ANOTHER REDISCOVERY…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

This week I rediscovered a book I purchased in May 2020: Ask Again, Yes, by Mary Beth Keane

Why did I buy it?  I read about the book on some blogs, and also loved the blurb.

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, rookie NYPD cops, are neighbors in the suburbs. What happens behind closed doors in both houses—the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the explosive events to come.

In Mary Beth Keane’s extraordinary novel, a lifelong friendship and love blossoms between Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope, born six months apart. One shocking night their loyalties are divided, and their bond will be tested again and again over the next thirty years. Heartbreaking and redemptive, Ask Again, Yes is a gorgeous and generous portrait of the daily intimacies of marriage and the power of forgiveness.

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Now I must bring this one forward!

What have you found in your hidden spaces?

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GOODBYE TO APRIL!

It is time to wrap up another month!  Goodbye, April, and Hello May!

Here are my three favorite books for the month:

GENRES:

Contemporary Fiction: 2

Mysteries/Thrillers – 5

Literary Fiction: 3

Nonfiction: 1

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Click Titles for Reviews:

APRIL 2021:

1.A Million Reasons Why (e-book), by Jessica Strawser – (354 pages) (contemporary fiction) – 4/7/21

2.Blood Orange (e-book), by Harriet Tyce – (338 pages) – (thriller) – 4/11/21

3.Cleaving, by Julie Powell – (303 pages) – (memoir) – 4/26/21 – (Nonfiction Reading Challenge)

4.Every Vow You Break (e-book), by Peter Swanson – (226 pages) – (thriller) – 4/3/21(

5.Life & Other Inconveniences, by Kristan Higgins – (428 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 4/15/21

6.Perfect Marriage, The (e-book), by Adam Mitzner – (292 pages) – (domestic suspense) – 4/10/21

7.Smash-Up, The (e-book), by Ali Benjamin – (335 pages) – (literary fiction) – 4/24/217

8.That Summer (e-book), by Jennifer Weiner – (432 pages) – (Literary Fiction) – 4/30/21 – (NetGalley – 5/11/21)

9.Thief of Souls (e-book), by Brian Klingborg – (288 pages) – (mystery) – 4/20/21 – (NetGalley – 5/4/21)

10.Too Good To Be True (e-book), by Carola Lovering – (339 pages) – (psychological thriller) – 4/18/21

11.White Palace, by Glenn Savan – (406 pages) – (literary fiction) – 4/2/21

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BOOKS READ IN APRIL 2021:  11

PAGES READ IN APRIL: 3,741

BOOKS READ YTD:  42

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What did your month look like?

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REVIEW: THAT SUMMER, BY JENNIFER WEINER

Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?

While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?

From the manicured Main Line of Philadelphia to the wild landscape of the Outer Cape, written with Jennifer Weiner’s signature wit and sharp observations, That Summer is a story about surviving our pasts, confronting our futures, and the sustaining bonds of friendship.

curl up and read thoughts

 

As we follow the tale of two women named Diana, That Summer takes us back and forth in time. Something happened to fifteen-year-old Diana on the Outer Cape, but we don’t discover the details until much later.

Flipping between the present and those past events, we begin to finally understand what happened back then…and what is motivating one Diana in the present day.

As the events come together in the present, filling in the blanks from the past, we are in another #MeToo situation that will suddenly change directions. Will the two Dianas find solutions to the choices of the past and realize what is happening between them now? Meanwhile, “the entire country is in the midst of facing the wreckage of decades of sexual harassment and sexual assault.” Is it a time of reckoning, an inflection point?

As Daisy reflects on her life, her daughter Beatrice reminds her of snippets of the play The Doll’s House, and she begins to change how she views her world and her husband. She can now turn her perspective onto that summer and what happened to the other Diana.

I loved this story, and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen.

***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley

 

PLUMBING THE DEPTHS…AGAIN

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s forgotten book was one I purchased in April 2017:  Fallout, by Sara Paretsky.

I bought it because I have enjoyed several books by this author.  I haven’t read it yet because…well, that’s just how it goes sometimes.

Here’s the description that reeled me in:

LEE CHILD says she’s “a genius.”

P.D. JAMES called her “the most remarkable” of today’s suspense writers.

STIEG LARSSON loved her work so much, he named her in his novels.

And now SARA PARETSKY returns with the most extraordinary novel of her legendary career: FALLOUT.

Before there was Lisbeth Salander, before there was Stephanie Plum, there was V.I. WARSHAWSKI. To her parents, she’s Victoria Iphigenia. To her friends, she’s Vic. But to clients seeking her talents as a detective, she’s V.I. And her new case will lead her from her native Chicago… and into Kansas, on the trail of a vanished film student and a faded Hollywood star.

Accompanied by her dog, V.I. tracks her quarry through a university town, across fields where missile silos once flourished — and into a past riven by long-simmering racial tensions, a past that holds the key to the crimes of the present. But as the mysteries stack up, so does the body count. And in this, her toughest case, not even V.I. is safe.

Exciting and provocative, fiercely intelligent and witty, FALLOUT is reading at its most enjoyable and powerful.

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What books have you overlooked from your shelves?

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ANOTHER HIDDEN TREASURE…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s selection is a hardcover book that I bought to help “fatten” my shelves…and also because I love the sound of it.  I’ve also enjoyed the author.  I bought the book in March 2020, and hope to read it soon!  And I see from scrolling through my posts that I already featured this book earlier!  LOL

A Good Neighborhood, by Therese Anne Fowler

 

Description:  in Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son, Xavier, who’s headed to college in the fall. All is well until the Whitmans―a family with new money and a secretly troubled teenage daughter―raze the house and trees next door to build themselves a showplace.

With little in common except a property line, these two families quickly find themselves at odds: first, over an historic oak tree in Valerie’s yard, and soon after, the blossoming romance between their two teenagers.

A Good Neighborhood
asks big questions about life in America today―what does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don’t see eye to eye?―as it explores the effects of class, race, and heartrending love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful.

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I am now even more determined to read this one! So glad I found it again. What have you rediscovered?

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REVIEW: TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, BY CAROLA LOVERING

Skye Starling is overjoyed when her boyfriend, Burke Michaels, proposes after a whirlwind courtship. Though Skye seems to have the world at her fingertips—she’s smart, beautiful, and from a well-off family—she’s also battled crippling OCD ever since her mother’s death when she was eleven, and her romantic relationships have suffered as a result.

But now Burke—handsome, older, and more emotionally mature than any man she’s met before—says he wants her. Forever. Except, Burke isn’t who he claims to be. And interspersed letters to his therapist reveal the truth: he’s happily married, and using Skye for his own, deceptive ends.

In a third perspective, set thirty years earlier, a scrappy seventeen-year-old named Heather is determined to end things with Burke, a local bad boy, and make a better life for herself in New York City. But can her adolescent love stay firmly in her past—or will he find his way into her future?

On a collision course she doesn’t see coming, Skye throws herself into wedding planning, as Burke’s scheme grows ever more twisted. But of course, even the best laid plans can go astray. And just when you think you know where this story is going, you’ll discover that there’s more than one way to spin the truth.

 

 

A story that twists and turns repeatedly throughout, Too Good To Be True spotlights bits and pieces via alternating narrators and letters written by two of the characters to their therapist.

Not only the present is revealed, but a story that began thirty years before, which yields just enough about the characters to keep us guessing. And then we are also gifted with the motives that were carefully hidden and finally out in the open.

I was hooked from the beginning but had issues with several of the characters. My favorite was Skye, as she had vulnerabilities that made me want to protect her. As for the others, I was not sorry to see them finally pay some consequences, but in my opinion, they did not pay enough. A 4.5 star read that kept me engaged throughout.

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ANOTHER HIDDEN TREASURE…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s feature is a book that has been in my Kindle since December 2015:  The Empty House, by Rosamunde Pilcher.  I always enjoy this author, so I don’t know why it is still languishing on my Kindle.  But here goes!  Time to read it.

Description: At twenty-seven, Virginia Keile had been through the most intense experiences life had to offer–a magical first love ending in heartbreak, a suitable marriage, motherhood, and widowhood. All she wanted now was to take her daughter and son to a seaside cottage in Cornwall and help them recover. But Virginia’s true love was there, waiting, hoping, praying that this time she would be strong enough to seize happiness, in The Empty House.

When you read a novel by Rosamunde Pilcher you enter a special world where emotions sing from the heart. A world that lovingly captures the ties that bind us to one another-the joys and sorrows, heartbreaks and misunderstandings, and glad, perfect moments when we are in true harmony. A world filled with evocative, engrossing, and above all, enjoyable portraits of people’s lives and loves, tenderly laid open for us…

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What have you neglected/forgotten about on your shelves?

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REVIEW: THE PERFECT MARRIAGE, BY ADAM MITZNER

James and Jessica Sommers are celebrating their first blissful year together, an unexpected second chance at true love. Unfortunately, their newfound shot at happiness is not without collateral damage.

There’s Jessica’s ex-husband. He pretends for all the world that he’s resilient and strong. If only for the sake of their teenage son, profoundly vulnerable in his own way. James’s ex has taken a different road. Bitter, vengeful, and threatening, she wants only the worst for the happy couple. And then there’s the couple themselves: Are they truly as in love as they seem?

When James enters into an extraordinarily profitable, if shady, transaction with a beautiful art dealer, Jessica and James’s seemingly perfect marriage takes a dark and tragic turn.

Amid suspicions, tested loyalties, revenge, and guilt, no one escapes unscathed from sins committed in the name of love.

 
 
curl up and read thoughts

Our characters alternate in telling the story of The Perfect Marriage, and we soon come to realize that they and their relationships are anything but perfect. In fact, sometimes they are deeply flawed.

Like most stories about relationships, the flaws and imperfections give us that extra twist, the ingredients that pull us in.

I found it hard to imagine how this story would play out, but I did have my theories. I was most drawn to young Owen, who was fighting a second round of leukemia.

The darkness descends and soon all the characters are having to explain their actions to escape punishment.

As the story winds down, I kept trying to guess who might have done the deed, and I was truly stunned by how it all played out. A 4.5 star read.

 
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FINDING TREASURES…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Today’s selection is a book I purchased in March 2020. Why? I enjoy the author, and I love the sound of it. I bought it in print format, which explains why it is still languishing. Print volumes seem to take longer to read!

Description: In Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son, Xavier, who’s headed to college in the fall. All is well until the Whitmans―a family with new money and a secretly troubled teenage daughter―raze the house and trees next door to build themselves a showplace.

With little in common except a property line, these two families quickly find themselves at odds: first, over an historic oak tree in Valerie’s yard, and soon after, the blossoming romance between their two teenagers.

A Good Neighborhood
asks big questions about life in America today―what does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don’t see eye to eye?―as it explores the effects of class, race, and heartrending love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful.

***

What have you discovered on your shelves?

***

TREASURE DISCOVERED…

It is time for another search of our TBR shelves/piles for those sadly neglected books from the past.  Carole’s Random Life in Books is hosting this event.

Nowadays, I am searching my 2020 purchases, which is progress, I guess.  Of course I have only actually read a handful of the “neglected books” I have discovered.  So far.  But discovery is the first step.

Today I am featuring one of my paperback books purchased in March 2020:  Life and Other Inconveniences, by Kristan Higgins.

 

LIFE AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES

I have enjoyed this author, which is why I bought this book.  And because I have been adding print volumes to my bookshelf, I have gone a little overboard with those purchases.

Description:  Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley.

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?

What have you discovered today?

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