Reader Recommendations with Denise / by Madeleine Riley

It's the last Wednesday of the month, which means it's time for another round of Reader Recommendations! These posts are always so fruitful for my TBR -- in most months, I haven't read any of the books (or at least the majority) and it's a good reminder to me to branch out! Today I've invited Denise, who you may know on #bookstagram as @deniseoftheisland, to share four recommendations for TST readers!

P.S. Did you know that you can apply for a guest spot in my Reader Recommendations series? I'm sending out invites to summer guests this week! Just fill out this form to enter!


Hi readers! I am Denise and I live on Prince Edward Island. Yes, Green Gables is only 20 minutes away from my home. I grew up in Michigan, met my husband at university in Iowa. My husband is now a dairy farmer working with his dad on the family farm on PEI. I taught high school English for 6 years and now I stay home with my kids who are 7, 5 and 2. I have loved reading ever since I found Nancy Drew in the 4th grade and I have never looked back.


A Lesson Before Dying by Earnest J. Gaines

This book has been one of my favorites since high school, so much so that I even developed a unit on it during my undergrad education courses. This book has a good story and is well written. The narrator is a teacher, which always pulls me in. And the range of emotion it brings out is intense. It made me angry, inspired me and challenged me to be better. And while this books was written 25 years ago, the racial tensions and other themes feels very current and relevant.


The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

I have loved mysteries ever since Nancy Drew. I am especially fond of smart mysteries that allow the reader to try to solve the mystery along with protagonist. And this title is set in a monastery with a labyrinth like library, so really, what more does one want? It is a thick, multi-layered book and was originally written in Italian. It is a great book when you are in the mood for something a little bit heavier that will require you to think and pay attention. But the story line is engaging enough to keep the pages turning.


Tiger Lillie by Lisa Samson

I could have put any title by Lisa Samson here. She is an auto read for me. Samson is the author I turn to when I need a good pallet cleanser. Her characters are quirky, yet relatable and realistic. And her plots are gripping and the writing style is easy to read. You never really know how you are going to get to the end, even if you have an idea of what the ending might be. I would compare them to much of the chick lit out there, but with any distasteful language or questionable content. All of her books are ones that will make you feel good, happy, and hopeful at the end.


Otherwise by Jane Kenyon

To an audience of readers like this, I couldn't let a chance pass by to recommend my favorite poet and her most comprehensive collection of poetry. Her poems are simple and beautiful, with lots of imagery from nature and the country life. She explores memories, relationships, life and death through her poetry. Each poem will make you experience a true range of emotions and leave you reflecting the truth Kenyon just spoke. It is a wonderful collection to savor.

Thanks, Denise, for joining us this month! Personally, I've been on the lookout for poetry recommendations, because reading poetry is one of my goals for my summer reading this year! You can bet I've added Otherwise to my library list!