Sep 29, 2020

First Chapter: Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk


Welcome to First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Yvonne @ Socrates Book ReviewsEach week, share the first paragraph of a book you are now reading or plan to read soon.

After I started reading and was enjoying this novel, I realized that the Polish author not only won the Man Booker International Prize for a previous book, Flights, but is also a Nobel Prize winner for literature. I immediately borrowed the ebook of Flights from our library and so have that to look forward to after this book. 

First Chapter/First Paragraph:

I am already at an age and additionally at a stage where I must always wash my feet thoroughly before bed, in the event of having to be removed by an ambulance in the Night.

Had I examined the Ephemerides that evening to see what was happening in the sky, I wouldn't have gone to bed at all. Meanwhile, I had fallen very fast asleep; I had helped myself with an infusion of hops, and I also took two valerian pills. So when I was woken in the middle of the Night by hammering on the door - violent, immoderate and thus ill-omened - I was unable to come round. 


Would you read on?  

Sep 27, 2020

Sunday Salon: One By One by Ruth Ware

 Cooler weather is on the way at this end of summer. I am not sure if I welcome it or not. As long as I can get my morning walks in, I'll be pretty happy. 

Just finished reading:

One By One by Ruth Ware,
September 8, 2020, Scout Press

Setting: French Alps ski chalet

Genre: suspense, thriller

Source: NetGalley

About: Ten people are locked together in a chalet in a remote part of the Alps, hemmed in by snow after a massive avalanche. There is a chalet worker and a cook and lots of food and wine, plus ample amount of logs for the fireplace. The drawback is that there is a murderer among them. Five or six remain who are not dead or missing. The ones remaining decide to hike to another chalet for help and to ski down to the main town, despite the destruction of ski paths after the avalanche. 

The ending is suspenseful as characters face off in a fight for survival. 

Comments: Well plotted and written - the details of the avalanche and its destruction, the slow reveal of the characters and their motives - the novel was hard to put down. I gave it an enthusiastic five stars.

Next on the reading list:

  • a bunch of library books
  • a suspense novel 

What Lies Beneath by Bill Kitson, October 1, 2019, Joffe Books

Setting: Yorkshire, England

Genre: detective fiction, DI Mike Nash #1 series

Source: Kindle Unlimited

About: I've only just started this series and hopefully will like it enough to keep going. It's a crime thriller involving a British detective inspector, an international criminal network, Eastern Europe law enforcement, and a Russian detective.

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

Sep 22, 2020

First Chapter: The Passengers by John Marrs


Welcome to First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Yvonne @ Socrates Book ReviewsEach week, share the first paragraph of a book you are now reading or plan to read soon.

The Passengers August 27, 2019, Berkley
Genre: suspense

First paragraph:


House of Lords votes unanimously in favour of driverless vehicles on British roads within five years. Ban on non-autonomous vehicles expected within a decade.  


        • 1. Programme car for Ben's office.
        • 2. Use Uber app for car under "guest" account. don't use real name.
        • 3. Get picked up from Ben's car park, go to work.
        • 4. Start testing Ben midmorning. 
        • 5. Call his boss around midday.



By the time the front door closed, the car was parked outside Claire Arden's home, waiting for her. 

She lingered outside the porch, re-reading the notes she had made on her phone until she heard the faint beep-beep of the alarm as the house secured itself. 

Would you read on or pass on this novel? 


Sep 20, 2020

Sunday Salon: The Woman in the Moonlight by Patricia Morrisroe

Fall is here and temps went down to the high 30s last night. It'll be warmer the rest of the week but not by very much, 40s at nights. I don't mind the pleasant weather and hope it stays this way till December!

I'm still listening to All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penney, and am in the middle of the ebook version of  

The Woman in the Moonlight by Patricia Morrisroe, published September 1, 2020,  Little A; Kindle Unlimited
Genre: historical fiction featuring the composing life of Beethoven and the Moonlight Sonata
Setting: Vienna, Naples, early 1800s

This is a novel about Beethoven and one of his first loves, Countess Julie Guicciardi, to whom he dedicated his Midnight Sonata. The two did not marry, but she continued to watch his progress as a famed composer over the years while she was married with several children of her own. 

Beethoven was a driven, compulsive, but gifted artist, rough looking. Maybe because of his temperament, he never married. He had many lovers and women fell in love with him. Though the character of the composer may be based on fact and research, The Woman in the Moonlight is described as a "fantasia" by the author, a fleshed out story, her imagination filling in the bare facts known regarding the composer and the woman for whom he wrote the Midnight Sonata. 

In any case, I am a bit scandalized by the goings on of  men and women in the early 19th century in Europe, in particular the nobility and the artists and musicians they sponsored and supported.  Mistresses were commonplace, and in the novel, Countess Julie is even propositioned by the wife of a count to have Julie bear her husband a child. There is more, but I won't go into it. 

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

Sep 13, 2020

Sunday Salon: International Thrillers

 I've been finding some good thrillers on NetGalley and on Kindle Unlimited, so am bursting with ebooks to read. 

The Greek Island Killer (DI Jack Dawes #1)Man Down (Rogue, #2) (Skrapnel)Eyeshot

Eyeshot by Taylor Adams I gave a 4 out of 5 stars.  A young couple in the Mojave Desert fights a deadly sniper when they follow a false detour into an isolated area. 

Man Down by Irma Ventner, a thriller set in Mumbai and South Africa, was written in Africaans and translated to English. Ranna Abramson travels home to South Africa to help find an ex-lover and journalist who has disappeared.

The Greek Island Killer by Frances Lloyd is set on a tiny isolated island in Greece, where a group of tourists are trapped with a killer, who might be one of them. 

Audiobooks are a new interest, as I've not before wanted to listen rather than to read. 

All the Devils Are Here (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #16)

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penney was borrowed from NetGalley audiobooks. I am enjoying  all the different voices of the characters in the book though it's read by the same person. 

This book is set in Paris, where Inspector Gamache and wife Renee are visiting their two married children and their families. Unfortunately, the reunion is scarred by the hit and run accident of one of their dearest friends, Gamache's godfather. There is a mystery here about the accident which might have been a murder attempt and the Gamaches are bent of finding out what happened.

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

Aug 23, 2020

Sunday Salon: Armchair Travel

Finished a few books in the past ten days, more than I've been reading lately. Here are my brief reviews and comments.

White Out (Badlands Thriller, #1)
White Out by Danielle Girard, August 1, 2020, Thomas Mercer
Genre: thriller, suspense
Setting: North Dakota
Source: Kindle Unlimited

Lily Baker wakes up in a car overhanging an overpass, the injured driver unconscious behind the wheel after the accident. She slowly extricates herself while trying to save the driver, whom she doesn't recognize. Lily is suffering from amnesia from the accident, and discovers, step by step, her painful past experiences and who she can and cannot trust. 
An entertaining thriller, very good at the beginning but burdensome and heavy at the ending. Still worth reading.

The Other Side of the Door
The Other Side of the Door by Nicci French, William Morrow Paperback,
Genre: suspense, psychological thriller
Setting: London
Source: NetGalley

My Goodreads review:

Love, obsession, murder, friendship. These are themes in Nicci French's psychological novel. Bonnie has promised her friend to perform at her wedding and has gotten together a motley group of friends to form a small band just for the event. The interaction among these people lead to unforeseen consequences that tests love and friendship.

A compelling read with suspense and an unexpected ending.

The Nesting
The Nesting by C.J. Cooke, September 29, 2020, Kindle edition
Genre: Scandinavian thriller, suspense, modern Gothic
Setting: Norway
Source: NetGalley

Set in Norway, the novel uses Norwegian legends, beliefs, and folk tales as an integral part of the plot.

 Lexi Ellis, down on her luck and needing a job, pretends to be someone else to get a dream job of nanny to two small girls in the forests of Norway. She becomes involved in the local beliefs of spirits and ghosts and the mystery of the death of her employer's former wife. Good armchair travel and an entertaining plot. 

Tahoe Hit (An Owen McKenna Mystery Thriller Book 18)

Tahoe Hit by Todd Borg, Kindle edition
Genre: thriller
Setting: Lake Tahoe, Nevada, California
Source: Kindle Unlimited

The son of a rich financier with a home in Lake Tahoe hires Tahoe private investigator Owen McKenna to investigate and find his son. Time is of the essence, as McKenna and his sidekick, a Great Dane named Spot, try to unravel a Shakespearean plot that involves a family drama resembling the  tragic story of Hamlet. 

 Clever use of setting and literature to craft a mystery thriller well worth reading.

Currently reading:

Hard Rain (Rogue, #1)

Hard Rain by Irma Ventner, romantic mystery set in Tanzania, with a journalist and a photographer with a mysterious past. 

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

Aug 1, 2020

Sunday Salon: Paris Is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay

Paris Is Always a Good Idea

I have never appreciated books so much as this year, a difficult year on so many counts. I've finished re-reading 

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

for our book club next week, and I got so much more from reading the novel the second time around. I'm looking forward to our discussion as there are so many topics to cover from this one book.

Themes include dealing with forced isolation or self-isolation. "Mastering your circumstances" instead of having them master you. I thought that's appropriate for these days, though the book was written several years ago.


A less serious novel caught my attention. Paris is always a good idea, I'd agree! This is one of my current reads. 

 Paris Is Always a Good Idea by Jenn McKinlay
Published July 21, 2020, Berkley
Genre; romance, contemporary fiction

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

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...