Summer Reading – 2 Reviews

Nap or read?

It was the main decision I had to make while visiting my parents in Colorado. Poor me, right? Well, reading won out!

Fortunately, my ipadΒ was (is) crammed with books, and I had a pile to choose from. I’m happy to kick off a couple of reviews of fellow bloggers’ books.

A Thousand Rooms

by Helen Jones

My review:

Keep a box of tissues at your elbow for this one! A Thousand Rooms had me red-eyed and snuffling. This is a character-driven book with a simple plot: Katie, newly dead and unfortunately overlooked in her transition from life, goes on a quest to find “her heaven” and travels through a series of manifestations (rooms) before she finds her own.

Jones draws on a variety of mystical traditions and beliefs to design the experience of being dead and the concepts of heaven, soul mates, and reincarnation. These were interesting, but what I loved, loved, loved about his book was the incredibly touching and heartfelt expressions of human emotions, particularly grief and sorrow and, ultimately, of pure love.

Jones writes beautifully. Descriptions are rich, and the characters, even those on the periphery, are wonderfully developed. As the main character, Katie is thoroughly relatable with a wide range of emotions including some delightful sarcasm. I found her personal evolution compelling as her earthly concerns slip away and she discovers the essence of who she is and the point of her journey. Katie’s realization of what it means to live a blessed life is uplifting and full of hope. Highly recommended for readers who love character-driven books and want to feel inspired.

Death by Pumpkin

by Noelle Granger

My review:

Death by Pumpkin was my second read in Granger’s Rhe Brewster series and a pure joy ride. Rhe is a single mom, ER nurse, and police department consultant in the small Maine town of Pequod. She, once again, takes an active role in a police department investigation when the pumpkin-drop at a local festival reveals a murder. She rapidly goes from investigator to target as an old nemesis is determined to make her and those she cares for suffer.

The book is fast-paced and well-researched. The scene in the small plane was particularly riveting and highlighted Granger’s attention to detail. Other than the villain, the characters are all beautifully three-dimensional and full of quirky personality. I thoroughly enjoyed the interplay in the authentic relationships. In addition to the murder investigation, romantic and political subplots add interest and tension. A perfect read for anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries with plenty of thrills.

More to come!

 

 

 

86 thoughts on “Summer Reading – 2 Reviews

  1. Barb Fischer says:

    Read or nap is my weekend struggle. πŸ™‚ I am definitely putting A Thousand Rooms on my TBR list.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you ! A Thousand Rooms sounds right up my alley!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. olganm says:

    I have A Thousand Rooms on my list and I’ve been meaning to read one of Noelle’s books forever. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. noelleg44 says:

    Diana, you are a “peach” for reading and reviewing my book! I’m so glad you liked it – I accomplished my main goal, giving my readers a good time! I am still in Europe (hence the late reply) but will be home tomorrow late, and will definitely give a shout out to this post! How could I not?
    Will absolutely read A Thousand Rooms!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I figured you were off and about, Noelle. Your book was a really fun read and I’m happy to rave about it. Hopefully, you’ve found a few new fans. Hope you had a great time and safe travels home. πŸ˜€

      Like

  5. Reblogged this on writerchristophfischer and commented:
    Two great book recommendations: I absolutely adore Noelle Grainger’s cosy mysteries and have just downloaded Helen’s book.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I absolutely adored Noelle Grainger’s cosy mystery, so much I read all of her work. I highly recommend her books and have just downloaded Helen’s book. Thanks for the recommendations!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. bpsenapati says:

    Love the review of both the books,Diana. I will definitely add both the book on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great reviews, Diana. I’ve been intrigued by Noelle’s book… just haven’t found time to read. Who could resist that title? πŸ˜€ Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Uh oh. I’ve got to add these to my TBR list. The pumpkin one sounds like a great cozy. Thank you so much for posting your reviews (like my TBR list needs any more help getting ever longer πŸ˜€ ).

    Reading over nap? Really? πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  10. dgkaye says:

    Thanks for sharing these wonderful reviews by two talented authors. I have both books and look forward to getting to them ‘eventually’. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Sacha Black says:

    Lovely reviews, I’m doing exactly the same on holiday – got a ton of bloggers books to read πŸ˜€ I’m off Tuesday πŸ˜€ Helen is an amazing writer, Noelle too – both of whom I’ve now had the pleasure of meeting too πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Such crisp and wonderful reviews! Thank you. Both books will be added to my TBR.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve finally started reading again, yay! With my new venture the only way I can turn my brain off and sleep is to read for about 1/2 hour or hour before I turn out the lights. I’m finally back you your books, too! I thoroughly enjoyed Death by Pumpkin, Noelle is indeed a talented writer.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It is so good that you had reading time, Diana! I rarely have time to read, and I miss it terribly. If I read, I won’t have time to write, it is such a vicious cycle. So I only get to squeeze in maybe one or two books a whole year when I used to read two or so a week. These two both sound fantastic, and the premise for a Thousand Rooms also sounds intriguing. Great reviews and I will certainly keep them in mind if I have downtime πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know that choice, Lana. Read or write? Ergh! I’m taking a couple months off from writing this summer and reading is one of the luxuries I get to indulge in as a result. Come September, I’ll be back to around 6 books a year. But the muse will be back!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Two wonderful reviews of two very different books. A Thousand Rooms entices me completely. I’m off to put it on my Kindle. Such a different concept and with your great review, I know I’ll get a lot out of it. I follow Noelle on her blog and have been wanting to get her pumpkin book for a while now – you’ve just given me the nudge I need.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Bel says:

    I’m interested with the Death by Pumpkin book. Lol, she has so much going on – I feel lazy next to her…πŸ˜‚ Looking forward to your other book reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Good reviews, Diana. Congratulations to the authors, Helen Jones and N.A. Granger. πŸ™‚ — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Annika Perry says:

    Yeah!! I’m on the look-out for books for this summer and these sound perfect! The premise of ‘A Thousand Rooms’ has me hooked and I’m a fan of unresolved after-life books…can’t wait to be inspired! The faster pace in Noelle’s book sounds exciting and riveting; I’ll just make sure not to read it whilst on the plane! πŸ˜€πŸ˜ƒMany thanks for these excellent reviews and recommendations! PS. I had to smile at your ipad was (is) full of books…I don’t there’ll ever be a day when I have read all the books on my Kindle!πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the visit, Annika. Yes, don’t read Noelle’s book on a plane, especially if someone is trying to knock you off! Ha ha. A Thousand Rooms is plane-safe reading, and I think you’ll love it. I buy two ebooks for every one I read. *Sigh* Happy Weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you for the recommendations Diana! I book-marked both books and look forward to reading them.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Fabulous picks. I have all of Noelle’s books (and have given them as gifts – I’m on the “good” list with my mother-in-law now). πŸ˜‰ I’ve had Helen’s book on my kindle FOREVER. My TBR pile (even the electronic one) is literally going to kill me. I’m trying to read three books right now and it’s not going well. Helen’s is one of the next ones I’m reading. This summer for sure. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Do you prefer ebooks, physical books, or have no preference on the matter, Diana? I only ask because I’ve discovered that I don’t absorb the material I consume on an e-reader with the same depth or retention as I do on the page.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love print books, Sean, and agree that its a better reading experience. But I live far away from bookstores (the nearest is an hour’s drive each way), and I can buy three times as many ebooks as one print book! So, ebooks it is (most of the time).

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I was so proud of myself for clearing out three books from my TBR pile. Now I have two more. A Thousand Rooms sounds so original–how could I miss it? And Death By Pumpkin in right in my sweetspot.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. balroop2013 says:

    Nice reviews Diana…so clear and straightforward. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  24. These both sound like very good books, Diana. I am definitely going to give A thousand rooms a try – it sounds most intriguing.

    Like

  25. delphini510 says:

    I enjoyed your reviews Diana and as I am in the process of adding books on my Kindle this came very handy. A thousand rooms seem to fit right in. Holiday in three weeks so am picking up tips.
    miriam

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Thanks for the fabulous reviews. More books to add to my list!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Thank you for the fabulous review Diane. Since I love a good cry I must find A Thousand Rooms and get out my bon bons and tissue! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Thanks for sharing your reviews, Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Great reviews Diana.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Summer reading for you, and winter reading for me. I can’t wait to curl up under my duvet and read a book !!! Thanks for the great reviews, two brilliant sounding books. A Thousand Rooms sounds like a book I wont be able to put down! Looking forward to more reviews πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great reading for any season, Lynne. Both books were really fast reads for me (the kind where you don’t even notice that it’s midnight and you need to indulge in one more chapter). Helen’s writing is lovely. I hope you give it a try. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Helen Jones says:

    Reblogged this on Journey To Ambeth and commented:
    Thrilled by this lovely review of A Thousand Rooms! Thanks, Diana – so glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Helen Jones says:

    Thanks again for the lovely review, Diana, and for sharing it here! Much appreciated xx

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Mae Clair says:

    Both of them sound like engaging reads, and summer is the perfect time for diving into more books. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. mycountryepoque says:

    I absolutely love the reviews. It is so good to learn reviews from bloggers because when I go to my book shop, I just don’t know what to pick up since there are so many titles that are so interesting to read. It is like as if I want to read all of them in one go at the same time. It is so exciting. Have a wonderful weekend Diana!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Have millions of good books to choose from is a good problem to have! It’s fun to share the work of fellow bloggers and I’m always delighted when they have a book I can rave about. πŸ˜€ Happy weekend to you too, Juli!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. Both books sound great. Unfortunately I just filled up on new books this morning but I shall put these on my list for next month. So many books and so little time…πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  36. arlene says:

    Read, of course πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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