala O’Connor – If you have ever wondered about the reclusive life of Emily Dickinson, you will enjoy this biographical novel about Dickinson and the accompanying fictional coming-of-age story about her young Irish maid.

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion – Associate Genetics Professor Don Tillman is an awkward single guy. He’s thirty-nine, has only a few friends, and is looking for a partner, what he calls the “Wife Problem.” I laughed all the way through this story!

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler – Can a house be a character in a book? Tyler’s twentieth novel incorporates the author’s favorite themes of family and relationships into a story about the family home where three generations have lived.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – A.J. Fikry is a prickly young widower and owner of a small island bookstore. Business is bad and his favorite book rep has been replaced by the quirky Amelia Loman. He’s lost, but at least he still has his rare edition of poetry by Edgar Allan Poe. Until it’s stolen. A charming tale about love, friendship and family.

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In case you missed them! BCM post recap August 2022

Hey Everyone,

In case you missed them, here’s a quick look at Book Club Mom’s posts in August.

I read five books this month, one up from my normal four.

Adrift: Seventy-Six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan – 5 stars. I’ve always liked survival stories and became totally engrossed in Steven Callahan’s first-hand account of how he survived for more than two months, alone in the North Atlantic.

Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards – 4.5 stars. This Young Adult thriller is just as good or better than many of the adult thrillers I’ve recently read!

Last Summer on State Street by Toya Wolfe – 4 stars. I was immediately affected when I listened to the audiobook of Toya Wolfe’s debut novel (published June 2022) about four young girls who live in the projects in Chicago and even more so when I learned that the author grew up in these projects.

The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex – 4 stars. This is a slow-burn atmospheric psychological drama that looks at the effects of isolation and separation.

The Party by Robyn Harding – 3.5 stars. About a month ago, I was getting a haircut and my stylist, knowing I have a book blog and work in a library, recommended this book, about a sweet sixteen party that went terribly wrong. I find books like this hard to resist and I wasn’t disappointed.

I made two YouTube videos and in one of them, I play the piano for you. I’m busy practicing and have a few more pieces that are almost ready to go.

RETRACTION!! Paperless announcement no good!

Book Club Mom is playing Bach!

I introduced two indie authors this month. Make sure you stop by
and read about their books and writing experiences!

Jacqueline Church Simonds

Jacqui Murray

Miscellaneous posts

First Novels by Famous Authors

BCM’s Touchy Topic Discussion: Should book bloggers rate books with stars or just review them?

Book on my radar: The Measure by Nikki Erlick

Grammar check: inbetween, in between, in-between or just plain between?

Book Club Mom’s Blog WOES and Other Obsessions

Thank you to these superstar commenters!

I hope you all had a great month. On to the next book!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Thank you to these superstar commenters!

These SUPERSTARS are awesome blog supporters. Stop by their sites to say hello and give them a follow!

Marian Beaman from Plain and Fancy

Robbie Cheadle from Roberta Writes

Noelle Granger from Sayling Away

Derrick J. Knight

Darlene Foster

Jacqui Murray from Word Dreams

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

Book on my radar: The Measure by Nikki Erlick

Here’s another book that was just recommended to me! Thank you to my book club friend S. The Measure by Nikki Erlick, is a recent pick from The Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club. I just reserved a copy from the library. The wait is about 23 weeks!

Here’s what it’s about (from Amazon):

“Eight ordinary people. One extraordinary choice.

It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out.

But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.

From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise?

As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?”

In case you’re wondering, based on some of my replies to comments on my recent post about book reviews: I haven’t read any of the reviews – I’ll wait until I finish and then I’ll look at them.

It’s always tricky reserving a popular book from the library because when it comes in, you’d better be ready to drop everything and read it, since you probably won’t be able to renew it. I have about six months to figure it out though!

Does this book look interesting to you? Leave a comment!

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BCM’s Touchy Topic Discussion: Should book bloggers rate books with stars or just review them?

Hi Everyone,

Book ratings: it’s a touchy topic! Should bloggers rate the books they read or should they just talk about them? Leave your opinion in the comments!

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