MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — AUGUST 13

Good morning, and welcome to another Monday, in which we celebrate our reading, blogging, and life.  Mailbox Monday is hosted in August by 5 Minutes for Books; and Book Journey brings us another edition of What Are You Reading?

MAILBOX MONDAY:

This week’s mailbox brought one review book, and I received one download for Sparky.

1.  We Sinners, by Hanna Pylvainen

This stunning debut novel—drawn from the author’s own life experience—tells the moving story of a family of eleven in the American Midwest, bound together and torn apart by their faith

The Rovaniemis and their nine children belong to a deeply traditional church (no drinking, no dancing, no TV) in modern-day Michigan. A normal family in many ways, the Rovaniemis struggle with sibling rivalry, parental expectations, and forming their own unique identities in such a large family. But when two of the children venture from the faith, the family fragments and a haunting question emerges: Do we believe for ourselves, or for each other? Each chapter is told from the distinctive point of view of a different Rovaniemi, drawing a nuanced, kaleidoscopic portrait of this unconventional family. The children who reject the church learn that freedom comes at the almost unbearable price of their close family ties, and those who stay struggle daily with the challenges of resisting the temptations of modern culture. With precision and potent detail, We Sinners follows each character on their journey of doubt, self-knowledge, acceptance, and, ultimately, survival.

2.  You Are the Love of My Life (e-book), by Susan Richards Shreve

For fans of Sue Miller, a finely wrought novel of family secrets and the desire for sustaining love.

It is 1973 and Watergate is on everyone’s lips. Lucy Painter is a children’s book illustrator and a single mother of two. She leaves New York and the married father of her children to live in a tightly knit Washington neighborhood in the house where she grew up and where she discovered her father’s suicide. Lucy hopes for a fresh start, but her life is full of secrets: her children know nothing of her father’s death or the identity of their own father. As the new neighbors enter their insular lives, her family’s safety and stability become threatened.

From a writer whose “unique presentation of human experience makes reading a delight” (Elizabeth Strout), You Are the Love of My Life is a story of how shame leads to secrets, secrets to lies, and how lies stand in the way of human connection.

***

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

Welcome to another great week to share thoughts on reading and blogging.  If you stop by the other blogs in our community, you might just find your next favorite read.

Assorted Stuff On the Blogs:

Over at Creative Journey, I posted my check-in for Row 80; at Snow Chronicles, I posted an excerpt from Interior Designs; and my Weekend Potpourri took us on a journey via photos, books, and movies.

Reading (Click Titles for Reviews):

Grace Grows, by Shelle Sumners

The Next Best Thing, by Jennifer Weiner

Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple

Safe Within (e-book), by Jean Reynolds Page

What’s Up Next? (Click Titles/Covers for More Info)

1.   You Are the Love of My Life (e-book), by Susan Richards Shreve (I couldn’t wait to dive into this one, even though I just got it!)

2.  Small Damages, by Beth Kephart

3.  Drowning Ruth, by Christine Schwarz (From Mt. TBR)

4.  Jackie After O, by Tina Cassidy

***

That’s it….I think!  I have lots of books just waiting, so if I finish these, I know where to look!  What are the rest of you reading this week?  I hope you’ll stop by and chat.

MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — JAN. 30

Welcome to another Monday from the Interior, in which we share about the books we received in the mail (or bought), and talk about our bookish week, past and future.

Mailbox Monday is hosted through January by Alyce, At Home With Books; and What Are You Reading? is led by Sheila, at Book Journey.

MAILBOX MONDAY

After a week without anything, I was delighted with my mailbox this week.

I received two review books in the mail and one for Sparky, my Kindle; I received a book I preordered and purchased.

1.  How to Eat a Cupcake, by Meg Donohue (Amazon Vine)

Free-spirited Annie Quintana and sophisticated Julia St. Clair come from two different worlds. Yet, as the daughter of the St. Clairs’ housekeeper, Annie grew up in Julia’s San Francisco mansion and they forged a bond that only two little girls oblivious to class differences could—until a life-altering betrayal destroyed their friendship.

A decade later, Annie bakes to fill the void left in her heart by her mother’s death, and a painful secret jeopardizes Julia’s engagement to the man she loves. A chance reunion prompts the unlikely duo to open a cupcakery, but when a mysterious saboteur opens up old wounds, they must finally face the truth about their past or risk losing everything.

2.  Rainshadow Road, Lisa Kleypas (Amazon Vine)

Lucy Marinn is a glass artist living in mystical, beautiful, Friday Harbor, Washington.  She is stunned and blindsided by the most bitter kind of betrayal:  her fiancé Kevin has left her.  His new lover is Lucy’s own sister.   Lucy’s bitterness over being dumped is multiplied by the fact that she has constantly made the wrong choices in her romantic life.   Facing the severe disapproval of Lucy’s parents, Kevin asks his friend Sam Nolan, a local vineyard owner on San Juan Island, to “romance” Lucy and hopefully loosen her up and get her over her anger. Complications ensue when Sam and Lucy begin to fall in love, Kevin has second thoughts, and Lucy discovers that the new relationship in her life began under false pretenses. Questions about love, loyalty, old patterns, mistakes, and new beginnings are explored as Lucy learns that some things in life—even after being broken—can be made into something new and beautiful.

3.  The Long Drunk (e-book), by Eric Coyote (From Author)

Inspired by Chandler, Steinbeck, and Quentin Tarantino, THE LONG DRUNK tells the story of a homeless alcoholic who must solve a cold-case murder in order to save his best friend’s life. Set in the gutters, bars, and alleys of Venice, California, this darkly comic crime/detective saga is filled with sex, violence, booze, and plenty of foul street talk. It is hard-boiled, heartbreaking, gritty as hell, and thoroughly immerses the reader in the squalid yet resourceful underworld of the down-and-out. By juxtaposing the cruel realities of life on the street with the obscene wealth of the Hollywood elite, Coyote has created a ultra noir masterpiece for the ages. THE LONG DRUNK will leave you crying, laughing, and begging for more.

4.  First, Best and Only, by Barbara Delinsky

A passionate tale of love, tragedy and forgiveness by a best-selling author – Marni Lange was just seventeen when she fell passionately in love with the irresistibly sexy Brian Webster. Then a tragic accident tore them apart. Fourteen years later, Marni is now a successful businesswoman, about to appear on the cover of a national magazine – and come face-to-face with the world-famous photographer profiling her . . . Brian Webster. As Marni struggles with her attraction to the man who haunts her past, is she now brave enough to follow her heart and fight for what matters most? 

***

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

In this featured meme, we have the opportunity to share about the past week, in blogging and reading and to also spotlight the books we’re planning to read next.

Here are the past week’s posts/reviews:

THE CREATIVE JOURNEY – BLOGS, BOOKS & PHOTOS

ON SEEING THE FOREST

I HAVE “MILES TO GO”

EXAMINING OUR DEFINING MOMENTS

SURROUNDED BY COZINESS

DESIGN IS IN THE DETAILS-OR RATIONALIZING 101

Review:  Quick and the Thread, The – Amanda Lee –

Review:  One Day at a Time – Danielle Steel

Review:  Diana:  In Pursuit of Love – Andrew Morton

Review:   Mudbound (e-book) – Hillary Jordan

We had a lot of rain, so it was a perfect time to curl up and read, or to post on my blogs.

What’s Up Next?

1.  Atonement, by Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose.

On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia’s childhood friend. But Briony’s incomplete grasp of adult motives together with her precocious literary gifts brings about a crime that will change all their lives. As it follows that crime’s repercussions through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century, Atonement engages the reader on every conceivable level, with an ease and authority that mark it as a genuine masterpiece.

2.  The Importance of Being Kennedy, by Laurie Graham

From the fictitious diary of the equally fictitious Kennedy nanny comes an inside look into the early years of the dynasty—with all the juicy bits intact.

Newly arrived from Ireland, Nora Brennan finds a position as nursery maid to the Kennedys of Brookline, Massachusetts—and lands at the heart of American history. In charge of nine children practically from the minute they’re born—including Joe Jr., Jack, Bobby, Teddy, vivacious “Kick,” and tragic Rosemary—she sees the boys coached at their father’s knee to believe everything they’ll ever want in life can be bought. She sees the girls trained by mother Rose to be good Catholic wives. With her sharp eye and her quiet common sense, Nora is the perfect candidate to report on an empire in the making. Then World War II changes everything.

3.  Jonathan’s Story, by Julia London

From New York Times bestselling author Julia London comes the passionate, suspenseful novel based on Guiding Light, the 2007 Emmy Award-winning daytime drama.

When his true love Tammy Winslow died saving his life, Jonathan Randall had only one reason left for existing: his baby daughter Sarah. But Sarah’s great-grandfather, powerful millionaire Alan Spaulding, was obsessed with bringing her up himself. Faking his death, Jonathan fled Springfield, leaving only his mother Reva Shayne aware he and Sarah were still alive.

After being on the run for months, Jonathan comes to the sleepy town of Tourmaline, California, with no intention of staying. But ten-month-old Sarah seems strangely happy here, and Jonathan himself feels an inexplicable pull toward the town. It’s almost as if Tammy’s ghost were whispering to him that he should stay for a while. But life is hard for a bad boy trying to turn good, until a local young woman comes into his life.

Aubrey Cross isn’t quite sure what attracts her to this stranger in Tourmaline. Perhaps it’s his dark good looks; perhaps it’s because she too has always felt as if she doesn’t belong in Tourmaline, even though her father is the popular town sheriff. Aubrey alone knows that this pillar of the community is in reality a sadistic abuser.

And, of course, with a past like Jonathan’s, it’s no surprise that life doesn’t stay peaceful in Tourmaline for long. Sheriff Zeke Cross is sure there are some secrets buried, and he’s not going to rest until he uncovers them. Can Reva protect Jonathan and Sarah before they’re discovered by the dangerous Alan Spaulding?

***

All three books are from my TBR stacks.  I’ll happily whittle away at the numbers there; hopefully before the year’s end, I’ll have totally wiped out those Old TBRs.

What are you reading this week?  What came in your mailbox?  Hope you’ll come on by and share.

MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — JAN. 23

Welcome to another Monday from the Interior, in which we share about the books we received in the mail (or bought), and talk about our bookish week, past and future.

Mailbox Monday is hosted through January by Alyce, At Home With Books; and What Are You Reading? is led by Sheila, at Book Journey.

 

MAILBOX MONDAY:

I didn’t receive any books this week!

 

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

 

This past week, I finished my usual number of reads, but one of them was a chunkster from my TBR stacks!  How pleased was I.

Even more so, since it was a delightful read that seemed to breeze along.

I did a little blogging, too, in addition to the usual memes.  Here are some of the posts:

EXPLORING FAVORITE AUTHORS

HUMP DAY POTPOURRI -LIFE’S IRRITATIONS

POIGNANT MEMORIES: AN EXCERPT

SATURDAY POTPOURRI

Review:    Unraveling Anne, by Laurel Saville

Review:   Almost a Crime, by Penny Vincenzi

Review:   Henry’s Sisters (e-book), by Cathy Lamb

 

WHAT’S UP NEXT?

This week, I plan to read some more books from my TBR stacks.  Here’s my list for the week….

1.  The Quick and the Thread, by Amanda Lee ( I received this one from Kaye, at Pudgy Penguin Perusals.  Thanks!)

When Marcy Singer opens an embroidery specialty shop in quaint Tallulah Falls, Oregon, she throws a soiree and a Stitch-In. Soon, Marcy’s sign- up sheet for embroidery classes fills up and everyone in town seems willing to raise a glass-or a needle-to support the newly-opened Seven Year Stitch.

Then Marcy finds the shop’s previous tenant dead in the store-room, a message scratched with a tapestry needle on the wall beside him. Now Marcy’s shop has become a crime scene, and she’s the prime suspect. She’ll have to find the killer before someone puts a final stitch in her.

 

2.  Diana:  In Pursuit of Love, by Andrew Morton

Diana in Pursuit of Love includes previously unpublished details from the Diana-Morton tapes, it is based on wide-ranging research, and new and exclusive interviews. The definitive book on Diana, Pricess of Wales’s last years, by the biographer she herself chose.

 

3.  One Day at a Time, by Danielle Steel

Danielle Steel celebrates families of every stripe in her compelling new novel—a tale of three very different couples who struggle and survive, love, laugh, and learn to take life…

Coco Barrington was born into a legendary Hollywood family, her last name loaded with expectations. Her mother is a mega-bestselling author who writes under the name of Florence Flowers—and her sister, Jane, is one of Hollywood’s top producers. They’re not your typical family by any means.…Jane has lived with her partner, Liz, for ten years, in a solid, loving relationship. Florence, widowed but still radiant, has just begun a secret romance with a man twenty-four years her junior. And Coco, a law school dropout and the family black sheep, works as a dog walker, having fled life in the spotlight for the artsy northern California beach town of Bolinas.

But when Coco reluctantly agrees to dog-sit in Jane’s luxurious home, she soon discovers how much things can change in just a matter of days.…It turns out Jane’s house comes complete with an unexpected houseguest: Leslie Baxter, a dashing but down-to-earth British actor who’s fleeing a psycho ex-girlfriend. Their worlds couldn’t be more different. The attraction couldn’t be more immediate….

4.  Mudbound (e-book), by Hillary Jordan

It is 1946 in the Mississippi Delta, where Memphis-bred Laura McAllan is struggling to adjust to farm life, rear her daughters with a modicum of manners and gentility, and be the wife her land-loving husband, Henry, wants her to be. It is an uphill battle every day. Things started badly when Henry’s trusting nature resulted in the family being done out of a nice house in town, thus relegating them to a shack on their property. In addition, Henry’s father, Pappy, a sour, mean-spirited devil of a man, moves in with them.

The real heart of the story, however, is the friendship between Jamie, Henry’s too-charming brother, and Ronsel Jackson, son of sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm. They have both returned from the war changed men: Jamie has developed a deep love for alcohol and has recurring nightmares; Ronsel, after fighting valiantly for his country and being seen as a man by the world outside the South, is now back to being just another black “boy.”

Told in alternating chapters by Laura, Henry, Jamie, Ronsel, and his parents, Florence and Hap, the story unfolds with a chilling inevitability. Jordan’s writing and perfect control of the material lift it from being another “ain’t-it-awful” tale to a heart-rending story of deep, mindless prejudice and cruelty. This eminently readable and enjoyable story is a worthy recipient of Kingsolver’s prize and others as well.

***

I think it’s going to be another great week, with a variety of titles.  And I’ll be clearing some books off my Old TBR stacks (No. 2 & 3).

What are the rest of you reading?  What came in your mailbox?  I hope you’ll stop by and share….

MONDAY FROM THE INTERIOR: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — DEC. 12

 

Welcome to another Monday from the Interior, in which we celebrate the past week in reading and take a look at the upcoming week.

Mailbox Monday is hosted this month by Let Them Read Books.

What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey.

My week has been pretty good, but I didn’t receive ANY books in the mail!

A breather…perhaps a chance to catch up on those books still waiting to be read and reviewed.

I have also spent some time joining challenges for 2012 and creating pages for the New Year on my Curl up and Read blog.

 

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

 

 

What did my past week look like?  Here are some blog posts and book reviews:

A MID-WEEK RENDEZVOUS – EXCERPT

12-7 CHECK-IN: ROW 80

THURSDAY POTPOURRI – CLUTTER

SATURDAY POTPOURRI – FAVORITE BEVERAGES, ETC.

12-11-CHECK-IN: ROW 80-CLIMBING THAT MOUNTAIN

ReviewBrownie Fix, by Ellen Cardona

Review:  The Next Always, by Nora Roberts

ReviewDirty Secret, by Jessie Sholl

 

What’s Up Next?

Still ReadingMrs. Nixon (e-book), by Ann Beattie

***

1.  Pug Hill, by Alison Pace

2.  Best Kept Secret, Amy Hatvany

3. The Train of Small Mercies,  by David Rowell

4.  Star Struck (e-book), by Betty Dravis

***

And that’s my week.  I plan to do a lot more writing, since I’m almost at the finish line on two manuscripts. 

What are you planning for the week?  I hope you’ll come on by and share.

MONDAY MEMES: MAILBOX & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — MAY 23

MONDAY READING MEMES

Welcome to our Monday Memes.  Some of you may be at BEA in NY, and for those (like Sheila and others) who are, we count on you to tell us about your experiences.

Mailbox Monday is hosted this month by Mari Reads.

What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey.

MAILBOX MONDAY:


This week’s books were all purchased by me, but I am delighted with them nonetheless.


1.  Disturbing the Peace, by Richard Yates

To all appearances, John Wilder has all the trappings of success, circa 1960: a promising career in advertising, a loving family, a beautiful apartment, even a country home. John’s evenings are spent with associates at quiet Manhattan lounges and his weekends with friends at glittering cocktail parties. But something deep within this seemingly perfect life has long since gone wrong. Something has disturbed John’s fragile peace, and he can no longer find solace in fleeting affairs or alcohol. The anger, the drinking, and the recklessness are building to a crescendo—and they’re about to take down John’s career and his family. What happens next will send John on a long, strange journey—at once tragic and inevitable.

2.  The Pumpkin Eater, by Penelope Mortimer

“A strange, fresh, gripping book. One of the the many achievements of The Pumpkin Eater is that it somehow manages to find universal truths in what was hardly an archetypal situation: Mortimer peels several layers of skin off the subjects of motherhood, marriage, and monogamy, so that what we’re asked to look at is frequently red-raw and painful without being remotely self-dramatizing. In fact, there’s a dreaminess to some of the prose that is particularly impressive, considering the tumult that the book describes.” —Nick Hornby, The Believer

3.  The Beach Trees, by Karen White

From the time she was twelve, Julie Holt knew what a random tragedy can do to a family. At that tender age, her little sister disappeared-never to be found. It was a loss that slowly eroded the family bonds she once relied on. As an adult with a prestigious job in the arts, Julie meets a struggling artist who reminds her so much of her sister, she can’t help feeling protective. It is a friendship that begins a long and painful process of healing for Julie, leading her to a house on the Gulf Coast, ravaged by hurricane Katrina, and to stories of family that take her deep into the past.

****

WHAT ARE YOU READING?


This week has been one that was split between my writing and my reading.  I am participating in the ROW 80 Challenge, and we’re in Round Two.

Most of my effort has been directed toward completing the NaNoWriMo novel, and I did finish the first draft, with some editing and rewriting along the way.  Now I’m working on another WIP that I began in a previous challenge.

But I still completed some enjoyable books.  Here’s what I finished and reviewed – Click the titles for reviews:

1.  Love You More, by Lisa Gardner

2.  The Long Journey Home, by Margaret Robison (memoir)

3.  Out of Balance, by Angela Lam Turpin

So…What’s Up Next?

1.  Once Upon a Time There Was You, by Elizabeth Berg

2.  Save Me (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline

3.  Exposure (e-book), by Therese Fowler

4.  Drinking:  A Love Story, by Caroline Knapp (memoir)

So that’s it for me…what about the rest of you?  Even if you’re participating in Armchair BEA (or the real one!), I’m sure you’ll find time to read.  So I hope you’ll stop by and share….

MONDAY MEMES: MAILBOX & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — APRIL 4

MONDAY MEMES

Good morning, and welcome to our first Monday in April.  Today, and for the rest of April, Mailbox Monday is hosted by Passages to the Past.

What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey.

 

MAILBOX MONDAY:

 


This week, I received one review book and bought one e-book.

 

1.  Life After Forty, by Dora Heldt (Amazon Vine)

When Christine’s husband of ten years dumps her over the phone while she watches a Hugh Grant film she is sent spinning on a cathartic, self-medicated journey to the land of self-acceptance and self-reliance. Surrounded by her sister and a strong support group of friends, Christine learns how to deal with the horrors of dating, finding new appliances, and the exhilarating feeling of shopping without consequence.

An uproarious look at the suddenly single life of a divorcee, Dora Heldt’s first book to appear in English captures the zeitgeist of the new millennium with searing insight while never deigning to take itself too seriously. Sparkling dialogue and unforgettable characters create a vibrant world of sardonic, take-no-prisoners women who hold their own in a world geared toward acceptance of their younger selves. Not since Bridget Jones’ Diary or Sex in the City has anything like Life After Forty so accurately and thoroughly expressed the modern female point of view with such startling clarity….

2.  Twenty-Five Years Ago Today, by Stacy Juba

Spring Sale – limited time! Kris Langley has always been obsessed with murder. She blames herself for the violent death of her cousin when they were kids and has let guilt invade every corner of her existence. Now an editorial assistant and obit writer for a Massachusetts newspaper, Kris stumbles across an unsolved murder while compiling “25 Years Ago Today” items from the microfilm. She grows fascinated with the case of a young cocktail waitress who was bludgeoned to death and dumped in the woods. Determined to solve the case and atone for the death of her cousin, Kris immerses herself in the mystery of what happened to Diana Ferguson, a talented artist who expressed herself through haunting paintings of Greek mythology. Not only does Kris face resistance from her family and her managing editor, she also clashes with Diana’s suspicious nephew, Eric Soares – until neither she nor Eric can deny the chemistry flaring between them. Kris soon learns that old news never leaves the morgue and that yesterday’s headline is tomorrow’s danger, for finding out the truth about that night twenty-five years ago may shatter Kris’s present, costing her love, her career, and ultimately, her life….

 

****

 

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

 


 

This past week has been full.  Lots of reading, lots of blog posts.

Some Blog Posts — In Case You Missed Them:

MARCH READING WRAP-UP

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR CAROL CRIGGER

ROW 80-ROUND TWO GOALS

LIVING FOR THE PEACEFUL MOMENTS-EXCERPT

IT MUST BE LOVE-EXCERPT

SATURDAY SNAPSHOT

 

Books Read & Reviewed-Click Titles for Reviews:

1.  In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote

2.  Tuck Your Skirt in Your Panties and Run, by Lucy Adams

3.  Found (a memoir), by Jennifer Lauck

4.  Untied (a memoir), by Meredith Baxter

 

Still Reading:

My Hollywood, by Mona Simpson

 

What’s Up Next?

1.  Mothers and Daughters, by Rae Meadows (review book)

“Rae Meadows has written a richly textured novel of three generations of mothers and daughters who by finding each other, find themselves. In these beautifully interwoven stories of birth and death, love and loss, Violet, Iris, and Samantha explore the genetic threads that connect each to the others. Mothers and Daughters is a powerful novel of women’s secrets and strength.” – Sandra Dallas, New York Times best-selling author of Prayers for Sale and Whiter Than Snow….

2.  Sing You Home, by Jodi Picoult

“Sing You Home deftly personalizes the political, delivering a larger message of tolerance that’s difficult to fault.” —Entertainment Weekly

“An immensely entertaining melodrama with crackerjack dialogue that kept me happily indoors for an entire weekend.” —USA Today

“[Jodi Picoult] has crafted another winner. . . Picoult cleverly examines the modern world of reproductive science, how best to nurture a child and what, exactly, being a family means.” —People

3.  Pictures of You, by Caroline Leavitt

The Boston Globe describes Pictures of You “as part literary mystery, part domestic drama, and part psychological examination,” and, indeed, the novel kept most critics on their toes the entire time. A novel of loss, redemption, forgiveness, and self-discovery, the intertwining stories grapple not only with the tragedy but also with the mystery of April’s hasty departure from her family. Reviewers commented that what could have been a maudlin, predictable storyline instead becomes fresh with Leavitt’s direct, unsentimental writing; her you-are-here details; and her fully convincing characters. Readers who enjoy both fine storytelling and writing will be sure to savor this novel….

 

And that’s it for this week.  What are the rest of you reading?  I hope you’ll pop in and share….

 

MONDAY MEMES: MAILBOX MONDAY & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — MARCH 21

MONDAY MEMES

Welcome to our Monday memes in which we celebrate our past and upcoming weeks in reading, blogging, etc.

Mailbox Monday is hosted through March by I’m Booking It.

What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey.

MAILBOX MONDAY:


This week has been one of purchases made (3) and one (1) book received for review.

1.  Love You More, by Lisa Gardner (purchased)

Review – Publishers Weekly:

Near the start of Thriller Award–winner Gardner’s gripping fifth novel featuring Boston PD Sgt. Det. D.D. Warren (after Live to Tell), D.D.’s former partner and one-time lover, Det. Bobby Dodge, of the Massachusetts State Police, asks her to look into what appears to be a clear-cut homicide case. The evidence suggests that Tessa Leoni, a state trooper colleague of Bobby’s, shot and killed her abusive husband, Brian Darby, who may have kidnapped her six-year-old daughter, Sophie. But Tessa won’t talk about her bruises, her husband, or what might have happened to her child. D.D. examines every detail about the family, while Tessa uses her skills to manipulate the investigation. From Tessa’s point of view, we learn about her and Brian’s courtship, his affection for Sophie, and how the marriage began to disintegrate. Gardner sprinkles plenty of clues and inventive twists to keep readers off-kilter as the suspense builds to a realistic, jaw-dropping finale…

2.  Janeology (e-book), by Karen Harrington

College professor Tom Nelson has it bad in the wake of a devastating tragedy: the death of his son at the hands of his own wife, Jane, who evaded punishment by being declared insane. Tom, on the other hand, might not get off so easy. The prosecutors, believing that Tom should have known his wife’s tendencies and shielded his children, are charging him with “failure to protect.” As Tom wallows in his misery, his mother hires him an attorney, Dave Frontella, who adopts some unusual defense strategies, arguing that Jane’s genealogy is to blame for her problems and that no husband could have predicted her actions. He even goes so far as to hire for his defense team a woman with “retrocognition,” that is, the ability to use a person’s belongings to re-create his or her past. Although the psychic-powers element might turn skeptical readers off, Harrington begins with a fascinating premise and develops it fully. In addition, Tom and his wife emerge as compelling, complexly developed individuals. This debut novel is as much a character study as a legal thriller.

3.  A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway

The wild young years of the Lost Generation in Paris.

4.  Mothers and Daughters, by Rae Meadows (Review book)

“Rae Meadows has written a richly textured novel of three generations of mothers and daughters who by finding each other, find themselves. In these beautifully interwoven stories of birth and death, love and loss, Violet, Iris, and Samantha explore the genetic threads that connect each to the others. Mothers and Daughters is a powerful novel of women’s secrets and strength.” – Sandra Dallas, New York Times best-selling author of Prayers for Sale and Whiter Than Snow….

I’m very happy with my mailbox this week…except for the part about adding to the TBR stacks!  LOL

****

WHAT ARE YOU READING?


This past week has been busy with wonderful reading, some enjoyable blogging, and life moments.

Here are some blog posts you may have missed:

APPROACHING THE FINISH LINE – ROW 80

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MARJA MCGRAW

HUMP DAY POTPOURRI — TAG

Books Read and Reviewed – Click Titles for Reviews:

1.  The Easter Parade, by Richard Yates

2.  Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough, by Ruth Pennebaker

3.  Now You See Her, by Joy Fielding

4.  These Things Hidden (e-book), by Heather Gudenkauf

What’s Up Next?

1.  The Four Ms. Bradwells, by Meg Waite Clayton (Amazon Vine)

Clayton, author of The Wednesday Sisters (2009), has created another tale about a group of female friends that tells the stories of many women. Mia, Lainey, Betts, and Ginger become best friends at law school in 1979, at the cusp of the feminist movement. Now Betts is navigating a Senate hearing to confirm her Supreme Court appointment, and she and her friends have reunited. When a long-buried, dark story from their shared history is dug up, the four escape the media at Ginger’s family’s home on a remote island, which is also the scene of the controversial event. There the women reflect on their past, their relationships with each other and their mothers, and how societal norms led them to hide shocking sexual abuse. Clayton unfolds the story through flashbacks and present-day narration in each woman’s voice. Despite some clunky exposition, this is a stirring and compelling novel about women’s changing roles….

2.  How to Save Your Own Life, by Erica Jong (TBR stacks)

Erica Jong–like Isadora Wing, her fictional doppelganger–was rich and famous, brainy and beautiful, and soaring high with erotica and marijuana in 1977, the year this book was first published. Erica/Isadora are the perfect literary and libidinous guides for those readers who want to learn about-or just be reminded of-the sheer hedonistic innocence of the time. How to Save Your Own Life was praised by People for being “shameless, sex-saturated and a joy,” and hailed by Anthony Burgess as one of the ninety-nine best novels published in English since 1939.

3.  In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote (TBR stacks)

 

A nonfiction novel by Truman Capote, tells the story about the killings of four members of the Clutter family.

4.  Saving CeeCee Honeycutt (e-book) by Beth Hoffman

Hoffman’s debut, a by-the-numbers Southern charmer, recounts 12-year-old Cecelia Rose Honeycutt’s recovery from a childhood with her crazy mother, Camille, and cantankerous father, Carl, in 1960s Willoughby, Ohio. After former Southern beauty queen Camille is struck and killed by an ice cream truck, Carl hands over Cecelia to her great-aunt Tootie. Whisked off to a life of privilege in Savannah, Ga., Cecelia makes fast friends with Tootie’s cook, Oletta, and gets to know the cadre of eccentric women who flit in and out of Tootie’s house, among them racist town gossip Violene Hobbs and worldly, duplicitous Thelma Rae Goodpepper. Aunt Tootie herself is the epitome of goodness, and Oletta is a sage black woman. Unfortunately, any hint of trouble is nipped in the bud before it can provide narrative tension, and Hoffman toys with, but doesn’t develop, the idea that Cecelia could inherit her mother’s mental problems. Madness, neglect, racism and snobbery slink in the background, but Hoffman remains locked on the sugary promise of a new day….

That’s my reading week, past and upcoming…

I’d love to see what the rest of you are reading, have read, and plan to read….

MONDAY MEMES: MAILBOX & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — DEC. 27

Welcome to our Monday Memes:  Mailbox Monday, hosted this month by Let Them Read Books; and What Are You Reading?, hosted by Book Journey.

This has been a wonderful holiday season, and I am grateful for the moments with family and friends.  Check out my Sunday Salon post, to find our more about my week.

Monday Mailbox:


Nothing came in the mail this week, but I bought one book at Barnes & Noble, and ordered 2 e-books for my brand new Kindle!

1)  I Remember Nothing, by Nora Epron (a print book)

Nora Ephron’s newest book takes a cool, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten.

2)  Safe Haven, by Nicholas Sparks (my first e-book!)

A blurb on Amazon:

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

3)  Rescue, by Anita Shreve (my second e-book)

A Snippet from Amazon:

Paramedic Pete Webster is worried sick about his daughter, Rowan, a high-school senior whom he has raised single-handedly ever since she was two. Rowan has adopted very untypical behavior, ignoring her studies and drinking heavily. It brings back bad memories of his ex-wife, Sheila. He pulled her from a car wreck while on the job and soon fell madly in love with her both for her beauty and her irreverent sense of humor. When she became pregnant, he married her though he was only 21. They were very happy until Sheila began drinking all day, every day. Now Pete is worried that their daughter believes she is doomed to repeat her mother’s mistakes; he decides to contact Sheila, whom he has not seen or heard from for 16 years. The prolific Shreve brings her customary care to this thoroughly absorbing, perfectly paced domestic drama. Alternating between the life-and-death scenarios Pete encounters on the job and the fraught family tension between father and daughter, Shreve pulls readers right into her story….

So that’s it for my Mailbox this week.

****

What Are You Reading?

Here’s what last week’s reading looks like….(Click titles for reviews)

1)  The Other Family, by Joanna Trollope

2)  Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, by James Patterson

3)  My Lost Daughter, by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg

4)  Room for Love, by Andrea Meyer

 

What’s Up Next?

1)  Letting Go, by Nancy Kaiser, a book that has been on my TBRs for awhile…

Here’s a tidbit:

LETTING GO is the extraordinary story of a woman who retires with her husband to the mountains of North Carolina to build their dream retirement home. Just as she embarks on this fabulous new chapter in her life, her husband confesses, “I never wanted any of this… .” Follow her struggle to learn from and let go of the devastating feelings of betrayal, grief, anger, fear, and loneliness that engulf her after they separate and divorce….

2)  The Pursuit of Alice Thrift, by Elinor Lipman

Whimsical, heartwarming, and engaging, Lipman tells the tale of the maladroit, socially inept, and very appealing Alice Thrift. Alice, an intern in a Boston hospital, hopes to one day perform plastic surgery on the poor and disenfranchised.

3)  Rescue, by Anita Shreve (I know, I just got it, but I’m dying to use my Kindle!)

So that’s it for this week.  I have also been busily planning challenges; so far, I have signed up for four reading challenges, and another writing challenge.

What are you reading and doing this week?  I hope you’ll stop by, and I also hope you’ve had a wonderful Christmas.


IT’S MONDAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING? — DEC. 20

 

Good morning, and welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading? This event is hosted by Book Journey.

I didn’t receive any books in the mail, or buy any new books; therefore, no Monday Mailbox today.

 

Blogging Events:

Snow Chronicles – Inspirational Moments

A Bit of Me (Me) – Holiday Movies

Saturday Snapshot

 

Reading Week – Click Titles for Reviews:

1) Mary Ann in Autumn, by Armistead Maupin

2)  Hanna’s Daughters, by Marianne Fredriksson

3)  Miss Hildreth Wore Brown, by Olivia deBelle Byrd

 

What’s Up This Week?

1)  The Other Family, by Joanna Trollope

A Blurb on Amazon:

An unexpected line in a will leads to complications and new beginnings in Trollope’s eminently readable latest (after Friday Nights). The novel opens outside London with the sudden death of Richie Rossiter, a once-popular pianist whose star has been on the wane for some time. Chrissie, Richie’s partner for the past 23 years, is shocked to learn that Richie has left his piano and his early musical estate to his other family—Margaret, the wife he never divorced, and their son, Scott, now an aimless bachelor….

2)  Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas, by James Patterson

From Amazon:

Renowned suspense writer and Edgar Award winner James Patterson, author of such bestsellers-turned-blockbuster-movies as Along Came a Spider and Kiss the Girls, exposes his sensitive side in his new novel, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas. Katie Wilkinson’s boyfriend Matt dumps her; not a total cad, he leaves her a gift, a diary kept by Suzanne, his first wife, for their son Nicholas. Though it’s not exactly the diamond ring Katie was hoping for, she’s unable to make herself destroy the diary–against her better judgment, Katie begins to read….

3)  My Lost Daughter, by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg

A Review:

Superior Court Judge Lily Forrester of Ventura County, California, still lives with guilt over the long-ago rape of her daughter, Shana, and herself and its aftermath. Sixteen years and two failed marriages later, Lily is happily engaged to Judge Christopher Rendell and presiding over a sensational case. But Shana, now 28 and months from her degree at Stanford Law, is so distraught over being dumped by her boyfriend that Lily, on a hasty midtrial visit, takes her to a private psychiatric hospital, Whitehall, where Shana mistakenly commits herself. Meanwhile, FBI Special Agent Mary Stevens, who connected with Lily in The Cheater (2009), gets transferred from Quantico to Ventura to pursue a serial killer who is apparently murdering members of suicide clubs. Throughout, flashbacks rehash the Forrester family’s earlier traumas, while the main narrative centers on the abuses Shana undergoes at Whitehall and her and a fellow patient’s mutual attraction. The two plot strands connect in an adrenaline-producing finale, but the melding of events from the previous book and contemporary action never quite gels. For series fans only. –Michele Leber

 

So that’s my week.  What are the rest of you doing?  I hope you’ll stop by and share about your week.

MONDAY MEMES: MAILBOX & WHAT ARE YOU READING? — DEC. 13

Good morning, and welcome to our Monday Memes, where we gather to share about our books.  Those we’ve received/bought, and those we’ve  read, as well as those we’re planning to read.

We also get to visit lots of blogs and network with other bloggers.

Mailbox Monday is hosted this month by Let Them Read Books.

What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey.

 

MAILBOX MONDAY:

 


Just when I thought I wasn’t going to get anything this week, I opened my mailbox to find My Lost Daughter, by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg (a favorite author!).  This book came to me from Book Journey (A contest win).

From Amazon:

In Rosenberg’s entertaining if at times overheated fourth entry in her suspense series featuring Ventura County, Calif., judge Lily Forrester, a direct sequel to 2009’s The Cheater, flashbacks allow readers unfamiliar with the previous book to easily follow the action. Several years earlier, Lily and her daughter, Shana, were raped and their attacker eluded capture. This and subsequent traumas have left Shana in a precarious emotional state. When Shana has a meltdown after her boyfriend dumps her, Lily picks Whitehall, a private psychiatric hospital outside San Francisco, out of a phone book. Without referrals or further investigation, Lily takes her daughter to Whitehall, where Shana voluntarily commits herself. Unfortunately, Whitehall is ruled by a rich, handsome inmate, who’s a sociopathic killer, and a greedy doctor who’ll do anything to land an insured patient. Meanwhile, Lily’s friend FBI special agent Mary Stevens and her partner, Brooks East, investigate suicide clubs in a somewhat more plausible subplot.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

 

****

WHAT ARE YOU READING?

 


In this meme, we also talk about other events in our week, like our blogging adventures.  Mine this week included:

At Home for the Holidays

Christmas Memories:  A Guest Post

A Bit of Me (Me) – Christmas Tree Lane

 

 

Books Read and Reviewed – Click Title for Review:

1) South of Broad, by Pat Conroy

2) Elizabeth, by J. Randy Taraborrelli

 

What’s Up Next?

1)  Mary Ann in Autumn, by Armistead Maupin

A blurb from Amazon:

Twenty years after leaving her husband and child in San Francisco to pursue a television career in New York City, calamities drive fifty-seven-year-old Mary Ann Singleton to return to the city and her oldest friend as she tries to put her life back together.

 

2)  Hanna’s Daughters, by Marianne Fredriksson

 

An Amazon Snippet:

A chronicle of emotional and psychological exploration, this family saga, a bestseller in Fredriksson’s native Sweden and in Germany, is an unerringly perceptive portrait of women in the flux of Scandinavian history.

 

So that’s it for me…since I spent all week reading just two books, I decided to keep my aim low this week.  If I finish early, I have plenty of books I can grab.

What are you up to this week?  I hope you’ll stop by and share.