Friday, October 19, 2018

Tell Me More: Stories About the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say by Kelly Corrigan

What it is about...

It’s a crazy idea: trying to name the phrases that make love and connection possible. But that’s just what Kelly Corrigan has set out to do here. In her New York Times bestselling memoirs, Corrigan distilled our core relationships to their essences, showcasing a warm, easy storytelling style. Now, in Tell Me More, she’s back with a deeply personal, unfailingly honest, and often hilarious examination of 12 essential phrases that turn the wheel of life.

What I thought...

This must be the Year of the Memoir for me because this is the second one I have read this year that has been 5 stars...more if I could.  Although Tell Me More is more an essay collection, I feel that this is also the story of a life, of love, and of loss. Corrigan tells of the hardest things she is learning to say but they are beautiful words we could all use more of in our lives; I love you, I know, No and Tell Me More. What a wonderful place the world would be if we all read this book and used these phrases more often!
I laughed out loud and cried several times while reading Tell Me More and used quite a few book darts as well-all signs of an excellent book!

Fave Quotes:

 “Being in our lives *as they are* is probably one of the most common struggles people have.” 

 “Like the padre said, life is a mystery to be lived. Live your mystery.” 

Friday, September 14, 2018

Check out what's new from Helena Hunting!!!

Meet Cute, an all-new sexy standalone from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting is coming April 9th, 2019 and we have the adorable new cover!

MeetCute Final Cover.jpg
The New York Times bestselling author of Pucked and The Good Luck Charm delivers a Hollywood happily-ever-after where a famous heartthrob falls for his ultimate fangirl in this sexy standalone romantic comedy.
Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran - quite literally - into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either...
Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can't help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn's new celebrity client, there's even more at stake than Dax's custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she'll be promoted to partner.
The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?
Pre-Order your copy today!
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About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.
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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Vox by Christina Dalcher

Here is what it is about...

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial—this can't happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end.

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

Here is what I thought...

     I was very intrigued by the premise of this book and could not wait to read it even though it isn't in my usual wheelhouse.  Vox is being compared to The Handmaid's Tale a lot,which I started to read but just could not get into, so I was worried but tried it out anyway.
     I don't know exactly what to say about this one other than it is a great and timely premise with so much potential but the execution was  I cannot pinpoint what it is exactly whether it was poor editing or just too much going on but this fell flat for me.  The main character, Jean, is someone I want to root for and did at first, but she ends up being just as sexist sometimes as the men and she makes some stupid life decisions that I just cannot get on board with.  
     I do feel this would be a great book club pick in that discussion points abound! I would love to sit down with someone and discuss some of the things that happen in this story but I still just didn't really care for how the story was put together...that seems crazy, but it is true! 2/5 stars

Author's site:

Friday, September 7, 2018

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger

Here is what it is about...

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were at the ready at Halderson’s Drug Store soda counter, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a summer in which death assumed many forms.

When tragedy unexpectedly comes to call on his family, which includes his Methodist minister father, his passionate, artistic mother, Juilliard-bound older sister, and wise-beyond-his years kid brother, Frank finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal.

At heart, this is the story of what that tragedy does to a boy, his family, and ultimately the fabric of the small town in which he lives. 

Here is what I thought...

This summer I was introduced to WKK's writing and this is book two of his that I have read so far. I cannot wait to hear him speak later this month and hear about his writing process.  

This is a very well written story about family, friendship, faith and murder.  It will not go quite as you suspect but will leave you, if not completely satisfied at least happy about where the journey took you.  I loved this book and found it to be similar to To Kill a Mockingbird.  Mr. Krueger has a gift for making you feel as if you are inside the story and experiencing all of the sights and sounds.  5/5 stars

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah Bird

Here is what it is about...

Here’s the first thing you need to know about Miss Cathy Williams: I am the daughter of a daughter of a queen and my mama never let me forget it.

Though born into bondage on a “miserable tobacco farm” in Little Dixie, Missouri, Cathy Williams was never allowed to consider herself a slave. According to her mother, she was a captive, bound by her noble warrior blood to escape the enemy. Her means of deliverance is Union general Phillip Henry “Smash ‘em Up” Sheridan, the outcast of West Point who takes the rawboned, prideful young woman into service. At war’s end, having tasted freedom, Cathy refuses to return to servitude and makes the monumental decision to disguise herself as a man and join the Army’s legendary Buffalo Soldiers.

Alone now in the ultimate man’s world, Cathy must fight not only for her survival and freedom, but she vows to never give up on finding her mother, her little sister, and the love of the only man strong and noble enough to win her heart. Inspired by the stunning, true story of Private Williams, this American heroine.

Here is what I thought...

     This is an amazing story of a woman's courage, determination and fortitude and I was very much looking forward to reading this story that I knew nothing about.  
     I enjoyed Cathy's story and her sense of humor and, most importantly, her strength.  Cathy is unbelievably brave and smart and definitely a part of history that everyone should learn about-especially young women.
     What I didn’t like about this book was the fictionalized romance thrown in between her and a Union soldier, which is a major part of the novel.  I wish that we could have a story about this brave young woman without reducing it to something she did because of a man but simply because she was amazing.  3/5 stars

Monday, August 20, 2018

Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

Here is what it is about...

Emma Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes, brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal. When a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her—far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure whether she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now Emma is gone without a trace.
As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But what about Emma’s real mother, back at home?

Here is what I thought...

I really wanted to enjoy this book because it had an unusual premise but I just couldn't get into it and there were just too many implausible things.  I feel the author is a good writer but this plot was just ridiculous at times and could have been better.
First, lets just say someone without mental health issues would actually do this how exactly do they just keep not getting caught?  Secondly, everyone she knew knew where she was but yet when the police see her car and license plates, no one clues in to what she has done? There are many more instances like this that just don't make any sense and it got ridiculous.

The characters are unlikable especially Amy, the mother.  I wish that I could have in some way identified with Sarah but I just could not.  I finished it but just barely.  2/5 stars 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Ike and Kay by James MacManus

Here is what it is about...

     In 1942, Kay Summersby’s life is changed forever when she is conscripted to drive General Eisenhower on his fact-finding visit to wartime London. Despite Eisenhower’s marriage to Mamie, the pair takes an immediate liking to each other and he buys Kay a rare wartime luxury: a box of chocolates.

     So begins a tumultuous relationship that, against all military regulation, sees Kay traveling with Eisenhower on missions to far-flung places before the final assault on Nazi Germany. The general does dangerously little to conceal his affair with the woman widely known as “Ike’s shadow,” and in letters Mamie bemoans his new obsession with “Ireland.” That does not stop him from using his influence to grant Kay citizenship and rank in the US army, drawing her closer still when he returns to America. When officials discover Eisenhower’s plans to divorce from his wife they threaten the fragile but passionate affair, and Kay is forced to take desperate measures to hold onto the man she loves . . .

Based on the scandalous true story of General Eisenhower’s secret World War II love affair, Ike and Kay is a compelling story of love, duty, sacrifice, and heartbreak, set against the backdrop of the most tumultuous period of the twentieth century. 

Here is what I thought...

     This is a lovely story of wartime friends who cared for and trusted each other for a long time before falling in love even when everyone was against it.
     The writer obviously has a bit of a biased towards Kay in this story.  Mamie is painted as the uptight, whiny, alcoholic wife at home and Ike is also portrayed as a bit of a bad guy in the end.  While I do feel Kay wasn’t treated fairly, she was not innocent. 
     About 45% into the story the characters get lost amid all the war and politically talk.We get them back but it threw me a bit right in the middle.  This is a very interesting part of history I knew nothing about and while I liked Kay I felt a bit more depth was needed in her feelings during the relationship and not just after.  3/5