Tuesday, July 31, 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, Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna.  The excerpt shared is from the hardcover copy I borrowed from the library

 

Jamie Brandt was not a bad mother, later she would tell that to anyone who would listen: police, reporters, lawyers, her parents, her boyfriend, her dealer, the new bartender with the knuckle tattoos at Schultz's, the investigator from California and her partner, and her own reflection in the bathroom mirror, right before cracking her forehead on the sink's edge and passing out from the cocktail of pain, grief, and fear.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
There's a lot to digest in that first paragraph, which is actually one long sentence. And it has me curious enough about the main character to keep reading.



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, July 26, 2018

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 an upcoming read,  Dear Mrs. Bird by AJ Pearce.  The excerpts shared are from the hardcover version I borrowed from the library.



Beginning:  London  
December 1940
Chapter 1
AN ADVERTISEMENT
IN THE NEWSPAPER

When I first saw the advertisement in the newspaper I thought I might actually burst.  I'd had rather a cheerful day so far despite the Luftwaffe annoying everyone by making us all late for work, and then I'd managed to get hold of an onion, which was very good news for a stew.  But when I saw the announcement, I could not have been more cock-a-hoop.

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Page 56: "Then I hurtled out of the office with my hat and coat in my hand before she could see I had gone crimson with guilt."
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My thoughts:  My favorite historical fiction is set in the UK during World War II.  The opening paragraph rings true for me, because it sounds very similar to stories I've heard from family members who lived just outside of London during the war.  These people are no longer alive, so I'm feeling very nostalgic after reading a passage that makes me think of them.

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From Goodreads:  A charming, irresistible debut novel set in London during World War II about an adventurous young woman who becomes a secret advice columnist—a warm, funny, and enormously moving story for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls.

London 1940, bombs are falling. Emmy Lake is Doing Her Bit for the war effort, volunteering as a telephone operator with the Auxiliary Fire Services. When Emmy sees an advertisement for a job at the London Evening Chronicle, her dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent seem suddenly achievable. But the job turns out to be typist to the fierce and renowned advice columnist, Henrietta Bird. Emmy is disappointed, but gamely bucks up and buckles down.

Mrs Bird is very clear: Any letters containing Unpleasantness—must go straight in the bin. But when Emmy reads poignant letters from women who are lonely, may have Gone Too Far with the wrong men and found themselves in trouble, or who can’t bear to let their children be evacuated, she is unable to resist responding. As the German planes make their nightly raids, and London picks up the smoldering pieces each morning, Emmy secretly begins to write letters back to the women of all ages who have spilled out their troubles.

Prepare to fall head over heels with Emmy and her best friend, Bunty, who are spirited and gutsy, even in the face of events that bring a terrible blow. As the bombs continue to fall, the irrepressible Emmy keeps writing, and readers are transformed by AJ Pearce’s hilarious, heartwarming, and enormously moving tale of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and ordinary people in extraordinary times.

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This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings on Fridays 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 . . . 


Her Every Fear  

Release Date:  January 10, 2017
Publisher:  William Morrow

From Goodreads:  Growing up, Kate Priddy was always a bit neurotic, experiencing momentary bouts of anxiety that exploded into full-blown panic attacks after an ex-boyfriend kidnapped her and nearly ended her life. When Corbin Dell, a distant cousin in Boston, suggests the two temporarily swap apartments, Kate, an art student in London, agrees, hoping that time away in a new place will help her overcome the recent wreckage of her life.

Soon after her arrival at Corbin’s grand apartment on Beacon Hill, Kate makes a shocking discovery: his next-door neighbor, a young woman named Audrey Marshall, has been murdered. When the police question her about Corbin, a shaken Kate has few answers, and many questions of her own—curiosity that intensifies when she meets Alan Cherney, a handsome, quiet tenant who lives across the courtyard, in the apartment facing Audrey’s. Alan saw Corbin surreptitiously come and go from Audrey’s place, yet he’s denied knowing her. Then, Kate runs into a tearful man claiming to be the dead woman’s old boyfriend, who insists Corbin did the deed the night that he left for London.

When she reaches out to her cousin, he proclaims his innocence and calms her nerves--until she comes across disturbing objects hidden in the apartment and accidentally learns that Corbin is not where he says he is. Could Corbin be a killer? What about Alan? Kate finds herself drawn to this appealing man who seems so sincere, yet she isn’t sure. Jet-lagged and emotionally unstable, her imagination full of dark images caused by the terror of her past, Kate can barely trust herself, so how could she take the chance on a stranger she’s just met?


Why I selected it:  This book has a front and center place in my bookcase of books that I most want to read.  Moreover, I love this author.  The plots of his previous books have blown me awayI even have a copy of his latest book, which I got from the library.  I've been too distracted by other enticing books, and I really must find the time to move this one off the shelf and into my hands ASAP.




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, July 25, 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 . . . 

 Sea Prayer 
Release Date:  September 18, 2018
Publisher:  Riverhead Books


From Goodreads:   The #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed responds to the heartbreak of the current refugee crisis with this deeply moving, beautifully illustrated short work of fiction for people of all ages, all over the world.

A short, powerful, illustrated book written by beloved novelist Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis,
Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city's swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.

Impelled to write this story by the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed upon the beach in Turkey in September 2015, Hosseini hopes to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Kurdi's, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution, and he will donate author proceeds from this book to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe.

Khaled Hosseini is one of the most widely read writers in the world, with more than fifty-five million copies of his novels sold worldwide in more than seventy countries. Hosseini is also a Goodwill Envoy to the UNHCR, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.




My thoughts:  There couldn't be a more timely book than this to call attention to the plight of refugees fleeing war-torn countries.  And who better to raise his voice--and raise relief funds through the sale of this book--than beloved author Khaled Hosseini.




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, July 24, 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 Silver Gun by L.A. Chandlar.  The excerpt shared is from the trade paperback copy given to me by a friend

The Silver Gun (Art Deco Mystery #1)


The ashes of the cigarette struck the rocks with sparks and bloodred cinders.  The wind beneath the bridge played with the wisps of smoke coming from the tip, making spidery webs in the air.  The rising sun splashed a honey-colored glow on the buildings.  From the shore, a trumpet, of all things, blew loud and clear like a call. The hooded head turned up abruptly, alert like a hunter on the prowl.  Ready.  At ease, knowing that it would come full circle.  Destiny was working its odd magic.  Like he said it would.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
This novel is a trifecta when it comes to my favorite criteria:  it's the first in a series (Art Deco Mystery Series); it's set in New York; and it's historical fiction.

I am really looking forward to losing myself in this story set in the 1930s, when Fiorello LaGuardia, a formidable personality (and character in the novel), began his term as 99th mayor of New York City.




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, July 19, 2018

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 a recent read,  I've Got My Eyes on You by Mary Higgins Clark.  The excerpts shared are from the hardcover version I borrowed from the library.

I've Got My Eyes on You 



Beginning:  Jamie was in his room on the second floor of his mother's small Cape Cod house in Saddle River, New Jersey, when his life changed.


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Page 56: "I know he's got a temper, Brenda often thought to herself, but I swear those two drive him to it."
******************* 
My thoughts:  When popular high school student Kerry Dowling is found dead from a blow to the head in her family's backyard pool, the most logical suspect is her boyfriend, Alan Crowley, who had had a very public fight with her at a party on the premises hours earlier. As the police investigation proceeds, several other persons of interest are identified. Who wants Kerry permanently out of the picture, and why?

Mary Higgins Clark applies her tried and true suspense formula in this latest novel. Although I strongly suspected the right person as the killer, the motive caught me by surprise. I've Got My Eyes on You is a good vacation read.


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From Goodreads:   A new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author and “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark.

After a party when her parents are away, eighteen-year-old Kerry Dowling is found fully dressed at the bottom of the family pool.

The immediate suspect is her boyfriend who had a bitter argument with her at the party. Then there is a twenty-year-old neighbor who was angry because she didn’t invite him to the party.

Or is there someone else who has not yet been seen on the radar?

Kerry’s older sister Aline, a twenty-eight-year-old guidance counselor, is determined to assist the Prosecutor's Office in learning the truth. She does not realize that now she is putting her own life in danger...



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This Friday Focus: The Friday 56 & Book Beginnings on Fridays 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 . . .

 The Mothers
Release Date:  October 11, 2016
Publisher:  Riverhead Books


From Goodreads:  Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett's mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.

"All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we'd taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season."

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother's recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor's son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it's not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

In entrancing, lyrical prose,
The Mothers asks whether a "what if" can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.


Why I selected it: This was a buzz book back in 2016 that made its way onto many recommended reading lists.  I'm drawn to the themes mentioned in the synopsis of this debut novel and its west coast setting.






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, July 18, 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 . . . 


The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter: A Novel 
Publisher:  William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date:  October 9, 2018


From Goodreads:  “They call me a heroine, but I am not deserving of such accolades. I am just an ordinary young woman who did her duty.”

1838: Northumberland, England. Longstone Lighthouse on the Farne Islands has been Grace Darling’s home for all of her twenty-two years. When she and her father rescue shipwreck survivors in a furious storm, Grace becomes celebrated throughout England, the subject of poems, ballads, and plays. But far more precious than her unsought fame is the friendship that develops between Grace and a visiting artist. Just as George Emmerson captures Grace with his brushes, she in turn captures his heart.

1938: Newport, Rhode Island. Nineteen-years-old and pregnant, Matilda Emmerson has been sent away from Ireland in disgrace. She is to stay with Harriet, a reclusive relative and assistant lighthouse keeper, until her baby is born. A discarded, half-finished portrait opens a window into Matilda’s family history. As a deadly hurricane approaches, two women, living a century apart, will be linked forever by their instinctive acts of courage and love.


My Thoughts:  I am a huge historical fiction fan, and it seems time I make room on my reading list for Hazel Gaynor, who comes very highly recommended by reading friends and bloggers.



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.