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June 17, 2021
What I’m Reading: The Dogs Were Rescued and So Was I from Jo's Country Junction

You might remember I read a book by Teresa J. Rhyne called The Lived and so Will I.  I really liked the book and could totally relate.  The book is a memoir.  In it, the author shares about her life with her beagle who she rescued who ended up getting cancer as well as experience with breast cancer.  The book was great.  Well, the author had another book and I wanted to read it…the book is The Dogs were Rescued and So Was I.

I loved her first book…this second book was a little different.  The author goes ...

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June 10, 2021
What I’m Reading: A Life Without Water from Jo's Country Junction

I had been browsing to find a good book.  It seemed everywhere I looked the book, A Life Without Water by Marci Bolden, was showing up.  I ended up finding it on Overdrive which is an online library but there was a complication of a waiting list…so I waited for two months and finally it was my turn with the book.

A Life Without Water by [Marci Bolden]
So, did I like the book? Yes.  It was a good book.  My only complaint is that is was a little sad.  The main character in the book ends up dealing with the death of three people who ...

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June 3, 2021
What I’m Reading: Appalachian Daughter from Jo's Country Junction

I haven’t been reading as much as I sometimes do.  I just haven’t had a lot of time along and I have been listening to podcasts more.  I’ll tell you about them in another blog post.

I did find a book that piqued my interest, Appalachian Daughter by  Mary Jane Salyers.  The book came up as recommended book in my Facebook feed.  I didn’t want to buy it so I checked both of my online libraries and found it on Hoopla.

Appalachian DaughterSo did I like it…
I did.  I love all hardscrabble books.  I love coming ...

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May 27, 2021
What I’m Reading: The Searcher from Jo's Country Junction

Before I talk about today’s book, I need a little help.  My friend Doreen contacted me.

She writes:
This past Saturday, I visited a sewer who was downsizing. She used to make wedding dresses and other fancy dresses in another life. She wanted to find someplace to donate some of her laces and some beads. I let her know that several years ago, I sent some materials to a group in New York that made outfits for babies that were stillborn or died from SIDS. I believe I received this group’s information from your blog. I didn’t ...

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May 20, 2021
What I’m Reading: We Begin at the End from Jo's Country Junction

I had seen a lot of hype about this book, We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker.  Everywhere I was online was recommending the book to me so I decided that rather than burn an Audible credit for it, I would add it to my online library list and wait.  It was a long wait but that’s okay.  They say “good things come to those who wait”.  I was hoping it would be true with this book.

So did I like it??
It was pretty good.  It’s a crime story…little by little details of both the ...

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May 13, 2021
What I’m Reading: The Rose Code from Jo's Country Junction

I have seen this book everywhere.  If I go on Amazon it is suggested to me.  If I go on Audible, it is suggested to me.  If I go to either of my online libraries, it is suggested there too.  I decided to take that as a hint that this is the book I should read.  HA!

The book is The Rose Code by Kate Quinn.

I will admit, it took me a bit to get into the book.  There are three main characters and the story takes place during WWII and in 1947 after WWII.  The book toggles between ...

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April 22, 2021
What I’m Reading: Two Thousand Minnows from Jo's Country Junction

I have really been enjoying Audible’s new “plus catalog”.  Plus Catalog is an added opportunity for Audible users to get more books that they sign up for.  For me, I have the 12 credits a year subscription.  I have kept it as there are often books that I want that neither of the online libraries I use has.  Occasionally I use a credit if there is a scheduled release from an author I love and the waiting list at the library is months long.

The Plus Catalog comes free with my regular subscription.  The Plus Catalog allows me to ...

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April 15, 2021
What I’m Reading: When Winter Comes from Jo's Country Junction

Audible has a new “plus catalog”.  Essentially there is a library of free books for those who have an Audible membership.  I had heard about it a few months ago but didn’t bother looking.  I figured they put “B novels” in that section and to be honest, I didn’t want to spend my time on ho-hum books.

I finally got to looking in the catalog a few months ago and discovered that WOW, they don’t just put second-rate books there.  I ended up adding a few to my library.  The first of the bunch I listened to ...

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April 14, 2021
What I’m Reading: Stars Over Clear Lake from Jo's Country Junction

I had said in a blog post that I love reading books that take place in areas that I know.  I have loved books by Allen Eskens, William Kent Krueger, and Heather Gudenkauf.  All of these authors have written books that take place in Iowa and Minnesota…my stomping grounds.

In one of Allen Eskens’s books, he writes about Mankato Minnesota and the main character who was going to college there.  It’s where I went to college.  I can vividly see everything the author is writing and I love it.

A blog reader mentioned that I might like ...

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April 8, 2021
What I’m Reading: The Four Winds from Jo's Country Junction

I’ve been trying not to burn up Audible credits.  All books aren’t available through my online libraries or the wait is incredibly long so after seeing I was still on the list as #124 on 19 copies for my chance to read The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah.  I decided the heck with it.  I was burning up a credit and treating myself to this book.

I’m a long-time Kristin Hannah fan.  I’ve read so many of her books and I love them all.  I put myself on the waitlist immediately when I knew the book ...

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April 1, 2021
What I’m Reading: Memorial Drive from Jo's Country Junction

I’ve been trying really hard to get out of my kick of reading so many WWII Holocaust novels.  I appreciate them and feel I learn a lot about life during those times even though the books are fiction.  I think I become a little numb when I read too many of the same genre so I picked up this book, a memoir called Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey.

Memorial Drive: A Daughter's Memoir

I will admit, I grabbed the book because of the cover.  I picked it because it was a memoir.  I’ve read a few memoirs that weren’t interesting.  I guess ...

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March 25, 2021
What I’m Reading: The Children’s Blizzard from Jo's Country Junction

You all know I love historical reading either fiction or non-fiction as long as there is a story to it.  So you can imagine when I saw this book, The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin, I put it on my waitlist.

Some of my favorite books happen on the prairie.  They happen with children and they happen with school teachers.  For much of my life, I always thought I was born in the wrong generation.  I always dreamed myself to be a teacher in a remote area in a one-room schoolhouse.  So when books come up that have anything ...

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March 18, 2021
What I’m Reading: The Last Garden in England from Jo's Country Junction

I was scrolling the online library and I found this book…The Last Garden by Julia Kelly.  Completely judging a book by the cover I thought I might enjoy this book.  It looked like a historical fiction work and it was set in England.  Those are both things I love.

So was I right…YES.  The book was set in England.  It did take place, at least partially, during WWII.  So did I like it?  YES.  The book was good.  I didn’t guess the ending yet the ending was very plausible.  The book follows three different groups of people ...

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March 4, 2021
What I’m Reading: The Paris Orphan from Jo's Country Junction

I had put a few books on my hold list and then started the LONG waiting game to get them.  The book I waited for, The Paris Orphan, by Natasha Lester.  I have a thing about reading WWII books so this was an obvious pick for me.

The book is good.  It shifts between modern time and WWII time.  I very much enjoyed the book but what I liked the most was the afterword.  The author tells how her story came to be.  She tells of the research she did around the topic of female photographers during WWII and how ...

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February 19, 2021
What I’m Reading: News of the World from Jo's Country Junction

Something that I’ve missed since covid hit is going to the theater to see a movie.  I didn’t go often but I did try to hit some of the big movies.  Karl is my kid that loves movies and it’s something we always did together.

Karl and I both were super excited when Tom Hanks had a new movie coming out, New of the World.  It was totally my kind of movie.
Well then we remembered covid and both of us were sad.  We talked several times wondering if maybe we could go to a matinee on ...

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February 11, 2021
What I’m Reading: Cut and Run from Jo's Country Junction

I was looking for a break from historical fiction so I picked up Cut and Run by  Allison Brennan.

When I got the book, I wasn’t aware that this was part of a series.  Although the book can stand alone, I kept thinking, “darn, I wish I had read the first book first”.  UGH.  I plugged along with the book and as I said, it is fine as a stand along but all of me really wanted to read them in order.

I thought I would set this aside and then read the first book and come back to ...

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February 6, 2021
Book Club Day: Everything Beautiful in its Time from Jo's Country Junction

It’s February 6th, so it’s book club day!!  The book I picked is is Everything Beautiful in Its Time:  Seasons of Love and Loss by Jenna Bush Hager.

Jenna Bush Hager Highlights Grandparents' Words of Wisdom

I am so excited to talk with you all about the book.

Many of you will recognize the author, “Jenna Bush Hager is an American news personality, author, and journalist. She is currently the co-host of Today with Hoda & Jenna, the fourth hour of NBC’s morning news program Today. Hager and her twin sister, Barbara, are the daughters of the 43rd U.S. President George W. Bush and former ...

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February 4, 2021
What I’m Reading: Yellow Wife from Jo's Country Junction

I saw a book recently that I if I’m honest, I looked at the cover and thought it might be a Civil War period book so I grabbed it up and put it on my hold list.  The book was Yellow Wife by Sadeqa Johnson.

The Yellow Wife: A Novel
I started the book and quickly got right into it.  The book actually takes place pre-Civil War at the height of slavery.  I admit to normally being drawn to these types of books.  Books that portray people who are the underdogs triumphing over unheard of or difficult circumstances often give me hope that more ...

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January 28, 2021
What I’m Reading: Joy in the Morning from Jo's Country Junction

One of my all-time favorite books, ever is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  I read it as a teen and have read it again as an adult.  I would easily put it in my top 20 books ever.  The book is a classic and it’s written by Betty Smith.    I was afraid when I read it as an adult that I would be disappointed the book will have lost its magic.  I wasn’t disappointed.   I highly recommend the book.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn [75th Anniversary Ed] [Perennial Classics] by Smith, Be
Well for some reason I never went on and checked if the author had any other books.  Then an ...

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January 21, 2021
What I’m Reading: The Return from Jo's Country Junction

I was so happy to find out that Nicholas Sparks had a new book.  I’ve long been a Nicholas Sparks fan and was excited to read The Return.

The Return

So what did I think?  Well, it was good, but I’ll be honest, it was a Nicholas Sparks book.  There was a girl who was hiding something, two actually.  The guy was more patient than any real man on earth and finally, the girl comes clean with her secret…and the story goes on.  As much as I love Nicholas Sparks, everyone once in a while, I’d like to ...

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