Thursday, June 28, 2018

My Summer Reading List - Done

UPDATE - At the start of summer I chose (10) books I planned to read and from that original list, I ended up reading 7 of them (highlighted below). I did have a great summer and read 29 books from June 1- today - 8/30/2018)

Did you make a summer list? If so, how did you do?

I've been meaning to post my summer reading list since Memorial Day but the month of June sort of got away from me.  I have been busy reading and listening to a variety of audio books as well.  Here are (10) books that caught my eye this summer. (a few of them have been on my list for a few years).


84, Charing Cross Road
Made for Love
Baby Teeth
The Outsider
The Other Mother
Clock Dance
The Dry
Something in the Water
The House Swap

  1. Baby Teeth; Zoje Stage -  4/5 - no review yet We Need to Talk About Kevin meets Gone Girl meets The Omen...a twisty, delirious read that will constantly question your sympathies for the two characters as their bond continues to crumble.”―Entertainment Weekly
  2. 84, Charing Cross Road; Helene Haniff -  - 5/5 - loved it "84, Charing Cross Road will beguile and put you in tune with mankind... It will provide an emollient for the spirit and sheath for the exposed nerve." -- The New York Times
  3. Clock Dance; Anne Tyler -  4/5 - no review yet "A bittersweet, hope-filled look at two quirky families that have broken apart and are trying to find their way back to one another . . . The cast of sharply drawn characters dominates in ways both reflective and raucous across a series of emotional events.”
    Publishers Weekly
  4. The Dry; Jane HarperA small town hides big secrets in The Dry, an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.
  5. The Outsider; Stephen King - 4/5An unspeakable crime. A confounding investigation. At a time when the King brand has never been stronger, he has delivered one of his most unsettling and compulsively readable stories. (completed 4/5)
  6. The Other Mother; Carol Goodman - 3.5/5“An atmospheric and harrowing tale, richly literary in complexity but ripe with all the crazed undertones, confusions, and forebodings inherent in the gothic genre. Recommend this riveting, du Maurier–like novel to fans of Jennifer McMahon.” — Booklist (starred review)
  7. Made for Love; Alissa Nutting - From the exciting and provocative writer of Tampa, a poignant, riotously funny story of how far some will go for love—and how far some will go to escape it. 
  8. The House Swap; Rebecca Fleet - 3.5/5 - " She may not know exactly who is in her house. But she knows why they are there.  A house swap becomes the eerie backdrop to a chilling look inside a broken marriage filled with tantalizing secrets."
  9. Something in the Water; Catherine Steadman - “With unreliable characters, wry voices, exquisite pacing, and a twisting plot, Steadman potently draws upon her acting chops. . . . A darkly glittering gem of a thriller from a new writer to watch.”Kirk's Reviews (starred review)
  10. Moonglow; Michael Chabon -  read 200+ pages but DNF “A wondrous book that celebrates the power of family bonds and the slipperiness of memory….A thoroughly enchanting story about the circuitous path that a life follows, about the accidents that redirect it, and about the secrets that can be felt but never seen, like the dark matter at the center of every family’s cosmos.” (Ron Charles, The Washington Post)
Do any of these appeal to you?  Have you posted a list of your own?

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - The Waiting Room; Emily Bleeker

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. Here's my current eBook:

The Waiting Room; Emily Bleeker
Lake Union Press - 2018

Chapter One

"Nick, the baby is crying again." Veronica half turned over in her bed and slapped to the left, trying to wake her husband. "Nick," she called again, this time a little louder.

The room was dark, and colder than usual for November in North Carolina.  Half-awake, she sat up and checked the alarm clock on her side of the bed, her e-book reader falling to the floor with a thump. 12:23a.m. Her eyes burned, and the invisible arms of sleep pulled her back toward the bed.  She patted his spot just in case her eyes deceived her.  The bed was cold and empty.  Where the hell was he?

What are your thoughts about the intro?  I'm at the 70% mark on my Kindle and I'm still not sure what to make of Veronica.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Catching Up - Maine Getaway and a few Book Reviews

Happy Weekend Everyone!  This weekend is a stay at home, catch up weekend after spending Father's Day weekend in Maine.  We had a wonderful time staying at the Cliff House in Cape Neddick, a resort that recently underwent a 40 million dollar renovation, what an awesome place. The hub says it was his best father's day ever. We hope to go back again after Labor Day.

Our oldest granddaughter graduated from Kindergarten on Friday (hard to believe) and our youngest granddaughter will be celebrating her 4th birthday next weekend.

On the book front I've been busy reading  and there are so many more books I'd like to read this summer. I finished several books this month.

The Female Persuasion; Meg Wolitzer
Penguin Audio - 2018

Greer Kadetsky is a shy college freshman, disappointed by her stoner parents for messing up her financial aid paperwork which caused her to miss the opportunity for an Ivy League education. Instead she ends up at Ryland College where she meets a feminist, Faith Frank who inspires her and challenges her to be all that she can be.

The topic was timely: feminism, sexual identity, workplace harassment and first loves.  Although the story held my interest, it never wowed me.  Most of the (4) central characters were flawed in some way, which I generally love, but I wish that these chapters, especially Faith Frank had been explored in more depth. The stories of each of these characters sometimes felt a bit disjointed, so to me the pacing felt off.

I'm happy I listened to this one but after reading several rave reviews, I expected to like it more.

Rating 3.5/5

The Great Alone; Kristin Hannah
Macmillan Audio - 2018

See in mid 1970s, Alaska, an unpredictable, often volatile former POW, Ernt Albright abruptly moves his wife and 13 year old daughter to Alaska after losing yet another job.  Hoping for a calmer life, he plans for the three of them to live off the grid.

Although the local people are welcoming and helpful, as winter approaches it soon becomes apparent how ill prepared the family really is to survive this new life.  As Ernt's mental health issues intensify, mother and daughter bond even more to try and figure out what must happen in order to survive.

My heart went out to 13 year old Leni, a girl at a fragile age who needed stability.  I was angry with the mother for going a long with such a crazy plan without preparation.  The audio book was very good and really held my interest.

Rating - 4.5/5 stars

The Little Clan; Iris Martin Cohen
Park Row - 2018

Set in NYC, The Little Clan, embraces the friendship of opposites.

Ava Gallanter, is a shy 20-something librarian and lover of 18th century literature, she also hopes to be a successful writer. She works at a rather eccentric place called The Lazarus Club, a place where eccentric geriatrics residents gather. Ava's college friend Stephanie, is her polar opposite: outgoing, energetic with a lust for life. She vows to do what she can to help Ava fulfill her dreams of becoming an author and, she convinces Ava to open a hip literary salon at the Lazarus Club. Needless to say, things don't necessarily go as planned.

Readers who love stories with quirky, flawed characters and literature should give this debut novel a try. Overall, I liked this book but, I was hoping for some resolution to a few of sidebars and that never occurred.

 Right now I have (3) books going. The Outsider, Stephen King (in print) -- this is really good.  The Waiting Room, Emily Bleeker (on Kindle) and The Chalk Man;  C.J. Tudor  (on audio)

Rating - 3.5/5

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - The Outsider; Stephen King

On Tuesdays First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vickie/ I’d Rather Be at the Beach Readers are asked to share the first paragraph of a book they are reading or plans to read soon.  

The Outsider; Stephen King
Scribbler - 2018

The Arrest
July 14th

"It was an unmarked car, just some nondescript American sedan a few years old, but the blackwall tires and the three men inside gave it away for what it was.  The two in front were wearing blue uniforms. The one in back was wearing a suit, and he was as big as a house.  A pair of black boys standing on the sidewalk, one with a foot on a scuffed orange skateboard, the other with a lime-colored board under his arm, watched it turn into the parking lot of the Estelle Barga Recreational Park, then looked at each other.

One said, "That's Five-O."

Does this sound like a book you might consider reading?

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - The Banker's Wife; Christina Alger

On Tuesdays First Chapter, First Paragraph/Intros is hosted by Vickie/ I’d Rather Be at the Beach Readers are asked to share the first paragraph of a book they are reading or plans to read soon.  

The Banker's Wife; Christina Alger
G.P Putnam - 2018


"At London RAF Northolt Airport, very few planes were cleared for takeoff.  The crosswinds were strong; the downpour of sleet reduced visibility to nil. There was only one runway at Northolt, and a congestion of private jets looking to use it. It was six a.m. The crowd of passengers in the waiting area was small but impatient.  Most were businessmen who had morning meetings in Paris, Luxembourg, Berlin.  Some were booked on flights chartered by their corporations; a few owned their jets outright.  These were not men who liked to wait.  A Russian named Popov was making a scene. He yelled alternately at the woman behind the front desk and someone on the other end of his phone.  Neither person was giving him the answer that he was looking for, so he toggled between them, the volume of his voice rising until he could be heard clear across the terminal.  His female companion, a bored, willowy blonde in a fox-fur coat and sneakers,stared at her phone. She seemed accustomed to his rages. Everyone else was looking at Popov. Papers were lowered; passengers turned to stare.  At six foot four and at least 280 pounds, Alexei Popov was hard to miss, particularly the he was angry."

What do you think?  I just started this one last night and like it so far.