Jan 11, 2015

Sunday Salon: Library Reads

Welcome to the Sunday Salon where bloggers share their reading each week. Visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also visit It's Monday: What Are You Reading hosted by Book Journey.

It's  way too cold for the mailman to lug packages here, I guess, LOL, so I had no books arriving last week! But I have some library books I'm getting through and some on hold too.

I'm reading about teens involved in a murder at a posh boarding school in Ireland. The Secret Place by Tana French is intriguing and a very good read, as were her other books. 

The Secret Place

The Narrow Road to the Deep North
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan deals with war, with more themes of life and love. Did you know that the Japanese poet Basho's poems are collected in a book also titled The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches ? Basho is one of my favorite haiku writers.

There are two books on hold at the library for me that I hope to pick up today. A Cat Sitter cozy, the latest in the series, and one other book. Libraries rule!

What are you reading this frigid January? We are envious of those of you living in warm Florida and California!

Jan 9, 2015

Book Review: The Oracles of Delphi by Marie Savage

The Friday 56: *Grab a book, any book. *Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader  *Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grabs you. *Post it. *Add your (url) post in Linky at Freda's Voice. Also visit Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader.

Title: Oracles of Delphi: A Novel of Suspense by Marie Savage
Published October 15, 2014; Blank Slate Press
Genre: historical mystery

Book beginning:
Nikos's heart pounded against his rib cage like a siege engine. He pressed his back into the stone wall, closed his eyes and tried to calm his breathing. He couldn't believe he had been such a fool. "Next time I'll surrender the prize," Charis had always promised. Next time he would claim it, he always hoped. But instead ....
page 56:
"I don't know No one familiar with the cult's traditions would suspect such a thing. They would never sacrifice one of their own."
Where and when: Delphi 350 BCE, Greece 
The plot: Right off the bat, you find out who is killed and who is responsible for the death. Charis, a handmaiden of the head priestess of Gaia, is killed accidentally while trying to blackmail Nikos, son of a priestess. Nikos hides her body on the altar of Appolon to make it look like a sacrifice. "...the priests of Apollon are not on good terms with the priestesses of Gaia." A conflict emerges between these two cults. Who murdered Charis, and why? 
Recommendation: A good mystery plot that is enhanced by the setting and time - ancient Greece with the ancient religions vying for prominence. The characters seem very modern in their desires, strengths, weaknesses, their romances and love interests, even in much of their speech. But the location and time makes this mystery unique. 
I have always wanted to visit Delphi and the place of Apollo's oracle. Hopefully, someday I will! In the meantime, I have read this book for its setting and historical background. I do wish though that the details of Charis's death/murder had been left in the dark till further in the novel, to enhance the suspense. Give it a try, mystery lovers!

Marie Savage is the pen name of Kristina Marie Blank Makansi, co-founder and publisher of Blank Slate Press, an award-winning small press in St. Louis, and founder of Treehouse Author Services. Books she has published and/or edited have received several awards. She is on the board of the Missouri Center for the Book and the Missouri Writers Guild. She has co-authored The Sowing and The Reaping (Oct. 2014), the of a young adult, science fiction trilogy. Visit Kristina Makansi’s website and the Blank Slate Press website. You can also follow Krisina Makansi and Blank Slate Press on Twitter.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 8
Review at The Mad Reviewer
Review & Giveaway at Luxury Reading
Tuesday, December 9
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Wednesday, December 10
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Thursday, December 11
Interview at The Maiden’s Court
Spotlight & Giveaway at Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More
Monday, December 15
Review at Book Nerd
Tuesday, December 16
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Thursday, December 18
Guest Post at Just One More Chapter
Monday, December 22
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Tuesday, December 23
Review at Book Babe
Tuesday, December 30
Guest Post & Giveaway at The Book Binder’s Daughter
Thursday, January 1
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Friday, January 2
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, January 5
Review at A Bookish Affair
Tuesday, January 6
Review at Book Drunkard
Wednesday, January 7
Review at bookramblings
Review & Giveaway at Brooke Blogs
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Friday, January 9
Review at Book Dilettante

Thanks to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and the author for a review copy of this book. 

Jan 7, 2015

The 100+ Book Challenge 2015

The 100+ Book Challenge 2015 will help keep a list of books read during the year. Join in!

The goal is to read at least 100 books. They can be ebooks, print or audio. There is no page limit, though it has to at least be a short story/novella to count. List your books as you go and be sure to add each review to the Linky that Freda provides each month.

Here is my Books Read list so far this year, under several genres. Click on the titles to see my reviews or my ratings on Goodreads.


1. Tokyo Kill by Barry Lancet
2. The Secret Place by Tana French
3. Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James
4. A Bite of Death by Susan Conant
5. Oracles of Delphi by Marie Savage
6. Enter Pale Death by Barbara Cleverly
7. Tahoe Blowup by Todd Borg
8. Japantown by Barry Lancet
9. Memory's Lie by Jamie Mason
10. Sherlock Holmes, the Missing Years: Japan by Vasudev Murthy
11. A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear
12. Hush Hush by Laura Lippman
13. Shady Cross by James Hankins
14. Death By a Honey Bee by Abigail Keam
15/ Bird Brained by Jessica Speart
16. Steeped in Evil by Laura Childs
17. The Metaxy Project by Layton Green
18. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley
19. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
20. Death of a Liar by M.C Beaton
21. Horse of a Different Killer by Laura Morrigan
22. If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie
23. World Gone By by Dennis Lehane
24. Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly Whittemore
25. Murder on the Champs de Mars by Cara Black
26. Grave on Grand Avenue by Naomi Hirahara
27. Bittersweet by Susan Wittig Albert

General/Literary fiction

1. Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum
2. What Maisie Knew by Henry James
3. The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson
4. A Memory of Violets: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers by Hazel Gaynor
5. My Father's Wives by Mike Greenberg
6. The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh
7. The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos
8. The Last Good Paradise by Tatjana Soli
9. All That Ails You by Mark J. Asher
10. I Regret Everything: A Love Story by Seth Greenfield
11. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer
12. A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
13. Girl in the Moonlight by Charles Dubow


1. Joy Street by Laura Foley
2. Doll God by Luanne Castle

Children's books

1. The Monster That Ate My Socks by A.J. Cosmo
2. Donkey's Kite by Liana-Melissa Allen

Last year's Books Read in 2014.

Poetry Review: Joy Street by Laura Foley

Paperback: 46 pages
Publisher: Headmistress Press (July 8, 2014)
Genre: poetry

Each poem in this radiantly plainspoken collection offers subtle and penetrating observations that swell to a rich tapestry of ordinary life, beheld from a stance of grace and buoyancy. Starting with intimations of desire in childhood, these poems travel through ordinary domestic scenes to the blessing of a maturity in which the narrator, still embracing desire and wild promise, thrives in the midst of life’s darker gifts. This collection is truly a joy to read. It puts to shame those of us who walk through our days with “the din of loneliness,” ignoring life’s many invitations for bliss. (publisher)

My comments: Through this short book of poems, the author shares her past and her intimate moments with her partner, Clare, who like herself, was once in a traditional marriage. We see a joy even though Clare has been unwell, and her poems of self perception. Their dog and pet is part of this celebration of a relationship.

The author's descriptive phrases also give a wider meaning to her surroundings as seen in these two poems. 
Bay Winds 
Sandy from a day at the beach, 
we sleep on top of our sheets, 
windows open wide, 
little feet running over us. 

Late-Night Low Tide  
Around our feet, 
the scritch-scritch-scratch 
 of claws on sand, 
ancient sounds 
of midnight rounds, 
of seemingly solid ground  
shifting under us: 
revealing worlds below our own. 
I enjoyed the simplicity of the poems, revealing and honest, and Foley's wonderful use of words and imagery.

Visit the book tour schedule for other reviews of Joy Street. 

About Laura Foley

Laura Foley is the author of four poetry collections.  The Glass Tree won the Foreword Book of the Year Award, Silver, and was a Finalist for the New Hampshire Writer’s Project, Outstanding Book of Poetry. Her poems have appeared in journals and magazines including Valparaiso Poetry Review, Inquiring Mind, Pulse Magazine, Poetry Nook, Lavender Review, and in the anthology, In the Arms of Words: Poems for Disaster Relief.  She won Harpur Palate’s Milton Kessler Memorial Poetry Award and the Grand Prize for theAtlanta Review’s International Poetry Contest. She lives on a woody hill in South Pomfret, Vermont with her partner Clara Gimenez and their three dogs. Please visit her website for book information or more poems: laurafoley.net.

Purchase Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and the author for a review copy of this book. 

Jan 3, 2015

Sunday Salon: January Books

Welcome to the Sunday Salon where bloggers share their reading each week. Visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer. Also visit It's Monday: What Are You Reading hosted by Book Journey.

A few books came in this new year - three ARCs from Harper Collins and a hardcover for review from William Morrow.

The Precious One by Marisa de los Santos - ARC

World Gone By by Dennis Lehane- ARC

My Father's Wives by Mike Greenberg- ARC

A Fine Summer's Day by Charles Todd.

Seems as if I have my January reading cut out for me.

What books are on your shelves this week?

Jan 2, 2015

First Book of the Year: 2015

Join Book Journey and other fellow book bloggers as we feature our first book read in 2015.

I got this book from the library, wanting to start out the year with a good thriller in an international setting. So far so good.

Tokyo Kill is the second in the series by Barry Lancet. I hope to read the first book as well.

Goodreads describes the thriller: 

...antiques dealer-turned-P.I. Jim Brodie matches wits with an elusive group of killers chasing a long-lost treasure that has a dangerous history.

What is your first read of 2015? 

Jan 1, 2015

My Life in Books 2014

Got this meme from a couple of bloggers a few years ago and have done it the past three years.  My Life in Books, Join in if you like. It can be fun. 

Which book (titles) read in 2014 describe your life so far?

Describe myself:
Sweet and Deadly

How do I feel:
OMG...Am I a Witch?

Describe where I currently live:
 The Sea Garden

 If I could go anywhere, where I would go:
Fog Island Mountains

My favorite form of transportation:
Last Train to Paris

My best friend(s) is/are:
Dark Spies 

My friends and I are:
Keeping Mum

What’s the weather like:

Favorite Time of Day:
Night of the Living Thread

What is life to you:
Butterflies in November

You fear:
 The Demon Who Peddled Longing

What is the best advice you have to give:
 Think Like a Freak

Thought for the day:
You Cannoli Die Once

How I would like to die:
Aground on St Thomas

My soul’s present condition:
One Step Too Far 

I looked up past memes and see I filled out some for 2011 and before. Join in and have fun with it.

Click on each book title to see the review of it.

Sunday Salon: Japanese Authors and a Mystery

  Klara and the Sun   by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Klara and the Sun was easy to read for a literary novel of such magnitude and celebrity, I found...