Literary Pursuits

Recent 5-Star Reads

Without realizing it, apparently I read more than a book a day during the month of April! I track my reading on Goodreads as I go along, but I don’t set goals or pay to attention to how much I’ve read until it’s time to tally it up for these blog posts.

Granted, a number of those were kids’ books and there were a few audio books in the mix, but you’d think we were in a quarantine or something.

Oh, wait. We are. *sigh*

Good thing I like to read!

Here are my best recommendations from the books I read this past month. If you’d like to see the full list along with my star rating you can follow me on Goodreads.

You can read the publisher’s synopsis of each book by clicking on the covers which are my Amazon affiliate links. If you happen to end up ordering I might earn a little from qualifying purchases.

River to Redemption

by Ann B. Gabart

River to Redemption is about a little girl who was orphaned during a cholera epidemic in the mid-1800s. She and other people in her town were assisted by an enslaved man who “did what needed doing” out of the kindness of his heart. Later, when she was older, the girl led the town to help purchase the man’s freedom. Fascinating look at the pre-Civil War era.

If you have Amazon Prime this books is currently available to read for free

Finding Deep and Wide

by Shellie Rushing Tomlinson

Finding Deep and Wide was such an encouraging read in my pursuit of an ever-deepening walk with Jesus. It was a good reminder that the Christian life is about our relationship with Him, moving beyond what we think we ought to do or think and more fully into what we truly long for–doing life with Jesus on a moment-by-moment basis.

Clear Blue Sky

by F.P. Lione

Clear Blue Sky had been on my Kindle for awhile. I have a bunch of Kindle books that I’ve never read. One night I decided to pick one randomly and give it a try. It’s about a guy on the NYPD police force just going about his normal life and duties. Since I hadn’t read the synopsis before I started the book and the year was never stated, I didn’t realize it was about the events of 9-11 until all-of-a-sudden it happened! I guess that kinda spoils that “little twist” for you, but it was sure an interesting way to read about it.

Currently available on Kindle Unlimited.

Prairie Lotus

by Linda Sue Park

Prairie Lotus tells the story of a half-Asian girl who moves to the prairies of South Dakota with her white father during the era of Little House on the Prairie. For middle-grade readers, I thought it might be a lame re-telling of the same story but it has the extra dimension of the racial prejudices of that time period. There’s a new town going up, a one-room schoolhouse, even a Nellie Oleson character, but Hanna is no Laura Ingalls. I will definitely be adding this one to my “Little House Expanded Reading List.”

Miss Julia Knows a Thing or Two

by Ann B. Ross

Miss Julia Knows a Thing or Two is the latest installment in my favorite cozy series. This one deals with a neglected little girl whom Miss Julia takes under her wing, and an elderly neighbor man who develops dementia. 

I especially recommend the audiobook versions of the Miss Julia series read by Cynthia Darlow.

Turtle in Paradise

by Jennifer L. Holm

Turtle in Paradise is a middle-grade novel set in Key West during the Great Depression. The Florida Keys are on my bucket list of places I want to visit. This story focuses on how a government program helped turned Key West into a tourist destination, and what life was like there before. The main character is an 11-year-old girl named Turtle who is sent there to live with her aunt and cousins because her mother isn’t able to take care of her for a time.

Full of Beans

by Jennifer L. Holm

Full of Beans is a companion novel to Turtle in Paradise. It’s about Turtle’s cousin Beans. The story takes place before Turtle’s arrival. I loved how 10-year-old Beans was motivated to try to find work and he finally ended up organizing a gang of boys to offer a babysitting service. They called themselves The Diaper Gang. They would load the babies up in their wagon and just pull them around town until they fell asleep. They were competent in changing diapers, too. Charming story!

What have you read recently? Do any of these titles appeal to you? I’d love to know!

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