Monday, May 31, 2021

Goodbye May, Hello June - Month in Review

May was a good month up until Memorial Day Weekend made it a bust. 3-days of heavy rain and cold 50 degree temps certainly put a damper and canceled our outdoor plans.  The bad news is most of the coming week looks like rain as well.  (Those April flowers bring May flowers arrived a month late here). 


Our thanks and appreciation to all who served
our country, we are forever grateful.

In May we caught up on a new series for 2021 called: Mare of Easttown starring Kate Winslet (which we loved) and, we disappointed to learn in the season finale of This is Us that there will be just one more season of the series.

Good news was that my book group met in person at the park to discuss Normal People, Sally Rooney which I read in 2019 and thought was good but not great. I didn't read it a second time just reviewed my notes but, I was surprised that only (1) person in my group liked the book. I'm guessing it was because the story involves an exasperating college-age couple and most everyone in the group is 65+ and most really disliked the characters and their failure to communicate.  Have you read this book?

June's book is one I haven't read and heard was very good: Before We Were Yours; Lisa Wingate. 

May Reading

Here's a breakdown:

  1. The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida; Clarissa Goenawan - 4.5/5 Setting: Japan (May)
  2. The Story of Joe Biden: A Biography for New Readers; Frank Berrios - NF - 5/5
  3. The Story of Climate Change: A First Book About How We Can Help Save the Planet; Barr & Williams - NF - 5/5
  4. If Cats Disappeared From the Earth; Genki Kawamura - 4/5 Setting: Japan
  5. The Cold Vanish: Seeking the Missing in North America's Wildlands; Jon Billman - NF - 4/5
  6. Hour of the Witch; Chris Bohjalian - 3.5/5 Setting: MA
  7. The Perfect Daughter; D.J Palmer - 4/5 Setting: MA
  8. What Happened to You: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience & Healing: Oprah Winfrey & Dr. Bruce D. Perry - 4/5
  9. The Nightingale; Kristin Hannah - 4.5/5  Setting: France
  10. The Plot; Jean Hanff Korelitz - 4/5  Setting: NY, VT
  11. Cold Caller; Jason Starr - 4.5/5 Setting: NY
  12. Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; Jeff Gottesfeld - 5/5
  13. One Two Three; Laurie Frankel - 4/5  Setting: MA
  14. The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye; Jane Yolen - 4.5/5
  15. Family Reunion; Nancy Thayer - 5/5 - Setting: Nantucket, MA
  16. Under the Wave at Waimea; Paul Theroux - 3/5 Setting: Hawaii
  17. What Comes After; JoAnne Tompkins - 4/5 Setting: WA 

Some MAY FAVORITES







READING: My reading choices for May were mostly winners with just a few so so books.

I read (17) books.

(4) children's books

(13) Fiction

(4) Non Fiction

(7) print books - (7) from my shelves of which (5) were sent by publishers and (2) I purchased.

(6) audio books - (3)  library  download and (3) publisher download (0) purchased

(4) eBooks/eGalleys/ARCs - (3) publisher (1) purchase

(8) female authors  (YTD) (62)

(9) male authors     (YTD) ( 24)

YTD Total (86)

Countries traveled to through the books I've read:  France,  Japan  (2X).

US States NY (2X), MA (4X) WA, OR, VT and HI.


June Plans (plus a few as the spirit moves me titles)
  1. Heaven; Mieko Kawakami
  2. When the Stars Go Dark; Paula Mclain
  3. Count the Ways; Joyce Maynard
  4. The Music of Bees; Eileen Garvin
  5. The Disappearing Act; Catherine Steadman
  6. Three-Martini Afternoons at the Ritz; Gail Crowthers
  7. Six Weeks to Live; Catherine McKenzie
  8. The Photographer; Mary Dixie Carter
  9. Haven Point; Virgina Hume
  10. That Summer; Jennifer Weiner
How did your month of May go? Any exciting plans for June?

Sunday, May 30, 2021

86 - 2021 - What Comes After; JoAnne Tompkins

 


TITLE/AUTHOR:  What Comes After; JoAnne Tompkins

PUBLISHER:  Random House Audio

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2021

GENRE: Fiction / Murder/Suicide/ Small Town Life

FORMAT:  audio download / LENGTH:  13 hours

SOURCE:  library download

SETTING(s):  Port Furlong, WA

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  A dark, sometimes gritty story with lessons about loss and redemption.

BRIEF REVIEW:   In the small coastal community of Port Furlong, Washington. Two high school boys are dead. Daniel never returns home from football practice and eight days later, his friend Jonah commits suicide, leaving a note that admits he murdered his friend Daniel.  How could this happen and why? Those left behind search for answers while finding a way to cope and move forward.

Isaac is Daniel's father and a teacher in the high school, he now lives alone with his aged dog.  Lorrie is Jonah's mother, she is a widow who works in a low paying job while raising a younger daughter.  Evangeline, is the 16 year-old daughter of a drug addict and prostitute who was abused and abandoned and has been fending for herself.  One day after the boys have died she shows up at Isaac's door filthy and noticeably pregnant and it appears she may have a connection to the boys.

The novel is well written,  perhaps overly long, and told from alternating POVs. The story unfolds in such a way that the reader is constantly trying to understand how and why these tragedies have occurred.  It is a dark, sometimes depressing debut novel and most definitely a character-driven one. I found Evangeline to be a sympathetic and understandably hyper-vigilant young woman who had major trust and self esteem issues. This is a story which I listened to in smaller doses over multiple days: people die,  others have issues, a dog dies and other people leave. The audio book was well done with multiple narrators used. Although there was mention of the Quaker faith / beliefs particularly with Isaac, the story never felt preachy.  I was happy I tried this one and, if this sounds like one you might like to try, the audio was very good.

RATING:  4/5  

85 - 2021 - Under the Wave at Waimea; Paul Theroux

 


TITLE/AUTHOR: Under the Wave at Waimea; Paul Theroux

PUBLISHER:  Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2021

GENRE: Fiction / Surfing / Aging / Small Town Life

FORMAT: eGalley / ARC LENGTH:  416 pp

SOURCE:  Edelweiss

SETTING(s):  Hawaii

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  The life and times of a once revered surfer dude, now an aging has-been forced to deal with his new reality.

BRIEF REVIEW:   

Joe Sharkey,  A.K.A."The Shark"  for years held celebrity status when it came to mastering the big waves on the northern shores of Oahu.  It was how he spent his life of privilege, living off an inheritance and endorsements.  Now at 62, although he can't compete with the younger surfer-dudes who don't even recognize him.  Sharkey's not ready to give up life in the fast lane for a rocking chair just yet.  He has a 38 year-old British girlfriend, Olive,  that helps him to forget his age and the old timers on the island still look up to him. One night, after having a few too many drinks at a local bar, Sharkey hits a homeless man on a bike and although he manages to avoid prosecution, he life begins to go downhill.

I was looking for a story that took place in Hawaii and this one seemed appealing.  I liked the idea that the protagonist was an older guy dealing with his new normal and, While I enjoyed the small town feel and overall setting this novel didn't work well for me. Even though this was not a complicated story, it was one that tested my patience at times as the author chose to rehash the previous 50 years of "The Sharks" life.  I dislike the constant internal ramblings of the rather unlikeable (obnoxious) protagonist. The novel was just over 400 pages and I admit to skimming certain parts which were not holding my interest.  I found the overall storyline disappointing.

RATING:  3/5  

ARC sent to me in exchange for my unbiased review courtesy of Amazon Vine program, Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt and Edelweiss.

Friday, May 28, 2021

84 - 2021 - Family Reunion; Nancy Thayer

 


TITLE/AUTHORFamily Reunion; Nancy Thayer

PUBLISHER:  Ballantine

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2021

GENRE: Fiction / Family / Summer

FORMAT:  eGalley LENGTH:  288 pp

SOURCE:  Edelweiss download

SETTING(s):  Nantucket, Massachusetts 

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  Experience a Nantucket Island summer like no other filled with tender moments and unexpected surprises.

BRIEF REVIEW:   Eleanor Sunderland, widow of four years, lives in a home that has been in her family for generations and, although the home needs some repairs, the home sits prime ocean bluff property.  Eleanor is about to turn 70 and her adult children Alicia and Cliff are anxious for her to sell the home so that they may enjoy their share of the inheritance while Eleanor is still alive.  A real estate developer has a buyer willing to pay $15,000,000 for the property.  Not so fast thinks Eleanor, she is not quite real to move on to assisted living while she is still capable of living alone and enjoying herself and life on the island.

Ari, is Eleanor's 22 year old granddaughter, who has just graduated college. Ari has also broken off her engagement. She's working on the island at a summer camp and has asked Eleanor if she can live with her for the summer. The two have a beautiful and enviable relationship.  Meanwhile, Ari's parents, father Phillip is a surgeon and mother Alicia is an obnoxious, money hungry status seeker are having marital issues.  As new relationships develop over the summer and several other surprises occur along the way, one thing is for sure: life on Nantucket Island is never dull for this family.

Family Reunion was all that I was hoping for and more. I was swept off to the island, a place I have enjoyed visiting in person and through books.  The story is heartwarming, engaging, atmospheric and just a wonderful escape experience.  Eleanor and Ari proved to be the stars of the story, their relationship was so special, caring and felt genuine.  The other characters, like the greedy and sometimes obnoxious adult children and a couple other characters added a nice contrast and dynamic to the overall storyline.  Don't miss this one, it is a summer delight.

RATING:  5/5  

Thanks go to Ballantine and Edelweiss for allowing me to access this book in exchange for my unbiased review.

83 - 2021 - The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye; Jane Yolen (Illustrated by: Jim LaMarche

 


The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye; Jane Yolen (Illustrated by: Jim LaMarche
Random House - 2011

Tiger Rose is an older cat who has lived a good life as an indoor/outdoor cat living in the country. Recently, she just isn't the same, she has grown tired, her legs hurt, her memory isn't very good and she no longer has an appetite. Her humans have been kind to her: a mom and dad and young boy and girl.  On her last day on earth Tiger Rose meows goodbye to her human family as they leave for work and school and, ventures outdoors to say goodbye to her outdoor critter friends she has enjoyed over the years. After she has seen those who have brought her the most happiness she curls up near her favorite rose bushes and bathes herself and she drifts off for one last sleep leaving her tired body behind. It was a good life for Tiger Rose.

This was a beautiful story and non-religious as well. It's very well done but, one suited more toward and indoor/outdoor cat family. The illustrations felt peaceful, gentle and appropriate as well.

Of course, I am tearing up a bit typing this review (I actually reviewed this one in 2012 as well). I purchased this book several years ago in preparation for when my granddaughters may first experience the death of one of their cats.  It appears that day may soon be here with one of the cats being very ill. 



                                                      (purrs for this beautiful 9 year old boy)

Thursday, May 27, 2021

82 - 2021 - One Two Three, Laurie Frankel

 

TITLE/AUTHOR: One Two Three, Laurie Frankel

PUBLISHER:  Macmillan Audio and Henry Holt and Co.

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2021

GENRE: Fiction / Siblings /Small Town Life

FORMAT:  eAudio/eGalley LENGTH:  14 hrs 59 min / 400 pp

SOURCE:  NetGalley / Macmillan Audio

SETTING(s):  Massachusetts (?)

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  A  big-hearted story about siblings and small town life after a chemical spill changes everything.

BRIEF REVIEW:   Bourne, is a very tiny town where everyone knows everyone. Seventeen years earlier Bourne made national news when the water turned green and was found contaminated. Belsum, the factory in town had been leaking chemicals into the water there.  The residents that are left have suffered the lasting effects, many have died from cancer as a result of the contamination and poisoning. Now the same company is back in town promising new jobs, which the town desperately needs,  and claiming they have changed their ways.

Nora Mitchell was pregnant at the time and is now a widow.  In addition to motherhood, she's an activist and her focus has been on gathering evidence for a class action lawsuit on behalf of those who have suffered. Nora gave birth to triplets just after the disaster and two of them have likely been affected as a result of the contamination. The story is told from the perspective of each pf the triplets in the present day at age sixteen.

Mab (One) is the "normal" triplet who feels the guilt of being born unscathed.  Monday (Two) is a lover of books, known as the town librarian and her quirky nature lead me to believe that she is likely on the autism spectrum.  Mirabel (Three) has been noticeably, physically affected by the spill and even speaks through a specialized device.

The story is told through (3) distinct voices of the triplets.  We learn the unique story of Bourne, its residents past and present and the consequences of what the people living in Bourne have experienced.  What could have been a rather depressing story was told in a way that never felt that way. If you enjoy quirky, unforgettable character driven stories  complete with even a rather tidy ending, this may be just the kind of story for you.  A story of friendship, siblings, resilience, acceptance and moving forward. I enjoyed the story but, did think it was a bit too long. The audio was good and easy to follow but, I also had the eGalley which worked well for a great combo read.

RATING:  4/5  

Audio download and eGalley sent to me in exchange for my unbiased review courtesy of Macmillan Audio, Henry Holt & Co and NetGalley.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intro - What Comes After; JoAnne Tompkins


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 plan to read soon.

 What Comes After; JoAnne Tompkins
Penguin Audio - 2021
1

First, the raw facts.

A week into his senior year, my son failed to come home after football practice. When he hadn't appeared by morning, I called Daniel's mother Katherine. She walked off her nursing shift, drove six hours from Spokane and boarded a ferry to Port Furlong.  By the time she was pulling up my drive, Gary Barton, the sheriff, was pulling out.  I had contacted him when calls to friends and relations turned up nothing.  Gary a gruff, efficient man, had, in the span of a few hours, recruited and organized two dozen people to start a search.

This one was released in May and has been on my radar for a while. Hoping that I'll going to like it.

What do you think, read more of pass.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

81 - 2021 - Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; Jeff Gottesfeld and Matt Tavares (Illustrator)


Twenty-One Steps is an informative book that explains the importance and significance of keeping vigil while standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. 

Our unknown soldier narrator from WWI tells us the story of his hero's funeral that took place at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1921. A symbolic funeral was held at our nation's Capitol in Washington, D.C followed by internment at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where he lie alone.   Things changed at midnight on July 2, 1937 when a sentinel guard has been assigned round-the-clock duty, no matter the weather or time of day to make sure the fallen soldiers are never alone again. It is considered a privilege to serve a 2 year term as Tomb Guard.  The position's standard is perfection and it requires: focus, reverence, discipline, respect, appreciation and devotion. A beautiful, respectful tribute to all who have served.

Targeted for grades 2-5, ages 7-10,  I thought the story was well done with a solemn serious tone. The story provided a good overview about the important role as Tomb Guard and I loved the way the manner in which the story was told.  I did think it might be slightly advanced for the younger children in the targeted age range but, older children should do well with this one.  The illustrations were beautifully and thoughtfully drawn to clearly demonstrate the importance, significance and respect deserved of those who have served our great country.

This book is a beautiful tribute to celebrate this Memorial Day and the 100th anniversary this coming November. I'm sure this would make a great addition to school, public library or personal collections.


NOTE: This book was sent to me by Candlewick Press in exchange for my unbiased review

Friday, May 21, 2021

80 - 2021 - Cold Caller; Jason Starr

 

TITLE/AUTHORCold Caller; Jason Starr

PUBLISHER:  WW Norton

YEAR PUBLISHED: 1998 

GENRE: Fiction / Noir Crime

FORMAT:  eBook LENGTH:  292 pp

SOURCE:  purchased

SETTING(s):  New York City

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  A dark, twisted roller coaster ride and certainly a story you will not easily forget.

BRIEF REVIEW:   Bill Moss was once a VP of an ad agency but, now he works as a telemarketer at ACA, a call center in New York City.  It's a horrible company that engages in racially discriminatory practices by paying larger commissions to white employees and wrongly laying off a higher percentage of black employees to avoid paying out their commissions. Bill hates his job and feels under appreciated and has plans of quitting his job. He has convinced his weak, gullible, girlfriend Julie to move back to Seattle with him where he's convinced he can get a top level management job.  The very next day, after Julie reluctantly resigns from her high level position,  Bill gets promoted to Assistant to the President at ACA.  Of course, his promotion is built on a lie he told because, that's what Bill does but, that lie will come back to bite him. Bill lies a lot, he cheats a lot and he makes his girlfriend believe that she is paranoid and has an explosive temper at times as well.  Bill is a sociopath, Bill is delusional, Bill may be a psychopath and as the story progresses, Bill can add murderer to the list. 

Bill is a character that is easy to detest but, he's like a car wreck that once you start reading about him and all of his antics and just how his warped mind works you won't be able to turn away or stop reading.   

This is the author's first novel and although the writing isn't exceptional, the story is very addictive, shocking and easily readable and, it very much satisfied my warped sense of humor.  The story is dark but you will find it hard to resist chuckling or at least scratching your head in amazement at times and,  I also loved the ending as well.  I got the idea to try this one as it was mentioned in Peter Swanson's book, Eight Perfect Murders, a book that I loved.  Touted as one of the top 10 noir crime novels of all time and an international best seller,  the Kindle version is available for just $1.99, in case I've made you curious.  I'm definitely planning on checking out what else the author has out.

RATING:  4.5/5  

Thursday, May 20, 2021

79 - 2021 - The Plot; Jean Hanff Korelitz

 

TITLE/AUTHOR:  The Plot;  Jean Hanff Korelitz

PUBLISHER:  Macmillan Audio

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2021

GENRE: Fiction / Mystery/Thriller

FORMAT:  audio download LENGTH: 10 hrs. 43 min.

SOURCE:  NetGalley

SETTING(s):  NY and VT (mostly)

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  A washed-up author finds an easy way to get a book published - steal the "plot."

BRIEF REVIEW:   Jacob Finch Bonner once a somewhat respectable author, hasn't written anything in years. His life is moving in the wrong direction and he is now teaching in a MFA program at the not to popular Ripley College in VT.  It is a college with a student population that is rapidly dwindling.  When Jacob learns that one of his former students has died he sees an opportunity for quick success. The former, now decreased student, Evan Parker was an arrogant obnoxious sort who couldn't resist bragging about what he called a never-fail "plot." Evan had shared the storyline with Jacob and it appears that it has never been published. Jacob can't resist the opportunity to pass the Evan's work off as his own and is sure to bring him success.

Three years laters later The Crib has sold 2 million copies in less than a year.  Things looking up for Jacob, he even meets a young woman on the book tour circuit that he ends up marrying. Life is good, he has money, success and an international bestseller. But, suddenly it appears, the deceit is about to catch up with him.  Emails and tweets from someone calling themself "Talented Tom" letting Jacob know that they know he stole the storyline start to arrive. The frequency speeds up and even reaches the publisher who calls him in to explain.   Jake, desperate to put and end to this and avoid controversy decides to begin his own investigation into Evan Parker and where he got the idea for the storyline.

The Plot, had an intriguing premise which I loved listening to. The audio was read by Kirby Heyborne who did a great job.  I did have mixed feelings about this one as it seemed to take forever for this one to get going. The first third of the book was slow but, then things really took off in the right direction and the story gets intriguing. At this point it was hard to put this one down.  I thought it was pretty easy to guess who was behind the emails and tweet taunts but, that was okay as the way the story ended was quite satisfying. Overall. not perfect but, I'm quite happy I had an opportunity to listen to this one.  The author had written another thriller that I read called, You Should Have Known, which inspired a recent miniseries called The Undoing starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant - both book and series were quite good.

RATING:  4/5  

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

78 - 2021 The Nightingale; Kristin Hannah

 

TITLE/AUTHOR The Nightingale; Kristin Hannah

PUBLISHER:  St. Martins

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2015 

GENRE: Fiction / Historical / WWII

FORMAT:  print LENGTH:  pp. 567

SOURCE:  my shelves

SETTING(s):  France (1939 - 1945)

ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  A powerful story of two very different sisters and how their lives were impacted during WWII.

BRIEF REVIEW:   The Nightingale,  begins in 1998 Oregon with an elderly, unnamed woman sorting through papers and reflecting on her younger days as a young woman during the war.

Vianne and Isabelle are sisters whose lives take different paths after their mother died. Vianne, significantly older, marries Antoine and the couple and their young daughter Sophie move to the French countryside of Carriveau.  Isabelle had attended boarding school and when old enough to go it alone, the fearless, rebellious and independent Isabelle moves to Paris.  

As German troops move into France and war breaks out Antoine is called to serve and, in the countryside, everything changes for Vianne, a teacher, and daughter Sophie.  As the Germans infiltrate the countryside and one Nazi forces his way into her home, her instincts as protector of her young daughter kick into high gear and she must do what it takes for them survive the ordeal of war.  Meanwhile, Isabelle recovering from a love loss refuses to sit idly by as the brutal Nazi occupation grows, she joins the resistance movement, constantly putting her life at risk with every move she makes.

The strength of this novel, IMO, was not in the way in which it depicts the war, although the second half of the book was darker and more intense.  I still thought the war aspect felt mild in terms of describing the brutality and horror of war.  The author's strength was in the wonderful job she did describing how each sister was affected by war and what they had to endure and the sacrifices they made while the men were called to serve.  The women were often faced with agonizing choices and the utter strength and bravery shown by the sisters and other women made each of them heroes in their own right. 

A story of both survival and loss and ultimately redemption, based in part on a Belgian woman who inspired the role of Isabelle (The Nightingale) in the war effort.  I throughly enjoyed reading this novel and have gained a new appreciation for historical fiction in 2021 - my 9th book in this genre thus far.

RATING:  4.5/5  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

MEMORABLE QUOTES: 

“If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.”

"It's not biology that determines fatherhood. It is love."

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Cold Caller; Jason Starr

 

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 plan to read soon.

 
                                                                     Cold Caller; Jason Starr
                                                                        WW Norton - 1998

ONE

"ON MOST DAYS, I wouldn't have said anything.  Like the typical New Yorker, I'd have given her a couple of dirty looks, maybe grunted a little, and minded my own business.  But that morning was different. Maybe things were already building up in my life, pushing me to the brink.  Or maybe I was just having a bad day. I'd have a fight with my girlfriend the night before and she'd left for work that morning without saying goodbye."

I plan on starting this one today, it was mentioned as one of the great murder mysteries in Peter Swanson's book, Eight Perfect Murders.  What do you think - read more or pass?

Monday, May 17, 2021

2021 - 77 - What Happened to You? Conversations on Trauma, Resilience and Healing; Oprah Winfrey & Bruce D. Perry MD, PhD


TITLE/AUTHOR What Happened to You?  Oprah Winfrey & Bruce D Perry MD, PhD

PUBLISHER: Macmillan Audio

YEAR PUBLISHED: 2021

GENRE: Non Fiction / Health & Healing

FORMAT:  audio download LENGTH: 8 hours 27 min.

SOURCE:  library download

SETTING(s):  n/a


ONE SENTENCE SUMMARY:  An interesting look at how our earliest experiences shape how we act and react to situations throughout our lives.

BRIEF REVIEW:   Dr Bruce Perry is a trauma therapist and psychiatrist who explains in very understandable terms the medical model for addressing trauma, depression and anxiety disorders.  Stories from trauma victims and how the affects of PTSD, lack of a maternal bond early in life, physical, sexual and emotional abuse impact victims in adulthood. These were just some of areas touched upon this book.  Each of the stories evolve in a conversational style between Dr. Perry and Oprah which helps the reader to understand what the individuals had experienced and how their adult life behaviors took shape as a result.

I debated whether I wanted to listen to this book based on the heavy subject matter but, it was a good book overall and backed by scientific research. Definitely not for every reader but, I was happy that I decided to listen to it. The proceeds from sales of this book will go to the Boys and Girls Clubs in Mississippi.  

RATING:  4/5 stars

Sunday, May 16, 2021

20 Books of Summer - 2021

Every summer I usually come up with an informal list of 10 books that I want to read between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This year I've been noticing a more official summer type challenge hosted by Cathy@ 746BooksThe dates of the event are June 1 - September 1 and I've decided to pick a combination of books from my bookcase, audio downloads and eGalley/eBooks.  Interested in joining the summer challenge? Have you read any of the ones from my list?

You can click on the links to find out  a little info about each of the books I've added to my list:

  1. Malibu Rising; Taylor Jenkins Reid - 
  2. Belonging; Nancy Thayer
  3. Six Weeks to Live; Catherine McKenzie  4/5 stars
  4. The Summer of Lost and Found; Mary Alice Monroe
  5. Northern Spy; Flynn Berry
  6. Blush; Jamie Brenner
  7. Family Reunion; Nancy Thayer  - 5/5 stars
  8. Oh, William!; Elizabeth Strout
  9. Heaven; Mieko Kawakami  4/5 stars
  10. The Maiden; Alex Michaelides
  11. Mirrorland; Carole Johnstone
  12. Model Home; Eric Puchner
  13. Sooley; John Grisham
  14. The Hypnotist's Love Story; Liane Moriarty
  15. The Newcomer; Mary Kay Andrews
  16. The Scenic Route; Binnie Kirshenbaum
  17. When the Stars Go Dark; Paula Mclain
  18. Swimming Back to Trout River; Linda Rui Feng
  19. Three Martini Afternoons at the Ritz; Gail Crowther
  20. Vineyard Crossing; Jean Stone
Possible Alternates