Book Friends 2021

     Below are some of my favorite books I’ve read over the last few months.  Unlike previous book posts, I do not have links to Amazon where you can buy them easily.    I read recently that a bookstore owner said  he would be out of business in six days if he sold his books for the same price Amazon does.  So I’m encouraging you to shop local and small or get these books at the library.    I know this will cost you more, but I feel like the need to support our small business owners is more important now than ever.  Happy reading!

The Inheritance  by Tamera Alexander

A compelling story of a young woman, McKenna, responsible for her rebellious younger brother after their parent’s death.  Moving to Colorado to escape their past, they are met with more unforeseeable hardships.  McKenna makes an unlikely friend with a Chinese woman and a U.S. Marshal struggling with his hurtful past too.  Trying to support herself and family, McKenna struggles to be independent and also receive the help she so desperately needs and wants.  A touching tale of life in the Rocky Mountains during 1877.  I enjoyed this book more than I ever  thought I would and will be reading more from this new author.

That Certain Summer by Irene Hannon

A manipulative, mean, ailing  mother and two sisters who come together for  one summer to help sets the scene for this book.  One daughter who appears to have it all together and the other going through a painful divorce with a heartbroken daughter.  Both sisters reveal past hurts and  insecurities that slowly  change their relationship in ways they couldn’t imagine.  These characters are real and women you could imagine being your friend.    I had never read any of this author’s books either and I would gladly dive into more.

What Only We Know by Catherine Hokin

I am drawn to stories from the World War II era, because I am always amazed at the incredible human drive to survive.  This story is heartbreaking, but so tender.  It will help you understand in just a small way how the people who endured the harsh treatment of the Nazis’ were left with scars that never went away and how it also affects the lives of their loved ones.  A young Jewish girl, heiress of a famous fashion house in Berlin is the main character.   Her tale weaves through  before, during, and after the war.   Sweet, intense, and sometimes horrific, but a story you will be glad you read.

Blue Moon Bay by Lisa Wingate

Lisa Wingate has the ability to carry a story along without telling you much yet keeping you so interested you want to know more.  I enjoyed this author’s writing immensely. This story involved a high strong, Seattle architect, Heather, who travels back to Moses Lake, Texas to help her mother, brother and uncles close a deal on family land.  The tiny town has painful memories of her father’s death and is the last place she wants to be.  Little does she know the mess and danger she will uncover while also finding the  healing she so desperately needs.  Great read!

Under the Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee

This is a tender story that was so fascinating to read.  Lorena, a young wanna be writer, struggles to find any work after the stock market crash of 1929.   She finally takes a job going to “Hell’s Acres” to interview former slaves.  Here she meets a 101 year old woman, Frankie Washington, whose tragic past captivates Lorena.  As they  becomes friends despite their many differences, Lorena discovers information about her own past which could potentially end this relationship.  Heart-warming, and educational about two eras of time.  Highly recommend it.

The Planter’s Daughter by Michelle Shocklee

Another book by Shocklee, almost as good as the one above.  This book is set  during the plantation slave era, but in Texas.  Adella is the daugther of a weathy plantation owner who is treated by her father  like one of his slaves, selling her off in marriage to the highest bidder.  Adella has grown up with slaves and she treated those around those house with kindness and friendship as her mother did before passing.  When Seth, a former Texas ranger comes to the plantation to serve as a temporary overseer, things begin to change for Adella, who has no desire to marry a man she does not love.  This story portrays the cruelty of slavery, but also the kindness and courage of mankind. Not only slaves loss their freedom during this time period,  but even some wealthy southern women controlled by men.  


For Those Who Love Gardening, . . .

Here are a few books suggestions without much explanation.  These three were read over the winter as I prepared for a new garden this spring and would recommend them all.

Epic Tomatoes by Craig LeHoullier

Craig is the master of tomato information and his book is includes not only how to have success growing tomatoes, but are also full of the history of tomatoes and heirloom seeds.

Growing Tomatoes by Cherie H. Everhart

This book has a ton of great growing information, but no pictures.  A great resource.

The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith

I found this book to truly be the Bible of Gardening.  Full of wonderful, useful information, such as wide row planting, extending the garden season, organic gardening, and  profiles on hundreds of different plants.  Great ideas and pictures!

Lastly, if you listen to podcasts, The Joe Gardener Show, (by Joe Lamp’l) is the number one gardening podcast in America.  He is an amazing, practical teacher with many knowledgeable guests.  Check him out if you need to learn more about how to be a successful gardener.