LET’S SHARE OUR BOOKISH DELIGHTS…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

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CURRENTLY READING:  The Ash Family (e-book), by Molly Dektar – (NG ARC – 4/9/19):  When a young woman leaves her family—and the civilized world—to join an off-the-grid community headed by an enigmatic leader, she discovers that belonging comes with a deadly cost, in this lush and searing debut novel.

 

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BOOKS FINISHED SINCE LAST WEEK- (Titles/Covers Linked to My Reviews):

The Liar’s Child (e-book), by Carla Buckley

Her One Mistake (e-book), by Heidi Perks

I Invited Her In (e-book), by Adele Parks

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:  I have bookmarked The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman, with a release date of July 9, 2019.  I love Waxman’s books.  And this one sounds perfect for bookworms.

Synopsis:  The author of Other People’s Houses and The Garden of Small Beginnings delivers a quirky and charming novel chronicling the life of confirmed introvert Nina Hill as she does her best to fly under everyone’s radar.
 
Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own…shell.

The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.
 
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
 
Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
 
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

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My week so far.  What did yours look like?

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REVIEW: THE LIAR’S CHILD, BY CARLA BUCKLEY

 

On the outskirts of North Carolina’s Outer Banks sits the Paradise, an apartment complex where renters never stay long enough to call the place “home”—and neighbors are seldom neighborly. It’s ideal for Sara Lennox, who moved there to escape a complicated past—and even her name—and rebuild a new life for herself under the radar. But Sara cannot help but notice the family next door, especially twelve-year-old Cassie and five-year-old Boon. She hears rumors and whispers of a recent tragedy slowly tearing them apart.

When a raging storm threatens then slams the coastal community, Sara makes a quick, bold decision: Rescue Cassie and Boon from the storm and their broken home—without telling a soul. But this seemingly noble act is not without consequences. Some lethal.

My Thoughts: The characters we meet in The Liar’s Child seemingly have no connection to one another, beginning with Hank, the retired cop who is a watcher. He fancies himself a protector, having suffered unimaginable losses.

Cassie, a preteen girl living in a dreary apartment, protects herself with defiance, dark clothes, and heavy makeup. She acts as if her little brother Boon is an annoyance, but she is his fierce guardian. The two of them know early on that they can’t really trust people.

Whit, father to the kids, has a dark secret. But he is trying to hold everything together for his kids.

Then there is Sara…or whoever she really is. She is in a witness program, but she is marking the days until she can escape the FBI scrutiny. We learn through her internal monologues that lying is a big part of her persona, and she is good at it. But it’s a lonely life.

So…when the hurricane strikes and she puts her own destiny at risk to rescue Cassie and Boon, she learns that sometimes even liars can find their inner nurturer.

I loved watching them all struggle: Sara, Cassie, Boon, Whit, and even Hank. At the end, the story jumped ahead in time, and we caught a glimpse of a promising future. 5 stars.

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HUMP DAY READING…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

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CURRENTLY READING:  The Liar’s Child, by Carla Buckley: In this intense and intimate family portrait that moves at a thriller’s pace, a troubled woman faces a gripping moral dilemma after rescuing two abandoned children from a hurricane.

 

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BOOKS FINISHED SINCE LAST WEEK: (Titles/Covers Linked to My Reviews)

The Next to Die, by Sophie Hannah

Night Beach, by Joanne DeMaio

I Owe You One, by Sophie Kinsella

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

The Editor, by Steven Rowley – Release Date:  4/2/19

Synopsis:  From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus comes a novel about a struggling writer who gets his big break, with a little help from the most famous woman in America.

After years of trying to make it as a writer in 1990s New York City, James Smale finally sells his novel to an editor at a major publishing house: none other than Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Jackie–or Mrs. Onassis, as she’s known in the office–has fallen in love with James’s candidly autobiographical novel, one that exposes his own dysfunctional family. But when the book’s forthcoming publication threatens to unravel already fragile relationships, both within his family and with his partner, James finds that he can’t bring himself to finish the manuscript.

Jackie and James develop an unexpected friendship, and she pushes him to write an authentic ending, encouraging him to head home to confront the truth about his relationship with his mother. Then a long-held family secret is revealed, and he realizes his editor may have had a larger plan that goes beyond the page…

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That was my week so far…what did yours look like?

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REVIEW: NIGHT BEACH, BY JOANNE DEMAIO

 

Everything was in place for the perfect beachside gathering. Lace-wrapped jars hung from white chairs on the sand. Paper lanterns and tiki torches glimmered in the twilight evening. A rowboat draped with roses and vines waited in the wings. Love floated on the salt air.

Until the arrival of a mysterious guest named Shane Bradford, a lobsterman with a tangled past in this little New England beach town.

Like a sudden sea breeze, the special evening quickly turns. And the residents of Stony Point must tread the darker water Shane brings to their Night Beach.

My Thoughts: In Night Beach, the chaos left behind after the cancelled ceremony brought up memories for those in the beach community. Flashing back to the past and to a time before Shane Bradford did whatever he did to earn being “evicted” from their lives offered a peek into how things were back then.

Whatever he did was not readily apparent to the reader, and even some members of the community were in the dark.

Multiple narrators take us back to the past, as we watch the “time clock” of the present…and slowly we learn more.

Along the way, the author takes us on a walk near the driftline, and we can almost see the ocean stars in the sea. As we peek into the cottages where the residents talk and share their thoughts, we feel a part of the community. In a little cabin in Addison, where Kyle and Lauren seek respite from the detritus of the day, we imagine how they will begin to heal.

I always enjoy these characters, even the parts where they blunder along, making a mess of things. In the end, they manage to move beyond whatever disturbance they have created. A lovely 5 star read.

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LET’S BEGIN OUR FIGHT AGAIN…

One of my favorite “streaming” shows has returned for a third season.  I just watched the first episode, and I’m all energized by the characters, the topics, and the secrets that are revealed; and then we will watch them stand up against injustice.

The Good Fight is a spin-off from The Good Wife, another favorite, but there is a difference here.  These lawyers are not afraid of taking on real issues, and the ones they spotlight are challenges we also care about.  Or I do.

This season, the show streams on Thursdays, which I like.  Thursday is a day that doesn’t have a lot happening, so I can sip my coffee and sit back to enjoy.  And watch the sunlight filter in through the “wonky” blinds.

Christine Baranski portrays Diane Lockhart, my favorite character.  On The Good Wife, I didn’t always like her, since she was often in conflict with Alicia, who was the absolute favorite on that show.

But in the spin-off, Diane is up against marital challenges, issues at the firm, and now, #MeToo issues.

Her husband, portrayed by Gary Cole, seems like the least likely companion for her.  They are politically divided…but sometimes that isn’t enough to separate them.

Streaming is a delightful way to watch a series.  I watch on my laptop, although I think there is a way to view the show on Amazon Prime.  I’m going to check that out tonight.

Speaking of Prime, I watched a movie last night that I really enjoyed:  Instant Family, starring Rose Byrne and Mark Wahlberg.  It takes us inside the foster care system, which is something I’m familiar with, from the care issues to the adoption challenges.

I was tearing up at the end, and you might not think that could happen, since I spent decades working in the system.  But I had never hardened myself to how things are…or how they could be.

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So…it has been a great day and previous night.  I love when shows invigorate and challenge me.  What issues/shows/events stir you and make your day?

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WWW READING…

Today I’m participating in WWW Wednesdays, at Taking on a World of Words Here’s how it works:

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next, and/or what are you eagerly awaiting?

***

CURRENTLY READING:  The Next to Die, by Sophie Hannah: a disturbing tale of psychological suspense and obsession that hits at the heart of some of our most precious relationships.

 

 

BOOKS FINISHED SINCE LAST WEEK: (Titles/Covers Linked to My Reviews)

Me For You, by Lolly Winston

In the Blink of an Eye, by Jesse Blackadder

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EAGERLY ANTICIPATING:

Emily, Gone, by Bette Lee Crosby, is headed my way soon.  The release date is April 30, 2019.

Synopsis:  A missing child sets the lives of three women on a collision course in this powerful and compelling novel by USA Today bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby.

1971.

When a music festival rolls through the sleepy town of Hesterville, Georgia, the Dixon family’s lives are forever changed. On the final night, a storm muffles the sound of the blaring music, and Rachel tucks her baby into bed before falling into a deep sleep. So deep, she doesn’t hear the kitchen door opening. When she and her husband wake up in the morning, the crib is empty. Emily is gone.

Vicki Robart is one of the thousands at the festival, but she’s not feeling the music. She’s feeling the emptiness over the loss of her own baby several months before. When she leaves the festival and is faced with an opportunity to fill that void, she is driven to an act of desperation that will forever bind the lives of three women.

When the truth of what actually happened that fateful night is finally exposed, shattering the lives they’ve built, will they be able to pick up the pieces to put their families back together again?

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What did your week look like?

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CHASING AWAY THE BLUES…

Books Chase Away the Blues!  Sometimes, a rainy day can spoil our moods, but with the right books…or with the right people, we can conquer the bad stuff.  Today was a sunny one, however, so no worries.  But lately, we never know when the rain (and hail) will strike.

This blog is one I created in August 2009, right before I drove to Napa to hang out at a resort, reading and wine tasting.  I loved the time spent there…although I didn’t yet have a laptop on which to work, so no blogging happened while I was there.  I didn’t even have an iPhone.  But I signed up for the Wine Train, and enjoyed savoring the goodies.

When I got home, I had lots to blog about though, including some reviews of books I read while I was there.

At first, this blog was on Blogger, but I moved it to WordPress in December 2014.  My philosophy about rainy days, Mondays, and books has remained the same, though.

I am having fun with the blog these days, changing the themes, the headers, etc.  Why do I love change so much?  Or do I just love the “designing” aspect of blogging?

Today I spent hanging out with one of my two granddaughters, the one who lives in town.  We have very little time to spend together these days, as she is working and going to school.

But here’s what we did:  lunch at a nearby restaurant…and time at home afterwards taking photos.

 

Here we are hanging out at my condo.

 

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It was a great Sunday, and I look forward to more of the same.  Tonight I’ll curl up with my books and movies.  How did your weekend unfold?

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REVIEW: “IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE”

 

The Brennans—parents, Finn and Bridget, and their sons, Jarrah and Toby—have made a sea change, from chilly Hobart, Tasmania, to subtropical Murwillumbah, New South Wales. Feeling like foreigners in this land of sun and surf, they’re still adjusting to work, school, and life in a sprawling purple clapboard house, when one morning, tragedy strikes.

In the devastating aftermath, the questions fly. What really happened? And who’s to blame? Determined to protect his family, Finn finds himself under the police and media spotlight. Guilty and enraged, Bridget spends nights hunting answers in the last place imaginable. Jarrah—his innocence lost—faces a sudden and frightening adulthood where nothing is certain.

 

My Thoughts: Alternating narrators present the past and the present, and In the Blink of an Eye reveals a family in the midst of starting over from what they left behind. But just when they believe their new life is finally coming together, a huge loss takes over the fresh beginning…and changes everything.

Each character has secrets to hide, and it is easy to feel for them all. I had some favorites, but just when I thought I knew them all, something unexpected would come out and twist the narrative.

Because the story flashes back and forth regularly, we don’t learn everything about the events until they trickle down in tidbits and flashbacks. Struggling with loss and how the landscape of their lives changes dramatically forces them each to redefine who they are and what will happen next.

Will Finn and Bridget reconnect? Can their new life work, or must they return to their former residence to right the wrongs of the past? A story that made me think about all that can happen in one blink of an eye. 4.5 stars.***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley.

PLAYING AROUND WITH PHOTOS…AND POSTS…

Good morning!  There is sunshine outdoors today, but in the past week, we have had rain…and even hail.  I will never get used to that sound!

Since I’ve been playing around with this blog (new header above), I also plumbed the depths and I am posting an excerpt from  2015.   Four years ago looked quite different around my house…and also with my granddaughters, who were high school seniors then.

2015:

First feature for today:  my two lovely granddaughters, Aubrey and Fiona, are enjoying their “bookish” senior year doing some non-bookish things.

In this photo, Aubrey and friends are enjoying some free time from bookish pursuits:

 

 

Aubrey and Friends - Seniors

 

And in this one, Fiona, with another of her various “new looks,” is enjoying some time with her mom, while letting us know, by flaunting her Monster Java drink, that she has non-bookish things on her mind.

 

 

Fiona & another new look and her mom

 

And on to some bookish shots:  Here is one of my bookish corners, with some of my older books…and a few family photos.

 

 

bookish corner

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Shortly after I took the photo of the corner bookshelf above, I purged it…and now it looks like this:

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I do enjoy looking back in the past, even as I am plotting the future.  What does your past (and present) look like?

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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.

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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.

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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….

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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?

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

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