Tuesday, June 2, 2020

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - The Girls of Summer; Nancy Thayer

Welcome to
 First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by Yvonne @ Socrates Book Reviews. Each week readers post the first paragraph (or 2) of a book they are reading or that they plan to read soon.

Girls of Summer; Nancy Thayer
Ballantine - 2020


"Remember, Lisa's mother had often said, it's good to know where you want to be, but sometimes you have to go in the opposite direction to get there.  Lisa knew her mother was right because her mother was, as was her father, a high school teacher full of knowledge and experience.  She also knew that when they had married, her mother had wanted to have five children and her father wanted to be a novelist.  Instead, they taught in the Nantucket high school and had only one child, the fortunate Lisa, but they said they were extremely happy throughout their lives.  So maybe they didn't get where they intended to go, but they ended up where they were meant to be."

I've been in the mood for a few light, fun reads this summer. What do you think for this intro - read more or pass?

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Goodbye May - Here Comes June

I'm actually happy to say goodbye to May. The only good thing about it was that I found a lot of time to read.  My right knee suddenly began hurting the beginning of May and I finally had to go to a specialist the middle of the month - X-rays showed moderate patellofemoral osteoarthritis. prescription arthritis drugs didn't work with swelling or pain so, I finally went back 2 weeks later for a cortisone shot (5 days ago).  Slight relief until I had a PT session on Friday and, I literally, could not walk out of the office without borrowing a cane afterwards. I was in so much pain.  I haven't done the at home exercises as knee is still painful.  I'm beginning to wonder whether I have another meniscus tear like I had in same knee about 15 years ago? On a positive note, as I got out of bed this morning, there was very little swelling so I'm hoping progress is being made. F/up Wednesday.

It's been kind of hot and humid this past week but, really nice today. 
I didn't watch much television last week, instead spending most of the week with my feet up reading or playing games on computer. We did watch Double Indemnity, a movie from 1944, after having finished the book. 
Exercise and other highlights…
No highlights/no exercise because of my knee pain.
Today’s To Do List…
Finishing up - If it Bleeds, Stephen King (it's pretty good).

Retail Therapy...

I actually ordered a cane to have on hand as I have to return the one I borrowed on Wednesday. I didn't need it yesterday but, just in case. Exciting huh? (peacock pattern).

May Reads-  (13) Books  (47-YTD) - (3) kids, (2) NF, (8) fiction. Of these (3) were 5 star reads for me.

                                                                  Fave Books of May

  1. Kaia and the Bees; M. Boelts - 5/5 (print/May)
  2. The Nest that Wren Built; Sosenshine - 5/5 (print/May)
  3. Hike; Oswald - 4.5/5 - (print/May) - 4.5/5 (print/May)
  4. The Dilemma; B.A. Paris - 2.5/5 (eGalley/May)
  5. Wild Game; Adrienne Brodeur - NF - 4/5 (eGalley/May)
  6. Brother and Sister; Diane Keaton - 2/5 -(NF/Audio/May)
  7. Olive Kitteridge; Elizabeth Strout - 5/5 (reread/audio/May)
  8. My Dark Vanessa; Kate Elizabeth Russell - 5/5 - (eGalley/May)
  9. Redhead By the Side of the Road; Anne Tyler - 3.5/5 (audio/May)
  10. The Sun Down Motel; Simone St. James - 5/5 - (eGalley/May)
  11. Double Indemnity; James M. Cain - 4.5/5 (print/May)
  12. All Adults Here; Emma Straub - 4/5 - (audio/May)
  13. If it Bleeds; Stephen King (audio - should finish today)
Reading Plans for June (so far)
How did your week go? Any favorite reads?

Saturday, May 30, 2020

All Adults Here; Emma Straub

AUTHOR:  Emma Straub
PUBLISHER:  Penguin Audio
PUB. YEAR: 2020
Setting: Upstate NY
Format: audio
Rating - 4/5

Astrid Strick is a 68 year old mother and grandmother to 3 adult children, it's a family where everyone seems to have issues they are struggling with.  Astrid is a widow, very matter-of-fact, not at all warm and fuzzy. Now in her senior years she's been keeping a secret from her children, she's attracted to her female hairdresser, Birdie.

As the story opens, Astrid witnesses a woman she has long known killed by an empty speeding school bus. It is this incident that causes her to reflect on earlier days as a young woman and mother and how she could have been a better mother to her children.  The untimely death of this woman forces Astrid to look back, try to make amends and decide how she wants to live her life moving forward.

As the reader I felt like I got to know the quirky, yet well-crafted characters and messy lives quite well. Eldest son Elliot is parent to twins works in real estate development, middle child Porter, 37 decides to have a baby in a non traditional manner and youngest child Nicky is unfocused, sending his 13 y/old daughter, Cecelia, upstate to live with Astrid after an incident at her school back in Brooklyn. There were plenty of social issues that surfaced in this novel: sexual and gender identity, child-rearing, bullying and more. Although there definitely wasn't a strong story line in this novel,  I enjoyed the time I spent with these flawed characters and their life struggles.  

The audio book was read by Emily Rankin who did a great job.

(Audio download provided by by Penguin Audio in exchange for an unbiased review.)