Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

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It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George.  The excerpts shared are from the hardcover version I purchased from Barnes and Noble.

 The Little Paris Bookshop 

Beginning: How on earth could I have let them talk me into it? 

The two generals of number 27 Rue MontagnardMadame Bernard, the owner, and Madame Rosalette, the conciergehad caught Monsieur in a pincer movement between their ground-floor flats.
 
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Page 56:  "Monsieur Perdu felt suddenly and truly alone, like a stupid little rowing boat on the mocking, scornful sea--without a sail, a rudder or a name."
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My thoughts:   I love books that feature bookstores (not to mention Paris) in the plot, and will be reading this novel for a book club discussion in early August.
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From Goodreads:   "There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only a hundred. There are even remedies—I mean books—that were written for one person only…A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy. Putting the right novels to the appropriate ailments: that’s how I sell books.”

Monsieur Perdu calls himself a literary apothecary. From his floating bookstore in a barge on the Seine, he prescribes novels for the hardships of life. Using his intuitive feel for the exact book a reader needs, Perdu mends broken hearts and souls. The only person he can't seem to heal through literature is himself; he's still haunted by heartbreak after his great love disappeared. She left him with only a letter, which he has never opened.

After Perdu is finally tempted to read the letter, he hauls anchor and departs on a mission to the south of France, hoping to make peace with his loss and discover the end of the story. Joined by a bestselling but blocked author and a lovelorn Italian chef, Perdu travels along the country’s rivers, dispensing his wisdom and his books, showing that the literary world can take the human soul on a journey to heal itself.

Internationally bestselling and filled with warmth and adventure,
The Little Paris Bookshop is a love letter to books, meant for anyone who believes in the power of stories to shape people's lives.




Wednesday, July 27, 2016

WWW Wednesdays

It's time for WWW Wednesdays hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words

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This weekly meme consists of answering The Three Ws:


What are you currently reading?


 What did you recently finish reading?


What do you think you’ll read next?

I'm reading . . .
A Man Called Ove 

I'm reading this book with two of my book clubs. Ove is an oddball of sorts who is currently at a crossroads in life.  More from Goodreads.

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I finished reading . . .
My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1) 

Sad to say, but for me this book just didn't live up to the hype.  The characters, of which there were many, didn't engage me and I couldn't connect with the lifestyle and customs of the village.

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I'm reading next . . .
The Little Paris Bookshop 

This is another book club read, and one I'm eager to begin.  More from Goodreads.

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What I'm Waiting For . . .
The Wonder 
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date:  September 20, 2016

From barnesandnoble.comIn Emma Donoghue's latest masterpiece, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child's life.

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell, who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl.

Written with all the propulsive tension that made Room a huge bestseller, The Wonder works beautifully on many levels—a tale of two strangers who transform each other's lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil.




What are your Wednesday updates?

WWW Wednesdays was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  This post cannot be republished without attribution. Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . .

                                                      

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.

Today I'm featuring A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman, which I am reading with one of my book clubs.

A Man Called Ove 
Goodreads Page

1
A Man Called Ove Buys a Computer That is Not a Computer

Ove is fifty-nine. 

He drives a Saab.  He's the kind of man who points at people he doesn't like the look of, as if they were burglars and his forefinger a policeman's torch.  He stands at the counter of a shop where owners of Japanese cars come to purchase white cables.  Ove eyes the sales assistant for a long time before shaking a medium-sized white box at him.

What do you think?  Would you continue reading?   
My first impression of Ove is that he is lacking in social skills and doesn't care what others think.  As I read on, I'm learning what makes him tick.  For years he has been a stickler for rules and life alone is getting to be too much for him.   But his recent interactions with a stray cat and new neighbors may just change his outlook on life.

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  This post cannot be republished without attribution. Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated. 

Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

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It's Friday . . . time to share book excerpts with:
  • Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, where bloggers share the first sentence or more of a current read, as well as initial thoughts about the sentence(s), impressions of the book, or anything else that the opening inspires.  
  • The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice, where you grab a book and turn to page 56 (or 56% of an ebook), find one or more interesting sentences (no spoilers), and post them.
Today I'm featuring My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante.  The excerpts shared are from the Kindle version I purchased from Amazon.

 My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1) 

Beginning:  PROLOGUE  Eliminating All the Traces

This morning Rino telephoned.  I thought he wanted money again and I was ready to say no.  But that was not the reason for the phone call: his mother was gone.


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56% of Ebook:  "Hesitantly we went up past Santa Caterina.  But after a while Lila had second thoughts, stopped, said that she was going back to her brother.  We tried to persuade her to stay with us, but she wouldn't listen."
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My thoughts:   After hearing so much advance buzz for this book, I was excited when one of my book clubs chose it for discussion this month.  Sadly for me, the book didn't live up to the hype, and I don't plan to continue on in the trilogy.  I didn't connect with the characters (so numerous I had to keep referring to the family chart at the beginning of the book) or the way of life and customs of the village.  While it wasn't a good fit for me, there are many readers who have already had, or will have, a pleasurable experience reading this story and subsequent books.
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From Goodreads:  A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship.

The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable Elena and Lila.

Ferrante is the author of three previous works of critically acclaimed fiction:
The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, and The Lost Daughter. With this novel, the first in a trilogy, she proves herself to be one of Italy’s great storytellers. She has given her readers a masterfully plotted page-turner, abundant and generous in its narrative details and characterizations, that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight her many fans and win new readers to her fiction. 



Which book are you reading now or about to start?



Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com. This post cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

End of Summer 2016 Blog Fun: The Comment Challenge

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Ill be participating in the Comment Challenge during the month of August.  By the time I heard about this new-to-me meme, it was too late to sign up for July, but I'm glad to get a chance to chime in during summer's last full month.  Like many bloggers, I love to get comments from others in the blogosphere, and will use the challenge to discover new-to-me blogs and widen my circle of online friends.

This challenge, hosted by Lonna @ FLYLÄ“F and Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense, pairs bloggers who have agreed to leave comments on each other's blogs.  Let the fun begin! 






End of Summer 2016 Blog Fun: The Comment Challenge was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  This post cannot be republished without attribution. Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated.  





Wednesday, July 20, 2016

WWW Wednesdays

It's time for WWW Wednesdays hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words

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This weekly meme consists of answering The Three Ws:
What are you currently reading?
 What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I'm reading . . .
My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1)

After hearing so much about this book, I was pleased when it was selected by one of my book groups for discussion this month.   More from Goodreads.

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I finished reading . . .
 
 I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around 


When I saw this book's title at BEA this year, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy.  It sounded like the perfect summer read, and I had a hunch that it would be the perfect vacation take along.   My instincts were right.

While the title is what originally attracted me, the characters and realistic life situations had me fully engaged from start to end.  Brimming with laugh-out-loud one-liners and dialogue, Garvin finds the humor in life's messiness, unfairness, and relationships gone wrong.  This novel is immensely enjoyable and fully captures the intricacies of contemporary life.

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I'm reading next . . .
A Man Called Ove
This is another book club read.  More from Goodreads.

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I'm waiting for . . . 
The Velvet Hours 
Publisher:  Penguin Publishing Group
Publication Date:  September 6, 2016
 
 
From barnesandnoble.com:  As Paris teeters on the edge of the German occupation, a young French woman closes the door to her late grandmother’s treasure-filled apartment, unsure if she’ll ever return.  
 
An elusive courtesan, Marthe de Florian cultivated a life of art and beauty, casting out all recollections of her impoverished childhood in the dark alleys of Montmartre. With Europe on the brink of war, she shares her story with her granddaughter Solange Beaugiron, using her prized possessions to reveal her innermost secrets. Most striking of all are a beautiful string of pearls and a magnificent portrait of Marthe painted by the Italian artist Giovanni Boldini. As Marthe’s tale unfolds, like velvet itself, stitched with its own shadow and light, it helps to guide Solange on her own path.  

Inspired by the true account of an abandoned Parisian apartment, Alyson Richman brings to life Solange, the young woman forced to leave her fabled grandmother’s legacy behind to save all that she loved.





What are your Wednesday updates?

WWW Wednesdays was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  This post cannot be republished without attribution. Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph


It's Tuesday . . . time for . . .

                                                      

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, where bloggers post the first paragraph(s) of a book they are currently reading or planning to read sometime soon.

Today I'm featuring I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around by Ann Garvin.  I read this book last week while I was on vacation, and received a free copy from the author at BEA, with no strings attached.  
 
 I Like You Just Fine When You're Not Around 
Goodreads Page

Chapter One
Horn Broken, Look For Finger
 
Tig Monahan tried to imagine what it would be like to lose her mind.  Was it like a quick, fully aware, terror-filled slip on an icy sidewalk, or slower, where a tiny skidding sensation goes unnoticed until suddenly you realize all four limbs are in the air and your face is in a ditch.  With her mother, Hallie, it was hard to tell what she'd been aware of, or how the knotted neurons in her brain foretold her foggy future.  Either way, her mother's mind was not her own, her secrets were locked inside, and Tig was left to ponder the icy aftermath.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?   
When I saw this book's title at BEA this year, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy.  It sounded like the perfect summer read, and I had a hunch that it would be the perfect vacation take along.   My instincts were right.

While the title is what originally attracted me, the characters and realistic life situations had me fully engaged from start to end.  Brimming with laugh-out-loud one-liners and dialogue, Garvin finds the humor in life's messiness, unfairness, and relationships gone wrong.  This novel is immensely enjoyable and fully captures the intricacies of contemporary life.
 
 

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph was originally published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  This post cannot be republished without attribution. Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated.