Oct 31, 2017

First Chapter: Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato

Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato, March 7, 2017, St. Martin's Press
"...a stunning examination of family love and betrayal. 
Eight-year-old Edgar Fini remembers nothing of the accident people still whisper about. He only knows that his father is gone, his mother has a limp, and his grandmother believes in ghosts ."

First chapter:
Chanel No. 5

Having a life meant having a story. Even at eight, Edgar knew this.

What he didn't know was his own beginning. Newborn brains were mushy. If you wanted to know how your life had started, you had to get this information from other people. 

But what if these people were liars?  

"I kept falling asleep," said Lucy. She was speaking of Edgar's birth. The boy liked this particular story, and so he made sure to roll his head in feigned boredom....

Review: "Wonder-filled and magisterial...Lodato's skill as a poet manifests itself on every page, delighting with such elegant similes and incisive descriptions…His skill as a playwright shines in every piece of dialogue…And his skill as a fiction writer displays itself in his virtuoso command of point of view. The book pushes the boundaries of beauty." - Chicago Tribune

Based on the opening of the book and the book description, would you continue 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

Oct 29, 2017

Sunday Salon: A Review and New Books

A review of City of Lies: Counterfeit Lady #1 by Victoria Thompson, November 7, 2017, courtesy of Berkley.
City of Lies is a new series by the author, with a most unusual main character, Elizabeth Miles, a con artist in a family of cons led by her father, whom she refers to as the Old Man. The book is set in Washington DC in the 1920s during the time that women, suffragists, were marching for the right to vote.

Elizabeth is pursued through the streets by a "mark," Oscar Thornton, an unscrupulous man who has just found out he has been conned by Elizabeth and her brother. She escapes the thugs by blending in with a group of marching suffragists, pretending to be one of them. She makes friends with well-to-do women in the movement, who want Elizabeth to stay with them in the city.  From the safety of her new friend Anna's home, Elizabeth hatches a plot to escape the scrutiny of Thornton, who is bent of vengeance.

The plot was unusual and also very informative about the history of the suffragist movement and the extent women went to in order to finally be heard. Elizabeth is a dare devil  heroine that I was willing to root for. The characters, setting, and history all make this an excellent new mystery.  My objective rating: 5.
My current read is a new arrival: The Paris Secret by Karen Swan, November 14, 2017, courtesy of William Morrow. The setting reminds me of another novel, The Paris Apartment. Fine arts expert, Flora, of London, travels to Paris to an apartment that has been closed since the war, over seventy years ago. She and her employer discover valuable paintings and artifacts. I have only just begun the book, but the art world has always been a fascinating subject.

Another new historical novel is on my list this week:
The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo, October 3, 2017, courtesy of William Morrow Paperbacks,
is a debut novel about two American nurses who served in different countries during WWII - France and the Pacific.

I have borrowed The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne, and hope to get to this new thriller as well.

What are you reading this week?
Visit The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date, and Mailbox Monday..

Oct 27, 2017

Book Beginning: Solar Bones by Mike McCormack

Solar Bones by Mike McCormack, September 12, 2017, galley courtesy of Soho Press. This book is a Man Booker Prize 2017 nominee. 
On All Souls Day, the late Marcus Conway returns home. Solar Bones captures in a single relentless sentence the life and death of this rural Irish engineer, and his place in the globally interconnected 21st century. (publisher)

Book beginning:

the bell
  the bell as
  hearing the bell as
        hearing the bell as standing here
        the bell being heard standing here
        hearing it ring through the grey light of this
        morning, noon or night
        god knows
        this gray day standing here and 
        listening to this bell in the middle of the day, the middle of
the day bell, the Angelus bell in the middle of the day, ringing out
through the gray light
         to here 
          standing in the kitchen 
          hearing this bell 

It will be very interesting reading this. I think I'd read it as a poem, one long sentence, a new experience. Other book awards for Solar Bones:

Longlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize
Winner of the Goldsmiths Prize
Winner of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year
An Irish Times Book Club Choice

Meme: visit Book Beginning at Rose City Reader.

Oct 24, 2017

First Chapter: Just Killing Time by Julianne Holmes

Just Killing Time: Clockshop Mystery #1 by Julianne Holmes, October 6, 2015, Berkley.
There are three books in the series, and I have #1. Yay to starting out with the first in the series.

First paragraph, first chapter:
The brochure lied. A week in the mountains of Vermont had not, in fact, helped me achieve a peaceful Zen that would pervade my life for the coming weeks, helping me approach old challenges with fresh energy. Instead, it had made me aware of two things. First, much as I hated to admit it,  I was addicted to technology. Not being allowed to have my cell phone for seven days was an interesting experiment at first, but an exercise in frustration at the end. Never mind that the battery was completely drained of power by the time I got it back. 
The second realization? Coffee and I couldn't break up....
Book description:
Ruth has been named heir to Grandpa Thom’s clock shop, the Cog & Sprocket, in the small Berkshire town of Orchard, Massachusetts. But there is a problem: her grandfather had been found murdered during a break-in at the shop, and Ruth has to solve the mystery and delve into the secrets before others are targeted. 

Based on the first paragraph and the book description, would you read on?

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.

Oct 22, 2017

Sunday Salon: Autumn and Winter Books

Autumn and Christmas cozies came in, setting the mood for the seasons, plus an historical literary thriller, set in post-WWII Europe. Here are the enchanting covers plus brief descriptions by the publishers.

A Late Frost by Sheila Connolly, November 7, 2017, courtesy of Berkley
Genre: cozy mystery
A story of orchard owner Meg and the search for a poisoner, in a small town in Massachusetts.

Not a Creature Was Purring (Paws and Claws Mystery #5)
Not a Creature Was Purring by Krista Davis, November 7, 2017, courtesy of Berkley
Inn owner Holly Miller finds it ruff staying cheerful over the holidays when the dead body of a beloved businessman turns up in the pet-friendly town of Wagtail, Virginia.

Just love the cover of this one:
Potions and Pastries by Bailey Cates, November 7, 2017, courtesy of Berkley
Magical baker Katie Lightfoot makes enchanted treats—and faces more than her fair share of toil and trouble.... 

And add a literary thriller,
Displaced by Stephan Abarbanell, November 7, 2017,  proof courtesy of Harper
British-occupied Palestine, 1946: Elderly writer Elias Lind isn’t convinced by reports that his scientist brother, Raphael, died in a concentration camp. Too frail to search for Raphael himself, Elias persuades a contact in the Jewish resistance to send someone in his place. The suspense begins. 

In other book news, I finished several ebooks and books last week:

Maman a Tort, a thriller in French by Michel Bussi, five enthusiastic stars!
Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak, a five star holiday read, contemporary fiction.
My Life With Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Books of Books, Plot Ensues by Pamela Paul, June 13, 2017, Henry Holt 
Imagine keeping a record of every book you’ve ever read. What would this reading trajectory say about you? With passion, humor, and insight, the editor of The New York Times Book Review shares the stories that have shaped her life.

Click on the book titles to see what I said about the books on goodreads! My mini reviews!

I have just started

Rebellion by Molly Patterson, August 8, 2017, proof courtesy of Harper
The  cross-generational stories of four women who dare to challenge the boundaries of their circumscribed lives

What are you reading this week?
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..

Oct 20, 2017

Book Beginning: A Tale of Two Kitties by Sofie Kelly

A Tale of Two Kitties (A Magical Cats Mystery #9)
A tale of two kitties by Sofie Kelly
Publication: September 5, 2017, Berkley
Genre: cozy mystery

Two magical cats have powers of detection that prove indispensable to librarian and amateur sleuth Kathleen Paulson…

Book beginning:
You'd think by now it wouldn't bother me to step on a body in the middle of the kitchen floor, but I was in my sock feet and the body - missing its head, no surprise - was damp.

With cat slobber.

"Owen," I yelled, hopping on one foot while I rubbed the other against my pant leg.

The cat stuck its grey tabby head around the living room doorway and looked at me, face tipped quizzically to one side.

"Come and get this," I said, pointing to the headless yellow catnip chicken, aka Fred the Funky Chicken, I'd just stepped on.  

Page 56:
"You have to stay out of trouble at the library," I reminded him. "No going all Dr. Jack Griffin and roaming the building."

Definitely looks like a cat/mystery lover book!

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.

Oct 17, 2017

First Chapter: Inheritance from Mother by Minae Mizumura

Inheritance from Mother by Minae Mizumura, May 2, 2017, Other Press
Genre: serialized novel, 2011-2012; translated from the Japanese
Source: library

First chapter:
The Long Telephone Call in Lieu of a Wake
"So how much do we get back from Golden?" 
Before answering, Mitsuki, on the phone with her sister Natsuki glanced once again at the numbers. At this late-fall night the window by the desk was closed, but instinctively she lowered her voice in reply. "Around seventeen million yen."  
"What?" said Natsuki. "You mean they keep a whole ten million even though she was there such a short time?""Looks like it." 
Golden was the private, exclusive nursing home where their mother had been living. Its full name was Golden Years, but everyone always called it Golden....
Book description:
Minae Mizumura demystifies the notion of the selfless Japanese mother and the adult daughter honor-bound to care for her. In addition to her husband’s infidelity, Mitsuki must deal with her ailing eighty-something mother, a demanding, self-absorbed woman who is far from the image of the patient, self-sacrificing Japanese matriarch.
Inheritance from Mother not only offers insight into a complex and paradoxical culture, but is also a profound work about mothers and daughters, marriage, old age, and the resilience of women. (publisher)

Based on the first chapter, first paragraph,  and the description, would you continue 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.

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...