Book Reviews

Spell the Month in Books: December


Spell the Month in Books is a monthly linkup hosted here on the second Saturday of each month. Can you use book titles to spell the current month?


Since it is December, and the last month of the year, I will try to use books I read this year and or Christmas or other December holiday-themed books. Try….

My reviews, when possible, are linked. Just click the title.

Note: Like the librarian I am, I sick the “a” or “the”



Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? by Seamas O’Reilly




Entertaining Mr Pepys by Deborah Swift




The Christmas Bookshop: A Novel by Jenny Colgan




Excellent Women by Barbara Pym 




Mistletoe and Magic for the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett



The Bodyguard: A Novel by Katherine Center

It includes Christmas



The Editor:A  Novel by Steven Rowley




Run, Rose, Run: A Novel by Dolly Parton and James Patterson

Book Reviews

Spell the Month in Books: July


Image credit: Charles Schulz

I love this fun book meme hosted by Reviews From the Stacks. This month I’m trying for Red, White and/or Blue books! All the books are again from my Goodreads TBR. (It is ok to skp A, An, or The in the title).



Jackie & Me: A Novel by Louis Bayard



Unraveling Oliver: A Novel by Liz Nugent



Laddie: A True Blue Story by Jean Stratton Porter



The Year Without Pants by Scott Berkun

Did you Spell the Month in Books for July? Leave me a link to your post!

Book Reviews

Spell the Month in Books: June


I love this fun book meme hosted by Reviews From the Stacks. Not only is it fun to put it together (it helps if you track your reading and your “To Be Read” list–I use Goodreads).

This month I’m using books from my Goodreads TBR shelf.



I’m looking forward to this one–it releases June 14 in the USA. Jackie & Me: A Novel by Louis Bayard



I’m reading through all the Barbara Pyms, so this one will come up eventually. An Unsuitable Attachment by Barbara Pym.



This book just won the Pulitzer. I am on the list for it at the library. The Netanyahus by Joshua Cohen.



I just bought this–finally. I loved her earlier books. Plus, she started later in life to be an author and made it. Emily’s House: A Novel by Amy Belding Brown.

How did you spell the month of June in books? Leave me a comment or a link to your post. Be sure to check out all the great #SpelltheMonthinBooks posts at Reviews From the Stacks.


Book Reviews

Spell the Month in Books: May


Thanks to Jana at ‘Reviews from the Stacks‘.to the created Spell the Month.

This time I’ve chosen books I’ve recently reviewed. I’ve used The Lusty Month of May again, like last year, because it’s just such a fun song! [See the bottom of this post].

The Lusty Month of May (From “Camelot”

Tra la, it’s May, the lusty month of May
That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray
Tra la, it’s here, that shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear
It’s May, it’s May, that gorgeous holiday
When every maiden prays that her lad will be a cad
It’s mad, it’s gay, a libelous display
Those dreary vows that everyone takes, everyone breaks
Everyone makes divine mistakes, the lusty month of May
Whence this fragrance wafting through the air?
What sweet feelings does its scent transmute?
Whence this perfume floating everywhere?
Don’t you know it’s that dear forbidden fruit
Tra la la la la, that dear forbidden fruit, tra la la la la
Tra la la la la, tra la, tra la, tra la la la la la la la la la
It’s May, the lusty month of May
That darling month when everyone throws self-control away
It’s time to do a wretched thing or two
And try to make each precious day, one you’ll always rue
It’s May, it’s May, the month of yes you may
The time for every frivolous whim, proper or im
It’s wild, it’s gay, a blot in every way
The birds and bees with all of their vast amorous past
Gaze at the human race aghast
Tra la, it’s May, the lusty month of May
That lovely month when everyone goes blissfully astray
Tra la, it’s here, that shocking time of year
When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear
It’s May, it’s May, the month of great dismay
When all the world is brimming with fun wholesome or un
It’s mad, it’s gay, a libelous display
Those dreary vows that everyone takes, everyone breaks
Everyone makes divine mistakes, the lusty month of May



Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie



After the Romanovs by Helen Rappaport




Yours Cheerfully: A Novel by A J Pearce




Book Reviews

Spell the Month in Books: February

This monthly meme links up on the 2nd Saturday of the month, so I’m early. It is a fun way to discover new-to-me/you-books!


Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier

From my old blog:

A very compelling and oddly enjoyable tale. Mourning in the Victorian and Edwardian era was a way of life. Queen Victoria too it to its highest levels ever. So when two young girls meet at their family’s graves on the day of the Queen’s death, its only natural that mourning should be part of their play. The two families, one conventional, the other sucked into the suffragette movement, are the focal points of the novel along with the cemetery director and a young grave digger who becomes the girls’ friend. This is as much a fascinating social history as a novel. The one note of dissonance was with the audio book–a British reader would have been far more appropriate to the setting of the story.


Every Living Thing by James Herriot

All of James Herriot’s books are dear old friends.


Biglaw by Lindsay Cameron

THE book for graduates heading to law school.


The Rector’s Wife by Joanna Trollope

From my old blog:

Excellent. I can truly feel Anna’s life. The satirical aspects are dead on. Wow!! This book resonated with me!!! Anna Bouverie is the frustrated wife of the local Rector of small parish church in rural England. It is a modern-day story (well, 1990s or so–no cell phones!!) and one that I imagine pastor’s wives the world over would find familiar. When the continual giving and smiling and sacrificing begins to way like a huge stone on her chest, when her once beloved husband seems to see her only as an unpaid administrative assistant, when her daughter suffers–it all becomes too much for Anna. Peter, her husband, is so driven by his duty to his parish that he doesn’t see his family slipping away. This is a very “inner” story and a very real one to just about anyone who is has reached the married-long-enough-to-be-parents-of-a-teen to be able to shout “YES!” to various passages.


Unsettled Ground: A Novel by Claire Fuller


All the Stars In the Heavens: A Novel by Adriana Trigiani

The Golden Age of Hollywood–personalized.


The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

I devoured this book when it came out!!


The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs

What a fun book!


Spell the Month in Books is the brainchild of Reviews From the Stacks and occurs on the second Saturday of each month. I’m early….

Book Reviews

Spell the Month in Books: December

December-Transparent-PNG (1)











Why all the Royal books? December 14th is why! Three deaths and the birth of an unexpected King occurred on this most auspicious royal day:

  • December 14, 1861–Death of Prince Albert (the Prince Consort) QueenVictoria’s beloved husband.
  • December 14, 1878 Death of Princess Alice of Hesse (2nd Daughter of Queen Victoria and Great-Grandmother of Prince Philip)
  • December 14, 1895 Birth of Prince Albert Frederick Arthur George of York, later King George VI (father of the current Queen)
  • December 14, 1945 Death of the Countess of Southesk, aka HH Princess Maud of Fife (Granddaughter of King Edward VII)

Also on December 10, 1936, Edward VIII abdicated.  There have been several recent births and a death or too in the family in December since the Abdication as well. 

Book Reviews

November: Spell the Month in Books


Photo credit

This fun book tag was created by Jana at ‘Reviews from the Stacks




November of the Heart by LaVyrle Spencer



Old Baggage: A Novel by Lissa Evans



Vanessa and Her Sister: A Novel by Priya Parmar



Excellent Women by Barbara Pym



Malibu Rising: A Novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid



The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad (My review on my old blog was lost).



Eternal: A Novel by Lisa Scottoline



The Reading List: A Novel by Sara Nisha Adams

Have you participated in Spell the Month in Books? Leave me a comment or a link to your own November post.

Book Reviews

Spell the Month In Book Titles: July

Jana at ‘Reviews from the Stacks‘ created this fun book post.


All right, skipping “The” is allowed, but using an initial? If you were here in Southern Ohio on the day I’m doing this post, you’d do whatever to give a cool, refreshing image, too! It’s super, super hot and humid today! This looks lovely–the water so cool, I’m sure there is a breeze, too, in that picture! The J.M. Barrie Ladies Swimming Society by Barbara J. Zitwer, Here’s my review from my old blog:

Chick lit? Yes–but GOOD chic lit! One of the best debut novels in a long time. Characters, while somewhat predictable, (come on it is chic lit!), most of them anyway, felt “real.” Loved the backstory of the other main character–the house and Barrie. Couldn’t go all the way to 4 stars, but 3 imho is darned good and well worth the read.

The J.M. Barrie Ladies Swimming Society by Barbara J. Zitwer


I love the 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith! I do not always review series books because it is hard to avoid spoilers, especially for those who are just starting to read the series or are just learning of its existence. None-the-less, I love the whole cast of characters. The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith.


My review from my old blog:

What an AMAZING writer!!!! Best novel I’ve read in ages.David Parks must have been sitting in Belfast brewing this marvelous “inner” story for years! It is so well crafted I didn’t want to put it down. Exactly my sort of book–lots of inner workings to characters–hopes, dreams, thoughts and fears. Add to that a character just written for actor Robert Bathurst to play in movie version, and you have a winner all around. Nice too that no one is a lithe 20-something hopping in and out of beds with other lithe 20-somethings. A father (Bathurst-ready character) experiencing, on the surface, a Dylan concert, a mother and daughter doing a boozy British pre-wedding “Hen Party,” a long-married couple on a getaway–all have their world’s rocked without bombs being thrown or war breaking out. This is a book not to be missed. I will certainly be buying a copy and re-reading this one for years to come. The Light of Amsterdam: A Novel by David Park


No spoilers but one minor character’s story line was really dumb. The rest was fun–chick lit to be sure, but hey! chick lit in and around Paris? Why not! Lots to love here if you don’t think too hard. I enjoyed every minute of it!

Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles by Katherine Pancol

Book Reviews

June: Spell the Month in Book Titles


Jana at ‘Reviews from the Stacks‘created this fun book post.



I read this in college in a Soviet history class. It was mesmerizing –true terror, like true crime, is so  much more horrific than fiction. Journey Into the Whirlwind by Eugenia Semenovna Ginsburg.


Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank is an all-time favorite of mine. This book, about Robert Louis Stevenson and wife Fanny, is also an excellent read. Under the Wide and Starry Sky: A Novel by Nancy Horan.

Review from my old blog: Like LOVING FRANK this story was enthralling! I found myself sitting in the parking lot at work or the driveway at home and listening to “just a little more” each time. Fanny, likely bi-polar, was a fierce protector of her husband [Robert] Louis Stevenson. Their shared quest to find a place to restore his health, their love, their passions for their work–all added up to a very fascinating story. No spoilers, but the end hand me in tears–it hit very close to home mirroring a scene in my own life.



The life of the Yummy Mummy is never easy, is it? Notting Hell: A Novel by Rachel Johnson. Review from my old blog:
“Notting Hell pokes fun at London’s trendy uber-rich neighborhood. A full cast of characters and an appendix “Notting Hill for Beginners,” makes this a good poolside read! Having lived in a local version of Notting Hill, I’ve laughed till I nearly peed over this one! Updates the 80’s “Sloane Ranger Handbook” in a way. Just as comical, just as accurate. I may check out her other book, Shire Hell, too!”



I devoured James Webb’s books in the 1990s! The Emperor’s General by James Webb.

Did you do Spell the Month this month? Leave me a link to your post.