Thursday, September 30, 2021

September Reading Wrap Up


📚𝐒𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝐖𝐫𝐚𝐩 𝐔𝐩📚

This month has been a slow reading month for me. I’m blaming our remodeling project for the slowdown. I hope October will be a return to more reading.  But it’s quality over quantity, right? I may only have read seven books, but they were all good reads. All the books were ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ reads for me. 

🎧 56 Days
🎧 The Japanese Lover
📖 The Jigsaw Man
📖 The Night and the Music
📖 A Man Named Doll
🎧 The Personal Librarian 
📖 The Woman with the Blue Star

I liked all of them. Looking over the list, I realized 56 Days was the only book I bought this month. The Night and the Music was from NetGalley  (thank you!). The rest were from the library. I saved about $63 using the library. Not bad! 

What’s are you looking forward to reading in October? Planning any spooky reads? I’m looking forward to reading The Witch’s Heart with @thereadingteapot and @rjs.readingnook and reading  White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson with the #betweenfriendsbookclub. 

#readingwrapup #monthlywrapup #september #bookstagram #alwaysreading #56days #thejapaneselover #thejigsawman #thenightandthemusic #amannameddoll #thepersonallibrarian #thewomanwiththebluestar #bibliophile #bookworm 

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The Japanese Lover


Author: Isabel Allende

Narrator: Joanna Gleason

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Year: 2015

My book club’s pick for this month was Isabel Allende’s The Japanese Lover. This was the first book by Allende that I’ve read. It’s a multigenerational story centered around the relationship between Alma Belasco, a Jewish woman, and Icimei Fukuda, a first generation Japanese American citizen. As a child, Alma’s parents send her to live with wealthy relatives in San Francisco when Germany is on the verge of invading their native Poland. There, Alma meets Ichimei, the son of the family’s gardener. Alma and Ichimei become fast friends. Over time, their childhood friendship grows into a passionate love. Their relationship is caught in the tangle of racism and societal expectations, but they always find their way back to each other. 

This is a big sprawling story that spans decades and has a large cast of characters. Book club consensus: Alma was selfish and self centered. Ichimei was maybe too good for her. The supporting characters were really interesting and probably deserve their own books because we wanted to know more about them. A solid read, but we were left wanting the supporting characters stories tied up more. I listened to the audiobook and really enjoyed Joanna Gleason’s narration. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This is perfect for readers who love sprawling multigenerational family dramas or romances that can’t be denied. 

Happy hump day! What’s on your agenda today? We decided to hire someone to hang the drywall in our living room remodel. Hubby just can’t do the up and down on the ladder with his creaky knees.
So today we’ll finish prepping the room to be ready for the drywall guy in a day or two. 

#thejapaneselover #isabelallende #joannagleason #simonaudio #audiobooks #audiobookstagram #bookclub #bookclubbook #multigenerationalstory #lovestory #prejudice #bookstagram #librarybook #firstgeneration #japaneseinternment #sanfrancisco 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Night and the Music


Author: Lawrence Block

Publisher: Subterranean Press

Year: 2021

Happy Pub Day to The Night and the Music by Lawrence Block! 

Back in the day, I read all of Lawrence Block’s Bernie the Burglar novels and a few of his Matt Scudder novels. Block is a giant in the crime fiction genre. He’s a prolific writer who has won earn countless awards and raves. Block introduced Matthew Scudder, an alcoholic ex-cop turned unlicensed private investigator, in the mid1970s. Scudder has been around for awhile and has seen some things. The stories in this collection were published in various magazines and anthologies at over time. One of the stories was written especially for this edition. The stories are a mish-mash and cover various stages of Scudder’s life and career. In some he’s drinking a lot after his life imploded because of accidentally killing a child while trying to stop a robbery in progress. In other stories, Scudder is remarried and is in recovery. The stories are wide ranging. The anthology opens with Scudder investigating the apparent suicide of a waitress who worked at his favorite bar. In another, his curiosity gets the better of him when he finds out a murdered neighborhood bag lady bequeathed him a nice chunk of money in her will. A few stories are from when he was still with the police department. He has his own idea of justice that doesn’t always follow the law. You don’t have to be familiar with any of the Scudder novels to enjoy this collection. Block knows how to craft an intriguing story whether it’s a novel or short story. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you NetGalley and Subterranean Press for the digital ARC.

QOTD: when was the last time you slept in late? 

I slept in until almost 9:00 is morning. I can’t remember the last time I slept in like that! Hubby got got up with the dogs this morning and they all stayed quiet and let me sleep. It was lovely, but now I feel like my day is thrown off. 

#thenightandthemusic #lawrenceblock #subterraneanpress #matthewscudder #publicationday #shortstories #anthology #privateinvestigator #newyorkcity #excop #alcholism #recovery #mysterybooks #thriller #investigations 

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Currently Reading


Happy Saturday! 

I’m #currentlylistening to The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray. It’s historical fiction based on the life of Belle de Costa Greene who worked for industrialist J.P. Morgan. What a job she had! She was a librarian with an unlimited budget! That’s pretty unimaginable in today’s world. 

I’m off the hook for hanging drywall today. Hubby wants to finish putting up furring strips and insulation today and then watch college football. I’m good with that plan for the day.

Who else is watching football today? We’re Notre Dame ☘️fans and also follow Penn St. Who’s your team? 

#currentlyreading #currentlylistening #thepersonallibrarian #belledecostagreene #jpmorgan #librarian #librarylove #librarylife #libbyapp #mariebenedict #victoriachristophermurray #penguinaudiobooks 

Friday, September 17, 2021

The Best Laid Plans…


Hello weekend! 

My plan for today was to visit my mom. (She’s in an Alzheimer’s facility.) I stopped to pick up some snacks for her when my sister called. Mom’s facility is now on a two week lockdown because a few residents and staff members are covid positive. So frustrating and disappointing. 

Anyway, my hubby had pulled out some paperbacks to donate to the two LFL I often visit. Hope someone enjoys some great  Robert Crais books! My husband and I both love Crais’s series featuring private investigator Elvis Cole and his pal Joe Pike so I hope these books will find a new home. 

Attempting to help hubby hang drywall tomorrow. I really think he’s overestimating my strength. 🙃 My goal will be to not drop a piece of drywall on our heads! What plans do you have for the weekend? 

#littlefreelibrary #robercrais #paperbacks #sharethelove #weekendvibes #bookworm #alwaysalibrarian #bibliophile #bibliophilelife #booksbooksbooks #bookstagram #elviscole #joepike #PleaseMaskUpSoICanVisitMyMom

Thursday, September 16, 2021

56 Days


Author: Catherine Ryan Howard

Narrator: Alana Kerr Collins

Publisher: Blackstone

Year: 2021

Could you have spent last year’s covid lockdown with someone you just met? 

Ciara and Oliver are new to Dublin and meet just when covid is starting. When Ireland goes into lockdown, they decide to move into Oliver’s apartment to ride out lockdown together. They barely know each other and both have secrets. The police are called when a decomposing body is found in the apartment. Was it an accident or something more sinister? 

This was an instant bestseller when it published last month. The story is tightly plotted and the writing is crisp. The characters are interesting and I loved the big twists! Author Catherine Ryan Howard takes her time unfolding the characters’ secrets making more of an impact when all is revealed. Alana Kerr Collins’ narration is wonderful. She really conveys a sense of place and that feeling of uncertainty we all felt when covid first intruded on our lives. 

I’ve read some pandemic books since the onslaught of covid, but they were sci-fi or historical fic. Chuck Wendig’s Wanderers and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel both have society falling apart due to pandemics. Emma Donoghue’s The Pull of the Stars features a maternity ward nurse during the flu pandemic of 1918. Michael Connelley’s The Law of Innocence mentions the first tendrils of the covid pandemic toward the end of the book. 56 Days sets the mystery against the backdrop of the start of the pandemic and lockdown. Howard makes it work. She weaves together a taut thriller and makes sure the intrigue isn’t overshadowed by the pandemic. It will be interesting to see how other authors might incorporate lockdown and the pandemic into their work. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Happy #thrillerthursday! The weekend is in sight! What are y’all looking forward to this weekend? 

#56days #catherineryanhoward #blackstonepublishing #alanakerrcollins #audiobookstagram #audiobooksofinstagram #audiobookreview #pandemic #lockdown #thrillerthursday #thrillerbooks #crimefiction #dublin #ireland #bookstagram #bookworm #bookwormlife #audible #bibliophile #bibliophilelife 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

The People We Keep


Author: Allison Larkin

Narrator: Julia Whelan

Publisher: Simon Audio

Year: 2021

🎧𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄🎧

Thank you for the #giftedbook. 

Sixteen year old April is basically raising herself. Her mom has been gone for years. Her dad is hardly present in her life. She feels trapped in her small town and the only thing she really has is music. After a fight with her dad, April hits the road, determined to make her own path. As she makes her way up and down the east coast, playing music and never staying in the same place very long, April eventually realizes she has people in her life who love her and want to help her. 

This is an engrossing coming of age story. April is a complex character filled with grief, hurt, and longing. She’s so afraid she’ll hurt and disappoint the people she cares about that she runs away instead of working on forming lasting connections. But the people who really love her are there when April needs them the most. And she realizes family isn’t always defined by blood, but by this who love and care for you. 

The narration by Julia Whelan is excellent. She easily conveys the range of April’s emotions. This is a perfect choice for readers looking for realistic fiction or a complex family drama. 

It’s been a minute since I’ve posted. How’s everyone doing? I’ve spent the past 2 weeks working on our remodeling project. Waiting for some drywall to be delivered today. We took advantage of having a dumpster and spent yesterday cleaning stuff out of the attic and basement. All this working on the house has cut into my reading time! And I’ve been too tired to try to write any reviews. Hope y’all are good! 

#thepeoplewekeep #simonaudio #allisonlarkin #juliawhelan #realistic #comingofagestory #bookstagram #bibliophile #bibliophilelife #audiobooks #audiobookstagram #audiobooklove #audiobookreview #giftedbooks #needmorereadingtime #neverendingremodelprojects 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Seven Days in June


Author: Tia Williams

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 

Year: 2021

Happy Monday! It’s a holiday here in the U.S. Labor Day honors and recognizes the American labor movement and the workers who have made our country prosper. 

No Labor Day off here in my little corner of the world. We’re on day 6 of our renovation project. The walls of our living room are down to the bare bones. We might start pulling up the carpet in the dining room today. 💪 

Here’s my quick review of Seven Days in June before I have to get back to the reno. I read this a few weeks ago for our #betweenfriendsbookclub read hosted by @andrea.c.lowry.reads 
Shane and Eva had a very brief but intense relationship when they were high school seniors. They are reunited after 15 years. Do their feelings for each other still exist? 

This was such a great story! I loved that both main characters were authors and enjoyed peek behind the publishing world curtain. I especially enjoyed the humor that ran throughout the book beginning with the opening scene. 😊 If you’re looking for a steamy romance with great characters, grab a copy of this book. There’s lots to love about it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

What are you having for dinner tonight? Not sure what we’re having yet, but it will be sometime easy to make. 

#sevendaysinjune #tiawilliams #grandcentralpublishing #romace #lovestory #romacefiction #authorlife #bookworm #bibliophile #bibliophilelife #publishinglife #brooklyn #alwaysreading #bookstagram #booksforlife 

Friday, September 3, 2021

Currently Reading


Happy Friday! 

This morning’s #coffeeandcurrentlyreading is The Jigsaw Man by @queennads. Not sure how much reading time I’ll get today. We started remodeling our living room yesterday. We have an old farmhouse so this a dusty, dirty job. Most of the old ceiling tiles are off and the old plaster and lathes are off one wall. A good chunk of the carpeting is up. My main task today (according to my hubby) is to clear out my messy desk. I don’t know where I’m going to put all my stuff! 

What are y’all doing this weekend? Any plans? Reading anything awesome? Have a great holiday weekend! 

#coffeeandcurrentlyreading #notreallycoffeeinthere #currentlyreading #thejigsawman #nadinematheson #hanoversquarepress #libraryhold #librarylove #thrillerbooks #mysteryfiction #serialkiller #labordayweekend #homeremodeling #bookworm #booknerd #bibliophile #bibliophilelife 

Here’s a little peek at our living room remodeling project! 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

August Reading Wrap Up


𝐀𝐮𝐠𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐖𝐫𝐚𝐩 𝐔𝐩

Billy Summers 🎧
Fast Pitch 📖
Hard Cash Valley 📖
People We Meet on Vacation 📖
Sleeping Bear 🎧
Take Me with You When You Go 📖
Dead End Jobs 📖
My American Dream 📖
Seven Days in June 📖
Alone 🎧
The People We Keep 🎧
Moonflower Murders 📖

Hello September! I’m not ready for summer to be over. August was a solid reading month for me. I enjoyed everything I read. My favs were Billy Summers- (great narration!), Fast Pitch (MG sports/mystery) and Hard Cash Valley (gritty Southern noir). I actually read People We Meet on Vacation while on vacay. Sleeping Bear is a solid espionage thriller from a debut author. Take Me with You When You Go is is a heart wrenching YA family drama. Dead End Jobs is a anthology about assassins. My American Dream is Chef Lidia Bastianich’s memoir. It was my book club’s pick & I liked it more than I thought I would. Seven Days in June surprised me with it’s sharp humor. Alone is a great MG survival story from a debut author. The People We Keep is a heartbreaking coming of age story with excellent narration. Moonflower Murders is an intricately plotted two novels in one mystery. Thank you Simon Audio and Random House Children’s for the #gifted copies. 

My library hold for The Jigsaw Man is ready, so that’s what I’ll be kicking off September with. I’m also trying to finish up the audio of 56 Days today. What book starting off September with? 

#readingwrapup #notreadyforfall #alwaysreading #booknerd #bookstagram #bookworm #bibliophile #bibliophilelife #monthywrapup 

Under Your Spell

  Author: Laura Wood Narrator: Ellie Heydon Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Year: 2024 🎧𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄🎧 Many thanks...