Sunday Post/Mailbox Monday 7/11/2021: Summertime Updates

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog…
Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists….

Hello all and happy weekend. I haven’t posted an updates post since May and time is flying as usual. I hope you are doing well and enjoying your summer. Summer tends to get busy for us because both my kids and my husband have birthdays back to back, and it seems like each weekend we have plans, then we try to fit in a vacation trip as well. I can’t complain, I love the summer months and enjoying the sunshine as much as I can.

Maybe TMI but in the midst of being busy with work and family these past few months, I had to have a root canal. A painful complicated one that involved two one and a half hour long visits to a specialist who gave me THREE shots of Novocain per visit, a round of antibiotics and prescription painkillers which after taking just one pill I decided to stick to Advil forever. I’m glad it’s over and done with and I hope to never have to go through that again in this lifetime or the next.

Anyway, on a good note, work announced the hybrid schedule is permanent so I am happy about that. It’s great working from home a few days a week then driving into the office a few days. I’m finding it a nice balance.

And I was finally away on vacation recently doing alot of this which was very relaxing:

Onto my bookish updates…..

recently on the blog:

I shared my thoughts on Sarana and the Dark King by Ivy Keating.

I reviewed The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah.

In my mailbox:

After loving The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah I ordered The Great Alone by the same author.

I received The Bookshop Murder by Merryn Allingham via Bookouture, The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews via St. Martin’s Press and Neon Gods by Katee Robert via Sourcebooks Casablanca.

I purchased The Power by by Naomi Alderman and this fun bookish tote at the coziest little Indie bookstore I found while on vacation. It was a little book cabin and the owner was very nice.

I crocheted a coffee cup coaster and cozie for my cubicle.

I finished up my son’s blanket. I made this for him as one of his birthday gifts in May.

We watched all 3 Thor movies and are watching the Avengers films next so we can watch the new Loki series. Have you watched any of these?

That wraps up my updates, what are you up to? What are you reading? Otis says enjoy your weekend and stay safe 🙂

Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is available for download. Some of these links are affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. The photos in this post are my own and not to be removed from here.

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

source: purchased
title: The Four Winds
author: Kristin Hannah
genre: historical fiction
pages: 464
published: February 2, 2021
first line: Hope is a coin I carry: an American penny, given to me by a man I came to love.
rated: 5 out of 5 stars

The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it―the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.-quoted from Amazon

My thoughts:
The Four Winds was my first foray into author Kristin Hannah’s work and it won’t be my last. I picked this one up after seeing a few book bloggers rave about it.

This book was my vacation read last week and I was transported as I read. I could not put it down, reading as many as 200 pages in one day which is alot for me since I usually tap out at maybe 100 pages a day.

Without giving too much away, the story takes place during the 1930’s Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. The book centers around Elsa Wolcott who by age 25 has been written off by her family as an old maid. She is born in Texas to a well off family since her father owns a tractor business. Elsa loves to read and wants to have fun and be a flapper and become a writer one day. Everything changes for her and she becomes a mom and suffers through the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. With themes of family, motherhood, the bonds women form, poverty and American life during the 1920’s and 30’s this was an epic story that utterly drew me in. I could not turn the pages fast enough.

The author writes about the Dust Bowl and the storms so vividly I could easily imagine it. Of course while reading I had to google the Dust Bowl to familiarize myself with the details and I was shocked at what I learned and what so many people suffered at that time. The images of these dust storms look like something out of a nightmare. The dust from the Plains region even reached up as far as Washington DC and New York City at one point. The author paints such a vivid picture of what people went through at that time and of the poverty people suffered that it both shocks you and pulls at your heartstrings as you read.

Kristin Hannah’s descriptive writing style and the way she shaped these characters had me enthralled. I felt for them and I wanted them to be alright. The relationships within the story are what grab ahold of you as you read. Elsa is a good mother trying to survive it all and take care of her children. The people she meets who are going through similar struggles become like family to her. This is a story about strong women and about surviving against all odds and pushing forward no matter what.

The Four Winds is definitely one of my top reads for 2021 and I highly recommend it if you are looking to get swept away into a well written historical family saga. Have a box of tissues handy.
As per the photo below, my reading view last week was perfect. I’m so glad I chose The Four Winds as my vacation book. Have you read this one?

“Books had always been her solace; novels gave her the space to be bold, brave, beautiful, if only in her own imagination.”– p14, The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

“Heartache had been a part of her life so long it had become as familiar as the color of her hair or the slight curve in her spine. Sometimes it was the lens through which she viewed her world and sometimes it was the blindfold she wore so she didn’t see.”- p.117, The Four Winds

“Love is what remains when everything else is gone.” -p.425, The Four Winds


About the author:
Kristin Hannah is the award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including the international blockbuster, The Nightingale, which was named Goodreads Best Historical fiction novel for 2015 and won the coveted People’s Choice award for best fiction in the same year. Additionally, it was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon, iTunes, Buzzfeed, the Wall Street Journal, Paste, and The Week.-quoted from Amazon


Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I purchased my copy of The Four Winds. Some of these links are affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small affiliate commission. The book photo here is my own.