Monday, June 27, 2016

All the Single Ladies

My obsession with books set in the South is nothing new here.  When I was given the opportunity to read Dorothea Benton Frank’s newest book, All the Single Ladies, I jumped on it! I LOVE HER books set in the South Carolina Lowcountry!


All the Single Ladies is about perseverance, love, doing what’s right and friendship.  With a lot of family drama thrown in!  If you are looking for a light hearted easy beach read, here you go! Perfect for the beach bag. 

Description: The perennial New York Times bestselling author returns with an emotionally resonant novel that illuminates the power of friendship in women’s lives, and is filled with her trademark wit, poignant and timely themes, sassy, flesh-and-blood characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry.

Few writers capture the complexities, pain, and joy of relationships—between friends, family members, husbands and wives, or lovers—as beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank. In this charming, evocative, soul-touching novel, she once again takes us deep into the heart of the magical Lowcountry where three amazing middle-aged women are bonded by another amazing woman’s death.

Through their shared loss they forge a deep friendship, asking critical questions. Who was their friend and what did her life mean? Are they living the lives they imagined for themselves? Will they ever be able to afford to retire? How will they maximize their happiness? Security? Health? And ultimately, their own legacies?

A plan is conceived and unfurls with each turn of the tide during one sweltering summer on the Isle of Palms. Without ever fully realizing
how close they were to the edge, they finally triumph amid laughter and maybe even newfound love.

Like her other books there is a light of great one liners.  I would love to rock on a porch swing with Dorothea and just listen to her talk.  I imagine she’s full of some good stories.  This is not a thinker, it’s fun quick and if you can imagine live as a single 50 something year old with some great gal pals it is perfect for you!  It may also test your feminist patience and your sense of IS THIS FOR REALSSSS.  Not my favorite by DBF but a great trip back to the lowcountry!

What author would you like to share an afternoon of porch rocking?

I received this book from TLC book tours but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

All the Single Ladies

My obsession with books set in the South is nothing new here.  When I was given the opportunity to read Dorothea Benton Frank’s newest book, All the Single Ladies, I jumped on it! I LOVE HER books set in the South Carolina Lowcountry!

All the Single Ladies is about perseverance, love, doing what’s right and friendship.  With a lot of family drama thrown in!  If you are looking for a light hearted easy beach read, here you go! Perfect for the beach bag. 

Description: The perennial New York Times bestselling author returns with an emotionally resonant novel that illuminates the power of friendship in women’s lives, and is filled with her trademark wit, poignant and timely themes, sassy, flesh-and-blood characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry.

Few writers capture the complexities, pain, and joy of relationships—between friends, family members, husbands and wives, or lovers—as beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank. In this charming, evocative, soul-touching novel, she once again takes us deep into the heart of the magical Lowcountry where three amazing middle-aged women are bonded by another amazing woman’s death.

Through their shared loss they forge a deep friendship, asking critical questions. Who was their friend and what did her life mean? Are they living the lives they imagined for themselves? Will they ever be able to afford to retire? How will they maximize their happiness? Security? Health? And ultimately, their own legacies?

A plan is conceived and unfurls with each turn of the tide during one sweltering summer on the Isle of Palms. Without ever fully realizing
how close they were to the edge, they finally triumph amid laughter and maybe even newfound love.

Like her other books there is a light of great one liners.  I would love to rock on a porch swing with Dorothea and just listen to her talk.  I imagine she’s full of some good stories.  This is not a thinker, it’s fun quick and if you can imagine live as a single 50 something year old with some great gal pals it is perfect for you!  It may also test your feminist patience and your sense of IS THIS FOR REALSSSS.  Not my favorite by DBF but a great trip back to the lowcountry!

What author would you like to share an afternoon of porch rocking?

I received this book from TLC book tours but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Bridge Ladies

I've enjoyed reading books about women who've lived through the 40-60s.  That generation is fascinating to me.  So close to mine but very different lives. The Bridge Ladies by Betsy Lerner is a non-fiction look at this generation through the eyes and voice of one of its daughters.

Description:  After a lifetime of defining herself against her mother’s Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell generation, Betsy Lerner, a poster child for the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock ’n’ Roll generation, finds herself back in her childhood home of New Haven, Connecticut, not five miles from the mother she spent a lifetime avoiding. When Roz needs help after surgery, it falls to Betsy to take care of her. She expected a week of tense civility; what she got instead were the Bridge Ladies. Impressed with their loyalty, she realized her generation was lacking. Facebook was great, but it wouldn’t deliver a pot roast.

Tentatively at first, Betsy becomes a regular fixture at her mother’s Monday Bridge Club. Before long, she braves the intimidating world of Bridge and comes under its spell. But it is through her friendships with the ladies that she is finally able face years of misunderstandings and family tragedy. The Bridge Ladies become a Greek chorus, a catalyst for change between mother and daughter.

By turns darkly funny and deeply moving, The Bridge Ladies brilliantly weaves the stories of the Bridge Ladies, along with those of Betsy and her mother across a lifetime of missed opportunities. The result is an unforgettable and profound journey into a hard-won—but never-too-late—bond between mother and daughter.


I really liked when Betsy went and visited the ladies and asked them questions outside of their Bridge gatherings.  They are all fascinating people and would reveal more when not around the others.  I also found it interesting how non-emotional/touchy feeling the group was, even after being together for so long.  However, I do think of my own grandmother and she was like this as well.  She had a group of friends she'd get together with often and for years and some that were closer than others but maybe only one of them she'd share personal stuff with, but how do I know?  It is interesting how we are more of a sharing age than ever before.

The book jumps from bridge games to interviews and is heavy on bridge.  My favorite parts were the interviews or conversations.  But, I also know nothing about Bridge.  I do recommend this.  It's a fast book that's about relationships and generational differences. 

How many non-fiction books have you read this year? Have you read anything recently that you'd recommend?

I received this book from TLC book tours but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Father's Day

I may be a sucker for a good emotion packed read.  Just from the first few words of the back cover, "At the age of six, a little girl named Harvey learns that her parents have died in a car accident."  I knew I had to try this book by Simon Van Booy out.

Description:
When devastating news shatters the life of six-year-old Harvey, she finds herself in the care of a veteran social worker, Wanda, and alone in the world save for one relative she has never met—a disabled felon, haunted by a violent past he can't escape.
Moving between past and present, Father’s Day weaves together the story of Harvey’s childhood on Long Island and her life as a young woman in Paris. Written in raw, spare prose that personifies the characters, this novel is the journey of two people searching for a future in the ruin of their past.
Father's Day is a meditation on the quiet, sublime power of compassion, and the beauty of simple, everyday things--a breakthrough work from one of our most gifted chroniclers of the human heart.

Harvey and Jason's story alternates between the past and the present, starting with Harvey's life before the accident that left her orphaned and then to present day Paris, Harvey has created a Father's Day box for Jason containing objects that stand for a vital moment in their lives. Each day Jason removes one of the gifts and opens it during their travels around Paris. The gifts then are followed with flashbacks explaining the significance to their relationship. All of the gifts lead up to mysterious revelation Harvey plans to make to her father on his last day visiting.

It's a fast paced book that quickly changes times.  A little long and a little sentimental.  You may or my not need some Kleenex.  Especially in the beginning.  Maybe.  You may or may not get aggravated a time or too.

Basically, a feel good story with a tinge of sadness but a heck of journey to get there. ;)

What do you think of naming a girl Harvey? What is your first impression about a disabled felon being allowed to adopt a 6 year old girl? Have you read any books by Simon Van Booy?

I received a review copy of this book from TLC Book Tours but all thoughts and opinions are my own.




Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rare Objects

I love a book where you pick it up and next thing you know you are 100 pages in and you didn't even think you were reading that long! Rare Objects by Kathleen Tessaro quickly sucked me into the world of 1930s Boston.  Maeve is the only daughter of a long widowed Irish woman.  Her mother has instilled in her that she not everyone else and not 'common.'  With a desire to be more she leaves behind a boyfriend and her friends for a new adventure in New York.

Sadly, New York during the depression just wasn't what she had hoped and dreamed. Maeve got into a bad place and ended up in a psychiatric hospital and after her release she went home to Boston with a made up story and friendships to mend.  Boston wasn't doing much better in terms of jobs but Maeve works herself into a very interesting job where her past comes back.

This book was quick and fun.  I liked how it touches on fate and luck and different things that did and didn't happen and actions surrounding them.  If you are looking for a quick fun historical book this one would do it.  Perfect for a quick weekend read. 

Do you have a good luck charm? Any superstitions?

I received this book from TLC book tours but all thoughts and opinions are my own!


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Girl Who Stayed

I am a sucker for books set in South Carolina.  I devour books by Dorothea Benton Frank and have savored Pat Conroy tales.  I will try just about anything to get a little Charleston / Sullivan Island / Folly's Beach in my life.  Which is super strange since I have never been there but have planned many vacations there that have yet to happen.

Description: Zoe Rutherford wasn't sure what she was expecting when she returned to Sullivan's Island. The house on Sullivan's hadn't represented home to her in decades. It was the place where she endured her father's cruelty. It was the place where her mother closed herself off from the world. It was the place where her sister disappeared. But now that her parents are gone, Zoe needs to return to the house, to close it down and prepare it for sale. She intends to get this done as quickly as possible and get on with her life, even though that life seems clouded by her past, both distant and recent. But what she discovers when she gets there is far beyond her imagining and will change her in profound ways.

This book sounded like my kind of book.  And it started out that way.  It had mystery.  It had beach.  It had a potential for danger.  It had a learning to be yourself aspect.  There was beer.  And wine.  And grandma's who told Gullah stories.  And somewhere after the first couple of pages it started to just fall flat.

I was even okay with it being a feel good story and not that horrifying or awful in the mystery/suspense aspect until the second to last chapter, I believe.  Then I was just annoyed with the ending.  I felt I deserved a better ending for reading the book.

Also? I wanted to like the main character.  Really did.  The components were there.  But just fell flat.  I was disappointed because I really wanted to love it.  Like I said, it possessed all the things I love, it just didn't jive for me. 

About the Author:  Tanya Anne Crosby is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty-five novels. She has been featured in magazines, such as PeopleRomantic Times and Publisher's Weekly, and her books have been translated into eight languages. Her first novel was published in 1992 by Avon Books, where Tanya was hailed as "one of Avon's fastest rising stars." Her fourth book was chosen to launch the company's Avon Romantic Treasure imprint. Known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, Tanya is an award-winning author, journalist, and editor, and her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. In 2013, she penned her first romantic suspense novel, Speak No Evil, which appeared on the USA Today list. The Girl Who Stayed brings her full circle to work with Lou Aronica, President and Publisher of The Story Plant, who first published Tanya at Avon Books. Tanya and her writer husband split their time between Charleston, SC, where she was raised, and northern Michigan, where the couple make their home.

Is there a certain geographical area that you are drawn to read about? What types of descriptions make you want to pick up a book? Have you been to Sullivan's Island?

I received a copy of this book from TLC tours.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.



Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Double Knot

I am so glad that I got the opportunity to read Double Knot by Gretchen Archer! Double Knot is the 5th in the Davis Way Crime Caper series! And we all know how I love a series!!

Gretchen writes quick witted and funny dialogue.  Her categories may be outrageous but they are consistently outrageous! And I love them.  If you love Janet Evanovich you MUST try out her series.

Description: Super Spy Davis Way sets sail on a Caribbean cruise aboard the MS Probability with fifty billionaires, a boatload of Louis Vuitton luggage, Anderson Cooper, and her mother. (Her mother?) The weather is perfect, the seas are calm, and Suite 704 is spectacular. Until the door slams shut. For good.

Obviously, it’s a system glitch. Surely someone will show up to free Davis, Miss Hawaii, and the creepy staff. But when the minutes turn to hours and the hours stretch into a day, Davis knows it’s up to her. With $50,000 in casino chips, a pot roast, and a crash course in banking, she races against the clock to determine why they’re being held, stop the people behind it, and find a way out.

Secrets are revealed, antiquities are destroyed, and they’re running out of dishes. It’s mayday on Probability when Davis Way realizes that only the truth will set her free.



Just like the 4 books before it, Double Knot is laugh out loud funny! Davis is a riot and her mother is a hoot.  Fantasy also comes through with some great lines as well.  I will say I was not a fan of one of the characters but she was written to be annoying, and she was! ;)

Only thing I'd warn people is that there is pregnancy is in this book and some of it could be a little too much if reading about pregnancy can be a trigger.

The quick of it is that Davis and her entourage which includes her cat, Anderson Cooper, Fantasy, her mother and the suite wait staff arrive in their suite with the addition of Jessica who was in charge of organizing the cruise with her husband, when the doors clock in their fancy suite and their means of communication to the outside is knocked out.  Of course Davis Way isn't even supposed to be in this suite, Bianca  Sanders is supposed to be there for her pregnancy photo shoot.  But of course she has Davis doing her dirty work.  What, wait are you confused?  Little series back story... Davis is a dead ringer for her bosses wife and her bosses wife uses it to her advantage.  Especially now that they are both pregnant.

At first they assume it's the whole ship.  But then they realize something more sinister is happening and they need to work together to help themselves and their loved ones.

The book basically covers 2 days but it seems like they would be at sea much longer than that with all the action that is packed in!

Even though this book is part of a series you could probably read it as a stand alone but I would recommend you start at the beginning of this awesome series! Don't miss out, this book comes out April 12th! There is also a giveaway going on through goodreads! Take the time between now and April 12th and read the other four.  I guarantee you will read them quickly and be entertained!

What funny books have you read recently? Do you read cozy mysteries?

Thanks to Larissa for sending me a copy for review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Read Harder Update #1

I thought that I would post a few updates throughout the year on my Read Harder Challenge as a way to stay committed.  Unfortunately, since making my list I haven't really pushed my reading in a way to make sure I'm reading the books in the challenge.  Luckily, I've managed to fulfill some categories anyway.  Most are from my daily read alouds with my kid. ;)

What I've completed so far...

Read a collection of essays: Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang – Chelsea Handler

Read a book out loud to someone else: Pirates Past Noon – Mary Pope Osborne

Read a middle grade novel: Dolphin’s at Daybreak – Mary Pope Osborne


Read a book under 100 pages:  Ghost town at Sundown – Mary Pope Osborne


Read a book of historical fiction set before 1900: Wench –Dolen Perkins-Valdez

So I have four categories down and about a gazillion to go! ;)



I will say that The Magic Treehouse Series has been great for reading aloud with  my kiddo.  I have other books but she is HOOKED on this series!

I was going to say as my life slows down a bit I will focus more on picking up choices for specific topics as was my original plan, but who knows when it will actually slow down!  I will have to be intentional with my library trips that is for sure.

Are you participating in the Read Harder Challenge? How many have you completed? Which is the hardest task to complete?


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Five a Random Blog Survey


This crappy return of winter weather made me feel the need to do a little survey...
 
5 of my blog posts I Think You Should Read
 

 


5 podcasts I listen too
  • Serial
  • Get Booked
  • Criminal
  • NPR Pop Culture
  • Wait Wait Don't Tell Me

5 recent books I’ve read
  • The Girl in the Spider's Web - David Lagercrantz
  • Sunset of the Sabertooth - Mary Pope Osborne
  • Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang - Chelsea Handler
  • After the Storm - Linda Castillo
 
 

5 places I want to visit
  • St. Lucia
  • Boston
  • Savannah
  • Charleston
  • Washington D.C
 
 

5 foods I could eat every day
  • Nachos
  • Pizza
  • Cheese
  • Bread
  • Oranges
 
 
and I'd drink beer every day too...this is a delicious Saugatuck Amber

5 movies I can watch on repeat
  • Elf
  • Anchorman
  • Love Actually
  • Frozen
  • The Lion King

5 books I recommend
 
 

5 books I want to read
  • Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be your Own Person - Shonda Rimes
  • Etiquette & Espionage - Gail Carriger
  • Grand Central Station: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion - Kristina McMorris
  • The V-Word: True Stories About FIrst Time Sex - Amber J Keyser
  • The Queen of the Night - Andrew Chee

5 kids books I love
  • Punk Farm - Jarrett Krosoczka
  • Pete the Cat - Eric Litwin
  • Stand Tall Molly Lou Mellon - Patty Lovell
  • Magic Tree House Series
  • Brown Bear Brown Bear - Bill Martin, Jr
 
 

5 beauty products I use every day
  • Cetaphil lotion
  • brown eye shadow (right now avon)
  • brown eye pencil (super cheap at Meijer)
  • Pore Minimizer (mary kay)
  • primer (elf)

5 authors I love
  • Tess Gerritsen
  • Linda Castillo
  • Karin Slaughter
  • Laura Lippman
  • Gretchen Archer
 
Play along! Pick a few topics and share in the comments or on your own blog.  Or make up some of your own topics (like I did)
 

Friday, February 19, 2016

TGIF!

The high of my week was my day off on Monday! I got to do some shopping, some library browsing and some extra time with my girl!  It was a great day.  I could totally get behind a 4 day work week. ;)  Or a no day work week.  I also enjoyed the sun out more than it was behind a cloud this week! COME ON SUMMER!

 
this is my 'my office is roasting and I have to strip off my clothes face'

 
 The low of my week was the kiddo and the husband got sick again.  They both had head colds last week and lots of coughing and scratching phlegmy throats.  They were fine Monday-Wednesday and then last night this morning they seemed worse again! BOOO.  I'm hoping that we can air out the house and clean it out of yuckies this weekend.  Also, my daycare providers family is puking.  So let's hope we don't get that.  I went into work late yesterday to take her to school and my dad watched her in the afternoon and today my husband is working from home and they are being miserable sickies together. 


The book I’m reading is The Girl in the Spiders Web by David Lagercrantz It's the newest book in the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo series that Stieg Larson started. 


For my workouts, I completed umm this is sad.  But I only did Yoga once this week. 


The best money I spent was  my new curtains! LOOOVE THEM!  It makes me happy each time I look at them. 


they make me smile!
My plans this weekend include dinner tonight with friends at a fish fry.  Tomorrow I have a surprise birthday luncheon for a coworker.  Tomorrow night we are going to a hockey game.  Sunday we will have  my parents over for dinner.  Hoping we stay healthy the whole time!


What are your plans for this weekend? Do you have any yoga YouTube videos you recommend? What are you reading?