Thursday, January 31, 2019

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 a recent read, An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.
 An Unwanted Guest 

Beginning: Friday, 4:45 p.m.
The road curves and twists unexpectedly as it leads higher and deeper into the Catskill Mountains, as if the farther you get from civilization, the more uncertain the path.  The shadows are deepening, the weather worsening.
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Page 56: Gwen knows she's being reckless but she doesn't care.  Something has happened to her, and she's opening herself up to it.
 
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My thoughts:  This is the kind of book that hooks you from the start, drawing you in to curl up for one long reading session or over a weekend.

In An Unwanted Guest, couples checking in at Mitchell's Inn for a weekend retreat in a remote upstate New York location get more than they bargained for.  As a snow storm and power outage isolate guests from the outer world, they quickly realize that there is a killer in their midst. Who is responsible for the deaths of several of the guests? What is the motive and why have these individuals been singled out?

Reminiscent of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None, Lapena crafts a taut, suspenseful tale with red herrings aplenty that keeps readers guessing until the final chapters. Moreover, even after the murderer is exposed, the author throws in an unexpected twist for good measure. 
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From Goodreads:  A remote lodge in upstate New York is the perfect getaway. . . until the bodies start piling up.  It's winter in the Catskills and the weather outside is frightful. But Mitchell's Inn is so delightful! The cozy lodge nestled deep in the woods is perfect for a relaxing--maybe even romantic--weekend away. The Inn boasts spacious old rooms with huge wood-burning fireplaces, a well-stocked wine cellar, and opportunities for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or just curling up with a book and someone you love. So when the weather takes a turn for the worse, and a blizzard cuts off the electricity--and all contact with the outside world--the guests settle in for the long haul. The power's down but they've got candles, blankets, and wood--a genuine rustic experience! Soon, though, a body turns up--surely an accident. When a second body appears, they start to panic. Then they find a third body. Within the snowed-in paradise, something--or someone--is picking off the guests one by one. They can't leave, and with no cell service, there's no prospect of getting the police in until the weather loosens its icy grip. The weekend getaway has turned deadly. For some couples, it's their first time away. For others, it will be their last. And there's nothing they can do about it but huddle down and hope they can survive the storm.
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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 and/or other blogs with appropriate recognition is appreciated.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

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 ado, this week's Can't Wait For book is . . .  


The Silent Patient 
Release Date:  February 5, 2019
Publisher:  Celadon Books


From Goodreads:  Promising to be the debut novel of the season The Silent Patient is a shocking psychological thriller of a woman’s act of violence against her husband—and of the therapist obsessed with uncovering her motive…

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him....
My thoughts:  I'm an avid fan of psychological thrillers, and the buzz around this book is hard to resist.
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, January 29, 2019

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 a novel I recently read, Pieces of Happiness by Anne Ostby.  The excerpt shared is from the hardcover version I borrowed from the library.


Pieces of Happiness: A Novel of Friendship, Hope and Chocolate 

Prologue
An Invitation and a Challenge
 Korototoka, Fiji, July 25, 2012 

My dear friend--

Can I still call you that?

The stamps on the letter made you curious, I'm sure, but you've probably already realized who it is.  Stamps with pictures of iguanas and parrotfish could only come from Kat.  A voice from a time long ago, a fellowship we once had.  Do you think we could ever find it again?



What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
Pieces of Happiness is a tale of five childhood friends from Norway who reunite in later life in Fiji.  After having gone their separate ways years ago, four women who to this point have led traditional lives are invited to move into the home of their adventurous friend, who now lives in a tropical paradise on the other side of the world.  Will they be able to coexist under one roof despite past jealousies and rivalries?  And when secrets from the past threaten to tear them apart, will these friends be able to make peace with their present situations and support each other in their golden years?

Ostby expertly weaves a story of hope, second chances, and the power of female friendship in a beautiful island setting.








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, January 24, 2019

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 a recent read, The Wife by Meg Wolitzer.  The excerpts shared are from the trade paperback I purchased to take on vacation.
 The Wife 

Beginning: The moment I decided to leave him, the moment I thought, enough, we were thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean, hurtling forward but giving the illusion of stillness and tranquility.
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Page 56: "Here on Bancroft Road, it appeared that I was in a land in which everyone seemed to have stopped themselves from going too far."
 
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My thoughts:  I haven't blogged at all in January, except for a First Book of the Year post.  I had some time off from work and went on a 12-day Caribbean cruise to Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Barbados, St. Lucia, and Antigua. Although I brought several books with me, the only one I actually finished was The Wife.  I was first attracted to this book when I learned that a movie based on the story had been released, starring Glenn Close, one of my all-time favorite actors.  

I haven't seen the movie yet, but the novel tells the story of an older couple who have been married for 40 years.  Although the book was a bit too slowly-paced for my liking, there were many realistic observations of a long-term traditional relationship centered around a man's career and the sacrifices made by a wife to build and support a husband's success.  Wolitzer has a way with words, presenting the situation with astute language and phrasing, and giving readers lots of food for thought.

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From Goodreads:  Meg Wolitzer brings her characteristic wit and intelligence to a provocative story about the evolution of a marriage, the nature of partnership, the question of a male or female sensibility, and the place for an ambitious woman in a man's world. The moment Joan Castleman decides to leave her husband, they are thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean on a flight to Helsinki. Joan's husband Joseph is one of America's preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award, and Joan, who has spent forty years subjugating her own literary talents to fan the flames of his career, has finally decided to stop. From this gripping opening, Meg Wolitzer flashes back to Smith College and Greenwich Village in the 1950s and follows the course of the marriage that has brought the couple to this breaking point--one that results in a shocking revelation. With her skillful storytelling and pitch-perfect observations, Wolitzer has crafted a wise and candid look at the choices all men and women make in marriage, work, and life.
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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. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

First Book of the Year 2019

Happy New Year!!


It's 2019. . . Welcome to my first post of the new year . . . and my participation in First Book of the Year . . . hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  This is one of my favorite memes.  As I prepare it, I anticipate a whole year of new books and reading enjoyment.

With that in mind, my first book of the year is Pieces of Happiness by Anne Ostby.  


 

The book's subtitle is "a novel of friendship, hope and chocolate."  This will also be my first book club book of the year,  and I can't think of a better selection to start off both a new reading year and a first book club discussion of 2019.

I wish you all a happy, healthy new year filled with great books and lots of reading time . . . and now,  I'm going to visit Book Journey to see what other bloggers have selected as their first books of the year.






This First Book of the Year 2019 post was originally composed and/or compiled and published by Catherine for the blog, bookclublibrarian.com.  It cannot be republished without attribution.