Friday, July 21, 2017

Book Beginnings - 7/21/2017

*Please join Rose City Reader every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.  *Taken directly from Rose City Reader's Blog Page. 
My book beginnings is taken from A KILLER HARVEST by Paul Cleave:

"The office used to be an old shipping container, its walls scratched and dinged and pitted with rust, now painted gray.  These days the only traveling it does is on the back of a truck as it rolls its way up and down the country--a journey it makes once, sometimes twice a year."
Books Finished:

THE BOOKSHOP AT WATER'S END by Patti Callahan Henry.

Review is in the book's title.

THE ALMOST SISTERS by Joshilyn Jackson - review is in the book's title.
HELLO SUNSHINE by Laura Dave - review is in the book's title - finished June 18.

EMMA IN THE NIGHT by Wendy Walker.

A disturbing, psychological thriller.  Review will be on August 8.

Review will be on August 1.  A lovely read based on a true event.

Review will be on July 26.
THE CHILD by Fiona Barton

Review is in the book's title.


Book Blogger Hop - 7/21 - 7/27

 Question of the Week:

Have you ever read a book or books you would consider 'toxic' because of the effect it(they) had on you? If so, which one(s)? (submitted by Maria @ A Night's Dream of Books)

My Answer:

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris was very tense and upsetting because of the subject matter to the point of being chilling.

The writing was excellent, though.  No criticism of that.

If I am using the word toxic in the sense that it means it stuck with me, gave me nightmares, and was unbelievable that something could and does happen, then I am going with toxic for the story line.

Looking forward to the thoughts on this GREAT question.

Friendly Fill-ins - 7/21/2017
Friendly Fill-Ins

1. My favorite thing on my daily to-do list is ___.

2. My least favorite thing on my daily to-do list is ____.

3. I could really do without         .

4. I would love to have more            .

My Answers:

1. My favorite thing on my daily-to-do list is to SNAPCHAT my son first thing in the morning.

2.  My least favorite thing on my daily-to-do list is to think of something for dinner.

3.  I could really do without those annoying solicitor phone calls.

4.  I would love to have more people over more often to share my dinners and desserts.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Child by Fiona Barton

Author bio and book background information is at the end of the review.
An unsolved mystery resurfaced when a baby's skeleton was found at a building site.

Along with the skeleton, three main characters emerge too.  Kate is a reporter investigating the story.  Emma is a nervous adult who became intrigued as well as possessed when she sees the story of the baby.  Angela is the mother whose baby disappeared more than 40 years ago never to be found.

THE CHILD took a while to get interesting simply because it was a bit slow, and there were too many characters thrown in. I was lost with so many different characters and couldn't seem to figure out the connection until around half way through the book so don’t give up because it is worth the wait.

As the pages turned and I reached the halfway point, the book started making a connection for me and kept my attention.  The mystery became intriguing.

The characters seemed genuine for their roles, but something was odd and different about each of them.

This was my first book by Ms. Barton so I imagine I needed to get used to her writing style and her attention to detail.

There are some good twists to the story as well as some disturbing subjects that are addressed.

All in all, THE CHILD is a good read that will keep you guessing. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

by Fiona Barton

You can bury the story . . . but you can’t hide the truth

*One of Publishers Weekly and Bustle’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017*
*A TIME “Top 10” Summer Thriller*
*Pre-publication exclusives featured by Entertainment Weekly and theSkimm*
*Praise from Lee Child, Shari Lapena, and Clare Mackintosh *
*Starred Reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal*
*A June 2017 Library Reads Selection*

This summer FIONA BARTON is back with a second novel that proves lightning can strike twice.

Barton’s 2016 debut, The Widow, was an instant global bestseller, captivating readers around the world and setting the publishing industry abuzz.

The highly-anticipated release of THE CHILD (Berkley Hardcover; June 27, 2017) reaffirms Barton’s growing reputation as a writer of rich, character-driven suspense novels. Like Tana French, Louise Penny, and Megan Abbott, Barton’s stories do more than thrill: they explore the complexities of a changing world.

The Widow delved into the secrets that exist within a marriage and the reporter’s role as voyeur.  Here Barton continues to mine those themes. THE CHILD tackles the 24/7 news cycle, and lays bare the intricacies of a different but equally fascinating relationship—mother and child.

Says Barton: “The emotions, responsibilities—and the pain—of motherhood are unique to each of us with children. Ask any woman and she will have her own story to tell.”

In a working class neighborhood of London, construction workers make a grisly discovery: the long-buried remains of a baby.  When a newspaper mention reveals the find, most readers barely give it a glance. But for two women, its threat to unearth hidden stories is impossible to ignore. For veteran reporter, Kate Waters (introduced in The Widow), it sparks the question “Who would bury a baby?” and starts a hunt for the truth about the nameless child. The story unfolds via the women’s alternating perspectives to eventually reveal: Who is Building Site Baby?

In fact, it was the allure of a hidden story that propelled Barton to her long-time career in news. A journalist and British Press Awards “Reporter of the Year,” she has worked at the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph, and brings that experience to bear in her novels.

In THE CHILD she details how Kate’s lengthy investigation into Building Site Baby’s death represents a perilous breach of the newsroom’s new culture of 24/7 online news. Says Barton: “The danger for Kate is that she risks becoming one of the dinosaurs—sidelined because she is unable and unwilling to be part of the revolution. And I feel for her.”

Though THE CHILD delivers an evocative look at the changing face of journalism, and a delicious plot twist, it is the characters’ haunting and rich emotional lives that set Barton apart and confirm her stature as a crime novelist of the first order.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry

A summer home that has been left abandoned for years, but a summer home that Bonny now desperately needs to return to regardless of the pain and memories it holds.

The town of Watersend, South Carolina, was quaint, a treasure from childhood, and had the best bookstore with a marvelous bookstore owner that could pick out a book you "need" not a book that you want. 

We meet many likable and believable characters except one in THE BOOKSHOP AT WATER’S END. You are able to empathize with the characters as well as want everything to turn out for them.

The main character, Bonny, was a successful doctor, but a tragic mistake in the emergency room one night caused Bonny to be put on sabbatical and has her deciding to return to the childhood summer home that contains secrets and some happy and not so happy memories.

A happy memory was the friendship between Bonny and Lainey. They were labeled the "summer sisters." 

They had made a pact to always be there for each other. Bonny needed Lainey now, and Lainey came back to the house with her two children even though she also had some bad summer memories and really didn’t want to.

The bookstore and its owner were definitely a happy memory.  Mimi, the bookstore owner was marvelous.   Any book that has a bookstore and a book club in it definitely makes the story line even more appealing.

Two not-so-happy memories and ones that were difficult to forget gnawed at both women. The disappearance of Lainey's mother and Bonny's love for Lainey's brother, Owen, who was the love of her life, but a love she could never get to stay were memories difficult to get over.

The book’s setting was perfect, and the descriptions of the house, the town, the beach, and the ocean put you there with the characters sharing their days and their feelings both good and bad.

THE BOOK SHOP AT WATER'S END was a warm, inviting read bringing women together for what we do best - support each other.

This was my first book by Ms. Henry, and it was a delightful, summer treat.

ENJOY!!  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review. 


The giveaway copy is “Courtesy of Penguin Random House.”
USA Entries Only
Enter here

July 12 - July 20

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What She Ate Giveaway and Spotlight

All information in this post is courtesy of the publisher.
A beloved culinary historian’s short takes on six famous women through the lens of food
Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories
Recommended Summer Reading by ELLE, Bon App├ętit, and Eater.
“A unique and delectable work that sheds new light on the lives of women, food, and men. .”—Kirkus Reviews
“…six crisply written, ardently researched, and entertainingly revelatory portraits of very different women with complicated relationships with eating and cooking…. A bounteous and elegant feast for hungry minds.”BookList, Starred Review
“Establishes Laura Shapiro as the founder of a delectable new literary genre: the culinary biography.”—Megan Marshall, Pulitzer-prize winning biographer
“The idea that eating habits reveal aspects of character is ever-intriguing, and it’s presented here with charm and insight.”—Mimi Sheraton, former restaurant critic for the New York Times and author of 1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die
“Laura Shapiro has done it again! She’s given us a fascinating and wonderfully entertaining history of six women of the last two centuries you might never have thought of as foodies, yet here they are, distinguished by how differently they dealt with the overwhelming importance of food in their lives.”—Marion Nestle, author of Soda Politics
Food stories can be as intimate and revealing as stories of love, work, or coming-of-age. Yet most biographers pay little attention to food, as if these great and notable figures never daydreamed about what they wanted to have for dinner or worried about what to serve their guests. Once we consider how somebody relates to food, we find a host of different and provocative ways to understand them. Everyone eats, and food touches on every aspect of our lives—social and cultural, personal and political.
This summer, Viking will publish WHAT SHE ATE: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories (Viking; On-sale: July 25, 2017; $27.00; ISBN: 9780525427643) by James Beard Award-winning writer Laura Shapiro, a unique account of the lives of six women from a perspective often ignored by biographers. Each woman in this entertaining group portrait was famous in her time, but until now, no one has explored their lives from the view of the kitchen and the table.
Laura Shapiro examines a lively and surprising array of women and how the theme that unites them is a powerful relationship with food:
  • Dorothy Wordsworth, whose food story transforms our understanding of the life she led with her poet brother
  • Rosa Lewis, an Edwardian-era Cockney caterer who cooked her way up the social ladder and would fit right in on Downton Abbey
  • Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady notorious for serving the worst food in White House history
  • Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress who challenges our warm associations with food, family, and table, and whose last meal was famously a cyanide capsule
  • Barbara Pym, whose witty novels upend a host of stereotypes about postwar British cuisine
  • Helen Gurley Brown, the longstanding editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, whose commitment to ‘having it all’ meant having almost nothing to eat except a supersized portion of diet Jell-O
Accompanied by black and white photos, WHAT SHE ATE is a unique biography of women who continue to make their mark on present society. 
Laura Shapiro has written on every food topic from champagne to Jell-O for The New York TimesThe New YorkerThe AtlanticSlateGourmet, and many other publications. She is the author of three classic books of culinary history. Her awards include a James Beard Journalism Award and one from the National Women’s Political Caucus. She has been a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, where she also co-curated the widely acclaimed exhibition Lunch Hour NYC.
The giveaway copy is “Courtesy of Penguin Random House.”
July 18 - 25


Monday, July 17, 2017

It's Monday! What Are YOU Reading? - 7/17/2017
I hope you had a great reading week.  
This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn at BOOK DATE!

Post the books completed, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish at some point.
Books Completed

THE BOOKSHOP AT WATER'S END by Patti Callahan Henry - review will be July 19.

An enjoyable read.  Love the cover.

EMMA IN THE NIGHT by Wendy Walker - review will be on August 8 - finished July 9.

An intense, strange psychological thriller.

THE COTTINGLEY SECRET by Hazel Gaynor - review will be on August 1.

A lovely read as always.  I never knew this had been a real event.
THE BREAKDOWN by B. A. Paris - review will be on July 25 - finished June 23.

A good mystery...not as chilling as her first book.  Her first book gave me nightmares.

THE WILDLING SISTERS by Eva Chase - review will be on July 25 - finished June 22.

Family saga and a bit of Gothic included. Enjoyed it.
THE CHILD by Fiona Barton - review will be on July 20 - finished June 5.

A little slow at first, but got intense and interesting about half way through.

THE ALMOST SISTERS by Joshilyn Jackson - review is in the book's title.
Book Currently Reading: 

A MOTHER LIKE MINE by Kate Hewitt - review AND Giveaway will be on August 29.

Books Up Next:

BEST INTENTIONS by Erika Raskin - review will be on August 29.

SILVER THREADS by Bette Lee Crosby - review will be on September 12.
LOVE AND OTHER CONSOLATION PRIZES by Jamie Ford - review will be on September 13

THE BLACKBIRD SEASON by Kate Moretti - review will be on October 12.

SEVEN DAYS OF US by Francesca Hornack - review will be on November 7.