I have a tree. It’s the tree that influenced my childhood. The tree provided fruit that stained my mouth and fingers. The tree scraped my hands and knees with its bark. The tree made the perfect amount of shade for my family’s Sunday picnics. 

Do you have a tree? 


We’re not alone. Many book characters have trees too. Here are a few of my favorites: 

12.04 How I Learned How to Fall Out of TreesHOW I LEARNED TO FALL OUT OF TREES
By Vincent Kirsch

Edward and Adelia are best friends, but Adelia will move away soon. Adelia promises Edward that she will teach him to climb her tree before she leaves. This story of friendship and letting go is beautifully illustrated by more than just pictures in this read. I’m convinced Adelia’s tree is the perfect climbing tree and I wish to climb it myself. 


12.04 The Giving TreeTHE GIVING TREE
By Shel Silverstein

A boy receives the love and generosity of a beautiful tree. She gives him her apples, leaves, branches, shade and more. The tree is a stalwart companion for the boy throughout his life.  I adore this tree. She is kind and generous with no thought of reward. THE GIVING TREE is a symbol of true friendship and love. This book is a must for any reader. 


12.04 The Forever TreeTHE FOREVER TREE
By Tereasa Surratt

This tree is loved by animals, humans, the young, and the old. It provides food, enjoyment, shade, and fond memories. One spring day, the tree doesn’t wake up and the animals and humans need to figure out a way to save it. This book stimulates out of the box thinking and shows that trees are important to everyone. 


12.04 Tesss TreeTESS’S TREE
By Jess M. Brallier

Tess is sad when her beloved tree is cut down. She doesn’t know what to do, but then she gets an idea. She decides to invite friends and family to celebrate the life of her tree and finds out how influential her tree was. This book is a good starter book for developing emotional intelligence. It shows Tess’s process of grief and reveals happiness is on the other side of sadness. 


12.04 There Was a TreeTHERE WAS A TREE
By Rachel Isadora

If you are a fan of beautiful art and song, then this book is for you. THERE WAS A TREE takes the song The Green Grass Grows All Around and sets it in Africa. Isadora’s art style and chosen setting pair well together to bring this story to life.  A few added features of this book include: written music and pictures sprinkled throughout the text to ensure any child can sing along.



What is more irresistible in the cold months than a warm slice of pie? Put on your fuzzy slippers, grab a mug of cocoa and a slice of your favorite pie, and enjoy these delicious fictional delights.  

12.02 Pie TownPIE TOWN
By Lynne Hinton

A heartwarming story of faith and hope in a small town, Pie Town will hook readers from the beginning. A young hitchhiker seems to spell big trouble for the residents of this cozy New Mexico town. The poor, unsuspecting priest who brings her there gets caught up in the whole fiasco. Pie Town is the first in Hinton’s hit series! 


12.02 Luck Love and Lemon PieLUCK, LOVE & LEMON PIE
By Amy Reichert

You’ll love this empowering story of MJ, a wife and mother reclaiming her independence. What starts as an idea to spend more time with her husband turns into a high stakes poker streak! MJ will have to play her hand carefully or risk losing it all!  


12.02 Apple Pie PromisesAPPLE PIE PROMISES
By Hillary Homzie

This rollercoaster young adult novel deals with the difficult topic of divorce. Lily is forced to live with her father and new step-family after her mother gets a job offer. It’ll be easy as apple pie, right?  


12.02 Blackberry Pie MurderBLACKBERRY PIE MURDER
By Joanne Fluke

A chance encounter on a country road with a mysterious stranger claims Hannah Swensen as the main suspect in a murder investigation! The victim has blackberry pie stains on his shirt and Hannah must follow the crumbs to figure out his identity. You’ll enjoy this charming mystery!



11.22 The Word is MurderRORY KINNEAR

The only book I know of that Rory Kinnear has narrated (so far) is THE WORD IS MURDER by Anthony Horowitz.  The Word is Murder is the first book in a planned series, however, so I have great hope that Kinnear will keep narrating.  Kinnear’s narration of this book was so good that I frequently stopped whatever else I was doing and just sat there, marveling at his skill.  Kinnear not only gave different, nuanced voices to every character in The Word is Murder, you could also hear personality traits and feel whatever it was the character was feeling.


11.22 Love and RuinJANUARY LAVOY

January LaVoy has narrated a lot of books from popular authors like James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, and John Grisham.  I personally loved her reading of Paula McLain’s LOVE AND RUIN.  This tale of Ernest Hemingway’s third wife, Martha Gelhorn, who was a talented author and journalist in her own right, was fascinating to me, and I couldn’t stop listening.



Let me start by gushing about Jane Harper, a mystery author who is so good at writing about the Australian Outback as a character that even if you read her work on a cold December day, your mouth will suddenly be parched, and you’ll start checking your skin for sun damage.  Add Steve Shanahan’s excellent narration of Harper’s books to the equation, and you’ll be absolutely transported into the story.  Start with Harper’s first book, THE DRY, or with her most recent stand-alone, THE LOST MAN.


11.22 Children of Blood and BoneBAHNI TURPIN

Bahni Turpin has been getting a lot of praise for her amazing reading of the breakaway YA title of 2018, CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE. However, Turpin is also a great narrator to keep your eye on if you’re interested in YA books with a social justice theme.  Turpin also narrated the breakout hits THE HATE U GIVE and the young readers edition of HIDDEN FIGURES.


11.22 EducatedJULIA WHELAN

Julia Whelan has narrated not one, but two of my favorite books that have come out recently.  Her excellent reading of Tara Westover’s memoir, EDUCATED, about a young woman growing up in a survivalist family in Idaho, is gripping storytelling made even more amazing by the fact that it really happened.  Whelan also narrates FAR FROM THE TREE an award-winning YA novel about three siblings separated by adoption who find each other as teenagers, which I found very touching. Listen to Far from the Tree with tissues handy.


Book Blind Date

My dear patron, are you looking for your next love affair? Well, I am back to give you some more dating options.

This dating segment will work differently than the ones in the past (see round 1 and round 2. So far I was acted as intermediary between book and reader. Today I thought I would allow the book to speak for itself.

After all, each book, just like any suitor, has its own pick-up lines. That first sentence or two crafted to entice you from the very start. 

Below are four first line(s) of four mystery books. If one of them flirts with your interest, I implore you to pick it up and take it out for the evening.


First lines: “When a man you know to be of sound mind tells you his recently deceased mother has just tried to climb in his bedroom window and eat him, you only have two basic options. You can smell his breath, take his pulse, and check his pupil’s to see if he’s ingested anything nasty, or you can believe him.”


First line: “He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.”


First lines: “Every seven-year-old deserves a superhero. That's just how it is.”


First line: “The moon blew up with no warning and with no apparent reason.”


11.20 The Steel Remains#1: THE STEEL REMAINS
By Richard K. Morgan


11.20 Scaramouche A Romance of the French Revolution#2: SCARAMOUCHE : A ROMANCE OF THE FRENCH REVOLUTION
By Rafael Sabatini


11.20 My Grandmother asked me#3: MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE'S SORRY
By Fredik Backman


11.20 Seveneves#4 SEVENEVES
By Neal Stephenson


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