Book Club Mom’s September 2020 recap

September was a fast month and now it’s officially fall, my favorite season! My reading was a little slow this month because I had to re-read a book for work (The Escape Room by Megan Goldin), however, I finished the month with two Young Adult books and a short story. New Who’s That Indie Author profiles and Author Updates are underway and I’m working my way through all the author submissions. It’s great to get to know these authors and learn about their books!


The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

The Year They Fell by David Kreizman

The Raft by S. A. Bodeen

“The Walk with Elizanne” by John Updike

Who’s That Indie Author?

Richard Fulco
Gerald Yeung

Author Updates

Noelle A. Granger
Joanne Kukanza Easley


Look at these cool bookish wall tapestries!


Happy National Punctuation Day!
New Review of Encounters: Relationships in Conflict by Fred H Rohn

Hope you had a great month. Are you a fall person like me? Here’s a quick video of one of many feeding frenzies at our bird feeder!

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Book Club Mom’s August 2020 recap

August was a good summer month for me. A few socially distant day trips to the beach made these summer days seem like normal. We still have more days of summer ahead, but yesterday I spotted candy corn and mini pumpkins at the grocery store. Is anyone thinking about Halloween? I’m not!

Here’s a quick look at what I’ve been doing:

Book Reviews

Near Prospect Park by Lawrence H. Levy

Sadie by Courtney Summers

The Deadly Houses by Charlie Gallagher

It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way by Mary Rowen

Short reviews from 2013: The Fault in Our Stars, The Silent Wife and Old School

Miscellaneous posts

Book Club Mom’s recommended biographies and memoirs

Bloggers’ recommended biographies and memoirs

Last lines of my Top 15 Faves

Latest and greatest book lists

Blog views and other obsessions – random thoughts

Who’s That Indie Author – new interview questions and a new look!

Who’s That Indie Author? Robin Delnoce

I hope you’re all healthy and doing well – leave a comment with any news!

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Latest and greatest book lists

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I love looking at book lists – there are so many! Books to read before you die (never liked that phrase), books to read in a lifetime (that’s better), best books, essential books, books that changed the world, etc. And don’t forget the lists of award winners for the Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize, Man Booker Award, National Book Award, PEN/Faulkner Award – you get the idea.

Well today I found the list of all lists. The Greatest Books is made up of 128 book lists. Here’s how the website creator explains it:

This list is generated from 128 “best of” book lists from a variety of great sources. An algorithm is used to create a master list based on how many lists a particular book appears on. Some lists count more than others. I generally trust “best of all time” lists voted by authors and experts over user-generated lists. On the lists that are actually ranked, the book that is 1st counts a lot more than the book that’s 100th.

If you create an account, you can track the books you’ve read and those you want to read. There’s also a link to the website’s blog. One of the neat things is you can narrow your list to certain years from year 0 to present. You can also look at both fiction and nonfiction lists separately.

For fun, I searched for the Greatest Books from 1600 – 1700 and here’s what I got for the top three:

Here’s what I got for the Greatest Books from 2019 – 2020:I’m pretty impressed by this website. There’s some serious math involved in aggregating all these lists, don’t you think?

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Entrepreneurship Panel – Tues Aug 18

Hi Everyone,

Today I’m sharing a little bit of what I do at my library job. Libraries aren’t just about books. We have always had lots of programs for our library community. Now, because of the pandemic, we taken them online and they are open to all, without a library card.

I’m very excited about this program on entrepreneurship offering insights from small business owners. It’s an idea that has been in the works for a long time and now it’s finally happening. Maybe you’d be interested!

Thanks for considering! If you are interested, you can register here.

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Bloggers’ recommended biographies and memoirs

Last week I posted Book Club Mom’s recommended biographies and memoirs. I got some great suggestions in the comments, so I thought I’d share them here. Make sure to check out these bloggers’ websites too, a great group of friends offering a variety of posts about travel, adventure and ideas.

Natalie the Explorer

All of them are thought-provoking memoirs.

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger

Lucky Man by Michael J. Fox

Donna at Retirement Reflections

I love reading a full range of non-fiction, biographies and memoirs.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

A House in the Sky by Amanda Lindhout and Sara Corbett

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Rocket Girl by George D. Morgan

Jan M. Flynn

genre-bending memoirs

The Electric Woman by Tessa Fontaine

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr

Karen at Calabria: The Other Italy

…an amazing narrative. I read the earlier translation, not the later “Fatelessness,” which may also be good, but I can’t imagine any better than its predecessor.

Fateless/Fatelessness by Imre Kertész

Garden of Eden Blog by Susan Scott

 read ‘Educated’ – terrifying. As was ‘The Choice’ .. I had to put each down every now and then and take a breather.

The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Eger

Can you add more to the list?

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Note: apologies for the various sizes of book covers. I couldn’t get them to be the same and still look clear. I think that’s the classic editor telling me to move over to the new block editor 😉

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!

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

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.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

2020 Beach Reads

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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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