August Book Reviews! @supermegawoman @FizaPathan @teagangeneviene @SelmaWrites #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread #bookreviews

You Can Take The Girl From The Prairie: Stories about growing up on the Canadian prairies

By Darlene Foster

“You Can Take The Girl From The Prairie” is a heartwarming collection that glimpses into the author’s life of what it was like growing up in Southern Alberta in the 1950s and 60s. I have always had a curiosity about Alberta since my grandmother was born there in the 1920s. The heartwarming stories had me either laughing or shedding a few tears, and immediately drew me in. Ms. Foster’s family didn’t have all the extras that others had, but she was blessed with a beautiful childhood full of love. I loved the relationship between not only her and her grandmother, but her father, too. It wasn’t always an easy life and there was heartbreak along with the celebrations, but this was a family that was always there for each other. I read this in one sitting and can only hope there are more stories to come. I can highly recommend these stories.

In The Shadow of Rainbows

By Selma Martin

“In The Shadow of Rainbows,” is Ms. Martin’s debut poetry book that I thoroughly enjoyed. There is a nice blend of nature with the emotional side of poems. The words flowed through the pages with vivid images and insights. I enjoyed them all but here are a few lines and poems that caught my eye: “nurtured under the illimitable/distant sun, fulfilling stories/among the starlight…”—Give Back, “Light illuminates/all who wander/in darkness and delusion…”—Let Go. “When death comes/I want to be led into eternity/curious, full of joy…”—When Death Comes, “The green outside is winking at me/it arose merely moments ago,/like a well-rested child rising from sleep,…”—Nature’s Tender Doings, and  “I almost died of exuberance/snorkeling around the unspoiled/coral reef/ when, in the dull hum of silence…”—I Almost Died. A wonderful collection to savor more than once that I can easily recommend for poetry lovers.

Murder at the Bijou: Three Ingredients I

By Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

Ms. Geneviene wrote “Murder at the Bijou” as a part of her weekly blog serial story. This is one I missed, so I was eager to read it. Readers contributed three words each week or chapter. At the end of some chapters, or installments, a list of ingredients that made me hungry was included. Pip is sent to live with her grandma to learn how to cook, but she ends up dealing with a murder mystery and criminals. I love it was set in the twenties and Pip considers herself a flapper or a modern woman. A quick read that includes gangsters and a budding love story that took a sharp turn. Besides Pip, Granny, a parrot, and a rabbit were also my favorites. This unique cozy mystery is great to snuggle up with in any season.

Nirmala: The Mud Blossom

By Fiza Pathan

“Nirmala” is a painful and sometimes inspiring read that was hard to put down. Nirmala was born to a family that didn’t want a female child, so they threw her away. She was found, though, and returned to her family. Growing up she suffered through not only staggering poverty but beatings and abuse which are graphicly described. She could go to school only to teach her younger brothers and advance them. In school, she was shunned because of her lack of hygiene, but she also was a top student. Her dream was to be a doctor. I couldn’t help but root for a girl in a society that wasn’t welcoming. She had a deep strength that shined through, even in the darkest of situations until the very end. Although she didn’t get to pursue her dream, a marriage was arranged, and it seemed to be a place of peace for her—until it wasn’t. The heart-wrenching part was this is the stark reality for some women in Mumbai. A beautiful young girl who was gifted with intelligence being constantly told she was trash. There is no happy ending, but it fits her situation. A well-written story I can easily recommend that shines a light on how unfairly some women are still treated in our world.

More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose

By Lauren Scott

“More than Coffee” is a thought-provoking collection of Ms. Scott’s memories mixed with beautiful poetry. Her stories tell of past events, such as how her parents met and her own beginning with her husband. I could easily relate to spiders always finding her. The poetry in between the prose added extra insight and layers to this great read. I read it in one sitting, but it would be good to savor each part with a cup of coffee or, in my case, tea. I enjoyed all the stories and the positive spin they had, no matter where the emotions went. There were glimpses into relationships between people, ventures into nature, and childhood. I can’t pick a favorite narrative, but I can share some of the many poems that caught my eye. “With childlike fascination,/I leaned against the door frame/watching her apply a little/powder to her nose, a touch of red to her lip./No more, no less…”—Red Lipstick, “Gazing high beyond their treetops/Where birds build family dwellings,/Dreams begin to bloom, worries lessen…”—Forever Steady, “Harmony lives in each flow of a breeze/In each gentle embrace of evergreens/The clear blue is our enchanting shield…”—Her Offerings, and “It’s freedom, fun, and magical/as tires hum on the road/A wave of a hand/befits the two-wheel code…”—Riding with the Wind. This is an inspiring collection I can easily recommend!

Watch for an exciting announcement from Story Empire this week and a special post from me on Wednesday!

Embrace your inner child by reading a good book! D. L. Finn

48 thoughts on “August Book Reviews! @supermegawoman @FizaPathan @teagangeneviene @SelmaWrites #writingcommunity #readersoftwitter #whattoread #bookreviews”

  1. Nirmala: The Mud Blossom sounds painful. But closing our eyes and pretending such pain doesn’t exist won’t make it go away. Fabulous reviews, Denise!

    1. Yes, it was painful to read at times for sure, Vera. You are so right closing our eyes doesn’t make it go away.

  2. Thank you so much for including my little collection of memories. I am so delighted that you enjoyed it, thanks for the awesome review. I see I am in great company as well. Enjoy the rest of August!

    1. I enjoyed your collection and was happy to share it here, Darlene 🙂 You are in very good company for sure!

  3. I’ve read only one of these books, but I absolutely loved Darlene’s book. Like you, I laughed some and I cried some. The relationship with her grandmother and father was especially moving.

    1. Your review nudged me to get reading it, Joan 🙂 It really did tug on the heart with tears and laughter, plus really showcased family relationships so well.

  4. Hi Denise,
    Thanks so much for including me with these other fabulous authors. I’m so glad you enjoyed More than Coffee, and I’m thrilled with your amazing review. I loved Darlene and Selma’s books, and anything Teagan writes is compelling! Congrats to all the authors! ❤️

    1. Happy to share your wonderful collection here, Lauren 🙂 I agree that anything Teagan writes is compelling, and I know Darlene and Selma will be thrilled to hear you enjoyed their work. Xo

  5. Fiza Pathan has such deep insight into the plight of women in India as you show in your review of her book here. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on all of these, Denise. Great work from great authors!

    1. Thanks, Jan 🙂 I completely agree about Fiza’s insight into India women, its eye opening.

  6. I think Nirmala: The Mud Blossom was surely a difficult book to read–and also difficult for the author to write. It reminds me that there is so much that goes on in the world I’m ignorant of.

    I have read Darlene’s collection and found it utterly charming. I loved every page!

    Congratulations to all the authors on their excellent reviews.

    1. It had to be hard to write, Mae. I’m the same that so much goes on I am unaware of and glad for these stories.
      Darlene found a wonderful way to tell her story.

  7. I always enjoy your reviews Denise. I have, and have read a few of these books, but thanks for fattening up my Kindle with a few more! <3

  8. Great reviews, Denise. I’ve read a few of these and have others on my radar. Thanks for the introduction to a new-to-me author Fiza Pathan and her book. It sounds intense but a worthwhile read. Congrats to all the authors on the excellent reviews. 🙂

  9. Fabulous reviews, Denise. I have a few of these book on my Kindle waiting for me. Fiza is an excellent writer. Nirmala: The Mud Blossom is a heart wrenching story about women in India. Thank you for sharing your reviews. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Miriam 🙂 You have some good reads ahead! I agree, Fiza is an excellent writer.

  10. re: Murder.I love the idea of readers contributing words to the story. What fun.
    All the reads sound like great ones. Thanks for the reviews.

    1. It is a lot of fun, I got to contribute recently to Teagan’s current story. Can’t go wrong with any of these. xo

    2. Thanks, Sandra. It really is the height of “pantsering.” Sometimes I put boundaries on what sort of “random reader things” are allowed, but in Pip’s adventures (including Murder at the Bijou) I let the things drive everything. They create settings, characters and more. The rabbit Denise mentioned is one example — it came into the story when “cinnamon bun” was a thing. Hugs.

  11. OMG, you read Bijou! I hope you’ll forgive me being late, Denise. What a thrill to see this review. I’m in such good company too, with Fiza (I’m delighted to see something new from her), Lauren, and Darlene — and someone new to me with Selma’s poetry. Congratulations to everyone. Hugs on the wing!

    1. You are never late here, Teagan:) Always happy to find a story I haven’t read by Fiza. Yay for finding a new author too. Hugs right back.

  12. Hi Denise, fabulous reviews. I love Teagan’s Pip and I also enjoyed Lauren’s book. I have two of the others on my TBR.

  13. I’ve only read Teagan’s story and agree with your recommendation, but they all sound like great books that should get a large readership. Thanks, Denise!

  14. Congratulations to these fine authors! I’ve read Lauren’s book and highly recommend it! Thank you, Denise, for sharing these wonderful reviews.

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