Posted in Book Musings

Random Book Musings: What are your Top 10 Favourite Books of 2018? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Hello everyone and Happy Thursday to you all!

I always have these random bookish questions that I’m curious about so I ask our Traveling Sisters a weekly (sometimes more) book related question. We thought it would be fun and interesting to take some of those questions to our blog and see what you all think or do. I hope that you will also join in on the discussion with us.

Norma’s random book question:

We would love to know some of your absolute favourite books that you have read in 2018. Whether it be a list of your top three, top 10 or just your #1 absolute favourite. What are some of your favourite reads of 2018? They don’t necessarily have to be books that were published in 2018 just any book that you have read and was a favourite or top read.

Norma’s Answer

Here are my 13 (baker’s dozen) favourite books that I have read and loved in 2018 in no particular order.

* Every Note Played by Lisa Genova
* The Past is Never by Tiffany Quay Tyson
* The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
* The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
* One Day in December by Josie Silver
* Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine
* Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent
* Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
* The Lightkeeper’s Daughters by Jean E. Pendziwol
* The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton
* Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
* A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
* Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier 

Brenda’s Answer
  • Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier 
  • One Day in December by Josie Silver
  • Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
  • A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
  • Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer
  • The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter by Hazel Gaynor
  • Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood
  • Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge
  • Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
  • Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson
Lindsay’s Answer

*Fallen Mountains by Kimi Cunningham Grant
*Lying In Wait by Liz Nugent
*The Lighthouse Keepers Daughter by Hazel Gaynor
*The Word Is Murder by Anthony Horowitz
*The Home For Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
*The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware
*The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon
*The Taster by V.S. Alexander
*Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer
*Need To Know by Karen Cleveland
*The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris 

Never Ending TBR Book Stack #1 ~ Do you have any of these to read? Which ones have you read and recommend to read sooner than later? Want to help us knock some of these off of our shelves?

Now to the best part. Your answers. Please join in our discussion and let us know your answer. We would love to hear from you!

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Posted in Reviews

Kelegeen by Eileen O’Finlan #BookReview #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Update: The author of this book, Eileen O’Finlan has some exciting news to share about this book. Please head on over to the link below to see what it is…..but here is a hint…..



KelegeenKelegeen by Eileen O’Finlan

Deeply affecting, utterly devastating & overwhelmingly sad!

Oh my goodness…..I don’t think a book has ever affected me and my emotions in the way that this one has. It was definitely an excellent read but a tough one that made me feel a little down and depressed, even finding it a little hard to shake that feeling while I was absorbed in this book.

KELEGEEN by EILEEN O’FINLAN is a haunting, shocking, emotional and heart-wrenching tale set in Ireland in 1846 during the potato famine. The amount of pain, sorrow and suffering was extremely tangible and absolutely devastating to read about. Only knowing minimal information about this part of history really affected and impacted me as a reader.

EILEEN O’FINLAN delivers an atmospheric, compelling and important read here that I am so glad that I read. Even though it was a difficult book for me to…

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Posted in Reviews

The Liar’s Room by Simon Lelic @BerkleyPub @Simon_Lelic #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Happy Publication Day!! The Liar’s Room by Simon Lelic is now available!

Norma’s Review

Gripping, suspenseful & an extremely relishing read!

THE LIAR’S ROOM by SIMON LELIC is an engaging, intense, mysterious and haunting psychological thriller novel that was quite the immersive and thrilling book to read. Right from the very beginning this book had me stumped and wondering who’s the liar here and what secrets are going to be uncovered, making this quite the compulsive page-turner. 

SIMON LELIC delivers an excellent, thought-provoking, entertaining and well-written read here with an intriguing murky storyline, a claustrophobic setting and compelling unreliable characters. (I absolutely love the voices of unreliable characters!) The intensity of the claustrophobic feeling definitely fills the reader with a sense of unease as the story progresses. 

There is definitely some highly emotional & heartbreaking scenes that definitely made this reader sit back to empathize, reflect and ponder along with these characters as well as made me think of what I would do in a similar situation.

I wouldn’t necessarily say this was a spine-tingling thriller as the blurb suggests but there was definitely this sense of impending doom that permeates the narrative to unsettle and rattle the reader. 

Brenda’s Review

One room, Two Liars, No escape till someone starts telling the truth. Are you intrigued yet?

What happens when you put two liars in a room together especially when they might be lying to themselves. Well, that made for an intense fast-past story here with our liars. I love the dialogue here that seemed like they were sparring with each other. I thought this lead to some very interesting dynamics between the characters. I was entertained yet pleasingly disturbed as the lies and secrets are revealed. What really made it interesting was the way they were exposed with the sparring going on between them. I highly recommend!

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Intriguing, unsettling, claustrophobic, suspenseful, foreboding, eye-catching and an extremely fitting representation to storyline. The cover and title of this book definitely piqued my interest and I was totally intrigued and fascinated in reading what happens in the room.
Title: I absolutely love the title and think it’s a fantastic representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, entertaining, engaging, fluid, believable and compelling dialogue.
Plot: Engrossing, suspenseful, palpable, interesting, complex, fast-paced, and entertaining. 
Ending: This is where the book lost a star from me. I would have liked a different ending for this one as the climax definitely left me feeling a little unsettled with the direction it took although I was totally satisfied with how the novel wrapped up though. I’m not sure if another ending would have worked out as well though. Maybe that uneasy and anxious feeling was the intended reaction! Hmmmm
Overall: An excellent and riveting read that had me totally absorbed within this tale right from the very start, thoroughly enjoying the escape! Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing and Simon Lelic for providing us with an ARC to read and review.

Have you read this one? Do you agree with the Traveling Sister? Want to read it? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!
Posted in Reviews

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield #travelingfriendsread #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook


Charming, atmospheric & lyrically written! 

This was an extremely hard review for me to write because my thoughts are so conflicted with how I actually feel upon finishing this book. I thought the storytelling and the writing was absolutely fantastic but I was never able to fully immerse myself in this tale though. At times I was finding myself a little bit bored with my mind wandering often and at other times I was excited and in awe of what I was reading. 

ONCE UPON A RIVER by DIANE SETTERFIELD is a magical and mysterious tale that takes you on a slow-moving and meandering journey that reminded me so much of a gothic fairy tale. Immediately upon starting this book there is this strong sense of folklore which I absolutely loved and found so appealing. 


I was never really able to fully stay within the flow of this novel though which was very frustrating for me. I do not by any means fault the author for my inability to stay fully focused on this tale though because I really think that I just don’t do well with a slow burn. There was so much that was so appealing and unique about this book that I should have absolutely loved.

This was definitely an enjoyable and entertaining read for me and it is one that I knew that I had to read. I am just a little disappointed that I didn’t LOVE this one more as I absolutely loved The Thirteenth Tale. I think if I didn’t have so many books on my plate right now and I was able to just relax and savor this story……I probably would have loved it. 

*This was a Traveling Friends Read*

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eye-catching, intriguing, whimsical, beautiful and a lovely representation to storyline. 
Title: An absolutely fabulous title that is extremely appealing and a wonderfully fitting representation to storyline and a homage to storytelling. 
Writing/Prose: Beautiful, elegant, lyrical, vividly descriptive, whimsical, well-written and fluid. 
Plot: Interesting, enchanting, suspenseful, folklore, intriguing, leisurely-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: Satisfying although I wish that I was able to slow down my thoughts while I was reading this book.
Overall: This lover of magical folklore would absolutely recommend this book!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Atria/Emily Bestler Books and Diane Setterfield for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this novel.

Goodreads Book Blurb:

A dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the Thames. The regulars are entertaining themselves by telling stories when the door bursts open on an injured stranger. In his arms is the drowned corpse of a little child.

Hours later the dead girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life.

Is it a miracle?

Is it magic?

Or can it be explained by science?

Replete with folklore, suspense and romance, as well as with the urgent scientific curiosity of the Darwinian age, Once Upon a River is as richly atmospheric as Setterfield’s bestseller The Thirteenth Tale

Have you read this one? Did you love it more than Norma did or have similar thoughts? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Au Pair by Emma Rous @BerkleyPub @EJRous #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

The Au Pair by Emma Rous is now available!

Happy Weekend Friends!! I hope you all are living the dream this weekend. You know the one that includes a book and wine!!

Norma’s review

Gripping, twisted & captivating!

THE AU PAIR by EMMA ROUS is an engaging, dark, mysterious and gothic tale of suspense that immediately piqued my interest and took me on a thrilling and bumpy roller coaster ride. I definitely found the premise of this book quite appealing and totally embraced the feel of this novel. I felt all those dips and curves while I was reading this story but then the ride took a drastic turn near the end to leave me feeling quite perplexed and spent. 

EMMA ROUS delivers an atmospheric, entertaining and well-written read here with a great mystery to unravel. I absolutely loved all of the many secrets and lies that there was to uncover along the way that definitely made this quite the page-turner. Even though I thought I had some of those secrets figured out there was absolutely no way that I was ever going to guess the actual reveal of the who and why.

The story is told in dual timelines by Seraphine (love that name) in the present and by Laura, the au pair from the past. I thoroughly enjoyed both timelines and perspectives equally.

Brenda’s review

The Au Pair started off strong for me with a few elements I love to see in a story. It has those entertaining and intriguing elements that keep me turning those pages as fast as I could. It had a gothic feel to it that added some tension and suspense for me. I was really enjoying the unique storyline here with the family secrets that left our main character Seraphine questioning who she was. Her search to find some answers left me questioning a few things in this story myself and I enjoyed trying to figure out those secrets. However, just after the halfway point, the story took a turn for me and it felt like all those elements I was enjoying became murky and muddled.

The ending left me convicted with my thoughts and I wished it had gone a bit better for me. I wish Emma Rous would have kept it simpler in the end.

Lindsay’s review

A gripping, atmospheric and jaw-dropping read!

This novel follows the Mayes family, whose history holds many secrets. Seraphine Mayes is grieving the death of her father. While helping to clear out her father’s vast estate, she stumbles across a photograph that leads to some unrelenting questions. Seraphine knows that on the day of her and her twin brother’s birth, their mother took her own life, leaving the family in complete devastation. She has always harboured countless questions about that time, never receiving explanation from her father or grandmother. Laura, the au pair living with the Mayes family during that time, fled that same day, never to be heard from again. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the unfolding of this engrossing mystery. The pace was perfect, the dual perspectives were excellent, the flow was seamless. I absolutely loved the “feel” of this story. It was a thrilling ride that had me itching to click on that 5 star rating, until the last 20% when the story lost some steam. There was too much drama at the end and I felt some storyline twists were over-the-top. I do recommend this novel as the writing, the characters and the atmosphere are all unforgettably exceptional, just be prepared for a lot happening at the conclusion. 

Thank you from all of us to Edelweiss, Berkley and Emma Rous for our copies to read and review

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Intriguing, gloomy and a fitting representation to storyline. I actually quite like the scenic artwork to the cover.
Title: The title immediately intrigued me and definitely enticed me to read this book. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, entertaining, and engaging. 
Plot: Engrossing, suspenseful, atmospheric, interesting, complex, fast-paced, and entertaining with some over-the-top elements.
Ending: Convoluted, dramatic and complicated that left me feeling a little blasé when everything was all revealed. 
Overall: Even though I was a little bit disappointed in the end it was still a worthwhile, pleasurable and entertaining read and I enjoyed the ride! Would recommend!

Have you read this one? Do you agree with the Traveling Sister? Want to read it? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Book Musings

Random Book Musings: Do you have any bookish goals for 2019? #travelingsistersread #BookBloggers

Hello everyone and Happy New Year to you all! I hope that everyone has a readiculously great 2019 in books!

I always have these random bookish questions that I’m curious about so I ask our Traveling Sisters a weekly (sometimes more) book related question. We thought it would be fun and interesting to take some of those questions to our blog and see what you all think or do. I hope that you will also join in on the discussion with us.

Norma’s random book question:

Here is my very first book musings question for 2019!

Do you have any specific bookish goals for 2019? Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions? Did you make your Goodreads 2018 Challenge and whereabouts did you set your challenge for 2019?

Norma’s 2019 Bookish Goals
1. Read 125 Books in 2019 (I surpassed my 2018 Reading Challenge of 115 books.)
2. Remember reading is my passion and don’t lose sight of that!
3. Be more organized when it comes to blogging.
4. Review books right after or soon after finishing them or else I forget and it will not get done.
5. Plan, organize & accomplish! (All platforms)

I might be back with more goals as I am sure I have more! LOL

Yes, I made a New Year’s Resolution this year and I should be able to master this one. I better anyway! LOL

So I used to be a smoker and started smoking when I was 16 years old – quit through my pregnancies and started up again. I quit for good when I was 25 years old and quit for 20 years then I had a really stressful and hard year a few years back and started smoking again. I smoked for 3 years and quit to vaping. I vaped for 2 years and on January 1st, 2019 I decided to quit cold turkey. I have had a few notions that I need it but I am proud to say that I am tackling those cravings successfully! It is still early days but I am convinced that I am done and don’t want to do it anymore!

Brenda’s 2019 Bookish Goals

I set a goal for 152 books last year and I read 156. I made my goal a bit less this year and set it for 125 books.

My goal is to read a little less this year. I should be spending some more time at home with my husband hopefully this year. He is a little needy of my time and that leaves less time in my reading world and spending more time at home means more things that need to be done and less reading. lol .

I do like a little chaos in my reading world and I have a lot going on in that world. However, I need to be more organized so everyone else knows what is going on. I plan on doing less group reads this year so we can focus more on each. Which means less books on my shelves. Often we can’t keep up. My plan is to get our group reads organized a month in advance and clearly post on our platforms so it’s easier for friends to know what we have going on and where. I am already behind on that. lol

I really need to work on my fear of missing a good book and try to simplify the number of books I receive, request and buy. My goal this year is to focus on a couple publishers we enjoy working with and control that fear of missing out.

I am really looking forward to seeing your bookish goals.

Lindsay’s 2019 Bookish Goals

I surpassed my goal of reading 100 books in 2018 and set the same 100 book goal for 2019. No other goals or resolutions for me this year. Looking forward to many wonderful reads in 2019 with all of you!! 💗

One of our favorite Instagram pics this week. Are you excited to read or wanting to read these ones?

Now to the best part. Your answers. Please join in our discussion and let us know your answer. We would love to hear from you!

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