Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable




What They Say.....Physician Bess Codman has returned to her family’s Nantucket compound, Cliff House, for the first time in four years. Her great-grandparents built Cliff House almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Though she’s purposefully avoided the island, Bess must now pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave.

The Book of Summer unravels the power and secrets of Cliff House as told through the voices of Ruby Packard, a bright-eyed and idealistic newlywed on the eve of WWII, the home’s definitive guestbook, and Bess herself. Bess’s grandmother always said it was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother’s words in ways she never contemplated.


What I Say.....It's summer so time for me to read all things east coast and The Book of Summer was a great place to start. 

Bess running away from a crumbling marriage, finds herself in Nantucket trying to talk her mom out of attempting to save the family home from crumbling into the sea.

As she begins the long chore of packing the house, she finds the Book of Summer, where her relatives have entered their thoughts into the family guestbook all they way back before the second World War.

I normally like books that jump back and forth in time, and I did really enjoy that about this book.  However, the current timeline was a lot less interesting than the past.  I never really felt that strongly about Bess or her story - her storyline with her ex was kind of vague, but awful.  

Her grandmother's story was much more interesting but equally awful.  Living with the secrets of their times, you never really got an idea that Ruby really understood what was happening to her husband - did she not get it or did she just make peace with it?  I was confused.

It's getting great reviews on Goodreads!



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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Weekly Book Haul.....June 18, 2017





Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, The Sunday Post is another great site hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  The Sunday Salon is a Facebook page where great readers share what they've read this week and Mailbox Monday is a weekly roundup of the new books people have received.


We are in the middle of a bona fide heat wave.  It's supposed to hit 120 on Tuesday, so everyone is hunkered down in their air conditioned houses.  I went into the pool yesterday, but I could only take the heat for about two hours.  

So many people say they couldn't take the heat of living out here, but it really is just the opposite of living in the midwest.  This is our time to go from house to car to work and back, just like I used to do from January to March in Illinois.  Only this only lasts for a few weeks.  As long as it's under 110, I'm fine - especially since there's no humidity.

But the books I have read while hiding in my house!  So many good books.  I started The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg on Friday night and stayed up until midnight finishing it.  Then I looked at the publishing date and saw it's not out until November!  So I don't even want to rave about it because it's not available for so long.  But if you loved A Man Called Ove, you'll love this book.

And here's what I added this week.

Curves, Kisses and Chocolate Ice-Cream by Sue Watson....Dani’s on a
mission to get her life back on track by the end of the Summer. Running, rowing, aerobics and more, but perhaps all she needs are sweet treats and a second chance? 

Twenty years ago, Dani fled Appledore with a broken-heart and a suitcase full of shattered dreams. Only now is she brave enough to put her past behind her and return for a summer selling homemade ice-cream and getting fit by doing sit-ups by the sea. 

But the new-look cafe is filled with old memories of Jude, her teenage sweetheart-turned-sour. She thinks of him every time she swirls warm sauce onto a “chocolate-bockaglory” and even with the help of Chris, her gorgeous personal trainer, the urge to break her diet is everywhere she turns. 

When Jude makes an appearance at the cafe on the eve of Dani’s birthday party, history threatens to repeat itself. Is Dani strong enough to say no? And is the love she’s been longing for much closer than she thinks? 


Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta....From one of the most popular and
bestselling authors of our time, a penetrating and hilarious new novel about sex, love, and identity on the frontlines of America’s culture wars.

Eve Fletcher is trying to figure out what comes next. A forty-six-year-old divorcee whose beloved only child has just left for college, Eve is struggling to adjust to her empty nest when one night her phone lights up with a text message. Sent from an anonymous number, the mysterious sender tells Eve, “U R my MILF!” Over the months that follow, that message comes to obsess Eve. While leading her all-too-placid life—serving as Executive Director of the local senior center by day and taking a community college course on Gender and Society at night—Eve can’t curtail her own interest in a porn website called MILFateria.com, which features the erotic exploits of ordinary, middle-aged women like herself. Before long, Eve’s online fixations begin to spill over into real life, revealing new romantic possibilities that threaten to upend her quiet suburban existence.

Meanwhile, miles away at the state college, Eve’s son Brendan—a jock and aspiring frat boy—discovers that his new campus isn’t nearly as welcoming to his hard-partying lifestyle as he had imagined. Only a few weeks into his freshman year, Brendan is floundering in a college environment that challenges his white-dude privilege and shames him for his outmoded, chauvinistic ideas of sex. As the New England autumn turns cold, both mother and son find themselves enmeshed in morally fraught situations that come to a head on one fateful November night.

Sharp, witty, and provocative, Mrs. Fletcher is a timeless examination of sexuality, identity, parenthood, and the big clarifying mistakes people can make when they’re no longer sure of who they are or where they belong.


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Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid


Hardcover400 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Atria Books


What They Say.....Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.


What I Say.....I love Taylor Jenkins Reid's books.  She is one of those authors that I always wonder about, why isn't she so much more well known?

I started reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo on my vacation at the end of April.  I started it in the morning while I was waiting for everyone else to get ready for the beach.  And I was instantly hooked.  

I read it all day, every time I got out of the ocean.  And I stayed up that night to finish it. It was a one day read.

I love books that jump back in time and tell a story going forward.  Evelyn is a movie star, famous since the 50's and now hiding from the world.  She decides to tell Monique her story, and no one, Monique most of all, can figure out why she was chosen for this career changing interview.

At first I thought Monique would turn out to be Evelyn's long lost daughter but that wasn't it.  I am always trying to figure out the plot twists, and I love it when I can still be surprised.  

I know we were supposed to see Evelyn as ruthlessly ambitious, but I saw a woman who was doing what she needed to do during a time that didn't give women many options.  And every option  required a man, usually in the form of marriage.  A girl has got to do what a girl has got to do.

Fast, intriguing, relaxing read.  Loved it so much!

Current Goodreads Rating 4.33

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Weekly Book Haul.....June 11, 2017





Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, The Sunday Post is another great site hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  The Sunday Salon is a Facebook page where great readers share what they've read this week and Mailbox Monday is a weekly roundup of the new books people have received.


I haven't been adding many new books lately, I've been trying to pare down my TBR list - with great success I might add.

But I always make an exception for Jill Mansell, since her books are so relaxing, so I did add her latest.  I also bought The Vintage Guide to Love and Romance by Kirsty Greenwood and I'm really enjoying it so far.  

I watched all of the Book Expo posts with great jealousy last week, and every year I tell myself, "Next year, I'll go.".  I just wish it wasn't always in New York, but maybe 2018 will be me and my BFF's year!

It's been swimming weather for the last two weeks and I have to say, floating n the pool all day, reading for hours is the best mood booster.  I love summer the most.

So here's what I added this week.

Head Over Heels by Jill Mansell....Welcome to Jill Mansell's wonderful world!
In the picturesque village of Upper Sisley, everyone thinks they know their neighbors, but nobody knows what scandalous surprise is going to happen next. 


1. An unexpected reunion between two former lovers changes both their families forever.
2. Old friendships fade and new ones blossom as neighbors begin to see one another in a new light.
3. A young woman finally asks for what she really wants, a young man atones for bad behavior, and both find that courage brings its own rewards. 
PLUS!
Surprises, companionship, crossed wires and self-discovery in a story that will leave you completely satisfied, and begging for more.













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Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green






What They Say.....Ronni Sunshine left London for Hollywood to become a beautiful, charismatic star of the silver screen. But at home, she was a narcissistic, disinterested mother who alienated her three daughters. 

As soon as possible, tomboy Nell fled her mother's overbearing presence to work on a farm and find her own way in the world as a single mother. The target of her mother s criticism, Meredith never felt good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Her life took her to London and into the arms of a man whom she may not even love. And Lizzy, the youngest, more like Ronni than any of them, seemed to have it easy, using her drive and ambition to build a culinary career to rival her mother's fame, while her marriage crumbled around her.

But now the Sunshine Girls are together again, called home by Ronni, who has learned that she has a serious disease and needs her daughters to fulfill her final wishes. And though Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy are all going through crises of their own, their mother s illness draws them together to confront old jealousies and secret fears and they discover that blood might be thicker than water after all.
 


What I Say....Light summer read, but totally predictable.  I'm a huge Jane Green fan and I always look forward to her books.  

Ronni has been a medium level star who has always treated her family like an annoyance, and as a result, now has very limited relationships with all three of her daughters.  Having to fight for their mother's attention has led to all three girls having competitive relationships with each other - when there's not enough love to go around, children will fight for the scraps.

But now, Ronni has discovered she has a fatal disease and wants to make amends with her daughters and help them repair their relationships with each other (nurse alert: this doesn't usually happen, if your a narcissist all your life, you don't usually change in the face of death, you might actually become more self-absorbed).  

Nell is running a farm, living on her own after her son left for college.  Meri is living in London with a man she doesn't want to marry, but doesn't think she has any other options, and Lizzy is running supper clubs in the city, resenting her husband, ignoring her son, and carrying on an affair with her partner.  

The girls are beckoned home by their mother and given the news that she wants them to help her commit suicide.  The girls are understandably shocked and resistant to this idea, they haven't even had time to adjust to the news of their mothers illness before they are asked to help her die.

Since this is a Jane Green book, all the answers to your romantic problems are delivered to your door.  These books have ruined my chances at remarriage, since I now believe my true love will show up at my door to build me bookshelves.  

This is the third book I have read this year that has introduced a lesbian character as a woman who has gone her whole life without ever realizing that she is attracted to women.  I've never known a lesbian who didn't realize who she was attracted to until middle age - or that just fell in love with a woman and came out in the matter of two days.  I'm all for including all love in the mainstream, but I wish we were making it a little more believable.  How about one sister is gay, has always been gay, and is looking for her true love, just like the straight sister?  

Anyway, everyone has their loving encounter with their mother that heals all emotional wounds, except for Lizzy, the one spoiled all of her life.  Everyone finds love, except for Lizzy.  Hmmm....Lizzy does end up with the short end of the stick frequently in this book.

If you are looking for a light beach read, look no further.  This is a relaxing way to pass an afternoon and as light as it gets.

















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