Good morning, and welcome to my Monday Memes. For those who participate in Monday Mailbox, Apple Blossom, of 4 the Love of Books is hosting for May; and, as usual, Book Journey is hosting What Are You Reading?
My physical and electronic mailbox (Sparky) have received four books this week: two review books and two purchases.
1. Instructions for a Heatwave, by Maggie O’Farrell (Amazon Vine)
Sophisticated, intelligent, impossible to put down, Maggie O’Farrell’s beguiling novels—After You’d Gone, winner of a Betty Trask Award; The Distance Between Us, winner of a Somerset Maugham Award; The Hand That First Held Mine, winner of the Costa Novel Award; and her unforgettable bestseller The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox—blend richly textured psychological drama with page-turning suspense. Instructions for a Heatwave finds her at the top of her game, with a novel about a family crisis set during the legendary British heatwave of 1976.
Gretta Riordan wakes on a stultifying July morning to find that her husband of forty years has gone to get the paper and vanished, cleaning out his bank account along the way. Gretta’s three grown children converge on their parents’ home for the first time in years: Michael Francis, a history teacher whose marriage is failing; Monica, with two stepdaughters who despise her and a blighted past that has driven away the younger sister she once adored; and Aoife, the youngest, now living in Manhattan, a smart, immensely resourceful young woman who has arranged her entire life to conceal a devastating secret.
Maggie O’Farrell writes with exceptional grace and sensitivity about marriage, about the mysteries that inhere within families, and the fault lines over which we build our lives—the secrets we hide from the people who know and love us best. In a novel that stretches from the heart of London to New York City’s Upper West Side to a remote village on the coast of Ireland, O’Farrell paints a bracing portrait of a family falling apart and coming together with hard-won, life-changing truths about who they really are.
2. The K Street Affair (e-book), by Mari Passananti (Author Request)
What if a massive corporation, one with political ties on both sides of the Atlantic, decided to start a war?
Hours after a crippling attack rocks Washington, D.C., Lena Mancuso, a talented young associate at one of the country’s best law firms, finds federal agents at her door, bearing unbelievable news.
Lena’s clients may have financed the murder of hundreds of civilians.
The FBI wants Lena’s insider access to spy on her firm’s high-profile roster of international clients, whose ranks include a disgraced K Street lobbyist, a flamboyant Russian oil baron and the future Saudi king – unlikely bedfellows linked by common interests in a massive multinational corporation with lofty but sinister goals: control of the world oil markets and a takeover of the United States government.
Helping the FBI means Lena will endanger herself and everyone she loves, but refusing them feels unthinkable. Armed with a mix of smarts, intuition and grit she never knew she possessed, Lena will risk everything in a race to stop a catastrophic chain of events.
3. The Obituary Writer (e-book), by Ann Hood (My Purchase)
A sophisticated and suspenseful novel about the poignant lives of two women living in different eras.
On the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, Claire, an uncompromising young wife and mother obsessed with the glamour of Jackie O, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless marriage or follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier, in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover who disappeared in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. By telling the stories of the dead, Vivien not only helps others cope with their grief but also begins to understand the devastation of her own terrible loss. The surprising connection between Claire and Vivien will change the life of one of them in unexpected and extraordinary ways. Part literary mystery and part love story, The Obituary Writer examines expectations of marriage and love, the roles of wives and mothers, and the emotions of grief, regret, and hope.
4. Dark Places (e-book), by Gillian Flynn (My Purchase)
I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ.
Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.
The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.
As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.
WHAT ARE YOU READING?
Welcome to our weekly bookish place where we share our adventures in reading. Come along and join us as we explore other blogs and feel a community spirit.
My week had a lot more TV/Movie Watching, with a little bit of reading and blogging mixed in.
As a soap opera addict, I was thrilled to be able to again watch One Life to Live and All My Children, that debuted on Hulu.com this week.
Because watching on my laptop seemed a bit tedious, even though I found it fairly easy to do, I discovered something else to make my experience better. My son hooked my TV to my laptop via an HDMI cable and the show plays out on my TV screen!
Then yesterday, I went to the theater again…yeah, I know, two weeks in a row! And saw The Big Wedding, with Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Robert DeNiro, Katherine Heigl, etc.
Then last night, I watched Silver Linings Playbook on DVD…and that was a totally engaging film that had me riveted to the very end.
Books Read/Reviewed (Click Titles for Reviews):
The Engagements, by J. Courtney Sullivan
Cocktail Hour (e-book), by Tara McTiernan
Summer on Blossom Street, by Debbie Macomber (Sequels Challenge)
What’s Up Next? (Click Titles/Covers for More Info)
Still Reading: Finding Lily, by Lisa Ellis
The Submission, by Amy Waldman
Fly Away, by Kristin Hannah (Amazon Vine)
And that’s what my week looked like…and what’s ahead. Enjoy! Come on by and let’s chat!