Monday, September 14, 2020

Some Mini-Reviews & and Some News Items

First of all, I've got some news reports for you.  I will follow that up with 3 very short reviews.

1.  Warner Brothers has purchased the rights to The Alice Network.  We know that buying the rights doesn't always mean that the project will come to the big or little screen.  But it sure is a good story, and it would be great to see it produced.

2.  Reese Witherspoon's production company is bringing Where the Crawdads Sing to the big screen.  This is one of the few books I've read in recent years that has gotten a thumbs up from everybody I know who has read it.

3.  Kerry Lonsdale's book, Side Trip, has a pretty unique surprise in it. She is going to have a meeting designed to give readers a chance to ask questions...and they/we WILL have questions!  The event is called Kerry's Tiki Bar, and is scheduled for October 1, 4:00PST.  You can go on her website to get the link.

And now 3 mini-reviews:

1.  The Dutch House, by Ann Patchett.  I have liked a lot of Patchett's books (especially Bel Canto) but haven't been crazy about the most recent ones.  TDH has gotten a ton of high ratings.  I liked it well enough but didn't love it.  Interestingly enough, Joni and I started listening to the audiobook (narrated by Tom Hanks) quite a few months ago.  We liked it but turned it in because we wanted to listen to Ronan Farrow's Catch and Kill (which we couldn't get through).  We never went back to the audiobook, but I decided to read it based on some glowing reviews from friends of mine.  The best I can say is that I'm not sorry I read it.


2.  Charming Falls Apart, by Angela Terry.  This is a debut novel for Angela.  And I liked it a lot.  I definitely recommend it and look forward to her next one, whenever that hits the circuit.

3.  The Light in the Hallway, by Amanda Prowse.  This is an author that I had never heard of until recently.  And she's written almost 30 novels and novellas!  I discovered her on a FB book group page.  I saw several members raving about her books.  I went back and forth with them and finally decided I would read one of her books and make up my own mind.  I picked this one based on recommendations and Goodreads ratings.  Anyway, although this was a very long-winded explanation, the bottom line is that I definitely liked it.  I would probably read others by her but don't feel the need to run out and do that.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Another Top-Notch Book from Katherine Center

Back in 2018, I read my 1st Katherine Center book.  It was How to Walk Away, and I loved it.  Then why did it take me so long to read another one?  Beats me.  But I finally did.  It's called What You Wish for, and it's darn good.  This one hit me differently than a lot of other books do.  I was rolling along, enjoying HtWA.  I wasn't as emotionally connected as I like to be with the books I read.  But I was certainly engaged and glad I picked it.  And then...BOOM!  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  The last 65 pages I almost couldn't stop crying.  It definitely crept up on me.  So I guess I was emotionally connected after all!  Here's what the book is about:

Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and a joy for living.  But she wasn't always that way.  Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen.  But he wasn't always that way.  And Sam knows it.  Because she knew him before - at another school, in a different life.  Back then, she loved him, but she was invisible.  To him.  To everyone.  Even to herself.  She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But then Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there. Although it feels like the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school.  Until the opposite turns out to be true.  The lovable Duncan she had known is now a suit-and-tie-wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he's willing to destroy it.  As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love - which is the riskiest move of all.

Katherine not only tell a good story, she also writes well.  Here are a couple of examples of great visuals:

"I could not disguise the bizarre feeling of joy that had just appeared inside my body - like a million tiny, carbonated bubbles.  I felt positively fizzy."

"I'd try to give in just enough to satisfy the urge without actually doing it.  Like biting the corner of a chocolate bar."

She even has a scene in which Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove is mentioned.  That's in my Top-12 All-Time.  Obviously a fun reference for me.

I waited a couple of years to read my 2nd Center.  But the 3rd will be making its appearance much sooner.  I've already ordered Things You Save in a Fire.  I daresay that even with the mountain-high books in my TBR pile, I will get TYSiaF near the top pretty quickly.  And there are 5 more after that!  It's a daunting proposition...but a good problem to have.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

New Books in September - along with a HUGE Surprise!

We've got some books coming out next month from big name authors:

Nicholas Sparks -The Return 

Yaa - Gyase - Transcendent Kingdom (her 1st book, Homegoing, was really good                                                                                                                                                                     

                                  Jodi Picoult - The Book of Two Ways  

                                                                                                                                            AND, the biggest one of all...wait for you feel the tension's...Ken Follett - The Evening and the Morning - IT'S A PREQUEL TO PILLARS OF THE EARTH! - I'm sure you all know by now that Pillars, along with The Source and Shogun, are my 3 favorite books of all time