Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme is hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on.

Another Side of Paradise by Sally Koslow.

The book is being released by Harper on May 29, 2018.

Amazon says this about the book: In 1937 Hollywood, gossip columnist Sheilah Graham’s star is on the rise, while literary wonder boy F. Scott Fitzgerald’s career is slowly drowning in booze. But the once-famous author, desperate to make money penning scripts for the silver screen, is charismatic enough to attract the gorgeous Miss Graham, a woman who exposes the secrets of others while carefully guarding her own. Like Fitzgerald’s hero Jay Gatsby, Graham has meticulously constructed a life far removed from the poverty of her childhood in London’s slums. And like Gatsby, the onetime guttersnipe learned early how to use her charms to become a hardworking success; she is feted and feared by both the movie studios and their luminaries.

A notorious drunk famously married to the doomed Zelda, Fitzgerald fell hard for his “Shielah” (he never learned to spell her name), a shrewd yet softhearted woman—both a fool for love and nobody’s fool—who would stay with him and help revive his career until his tragic death three years later. Working from Sheilah’s memoirs, interviews, and letters, Sally Koslow revisits their scandalous love affair and Graham’s dramatic transformation in London, bringing Graham and Fitzgerald gloriously to life with the color, glitter, magic, and passion of 1930s Hollywood.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme is hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on.

The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner.

The book is being released by Little, Brown and Company on April 24, 2018.

Amazon says this about the book: When a young widow's reclusive life in a charming beach town is interrupted by a surprise visitor, she is forced to reckon with dark secrets about her family, her late husband, and the past she tried to leave behind.

Lauren Adelman and her high school sweetheart, Rory Kincaid, are a golden couple. They marry just out of college as Rory, a star hockey player, earns a spot in the NHL. Their future could not look brighter when Rory shocks everyone-Lauren most of all-by enlisting in the U.S. Army. When Rory dies in combat, Lauren is left devastated, alone, and under unbearable public scrutiny.

Seeking peace and solitude, Lauren retreats to her family's old beach house on the Jersey Shore. But this summer she's forced to share the house with her overbearing mother and competitive sister. Worse, a stranger making a documentary about Rory tracks her down and persuades her to give him just an hour of her time.

One hour with filmmaker Matt Brio turns into a summer of revelations, surprises, and upheaval. As the days grow shorter and her grief changes shape, Lauren begins to understand the past-and to welcome the future.

Monday, April 16, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed this past week are:

Paris by the Book by Liam Callanan
Terra Nullius by Clare G. Coleman
Christmas in July by Alan Michael Parker

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

A Manual For Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells
Country of Red Azaleas by Domnica Radulescu
A Hard and Heavy Thing by Matthew J. Hefti
Paint Your Wife by Lloyd Jones
The Company They Kept edited by Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein
No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal
Thousand-Miler by Melanie Radzicki McManus
Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe
America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
Hope Has Two Daughters by Monia Mazigh
After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara
Metis Beach by Claudine Bourbonnais
Smoke by Dan Vyleta
Coco Chanel by Lisa Chaney
The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love by Per J. Andersson
The New York Time Footsteps by various authors
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas
Mean by Myriam Gurba
The Widow Nash by Jamie Harrison
The Wangs Vs. the World by Jade Chang
The Bottom of the Sky by Rodrigo Fresan(br /> Nothing Forgotten by Jessica Levine

Reviews posted this week:

nothing

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Unslut by Emily Lindin
This Far Isn't Far Enough by Lynn Sloan
The Hounds of Spring by Lucy Andrews Cummin
Paper Boats by Dee Lestari
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies
A Handful of Happiness by Massimo Vacchetta and Antonella Tomaselli
Swimming with Elephants by Sarah Bamford Seidelmann
As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman
Dates from Hell and Other Places by Elyse Russo
Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard
The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
Love Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
A Song for the River by Philip Connors
Daditude by Chris Erskine
In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt
Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian
Still Life with Monkey by Katharine Weber
America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
Vanishing Twins by Lea Dieterich
Tenemental by Vikki Warner
Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson
The Lido by Libby Page
The Invisible Valley by Su Wei
The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs
The Showrunner by Kim Mortishugu
I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice
Paris by the Book by Liam Callanan
Terra Nullius by Clare G. Coleman
Christmas in July by Alan Michael Parker

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme is hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on.

The Little Clan by Iris Martin Cohen.

The book is being released by Park Row on April 17, 2018.

Amazon says this about the book: A dazzling debut set in modern-day New York, The Little Clan is a sharp, insightful look at friendship and finding yourself in your twenties

Ava Gallanter is the librarian in residence at the Lazarus Club, an ancient, dwindling Manhattan arts club full of eccentric geriatric residents stuck in a long-gone era. Twenty-five-year-old Ava, however, feels right at home. She leads a quiet life, surrounded by her beloved books and sequestered away from her peers. When Ava’s enigmatic friend Stephanie returns after an unplanned year abroad, the intoxicating opportunist vows to rescue Ava from a life of obscurity. Stephanie, on the hunt for fame and fortune, promises to make Ava’s dream of becoming a writer come true, and together they start a literary salon at the Lazarus Club. However, Ava’s romanticized idea of the salon quickly erodes as Stephanie’s ambitions take the women in an unexpected—and precarious—direction.

In this humorous yet insightful coming-of-age story, Cohen deftly balances an interrogation of big ideas with an expertly constructed comedy of manners. With eloquent prose and affecting storytelling, The Little Clan is at once a love letter to literature and a deft exploration of what it means to be young and full of hope in New York.

Monday, April 9, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed this past week are:

The Showrunner by Kim Mortishugu
I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

A Manual For Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells
Country of Red Azaleas by Domnica Radulescu
A Hard and Heavy Thing by Matthew J. Hefti
Paint Your Wife by Lloyd Jones
The Company They Kept edited by Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein
No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal
Thousand-Miler by Melanie Radzicki McManus
Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe
America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
Hope Has Two Daughters by Monia Mazigh
After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara
Metis Beach by Claudine Bourbonnais
Smoke by Dan Vyleta
Coco Chanel by Lisa Chaney
The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love by Per J. Andersson
The New York Time Footsteps by various authors
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas
Mean by Myriam Gurba
The Widow Nash by Jamie Harrison
The Wangs Vs. the World by Jade Chang
Nothing Forgotten by Jessica Levine
Terra Nullius by Clare G. Coleman
Paris by the Book by Liam Callanan

Reviews posted this week:

nothing

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Unslut by Emily Lindin
This Far Isn't Far Enough by Lynn Sloan
The Hounds of Spring by Lucy Andrews Cummin
Paper Boats by Dee Lestari
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies
A Handful of Happiness by Massimo Vacchetta and Antonella Tomaselli
Swimming with Elephants by Sarah Bamford Seidelmann
As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman
Dates from Hell and Other Places by Elyse Russo
Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard
The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
Love Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
A Song for the River by Philip Connors
Daditude by Chris Erskine
In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt
Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian
Still Life with Monkey by Katharine Weber
America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
Vanishing Twins by Lea Dieterich
Tenemental by Vikki Warner
Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson
The Lido by Libby Page
The Invisible Valley by Su Wei
The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs
The Showrunner by Kim Mortishugu
I Found My Tribe by Ruth Fitzmaurice

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme is hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on.

Circe by Madeline Miller.

The book is being released by Little, Brown and Company on April 10, 2018.

Amazon says this about the book: In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child--not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power--the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world.

Monday, April 2, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed this past week are:

Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson
The Lido by Libby Page
The Invisible Valley by Su Wei
The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

A Manual For Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells
Country of Red Azaleas by Domnica Radulescu
A Hard and Heavy Thing by Matthew J. Hefti
Paint Your Wife by Lloyd Jones
The Company They Kept edited by Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein
No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal
Thousand-Miler by Melanie Radzicki McManus
Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe
America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
Hope Has Two Daughters by Monia Mazigh
After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara
Metis Beach by Claudine Bourbonnais
Smoke by Dan Vyleta
Coco Chanel by Lisa Chaney
The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love by Per J. Andersson
The New York Time Footsteps by various authors
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas
Mean by Myriam Gurba
The Widow Nash by Jamie Harrison
The Wangs Vs. the World by Jade Chang

Reviews posted this week:

nothing

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Unslut by Emily Lindin
This Far Isn't Far Enough by Lynn Sloan
The Hounds of Spring by Lucy Andrews Cummin
Paper Boats by Dee Lestari
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies
A Handful of Happiness by Massimo Vacchetta and Antonella Tomaselli
Swimming with Elephants by Sarah Bamford Seidelmann
As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman
Dates from Hell and Other Places by Elyse Russo
Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard
The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
Love Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
A Song for the River by Philip Connors
Daditude by Chris Erskine
In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt
Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian
Still Life with Monkey by Katharine Weber
America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
Vanishing Twins by Lea Dieterich
Tenemental by Vikki Warner
Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson
The Lido by Libby Page
The Invisible Valley by Su Wei
The Last Equation of Isaac Severy by Nova Jacobs

Monday Mailbox

A late birthday present and some gifties from a friend kept my mailbox hopping. This past week's mailbox arrivals:

The Memory Shop by Ella Griffin came from me as a birthday present to myself.

I am fascinated by the increasing number of books that can be described as life-affirming and uplifting and this one about a woman who, upon inheriting her grandmother's possessions and finding herself unable to keep them, opens a store to find the perfect new owners for each piece looks to be a perfect example of its kind.

The Muse by Jessie Burton came from a friend for an Easter bookswap.

I can barely paint a wobbly line but I do enjoy books set in the art world so this one about a newly discovered painting and its possible painter should be a really good one.

The Good People by Hannah Kent came from a friend for an Easter bookswap.

I thoroughly enjoyed Kent's first, dark novel so I am really looking forward to this one about Irish folklore and mythology and the very real way they threaten the life a small boy.

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor came from a friend for an Easter bookswap.

I can read darker books as we head into longer days so this one about the hunt for a missing girl and then the way that life must go on after tragedy will be on my summer reading list. That it is by a highly lauded author doesn't hurt its appeal either.

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme is hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on.

We Own the Sky by Luke Allnutt.

The book is being released by Park Row on April 3, 2018.

Amazon says this about the book: “We looked down at the cliff jutting into the sea, a rubber boat full of kids going under the arch, and then you started running and jumping through the grass, dodging the rabbit holes, shouting at the top of your voice, so I started chasing you, trying to catch you, and we were laughing so hard as we ran and ran, kicking up rainbow showers in the leaves.”

Rob Coates feels like he’s won the lottery of life. There is Anna, his incredible wife, their London town house and, most precious of all, Jack, their son, who makes every day an extraordinary adventure. But when a devastating illness befalls his family, Rob’s world begins to unravel. Suddenly finding himself alone, Rob seeks solace in photographing the skyscrapers and clifftops he and his son Jack used to visit. And just when it seems that all hope is lost, Rob embarks on the most unforgettable of journeys to find his way back to life, and forgiveness.

We Own the Sky is a tender, heartrending, but ultimately life-affirming novel that will resonate deeply with anyone who has suffered loss or experienced great love. With stunning eloquence and acumen, Luke Allnutt has penned a soaring debut and a true testament to the power of love, showing how even the most thoroughly broken heart can learn to beat again.

Monday, March 26, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed this past week are:

America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
Vanishing Twins by Lea Dieterich
Tenemental by Vikki Warner

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

A Manual For Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells
Country of Red Azaleas by Domnica Radulescu
A Hard and Heavy Thing by Matthew J. Hefti
Paint Your Wife by Lloyd Jones
The Company They Kept edited by Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein
No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal
Thousand-Miler by Melanie Radzicki McManus
Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe
America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
Hope Has Two Daughters by Monia Mazigh
After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara
Metis Beach by Claudine Bourbonnais
Smoke by Dan Vyleta
Coco Chanel by Lisa Chaney
The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love by Per J. Andersson
The New York Time Footsteps by various authors
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas
Mean by Myriam Gurba
The Widow Nash by Jamie Harrison
The Wangs Vs. the World by Jade Chang
Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson

Reviews posted this week:

nothing

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Unslut by Emily Lindin
This Far Isn't Far Enough by Lynn Sloan
The Hounds of Spring by Lucy Andrews Cummin
Paper Boats by Dee Lestari
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies
A Handful of Happiness by Massimo Vacchetta and Antonella Tomaselli
Swimming with Elephants by Sarah Bamford Seidelmann
As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman
Dates from Hell and Other Places by Elyse Russo
Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard
The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
Love Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
A Song for the River by Philip Connors
Daditude by Chris Erskine
In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt
Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian
Still Life with Monkey by Katharine Weber
America for Beginners by Leah Franqui
Vanishing Twins by Lea Dieterich
Tenemental by Vikki Warner

Monday Mailbox

It was my birthday this past week and I didn't hold back on celebrating myself with a book or five. ;-) This past week's mailbox arrivals:

On the Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher came from me as a birthday present to myself.

The story of an elderly woman, who after dying, cannot pass to the other side without unburdening her soul, this is not a unique premise but I do enjoy these stories so I'm hoping this one is as captivating.

The Whitsable High Tide Swimming Club by Katie May came from me as a birthday present to myself.

Swimming is in the title. Just for that I'm a goner, but I'm also looking forward to this tale of a group of women who swim together and help each other navigate life.

The Worst Case Scenario Cookery Club by Chrissie Manby came from me as a birthday present to myself.

I love to cook so I enjoy the heck out of feel good books about others learning to cook and becoming friends in the process.  This should be exactly my cup of tea.

The Year of Surprising Acts of Kindness by Laura Kemp came from me as a birthday present to myself.

How can you pass up a book about acts of kindness happening in a small Welsh village? Obviously I can't and I'm looking forward to this sure to be heartwarming novel.

The Hidden Cottage by Erica James came from me as a birthday present for myself.

Even adult kids can derail a parent, even one who appears to have it all together, and I can't wait to read about this very premise in this one.

Early Work by Andrew Martin came from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

A comic novel about a would be writer and his messy, undirected post-college life? Sign me up!

Mysterium by Susan Froderberg came from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

I have a strange fascination with mountain climbing so this novel of an expedition that evokes Dante's Inferno promises to be completely and totally gripping.

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Mailbox Monday and have fun seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme is hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on.

The Summerhouse by the Sea by Jenny Oliver.

The book is being released by HQ on April 24, 2018.

Amazon says this about the book: Every Summer has its own story…

For Ava Fisher, the backdrop to all her sun-drenched memories – from her first taste of chocolate-dipped churros to her very first kiss – is her grandmother’s Summerhouse in the sleepy Spanish seaside town of Mariposa.

Returning for one last summer, Ava throws herself into a project her grandmother would be proud of. Café Estrella - once the heart of the sleepy seaside village - now feels more ramshackle than rustic. Just like Ava, it seems it has lost its sparkle.

Away from the exhausting juggle of London life, Ava realises somehow her life has stopped being…happy. But being back at the Summerhouse by the sea could be the new beginning she didn’t even realise she needed…

Monday, March 19, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed this past week are:

Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian
Still Life with Monkey by Katharine Weber

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

A Manual For Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells
Country of Red Azaleas by Domnica Radulescu
A Hard and Heavy Thing by Matthew J. Hefti
Paint Your Wife by Lloyd Jones
The Company They Kept edited by Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein
No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal
Thousand-Miler by Melanie Radzicki McManus
Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe
America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
Hope Has Two Daughters by Monia Mazigh
After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara
Metis Beach by Claudine Bourbonnais
Smoke by Dan Vyleta
Coco Chanel by Lisa Chaney
The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love by Per J. Andersson
The New York Time Footsteps by various authors
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas
Mean by Myriam Gurba
The Widow Nash by Jamie Harrison
America for Beginners by Leah Franqui

Reviews posted this week:

I'll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos
Who Is Rich? by Matthew Klam

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Unslut by Emily Lindin
This Far Isn't Far Enough by Lynn Sloan
The Hounds of Spring by Lucy Andrews Cummin
Paper Boats by Dee Lestari
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies
A Handful of Happiness by Massimo Vacchetta and Antonella Tomaselli
Swimming with Elephants by Sarah Bamford Seidelmann
As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman
Dates from Hell and Other Places by Elyse Russo
Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard
The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
Love Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
A Song for the River by Philip Connors
Daditude by Chris Erskine
In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt
Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian
Still Life with Monkey by Katharine Weber

Monday Mailbox

This past week's mailbox arrivals:

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal came from Tor.

After a meteor wipes out the eastern seaboard and the government in 1952, the race to colonize space accelerates and a female pilot mathematician is among those leading the charge. This alternate history science fiction sounds really intriguing.

A Child in Burracombe by Lilian Harry came from me as an early birthday gift to myself.

About a village that embraced orphans during the war and one little girl who needs their acceptance and support, this sounds charming and is the prequel to a series that sounds lovely and warm too.

Conditional Love by Cathy Bramley came from me as an early birthday gift to myself.

I do love British romances and this one about a woman who can only inherit, and thereby have the means to build her own home, by meeting the father she's never known sounds about perfect.

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Mailbox Monday and have fun seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Review: Who Is Rich? by Matthew Klam

Who Is Rich? Is Rich merely the main character of Matthew Klam's novel? Is the question about him?  It must be.  But what about its other facets?  Is it a financial question? Is it a creative and spiritual question? In fact it is all of these and yet the complexity of this seemingly simple question and its answers cannot save this novel and this main character from themselves.

First, Rich Fischer is a whiny jerk as he examines his life. He is now (merely) an illustrator who once created a critically acclaimed graphic memoir that has netted him a consistent job teaching cartooning at a New England arts conference summer camp. This gives him the chance to escape his deteriorating marriage, his two small but needy children, and the drudgery of everyday life, and to indulge in an affair for the second year running with Amy, a wealthy bored housewife at the conference. After a winter of sexting and pent up lust, Rich is anxious to see what happens when they see each other in the flesh again.  But this second summer is destined to be a disappointment, as is immediately evident not only from Amy's accident on the first day but also from the tenor of Rich's musings.

A novel about a week at an arts conference, infidelity, marriage, parenting, and angst has the potential to really be something. And this novel is in fact something. Unfortunately, that something is dull. It is meandering and plotless and suffers from stream of consciousness narration originating inside the head of a character the reader doesn't much like, giving us a front row seat to the petulant and unpleasant Rich. His reflections on the life he is so dissatisfied with inspire annoyance rather than sympathy for a man who found early fame but now wonders if settling down to a conventional and dull, domestic life has snuffed his creative spark. His observations about Amy, the woman he is so obsessed with are primarily centered around her money and her horrible husband so that it's hard to believe he truly feels much of anything for her, much less passion. He is snarky, snottily superior, and scornful about her life even while eating himself up with jealousy over her money and acting like an ass in his own personal life.  His reflections on his wife Robin and the state of their marriage are no less unkind and callous.  There is no indication of anything appealing about Rich that would justify anyone, even a bored housewife, being interested in him and certainly this reader feels the same way. Rich's mid-life crisis is boring and the novel as a whole wallows rather than being driven by passion, choice, and a creative, interesting life.  If you want to spend time with a deeply unhappy, sulky, overly introspective character who is clearly disappointed with his life and choices, more power to you; you should pick up this book. Unfortunately, I personally was happiest when I turned the last page and closed the cover on Rich's bumbling existential struggles.

Thanks to LibraryThing Early Reviewers for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme is hosted by Breaking the Spine and is meant to highlight some great pre-publication books we all can't wait to get our grubby little mitts on.

Chasing the Sun by Katy Colins.

The book is being released by HQ on April 24, 2018.

Amazon says this about the book: Georgia Green is on the conveyor belt to happiness.

Live-in boyfriend, perfect career and great friends, it seems like Georgia is only a Tiffany box away from her happily ever after. But when she arrives in Australia for her best friend’s wedding and is faced with the bridezilla from hell, she starts to realise that she might not want the cookie-cutter ending she thought.

What was meant to be a trip full of sunny days at the beach and wedding planning over cocktails, has turned into another problem for her to fix – just like the ones she’d left behind. With hardly any time for her boyfriend, let alone herself, it feels like there is just too much to juggle. It might be time for Georgia to step off the conveyor belt to find the balance in life and see if she really can have it all…

Monday, March 12, 2018

Review: I'll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos

There are many ways to describe the person you love. Love of your life. Soul mate. True love. The peanut butter to your jelly. Your home and your heart. Or you could call them, like Marisa de los Santos does in her newest novel, your blue sky. This third novel in a trilogy, albeit one that stands alone just fine, is an examination of love and family, sanctuary and doing right.

Opening in 1950 on Edith and Joseph Herron's wedding day, Edith remembers walking into the warmth and comfort of the beautiful home that her new husband has bought for the two of them in a small Delaware beach town. Joseph is Edith's soul mate, her comfort, and her anchor. He is her blue sky and their home is appropriately called Blue Sky House. In the present day, Clare Hobbes is preparing for her wedding to fiance Zach when she confides her unease about their future to her mother and dear family friend.  But it isn't until the actual day of her wedding when she meets and talks to Edith, now an elderly woman, that she finds the courage to call off the wedding. Several weeks later, she discovers that Edith has passed away and left Clare a lovely home in Delaware. Why Edith left a perfect stranger her home and the mystery that Clare, helped by her best friend and old boyfriend Dev, starts to uncover thanks to a both a ledger of guests of the former guesthouse and to a cryptic shadow ledger for the same time period drive the narrative.

The narrative moves back and forth between Clare's and Edith's stories. The reader discovers things before Clare does so there's some repetition in the telling as Clare and Dev slowly uncover Edith's life. De los Santos does hold back a few details from the 1950s story line so that not everything is revealed twice. Edith is definitely an intriguing character, presented as warm and understanding, and even before she meets Clare in the twilight of her life, she is drawn with a strong moral compass. Clare is very forgiving and compassionate but almost to the point of being infuriating. She not only allows Zach to isolate and suffocate her because she knows how hard he is trying to rise above his family, but she continues to try and placate him even as she occasionally fears his ability to keep his tightly controlled emotions and anger in a healthy place. Dev is magical and the reader wonders how Clare has ever forgotten this. The mystery is not terribly difficult to unravel but Edith's life is fascinating enough that this doesn't matter much. Despite the darkness of abuse captured in this story, ultimately it is one of courage and warmth, uplift and love, always and forever real love. Women's fiction fans, especially those who like a thread of historical fiction running through their stories, will appreciate this warmhearted and satisfying novel.

For more information about Marisa de los Santos and the book, check out her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter. Check out the book's Goodreads page, follow the rest of the blog tour, or look at the amazon reviews for others' thoughts and opinions on the book.
Thanks to Trish from TLC Book Tours and Harper Collins for prodding me to pull the book off my shelf to review.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed this past week are:

Daditude by Chris Erskine
I'll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos
In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

A Manual For Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin
The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells
Country of Red Azaleas by Domnica Radulescu
A Hard and Heavy Thing by Matthew J. Hefti
Paint Your Wife by Lloyd Jones
The Company They Kept edited by Robert B. Silvers and Barbara Epstein
No One Can Pronounce My Name by Rakesh Satyal
Thousand-Miler by Melanie Radzicki McManus
Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe
America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie
Hope Has Two Daughters by Monia Mazigh
After the Bloom by Leslie Shimotakahara
Metis Beach by Claudine Bourbonnais
Smoke by Dan Vyleta
Coco Chanel by Lisa Chaney
The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love by Per J. Andersson
The New York Time Footsteps by various authors
The Resurrection of Joan Ashby by Cherise Wolas
Mean by Myriam Gurba
The Widow Nash by Jamie Harrison
Beautiful Music by Michael Zadoorian

Reviews posted this week:

The Most Dangerous Duke in London by Madeline Hunter
The Hunting Accident by David L. Carlson and Landis Blair
Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton

Books still needing to have reviews written (as opposed to the ones that are simply awaiting posting):

Who Is Rich? by Matthew Klam
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Unslut by Emily Lindin
This Far Isn't Far Enough by Lynn Sloan
The Hounds of Spring by Lucy Andrews Cummin
Paper Boats by Dee Lestari
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies
A Handful of Happiness by Massimo Vacchetta and Antonella Tomaselli
Swimming with Elephants by Sarah Bamford Seidelmann
As the Crow Flies by Melanie Gillman
Dates from Hell and Other Places by Elyse Russo
Visible Empire by Hannah Pittard
The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
Love Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed
A Song for the River by Philip Connors
Daditude by Chris Erskine
I'll Be Your Blue Sky by Marisa de los Santos
In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills by Jennifer Haupt

Monday Mailbox

This past week's mailbox arrivals:

The Flicker of Old Dreams by Susan Henderson came from Harper Perennial.

There's something enticing about small town stories so this one about a dying town, a woman who stayed there to take over the family mortuary business, and the younger brother blamed for his star athlete brother's death years ago who has now returned to town to care for his mother should be completely engrossing.

How to Walk Away by Katherine Center came from St. Martin's Press.

I do like stories where someone's life changes in an instant and they are pushed to find the strength to become a new person so this one should suit me perfectly.

Half Gods by Akil Kumarasamy came from FSG.

Sri Lanka fascinates me. Linked short stories make me happy. This has a ton of promise!

The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall came from St. Martin's Griffin.

Since I once flirted with a career in advertising, this story about a 1949 Miss Subways contestant and a modern day advertising executive whose stories come together really hits direct center in my interests.

The Removes by Tatjana Soli came from Sarah Crichton Books/FSG.

Soli's last novel was amazing so I can't wait to crack this one about the early days of the west, Custer's wife, and a young white woman who lives as a member of the Cheyenne tribe open.

Suicide Club by Rachel Heng came from Henry Holt.

I don't think I'd want to live forever but the concept is interesting enough that I am completely curious about this novel about a woman who could live forever or could choose to live her life but then also die.

The Summer I Met Jack by Michelle Gable came from Sarah Crichton Books/FSG.

A novel about a woman who had a summer romance with JFK when she worked for his family and the effect that one summer had on her life even as she moved on, this promises to be fascinating indeed.

The Patchwork Bride by Sandra Dallas came from Minotaur.

I've liked other Sandra Dallas book so I am looking forward to this one about a woman who goes west to find love and marriage.

Nothing Good Can Come of This by Kristi Coulter came from MCDxFSG Originals.

Essays from an author who gave up drinking and noticed that her perspective on all sorts of things changed as a result, this looks really cool.

The Lost for Words Bookshop by Stephanie Butland came from Thomas Dunne Books.

About an introverted character working in a bookshop who has unexpected people and deliveries come into her life, how could I not want to read this one?!

Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson came from Flatiron Books.

An epistolary novel about a Danish museum curator and a British farm wife who write to each other about the famous Tollund Man and come to know and care for each other through their letters, be still my heart!

If you want to see the marvelous goodies in other people's mailboxes, make sure to visit Mailbox Monday and have fun seeing how we are all doing our part to keep the USPS and delivery services viable.

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