Saturday, May 27, 2017

Weekly Book News

Weekly Book News- my occasional recap of what I will read, did read, am reading.. you know, just bookish chat.

I have had such good reads lately, and can thank my Amazon gift card for that. I was able to pick up a few titles that I had my eye on and sprinkle them with some library new-releases. Can't complain.

What I read:

All the Best People by Sonja Yeorg
genre: hmm-- possibly contemporary/historical family fiction would sum it up
{I'm from now on substituting family fiction for "women's" fiction, which sounds so 1950-ish if you think about it}
also by this author: House Broken & The Middle of Somewhere---I've read all three
Very Good!

I recommend this author for thoughtful style writing that pulls you in. This title was more melancholy than her two previous, and still quite enjoyable for me. Made me think! It's not just about mental illness. That's just one part of the plot, actually. I discovered that's not the primary connecting theme between the grandmother, mother, and daughter in one family. It is about relationships between the "best" people & the "have-nots": between men and women's place in society, the wealthy and those barely paying the bills, the ones born attractive and the ones more plain, even religions claiming superiority to others. Okay... not as heavy as my description just made it! Some on GR even classified this as "chick-lit", another term I don't like to use. It is definitely not in this genre, in my opinion!

This points out why I am putting aside more titles lately if they don't pull me in, and then going back to them later. I talked about this title earlier in the week and said I wasn't sure if I was feeling it. So, I started in on my Anita Shreve book then picked it up again and sure enough, I connected, big-time! I just won't call any book a DNF unless I made a mistake and picked up a book that I totally won't read-- such as erotica-- or I pick up a book I don't know anything about-- and the writing style is so unprofessional that it ruins the enjoyment for me. Sometimes I have to ruminate about a plot and then pick up the book again to see what else it has to offer.

Reading now:

The Stars Are Fire by Anita Shreve 
-coincidentally another historical (1940s Maine) that also deals with the relationships between men & women, and wealthy & poor-- with an emphasis on feminism. I've read a bunch of Ms. Shreve's books, but usually I prefer her oldest titles better. I took a chance on this one. So far, very good! Only thing that bothers me is POV: third-person, present tense.

EDIT: Just finished last night, stayed up late turning the pages. For a book that I wasn't even sure that I would like, I loved it! The beginning is a bit slow for a couple of chapters, but stay with it. One of my favorite books of 2017!

The Deep End by Julie Mulhern (book #1 in a cozy-ish mystery/family fiction series)-- only read one chapter so far while I thought about All the Best People for this post and started The Stars Are Fire, but I know I'll like it just fine.

Thinking Ahead:
Well, I have my last book downloaded from the gift card I could pick up, a total 180 change from the titles I've been reading lately. So maybe....

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop
- #4 in The Others series UF (one of only two UF series that I currently read, the other being the Mercy Thompson one by Patricia Briggs).

... or one of my older titles lingering on my Kindle. Who knows, but I'm hoping whatever it is that it's an enjoyable read for me!

What I'm hoping to pick up in June:

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy- 6/6/17 publication

I'm going to be linking back up this weekend to my dear blogging friends:
Kim @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer on Sunday

Kathryn @ Book Date on Monday

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