Monday, June 29, 2015

Breathless in Love - Part II (it's shorter than 1, I swear it)

As I mentioned 3 days ago, I just couldn't get all of my review into one post.  So here is the spillover for what I want to say about Breathless in Love.  And I'm doing it by the numbers so that I look organized.

1.    I like that the book goes back and forth between Will and Harper.  In a romance, I enjoy
       the 2 different perspectives.

2.    Although I didn't have my 1st emotional reaction until page 64 (and it was a small one),
       I more than made up for it in the succeeding 334 pages.

3.    On page 135, we are introduced to Will's surrogate parents, Susan and Bob.  I felt like I
       knew these people immediately.

4.    Because of the person Will is, especially in light of his history, I was not even jealous
       the Will is a billionaire!  (okay, maybe a little)

5.    There is a 6-page segment about 2/3 of the way through the book where Will and
       Susan have a phone conversation.  I love their connection.  It was one of my favorite
       parts of the book.

6.    Will has a big secret about his childhood that is finally revealed about 3/4 into the book.
       You absolutely feel his pain.

7.    There's a 13-page section between Will and Harper about 3/4 of the way into the book
       that is absolutely mesmerizing.

8.    The scenes where the 5 billionaires are together are really cool.  You get an
       understanding of how their childhoods shaped their lives and what brought them

9.    Okay, admit it.  You are wondering why I haven't mentioned the sex scenes.  Were
       there any?  Uh, yes there were.  Did I like them?  Need you ask?  I mean, I've got a
       man card to uphold (I still have one, right?  Don't I?)  So here's what I have to say
       about that.  They were very tasteful.  They were pretty explicit but stopped well short
       of erotica.  That's not a judgment.  It's just a fact.  But here's the crazy part:  I didn't
       really need the sex scenes that much (WHAT! ARE YOU NUTS?).  For me, it's
       about the connections, the relationships, the scene in the restaurant (with Mama
       Cannelli), the scene in the factory, etc.  Don't get me wrong.  I read the sex scenes (it
       would have been rude for me not to!).  But for me, a top notch romance like this is
       more about anticipation and the tete-a-tete between the 2 main characters than it is
       about the act itself.  Mock me if you will, but I must speak the truth.  At least as I see it.

P.S.  Read the book.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Breathless in Love - Just Another Romance? Not on Your Life!

Although I got started on romances pretty late in my reading life (I was already looking forward to Medicare when I got hooked!), I have read some good ones, with many of them being from our local authors.  I think the 1st one I read was actually back in late 2011, when I read Past Midnight, by Jasmine Haynes.  And that was not just a plain old romance; it was an erotic romance, which I had definitely not read before (I came across Jasmine and Shelley Bates signing their books at Barnes & Noble in the Pruneyard).  Well, you may remember that I really enjoyed the love story (I swear I'm telling the truth!).  In fact, here is what I wrote at the end of my review:

AUTHOR'S NOTE:  I have been with my wife now for over 45 years.  She is the most beautiful, smartest, talented person that I know.  And, yet, I feel that I have not spent enough time showing her how great I think she is.  Jasmine Haynes' book has made me more aware of letting my wife know what I feel.  For that, I say a personal "Thank you."

So there.  Now, along comes book 1 of a romance series featuring the Maverick Billionaires.  Bella Andre and Jennifer Skully (aka Jasmine Haynes) have collaborated for the 1st time to bring us a series about 5 mid-30s men who have been friends since grade school.  They mostly came from poor,  rough childhoods and have made themselves into...well...billionaires.  This 1st book is about Will Franconi, who has become rich by selling luxury goods for luxury prices.  Almost by chance, Will meets Jeremy Newman, an 18-year old boy who had a very serious car accident when he was 7 and has never matured mentally past that age.  And then there's Jeremy's older sister, Harper, who, in her late 20's, has already been taking care of Jeremy on her own for 6 years, since their parents were tragically killed in an accident.

You know, I've said many times that it's okay with me that we know up front the girl will get the guy, and vice versa.  But even knowing that, I still appreciate a book that keeps me guessing, at least a little bit.  And this book absolutely does that.

I really have a lot to say about Breathless in Love, but I don't want to lose you 1/2 or 2/3 of the way through.  So I will try to be concise (yeah, right) with my analysis.  Let me start by saying I just loved this book.  I loved all of the relationships:  Will with Jeremy, Will with Harper, Harper with Jeremy, Will with his 4 Maverick buddies, Will with his mom, Susan. Every connection felt real to me, and I truly connected with the 3 main characters.  Maybe a little too much, if you catch my tear-soaked drift.

Speaking of crying, wow, did I cry a lot.  There were the obvious tearfests - when Will treated Jeremy like a brother; when will did NOT treat Harper like a sister; when Harper and Jeremy were together.  But here's the thing:  There were a bunch of very poignant moments that were not just about the main characters.  There were tons of scenes when Will showed kindness to people far below him on the food chain.  There's one time in particular in a porcelain factory in London between Will and 5 factory workers that was one of the highlights of the entire book for me.  Oh, yeah, I cried.

But this leads me to the most important message that I got out of this book.  There's a reason I posted a quote from an earlier review.  Just like I learned a valuable lesson from Past Midnight, so did I learn a valuable lesson from Breathless in Love:  Just be nice to people.  I try to do that, whether I'm with friends or as a customer in a retail situation.  But you know what?  I (and all of us) can do better.  Treat everybody with the same respect that you expect from them.  Money and status don't make one person better than the other.  In fact, I just saw this on Facebook the other day (and had to share it) - Be the person your dog thinks you are.  Does that sum it up or what?  So, Bella and Jennifer, thank you for teaching me that lesson.

I'm going to stop here - for now (evidently I just couldn't be concise enough!).  But I will be doing part 2 of this post in the next few days.  Don't worry, it will be shorter.  But I still have more to say.  And you don't want to stifle my creative literary juices, do you?  (Do you?  It's not a rhetorical question.)  Stay tuned.

Bella Andre

Jennifer Skully

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Another Fun Night at the RBC

Last night, the RBC had 84-year young Betty Auchard at Recycle Books.  She has 2 published books and a 3rd on the way.  But the one we read is The Home for the Friendless.  It's a memoir of her childhood growing up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  The Home for the Friendless is actually a place where parents could drop off their kids for an indefinite period of time.  Betty and her 2 siblings had several stints in The Home.  And remember that this was during the Depression.  Pretty interesting stuff.

If you're looking for another Betty Auchard book to read, pick up Dancing in My Nightgown. These are musings from Betty's diary after she became a widow in her 60s.  Jayne Meadows, Steve Allen's wife, gave the quote on the front cover of the book.  She said that it was very comforting to her after Steve died.

Finally, a couple of pics from last night.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Quick Hits (and some misses?)

Here's a bunch of random stuff:

1.  Vanessa Diffenbaugh will be at Book Passage in Corte Madera on Friday night, August 21, at 7:00.  Since The Language of Flowers is one of my top 12 books ALL-TIME, I will definitely be there to see her and get her new book signed.

2.  I finished book 5 of Jeffrey Archer's The Clifton Chronicles.  I loved it.  This is definitely one of my all-time (there are those words again!) favorite series.

3.  Ken Follett (or his camp) has announced that his next book will be published in 2017. Although I haven't read book 3 yet of the Century Trilogy (it's near the top of my TBR pile), I will most assuredly be reading his new one.  I have read every Follett and will continue to do so.

4.  Wednesday, June 24, Betty Auchard, author of The Home for the Friendless (among a couple of others), will be the RBC author.  Betty is a delight, and I can't wait for everybody to get a chance to ask her questions and hear her answers.  Oh, and she will also be signing her book (there are still copies at Recycle).

5.  A reminder that Meg Waite Clayton will be launching her new book, The Race for Paris, at Kepler's on Tuesday, August 11, which is the official pub date.  Can't wait to be there. Meg is one of the most prominent nationally renowned authors living in the Bay Area.  And she's darn nice, too.  She and I both belong to the Books, Inc. 4th Tuesday Night Book Club in Palo Alto.  And when she's there, she's just another contributing member.  No airs at all.

6.  Just found out that JoJo Moyes' Me Before You is going to be a movie soon.  I am told that the girl who plays Khalesi on Game of Thrones (which I don't watch) will be starring in the movie.  That's definitely one that I will see.  If I recall (I actually looked it up), I gave MBY a 4/4.

7.  I have read 100 of 400 pages in the new Bella Andre/Jennifer Skully series, Maverick Billionaires.  I've read a number of Jennifer's books but have never ready any of Bella's.  I have to say that they are really good together.  I'm blubbering like on every other page.  I think I may need some help!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Archer Hits the Mark Again

Man, do I love Jeffrey Archer's series, The Clifton Chronicles.  I just finished book #5, Mightier than the Sword.  You may have heard me tell you that my memory isn't exactly stellar.  Yet, the Prologue for #5 not only grabbed me immediately, but I also remembered just about everything from #4.  That's how much impact the Chronicles have on me.

I'm not going to give you any kind of synopsis.  If you've already read 1 or more, then you know what it's about.  If you haven't, then you need to go online to Archer's website or Goodreads and get the back story. Suffice it to say that we've now gone through 40-50 years with the Cliftons, and #5 ends in 1970.  I hope that it continues on because I really care about these people.

In many of the books I connect with, it's usually about tears.  Archer's books have those, to be sure, along with a whole bunch of other emotions:

laughter (happy, not funny)
worry (lots of "uh oh")
triumph (when the bad guys lose a battle)
satisfaction (to see a result that I was hoping for)

What Archer and Follett have in common is their ability to get you emotionally connected to the villains.  Remember when I told you how I felt about one of the police detectives in Lehane's The Given Day?  I was so angry with a heinous act he pulled against an innocent. Well, this is common for these 2 guys.  They both have sections that are focused on the evildoers.  You get to see what they're planning and the ensuing results.  I think that adds a lot to the story.  And, on top of that, the good guys don't always win.  That makes for more tense situations because you can't really guess what's going to happen.   It's a real literary coup, to my way of thinking.

What makes Archer stand out even more than Follett is his cliffhangers.  The one that ends #5 is a doozy.  And just like some of the TV shows we've watched through the years (the "Who Shot JR" episode from Dallas, back in 1980, springs to mind), Archer's cliffhangers are appropriate to the storyline and make you hope the next book will come out soon (book #6 isn't due until next Spring - rats!).  If you like series, but haven't started this one yet, do it. Even if you don't typically like series, I strongly recommend you try this one.  You will be thanking me.  Another 4/4 for Archer.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Bone Tree - #2 in the Greg Iles Trilogy, Natchez Burning

As you all know, I went to see Greg Iles at Towne Center Books in Pleasanton on May 3. And he was fantastic.  And as you also all know (unless you don't read my blog regularly - and you know who you are!), book 1 of his trilogy, Natchez Burning, was my top book of 2014.  So you can imagine how excited I was to read #2, The Bone Tree.  And I have to say that I was just a bit disappointed.  800 pages once is a lot.  800 pages the 2nd time is a bit tough, especially when it's only 1 year later.  I still gave it a 3.25, but that's mostly because the last 200 pages were killer.  It started strong, but by page 400, I was a little bored.  In fact, circumstances dictated that I start another book in the middle of The Bone Tree (I had a dentist's appointment, and the prospect of holding a 800-page hardcover over my head for 45 minutes was not appealing).  I was actually glad to have a break.  After I read the interloper (it was a pretty short paperback YA), I was more engaged when I got back to Iles.

In case you don't remember my review of Natchez Burning (and you know who you are - wait, did I already use that line?), which I posted on September 29 of last year, I'll give you Goodreads' synopsis of #2:

Former prosecutor Penn Cage and his fiancee, reporter and publisher Caitlin Masters, have barely escaped with their lives after being attacked by wealthy businessman Brody Royal and his Double Eagles, a KKK sect with ties to some of Mississippi's most powerful men. But the real danger has only begun as FBI Special Agent John Kaiser warns Penn that Brody wasn't the true leader of the Double Eagles. The puppeteer who actually controls the terrorist group is a man far more fearsome: the chief of the state police's Criminal Investigations Bureau, Forrest Knox.

The only way Penn can save his father, Dr. Tom Cage--who is fleeing a murder charge as well as corrupt cops bent on killing him--is either to make a devil's bargain with Knox or destroy him. While Penn desperately pursues both options, Caitlin uncovers the real story behind a series of unsolved civil rights murders that may hold the key to the Double Eagles' downfall. The trail leads her deep into the past, into the black backwaters of the Mississippi River, to a secret killing ground used by slave owners and the Klan for over two hundred years . . . a place of terrifying evil known only as "the bone tree."

Don't get me wrong; there's a lot to like about The Bone Tree.

1.  It's a very intricate plot without being too difficult to follow.
2.  It's fun to read about alternate theories regarding the assassinations of JFK, MLK, and RFK, especially since it's all made-up.
3.  #2 actually starts on the same day that #1 ended.  That definitely made it easier to pick right up again.

I mentioned how good the last 200 pages were.  They were so good, in fact, that I'm really looking forward to #3.  Go figure!  I will just mention a couple of features of the latter part of the book.

1.  There's a scene where one of the protagonists has to administer first aid to herself.  That was tough to read.
2.  About 150 pages from the end, I actually said "Oh, no.  Darn."  (I may have substituted another word for "Darn.")
3.  There were a couple of speeches at a funeral (I'm not saying whose funeral it was) that were totally mesmerizing.

Just to be clear:  I will ALWAYS read a Greg Iles.  The man is so good that I complained some about the book and still gave it a 3.25.  When you set the bar high, which he has done repeatedly, it's probably not that easy to hit it every time.  He comes pretty close, though.

Monday, June 15, 2015

2 Upcoming Bookstore Events

In the next 30 days, there are 2 very cool bookstore events coming up.  The 1st one is at Kepler's in Menlo Park, and the 2nd one is at Rakestraw Books in Danville.  Take a look.

Mystery-Thriller Saturday: An Afternoon of Chaos, Killing, Crime, and Kidnapping @Kepler’s 
Saturday, June 27, 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Sponsored by Peninsula Arts & Letters, Kepler’s Books, Mystery Writers of America (NorCal Chapter) and Sisters in Crime (NorCal Chapter)
Our first Mystery Thriller Saturday was such a good time we’re doing it again. Two great panels and a chance to prove you know more about mysteries than our participating authors. Now that’s a challenge you can’t pass up!
Order tickets online at Brown Paper Tickets. 
Click HERE to read more about the mystery writers who will participate! 

1:00 p.m.: Face-off -- Plotters Versus Pantsers
Do you outline before you start writing your book or do you just plunge in and write by the seat of your pants?
Outliners Paul Draker and Steve Hockensmith will face off against Cara Black and Catriona McPherson in crime fictions’s version of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. This panel will be refereed byJanet Rudolph aka The Mistress of Mystery.

2:30 p.m. - It's Not Me, Babe 
Writing about a character way different than you
Can you successfully walk in someone else’s shoes? David CorbettSeth HarwoodTerry Shames, and Laurie R. King will discuss the pleasures and pitfalls of writing characters who are very different to themselves. This panel will be moderated by Kepler's favorite Keith Raffel.
4:00 p.m. -  Mystery Trivia
Join us in teams of two to four and put your knowledge of mysteries to the test! There will be prizes. There will be snacks. There will be much raucous laughter. There might even be a trophy!
Click HERE to find out more about the mystery/thriller writers who are participating. And don't forget to order your tickets HERE.
Event date: 
Saturday, June 27, 2015 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Event address: 
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo ParkCA 94025-4349

Watchman banner 2

What: Rakestraw Books celebrates the publication of Go Set a Watchman, the long-awaited new book by the beloved Harper Lee, with a special party.

When: Friday, 17 July 2015 at 7 PM. Note: The book publishes on Tuesday, 14 July 2015. Party guests will be able to pick up books from Tuesday on (we understand, we can't wait either!).

How much: $75/person. Limit of four tickets per household. Only 100 tickets will be sold for this very special event. Call the shop (or, better still, visit!) at (925) 837-7337.

Why you should care: An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch Scout struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee's enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.

For this very special party: We will serving some snazzy hors d'oeuvres and presenting a special screening of the Academy Award-winning film To Kill a Mockingbird (starring Gregory Peck). Each ticket admits one person and includes one copy of Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee. Each ticket also includes the chance to win a 35th Anniversary edition of To Kill a Mockingbird signed by Harper Lee. This extraordinary edition is valued at $1200. This event is a benefit for the Friends of the Danville Library. You need not be present to win.

We hope you will help us celebrate this historic occasion!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Upcoming RBC Authors and Books

You know that I don't usually post a lot of RBC (Recycle Book Club) news.  But I'm making an exception in this case.  Why, you ask?  Because moving forward we're doing a lot of genre-busting.  From the time we started at Village House of Books back in January of 2014 (we moved to Recycle Books, Campbell, in September of last year), we have been focusing on literary fiction and memoirs.  That was true through January of this year.  But in February we had our 1st mystery - Spectrum, by Alan Jacobson.  Then in March it was our 1st YA (young adult) - The Princess of Las Pulgas, by C. Lee McKenzie.  And last month we did another mystery - Dismal Mountain, by John Billheimer.

We already had June - August lined up.  But in 1 week's time, we added 5 authors/books. We're now set through January, 2016.  Here's the lineup and the genre starting with this month:

Wednesday, June 24 - The Home for the Friendless, Betty Auchard - Childhood Memoir
Tuesday, July 14 - Wyndano's Cloak, A. R. Silverberry - YA Fantasy
Wednesday, August 12 - From Sleepy Lagoon to the Corner of the Cats, Steve Sporleder -
   Literary Fiction
Thursday, September 24 - Herb of Grace, Shelley Bates - Religious Fiction (Amish)
Tuesday, October 27 - Breathless in Love, Bella Andre & Jennifer Skully - Romance
Thursday, November 19 - Under Wraps, Hannah Jayne - Urban Fantasy (paranormal)
Wednesday, December 16 - Private Offerings, Ann Bridges - Literary Fiction
Tuesday, January 19 - The Angels' Share, Rayme Waters - Literary Fiction

To summarize, in 2015 we've got 4 literary fiction, 2 mystery, 1 YA, 1 YA fantasy, 1 memoir, 1 religious fiction, 1 romance, and 1 urban fantasy.  It will be interesting to see if our members like these new genres...or if they pull a Queen of Hearts and scream "Off with his head!"  I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Latest James Grippando - Cash Landing

Every year I get the latest James Grippando ARC (advanced reading copy).  And every year I enjoy the book.  I liken Grippando's stuff to comfort food.  His books typically rate anywhere from a 2.5 to a 3.0.  There might be a 3.25 on occasion, but his books are consistently within that .5 range.  And I'm okay with that.  I know what I'm going to get, and I get it.  Case closed.

This one, Cash Landing, centers on FBI agent Andie Henning.  And it predates the time when Andie meets Jack Swytek (still the most entertaining of Grippando's recurring characters).  Here's the plot.

Every week, a hundred million dollars in cash arrives at Miami International Airport, shipped by German banks to the Federal Reserve. A select group of trusted workers moves the bags through Customs and loads them into armored trucks.

Ruban Betancourt has always played by the rules. But the bank taking his house and his restaurant business going bust has driven him over the edge. He and his wife deserve more than life has handed them, and he’s come up with a ballsy scheme to get it. With the help of an airport insider, he, his coke-head brother-in-law, Jeffrey, and two ex-cons surprise the guards loading the armored trucks and speed off with $7.4 million in the bed of a pickup truck.

Investigating the heist, FBI agent Andie Henning, newly transferred to Miami from Seattle, knows the best way to catch the thieves is to follow the money. Jeffrey’s drug addiction is as conspicuous as the Rolex watches he buys for dancers at the Gold Rush strip club. One of the ex-cons, Pinky Perez, makes no secret of his plan to own a swinger’s club—which will allow him carte blanche with his patrons’ wives. Levelheaded Ruban is desperately trying to lay low and hold things together. 

But Agent Henning isn’t the only one on their trail, and in the mob-meets-Miami fashion, these accidental thieves suddenly find themselves way in over their heads . . . and sinking fast.

I think it's interesting that Grippando makes the reader feel sympathy for the main armored truck robber.  We read all about him losing his house and his restaurant.  So you kind of understand why he feels the need to take matters into his own hands.  We do, of course, know that what he's doing is wrong.  But we still sort of root for him.

I did learn something from this book, though.  I found out that BOLO means "Be on the lookout."  I never knew that.  And I like Grippando's writing:  "Coils of razor wire stretched across the top like a man-eating slinky."  That's a good visual.

There aren't many surprises here.  That's okay.  Just enjoy it.  And the next one...and the next one.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Our Most Well-Read Cities

You never know how valid these lists are.  But who cares?  They're still fun to look at. Us Bay Area denizens got 2 of the top 20 - SF at #7 and San Jose at #16.  I got this list from Elizabeth, author of the blog Silver's Reviews -  Silver's Reviews 

Seattle, where Amazon's corporate headquarters is located, led the online retailer's fifth annual list of the "most well-read cities in the U.S." 

The ranking was determined by compiling sales data for all book, magazine and newspaper sales in both print and Kindle format from April 2014 to April 2015, on a per capita basis in cities with more than 500,000 residents. 

This year's top 20: 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Orphan Train

You all know what I thought of The Orphan Train (you have my permission to read my review from Jan. 30 of this year).  I loved it and gave it a 4/4.  Well, I just came across this upcoming event at the Tabard Theatre Company in San Jose.  So even though the Orphan Train ended in 1929, it still lives on.  Isn't that cool? 

P.S.  I don't know why the copy is all funky, with some lines being blocked off and others not.  Hopefully, you can read it. 

The Tabard Theatre Company is kicking off its 15th season in September 2015, with the world premiere of Homeward Bound: An Orphan Train Journey, and we need your HELP creating the production.

To ensure that Homeward Bound: An Orphan Train Journey is as authentic and honest as theatrically possible, Cathy, two of the young cast members, Ashley and Ginger, and their mothers will be attending the annual National Orphan Train Rider Celebration held at the Orphan Train Museum Complex in Concordia, Kansas, June 4-6, 2015.  This is a tremendous first-hand learning experience that they will be able to share with the rest of the cast and ultimately audiences everywhere.

Tabard is seeking $5,000 to cover our research and expenses associated with this trip for all five to attend.

This is a message from the artistic director of The Tabard Theater Company, Cathy Cassetta:

Of course we appreciate any donations to help us reach our goals but if you donate...

$100 or more, you will receive 2 tickets to the performance on opening weekend, Sept. 18-20.  

$1,000 or more, you can have a character or a referenced character in the play named after you or someone of your choosing.

Thank you so much for partnering with us to help make our trip to the Orphan Train museum and reunion possible!   

Friday, June 5, 2015

A Comedy Routine - AND A Book Event

This is something I wouldn't normally put on Booksage.  We went to see Paul Reiser at a comedy club in San Francisco last Saturday night because Steve saw him in New York and thought he was hysterical.  And, man, was he right.  Reiser put on a great show for an hour and 15 minutes.  HOWEVER (and this is where I get to make the connection with my blog), he was also promoting his latest (and 3rd) book, Familyhood.  So I think it's legal to post it here.  Take a look at yours truly buddying(?) it up with the star of TV (Mad About You) and silver screen.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion - A Very Good Read

I've been seeing positive reviews of The Rosie Project from fellow bloggers for quite a while now.  And, yet, I've had it sitting in my TBR pile for a long time.  So why did I read it now?  2 reasons, actually.  The 1st is that it's the August Los Gatos Library Evening Book Club selection.  But, normally, I would have waited until late July/early August to read it.  That leaves me with the 2nd reason.  We were in Tahoe over the Memorial Day weekend.  And I was all set to read The Goldfinch (which I referenced in my last post).  We brought The Rosie Project along for Joni to read in case we got to the beach (we didn't - the weather was uncooperative).  So there I am, truly disliking The Goldfinch, but kind of stuck because TRP was there for Joni.  But, lo and behold, she didn't have any time to start it because she gets up much later than I do.  It was a simple decision to cast the bird book out and start Rosie.  In retrospect - an excellent decision.

By now, just about everybody has heard of The Rosie Project.  But in case you have been out of touch, here is a description from our good friends at (you guessed it) Goodreads:

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

This book hit me in funny ways.  I liked it a lot.  In fact, I gave it a 3.25.  But how it/I went about it was unusual.  Because of the nature of Don Tillman, and the fact that he is a social misfit, the bulk of the book is told by Don.  That means that most of the story is narrated in a monotonal(?) voice.  That's what makes the last 40 pages (out of 292) of the book so emotionally charged.  I don't want to say too much, but Rosie is a truly interesting character. Her influence on Don is fun to watch.  And it occurred to me that the author needed the 1st 252 pages to make the last 40 read like they do.

Another interesting element of the book is that it takes place in Australia - but I completely forgot that throughout the reading.  Except for a couple of times when the author says "mum," "fitted," and "ring back," I kept thinking we were in the U.S.  Interesting.

That's about all I've got.  I don't know if I'm going to read The Rosie Effect, which, not surprisingly, is the sequel.  I think I'm good with just this one.