February 2023 Reading Wrap Up!

It’s been another great reading month thanks to snow, rain, and a cough that has decided to set up shop in my lungs for the last several days. There have been book and author discoveries that I hope you will be inspired to pursue! Authors Amy Harmon, Diane Chamberlain, Fiona Davis, and Erin Bartels have been the writers I’m most happy to have found recently. You should definitely check out their books.

Favorites. You will notice there are some with 5 stars (I’m using the Goodreads rating system because it is the most recognizable) and some with “extra shiny” 5 stars. Anything with 5 or 4 stars is one I really liked or loved, but books with those extra shiny ones had a profound effect on my reading experience. We’re talking a “book hangover” type of effect. The kind that lasts for days. All of them have reviews on this site that I will link to and all of them I highly, highly recommend. Let’s take a look:

Top 3 Favorites this month are:

Making Faces, by Amy Harmon (10 Stars on this site!)

The Spectacular, by Fiona Davis (Available June 13, 2023/10 Stars on this site!)

The Homecoming of Samuel Lake, by Jenny Wingfield (10 Stars on this site!)

Believe me, three 10-Star books in one month is pretty remarkable! These and all of the other 5 star books are very much worth your time. Here are more links to reviews on this site:

The Last House on the Street, by Diane Chamberlain

Beyond the Wand, by Tom Felton

The Dead Romantics, by Ashley Poston

And there are the 5 star books that didn’t get a review but that I still recommend:

Travels With Charley, by John Steinbeck, is a famous quasi-memoir by a beloved American writer. I say “quasi” because its truthfulness has been challenged, even by his own family. Regardless of whether Steinbeck really went to these places or wrote the book while sitting in his own backyard, it’s a charming, introspective tale of a man and his dog off to discover the nation.

The Butterfly Girl, by Rene Denfeld, is part 2 of the Child Finder series and follows more heroic adventures of Naomi Cottle. Once an abducted child herself, Naomi now seeks others who are lost. This time she encounters a young runaway while hunting a killer who preys on children who society has forgotten. Although I liked the first book slightly more (The Child Finder,) this one is still a very worthy sequel.

Everything Is Just Beginning, by Erin Bartels, is the first of many books I plan to read by this author. It is the story of a directionless young man who crashes the party of a big time music producer. Here he meets the producer’s daughter, who, like him, writes and plays songs but has the connections to make dreams a reality. Their friendship and collaboration is full of hope and pathos. The book is full of the poetic lyrics they write together and also has a special QR Code for the reader to listen to a special playlist on Spotify.

And now, on to March! I have several books lined up to read. Let’s see how many find their way here.



January 2023 Reading Wrap Up!

January was a CRAZY month of reading. Thirty six books, my friends! You will recognize some from previous reviews, others are appearing here for the first time. I discovered some great authors and several exciting thrillers. Here’s the overall group with 1-5 star ratings in chronological order. Even I can’t believe it.

FAVORITES: (links to their reviews)

Entitled, by Cookie Boyle (Fiction, Magical Realism) (FAVORITE OF THE MONTH)

Whiskey When We’re Dry, by John Larison (Historical Fiction, Adventure)

Restart, by Gordon Korman (Young Adult)

The Child Finder, by Rene Denfeld (Mystery, Suspense)

Books 11-13 of the Country Club Murders, by Julie Mulhern (Cozy Mystery)

More Than We Can Tell, by Brigid Kemmerer (Young Adult)


Regrets Only, by Kieran Scott (releases March 7, 2023!) (Mystery)

A Killer Strikes, by Georgia Rose (Mystery): A small village in England is rocked on its heels when an entire family is murdered. Their neighbor, a quiet woman who trains and boards horses, takes it upon herself to find out what really happened. Great ending!

If You Build It, by Dwier Brown (Memoir)

The Unteachables, by Gordon Korman (Young Adult) Throw the school’s most “unteachable” students together with the district’s most unmotivated teacher and you have a recipe for…a fantastic book! Gordon Korman is one of the superb authors I discovered this month.

Just A Girl, by Becky Monson (Clean Romance) A meek midday news reporter dealing with harassing emails meets a Henry Cavill-type Brit who sweeps her off her feet…at first. There are twists in this fun story and a reminder to never settle for less than you deserve. Becky Monson books are becoming fast favorites.

I Am In Here, by Creston Mapes (Christian Suspense) Hale is eighteen years old. Since a bus crash one year before he has laid still and silent in a hospital bed. He cannot communicate, but hears and sees everything, such as the increasing debt his father is in because of the smothering medical bills and the family member who wants to kill him. Really gripping! I read this in one sitting.

Hayley and the Yeti, by Laura Langa (Romance) The cover suggests a frothy story, but there is a lot of depth to this one. Hayley has accepted a traveling medical assignment in Arizona after a two year toxic relationship that’s left her questioning everything about herself. Her next door neighbor is a kind but mysterious man she calls “Yeti.” Both are slowly recovering from painful life experiences. Their friendship changes everything. This was a wonderful book! Perfect for the end of the month.

And now on to February! I’m starting off with two books: The Night Shift, by Alex Finlay, and Everything is Just Beginning, by Erin Bartels. Both are outside my comfort zone, but they’re both very good so far!

Happy Reading!


Goodreads Nominees I Recommend

Goodreads is currently asking members to vote on the top rated books of 2022! Happily, I’ve read several. These are the Goodreads finalists I liked the most. I added stars to my favorites of the bunch.

Happy Reading!

(Please do your research on content you find sensitive: language, sex scenes, abuse triggers, etc. It is the responsibility of each individual reader.)☺️


A quick note…

This book review site now has a new domain: readwithkristie.com. To improve your reading experience there will now be no ads (yay!) on this blog. It also has a slightly new look, but that’s just for fun.

I’m very grateful to my 100 followers on WordPress and my email followers.

NOTE, if you receive blog posts by email, I encourage you to click on the book’s TITLE in that post. It will take you directly to this site. Here’s why I recommend doing this: I do a lot, A LOT of polishing and refining of my posts after hitting that dreaded “Publish” button. When I do click Publish, that is the version that goes to your email, but it is very rarely the final, best version of what I want to express. Example: even the new domain name in the email post is different than the one I ended up choosing. 🙂

Again, thank you for visiting, commenting, liking and subscribing. I appreciate it!!