Friday, September 27, 2019

Picture Book Biography - Yayoi Kusama From Here to Infinity by Sarah Suzuki

Illustrated by Ellen Weinstein
with reproductions of works by Yayoi Kusama
2017, Museum of Modern Art, NY
HC $19.95
Not in Cumberland County Library system, Interlibrary Loan from Dauphin County
32 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  3.82 - 182 ratings
My rating:  4
Endpapers:  The title page is the opening endpaper and the copyright information and list of MOMA trustees is the ending endpaper.
1st line/s:  "Yayoi Kusama was born in the country of Japan, on the island of Honshu, in a town called Matsumoto City."

My comments: Although the author says "She is widely considered to be the most popular artist in the world,"  I was completely unaware of Yayoi Kusama and her work!  I feel like a have a pretty decent grip on art and artists, but this has shown me that I have to check out more contemporary artists.  This is the story of her artistic life -born in 1929 in Japan, moved to NYC in the 1950's, and still going strong today, She is famous for her dots and squiggles, installations, and even fabric.  The text of the book was pretty basic, and I didn't get any sense of time, and none was mentioned.  When I read, "It was her first airplane trip.  There were only four other passengers, and the weather was stormy, with rain and lightning.  The airplane wobbled and dipped as it flew to America." I was like....what? ..... until reading the added bibliographic information at the end I realized this would have been in the 1950s.  No sense of that from the text, or even illustrations.The illustrations are pretty cool, and the reproductions of actual work are a great addition to the story.

Goodreads:  Growing up in the mountains of Japan, Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) dreamed of becoming an artist. One day, she had a vision in which the world and everything in it—the plants, the people, the sky—were covered in polka dots. She began to cover her paintings, drawings, sculptures, and even her body with dots. As she grew up, she traveled all around the world, from Tokyo to Seattle, New York to Venice, and brought her dots with her. Different people saw these dots in different ways—some thought they were tiny, like cells, and others imagined them enormous, like planets. Every year, Kusama sees more of the world, covering it with dots and offering people a way to experience it the way she does.
           Written by Sarah Suzuki, a curator at The Museum of Modern Art, and featuring reproductions of Kusama’s instantly recognizable artworks, this colorful book tells the story of an artist whose work will not be complete until her dots cover the world, from here to infinity

Thursday, September 26, 2019

92. A Lighthouse for the Lonely Heart by Scott William Carter

#5 Garrison Gage
listened - Audible/own
narrated by Steven Roy Grimsley
Unabridged audio (11:04)
2017 Flying Raven Press
406 pgs.
Adult Mystery
Finished 9/26/2019
Goodreads rating: 4.19 - 219 ratings
My rating:  3.5
Setting: Contemporary Coastal Oregon

First line/s:  "The ocean churned, wild and unforgiving, buffeting the boat from all sides."

My comments:  Didn't enjoy this quite as much as some of the previous, though it was entertaining and not unlikable.  In this one, Gage does some sleuthing for a very famous female singer - who he ends up having a relationships with - before she is kidnapped.  Quite a bit of on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense and adventure, and lots and lots of hand-to-hand, face-to-face fighting.

Goodreads synopsis:  They find his body at the bottom of Heceta Head Lighthouse—Ed Boone, a longtime volunteer who commits suicide rather than see his grim diagnosis to its bitter end. The strangeness of the old man's death makes the local news, but Garrison Gage thinks little of it until the famous Nora West sneaks into town with an unsettling letter in hand.
          Professing he wants to go to his grave with a clear conscience, Ed claims to be Nora's biological father. But the revelation stirs up all kinds of complicated emotions for the talented but troubled musician, who hires Gage to find out the truth.
          Yet the truth may be a lot more disturbing — and dangerous — than either of them expect.

Friday, September 20, 2019

91. Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

listened to Audio, not sure where (!*!) but also own Kindle
read by Kathleen Early
Unabridged audio (20:00)
2015 William Morrow
548 pgs.
Adult mystery
Finished 9/20/2019
Goodreads rating:  3.99 - 142,952 ratings
My rating:  2

First line/s:  "When you first disappeared your mother warned me that finding out exactly what had happened to you would be worse than never knowing."

My comments:  Well.  I'm not sure how to begin this review.  There were a few pros but lots of cons.  What should I start with?
The cons:
     -It was super repetitive.  Endless "thinking aloud."  Super slow in many places.  Dragged in many places.  If I'd been reading aprint copy of the book I'd probably have ditched it.
     --It was really hard for me to like Claire, one of the two protagonists, from the very beginning.  Spoiled, pretty much clueless because she wanted to be, right down to the end of the book and her dec isions about what to do with her future (nothing.)
     --an incredble amount of graphic violence, torture, all toward females.  A little I can take, this was overwhelming.
     -- so many chapters of diary entries from dear old dad.  Became pretty boring hearing over and over his reminisces about the pretty daughter.
The pros:
     -- a decent mystery Kept me guessing.
     -- I listened to this being read aloud and the reader was terrific.  That ups my review by a star.
I'm pretty sure this will remain a memorable read, but not for the reasons that people might like.  So violent.  So sadistic.  It's scary to think about such sickness and real crazies in our world.  However, my rating is based on my "cons" above, not on my thought about the state of our world.

Goodreads synopsis:  Twenty years ago Claire Scott's eldest sister, Julia, went missing. No one knew where she went - no note, no body. It was a mystery that was never solved and it tore her family apart.
          Now another girl has disappeared, with chilling echoes of the past. And it seems that she might not be the only one.
          Claire is convinced Julia's disappearance is linked.
          But when she begins to learn the truth about her sister, she is confronted with a shocking discovery, and nothing will ever be the same...

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

90. House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

listened on eAudio, borrowed from Bosler
narrated by Emily Lawrence
Unabridged audio (12:50)
2019 Delacorte
416 pgs.
YA Fantasy
Finished  9/18/19
Goodreads rating: 4.00 - 9215 ratings
My rating: 4.5

First line/s:  "Candlelight reflected off the silver anchor etched onto my sister's necklace."

My comments:  A little slow-paced in that there was a lot of description in the world building (a fascinating world with its own sets of gods and goddesses, holidays, and traditions and in time spent between the twelve sisters).  But it was well worth it, setting us up for a really powerful, mind-blowing climax, which takes place for at least the last quarter of the book.  It's also deliciously creepy.  I thing the thing that bothered me most was the Annaleigh was strong and smart, but screamed and whimpered and shrieked much more easily that I would have expected her to.  And I have mixed feelings about the ending.  It was read beautifully by Emily Lawrence, which added to its charm.

Goodreads synopsis:  In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
          Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
          Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
          When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

Monday, September 16, 2019

89. The Line Between by Tosca Lee

Listened to the audio via CHIRP
read by Cassandra Campbell
Unabridged audio (10:07)
2019, Howard Books
389 pgs.
Adult Dystopia
Finished 9/16/19
Goodreads rating:  4.22 - 1373 ratings
My rating:  5
Setting: Dystopian US/Colorado mid-country area, some on-the-road

First line/s: "The farmer moved into the woods looking for his pigs."

My comments:  This contemporary dystopian thriller set in a cult enclave and the area between Iowa and Colorado is an excellent thriller with the range of unsettling events between a religious cult and the end of the world being brought about by a deadly flue - quick death with no cure.  The protagonist, Wynter, was one pretty cool, strong, smart female.  Couldn't put it down.
     The sequel to this book, which comes out at the end of thew week, believe it or not, sounds like another really tnese ride.  I think I'm gonna have to wait awhile to get over this one before I read that one!

Goodreads synopsis:  In this frighteningly believable thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee, an extinct disease re-emerges from the melting Alaskan permafrost to cause madness in its victims. For recent apocalyptic cult escapee Wynter Roth, it’s the end she’d always been told was coming.
          When Wynter Roth is turned out of New Earth, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.
          As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life—until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.
         Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter herself.
          Filled with action, conspiracy, romance, and questions of whom—and what—to believe, THE LINE BETWEEN is a high-octane story of survival and love in a world on the brink of madness.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

88. Lessons from a One Night Stand by Piper Rayne

listened to Audio / Chirp
read by Tanya Eby and Tim Paige
Unabridged audio (7:43)
2019 Audible
340 pgs.
Adult Romance
Finished9/15/2019
Goodreads rating:  4.17 - 1227 ratings
My rating: 3.5  Steam:  1.75/4
Setting:  Contemporary biggish small-town Alaska

First line/s: "The handsome guy on stage with his jaw hanging wide open, shock and awe in his eyes?  That'd be me.  Austin Bailey."

My comments:  Okay, this is the perfect romance for people who are into light romances that includes a little bit of the naughty stuff.  Too good-to-be-true hot teacher who's the patriarch of a tribe of siblings is also the much-loved coach and biology teacher in a medium-sized town in Alaska.  The "she" part of the story is the new substitute principal.  Heavy on story and character development with a spattering of the X-rated stuff, too.

Goodreads synopsis:  If you’re a guy like me, and you find yourself having banged your sexy new boss—the school principal—in the back of your Jeep one drunken night, here’s a few takeaways based on my experience...
          Lesson One: Always get her FULL name.
          Lesson Two: Consider asking what she does for a living.
          Lesson Three: Find out why she’s moved to town. Get details. Details are crucial.
          Lesson Four: Don’t alter her bio in front of an auditorium of high school students unless you know she has a sense of humor for that sort of thing.
          Lesson Five: If you ignore Lesson Four, apologize instead of flirt when you’re sent to the principal’s office.
          Lesson Six: NEVER sleep with her again.
          Lesson Seven: Pay attention to this one—it’s the most important of them all.          

          Don’t fall for your one-night stand.
          Class dismissed.
 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

87. A Borrowing of Bones by Paula Munier

(#1 Mercy Carr & Elvis/ Vermont)/
listened to audio / Chirp
read by Kathleen McInerney
Unabridged audio (11:58)
2018 Minotaur Books
342 pgs.
Contemporary Adult Mystery/Murder Mystery
Finished 9/10/2019
Goodreads rating: 3.96 - 908 ratings
My rating:3.5
Setting: Contemporary southern Verment

First line/s:   "Grief and guilt are the ghosts that haunt you when you survive what others do not."

My comments:   Greatly enjoyed the setting, contemporary small town southern Vermont.  The two protagonists, a fresh-out-of-the-service in Afghanistan army vet female and a male Vermont game warden both own K-9 dogs and much of the story revolves around their partnerships.   Another central character, Mercy's grandmother, is the local vet.  It's just all a little to doggy for me.  It was an interesting mystery, though a little unbelievable in places.  I enjoyed listening to it.  It's the same narrator that reads the Kate Burkholder Amish mystery series, a wonderful reader.

Goodreads synopsis:  First in a gripping new mystery series about a retired MP and her bomb-sniffing dog who become embroiled in an investigation in the beautiful Vermont wilderness
It may be the Fourth of July weekend, but for retired soldiers Mercy Carr and Belgian Malinois Elvis, it’s just another walk in the remote Lye Brook Wilderness—until the former bomb-sniffing dog alerts to explosives and they find a squalling baby abandoned near a shallow grave filled with what appear to be human bones. U.S. Game Warden Troy Warner and his search-and rescue Newfoundland Susie Bear respond to Mercy’s 911 call, and the four must work together to track down a missing mother, solve a cold-case murder, and keep the citizens of Vermont safe on potentially the most incendiary Independence Day since the American Revolution.
          A Borrowing of Bones is full of complex twists and real details about search-and-rescue dog training that Paula learned through the training of her own dog. With its canine sidekicks and rich, dramatic story, this debut will be a must-have for mystery fans.

LGBTQ - Books about Gender, or Where Some Sort of LGBTQ is Represented

Picture Books

A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo - Jill Twiss - gay bunny owned by US VP
A Tale of Two Daddies - Vaneta Oelschlager
I am J - Cris Beam
I am Jazz - Jessica Herthel & Jazz Jennings

Middle Grades

GEORGE - Alex Gino
Zenobia July - Lisa Bunker, the Ppotagonist, Zenobia July (6th grade?) her married aunts, her closest friend....

YA

Being Jazz:  My Life as a (Transgender) Teen - Jazz Jennings
Cycler - Lauren McLaughlin
Revenge of the Girl with a Great Personality - Elizabeth Eulberg
Songs for a Teenage Nomad - Kim Culbertson
Talk - Kathe Koja (gay YA)


Adult

Sunday, September 8, 2019

86. Run Away by Harlan Coben

listened to on Audible
read by Steven Webber (yes, THAT Steven Webber!)
Unabridged audio (10:20)
2019 Grand Central Publishing
385 pgs.
Adult Mystery
Finished 9/8/2019
Goodreads rating: 4.09 - 21,689 ratings
My rating: 4
Setting:  Contemporary NYC

First line/s:  "Simon sat on a bench in Central Park - in Strawberry Fields to be more precise - and felt his heart shatter."

My comments:  This book was one heck of a roller coaster ride!  And I'm not even sure how I feel about it as I finish, because some of the relationships just seemed a little bit off.  Simon's love for his wife, Ingrid, was pure and would never waiver, but I still don't understand exactly why.  Because she was beautiful?  That part wasn't made clear at all, he just idolized and adored her.  In a way that was the crux of the whole story, which is what's leaving me a little off.  You're just supposed to understand this without any explanation.  Oh well.  It was a great whodunnit and Harlan Coben sure can spin a tale!  I LOVED listening to Steven Weber's flawless reading.  Of course, in my mind, Simon now looks exactly like Mr. Weber.   Yum.

Goodreads synopsis:  She's addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she's made it clear that she doesn't want to be found.
          Then, quite by chance, you see her busking in New York's Central Park.
          but she's not the girl you remember. This woman is wasted, frightened and clearly in trouble.
          You don't stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home.
          She runs. 
          And you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Where criminal gangs rule, where drugs are the main currency, and murder is commonplace.
          Now it's your life on the line. And nowhere and no one is safe.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

85. All the Greys on Greene Street by Laura Tucker

listened to audio - borrowed from the library
read by Taylor Miskimen beautifully
Unabridged audio (8:28)
2019 Viking Books for Young Readers
320 pgs.
HF (sort of...) MidGrades
Finished 9/5/2019
Goodreads rating: 3.91 - 2646 ratings
My rating:  4.5
Setting: 1981 Soho, NYC - artist community, in an artist's loft....

First line/s:   "May Day is the first day of May.  'Mayday' is a radio signal used by ships and aircraft in distress.  This spring, May Day was the first day that my mom didn't get out of bed."

My comments:  This is a book about color and art and being part of an artist community in Soho, NYC, in 1981.  There is both innocence and maturity in Ollie that makes her a really interesting protagonist.  Character development, setting, and plot were all very strong in the wonderful book.  Exceptionally well narrated.  There's an afterward talking about depression in parents and helping to explain a bit about it to a middle grade reader, telling where they could get help for themselves and the parent who may suffer from it.

Goodreads synopsis:  SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist—and in her neighborhood, that's normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft, leaving Ollie to roam the streets of New York with her best friends Richard and Alex, drawing everything that catches her eye.
          Then everything falls apart. Ollie's dad disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her only a cryptic note and instructions to destroy it. Her mom has gone to bed, and she's not getting up. Apollo is hiding something, Alex is acting strange, and Richard has questions about the mysterious stranger he saw outside. And someone keeps calling, looking for a missing piece of art. . . .
          Olympia knows her dad is the key--but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Picture Book Biography - Thomas Jefferson Builds a Library by Barb Rosenstock

Illustrated by John O'Brien
2013, Calkins Creek, An Imprint of Highlights, Honesdale, PA
HC $16.95
32 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  4.23 - 738 ratings
My rating:  4.5
Endpapers:  Solid Rust
1st line/s:  "Thomas learned to read.  And then, he never stopped.  He sat and he read.  He walked and he read.  Any lying in bed, instead of sleeping, her read."

My comments: The only reason I rated down .5 was because the wonderfully interesting facts and quotes, written in little books placed on different parts of the page, were written in such teeny, tiny font that you almost didn't read them.  They were great, and read well along with the text of the story.  The Author's Note at the end DID address Thomas Jefferson as a slaveholder, which was another positive.  A truly fascinating look at history, and the life and obsession of a favorite politician and historical figure.

Goodreads:  As soon as Thomas Jefferson learned to read, he found his passion: books, books, and more books! Before, during, and after the American Revolution, Jefferson collected thousands of books on hundreds of subjects. In fact, his massive collection eventually helped rebuild the Library of Congress—now the largest library in the world. Barb Rosenstock’s rhythmic words and John O’Brien’s whimsical illustrations capture Jefferson’s passion for the written word as well as little-known details about book collecting. Author and artist worked closely with experts to create the first picture book on Jefferson’s love of reading, writing, and books. An author’s note, bibliography, and source notes for quotations are also included.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Handmade Cards

1250.  India
"And in that moment I swear we were infinite."
This is an illustrations of a quote from a book I'm reading now!  The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  Hope you like it.  Sheethal.

495. HAND DRAWN CARD!!!  Praha, Ceska Replublika
Hello Chris,
Your post was first time I heard about jackalopes.  Buyt I find tghem terribly cute.
Wish you a great summer,
Veronika

The "Wild" West

1250.  Two Women and a Mule
These two women are moving up the Bright Angel Trail toward the rim of Grand Canyon National Park.  In this whimsical photograph, one of the women appears to be trying to convince the mule to keep moving upwards with her friend.  
This was a swap...I sent them a card that I wanted mailed to me.  I sent this card because I love it and didn't want to send it to someone else.  It was mailed back to me from Belgium:
Advice from a mule from Ilan Shamin:  "Be sure-footed, follow your path, work hard, pack life with great memories.  It's okay to be a little stubborn.  Get a kick out of life."

Picture Book Biography - The Iridescence of Birds: A Book About Henri Matisse by Patricia MacLachlan

Illustrated by Hadley Hooper
2014, Roaring Book Pres/ A Neal Porter Book
HC $17.99
40 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  4.06 - 1586 ratings
My rating:  4.5
Endpapers:  bright, solid orange-red
1st line/s:  The book appears to all be one sentence!!!!   "If you were a boy named Henri Matisse who lived in a dreary town in northern France where the skies were gray/ And the days were cold/ And you wanted color and light/ And sun, / And your mother, to brighten your days,/ Painted plates to hang on the walls/ With picture of meadows and trees,/ Rivers and birds, ...."

My comments: Patricia MacLachlan, one of my favorite authors, has written a simple book about Henri Matisse and where his artistic inspiration came from.  Hadley Hooper has used simple, beautiful illustrations to accentuate the story that MacLachlan tells.  This book is totally charming, especially if you are an admirer of Matisse's art.  Yup, he's also one of my favorites...

Goodreads:  If you were a boy named Henri Matisse who lived in a dreary town in northern France, what would your life be like? Would it be full of color and art? Full of lines and dancing figures?
          Find out in this beautiful, unusual picture book about one of the world's most famous and influential artists by acclaimed author and Newbery Medal-winning Patricia MacLachlan and innovative illustrator Hadley Hooper.

Picture Book Biography - A Stroll with Mr. Gaudi by Pau Estrada

Illustrated by the author
2013, Editorial Juventud
40 pgs.
Goodreads rating:  4.40 - 25 ratings
My rating:  5
Endpapers:  Solid corally-red
1st line/s:  "Mr. Gaudi leaves home early for work, as he does every morning."

My comments: What's not to like about this beautifully illustrated biography of Antoni Gaudi?  This one tells of one life of "Mr. Gaudi" as an elderly gentleman, touring the city of Barcelona and checking up on his current building projects.  We learn so much about his personality ... his daydreaminess, his eccentric building ideas, his "different" way of planning, his dreams of the future.  We also learn that the people of the time did NOT like his architecture!  The story is interesting and gives us a real feel for the man.  The illustrations are amazing, not only are the grand buidling uniquely drawn, but the whimsical illustrations of the people are a lot of fun to peruse.  A keeper!  The three pages of "afterward" are full of facts and interesting to read as well.

Goodreads:  There is no summary on Goodreads!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Audible Readers/Narrators

Adam, Vikas - There's Something About Sweetie (Menon) coreader
Amoss, Sophie 10 Blind Dates (Elston)
Anderson, MarkhamSteadfast (very deep voice)
Andrews, MacLeod - Freefall co reader-
Arndt, AndiLucky Suit (Blakely) co reader
......................-Conviction (Dahl)
Assadourian, VanehOther Words for Home
Ayyar, PriyaA Very Large Expanse of Sea (Mafi)
Baker, HeidiOn the Island (Graves)
Barrow, Anthony MarkField Notes on Love (Smith) co readers
Beaton, Eilidh - Vanishing Girls (Regan) HORRIBLE!!!!! Couldn't stand her pronunciations or her 12-year old voice!
Bennett, Susan Angels Burning
......................... -  Big Lies in a Small Town
Bernstein, JessePlaces No One Knows co reader, teenage voice
Bentley, Amy Melissa Starry Eyes (Bennett)
Bray, R. C. The Others (Robinson)
Bresnahan, AlyssaThe Child Finder, (Denfeld)
Campbell, CassandraWhere the Crawdads Sing (Owens) beautifully read
Church, ImogenThe Lost for Words Bookshop (Butland) reader's voice sounded too old for the character
Colacci, David Blood Relations (Moore) his voice was too deep and old for this protagonist
Cole, Jonathan R. - Beautiful Stranger (Lauren) co reader
Conger, EricBloody Genius (and all the other Virgil Flowers novels
Conway, AudreyAssigned a Mate coreader
Cosham, Ralph A Fatal Grace (Gamache #2) (Penny) super reader, great accents
Craden, Abby Recursion (Crouch) co reader
Damron, WillDark Pattern (Mayne) good
Davies, Matthew Lloyd Sacrificed to the Dragon
Daymond, RobbieHope and Other Punchlines (Buxbaum)
Delaine, ChristinaSpider Woman's Daughter (Hillerman) read too slowly, didn't enjoy
Donne, TylerHot as Puck coreader
Dukehart, CrisThree Mages and a Margarita (Marie)
Early, KathleenBlonde Hair Blue Eyes
..............................Pretty Girls (Slaughter) terrific
Eby, TanyaLessons from a One-Night Stand (Rayne) co reader
Ezzo, Lauren Where the Forest Meets the Stars (Vanderah)
Feathers, Sarah The Stranger Diaries (Griffiths) co reader
Garcia, KylaWe Set the Dark on Fire (Majia)
Gavin, Marguerite The Shunning  (Lewis)
Glenister, Robert Lethal White (Strike #4) (Galbraith) Love him!
Grace, JenniferRunning From a Rock Star (Albright)
Grant, GraceBeautiful Stranger (Lauren) co reader
..........Take Me (Andre)
Green, Caitlyn Hush Hush (Fitzpatrick)
Greenfield, LanceManeuver (Bliss) co reader
............Throttle Me (Bliss) co reader
Grimsley, Steven RoyA Shroud of Tattered Sails (Garrison Gage #4) (Carter)
.......................................A Lighthouse for the Lonely Heart (#5 Garrison Gage) (Carter)
Haberkorn, ToddJosh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating (Lauren) coreader
Hazlett, DeborahOpen Season (Howard) great reader
Henderson, HeatherFlight of the Sparrow
Heybourne, Kirby Letters to the Lost (Kemmerer) co reader
Huber, HilaryFreefall cobreader
Jackson, J. D. - Machine City (Holliday)
Jackson, JoshilynSomeone Else's Love Story read by the author and LOVE her reading!!!
Jackson, HollieIce Planet Barbarian series
Jackson, SuzySkyward (#1 Skyward) (Sanderson) great narrator
Jameson, JoeGood Girl, Bad Girl (Robotham)
Kreinik, BarrieAn Anonymous Girl (Pekkanen) co reader, great job
Knowelden, ElizabethTruth and Lies (Mitchell)
Laken, Christine Dark Sacred Night (Connelly) coreader
..............................-The Night Fire (Connelly) co reader
Larnia, JennaThe Line Tender (Allen) excellent
LaVoy, JanuaryJar of Hearts (Hillier) great with voices
Lawrence, EmilyHouse of Salt and Sorrows (Craig) wonderful
Lee, DeaconMy Favorite Half-Night Stand (Lauren) coreader
Leigh, KirstenThrottle Me (Bliss) coreader
Leyva, Henry -  The Precipice (#6 Bowditch) (Doiron)
.........................Widowmaker (#7 Mike Bowditch) (Doiron)
..........................Knife Creek (#8 Mike Bowditch) (Doiron)
..........................Rabid (#8.5 Mike Bowditch) Doiron
..........................Stay Hidden (#9 Mike Bowditch) (Doiron)
Lindstrom, JonRecursion (Crouch) co reader
Lloyd, MasonIce Planet Barbarian series
Lowman, Rebecca - Starters and Enders
Maarleveld, SaskiaTime's Convert (Harkness)
MacDuffie, Carrington -  The Ghost Manuscript (she read well, but her voice was too mannish for the character)
MacLaren, IanTake Me
Mallon, ErinManeuver (Bliss) co reader
........................Reasonable Doubt (Whitney G.) co reader
Manning, JoshuaLast Bus to Everland in an easy-to-follow thick Scottish brogue
Marie, JorjeanaHope and Other Punchlines  (Buxbaum) co reader
Mattler, JaymeJosh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating (Lauren) coreader
McDowell, Jane House at Sea's End (British accented)
McFadden, AmyOverdue Life of Amy Byler
McInerney, KathleenShamed (#11 Kate Burkholder) (Castillo)
.......................A Borrowing of Bones (Munier)
.......................In Plain Sight (#10.5  Kate Burkholder)
Meskimen, TaylorZenobia July (Bunker)
.......................All the Greys on Greene Street (Tucker)  (beautifully!
Nankani, SoleelaInternment (Ahmed)
.......................There's Something About Sweetie (Menon) creader
Nielsen, StinaWe Hope for Better Things
O'Donnell, JenniferName of the Devil (Mayne easy to listen to)
Paige, TimLessons from a One-Night Stand (Rayne) co reader
Parenteau, TanisTrail of Lightning  (Roanhorse) great job
Peakes, KarenDon't Even Breathe (Houghton)
Plummer, Therese This Fallen Prey (#3 Rockton)  (Armstrong)
................................Watcher in the Woods (#4 Rockton) (Armstrong)
Pottsworth, B. J. - Assigned a Mate coreader
Pressley, BrittanyLetters to the Lost (Kemmerer) co reader
................................Well Met (DeLuca) great job
................................Everything My Mother Taught Me beautifully read
Price-Lewis, LucyThe Bookshop on the Corner gorgeous British & Scottis - clear, easy-to-understand
Puckett, SarahParadise Awakening (Burton)
Ragland, ChristopherI Am Pilgrim (Hayes) Super
Ramm, Zara The Year of Saying Yes (Doyle) very British, lol
Rankin, EmilyThe Bookish Life of Nina Hill (Waxman) GREAT
Roberts, SummerHot as Puck coreader
Rodriguez, Patricia Leave No Trace (Mijia)
Rosewood, AngeliseStepbrother Inked (Blaze)
Ross, RebekkahThe Simple Wild (Tucker) excellent
Rudd, Kat The Vanishing Stair (Johnson) so-so, didn't like the flat tone she gave the narrator
Sastre, ElizabethThe Au Pair (Rous) read beautifully
Schorr, KatieThe Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, thumbs up
Shanahan, StephenForce of Nature (#2 Aaron Falk) (Harper)
Shapiro, DaniInheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love read by the author
Strole, PhoebeNeverworld Wake (Pessl) excellent
Sutton-Smith - Emily The Body Counter (#2 Jude Fontaine) (Frasier)
.....................................The Body Keeper (#3 Jude Fontaine) (Frasier)
Syal, MyraErotic Stories for Punjabi Widows (Jaswal) gorgeous, lilting reading that I could easily understand
Tamron, Will Murder Theory (#3 Theo Cray) (Mayne)
Thibodeaux, ShaynaMy Favorite Half-Night Stand  (Lauren) coreader
Traister, ChristinaThe Wish (Davids)
Turpin, BahniDread Nation (Ireland) great job
Vacker, KarissaField Notes on Love (Smith) co reader
..............................-Places No One Knows coreader, teenage voice
............................. -Freefall co reader
Vason, AnjanaThe Stranger Diaries (Griffiths) co reader
Wane, Esther The Stranger Diaries (Griffiths) co reader
Webber, Zachary Lucky Suit (Blakely) co reader
Weber, StevenRun Away  (Sandford #12 Virgil Flowers)(Even if he stuttered and stammered, I'd LOVE to hear him read, though he was really good.)
Welliver, Titus Dark Sacred Night (Connelly) coreader
.........................-The Night Fire (Connelly) co reader
Whelan, Julia - An Anonymous Girl (Pekkanen) co reader, great job
.........................- Evvie Drake Starts Over  (Holmes)
Wilder, EmmaWorked Up (Bailey)
Wilhoite, KathleenWhere'd You Go Bernadette (Semple) didn't really enjoy---ultra-theatrical
Wincott, AndrewThe Stranger Diaries (Griffiths) co reader
Wise, Elaine - Once Gone (Pierce) lovely BRITISH accent
York, SebastianReasonable Doubt (Whitney G.) co reader
Zeller, Emily WooThe Bride Test

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Birds (of the non-penguin type) Postcards Receivedl

1979.  GR PC August
Dear Chris, Yep, I've found and read some great  books this year!  From the nonfiction section:  Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men.  It's shocking and dismaying and really a book that people should read.  And I read all the James Herriot All Creatures Great and Small series, which was def a comfort read, since I watched the British TV show as a kid.  And now I'm just dipping into Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, which seems like it's going to be one of those fun, eye-opening reads!
     New author, and new genre (fantasy):  N. K. Jemisin.  I read her The Fifth Season series last year, and have no read all of her books.  And they are all page turners, I just can't put them down!  And some great scifi: Ancillary Justice series by Ann Leckie, Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, and To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers.  All of these are just WOW! 
Hope you've discovered some great books as well
Happy Day, Rift

Goodreads Postcards

       
1980.  GR PC August
I haven't read any good books lately but I did read one terrible book that I would like to warn you away from.  Don't read Flame in the Mist.  It's awful and a waste of time.  Have a great day!  Angie

1979.  GR PC August
Dear Chris, Yep, I've found and read some great  books this year!  From the nonfiction section:  Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men.  It's shocking and dismaying and really a book that people should read.  And I read all the James Herriot All Creatures Great and Small series, which was def a comfort read, since I watched the British TV show as a kid.  And now I'm just dipping into Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error, which seems like it's going to be one of those fun, eye-opening reads!
     New author, and new genre (fantasy):  N. K. Jemisin.  I read her The Fifth Season series last year, and have no read all of her books.  And they are all page turners, I just can't put them down!  And some great scifi: Ancillary Justice series by Ann Leckie, Binti by Nnedi Okorafor, and To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers.  All of these are just WOW! 
Hope you've discovered some great books as well
Happy Day, Rift

84. Dear Lily by Drew Davies

read on my iPhone
2019 Bookouture
276 pgs.
Adult CRF-Epistolary
Finished September 1, 2019
Goodreads rating:  3.77 - 493 ratings
My rating: 2
Setting:  contemporary Copenhagen, Denmark

My comments:   I had to force myself to finish this one, not even sure why I didn't.  Darn, I even paid full price for it, it sounded that good.  It's pretty depressing and meandering and always made me feel gloomy.  It's about a young woman whose life in her mid 30s is not at all what she had thought it would be.  So after losing her much-loved sister she moves to Copenhagen, Denmark to "start new."  She smokes too much and drinks too much, becomes a hermit and lies around all day, and is just plain unhappy and depressed.  The she "sees the light" and begins to change.  Yes, there were dabs of humor, but just little dabs.  This one didn't do it for me at all.  Bummer.

Goodreads synopsis:  Dear Lily, 
          It’s me, Joy, your much wiser and (very slightly) older sister. I thought I’d start a new tradition of letter writing – now that we’re long distance. 
          On the plane over here, I began to cry in seat 21C. I think the magnitude of it finally hit me, after everything that happened… 
          I haven’t even unpacked yet – the only thing I’ve taken out of my suitcase is Harville, your beloved childhood teddy. Sorry for stealing him, but I need him more than you do. Every time I look at that little brown bear I think about our childhood. Remember that dance we made up to Annie’s ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’? (Remember the broom choreography?) 
          I’m also sorry for abandoning you – I’ve always been your agony aunt, and a buffer in your infamous shouting matches with Mum. But I had to leave, Lily, I had to. 
          Anyway, I’m here now. I’m here to start over, and to face up to the past. I want to learn to laugh again, and to find someone to love who will maybe even love me back. You always told me I was just getting by, not actually living, so I’m finally doing it. Wish me luck, little sister. 
          Love, 
          Joy x 

A beautiful book-club read for anyone who has ever hit rock bottom, longed for a fresh start, or needed to heal a broken, aching heart.

83. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

listened to audio - borrowed from library
read by Emily Woo Zeller
Unabridged audio (10 hrs.)
2019 Berkley
296 pgs.
Adult Romance
Finished  9/1/2019
Goodreads rating: 3.98 - 27,773 ratings
My rating:  5
Setting: contemporary Vietnam, then San Jose/Palo Alto area of California

First line/s:  "Khai was supposed to be crying.  He knew he was supposed to be crying.  Everyone else was."

My comments:  This one kept me giggling and rolling my eyes.  It was ultra cute and sweet and the perfect thing to read on a long, lazy, overcast three-day-weekend Sunday.  I've got to rate it a five just for being a delightful read.  Nothing ethereal or deep, just a little bit of innocesnce, adult autism, and a young adult from a different country and culture coming to the US and knowing very little about its culture other than what they've seen in a Disney movie or two.

Goodreads synopsis:  Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.
          As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.
          With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.