Meme, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday

February 19: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

This one was tough for me … over the years I’ve been able to read lots of good books that were rather unknown. Most of these that I’m including here were review books that I received for review … actually 7 of the 10 on my list were review books. Here’s my list:

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Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, February 18, 2019

Mailbox MondaysSo this week’s post actually encompasses the last two weeks of acquisitions since I didn’t get my act together last week to put together a post. Here’s what I got:

The first one I picked up from my local Barnes & Noble. The author was there signing copies – unbeknownst to me, she apparently lives locally! Small world 🙂

The Stranger InsideThere’s a stranger living in Kimber Hannon’s house. The man tells the police that he has every right to be there, and he has the paperwork to prove it.

Kimber definitely didn’t invite this man to move in. The intruder claims that he knows something about her, and he wants everyone else to know it too.

I was there. I saw what you did.”

These words reveal a connection to Kimber’s distant past, and dark secrets she’d long ago left buried. This trespasser isn’t after anything as simple as her money or her charming Craftsman bungalow. He wants to move into her carefully orchestrated life – and destroy it.

 


This one was my BOTM pick for February. I went WAYYYYY outside my comfort zone with this selection, but it really appealed to me.

A Woman in No ManPalestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitors her father has chosen for her. Her desires are irrelevant, however – over the course of a week, the naive and dreamy girl finds herself betrothed, then married, and soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law, Fareeda, and her strange new husband, Adam: a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children – four daughters instead of the sons Isra is expected to bear.

Brooklyn, 2008. At her grandmother’s insistence, eighteen-year-old Deya must meet with potential husbands and prepare herself for marriage, though her only desire is to go to college. Her grandmother is firm on the matter, however: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man. But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path that leads her to shocking truths that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her family, the past, and her own future.

Set in an America at once foreign to many and staggeringly close at hand, A Woman is No Man is a story of culture and honor, secrets and betrayals, love and violence. It is an intimate glimpse into a controlling and closed cultural world, and a universal tale about family and the ways silence and shame can destroy those we have sworn to protect.


This is a review book that I received for a TLC Book Tour coming up in March:

Before She Knew HimHen and her husband, Lloyd, have settled into a quiet life in a new house outside of Boston, Massachusetts. Hen (short for Henrietta) is an illustrator who works out of a studio nearby, and has found the right meds to control her bipolar disorder. Final, she’s found some stability and peace.

But when they meet the neighbors next door, that calm begins to erode as she spots a familiar object displayed on the husband’s office shelf. The sports trophy looks exactly like one that went missing from the home of a young man who was killed two years ago. Hen knows because she’s long had a fascination with this unsolved murder – an obsession she doesn’t talk about anymore, but can’t fully shake either.

Could her neighbor Matthew be a killer? Or is this the beginning of another psychotic episode like the one she suffered back in college, when she became so consumed with proving a fellow student guilty that she ended up hurting a classmate?

The more Hen observes Matthew, the more she suspects he’s planning something truly terrifying. Yet no one will believe her. Then one night, when she comes face-to-face with Matthew in a dark parking lot, she realizes that he knows she’s been watching him, that she’s really on to him, and that this is the beginning of a horrifying nightmare she may not live to escape…


The next four are ones that I picked up at my local Goodwill:

All Dressed in WhiteFive years ago Amanda Pierce was excitedly preparing to marry her college sweetheart in a lavish ceremony at The Grand Victoria Hotel in Palm Beach. Then, with their guests and families on site, Amanda disappeared.

In present-day New York City, Laurie accepts an uninvited visitor into her office: Amanda’s desperate mother, who begs Laurie and her Under Suspicion television team to investigate Amanda’s disappearance. It’s an appeal Laurie, a widow too familiar with the grief felt by the families of victims of unsolved crimes, can’t refuse. Soon she and the team are re-creating the night of the disappearance at the Florida resort with Amanda’s friends and family in attendance, hoping to shed new light on the mystery, as the series has done in the past.

With Amanda’s former fiance now married to one of Amanda’s bridesmaids, her jealous sister now integral in the family business, playboy groomsmen still behaving badly, a too-friendly wedding photographer, and rumors about the “beloved” bride herself, Laurie and Under Suspicion host Alex Buckley quickly realize everyone has a theory about why Amanda vanished into thin air – and a reason to direct Laurie’s attention elsewhere.

One thing is certain: whoever was behind Amanda’s disappearance plans to keep the truth hidden “until death do they part…”


The Maltese Falcon
A treasure worth killing for. Sam Spade, a slightly shopworn private eye with his own solitary code of ethics. A perfumed grafter named Joel Cairo, a fat man named Gutman, and Brigid O’Shaughnessy, a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. These are the ingredients of Dashiell Hammett’s coolly glittering gem of detective fiction, a novel that has haunted generations of readers.

 


The Devil in the White City

Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson’s spell-binding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men – the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World’s Fair, striving to secure America’s place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

 


The Wife
The moment Joan Castleman decides to leave her husband, they are on an airplane, thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean. Joan’s husband, Joseph, is one of America’s preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award, and Joan, who has spent forty years subjugating her own literary talents to his careers, has finally decided to stop. From this gripping opening, Meg Wolitzer flashes back to 1950s Smith College and Greenwich Village and follows the course of the marriage that has brought the couple to this breaking point – one that results in a shocking revelation.

With her skillful storytelling and pitch-perfect observations, Wolitzer has crafted a wise and candid look at the choices all men and women make – in marriage, work, and life.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, February 11, 2019

Mailbox Mondays

Last week I received my bookcase.club box:

Seeing RedKerra Bailey is a television journalist on the rise, and she’s hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to even greater heights: an interview with the legendary Major Trapper. Twenty-five years ago, The Major emerged a hero from the bombing of the Pegasus Hotel in downtown Dallas when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors out of the collapsing building. The iconic picture transformed him into a beloved national icon, in constant demand for speeches and interviews–until he suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all members of the media. However, Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get to The Major–even if she has to wrangle an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper.

Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, John Trapper wants no association with the hotel bombing or his hero father, and spurns the meddling reporters determined to drag them back into the limelight. Yet Kerra’s sheer audacity and tantalizing hints that there’s more to the story rouse Trapper’s interest despite himself. And when her interview of a lifetime goes catastrophically awry–with unknown assailants targeting not only The Major, but also Kerra–Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he’s going to track down the gunmen before they strike again . . . as well as discover, finally, who was responsible for the Pegasus bombing.

Kerra is wary of a man so charming one moment and dangerous the next, and she knows Trapper is withholding evidence collected during his ATF investigation into the bombing. But having no one else to trust and enemies lurking closer than they know, Kerra and Trapper join forces and risk their very lives to expose a sinuous network of lies and conspiracy running deep through Texas–and uncover who would want a national hero dead.


The MentorKyle Broder has achieved his lifelong dream of becoming an editor at a major publishing house. When he’s contacted by his favorite college professor, William Lansing, Kyle couldn’t be happier, especially after William mentions that he’s been writing a novel. The idea of being his mentor’s editor is a dream come true.

But William’s manuscript is the most depraved story Kyle has ever read. After Kyle politely rejects the novel, William becomes obsessed, threatening Kyle’s career, his relationship with his girlfriend, and even his life. As Kyle delves into more of this psychopath’s work, it begins to resemble a cold case from his college town. William’s work is looking increasingly like a true-crime confession. One in which Kyle may just end up starring.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, February 4, 2019

Mailbox Mondays

Well this week I just *had* to go to the Goodwill for books ::eyeroll::. Anyway, I did get four new-to-me books:

ExclusiveBarrie Travis is not famous: she’s just a damn good reporter stuck at a low-budget television station. Then the First lady calls her … and offers her the story of a lifetime. The president’s wife, stunned by grief after the loss of her infant son, hints that her child may have ben murdered. Blind to everything but finding the truth, Barrie’s fight for an exclusive story will test her ethics, her patriotism, and her courage. Then, with the help of Gray Bondurant, a mysterious former presidential aide, she unearths White House secrets that, if exposed, could topple the presidency. Now, even as she falls in love, Barrie must fight powerful forces that want nothing more than to see the scandalous past – and a certain young reporter – dead and buried.


Unspeakable1Carl Herbold is a cold-blooded psychopath who has just escaped the penitentiary where he was serving a life sentence. Bent on revenge, he’s going back to where he began – Blewer County, Texas…

Born deaf, lately widowed, Anna Corbett fights to keep the ranch that is her son’s birthright, unaware that she is at the center of Herbold’s horrific scheme – and that her world of self-imposed isolation is about to explode…

Drifter Jack Sawyer arrives at Anna’s ranch asking for work, hoping to protect the innocent woman and her son from Herbold’s rage. But Sawyer can’t outrun the secrets that stalk him – or the day of reckoning awaiting them all…


Now that She's Gone

Notorious serial killer Brenda Nevins has cajoled, seduced, blackmailed, and left a trail of bodies all across Washington State. Now, after a daring prison escape, she is free to carry out her ultimate act of revenge. The targets: forensic pathologist Birdy Waterman and sheriff’s detective Kendall Stark. The pawn: a television psychic hungry for fame, ratings, and blood. There’s only one way to stop a killer as brutal, brilliant, and twisted as this: beat her at her own game

 


The GiftThe time is the 1950s, when life was simpler, people still believed in dreams, and family was, very nearly, everything. The place is a small midwestern town with a high school and a downtown, a skating pond and a movie house. And on a tree-lined street in the heartland of America, an extraordinary set of events begins to unfold. And gradually what seems serendipitous is tinged with purpose. A happy home is shattered by a child’s senseless death. A loving marriage starts to unravel. And a stranger arrives – a young woman who will touch many lives before she moves on. She and a young man will meet and fall in love. Their love, so innocent and full of hope, helps to restore a family’s dreams. And all of their lives will be changed forever by the precious gift she leaves them.

The Gift, Danielle Steel’s thirty-third best-selling work, is a magical story told with stunning simplicity and power. It reveals a relationship so moving it will take your breath away. And it tells a haunting and beautiful truth about the unpredictability – and the wonder – of life.

Meme, Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday – January 30, 2019

top 5 wednesday

So today I am participating in something totally new to me. I’m not entirely sure how I came across this, but I saw it late last week and decided it was something I would give a shot at!

January 30th: Freebie! …. Most Disappointing Reads of 2018

This was originally the January 16th prompt. I wasn’t even aware of this bookish meme on that date, and since this week was a freebie I thought it would be a great idea to start here! So without further ado … here are my Top 5 Most Disappointing Reads of 2018:

Seven Deadly WondersI was really looking forward to this one, but I had been kind of intimidated by it just because it was lengthier than I normally care for. And while I still think it would be a PERFECT movie, this one just didn’t work for me in book format. I believe in my review I likened it to an Indiana Jones movie – and I still stand by that. But ultimately it was a disappointment to me as far as a book goes.


Mallory's Oracle
This one was really frustrating. I disliked all the characters. The main character was just so cold I couldn’t stand it. I didn’t like the storyline. In fact I was really confused about how the killer ended up being the killer, it didn’t make sense for me. It just didn’t work for me at all.

 


Never Never
I’m a sucker for James Patterson books. They are usually my go-to slump breakers. But this one was just awful. I didn’t care for the setting or the storyline. I had the killer pegged WAY too early to be enjoyable. It was just not good at all. Bad, even. 😦

 


An American Marriage
This one was probably the biggest disappointment of 2018 for me. Not because it was a bad book. But because it wasn’t what I was hoping for. It wasn’t what it should have been, in my personal opinion. I just couldn’t help but think that this book could have been 1000 times better (for me) had it just been written a different way.


Hallowe'en Party
This one I picked up solely for a Goodreads challenge I was involved with. I had honestly never read an Agatha Christie novel before, and I’m not entirely sure this was the place for me to start. This one just didn’t work for me at all.

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, January 28, 2019

Mailbox Mondays

So last week we went down to Nashville for a night. We had tickets to see Metallica (husbands choice, not mine – although it ended up being a pretty decent show) and we spent the night. The next morning I insisted we check out McKay’s, a used book store that I had a friend tell me about. Can I just say that I am in love?! I came home with 8 new-to-me books. Four of them are non-fiction and four of them were fiction.

The four non-fiction books are:

american creationfounding brothersthe spirit of 1787inventing a nation

And the four fiction books are:

the big sleepthe partnerorphan trainordinary grace

I’m super excited about them …. especially those non-fiction books! I started my first John Adams book for my presidential reading challenge, but I’ve kind of stalled on it. I don’t know. I’m tempted to just start in on these books instead to brush up a little bit more about the actual process our founding fathers went through to form our Constitution. I’ll just have to see where my history reading takes me next to be honest. I think I may have to re-think my strategy as far as my presidential reading goals. Anyhoo, that’s what I picked up this week 🙂

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday

January 22: Books I Meant to Read In 2018 but Didn’t Get To

Hm. Well, this could be a long list (ha!) But actually when I went through my TBR list I realized that there were really only 3 that really stood out to me.

What HappenedGone GirlOutlander

What Happened … I was pumped when I purchased this one brand spanking new in hardcover at full price (a very rare thing for me) … but I just can’t bring myself to open it yet. 😦

Gone Girl … at this point I think I may be the only person on earth who hasn’t read this one.

Outlander … I’m just too intimidated by it. But I will conquer it. Someday. 😀

 

 

Meme, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday

January 15: New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2018

Well if you read my 2018 reading recap I posted a few weeks ago you would have seen that in 2018 I read 26 new-to-me authors. Woo! However, I’m only going to share those authors that I will for sure continue to follow in the future, so that pares the list down to a manageable 5. Without further ado:

The Great Alone
The first on the list is without a doubt Kristin Hannah. Her novel The Great Alone was my #1 favorite for the entire year of 2018. I still get all the feels when I think back to my reading experience of that book. I’m definitely looking forward to exploring her back list a little bit as well as watching out for her in the future.


Final GirlsSThe Last Time I Liedecond on my list is definitely Riley Sager. I enjoyed his first book, Final Girls so much that I could hardly contain myself when I got my hands on The Last Time I Lied. I can’t wait to see what he does in the future! Whatever it is, I’m sure it’ll be thrilling. Annnnd I totally just peeked at his Goodreads author page – another book coming in July … Can you say BIRTHDAY BOOK?!? 😀


The Seven Husbands of Evenlyn HugoNext up is Taylor Jenkins Reid. This book caught me by surprise. I’m not going to lie, I chose it basically for the cover (which is saying something for a person who isn’t really a “cover person”) so I wasn’t really expecting to be so caught up in it. But I sure was! I haven’t really spent much time looking through her backlist, but I definitely will keep my out on her future works.


The Woman in Cabin 10
Ruth Ware. This particular book was one of my BOTM selections that I picked up as part of a Goodreads challenge. It was a twisty novel that had me questioning everything and everyone! I have two of her other books already on my shelves that I’m definitely looking forward to getting to!

 


for-better-and-worse1And last but not least we have Margot Hunt. This book was super good and when I went to her author page I saw her previous work that looked good as well. FYI – Margot Hunt is actually a pseudonym for Whitney Gaskell, who seems to have written 12 books which all appear to be not my cup of tea (romance/chick lit), but I sure hope she continues to write psychological thrillers under her pseudonym because this book was really good!

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, January 14, 2019

Mailbox Mondays

Only one book this week, a backlist series book that I realized I didn’t have a copy of when I was updating my Goodreads TBR catalog.

shoot him if he runsTeddy Fay, the rogue agent last seen escaping from an imploding building in Iron Orchid, has been considered dead for some time now. But President Will Lee thinks Teddy may still be alive. In a top-secret Oval Office meeting, Stone learns that he and his cohorts, Holly Barker and Dino Bacchetti, are being sent to the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Marks, courtesy of the CIA, to track down Teddy once and for all.

St. Marks is a vacationers’ paradise, but its luxurious beach clubs and secluded mountain villas are home to corrupt local politicians and more than a few American expats with murky personal histories. Stone and Holly soon discover that in St. Marks, everyone is hiding something—and that Teddy Fay may just be hiding in plain sight.

First chapter, Meme

First Chapter, First Paragraph, January 8, 2019

First Chapter

This week I’m featuring the January selection for the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club. Again, WAY outside of my normal reading zone, but I’m definitely looking forward to digging into this one!

harry's trees

The memorial service for Beth, Harry Crane’s wife of fourteen years, was held in the Leiper Friends Meeting House in Waverly, just outside Philadelphia. The large, unadorned room was packed with relatives, friends, neighbors and coworkers. A woman’s whisper rose from their midst. “Oh, look at him. Poor Harry.” Grief-haunted and pale in his rumpled blue suit, Harry sat in the front row propped between his imposing older brother, Wolf, and Beth’s father, Stan.

Like I said above, this book is way outside my normal reading. But that intro works for me… it definitely makes me want to know how Beth died. I hope you come back in a few weeks when I get my review posted 🙂