Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Book Blogs/Bookish Websites

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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.

The rules are simple:

  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
  • Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
  • Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
  • Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

We are just now joining in on the Top Ten Tuesday and this is our first post.  This week’s Top Ten topic Favourite Book Blogs/Bookish Websites.

Of course, when I saw this topic I knew I had to join in.  Norma and I have a love for sharing and a big part of our blog is sharing reviews and links to our Traveling Sisters reviews.  We recently have started a weekly post to share links to bloggers reviews.

We have so many favorite blogs we follow so this is tough to pick our top ten but here we go here with some of our Top Ten Favourite Book Blogs/Bookish Websites.

I just love Danielle’s discussion posts at Books Vertigo and Tea.  I have learned so much about blogging from her discussion posts.  Her posts are interesting and spark some great discussions.

I love the look of Carol’s blog Bookaria and love the photos of the books she adds.   Her blog is so bright and inviting to read her great reviews.  Carol is a Traveling Sister.

Ann Marie at Lit Wit Wine Dine  We really enjoy Anne Marie’s style of blogging and enjoy reading her posts.  She makes us smile with the energy her blog radiates.

We love reading Nicki’s memes at Secret Library Book Blog  She posts a few of my favorite posts like Links I’ve Enjoyed this Week, WWW Wednesdays and I love reading her reviews.

Lynne at Fictionophile was one of the first bloggers we started following and who first started supporting us.  Norma and I had no idea what we were doing or what we should be doing to grow our blog.  It was so nice to see all those likes on our posts from Lynne.  It took us a bit to figure out we wanted to grow our blog by connecting with bloggers.  We are a little slow sometimes.  lol Lynne reviews crime fiction, author interviews, mystery series, cover, love, bookish thoughts…

Another one of our Traveling Sisters who regularly reads with us Mackenzie at PhDiva  I love her well thought out reviews and she likes to dig deep into books like I do.  Mackenzie mostly sticks to Thrillers.

Carla at Carla Loves To Read.  I can’t even begin to say how many times Carla has brightened our day with all her likes and comments on our blog.  Her reviews are fun and exciting.  She reviews many different types of genres from children books to Thrillers.

Deanna at Dee’s Rad Reads and Reviews was one of the first friends on Goodreads we connected and interacted with and she was one of the first bloggers to inspire Norma to start a new blog.  We always enjoy reading all Deanna’s posts.  She has some variety to the posts she does and mostly gravitates to reviewing Thrillers.

Marija at Inside My Library Mind We really like her style and find her posts and blogs very interesting. She mainly reads Literary fiction and Fantasy.

We always look forward to Tina’s posts from Reading Between The Pages and love her reviews.  She always makes us smile with all her support and sharing she does. She mostly reviews mystery/thrillers and historical fiction but will sprinkle in other genres in between.

So many bloggers we would like to add but we better stick to Ten and continue our Travels throughout our day!

Ok going to sneak in one more because she is a Traveling Sister and so many of her reviews are Traveling Sisters’ reviews so I think I can get away with sneaking her in. Marialyce at Yaya_reads

We are excited to see more Favorite Book Blogs/Bookish Websites to add to our list of blogs to follow.  We hope you enjoy or will enjoy in the future some of our Favorite blogs.

Last Week / This Week in a Coulee #travelingsistersread #travelingfriendsread #BookReview

What We Finished

Sister of MineSister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

Norma and I read Sister of Mine with Mackenzie and Berit.  We all really enjoyed this story of two sisters.  It seemed like the perfect book for Norma and I.  Norma has often referred to me as “That Sister of Mine”.  Now our relationship is nothing like this complicated relationship between these sisters though.  We are boring compared to them.

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

We all thought this was a fast-paced, entertaining, and easy read that focused more on the suspense and these characters to move this well-written story forward.

WHO WE RECOMMEND IT TO:

We recommend to everyone looking for some good storytelling that doesn’t rely on any shocking twists to make for an interesting and fun story.

Our New Overall Review Rating Scale (broken down with a rating for each category)

5 out of 5 for a safe, easy, quick, and light read with a little bit of darkness

4 out of 5 for depth and complexity

4 out of 5 for character development

5 out of 5 for a well-written suspenseful story

Our reviews

Mackenzie’s review

Our HouseOur House by Louise Candlish

I read Our House with seven of my Traveling Sisters and we were split on how we felt about this one.

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

Some of us really enjoyed the unique premise of this story and really enjoyed the twists to this one.  The rest of us found it a bit slow and some actions of the character just didn’t add up for them.

WHO WE RECOMMEND IT TO:

I recommend this Domestic Suspense Thriller to readers who are looking for a safer yet different angle to a thriller with a touch of drama.

Overall Review Rating Scale 

5 out of 5 for a safe, easy, quick, and light read 

4 out of 5 for depth and complexity

4 out of 5 for character development

 Brenda and Lindsay’s review

Our Traveling blogger Sisters

Debra’s review

Carol’s review

Our Traveling Sisters reviews on Goodreads

ChristinaDianeRose

Our Homesick SongsOur Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper

Lindsay and I read Our Homesick Songs with three of our Traveling Sisters. Reading this one together and discussing it really enhanced our reading experience.

WHAT WE THOUGHT:

Overall, we all really enjoyed this unique, slow-paced, magical and charming story.  It does take some patience and focus to appreciate the magic and charm to this story.  For Lindsay, she struggled with connecting to the atmosphere of the story and the way the story was written.  It made it hard for her to connect to the story.

WHO WE RECOMMEND IT TO:

I recommend to readers looking for something different here in a story where the focus is on connecting with the characters through the setting and the elements to the story.

Brenda and Christina’s review

Marialyce’s review

Diane’s review on Goodreads

Something in the WaterSomething in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Norma read Something in the Water with eight of our Traveling Friends and there were definitely some different views here on this story. This one made for a very interesting discussion and there were a few different views discussed.

WHO WE RECOMMEND IT TO:

Even though Something in The Water left a few friends rating this one lower, it really made for a fun and interesting group read.  We highly recommend for reading groups.  There is a lot going on here with this one to discuss.

Overall Review Rating Scale 

4 out of 5 for a safe, easy, quick, and light read with a little bit of darkness

4 out of 5 for depth and complexity

3 out of 5 for character development

 Norma’s Review

For our Traveling Sisters’ reviews on Goodreads:

Kaceey  Rose

Leave No TraceLeave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

Norma read Leave No Trace on her own this week because there were a few books that we were reading that she didn’t have.  So she snuck in a couple of books from her NetGalley shelf.

WHAT NORMA THOUGHT:

Norma read Mindy Mejia’s first novel Everything You Want Me To Be and really enjoyed it so she was happy to dive into Leave No Trace.  She found it to have an enjoyable and suspenseful storyline with a captivating setting and characters.

WHO WE RECOMMEND IT TO:

Anyone who enjoys an unputdownable psychological thriller with well-developed characters and a unique premise but you will need to be able to suspend disbelief here though.

Overall Review Rating Scale 

5 out of 5 for an easy, quick, and light read with a little bit of darkness

4 out of 5 for depth and complexity

4 out of 5 for character development

3 out of 5 for believability

Norma’s Review

Harry's TreesHarry’s Trees by Jon Cohen

Harry’s Trees is another one that Norma read on her own this week.

WHAT NORMA THOUGHT:

Norma was totally lost in the imagery of this endearing, fabulously and magically written novel!

WHO WE RECOMMEND IT TO:

Anyone who enjoys a magical story with a bit of a fairy tale incorporated into it but with a strong dose of reality.

Overall Review Rating Scale 

5 out of 5 for a safe, easy, quick, and light read with a little bit of darkness

5 out of 5 for depth and complexity

5 out of 5 for character development

Norma’s Review

What we have starting this week:

Not Her DaughterNot Her Daughter by Rea Frey

 

 

 

 

The Air You BreatheThe Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles

 

 

 

 

The Word Is MurderThe Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Our Homesick Songs by Emma Hooper #travelingsistersread #BookReview

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Our Homesick Songs
by Emma Hooper

Brenda’s review

Lindsay and I read Our Homesick Songs with three of our Traveling Sisters and we all ended up in the same coulee with this one except for Lindsay who was left feeling this was not the right choice for her.

I instantly connected to the setting in this story as I am Canadian and familiar with both settings in this story. I love the feeling I got while reading this story and it reminded me of that haunting and mysterious the sea can be and I often wonder what secrets it holds. In this story, one of the secrets the sea holds is the mystery to the fish that disappear leaving a small town devastated and desperate as they are left with no industry.

There are some connections to some Canadian history here. In 1992 there was a collapse in the cod fishing industry and Canada declared a moratorium, ending the region’s 500-year run with the Northern Cod due to overfishing. This left the fishing industry and communities devastated.

There is something mystical and charming to this story that had us loving how the music, atmosphere, and environment came to life and became like characters for us.

This is a slow paced story that might not be for every reader. The story is told in a such a lyrical way and there is no quotation. For Lindsay, she struggled with connecting to the characters and this story.

I recommend to readers looking for something different here in a story where the focus is on connecting with the characters through the setting and the elements to the story

Thank you to NetGalley, Simon & Schuster and Emma Hooper for a copy to read and review.

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Christina’s review

This is the story of a family: Aiden, Martha and their children Cora and Finn and the dying fishing town of Big Running. As the town and fishing situation grows more desperate Aiden and Martha are forced to work inland and away from their children in alternating months. Their love for their town and their family never wavers, but the distance grows difficult for everyone.

Finn, the youngest child, feels desperate for his home and for his family. As houses are abandoned, neighbors move away and life as he knows it crumbles beneath him this desperation only grows. Finn seeks solace in his accordion teacher Mrs.Callaghan’s stories, songs and tales.

This novel is steeped in magical realism, lyrical writing and quiet contemplation. Vivid detail and attention is given to the environment of Big Running. At first, I struggled to connect to this story and these characters but as I read on I realized I’d gotten the entire thing wrong. Aiden, Martha, Cora and Finn weren’t the characters we were supposed to be connecting to. Hooper was much too clever for that – the environment, the town, hope and desperation were the characters driving this story.

Music plays an incredible role here and that is evident not only in writing style but in the content of the story. There are songs that date back centuries for this village that are discussed and contemplated over. These are melancholy songs, happy songs, sad songs, songs for lost loved ones, lost hopes and found dreams – they are homesick songs.

Because everyone did. Everyone believed, everyone knew, that mermaids were the sea-dead, singing their love back to you. If it wasn’t too loud with rain or waves, you could hear them in the wind, most nights.

This switches between two time periods – the “present” (what we are given as to be happening now, but is actually 1993) and the past showing us the backstory of Martha and Aiden. I found their love story to be effortlessly charming and heartwarming. I really enjoyed being a part of their struggles and triumphs and that proposal! *swooning*

In the end, this loses 1.5 stars for me because the stylistic choices Hooper made were not my personal favorite. The conversations were a bit choppy for me and there was not a lot of distinguishing between conversation and story progression. It was a very simplistic style format that didn’t speak to me personally, but I think could appeal to someone who maybe has a bit more literary prowess than I do!

While there were some things that weren’t my personal cup of tea and family sagas are not normally what I’m drawn to I think anyone with an appreciation for language would enjoy this.

Finn lifted his accordion and stepped into the water, feet cold on wet stone. He walked out through the low waves and the others followed until they were all up to their knees. OK, said Finn,

and he took a deep breath

and Aiden took a deep breath

and Martha held out the phone

and Sophie lifted her beater

and Richard put his mouth to his horn

and Mrs.Callaghan pulled open her bellows

and Cora lifted her bow

and the stars shone down

and the green lights shone up

and the flags pulled and pulled in the wind

and all around them in the water,

the water,

the water

was dark and empty and waiting.

ready.

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this ARC.

Have you read Our Homesick Songs?  Have we convinced you to add it to your list?  We would love to hear from you!  Drop us a comment!

Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia #travelingsistersread #BookReview #NetGalley


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Leave No Trace by Mindy Mejia

Norma’s Review

My initial impression when I first started reading LEAVE NO TRACE by MINDY MEJIA was that it was an extremely compelling tale and I was totally intrigued in discovering all the multiple layered mysteries that this book had to offer. I found the storyline to be quite interesting and unique but I struggled a little bit with some of the main characters, Maya’s choices that she made and her motivations. Which later did hinder with my feelings and initial impression of this book.

I thought this book was very good and definitely had some interesting aspects to it which had me flying through those pages but it didn’t really have me totally engaged while I was reading it though. I was interested in finding out all the details of the mysteries and appreciated all the twists and turns this book had to offer, although I wouldn’t necessarily say that anything really surprised me though. I will say though that there was one reveal that totally took me by surprise!

MINDY MEJIA delivers a suspenseful, well-written and atmospheric read here with a great setting and captivating characters. I was totally captivated by Lucas’s character and a few of the other secondary characters as well as the wilderness setting of the Boundary Waters.

Even though I had some reservations with some of the choices that Maya made, I couldn’t really fault her for some of those decisions without actually experiencing or being in the same situation as her, so the unbelievable or unrealistic aspect to the story didn’t and usually doesn’t bother me.

I really like Mindy Mejia’s writing style and I really think she is a talented author. The haunting cover I found to be quite appealing and a good representation to this enjoyable read! Would recommend!

Publishing Date: September 4, 2018

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Atria/Emily Bestler Books and Mindy Mejia for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the book in exchange for a review!

 

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya & Elizabeth Weil

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The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After
by Clemantine Wamariya

Review by Brenda

I don’t normally read biographies and seems to shy away from them but with all the high rating and reviews from my Traveling Sisters and Friends I finally along with Susanne dived into this one. I am really glad I did.

I went into this one not knowing much about the Rwandan genocide and Clemantine Wamariya really opened my eyes up to the reality of these horrific events and what it was like escaping those events. The story goes back and forth in time and at times I found it confusing and I struggled a bit with following the story. A good part of the story is Clementine and her sister’s journey, struggles and how they adapted from one environment to other. I could feel their struggles to stay alive, fight to stay clean and healthy and never giving up on that even when she was so tired of it all.

I really appreciated how open and honest the story was written and I could feel Clementine’s anger and bitterness as she tried to escape her past never looking for sympathy but just wanting to find her place and feel and be treated like a human after witnessing such inhuman cruelty and conditions.

I highly recommend this very emotionally and honest story of two sisters struggling to find their way through such horrible conditions from refugee camp to another and finally come to be reunited with their parents.

Thank you to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for a copy to read and review

 

Traveling Sisters One Year Anniversary $30.00 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway Raffle

Brenda & I are celebrating our one year anniversary reading with our Goodreads Traveling Sisters Group with a $30.00 Amazon Gift Card GIVEAWAY RAFFLE! 🌟🌟🌟

We feel so lucky to be able to read and share our love of books with such a wonderful group of ladies – our ‘Sisters’ who we have come to know and look forward to reading and chatting with everyday! We thank each and everyone of you from the bottom of our hearts. You all are very special to us!!! 💕💜💕

Click here to enter giveaway on Instagram

Join The Traveling Book Bloggers and links that caught your eye!

Is there a link that caught your eye recently you would like to share or if you are a Book Blogger would you like to be part of a new group Norma and I are starting, The Traveling Book Bloggers?

Since a big part of what Norma and I do is bringing people together and sharing our love of reading and because my mind never stops coming up with new ideas.  I think I just now figuring out why I am so tired at night and fall asleep reading. lol.  Norma and I have decided to start a weekly post sharing your reviews as bloggers and we are calling it The Traveling Bloggers.

You can be part of the Traveling Book Bloggers in two ways.   All you need to do is let us know below by adding your link to your blog in the comment section below and Norma and I will pick a review that caught our eye from your blog and do a weekly post sharing links.  Or you can add a link in the comment section to a post that caught your eye and we will add it to our weekly post. At the end of the week, we will do a new post updating the new links to the post that caught our eye from your blog and links that caught your eye.

Please don’t be shy, we love to share and I think I have become a little obsessed with it.  We look forward to future links to share.  To keep the love going at the end of the week please reblog, like or tweet our post with the links.  That will leave Norma and I dancing in a Coulee.

Thank you in advance for participating in The Traveling Book Bloggers. We look forward to reading and sharing many posts to come.

 

 

Links That Caught Our Eye Through Our Book Travels

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Since so much of our blog is about sharing different views and reviews from The Traveling Sisters and Traveling Friends Reading Group experiences,  we thought we would start a post sharing links we have enjoyed along our book travels through the many blogs that we follow.   The idea to share links came from  Kaila The Traveling Inkwell.  Kaila was inspired by  Zuky @ BookBum and Novels and Nonfiction.

I really enjoyed reading Zuky’s Favourite Reviews of the Week / 11th August.  Thank you Zuky for sharing our link to our review for Sister of Mine.

The Links that recently caught our eye

In a Coulee

Marialyce’s wonderful review for our Traveling Sisters Group read  Our Homesick Song by Emma Hooper

I have not quite finished this one but wanted to give a sneak peek into our discussion by Debra’s review for With you Always

Mackenzie’s PhDiva  Our House by Louise Candlish

On My Book Travels

Amy from Novelgossip has me wanting to jump into The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

I was excited to see two reviews for an upcoming Traveling Sisters Group read and now I am even more excited for the group read.

Nicki, The Secret Library The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarehas

Zuky led me to Inside my Library Mind where I found Marija’s review for The Psychology of Time Travel by Kate Mascarenhas

Zoe , What is Better Than Books?  Foe by Ian

Annie The Misstery has convinced me to read Barb Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe which has been sitting on my NetGalley Shelve for quite some time now

Wind-ups, updates and weeks in reviews are my favorite posts to read to see what you have been reading or will be reading.  The links that caught my eye.

Paula, Book Jotter Winding up the Week 30 

Jo’s Book Blog  Week in Books

So many more we would like to add, but I guess we need to continue our Travels though our day!!!  Be back next week for more links that caught our eye!!!

From the blog post to follow this one. Which is before this one on blog!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou #travelingsistersread #BookReview @lauriepetrou @crookedlanebks

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Sister of Mine
by Laurie Petrou

Brenda’s Review

I do have to start off by commenting on the title like Norma did. I love the title and every time I think of the title I think of Norma calling me That Sister of Mine. Which she did quite regularly. So when I saw this title I knew we had to read it.

Well, let me just say that’s where any similarity to this story ended. These sisters and their dynamics and complicated relationship is nothing like my boring relationship with Norma. Thank goodness!

When we first meet the sisters Penny and Hattie we were drawn into their bond to protect each other and soon the tensions rises as we start to see just how complicated their relationship is. We start to see a secret that binds them and soon a competition between them sets in and things start to spiral for them.

Laurie Petrou does a fantastic job here creating the dynamics between Penny and Hattie and we were fascinated by their dynamics and couldn’t turn those pages fast enough to see how things turned out for them.

There is some good storytelling here that focuses on family ties, secrets and things that complicate and threaten relationships to move this story forward and not with any shocking twists and turns. Laurie Petrou’s writing and storytelling reminded me of the days when thrillers were more driven by suspense and you could rely on the storytelling over shock value.

We highly recommend Sister of Mine to anyone who likes a character-driven suspense domestic thriller that is light on the drama but high on complicated relationships.

Just some fun facts that Norma and I found interesting Sister of Mine was first published in Canada by HarperCollins and then sold in the US to Crooked Lane Books. The US version is slightly different due to some editing. Norma and I received physical copies from Crooked Lane Books.

Thank you so much to Sarah at Crooked Lane Books for sending me and that sister of mine a physical copy of this book.

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Norma’s Review

I absolutely love the title of this book and found it to be extremely fitting for this story and it reminded me of all the times that I have said “That sister of mine!” whether it be when I am a little annoyed with her or loving her at that time!  Also, what made this book extra special to read for me was reading it with my sister, Brenda!

SISTER OF MINE by LAURIE PETROU is an engaging, tense, and haunting domestic suspense novel about the bond and secrets shared by two sisters, Penny and Hattie.  Once I started reading this one I couldn’t put it down as I was totally committed and consumed in this story. I was intrigued in learning their secrets and was totally entertained with their love/hate relationship.  The underlying suspense that arises from this novel here is more for us readers to see if they can actually keep their secrets between the two of them. I really enjoyed this approach because it definitely kept me captivated right to the very end.

What really shined the most for me here was the creative way that Petrou delivered this story as she really made it an extremely interesting portrayal with the dynamics between Penny and Hattie.

I absolutely loved LAURIE PETROU’S unique style of voice here and her writing style which made this an extremely quick, enjoyable and entertaining read.  Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Sarah at Crooked Lane Books for sending me a physical copy of this book.

Have you had a chance to read Sister of Mine?  If not do you want to now?  Drop us a comment and let us know!

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