Sunday, August 30, 2020

Independent Bookstore Day

Yesterday was Independent Bookstore Day.  And, not surprisingly, I trekked over to Recycle Bookstore in Campbell to pay homage.  Here are a few pics from my visit:

                                  Good old Recycle!

                They've always got racks of books out in front of the store.

                                        Their front windows are very enticing.

These are my bookshelves, where there are RBC selections and my personal recommendations!

                Racks in the front of the store, this one with children's books.

                                                           And these with current bestsellers.

                                                    Part of their back wall, with literary fiction.

        Here is part of their fantasy section.  Pretty cool, eh?

                                                                How about their mystery section?

This is a section where you know the genre but don't know the book.

                           Do you want to buy a book bag or T-shirt?  Here they are.

                                                          There's Paul, ringing up a sale.

      And, finally, Lauren, buying back books (Tuesday-Saturday, 11-5).



Monday, August 24, 2020

A bunch of mini-mini-mini--reviews

Sometimes I get so behind on my reviews that I just can't catch up.  In those situations, I will once in a while write some short reviews.  In this case we're talkin' REAL short.  

Kimberly Belle - Stranger in the Lake - liked it but definitely liked The Marriage Lie better

JoJo Moyes - The Giver of Stars - real good - I've liked everything I have read from her

Robert Dugoni - My Sister's Grave, Tracy Crosswhite #1 - this one and The Eighth Sister are very good - but The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell is just flat-out great

Michael Zadoorian - The Narcissism of Small Differences - decent but I loved The Leisure Seeker

Amy Poeppel - Musical Chairs - definitely readable but pales in comparison to Limelight

Laila Ibrahim - Paper Wife - good book

Kerry Lonsdale - Side Trip - very good - one scene had me yelling out loud - not smart in a coffee shop!

Kristina McMorris - sold on a monday - my 1st McMorris - really well done - more to follow


Every one of these authors is coming to a virtual RBC meeting except for Zadoorian (who's already been) and Moyes.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

A Little Bit of Grace, by Phoebe Fox - A VERY Fun Read

I learned about A Little Bit of Grace through - you guessed it - Melissa! In this case, she actually introduced me to the author via FB Messaging. So I immediately bought the book and got to it right away.  The only potential problem was...what if I didn't much care for it?  The fact that Melissa liked it a lot made me feel a little bit more confident that I would too.  But there's no guarantee!  Well, there was no need to worry.  I enjoyed the heck out of ALBoG.  Here's the blurb, and then I've got stuff to tell you:

Family is everything - Grace Adams McHale's mom must have said it to her a thousand times before she died.  Before Grace's dad ran off with an aspiring actress half his age.  Before only-child Grace found out she was unable to have children of her own.  Before Brian - her childhood best friend, business partner, and finally her husband - dropped a "bombshell" on her in the form of her stunning new replacement.

Which means Grace now has...nothing.

Until she receives a letter from a woman claiming to be a relative Grace never knew she had, sending her on a journey from the childhood home she had to move back into to a Florida island to meet a total stranger who embraces her as family.  There, Grace starts to uncover answers about the eccentric woman her family never mentioned: a larger-than-life octogenarian who is the keeper of a secret held for more than fifty years, and the ultimate inspiration to always be true to yourself.  As Grace gets to know this woman and picks up the pieces of her own shattered life, she is forced to question whether she can find forgiveness for the unforgivable.

Let me start the actual review part of this post by saying A Little Bit of Grace is simply delightful (one of my mother-in-law's favorite words). And it sure applies in this case.  That is not say there is no substance. How do I know this?...because I got a takeaway from Grace.  This only happens every 50-75 books.  But it happened here.  Let me quote the passage:  "I just mean...maybe you and Brian were together for the part of your paths that ran the same direction...until they didn't anymore.  And that was going to happen regardless of anything either of you did or didn't do.  You just each moved on to a different part of your map."  I'm going to keep this in mind when I encounter obstacles.  Thanks, Phoebe!

Here's the other thing about this book.  Phoebe has come up with some of the best visuals I can remember ever reading.  Here are just a few examples of many:

"His forehead wrinkled like a shar-pei's."

"...people were bursting through the door like the Kool-Aid man..."

"I couldn't have felt more awkward if I'd broken in like Goldilocks and helped myself to a comfortable bed."

There are a dozen more where those came from.  So many that I would have had to devote an entire post to these very clever similes/metaphors/comparisons.  And if I did that, you would be missing out on a whole bunch of occasions to smile and nod your head.  I don't want to take that pleasure away from you!  More importantly, read A Little Bit of Grace.  It's just what the doctor (any doctor!) ordered.


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Autographed Literary Masterpiece

Prior to the shutdown, we had an RBC meeting with author Stephen Houser. He asked all of us what our favorite books were. I said my 3 favorites are Shogun, Pillars of the Earth, and The Source. Shortly after that, Stephen presented me with a copy of The Source autographed by James Michener himself! Here are pictures of the cover and the inscription and signature from Michener to somebody named Carola, in 1967. This is the most prized literary possession I have. Thank you Stephen!