Apr 30, 2021

Her Enemy by Leena Lehtolainen: Book Beginning


Her Enemy by Leena Lehtolainen, a Maria Kallio Mystery #2, May 2013, AmazonCrossing

Genre: crime fiction set in Finland

Source: Kindle Unlimited

Detective Maria Kallio becomes a legal counselor but finds herself solving a crime as if she were still with the police force. A relative of her new boyfriend is found murdered and Kallio is motivated to investigate high society in the town of Espoo, Finland.

Book beginning:

The cherry trees were the first thing I saw when I woke up. The spring had been warm and now the trees were blossoming with fluffy, fragrant bunches of flowers. Antti always wanted to sleep with the curtains open so we could see the curled branches against the night sky. It made it hard for me to sleep, but I had gradually gotten used to it.  

Page 56:  

"Everyone is certainly dressed to the nines," I stuttered to her, and then smiled at a transsexual dressed in the guise of a 1960s housewife who danced past. People had strange fantasies - there really were people who wanted that old fashioned life. 

Would you read on?

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.

Apr 24, 2021

Sunday Salon: Ishiguro and Edmund White Novels

 A new purchase:

A Saint from Texas by Edmund White, August 6, 2020, Bloomsbury

Description: From Edmund White, a bold and sweeping new novel that traces the extraordinary fates of twin sisters, one destined for Parisian nobility and the other for Catholic sainthood. Yvette and Yvonne Crawford are twin sisters, born on a humble patch of East Texas prairie but bound for far grander fates. (publisher)

I opened this book at the bookstore and decided to try reading it over a cup of hot tea. Intrigued by the story line and the characters, I then decided to buy it, along with the novel I came in to get, Klara and the Sun by Ishiguro. 

Two nice books for today!

What are you reading this week? 

Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also,  It's Monday: What Are You Readingand Sunday Salon

Apr 22, 2021

A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe: Book Beginning


A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe, April 7, 2020, St. Martin's Press

Genre: historical fiction

Setting: 1930s Indochine (Vietnam)

An American woman accompanies her French husband, a Michelin heir, to his vast rubber plantations in Indochina. Vietnam is a French colony during this period, and the novel focuses on the lavish lifestyles of the French in Indochina of the 1930s. 

Book beginning:

Jessie   November 20, 1933

The house of a hundred suns. That's what my tai xe called it. The first time he ferried me to the train station, in a black Delahaye as polished as a gem stone, he slowly circled the building, avoiding the rawboned rickshaw drivers. I craned my neck, watching as the car's exhaust left a trail behind us like a mollusk's track, and tried my best to concentrate on his words, not the quick tempo of my heart. 


Page 56:

"Did you arrive today? You must have. And then you are dragged out to the jungle on your first night in Hanoi."

"I don't mind," I lied.


 Would you read on?

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.

Apr 19, 2021

It's Monday: What Are you Reading?


The Night Hawks by Elly Griffiths, June 29, 2021. Netgalley

Genre: mystery set in Northern England

There’s nothing Ruth Galloway hates more than amateur archaeologists, but when a group of them stumble upon Bronze Age artifacts alongside a dead body, she finds herself thrust into their midst—and into the crosshairs of a string of murders circling ever closer. (publisher)

What are you reading this week? 

Memes: The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also,  It's Monday: What Are You Readingand Sunday Salon

Apr 16, 2021

Why I Never Finished My Dissertation by Laura Foley: Poetry Book Tour

 Laura Foley, author of WHY I NEVER FINISHED MY DISSERTATION, on tour April 2021

Why I Never Finished My Dissertation

Publisher : Headmistress Press (August 18, 2019) Paperback : 108 pages

Named one of seven Best Indie Poetry Books of 2019 by Kirkus.

Foley’s writing may appear sparse and reserved but it harbors a subtle power. The poet’s greatest strength is her acute sense of observation. She possesses the ability to thread sensuousness into the fabric of everyday life. . .This is a dazzling volume of poetry that delights in crisp imagery and tender recollections.
—Kirkus Reviews


The poems in this collection covers the story of the poet's life, from her young teens through adulthood, two marriages, and many travels. It also praises nature and its soothing effects. 

One of the themes in the poetry is of the calming stillness of nature versus the foolishness of men. ("What Stillness") Scaling a mountain, she finds Nature brings things together for her, reveals who she is. (Fractalization") The oneness of nature and finding beauty even in harsh death, when all returns to the earth. ("Tulips") The power of nature to reveal the self ("Fork")

"I note the flash 

of a yellow-feathered finch,

the glint of sun,

a dove's underbelly,

soft with reflected light,

as it glides, bending left -

as a chill wind begins, 

stripping me of pretense." (Fork")

Family life is very prominent in the poems, from the conception and birth of her daughter, her daughter growing up and living far away from her, and later missing her presence. 

The poet's husband and her later second marriage to Clara features in the poems prominently. Her first marriage to a professor almost forty years her senior, reveals  "emotional manipulation, power wheel of privilege."  

"I don't wish to accuse him now,

so long gone, but I see anew,

in my move away from him,

the smile I couldn't erase, 

even at his death, 

said everything I'm learning now. ("The Smile")

"Visiting My Sister in the Mental Ward" is revealing. She also meditates on deaths in the family, events that make her ponder about daily life. 

She relates as a Grandmother and a grandmother's presence at the birth of children and their place in the family.

I didn't read the news.

I raked a rainbow

of pungent autumn leaves,

played abroad with happy dogs,

held my granddaughter in my arms,

and sat beneath an amiable maple,

attentive to current events.  ("One Day")   

Vignettes of family life, a new marriage, being a grandmother, all are revealed in the this brief poetic film of the writer's life. 

I enjoyed reading "Why I Never Finished My Dissertation" tremendously, the poet's relation to nature, her reflections on her life and marriages, her parents, her daughter and grandchild. At the end of the book of poems the poet sings the praises of life in "Gratitude List," where daily things are appreciated, like sleeping late, the midnight storm, the morning swim, green tea with honey, her food, the reeds, and "the sand between our toes."                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

About Laura Foley

Laura Foley is the author of six poetry collections, including Joy Street, Syringa and Night Ringing. Her poem “Gratitude List” won the Common Good Books poetry contest and was read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. Her poem “Nine Ways of Looking at Light” won the Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest, judged by Marge Piercy. For more information on Laura’s work, please visit her website

Laura Foley’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, April 5th: Welcome to Nurse Bookie

Wednesday, April 7th: A Bookish Way of Life

Thursday, April 8th: @megsbookclub

Friday, April 9th: Openly Bookish

Monday, April 12th: Eliot’s Eats

Tuesday, April 13th: Savvy Verse and Wit

Wednesday, April 14th: 5 Minutes for Books

Thursday, April 15th: Kahakai Kitchen

Friday, April 16th: Book Dilettante

Monday, April 19th: Seaside Book Nook – excerpt

Tuesday, April 20th: Lit and Life

Wednesday, April 21st: @babygotbooks4life

Thursday, April 22nd: @emzi.reads

Friday, April 23rd: @pages.for.sanity

Purchase Links

Headmistress Press | Amazon

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