Friday, January 19, 2018

The Matter of the Crown by Linda Ferreri

The Matter of the Crown

The Crown of the Andes, one of the world's most precious and beautiful sacred objects, has been stolen right off the stage at Satterling's Auction House in New York City. Five pounds of magnificent baroque gold that ransomed the Inca Ruler Atahaulpa, and hundreds of perfect Colombian emeralds, all gone without a trace! Will this legendary treasure be destroyed for its gold and emeralds? One woman is dead and another one in hot pursuit.
Purchase from Amazon UK

About Linda Ferreri

Linda Ferreri is a well-known art lawyer and author.  Her books include novels about the Crown of the Anes, a novella entitled The King of UNINI, and whimsical hand-illustrated iBooks.  She is known, also, for her drawings.   She divides her time between Italy and the United States, and lectures widely around the world about art and history.  Her next novel is in progress.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Only a Hummingbird Flies Backward by John J. Quick


     A racial divide threatens to split apart a small southern town in 1967: a white child disappears, a community market burns to the ground, and a young black man stands accused of both crimes. When an elderly grandmother attempts to hide an old family secret, she unwittingly pushes her grandchildren into the middle of a dark tale of violence, deception, prejudice, and redemption, as Boo Radley's shadow appears in the less innocent 60s.

My Thoughts:

     Only a Hummingbird is a thought provoking novel with a good mystery element that will keep you guessing.  It is reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird in the evoking of childhood fears and innocence while dealing with tough, adult issues.  I will say that the beginning could use a bit more of an introduction so that you get a better feel for your main character and whose point of view you are seeing things through.
     A clever, short read that will keep you engaged with interesting characters and enough twists and turns to keep things lively!  

Author's Good Reads page:

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin



     If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present?
     It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.
     Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

My Thoughts:

     I loved the idea behind this book and it is what drew me to want to review it.  What would you do with your life if you knew the exact day you would die? If you knew exactly how much time you had to live?  Also, that cover? It's gorgeous!
     This story revolves around the four Gold children and how each of them lived their lives after finding out exactly how long they had to do so.  I don't want to go into any details and spoil any of their stories but I will say they are varied and troubled, each in a different way.
     I cannot say that I particularly liked any of the characters as they were all rather selfish and self absorbed.  Simon was especially but his story is the one that touched me the most and the only one I could truly forgive for his selfishness.  All of the stories are touching in their own way and each gives you a different perspective on life and teaches you something.  This is the exact reason I read this book. 
     I will say that the last story did drag a bit and felt less emotional and cold to me but I think that that was Ms. Benjamin's point.  While this may not be my favorite book ever, I think the story and lessons inside the story are important and I would recommend The Immortalists if this premise intrigues you at all.  4/5 stars*

*small warning: there is one small section of a chapter with      
   very naughty bits-I was a bit taken by surprised so I thought I would 
   let everyone know!

Author's site:

Thursday, January 4, 2018

2017 Most Viewed Posts


Here is a quick little list of the top six viewed posts for 2017 from my lovely little blog. 

#1- Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders: probably my most despised book of the year and you guys viewed it the most? Sickos! :)
#2- He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly:  an enjoyable read that was perfectly timed for the big eclipse this year. 
#3- Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak:  another family drama that I just couldn't make myself like and again you guys enjoyed my suffering!?
#4- We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgie Hunter:  an amazing story of a family surviving WWII that I loved and so did you!
#5- The Girl Before by JP Delaney: this was a psychological thriller that fell a little flat for me.
#6-  The Best Kind of People by Zoe Whittall:  great possibilities but I didn't like any of the characters and that is a death sentence for me. 
Thanks guys for stopping by and continuing to and I hope you have an amazing 2018 filled with love, laughter, good health and LOTS of great books!

Monday, January 1, 2018

The English Wife by Lauren Willig


     Annabelle and Bayard Van Duyvil live a charmed life: he’s the scion of an old Knickerbocker family, she grew up in a Tudor manor in England, they had a whirlwind romance in London, they have three year old twins on whom they dote, and he’s recreated her family home on the banks of the Hudson and renamed it Illyria. Yes, there are rumors that she’s having an affair with the architect, but rumors are rumors and people will gossip. But then Bayard is found dead with a knife in his chest on the night of their Twelfth Night Ball, Annabelle goes missing, presumed drowned, and the papers go mad. Bay’s sister, Janie, forms an unlikely alliance with a reporter to uncover the truth, convinced that Bay would never have killed his wife, that it must be a third party, but the more she learns about her brother and his wife, the more everything she thought she knew about them starts to unravel. Who were her brother and his wife, really? And why did her brother die with the name George on his lips?

Release date: January 9, 2018

My Thoughts:

     The English Wife is one part historical fiction and one part mystery/thriller! If you are a Book of the Month Club member and you were smart enough to pick this one for December, good job! This one is full of twists you won't see coming.
     There are several characters but the two main perspectives you get are Janie Van Duyvil and Annabelle's.  You will quickly realize that you are not sure who you can trust or if you can trust any of these characters AT ALL!? There are good guys and bad guys and people you will just love to hate-a whole enjoyable cast of characters.  I will say there were a few points where things dragged a bit and were quite bleak and dark but those moments quickly pass.  Overall this is a great winter-y, chilling read! 4.5/5 stars

Author's site:


Thursday, December 21, 2017

2017 Five Star Reads

     2017 is about to be over!? I have mixed feelings about that but mostly I'm ready to start a shiny New Year.  Here's hoping 2018 is better!  
     I kept thinking of doing a "Best of..." but it seemed a bit daunting so I settled (for now) for only listing my five star reviews.  I feel that I am pretty stingy with my five star reviews but I ended up with eleven this year! Thirteen if you count the two re-reads.  
      I really have to be wowed by a book to give it five stars.  It has to be a book that I devoured and did not want to put down.  There seems to be no formula for what works for me and I think it really depends on my mood and the timing. Looking back on some of these now, I might not give them 5 stars at this time but when read, they definitely hit the right notes with me.

*Just a warning that I doubt any of these are on the typical "Best of.." lists as I rarely agree with the Literary Snobs on anything! At least I know I am not alone, check out this post from Sarah at Sarah's Bookshelves. 

The Trespasser by Tana French

We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

The Girl You Left Behind by JoJo Moyes

All Over The Place: Adventures in Travel, True Love, and Petty Theft by Geraldine DeRuiter

The Dry by Jane Harper

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

Don't Let Go by Harlan Coben

Reading People by Anne Bogel


Five stars but re-reads:

 Whiskey Sour by JA Konrath
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

This is a crazy mix of genres and all amazing books so I hope this list helps you find something new to read and love!  Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger


     Enger tells the story of eleven-year-old Reuben Land, an asthmatic boy who has reason to believe in miracles. Along with his sister and father, Reuben finds himself on a cross-country search for his outlaw older brother who has been controversially charged with murder. Their journey is touched by serendipity and the kindness of strangers, and its remarkable conclusion shows how family, love, and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies, the most tragic of fates.
   "Here's what I saw," Rube warns his readers. "Here's how it went. Make of it what you will." And Rube sees plenty.

My Thoughts:

     This is the December pick for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club and a book I probably would have never picked up if not for the club.  This story is all at once dark, cold, hopeful and filled with love and miracles.  
     The voice of Reuben reminds me so much of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. His viewpoint is perfect for this story as he is both a naive eleven-year-old but also sometimes wiser than he should be.  There were many instances where you can feel the despair and discouragement of the Land family but also so many times they had me smiling and laughing out loud.  
     There were times the bleakness of the North Dakota winter felt like they were right outside my window and it was, in places, overwhelming.  The characters and this story are so strong though that, for me, Peace Like a River was worth the read. 3.5/5 reads