Wednesday, 27 December 2017

10 Excellent Books I Read This Year

Tis the season for "Top 10" book posts, and it's. so. hard! I give you top five in different genres...or my top ten that weren't actually published in 2017....or here are a few I didn't get a chance to read yet but I know are's all just too much pressure!!!

So, I've played around with this list for weeks. Books have been added, removed, added back again, and combined so I can cheat and add more books.

Are these my top ten best, favourite, most fantastic books I read this year? I honestly don't know. Are these ten amazing books I read this year? Absolutely.

Here we go!

Beartown by Fredrick Backman - A powerful novel about how a horrific event in a small town changes a hockey team forever. It's a departure in genre from Backman's other work, but still an absolute winner.

Goodnight From London by Jennifer Robson - Jennifer Robson is one of my favourite authors. Her 2017 release was about a female journalist during WWII. You can read my full review here.

A Court of Thorns and Roses Trilogy by Sarah J. Maas - I'm including all three books because I read this whole trilogy this year and loved it. This trilogy of books begins as a beauty and the beast retelling but then ventures off with the very best world-building and the most swoon-worthy characters. Also, can I include Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series? I know that's super cheating, but they were also some of my favourite reads this year :)

Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter and Me by Lorilee Craker - This is a charming true story that weaves together the author's passion for Anne of Green Gables, her own adoption story, and the adoption story of her daughter. You can read my full review here.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid - This was a captivating story of life a glamours Hollywood actress and her seven husbands. The writing was so good, it almost felt like a true story!

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - A quick and powerful read about being and raising strong women.

Confessions of a Domestic Failure by Bunmi Laditan - A hilarious take on the outrageous expectations put on new moms. Laugh out loud funny!

A Newfoundlander in Canada by Alan Doyle - Doyle's second memoir is full of stories from the early days of his band, Great Big Sea, as they toured throughout Canada. I'm a huge fan of his music, so this was a really amazing read for me. You can see my full review here.

Cuffed by K. Bromberg - I read a lot of romance, so I wanted to include one on this list. Cuffed was super sexy and had a plot line with substance, so it wasn't just a simple/fluffy read.

The Unofficial Guide to Surviving Life With Boys  - I know this is probably also cheating, since I'm one of the authors in this book, but I love this anthology with all my heart, and I think any mama will enjoy these stories from the trenches. Read more about this book here.

Did you read anything outstanding this year? Let me know!


Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Miss You by Kate Eberlen - Book Review

I'm squeezing one last book review in for 2017! Miss You is the debut novel from Kate Eberlen. It tells the story of Tess and Gus. They initially meet briefly when they are 18 years old and on holidays in Florence with friends and family. Then, over the next 16 years, their lives indirectly intersect many times.

At first glance, Tess and Gus are each in a tough spot. Gus is living in the shadow of his perfect older brother's death, and Tess is raising her 5 year old sister almost entirely on her own.

Will fate allow these start-crossed lovers to ever properly meet? And if they do, will they actually live happily ever after?

I've said this before, but I really enjoy stories that are told from dual points of view. That structure in a novel really keeps me interested.

There is much tragedy that befalls both Tess and Gus, and at times it was actually hard for my mama-heart to read. That being said, I just had to know how their story would come together. Wondering how their paths would cross next kept me engaged and reading.

If I had any critique at all, it is that I wanted more in the end. I wasn't finished with these characters. Maybe I just want a sequel??

I loved Kate Eberlen's clever and witty writing, and I look forward to reading more from this author. You can connect with Kate Eberlen on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.

Anyone who loved the movies Serendipity or Sliding Doors will absolutely enjoy reading Miss You.


Disclaimer - I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher, HarperCollins Canada. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.

Monday, 18 December 2017

5 Wonderful Authors I Discovered in 2017

One of my favourite things about reading and book blogging is discovering new authors. Sometimes they are debut authors, but more often than not I'm late to the party, and I'm just now learning about authors that have already published many great novels.

Here are five authors I discovered this year, a bit about them, what books I've read so far, and what I hope to read next.

K. Bromberg - K. Bromberg writes steamy contemporary romance novels. I discovered her when I picked up Sweet Cheeks at Turn the Page Bookstore (heaven for romance readers). I also just finished Cuffed, and I loved them both so much! Next, I'm planning on reading her Driven series.

Hazel Gaynor - Hazel Gaynor writes beautiful historical fiction. I discovered her when I reviewed The Cottingley Secret this summer. I loved this magical story, and I loved her writing. Next I'm planning on reading The Girl Who Came Home.

Sarah J. Maas - Sarah J. Maas writes teen (but it's really adult) fantasy. I read both her Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series this year. They were so much fun! Sarah J. Maas has four books being published next year, including the DC Icons Catwoman retelling. I can't wait to read them all!

Liv Constantine - Liv Constantine is a debut author (actually two authors, sisters Lynne and Valerie), and I discovered them when I reviewed their book The Last Mrs. Parrish. I loved this take on the domestic psychological triller genre. Plus, The Last Mrs. Parrish was just selected as Reese Witherspoon's latest book club pick! I don't know what they're planning next, but I would totally read another book by these two.

Maisey Yates - Maisey Yates writes funny and swoon-worthy romance. The ones I've read so far have all be set in small towns, which I love. This year I read and reviewed both Slow Burn Cowboy and Christmastime Cowboy. Currently sitting next to read on my bookshelf from her are Part Time Cowboy, The Prince's Pregnant Mistress, and The Last Di Sione Claims His Prize.

And while I didn't write a post about it, I'd say my favourite authors I discovered in 2016 were Sarah Addison Allen, Bella Andre, Sarah Morgan, Eleanor Brown, and Neil Gaiman.

Did you discover any new-to-you authors this year?


Monday, 4 December 2017

12 Christmas Books to Read in December

Last year I really got into seasonal reading, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my favourite Christmas novels. Many of these I've read and loved while others are on my TBR pile, but they will each be sure to get you into the holiday spirit!

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak - A family is quarantined together over Christmas. Secrets are revealed. Drama and hilarity ensue.

The Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb - A couple separated by war in 1914 write letters to each other. How will fate treat them as the war comes to an end?

Christmastime Cowboy by Maisey Yates - A second-chance holiday romance set in a small town winery at Christmas. Read my full review here.

The Christmas Bridge by Elyse Douglas - A young widow travels to NYC near Christmas. She wonders about meeting up with a lover from 20 years ago, but a chance encounter changes everything. Read my full review here.

The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman - A poignant novella about the broken relationship between a father and his son. (I haven't read this yet, but I love Fredrik Backman.)

Miracle on 5th Avenue, Sleigh Bells in the Snow, and Maybe This Christmas by Sarah Morgan - Sarah Morgan is my favourite Christmas romance author. Her books are the perfect amount of sexy and sweet. I couldn't just pick one of her books, so I'm including all three! See my review of Miracle on 5th Avenue here.

Christmas at Tiffany's by Karen Swan - A young woman coming out of a disastrous marriage travels to London, Paris, and NYC to find her feet again and discover what's next for her in life...and in love.

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig - Sebastian and I are currently reading this together.  A humorous and heartfelt tale about the original story of Santa. Perfect for fans of Roald Dahl.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson - I grew up reading this short novel with my mom, and it is hilarious! Imagine "Children Gone Wild" mixed with organizing a Christmas pageant. A very fun read!

Dashing Through the Stars by Celia Kyle - A fantasy/sci-fi romance novella that is part of the Ujal series. I got this as a bit of a gag gift, but it is a quick, fun, festive read!