Monday, August 20, 2018

Clock Dance

Fiction by Anne Tyler.

I really love Anne Tyler's characters. They are so REAL. I hate to finish any of her books and say good-bye to them.

This book was no exception; the main character was a wonderfully drawn and relatable woman called Willa whom the reader follows from 1967-2017.

This book was not as perfect as some other I've read by the author; for one thing I didn't feel the title was a good fit. Also I did not really like the ending because I felt it was too abrupt, but that may be just my separation anxiety from Anne Tyler's characters talking.

But obviously I'm nit-picking here, because I have such high expectations.

I also read recently by this author: Vinegar Girl

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Final Detail

Fiction by Harlan Coben.

This book is number six in the Myron Bolitar series. I have been breaking my I-Must-Read-A-Book-Series-In-Order rule with these books big-time, so I have trouble keeping up with what is actually happening with Bolitar's character. (This is because I read #11 first, a fabulous book called Home.)

Anyways, I liked this book better than numbers #1, #2, #3, and #5 that came before it. (I missed number 4 completely it seems.) The Bolitar character gets better in the later books, which is very unusual.

In this story, Myron's close friend and business partner Esperanza is accused of murder, and she just might have done it!

I read most recently by this author: Live Wire (Bolitar #10), Long Lost (Bolitar #9) Promise Me (Bolitar #8)

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Rules for a Pretty Woman

Fiction by Suzette Francis.

This was about a woman who, at age 34, finally decides to take charge of her own life instead of letting a man dictate everything to her. After the man in question dumps her, of course.

Image result for rules for a pretty womanAt first I was a little leery of this premise because I didn't want to read about a female character who was a complete pushover. But it turns out that this lady was an accomplished professional and generally not an idiot; she just had a blind spot when it came to boyfriends. It was a good story.

Also, on a completely unrelated note,  I liked the cover of the copy I read a little better:-->

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Keep Her Safe

Fiction by Sophie Hannah.

Jon-Benet Ramsey. Caylee Anthony. Adam Walsh. These are names that most Americans know, names from famous child-murder cases. This story is about a fictional child whose name everyone in America knows for the same terrible reason: Melody Chapa.

But Cara Burrows, a British woman escaping her home problems with a trip to an American resort, had never heard of poor Melody... until she saw her. Alive?

This was a really exciting thriller. I could not guess where it would end. Definitely two thumbs up!

I also read recently by this author: Little Face

Thursday, August 9, 2018


Fiction by Meg Cabot.
This story is a grown-up sequel to some young adult books called "The Mediator Series," the last of which was published back in 2005. The author picks up the story of Susannah Simon ten years later, as if she were real and had been quietly living her life all this time. It's a cool idea, I think.

I did read the whole Mediator series years ago; --it was about a teenage girl who had the strange ability to talk to ghosts-- however, you would not need to read the previous books to enjoy this one. So much time had passed in the main character's life that the author had to rehash everything anyways, so the reader can catch right up.

This was a fun and exciting story.

I also read recently by this author: The Boy is Back

Monday, August 6, 2018

The Crooked Staircase

Fiction by Dean Koontz.

This is the brand-new third book in the Jane Hawk series; the first two are The Silent Corner and The Whispering Room. You MUST read these books in order!

In this story, things get worse for our heroine Jane in her seriously dystopian world, that unfortunately looks exactly like our own on the surface. It is unputdownable!

If you like exciting thriller fiction and don't mind some scary-scary elements then I recommend these books. The only problem is, this series is apparently NOT a trilogy. There will be another book coming... but we have to wait...

I also read recently by this author: Shadowfires

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The Mistake

Fiction by K. L. Slater.

Rose's little brother Billy goes missing when she is eighteen and she blames herself. In fact, she seems to never get over it for the next sixteen years. This story goes back and forth between the present and the past as the reader tries to figure out what really happened to little Billy. Hint: It's not what Rose thinks...

This was a good story but not quite as "unputdownable" as the cover claims.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Little Broken Things

Fiction by Nicole Baart.

If your sister asked you to keep a secret, before telling you what the secret was, would you do it without question? What is the secret was a child?

This was a good story.

I also read by this author: Beneath the Night Tree

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Not a Sound

Fiction by Heather Gudenkauf

In this book, an ER nurse is rendered deaf through an accident and has her career and her life derailed. Then she finds a body...

I really like Heather Gudenkauf's stories.

I also read recently by this author: Missing Pieces

Saturday, July 21, 2018

A Dangerous Fortune

Fiction by Ken Follett.

This was a really good historical novel about a banking family in Victorian England. I love Ken Follett!!

I also read recently by this author: Edge of Eternity

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Sweet Salt Air

Fiction by Barbara Delinsky.

In this story, pair of women who had been best friends as girl reunite, after a secret had driven them apart.Only it was a secret only one of them actually knew about...

The Ever After

Fiction by Sarah Pekkanen

"SO THIS IS HOW you discover your husband is having an affair, Josie Moore thought."

That's a pretty good opening line, right? 

This book explores the relationship between a married couple when the wife discovers his affair. 

It's an interesting character study, but I had a little trouble with some of it. I don't know how I would react if I found out what Josie did, but I don't think I'd do the melodramatic stuff she did. Still, it was a pretty good story.

I also read recently by this author: The Wife Between Us

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Miramar Bay

Fiction by Davis Bunn.

This is a straight romance I picked just for the pretty cover. In it, an actor who seems about to hit it big in Hollywood escapes to idyllic Miramar Bay and (surprise!) finds unexpected true love. Can he give it all up for small-town girl? It was a pretty good story. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Murder at the Vicarige

Fiction by Agatha Christie.

I'm still working on re-reading through all of Agatha Christie's books in order on audiobook, and this one was up next.

This was her first book featuring Miss Marple. I'm not sure if the author intended to make Miss Marple the recurring detective character she became, because in this story she seems like she sort of popped out of the background to solve the mystery. I've always liked Miss Marple better than Hercule Poirot, though, because she's not arrogant like he is. I can see why Mrs. Christie wanted to keep writing her. 

I've read this book before, probably twice, and I still wasn't sure how it was going to end. Agatha Christie is the best!!

I also read recently by this author: The Big Four

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Don't Go

Fiction by Lisa Scottoline

This story was tough for me to read. The plot involves a surgeon who is deployed by the Army to Afghanistan and forced to leave his wife and new baby for a year. While he is gone, things fall apart rather badly. In chapter ONE, the poor wife actually gets killed! And it just got worse from there for our hero the army doctor. 

As an army doctor's wife myself, I had some serious anxiety reading this story. But it was interesting, and it would probably be less problematic for other people, so it was still a good book. 

I also read recently by this author: Damaged

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

I've Got My Eyes on You

Fiction by Mary Higgins Clark.

At the beginning of this story, an eighteen-year-old girl is murdered while cleaning up after an end of the summer party by her parents' pool (while mom and dad were out of town, unfortunately). In classic Mary Higgins Clark style, her assailant could have been one of several suspects. The reader is kept guessing until the end. It's an exciting thriller and a fun read!

I also read recently by this author: The Melody Lingers On

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Miss Brenda and the Loveladies

Subtitled: A Heartwarming Story of Grace, God, and Gumption.
Nonfiction by Brenda Spahn and Irene Zutell

Now this is the kind of nonfiction I enjoy: a character-driven story about real people! I'm going to give the cowriter credit for readability, because I see she is also a fiction writer. Still, you could also really get the personality of Miss Brenda in the writing as well, so I think both ladies did a good job.

This was an interesting story and I recommend it!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Accidental Guardian

Fiction by Mary Connealy.

I will admit I chose this book simply because of the cover photo. Look at that adorable child holding the cowboy's hand!! Irresistible, I tell you.

This was a straight romance, but it had something of the thriller in it as well. It was a good story.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Necessary Lies

Fiction by Diane Chamberlain.

This was an amazing story about a social worker in 1960 who is trying to do what she thinks is best for her clients. She is young and idealistic, and she soon finds out her feelings don't always line up with the official manual at work, or with those of her supervisors. In addition, it's difficult to tell what the best thing for another person really is, and there are no easy answers when dealing with real-life poor people. 

An absorbing and thought-provoking story!

I also read by this author: The Courage Tree

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Calico Joe

Fiction by John Grisham

I just went to freshman orientation at Mississippi State University with my second daughter and they gave us this book. Three years ago, I did the same thing with my oldest girl, and we got Same Kind of Different as Me. Apparently the college assigns a book to each freshman class to read and then has the author come and speak at the beginning of the school year. So that means they are having John Grisham visit my kids' school!! (I think he graduated from there.) It's an all-school book club! I think this is a great idea, but my daughters are not necessarily on board with it. 

So I don't know if my daughter will read this book, but I read it. I was afraid it would be too sportsy for me--I'm not a fan of sports books-- but this was really a character-driven story that had some sports parts I could skip if I didn't understand them. 

I also read recently by this author:The Rooster Bar

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Sweet Mercy

Fiction by Ann Tatlock.

Set during Prohibition, this story is about a girl who has to learn that the law and morality don't always line up. It was a good novel!

I also read by this author: A Room of My Own

Friday, June 22, 2018

No Good Deeds

Fiction by Laura Lippman

This was a good mystery story featuring detective Tess Monaghan. In this novel she wants to find the killer of the attorney general, but it seems no one else is interested in finding out who did it. An interesting new character is also introduced to join Tess and her boyfriend Crow, about whom I have read before. 

I also read recently by this author: I'd Know You Anywhere

Friday, June 15, 2018


Fiction by Dean Koontz.

This story is classic Dean Koontz: normal and likable folks in over-the-top bizarre situations. In this book, it's a woman who is in the process of divorcing her abusive, controlling husband when he dies. She should feel relieved to be rid of him, but she seems afraid he will come back.  Impossible, right? But this is Koontz...

It's a fun an exciting read, assuming you can willingly suspend disbelief.

I also read recently by this author: The Whispering Room

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Last Night at Chateu Marmont

Fiction by Lauren Weisberger.

This is a fun read from the author of The Devil Wears Prada. In this story, the main character is married to a struggling musician waiting for his big break. When he finally gets noticed, it's really big, and the couple discovers that fame is not all good. Will their marriage survive? Read it and find out!!