Wednesday, March 15, 2017

ALL THE LITTLE LIARS (2016)


All the Little Liars (Aurora Teagarden, #9)
All the Little Liars by Charlaine Harris

If you have read and loved earlier Aurora Teegardin mysteries, you don't need me to tell you to add ALL THE LITTLE LIARS to your 'to read' list.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

ON TURPENTINE LANE (2017)


On Turpentine LaneOn Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In 1999 I stumbled upon The Inn at Lake Devine and chose it to be featured at a Reader's Advisory Workshop where I was speaking. Elinor Lipman turned out to be a 'life author' for me. Her stories are what I call literate chic-lit but they are more than that.

Here's what I wrote in an earlier review on my blog:

She is the Jane Austen of her time. Language, dialogue and sentences are precise and exactly right. And you will want to be friends with all her characters. She deals with what could be uncomfortable topics that are part of our lives in a way that makes them palatable.

THE FIRST LINE: "If I hadn't been naive and recklessly trusting, would I ever have purchased number 10 Turpentine Lane, a chronic headache masquerading as a charming bungalow?"

THE STORY: Faith Frankel has returned to her hometown at the age of thirty-two to work for her private school writing thank you notes to wealthy donors. In the meantime, her fiance has abandoned her and is finding himself on a cross country walk. He's too busy to get in touch with her but posts pictures of himself with the women he is meeting on his trek. Luckily Faith has support from her office mate Nick Franconi. (Can you see where this is going?)

WHAT I THOUGHT: This screwball romantic comedy is funny, poignant, and a little outrageous. If you want a lovely, well-written escape from today's politics, you can't go wrong with Elinor Lipman. Highly recommended.

Title: On Turpentine Lane
Author: Elinor Lipman
Genre: Chic-Lit
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
No. of Pages: 320
Copyright: February 14, 2017
ISBN-10: 054480824X
ISBN-13: 978-0544808249

Disclaimer: An advanced reading copy (ARC) of this book was provided to me by Houghton Mifflin and Net Galley for an honest review.

ELINOR LIPMAN is the author of ten novels, including The View from Penthouse B and The Inn at Lake Devine; one essay collection, I Can’t Complain; and Tweet Land of Liberty: Irreverent Rhymes from the Political Circus. She lives in Massachusetts and New York City. (from Amazon.com)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Book Challenges



Look for a challenge for 2017? This site has listed a number of choices for your reading for this coming year. Check it out at MY READING CHALLENGES.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Short Takes 10/4/2016

Guaranteed to be a popular gift for this holiday season! I've already purchased a copy and cannot wait to sit down and wander through the "over 600 of the most curious and unusual destinations around the globe." Read more about this fascinating book HERE.


This past weekend was the first Harbor Springs Festival of the Book and my friend Joy and I drove to Northern Michigan on Friday to explore. There was so much going on that it was impossible to attend everything we thought looked interesting (and everything looked interesting). The town itself was worth the trip. Check out the Harbor Springs Visitors Guide. Located on Little Traverse Bay, the area has been a resort since the late 1800s. Unique shops, restaurants, and a great little bookstore welcome visitors.

Highlights were an interview with author Elizabeth Letts about her new book The Perfect Horse, which tells the story of a little know struggle to save horses during World War II, and a lecture by Craig Johnson, creator of the Longmire mystery series and television show that caused much laughter.

A classy event, that was free (donations accepted) except for the special speakers paired with meals, talk is that there will be another Festival next year. I recommend you subscribe to their newsletter if you think you might attend! Harbor Springs Festival of the Book.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Short Takes 9/24/2016



JSO (Jackson Symphony Orchestra, MI) composer, Spring Arbor University Music Department Chair, and now author, Jonathan Bruce Brown will be speaking at the Jackson District Library's Carnegie Branch on Friday, September 30th at 6:30 pm.

Dissonance, Brown's first book, is a mystery about music, Michigan, and its people.

American Library Association Picture
History was made on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 after Carla Hayden was sworn in as the first African American and woman appointed as the librarian of Congress. Read more HERE.

What are your favorite banned books? Celebrate Banned Books Week 2016 by reading one! An annual event celebrating the freedom to read. "Find out which challenged books made the 2015 list, which was released as part of the 2016 State of America’s Library Report." Read more HERE. (How can #1 on the top 10 on the video be John Green's Looking for Alaska? I loved that book.) 

 




Thursday, September 15, 2016

Short Takes 9/15/2016



Becky Masterman has a new thriller featuring Brigid Quinn, a retired FBI agent pushing 60. coming out March 21, 2017. You can read what I had to say about her earlier books HERE.


I am currently reading Elinor Lipman's On Turpentine Lane. It lays down on February 14, 2017. I've read and enjoyed many of her chic-lit novels. You can read my comments on earlier titles HERE.


Love cozy mysteries? Have you discovered Wendy Sand Eckel yet? Her series features Rosalie Hart, who escapes to Maryland's Eastern Shore to build a new life when she discovers her husband wants a divorce. Small-town charm and charming recipes make this series irresistible. My reviews HERE.

Monday, September 12, 2016

THE TWENTY-THREE (2016) Promise Falls Trilogy #3


The Twenty-Three (Promise Falls Trilogy, #3)The Twenty-Three by Linwood Barclay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I discovered Linwood Barclay's thrillers, I waited anxiously each time until I could get my hands on the next one. This one won't be available until November 1, 2016 but you have lots of other choices before then.

I love the fact that his story telling can surprise the reader. His plots are clever. His characters unexpected. The Promise Falls, New York setting is a small town we know. It's a lot like where we all live but with unthinkable things happening.

THE FIRST LINE: "I know I won't be able to get them all. But I hope I'll be able to get enough."

THE STORY: Book 1: Broken Promise - "With a demanding job at the Boston Globe, single parent David Harwood cannot find enough time to spend with his son. The solution he chooses is to go back home and work for the local paper in Promise Falls. Things start going wrong immediately."

Book 2: Far From True - "A group of teens are planning to attend a final showing at the local drive-in theater, smuggling in beer and one of their friends in the car trunk. They are in line when there is an explosion, the screen collapses, and people are killed. The reader is hooked! From there the author begins feeding out various story lines. The daughter of one of the victims asks Cal Weaver, a private investigator, to help solve a break-in at her father's house where he finds a hidden room. Meanwhile Detective Barry Duckworth is trying to solve two murders, one three years old, that he suspects are linked. And lurking in the background is the ominous Mr. 23."

And finally Book 3: The Twenty-three - People are suddenly being felled by a mysterious illness which is quickly identified as the town's water supply (shades of Flint, Michigan). Private investigator Cal Weaver focuses on who could benefit from such a tragedy while Detective Barry Duckworth investigates another murder which seems to be part of a pattern. David Harwood is back with his troubles too. How will it all end?

WHAT I THOUGHT: The confusion of characters I noted in my review of the second book just becomes more intense here. I actually had trouble getting into the story but by the time I was halfway through, I was committed to finding out the answers. Barclay does a great job of reminding the reader of who characters are, but I find it annoying sometimes. Will I read his next offering? Of course. Linwood Barclay is a masterful storyteller.

BOTTOM LINE: My recommendation would be to read some of the stand alone titles first. If you find, like me, that you love Linwood Barclay, then go ahead and read this trilogy. You can find reviews of other titles on my blog. One of my favorites is Never Look Away.

Title: The Twenty-Three (Promise Falls Trilogy #3)
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Berkley
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
No. of Pages: 464
Copyright: November 1, 2016
ISBN-10: 0451472721
ISBN-13: 978-0451472724

Disclaimer: An advanced reading copy (ARC) of this book was provided to me by Berkley and Net Galley for an honest review.

Linwood Barclay is a former columnist for The Toronto Star and the author of several critically acclaimed novels, including Too Close to Home and No Time for Goodbye, a #1 Sunday Times (UK) bestseller. He lives near Toronto with his wife. (from Amazon)