Thursday, June 8, 2017

Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader - Volume X

It's been a little over 8 months since I posted 14 books in FFTNFR, Volume IX.  And now I've got another 14 in this edition, (not surprisingly) Volume X.  If you are interested in seeing what books I have in Volumes I-IX (and how can you not!), here are the post dates:  2/19/11, 2/18/12, 4/7/12, 7/16/12, 3/3/13, 2/16/14, 2/28/15, 3/25/16, and 10/3/16.

1.    Blackberry Winter, Sarah Jio - Everybody in the world knows by now how much I loved Jio's Goodnight June (4+/4).  But I had not read any of her other books, until this one.  A modern-day reporter in Seattle ends up investigating an unsolved child abduction from 1933.  For some of you, this is probably a subject that you can't/don't want to deal with.  I get that.

2.    Letters from Paris, Juliet Blackwell - Claire, a woman who lost her mother in an accident quits her job to take care of her grandmother. While there, she comes across a mask.  Her grandmother convinces her to go to Paris and find out more about the artist and what the mask represents.  The reader goes back and forth between Claire in the present and Sabine, the woman who is the subject of the mask, in the past.

3.    Livia Leone, Barry Eisler - You all know about Barry's great John Rain series.  Well, this is book 1 of a new series, starring a female Seattle police detective who is definitely NOT like any detective you're read about before.

4.    Paris for One, JoJo Moyes - I am NOT a fan of short stories.  Never have been.  But I'm such a big fan of Moyes (Me Before You and After You) that I told myself I would read anything new that she puts out (The Horse Dancer is in my TBR pile).  Paris for One has one very long story (novella length) and several shorter ones.  The long one was absolutely terrific and made the other ones not so important to me.

5.    Glitter and Glue, Kelly Corrigan - Simply put, this is a memoir that shows us a different way to define family.  It reminds me of Rachael Herron's The Ones Who Matter Most.  But that one was fiction.

6.    This Was a Man, Jeffrey Archer - It's the end of the road for the must-read Clifton Chronicles.  And book 7 does not disappoint.

7.    A Gentleman in Moscow, Amir Towles - This book is just flat-out one of the best-written books I have ever read.  In fact, I had so much to say about it that I divided it into 2 posts (only the 2nd time I've ever done that.  The 1st?  Being Mortal by Atul Gawande).  The book itself is about a 30-year old Russian prince who, in 1922, is sentenced to house arrest in a Moscow hotel by the Bolsheviks.

8.    It Started with a Kiss, Marina Adair - This is book 1 of a new romance (duh!) series that takes place in fictional Sequoia Lake in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  It not only has romance.  But it also has rugged terrain-ness.

9.    An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir - This is book 1 of a YA fantasy series.  Does that turn off you Baby Boomers?  Don't let it.  You will like it.  And book 2, A Torch against the Night, is sitting prominently in my TBR pile.

10.  The Orphan's Tale, Pam Jenoff - Boy is this good.  It's another slice of WWII history centered on circuses in Germany.  One circus is Jewish-owned and their chief competitor is not.  See what happens when the war begins.

11.  Irresistible in Love, Jennifer Skully and Bella Andre - Book 4 in one of my favorite romance series (or any series) of all time.  And there's still book 5 to come!

12.  The Marriage Lie, Kimberly Belle - What happens when a wife of 7 years finds out that her loving husband has died in a plane crash - and on a plane different from the one he said he was going to be on?  What secrets is he keeping?  Is it possible that he's not even dead?

13.  the mother's promise, Sally Hepworth - The story centers on a mother and her teenage daughter, who has social anxiety disorder. When they find out that the mother has a life-threatening disease, you can imagine what this does to each of them.  There is a very strong supporting cast too.

14.  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, Mary Shaffer & Annie Barrows - This book is 10 years old, but I just got around to reading it a few weeks ago.  It's another little episode of WWII.  It centers on the occupation by the Germans of the Channel Islands, between England and France, off the coast of Normandy.  Oh, did I forget to mention that the entire book is a series of letters?  They call this style of writing epistolary.

A couple of details about the list:
1.  7 of the 14 are written by Northern California authors - coincidence? Not really.  I tend to read a lot of local authors.  I can't help it if so many of them are just that darn good.
2.  The breakdown of genres is:
     literary/contemporary/women's/historical fiction - 7
     memoir - 1
     YA fantasy - 1
     romance - 2
     mystery - 2
     short story collection - 1


  1. I'm not a fan of short stories either but I'd give Moyes' book a try. Loved Me Before You and After You. I also liked #12, 13 and 14 :)

  2. I don't think you will be disappointed in Paris for One.

  3. I just purchased Glitter and Glue. Oddly enough, it was from Dollar Tree. They have such random books sometimes!

    1. I bought that one when Kelly interviewed Jodi Picoult at a Bay Area bookstore. I went for Jodi, of course, but ended up meeting Kelly and getting the book signed. I asked her about the RBC, but she politely declined.