Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Currently Reading


Author: Paul Tremblay

Publisher: William Morrow 

Year 2018

📖 𝗖𝘂𝗿𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 📖

I didn’t work today so I got to spend some quality reading time with my favorite reading budding. Shoutout to @melsbookshelves for the fantastic review of The Cabin at the End of the World that she posted a few days ago. After reading her review, I knew I had to read this book. I grabbed it at the library yesterday and started it last night. It’s sucked me right in! It’s so intense! 

QOTD: what are you reading this week? 

#currentlyreading #cabinattheendoftheworld #paultremblay #suspense #suspensebooks #suspensethriller #apocalypse #whowouldyouchoose #bookstagram #bookworm #bibliophile #horrorfiction #librarybook #lovemylibrary #backlistbooks 

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Red London


Author: Alma Katsu

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Publishing date: March 14, 2023

📖 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 📖 

For some reason, I thought Alma Katsu only wrote horror. And I admit, I requested Red London from NetGalley awhile ago and didn’t really remember the plot summary. I really thought London would be painted red with blood during a zombie apocalypse or something. So imagine my surprise when I started reading the book and it turned out to be a spy thriller. And it’s a very good one at that! 

CIA agent Lyndsey Duncan is on an undercover assignment in London. She’s the handler for a turned Russian asset. But her original mission gets put on the back burner when MI6 pulls her into a mission to get close to the wife of a Russian billionaire banking oligarch. Russia’s war in Ukraine has brought a regime change and it’s anyone’s guess what the new leader will do. 

Lyndsey befriends Emily, the English born wife of oligarch Mikhail Rotenberg. Lyndsey and Emily become fast friends, giving Lyndsey unprecedented access to the oligarch’s household.  As Russia’s new leader puts pressure on Rotenberg, can Lyndsey count on Emily’s help before it’s too late? 

This was a fast and fun read for me. Lyndsey isn’t a James Bond type spy with bag full of high tech weapons. She’s armed with smarts, common sense, and her tradecraft. The story was fast paced and moved along briskly. This is the second book in the series. (Another thing I didn’t realize when I requested it.) I had no trouble jumping into the series without reading the first book. And looks like there’s going to be a third book in this series. Cleaver, fast paced, and intricate, Red London has something that will appeal to every reader. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Red London hits shelves on March 14th. Thank you to G.P. Putnam’s Sons and NetGalley for the digital review copy. 

#redlondon #almakatsu #gpputnamssons #espionage #espionagethriller #spythriller #espionagebooks #london #russia #cia #spyfiction #bookstagram #netgalley #bookreview #booksbooksbooks #crimefiction 

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Something Wilder


Author: Christina Lauren 

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Year: 2022

🎧 𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 🎧

I was scrolling through pics, found this one, and realized I never posted it. Oops! My bad because this was a really fun read.

After reading back to back psychological thrillers, I definitely needed something different and this one was perfect. I’m not a big romance reader, so I wasn’t sure if this book would work for me. But I was sucked in to the story’s adventure and the hunt for treasure. There’s a smart and scrappy main character, a sassy sidekick, a hunky love interest, humor, action, mystery and a little spice. It was a fun and fast listen that I ended up really enjoying. Narrators Patti Murin and John Root do a fantastic job bring this story of lost and found love and treasure to life. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

Thank you @simon.audio for the #gifted audiobook. Appreciate it! 

QOTD: what are you reading this week? I’m finishing up the @netgalley of espionage thriller Red London today. My library hold for The Mitford Affair is ready to download so I’ll be diving into that next. 

#somethingwilder #christinalauren #simonaudio #audiobook #audiobookreview #audiobookstagram #romancefiction #romancebooks #adventurefiction #treasurehunt #suspensebooks #pattimurin #johnroot

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A Man Called Ove


Author: Fredrik Backman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Year: 2019

🎧 𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 🎧

Thank you Simon & Schuster Audio for this gifted audiobook. 

I read Beartown a few years back when it first came out. Unpopular opinion- I didn’t like it. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind to read it at that time. Whatever. It just didn’t click with me and I’ve avoided Backman’s books ever since. But with the American movie version of A Man Called Ove hitting theaters, I figured it was time to give Backman another go. 

If you haven’t read it, you’re probably at least familiar with this book. It’s been a monster bestseller. And for good reason. It’s a tug-on-your-heartstrings mix of grief, loneliness, love, humor, and friendship. Academy Award winner actor J.K. Simmons (also known for the Farmers Insurance commercials) provides a masterful narration for the audiobook. I’m sure Tom Hanks will be great in the movie, but did anyone in Hollywood listen to this audiobook?! Simmons provides a tour de force performance bringing humor and pathos to the story. Obviously, this is a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ book for me. If you haven’t read this yet or want to do a re-read before seeing the movie, definitely go with the audiobook version. It’s top notch. 

QOTD: how about recommending a movie or show you’ve recently watched? I’m always looking for something new to watch. 

#amancalledove #fredrikbackman #simonaudio #giftedcopy #audiobook #audiobookreview #audiobookrecommendation #grief #contemporaryfiction #widower #booktomovie #booktomovieadaptation #nowplaying #jksimmons #audiobooks #audiobookstagram 

Monday, January 16, 2023

Everybody Knows


Author: Jordan Harper

Publisher: Mulholland Books 

Year: 2023

📖 𝗕𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 📖 

Belated happy pub day to Jordan Harper’s latest Everybody Knows. This one published last week & it’s intense. Thank you to @netgalley and @mulhollandbooks for the digital review copy. 

Mae is a high-power PR professional whose job is to protect the rich & famous by spinning the truth into something else. She’s one of the best in the business & the firm she works for is a major player behind the scenes in L.A. When her boss is killed in what looks like a random car-jacking, Mae must go up against her own firm and some very powerful people to discover the truth. As the unstoppable machine of power and spin turns against her, Mae must use all her wits & skill if she wants to survive & bring the real truth to light. A truth that might rest with a young pregnant teenager. 

I have a soft spot for mysteries & thrillers set in L.A. This one didn’t disappoint. The style is gritty noir, the plot is tight, the pace moves quickly, and the dialogue is often spare. It all adds up to riveting thriller that you won’t want to put down. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 

I’m back from a short social media break. My mom’s health took a big downturn right after the start of the new year. We laid her to rest this past Friday. The last six years were difficult for her, so we’re comforted knowing she’s at peace. 

So for the QOTD- tell me something good going on in your life. 

#everybodyknows #jordanharper #mulhollandbooks #netgalleyreview #bookreview #crimefiction #thrillerfiction #suspensefiction #losangeles #ilovela #publicrelationsfirm #spin #dontletthetruthgetinthewayofagoodstory #bookstagram #bookworm 

Monday, January 2, 2023

The Last Chairlift


Author: John Irving

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio

Year: 2022

𝗔𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗼𝗯𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗥𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄

Thank you Simon & Schuster Audio for the complimentary audiobook The Last Chairlift. The best words I can think of to describe this novel are sprawling and messing. Sprawling because it encompasses 80 years in the life of main character Adam Brewster. And messy because life can be messy. And families can be messy. And love can be messy. 

Author John Irving revisits familiar themes- an unconventional (for her time period) mother, an absent father, New England boarding school, sexual politics, love, wrestling, & writing. And just for fun, he throws in some ghosts too. This novel is too long and wide-ranging, so here’s some highlights: 

It is often funny and absurd. I was howling with laughter at the situations the befell poor Adam and some of his sexual partners. But Irving also delves into the horror of the AIDS crisis, politics, aging, and death. There are a host a characters & I don’t have enough space here to describe them all. I loved the little snowshoer Mr. Barlow. Mr. Barlow is an English teacher at Adam’s boarding school. Little Ray marries Mr. Barlow knowing that the little snowshoer would protect and mentor Adam. Mr. Barlow and Little Ray love each other unconditionally & allow each other to live as their authentic selves. Little Ray has a long-term, loving relationship with Molly, a no-nonsense ski slope groomer and ski patroller. After Mr. Barlow leaves teaching, the little snowshoer transitions to a woman. Through it all, Adam loves them unconditionally. And I did too. 

Of course, no family’s story is perfect. This book isn’t perfect either. There were parts that I thought just dragged. Adam discovers the identity of his father later in his life. A good chunk of that is written as a movie script. To me, it brought the whole narrative to a screeching halt & slowed down the whole story. 

Kudos to narrator Jacques Roy & the ensemble cast for bringing the story to life. I really enjoyed their narration.

Ultimately, this is a story of family, love, & life in all it’s sweet, fierce, quiet, loud, quirky, messy, happy, sad, and glorious forms. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

#thelastchairlift #johnirving #simonaudio #audiobook #audiobookstagram #audiobookreview #contemporaryfiction #familydrama #lqbtqbooks 

Sunday, January 1, 2023

2022 Top Ten Books


Happy New Year! 

2022 was a very good reading year for me. I enjoyed so many great books, discovered new authors, and read new work by favorite authors. Here are my favorite books for the year. 

📖The Bullet That Missed - this has quickly become one of my favorite series. I just love the characters! 

📖Casing the Bogeyman - creepy and atmospheric crime fiction that reads like true crime. 

🎧Fairy Tale - a hero’s journey about a boy & a dog. Stephen King continues to be a master storyteller. The audio version is excellent. 

📖Five Decembers - combo historical fic, crime fic, love story, & war story. I read this last January & I’m still thinking about it. 

📖Killers of a Certain Age - an action packed romp starring 4 aging assassins. Just an all round fun read! 

📖The Killing Hills - southern noir at it’s finest. Author Chris Offutt packs a punch in this sub 300 page mystery. 

📖Lessons in Chemistry - A smart, sassy story that I couldn’t put down. Elizabeth Zott is an unforgettable main character who you can’t help but cheer for. I loved everything about this book. 

🎧A Man Called Ove- exquisite storytelling about a grieving man whose life changes when a new family moves into his neighborhood. Full of heart & humor. The audiobook, narrated by J.K. Simmons, is perfection. 

📖The Measure - thought-provoking and tugs on your heartstrings. Lots to love about this one. 

🎧Remarkably Bright Creatures - a large cast of characters whose lives all intertwine. This is a dazzling debut novel by author Shelby Van Pelt. Highly recommend listening to the audiobook. The narration is superb. 

Honorable mentions: 

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

Dead Silence

How Lucky

The Maid

No Second Chances

Peach Blossom Spring

Some Choose Darkness

This Tender Land

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow 

Twenty Years Later

The Violin Conspiracy 

If I pressed, I’d say my favorite book of 2022 was Lessons in Chemistry.

Remarkably Bright Creatures is a close second. 

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, prosperous 2023 filled with great books! 

#readinglife #topten #topten2022 #favoritebooks2022 #crimefiction #contemporaryfiction #mysteryfiction #thrillerfiction #goodbye2022 #bookstagram #bibliophile #readersofinstagram #audiobookstagram #audiobook 

Under Your Spell

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