April, May & June 2019 Wrap-Up

July is almost behind us and I’m only now posting my quarterly wrap-up. I hope you will forgive my tardiness. I was busy reading and writing…

The second quarter of 2019 fun-reading consisted of one short story by George Orwell, one romantic fiction by Meg Cabot (love her!), one classic (Mary Stewart), one royal history book and two illustrated books that I loved so, so much!

(The links below take you to my earlier reviews, except for Orwell’s short story and Inside the Royal Wardrobe.)

The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot.

This was a very sweet read. I think it had a touch of Jane Austen’s Persuasion because the hero and heroine were forced to let go of each other many years earlier.

You and the Atom Bomb by George Orwell. “It is a commonplace that the history of civilisation is largely the history of weapons.” 

This short story was written during a time when everyone was terrified of being obliterated. It’s always interesting to read serious pieces from the actual era they were written in. I also learned that I should read short stories more often. It was an enjoyable (if not sobering), quick read.


Paris: Through A Fashion Eye by Megan Hess.

I don’t know why I’ve never heard of Megan Hess before. She is a wonderful illustrator and this book is a fun walk through Paree.


Coco Chanel by Megan Hess.

This was an illustrated novel of Coco Chanel’s life. I really love this book. It is so beautiful and fun. I’ve already picked it up several times to reread. I need another Megan Hess book pronto!


The Wind off the Small Isles by Mary Stewart.

This novella was so charming and romantic. The only complaint I had was that it ended too abruptly.

Inside the Royal Wardrobe: A Dress History of Queen Alexandra (affiliate link) by Kate Strasdin.

This newish biography is a fascinating study of Queen Alexandra through her wardrobe. She was not who I thought she was, a timid woman who cowered under Queen Victoria. No! She was a strong woman who knew her own mind and tried to live life on her terms. She was a very caring Princess of Wales and became a good queen. This book warrants its own review, coming soon.

xoxo, Jane

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. xoxo, Jane


Pairing books with tea (Meg Cabot’s The Boy Is Back)

person holding white ceramic teapot on white wooden surface
Photo via Pexels.com

This week’s tea/book match is for a modern book. The Boy Is Back is a modern-day epistolary novel, it’s hilarious and feel-good.

So which tea is appropriate to drink with this novel? (Just to be clear, you can drink any tea you want. We are just having fun here.) I think a tea without caffeine, that’s meant for relaxing, would be best.

Image via Twinings

How about Twining’s Buttermint? I think it works because Buttermint is perfect for relaxing around the house and The Boy Is Back is a perfect read for down-time.

What do you think? Also, check out my Pinterest board for this pairing.

xoxo, Jane

The Boy Is Back by Meg Cabot


The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot is the most recent novel in her The Boy series.

From the back of the book:

Reed Stewart thought he’d left all his small town troubles—including a broken heart—behind when he ditched tiny Bloomville, Indiana, ten years ago to become rich and famous on the professional golf circuit. Then one tiny post on the Internet causes all of those troubles to return . . . with a vengeance.

Becky Flowers has worked hard to build her successful senior relocation business, but she’s worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed. She has absolutely no intention of seeing him when he returns—until his family hires her to save his parents.

Now Reed and Becky can’t avoid one another—or the memories of that one fateful night.  And soon everything they thought they knew about themselves (and each other) has been turned upside down, and they—and the entire town of Bloomville—might never be the same, all because The Boy Is Back.

I love reading Meg Cabot. Her books always make me feel happy. This book is no exception. Halfway through the book I realized that Jane Austen’s Persuasion may have been a little bit of inspiration for the plot. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it? Either way, it makes for a heartwarming touch.

Reed left town because he thought he was not worthy of love and not good enough for his father. He wanted to make something of himself before returning. When his parents’ legal troubles force him to return home, he runs into his first and only love, Becky. This is where the story introduces the romantic conflict.

What I love

The book is written in the format of emails, text messages, Facebook chats, newspaper sections, audio transcripts and the occasional online review. The format worked well because the reader has insight into each character and the book is lengthy enough for full character development. A modern epistolary novel!

The epistolary style makes it easy to figure out what type of person Becky is. Spoiler: she is a super sweet person! You want to root for her. Reed is also a likable guy and I definitely found myself hoping they would get back together again. There is a villain in this story but I have to keep mum on that or else it will spoil the plot.

I also love that Persuasion quotes are liberally thrown in and quoted by Reed and Becky.

What I don’t love

Sometimes I felt like I was slogging through the book because the format mentally exhausted me.

Also, the conflict between Reed and Becky wasn’t very strong. If this was real life, all they needed to do was have a quick conversation and then they’d be back together again.

Instead, the reader is subjected to (albeit, incredibly funny) texts, chats and emails to draw out the weak conflict. I don’t mean to sound harsh because I truly enjoyed reading this book. I think it’s the perfect beach read for this summer. It’s light, frothy and laugh-out-loud funny. 

Have you read it? Am I right about the Persuasion link or am I reading too much into it? xoxo, Jane

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This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links, but it’s also ok if you don’t use the links. I’m just grateful you are here and reading my blog. xoxo, Jane

Thursday Reading Links #5


I’ve been sick with a cold most of this week, but I’m back on the mend. I hope you are doing well! Here are some interesting links. 🙂

Empress Masako: The Japanese princess who struggles with royal life.

My current read. I’m laugh-crying as I’m reading. Review to follow next week.

Rich guys are most likely to have no idea what they’re talking about, study suggests.

I don’t understand why someone paid $6.5 Million to get their daughter into Stanford, plus tuition on top of that.

What’s your opinion on this? Judge rules museum ‘rightfully owns’ Nazi-looted painting.

Fifty shades of white: the long fight against racism in romance novels.

Have a great weekend! xoxo, Jane

This post contains Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. It doesn’t cost you anything extra to use the links. Thank you for reading my blog. xoxo, Jane