Wednesday, November 21, 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 . . .  


Restoration Heights 
Release Date:  January 22, 2019
Publisher:  Hanover Square Press



From Goodreads:  A debut novel about a young artist, a missing woman, and the tendrils of wealth and power that link the art scene in Brooklyn to Manhattan's elite, for fans of Jonathan Lethem and Richard Price

Reddick, a young, white artist, lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a historically black Brooklyn neighborhood besieged by gentrification. He makes rent as an art handler, hanging expensive works for Manhattan's one percent, and spends his free time playing basketball at the local Y rather than putting energy into his stagnating career. He is also the last person to see Hannah before she disappears.

When Hannah's fiance, scion to an old-money Upper East Side family, refuses to call the police, Reddick sets out to learn for himself what happened to her. The search gives him a sense of purpose, pulling him through a dramatic cross section of the city he never knew existed. The truth of Hannah's fate is buried at the heart of a many-layered mystery that, in its unraveling, shakes Reddick's convictions and lays bare the complicated machinations of money and power that connect the magisterial town houses of the Upper East Side to the unassuming brownstones of Bed-Stuy.
 
 
Restoration Heights is both a page-turning mystery and an in-depth study of the psychological fallout and deep racial tensions that result from economic inequality and unrestricted urban development. In lyrical, addictive prose, Wil Medearis asks the question: In a city that prides itself on its diversity and inclusivity, who has the final say over the future? Is it long-standing residents, recent transplants or whoever happens to have the most money? Timely, thought-provoking and sweeping in vision, Restoration Heights is an exhilarating new entry in the canon of great Brooklyn novels.
 
 
 
My thoughts:  I'm intrigued by the plot themes--class, race, gentrification, and mystery set against the backdrop of New York City.
 
 
 
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 20, 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, Becoming by Michelle Obama.  The excerpts shared are from the hardcover version on loan from a colleague and friend who is my best book buddy.

 Becoming 

Preface

March 2017
When I was a kid, my aspirations were simple.  I wanted a dog.  I wanted a house that had stairs in it--two floors for one family.  I wanted, for some reason, a four-door station wagon instead of the two-door Buick that was my father's pride and joy.  I used to tell people that when I grew up, I was going to be a pediatrician.  Why?  Because I loved being around little kids and I quickly learned that it was a pleasing answer for adults to hear.  Oh, a doctor!  What a good choice!  In those days, I wore pigtails and bossed my older brother around and managed, always and no matter what, to get As at school.  I was ambitious, though I didn't know exactly what I was shooting for.  Now I think it's one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child--What do you want to be when you grow up?  As if growing up is finite.  As if at some point you become something and that's the end.

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Becoming Me

1

I spent much of my childhood listening to the sound of striving.  It came in the form of bad music, or at least amateur music, coming up through the floorboards of my bedroom--the plink plink plink of students sitting downstairs at my great-aunt Robbie's piano, slowly and imperfectly learning their scales.  My family lived in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago, in a tidy brick bungalow that belonged to Robbie and her husband, Terry.  My parents rented an apartment on the second floor, while Robbie and Terry lived on the first.  Robbie was my mother's aunt and had been generous to her over many years, but to me she was kind of a terror.  Prim and serious, she directed the choir at a local church and was also our community's resident piano teacher.  She wore sensible heels and kept a pair of reading glasses on a chain around her neck.  She had a sly smile but didn't appreciate sarcasm the way my mother did.  I'd sometimes hear her chewing out her students for not having practiced enough or chewing out their parents for delivering them late to lessons.


What do you think?  Would you continue reading?
I love the descriptiveness of these opening passages, which invoke my own memories of childhood--my home, my thoughts and plans, relatives who lived nearby, and being questioned often about what I wanted to be when I grew up. 






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 15, 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, Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, which is the selection of one of my book clubs.  The excerpts shared are from a hardcover version borrowed from the library.
 Before We Were Yours 

Beginning:  Prelude:  Baltimore, Maryland August 3, 1939
My story begins on a sweltering August night, in a place I will never set eyes upon.  The room takes life only in my imaginings.  It is large most days when I conjure it.

********************

Chapter 1  
Avery Stafford
Aiken, South Carolina, Present Day

I take a breath, scoot to the edge of the seat, and straighten my jacket as the limo rolls to a stop on the boiling-hot asphalt.  News vans wait along the curb, accentuating the importance of this morning's seemingly innocuous meeting.
********************

Page 56:  I'd rather be outside watching the river and its animals and listening to Briny spin stories about knights, and castles, and Indians out west, and far-off places.

********************
My thoughts:  This book has received lots of buzz since its publication last year.  It's still quite popular, based on the number of library holds, and its subject matter makes it appealing to both book clubs and individual readers.
********************
From Goodreads:  Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge—until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents—but they quickly realize the dark truth. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill fights to keep her sisters and brother together in a world of danger and uncertainty.

Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all: a successful career as a federal prosecutor, a handsome fiancĂ©, and a lavish wedding on the horizon. But when Avery returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history, on a path that will ultimately lead either to devastation or to redemption.

Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—Lisa Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.
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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.
 

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.
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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.

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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.
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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…

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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.