Apr 1, 2019

Review: When You Read This by Mary Adkins

Review: When You Read This by Mary Adkins

When You Read This
When You Read This
Published February 5, 2019, Harper
Genre: epistolary novel (told through letters/email), contemporary fiction

This novel was brilliant. The story is told through blog posts and emails of many different characters, primarily Smith and his former secretary Iris, her sister Jade, and Smith's company intern, Carl. 

We learn at the beginning that Iris has died of cancer and has left Smith her blog posts to publish as a book after her death, her blog written while she was ill and undergoing chemotherapy.  Smith's public relations company is failing but things begin happening when he hires Carl, the college student intern, to replace Iris for a summer. Carl sets things in motion, through bumbling, interfering, and general nosiness about his boss, the business, and about publishing Iris's blog. 

The novel has a lot of humor, as in the emails and readers' responses to Iris's blogs. It also has pathos, sentimentality, and is in part a love story. It will have the reader crying and laughing at the same time, and is a book that I would call brilliant, excellently written and conceived.

Thanks to the publisher for an advance copy for my possible review. 

First chapter, first paragraph:

Simonyi Brand Management
New York, NY 10014

June 18

Dear Mr Simonyi:

I came upon your company on the Stanford University Employers Forum, on which your firm is listed as a place where Stanford students have had positive internship experiences previously. Grace Wang ('16) wrote that she had a wonderful summer working with you and your colleague Iris. While "wonderful" is rather nebulous and uninformative, her point is well made. I see that you have not posted a fall internship opening, but I am writing to express my interest in interning for you come September....


Carl Von Snyder III

Meme: Each Tuesday, Vicki, from I’d Rather Be At The Beach hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where  readers post the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book that they are reading or plan to read. 

Mar 31, 2019

Sunday Salon: J'ai du Rever Trop Fort by Michel Bussi

Reading in the French language

J'ai du rever trop fort
J'ai du rever trop fort
J'ai du rever trop fort by Michel Bussi, February 28, 2019, Presses de la Cite
Setting: Barcelona, Montreal, Paris
Genre: contemporary French fiction, romance

Thanks to my built-in French-English dictionary, I'm able to use my college French to read this novel as it hasn't yet been translated into English, as many of the Bussi's other books have. What seems to be a pure romance in exotic cities has a bit of mystery added, as do his other books, many of which are more thrillers than romance. 

But I'm really enjoying this one, brushing up on my French language as well as  reading a well-written mystery and romance novel. 

Air France hostess Natalie travels around the world at least three times each month, leaving her husband Olivier to tend to their young daughter in Paris. She meets Ylian on her trip to Montreal and meets him again in Barcelona. Their story is one of passion and intrigue, coincidences that are unexplained so far, and even some danger. I'm half way through and enjoying the mini travelogues to the cities that also include Los Angeles, San Diego, Tijuana. Looking forward to Jakarta later on in the novel!

What books are you reading this week?
The Sunday Post  hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer,  Stacking the Shelves, and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? by Book Date

Mar 29, 2019

An Artless Demise b Anna Lee Huber: Book Beginning

What new books are you reading this weekend? 

An Artless Demise (Lady Darby Mystery #7)
An Artless Demise
An Artless Demise by Anna Lee Huber, April 2, 2019, Berkley Prime Crime Books
Genre: historical mystery
Lady Kiera Darby is threatened with secrets about her late husband’s involvement with body snatchers in 1831 London. Seventh in the mystery series. 

Book beginning:

November 5, 1831
London, England 
I didn't know whether to laugh or feel sorry for the poor fellow. For all his tailored clothing and the jaunty angle of his hat, which refused to stay on his head properly, he was in a ragged state. A straggly tuft of hair flopped over one eye and his arms dangled limply at his sides, hindering rather than assisting the pair of footmen who struggled between them to guide him into his place.

Page 56:
"Oh, Kiera, we just heard the news last night," exclaimed Charlotte. "Of all the utter nonsense!"
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

Mar 26, 2019

Book Review: Those People by Louise Candlish

Book review: Those People by Louise Candlish

Those People

Those People by Louise Candlish, publication June 11, 2019, Berkley

This is a psychological thriller, a novel of suspense, with the story beginning when a strange couple move into the quiet upscale neighborhood, into the home of a woman who had died. The couple begin running a business next door even though this is a residential neighborhood. Not only that, but they litter their yard with old, used cars they are fixing or selling, and park the vehicles up and down the street, creating an eyesore for the neighbors.

Things get worse when there is loud music well into the nights, swearing, and lots of drinking, banging and house repairing going on at all hours. The neighborhood are at a loss as to what to do and get no response from these new interlopers.

Of course there is murder or attempted murder, but by whom and against who? The story focuses more on the neighborhood and its people than on the newcomers who are causing the trouble. How they react or attempt to cope is the focus of the story line.

I read to the end, a bit surprised by the people involved in the deaths, and think this was a fair to good suspense novel.

Rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher for an ARC sent for my possible review.

Mar 19, 2019

All the Rage by Darcy Lockman: First Chapter, First Paragraph


All the Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership

All the Rage: Mothers, Fathers, and the Myth of Equal Partnership
All the Rage
All the Rage by Darcy Lockman, publication May 7, 2019, Harper
Genre: non-fiction
Gender inequality that has not changed: the unequal amount of parental work that falls on women, no matter their class or professional status.

Opening paragraph (text may change in the final copy)

The Problem That Has No Name 
Married with Children 

Am I being unfair to my husband? 
It is a gray spring Saturday in 2016, the day before Mother's Day. There've been ten days of rain preceding this one;, and I've spent half of those in Michigan with my kids without their father, visiting my parents. I love taking my daughters to Detroit, but solo-parenting Liv and Tess is draining, not least because I am the only person available to issue and enforce the dreary commands of early childhood, the one that begin upon waking and do not cease until it is night and the weight of their petal-soft eyelids has finally become too heavy to resist. Use the potty. Brush your teeth. Put on your socks. Put on your shoes. Don't hit your sister. Clean up the basement....
Author Darcy Lockman is a former journalist turned psychologist. Her first book, Brooklyn Zoo, chronicled the year she spent working in a city hospital's psychiatric ward. She lives with her husband and daughters in Queens.

Meme: Each Tuesday, Vicki, from I’d Rather Be At The Beach hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where  readers post the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book that they are reading or plan to read.