Thursday, May 25, 2017

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 current read, What's Become of Her by Deb Caletti.  The excerpts shared are from a trade paperback edition that I borrowed from the library.
 
 What's Become of Her 

Beginning: Chapter 1
In about twelve minutes, Isabelle Austen's old life will be gone forever.  Right now, though, the seaplane is still in the air, out of her sight, a few miles off the coast of Parrish Island.
 
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Page 56:  "Not the most cheerful guy to spend your life on, if you ask Isabelle.  Still, she respects this, too, his knowledge and experience and passion."
 
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My thoughts:  Isabelle Austen is reeling from a divorce and the recent death of her controlling mother.  When she travels to Parrish Island to settle her mother's affairs, the last thing on her mind is beginning a new relationship.  Yet, when she meets Henry North, she is instantly attracted to him, and finds his mysterious past alluring.  Is Henry the man of her dreams, or does he have a dark side that could endanger her?  
 
I am happy to at last be reading a novel by Deb Caletti, an author who has been on my radar screen for quite some time.  This story drew me in immediately and is holding my interest.  I can see myself burning the midnight oil to find out how it unfolds and concludes.
 
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From Goodreads:  Isabelle Austen returns to her hometown on a small, isolated Pacific Northwest island to take over the family tourism business after the death of her mother, a disapproving parent and a hard woman to love. Feeling lost, Isabelle is also struggling with a recent divorce and wondering if she'll ever come into her own. Then her life takes a surprising turn: The mysterious Henry North arrives on Parrish Island, steps off a seaplane, and changes Isabelle's world forever. From the beginning, their relationship is heady and intense then Isabelle learns of Henry's disturbing past, involving the death of a fiance and the disappearance of a wife. Suddenly Isabelle is caught between love and suspicion, paranoia and passion, as she searches for the truth she may not want to find and is swept into a dangerous game she may not survive.
 
 
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This Friday Focus post was originally written and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated. 
 

Thursday Thoughts: Beartown

Today I'm sharing my thoughts about a recent read, Beartown by Fredrik Backman.

Beartown 

Beartown is an examination of the moral character of a small-town community and its inhabitants whose identities and fates are closely tied to the local youth hockey team. When an unthinkable attack involving a team player occurs, fault lines appear as residents side with either the victim or the accused.  As a result, multi-generational relationships are tested, underlying rivalries are exposed, and long-ago hurts resurface, as the town's fundamental values come under scrutiny.

After a slow start, themes of right and wrong and power and betrayal move the story forward.  Insiders and outsiders are pitted against each other in the pursuit of justice as the dangers of blind loyalty clash with the courage of those willing to stand up for the truth despite great personal cost.  Over the course of the novel, townspeople grapple with private and public anguish as each must ultimately take personal responsibility for their actions and collective responsibility for Beartown's future.

This thought-provoking story is quite relevant to current times and offers many discussion points for individual and book club readers alike.




Note:  My review is based on reading a library copy of the novel.  No compensation was received in exchange for this blog post.


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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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.  
 
Before I get to this week's selection, I want to share news about a summer book club from Talbot's.  I like their program of bringing in a book and getting a book.  Click the link above for more details.

Today I'm featuring an upcoming read, Without You by Saskia Sarginson, borrowed from the library.

 Without You 

Prologue

It was April when I drowned, a month after my seventeenth birthday.  We were out at sea when the sky darkened to black and a storm blew up out of nowhere.  We worked fast to get the sails down and start the engine.  At the tiller, Dad tried to hold the boat steady.  The engine strained against huge waves, as we wallowed and rolled.  There was a creak of fibreglass, and water washing over the deck.  We'd never been out in anything as big.  I should have been afraid.  Except I didn't believe that I was going to die.  It wasn't just that I had faith in Dad's sailing; I was angry with him, and my rage made me feel superhuman.

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Part One
LOST

Suffolk, July 1984

There are boys fishing for crabs off the quay.  I stop dead in the sunshine, blinking and uncertain.  Then it's OK because it's nobody I know.  Just townie kids here for the summer holidays.  They're squatting next to buckets, poking at crabs they've caught on lines baited with bacon rind, strangers with pale skin and funny accents.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
I find the prologue and first chapter openings very intriguing, which makes me want to know more about the narrator and her story.  I'm looking forward to reading this new-to-me author that I discovered on another blogger's site. 



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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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, Beartown by Fredrik Backman, borrowed from the library.

 Beartown 

1

Late one evening toward the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barreled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else's forehead, and pulled the trigger.

This is the story of how we got there.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
To say that the opening is attention grabbing is an understatement.  And it is not a beginning I would expect after reading two of Backman's earlier novels.  I am intrigued enough to continue reading.



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

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

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 Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware.  My copy is an ARC received from the publisher, Scout Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.


The Woman in Cabin 10 


- chapter 1 -
 friday, september18

The first inkling that something was wrong was waking in darkness to find the cat pawing at my face. I must have forgotten to shut the kitchen door last night. Punishment for coming home drunk.

What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
The opening instantly piques my curiosity, and having read In a Dark, Dark Wood, I am bracing myself for another chilling tale from Ms. Ware.  I can't believe it has taken me so long to get around to this novel, but in some ways my timing is perfect given that the author's next novel, The Lying Game will be published on July 25, 2017.



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

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

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 Widower's Wife by Cate Holahan, borrowed from the library.

The Widower's Wife 

1

November 16

Ryan Monahan liked liars.  Not the three-times-a-conversation fibbers, who prettied up the truth to appear less pedestrian at parties and would swear to God that they'd had just one, Officer.  Those average a**holes weren't even trying.  No, Ryan liked the real deal, the kind of folks who weaved falsehoods into the very fabric of their lives until they wore their fictions like fine-knit sweaters, feeling safe and warm, rapped in their bullshit.  They were the challenge.

He didn't yet know if Tom Bacon was his kind of liar.  But the man was definitely hiding something.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
The opening paragraphs and the book's title have me curious.  I'm looking forward to starting this novel, which involves a young wife and mother who falls overboard from a cruise ship, leaving a wealthy husband and young daughter behind. 



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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

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, In This Grave Hour by Jacqueline Winspear.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover edition I borrowed from the library.
 In This Grave Hour (Maisie Dobbs, #13) 

Beginning: Prologue - London, Sunday, September 3rd, 1939
Maisie Dobbs left her garden flat in Holland Park, taking care to lock the door to her private entrance as she departed.  She carried no handbag, no money, but had drawn a cardigan around her shoulders and carried a rolled umbrella, just in case.  There had been a run of hot summer days punctuated by intermittent storms and pouring rain, leaving the air thick and clammy with the promise of more changeable weather, as clouds of luminous white and thunderous graphite lumbered across the sky above.  They reminded Maisie of elephants on the march across a parched plain, and in that moment she wished she were far away in a place where such beasts roamed.
 
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Page 56:  "
"' . . .Anyway, it looks like our thief has his eye on the same sort of target.'"
 
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My thoughts: This is the 13th book in Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series and I have read them all.  Maisie Dobbs, a British psychologist and investigator of humble beginnings, lives in momentous times.  This fiercely independent woman has served her country during the first World War, has taken on post-war government assignments, and is now being drawn into a new investigation as Britain is led into World War II.  

Reading a Maisie Dobbs novel is like visiting with old friends.  The historical setting, endearing returning characters, and well-plotted stories are a real treat to be savored, and the reasons why this is one of my all-time favorite series.
 
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From Goodreads:   Sunday September 3rd 1939.  At the moment Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain broadcasts to the nation Britain’s declaration of war with Germany, a senior Secret Service agent breaks into Maisie Dobbs' flat to await her return. Dr. Francesca Thomas has an urgent assignment for Maisie: to find the killer of a man who escaped occupied Belgium as a boy, some twenty-three years earlier during the Great War.

In a London shadowed by barrage balloons, bomb shelters and the threat of invasion, within days another former Belgian refugee is found murdered.  And as Maisie delves deeper into the killings of the dispossessed from the “last war," a new kind of refugee — an evacuee from London — appears in Maisie's life. The little girl billeted at Maisie’s home in Kent does not, or cannot, speak, and the authorities do not know who the child belongs to or who might have put her on the “Operation Pied Piper” evacuee train.  They know only that her name is Anna.

As Maisie’s search for the killer escalates, the country braces for what is to come.  Britain is approaching its gravest hour — and Maisie could be nearing a crossroads of her own.
 
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This Friday Focus post was originally written and published by Catherine for bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.  Retweeting and sharing on Google+ are appreciated.