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Literary Friday: Six Mini Reviews

Friday, June 2, 2023


Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  Today I'm sharing six books with you, but don't worry....I've challenged myself to write mini reviews with no more than five to six sentences per book!  I hope you appreciate the variety of these books as they are from several genres:  science fiction, cozy mystery, new adult fantasy, literary classic, literary fiction, and magical realism.  

So pour yourself another cup of coffee (you know you want one), sit back, and pick out a book for your summer reading list!

Imagine a world where everyone is obsessed with literature, writers are more popular than rockstars, time travel is a thing, and people can enter the world of books.  If this sounds like a fun alternative universe, then you will love The Eyre Affair where literary detective Thursday Next must save Jane Eyre, both the character and the classic novel.  Set in the 1980s, The Eyre Affair is the first in a series of seven.  This is the best book I've read in years, and one of my favorites of all time.

Book eight in The Scottish Bookshop Mystery Series, Fateful Words is my least favorite so far.  The other books in this series are chock-full of history and literature, but this one is lacking.  It does center around a literary tour of Edinburgh, but there's not enough descriptions of the sites with the exception of St. Giles' Cathedral.  The mystery is lacking as well.  The one positive is that we see more of the heroine Delaney's husband Tom in the plot.  In spite of my disappointment in this installment, this is my favorite cozy mystery series.

Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Fairies is excellent:  What a nice surprise!  I thought it was going to be a strange New Adult fantasy, but it was much more character driven.  Set during the Victorian Era, Emily is a Cambridge professor and researcher compiling an encyclopaedia of all the fairies.  Her project takes her to Scandinavia during winter to research fairies in a remote village.  She's definitely awkward, possibly on the autism spectrum, so it's a good thing when her handsome fellow Cambridge professor Wendell Bambleby shows-up to help her in her research and navigate the politics of the village.  My question:  What exactly IS Wendell?

This is a re-read for me.  I first listened to this book on NPR about thirty-four years ago, and I loved it.  An American classic, Ride With Me, Mariah Montana is about Jick McCaskill, his photographer daughter, Mariah, and Mariah's journalist ex-husband Riley Wright.  Mariah and Riley con Jick in to taking them in his Winnebago all over Montana during the state's centennial summer while the pair cover events and celebrations for their newspaper.  Mariah and Riley are a handful, and Jick can barely stand being in the same state with Riley, so it goes without saying that the small confines of the Winnebago might not be the best idea for how Jick should spend his summer.  I love this book so much because seeing Montana through Jick's eyes is unforgettable. 

Phaedra Patrick is a favorite writer of mine, and I've had The Messy Lives of Book People on my To Be Read List for a little while.  Literature lover Liv Green is a mother of two older teenagers, and she cleans house for mega-bestselling author Essie Starling.  Essie dies suddenly, and it is her final wish for Liv to finish her last  book.  Essie was a difficult client, and as Liv begins work on the novel and digs a little deeper into Essie's life, she is stunned to discover a connection between them.  Liv is a character who stays with the reader for a very long time after finishing the book.

Weyward was recommended to me by my librarian.  It's the intertwined story of three Weyward women: one from the present, one from the seventeenth century, and one from circa WWII.  Set in Northern England, the plot has a wee bit of magical realism.  I normally like family dramas, but the men were mostly horrible, and there's a definite feminist bent to the book.  These women all had several reasons to not trust men!  What I like best is how the magic of nature features prominently in the narrative.  Emilia Hart is a creative talent I'm happy to know about, and I hope to read more of her books.

Which one sounds like the best read to you?  Will you be adding any of these to your TBR List?

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. I have Weyward on my TBR stack. I'm intrigued by the synopsis, but it was that gorgeous cover that made me buy it! Glad you enjoyed it. Also, I think I was meant to read The Eyre Affair. I'm wearing my Jane Eyre t-shirt today, so it has to be fate. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these!

  2. They all sound very interesting and the covers are all very beautiful and colorful. We were in a book shop recently and I noticed how vibrant all the covers were, much more so than I ever remember. I like the trend!!

  3. I just jotted down THE MESSY LIVES OF BOOK PEOPLE to read. Thanks-I always love your suggestions.

  4. I was able to reserve The Eyre Affair on my library's Libby app. Thanks for the review!

  5. You've read some wonderful books and my list always gets longer when I visit you!


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Hello, Lovelies!

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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