Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Recent Reading Thoughts

I haven't been reading as much as I would like, but when I do settle in, I've been reading for longer stretches of time and really enjoying my recent picks. Good books!

We're slowly packing boxes... and my daughter is home as she stopped work to help us out (and get a handle on a health issue she's been plagued by) before she leaves for the east coast earlier than us. It feels strange to have 4 adults in the home all day-- even if it's not forever-- disrupted my reading mojo! Daughter will stay with her sister in FL for a few weeks then join us in NC while she job hunts. And my son is studying for the Bar Exam (40 hour a week online study program), so the house has a weird feel to it right about now. Sigh...sometimes it's crazy chaos... and other times it's like walking on eggshells. Anyway, I've been reading more in the afternoon, which is not my usual M.O.
Since last we chatted, here is my latest bookish news. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and please take a moment to converse with me. I appreciate any and all feedback, even if you don't agree with me.

The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger
 Kindle Edition, 368 pages

Published April 25th 2017 by Touchstone

first sentence:
"There's nothing about me that you would ever notice."
good quote:
"Maybe that's all life was, this impossibly complicated helix of choice and accident, things you could control and couldn't. And when the day was done, the only measure of success was how happy you were, how much you loved and were loved."

 Kindle Edition, 368 pages

Published April 25th 2017 by Touchstone
I picked this up with my gift card without bothering to read the blurb, because hey, it's Lisa Unger and I love her books! It satisfied my mood for an intense thriller, but if you don't like dark subject matter then maybe this isn't the best choice for you. It gave off a vibe of One Kick by Chelsea Cain, maybe a bit, if that gives you a hint. It isn't set in The Hollows (scene of several past books). It seems to be a stand-alone suspense. Very good!

Put aside for now after 21%, not DNF:  
Falling by Jane Green

It started off okay, but I just wasn't feeling it, and I am nothing if not a mood reader. I will return to it another time and see how it develops.

 reading now:

The Best People by Sonja Yeorg
 Kindle Edition, 368 pages

Published May 2nd 2017 by Berkley Books 
first sentence: 
"Carole was ten when her mother was committed to Underhill State Hospital." 
good quote:
"But now she realized, even if you don't run, even if you just stand still, things you want and need, maybe the most important things, get left behind."

Another pick with my Mother's Day gift card. I've read a previous one by Ms. Yeorg:  
Middle of Somewhere  (last year)
...and enjoyed it very much. I am still in the middle of reading this one now. I grabbed this one with only a cursory skim of the blurb going by the author's name, and it isn't really what I expected... but so far, so good, just in a different way. It's set in 1972, when I was just entering high school, and I realized this is supposed to be a recent historical setting (wow, time flies!). It's bittersweet so far, and I'm thinking maybe I shouldn't have chosen it after the intense darkness of The Red Hunter, oh well. I'm curious as to how it plays out, so I'm continuing. Good story, good writing. {I'm only thinking out loud about my moods, not meaning to portray it negatively}. 

what's on the horizon-- maybe:
The Deep End by Julie Mulhern
...was highly recommended to me, and no doubt I would like it, but do I "feel it" right now?

or maybe something else??... perhaps an older title... like this light & breezy library selection:
Meet Me At Emotional Baggage Claim by Lisa Scottoline

 I might visit the library again, browse the older titles, and pick up a lightweight romance or a fantasy. Right now, dark thrillers and depressing family tales are not appealing as much to me. 
I want escapism! The joy of reading is that you can enter any world you want and put aside your problems for a few hours at a time! I wish non-readers had that freedom too. We are lucky folks. 
Any book to suit my current mood that you've read and loved? I'm always looking for good recs!
Enjoy your next few days until we chat again~

Imperial Beach, CA

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday Snapshot- Graduation!

A rare Saturday post. linking up with Melinda @ West Metro Mommy Reads Blog. Please check her out; she has a nice selection of titles :)
Allow me to gush, please. Those who've followed my blog knew my son was in University of San Diego-- Law School. Today is an important day-- no, not Pippa Middleton's wedding-- my son's graduation with his J.D.- Juris Doctorate! Notice the white cord around his neck. That signifies Exemplary Pro Bono work, signifying work over 100 hours (he had over 200). By the way, the lei we gave him is made up of real bluish-purple flowers and were being sold on campus next to the bouquets of flowers, for the gents. After the reception we attended the dining room for refreshments: coffee, juice, bagels, muffins, fresh fruit... because the ceremony started @ 9 a.m. and we live an hour from campus. He had to rise at 6 a.m. to get there early for the Pro Bono photo shoot and to line up-- yikes!!! We are all extremely happy but tired, so instead of doing lunch we are going to a nice restaurant this evening to celebrate. Congratulations to my son, who persevered through many challenges during his academic years to achieve his goal. He's on to the greater D.C. area this summer to pursue his career there.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Weekly Book News

My Weekly Book News
this week's topic... It Takes Two (Books)
random photo of the week
 These are the 2 books I read last week:

1. Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey 
very enjoyable beach read
family dynamics plot, involving troubled relationships between mother, daughters, and the men they love/d or left behind
light but not fluffy-- some serious issues within romantic plotlines
nice descriptive setting of Georgia's coast
first in the Peachtree Bluff series. 
new to me author
I will definitely continue with this series
satisfied: my beachy setting, family-drama fiction craving

"Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley's life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open."- partial book blurb

2. The Diva Paints the Town by Krista Davis
third in the Domestic Diva series- I've read book #1 & 2
I will definitely continue with this series (10 books)
set in historical Old Town Alexandria, VA
the author is writing another cozy series that I'm not interested in
MC- event planner and wonderful baker & cook with a large group of friends
she's a younger, more fun Martha Stewart-type
her lifelong friend and competitor is like Martha Stewart's evil-twin
humorous but not slapstick dialogue
much description of food and decorating, to advance the plot (recipes at the end of book)
usually more than one dead body... but murder takes place off-stage
there is a large group of continuing characters-- relatives, friends, & neighbors
the stories revolve around the core 8 or so characters  
fun to follow along with Sophie & the gang through the convoluted clues while they add- then discard- several names from their list of suspects
satisfied: my fun cozy mystery craving

 "When Sophie's neighbor-a reclusive professor-dies, his final wish is for the Domestic Diva to throw a dinner party in his honor, and he's planned everything down to the letter. But what no one planned for is the corpse of a student that Sophie finds in his house."- book blurb
These are the 2 books I'm reading now:

 1. The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger
purchased with my Mother's Day gift card
an author whom I've read since she began suspense thrillers

"Strangers to each other, and walking very different paths in the wake of trauma, these two women are on a collision course—because Zoey’s past nightmare and Claudia’s dreams for her future take place in the very same house. As Zoey seeks justice, and Claudia seeks peace, both will confront the monsters at the door that are the most frightening of all."- partial book blurb

2. The Deep End by Julie Mulhern
first in the County Club Murder series 
lingering on my Kindle TBR pile
new to me author
highly recommended cozy book

"It’s 1974 and Ellison Russell’s life revolves around her daughter and her art. She’s long since stopped caring about her cheating husband, Henry, and the women with whom he entertains himself. That is, until she becomes a suspect in Madeline Harper’s death. The murder forces Ellison to confront her husband’s proclivities and his crimes—kinky sex, petty cruelties and blackmail.As the body count approaches par on the seventh hole, Ellison knows she has to catch a killer. But with an interfering mother, an adoring father, a teenage daughter, and a cadre of well-meaning friends demanding her attention, can Ellison find the killer before he finds her?"- partial book blurb

These are the 2 books I hope to read next week (but really, who knows?): 

1. All The Best People- Sonja Yeorg
I downloaded last week with gift card
read and enjoyed a book by her

2. Meet Me At Emotional Baggage Claim- Lisa Scottoline & Francesca Serritella 
library selection 
much-read suspense/legal mystery author
I enjoy her humorous random essay books too

Mom as a teen, smiling down on me on Mother's Day :)
Enjoy your week, and your reading!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Books I Bought & Book Censor Thoughts

Hope everyone who celebrated Mother's Day for themselves or another had a good day! I had chocolate cheesecake, yum!, and read for a couple of hours in a peacefully quiet home. Also watched the Nicholas Sparks movie The Choice with my younger daughter who chose the film, so I went along with it. It was filmed in the area where we're moving to this summer. Much angst... but I enjoy these rare bonding times with her. Board game postponed until tomorrow since son is engrossed in new PS4 game playing with his sister and b-i-l who are cross-country, and talking to them with headphones... I marvel at how far technology has come since I was his age. I also shopped for my new e-books with my gift card and had a blast doing it. I tried to pick books I might not get so easily at the library.

I downloaded 4, adding a few bucks to my gift card, because I couldn't limit myself to 3:

Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey- (Peachtree Bluff #1)

All the Best People by Sonja Yoerg

The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger

Marked in Flesh (The Others #4) by Anne Bishop

Book censorship thoughts:

I've started up Goodreads again recently with a new account so I can keep it simple-- I only keep it to list the books I click that I want to read and am not adding in books I've read in the past. Well anyway, I started reading a few unknown-to-me bloggers' reviews on a certain book which I had marked as to-read after reading a glowing review on a fave blogger's site, but it wasn't really on my radar. Apparently this book is embroiled in the latest "bad authors/bad bloggers" debate. I. am. so. tired. of. this! The point of GR is to share bookish thoughts, your own, not to try to censor readers or influence an author's freedom of speech either. It seems bloggers don't like the message of the fiction book, so they're leaving 1-star reviews and blasting the author. Most haven't even read the book since it was a request for review book! I consider myself a liberal-thinking person but I don't understand how bloggers can slam a book for having themes they find non-politically-correct and just plain awful, if they even interpret it correctly.

I don't know enough of this author to know if she is projecting this message a) because of her beliefs or b) she is actually making a statement against prejudice and the violation of basic rights. To me, it doesn't matter. It's fiction, it's made up, it's her imagination. She isn't writing non-fiction and changing history. Even if it's the worst book you can imagine, she has the right to write any kind of fiction story she desires, and you have the right to not read it or read anything about it. But as a blogger, you have a responsibility to not harass an author for writing a book you don't agree with, and certainly not to "review" a book you haven't read yet.

This is my opinion, and if I get slammed for it, so be it. Another author recently got death threats and verbal attacks against her new book before it even got released because she made unpopular political statements on her twitter account about the government, and now supremacist groups are targeting her for her religion, as if that influenced her YA summer romance story.

Do you have an opinion on this? I'm not getting involved, nor going to read anymore about it, but I did get sucked into reading some of this for awhile yesterday before I cleared my head and closed the laptop. I won't be leaving reviews on GR anymore. My book friends here can read my thoughts and I am fed up with the nastiness there. I wish Shelfari, which I used to use, was still thriving. I tried LibraryThing, but you had to pay if you wanted to store lists of any certain length, and it seemed kind of complicated, so I backed out. I don't know. Maybe back to notebook and pen to keep track..... What is going on with the blogosphere?!
I have all these new shiny titles, and I'm reading and enjoying one, but I found a used paperback I have from a beloved cozy series and started reading that last night when I couldn't fall asleep.

Cheers for a multitude of genres to choose from for our multitude of moods!
Have a wonderful day reading your books!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mother's Day Musings-- or Books Are Love

... to any mothers or caregivers who celebrate the day. And a wonderful, peaceful day to those who don't! I am writing this before Sunday, (Mother's Day in the U.S.) so while I have a good idea of what will happen, it hasn't happened yet. I won't be posting on weekends for the time being.

I asked for a quiet day at home:
1) in which I don't cook (my family doesn't cook-- so it will be brought in)
2) in which my daughter watches a movie with me on tv, and my son plays backgammon with me, as promised
3) in which I have several quiet hours to sit by myself & read my books. Reading is such a solitary hobby... though in some households others participate in joint reading time (my immediate family doesn't read much anymore, except for my son who reads nonfiction... but not often recently as he's overwhelmed by all his paperwork).

Anyway, I specifically asked for no gifts... since we're moving cross-country this summer... and I don't need a present to feel loved. But my daughter-- who lives with her own family in FL-- sent me an email today, with the above graphic and electronic gift card to buy books. Then she called to direct me to my email while she was on the phone. Well she said buy anything you want, you have Prime and it will come quickly, but I said no thanks, I want books! What did she expect from a bibliophile, lol... but it is much appreciated. Maybe one small item and the rest books... maybe.
Image result for amazon gift card
I haven't used my card yet... I want to savor the search... but here are titles that are in the running for purchase. These are ones that I would like to read soon. 

Have you read any of these that you would recommend? I haven't bought or borrowed any of the below, yet.

My Short-List for E-Books I Might Buy With My Gift Card:

probably from this list:
Silent Rain by Karin Salvalaggio    pub. 5/9/17
All the Best People by Sonja Yoerg     5/2/17
The Girl Who Was Taken by Charlie Donlea    4/25/17
Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey    4/25/17 
The Red Hunter by Lisa Unger    4/25/17
The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve    4/18/17
Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens    3/14/17
Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs    3/7/17
Man Overboard by J.A. Jance    3/7/17
Her Other Fear by Peter Swanson    1/10/17
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult    10/11/16
Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop    3/8/16
All the Best PeopleThe Red Hunter

maybe, but pre-orders, and I get impatient:
Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo    pub. 7/11/17
Unsub by Meg Gardiner    6/27/17
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware    6/15/17
Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy    6/6/17
Come Sundown by Nora Roberts    5/30/17

 Down a Dark Road (Kate Burkholder, #9)The Lying Game

 Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your family, friends, and books!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Testing, Testing 1 2 3

This blog is still under construction. Thanks for stopping by-- I hope to get it off the ground soon.

I thought I was done with blogging, and I'm preparing to move cross-country again this summer to our retirement destination, so I picked a crazy time to resume... but heck, I'm back again! Missed you all! This blog will be ultra-low maintenance, just book thoughts, bookish ideas, and lists of my books. I'll be sure to visit all of my book-friends' blogs now too, for discussion there. Enjoy your reading!