What I read in August 2019. Gruen. Kline. Jenoff. Wiseman. Feinstein

I think it’s odd how so many of my book reading themes have been alike lately. That’s like three on orphans/adoptions and three about a circus. I can tell you for my September reading, I’m actually going to read the blurb and NOT pick anything to do with orphans, trains or circuses. I would like to read a single POV also. I’m growing a tad weary of the multiple alternating ones.

In fact, I may take a break in September and just catch up on other stuff. Autumn is just around the corner and I’d rather be outside.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline was supposed to be The Orphan Tale but I didn’t write it down and remembered incorrectly. I recently read Before They Were Yours and this book made me feel the same way. Very grateful to have grown up wanted and loved to my parents and grateful for adopters who actually care for and love their adopted children as there own. The book did take the Lord’s name in vain in one spot. Kline did a really good job of keeping the young Molly and the older Vivian separated in the way they talked and thought from in the 1930s and 2011.  The cover had a P.S. circle on the front and back. I’ve never seen that before. The front had muted colors with just the author name in orange, while the back text was on top of the same orange. I thought the girl in the photo on the cover, could’ve been younger, have more unruly red hair and that she would’ve ideally had one hand up to a Claddagh necklace charm. As I read the entire story I was thinking it could’ve used a different title. Maybe “What to leave behind” as the train was such a small part of the story.  In the acknowledgments, I learned that just like Before They Were Yours, this one too was based on actual events and that is likely where the title choice came from.

Orphan Tale by Pam Jenoff was the one my friend recommended. It has two POV. Ingrid/Astrid and Noa. It has words scattered about in either German or French. I don’t know for sure, but they’re not all in English. Cover Image Yolande De Kort/ Trevillion Images. Art direction Kathleen Oudid. Designer Quinn Banting. Although this one did have a boxcar with Jewish babies that is a main part of the story, I think Fly Higher, or Flying Free would have fit also. Unfortunately, it didn’t make it the entire book without taking the Lord’s name in vain once.

It surprised me how many of the same things it mentioned like red-lighting, the Monday Man, how the different classes of people in the circus didn’t intermingle or even eat together, and that the performers had table clothes in the meal tent and both circuses were owned by brothers, the Benzini Brothers, and the Barlow Brothers, and both were portrayed as less than the Ringling Brothers.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, a North Carolina author, took the Lord’s name more than once. A stopper for me, so then I just flipped through. I do think the cover would’ve been better with a close-up of an elephant with something circus-like or the main character reflected in its eye. The paperback has a little more tent colors showing than the hardback did. The back of the book said it was based on several true stories. Jacket design by Honi Werner. Jacket Photo by Charles Mason/Getty Images.

The Life She Was Given,  by Ellen Marie Wiseman. This author thanked her cover designer for “another amazing cover” so that made me appreciate her before I even started the book. Cover design by Kristine Mills-Noble, Cover illustration Alan Ayers, Author photograph Christopher Bova. The cover was so similar to Water for Elephants but on this one, I think it fits better.  The library book I was reading had rough edge pages that were kind of hard to turn, but then again it looked like it had been wet. Why is it the Bible readers are so often portrayed as Bible-thumping lunatics? Ya know some Christians actually believe in Jesus, that He loves us. The book did take the Lord’s name in vain in one spot in the first part of the book then it was dropped more in the second half. It was written in two POV’s Lillie and Julia. The only echo I remember reading other than the “tang” of a smell, and “a casual observer might not have noticed.” With the language, I don’t see me picking up any more titles. I also don’t like reading about animal cruelty.

One Hundred Butterflies by Harold Feinstein is a large coffee table book. It’s too big to fit in my bookcase. I loved his quote on the jacket “The earth laughs with flowers,  but it dances with butterflies.”  The macro and detailed close-up photography is wonderful. The cover photo is by the author of course. The Author photograph is by Judit Thompson and the Jacket design is by Lance Hidy. I thought about setting it outside and waiting on a butterfly to land on it but changed my mind.


If you are interested in having a cover designed or image for your book, visit Design.KimberlyMaxwell.com for more information.

I tend to like thrillers, law, mysteries or Christian based novels. I seem to be finding new authors all the time that I enjoy reading. I do not want to read books where they take the Lord’s name in vain, have a lot of graphic violence, are about sports and I’m really not into non-fiction history.

Are you an Amazon Prime member?  Every month you get to choose a free book!

Here is my pinboard on NC Authors, and my post about what I think authors want you to know. I will be compiling a pinboard of books added to my “want to read” list. The main local library has a newsletter that almost every month has a list called “Reginal Roundups” and it’s a great way to find local authors.

There is Paperback Swap for those of us who still want to hold a real book in our hands. Here are the books I have to swap or sell. I also have  50+ credits available for purchase at $3. each.

For my other “What I’m reading” post— click that tag over there on the right under tags or click this link.

For my Books & Movies Pinterest Pins click here.

If we like the same kind of books, I’d love to hear your recommendations ~

If you enjoyed this post, my cover design or photography -please share.
If you’d like to follow my blog, (which includes pet food recalls) and get an email when I post, just click on the “follow” button in the bottom righthand corner of the page or on the homepage.  You enter your email address, and you’ll receive an email confirmation in return. I do NOT share email addresses. To learn more about my book cover design, photography or the books I’ve authored— my first homepage on this site has all the links.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s