Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Tropes



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Feeling a bit embarrassed because I had no idea what a trope was until I looked it up. Sigh! I guess I can't know everything. This sounds like such a fun one.

Top Ten Favorite Tropes

  1. Treasure hunting - Often this involves historical fiction, but Karen White's The House on Tradd Street was a contemporary southern fiction novel with a ghost and the infamous Confederate treasure. 
  2. Fun occupations - Duffy Brown has two series which feature amateur sleuths with fun occupations. One runs a consignment shop and the other a bicycle shop. I've also read a cozy mystery where the main character was a real estate agent. 
  3. Small town romance - Those set during Christmas are my favorites, but often you find someone who has left home and returns after the death of a loved one and ends up falling in love and settling back into the hometown they had been so eager to leave.
  4. Opposites attract - Romances where the two main characters are polar opposites, but fall in love.
  5. Good versus evil - The Stand by Stephen King is the ultimate good versus evil story, but even if it is as simple as an awkward teenager facing a mean girl, it's fun to see how it turns out.
  6. Sympathetic villains - I don't believe people are born evil. Something happens to them. Stories where you get a glimpse into what happened in a villain's life to make them who they are now fascinate me.
  7. Coming of age - I've always loved stories where the character is coming into his own, making up his own mind, and deciding what to believe. 
  8. Family secrets - All families have them. Exploring them with book characters is great.
  9. Strong faith or rediscovering faith - I'm drawn to Amish fiction because of the strong faith displayed by the people in these communities. I also enjoy stories where a character might have come away from her faith, but through circumstances rediscovers that faith.
  10. Family drama - Maybe it is because I grew up around drama, but family drama--especially when the drama winds up with a reconciliation--makes for a great read. 

What are some of your favorite tropes? 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Book Review: You've Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman

If you are looking for an outrageously funny read, then the second book in the Class Mom series by Laurie Gelman is the perfect choice.

In You've Been Volunteered, Jen Dixon not only gets roped into being class mom again, she gets "volunteered" to help with a new safety project at school. She must balance these duties while trying to keep track of what Max is up to at school with the new kid, helping her daughters navigate adulthood, dealing with her ever absent husband, and finding a way to cope with her aging parents.

Are you tired yet? I sure am.

Though I didn't read the first Class Mom novel, You've Been Volunteered was the perfect light read for me to delve into. Jen is the person who is as bold as you wish you could be. Like any busy mom, she has a ton going on, but she might just surprise herself and the reader. There are more serious storylines running through the novel, which make the Dixon family feel very real.

Gelman has created a diverse cast of characters you enjoy spending time with. I'm eager to see what they are up to next. I'm sure it will be equally as hilarious.

Paperback
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company (July 23, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250222206
ISBN-13: 978-1250222206

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

For more tour stops visit http://lauriegelman.com/blogtour.html

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Aug 19



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

We are back in MA. So, the extra little vacation was nice--a little bit of rain, but still enjoyed the beach and spending time together. The drive home was a bit scary. While driving on 113 North, a car speeding the wrong way (southbound) at about 80 miles an hour drove down the lane next to us. Had to call the state police, hoping they caught up with him before he hurt himself or someone else. Really put the guardian angel to work that night.

Other than that little adventure, things went well. We enjoyed our time away, and now I can prepare for my mother-in-law to come stay with us for a while.

Finished these two while we were away:






I'm also reading this one:


I'll have a few more for reviews after that:




Then I really need to focus on these:



After that, I just want to pick something from the pile and read it because I can--no deadline, no have to finish it, no reason to read it other than that I want to.

How is your reading week shaping up? Anything good you've read that I should know about?

Monday, August 12, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Aug 12



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Hello from the Outer Banks. This is a picture I took from the beach this morning before 9 AM. This is the time to come--temperatures are more comfortable and no one is here. I really enjoyed the walk.


I finished this book yesterday. What a riot. My review will appear on August 19.


I'm starting this one today.


Next up are these ones.








That's it for me. What have you been reading?

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Redesigns I Loved/Hated - Aug 6



Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Glad to be participating in this week's Top Ten Tuesday. Book covers are so important to me. If I don't like a cover, it's likely I won't even read the blurb. Welcome to my list of:

Top Ten Cover Redesigns I Loved/Hated


A cover for Anne of Green Gables without the famous red-headed orphan on it? Banish the thought.



As much as Hedwig is a wonderful Harry Potter character, this cover for the digital release wasn't my cup of tea.


Interesting choice for the cover on the Kindle release of The Thorn Birds. I have the book with the 25th anniversary cover and the cover redesigned after Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward starred in the TV movie. I much prefer those covers to this one.


Not that I am a big fan of the book, but this cover kind of wigged me out when I read it in high school.



Talk about double creepy. It seems the longer Stephen King's novel It is around, the nastier and gorier the covers get. Give me the 1994 version with Georgie's paper boat floating own the street with only a hint of a claw peeking out from the sewer grate. 



This 2004 redesign of the first book in The Kent Family Chronicles series is at least as attractive as the 1974 cover of the version I read back in high school. They actually made three of these books into a TV miniseries. 


When the complete and uncut version of Stephen King's The Stand came out, I knew I wanted to read the 1100+ page novel about good versus evil. It took me a while, but I finished it. What a great cover to symbolize the battle that takes place between the two factions. 


This year's paperback cover of Top Ten is so much hipper than the one from the hardcover. 


Can't say I was a fan of this book in the 80s when they forced me to read it for my English class junior year, but I've always loved the cover because its puffy letters remind me of Schoolhouse Rock.


The 2011 paperback release of this novel definitely caught the eye. Great choice!


That's it from me. What are some cover redesigns you loved or hated?

Monday, August 5, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Aug 5



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organize yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

My, oh my. If real estate was always the way it was last week, I would run away. Plain ole' crazy stuff. I am earning next week's vacation.

Surprisingly, I've been able to read some. It is so good to be able to sit down and just unwind for an hour or two.

If you want to see my new arrivals, you can visit An Imperfect Christian Mom. As for what I am currently reading, here's the list:



I've been using this book for a project, so I'll be able to review it soon:



These ones are due for review next:





Then I hope to jump back into this:



That's it for me. What have you been reading?

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Book Review: Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey

With Becoming Marie Antoinette, author Juliet Grey provides a fascinating, riveting and well-researched account of the young woman from Austria who would become the last queen of France.

Becoming Marie Antoinette is the first book in a trilogy about Marie Antoinette. It follows Maria Antonia as she is molded and educated to become the dauphine of France all the way through to the death of King Louis XV, which lead to her and her husband Louis Auguste becoming king and queen of France.

In this richly detailed, well-researched novel, Grey shares her love of Marie Antoinette with the world. A story whose history we already know, this novel portrays a young woman who becomes her mother's puppet to advance political motives. Marie Antonia is a sympathetic character, made even more sympathetic when her husband chooses to spend more time hunting and forging than with his beautiful wife.

Admittedly, this book started off slow for me. As Marie Antoinette arrived in France and married Louis Auguste, however, the story of her challenge to fit in and be accepted and find love with a distant and self-conscious man, drew me in. From that moment, the pages turned rapidly.

It was nice to see this book end on a positive note considering the sequel will cover somber and more tumultuous years in their reign. I would definitely read the next two installments of this trilogy.


Series: Marie Antoinette (Book 1)
Paperback: 466 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books; Original edition (August 9, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345523865
ISBN-13: 978-0345523860

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.