Wednesday, September 30, 2020

2020 Third Quarter Reading Update!!!

Dear Blog Readers, I  know I’ve been missing in action lately and not posting frequently to my blog since the end of August through September.... Or leaving comments on posts made by favorite bloggers lately. 

I’ve been experiencing an increase in pain due to my crps, so I have backed off writing and posting book reviews and reviews of recent virtual events I’ve attended, etc. the past six weeks or so.

I’m hoping to catch up on my book reviews soon. Hope you are all doing well and staying safe from COVID-19!

I set my 2020 Reading Goals on December 31st of 2019 as follows:
My goal is to read 52 books in 2020. All 52 books to be read will come from my current 'to be read' pile. No specific titles at this time have been decided upon. However, I do plan to read 13 books that I've acquired through Goodreads Giveaways, 13 books that I acquired prior to May 2014, and the 26 remaining books will be chosen at random from my 'tbr' pile... These could be books added  to my collection after May 2014, more of my older books acquired prior to May 2014, or more books I acquired through Goodreads Giveaways.
I've read 44 books so far this year.

Here's the break down of my reading so far in 2020.

Goodreads Giveaways books as follow:

1. Where the Lost Girls Go by R. J. Noonan
2. The Familiar Dark by Amy Engel
3. A Killer Kebab by Susannah Hardy
4. The H-Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness by Jill Filipovic
5. The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman
6. Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West
7. Ain't She A Peach by Molly Harper
8. The Real Lolita by Sarah Weinman
9. The Color of Air by Gail Tsukiyama 
10. Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Books read that were acquired prior to May 2014 as follows:

1. You Had Me at Woof: How Dogs Taught Me the Secrets of Happiness by Julie Klam
2. The Parrot Who Owns Me: The Story of a Relationship by Joanna Burger
3. The Haunting of Charles Dickens by Lewis Buzbee
4. The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
5. Black Water Rising by Attica Locke

Books read that were acquired May 2014 or later as follows:

1. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
2. The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson
3. The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
4. Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and BirutĂ© Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani
5. Letters From Skye by Jessica Brockmole
6. Smaller and Smaller Circles by F. H. Batacan
7. The Sellout by Paul Beatty
8. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
9. Becoming by Michelle Obama
10. The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates with Linda Schatz
11. Wayfaring Stranger by James Lee Burke
12. Dearly Depotted by Kate Collins
13. Snipped in the Bud by Kate Collins
14. Night of the Living Dandelion by Kate Collins
15. Conversations With Black: 13 People, 1 Body by Bill Puett, Ph.D.
16. Born A Crime by Trevor Noah
17. The Paper Magician by Charlie N Holmberg
18. Nothing More Dangerous by Allen Eskens
19. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
20. Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
21. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
22. The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull
Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer
24. George by Alex Gino 
25. Romanov by Nadine Brandes 

How is your year of reading going? I hope you have read many great books to date!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Top 12 Favorite Bookish/Reading Quotes!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader GirlTop Ten Tuesday was originally 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.

I have posted various bookish/reading quotes over the past 10+ years to my book blog. Here are some of my favorite quotes. Enjoy!!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull

I learned about The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull in July through BookClubbish as this novel was their August book club selection. I loved attending their online book club meet up in July via Facebook Live, so figured why not read their August book club selection?

I love reading historical fiction novels and The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull fit the bill in spades on this front. Also, the idea of reading a novel about the Windsors, Vanderbilts, and a royal scandal sounded intriguing to me. 

The Woman Before Wallis is Bryn Turnbull's debut novel. It's a really well written book and deeply engaging from start to finish. I truly enjoyed reading more about the life of Lady Thelma Furness. Lady Thelma Furness was kind of like the Kim Kardashian of her day... Famous for being famous. 

Lady Thelma Furness was an American who married and had a son with Lord Duke Furness. She later became the mistress of King Edward VIII while he was still the Prince of Wales, prior to his relationship to Wallis Simpson. 

In addition to that, Lady Thelma Furness's twin sister, Gloria, was married to Reggie Vanderbilt. Gloria Vanderbilt became the mother of 'Little Gloria' who was later to become a fashion designer and mother to Anderson Cooper. Gloria Vanderbilt (senior) later became embroiled in the infamous child custody of the 20th century, which ended in her losing custody of her daughter ‘Little Gloria’ to her sister-in-law.

The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull skillfully weaves these two stories together... And what an engaging story it is. In some ways it may seem like a love story between Lady Thelma Furness and the Prince of Wales, but is really a testimony of the love and loyalty between sisters.

Below is the plot summary for The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull from GoodReads:
This novel is the fictionalized story of the American divorcĂ©e who captured Prince Edward’s heart before he abdicated his throne for Wallis Simpson.

In the summer of 1926, when Thelma Morgan marries Viscount Duke Furness after a whirlwind romance, she’s immersed in a gilded world of extraordinary wealth and privilege. For Thelma, the daughter of an American diplomat, her new life as a member of the British aristocracy is like a fairy tale—even more so when her husband introduces her to Edward, Prince of Wales.

In a twist of fate, her marriage to Duke leads her to fall headlong into a love affair with Edward. But happiness is fleeting, and their love is threatened when Thelma’s sister, Gloria Morgan Vanderbilt, becomes embroiled in a scandal with far-reaching implications. As Thelma sails to New York to support Gloria, she leaves Edward in the hands of her trusted friend Wallis, never imagining the consequences that will follow.
I am giving The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!