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Literary Friday: Mini Reviews

Friday, May 21, 2021


Photo by Paige Cody on Unsplash

Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  Today I'm sharing a few mini reviews, and an exciting opportunity from Victoria Magazine.

Below are books I've read recently, but I haven't had the time to review them here on the blog because of natural disasters, graduations, and a wedding.

The book covers are IndieBound affiliate links.

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If you're looking for a sweet, clean romance series, this book is for you.  Hooked on You is the first Maple Falls romance by Kathleen Fuller, and it's about an artist named Riley who returns to her tiny Arkansas town to care for her grandmother who broke her leg during a church league softball game.  Riley is very prickly, but can she resist the charms of Maple Falls' most famous resident, former baseball player Hayden (who also happened to be her high school crush)?  This series reminds me of HGTV's Hometown in that young people are moving home and are revitalizing the town.  

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I received this book for Christmas, and I've wanted to read it for a very long time.  When eccentric novelist Robert Eady abruptly vanishes,  his wife, Leah, finds plane tickets to Paris (presumably hidden by Robert).  In her grief, she takes their daughters to Paris and begins running an English bookstore.  This book pays homage to Ludvig Bemelmans' Madeline and Albert Lamorisse's The Red Balloon, and there are parallels in the plot to these classics.  Most of the book's action is set in Le Marais, one of the most beautiful areas of Paris.  Although a few plot points are problematic, I loved it.

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A Happy Catastrophe is the sequel to the popular Matchmaking for Beginners.  

I loved the first book, but the second one was  mostly sad, however it has a very happy ending.  (I don't usually like to give endings away, but in this case it's necessary.)  The books have elements of magical realism, which make them fun: Marnie sees sparks around people who are "meant to be," even before the couple has met.  Her boyfriend Patrick is shocked when his eight year old daughter he knew nothing about shows-up out of the blue, just as Marnie is pining for a baby.  I love these books, but I was very worried about Patrick's mental state throughout most of A Happy Catastrophe.  

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I have been reading The Mitford Series by Jan Karon during the pandemic.  This series and the Bible has kept me sane.  Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good is the next to the last book in the series, and it takes place in Mitford, shortly after Father Tim and his artist wife Cynthia returns from a long vacation in Ireland.  In it, several of the town's characters are in crisis, and the local newspaper is asking: "Does Mitford Take Care of Its Own?"  {Yes, Mitford does take care of its own...}

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Recently, I read Come Rain or Come Shine, the last book in the series.  Sad that it's over, but I feel certain I will read all fourteen again at some point.  This book is about Dooley and Lace's wedding.  Dooley is Father Tim's adopted son who's recently graduated from veterinary school.  It is definitely one of my favorites, and the wedding is so sweet.

Did you know that Jan Karon is Victoria Magazine's Writer in Residence?  Victoria's Book Club is currently reading Come Rain or Come Shine.  

HERE you can make recipes from a Mitford-inspired wedding feast feature!

By the way....If you don't have time to read a book this weekend, do yourself a favor and pick-up the latest issue of Victoria Magazine.  It's one of the best issues I've ever read: There's so much inspiration in this one!  I can hardly put it down, and you might see my interpretations of a few of their features here on the blog in the near future.  Stay tuned!

View a preview of the July/August Issue and order it HERE.

Have a super weekend, Lovelies!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. These all sound pretty wonderful. I hope after we get everything settled in the condo I might have time for a few good summer reads. Happy Friday. xoxo Kris

  2. Oh, I will have to look for Victoria. You sold me on it, since I really don't buy them anymore, because I am looking for something different. The Paris book looks appealing, and I am intrigued with the mention of Madeline and the Red Balloon. I read mostly classics and non-fiction. LOL. The last popular fiction book that I read took place in Paris, and when I finished, I left it in the studio we stayed in Italy. I never get rid of books, but it was so bad! Have a wonderful weekend. xoox Su

  3. I enjoyed the Paris bookshop too -- partly because of the setting, which is where I have stayed several times. (Marais). You're right about the plot points!

  4. I enjoy your reviews. Paris by the Book sounds perfect for a beach getaway this year. Lovely photography as always. Hope you are caught up and enjoying the weekend..........hugs.

  5. I haven't read any Jan Karon but my sister is a big fan, I need to check these out! I love a big beautiful magazine and have been following Victoria magazine on instagram, their photos are stunning!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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