Jun 30, 2019

It's Monday: What Are You Reading?

Memes:  It's Monday: What Are You Reading, and Mailbox Monday.

The Pawful Truth (Cat in the Stacks #11)

The Pawful Truth by Miranda James, July 16, 2019, Berkley

Genre: mystery series

When Charlie Harris decides to go back to school, he and his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, find themselves entangled in a deadly lovers quarrel on campus (publisher)

The Ditch

The Ditch by Herman Koch, June 11, 2017, Hogarth Press

Genre: family drama, suspense

The bracing and inventive new novel of suspicions and secrecy from Herman Koch (publisher)

This was the only book that grabbed my interest the last time I visited the bookstore. That might change the next time I go, but for now this is my new read. It's different to me as I've never read any of Koch's books. Told by what seems an unreliable narrator, a man full of jealousy, who suspects his wife of having affairs with every other man she is in contact with. I can't wait to finish the book to see if he was right or just paranoid!

What are you reading this week?

Jun 28, 2019

Thriller: The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl

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
The Heart Keeper
The Heart Keeper

The Heart Keeper by Alex Dahl, July 16, 2019, Berkley

Genre: thriller
Themes: heart transplant, obsession, mothers and daughters

Book beginning:

I wake all the time; that is, if I sleep at all. The alarm clock projects the time onto the wall on Sindre's side of the bed and I lie staring at the pulsating dots separating the numbers. It's just after two o'clock in the morning and Sindre isn't here. He was here when I fell asleep. At least I think he was. I pull my hand out from underneath the warm duvet and stroke the cool, empty space where my husband should be. 
A few nights ago, the same thing happened....
Page 56:
I get up because I can't fall asleep in case the school rings, which I think they probably will - Kaia isn't used to being away from me, or to be around other children. 
I can't wait to read this new book. What do you think? 

Jun 23, 2019

Sunday Salon: Cozies and a Thriller

Booking the Crook by Laurie Cass, July 2, 2019, Berkley

Booking the Crook (A Bookmobile Cat Mystery #7)

Booking the Crook

Librarian Minnie and her rescue cat, Eddie, solve crimes while they cruise around in a bookmobile in a town in Michigan. (publisher)

Bewitched and Betrothed (A Witchcraft Mystery #10)
Bewitched and Betrothed

Bewitched and Betrothed by Juliet Blackwell, June 25, 2019, Berkley

Theme: In San Francisco, a family reunion keeps witch and vintage storeowner Lily Ivory on her toes as she prepares to walk down the aisle. (publisher)

Harry's Trees
Harry's Trees

Harry's Trees by Jon Cohen, June 12, 2019, Mira Books

Theme:  When his wife dies suddenly, Harry leaves his job and his old life behind and makes his way to the remote woods of northeastern Pennsylvania's Endless Mountains, determined to lose himself. But some people he meets there change his life for the better. 

Red Metal
Red Metal

Red Metal by H. Ripley Rawlings IV, July 16, 2019, Berkley Books

Theme: A Russian military strike against Europe could change the balance of power in the West. A stunningly realistic view of modern warfare from a battlefield commander  (publisher)

What books are on your reading list this week?

The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also,  It's Monday: What Are You Reading, and Stacking the Shelves. 

Jun 21, 2019

Rosie Colored Glasses by Brianna Wolfson: Book Beginning

Fiction: Rosie Colored Glasses by Brianna Wolfson, June 11, 2019, MIRA

Rosie Colored Glasses

Rosie Colored Glasses by Brianna Wolfson is a novel about young Willow, caught between the different worlds of her divorced parents, Rosie and Rex. According to the reviews, this is not a light read, as the description might suggest, but a semi-autobiographical novel about family dysfunction.

Book beginning:

Willow Thorpe knew friction. The heat it created when one thing rubbed against another. When one world rubbed against another.
Willow felt it every time she got into the back seat of her mother's car, buckled her seat belt, grabbed her brother's hand and prepared to return to her father's house. Every time she stared out the window of her mother's car and traced the familiar turns of the street on the way to her father's. Every time her father opened the big heavy front door and mumbled, "Late again, Rosie." Every time her mother casually responded with a smirk and a "Catch you later, Rex." 
 Page 56:

She guided Asher quickly down the aisles by his hand as Willow jogged and stumbled behind them. And then Rosie stopped in front of a giant wall of every color paint in every size bucket. 

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 18, 2019

Murder in Bel-Air by Cara Black: First Paragraph

Murder in Bel-Air by Cara Black, published June 4, 2019, Soho Crime

Murder in Bel-Air (Aimee Leduc Investigations, #19)

Murder in Bel-Air (Aimee Leduc Investigations #19)
Genre: mystery set in Paris

First chapter, first paragraph:

Paris. Late October 1999. Monday, Midafternoon
The young woman stumbled on the cobblestones in her worn shoes, fist in her pocket, clutching the steak knife she'd nicked from the cafe. She'd felt eyes watching - fear had charged up her back, impossible to ignore. Her gut had screamed at her to get out of there. 
Why hadn't her contact showed?   
A car engine revved up, gears scraping. She glanced back and saw a black Renault slide onto Boulevard Picpus. Her heart pounded. 
Would you read on, based on the opening paragraphs?

Meme: I’d Rather Be At The Beach is the host for First Chapter First Paragraph on Tuesdays. Post the opening paragraph(s) of a book you are currently reading or planning to read. 

Jun 15, 2019

Sunday Salon: Book Review, Current Read

Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss

Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by 

March 26, 2019, Dial Press
Genre: multicultural, contemporary fiction, family drama

The title and cover of the book got my attention at the library, so I borrowed it and was delighted with the story and the characters.

Professor Chandra is disappointed he did not win the Nobel Prize for Economics, but he is still considered a successful and internationally renowned economist, based in Cambridge. On retirement, he turns his attention to his family, especially his children, who are distant or estranged from him ever since his divorce from their British mother.

How he manages to discover his family again as well as find a new life, new meaning, and adventures for himself is the theme of the novel. 

Smart, entertaining, and well written and plotted, the book was a pleasure to read. Five stars

Currently reading:

The Dark Bones

The Dark Bones (A Dark Lure, #2)

The Dark Bones by Loreth Anne White, May 21, 2019

Genre: thriller, mystery, police procedural
Set in Canada, this is the second in the A Dark Lure series.

I haven't read the first in the series, but I learned a lot about it by reading this one.In The Dark Bones. Detective Rebecca North returns home after a long absence, when she is told about the suicide of her father, a retired cop. Not wanting to believe her father Noah North killed himself, Rebecca sets out to find out what led to his death and meets reluctantly again, her first love and high school sweetheart, Ash.

I'm in the middle of the ebook and enjoying this mystery set in rural Canada.

The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also,  It's Monday: What Are You Reading, and Stacking the Shelves. 

Jun 9, 2019

Sunday Salon: Guidebook for Couples; Historical Fiction; Reviews

Trouble the Water, a novel by Rebecca Dwight Bruff, July 4, 2019, Koehler Books

Trouble the Water

Trouble the Water

Inspired by a true story, Trouble the Water is about risking everything for freedom. Born a slave, Robert Smalls commandeered a Confederate arms ship from the Charleston harbor, and with the woman he loved and a small crew of other slaves, delivered it to the Union Navy. After the war ended Smalls was able to purchase the house in which he and his mother had been enslaved, and he became one of America’s first black legislators. (publisher)

Let's Do Us by Charly Ligety and Les Starck, June 11, 2019, Harper Design

Let's Do Us
Let's Do Us
A pair of playful and romantic twin guidebooks created specially for couples to help them talk about the difficult yet important issues that will affect their relationship and their future. (publisher)

Finished reading:

Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, August 14, 2018, G.P. Putnam's Sons. Source: personal copy

This coming-of-age novel had me in tears. Wonderfully developed characters and an unusual, to me, setting in the North Carolina swamps. A book for lovers of nature and stories of adolescents enduring extremely trying circumstances. Some parts of the plot are hard to see as completely realistic, but it makes for an excellent story of strife, survival, and accomplishment. Five stars.  
I've recommended this novel to our library book club which meets the first Thursday each month. 

 The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine, May 7, 2019, Harper

The Last Time I Saw You

The Last Time I Saw You (review ARC from the publisher) is a thriller set around the unexplained murder of a wealthy woman, Lily, the mother of Kate, a heart surgeon. Kate is reunited at Lily's funeral with a childhood playmate, Blaire, who also knew and loved the charming and generous Lily.
There are many suspects for the crime, and Blaire, a successful detective author, sticks around, supposedly to help her friend Kate solve Lily's murder. There are unexpected twists to the story that I found improbable and unbelievable, though it did help to prolong the suspense in the plot. I gave the book three stars.  

Currently reading:

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames,  May 7, 2019,  Ecco Press

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna

In this stunning debut novel, a young woman tells the story behind two elderly sisters’ estrangement, unraveling family secrets stretching back a century and across the Atlantic to early 20th century Italy (publisher)

What books have you been reading lately?
Memes: The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also,  It's Monday: What Are You Reading, and Stacking the Shelves. 

Jun 2, 2019

Short Book Reviews: Thrillers and a Romance

Goodbye Paris by Mike Bond

Goodbye Paris
Goodbye Paris

Goodbye Paris by Mike Bond, June 11, 2019, Big City Press
Genre: thriller, political suspense
The author has written thrillers set in political hotspots around the world. This one is set in Paris.
I was captured by all the what-ifs taken to be true facts in this fictional novel. Five stars. I hope to read his other thrillers set in other parts of the world. 
The Family Upstairs
The Family Upstairs

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell, October 29, 2019, Atria BooksGenre: suspense, family drama

I enjoyed this thriller, suspense novel, with its unusual setting, plot, and characers. The story is primarily told from the point of view of young people and teens living in an old mansion but manipulated and at the mercy of deluded parents being controlled by their new adult friends. How the different characters manage to weather the storms that ensue when  the intruding strangers take over their lives is quite intriguing and hair-raising. I gave this five stars.

If She Wakes
If She Wakes

If She Wakes by Michael Koryta, May 14, 2019, Little, Brown and Company

Genre: suspense
I've always enjoyed suspense novels involving patients who wake up from a coma, but this one takes place while one of the main characters, Tara, is still semi-comatose, unable to speak or move her extremities, but able to hear and understand everyone and everything around her.  

Tara understands what is going on with the investigation into the car accident when her passenger was killed and she was injured. She, however, can only move her eyes up and down in response to yes and no questions. Abby, an insurance investigator, tries to help find the truth about whether the fatal crash was truly an accident or if the death of Tara's car passenger was murder. 

Another five star suspenseful read.
Ellie and the Harpmaker
Ellie and the Harpmaker

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior, May 2, 2019, Transworld Digital

Genre: romance, contemporary drama
I found this a good change from the thrillers I've been reading. It involves the gradual flowering of a timid unhappily married woman when she begins to take harp lessons from an equally timid but eccentric harpmaker, Dan. 

Ellie is surprised when Dan offers her one of his handmade harps free, and she reciprocates by helping Dan in his private life, apart from falling in love with him. 

Unusual characters and a romantic plot with a few twists and turns makes this very enjoyable reading. 

What have you been reading lately?
Memes: The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also,  It's Monday: What Are You Reading, and Stacking the Shelves. 

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...