Sunday, March 29, 2015

My Weekly Book Haul....March 29, 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea, Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsThe Sunday Salon is a new facebook group I've joined and Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia to be Continued.

I'm considering leaving Showcase Sunday by Books, Biscuits and Tea because it is so irregular in it's appearance.  But I can only imagine that running a book blog roundup is probably not the most important thing on her to-do list every week, and I do love the blog and the people who post on the meme, so I guess I'll just whine.

This was a really busy week in our household.  We bought our youngest daughter her first car - after countless hours looking, driving to dealerships and haggling.  I'm divorced and her dad lives out of state, so it all fell on me, except for half of the money, so I have no business complaining too much. We found her a 2009 Toyota Corolla and the goal is to make it last through college.  After that, it's up to her.

In home news, I brought my bookshelves out of the unused office and put them in the living room and happily stacked them with all of my books.  My ex used to always hate having so many books around, and I can't believe I've spent the last years feeling like they should be hidden.  It just came to me one day, I can put them wherever I want them and who cares if anyone else thinks books aren't decorative??

I did go through the books on the shelves before I moved them, and took two big boxes full of books to the Friends of the Library for their sale.

I added a few books but I'm still trying to get my TBR pile under control.


Stolen Child by Laura Elliot.....It's every mother's worst nightmare…  

Carla Kelly wakes to find her two-day-old baby daughter's cot empty.
Isobel has been taken.
Susanne Dowling has kept a terrible secret following her fifth agonising miscarriage. When at last she welcomes her new baby daughter into her life she realises they will both be safe as long as Susanne keeps her daughter close, and confesses her lie to no one. Ever.
Carla, a top model, launches a fierce national campaign to find her baby – but the trail is cold. She receives threats and recriminations from strangers – she flaunted her pregnancy in the media, she cashed in on it, she deserves everything she gets – and, pressured by well-meaning loved ones to move on, she begins to fall apart.
But one letter Carla receives stands out from the rest, offering support from a surprising quarter. It sparks a chain of events that opens wounds and exposes shocking secrets from Carla’s past that suggest what happened to her daughter was revenge a long time planned.
And it will bring Carla unknowingly close to the stolen daughter she has sworn she will do anything to get back …


The Life and Death of Sophie Stark by Anna North....Gripping and provocative, The Life and
Death of Sophie Stark is a haunting story of fame, love, and legacy told through the propulsive rise of an iconoclastic artist. 

Sophie Stark begins her filmmaking career by creating a documentary about her obsession, Daniel, a college basketball star. But when she becomes too invasive, she finds herself the victim of a cruel retribution. 

The humiliation doesn’t stop her. Visionary and unapologetic, Sophie begins to use stories from the lives of those around her to create movies, and as she gains critical recognition and acclaim, she risks betraying the one she loves most.

Told in a chorus of voices belonging to those who knew Sophie best, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is an intimate portrait of an elusive woman whose monumental talent and relentless pursuit of truth reveal the cost of producing great art. It is “not only a dissection of genius and the havoc it can wreak, but also a thunderously good story” (Emma Donoghue).

The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis....Cape Cod summers are supposed to remain
reassuringly the same, but everything falls apart when three sisters and their families come together for their annual summer vacation—and they are carrying more secrets than suitcases.

Maggie is the oldest. She feels responsible for managing the summer house and making sure everything is as it always has been. But she’s hurt that her parents’ recent divorce has destroyed the family’s comfortable summer routines, and her own kids seem to be growing up at high speed. Is it too late to have another baby?

Jess is the middle sister. She loves her job but isn’t as passionate about her marriage. She’s not sure she can find the courage to tell Maggie what she’s done—much less talk to her husband about it.

Virgie is the youngest, her dad’s favorite. She’s always been the career girl, but now there’s a man in her life. Her television job on the west coast is beyond stressful, and it’s taking its toll on her—emotionally and physically. She’s counting on this vacation to erase the symptoms she’s not talking about.

The Herington girls are together again, with their husbands and kids, for another summer in the family’s old Cape Cod house. When their mother, Gloria, announces she’s coming for an unscheduled visit—with her new boyfriend—no one is more surprised than their father, Arthur, who has not quite gotten over his divorce. Still, everyone manages to navigate the challenges of living grown-up lives in close quarters, until an accident reveals a new secret that brings everyone together in heartbreak…and then healing.

What I Wrote 

 photo signature_zpsc91ef999.png

Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Grand Reopening of the Dandelion Cafe by Jenny Oliver

  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Carina (March 27, 2015)

What They Say....When Annie White steps back onto Cherry Pie Island, it’s safe to say her newly inherited Dandelion Café has seen better days! 

And while her childhood home on the Thames-side island idyll is exactly the same retreat from the urban bustle of London she remembers, Annie’s not convinced that Owner of The Dandelion Cafe is a title she’ll be keeping for long. 

Not that she can bear the idea of letting her dedicated, if endearingly disorganized staff lose their jobs. Plus café life does also have the added bonus of working a stone’s throw away from millionaire Matt and his disarmingly charming smile! 

One (shoestring budget) café makeover, a few delightful additions to the somewhat retro menu and a lot of cherry pie tastings later, The Dandelion Café is ready for its grand reopening! But once she’s brought the dilapidated old café back to life, Annie finds herself wishing her stay on the island was just a bit longer. She always intended to go back to the big city…but could island living finally have lured her back home for good? 

What I Say....Hmmm.  This was a quick read, it sure didn't feel like 384 pages - is that for real?

It was pretty formulaic chick lit, which is usually okay with me.  But this story felt a little disjointed to me.  It didn't flow well.  There was very little physical description of the main character, I'm not sure what she looked like except she had a funky haircut.

But I didn't feel like I ever really knew what was making her tick, or why she was feeling whatever the author stated she was feeling.  Does that make sense?  The book felt like a very clinical description, but not enough to make me feel the emotional investment in the characters or stories that I like in my books.

I never found a reason for Annie to fall in love with Matt, despite the looks, mansion and unlimited funds. It didn't seem like River and Matt ever worked their issues out.  The other characters seemed very flat, and they didn't seem to add much to the story.

After I finished, and realized that this was Book 1 of 4, it seemed to make a little more sense.  Maybe this was just laying the groundwork?  

I'm not sure that I would rate this higher than 2 stars as a standalone, but I'm willing to try Book 2 to see if it feels better as a series.

 photo signature_zpsc91ef999.png

Monday, March 23, 2015

Where They Found Her by Kimberly McCreight

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (April 14, 2015)

What They Say.....An idyllic suburban town.  A devastating discovery.Shocking revelations that will change three lives forever.

At the end of a long winter in well-to-do Ridgedale, New Jersey, the body of a newborn is found in the woods fringing the campus of the town's prestigious university. No one knows the identity of the baby, what ended her very short life, or how she came to be found among the fallen leaves. But for the residents of Ridgedale, there is no shortage of opinions.
When freelance journalist and recent Ridgedale transplant Molly Sanderson is unexpectedly called upon to cover the disturbing news for the Ridgedale Reader—the town's local paper—she has good reason to hesitate. A severe depression followed the loss of her own baby, and this assignment could unearth memories she has tried hard to bury. But the disturbing history Molly uncovers is not her own. Her investigation reveals a decades-old trail of dark secrets hiding behind Ridgedale's white picket fences.
Told from the perspectives of three Ridgedale women, Kimberly McCreight's taut and profoundly moving novel unwinds the tangled truth behind the tragedy, revealing that these women have far more in common than they could ever have imagined: that the very worst crimes are committed against those we love. And that—sooner or later—the past catches up to all of us.

What I Say....So good.  Really, really good.

This book showcased the different stereotypes of suburban moms, the controlling snob that no one can stand, the drama queen, the town slut, and the nice one.  They were all there, along with the teen stereotypes; misunderstood poor girl, the perfect overachiever, and the sullen troublemaker.

What made this book different was how great the story was, and how it made the lives of all of the characters intersect in a way that seemed natural.

Even though I spent a good chunk of the book thinking Barbara was a murderer, I have to say her son, Cole was a creepy little kid and I don't mind saying if I woke up to him staring at me, he'd go up for adoption the next day.

I figured out right away who the pregnant girl was, even though the book did a good job at throwing some different options my way.  But I didn't see the whole picture, so I was still surprised.

This is the second book I've read by McCreight.  I thought her first, Reconstructing Amelia, was really good, but this one was so much better.  

I will be watching for all of her next books.

 photo signature_zpsc91ef999.png

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Weekly Book Haul.....March 22, 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea, Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsThe Sunday Salon is a new facebook group I've joined and Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia to be Continued.

Remember, I promised last week not to seek out any new books because my TBR pile was overflowing?  Well, I kept my promise, at least for this week.  I only added one book, and worked on organizing what I needed to read.  I have so many great books waiting for me!

The one and only addition came from NetGalley....

Sweet Girl by Rachel Hollis.....Max Jennings is in a bad mood. It’s not anything you did; it’s just that secrets from her past make it her natural state of being. But she’s not going to talk about it or share her feelings, so don’t bother asking.
Max’s bad mood means that very few people actually truly understand her or know that her secret dream is to be a pastry chef. When a rare opportunity to work for world-famous Avis Phillips presents itself, Max jumps at the chance. Avis and her staff aren’t stingy with the tough love, so Max spends every spare minute practicing her craft. As she bakes brownies and custards, cookies and galettes, she builds an unlikely friendship with a man she once loathed and finds herself falling into something she’s spent the last six years avoiding. Will she let her painful past stand in the way, or will she muster the strength to forgive herself and realize her full potential?

 photo signature_zpsc91ef999.png

Saturday, March 21, 2015

90 degrees!

It's a beautiful, sunny day in Arizona!  It's going to be 90 today, and yes, this is our spring.  90 is the perfect temperature here, it's nice and warm, but not too hot, so you can get outside and enjoy yourself.
In my case, enjoying myself today means I'll be washing some windows, cleaning out the refrigerator, and scrubbing the patio.  That puts the FU in F-U-N, right?

I've been engrossed in the new Kimberly McCreight book, Where They Found Her, and I'm having  a hard time putting it down.  I loved her first book, Reconstructing Amelia, although I almost boycotted it because the blurb said, "The next Gone, Girl!".

I'm so sick of the "next, Gone, Girl!".  It was a great book, I bought a copy for my sister just to make sure she read it, saw the movie, blah, blah, blah, but quit comparing every other woman suspense writer's book to "the next Gone, Girl, let them stand on their own merits.

It must be my middle child syndrome that makes this bother me so much.

Have a great weekend and let me know what you are reading!

 photo signature_zpsc91ef999.png

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Love by the Book by Melissa Pimental

What They Say....Love by the Book charts
a year in the life of Lauren Cunningham, a beautiful, intelligent, and unlucky-in-love twenty-eight-year-old American. Feeling old before her time, Lauren moves to London in search of the fab single life replete with sexy Englishmen. But why can’t she convince the men she’s seeing that she really isn’t after anything more serious than seriously good sex? Determined to break the curse, Lauren turns her love life into an experiment: each month she will follow a different dating guide until she discovers the science behind being a siren. Lauren will follow The Rules, she’ll play The Game, and along the way she’ll journal her (mis)adventures and maybe even find someone worth holding on to. Witty, gritty, and very true to life, Love by the Book will have you in stitches.

What I Say.....Love By the Book was a funny read.  There were quite a few times I laughed out loud.
It was a little bit different than your typical chick lit in several ways.
First of all, the main character, Lauren,  drank, smoked, didn't want to be married, and partied up a storm.
I then found out mid-book that Lauren had actually been married before, and while her ex was a good guy, she didn't have any desire to go back.  So when she told all of them men she dated that she didn't want anything serious, she was actually being serious!
Her roommate finds the older, wealthier man of her dreams and although the clues are pretty clear, it takes a bit for Lauren to realize that her BFF is in a BDSM relationship. Which appears to be a consensual, happy BDSM relationship.   So much for the boring best friend character!
I thought I knew who Lauren was going to end up with three different times, and I'm happy to say one of my three guesses was right, but it was kind of neat to not have the love interest end up so formulaic. 
My one gripe is that I thought a lot of the dating books were really dated, especially in this age of non-stop self-improvement.  
But that's my only real issue. Overall, I thought the book was an easy distraction, and a funny author was found.

Current Goodreads rating 3.57

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen....or I Still Want to Know Who Left the Baby

The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen
  • Print Length: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (March 10, 2015)
What They Say.....In this intricate novel of psychological suspense, a fatal discovery near the high school ignites a witch-hunt in a Southeast Texas refinery town, unearthing communal and family secrets that threaten the lives of the town’s girls.
In Port Sabine, the air is thick with oil, superstition reigns, and dreams hang on making a winning play. All eyes are on Mercy Louis, the star of the championship girls’ basketball team. Mercy seems destined for greatness, but the road out of town is riddled with obstacles. There is her grandmother, Evelia, a strict evangelical who has visions of an imminent Rapture and sees herself as the keeper of Mercy’s virtue. There are the cryptic letters from Charmaine, the mother who abandoned Mercy at birth. And then there’s Travis, the boy who shakes the foundation of her faith.
At the periphery of Mercy’s world floats team manager Illa Stark, a lonely wallflower whose days are spent caring for a depressed mother crippled in a refinery accident. Like the rest of the town, Illa is spellbound by Mercy’s beauty and talent, but a note discovered in Mercy’s gym locker reveals that her life may not be as perfect as it appears.
The last day of school brings the disturbing discovery, and as summer unfolds and the police investigate, every girl becomes a suspect. When Mercy collapses on the opening night of the season, Evelia prophesies that she is only the first to fall, and soon, other girls are afflicted by the mysterious condition, sending the town into a tailspin, and bringing Illa and Mercy together in an unexpected way.
Evocative and unsettling, The Unraveling of Mercy Louis charts the downfall of one town’s golden girl while exploring the brutality and anxieties of girlhood in America.

What I Say....This was the kind of book that you are moved to keep reading, even while you are a bit disgusted by the town, the characters, the story.

The story starts out with a newborn baby abandoned in a dumpster, but this isn't the main storyline.  *SPOILER ALERT*,  you never even find out who gave birth.  There is a detail about the baby having high levels of anti-reflux drugs in it's system, but that too goes nowhere.

Having said that, I just realized that I didn't know who left the baby in the garbage until I started writing this review.  

The story went down lots of different paths, a religious grandmother who has visions, a crooked politician father who tries to control his wayward daughter, Mercy's first boyfriend, and her absentee mother.

I wish I knew what happened to Lucille Cloud.  I wish I knew how long the factory had been polluting the town.  I wish I knew if the girls were truly ill or if it was psychosomatic.

But I didn't get my wishes.  But what I did get was a compelling read.  I think the description of "brutality...of girlhood in America" is an apt one.

Current Goodreads rating 4.22

 photo signature_zpsc91ef999.png

Sunday, March 15, 2015

My Weekly Book Haul....March 15, 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea, Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsThe Sunday Salon is a new facebook group I've joined and Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia to be Continued.

I have solemnly swore to myself to lay off getting any new books (yeah, right) until I get my TBR pile under control.  It's getting ridiculous and I'm starting to feel overwhelmed by it.

From NetGalley

Charlie, Presumed Dead by Anne Heitzel.....In Paris, family and friends
gather to mourn the tragic passing of Charlie Price—young, handsome, charming, a world-traveler—who is presumed dead after an explosion. Authorities find only a bloodied jacket, ID’d as Charlie’s. At the funeral, two teens who are perfect strangers, Lena Whitney and Aubrey Boroughs, make another shocking discovery: they have both been dating Charlie, both think Charlie loved them and them alone, and there is a lot they didn’t know about their boyfriend. Over the next week, a mind-bending trip unfolds: first in London—then in Mumbai, Kerala, and Bangkok, the girls go in search of Charlie. Is he still alive? What did their love for him even mean? The truth is out there, but soon it becomes clear that the girls are harboring secrets of their own.

This looks like a page turner.  I'm ready for a good suspense read!

In My Mailbox

Pretty Ugly by Kirker Butler....From a writer/producer of Family Guy, a
satirical look at a dysfunctional southern family complete with an overbearing stage mom, a 9 year-old pageant queen, a cheating husband, his teenage girlfriend, a crazy grandmother, and Jesus.

After eight-and-a-half years and three hundred twenty-three pageants, Miranda Miller has become the ultimate stage mother. Her mission in life is to see that her nine-year-old daughter, Bailey, continues to be one of the most successful child pageant contestants in the southern United States. But lately, that mission has become increasingly difficult. Bailey wants to retire and has been secretly binge eating to make herself "unpageantable;" and the reality show Miranda has spent years trying to set up just went to their biggest rival.
But Miranda has a plan. She's seven months pregnant with her fourth child, a girl (thank God), and she is going to make damn sure this one is even more successful than Bailey, even if the new girl is a little different.
Miranda's husband, Ray, however, doesn't have time for pageants. A full-time nurse, Ray spends his days at the hospital where he has developed a habit of taking whatever pills happen to be lying around. His nights are spent working hospice and dealing with Courtney, the seventeen-year-old orphan granddaughter of one of his hospice patients who he has, regrettably, knocked up. With a pregnant wife, a pregnant teenage mistress, two jobs, a drug hobby, and a mountain of debt, Ray is starting to take desperate measures to find some peace. Meanwhile, the Millers' two sons are being homeschooled by Miranda's mother, Joan (pronounced Jo-Ann), a God-fearing widow who spends her free time playing cards and planning a murder with Jesus. Yes, Jesus.
A bright new voice in satirical literature, Kirker Butler pulls no punches as he dissects our culture's current state of affairs. It's really funny, but it's also pretty ugly.

I've been dying to read this. I'm hoping it's going to be as funny as it sounds.

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman....In her first novel for middle-grade readers,
bestselling author Alice Hoffman tells a bewitching story of love and friendship that is truly magical.

Twig lives in Sidwell, where people whisper that fairy tales are real. After all, her town is rumored to hide a monster. And two hundred years ago, a witch placed a curse on Twig’s family that was meant to last forever. But this summer, everything will change when the red moon rises. It’s time to break the spell.

It's Alice Hoffman, so I don't care if it is aimed at middle school readers, I'll take it.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Happy Friday from the Unworldly Reader

What a long week this was!  I've been struggling through The Unraveling of Mercy Louis this week.

I'm not sure "struggling" is really the right word, because it's a good book, but it's set in the south, in a cajun type town?  I don't really understand a lot of the cultural references and I feel like I'm missing things.  I hate that.

I end up feeling dumb and like I am missing pieces of the story.  Which bugs me because I usually think I'm a pretty smart cookie.  Then I feel guilty that I don't understand another culture, so I end up feeling bad about my lack of worldliness, and this irritates me so it goes on and on.  I'm probably the only human who worries about these kind of things instead of just enjoying the story.

But on the happy Friday note, I came home to this book in my mailbox.

I'm really excited about this because I was turned down on NetGalley for this book, but getting a physical copy is even better!

I hope everyone has a great weekend filled with great books!

 photo signature_zpsc91ef999.png

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Top Ten Books For Readers Who Like Everything

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday list (weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is the Top Ten Books for Readers Who Like ______.

Sometimes the top 10 lists feel like I'm just pimping out the same books over and over.  Well, I'm sick of offering feedback on Chick Lit.  Everyone knows that's my favorite - but I've read lots of other types of books, I just don't talk about them as much.

When I was younger, I used to love cop/private eye novels.  I was totally old school, reading Ed McBain, Robert Parker and Lawrence Sanders (loved the McNally series).  When they died, I was crushed and wondered who I would read next.  I've found lots of great authors since then, but none that I loved like those three crime writers.

So this week, I've decided to give you a mixed bag of books choices. 

Top Ten Books...

For Readers Who Like Crime Novels

1.  McNally's Risk by Lawrence Sanders....My favorite of the McNally books.  Just a fun whodunit.
Sex, scandal, and suspicion. Palm Beach playboy sleuth Archy McNally is seduced by the very temptress he's been hired to investigate. Theodosia Johnson has a past as provocative as her butterfly tattoo. And a future as questionable as her shocking flirtations with marriage, McNally, and murder.

2.  Let's Hear It for the Deaf Man by Ed McBain...Loved the 87th Precinct novels.  So dated now, but I still liked them.  The boys of the 87th Precinct knew what it all meant: their arch nemesis was back in town -- the Deaf Man. Even the gruesome crucifixion murder and a cat burglar who leaves live kittens as his calling card could not keep Carella, Kling, Hawes, and Brown from the torment of the riddles. And time was running out. 

3.  Chance by Robert B. Parker....Still miss Robert Parker.  One of the best things was having books to discuss with my Grandmother.  Mafia princess Shirley Meeker wants her husband back. So does her father the kingpin and a few other shady characters. Spenser and hawk head to Vegas to find Anthony Meeker and to confirm their suspicion that all these people aren't just missing Anthony's smile. And Spenser has to make some sense of some very disorganized crime

For Readers Who Like Freaky Families

4.  Mother, Mother by Karen Zalickas......So freaking weird.  Makes you
wonder if any family you see is real.  Josephine Hurst has her family under control. With two beautiful daughters, a brilliantly intelligent son, a tech-guru of a husband and a historical landmark home, her life is picture perfect. She has everything she wants; all she has to do is keep it that way. But living in this matriarch’s determinedly cheerful, yet subtly controlling domain hasn’t been easy for her family, and when her oldest daughter, Rose, runs off with a mysterious boyfriend, Josephine tightens her grip, gradually turning her flawless home into a darker sort of prison. 

5.  The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell....So good and unexpected.  Totally weird, but sad family.   One Easter weekend, tragedy comes to call. The event is so devastating that, almost imperceptibly, it begins to tear the family apart. Years pass as the children become adults, find new relationships, and develop their own separate lives. Soon it seems as though they've never been a family at all. But then something happens that calls them back to the house they grew up in -- and to what really happened that Easter weekend so many years ago.

6.  The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf....This book sat on my bedside table for close to a year before I got to it, then I couldn't put it down.  It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night.

 7.  Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt.....One of the best titles I've ever seen, it sticks in your mind, as the story does.  At Finn’s funeral, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days later, she receives a package in the mail. Inside is a beautiful teapot she recognizes from Finn’s apartment and a note from Toby, the stranger, asking for an opportunity to meet. As the two begin to spend time together, June realizes she’s not the only one who misses Finn, and if she can bring herself to trust this unexpected friend, he just might be the one she needs the most.

For Readers Who Like WWII Books

8.  The Distant Hours by Kate Morton....I love Kate Morton and all of her books, but this one is
special.  A long lost letter arrives in the post and Edie Burchill finds herself on a journey to Milderhurst Castle, a great but moldering old house, where the Blythe spinsters live and where her mother was billeted 50 years before as a 13 year old child during WWII. The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives looking after the third and youngest sister, Juniper, who hasn’t been the same since her fiance jilted her in 1941. 

9.  A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams....I can't imagine losing a man to a war or a friend.....Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak. 

10.  Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay.....So heartbreaking.  Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is taken with her parents by the French police as they go door-to-door arresting French families in the middle of the night. Desperate to protect her younger brother, Sarah locks him in a bedroom cupboard-their secret hiding place-and promises to come back for him as soon as they are released.

. photo signature_zpsc91ef999.png

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Weekly Book Haul....March 8, 2015

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, Showcase Sunday is hosted by Books, Biscuits and Tea, Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's ReviewsThe Sunday Salon is a new facebook group I've joined and Monday Mailbox is hosted by Marcia to be Continued.

What a week!  First of all, I started an Advocare 10 day cleanse (don't worry,  I don't sell Advocare, so I feel like a large part of my week was focused on food buying, food prep, and thinking about what foods I couldn't eat.  I'm happy to report that this cleanse has been a lot easier than I thought, and I feel like it is a great springboard to getting back to eating healthier.

I know if I eat right, take my vitamins and get some form of exercise, I feel so much better, so why is it so hard to do?

My daughter is in for a visit from the cold lands of North Dakota.  Her boyfriend works on the oil rigs there, and my Arizona girl isn't used to the gray, snowy winters there.  It's been nice to have her home, but it's crazy how much their shoes and car smell like oil!  I guess it makes sense, considering what he does for a living but I couldn't stand it.  I'm hopeful that they will come home for good soon.

So all of these things prevented me from reading or blogging as much as I would like.  But here's what I added to my collection this week.

From NetGalley

The Grand Reopening of the Dandelion Cafe by Jenny Oliver....When
Annie White steps back onto Cherry Pie Island, it’s safe to say Dandelion Café has definitely seen better days! Her childhood home on the Thames-side island idyll is exactly the same retreat from the urban bustle of London as she remembers - but Annie’s not convinced that new owner of The Dandelion Cafe is a title she’s thrilled about.

One (shoestring budget) makeover, a few delightful additions to the somewhat retro menu and a lot of cherry pie tastings later, The Dandelion Café is ready for its grand reopening! But however delicious the legendary cherry pie, that’s definitely not enough to make her come home for good. However, the islanders themselves are a different story – but is Annie ready to let the island, and all those that live there, become her recipe for true happiness?

The Nurses by Alexandra Robinson....Nursing is more than a career; it is a
calling, and one of the most important, fascinating, and dangerous professions in the world. As the frontline responders battling traumas, illnesses, and aggression from surprising sources, nurses are remarkable. Yet contemporary literature largely neglects them.

In THE NURSESNew York Times bestselling author and award-winning journalist Alexandra Robbins peers behind the staff-only door to write a lively, fast-paced story and a riveting work of investigative journalism. Robbins followed real-life nurses in four hospitals and interviewed hundreds of others in a captivating book filled with joy and violence, miracles and heartbreak, dark humor and narrow victories, gripping drama and unsung heroism.

Alexandra Robbins creates sympathetic, engaging characters while diving deep into their world of controlled chaos—the hazing (“nurses eat their young”); sex (not exactly like on TV, but it happens more often than you think); painkiller addiction (disproportionately a problem among the best and brightest); and bullying (by doctors, patients, and others). The result is a page-turner possessing all the twists and turns of a brilliantly told narrative—and a shocking, unvarnished examination of our healthcare system.

THE NURSES is a must-read both for the general public, who will learn hospital secrets that could save their own or a loved one's life, and for nurses, who will proudly share the book as a rallying cry for support and celebration.

The Idea of Love by Patti Callahan Henry....Ella's life has been completely
upended. She's young, beautiful, and deeply in love--until her husband dies in a tragic sailing accident while trying save her. Or so she'll have everyone believe. Screenwriter Hunter needs a hit, but crippling writers' block and a serious lack of motivation are getting him nowhere. He's on the look-out for a love story. It doesn't matter who it belongs to. 

When Hunter and Ella meet in Watersend, South Carolina it feels like the perfect match, something close to fate. In Ella, Hunter finds the perfect love story, full of longing and sacrifice. It's the stuff of epic films. In Hunter, Ella finds possibility. It's an opportunity to live out a fantasy - the life she wishes she had because hers is too painful. And more real. Besides. what's a little white lie between strangers?

But one lie leads to another, and soon Hunter and Ella find themselves caught in a web of deceit. As they try to untangle their lies and reclaim their own lives, they feel something stronger is keeping them together. And so they wonder: can two people come together for all the wrong reasons and still make it right?

From Edelweiss

Absolutely True Lies by Rachel Stuhler....A fledgling entertainment writer
stumbles into the gig of a lifetime writing a teenage pop star’s memoir and soon realizes that the young celebrity's squeaky-clean image is purely a work of fiction.

Struggling writer Holly Gracin is on the verge of moving back home to upstate New York when she gets hired to write the memoirs of eighteen-year-old Daisy Mae Dixson, a former Nickelodeon child star who has moved seamlessly into both blockbuster movies and pop music.

Holly quickly realizes that Daisy’s wholesome public image is purely a work of fiction, as Holly finds herself trailing the star as she travels around the world on yachts, gets stalked by paparazzi, and sneaks out of five-star hotels in the dead of night.

As Holly struggles to write a flattering portrait of a teenage millionaire who only eats “nightshades” and treats her employees like slaves, Daisy has a public meltdown—and suddenly, her book is the cornerstone of resurrecting her image. But working at all hours trailing a pop star has taken its toll, and Holly must decide if becoming the ultimate insider is worth losing a starring role in her own life.
Fun, juicy, and inspired by Rachel Stuhler’s own stranger-than-fiction experiences as a celebrity ghost writer, Absolutely True Lies is an entertaining look at how the lifestyles of the rich and famous aren’t always what they seem.

Summerlong by Dean Bakapoulos....In the sweltering heat of one summer in
a small Midwestern town, Claire and Don Lowry discover that married life isn’t quite as they’d predicted.

One night Don, a father of three, leaves his house for an evening stroll, only to wake up the next morning stoned, and sleeping in a hammock next to a young woman he barely knows. His wife, Claire, leaves the house on this same night to go on a midnight run—only to find herself bumming cigarettes and beer outside the all-night convenience store.

As the summer lingers and the temperature rises, this quotidian town’s adults grow wilder and more reckless while their children grow increasingly confused. Claire, Don, and their neighbors and friends find themselves on an existential odyssey, exploring the most puzzling quandaries of marriage and maturity. 

When does a fantasy become infidelity? When does compromise become resentment? When does routine become boring monotony? Can Claire and Don survive everything that befalls them in this one summer, forgive their mistakes, and begin again?

The Story of Us by Dani Atkins.....Emma is just days from marrying her
childhood sweetheart, Richard. But what should be the happiest time of Emma’s life takes a turn for the worse when, on the night of her bachelorette party, tragedy strikes. Thanks to some quick thinking from a stranger, Emma is pulled free from a totaled car before it goes up in flames. But another passenger is not so lucky.
The wedding is postponed as family and friends deal with their shock and grief. But soon, secrets come to light that have Emma questioning her relationships—and her engagement. Making matters more complicated is the emotional connection she feels with Jack, the mysterious man who saved her life. It’s a crisis no bridal magazine has ever covered: What do you do when, on the eve of your wedding, you find yourself in love with two men?

What I Wrote

I hope everyone has a great, book filled week!

 photo signature_zpsc91ef999.png

Blog Archive