Thursday, November 15, 2018

Thursday Thoughts ~ Books from the Backlog

Happy Thursday . . .  aka Happy Almost Friday!!

It's time for Books from the Backlog, hosted by Carole's Random Life in Books.  It's a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks . . . or on your eReader.



 


This week's neglected book is . . . 


Terrible Virtue 
Release Date:  March 22, 2016
Publisher:  HarperCollins Publishers


From Goodreads: 
In the spirit of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank, the provocative and compelling story of one of the most fascinating and influential figures of the twentieth century: Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood—an indomitable woman who, more than any other, and at great personal cost, shaped the sexual landscape we inhabit today.

The daughter of a hard-drinking, smooth-tongued free thinker and a mother worn down by thirteen children, Margaret Sanger vowed her life would be different. Trained as a nurse, she fought for social justice beside labor organizers, anarchists, socialists, and other progressives, eventually channeling her energy to one singular cause: legalizing contraception. It was a battle that would pit her against puritanical, patriarchal lawmakers, send her to prison again and again, force her to flee to England, and ultimately change the lives of women across the country and around the world.

This complex enigmatic revolutionary was at once vain and charismatic, generous and ruthless, sexually impulsive and coolly calculating—a competitive, self-centered woman who championed all women, a conflicted mother who suffered the worst tragedy a parent can experience. From opening the first illegal birth control clinic in America in 1916 through the founding of Planned Parenthood to the arrival of the Pill in the 1960s, Margaret Sanger sacrificed two husbands, three children, and scores of lovers in her fight for sexual equality and freedom.

With cameos by such legendary figures as Emma Goldman, John Reed, Big Bill Haywood, H. G. Wells, and the love of Margaret’s life, Havelock Ellis, this richly imagined portrait of a larger-than-life woman is at once sympathetic to her suffering and unsparing of her faults. Deeply insightful,
Terrible Virtue is Margaret Sanger’s story as she herself might have told it.



Why I selected it:  I enjoy historical fiction about famous characters, and as a native New Yorker, I view Margaret Sanger and her clinic in Greenwich Village as legendary elements in the City's efforts toward progressiveness and social justice.  When the book was first published, I heard the author speak about Sanger and her passions, and the research undertaken to write this fictional account of a woman who championed women's rights at great personal cost.  The copy on my shelf is on extended loan from a friend. 




This Thursday Thoughts ~ Books from the Backlog post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday

  
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa at Wishful Endings which spotlights and discusses forthcoming books that bloggers are looking forward to reading. Generally it's about books that haven't been released yet. This meme is based on Waiting on Wednesday, formerly hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

There are so many exciting new books on the horizon, so without further adieu, this week's Can't Wait For book is . . .  


Bluff 
 
 Release Date:  January 15, 2019
Publisher:  Poisoned Pen Press


From Goodreads:   One-time socialite Maud Warner polishes up the rags of her once glittering existence and bluffs her way into a signature New York restaurant on a sunny October day. When she shoots Sun Sunderland, the "Pope of Finance," as he lunches with "accountant to the stars" Burt Sklar - the man that she's accused for years of stealing her mother's fortune and leaving her family in ruins - she deals the first card in her high-stakes plan for revenge.

Maud has grown accustomed to being underestimated and invisible and uses it. Her fervent passion for poker has taught her that she can turn a weakness into the strength to take advantage of people who think they are taking advantage of her. It's uncanny how she reads them.

Her intimates in New York high society believe that "Mad Maud" accidentally missed Sklar, her real target. But nothing is as it first appears as she weathers the unexpected while following her script. And while Maud is on the run, the dark secrets of men who believe their money and power place them above the law will be exposed. Betrayal, larceny, greed, sexual battery, and murder lurk beneath the surface of their glittering lives.

One unexpected twist after another follows as we watch a fierce, unapologetic Maud play the most important poker hand of her life. The stakes? To take down her enemies and get justice for their victims. Her success depends on her continuing ability to bluff. And on who will fold.

Can she win?
 
 
My thoughts:  With its striking cover and  promise of a story about New York high society,  this book caught my eye.  Until its release, I'm planning to sample the author's Jo Slater series:  Social Crimes (book one) and One Dangerous Lady (book two).
 
 
This Can't Wait Wednesday post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated  
 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 

                                                      
 

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, 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, Closer Than You Know by Brad Parks.  The excerpt shared is from the large print version I borrowed from the library.

 Closer Than You Know 

One

He was dressed in his best suit, the one he usually reserved for funerals.

She wore pearls.  It made her feel more maternal.

Arm in arm, they walked up a concrete path toward Shenandoah Valley Social Services, whose offices filled a cheerless metal-sided building.  There was no landscaping, no ornamentation, no attempt to make the environs more inviting.  As an agency of county government, Social Services had neither the budget nor the inclination for such gilding.  Its clientele was not there by choice.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
The first thing that strikes me is the difference in the descriptions of the couple's outfits and the place they are headed to.  I wonder who these people are, who seem to take such care in their appearance and why they are going to a apparently run-down, impersonal Social Services office.  Perhaps they are down on their luck.  I imagine they want to make a good impression.  





This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings

16

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 current read, The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.
 The Girl Who Knew Too Much (Burning Cove, #1) 

Beginning:  Chapter 1
The abstract painting on the bedroom wall was new.  It had been painted in fresh blood.
********************

Page 56:  Maxine rose, unfazed by the instructions to contact a man who consorted with shady characters and known criminals.  She left, closing the door very quietly.

********************
My thoughts:  I'm a huge Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick fan, so I jumped at the chance to start her newest historical series, Burning Cove, set amidst the glamour of the 1930s.
********************


From Goodreads:  Amanda Quick, the bestselling author of ’Til Death Do Us Part, transports readers to 1930s California, where glamour and seduction spawn a multitude of sins…

When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…

The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

********************
  


This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.
 

Thursday Thoughts ~ Books from the Backlog

Happy Thursday . . .  aka Happy Almost Friday!!

It's time for Books from the Backlog, hosted by Carole's Random Life in Books.  It's a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks . . . or on your eReader.



 


This week's neglected book is . . . 




Missing Pieces 
Release Date:  February 2, 20l6
Publisher:  Mira


From Goodreads:   A woman uncovers earth-shattering secrets about her husband's family in this chilling page-turner from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf.

Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. The case rocked the small farm town of Penny Gate, Iowa, where Jack was raised, and for years Jack avoided returning home. But when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, hospitalized in a coma, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving in Penny Gate, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago—barely a trace of the wounds that had once devastated them all. But as facts about Julia's accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Caught in a flurry of unanswered questions, Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack's past. But the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.


Why I selected it:  Family secrets are always a tempting element that I can't resist.  Now that I've rediscovered this book on my shelves, I hope to read it soon.




This Thursday Thoughts ~ Books from the Backlog post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday

  
Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tessa at Wishful Endings which spotlights and discusses forthcoming books that bloggers are looking forward to reading. Generally it's about books that haven't been released yet. This meme is based on Waiting on Wednesday, formerly hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

There are so many exciting new books on the horizon, so without further adieu, this week's Can't Wait For book is . . .  


Scrublands 
Release Date:  January 8, 2019
Publisher:  Touchstone/Simon & Schuster


From Goodreads:  In an isolated country town afflicted by interminable drought, a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on his congregation, shooting dead five parishioners before being gunned down himself.
A year later, accompanied by his own demons from war-time reporting, journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend. His assignment is deliberately simple: describe how the townspeople are coping as the anniversary of their tragedy approaches. But as Martin meets the locals and hears their version of events, he begins to realise that the accepted wisdom – that the priest was a paedophile whose imminent exposure was the catalyst for the shooting, established through an award-winning investigation by his own newspaper – may be wrong.

Just as Martin believes he’s making headway, a dramatic new development rocks the town. The bodies of two German backpackers - missing since the time of the church shootings - are discovered in a dam in the scrublands. It's the biggest story in Australia, the media arrive en masse. Instead of gently easing back into reporting, Martin finds himself thrown into a media storm, and with it a complex mystery.

What was the real reason behind the priest’s shooting spree? And how does it connect to the backpacker murders, if at all? Martin struggles to uncover the town’s dark secrets, putting his job, his mental state, and his life all at risk as events escalate around him.
My thoughts:   The complex plot and characters intrigue me, making this debut a must-read of 2019.
This Can't Wait Wednesday post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph

It's Tuesday . . . time for . . . 

                                                      
 

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, now hosted by Vicki at I'd Rather Be At The Beach, 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 Killing Lessons by Saul Black  The excerpt shared is from the hardcover version I borrowed from the library.

The Killing Lessons (Valerie Hart, #1) 

1

The instant Rowena Cooper stepped out of her warm, cookie-scented kitchen and saw the two men standing in her back hallway, snow melting from the rims of their boots, she knew exactly what this was: her own fault.  Years of not locking doors and windows, of leaving the keys in the ignition, of not thinking anything like this was ever going to happen, years of feeling safe--it had all been a lie she'd been dumb enough to tell herself.  Worse, a lie she'd been dumb enough to believe.  Your whole life could turn out to be nothing but you waiting to meet your own giant stupidity.  Because here she was, a mile from the nearest neighbor and three miles from town (Ellinson, Colorado; pop. 697), with a thirteen-year-old son upstairs and a ten-year-old daughter on the front porch and two men standing in her back hallway, one of them holding a shotgun, the other a long blade that even in the sheer drop of this moment made her think machete, though this was the first time she'd ever seen one outside the movies.  The open door behind them showed heavy snow still hurrying down in the late afternoon, pretty against the dark curve of the forest.  Christmas was five days away.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
I'm struck by the mental dialog of the narrator related to the unfolding scene.  She is extremely frightened, and you can feel the adrenaline pumping in her veins. 



This First Chapter ~ First Paragraph post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution. Sharing this original post on Twitter, Google+ and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.