Two favorite Books

Hello Reading Buddies– It’s wonderful to have you– friends who also spend time reading.  Like Sally my reading twin– She called a few weeks ago– said, “I’m in the middle of the best book!”  and I answered, “Me too.”  Turns out it was the same book!  (The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane)  Or Janet who generously drops off books from shelves that she knows I will enjoy as much as she does.  Or my smart friend Jenni, who’s guided and nurtured our lit group for the last 33 years!  And there’s LeAnn who’s gifted me with the most beautiful books…

So in honor of all these ladies and reading all around! — here’s two favorite books, one new and one old that I read years ago…

Favorite book this summer was The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.  When the Vicar in the small village in southern England (Chilbury) disbands the church choir near the beginning of WWII, the ladies in town determine to carry on singing on their own!  This is the wartime setting for a group of ladies you’ll love– the responsible nurse in town who’s just sent her only son off to war, the older daughter of a prominent family intent on wooing a new artist in town, her younger sister who wants to become a well known singer, a Czech refugee separated from her family and an unscrupulous scheming midwife up to no good.  Sort of a British style Mitford story– easy reading and characters you can root for.  I was charmed.

A few years back I crossed paths with Bo Caldwell’s The Distant Land of my Father.  The story begins with Anna, the young daughter of a wealthy expat couple living in Shanghai in their elegant home, cared for by servants.  But as the Japanese invade the city, Anna and her mother flee to live in California.  Her father left behind falls into dire circumstances of WWII and the story is woven between their two accounts– the riveting story of a father and daughter.  Loved this book for the settings, the depth of the characters, the unfolding of the story.  It’s one of my top ten favorite books, so I thought you might like to read it too.


P.S.  Painting at the top thanks to Jos Van den Niewenhof


14 thoughts on “Two favorite Books

  1. These both sound great, thank you Rhonda. I just finished Where are you Bernadette? after I read your post about another book by the author, Today Will be Different. Then I started (shoot I can’t remember the title!) the book about the man in the hotel in Moscow. So keep the book reviews coming 🙂

      • Wellll I don’t read consistently. At all. I go through spurts every so often where there is enough time for me to read a book.
        Yes! We are reading The Boy Who Loved Too Much. It’s about a boy with Williams syndrome that is unable to distrust; so he never meets a stranger. I think I am getting ready to put a book review post sometime up today actually.

        • Just read your post. Great analysis and thoughtful look at the books. Does your book club meet at someone’s house?? Or do you go out?? Once a month?? Would be fun to hear about more of what you’ve read in the past… take care friend. xox

          • The person that picks the book for the month gets to pick a local restaurant for us to meet at. I like that part too because I love food and trying new places. We try to meet once a month but sometimes it turns into 6-8 weeks lol.
            Where does your book club meet and how often?
            Ohhhh that’s a good idea about past books. Thank you!

  2. Ciao Rhonda! Thank you for your beautiful and helpful book reviews. I think it’s a great idea to share the books you loved and give other people the opportunity to see them with your eyes. You made me feel like wanting to read ‘The Distant Land of My Father’. I was once in Shanghai on a work travel and the setting interests me. It’s so nice to have friends to share books with! In these days I’m back into Tolstoj’s ‘War & Peace’ after watching a beautiful BBC series. Hugs!

    • Thanks Simona– they showed the BBC War and Peace here as well. Really loved it! They did such a good job distilling a LONG complicated book down to a few hours. So brave of you to tackle the whole book! Happy reading!! xox

  3. Hi Rhonda – these sound so great, I think you should have been a reviewer. I hope you are having a super Saturday. We are going back and forth btwn home and school watching my son in a marching band competition, fun times! -Kat

  4. Pingback: Recent Reading | The Thankful Heart

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