#Theredheadedauthor Presents the November 2019 New York Times TOP 10 Best Sellers – Young Adult

As an avid reader (and an author who one day hopes to make the list) I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE checking out the New York Times Best Seller list. So, here it is… The independently ranked top 10 Young Adult selections for November 2019!

If you’ve read any of the TOP 10 selections and recommend them, please comment below and let me know. If you see something you like and plan to pick up a copy, you can do so by clicking on the title, the cover image, or the [BUY IT HERE] button.

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#1 Long Way Down

by Jason Reynolds

…A gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge.


#2 Dear Martin

by Nic Stone

Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates.


#3 The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

by John Boyne

Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance.


#4 Looking for Alaska

by John Green

First drink. First prank. First friend. First love.

Last words.


#5 The Sun Is Also A Star

by Nicola Yoon

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true? 


#6 I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

by Erika L. Sanchez

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents’ house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.


#7 Turtles All The Way Down

by John Green

Aza Holmes never intended to pursuethe disappearance of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate.


#8 The Similars

by Rebecca Hanover

This fall, six new students are joining the junior class at the elite Darkwood Academy. But they aren’t your regular over-achieving teens. They’re DNA duplicates, and these “similars” are joining the class alongside their originals.


#9 Salt to the Sea

by Ruta Sepetys

Winter 1945. WWII. Four refugees. Four stories.


#10 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.


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#Theredheadedauthor Presents the November 2019 New York Times TOP 10 Best Sellers – FICTION

As an avid reader of fiction (and an author who one day hopes to make the list) I LOVE-LOVE-LOVE checking out the New York Times Best Seller list. So, here it is… The independently ranked top 10 Fiction selections for November 2019!

row of books and a cup of coffee

If you’ve read any of the TOP 10 selections and recommend them, please comment below and let me know. If you see something you like and plan to pick up a copy, you can do so by clicking on the title, the cover image, or the [BUY IT HERE] button.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


#1 Blue Moon

by Lee Child

Jack Reacher gets caught up in a turf war between Ukrainian and Albanian gangs.


#2 The Guardians

by John Grisham

Cullen Post, a lawyer and Episcopal minister, antagonizes some ruthless killers when he takes on a wrongful conviction case.


#3 The Night Fire

by Michael Connelly

Harry Bosch and Renee Ballard return to take up a case that held the attention of Bosch’s mentor.


#4 Where the Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens

In a quiet town on the North Carolina coast in 1969, a young woman who survived alone in the marsh becomes a murder suspect.


#5 The Giver of Stars

by Jojo Moyes

In Depression-era America, five women refuse to be cowed by men or convention as they deliver books throughout the mountains of Kentucky.


#6 The Dutch House

by Ann Patchett

A sibling relationship is impacted when the family goes from poverty to wealth and back again over the course of many decades.


#7 Find Me

by Andre Aciman

Years after the events of “Call Me by Your Name,” Elio has become a classically trained pianist in Paris while Oliver is a New England college professor with a family.


#8 The 19th Christmas

by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

In the 19th installment of the Women’s Murder Club series, detective Lindsay Boxer and company take on a fearsome criminal known only as “Loman.”


#9 The Deserter

by Nelson DeMille and Alex DeMille

Two members of the Criminal Investigation Division must bring back a Delta Force soldier who disappeared.


#10 The Institute

by Stephen King

Children with special talents are abducted and sequestered in an institution where the sinister staff seeks to extract their gifts through harsh methods.


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Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate ~ Book Review

Would you prefer to watch the video, instead of reading the review? CLICK HERE

  • Title: Before We Were Yours
  • Author: Lisa Wingate
  • Release Date: May 21, 2019

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RATING OVERVIEW ★★★★ (4 Stars)
Writing: ★★★★ | Story: ★★★★ | Characters: ★★★★ | Appearance: ★★★★

AMAZON DESCRIPTION:

THE BLOCKBUSTER HIT—Over two million copies sold! A New York TimesUSA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly Bestseller

“Poignant, engrossing.”—People • “Lisa Wingate takes an almost unthinkable chapter in our nation’s history and weaves a tale of enduring power.”—Paula McLain


Memphis, 1939. 
Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancé, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

Publishers Weekly’s #3 Longest-Running Bestseller of 2017  Winner of the Southern Book Prize  If All Arkansas Read the Same Book Selection

“Sure to be one of the most compelling books you pick up this year. . . . Wingate is a master-storyteller, and you’ll find yourself pulled along as she reveals the wake of terror and heartache that is Georgia Tann’s legacy.”Parade

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MY 2 CENTS / THE CRITICAL POINTS:

I didn’t know anything about this book when I started reading it. It was a book club selection, so I didn’t need to read the back – I knew I was going to read it. I had a feeling it was going to be emotional, and it was. It isn’t the typical genre I like reading, but I am so glad I read it. It has opened my eyes to a piece of U.S. history that I never knew about. Not all history is good, in fact most isn’t, this included. Yet, not knowing, doesn’t make it any better. The families that supported and participated in this “legalized” child trading should be ashamed of themselves. It was disgusting and unforgivable. No child should have to suffer the way these kids did. No child should be ripped away from their family for no reason. There is a difference between children being put into the system when there is abuse, drug use, or the families are just unable to care for the children properly. But to have a child kidnapped off their front porch or sold into the system, its not right.

WRITING (★★★★):

Lisa Wingate’s writing style is simple and elegant storytelling. The pages are painted with descriptive text that make you feel like you’re there in the world she’s seeing in her mind. Talk of magnolias smelling like freedom, children wrapped in bedsheets like caterpillars, and the way the boat moans beneath their feet…all of it allows you to hear, smell, even taste exactly what the characters are experiencing.  

STORY (★★★★):

This book tells two stories, the first centers around Rill Foss and her siblings and the second centers around Avery Stafford a woman who comes from a well-known political family. The stories take place about 70 years apart, but are weaved into each other for the purposes of the novel. The first story, that of Rill Foss and her siblings, covers their time and experiences within the Tennessee Home for Children, and is both intriguing and devastating. The second story, that of Avery Stafford and the Stafford family as Avery is digging up her grandmother’s history and past secrets was a little less intriguing. In fact, at times, it was quite boring.

The Tennessee Home for Children portion of the story takes the unthinkable facts, based on the recounted stories told by children who survived the Tennessee Children’s Homes Society orphanage and who later were able to locate their lost family members after the documents were unsealed in 1995, 45 years after the home was closed. Lisa Wingate has created a family of believable siblings, using an all to likely storyline, caught up in this terrible scheme of child trafficking. It is heart-breaking and takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. When you consider these things actually happened, and may still be happening in some areas of the world, it is sickening.

As a mother, this was a rather hard book to read. The subject matter is disturbing and unforgettable. I kept picturing my children going through what Rill and her siblings when through and it made me sick. Having a story like this be based on something that really happened makes it all the much worse. That being said, I felt like it was extremely well-written and hard to put down. I needed to get to the end. I needed to find out if everything worked out for them in the end, even though I knew that for many of the children in the care of the Tennessee Home for Children, things didn’t work out well.

CHARACTERS (★★★★):

Character development is one of Lisa Wingate’s strongest tools. She weaves two stories; then and now, into this book and the only thing holding them together is the strong characters she has created. Rill Foss (aka May Crandall) and her siblings has such a tight bond that the entire book your hoping and praying that there will be a happy ending and everyone will find each other again. Avery Stafford, the great granddaughter of Rill’s sister is a truly honorable woman, set on finding out the truth even if the buried secrets could hurt her family politically.

APPEARANCE (★★★★):

The cover is beautiful. It speaks to the heart without giving anything away.  

FAVORITE QUOTES:

“One of the best things a father can do for his daughter is let her know that she has met his expectations. My father did that for me, and no amount of effort on my part can fully repay the debt.”

“A woman’s past need not predict her future. She can dance to new music if she chooses. Her own music. To hear the tune, she must only stop talking. To herself, I mean. We’re always trying to persuade ourselves of things.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Selected among BOOKLIST’S Top 10 for two years running, Lisa Wingate writes novels that Publisher’s Weekly calls “Masterful” and ForeWord Magazine refers to as “Filled with lyrical prose, hope, and healing.” Lisa is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the author of a host of literary works. Her novels have garnered or been short-listed for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Utah Library Award, the LORIES Best Fiction Award, The Carol Award, the Christy Award, Family Fiction’s Top 10, RT Booklover’s Reviewer’s Choice Award, and others. The group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with six others for the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who promote greater kindness and civility in American life. She’s been a writer since Mrs. Krackhardt’s first-grade class and still believes that stories have the power to change the world.

IN THE WRITER’S OWN WORDS: A special first grade teacher, Mrs. Krackhardt, made a writer out of me. That may sound unlikely, but it’s true. It’s possible to find a calling when you’re still in pigtails and Mary Jane shoes, and to know it’s your calling. I was halfway through the first grade when I landed in Mrs. Krackhardt’s classroom. I was fairly convinced there wasn’t anything all that special about me… and then, Mrs. Krackhardt stood over my desk and read a story I was writing. She said things like, “This is a great story! I wonder what happens next?”

It isn’t every day a shy new kid gets that kind of attention. I rushed to finish the story, and when I wrote the last word, the teacher took the pages, straightened them on the desk, looked at me over the top, and said, “You are a wonderful writer!”

A dream was born. Over the years, other dreams bloomed and died tragic, untimely deaths. I planned to become an Olympic gymnast or win the National Finals Rodeo, but there was this matter of back flips on the balance beam and these parents who stubbornly refused to buy me a pony. Yet the writer dream remained. I always believed I could do it because… well… my first grade teacher told me so, and first grade teachers don’t lie.

So, that is my story, and if you are a teacher, or know a teacher, or ever loved a special teacher, I salute you from afar and wish you days be filled with stories worth telling and stories worth reading.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

Also by Lisa Wingate:

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Week 34 – #WritingWednesday Challenge

Today is the 34th Edition of #WritingWednesday!!!

Remember, #WritingWednesday is an EASY, STRESS-FREE (which is why I’m not stressing that this post is a day late), weekly writing challenge.

  • Read the writing prompt below,
  • Spend 5 minutes writing (in your own voice or the voice of a character you’re writing) whatever comes to mind,
  • DON’T EDIT what you write! IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE PERFECT!

The goal is 5 minutes of creativity.

Today I am writing in the voice of Tanja, one of the characters in the novel I’m currently outlining. I’m not sure if this will be a selection in the novel, or just part of my character development journal.

Today’s writing prompt:

Describe one odd item you always carry with you, in your purse, your wallet, or just a pocket.

I was young when my mother died, but before she did, she shared the secrets of our lineage with me. She didn’t want to, but having watched as she and my aunt raised my grandmother’s body from the grave, she kind of had to. When she believed I was ready, or maybe just because she knew her time was coming to an end, she gave me her sacred ritual knife. It was an ivory white, alligator jaw bone boline-athame-knife. It was razor sharper and as strong as any knife I’ve ever seen. The blade is only three inches long, but it doesn’t have to be long when you’re only using it to slice into the palm of your own hand, or that of a relative of the dead you’re trying to raise. Since my mother died, I’ve kept that blade with me without fail. She had used it since she was a child, learning her craft. It felt like a piece of her was always with me, guiding me, and protecting me.

© 2019 Nina Soden


Alright, now it’s your turn. I’d love to see what today’s writing prompt inspires in you. So, if you are willing, go to the comment section below and start typing. Take 5 minutes and let’s see what you come up with! 

Describe one odd item you always carry with you, in your purse, your wallet, or just a pocket.


What books have made your October reading list? Comment below and let me know! Then, click on the links below to check out the October 2019 New York Times Top Ten Lists and see which books you’d like to add to your reading list!


Let Passion Drive You!

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

What are you passionate about?

When I sit down and think about my life, really think, there are so many things I am passionate about. It makes me wonder if you can have too much passion in your life. Can too much passion overwhelm your life, causing you to spread yourself to thin… thus never achieving greatness in any one area?

The following quote comes to mind: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” ~ Harriet Tubman

The thing is I don’t know that I really want to change the world. My passions aren’t about earth-changing, life-altering, global-effecting issues. My passions are about: watching my children live, laugh, and love; experiencing the natural talents as I watch my husband on the golf course; spending quiet time as I put my thoughts on paper creating a new world for my readers; giving my time to the local community theatre and performing on stage with some amazing actresses and actors.

You see, I have had big dreams and amazing passions in my life… they are what took me to L.A. to pursue a career in film… However, what I have discovered, in my Blah Blah years, is that my true passions aren’t out there somewhere in the world undiscovered, but instead they are here, in my home, with my family close at hand.

So, as my all time favorite actress Audrey Hepburn once said, “The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.”

You see… the love I give to my family is my passion and through them my passion drives me!

October 2019 ~ Book Haul

I LOVE to read… Sometimes my ‘To Read’ list grows a little to large, but those are the times I love the most. Right now, I’m celebrating my amazing OCTOBER BOOK HAUL!

Comment below and let me know how many of these books you’ve read and which one you recommend I start with! If you see something you like and plan to pick up a copy, you can do so by clicking on the book cover, the title, or the [BUY IT HERE] button.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


#1 The Starter Wife

by Nina Laurin

Local police have announced that they’re closing the investigation of the suspected drowning of 37-year-old painter Colleen Westcott. She disappeared on April 11, 2010, and her car was found parked near the waterfront in Cleveland two days later, but her body has never been found.

I close the online search window, annoyed. These articles never have enough detail. They think my husband’s first wife disappeared or they think she is dead. There’s a big difference.


#2 The Wife Between Us

by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife. You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle. Assume nothing.


#3 The Other Sister

by Dianne Dixon

One sister has everything. Her twin hates her for it. Would life be better without Ali? Probably. At least then people might notice Morgan. Ali’s always gotten everything-she doesn’t even realize how much Morgan resents her.


#4 The Last Time I Lied

by Riley Sager

Two truths and a lie. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and Emma played it all the time at Camp Nightingale. But the games ended the night Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin into the darkness. The last she – or anyone – saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.


#5 Sometimes I Lie

by Alice Feeney

Amber Reynolds wakes up in a hospital. She can’t move. She can’t speak. She can’t open her eyes. She can hear everyone around her, but they have no idea.


#6 Parasite

by Mira Grant

Every six months or so, some conspiracy nut starts in with “what they aren’t telling you” and “These are the things they don’t want you to know,” and you know what? Not one of them has produced verifiable scientific evidence that the Intestinal Bodyguard is harmful in humans.


#7 Paradox

by Catherine Coulter

Author Catherine Coulter delves into the terrifying mind of an escaped mental patient obsessed with revenge in this next installment of her riveting FBI series.


#8 Sleeping Beauties

by Stephen King and Owen King

In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep: they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent…



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I huge thank you to my Book Fairy, Stacy Kingsley – zombie author – CLICK FOR HER WEBSITE. PLUS, you should totally check out her books below:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) ~ Movie Review

Would you prefer to watch the video review, instead of reading it? CLICK HERE

Watch the movie on NETFLIX! Buy the book HERE!

SHOW RATING OVERVIEW ★★★★ (3.75)
Writing/Story: ★★★★ | Cinematography:  ★★★★ | Sound: ★★ | Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★★

IMDB STORY LINE:

Lara Jean Covey writes letters to all of her past loves, the letters are meant for her eyes only. Until one day when all the love letters are sent out to her previous loves. Her life is soon thrown into chaos when her foregoing loves confront her one by one.

MY 2 CENTS:

Now, I need to read the book! I’ve read a number of online reviews that say the movie stayed true to the book and if that’s the case, then like I said… I need to read the book.

Writing/Story: ★★★★

This movie was light hearted and fun. It’s not a “think piece” by any means. It isn’t meant to strike up political debate… or any debate for that matter. It’s just a cute, high school centered, feel-good movie… Well, feel-good in the ‘I’d never want this situation to happen to me, but watching it on screen is a lot of fun’ sort of way.

Since watching the film, I’ve read a lot of reviews… some good and some not so good. Honestly, I don’t get it. This movie is meant to entertain, and it does that. It’s a cute romcom and it seems like the actors are having a great time in their roles.

Cinematography ★★★★

There really wasn’t anything spectacular about the cinematography in this film, but there wasn’t anything bad about it either… so it gets 4 stars!

Sound ★★

Ok, I don’t usually put ‘Sound’ on my list, but this one stood out and not in a good way. There were a couple of times when the sound just went a little wonky, but the one that stands out the most was when Lara Jean confronts her bully in the girl’s bathroom. It sounded like a movie video that was recorded on a very old VHS tape recorder. Not good.

Character(s)/Acting: ★★★★★

I think what I liked most about this film was the characters. They felt real and they were relatable. Now, most of that has to do with the writing, I know that. The author of the novel as well as the screenwriter, who adapted the novel, did a great job with character development. By the end of the film, you feel like you know these characters and you can probably relate to at least one of them.

With that said, some of the credit also has to go to the actors. I thought this cast did a great job brining these characters to life.

Lana Condor, as Lara Jean, was cute, spunky, awkward, and the perfect girl next-door.

Noah Centineo, who I have to admit is hit or miss with his acting, did a much better job in this film than in Swiped (2018) a disaster of a film.

Janel Parrish, who played Lara Jean’s older sister Margot, commanded the screen even though her roles was rather small.

MY FAVORITE QUOTES:

“My life was a mess… but I could clean my room.”

TO SUM IT UP:

If you like relaxing with a feel-good movie, then you should watch this one. Grab your popcorn and get cozy. Its 99 minutes of pure enjoyment, where you don’t have to think about all the other pressures in life!  

Have you seen ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’? Let me know your thoughts, in the comments below. As always, I do recommend seeing this film for yourself and forming your own opinion.

Check out my YouTube channel and the video review below… and make sure you hit subscribe so you never miss a video.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018) Trailer:

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (the novel)

Lara Jean’s love life gets complicated in this New York Times bestselling “lovely, lighthearted romance” (School Library Journal) from the bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series.

What if all the crushes you ever had found out how you felt about them…all at once?

Sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Song keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her; these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved—five in all. When she writes, she pours out her heart and soul and says all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly, Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.