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Ready, Set, Read!

By Gini Rainey 

I don’t know about the rest of the world, but 2019 proved to be very challenging for me as far as finding time to read.  It’s not for lack of reading material, because there are literally stacks of unread books surrounding me.  It just seems like the living of each day left me worn out and with no time or energy to sit down with a good book.  If that sounds anything like your life, then why don’t we all make one of our New Year’s resolutions to be to spend more time for self and reading. 

For help in reaching that goal, here are a few bullet points that might help you (and me) out! 

  • Join Goodreads.com.  Not only will you be encouraged to set a reading goal for the year, but you will find and make friends who share the books they have read and how they felt about them.  AND there are also giveaways, group discussions, trivia, and so much more. 
  • Bookbub.com will hook you up with some really great ebook deals for as little as $1.99 per book. 
  • Speaking of ebooks, instead of flipping through the old magazines in the waiting room of your doctors waiting room, download either the Nook or Kindle app to your smart phone and take your current book with you wherever you go! 
  • The New York Times Book Reviews editor has an email filled with great information about new books on the rise.  You can get on the list to receive emails that will help with your decisions about what to read next. 
  • Most of all, don’t get in a rut.  With so many wonderful books available, don’t find yourself stuck on one particular genre.  Branch out, explore new horizons and grow your brain! 

Here’s a list of some of the most anticipated books of 2020 you might want to read: 

  • American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins 
  • Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick by Zora Neale Hurston 
  • Long Bright River by Liz Moore 
  • Why We Can’t Sleep by Ada Calhoun 
  • The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin 
  • Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud 
  • Children of the Land by Hernando Castillo 
  • Anna K by Jenny Lee 

Whether you take any of my recommendations to heart, or choose your own favorites, the most important thing is to make a conscious decision to read, grow, and expand.  You’ll be glad you did!  

Books

Book Review: “The Blue Cloak”

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By Gini Rainey

The Blue Cloak by Shannon McNear

Set at the turn of the 18th century in Kentucky and Tennessee, The Blue Cloak is based on the true account of the Harpe family’s killing rampage along the Wilderness Trail.  McNear who is basically a Christian writer, struggled with the concept of the re-telling of such dynamically horrible events, but came to realize that this could become a story of redemption.

When Sally, the very young daughter of a Baptist preacher, marries the younger of the Harpe boys, many people have big misgivings about her choice of men, especially Sally’s best friend, Rachel. As Sally is leaving after the wedding festivities, Rachel hands her the gift of a packet that contains a beautiful indigo-dyed, woolen cloak. This cloak becomes a symbol of friendship, trust, and love throughout the book.

With an amazing skill for character development and research, McNear’s words succeed in weaving a tale filled with desperation, angst, deception, and ultimately forgiveness and love as the three Harpes, with their three communal women in tow, create murderous mayhem along the Wilderness Trail.

Although this book is not terribly long (255 pages) it is filled with more adventure and romance than books twice its length.  Definitely a page-turner, you might find yourself unable to put it down.

5 of 5 – Copyright 2020 – Barbour Publications

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BOOK REVIEW: Sentient Beings in the Kingdom of Bhutan

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Sentient Beings in The Kingdom of Bhutan by Laurie S. Chambers

By Gini Rainey

Chambers, who has spent over fifty years traveling the world seeking to understand the complexity of being human, has written a lovely book about the peaceful kingdom of Bhutan.  Located in the Himalayan mountains, Bhutan’s people have formed a unique relationship with the animals sharing their space in this beautiful area.

While the cover might lead you to think this is a children’s book, it is filled with the complexity of human/animal relationships.  In a place where all living things matter, Chambers has managed to capture the beauty of both the sights and principles of the Bhutanese and subtly implores that we all take on these loving and caring and grateful people.

And don’t be mistaken, there are at least three levels presented in her book.  One that appeals to the seeker of truth and peace, one that encourages the young child to live a life of appreciation and love, and one that captures the eye of the seeker of visual beauty.  This is not a book to be read straight through.  Rather, it would be a wise and intelligent thing to read each page for its own merit and value and digest and internalize the message that each one has to offer.

5 of 5 – Copyright 2019 – Balboa Press

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BOOK REVIEW: Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

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By Gini Rainey

Imagine, if you will, a shack in the middle of the backwater marshes of the Atlantic Ocean in North Carolina.  The setting is as raw as the story that Owens tells about the abandonment and coming-of-age of young Kya.

Left behind by her entire family at the age of six, Kya learns more about life and survival in a short time than most people learn in a lifetime.

Ms. Owens’, no stranger to the publishing community having several books in print, paints a world full of wonder and discovery as Kya explores the beauty of nature around her as she struggles to stay alive.

Living on the edge of a community that neither helps her nor understands her, she grows into a beautiful, highly intelligent young woman with the help of a young boy who was a friend of her brothers.

Expertly building characters you will come to either love or despise, Ms. Owens laces Where the Crawdads Sing with a hint of physical abuse, romance, and murder.

Owens has created a book that has everything necessary to keep the reader turning the pages to the surprise ending.

5 of 5 – Copyright 2018 – G. P. Putnam’s Sons

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