BOOKS PURCHASED IN 2019…AND THOSE READ

Check out the titles I added this year, so far; and then see the links to my reviews of the 2019 purchases read.  Not bad.

 

JANUARY 2019:

1.A Simple Favor (e-book), by Darcey Bell

2.Becoming Mrs. Lewis (e-book), by Patti Callahan

3.Best of Us, The (e-book), by Robyn Carr

4.Come Find Me (e-book), by Megan Miranda

5.Her One Mistake (e-book), by Heidi Perks

6.Late in the Day (e-book), by Tessa Hadley

7.Liar’s Room, The (e-book), by Simon Lelic

8.Red Address Book, The (e-book), by Sofia Lundberg

9.She Lies in Wait (e-book), by Gytha Lodge

10.Suspect, The (e-book), by Fiona Barton

11.Untouchable (e-book), by Jayne Ann Krentz

12.Wallis in Love, by Andrew Morton

13.Woman Inside, The (e-book), by E. G. ScottDNF

14.Woman Who Kept Everything, The (e-book), by Jane Gilley

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FEBRUARY 2019:

1.Don’t Wake Up (e-book), by Liz Lawler

2. I Invited Her In (e-book), by Adele Parks

3.I Owe You One (e-book), by Sophie Kinsella

4.Never Tell (e-book), by Lisa Gardner

5.Next To Die, The (e-book), by Sophie Hannah

6.Silent Patient, The (e-book), by Alex Michaelides

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MARCH 2019:

1.All the Wrong Places (e-book), by Joy Fielding

2.Back Stabbers (e-book), by Julie Mulhern

3,Before She Knew Him (e-book), by Peter Swanson

4.California Girls (e-book), by Susan Mallery

5.Liar’s Child, The (e-book), by Carla Buckley

6.Library of Lost and Found, The (e-book), by Phaedra Patrick

7.Maid (e-book), by Stephanie Land

8. Night Visitors, The (e-book), by Carol Goodman

9.Perfect Girlfriend, The (e-book), by Karen Hamilton

10.Things We Cannot Say, The (e-book), by Kelly Rimmer

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APRIL 2019:

1.Editor, The (e-book), by Steven Rowley

2.Girl He Used to Know, The (e-book), by Tracey Garvis Graves

3.My Lovely Wife (e-book), by Samantha Downing

4.Someone Knows (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline

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REVIEW: THE NIGHT VISITORS, BY CAROL GOODMAN

 

ALICE gets off a bus in the middle of a snowstorm in Delphi, NY. She is fleeing an abusive relationship and desperate to protect…

OREN, ten years old, a major Star Wars fan and wise beyond his years. Though Alice is wary, Oren bonds nearly instantly with…

MATTIE, a social worker in her fifties who lives in an enormous run-down house in the middle of the woods. Mattie lives alone and is always available, and so she is the person the hotline always calls when they need a late-night pickup. And although according to protocol Mattie should take Alice and Oren to a local shelter, instead she brings them home for the night. She has plenty of room, she says. What she doesn’t say is that Oren reminds her of her little brother, who died thirty years ago at the age of ten.

But Mattie isn’t the only one withholding elements of the truth. Alice is keeping her own secrets. And as the snowstorm worsens around them, each woman’s past will prove itself unburied, stirring up threats both within and without.

My Thoughts: I was immediately swept up into the drama of The Night Visitors as Alice and Oren get off the bus and are pulled into the unknown life ahead of them. Fleeing abuse, but not sure who they can trust, Alice braces herself against the challenges ahead.

Alice and Mattie’s stories are told in alternating narratives, and we learn more about their lives and their experiences as their stories unfold.

I could relate to Mattie, having had a career in social work. Her own family life was full of secrets and dark judgments, so I could empathize with how she had struggled.

Alice’s secrets brought darkness into their new lives, and because she wasn’t sure if she could trust Mattie, she almost lost the opportunity to accept the good offered to her.

Mysteries seemed to lurk in the old Victorian house where Mattie offers refuge, and I liked the “ghostly elements” in the story. In the end, I was happy that many of the issues were resolved for the characters. 4.5 stars.

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HELLO, APRIL: MONTHLY WRAP-UP

Another month bites the dust!  Tomorrow is the April First, and I’m not foolin’,  Yeah, that was silly.  March brought some good books, so let’s take a peek.  First are my two favorites…I couldn’t choose just one.

Genres:

     Mysteries/Thrillers – 5

     Contemporary Fiction – 5

     Literary Fiction – 1

 

 

Here are the books.  Click my titles to see my reviews.

MARCH 2019:

1.Ash Family, The (e-book), by Molly Dektar – (352 pages) – (literary fiction) – 3/30/19 – (NetGalley – 4/9/19)

2.Back Stabbers (e-book, #8), by Julie Mulhern – (244 pages) – (murder mystery) – 3/31/19

3.Her One Mistake (e-book), by Heidi Perks- (304 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 3/22/19

4.I Invited Her In (e-book), by Adele Parks – (432 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 3/25/19

5.In the Blink of an Eye (e-book), by Jesse Blackadder – (384 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 3/9/19 – (NetGalley – 3/19/19)

6.I Owe You One (e-book), by Sophie Kinsella – (432 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 3/18/19

7.Liar’s Child, The (e-book), by Carla Buckley – (288 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 3/21/19

8.Me For You (e-book), by Lolly Winston – (304 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 3-6-19 – (NG- 3/19/19)

9.Next To Die, The (e-book), by Sophie Hannah – (398 pages) – (mystery) – 3/14/19

10.Night Beach, by Joanne DeMaio – (260 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 3/16/19 – (Author Review Request)

11.Silent Patient, The (e-book), by Alex Michaelides – (323 pages) – (psychological thriller) – 3/1/19

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN  MARCH 2019:    11

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN MARCH: 3,721

BOOKS READ YTD:   31

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REVIEW: HER ONE MISTAKE, BY HEIDI PERKS

 

Charlotte was supposed to be looking after the children, and she swears she was. She only took her eyes off of them for one second. But when her three kids are all safe and sound at the school fair, and Alice, her best friend Harriet’s daughter, is nowhere to be found, Charlotte panics. Frantically searching everywhere, Charlotte knows she must find the courage to tell Harriet that her beloved only child is missing. And admit that she has only herself to blame.

Harriet, devastated by this unthinkable, unbearable loss, can no longer bring herself to speak to Charlotte again, much less trust her. Now more isolated than ever and struggling to keep her marriage afloat, Harriet believes nothing and no one. But as the police bear down on both women trying to piece together the puzzle of what happened to this little girl, dark secrets begin to surface—and Harriet discovers that confiding in Charlotte again may be the only thing that will reunite her with her daughter….

My Thoughts: What a whirlwind ride! Her One Mistake begins  as a lost child scenario, but as alternating narrators reveal more of the story, we see that the players in this layered and deceptive drama are not who they seem to be.

Harriet and Brian caught my interest early on, as there was something very odd about their dynamic. While townsfolk, along with the media, point a finger at Charlotte, they should be paying attention to the two of them.

As the story unfolds, I must stop the revelations, to avoid spoilers. Suffice it to say you will hang on tight throughout this breathless ride…and you will not be disappointed. 5 stars.

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MONTHLY WRAP-UP: WELCOME TO MARCH!

Another month bites the dust.  February was a good month, with lots of intriguing titles.

FAVORITE FEBRUARY READ:

Genres: 

     Mysteries/Thrillers:  3

    Contemporary Fiction:  6

    Historical Fiction:  1

 

Here are my books, linked to my reviews:

FEBRUARY 2019:

1.Best of Us, The  (e-book), by Robyn Carr – (336 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 2/9/19

2.Daisy Jones & the Six (e-book), by Taylor Jenkins Reid – (368 pages) – (historical fiction) – 2/11/19 – (NG-3/5/19)

3.Don’t Wake Up (e-book), by Liz Lawler – (368 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 2/26/19

4.Late in the Day (e-book), by Tessa Hadley – (277 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 2/18/19

5.Making of Us, The (e-book), by Lisa Jewell – (403 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 2/15/19 (Library Book)

6.Not Here (e-book), by Genevieve Nocovo – (218 pages) – (contemporary fiction/suspense) – 2/12/19 (Author Review Book)

7.On Turpentine Lane (e-book), by Elinor Lipman – (322 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 2/27/19

8.She Lies in Wait (e-book), by Gytha Lodge  – (368 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 2/23/19

9.Untouchable (e-book), by Jayne Ann Krentz – (303 pages) – (mystery) – 2/5/19

10.Woman Who Kept Everything, The (e-book), by Jane Gilley – (777 KB) – (contemporary fiction) – 2/2/19

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN  FEBRUARY 2019:    10

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN FEBRUARY:  2,963

BOOKS READ YTD:   20

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How was February for you?

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REVIEW: ON TURPENTINE LANE, BY ELINOR LIPMAN

 

At thirty-two, Faith Frankel has returned to her claustro-suburban hometown, where she writes institutional thank-you notes for her alma mater. It’s a peaceful life, really, and surely with her recent purchase of a sweet bungalow on Turpentine Lane her life is finally on track. Never mind that her fiancé is off on a crowdfunded cross-country walk, too busy to return her texts (but not too busy to post photos of himself with a different woman in every state). And never mind her witless boss, or a mother who lives too close, or a philandering father who thinks he’s Chagall.

When she finds some mysterious artifacts in the attic of her new home, she wonders whether anything in her life is as it seems. What good fortune, then, that Faith has found a friend in affable, collegial Nick Franconi, officemate par excellence . . .

 

My Thoughts: My mood led me to On Turpentine Lane, a book that had been languishing on my Kindle, and as I turned each page with fresh delight, I knew I would be engaged throughout.

The story opens with Faith buying a charming bungalow with a lot of quirky elements, not the least of which would lead to a twisty kind of mystery involving previous residents of the home.

Mix in the delightful banter between two friends and coworkers, Faith and Nick, and you are off on a journey toward a hopeful ending.

In the beginning, Faith had a walkabout fiancé that I was pleased to watch her kick to the curb. From there, it was only a matter of time until she improved her situation. I thoroughly enjoyed how the story came together into a very satisfying denouement. 4.5 stars.

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MY BOOK BUYING DISORDER…

Now that we are nearing the end of February 2019, I decided to look back at last year’s purchases…and how many of those books I’ve read so far.

In 2018, I purchased 109 books,, and have read 78.  I DNFed two books.

So I need to get busy and read a few more.  I won’t even go into my purchases for the previous years, although I whittled those stacks down a bit during my Read the Books You Buy Challenges in 2016 and 2017:   100 books in 2016 and 121 in 2017.

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Ideally, I would purchase only as many books as I could read each month.  Wouldn’t that be great?  But my love of the new books I see every month would interfere with that plan.  So I will just keep plugging away at those TBRs…and also find new books at NetGalley and Vine.  Which reminds me:  I haven’t checked Vine in a while!

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How do you manage your reading/purchasing/reviewing stats?

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REVIEW: NOT HERE, BY GENEVIEVE NOCOVO

 

In San Francisco, where the poor are systematically displaced by well-off yuppies, Dina Ostica is part of the problem. The damaged, determined twenty-three-year-old scrambles to make a name for herself in the burgeoning world of podcasting, with the city as her muse. She is hell-bent on professional success, thinking it will mend her broken spirit.

But when her go-to source on local history disappears without warning, she begins to uncover an uncanny pattern that hits too close to home, getting her tied up in the city’s underbelly.

What follows is a gritty tale of exploitation, betrayal, and the strength one needs to survive the whims of those in power.

Will Dina escape or fall victim to the injustice chewing up the city?

My Thoughts: Dina Ostica was an appealing protagonist, and her story in Not Here focused on chasing a dream while trying to do good deeds. Her new life in SF was going to be a great place to achieve her goals, but unfortunately for her, she didn’t know how to protect herself completely from those who would do her harm. I couldn’t help but blame the abusive relationship she had had prior to moving to SF. The domineering fiancé had turned her world upside down and damaged her confidence.

She spent a lot of time in a gym, studying martial arts, but when the evil characters came after her, she was unprepared and unable to save herself.

Until the end. The intense actions of those who would victimize her kept me rapidly turning pages, even as I wondered what had happened to her martial arts skills when she needed them. In the end, Dina came out fighting, finally turning her life around. 3.5 stars.

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FIRST MONTH OF THE YEAR: WRAPPING UP…

Here we are, ending the first month of 2019.  I didn’t finish as many books as I would have liked, but they were all great ones.  Click on over to Book Date to link up and visit other bloggers.

The books were so great that I had two top contenders:

 

 

 

 

 

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Genres:

     Contemporary/Historical Fiction:      3

     Suspense/Thrillers –  7

 

JANUARY 2019:

1.By the Book (e-book), by Julia Sonneborn – ( 384 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 1/16/19

2.Family at No. 13, The (e-book), by S. D. Monaghan – (288 pages) – (suspense) 1/24/19

3.Forget You Know Me (e-book), by Jessica Strawser – (336 pages) – (suspense) – 1/7/19 – (NG-2/5/19)

4.Liar’s Room, The (e-book), by Simon Lelic – (325 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 1/28/19

5.Red Address Book, The (e-book), by Sofia Lundgren – (304 pages) – (historical/contemporary fiction) – 1/21/19

6.Suspect, The (e-book), by Fiona Barton – (402 pages) – (suspense/mystery) – 1/31/19

7.Those Other Women (e-book), by Nicola Moriarty – (400 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 1/14/19

8.Verity (e-book), by Colleen Hoover – (333 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 1/25/19

9.Winter Sister, The (e-book), by Megan Collins – (336 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 1/11/19 – (NG-2/5/19)

10.You Don’t Own Me (e-book), by Mary Higgins Clark/Alafair Burke – (288 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 1/1/19- (First Book of the Year)

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN JANUARY 2019:    10

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN JANUARY 2019: 3,396

BOOKS READ YTD:   10

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REVIEW: THE SUSPECT, BY FIONA BARTON

 

When two eighteen-year-old girls go missing in Thailand, their families are thrust into the international spotlight: desperate, bereft, and frantic with worry. What were the girls up to before they disappeared?

Journalist Kate Waters always does everything she can to be first to the story, first with the exclusive, first to discover the truth—and this time is no exception. But she can’t help but think of her own son, whom she hasn’t seen in two years, since he left home to go travelling.

As the case of the missing girls unfolds, they will all find that even this far away, danger can lie closer to home than you might think…

My Thoughts: I have enjoyed other books by this author, including the recurring appearance of Kate Waters, the journalist. She feels like an old friend, and her first person narrative personalizes her perspective even more.

How does the addition of Kate’s own son, Jake, add to the intensity?

I liked the short chapters and the switching between parents, detectives, and journalists…giving us an emotional layer we might otherwise lose in the mix.

While the detectives, parents, and journalists are revealing their stories, we see flash backs of the girls in Thailand, and with each page, we see that danger has been lurking from the beginning.

We also see the early conflicts, primarily because Alex had been planning the trip with an old friend, Mags, who had bowed out at the last moment. The substitution of Rosie, who was not a very close friend, would turn out to be a big mistake.

Will the revelations bring peace? Or will more pain and conflict arise? A slow build that didn’t feel slow, since we moved from one set of characters to another, The Suspect held my interest throughout, while touching that emotional core as I empathized with the characters.

As the police and press shift from one suspect to another, taking many wrong turns along the way, I kept guessing, and then learning something different at the next turn. The final answers left a few loose threads…and some moral ambiguity. 5 stars.

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