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Showing our kids the world - one trip at a time.
Reading wrap-up for October: 15 books read (5 books I own, 4 ARCs, 6 library books)! You can find short reviews on the Books 2023 Highlights on my profile and full reviews on Goodreads. . What are you currently reading? . The Christmas Wager ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- enemies to lovers holiday rom-com set in small town Colorado. . The Paper Palace ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- a woman needs to choose between husband and childhood love told over two timelines. . The Book Club Hotel 3.5 ⭐️- heartwarming holiday story about 3 women on a book club holiday at a Vermont inn run by a young widow. . The Adversary 4.5 ⭐️- catastrophic rivalry in 18th century Newfoundland outport. . The Holiday Mix-Up ⭐️⭐️⭐️- cute spin on While You Were Sleeping in California wine country. . The Vaster Wilds ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- young servant runs away from 17th century colonial Virginia settlement into the wilderness. . Love, Holly 3.5⭐️- tearjerker holiday romance with message of hope, healing and forgiveness. . Wait For Me ⭐️⭐️⭐️- based on real story - dual timeline (WW2 and 1980s) about past lives and reincarnation. . The Mystery Guest 3.5 ⭐️- entertaining cozy mystery sequel to The Maid. (Pub Date: 11/28) . Murder Most Royal 3.5 ⭐️- 3rd in series of mysteries featuring Queen Elizabeth as amateur sleuth set at Sandringham during holiday season. . The Fraud ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- thoughtful historical novel about a celebrated trial in 19th century England. . Emergency Contact ⭐️⭐️⭐️- a planes, trains and automobiles adventure and second chance romance. . Wreck the Halls 2.5 ⭐️- steamy romance about the kids of rock star divas trying to reunite them for a reality show. . China ⭐️⭐️⭐️- historical novel set in China 1839-1900. . Christmas at the Shelter Inn ⭐️⭐️⭐️- heartwarming Christmas story and sweet romance set in small town Idaho.
Reading wrap-up for September: 15 books read (5 books I own, 7 ARCs, 3 library books)! You can find short reviews on the Books 2023 Highlights on my profile and full reviews on Goodreads. . What are you currently reading? . The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- wonderful read about a group of Black Americans and Jewish immigrants in 1930s Pennsylvania working together to protect a deaf youth from the state. . Bright Lights, Big Christmas 3.5 ⭐️- Brother & sister travel to NYC to sell Christmas trees in Greenwich Village. . Asking for a Friend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- ups and downs of 20 year friendship of 2 women who met in university. . The House of Doors 4.5 ⭐️-based on real events in early 20th century Malaysia - a visit by Somerset Maugham, activities of Dr Sun Yat-Sen and an Englishwoman’s murder trial. (Pub Date: 10/17) . A Lady’s Guide to Scandal ⭐️⭐️⭐️-witty Regency romance with feminist slant. . The Unsettled ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- multigenerational story of a Black family in 1980s Philadelphia and Alabama - difficult, compelling read. . Recipe for a Good Life 3.5 ⭐️-1950s Montreal author with writer’s block heads to rural Cape Breton Island on retreat. . A Traitor in Whitehall 3.5 ⭐️- historical/cozy mystery set in Churchill’s War Rooms during the Blitz. (Pub Date: 10/3) . Rage the Night 4.5 ⭐️- gripping story of a young man’s search for identity in context of Newfoundland’s 1914 Sealing Disaster. . Amazing Grace Adams ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️-family drama with 45 y/o Grace abandoning car in traffic to walk across London and deliver birthday cake to estranged teen daughter. . Christmas at the Lake ⭐️⭐️⭐️- sweet holiday romance about second chances set on shores of Lake Tahoe. . A House for Alice 3.5 ⭐️-family drama told from many viewpoints set in London at time of Grenfell Tower fire. . Three Holidays and a Wedding ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- snowbound in a diverse Hallmark-style Canadian town - two romances plus Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid and a wedding! . Babylon 3.5 ⭐️-multigenerational biblical saga starting in 586 BCE with captive Judeans marched to Babylon to live in exile. . Like Every Form of Love ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- original, interesting memoir about friendship, true crime and storytelling.
Spending a night on our June road trip in the Canadian Rockies at @glacierviewlodge overlooking the Columbia Icefields was a magical experience and one of my all-time favourite hotel stays! The views are incredible! . 📸 Glacier Discovery Centre 📸 Moraine Lounge 📸 The view from our room . I recently wrote about our stay - link in profile if you want to know more about this bucket list Canadian hotel!
⭐⭐⭐⭐ Asking for a Friend is a well-written book about female friendship from Canadian author, Kerry Clare. Jess and Clara meet in their dorm during their first year of university in 1998 and feel an instant connection although Jess is a bit awestruck by worldly Clara and Clara, who travelled during a two year long "gap year", has struggled to fit in with the other younger girls in the dorm. The two young women become inseparable over the next four years until tragedy tears them apart shortly before graduation. The novel follows them over two decades of friendship as their lives take divergent paths and they deal with relationships, careers, heartbreak, marriage and motherhood. Jess and Clara's story shows the messy but real ups and downs of friendship, the challenge of maintaining friendships over time and the difficulty of determining whether a friendship is worth maintaining or whether it should be let go when friends no longer have as much in common. Over the course of their 20 year friendship, there are difficult issues addressed including abortion rights, infertility, and pregnancy loss. Asking for a Friend is an engaging book that would be a great pick for a book club as it will definitely prompt some meaningful discussions on the nature and importance of friendship. Thank you to Penguin Randomhouse Canada for the complimentary copy of Asking for a Friend. All opinions are my own.
Reading wrap-up for August: 14 books read (4 books I own, 5 ARCs, 5 library books)! You can find short reviews on the Books 2023 Highlights on my profile and full reviews on Goodreads. . What are you currently reading? . The Paris Agent 3.5⭐️- dual timeline about two of England’s WW2 women spies and a double agent. . Walking With Sam ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- memoir of father and son walking Camino de Santiago. . Lies and Other Love Languages ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- thought-provoking story about lies, secrets, friendship and motherhood. (Pub Date: 9/26) . The River Runs South ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- grieving young widow/lawyer heads home to Alabama coast with daughter - gets involved in environmental case and finds love again. (Pub Date: 9/5) . Crook Manifesto ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- second in Ray Carney Harlem trilogy in 1970s New York. . The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel ⭐️- British retirees move to India. Should have watched the movie instead! . The Blue Monsoon 3.5/4 ⭐️ - crime/police procedural set in Mumbai. (Pub Date: 10/24) . The Wind Knows My Name 3.5 ⭐️- story of two child immigrants - 5 year-old Jewish boy sent on kindertransport from Austria in 1938 and 7 year-old girl fleeing El Salvador separated from mother at US border. . The Sweetest Revenge 3.5 ⭐️- humiliated tv producer flees NYC for London but 2 years later her ex-boyfriend/boss turns up. . The Paris Deception ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- Two women in Nazi-occupied Paris risk lives to save artwork. . Tom Lake - 4.5 ⭐️- Woman tells her adult daughters the story of when she dated a now-famous actor while they did summer stock theatre at Tom Lake. . The Summer Skies ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- Pilot goes home to northern Scotland to help grandfather run flights to remote islands and is stranded with an ornithologist. . Absolution ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- two American wives in Saigon in 1963 - thought-provoking story about moral ambiguity. (Pub Date: 10/31) . Love Me Do ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- fun rom-com about British woman who travels to LA for 2 weeks to visit sister. (Pub Date: 9/5)
We had such a fabulous 2 night stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs on our Canadian Rockies trip earlier this summer. My husband and I had previously stayed in 1994 and I was thrilled that the Castle in the Rockies was every bit as beautiful as I remembered! . At the time of our first visit, Banff Springs was a Canadian Pacific hotel and I set a goal of staying at all of the CP railroad hotels. Just a few years later there was an expansion and rebranding as Fairmont which has been my favourite hotel chain ever since. Staying at all of their properties is probably no longer a realistic goal but I have stayed at 16 and still hope I’ll have the opportunity to stay at all the original Canadian Pacific railroad hotels! Do you have a favourite hotel chain?? #fairmontmoments
Reading wrap-up for July: 14 books read (4 books I own, 3 ARCs, and 7 library books)! I reached my reading goal of 100 for the year so I guess I need to revise it upward!! You can find short reviews on the Books 2023 Highlight on my profile and full reviews on Goodreads. . What are you currently reading? . Meet Me at the Lake ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- second chance romance set at a resort in Muskoka. . The Last Lifeboat ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- captivating novel about survivors adrift in life boat after ship with child evacuees fleeing England is sunk by U-Boat. . The Paris Assignment ⭐️⭐️⭐️- female WW2 spy in France and orphan farm in Australia. (Pub date: Aug 8) . The Imposters ⭐️⭐️⭐️- elderly writer with dementia writing final novel. . The Stolen Hours ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- second in 5 part series about St Kilda in Scottish Isles - romance and murder mystery. . The Widows of Malabar Hill ⭐️⭐️⭐️- historical mystery series about first female lawyer in 1920s Bombay. . Much Ado About Nada 3.5⭐️- second chance romance for a Muslim woman in Toronto. . A Study in Scarlet Women ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ - First in Victorian era Lady Sherlock series with gender-swapped Sherlock Holmes. . The Beach at Summerly ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- beach novel and Cold War espionage in New England. . Dead of Winter ⭐️⭐️⭐️- tour group stranded in snowstorm in Rocky Mountains are murdered one by one. . The Breakaway 3.5 ⭐️- woman leading bike tour NYC to Niagara Falls - romance, personal growth, mother/daughter conflict, abortion rights. (Pub date: Aug 29) . The First Ladies 3.5 ⭐️- historical novel about friendship between Eleanor Roosevelt and civil rights activist Mary McCleod Bethune. . The Bangalore Detectives Club 3.5 ⭐️- cozy mystery featuring young bride as sleuth in 1920s Bangalore. . A New Season 3.5 ⭐️- 62 year-old man grieving for 2.5 years moves to Paris for 5 months. (Pub date: Aug 29)