Monday, December 26, 2016

Redemption Road by John Hart

My rating: 4.9

Ex-con and former cop Adrian Wall who is to be released from prison after thirteen years. On the same day, fourteen year old Gideon Strange, the victim's son, is determined to kill Wall in retribution for murdering his mother. Thirteen year veteran cop Elizabeth Black is the common thread between all of the characters.

The storyline of this book is quite far fetched at times and yet the writing and character development were so rich, I couldn't get enough. I love when there isn't simply a protagonist and an antagonist but, a lot of well developed characters (without being overwhelming) that we come to know and understand their back story and how they became who they are.  Hart does an amazing job of character development that I was sad when this story ended. I will definitely be reading more by him.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

My rating: 1.0

Maybe I have worked with too many battered wives and understand domestic abuse too well that it made me critical of this book.  No one is all good or all bad and, they definitely don't 'flip a switch' going from beyond belief good to being all bad. It doesn't happen like that. There was so much about this book that I found completely inplausible.

From the very first page, I could see what was going to happen and I hate predictable books. If that wasn't enough, I felt that the characters were very flat and had very little dimension to them.  Definitely not a book I would recommend to anyone as there are so many books in this genre that do it better.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Daughters of Paletine Hill by Phyllis T. Smith

My rating: 5.0

After Emperor Augustus defeats Marc Antony and Cleopatra he returns to Rome bringing their daughter Selene as a companion to his daughter Julia. Augustus' wife Livia is a devoted wife who understands the politics and needs of the country and tempers her husband.  This book is told in varying chapters by Julia, Selene and Livia covering arranged marriages, affairs, family loyalty and so much more.

Wow!  Who knew reading about Ancient Rome could be so delicious. I could not get enough of this book.  It was like a guilty soap opera as it unfolded seeing who was marrying

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Bookmarks Magazine Jan/Feb 2017

"Another long day at work" + "Bookmarks Magazine in my mailbox" = All is right with the world!

I was happy to stay up late combing through the latest magazine. I always research the books on Goodreads and this month decided to ignore many of the Bookmarks recommendations including Swing Time but, even though it wasn't in this issue, reviews on that book got me to put this book into my queue:

My newest guilty pleasure is Crime/Thrillers:

My literary picks are.

I am not sure how all of these were already in my queue (from a previous issue?):

Let me know either your picks that I missed from this month's magazine or any great books you have read lately.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

My rating: 5.0

The Editor-In-Chief of Elle magazine is the victim of a rare stroke that leaves him with only his mind and his left eye functioning. This book was written, one letter at a time, by him blinking. If that isn't amazing enough, the prose, humor and grace of this incredible man telling his story is phenomenal.

I couldn't image being in his position let alone having joy, laughter and wit about his circumstances. It left me incredulous at his amazing spirit.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Kisscut by Karin Slaughter

My rating: 4.5

Kisscut is the 2nd in the Grant County Series. It quickly progresses from the opening scene of high school kids at a skating rink to Jenny, a high school girl, threatening a high school boy with a gun and has a horrible ending. This sets in motion a complex investigation into the youth of Grand County with every twist and turn leading to an even darker horrid place.

As with other Slaughter novels, the writing is horrifically graphic at times and always beautiful. Since this deals with child pornography and abuse, it was particularly uncomfortable 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

The Confabulist by Steven Galloway

My rating: 2.0

This is the life of Harry Houdini - as well as the reveal behind each of his tricks. He tells of Houdini's magic (and how he did each trick) as well as his marriage and possibly his exploits as an international spy.

I loved Galloway's The Cellist of Sarajevo novel but found that this novel just didn't capture me. This was fiction but was written as non-fiction. Unless you are interested in the magic behind the tricks, I don't think this book had much to offer.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

My rating: 3.5

A coming of age, love story between two quirky boys. Ari (Aritstotle) is a young Mexican-American boy with few social attachments, dealing with his distant war-haunted father, his parents who refuse to talk about why his older brother is in jail and other secrets. Dante is a wise cracking boy with loving parents who has a unique perspective on the world.  When Dante & Ari meet at the local swimming pool, they gradually discover they have more in common than just being loners.

 I think listening to this on audio helped negate the "cheeziness" that others complained about as it came across more poetic. I struggled with how to rate this as I enjoyed so much of this book (especially the portrayal of the parents and the capturing of 'family') but the main characters vascillated between feeling too mature or too immature and the inconsistency was a bit irritating. All in all, I did enjoy it.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Cellar by Natasha Preston

My rating: 3.0

A girl gets kidnapped and put in to the kidnappers basement only to find, there are other girls already there who were also kidnapped. He renames each of them to be one of his "Flower Family" (Violet, Rose, Lily and Poppy.  They have to call him "Clover"

I found the writing to be immature and the characters were very poorly developed.  You get slight glimpses into their issues (Clover had mother issues, 16 yo Summer vacillated between crying, fighting back and wanting to go home) but it was all very simplistic.  All of that being said, I still enjoyed this book enough to finish it.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter

My rating: 4.4

A young college professor is brutally murdered in a small Georgia town's local cafe. This small town has a interwoven cast of characters some of which were:
  • Sara the local coroner/pediatrician 
  • Sara's ex-husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, leading the investigation
  • Lena Adam's - the county's sole police detective and victim's sister

As with other Slaughter novels, the writing is horrifically graphic at times and always beautiful. Despite this being a murder mystery, it felt fluffy. Perhaps that was due to the narration? I still enjoyed this book and will continue on with this series. I found myself wanting to return to this novel due to it's easy style, beautiful writing and to find out what happened.

Friday, November 25, 2016

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

My rating: 4.3

Anne and Marco leave their baby girl at home while they go to a dinner party next door.  They monitor her with the baby monitor and take turns going home every half hour to check on her. They come home to the front door ajar, and their baby girl gone.

The police investigation that ensues slowly unravels many secrets. Lots of twists and turns.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Indiscretion by Charles Dubow

My rating: 4.7

Harry and Maddy have the idyllic marriage with a beautiful son, money, friends and an amazing career. A really bad decision could change all that. This is narrated by Maddy's bestfriend Walter (which draws comparisons to The Great Gatsby's Nick)

I loved the writing and how it drew me in to each of the characters...even the ones I didn't care for. This much. This is popcorn - addictive and leaves you wanting more. I think this is going to make a very interesting discussion at my bookclub. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

My rating: 4.4

Major Pettigrew is a proper English Gentleman. His brother's unexpected death creates the opportunity for an  unlikely friendship with Mrs. Ali, the Pakistani village shopkeeper. Sharing their mutual loss of their spouses, love for books, gardening, tea and all things proper, this sweet story gently unfolds.

Yes, this was slow in unfolding and there were several scenes/chapters that I thought would never end.  Sill, I loved how this captured so much in a soft way - grief, prejudice, healing, small town mindsets, the beautiful English countryside and so much more.  In many ways, this reminded me of A Man Called Ove.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Inseparables by Stuart Nadler

My rating: 2.0

Three women (mother, daughter and granddaughter) face three different problems. It was hard at times to know if I should feel sorry for the characters or be laughing.

Despite the beautiful writing, mainly due to lack of liking the characters, this story couldn't keep my attention.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Barkskins by Annie Prouix

Rating: 2.4

The story of seventeeth century Frenchmen in New France working as wood cutters. There is a lot of hardships and great writing in this novel that spans three centuries.  I do not dispute that Prouix (author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain) is amazingly talented and captures the era so well. For myself, the characters throughout the many generations ran together and I just couldn't see continuing for all 700+ pages. Let me know if I should revisit this book.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman

My rating: 4.2

7 year old Else and her 77 year old Grandmother are both unique individuals, with an amazing bond. When her Grandmother dies, through letters her Grandmother left to people she has wronged, Elsa goes on a mission

I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. At first, it seemed fluffy and too sweet. Somehow, Granny and Elsa both grew on me and I was soon immersed in this sweet story (although the fantasy parts were a bit tedious). I think this was on par for me with Bakman's first book A Man Called Ove and I will definitely check out the follow-up to this book Britt-Marie Was Here.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Bookmarks Magazine Nov/Dec 2016

When I came home from work last night, I knew I had to work...a LOT!  I checked my mailbox and lo and behold there was my new Bookmarks Magazine - woohoo! I told myself that when I finished work, it would be my reward to be able to look through the magazine. I didn't finish work till late but I still stayed up perusing the magazine.  This is my all time favorite magazine and this month was loaded with some great picks. Thanks Bookmarks for motivating me and being my reward!


I already had To The Bright Edge of the World on hold at the library as Eowyn's first book The Snow Child was one of my absolute favorites.

I thought this edition of Bookmarks was loaded with great picks that I can't wait to read.  Let me know what your picks were or, if you don't get Bookmarks, what books are in your queue that you can't wait to read?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Girls by Emma Cline

My rating: 4.0

This is about "The Girls" in a Charles Manson type of situation.Set in California in the late 1960's Evie see a group of carefree girls in the park and is enthralled with them, particularly Suzanne.  She goes on to meet the cult leader, Russell and to feel at home on the sprawling ranch where they live. Everything moves along as you would expect.  No twists. Nothing other than the expected deplorable violent crime.

For myself, when I already know the ending of a book, I expect to fall in love with the characters....but I didn't.  I actually didn't care for any of the characters and was considering abandoning this book.  The writing wouldn't let me. It was amazing writing that captures what it is like to be a lost clueless teenager who wants more than anything to fit in and find meaning and how it would feel to be part of that group.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

My rating: 5.0

This is a WWII book unlike any I have ever read (and I have read a lot of them!). This is told from three different female perspectives:

  • Caroline is a New York socialite working at the French consulate
  • Kasia is a polish teenager who has to grow up far too quickly (this is the only fictional character)
  • Herta is a German doctor assigned to work in the concentration camps

Through these three women in three different countries, Kelly deftly weaves a complete picture of the autracities of the Nazi and the various political perspectives. Sometimes the details are uncomfortable. Always, they are real and the characters come to life. I can't believe that this is Kelly's first novel. Phenomenal.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

My rating: 4.8

Very disturbing. This book is about different women's lives that are connected over a missing girl. It is told primarily about one woman but it weaves together her relationship with her two sisters (one who went missing years ago) and her husband. Karin Slaughter is a gifted writer who spins the tale and slowly lets out snippets for you to piece together.

This is extremely graphic and uncomfortable and I did some skimming of parts that were too disturbing for me. That being said, I could not put it down and will be reading more of Slaughter's works.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton

My rating: 3.2

Mary Francis "Frankie" and her brother "William are raised on a farm.  Across from their orchard is her cousin "Amanda". This is a beautiful quiet coming of age story. You see the world through a child's eyes (Frankie's) with the simple but all important moments such as waking up in the back seat of the car on a family roadtrip and hearing her parents disagreement or having a new teacher that she is in love/awe of.

This was such a unique book in that it captured a child's perspective better than any book I have ever read. While this was sweet and wholesome I do not feel that it was a must read. I also felt that the last portion of the book fell apart.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

My rating: 4.6

This is the second in this trilogy. I loved the first book The Queen of Tearling but it took me a while to get in to this one. Once I understood that Kelsey was having flashbacks to Lily's life, then it flowed. (This disconnect may have been due to my listening to the audio.)  This was also much darker than the first book. People seem to either love the first book or this second book better so this one was definitely different.

I am still loving this series and will definitely be reading the final book in this series. Note: I am labeling this as "Young Adult" although with the language and sexual content this book is not marketed that way. For me, it still seems to fit best in that classification.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

My Rating: 4.6

At 38 years old, Anna has early on-set Alzheimer's. She quits her job as a paramedic and goes to live at Rosalind House where single mother Eve is the chef. This goes back and forth in time and helps you to understand both Anna and Eve's journies - both of love and descent into Alzheimer's

It is hard to say that a book about Alzheimer's was 'enjoyable' but this was. It felt light and easy to read and captured so much - good & bad - about the disease. At the core of it, we are all people and that never changes. Definite recommend.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman

My Rating: 4.0

Three sisters and their dysfunctional relationship. This is a coming of age story, a family saga, the trials of being a mother and captures New York and France.

I enjoyed the first part of this book a lot. A very unique story line that drew me in to their imaginary world/language. The last half of the book dragged a bit and felt like it should have been condensed but, that may have been my frame of mind with work. Still, a very creative read. I think this will make an interesting discussion at an upcoming book club.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Heavenly Table by Donald Ray Pollock

My rating: 1.5

I am the outlier....again. The writing was wonderful and it felt like I was reading a lot but the story wasn't going anywhere. For me, it was way too much detail about every single character that it dragged.  It was also really dark.

I really wanted to like this book but every night when I wanted to sit down and read I would almost groan out loud realizing what book I was reading. Reading should be a pleasure, not a struggle.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen

My rating: 4.8

Kelsey's mother was killed and she was raised by guardians till the age of 19 years old. Then men came for her to take her to be Queen of the Tearling.  If you can overlook some questionable character development (when Kelsey goes from being a very sheltered teenager to suddenly being a very strong confident Queen) this is a fabulous story that kept me enthralled all the way through.

Harper Collins has not marketed this as a "Young Adult" as their is cursing and the female lead is 19 years old.  Still, I have classified it under my 'Young Adult' labels as I think anyone who has read Harry Potter or the Hunger Games would love this series.  I am looking forward to continuing reading this trilogy.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Evil At Heart by Chelsea Cain

My rating: 4.6

This is the third book in the Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell series. It is as twisted and thrilling as the first two. I am never entirely sure if I am rooting for Archie to break free from Gretchen or not.

I definitely think the narration is perfection and adds to this book so get the audio book from your library if you can.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

My Rating: 4.6

This is the follow-up novel to "You".  When Joe's new relationship ends up taking an unexpected twist, he moves from New York to LA.  Joe is still twisted, cynical and judgment and a totally lovable serial killer (did I really just type that lol!)

This didn't have as much tension as the original novel but I still found it to be extremely enjoyable and I will definitely be waiting for the next one in this series. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Martian by Andy Weir

My rating: 4.8

Picture "Castaway" on Mars.  Mark Watney gets abandoned on Mars. I won't tell you any more than that, other than to say that Mark Watney is a hilarious lovable guy that made we want to continually come back to this book.  So enjoyable!  We will definitely be watching the movie.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel

My rating: 1.0

I know others have said the first section was the most trying but, I just couldn't get through it. I am the outlier....again.

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

My rating: 1.5

In 1631 Sara de Vos is the first woman painter to be admitted to the Guild of St Luke’s in Holland. It’s the Dutch Golden Age, the time of Vermeer, Rembrandt and Hals. This is the story of Sara's painting In The Edge of the Woods.

I know so many loved this book and I hate being the outlier but, I didn't care for it at all. I didn't find any of the characters were likable and the story line dragged.  I got half way through and decided to stop torturing myself and move onto other books I would enjoy in my queue

Monday, September 5, 2016

The Great Santini by Pat Conroy

My rating: 4.8

This is about Bull Meecham, a Marine fighter pilot, and his family.  As is typical of the Marine lifestyle, they move all too often which is difficult on his four children and his wife. Bull is "the best damn fighter pilot" and expects all of his children to be the best too. Bull Meecham is a very complex character and Conroy captures him so well. He is lovable, volatile and controlling - and whether you love him or hate him (or both!) he will stay with you.

I loved the Prince of Tide's and Pat Conroy's writing is equally as beautiful in this novel and, as always, his love of South Carolina shows through.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway

My rating:  4.8

I read this previously but I picked it for an upcoming book club and wanted to reread it. I loved it just as much the second time. A tense and haunting novel following four people - Arrow, Kenan, Dragon and the Cellis - all trying to survive war-torn Sarajevo.

After a mortar attack kills 22 people waiting in line to buy bread, an unnamed cellist vows to play at the point of impact for 22 days. Arrow, a young woman sniper, picks off soldiers; Kenan makes a dangerous trek to get water for his family; and Dragan, who sent his wife and son out of the city at the start of the war, works at a bakery and trades bread in exchange for shelter. All the while, the cellist continues to play.

With wonderfully drawn characters and a stripped-down narrative, Galloway brings to life a distant conflict. It makes you feel what it would be like to have war come to your city.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

My Rating: 4.4

It is 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom to escape the advancing Red Army.  Four teenagers paths converge as they are making their way to the Wilhem Gustloff ship that promises to take them to freedom.

I loved Sepety's Between Shades of Gray so was looking forward to her latest novel. Sepetys writes great historical fiction and I enjoyed that it was about something I knew nothing about - the single greatest tragedy in maritime history. There were a couple characters that didn't have as much substance as I would have hoped but, that could have been due to the portrayal in the audio version.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

My rating: 3.2

This book revolved around the four siblings of the Plumb family all anticipating getting their share of "The Nest" (their inheritance) when all the money is spent making a lawsuit disappear for their oldest brother Leo.

This was an unusual book in that none of the characters were particularly likable, the plot is mediocre and aimless and yet, there is something entertaining about it all. While this isn't a must read, I did find it a light entertaining read.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Light of Hidden Flowers by Jennifer Handford

My rating: 1.0

This was a book club read. I wanted to like it but I didn't. In fact, I hated it. The characters were very flat and poorly developed.  The writing was very juvenile with "she said..." "he said..." "They went..." and no creative prose at all. The character describes herself with repeated negative traits and sums it up by saying "If I were a company, I wouldn't buy my stock". If she hates herself so much, how are we supposed to like her? If she hates herself and her life so much, why didn't she change? I could have understood if she was contented with her life and others found it boring but for her to describe herself  without any redeeming qualities seemed bizarre. I don't know why it took her father's letter to make her wake up.  Also, she knew all along that was how her father felt as she said she resented it and wanted his praise - again, why was the letter such a revelation.

If this had been in the hands of a skilled writer, the story line could have had hope but, it felt so stilted and implausible that I finally gave up on it. I have to call out that I was listening to the audio version and I believe a narrator can make or break a book so it is entirely possible that the printed version might be more palatable.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Restless by William Boyd

My rating: 4.7

British widow Sally Gilmartin gives her daughter Ruth a folder and asks her to read it.  Ruth looks at the folder and asks her mother "Who is Eva Delectorskaya?" to which Sally replies "I am."  This is about becoming a spy, the impact on your life and others as well as the mother/daughter relationship,

I love books that flash back and forth in time and I found the training of a spy to be fascinating. It did slow down at times but I enjoyed the entire book very much.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl

My rating: 3.8

A woman, Billie, has a wonderful sense of taste and is hired by a cooking magazine. Despite her love of food and extraordinary palette, Billie doesn't cook. Told in a fun way. Reichl's love of food shines through and will make you hungry.

This is definitely light and very predictable but I found it enjoyable.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Bookmarks Magazine Sept/Oct 2016

Nothing compares to the thrill of opening my mailbox and finding the latest edition of Bookmarks Magazine.Here are the books that I am adding to my queue.  This is my quick first pass as it is a school night and I need to get to bed but, I wanted to share the ones that jumped out at me.

Let me know if you are enjoying any good books or have any books in your queue you are anxious to start.



Thursday, August 11, 2016

Once Upon A Secret by Mimi Alford

My rating: 2.5

This book was Mimi's "response" to the press expose of her affair with the JFK.  Apparently this story broke around the same time as the Clinton/Lewinsky affair was made public. The trouble I have is that no one I know, even knew about the affair other than from this book so her 'response' seems to have only drawn attention to what most people didn't know.

I realize that  young girls can be swept up with power but what she described wasn't an affair but a Call Girl. I appreciate that Mimi seemed to be honest and to try to tell things in a straightforward but respectful way which is the only reason I am not rating it lower. I don't care for gossip tell-all type of books like this but, it was picked for my bookclub. That being said, I think it will make an interesting discussion.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Japanese Lover by Isabelle Allende

My Rating: 3.8

This is the story of Alma and Ichimei. In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. She encounters Ichimei, the quiet and gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener and they begin a love affair. This flashes forward to decades later when Alma is near the end of her life.

 This books captures the war, illicit cross-culture relationships, treatment of the Japanese and so much more as it spans the generations. Unfortunately, Allende's writing and characters felt very flat. These story lines had so much promise but didn't deliver. I loved Allende's Island Beneath the Sea but it feels like her writing and character development have changed since then. Very disappointed.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Widow by Fiona Barton

My rating: 2.8

This book starts off with Jean's husband Glen having died and his secret is told through flashbacks. Don't believe the comparisons to Gone Girl and Girl on the train as this book will be found lacking.  The story drags and none of the characters are likable and I was quite glad when it was done.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster

My rating: 4.8

An 18 yo girl (Judy) that was raised in an orphanage has an anonymous benefactor willing to pay for her schooling with one condition...she must write him letters. This book is told through her letters.  It captured my heart. 

 I have no idea how this 'classic' novel wasn't even on my radar but I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to all.

Friday, July 15, 2016

You by Caroline Kepnes

My rating: 4.6

Thanks to Guinevere Beck's incessant sharing on Facebook and Twitter, Joe Goldberg has everything he needs to know to move from stalker to boyfriend.  

It is hard to believe that this is Kepnes first book.  Wow.  SO disturbing and creepy and yes, I am twisted enough that I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn't put it down.  Although different, I found it was reminiscent of The Kind Worth Killing which I also thoroughly enjoyed.  I can't wait for the next book by Kepnes to become available at the library (I think it is a sequel to this one).

Caution: There is explicit language, sex and violence

Monday, July 11, 2016

If Your Not the One by Jemma Forte

My rating: 4.7

Have you ever looked back on your life and wondered if you took 'the road not taken' and married someone else what your life would look like? Jennifer Wright has the opportunity. Jennifer is in an unhappy marriage and when she gets hit by a car and goes into a coma, she has the opportunity to go back and see 'what if'.

I really enjoyed the premise of this book and, unlike some others, I also enjoyed the ending. This would make the perfect light beach read but I also think it would make a fabulous book club discussion and it would be fun to talk about our "roads not taken and the what if's". Very fun premise.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Lily and the Octopus

My rating: 4.2

This is about Ted's journey in accepting that his beloved dachshund companion Lily is dying. As someone who has an aging dachshund where I may be getting near making this decision, this sure hit home. I loved parts of it but the reason I am not rating it higher is that the dream sequence could have been condensed to a chapter instead of being 1/3 of the book.  Yes, I do understand why it was so long but it felt way too long. 

I don't think it is a spoiler to say that yes, it has a sad ending and yes, you will cry. This book is for any animal lovers. It will capture your heart. 

I! LOVE! GOING! IN! THE! POOL! (Ozzy talks like Lily)

Friday, July 8, 2016

Glory Over Everything by Kathleen Grissom

My rating: 4.8

I enjoyed Grissom's first book The Kitchen House  a lot, so when a friend said that she had enjoyed her second book, I eagerly picked it up. 

This book is set in the 1800's and starts off with a black man, Henry, approaching Jamie to help him find his son who is also Jaime's beloved servant Pan. As the story unfolds, it also flashes back in time to explain how Jaime and Henry met when Jamie had to flee his Virginia Plantation home and, as a white man, soon gets employment as a silversmith. 

This is a stand alone novel but, if you have read The Kitchen House, you will realize that Jamie is a continuation of a character from that book.  This was a gripping story with vivid characters. I loved the alternating voices in each chapter. Just like Grissom's first book I found myself looking forward to squirreling away time to be able to find out what had happened to the characters that I had come to know and care about.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Bookmarks Magazine July/August 2016

I had a wonderful day working at home, going in the pool with Ozzy Poozer at lunch and finishing up early. After work, I did my nails and decided to brave our 120+ heat to check the mail box....and am I glad I did as there was my Bookmarks! What a fabulous start to the week. Here are the books that I have put in my queue. Let me know what you are reading or want to read so I can have it on my radar.




My library didn't have these ones in but I still want to read them. Maybe once I get through my queue, they will have them in.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young

My rating: 4.0

This starts off with a young woman having a dream about a missing child, that she then is reality on the tv news. Since she just lost her son, she isn't sure if she is going crazy or should trust her dreams.

It has lots of twists and turns and, despite some formula romance misunderstandings I enjoyed it. A fun light beach type of read that held my interest.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante

My rating: 4.8

This is my third Ferrante book, the second in her Neopolitan series, and her talent continues to amaze me. Her books are a joy to read due to her eloquence and phrasing.

This continues to the story of the friendship of Lila and Elena. They are now in their twenties and their relationship gets even more complex. Ferrante not only captures Italy but she brings each of the characters to life. I found that listening to this on audio made it flow beautifully and helped me keep track of the many characters despite each of them having various nicknames.  Ferrante is not a happy or uplifting author but, I love her depth and ability to capture so much where I feel that I know her characters. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Everyone Brave Is Forgiven by Chris Cleave

My rating: 2.0

I absolutely loved Cleave's first book Little Bee (which I strongly recommend) so initially I was happy when this book about WWII was picked for a book club.  I tried.  I really did. I got almost 60% of the way through before I gave up.  

Cleave can be a wonderful writer but I didn't care for any of the characters. So many of the story lines were recycled.  Everything felt flat and contrived and I truly did not care. It is so sad when Cleave is talented that this comes across as trying too hard and just didn't grab me.