Sunday, July 2, 2017

Mid-year Favorite Books - 2017

I hope everyone is having a nice summer.  I've been enjoying my time away from the blog and loving the no pressure joy of just reading and going places.  It's hard to believe that my youngest granddaughter just turned 3 (party next weekend) and that my oldest granddaughter will be in all-day kindergarten this fall. This weekend is rather quiet for us but looking forward to seeing the movie Beguiled today.  Weird thing is that the movie has been advertised so much around here yet we need to travel to a small independent theater to see it. Have you seen the previews? It's looks awesome and a tad scary. Have safe and happy 4th of July to everyone here in the US.

I have been busy reading and posting short reviews on GoodReads and Amazon and/or/ Edelweiss and NetGalley as well as acquiring new books - thanks to the wonderful publishers out there - new acquisitions:

Here's a LIST and breakdown of my January through June reading:

57 Books - YTD

Fiction - 40
Non Fiction - 12
Kids Books - 5
Audio Books - 15

and, in no particular order, I chose (4) non fiction and (4) fiction that I've enjoyed the most thus far.

Diane's bookshelf: mid-year-favorites-2017

The Leisure Seeker
John and Ella are a sweet senior couple who have been married 60 years and have enjoyed traveling in their RV "The Leisure Seeker" much of their married lives. Both Ella and John have health issues and against their children's wishes the...
On Turpentine Lane
I've enjoyed many of Elinor Lipman's earlier novels, The Inn at Lake Devine, was an all time favorite, but, I must say, On Turpentine Lane, runs a close second -- such a fun read. Our protagonist, Faith Frankel has a so-so job in the Dev...
What I Know for Sure
This audio book was just what I needed this week. The book is read by Oprah herself and she does a marvelous job. It's very heartfelt and inspirational. Told as a short series of essays on a variety of topics, organized by theme: joy, re...
Books for Living: Some Thoughts on Reading, Reflecting, and Embracing Life
This is another audio book that was amazing. My first experience with this author was his audio version of, The End of Your Life Book Club, a non fiction offering, which I loved, where Schwalbe and his mother, who was dying of pancreatic...
The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions
Being a cat lover all of my life, I really enjoyed the insight that this book provided. This book is well written and I liked that much of it was a love letter to the author's cat, Augusta, who arrived as a kitten one cold day in winter ...
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
As a huge fan of his comedy show, since he replaced Jon Stewart on the Daily Show at Comedy Central in 2015, I couldn't wait to read Trevor Noah's memoir. This book is read by the author and is pitch perfect. Noah who is 32 years old, te...
White Fur
This is an addictive debut novel: a love story that is raw, gritty and sexually explicit. Jamey Hyde and Elise Perez were neighbors in New Haven, CT. They meet and fall in lust love but, their backgrounds couldn't be more different. It's...
The Stars Are Fire
As I read this book I was reminded of the author's earliest novels and anxiously turned each page. Set in 1947 Maine, Grace Holland is expecting her third child. Her husband Gene is a good provider but, not a loving partner. As the nove...

Here's a list of all my 2017 reads thus far, in case you are curious.

2017 Books Read

  1. Chocky; John Wyndham - 4/5 (my shelves) - Jan/2017
  2. The Seventh Day; Yu Hua; 3.5/5 (eGalley) - Jan/2017
  3. On Turpentine Lane; Elinor Lipman (eGalley) - 4.5/5 - Jan/2017
  4. The Leisure Seeker; Michael Zadoorian (my shelves) - 5/5 - Jan/2017
  5. The Marriage of Opposites; Alice Hoffman (eGalley-BookGroup pick) - 4/5 -Jan/2017
  6. Second Hand; Michael Zadoorian - (my shelves) 3.5/5 - Jan/2017
  7. Hospital Hill; Katherine Anderson - (library) - 3.5/5 - Jan/2017
  8. The Beautiful Dead; Belinda Bauer - (eGalley) - 3.5/5 - Jan/2017
  9. The Fifth Floor; Julie Oleszek - (library) - 4.5/5 - Feb/2017
  10. Excellent Women; Barbara Pym - (audio & my shelf) - 4/5 -Feb/2017
  11. The Impossible Fortress; Jason Rekuluk - (eGalley) 4/5 - Feb/2017
  12. Is This Tomorrow; Caroline Leavitt - (audio) - 4/5 Feb/2017
  13. Setting Free the Kites; Alex George - (arc) - 4/5 Feb/2017
  14. Being Mortal; Atul Gawande (book group) NF - 4.5/5 - Feb/2017
  15. Hillbilly Elegy; J.D. Vance - NF (audio) - 4/5 - Feb/2017
  16. How To Be a Bigger Bunny; Florence & Wendell Minor (print) - Feb/2017
  17. Behind Closed Doors; B.A. Paris (audio & eGalley) - 4/5 - 2/2017
  18. Everything Happens Today; Jess Browner - (arc) - 4.5/5 - 2/2017
  19. Agnes; Peter Stamm - (arc) - 4/5 - 2/2017
  20. Among the Lesser Gods; Margo Catts - (arc) - 4.5/5 - March/2017
  21. First Women; Kate Anderson Brower - (audio) - 3.5/5 - March/2017
  22. The Residence; Kate Anderson Brower (audio) - 4/5 - March/2017
  23. What I Know For Sure; Oprah Winfrey (NF) (Audio) - 5/5 - March/2017
  24. Books for Living; Will Schwalbe (NF) (audio) - 5/5 - March/2017
  25. Every Living Thing; Cynthia Ryland - (my shelves) - 4.5/5 - March/2017
  26. Ill Will; Dan Chaon (eGalley) - 4/5 - March/2017
  27. All the Stars in the Heavens; A. Trigiani (library) - 2/5 - March/2017
  28. The Widowmaker; Paul Dorion (audio) - 4/5 March/2017
  29. The Futures; Anna Pitoniak (arc) - 4/5 March/2017
  30. Green Pants; Kenneth Kraegel (my shelves) 5/5 March/2017
  31. Rain; Sam Usher (my shelves) 5/5 March/2017
  32. How To Be Human; Paula Cocozaza - 3.5/5 - April/2017
  33. The Inner Life of Cats; Thomas Macnamee - 4.5/5 - April/2017
  34. Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty; Ramona Ausubel - April/2017
  35. Born A Crime; Trevor Noah (NF) - (audio) 5/5 - April/2017
  36. White Fur; Jardine Libaire - (ARC) - 5/5 - April/2017
  37. Strays: A Lost Cat, a Homeless Man, and Their Journey Across America; Britt Collins - 4.5/5 - April/2017
  38. Everything I Never Told You; Celeste Ng - (audio) (book group) - 4.5/5 - April/2017
  39. Dark Flood Rises; Margaret Drabble - library - 4.5/5 - April/2017
  40. The Hideaway; Lauren Denton - (arc) - 4/5 April/2017
  41. The Fall of Lisa Bellow; Susan Perabow (audio) 3.5/5 - May/2017
  42. Anything is Possible; Elizabeth Strout (eGalley) - 4.5/5 - May/2017
  43. The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit; Michael Finkle - (audio) - 4/5 May/2017
  44. Her Every Fear; Peter Swanson (audio) - 3.5/5 - May/2017
  45. My Very Own Space; Pippa Goodhart - 3/5 - May/2017
  46. The Ocean at the End of the Lane; Neil Gaiman (book group/library) - 4/5 - May/2017
  47. The Book of Polly; Kathy Hepinstall (library) - 4/5 - May/2017
  48. Woman No. 17; Edan Lepucki - (arc) 4/5 - May/2017
  49. Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions ; C. Adichie - (library) - 5/5 - May/2017
  50. Miss Rumphius; Barbara Cooney - 5/5 (library) - June/2017
  51. The Stars are Fire; Anita Shreve - 4.5/5 (eGalley) - June/2017
  52. The Breakdown; B.A. Paris - 4.5/5 (arc) - June/2017
  53. We Should All Be Feminists; C. Adichie (NF) - 4.5/5 (library) June/2017
  54. Dead Wake; Erik Larson (NF) - 4/5 (book group) June/2017
  55. The Yellow Wallpaper; Charlotte Perkins Gilman - 4.5/5 (eBook) June/2017
  56. Everybody's Son; Thrity Umrigar - 4.5/5 - June/2017
  57. Beautiful Animals; Lawrence Osborne - 4/5 (arc) June-2017

DNF - 
    • Every Fifteen Minutes; Lisa Scottoline (audio) (Feb)
    • Swing Time; Zadie Smith (audio) (March)
    • Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk; Kathleen Rooney (audio and print)(March)

    Happy Summer!


    1. I'm not familiar with The Beguiled but it is showing at one of our local theaters.

      You've had a good reading year - I've only read two of your favorites.

      1. We really enjoyed this movie; it almost could have been a play.

    2. It sounds like the break is doing you well and that you have good books to read coming up!

      1. All is well and such a treat to just post whenever:) Hope u r having a nice summer.

    3. Sounds like you are enjoying your break, Diane. I am glad to hear it! I will be taking one soon myself. Mouse and I are off to visit family on the East Coast soon and I'm looking forward to some time away. I am not sure how much reading I will get done, but one can hope. :-)

      I don't think I've heard of the movie Beguiled, but then, I haven't really been up on movies as of late.

      Have a great summer, Diane!

      1. Oh Wendy, I hope you will enjoy your time here on the East Coast.

        Beguiled was very good.

    4. What a wonderful post, Diane! I'm taking a break to move but I'm kind of looking forward to a break so I come back refreshed. I also read The Stars are Fire and The Right Side. I want to read the Trevor Noah book and The Confusion of Languages, having read her previous book and liked it.

      Enjoy your summer, enjoy your family, and I look forward to reading your reviews on GR :)

      1. Oops, thought we were friends on GR, but I don't know the answer to your question and you're set to private, sorry.

      2. I enjoy Anita Shreve's books. Hope u have a nice summer.

        oops, I'm not sure I recall the question or answer after several years:)

    5. So happy to hear you are enjoying your time away from the blog! I would like to see The Beguiled. Hope you enjoy it and continue to enjoy your time with your family and reading!

    6. Diane, I'm glad you are enjoying your blogging break. I'm not familiar with most of the titles here. Oprah's audio book sounds great! I'd love to listen to that one.

      1. The Oprah audio (read by her) was so good. Have a nice summer.

    7. Good you're having a good time away from the blog!
      Yes, Beguiled does look a bit scary, still, I want to see it.

    8. I need to read the Right Side. I'll be on the lookout for your recjew.

      1. Hi Ryan, Looking forward to Right Side as well. Happy 4th of July.

    9. Hope you continue to enjoy the summer Diane. Happy Birthday to your granddaughter!

    10. Dang that is a lot of goodies! Happy Independence Day from all of us!

    11. Nice to be reading and enjoying summer without having to post on the blog. Happy summer!

    12. I am glad you are enjoying your vacation from blogging. I have had thoughts of doing the same but probably I will soldier on. I am looking forward to seeing Beguiled. You are my second blogger friend to recommend White Fur. Hm.

      1. Thanks Judy. I'm still getting my comments bounced back when I visit your blog?? it's a mystery why?

    13. I have been wondering about the movie Beguiled...I always enjoy Nicole Kidman's performances.

      I am curious about The Confusion of Languages. Enjoy the holiday!

      1. Great movie - almost could have been a play. Happy 4th - Happy Summer.

    14. We've been missing seeing you around the blogosphere. Thank you for sharing this update!

    15. Thanks so much - I'll post infrequently for the next few months.

    16. The Beguiled is a remake. The original was made in 1971 and starred a very young Clint Eastwood. It was scary. Good movie though. I didn't realize they'd remade it. Amazon has the original on DVD and blueray. It would be interesting to compare. I hope you enjoy it.

      1. OH MY!! Thank you - I just found the original Beguiled on HBO on demand -- with handsome Clint Eastwood and we are watching it as well - thanks again and, I hope you are enjoying your summer.

    17. No linky today as part of your break. I have posted though as I'm coming off a break. Here's my link to First Chapter, First Paragraph from The Seven Year Dress:

    18. Good for you, Diane! I had to take a complete hiatus myself. Really it started in April, but I cut myself off at the beginning of May and just returned last week. It's a little freeing, isn't it? I've never even heard of that movie! There haven't been advertisements here. It must not be from one of the big studios? I have also been working on review writing. I had sixteen to write last week! Right now I'm sitting at 10.5. I'm so glad almost all of them are NetGalley books!

    19. I hope you're enjoying your break and having a relaxing summer, Diane. I'm slowly catching up with all my favorite blogs and am hoping to start posting once again in the next few days. Photo essays are fine, but I miss talking about books.

    20. Books for Living is one my favorites list too! I haven't been blogging as much this summer, except about my travels. Glad to hear your summer is going well!

    21. Glad you're enjoying your time away and getting lots of time for reading and enjoying those granddaughters!

    22. Hi Diane, I enjoyed The Confusion of Languages (rated it 4/5 stars on GR). Hope you're enjoying your blogging break and those adorable granddaughters!

    23. So glad you are having a great summer. Our oldest grandson just turned 3. So glad you like On Turpentine Lane. I am sorry now that I didn't bring home White Fur, will have to go back to library to get it.

    24. For those who are still following — oh, how I wish I was by the sea right now — here's my link to today's First Chapter, First Paragraph & Teaser Tuesday:

    25. I listened to the Oprah book last year and loved it too!

    26. I hope it's alright for me to keep leaving my link here and I do hope you're enjoying a well-deserved vacation. Here's my link for Tue., Jul, 25th:


    Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thanks again for visiting.