Friday, June 30, 2017

Month in Review- Paging through June

This post is pre-scheduled to link up to Kathryn's Month in Review, with the last book added as a tweak. I'm still packing, stressing, cleaning, stressing.... and oh yea, reading up a storm! It's great for calming that pesky stress!

Paging Through Books in June 2017- 
A Month in Review

June is gone already...we always say time flies... and it does! Seems like only last week I was taking part in Kim's HoHoHo Holiday Challenge and now it's July. Uh, what?!

Reading can make time fly too; you get engrossed in a book and suddenly you're late for work or school, dinner is burning on the stove, or it's way past the time you planned on going to sleep.

Here are the titles I read in June, all of them good, some very good; all are 4/5- 5/5 stars I rated on GR. Add them to your TBR list, crack open a new book or two or three, and before you know it we'll be reading Christmas stories again :) !
 This was my best reading month all year and of the last couple of years, too. In my 6+ years of blogging, I would say that I only duplicated this rate of reading (and reviewing so many of them, to boot!) less than 3 or 4 times, for sure! I consistently read 2- 2 1/2 books a week and review one of them, possibly 2... unless I get in a major slump, or am involved with vacation/company/illness, then it's even less.

The stars aligned, or more probably... I made some really great selections from NetGalley... I was motivated to read & review them before I moved so I could concentrate on my September requests when we get there... I double-downed on two fave authors,  Nora Roberts and Lisa Scottoline to ensure my pleasure... and most of the others were repeat & enjoyed authors. And the nonfiction essay book by Scottoline was such a quick (but fun) read that I finished it up pronto! Miss Bridgerton was an easy read and done in one afternoon also. So... how'd I do?

read: 13

fiction: 12/13

my choice of genre cubby-holes:
suspense/procedural/mystery:  2
general fiction: 1
humor: 1
romantic suspense: 1
fantasy: 1
historical romance: 1
"women's" contemporary fiction: 3

new to me authors:  5/13 titles
male to female ratio: 2:11 authors
part of a series?: 6/13 books
NetGalley titles: 10/13 titles
recommend? 13/13 of them!

favorite (s) of the month
Come Sundown by Nora Roberts


very close runners-up:    
-Because of Miss Bridgerton
-Paradise Valley
-I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool

unless noted:
~hope you get a chance to pick up at least a couple of these this summer~
  1. A Merciful Truth- Kendra Elliot
  2. The Weight of Lies-Emily Carpenter
  3. Because of Miss Bridgerton- Julia Quinn- not reviewed, not NG
  4. The Last Place You Look- Kristen Lepionka
  5. The Right Side- Spencer Quinn
  6. When We Were Worthy- Marybeth Whalen Turner- (review to come near release)
  7. UNSUB- Meg Gardiner
  8. Stars of Fortune- Nora Roberts- not reviewed, not NG
  9. Come Sundown- Nora Roberts- not reviewed, not NG
  10. One Perfect Lie-  Lisa Scottoline
  11. In This Moment- Karma Brown
  12. Paradise Valley- C.J. Box
  13. I Need A Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool- Lisa Scottoline & Francesca Serritella

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Review: I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool

I'm still on blogger hiatus while I move, but I'm posting reviews for my NetGalley books that release during the summer. I'm not responding to comments, but feel free to leave your opinion if you want, and myself and others will read it. 

I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere But the Pool (The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman) by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: July 11th 2017 by St. Martin's Press
received from the publisher through NetGalley for a fair and honest review

excerpt from blurb:
The bestselling and “perennially hilarious” mother-daughter team is back with a new collection of stories from their real lives, guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. 
They offer a fresh and funny take on the triumphs and facepalm moments of modern life, showing that when it comes to navigating the crazy world we live in, you’re always your own best lifeguard."

humor, nonfiction essays 

part of a series?
They're not, but this mother-daughter duo has been releasing a humorous essay-filled book every summer for years. I've read several of them over the years, mostly thanks to the publisher.

why you should read it: 
If you've read any of Ms. Scottoline's stand-alone suspense books (I've read most of these!) or her continuing female attorney series (I've read a few), then you know that she is quite the talented writer. Maybe you didn't know that she is a hoot! These books never fail to make me-- at the least-- smile & chuckle, maybe even laugh a bit. The authors' take on  "women's" topics in this book, from style to social expectations to their own personal quirkiness, make it a great choice for summer! Her 30-ish daughter, Francesca, is herself an accomplished writer and she alternates chapters with her mother to give a younger woman's perspective on life in general and being a female, in 2017, in particular.

I've read: Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat? and I've Got Sand in All the Wrong Places, to name a few of her lightweight, funny, throw-in-the beach-bag  books and recommend them all. The chapters are ultra-short, the writing is that sharp-as-a-razor, deadpan humor I love and expect from Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella.

You can just crack open the books to any page and go-- no reading in order needed! Perfect for those summer days when you might not be able to concentrate on a novel while by the shore, the pool, the back yard, the BBQ... hope you get to read any of these humorous releases!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Review: Paradise Valley

I'm still on blogger hiatus while I move, but I'm posting reviews for my NetGalley books that release during the summer. I'm not responding to comments, but feel free to leave your opinion if you want, and myself and others will read it. 

Paradise Valley by C.J. Box
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Expected publication: July 25th 2017 by St. Martin's Press 
received from publisher through NetGalley for a fair and honest review 
my rating: 5/5

 from blurb:
"She almost caught him once. Now, he’s back. For three years, Investigator Cassie Dewell has been on a hunt for a serial killer known as the Lizard King whose hunting grounds are the highways and truck stops where runaways and prostitutes are most likely to vanish. Cassie almost caught him...once.

Working for the Bakken County, North Dakota sheriff's department, Cassie has set what she believes is the perfect trap and she has lured him and his truck to a depot. But the plan goes horribly wrong, and the blame falls on Cassie. Disgraced, she loses her job and investigation into her role is put into motion.

At the same time, Kyle Westergaard, a troubled kid whom Cassie has taken under her wing, has disappeared after telling people that he’s going off on a long-planned adventure. Kyle's grandmother begs Cassie to find him and, with nothing else to do, Cassie agrees—all the while hunting the truck driver..."

mystery, suspense, thriller, police procedural 

part of a series? 
Yes, and I've read them all! This is book #3 of the Cassie Dewell series and book #4 of the Highway series, not connected to his Joe Pickett series, which I admit I've never read but now I do want to! There is an overlap because there was a different MC in book #1 of the Highway Quartet, Back of Beyond (Cody Hoyt).  I loved that book, and that's the one that got me hooked on the series. He also is in The Highway (#2) with Cassie Dewell, then she takes over the series in Badlands #3 and this one.

This book could be a stand-alone if you missed the others because Mr. Box fills in the reader with quite a bit of backstory in the first few chapters. However this book revisits a setting from the first book, and the understanding is better if you've followed along with all of them. It seems from the ending that this series could continue on (?)- called The Highway Quartet, and that's 4- but.... I hope so, because Cassie is a believable federal investigator; she's not conventionally attractive and with personality flaws and a dysfunctional family life.

pleasing to the eye, and does fit in with a scene in the story

if this was a movie...: would be definitely rated R- mature audiences only due to the main plot idea (a long-distance trucker serial killer of prostitutes) and depiction of violence,  necessary to the plot-- not gratuitous.

my thoughts: 
I've never read Mr. Box before I stumbled on this series, though of course I'm familiar with his long-running Joe Pickett series! I intend on picking up book #1 in that series this summer because I'm very satisfied with the quality of the author's writing style-- his ability to set the scene, make the characters and the dialogue believable, and to keep the reader invested in the plot. He writes a story that kept me glued to the pages and staying up past bedtime!

recommended for:
fans of C.J. Box & fans of exciting mystery/suspense stories, and realistic police procedurals

not recommended for:
readers who don't enjoy mature themes, described violence, or have a trigger for sexual attacks (on women). All this is necessary for the plot and though somewhat dark and gritty, the story-- and series-- is actually enjoyable if you like thrill rides in your book!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Review: In This Moment

I'm still on blogger hiatus while I move, but I'm posting reviews for my NetGalley books that release during the summer. I'm not responding to comments, but feel free to leave your opinion if you want, and myself and others will read it. 

In This Moment by Karma Brown
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published June 1st 2017 by Park Row Books 
received from the publisher through NetGalley for a fair and honest review 

excerpt from book blurb:
"Meg Pepper has a fulfilling career and a happy family. Most days she's able to keep it all together and glide through life. But then, in one unalterable moment, everything changes.

After school pickup one day, she stops her car to wave a teenage boy across the street…just as another car comes hurtling down the road and slams into him...."
After reading just this part of the blurb on Goodreads I knew I wanted to read this book. You see, I've imagined this happening and got a chill down my back. I've been guilty of waving a car at the edge of a parking lot to go ahead of me into busy traffic, only to have them try to change into the left lane at the same time and almost get rear-ended by a fast moving car. With the sound of screeching tires, I've thought "what if?" This story goes there... and more.

Meg is leading the average American "normal" life: a complacent teen, a house in the burbs, a beloved career, a doctor husband who loves her, satisfying friendships and plenty of opportunities for "girls' night out"... until the day she makes just one error in judgement, and almost contributes to the death of her daughter's boyfriend's twin brother. She was not the only one involved; the other driver who hit him was texting on her phone, so she is most at fault, but Meg and her daughter's remorse allow them to start making a series of bad mistakes that domino into a major fall-out.

I've read the other two Karma Brown books and have to say I enjoyed this one the most. Ms. Brown usually deals with some kind of grief process in her plots: mourning the loss of a child, a former love, a career, a spouse, a friend.... but she makes her stories flow smoothly. In this book I could relate more to the family/friends/community dynamics. There was only one part which made me uncomfortable, with a character I didn't enjoy, but I'm sure that the reader was meant to be shaking their head and saying, "don't do it!" 

I recommend this title to all "women's fiction" lovers, and those who just enjoy good contemporary fiction dealing with family dynamics. A very timely-- and unfortunately possible-- tale of blame, grief, remorse and moving on.