Wednesday, May 11, 2022

100 Great American Parks by Stephanie Pearson

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book: (summary from Goodreads)

Discover diverse and breathtaking natural landscapes in this beautifully illustrated collection of America’s 63 national parks, as well as 37 state, recreational, and city parks and green spaces.

Nowhere in the world is there a park system like America’s. The National Park System was the first in the world and is a collection of the country’s best national treasures. For Americans, these places are part of our cultural DNA. Filled with beautiful National Geographic photography, wisdom from experts, need-to-know travel information including the best scenic overlooks and hiking trails, and practical wildlife-spotting tips, this inspirational collection takes readers to all 63 national parks, as well as 37 state, recreational, and city parks and green spaces. 
With a park in every state, this beautiful collection highlights the top experiences in stunning destinations from Yosemite and Sequoia to Biscayne and Mammoth Cave. You'll discover the beauty, diversity, surprises, and wonder of each park, including

The mountain peaks of the Tetons
Hawaii’s constantly erupting volcanoes
The crystal-clad underworld of Carlsbad Caverns
The steamy swamps and mangrove forests of the deep South
Hidden gems tucked in bustling cities like New York’s Central Park
And so much more!

Each entry in this magnificent volume explores the breathtaking landscapes, remarkable histories, extraordinary wildlife, and the need to conserve and explore each destination. With a foreword from legendary recording artist Garth Brooks, “the voice of America,” this innovative guide will lead you to experience the greatest park experiences the world has to offer and an understanding of these natural open spaces.

my thoughts:

What a beautiful book! I LOVED National Geographic's latest by Stephanie Pearson, 100 Great American Parks.  Chock full of stunning photographs and amazing essays all about our nation's parks - what more could I want from a travel book? We get to see the gorgeous vistas surrounding us, along with tons of tips, advice, and information about where to go and when to go. This book has it all!

I just loved flipping through the pages and getting lost in the photographs and imagining all of the vacations that I now need to take. This book is just such a treat to read. I enjoyed every minute I spent with it. 100 Great American Parks is the go-to book for anyone and everyone planning out their next excursion - you are going to LOVE this book to bits! Check it out ASAP - especially since summer is right around the corner. 

Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Monday, May 9, 2022

Bloomsbury Girls: A Novel by Natalie Jenner

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

Natalie Jenner, the internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society, returns with a compelling and heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world in Bloomsbury Girls.

Bloomsbury Books is an old-fashioned new and rare bookstore that has persisted and resisted change for a hundred years, run by men and guided by the general manager's unbreakable fifty-one rules. But in 1950, the world is changing, especially the world of books and publishing, and at Bloomsbury Books, the girls in the shop have plans:

Vivien Lowry: Single since her aristocratic fiancé was killed in action during World War II, the brilliant and stylish Vivien has a long list of grievances--most of them well justified and the biggest of which is Alec McDonough, the Head of Fiction.

Grace Perkins: Married with two sons, she's been working to support the family following her husband's breakdown in the aftermath of the war. Torn between duty to her family and dreams of her own.

Evie Stone: In the first class of female students from Cambridge permitted to earn a degree, Evie was denied an academic position in favor of her less accomplished male rival. Now she's working at Bloomsbury Books while she plans to remake her own future.

As they interact with various literary figures of the time--Daphne Du Maurier, Ellen Doubleday, Sonia Blair (widow of George Orwell), Samuel Beckett, Peggy Guggenheim, and others--these three women with their complex web of relationships, goals and dreams are all working to plot out a future that is richer and more rewarding than anything society will allow.

my thoughts:

Love, love, love! Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner is a superb story that captured my heart and kept me reading til the wee hours of the morning. I absolutely LOVED it to bits! What a book!

It's 1950 in London and Bloomsbury Books is about to meet some change in the form of three young women: Grace, Vivien, and Evie. The store is run by men and they are stuck in the past.  In fact, Mr. Dutton, the manager of the store, has a set of 51 rules that MUST be followed.  And the women are expected to make tea and handle the cashier's desk, but not much else. Talk about ignorant co-workers. These women have ideas, determination, and know the meaning of hard work - they can make the bookshop soar, if they are given the chance.  This is their story and it is awesome. I just loved getting to know Grace, Vivien, and Evie - they were such great characters. I especially enjoyed their interactions with some of history's favorite writers - what a treat!  Plus, it was such fun to read about the ways in which they showed their male colleagues how to get the job done. 

Jenner has created a fantastic story that really draws you in and keeps you hooked. The history, the literary figures, the characters, and the storylines are all top notch.  Meaning, they are written about with such rich and vivid detail that you can't help but find yourself transported to Bloomsbury Books getting caught up in all of the drama. I just loved it! Bloomsbury Girls is an engaging and entertaining story that you can't help but fall in deep with - it's just that damn good. 

I would happily recommend this book to fans of Jenner and to anyone looking for their next great read - check it out ASAP!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!

Friday, May 6, 2022

Royally Scandalized: A Riches & Royals Novel by Kelle Z. Riley

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book: (summary from Goodreads)

She never wanted to be a princess, but if the crown fits . . .

After her father's fatal car crash, Jill stopped believing in dreams. Until she became unwittingly embroiled in the politics of the contemporary Kingdom of Melesia and fell in love with a prince. But her commitments to her family and his duty to his country stand in the way of a happily-ever-after. 

After all, fairy tales don’t come true in this day and age.

my thoughts:

A modern day Cinderella story - what more could I want? Royally Scandalized by Kelle Z. Riley is the second book in her A Riches & Royals Novel series and it is fabulous! 

Jill and Phillip fall in love, but their romance is put to the test when one too many obstacles start to block their path to happiness. Yep, Jill is dealing with the aftermath of her father's death, whilst Phillip is on a mission to find his family's recently stolen Crown Jewels. Talk about drama!

Riley has written a fun and entertaining story filled with romance, suspense, mystery, and love. It is truly a treat to read! I loved getting to know Jill and her prince - I had so much fun rooting for them and their relationship. Royally Scandalized is such a great story! I would happily recommend it to fans of Kelle Z. Riley and to anyone looking for their next read - you will LOVE this book to bits!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Our Little World: A Novel by Karen Winn

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

I was intrigued by Our Little World from the chilling first paragraph. It's a coming-of-age novel complicated by a tragic and untimely death, and it's also a novel about two sisters you will never forget. I fell in love with the confidence of the writing and the colorful nostalgia of the mid-'80s details. Our Little World will transport and transfix you.--Elin Hilderbrand

July 1985. It's a normal, sweltering New Jersey summer for soon-to-be seventh grader Bee Kocsis. Her thoughts center only on sunny days spent at Deer Chase Lake, evenings chasing fireflies around her cul-de-sac with the neighborhood kids, and Max, the boy who just moved in across the street. That and the burgeoning worry that she'll never be as special as her younger sister, Audrina, who seems to effortlessly dazzle wherever she goes.

But when Max's little sister, Sally, goes missing at the lake, Bee's long-held illusion of stability is shattered in an instant. As the families in her close-knit community turn inward, suspicious, and protective, things in Bee's own home become increasingly strained, most of all with Audrina, when a shameful secret surfaces. With everything changed, Bee and Audrina's already-fraught sisterhood is pushed to the limit as they grow up--and apart--in the wake of an innocence lost too soon.

Perfect for readers of Celeste Ng's Everything I Never Told YouOur Little World is a powerful and lyrical coming-of-age story that examines the complicated bond of sisterhood, the corrosive power of envy, and how the traumas of our youths can shape our identities for a lifetime.

my thoughts:

Wow! What a powerful and moving story. Our Little World is Karen Winn's debut novel and it is fierce. The writing is superb. The characters are unforgettable. The 80s vibe is tangible. And the story itself is unputdownable. This is one book that you are going to want to clear your schedule for. It is the kind of story that you want to grab a huge cuppa with and settle down for the day to read, read, read.  It has mystery, suspense, murder, summertime, growing up, family, friendship, and so much more. This book will lure you in and hold you tight. It is simply put...fantastic. What a great story!

I would happily recommend Our Little World to anyone and everyone looking for their next read - you are going to LOVE this book!! Check it out ASAP!!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Summoning Up Love by Synithia Williams

(Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

Vanessa Steele retreats to her grandmother’s beach house to heal after she loses her job and her fiancé. When she finds that Grandma’s enlisted hunky Dion Livingston and his brothers to investigate suspicious paranormal activity, the intrepid reporter’s skeptical of their motives. But her own investigation discovers that Dion’s the real deal. And any supernatural energy? Pales compared to the electricity that erupts when the two of them are together…

my thoughts:

Romance and ghost-hunting! Are you kidding me? Talk about the perfect summer read. I absolutely LOVED Synithia Williams' latest book, Summoning Up Love

Vanessa has had it. She's lost her job and her fiancé all on the same day. She needs to regroup and figure out what to do next in her life. So, she heads to Sunshine Beach, where her grandmother lives. Except, once there, she finds out that her grandmother has hired a trio of ghosthunters. Say what? Yep, apparently, her grandmother is convinced that her late husband is hanging around the house and she wants proof...enter the Livingston Boys, three brothers who investigate the paranormal. Vanessa is convinced that her grandmother is about to get scammed, so she decides to do step in and find out what is really going on. However, Vanessa soon finds herself smack dab in the middle of a burgeoning relationship with Dion, the oldest Livingston brother. Hmm...maybe Sunshine Beach will help Vanessa find out the next step or the next person in her life. 

Williams has written a fun and entertaining story that will grab your attention right from the start. The romance is hot and sexy, while the paranormal aspect is exciting and mysterious. Summoning Up Love is a treat to read. You will fall in deep with this book! Check it out!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book!