This has been an exciting and a very stressful week all at the same time. If you are a BookDaily subscriber you may have seen that my book FAMILY MATTERS was promoted. (I still haven’t seen the email that went out.) It was exciting because so many of you downloaded the book but stressful because they were supposed to be promoting FAMILY LIES. If you downloaded Book 2 FAMILY MATTERS but would like to read Book 1 FAMILY LIES before you read book 2 I think it will be promoted for a few days next week. I’m not sure because I can get no response from the BookDaily people! Anyway, thanks again to those of you who are reading. Please leave me a review on Amazon, it really is fun for me to know what you are thinking. If you’d like to see any of my Amazon books visit my Author Page or search Amazon for my books by name or author name. FAMILY LIES, FAMILY MATTERS, SUBTLE DIFFERENCES
Because of a hurricane off Baja we have had a tumultuous day. At 6:30 AM I woke to thunder and lightening – something we almost never see or hear in Southern California. And then it poured! Also something we seldom experience. It’s very warm and very wet! Perhaps this will help the drought – I certainly hope so. Some good needs to come of it since, of course, the deck construction is incomplete and I had a bit of a leak – it’s fixed now – no damage. Last night I finished rereading To Kill A Mocking Bird and today I started Go Set A Watchmen so I’ll include both of those next week. One of my lovely readers requested that I add a note that mentions which book I read each week that is My Favorite so I’ll do that from now on.
The picture I featured on this post was taken by Brook Taylor of Sacramento, CA. – this morning from her room at the Hotel Del Coronado.
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel – A graphic memoir. I really enjoyed this first because it’s a good story – Bechdel’s father is both an English teacher and the director of the town’s funeral home (Fun Home) and then because it’s a graphic novel, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a compete one before, it was an interesting format to explore. I caution you that if you buy it as a Kindle book – it does not open on my Kindle – it does home in the Kindle app on both my laptop and my phone. On the phone it was much too small to read. ****
The World Before Us by Aislinn Hunter – I read only about half of this book. The write up sounded intriguing but I just couldn’t get into the story. It’s beautifully written but… maybe during these hot summer days I just need an easier read. I’ll try this again later.
MY FAVORITE The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson – A clever “Sliding Doors” story. I loved both worlds inhabited by Kitty/Katharyn. While it is easy to guess that the two worlds will need to be resolved and it is apparent quite early which is the real world it’s a great read, written by a skillful new writer. I read it straight through. ****
Hover by Anne A. Wilson – I like that this is the story of a female Naval Academy Graduate who is a suburb Naval Officer. The action/terrorism part of the story is a clever plot but the characters reacted to one another in too much of a Harlequin romance manner. This is a debut novel and I’ll bet the next one is stronger. **
As Night Falls by Jenny Milchman – A rather violent hostage situation in the present alternates chapters with the past to explain the actions of the characters. It’s a good plot but I didn’t love it. The chapters from the past were of more interest then the present. ***
Seems I’ve been on a reading binge about Nazis and death and dying. No surprise that I’m suffering a bit from a case of depression and inability to get moving. I hate it when I get in this kind of rut.
Did you know that I’ve listed a short story on my Amazon page? Just search for Subtle Differences by Tamara Merrill. Enjoy.
Before I go – Colleen Oakley – a very formula book about a dying wife and her search for a replacement wife for her husband. Oakley writes great dialogue and her heroine Daisy is lovable, funny and understandably angry. It’s just that this is a story that has been done too often in the recent past. ***
The Plum Tree – Ellen Marie Wisemen – Written from the viewpoint of a young German girl this book about WWII is slightly different but not different enough. It does show a different perspective on the American occupation. If you like novels about love in wartime you’ll most likely enjoy this book. **
The Fragile World – Paula Treick DeBoard – Living in Sacramento, CA the Kaufman’s are a “normal” family. As normal as they can be when the oldest child is a child prodigy and the father comes from a very dysfunctional family and the mother is outgoing, talented and full of fun. With that kind of foreshadowing you know that things are bound to go wrong and they do from the first pages on when you learn that the favorite child – the prodigy – has been killed in a senseless accident and only the mother is moving forward. I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for the father and daughter and I hated the ending – but – it was well written and will provoke some great discussions! ****
Secrets of a Charmed Life – Susan Mieser – I liked it this book. It used the familiar “elderly woman telling her story” method to reveal the truth about sisters separated in London when the Biltz begins. Miesner’s books are always enjoyable and this one tells a deeper tale than some of the others do. I enjoyed it and think it would be a good book club read. ***
The World Without You – Joshua Henkin – The death of child must be a terrible thing. This story unfolds over the July 4th, 2005 weekend as the family prepares for and endures the one year memorial unveiling service for their son/brother/husband. It takes a look at family dynamics, love, loss, anger. The affects of money on love and while I don’t agree with the simplified political statements portrayed it is sad profound story. ***
It’s been a quiet week here “reading-wise”. I did do a bunch of writing on Book 3 FAMILY MYTHS which made me feel productive. I’ve listed my most recent reads below and now I ‘m off to the library for a fresh supply of books! (Which, of course, makes me happy since I love the library!)
The Life I Left Behind – Colette McBride – I started out loving this book but because the ending dragged I’m only giving it 3 stars. If you like a psychological thriller with a ghost, you’ll enjoy this and you may even give it more stars – it was 3AM when I was reading the ending and maybe I should have just gone to sleep and finished in the morning. ***
You Could Be Home By Now – Tracy Manasteer – All about life in a Retirement Community in AZ. Good variety of characters (young, old and in between), some you’ll like some you won’t, touches on grief, memory, etc. A decent read. **
A Reunion of Ghosts – Judith Claire Mitchell – A family legacy of suicide shouldn’t be funny but it is. The sister’s in each generation are clever and wickedly fun. It dragged a bit but it’s worth a read just because it’s a dysfunctional family with a twist. **
Blue Stars – Emily Gray Tedrowe – A story of ordinary people whose sons and husbands and daughters and wives are deployed in Iraq. What that means to each family and how the politics of the nation and each family affect them all. It is also a very clear look at what it must be like to have your loved one seriously wounded and how different each family member’s reaction may be. Non-judgmental and presents a variety of views about the war. A little soap opera (remember ARMY WIVES) but a good read. ***