Dec 21, 2017

High-Risers by Ben Austen: Book Beginning

High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing

High-Risers: Cabrini-Green and the Fate of American Public Housing by Ben Austen
Genre: nonfiction
Publication: February 6, 2018, Harper

High-Risers braids personal narratives, city politics, and national history to tell the timely and epic story of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green, America’s most iconic public housing project.
Book beginning:
Portrait of a Chicago Slum
Tucked into the elbow where the river tacks north, just beyond the Loop and a mie from Lake Michigan, it is as historic a neighborhood as there is in Chicago.In 2016, it was named one of the city's best places to live. A couple of generations earlier, and more than a century after the banks of the Near North Side were settled, surveyors from the Chicago Housing Authority walked its narrow streets, confirming with every step their belief that it was a slum beyond salvation. 

(This quote is from an uncorrected proof. The final copy may differ).
Memes:  visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader

Dec 19, 2017

The Fortunate Ones by Ellen Umansky: First Chapter

The Fortunate Ones

The Fortunate Ones by Ellen Umansky,
November 21, 2017, William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: blend of historical and contemporary fiction
Setting, Vienna, 1939 and Los Angeles, present day

First chapter:
Vienna 1936
Oma wanted to send a telegram to Papi in Paris, but Mutti said no. "He will be back in three days. He will know soon enough," Mutti said from the cot in the little room that would have been the nursery. She had moved in once the pains began. ("It's too early!" Rose had heard Mutti cry out.) The doctor had come and gone, the sheets had been changed, the blood scrubbed away. Without any evidence, it almost seemed to Rose as if it hadn't happened. 

Book description:
A Chaim Soutine painting—will connect the lives and fates of two different women, generations apart, in this debut novel that moves from World War II Vienna to contemporary Los Angeles.

Would you continue reading, based on the beginning and book description?
MEME: Every Tuesday Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two, from a book you are reading or will be reading soon

Dec 17, 2017

Sunday Salon: The Girl in Times Square by Paullina Simons

Visit The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date
The Girl in Times Square
A new book this week, thanks to William Morrow: The Girl in Times Square by Paullina Simons,
December 19, 2017, William Morrow.
"(A) riveting novel about a young woman whose search for her missing friend turns into a life-shattering odyssey." Part mystery, part romance, part family drama . . . in other words, the perfect book.—Daily Mail 

I am finishing up Ne lache pas ma main,  in French, by Michel Bussi, a thriller set on the French island of Reunion, Indian Ocean. Slow going, but good!

Also reading:

Rebellion by Molly Patterson, August 8, 2017, courtesy of Harper

"the stories of four women who dare to challenge the boundaries of their circumscribed lives." From rural Illinois to the far reaches of China, a vibrant story of compassion and discovery... (publisher)

"Molly Patterson is a writer of the first order, and her debut novel is a revealatory, immersive miracle. Ambitious in scope and exacting in its language, Rebellion becomes a grand exploration of fate and circumstance."—Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Gold Fame Citrus

What books are on your desk this week?

Dec 11, 2017

It's Monday: Cozies and French thrillers

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date. Visit also Mailbox Monday.
The title of this cozy, Twelve Angry Librarians, February 21, 2017, caught my eye. I can't imagine twelve angry librarians, at least not in the same space. The book is the eighth in the Cat in the Stacks series.

Dial M for Mousse (Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery #3)

Dial M for Mousse by Laura Bradford, Emergency Dessert Squad Mystery #3, January 2, 2018, from Berkley.
Baker Winnie Johnson works overtime to satisfy the emergency cravings of Silver Lake, Ohio and solves a murder mystery along the way. 

Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley, January 2, 2018, Berkley Books
Victorian cook Kat Holloway takes a position in a Mayfair mansion and soon finds herself immersed in the odd household of Lord Rankin. Kat is unbothered by the family’s eccentricities as long as they stay away from her kitchen, but trouble finds its way below stairs when her young Irish assistant is murdered. 
Death Below Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #1)

Other reading last week: I finally finished a French thriller by Michel Bussi,
 N'oublier jamais, one I can recommend to those who read in French sometimes. A plot with so many twists and turns and unbelievably complex and interesting characters, not to mention the setting on the coast of Normandy, France.

I am now reading another thriller by Bussi, Ne lache pas ma main, set in the island of Reunion, a French territory in the Indian Ocean. Its about a tourist mother who disappears from her hotel on the island, leaving behind her young daughter and husband. I am eager to see if she fled or if she was abducted. I'm sure the plot will have more twists and turns.
Ne l√Ęche pas ma main

Happy reading week everyone! 

Dec 8, 2017

Book Beginning: The Making of a Dream by Laura Wides-Munoz

The Making of a Dream: How a group of young undocumented immigrants helped change what it means to be American

The Making of a Dream: How a Group of Young Undocumented Immigrants Helped Change What It Means to Be American by Laura Wides-Munoz, January 30, 2018, Harper
Genre: nonfiction

Book beginning:
It would only be a few weeks. 
That's what Hareth Andrade-Ayala's parents told her when they planned he trip to Washington, D.C. Eight-year-old Hareth and her little sister would travel from La Paz, Bolivia, with their grandparents. Their parents would join the girls later. 
Hareth's grandparents had lived with the family as long as she could remember, always game for her bits of theater, jokes, and dances, all the stuff her parents were too tired to sit through. She'd traveled to visit relatives with them before. This would be another of their adventures.
Page 56: 
What was she? She was an undocumented immigrant. She was also a hard-driving honors student whe'd been high school swim team captain and had dreamed of going to college. 
Book description: A journalist chronicles the story of a movement and a nation, witnessed through five young undocumented activists who are transforming society’s attitudes toward one of the most contentious political matters roiling America today: immigration. (publisher)

I'm interested in reading about the experiences of these real life young undocumented immigrants who are succeeding in their lives in the U.S. Quotes are from an uncorrected proof ; the final copy may differ. 
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

Dec 5, 2017

First Chapter: Beau Death by Peter Lovesey

Beau Death (A Detective Peter Diamond Mystery)

Beau Death by Peter Lovesey, December 5, 2017, Soho Crime
Genre: British detective series

Peter Diamond digs deep into Bath history to ferret out the secrets of one of its most famous (and scandalous) icons: Richard “Beau” Nash, who might have been the victim of a centuries-old murder.

First paragraph:
The kid was forever asking questions.
"What are those people doing, Dad?"
"I don't know, son. Just looking/"
"Why what/?"
"Why are they looking?"
"It's some kind of building site. The contractors put those high fences round for safety, but some people like to see what's going on, so they make little windows in the panels."

Based on the book description and the first chapter, first paragraph, would you keep reading?

MEME: Every Tuesday Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph, Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two, from a book you are reading or will be reading soon

Dec 3, 2017

Sunday Salon: A Romance and Greek Mystery Novels

Vinegar Girl
I finished and reviewed Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn, a retelling in modern times of the King Lear story. I have decided to read others in the Hobarth Shakespeare series as well.

Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler retells The Taming of the Shrew. It was an enjoyable, light read, basically a love story about 29-year-old Kate, whose scientist father engineered a romance by matchmaking her with his research assistant, Pyotr. Kate is unwilling to help her father - he needs to keep Pyotr in the country to continue his research, and Pyotr's visa is about to expire. Kate's father tries to persuade Kate to an arranged marriage so that Pyotr can legally stay in the country. 

How Pyotr manages to win her over is the theme of the story, and Tyler has done a marvelous job with her retelling of Shakespeare's story. 
The Lady of Sorrows (The Greek Detective #4)
Another book I finished recently was a Greek mystery, The Lady of Sorrows by Anne Zouroudi.
Set on a remote Greek island, the plot surrounds the poisoning of a local fisherman and the possible connection to the icon of Our Lady of Sorrows in the local church. There are also questions about the catacombs beneath the church and the secrets kept by some of the colorful local people of the village. The investigator is a visitor to the island, the enigmatic detective Hermes Diaktoros, whom the novel refers to only as the Fat Man. A good plot and an intriguing setting, the book looks at another side of of an otherwise beautiful tourist island.

The Whispers of Nemesis (The Greek Detective, #5)The Feast of Artemis (The Greek Detective, #7)
I have downloaded two of the other books in Zouroudis' Greek Detective mystery series - The Whispers of Nemesis and The Feast of Artemis.

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

Dec 1, 2017

Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar: Book Beginning

Salt Creek, a debut novel by Lucy Treloar, published February 28, 2017 by Picador Australia. This is an historical novel about the Finch family who move from Adelaide, Australia during hard times to a remote part of the South Australian coast. The award-winning book covers "colonialism, race relations, social expectations on women, love, family, and duty."
Book beginning:
Chichester, England, November 1874

Mama often talked of this house when I was a child, and of its squirrels with particular fondness. She missed them as she missed all about her life here. They were fastidious, she said, and always prepared for flight. Their plumy tails jerking, they would hold a nut in their tiny hands, turning it and turning it looking for the weak point, angling their heads and tilting the nuts, their tiny teeth flashing, yet could not always penetrate the shell....
Page 56:
The cheese-making began, using the small moulds from the old dairy farm. I washed them and dried them to make them ready. 
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

Empresses of Seventh Avenue by Nancy MacDonell: Historical Novel

 Fashion in Paris and New York City during WWII   Empresses of Seventh Avenue World War II, New York City, and the Birth of American Fashion...