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

30 comments:

  1. What a beautiful place to celebrate Father's Day! We were camping and actually spent the night at a vineyard and went for a bike ride along a river the next morning. Love being near water!

    I think you liked The Great Alone a little bit more than I did.

    Enjoy your weekend, Diane!

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    1. Les, it sounds like you had a wonderful Father's Day as well. I do love being by the water any chance I get.

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  2. The Cliff House looks amazing, as do the views! What a great place to spend Father's Day!

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    1. Vicki, yes, we were so impressed by the Cliff House. The getaway was a surprise and I was as surprised as the hub - amazing.

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  3. I agree that The Cliff House looks great! Such a gorgeous setting. Hope you do get to go back again after the summer. I've had the first two books you mentioned on my list to try, but have no idea when I'll actually get around to that. Sounds like you are having a full summer, Diane!

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    1. Kay, Summer has just begun and I'm tired already LOL, glad we are home this weekend.

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  4. I keep forgetting that I have The Great Alone! I must read it. Maine looks beautiful; what a wonderful resort.

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    1. Helen, I hope you will enjoy The Great Alone. We loved our getaway, but, you have beautiful ocean views close by as well :)

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  5. WOW! Such a pretty place with wonderful views! You sure have been pretty busy.

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    1. It was really so much more beautiful than we expected.

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  7. Oh, what beautiful photos, Diane! Such a lovely looking spot!!
    Thank you for sharing them, as well as your current books.
    Enjoy your reading this weekend. :)

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  8. Your getaway looks fabulous! Our son went to Maine recently and came home wanting us to buy a summer home there.

    I felt the same way about The Female Persuasion on audio.

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    1. Kathy, LOL, your son has the right idea. Maine is such a pretty state!

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  9. My book club met Friday night and one friend is obsessed with Cliff House! She was showing photos from their Instagram account... they plan to visit later this summer. I'd never heard of it, but now here it is again! Guess we should remember it for next summer since we already have plans to visit Bar Harbor this year.

    I liked The Female Persuasion more than you did, but The Interestings is still my favorite Wolitzer novel.

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    1. JoAnn, that is too funny. I selected the Cliff House totally off the internet, just wanted someplace special (which it was). Bar Harbor is lovely too, have a wonderful time.

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  10. I love your Maine pictures. Nothing like a good holiday.
    Meg Wolitzer has let me down too many times so I didn't read The Female Persuasion. Your other two reviews made me want to read those books. I have been reading lots of good stuff. I hope you have a moment to stop by sometime soon.

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    1. Thanks Judy, and, yes I didn't love the latest Wolitzer book.

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  11. The resort looks beautiful! I've been to Cape Neddick only once and that was to see the lighthouse :)

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  12. Mary, we also visited the Nubble lighthouse after we checked out - very close by.

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  13. I read Right Behind You and also enjoyed it. Good variety of books that you read recently.

    We just moved to Maine-- bought a house-- less than 2 months ago, but we now live away from the coast, on Sebago Lake. I've been to Cape Neddick and it's a really lovely location. I hope you had good weather because I think we had some rain on Father's Day. Talk to you soon.

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    1. Sebago Lake is lovely; hope you will be happy there.

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  14. What a gorgeous resort! I've never been to Maine but I'd love to go and I love how different the beaches look compared to the Florida and Alabama beaches I'm used to visiting. I'm going to try the Kristin Hannah on audio though I suspect I'll be angry with the mother as well. Little Clan sounds like one I'd like but is one I haven't come across before. I'm definitely adding it to my TBR!

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    1. Katherine, Most FL beaches I've visited are very pretty - water is sure a lot warmer, and, the sand whiter. Have a happy summer.

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  15. Wow--the resort looks incredible! I've never seen anything like it in my many trips to Maine. I'm (nearly) equally impressed with the number of books you're reading at the same time (3?!). And one is a Stephen King so that actually equals four on its own, doesn't it? ;)

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    1. LOL, the Stephen King book is over 500 pages -- first half was awesome and second half got weird like SK tends to make happen.

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  16. I feel like The Female Persuasion would have made more of an impact in print. I really enjoyed it in print.

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    1. I'm beginning to think you are right as most everyone who read print copy LOVED it and us audio listeners thought it was so so.

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