Thursday, July 30, 2009
Here is the description from the author's website:
Sixteen year old Beth Baxter’s life merely resembles the one she’s always known. Her father has left. She is falling for Jeremy Duscana and the diet she started has somehow turned into an obsession. Yet her three best friends remain the same, always there for her. But even their love can’t save her from herself.
I am really looking forward to reading this. What was your Friday Find?
by Robert Goolrick
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2009
Received from: the library
Summary: Ralph Truitt, a rich Wisconsin businessman, advertises for a wife and chooses to marry Catherine Land, a women with a secretive past. Taking place at the turn of the twentieth century, Ralph and Catherine try to build a future together while the sins of their past come back to haunt them.
Review: A Reliable Wife is the story of people with terrible pasts who are grasping for second chances. The writing has a lyrical quality and the reader is able to ponder the thoughts and feelings of characters who refuse to show their true selves to anyone. The characters are awful people, who have made tremendous mistakes and must live with them. Some seek forgiveness, while others try anything to change the course of their destiny. Yet through the language the reader is kept separate from them, watching from above as they live their day-to-day lives. The plot does have some twists and turns, but there no shock and awe. You know the characters are capable of anything. Overall, an engrossing read that makes you think even after the last page is read. Rating: **** out of 5.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
1. Testimony by Anita Shreve
2. Julie & Julia by Julie Powell
3. Royal Blood by Rona Sharon
4. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
5. April and Oliver by Tess Callahan
In the comments section, tell me your first and second choice. All the titles are linked to their Barnes and Noble page, please take a few minutes to read the summaries and physical descriptions. Please also make sure that the book is available in your area.
If you are not on the email list, please leave me your email address so I can add you. New members are always welcome! If you are on the email list, you will receive book club news and links to all the posts. I will not count your votes if you are not on the email list. The voting will end on July 31st at 8pm EST. The results will be posted on August 1st and the discussion will take place on Sunday, August 30th. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
by Linda Howard
Random House, 2009
Summary: Jenner Redwine's life is turned upside down when she wins the lottery. As friends and family disappoint her, she seeks refuge in Miami. There she meets Sydney, a debutant with self-esteem issues. The two become friends and decide to go on a charity cruise for fun. But nothing goes as planned when Sydney is kidnapped before she reaches the boat and Jenner is forced to play a part in the kidnapper's plans.
Review: I absolutely loved the beginning of this book. The story of Jenner and how she wins the lottery and how it alters her life is compelling. It isn't until the second part of the story when Sydney is held by kidnappers that the story gets a little out of hand. With that said, this story is the perfect escape. Yes, the plot is a little far fetched and the romance is a little forced, but the characters are wonderful and the book allows your imagination to go places you 've never been before (let's hope). Rating: *** out of 5.
Monday, July 27, 2009
by Sally Koslow
Random House, 2009
Barney's Online Book Club July 2009
Summary: Molly Marx has been found dead by the side of the Hudson River but her spirit hovers in The Duration watching over the people in her life. As Molly watches them grieve and speculate on how she died, she remembers her life and the reason she was on the banks of the Hudson that fateful day.
Review: A novel about grief in its many forms, The Late Lamented Molly Marx is a gem of a book. Molly is a wonderful character -- frank, funny, and complex. She is real, flaws and all. Actually, all of the characters in Sally Koslow's book are compelling, woven around the mystery of Molly's death. The heart of the book lies in the choices that the characters make, some small and some not so, and how they lead to Molly's demise. The only part that felt rushed was the ending in which we find out the fate of Molly's family and friends and although it is very satisfying, I felt it was a tad rushed. Overall, a great novel that I recommend to readers who love a character driven mystery with a dollop of humor. Rating: **** out of 5.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Let the discussion begin!
1. What are your overall impressions of Molly and the life she led?
2. What were your thoughts of The Duration? Do you think Molly found what she was looking for there?
3. What role do you think Barry played in Molly's death? Luke? Kitty?
4. What do you think was Lucy's true motivation for taking Annabel from school?
5. Who do you think sent the picture of Luke to the detective?
6. Do you think Molly should have divorced Barry and pursued her relationship with Luke? Why didn't she?
So comment away! And remember to come back throughout the day and reply to other members' comments.
Read / Review / Reviews to Come:
Saturday, July 25, 2009
How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson
Friday, July 24, 2009
Stephanie Plum Series
1. One for the Money (1994) -- completed before 7/23/09
2. Two for the Dough (1995) -- completed before 7/23/09
3. Three to Get Deadly (1997) -- completed before 7/23/09
4. Four to Score (1998) -- completed 7/26/09 -- A fun read with plenty of action and plenty of Morelli. Lola continues to grow on me and I really enjoyed the addition of Sally. Not enough Ranger though.
5. High Five (1999) -- completed 8/10/09 -- The best one so far. I love the addition of Ranger as a love interest. Also, we see a more toned down Lola and lots more Grandma. The ending is absolutely fantastic!
6. Hot Six (2000)
7. Seven Up (2001)
8. Hard Eight (2002)
9. To the Nines (2003)
10. Ten Big Ones (2004)
11. Eleven on Top (2005)
12. Twelve Sharp (2006)
13. Lean Mean Thirteen (2007)
14. Fearless Fourteen (2008)
15. Finger Lickin' Fifteen (2009)
I won't write review posts, instead I will update this page with my thoughts everytime I finish a book. I may also update everyone on my progress during J. Kaye's meme 'It's Monday! What are you reading?'
So how about you? Are you a fan of the Plum?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
My Friday Find for this week is Johannes Cabal: The Necromancer by Jonathan L. Howard. This book caught my attention when I was reading the Random House newsletter. It sounds like a funny and unusual read. Here is the B&N description:
In this uproarious and clever debut, it’s time to give the Devil his due. Johannes Cabal, a brilliant scientist and notorious snob, is single-mindedly obsessed in heart and soul with raising the dead. Well, perhaps not soul . . . He hastily sold his years ago in order to learn the laws of necromancy. But now, tormented by a dark secret, he travels to the fiery pits of Hell to retrieve it. Satan, who is incredibly bored these days, proposes a little wager: Johannes has one year to persuade one hundred people to sign over their souls or he will be damned forever.
Sounds crazy, right? Barnes and Noble are offering a sneak peek so I am off to read a few chapters. What did you find this week?
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
by Jill Smolinski
Three Rivers Press, 2007
Summary: The Next Thing on My List tells the story of June, a woman who is in a car accident that kills her passenger, Marissa. Marissa had written a list of 20 things to do before she turned 25 years old. In Marissa's memory, June sets out to accomplish the list that Marissa had only just started. With the help of co-workers, family, and friends, June works on completing the list and finds herself beginning to live life again.
Review: A fun and quick read that I had a hard time putting down, this novel is the perfect pick me up. The main character June, is an everyday average single woman who is going through the motions of her own life until a car accident takes the life of a woman she just met. June becomes depressed and uses the list as a way to lighten the guilt she feels over Marissa's death. June is a wonderful character -- frank, funny, and wonderfully good. Throughout her journey, there is a lot of laughter and even some tears as she tries to make more of her life. The writing flows beautifully, the plot is a little outrageous at some points, but the message is clear -- live your life to the fullest. Rating: **** out of 5.
Monday, July 20, 2009
by Melissa Marr
Harper Collins, 2009
*** Warning: May Contain Spoilers! Sorry! ***
Summary: Aislinn, Seth, and Keenan are back in the sequel to Wicked Lovely. Aislinn works to become a queen to her faerie subjects, Seth struggles to fit into the faerie world as a mortal, and Keenan tries to come between Ash and Seth for the good of the Summer Court.
Review: If you have read my reviews of Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange, you will know that I love this series by Melissa Marr. Ink Exchange was one of my favorite reads so far this year. Unfortunately, Fragile Eternity is a good addition but did not take the top spot. The writing is superb as always, the plot is fast paced and intriguing, and some of my favorite characters are back (Niall, Seth, Donia). However, I now understand why I liked Ink Exchange better than WL or FE. I find Ash and Keenan's characters very frustrating. More and more I see Keenan as the villain and Ash as a girl who is unable to see him for who he really is (maybe I am a little bias, I did tell you Seth was one of my fave characters). The love triangle is getting a little tiresome, Ash just needs to make a decision and stick with it and if Keenan really loved Donia wouldn't he just want to be friends with Ash? Rating: *** out of 5.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Read / Reviewed Last Week / Reviews to Come:
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies -- review (3/5)
Need by Carrie Jones -- review (4/5)
Mr and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy by Sharon Lathan -- review (3/5)
Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich -- no review
Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich -- no review
The Late, Lamented Molly Marx -- Barney's Online Book Club -- review to come
Starting Next? So I have a major issue. I went to the library on Saturday and I came out with 10 books. Any advice? Has anyone read any of these books, did you like them / dislike them?Already Dead by Charlie Huston
A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
The Next Thing on My List by Jill Smolinski
Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore
A Hopeless Romantic by Harriet Evans
Emily's Ghost by Denise Giardina
The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal
Serendipity by Louise Shaffer
Frostbite by Richelle Mead
Stalking Susan by Julie Kramer
Thanks to J. Kaye for hosting this great meme! Want to play along? Go to J.Kaye's Book Blog.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Last night I started A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick and after a slow start I am engrossed in the novel. For those who haven't come across this novel it is about a rich man who advertises for a wife and gets more than he bargins for.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Here is the Barnes and Noble synopsis:
Sarah McConnell's husband had been dead for three months when she saw him in the grocery store.What does a woman do when she's thirty-nine, childless, and completely alone for the first time in her life? Does it mean she's crazy to think she sees her late husband beside a display of pumpkins? Or is it just what people do, a natural response to grief that will fade in time? That's what Sarah McConnell's friends told her, that it was natural, would last a season, and then fade away.But what if there was another answer? What if he was really there? They never found the body, after all. What if he is still here somehow, and about to walk back into her life?
What did you find this week?
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
by Carrie Jones
Bloomsbury USA, 2008
Summary: After the death of her step-father, a bereft Zara moves to a small town in Maine to live with her grandmother. Zara's life changes dramatically, her new friends are not what they seem to be, she is being stalked by the supernatural, and she uncovers a family secret tied to the disappearance of young men in the area.
Review: A young adult novel with Twilight commonalities, Need is a fast and fun read. The author, Carrie Jones, creates extremely likable characters and a great romance between our heroine and her hero. My only concern was the action packed ending, where I found myself confused over how the plan was implemented. I just chalked it up to my lack of knowledge in regards to railroad materials. Overall, a paranormal young adult novel that I recommend reading. Rating: ***1/2 out of 5.
Need a second opinion? Read J. Kaye's review of Need at J.Kaye's Book Blog!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
by Peter Ho Davies
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2007
Library Book Club July 2009 Selection
Summary: The Welsh Girl tells the story of Esther, a seventeen year old barmaid who is living in a small town in Wales and Karsten, a German soldier who is a prisoner in the POW camp outside of town.
Review: The Welsh Girl is a well written, detailed, descriptive character driven novel. Peter Ho Davies' writing style is very visual, the descriptions of setting and people fill the reader's imagination. The characters are so well written -- every character walks, talks and breathes as if standing next to you. With all that said, this was not my kind of read. The plot meanders along and nothing really happens until the last 100 pages or so. The two main characters don't speak to each other until half way through the book. It was difficult for me to read this book, instead of enjoying the ride I was too preoccupied with where it was going and when we were going to get there. Rating: *** out of 5.
Monday, July 13, 2009
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davis (130 pages more to go, need to finish for book club tomorrow night)
Obsession, Deceit, and Really Dark Chocolate by Kyra Davis -- review
Friday, July 10, 2009
My Friday Find for this week is Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven. Here is the B&N description you have all been waiting for:
Set in Appalachia in the years before World War II, Velva Jean Learns to Drive is a poignant story of a spirited young girl growing up in the gold-mining and moonshining South. Before she dies, Velva Jean's mother urges her to "live out there in the great wide world." Velva Jean dreams of becoming a big-time singer in Nashville until she falls in love with Harley Bright, a handsome juvenile delinquent turned revival preacher. As their tumultuous love story unfolds, Velva Jean must choose between keeping her hard-won home and pursuing her dream of singing in the Grand Ole Opry.
Sounds fantastic, right? Thanks to Laurie Connors over at Plume for the recommendation.
What did you find this week? (Want to play along? Go to Should Be Reading!)
Thursday, July 9, 2009
by Kyra Davis
Red Dress Ink, 2007
Sophie Katz Series #3
Summary: Sophie's good friend Melanie asks Sophie to find out if her husband is having an affair and unfortunately he is shot dead not a block away from Sophie. Melanie hires Anatoly to find out who killed her husband and Sophie can't help but put her amateur sleuthing techniques to the test.
Review: A good addition to the Sophie Katz series, this novel jumps ahead a year after the last one. I was disappointed to see Sophie and Anatoly were not together anymore, but glad to see them working together (some of the best scene are when the two of them are making fun of one another or being competitive). The mystery this time around was very strange, but kept me guessing until the last chapter. Rating:*** out of 5.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
by Jane Porter
Grand Central Publishing, 2005
Summary: Holly Bishop is newly divorced and has recently moved to San Francisco. She has a great job as an events planner but no social life to speak of. As the year continues on, she works on being happy with herself in order to find the happy ending she has always wanted.
Review: A quick, light read, I would recommend The Frog Prince to anyone who enjoys chick-lit. Holly is a great character once she gets over her self - esteem issues (and stops rambling on about fairy tales) and really starts to live for herself. I had a hard time understanding Holly's relationship with her mother and didn't really comprehend the motives of her ex-husband in seeking a divorce. I did enjoy the overall empowerment theme of creating your own happy ending. Great supporting characters and lots of funny scenes (especially the dating!) make The Frog Prince a fun read. Rating: *** out of 5.
Want a second opinion? Check out Trisha's review at Trisha's Book Blog!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
by Alan Gratz
Horatio Wilkes Series
Summary: A young adult version of Hamlet with a modern twist, Something Rotten takes the reader to the polluted shores of Denmark, Tennessee. Our hero, Horatio Wilkes, is investigating the murder of his best friend's father in a town filled with suspects.
Review: One of the best young adult novels I have read in a long time, Something Rotten, is a fantastically hip version of Hamlet, told in a contemporary way that makes for an engrossing read. Horatio Wilkes is a great character -- smart, funny, and unique. The plot is action packed and lessons in underage drinking and environmental protection are intertwined in the story. Rating: **** out of 5.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davis (Library Book Club Selection -- July 2009)
The Late, Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow (Barney's Online Book Club Selection -- July 2009)
The Bronte Project by Jennifer Vandever
Lust, Lothing, and a Little Lip Gloss by Kyra Davis
Read / Reviewed / Reviews To Come:
Passion, Betrayal, and Killer Highlights by Kyra Davis-- review
Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz -- review
The Divorce Party by Laura Dave -- review
Obsession, Deceit, and Really Dark Chocolate by Kyra Davis -- review to come
by Kyra Davis
Sophie Katz Series (Book 2)
Summary: Sophie Katz is back and helping P.I. Anatoly Darinsky find her brother-in-law's killer before Sophie's sister is sent to jail for a murder she didn't commit.
Review: This series is a ton of fun. The characters are funny, unique and jump off the page. If you like a little mystery with your chick - lit, then this is the series for you. The mystery element was stronger in this book. I had an idea of who the killer was before the big confrontation scene, but I wasn't truly sure until the end. The strength of Davis' writing is the funny dialogue between characters as well as the growing relationship between Sophie and her favorite private investigator. Rating: ***1/2 out of 5.
by Sally Koslow
The discussion post will go up on Monday, July 27th by 9am EST. Anytime after 9am, you are welcome to stop by, answer the discussion questions, and reply to other members comments. On Tuesday, July 28th I will post my review and you can link your review in the comments section (if you would like to). If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to join in? Leave your email address in the comments section, I will add you to the email alert list. Not ready to commit? That's okay! Read The Late, Lamented Molly Marx and join the discussion on Monday July 27th!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
by Lisa Lutz
Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, 2009
Spellman Files Series (Book 2)
Summary: Izzy Spellman is in trouble with the law again as she investigates her parent's suspicious new neighbor.
Review: Lisa Lutz writes another fantastically fun novel filled with the fabulous Spellman family. All the family members are back and up to their old investigating tricks in this sequel to The Spellman Files. The plot was fast paced but didn't pack the emotional punch that first book had. I did enjoy the larger role of Henry Stone as Rae's best friend and (possibly?) Izzy's new love interest. Actually, my favorite parts of the novel were Henry, Rae, and Izzy hanging out together because the dialogue between them was hysterical. Overall, a great addition to the Spellman series and I can't wait to read #3. Rating:****1/2 out of 5.