Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books With Fall/Autumn Covers/Themes

I love everything about fall..the crisp morning air, the smell of fireplaces burning, the beauty of the foliage colors but one of my favorite things I love about fall is curling up in a soft blanket with my tea and a book.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week, they post a new topic/top ten list and invite everyone to share their own answers. This week focus on fall covers. So this top ten sounded like it was meant for me. I walked around my bookshelves and picked out old and newer books that either the cover made me get the Autumn feels or the story had scenes set in the fall.

The following are the ten books I selected:

Of the above books, I have read only one of them but let me tell you why I think they fit lovely into this category.

Let’s start with Susanna Kearsley’s The Rose Garden. I have been a fan of this author since I read, Marianna. The story sucked me in and I was sold. Then I went on to read Winter Sea and Shadowy Horses. Although I haven’t read this book yet, I feel the colors in the cover and roses make me think of fall. I also think the way that Ms. Kearsley blends history, time-travel and usually a touch of romance just oozes the autumn feels for me.

Maisie Dobbs book 1 has been on my TBR for years. I am not ashamed in saying that although I probably should be but at the recommendation of a book club member, I began the hunt for her books. I have never bought a new edition of any of her books and find it so much fun looking for them at used bookstores. This edition has the most amazing covers. This is a detective story set during WWI with a female (Maisie) sleuth. Need I say more. I mean fall is an amazing time for mysteries so I just know that this is a good choice for this category.

On that note, Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)  is another detective mystery with Detective Cormoran Strike. This is a first in a series. There are three books out and Rowling is working on the 4th now. So I can put on my thinking hat and solve a case while the beautiful leaves gently fall outside.

I picked The Folded Earth simply because of the beautiful fall colored cover.  However, it is a book by an author (Anuradha Roy) that I have been so eager to read. It is a tale of a woman making a new life in the foothills of the Himalaya. What better time for “armchair travel” via books than in the fall and winter months.

Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt was an ARC I read for a publisher in 2015 and I adored this book. It was a sweet women’s fiction with a little romance. It was first in a three book series. I didn’t know the other two books came out already until now so I will have to pick them up to see what happened to the characters. It’s a fast read and one of those starting over books that I think are perfect for the fall or even the new year.

On the second group photographed above I have 5 more books with yup only 1 that I read. Are we seeing a pattern here? Never mind that let’s move on.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi  – This cover is what made me think autumn. I think it is safe to say that I can now read this book. When it was first published it had so much buzz, I couldn’t even crack open the book. I just don’t like to be influenced by other’s reviews so I wanted distance to form my own opinion.

The Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn Womack – I read her debut novel (The Memory Painter) last year and loved it so much, that I emailed her to tell her as soon as I finished the book. She even emailed me back and I got the fangirl giggles. This book’s cover made me think of fall but the story of an antique appraiser who deciphers a text that she believes was written in Cleopatra’s time and how it plunges her into a dangerous mystery. Well if that isn’t one for a cup of tea and blanket I don’t know what is and I can’t wait to find out. I really appreciated the amount of research that Womack embarked on to create her first book and I expect nothing less for this one.

When Autumn Leaves by Amy S. Foster – Well if the color of the cover and the word Autumn in the title isn’t enough then a story of magic and witchcraft should seal the deal. I have not read this but don’t you think October would be a fantastic time to crack this one open?

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George – A book about bookstores and books seems perfect for the fall and I think this one should fit the category. I have not read it but I know it has received mixed reviews. However, I must decide for myself so I will let you know when I finally give it a go.

Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan – I read this book in 2015 and it is the third book in a trilogy. The first book is entitled, Unspoken and it is a lovely story of a girl with an imaginary friend she talks to in her head and one day, she discovers that this boy is real. It is really a fun fantasy story and the trilogy would make for a wonderful fall read.

Well there you have it, ten books I think would be wonderful choices for enjoying during the fall. Let me know if you have read any of these books.

Happy reading!

Belinda

The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan

Quote:

“At the end of the day, the money itself is just paper. What gives the whole experience meaning are the thoughts, emotions, and feelings that come with giving the money away in ways that make you smile and make your hearts sing.”

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

After Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs to travel around the world, they’re given a yellow envelope containing a check and instructions to give the money away. The only three rules for the envelope: Don’t overthink it; share your experiences; don’t feel pressured to give it all away.

Through Ecuador, Peru, Nepal, and beyond, Kim and Brian face obstacles, including major challenges to their relationship. As she distributes the gift to people she encounters along the way she learns that money does not have a thing to do with the capacity to give, but that giving—of ourselves—is transformational.

My thoughts:

I came across this book while browsing the New Release section at our public library. The cover caught my eye. The colors looked like summer so I read the book summary and was drawn into the description. I traveled quite a bit for work and for pleasure prior to having children and for those of you that know me, know that I like to travel and dream of more in my future.  But that wasn’t the only reason I was drawn to this book. The idea of connecting with people all over the world and providing help was my main appeal.  I have a personal desire to do things in my lifetime to help others so I was very curious to find out what this book was all about.

I am not a seasoned travel memoir reader but I think this book offered so much more than what I expected.  Kim really opened up about her insecurities about her identity and her relationship with her husband. As a wife and mother, I think about my pre-marriage and mommy journey and occasionally remind myself that I must strive to continually build my wholeness. Ok, I am not trying to sound preachy but what I am trying to say is that sometimes we lose ourselves in “roles” of wife and or motherhood and there is nothing in the rule book that requires that. In this book, we witness Kim, questioning these very things for herself as she travels the globe with her husband. When taken away from the comforts and familiars of home, she is forced to address her feelings.

Kim also shares how she changes throughout this experience and grows in so many ways. For one thing, she recognizes the delicate balance of the ways to be of service for people that are in need. In one instance she is taken aback when a fellow traveler poses for a “selfie with a child they are helping”. She questions his motive and is forced to reflect on her own experiences. As I myself, try to insert myself into more humanitarian efforts, I keep questioning my motives and try to seek pure intentions with my actions.

Of course, I also enjoyed reading about the different places that she traveled but again, it took a back seat for me to all of the other topics she raised. It’s a very fast read but one that you can reflect on after. I would recommend this book and give it 4 butterflies.

Happy reading!

Belinda

Title: The Yellow Envelope
Author: Kim Dinan
Copyright: April 1, 2017
Genre: non-fiction, travel-memoir
Format: book Pages: 341

It’s National Book Lovers Day!!!

Today is National Book Lovers Day! So today I am going to take a trip to Barnes and Noble with my boys. Today is a day to celebrate books and find a little time preferably in your favorite nook, to read.  Above is a photo from the new Amazon Books that has opened up near me. I love how they have all of the book covers facing out.

I also including a few pictures from this year of my boys reading and all of the different places I read. On the plane, on the beach, under a cozy blanket in my fun chairs, in my car at pick up, my reading nook in the winter, oh and especially on my deck three seasons of the year.

I hope you find even 15 minutes today to pick up a book.

Happy reading!

Belinda

Belinda’s Book Nook Review: Tale of the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

Quote:

“A time being is someone who lives in time, and that means you, and me, and every one of us who is, or was, or ever will be.”

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

In Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there’s only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates’ bullying, but before she ends it all, Nao plans to document the life of her great-grandmother, a Buddhist nun who’s lived more than a century. A diary is Nao’s only solace—and will touch lives in a ways she can scarcely imagine.

Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao’s drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.

Full of Ozeki’s signature humour and deeply engaged with the relationship between writer and reader, past and present, fact and fiction, quantum physics, history, and myth, A Tale for the Time Being is a brilliantly inventive, beguiling story of our shared humanity and the search for home.

My thoughts:

Have you ever wanted to read a book, bought it and then sit down to read it and about 10 pages in you stop to do something else and not return to the book? Sometimes I think I have ADD when it comes to books. Some books just suck me in and I can’t get enough. Others I have to put a bit of effort to finish. Then there are some that either fall after an amazing book and to no fault of its own, suffer neglect. So I started and stopped this book really quick a few years ago when I bought it. Then I tried again and got further and still ditched it.  But something in me said that I needed to read this book. I read for many reasons. Sometimes for pure pleasure other times for escape, and other times to grow. I put this book into the latter category. Which is why it might take a bit more effort for me to read.  Going into this, I wanted to explore Japan, the life of a Buddhist nun, the life of a teenage Japanese girl, and a writer. So I knew that sooner or later the right time would present itself and I would read this book. That time came in two ways: I found the audiobook version of the book on Hoopla and I wanted to read something for Japanese June. Japanese is an online book challenge created by a booktuber that wanted to encourage more exposure to Japanese authors and literature.

So I embarked on the audiobook version which was the best option for me for this book because the author read the book and she captured the essence so well with her voice. I saw Ruth Ozeki speak on a television interview and really enjoyed listening to her talk. Ruth is a writer, filmmaker, and Zen Buddhist priest.  So I knew she would bring a wealth of first-hand knowledge to the book.

I first want to warn the reader that there is some graphic sexual content in a few places in the book and some pretty heavy bullying scenes. So if that might be a trigger then this might be a bit more of a challenge to read. I found them challenging but pushed through because I felt what the book had to offer outweighed my discomfort in a few sections.

The book switched back and forth between Nao, a Japanese teenager, and Ruth. The story of Nao was so intriguing. Even though she is Japanese, she grew up in California and when her family was forced to return to Japan, she is not welcome by the Japanese children at school. They call her names and bully her in unimaginable ways.  It was heartbreaking to read at times. The story of Ruth is her relationship with her husband, her thoughts about her life choices and how the discovery of Nao’s diary impacts her life.  I won’t go into it more than that because it will spoil the book.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this audiobook and loved her definition of a time being and how she intertwines both stories. I am glad that I persisted to find a way to read this book. For some, the print might work but for me, I appreciated the book more via audio format.  That said, I recommend if you get an option try reading it first and if you find yourself doing what I did, then check out the audiobook version. I give this book 4 butterflies!

Happy reading!

Belinda

Title: Tale for the Time Being
Author: Ruth Ozeki
Copyright: March 12, 2013
Genre: fiction
Format: audiobook book Pages: 422

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