Monday, November 28, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

A houseful of people and a holiday does not make a conducive atmosphere for reading, at least for me. I got a little read though. This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week:

Hockey Karma by Howard Shapiro
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
Kiss and Tango by Marina Palmer

Reviews posted this week:

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

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

Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
McMullen Circle by Heather Newton
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau
Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Home Repairs by Trey Ellis
Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin
Looking for a Weegie to Love by Simon Smith
This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Love and Saffron by Kim Fay
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron
Shady Hollow by Juneau Black
Four Gardens by Margery Sharp
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Uncommon Measure by Natalie Hodges
Jane of Hearts by Katharine Weber
Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton
Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan
Chivalry by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
She Is Haunted by Paige Clark
A Woman's Place by Marita Golden
Murder Above the Silver Waves by Blythe Baker
Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou
Easy Beauty by Chloe Cooper Jones
The Witches of New York by Ami McKay
The Desert Smells Like Rain by Gary Paul Nabhan
Stay Gone Days by Steve Yarbrough
The Mason House by T. Marie Bertineau
A Map for the Missing by Belinda Huijuan Tang
Just One Taste by Louisa Edwards
The Good Byline by Jill Orr
Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith
Dance of the Returned by Devon A. Mihesuah
Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour by Yelena and Galina Lembersky
The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore
These Precious Days by Ann Patchett
Tomorrow in Shanghai by May-Lee Chai
What's Mine and Yours by Naima Coster
Geographies of the Heart by Caitlin Hamilton Summie
Setting Fire to Water by Phoebe Tsang
My Days of Dark Green Euphoria by A. E. Copenhaver
Last Summer on State Street by Toya Wolfe
My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
Provenance by Sue Mell
I Will Die in a Foreign Land by Kalani Pickhart
The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West
A Girlhood: Letter to My Transgender Daughter by Carolyn Hays
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
The Hawk's Way by Sy Montgomery
The Foundling by Ann Leary
The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs by Leslie Kirk Campbell
Here Lies by Olivia Clare Friedman
The Barrens by Kurt Johnson and Ellie Johnson
Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty
Blue-Skinned Gods by S.J. Sindu
Everything Harder Than Everyone Else by Jenny Valentish
Drowned Town by Jayne Moore Waldrop
Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim
Fighting Time by Amy Banks and Isaac Knapper
Oklahoma Odyssey by John Mort
Ballad of the Whiskey Robber by Julian Rubenstein
Let the Wild Grasses Grow by Kase Johnstun
A House in the Country by Ruth Adam
Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
The Year of the Horses by Courtney Maum
Colonel Sandhurst to the Rescue by M.C. Beaton
Color Me Murder by Krista Davis
In the Wake of the Boatman by Jonathon Scott Fuqua
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood
The Marseille Caper by Peter Mayle
The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher
The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka
The Finder by Will Ferguson
Sandman by Bob Drews
We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
What We Talk About When We Talk About Dumplings edited by John Lorinc
Book of Extraordinary Tragedies by Joe Meno
The English Understand Wool by Helen DeWitt
50 Things to Do When You Turn 50 edited by Ronnie Sellers
Near the Exit by Lori Erickson
She Left Me the Gun by Emma Brockes
The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
Beheld by Tarashea Nesbit
The Secret History of Food by Matt Siegel
My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh
Mothercare by Lynne Tillman
Hockey Karma by Howard Shapiro
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was 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. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton

The book is being released by Grand Central Publishing on December 6, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: Florida is slipping away. As devastating weather patterns and rising sea levels wreak gradual havoc on the state’s infrastructure, a powerful hurricane approaches a small town on the southeastern coast. Kirby Lowe, an electrical line worker, his pregnant wife, Frida, and their two sons, Flip and Lucas, prepare for the worst. When the boys go missing just before the hurricane hits, Kirby heads out into the high winds in search of his children. Left alone, Frida goes into premature labor and gives birth to an unusual child, Wanda, whom she names after the catastrophic storm that ushers her into a society closer to collapse than ever before.

As Florida continues to unravel, Wanda grows. Moving from childhood to adulthood, adapting not only to the changing landscape, but also to the people who stayed behind in a place abandoned by civilization, Wanda loses family, gains community, and ultimately, seeks adventure, love, and purpose in a place remade by nature.

Told in four parts—power, water, light, and time—The Light Pirate mirrors the rhythms of the elements and the sometimes quick, sometimes slow dissolution of the world as we know it. It is a meditation on the changes we would rather not see, the future we would rather not greet, and a call back to the beauty and violence of an untamable wilderness.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Review: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Every year my book club chooses to read a book that fits the spooky season. Although this one takes place in the summer, the premise made it ripe for our October read. Now, I am a huge coward and I wince every year when we try to settle on an appropriate read. Luckily for me, The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw turned out to be far more unintentionally absurd than scary.

The small town of Sparrow, Oregon has a rather macabre claim to fame. In the early 1820s, the townspeople convicted the three Swan sisters, Marguerite, Aurora, and Hazel, of witchcraft and drowned them in the town's harbor for the crime of being young and beautiful and seducing the men, especially the married men, of the town. Now the sisters come back every June 1 through the summer solstice. They take possession of three local girls' bodies to lure boys into the water and drown them in turn as revenge on the town for the sisters' own deaths. The town has made a festival of this grisly occurrence and tourists flock to the town during the festival despite the danger.

This year there's a new boy in town named Bo Carter. He says he knows nothing about the history or the town festival, despite showing up on the eve of the sisters' return. He meets Penny, who was born in Sparrow and lives on an island at the decommissioned lighthouse. Penny's father disappeared without a trace several years ago and her mother has been in a deep depression ever since. Something inspires Penny to hire Bo to help out at the lighthouse and to try and keep him safe from the murderous sisters but everything is not as it seems.

The broad plot here is definitely an interesting and unique one but there are so many plot inconsistencies and inaccuracies that it makes for a frustrating read. Just to start, Penny hops in a small outboard to get from the island into the town to go to school, having to make her way through a shipwreck strewn harbor to the shore in a fog so dense that she cannot see the shore in front of her. No sailor worth their salt would even consider going out in a boat in such conditions, especially given the treacherous waters. Later in the story, Penny doesn't know one of the drowned boys, despite both of them having lived and gone to school in this tiny town for their entire lives, something that is patently implausible given the setting. Then there's the question of why the townspeople continue to stay in the town, potentially sacrificing their sons to these angry spirits. As the mother of boys, I'd move away in a heartbeat. And why on earth would tourists come with their teenaged sons to risk their deaths too? It just makes zero sense. As for the story of the sisters, which is interspersed periodically with the more present day story, it also doesn't make a lot of sense. Firstly, the sisters were apparently not actually witches, which begs the question of how they could come back as these bloodthirsty, avenging body snatchers intent on murder. Secondly, the 1820s is quite late for the persecution of (non)witches, especially resulting in the execution of said convicted witches. Was the West Coast just that far behind the East Coast (and Europe) in moving beyond such barbaric practices? Finally, without giving too much away, the ending made less than no sense at all. (I'm happy to rant about it with/at anyone who has read the book and who wants me to though.) There were also plot points that were mentioned that might have been intended to go somewhere but were ultimately dropped like Penny's best friend's mother running a bakery that made muffins specifically designed to help people from out of the Swan sisters' former store. A muffin gets sent out to Penny's mother with the specific injunction that she eat the whole thing but nothing is ever mentioned about it again. Basically the whole book made me want to throw my hands in the air and shout at it. It comes across as being an adequate first draft but one that needs work. There are a whole lot of people who seem to really like this book online but I was definitely in the majority at book club so it's not just me. On the positive side, scary books often cause me nightmares and this one absolutely did not, so there's that.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I got a lot read but nothing reviewed since I dumped water on my keybooard and the computer had to be turned off and disconnected from power for days to dry out. Luckily, things seem to be okay now but I couldn't do some of the things I had intended to do sans computer. This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week:

Near the Exit by Lori Erickson
She Left Me the Gun by Emma Brockes
The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
Beheld by Tarashea Nesbit
The Secret History of Food by Matt Siegel
My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh
Mothercare by Lynne Tillman

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Reviews posted this week:

nothing yet

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

Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
McMullen Circle by Heather Newton
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau
Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Home Repairs by Trey Ellis
Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin
Looking for a Weegie to Love by Simon Smith
This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Love and Saffron by Kim Fay
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron
Shady Hollow by Juneau Black
Four Gardens by Margery Sharp
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Uncommon Measure by Natalie Hodges
Jane of Hearts by Katharine Weber
Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton
Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan
Chivalry by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
She Is Haunted by Paige Clark
A Woman's Place by Marita Golden
Murder Above the Silver Waves by Blythe Baker
Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou
Easy Beauty by Chloe Cooper Jones
The Witches of New York by Ami McKay
The Desert Smells Like Rain by Gary Paul Nabhan
Stay Gone Days by Steve Yarbrough
The Mason House by T. Marie Bertineau
A Map for the Missing by Belinda Huijuan Tang
Just One Taste by Louisa Edwards
The Good Byline by Jill Orr
Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith
Dance of the Returned by Devon A. Mihesuah
Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour by Yelena and Galina Lembersky
The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore
These Precious Days by Ann Patchett
Tomorrow in Shanghai by May-Lee Chai
What's Mine and Yours by Naima Coster
Geographies of the Heart by Caitlin Hamilton Summie
Setting Fire to Water by Phoebe Tsang
My Days of Dark Green Euphoria by A. E. Copenhaver
Last Summer on State Street by Toya Wolfe
My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
Provenance by Sue Mell
I Will Die in a Foreign Land by Kalani Pickhart
The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West
A Girlhood: Letter to My Transgender Daughter by Carolyn Hays
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
The Hawk's Way by Sy Montgomery
The Foundling by Ann Leary
The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs by Leslie Kirk Campbell
Here Lies by Olivia Clare Friedman
The Barrens by Kurt Johnson and Ellie Johnson
Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty
Blue-Skinned Gods by S.J. Sindu
Everything Harder Than Everyone Else by Jenny Valentish
Drowned Town by Jayne Moore Waldrop
Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim
Fighting Time by Amy Banks and Isaac Knapper
Oklahoma Odyssey by John Mort
Ballad of the Whiskey Robber by Julian Rubenstein
Let the Wild Grasses Grow by Kase Johnstun
A House in the Country by Ruth Adam
Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
The Year of the Horses by Courtney Maum
Colonel Sandhurst to the Rescue by M.C. Beaton
Color Me Murder by Krista Davis
In the Wake of the Boatman by Jonathon Scott Fuqua
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood
The Marseille Caper by Peter Mayle
The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka
The Finder by Will Ferguson
Sandman by Bob Drews
We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
What We Talk About When We Talk About Dumplings edited by John Lorinc
Book of Extraordinary Tragedies by Joe Meno
The English Understand Wool by Helen DeWitt
50 Things to Do When You Turn 50 edited by Ronnie Sellers
Near the Exit by Lori Erickson
She Left Me the Gun by Emma Brockes
The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
Beheld by Tarashea Nesbit
The Secret History of Food by Matt Siegel
My Fake Rake by Eva Leigh
Mothercare by Lynne Tillman

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was 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. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

The Sunshine Girls by Molly Fader

The book is being released by Graydon House on December 6, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: Two friends. A lifetime of secrets. One sparkling story.

1967 Iowa. Nursing school roommates BettyKay and Kitty don't have much in common. BettyKay has risked her family's disapproval to pursue her dreams away from her small town. Cosmopolitan Kitty has always relied on her beauty and smarts to get by and to hide a painful secret. Yet the two share a determination to prove themselves in a changing world, forging an unlikely bond on a campus unkind to women.

Before their first year is up, tragedy strikes, and the women's paths are forced apart. But against all odds, a decades-long friendship forms, persevering through love, marriage, failure, and death, from the jungles of Vietnam to the glamorous circles of Hollywood. Until one snowy night leads their relationship to the ultimate crossroads.

Fifty years later, two estranged sisters are shocked when a famous movie star shows up at their mother's funeral. Over one tumultuous weekend, the women must reckon with a dazzling truth about their family that will alter their lives forever...

Monday, November 14, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Not my best week in terms of moving things off the tbr mountain! This meme is hosted by Kathryn at Reading Date.

Books I completed over the past week:

The English Understand Wool by Helen DeWitt
50 Things to Do When You Turn 50 edited by Ronnie Sellers

Bookmarks are still living in the middle of:

The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
She Left Me the Gun by Emma Brockes
Near the Exit by Lori Erickson
Beheld by Tarashea Nesbit

Reviews posted this week:

nothing yet

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

Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
Tiddas by Anita Heiss
The Tourist Attraction by Sarah Morgenthaler
Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead by Elle Cosimano
The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman
The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin
If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
McMullen Circle by Heather Newton
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen
Donut Fall in Love by Jackie Lau
Twenty-One Truths About Love by Matthew Dicks
The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
Home Repairs by Trey Ellis
Skinny Bitch in Love by Kim Barnouin
Looking for a Weegie to Love by Simon Smith
This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay
A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers
Love and Saffron by Kim Fay
The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron
Shady Hollow by Juneau Black
Four Gardens by Margery Sharp
Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Uncommon Measure by Natalie Hodges
Jane of Hearts by Katharine Weber
Laura Rider's Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton
Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan
Chivalry by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran
Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez
She Is Haunted by Paige Clark
A Woman's Place by Marita Golden
Murder Above the Silver Waves by Blythe Baker
Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou
Easy Beauty by Chloe Cooper Jones
The Witches of New York by Ami McKay
The Desert Smells Like Rain by Gary Paul Nabhan
Stay Gone Days by Steve Yarbrough
The Mason House by T. Marie Bertineau
A Map for the Missing by Belinda Huijuan Tang
Just One Taste by Louisa Edwards
The Good Byline by Jill Orr
Truth and Other Lies by Maggie Smith
Dance of the Returned by Devon A. Mihesuah
Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour by Yelena and Galina Lembersky
The Woman They Could Not Silence by Kate Moore
These Precious Days by Ann Patchett
Tomorrow in Shanghai by May-Lee Chai
What's Mine and Yours by Naima Coster
Geographies of the Heart by Caitlin Hamilton Summie
Setting Fire to Water by Phoebe Tsang
My Days of Dark Green Euphoria by A. E. Copenhaver
Last Summer on State Street by Toya Wolfe
My Monticello by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
Provenance by Sue Mell
I Will Die in a Foreign Land by Kalani Pickhart
The Two Lives of Sara by Catherine Adel West
A Girlhood: Letter to My Transgender Daughter by Carolyn Hays
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
The Hawk's Way by Sy Montgomery
The Foundling by Ann Leary
The Man with Eight Pairs of Legs by Leslie Kirk Campbell
Here Lies by Olivia Clare Friedman
The Barrens by Kurt Johnson and Ellie Johnson
Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty
Blue-Skinned Gods by S.J. Sindu
Everything Harder Than Everyone Else by Jenny Valentish
Drowned Town by Jayne Moore Waldrop
Beasts of a Little Land by Juhea Kim
Fighting Time by Amy Banks and Isaac Knapper
Oklahoma Odyssey by John Mort
Ballad of the Whiskey Robber by Julian Rubenstein
Let the Wild Grasses Grow by Kase Johnstun
A House in the Country by Ruth Adam
Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
The Year of the Horses by Courtney Maum
Colonel Sandhurst to the Rescue by M.C. Beaton
Color Me Murder by Krista Davis
In the Wake of the Boatman by Jonathon Scott Fuqua
Book Lovers by Emily Henry
The Marlow Murder Club by Robert Thorogood
The Marseille Caper by Peter Mayle
The Paris Bookseller by Kerri Maher
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka
The Finder by Will Ferguson
Sandman by Bob Drews
We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry
What We Talk About When We Talk About Dumplings edited by John Lorinc
Book of Extraordinary Tragedies by Joe Meno
The English Understand Wool by Helen DeWitt
50 Things to Do When You Turn 50 edited by Ronnie Sellers

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Waiting on Wednesday

This meme was 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. I'm choosing to continue the tradition even though she has stopped.

The Vibrant Years by Sonali Dev

The book is being released by Mindy's Book Studio on December 1, 2022.

The book's jacket copy says: Living on their own terms means being there for one another.

When sixty-five-year-old Bindu Desai inherits a million dollars, she’s astounded—and horrified. The windfall threatens to expose a shameful mistake from her youth. Desperate to keep the secret, Bindu quickly spends it on something unexpected: a condo in a posh retirement community in Florida.

The impulsive decision blindsides Bindu’s daughter-in-law, Aly. At forty-seven, Aly still shares a home with Bindu even after her divorce from Bindu’s son. But maybe this change is just the push Aly needs to fight for the segment she’s been promised for years at the news station where she works.

As Bindu and Aly navigate their new dynamic, Aly’s daughter, Cullie, is faced with losing the business that made her a tech-world star. The only way to save it is to deliver a new idea to her investors—and of course they want the half-baked dating app she pitched them in a panic. Problem is, Cullie has never been on a real date. Naturally, enlisting her single mother and grandmother to help her with the research is the answer.

From USA Today bestselling author Sonali Dev comes a heartfelt novel about three generations of hilarious, unconventional, ambitious women navigating bad dates, a spiteful HOA board, reemerging exes, and secrets that refuse to remain hidden. Join the Desai women on a shared journey of self-discovery as they dare to live their most vibrant lives.

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