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 🙂

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3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2019, SERIES, Stone Barrington, U-V-W

Review: Fresh Disasters by Stuart Woods

Fresh Disasters
by Stuart Woods

fresh disasters

 

Copyright: 2007

Pages: 277

Read: Jan 15 – 24, 2019

Rating: 3/5

Source: Library Book Sale

 

Blurb: Stone embarks on his most dangerous adventure yet when a chance encounter with the wrong man sends him straight into the heart of New York’s Mafia underworld.

It starts as just another late night at Elaine’s and ends with the hapless Herbie Fisher, the bane of his existence. Stone finds that what should have been a throwaway case instead leads right to a powerful mob boss with a notoriously bad temper and long reach. Fortunately for Stone, the twists of the case also take a more congenial turn – sending a little romance his way, and giving him another opportunity to try to rescue a beautiful woman in distress. But as the danger deepens, Stone is left to wonder if he can disentangle himself from this lawless mess before he winds up – as his friend Dino likes to put it – “at the bottom of Sheepshead Bay with a concrete block up his ass.”

With the often hilarious action, razor-sharp characters, and crackling dialogue that are his hallmarks, Fresh Disasters is Stuart Woods at the pleasurable height of his storytelling powers.


Review: This is the 13th book in the Stone Barrington series. I can’t lie … the Stone Barrington series is definitely one of my reading guilty pleasures. They’re definitely mindless entertainment. But they usually read relatively fast and are enjoyable.

This particular installment I had a love-hate relationship with. First, we find Stone sleeping with 3 different women in this book. Clocking in at 277 pages, that’s got to be some kind of record, even for Stone Barrington’s standards. I’ll give him the first two, but it was the third one that bothered me the most. I’m no prude, but come on, at some point it doesn’t feel believable that Stone can (and does) hop into bed with almost every woman he encounters. But then you’ve got the Herbie Fisher character … and it kind of makes up for it. Stone groans every time Herbie comes into his life, and as the reader, I can’t help but giggle. He’s a likable character who keeps things interesting for Stone.

So yeah, I’d say another decent installment in this series. As I’ve said before of these books, they are no literary feats … but they are just plain fun!

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. 😀

 

 

Life, Miscellaneous Ramblings

Reading Slumps Stink…

Here I was all excited for the new year and the fresh start of a new reading year … and I’ve hit a reading slump. Just, ugh! These things are supposed to hit in March … or October … or any other month at all … NOT in January 😥 But here we are.

I thought at first it was because I had to finish my way through Clive Cussler’s Treasure since I was silly to pick up a 500+ page book at the end of 2018, but the last couple hundred pages went quite well and I was done by the 2nd, so I figured a few days into the New Year wouldn’t really matter all that much. Then I hopped right into Harry’s Trees for the MMD book club selection and I was pumped at first only to have to wade through at the end.

Then I picked up a James Patterson book because James Patterson always puts me right back into reading, but this one (The President is Missing) doesn’t have the same feel as a “usual” Patterson and I’ve spent the last 3 days on it and I’m only 49 pages in. I think I’m going to have to have my first DNF of the year and that saddens me. I don’t really know where to go from here. I mean, if James Patterson can’t pick me up (my go-to slump author) … what will?! This is awful.

I know a lot of it has to do with some stuff going on in my personal life. Not wanting to go into too much detail (you know, because it’s personal and not necessarily my story to tell, but I am involved in it). .. I have a family member going through a divorce. And I’m feeling the effects of if in a major way because I lost not only a family member, but someone who I considered a very close friend. I was lied to multiple times over the course of at least the last 6-8 months and that hurts. The betrayal. I don’t make friends easily, and the ones that I do make I tend to hold onto for dear life. So the fact that not only am I losing a friend but I’m losing one because of such a big betrayal … it’s really hurt me in ways I can’t describe. The whole family feels betrayed, not just the member involved in the divorce. It’s just been a cluster and I’m having a very hard time processing everything.

We will all heal with time … but for now, my reading is really taking a hit. I find myself just aimlessly surfing the internet more often than not and when I do pick up a book, I can’t tell you anything about the previous 5 pages I just read.

So all that rambling … what is YOUR go-to slump breaker? Have you read anything AMAZING lately that you’d like to share in the comments? Please drop me a note with your recommendations!

In the meantime … happy reading 🙂

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, MMD Book Club, RATING, Read in 2019

Review: Harry’s Trees by Jon Cohen

Harry’s Trees
by Jon Cohen

harry's trees

 

Copyright: 2018

Pages: 428

Read: Jan 4 – 14, 2019

Rating: 3/5

Source: Library

 

Blurb: Thirty-four-year-old Harry Crane works as an analyst for the US Forest Service. When his wife dies suddenly, he is unable to cope. Leaving his job and his old life behind, Harry makes his way to the remote woods of northeastern Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains, determined to lose himself. But fate intervenes in the form of a fiercely determined young girl named Oriana. She and her mother, Amanda, are struggling to pick up the pieces from their own tragedy – Amanda stoically holding it together while Oriana roams the forest searching for answers. And in Oriana’s magical, willful mind, she believes that Harry is the key to righting her world.

After taking up residence in the woods behind Amanda’s house, Harry reluctantly agrees to help Oriana in a ludicrous scheme to escape his tragic past. In so doing, the unlikeliest of elements – a wolf, a stash of gold coins, a fairy tale called The Grum’s Ledger and a wise old librarian named Olive – come together to create a golden adventure that will fulfill Oriana’s wildest dreams and open Harry’s heart to a whole new life.

Harry’s Trees is an uplifting story about the redeeming power of friendship and love and the magic to be found in life’s most surprising adventures.


Review: This book is the January selection in the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club. As usual, this selection is way outside my normal reading. It’s billed on Goodreads as magical realism. I was a little leery to take this one on, but having skipped the last few months I knew I wanted to at least give this one a shot – it didn’t sound terrible, just not necessarily my norm.

So what did I think? Well, ultimately, it wasn’t a bad book. In fact the first half of the book really swept me up and I was really enjoying it. And then right around the time that Oriana and Harry put their “scheme” into motion it kind of dropped off for me. I think it was right around that time that I could see the obvious about how the ending would happen – and for the most part, I nailed it. I don’t like predictability in my endings, and this one was just a little too predictable for my personal taste.

The book itself is well written and thought out.  The characters were all well-developed and each had their own interesting story. The character development was definitely a big part of this book and that was probably my favorite part about the entire book. I can definitely see the “magic” of this book, but I had a hard time buying into it personally.

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.

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Dirk Pitt, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2019, SERIES

Review: Treasure by Clive Cussler

Treasure
by Clive Cussler

Treasure

Copyright: 1988

Pages: 547

Read: Dec. 24, 2018 – Jan 2, 2019

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: Charts of lost gold … breathtaking art and rare volumes … maps of hidden oil and mineral deposits that could change the world’s balance of power. Now Dirk Pitt has discovered the secret trail of the treasures of Alexandria – a trail that plunges him into a brutal conspiracy for total domination of the globe. Zealots threaten to unseat the governments of Egypt and Mexico, exposing America to invasion and economic collapse. Suddenly, from East to West, anarchists reach their deadly tentacles into the heart of the United States. And Dirk Pitt, the hard-hitting hero of Clive Cussler’s Deep Six and Raise the Titanic! is up against the most feared assassin known to man. An international band of terrorists is making its play for world power on the high seas – and Pitt is the only man alive who can stop them!


Review: I try and read one Clive Cussler book every year, but I kept putting this one off every time I thought about needing to get my yearly Dirk Pitt fix in. 😦 For some reason this one just didn’t call to me the way the other installments have. And for the most part, my original assessment was pretty close to spot on.

There were a lot of things going on in this book with multiple storylines. Some of those storylines I loved and yet the other one… not so much. It all came together in the end in an interesting way, but there was a lot of political scenes that I could have done without. I just found it a little bit of a stretch to believe what Dirk Pitt went through in this book (which I think is pretty par for the course for any Dirk Pitt novel).

So while overall I’m glad that I was able to cross this one off the list, at 547 pages it was a little long and it dragged in a few places. But I’m still looking forward to continuing on with this series! There’s just something about Dirk Pitt that keeps me coming back for more.

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 🙂

Mailbox Monday, Meme

Mailbox Monday, January 7, 2019

Mailbox Mondays

This week I received my BOTM selection:

The Silent Patient.jpgAlicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….


And I also received my bookcase.club subscription. This month’s selections were A TON better than last month’s. Here’s what I got:

ragdollWilliam “Wolf” Fawkes gets the case of a lifetime – a case that could restore his once-enviable reputation. He and his former partner, Detective Emily Baxter, arrive at a crime scene where the body is made of the dismembered parts of six victims, sewn together – a corpse that becomes known as “The Ragdoll.”

Wolf is tasked with identifying the six victims, but that is complicated when his ex-wife, a popular journalist, anonymously receives a list of names, and the dates on which the Ragdoll Killer plans to strike next.

The final name on the list is Wolf.

Baxter homes in on figuring out what links the victims together before the killer attacks again. But for Wolf, seeing his name on the list reignites his most self-destructive instincts as he races against the clock to stop this twisted, elusive killer.


crimson lakeAccused but not convicted of a brutal abduction, Sydney Detective Ted Conkaffey is now a free man – and public enemy number one. Maintaining his innocence, he flees north to keep a low profile amid the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake.

There, Ted’s lawyer introduces him to eccentric private investigator Amanda Pharrell, herself a convicted murderer. Not entirely convinced Amanda is a cold-blooded killer, Ted agrees to help with her investigation, a case full of deception and obsession, while secretly digging into her troubled past. The residents of Crimson Lake are watching the pair’s every move … and the town offers no place to hide.