Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Bookmarks Magazine - July/August 2019

What better way to relax after my trip to China than coming home to a Bookmarks Magazine (although it would been amazing to have on the plane ride!)

I don't normally like short stories but for some reason this one called to me:

I don't know if I am still jetlagged or if this issue didn't have near as many good books in it but not a lot called my name. I will be putting this edition in my suitcase to go over again.If you get Bookmarks, let me know which ones you think I missed that I should add!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Every Note Played by Lisa Genova

My rating: 4.9

An accomplished concert pianist, Richard is dealing with ALS. She knows the details of the disease and takes us through the grueling daily challenges of living with ALS that most of us probably never thought about. His ex-wife Karina becomes his reluctant caretaker. You not only understand ALS and the deterioration but, you understand Richard and Karina's marriage and each of their roles in it's demise.

This was sad but it didn't feel depressing as it was so real and honest. I felt like I would know what it would be like to have ALS or the emtions of caring for someone with ALS. Genova is a truly gifted author and she uses her knowledge or neuroscience in a way to educate without lecturing. I think this was even better than her previous book Still Alice. She is a true talent at adeptly handling difficult topics..

Thursday, June 7, 2018

The Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

My rating: 3.6

TifAni went to prestigious Bradley School and endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. She now has a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé. She has worked hard to achieve what she has and you find out what has driven her through various flash backs.

This is a hard one for me to review. The first 1/3 of the book was not enjoyable at all - Ani is a superficial conniving woman that was so manipulative it set my teeth on edge. Then there is a big reveal that was so horrific and reeled me in and got me to see Ani in a different light. Then things were a bit more entertaining but still dragged till the next big reveal. Then things flowed a bit better and then wrapped up. This had enough that I kept reading and don't regret it but can't say this is a must read. For me, two contrived "big incidents" don't make up for completely unlikable characters and a poor story line.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

My rating: 3.6

Both of Anna's parents committed suicide - her father 2 years ago and her mother last year.  She is reeling from this and goes to a counselor who she ends up in a relationship with and they have a child. Anna misses her parents more than ever and starts digging into their deaths which makes unplanned dangers surface.

I enjoyed this but boy you REALLY have to suspend reality...way too much. Also, none of the characters were particularly likable or deep. It was a fun read.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

My Rating: 4.7

Ellie is the golden girl and at age 15, when she goes missing, it sends her mother Laurel into a spiral that takes years for her to recover from. Ten years later, Laurel meets Floyd in a coffee shop and they begin a whirlwind romance.

I really enjoyed this with the "then" and "now" timeline. I only figured out pieces of this along the way but enjoyed it until the end. I felt for Laurel and loved her awareness of how she was treating her other daughter. Definitely very twisted with some sick individuals and a lot of suspending reality but I thought this was very well done..

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

My rating: 5.0

Cooper's father is an old fashioned tent preacher. Cooper is raised with religion and music. As he grows into his late teens, he feels anger and resentment and finally takes his father's truck, money and guitar and heads to Nashville.

Amazing writing. This book captures more than I am capable of explaining in my review. The love of a parent, the constraint a child feels against the protective love of a parent, miracles and believing in so much more than  yourself. This is a coming of age, love story that is about musicians and so much more. This is a Christian themed book (picture The Prodigal Son). I believe in miracles and if you read it, you will too.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

All The Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson

My rating: 4.5

Harry gets a call from his step-mother Alice that his father is dead. Harry leaves college before graduation to go home for the funeral and to see what he can find out about his fathers death.  Soon, Harry has reason to suspect foul play but there is a lot more going on than Harry suspects.

Twists and turns galore with lots of suspense and you feel distrustful of everyone!  I can see why this has been compared to Girl on A Train. Not as good as Swanson's previous The Kind Worth Killing but still very enjoyable.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Identicals by Erin Hildenbrand

My rating: 2.7

Forty year old twins, Tabatha and Harper have been estranged for years but their father's death and their mother's poor health brings them together.

This was a cheezy version of the Parent Trap.  Definitely way too fluffy for my tastes and I am embarrassed I finished it. Definitely not my cup of tea

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

My rating: 4.8

This short novel is a somber fairytale. It is about 13 year old Conor dealing with his mum having cancer.

This extremely well done, inventive book makes you feel vulnerable, afraid, sad and so much more. It made me want to hug sweet Conor. Very haunting and one I will remember.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Faithful Place by Tana French

My Rating: 4.6

When Frank Mackey was 19, he was going to run away with his girl Rosey Daley. Rosey never showed. Frank assumed it was due to his dysfunctional family. Frank never went home and neither did Rosey. They never heard from each other again. Now, 22 years later, Detective Frank Mackey gets a call that they have discovered Rosey's suitcase. Frank returns home to the whole sordid dysfunctional mess to try to sort out what happened.

I absolutely loved how much Frank loved his daughter Hollie. The dysfunctional family was quite uncomfortable (which was the point) so just for that reason this wasn't as enjoyable for me as her previous books but I can't wait to read the next in this fabulous series.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Inheriting Edith by Zoe Fishman

My rating: 4.6

Maggy is a struggling single mother who cleans homes for wealthy New Yorkers. When a former client dies and leaves her a home in Sag Harbor, she soon finds out it also comes with taking care of Edith, the deceased's 82 year old mother who has Alzheimers. Neither Maggie nor Edith are thrilled with the arrangement but soon come to understand each other and find they may even be good for each other.

Despite the heavy topic, this felt light and was so enjoyable. All of the characters rang true and were relate-able. Very enjoyable light read.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Bookmarks Magazine May/June 2018

The only thing that makes getting coming home any more glorious is my Bookmarks magazine waiting for me in the mailbox - WOOHOO!  There were some unusual books in this edition that I am intrigued to read (The Friend is at the top of my list!) Here are my picks from this edition.


Already on my kindle:

Please share what your picks were so I can see which ones I missed and add them to my queue!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Young Jane Young by Gabrielle Zevin

My rating: 4.6

Aviva Grossman is a congressional intern who has an affair with the married congressman. When the affair comes to light it is a social media frenzy. She can't get a job or rebuild her life. Aviva quickly realizes she is a household name and the stigma will follow her.

This is a funny, sharp novel that captures women and their relationships. I really enjoyed the light easy writing style.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Love and Respect by Dr Emerson Eggerichs

My rating: 4.8

Women need love and men need respect. If you fight giving your spouse what they need, they won't give what you need. If you know what they need, give it and see what happens. I did and was pretty amazed at the results.

Although this is very Christian based, I feel that anyone of any religious or non-religious belief could benefit from this book. It is the type of book that is easy to skim over the scriptural sections if you wish and still glean the message of the book.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Force of Nature by Jane Harper

My Rating: 4.7

A Corporate team building event of hiking in the wilderness ends with one of the women not returning and the other women all telling a slightly different version of what happened. This flashes back and forth between the detectives interviewing the women and trying to piece together what happened and flashbacks to the events that unfolded of the women's hike. All the while, searchers are in the woods trying to find the missing woman.

This was phenomenal at capturing the emotional baggage of each woman and how the corporate boardroom dynamics don't translate out to the wilderness. If I had any doubt, this book has confirmed I don't want to do a hiking team building event with my co-workers!  Will definitely read more by Harper.