BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE HEART GOES LAST”

 

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is The Heart Goes Last, by Margaret Atwood.

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Book Beginnings: (CRAMPED)

Sleeping in the car is cramped.  Being a third-hand Honda, it’s no palace to begin with.  If it was a van they’d have more room, but fat chance of affording one of those, even back when they thought they had money.  Stan says they’re lucky to have any kind of a car at all, which is true, but their luckiness doesn’t make the car any bigger.

***

Friday 56:  She slept that night as if drunk.  The next day she went about her hospital duties as briskly as usual, hiding behind the grillwork of her smile.  Ever since then she’s been waiting:  inside Positron while Max inspects vacant dwellings in Consilience; then in the house with Stan, working at her bakery job during the days; she does the pies and the cinnamon buns.

***

Synopsis:  Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around—and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in . . . for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their “civilian” homes.
At first, this doesn’t seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one’s head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan’s life in danger. With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.

***

What do you think?  I am eager to dive into this one.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “WHAT HAPPENS IN PARADISE”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is What Happens in Paradise, by Elin Hilderbrand.

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Book Beginning:  (Irene)

She wakes up facedown on a beach.  Someone is calling her name.

Irene!

She lifts her head and feels her cheek and lips dusted with sand so white and fine, it might be powdered sugar.  Irene can sense impending clouds.

***

56:  Huck nods.  He yearns to tell Adam that, more than half the time, love dies, and it probably dies quicker in places like Oneida and Oneonta.  But Huck won’t be that curmudgeonly skeptic today.

***

Synopsis:  Secret lives and new loves emerge in the bright Caribbean sunlight, in the follow-up to national bestseller Winter in Paradise
A year ago, Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a helicopter crash. But that wasn’t Irene’s only shattering news: he’d also been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too.

Now Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth about the mysterious life -and death – of a man they thought they knew. Along the way, they’re about to learn some surprising truths about their own lives, and their futures.

***

I enjoyed the previous book, so I’m eager to continue the journey.  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE GRAMMARIANS”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is The Grammarians, by Cathleen Schine.

***

Book Beginnings:  “That writer called,” Michael said when she got home.  “The young one.”

“They’re all young now, Michael.  Be more specific.”

“Why don’t they call your assistant?  I can’t be expected to remember everything.”

Her assistant?  Daphne hadn’t had an assistant since 2008.  No one had assistants anymore. What was Michael thinking?

***

Friday 56:  “You can’t smoke in the apartment when the baby comes, Daphne.”

Daphne shook her head.  “You are becoming so conventional.  Radically conventional.  Just don’t turn into a Republican.”

Laurel laughed.  “No.” (56%).

***

Synopsis:  From the author compared to Nora Ephron and Nancy Mitford, not to mention Jane Austen, comes a new novel celebrating the beauty, mischief, and occasional treachery of language.

The Grammarians are Laurel and Daphne Wolfe, identical, inseparable redheaded twins who share an obsession with words. They speak a secret “twin” tongue of their own as toddlers; as adults making their way in 1980s Manhattan, their verbal infatuation continues, but this love, which has always bound them together, begins instead to push them apart. Daphne, copy editor and grammar columnist, devotes herself to preserving the dignity and elegance of Standard English. Laurel, who gives up teaching kindergarten to write poetry, is drawn, instead, to the polymorphous, chameleon nature of the written and spoken word. Their fraying twinship finally shreds completely when the sisters go to war, absurdly but passionately, over custody of their most prized family heirloom: Merriam Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition.

Cathleen Schine has written a playful and joyful celebration of the interplay of language and life. A dazzling comedy of sisterly and linguistic manners, a revelation of the delights and stresses of intimacy, The Grammarians is the work of one of our great comic novelists at her very best.

***

I am looking forward to this one; it sounds like fun…word play.  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “I OWE YOU ONE”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s featured book is I Owe You One, by Sophie Kinsella, an irresistible story of love and empowerment about a young woman with a complicated family, a handsome man who might be “the one,” and an IOU that changes everything.

***

 

Beginning:  The trouble with me is, I can’t let things go.  They bug me.  I see problems and I want to fix them, right here, right now.  My nickname isn’t Fixie for nothing.

I mean, this can be a good thing.  For example, at my best friend Hannah’s wedding, I got to the reception and instantly saw that only half the tables had flowers.  I ran around sorting it before the rest of the guests arrived, and in her speech, Hannah thanked me for dealing with “Flowergate.”  So that was OK.

***

56:  I’m breathing furiously as I reach the bottom of the stairs.  He deliberately got me out of the way; he deliberately chose a moment when Mum was distracted….

***

Synopsis:  Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” And since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will?

It’s simply not in Fixie’s nature to say no to people. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, an investment manager, scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

But then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life, and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. As always, she wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. No sooner has Seb agreed than the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?

***

What do you think?  I know that I’m ready for the light and funny prose of Ms. Kinsella.

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “BY THE BOOK”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists.

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a download from almost a year ago:  By the Book, by Julie Sonneborn:  Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past…and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.

 

 

Beginning:  “What time’s your class, Anne?”  my best friend and fellow English professor Larry asked.  He was standing at the door to my office in his pressed shirt and tortoiseshell glasses, his balding head shaved close and his hand clutching an interoffice mail envelope.

***

Friday 56%:  Best to wait until the book was out to share the news, I decided.  Anything could happen between now and the book’s publication, and I didn’t want to rile him up unnecessarily.  With his leg hoisted onto the stool, he looked frailer than normal, swallowed up by his huge armchair.

***

Synopsis:  An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.

Anne Corey is about to get schooled.

An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.

Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.

***

I am eager to read this one, a book that has been quietly resting on my Kindle for almost a year.  What do you think?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “VERITY”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s feature is a new download:  Verity, by Colleen Hoover: a standalone romantic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover. Due to graphic scenes, this book is recommended for ages 18+

 

 

Beginning:  I hear the crack of his skull before the spattering of blood reaches me.

I gasp and take a quick step back onto the sidewalk.  One of my heels doesn’t clear the curb, so I grip the pole of a No Parking sign to steady myself.

***

Friday 56%:  Maybe what I felt was mother’s intuition.  Maybe, deep down, I knew something terrible was going to happen to Chastain, and that’s why I had been given that immense and sudden love for her.

***

Synopsis:  Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.

Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night their family was forever altered.

Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “BEST DAY EVER”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today’s featured book is one I downloaded back in October 2017:  Best Day Ever, by Kaira Rouda, a creepy, spine-tingling and utterly addictive tale of domestic suspense.” —Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, bestselling authors of The Good Widow

 

 

Beginning:  (Morning, 9:00 a.m.)

I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, sunlight bouncing off her shiny blond hair like sparklers lit for the Fourth of July, and I am bursting with confidence.  Everything is as it should be.

***

Friday 56%:  I closed the door behind me, but it opened again immediately.  A stout short guy dressed in a rent-a-cop uniform appeared behind me.  “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I said.

***

Synopsis:  Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he’s promised today will be the best day ever.

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really?

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion. In the vein of The Couple Next Door, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life.

***

I had almost forgotten that this book was resting on Pippa, my Kindle…but as I reexamined my unread TBR and came upon this one, I recalled seeing some rave reviews about it.  So it has now moved up on my list.  What do you think?  Have you read it?  Would you keep reading?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “RAINY DAY WOMEN”

married-to-books-bookish-logo

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Wow, Friday already!  I’m excited to celebrate with a fairly recent download:  Rainy Day Women (e-book), (Austin Starr #2),  by Kay Kendall.   “An exciting jaunt back to the days of flower power and Women’s Lib, Kay Kendall’s RAINY DAY WOMEN explores serious issues that still resonate today, nearly fifty years later. “

 

 

 

rainy-day-women

 

Beginning:  I stood, careful not to make any noise, afraid to waken the sleeping ogre.  If his constant twitches were any indication, he was only dozing.  If he woke up, he’d be a real beast and leave me no peace.

My bare feet inched along the floorboards.  I knew where the squeaky spots lurked and avoided them.

***

56%:  A tear trickled down my left cheek.

“Are you okay, Austin?”  Mia’s voice was gentle.  “What’s bringing you down? You seemed happy and spunky only minutes ago.”

***

Blurb:  Kay Kendall’s second Austin Starr mystery will have you believing it’s 1969 all over again. In a book where the musical references mean you’ll find yourself humming tunes now known as “classic vinyl,” Kendall peppers her work with references to the times which make the decades disappear – and she respects her readers enough to not overdo it. Her sense of place as she allows the mystery to unfold within Vancouver’s University of British Columbia, beset by the rain for which the “wet” coast is known, is pitch perfect. Hot diggity – a thoroughly enjoyable read. Now I’m off to dig out my Bob Dylan albums and find an old bra I can burn.”
– Cathy Ace, Author of The Cait Morgan Mysteries, and the WISE Enquiries Agency Mysteries

“Feminism, the ’60s, murder, and a friend in big trouble. Austin Starr is back to help, leaving her husband behind but bringing her baby along. Rainy Day Women is an entertaining and fast-paced mystery set in a turbulent time. Right on!”
– Bill Crider, Anthony Award-winning author of The Sheriff Dan Rhodes Mystery Series

***

What do you think?  Would you like a flashback to the 60s?  Do the “changin’ times” resonate with you?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE FUTURES”

married-to-books-bookish-logo

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

Today I grabbed a book I found on Pippa, my Kindle…one I haven’t even had that long The Futures, by Anna Pitoniak, is a debut novel about love and betrayal, in which a young couple moves to New York City in search of success-only to learn that the lives they dream of may come with dangerous strings attached.

 

 

 

futures

 

Beginning:  (Prologue – Julia)

It was a story that made sense.  An old story, but one that felt truer for it.  Young love goes stale and slackens.  You change, and you shed what you no longer need.  It’s just part of growing up.

I thought I had understood.  It seemed so simple at the time.

***

56%:  (Julia)

I got home around midnight on Monday, figuring I had a few hours to spare.  Evan didn’t usually leave work until two or three in the morning.  But as I approached, I noticed the light shining from beneath our door and the dull garble of the television coming from inside.

***

Synopsis:  Julia and Evan fall in love as undergraduates at Yale. For Evan, a scholarship student from a rural Canadian town, Yale is a whole new world, and Julia–blond, beautiful, and rich–fits perfectly into the future he’s envisioned for himself. After graduation, and on the eve of the great financial meltdown of 2008, they move together to New York City, where Evan lands a job at a hedge fund. But Julia, whose privileged upbringing grants her an easy but wholly unsatisfying job with a nonprofit, feels increasingly shut out of Evan’s secretive world.

With the market crashing and banks failing, Evan becomes involved in a high-stakes deal at work–a deal that, despite the assurances of his Machiavellian boss, begins to seem more than slightly suspicious. Meanwhile, Julia reconnects with someone from her past who offers a glimpse of a different kind of live. As the economy craters, and as Evan and Julia spin into their separate orbits, they each find that they are capable of much more–good and bad–than they’d ever imagined.

Rich in suspense and insight, Anna Pitoniak’s gripping debut reveals the fragile yet enduring nature of our connections: to one another and to ourselves. THE FUTURES is a glittering story of a couple coming of age, and a searing portrait of what it’s like to be young and full of hope in New York City, a place that so often seems determined to break us down–but ultimately may be the very thing that saves us.

***

I’ve heard really good things about this book, and I’m also always up for a story set in New York City.  What do you think?

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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE DRY”

married-to-books-bookish-logo

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which I  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers, who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists!

What a great way to spend a Friday!

A recent download is my feature this week, and I can’t wait to dive into this one.  The Dry,  is an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.

 

 

 

the-dry

 

Beginning:  (Prologue)

It wasn’t as though the farm hadn’t seen death before, and the blowflies didn’t discriminate.  To them there was little difference between a carcass and a corpse.

(Chapter One)

Even those who didn’t darken the door of the church from one Christmas to the next could tell there would be more mourners than seats.  A bottleneck of black and gray was already forming at the entrance as Aaron Falk drove up, trailing a cloud of dust and cracked leaves.

***

56:  Falk braced himself for an outburst, but instead a look of confusion flashed across Deacon’s face.  He shook his head slightly, the loose chicken flesh on his neck rubbing against a dirty collar.

“Why are you back?”  Deacon’s voice was slow and raspy.

***

Synopsis:  After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.  Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

***

I have heard such good things about this book, so I am eager to begin.  What do you think?

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