Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In Pieces; Sally Field

TITLE: In Pieces
AUTHOR: Sally Field
PUBLISHER: Grand Central Publishing
PUB. YEAR: 2018
FORMAT:  - hardcover/personal copy
RATING: 4/5 stars

I always liked Sally Field and can recall looking forward to watching Gidget and later the Flying Nun in my room on my black and white portable television in the late 60's. Her memoir, In Pieces, was enjoyable. 

 (My review contains some SPOILERS so please skip if you plan to read this one).

Sally was born in 1946, her parents separated when she was just 3 years old. She and her brother were raised by women in the early years: mother, grandmother, great aunt and great grandmother. Her mother, Margaret Morlan was also an actress. I thought her mother came across as accessible but, emotionally absent from her life.  

Sally was sexually abused by her stepfather, Jack Mahoney, an actor and stuntman, but, she never told her mother when it was happening. She talks about her relationship with Burt Reynolds, personal and professional, her (2) failed marriages - although not much is said about her second husband, Alan Greisman.

The memoir pretty much covers the first 30 years of her life with lots of details about her acting career and the self-doubt that seemed to haunt her thought her life, which seemed to be best attributed to the complex relationship she had with her mother, who passed away when Sally was 65. I thought the ending was a bit rushed and although I really liked this book, I do wish there was a bit more detail about the second 30 years of her life as well.

Where the Crawdads Sing; Delia Owens

G.P Putnam - 2018

AUTHOR: Delia Owens
PUB. YEAR: 2018
SETTING:  North Carolina
FORMAT:  - library
RATING: 5/5 stars

Catherine Clark (Kya)  as the youngest child of 5 who grew up in a dysfunctional home in a rural area of North Carolina. When "Ma" took off one day, one by one Kya's older siblings followed suit. At the age of 10, Kya finds herself alone with her alcoholic and abusive father.   Kay is smart and fearless but, illiterate and lonely as well.  She is shunned by many as she is wild looking and dirty and her time in the classroom is short-lived. She soon becomes known as the "Marsh Girl", spending long days there exploring. Her father leaves for long periods of time and when one day he fails to return home, Kya finds herself on her own without any money. For her, the marsh lands soon becomes her home.

In 1969 when the body of Chase Andrews, a well-known, star quarterback is found along the marsh, Kya becomes a suspect in his death.

The story is told in two timelines; 1952 and 1969. An addictive, coming of age story,  love story and mystery.  The writing is beautifully descriptive. The Kya character is both heartbreaking and resilient to read about. I loved the way that the suspense built, ending in a way that I wasn't expecting. This is truly a wonderful debut novel, worthy of all the positive buzz it's received.  The author is a wildlife scientist and her love of nature shows in this well-written novel. This would be a terrific book for book club discussions.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - What We Owe; Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde

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.

What We Owe; Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde
Mariner Books - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - 2018

"I'VE ALWAYS CARRIED MY DEATH WITH ME. Perhaps saying so is trite, an observation the dying always make.  But I'm not like other people, in this as in everything else, or so I like to believe.  And, I do believe it, truly. I said as much when Masood died.  Our time was always borrowed. We weren't suppose to be alive.  We should have died in the revolution.  In its aftermath. In the war. But I was given thirty more years.  More than half my life.  It's a considerable length of time, something to be grateful for.  The same length of time, something to be grateful for.  The same length as my daughter's life. Yes, that's one way to see it.  I was allowed to create her.  But she didn't need me this long.  No one did. You think because you are a parent, you're needed.  It's not true.  People find a way to get by.  Who says I was worth more than the trouble I caused?  I don't believe it.  I'm not the type who gives more than I take.  I should be.  I'm a mother, after all.  It's my job to bear the weight, bear it for others. But I never have, not for anyone."

What do you think?  It's a translated work but, I decided to try this one after reading several favorable reviews. I'll be starting it this week.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

R.I.P. Buddy (2002 - 2018)

The day we very much dreaded came yesterday - Tuesday, November 6th.  We made the difficult decision to let our sweet boy pass on. His breathing had become labored and needed oxygen. We learned that he was in congestive heart failure with fluid accumulating in his lungs.

Once we were a family of (5) cats, all but one acquired as kittens. Now we have none (for me, a first in 36 years.)

How lucky we were to have a cat that made letting him go so hard

Buddy came into our lives in September of 2002, adopted from a shelter in Rhode Island.  He was about 3 months old and joined our household with (3) other cats at the time. He spent the first 6 years of his life as an indoor/outdoor cat but, when we moved to a new home in 2008, all of our cats became indoor only.

Buddy was alway a bit insecure and never fond of strangers.  As he got older, he became more of a lap cat than ever and a silent reading companion I could always count on. After losing one cat in 2/2017 and another in 10/2017,  he became the only cat left and very needy, always wanting to be near us and protesting a bit when we went out, he learned to make us feel guilty. He counted on me to share my cheerios & milk and oatmeal with him. He was a cat that always looked at me with such loving, soulful eyes, summoning me to bed around the same time each night. A cat who left a huge void in now my aching heart. Buddy, you were loved and will not be forgotten. Thank you for 16.5 years of happiness.

 Run free my special boy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Strike Your Heart; Amelie Nothomb

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.

Strike Your Heart; Amelie Nothomb
Europa Edition- 2018

"Marie liked her name. It wasn't as ordinary as one might think; it gave her everything she wanted.  When she told people her name was Marie, it had a certain effect. 'Marie,' people would echo, charmed.

The name alone was not enough to explain her success. She knew she was pretty, Tall, with a good figure, her face lit with blond radiance: she did not leave people indifferent.  In Paris she might have gone unnoticed, but she lived in a town that was far enough away from the capital not to be considered a suburb.  She had always lived there, and everyone knew her."

This intro might not WOW you, but, this short novel was incredible. I picked it up yesterday and read it in one sitting. Beautiful writing and haunting story about the lasting impact of mother-daughter bond, or in this case, the lack of that bond.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

October in Review - November Plans

I think fall is one of my favorite times of year to read. The cooler weather always makes me look forward to some mystery and thriller books, a cup of hot tea and a fluffy comforter and cat on my lap.
I finished the RIP X111 Challenge early and also manager to read more books in October than I planned (15).  Some of my favorite books were:

Here's what I finished:
  1. Unsheltered; Barbara Kingsolver (ARC) - 3.5/5 - Oct/2018
  2. The Trauma Cleaner; Sarah Krasnostein (memoir-library) - 2.5/5 - Oct/2018
  3. After Anna; Lisa Scottoline (audio) - 3/5 - Oct/2018
  4. Ten Horse Farm; Robert Sabuda - (personal copy) - 5/5 (Oct/2018)
  5. Sea Prayer; Khaled Hosseini - (library) - 3.5/5 (Oct/2018)
  6. Waking Up White; Debby Irving NF- (library) 4/5 (Oct/2018)
  7. An Unwanted Guest; Shari Lapena (library) 4.5/5 (Oct/2018)
  8. No Good Asking; Fran Kimmel (ARC) 4.5/5 (Oct/2018)
  9. The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal & Hysteria in 1692 Salem; Stacy Schiff (NF) (book group) - 3/5 Oct/2018 
  10. After You; Jojo Moyes - (personal copy) - 4/5 (Oct/2018)
  11. Still Me; Jojo Moyes - (personal copy) 3.5/5 (Oct/2018)
  12. Family Trust; Kathy Wang (eGalley) - 4/5 (Oct/2018)
  13. Sight; Jessie Greengrass (ARC) 2/5 - (Oct/2018)
  14. Twelve Patients: Life & Death at Bellevue Hospital; Eric Manheimer MD (NF) (library) - 3/5 (Oct/2018)
  15. Where the Crawdads Sing; Delia Owens (eGalley) - 4.5/5 - (Oct/2018) - no review yet
YTD Total - (97)

Plans for November:

How was your month? any Plans for November?