Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Miscellaneous Again

There is some very cool stuff in this post.  Take a couple of minutes to click on the links.

1.  Our latest RBC author (1/23), Marina Adair, has her 3rd romance novel being turned into a TV movie.  Valentines in the Vineyard will be on the Hallmark Channel this coming Saturday, Feb. 2.

2.  If you have never seen Dave Barry in person (or even if you have), here is your chance.  The Kepler's Literary Foundation is hosting Dave at Aragon High School in San Mateo on April 11, from 7:30-9:00.  People, this guy is a stand-up comedian.  Plus his books are very funny.  You can go on Kepler's website to order tickets.

3.  You have to click on this link.  Amazing stuff:  book-art-elizabeth-sagan

'The Goldfinch' will finally grace the big screen.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Miscellaneous...and an Anniversary

1.  I know you will all (some/few/none) be happy to know that today is my 8th blogging anniversary. It seems like only 7.5 years ago that I started The Book Sage!  Moving forward, I hope to be doing this for many years to come.  I mean, c'mon, what's better than reading and talking about books?

2.  The Illuminator's Test, book 2 in Alina Sayre's great series, The Voyages of the Legend, is now available in audiobook (Book 1, The Illuminator's Gift, is already in audiobook form).  The ages for the series is 9-14.  But, believe you me, these are good for any age.  And in case you don't already know this, I am WAY older than 14.

3.  Local author, and RBC alumnus, Meg Waite Clayton, has posted this announcement:
Based on a true story from the years just before WWII began, Meg Waite Clayton’s The Last Train to Londonpitched as a novel for readers of The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See—celebrates the efforts of a childless Dutchwoman who, against all odds, faces down Adolf Eichmann to rescue thousands of children from Nazi-occupied Vienna, including a young playwright and the gifted daughter of an anti-Nazi journalist. To Harper Collin’s Sara Nelson at auction in a major two-book deal by agent Marly Rusoff, for publication in November 2019 (W plus audio).

4.  Kimberly Belle's The Marriage Lie, which is really good, is coming to TV.  Here's a link to my review (if you are interested/care):  

The Marriage Lie, by Kimberly Belle

5.  Another local author, Gigi Pandian, has her series, Accidental Alchemist,  coming to TV.

6.  I just got this link today from Melissa.  Ken Follett is working on a prequel to Pillars of the Earth (1 of my top 3 all-time, along with Shogun and The Source).  Check it out:


7.  Here is some VERY exciting news:

About this website
This is the best time for indie booksellers in years.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Limelight - Amy Poeppel

On an earlier post, I gave some very short reviews.  Some of these books deserve more attention.  Limelight, by Amy Poeppel, is one of them. Here is what it's about:

Allison Brinkley - wife, mother, and former unflappable optimist - discovers that a carefully weighed decision to pack up and move her family from suburban Dallas to the glittery chaos of Manhattan may have been more complicated than she and her husband initially thought.
Allison's romantic view of New York quickly crumbles:  the Brinkleys' apartment is neither pre-war elegant nor penthouse chic; the schools they carefully selected for their kids are low on charm and high on price; and her husband's gorgeous colleague seems to be spending more time with him than Allison.
And then, just when she thinks there is light at the end of the tunnel, things get worse; an embarrassing fender bender leads to an unlikely role for her as a spoiled teen idol's personal assistant, a job that's one part wrangler, one part mother.  But the thankless tasks and outlandish duties may just end up bringing her into the heart of the city itself.

I liked Limelight a whole lot.  I have to admit, though, that what got to me initially was a bunch of references that I could relate to personally. Even though you didn't ask for this list, I'm giving it to you anyway.

1.  We learn that a neighbor in Dallas brings Allison a plate of homemade snickerdoodles.  When our 13 (almost 14)-year old granddaughter, Haley, was very young, Joni used to watch her on Fridays.  And they always stopped off at our local bakery, Icing on the Cake, so that Haley could get her snickerdoodle.  That was fine until Haley could talk.  One day Joni was walking with Haley and the parents. When they passed Icing, Haley yelled "snickerdoodle!"  Busted.
2.  On page 158, Glenn Close is mentioned.  I read that page the exact same day that Joni and I saw Close in The Wife!
3.  Allison's husband is tasked one morning with waking up the kids for school.  He did it the exact same way I did it when our kids were growing up:  "He never woke them up in a sunny, silly way, like dads do in the movies.  No singing songs or tickling anyone.  He would knock on the first door, crack it open, and say, 'Hey, time to get up, let's go, let's go.' and on down the line."  Yep.
4.  If you've had kids go away to college, you will definitely understand this quote.  And if you haven't, pay close attention:  "She's getting ready to fly the coop and probably wants to assert her independence."  Again I say, yep.
5.  There is a reference to James Corden's Carpool Karaoke.  I read this right around the time I watched Corden's CK with Paul McCartney.

What does any of this have to do with the book?  Probably not much. But they were fun references for me.  What really matters, though, is how much I enjoyed Limelight.  Howso, you ask?  Let me count the ways:

1.  Each and every character is interesting, whether he/she be major or minor.
2.  There is a scene that takes place around a theater rehearsal that felt so real.
3.  I really like the relationship between Allison's daughter, Charlotte, and our teen rebel, Carter.
4.  The last part of the book felt like a bona fide mystery to me.  That's how connected I was to the story and characters.
5.  Not every close relationship between co-workers of the opposite gender has to lead to an affair.  I'm not saying that's the case here...but it could be...but maybe it's not...but...oh just read it.

I highly recommend Limelight.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Last Post for 2018 - Number of Books Read for Each Genre

This is the last post about 2018.  I am just giving you the different genres I read this past year and how many of each.  If you have any interest in which books I read for which genre, let me know.  Otherwise, I don't want to boor you with any more of my insufferable lists.

Literature & Fiction - 44

Historical Fiction - 8

Memoir - 6

Non-Fiction/Self-Help - 2

Non-Fiction/True Crime - 3

Mystery/Thriller/Suspense - 3

Romance - 3

Total - 69

What's interesting(?) is that last year I read 15 different genres.  And this year?  Only 7.  I guess a major part of that is what books we read for the RBC.  There should be a few more in 2019.  We already have 5 genres (romance, YA, poetry - a 1st - literature & fiction, and mystery/thriller/suspense) lined up out of the 6 authors that are scheduled so far.  I guess you will just have to wait (with baited breath, I would imagine) to see what my total is this year.  See you around January 5, 2020!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New Authors (for me) in 2018

I'm always curious as to how many new authors I read in a year.  In 2017 it was 43.  And in 2016 it was 40.  This year it's 44.  As usual, I am listing them below with the number of books I read (if more than 1). And, also as usual, they are listed in the order I read them.  Here goes:

Michael Goorjian
Amy Ettinger
Jessica Shattuck
Chloe Benjamin
Angie Thomas
Kristin Harmel (3)
Melissa Senate
Martha Conway
Matt Haig
Lexie Elliott
Stephen M. Gray
Maria Semple
Matt Taibi
Ann Parker
Chandra Lee Ingram
Tobin Gilman
Rene Denfield
A.J. Finn
Hope Jahren
Sandra Hutchinson
Laurel Grossman
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Lori Hodgson
Susan Wolfe
Tommy Orange
Wendell Steavenson
Marcia Stein
Jabali Smith
Sarah Pekkanen
Jo Jakeman
Amy Proeppel
Channy Chhi Laux
Rosie Walsh
Fannie Flagg
Diane Chamberlain (2)
Mary Kubica
Meredith Jaeger
David Grann
Katherine Center
Fiona Davis
Lisa Wingate
Delia Owens
Jessica Fechtor
Kate Morton

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Books of 2018

Here is the complete list of books read for 2018.  As always, they are in the order I read them with ratings attached.

What Lies Beyond the Stars - Michael Goorjian - 3.5
Before I Go - Colleen Oakley - 3.5
Sweet Spot - Amy Ettinger - 3.0
The Women in the Castle - Jessica Shattuck - 3.5
The Immortalists - Chloe Benjamin - 3.0
The Hate U Give - Angie Thomas - 3.625
The Life Intended - Kristin Harmel - 4.0
The Night Trade - Barry Eisler - 3.25
The Love Goddess' Cooking School - Melissa Senate - 3.75
The Underground River - Martha Conway - 3.0
How to Stop Time - Matt Haig - 3.25
The French Girl - Lexie Elliott - 3.25
The Ramadan Drummer - Randy Splitter - 2.5
The Mark of Wu, Hidden Paths - Stephen M. Gray - 2.75
Where'd You Go, Bernadette - Maria Semple - 3.0
The Family Next Door - Sally Hepworth - 3.625
Serve and Protect - Sheldon Siegel - 3.0
I Can't Breathe - Matt Taibi - 3.25
Silver Lies - Ann Parker - 3.0
Freedom Child - Chandra Lee Ingram - 3.25
The McGlincey Killings - Tobin Gilman - 3.0
The Room on Rue Amelie - Kristin Harmel - 4.0
The Child Finder - Rene Denfield - 2.5
The Sweetness of Forgetting - Kristin Harmel - 4.0+
The Woman in the Window - A. J. Finn - 3.25
Everything She Lost - Alessandra Harris - 2.5
Wild in Love - Jennifer Skully & Bella Andre - 3.25
The Hush - John Hart - 2.25
Still Me - JoJo Moyes - 3.75
Bardwell's Folly - Sandra Hutchinson - 3.25
The Golden Peacock - Lauren B. Grossman - 3.0
The Recipe Box - Maggie Shipman - 3.5
Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - 3.0
A Mother's Heartbreak - Lori Hodgson - 3.0
Escape Velocity - Susan Wolfe - 2.5
There There - Tommy Orange - 2.5
Three Days Missing - Kimberly Belle - 3.5
Paris Metro - Wendell Steavenson - 2.5
Strained Relations - Marcia Stein - 2.5
The Life Lucy Knew - Karma Brown - 3.5
Slave - Jabali Smith - 3.0
Things You Won't Say - Sarah Pekkanen - 3.25
Everything We Give - Kerry Lonsdale - 2.875
The Other Woman - Daniel Silva - 3.0
The Exes Revenge - Jo Jakeman - 3.0
Limelight - Amy Poeppel - 3.75
Short Hair Detention - Channy Laux - 2.25
Ghosted - Rosie Walsh - 3.5
The All-Girls Filling Station's Last Reunion - Fannie Flagg - 3.5
The Daisy Children - Sofia Grant - 3.25
The Stolen Marriage - Diane Chamberlain - 3.5
When the Lights Go Out - Mary Kubica - 3.0
Boardwalk Summer - Meredith Jaeger - 3.0
Killers of the Flower Moon - David Grann - 3.0
The Dream Daughter - Diane Chamberlain - 4.0
Laying Pipe - Kate Allure - 3.0
Beautiful Exiles - Meg Waite Clayton - 3.0
How to Walk Away - Katherine Center - 3.75
The Masterpiece - Fiona Davis - 3.25
Before We Were Yours - Lisa Wingate - 3.75
The Way of Beauty - Camille Di Maio - 3.5
The Mother-in-Law - Sally Hepworth - 3.25
A Spark of Light - Jodi Picoult - 3.25
Where the Crawdads Sing - Delia Owens - 3.75
Promise Me You - Marina Adair - 3.5
My Broken Brain - Jessica Fechtor - 3.5
The Secret Keeper - Kate Morton - 3.5
unpublished - 4.0
unpublished - 3.5

69 books
22,934 pages