Jun 25, 2017

Sunday Salon: Weeding and Reading

Slow reading last week as I finished only two short books:

Arf (Bowser and Birdie #2)

Arf (Bowser and Birdie #2)

April 26, 2016, Scholastic Press

When someone breaks into their house under very mysterious circumstances, Bowser is on the alert.

A Separation

A Separation by ublished February  7, 2017.

A psychological study, character-oriented, in a slow moving novel of decision and resolve, and finally indecision. 

A young woman is sent by her mother-in-law to find the woman's husband who has gone to a remote corner of Greece on business. He seems to have disappeared, but the young woman does not inform her mother-in-law that she agrees to find her son in order to ask for a divorce. 

No new books came in the mail, but I have downloaded ebooks and borrowed hardcovers from the library.

Other books:
I am almost finished with Murder in Saint-Germaine by Cara Black, a mystery set in Paris, one of  the best so far in the series, I think.

The weather was so good yesterday, we spent time relaxing in the backyard, weeding, reading, and drinking iced tea and that new coffee I found recently. 

Visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also visit It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Book Date 

Jun 23, 2017

A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams: Book Beginning

A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams
published June 28, 2016, a book of romance and scandal in the Roaring Twenties of New 
York.
.

Book beginning:

At last, it's the day we've been waiting for, dear readers: the opening of the greatest Trial of the Century, and I don't mind telling you it's as hot as blazes inside this undersized Connecticut courtroom. You're much better off reading about it from the comfort of your own armchair, believe me. Oh, the suffering  I endue on the sacred altar of journalism. 

And now after all these months of fuss and hysteria and delectable details - the Patent King, his beautiful heiress daughters, the downstairs tenant, the kitchen-maid-cum-tearful-Scarsdale- housewife and her munificent husband, the turret window, the missing gardener, the exact length and serration of the blade used to murder the victim - here we all sit, waving our makeshift fans before our perspiring faces, and it turns out these mythical figures are humans after all! The Patent King is smaller than you'd think. He doesn't say a word, sitting stiff as a wire beside the side of the defense counsel, and the daughters huddle next to each other in the front row, so pale and haggard that their much ballyhooed beauty is, I'm afraid, much conjecture.  

Page 56:

Fortescue. Something's fishy. Why would a man that rich live in a rinky-dink brownstone so far south and east? It doesn't make sense. 

Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.

Jun 22, 2017

Book Feature: Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani

Kiss Carlo by Adriana Trigiani, June 20, 2017, Harper Collins.
From the dreamy mountaintop village of Roseto Valfortore in Italy, to the vibrant streets of South Philly, to the close-knit enclave of Roseto, Pennsylvania, to New York City during the birth of the golden age of television, Kiss Carlo is a powerful, inter-generational story that celebrates the ties that bind, while staying true to oneself when all hope seems lost.

Told against the backdrop of some of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, this novel brims with romance as long buried secrets are revealed, mistaken identities are unmasked, scores are settled, broken hearts are mended and true love reigns.  (publisher)

Can't wait to read this one!

Jun 18, 2017

Sunday Salon: A Few Good Books

It got cooler this morning after a few days of really hot and muggy weather. No more 90s heat for now!

I have reached more than the half-way point in the mystery novel in French, Mourir Sur Seine by Michel Bussi. Amazon has offered me another of the author's books, in French, Ne lache-pas ma main. They would send me the paper copy from Book Deposit. I am half-way tempted and may do that once I near the end of this book.

There are a few new books to share:
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz, June 6, 2017, Harper.
The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry, July 11, 2017, Berkley
The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Jean E. Pendziwo, July 4, 2017, HarperCollins.
The Longevity Plan by Dr. John Day and Jane Day, July 4, 2017, Harper.

This ebook buy is turning out to be quite a good read:
The Weight of Lies by Emily Carpenter, June 6, 2017, Lake Union Publishing. I'm hoping to read her 2016 book later on, Burying the Honeysuckle Girls

Happy Father's Day to all the dads!

Visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also visit It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Book Date Also visit Mailbox Monday.

Jun 15, 2017

Murder in Saint Germain by Cara Black: Book Beginning

I requested Murder in Saint Germain by Cara Black (June 6, 2017, Soho Books) from the library and was the first on the list! I picked it up today and can't wait to read it, as I've read all the others in the series by Cara Black and loved them.

Aimee is a young Parisienne and a computer security expert who manages to solve mysteries while dealing with her own complicated family past. In this book,  "Suzanne Lesage, a Brigade Criminelle agent on an elite counterterrorism squad, has just returned from the former Yugoslavia, where she was hunting down dangerous war criminals for the Hague." She asks Aimee to investigate when she thinks she is being stalked by a Serbin warlord thought to have been killed. 

All the novels, including this one,  are set in different quarters of Paris.

Book beginning:

Paris, Jardin du Luxembourg. July 1999
Tuesday, Early Morning

The beekeeper rolled up his goatskin gloves, worried that the previous day's thunderstorm, which had closed the Jardin du Luxembourg, had disturbed his sweet bees. He needed to prepare them for pollinating the garden's apple trees, acacias and chestnuts that week. Under the birdsong he could already make out the low buzz coming from the gazebo that sheltered their wooden hives. As he approached, he passed gardeners piling scattered plant-tree branches, their boots sucking in the mud. 

Page 56:

"Bonjour, ma belle," he said to the woman behind the counter with a wave. A Slavic accent. "The usual."

Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.

Jun 10, 2017

Sunday Salon: Reading in French

I didn't get any books this past week. Well, maybe a paperback mystery or two.
We were busy putting away winter stuff and getting ready for summer, getting the air in for the upcoming 90 degree weather tomorrow and a few more days next week. My newer books are in piles and I can't make heads or tails of them in that condition! Plus, they are mixed up with my library books!

I'm reading a mystery novel in French by Michel Bussi, and was surprised that my college lessons came back to help me. I can actually understand much of the book, but I'm glad for the help my Kindle Fire gives with a French-English dictionary that I can refer to right on the reading device.
Mourir Sur Seine by Michel Bussi, January 2015.
The book is set in Rouen, France during the Armada, or Tall Ships Festival, held in the city every four years. Boats and ships from all over the world come to the shores for a nine-day show and  a town fiesta that can have as many as a million visitors. Of course, in this novel there is a murder to be solved.

Hope your reading goes well this week. It will be hot here, good for staying inside with a book or two!

Visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also visit It's Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Book Date 

Jun 9, 2017

After the Crash by Michel Bussi: Review and Book Beginning

I finished reading  a thrilling new mystery set in  Claude Monet's Givenchy, Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi, February 7, 2017, Hachette. Translated from the French. I enjoyed it so much, I went on to read a previous novel of his, After the Crash, a mystery set in the Jura mountains of France.


Book beginning:
23 December, 1980 12:33 a.m.
The Airbus 5403, flying from Istanbul to Paris, suddenly plummeted. In a dive lasting less than ten seconds, the plane sank over three thousand feet, before stabilizing once again. Most of the passengers had been asleep. They woke abruptly, with the terrifying sensation that they had nodded off while strapped to a roller coaster. 

Page 56:
"There remains the question of eye color," the doctor continued. "The only real distinguishing feature of this baby...Her eyes are strikingly blue for her age. The color can still change, darken, but all the same, this appears to be a genetic characteristic." 

My comments: After the Crash has an amazing plot. The only survivor in a horrific plane crash in the Jura mountains of France is a three-month-old baby girl. She was one of two baby girls of the same age on the plane, and none of the four parents survived the crash. 

There is no way to identify the baby, in the days before DNA testing was available. Two sets of grandparents claim her, the wealthy de Carvilles, and a working class family, the Vitrals.

The court awards the child to the Vitrals, but Mrs. de Carvilles hires a private detective to prove the baby Lyse-Rose is really hers, and not Emilie, the Vitrals's child. She gives the detective eighteen years to prove the case. The baby grows up to be called Lylie, a combination of both names, Lyse-Rose and Emilie, as neither family is one hundred percent sure who the child really is.

The book follows the two families and Lylie as she grows up, the story given in a detailed notebook written over eighteen years by the detective, Credule Grand-Duc. What he discovers after eighteen years is stunning. There are plot twists that makes riveting reading. I enjoyed it immensely.

I was surprised that our library carried both the hardcover and the ebook versions of the two books. I am looking for the third translated into English and may have to try reading the untranslated books with my college French. I just ordered Mourir Sur SeineWish me luck!

Memes: The Friday 56. Grab a book, turn to page 56 or 56% of your eReader. Find any sentence that grabs you. Post it, and add your URL post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.

Jun 7, 2017

Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Rich People Problems: A Novel by Kevin Kwan, May 23, 2017, Doubleday
Source: library ebook
Rating: 4.5

I read the first two books, Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend, both stand alone novels though the stories follow basically the same people. Crazy Rich Asians is being made into a major film.

Rich People Problems takes up where the two previous books left off, and follow the Youngs, the Leongs, the Shangs, the Wus, the Bings, and other super rich families of Southeast Asia, Hong Kong,  and China. I read it as satire, though I wonder how much of the super wealthy lifestyles are true - the mansions they live in all over the world, the private planes and shopping trips to Paris and London, the lavish lifestyle, which includes superb Chinese food!, and the other uber wealthy people they socialize with.

The super wealthy from the countries of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, China, the Philippines are portrayed in these novels, and famous name clothing designers, architects, and real titled people appear in this fictional setting.

In this third book, Rich People Problems, relatives scramble to inherit the fortune and home of a wealthy Singapore Chinese matriarch who is on her deathbed. Her will gives some surprises.

This was a fun read, but just how much is pure satire and how much borders on truth? The author was born in Singapore. I guess he writes about the people and places he is familiar with.
He now lives in Manhattan.

Jun 4, 2017

Sunday Salon: Black Water Lilies and Gardening


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I finished reading 
Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi, February 7, 2017, Hachette. Translated from the French.

An unusual crime novel set in Giverny, France, the town made famous by the artist Claude Monet and his water lilies. The lives of an old woman, of an attractive young teacher, and of an 11-year-old girl intertwine in a mystery involving art, artists, talent, Monet's water lilies, and romantic as well as an obsessive love that changes their lives. I learned a lot about Monet and Giverny, his art and how he created his famous water lily paintings. 

I Found You  by Lisa Jewell, April 25, 2017, Atria Books.
My comments: 
This was an interesting mystery involving amnesia and an old crime that is slowly revealed as a lost man regains his memory. 
Alice, a single mother with three children find and take in a man they call Frank, a man who cannot remember who he is. They help him as he unravels his past and a horrific crime. I gave this 4 stars. 

Gardening:
I had no new books in the mail, but spent time gardening, weed-whacking, and tree trimming. I must say the yard looks better today, especially after the rain last night seemed to make everything greener, if that's possible. 
What are you doing this Sunday?