Thursday, April 23, 2015

Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You - A Cure for Suicide; Jesse Ball

This book looked different from anything I've read recently. It will hit bookstores in July
Would you try it?

A Cure for Suicide; Jesse Ball
Pantheon - July 2015

(DESCRIPTION) - From the author of Silence Once Begun—one of our most audacious and original writers—a beguiling new novel about a man starting over at the most basic level, and the strange woman who insinuates herself into his life and memory. 
A man and a woman have moved into a small house in a small village. The woman is an "examiner," the man, her "claimant." The examiner is both doctor and guide, charged with teaching the claimant a series of simple functions: this is a chair, this is a fork, this is how you meet people. She makes notes in her journal about his progress: he is showing improvement, yet his dreams are troubling. One day, the examiner brings him to a party, and here he meets Hilda, a charismatic but volatile woman whose surprising assertions throw everything the claimant has learned into question. What is this village? Why is he here? And who is Hilda? A fascinating novel of love, illness, despair, and betrayal, A Cure for Suicideis the most captivating novel yet from one of our most exciting young writers.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Accidents of Marriage; Randy Susan Meyers

Accidents of Marriage; Randy Susan Meyers

My past experience reading of what Randy Susan Meyers has written has been very positive, so I was anxious to try her most recent offering, Accidents of Marriage.  This story is one that explores the effects emotional abuse and anger issues has on a family. 

In this story the Illica family lives in Boston. Ben is a powerful public defender and, Maddy, a social worker. Maddy also bears the full responsibility of seeing that things run smoothly at home.  The couple has (3) children Emma  14, Gracie 9, and Caleb 7. Maddy has an awful lot on her mind and is sometimes understanably frazzled and disorganized.

Ben has an explosive personality, and his fits of anger that are mostly directed at his wife. He's hypercritical and unforgiving when things don't run smoothly in the house. The children have seen more than their share of their parents marital disharmony. One day after a particularly heated incident, Ben and Maddy are in the car with Ben driving when he becomes involved in a road rage incident. After swerving his car and losing control, Maddy is thrown from the car and suffers a traumatic head injury. She spends time in a coma, and then there is a long rehab process, and her family is deeply affected.

There are some interesting family dynamics to disect here, but more then anything, this novel shows just how abuse can affect the family unit. I found myself yelling at several of the characters as I read, as the author examines whether this marriage is beyond repair.  For the most part, the POV changes between Ben, Maddy and the oldest daughter, Emma.

I started listening to the audio version, read by Susan Bennett, but before long I had to change to the eBook, the explosive outbursts by Ben were difficult to listen to for any length of time.  He sounded so angry and hateful, and Maddy seemed nervous and as if constantly walking around on eggshells. This is definitely a tough subject to read about, and although the author did a good job with the material, I was glad when I finally got to the last page. I can't recommend this book, but I do highly recommend,  The Murderer's Daughters and The Comfort The Comfort of Lies by this author.

3.5/5 stars

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - The Tell; Hester Kaplan

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where I share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book I am reading or thinking about reading soon. This one is totally different from anything I've read in a long time, but I purchased it in 2013 mostly because it takes place in Rhode Island.

The Tell; Hester Kaplan
Harper - 2013

"For weeks he'd waited for the wild lilacs arching over the carriage house to bloom,  Then, back from teaching and a plodding swim at the Y that afternoon, Owen had spotted the first fat plume with its buds rising like a thousand fists.  The driveway's pea gravel had protested underfoot as he broke off a sprig.  He'd put the lilacs, delicate, strong-perfumed, in a pitcher on the sill over the sink for his wife, Mira, and saw now, as he looked up from his hands circling under running water water, how their hue matched the lowering sky, the drooping sun.  In the tinted early evening, Providence was washed with improbable color, lulled by a pony urban calm, the arterial whoosh of the highway and the digestive rumbling of the train moving out of the station down the hill toward Boston.  Behind him at the table Mira read in the paper about the city's boasts and failings, its crimes and peculiararities.  His wife's head would be at that absorbed angle as though every story was interesting and in some way personal, but he understood that this sense of knowing her completely was wrong."

What do you think? Keep reading?

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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Blatherings and New Books

We had a beautiful weekend. Perfect spring weather and sunshine. We were suppose to have a joint birthday party on Saturday for the birthday sisters born 5 days apart, but a stomach bug got the best of both girls this week, so the party was cancelled.  It's hard to believe these sisters are (1) and (3) already, and cousin E is 9+ months. I can't wait to retire this summer and spend more time with them.


My reading this week was next to nothing as I had a few interuptions to my private reading time at lunch. I do have a few reviews to catch up on as well. How was your week in books?

I know I have no business buying books these days, with 500+ unread on my shelves not to mention all those Kindle downloads (that I stopped counting), but I did pick up each of these books for under $5.00 each  including shipping on Amazon. All were on my wishlist for a while, and just happened to have price reductions to next to nothing this month.  Have you read any of these?

Have a great week All