Tuesday, June 28, 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 an upcoming read, The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton, which I borrowed from the library.


The Cracked Spine (Scottish Bookshop Mystery #1) 


PROLOGUE

Wanted:  A bold adventurer who would love to travel the world from a comfortable and safe spot behind a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes.  A humble book and rare manuscript shop seeks a keenly intelligent investigator to assist us in our search for things thought lost, and in our quest to return lost items to their rightful owners.  This multitasked position will take you places you can't even imagine.  Apply only if you're ready for everything to change.  Please note: the position is located in Edinburgh, Scotland.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?   
That want ad is quite a tall order, and it will take a very special person to fill the job.  The Cracked Spine is the first book in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series.  The second book, Of Books and Bagpipes, will be available in 2017.





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, June 24, 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 I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid, an upcoming read borrowed from the library.
 
I'm Thinking of Ending Things 
 
I'm thinking of ending things.
 
Once this thought arrives, it stays.  It sticks.  It lingers.  It dominates.  There's not much I can do about it.  Trust me.  It doesn't go away.  It's there whether I like it or not.  It's there when I eat.  When I go to bed.  It's there when I sleep.  It's there when I wake up.  It's always there.  Always.
 
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Page 56:  "I can't say this to Jake and I don't, but maybe it's better to be alone."
 
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My thoughts:  I've heard that this debut novel is a compelling and suspenseful read.  The short opening sentences create a level of urgency that have me wanting to drop everything and start reading this book immediately.  In fact, that's my weekend plan.
 
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From Goodreads You will be scared. But you won’t know why…
 
In this deeply suspenseful and irresistibly unnerving debut novel, a man and his girlfriend are on their way to a secluded farm. When the two take an unexpected detour, she is left stranded in a deserted high school, wondering if there is any escape at all. What follows is a twisted unraveling that will haunt you long after the last page is turned.

In this smart, suspenseful, and intense literary thriller, debut novelist Iain Reid explores the depths of the human psyche, questioning consciousness, free will, the value of relationships, fear, and the limitations of solitude. Reminiscent of Jose Saramago’s early work, Michel Faber’s cult classic
Under the Skin, and Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk about Kevin, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is an edgy, haunting debut. Tense, gripping, and atmospheric, this novel pulls you in from the very first page…and never lets you go. 
 
 
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.
 

Wednesday, June 22, 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 . . .
The One That Got Away: A Novel

This humorous story is one character's chance to experience what life would have been like had she married a different guy.  This is a great escape and vicarious daydream about one of the biggest what ifs in life. Read more about this novel on its Goodreads page. 


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I finished reading . . .
 Girl Waits with Gun (Kopp Sisters, #1) 

A novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs.  More from Goodreads.  This is an entertaining historically fictionalized account of the Kopp sistersConstance, Norma, and Fleurette—who defy the conventions of the time and set out to make their own way in the world.  When an automobile owned by a sketchy character collides with their buggy, mayhem ensues, with the sisters under threat from a group of local criminals.  

The story was quite enjoyable, with strong female characters, and a good sense of what it was like to be a woman in the early twentieth century.  In addition to the fine storytelling, the author's notes at the end clearly distinguish fact from fiction and give sources for finding original newspaper headlines written about the events that occurred.  As fans of historical fiction know, it is often hard to distinguish facts from creative embellishment, and I appreciated the author's forthrightness.

Girl Waits with Gun is the first in the Kopp Sisters series.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will publish book two, Lady Cop Makes Trouble on September 6, 2016.  I'm glad that the continuing adventures of the Sisters Kopp are on the horizon.


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I'm reading next . . .
The Unit 

This is another book club read.  More from Goodreads.


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I'm waiting for . . . 
 We Could Be Beautiful 

This debut psychological suspense novel will be published next week, on June 28, 2016.

From barnesandnoble.comSwan Huntley's We Could Be Beautiful is the spellbinding story of a wealthy woman who has everything—and yet can trust no one.
 
Catherine West has spent her entire life surrounded by beautiful things. She owns an immaculate Manhattan apartment, she collects fine art, she buys exquisite handbags and clothing, and she constantly redecorates her home. And yet, despite all this, she still feels empty. She sees her personal trainer, she gets weekly massages, and occasionally she visits her mother and sister on the Upper East Side, but after two broken engagements and boyfriends who wanted only her money, she is haunted by the fear that she'll never have a family of her own. One night, at an art opening, Catherine meets William Stockton, a handsome man who shares her impeccable taste and love of beauty. He is educated, elegant, and even has a personal connection—his parents and Catherine's parents were friends years ago. But as he and Catherine grow closer, she begins to encounter strange signs, and her mother, Elizabeth (now suffering from Alzheimer's), seems to have only bad memories of William as a boy. In Elizabeth's old diary she finds an unnerving letter from a former nanny that cryptically reads: "We cannot trust anyone . . . " Is William lying about his past? And if so, is Catherine willing to sacrifice their beautiful life in order to find the truth? Featuring a fascinating heroine who longs for answers but is blinded by her own privilege, We Could Be Beautiful is a glittering, seductive, utterly surprising story of love, money, greed, and family.


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, June 21, 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 my current read, The One That Got Away by Leigh Himes, which I borrowed from a librarian friend.


The One That Got Away: A Novel 

PROLOGUE

F**k you, Marc Jacobs.  Those were the words running through my mind right before I fell backward and flipped over the side of the Nordstrom escalator.

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CHAPTER ONE

The day before my accident started like every other morning of my life: pure chaos.  The dog was barking, the baby was screaming, my daughter had wet the bed again, and my husband, Jimmy, was long gone to one of his landscaping jobs.  Jimmy usually left around five in the morning, silently finding his clothes, lunch, and work boots before slipping out the back door like a cat burglar.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?   
Who hasn't daydreamed about how life would have turned out if they'd chosen to marry another suitor?  Abbey Lahey will find out how dramatically different her life would have been in this humorous contemporary novel.  It's a perfect summer escape.






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, June 17, 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 Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman, an upcoming read borrowed from the library.

Wilde Lake 

Part One
 
When my brother was eighteen, he broke his arm in an accident that ended in another young man's death.  I wish I could tell you that we mourned the boy who died, but we did not.  He was the one with murder in his heart and, sure enough, death found him that night.  Funny how that works.
 
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Page 57 (Page 56 is blank):  "I learned to ride a bike well and fearlessly that summer I was six years old because I was trying to keep up with two fourteen-year-olds."
 
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My thoughts:  It's been a while since I've read a book by Lippman, and I'm eager to dive into another of her captivating stories.  
 
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From GoodreadsThe bestselling author of the acclaimed standalones After I’m Gone, I’d Know You Anywhere, and What the Dead Know, challenges our notions of memory, loyalty, responsibility, and justice in this evocative and psychologically complex story about a long-ago death that still haunts a family.

Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected—and first female—state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland, a job in which her widower father famously served. Fiercely intelligent and ambitious, she sees an opportunity to make her name by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death in her home. It’s not the kind of case that makes headlines, but peaceful Howard county doesn’t see many homicides.

As Lu prepares for the trial, the case dredges up painful memories, reminding her small but tight-knit family of the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Now, Lu wonders if the events of 1980 happened as she remembers them. What details might have been withheld from her when she was a child?

The more she learns about the case, the more questions arise. What does it mean to be a man or woman of one’s times? Why do we ask our heroes of the past to conform to the present’s standards? Is that fair? Is it right? Propelled into the past, she discovers that the legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. Lu realizes that even if she could learn the whole truth, she probably wouldn’t want to.
 
 
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.
 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

WWW Wednesdays

Today marks the first time I'm participating in WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam.

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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 just started reading . . .
The One That Got Away: A Novel 

In this irresistible debut novel, a freak accident allows a wife and mother to explore the alluring road not taken.  More from Goodreads.


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 I recently finished reading . . .
 Sweet Lamb of Heaven 

This is the story of a wife on the run from her cold, calculating husband.  Despite Anna's attempts to shield her young daughter from his negative influences, Ned relentlessly pursues them and ultimately tracks them downHe is determined to advance his own political ambitions and control their destinies, using a series of mind games and dangerous incidents that test Anna's strength and survival skills.  This is a true battle of good versus evil.  More from Goodreads.


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My next read .  . .
 Girl Waits with Gun (Kopp Sisters, #1) 

I'll be reading this one for a book club meeting later this month.  More from Goodreads.


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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, June 14, 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 my current read, Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millet, which I borrowed from a librarian friend.

Sweet Lamb of Heaven 

1
HALLUCINATIONS, EVEN IN THE SANE

When I insisted on keeping the baby, Ned threw his hands into the air palms-forward.  He looked like a mime climbing a wall--one of the few times I've ever seen him look clumsy.

Then he dropped his hands and turned away, shaking his head.  It was a terminal shake.  Afterward his schedule got fuller, his long work hours longer, his attention more completely diverted.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?     
Anna and her young daughter have gone off the grid, in hiding from her estranged husband.  As the tale unfolds, Ned seems obsessed with finding them, even though he had no interest in them when they were living together as a family.  What are his motives, and who will prevail in this battle of good against evil?










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.