Monday, September 28, 2015

Tackling the TBR Pile...

I have 25 unread books on my shelves, and I can't seem to make myself read any of them. And I'm so close to reaching my goal! See, this year I wanted to read 15 books from off my TBR pile, and so far I've managed to read 13. But now I seem to be stuck. So even though there are three more months left in the year, its starting to look like I'm not going to reach my goal.

There are some good authors in my TBR pile, too. Anthony Trollope, Elizabeth Gaskell, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Fred Vargas, Stephen Hunt, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Ann Radcliffe, and Louisa May Alcott to name a few. I just wish I was still in the mood to read them. Any of them. I mean, the reason I bought them in the first place was because they sounded so good. But now they make me feel tired. I think I'm experiencing TBR apathy.

It almost makes me want to go to the bookstore and buy a couple of new books that I do want to read.

Just kidding!
So ... how many TBRs are waiting for you?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A bookish trifle...

Sometimes I need a break from thoughtful, literary reads; I mean, books that are serious or dark or thought-provoking are great, but there are days when I just want a bit of fluff instead. That's the kind of mood I've been in this week, and why I ended up reading The Widower's Wife by Prudence Bice.

It's set on the "Wisconsin frontier" (who knew Wisconsin even had a frontier?). Jillian Grey answers a newspaper ad for a mail-order bride placed by newly widowed Dalton McCullough who needs a mother for his three young children. It's strictly a marriage of convenience for both of them, until they start to fall in love. But it's never that simple or straight-forward in these kinds of romances. There are misunderstandings and things from both their pasts that need to be resolved. Still, we all know how it ends.

Was the plot completely predictable? Yes.
Did it lessen my enjoyment of this novel? Not really.

I was in the mood for something light and fun, and this book fit the bill. It doesn't have a lot of substance, but it was still satisfyingly sweet--kind of like eating a box of divinity. (Or Turkish Delight.) And while I wouldn't want a steady diet of it, once in awhile it really hits the spot. Don't you think?

Happy Reading!

Monday, September 21, 2015

A bookish update...

Recent read that I loved: I Love I hate I Miss My Sister by Amelie Sarn

Recent read that I didn't love: Creed by Trisha Leaver and Lindsay Currie
(The ending ruined it for me.)

Bookish thoughts from Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:
* Unread books accumulate
*For books, timing is everything. 
The moment you first encounter a particular book is the right time to read it. 

Good News: My library is open again!!! 
(And it still has all its books.)

Recently checked out from my library:
The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson
The Cure For Dreaming by Cat Winters
Walking the Amazon by Ed Stafford
The Girl With All the Gifts by Mike Carey

Up next: Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond

Happy Reading!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Seven books everyone's read ... except me

1. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
(Although I've seen so many film/TV versions of this story I feel like I have read it.)

3. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

4. The Boys on the Boat by Daniel J. Brown
(Every book club I know is reading this book...except mine, of course.)

5.Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

7. Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

There are others, of course, but these are the books people seem to keep talking about. And I smile and nod like I know what they're referring to, even when I don't. Will I ever get around to reading them? Maybe. Maybe not. I can get stubborn when it comes to certain books and authors...especially when they've been hyped a little too much. What about you? Are there books out there that everyone's read except you?

Happy Reading (Or not)!

Monday, September 14, 2015

From the U Shelf...

"I am not ascare to die. I am only ascare that after death I be alone. Maybe because of suicide, I go to the hell? If hell all hot and crowded and noiseful, like Christian minister on TV say, then I not care because it will be just like India. But if hell cold and quiet, with lot of snow and leaf-empty trees, and people who smile with string-thin lips, then I ascare. Because it seem so much like my life in America."

 In The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar, a failed suicide attempt brings two women together: Lakshmi Patil, a desperately lonely Indian woman trapped in a loveless marriage, and Dr. Maggie Bose, a successful psychologist who agrees to treat Lakshmi for free. A friendship slowly develops between them as Lakshmi shares the stories of her past. For women who come from two completely different worlds, it's interesting how much they have in common. They each have secrets, and they each make big mistakes, but that's what makes them so endearing and likeable. And so human.

This is a beautifully told story of friendship and forgiveness. I especially liked the parts that take place in India; it's such a fascinating country and culture, and so foreign to my own. I've never read Thrity Umrigar before, but I'll definitely read her again. She's an amazing writer. It makes me glad that the U shelf at my library had so few options to choose from, otherwise I might have overlooked this book. And that would have been sad. So, here's to the serendipity of reading the alphabet and to an unexpected find from the U shelf.

Happy Reading!

Friday, September 11, 2015

September's bookish art...

William Mulready - Fireside Read
"Words, I've come to learn, are pulleys through time. Portals into other minds. 
Without words, what remains? Indecipherable customs. Strange rites. Blighted hearts. 
Without words, we are history's orphans."
--Alena Graedon, The Word Exchange

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Read this!

Title: Five by Ursula Archer
First Line: The place where his left ear used to be was throbbing to the rhythm of his heartbeat.
Genre: Psychological thriller
Setting: Salzburg, Austria

My thoughts: It's the murderer who drives this mystery, geocaching tantalizing clues to direct the police, especially detective Beatrice Kaspary, to the next victim. An incident from her past connects Beatrice to the killer, at least in his mind; now she must find a connection between the victims before more people die. But the clues the killer leaves are not easy to figure out, and Beatrice feels like she's always one step behind.

Reading this book is like watching a suspenseful game of chess between the detectives and the killer, where the uncertainty and importance of each of their next moves keeps you turning the pages far into the night. But Archer also develops her main characters so well that I was completely caught up in their personal lives and interested in their past histories. It's a good mix. And the killer was very unexpected. I love it when I find an author I haven't read before who ends up delivering such a riveting read; this book is an original and suspenseful mystery, and one that I liked a lot.

Happy Reading!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Bookish Thoughts...

On reading from the U shelf.  There aren't a lot of options when looking for an author whose last name starts with the letter U. Especially since I'm not really interested in reading Updike or Uris.  I even checked the young adult, mystery, and science fiction shelves hoping for something serendipitous and fun, but they didn't have any U books at all. So it looks like I'll be choosing something from either Lisa Unger, Thrity Umrigar, or Rachel Urquhart.  Any thoughts?

On An Invisible Sign. After seeing this book by Aimee Bender on Goodreads, I really wanted to read it, only my library didn't have a copy. (So typical!) They did, however, have the film version of it; so, I ended up watching the movie instead. It stars Jessica Alba and is charming and quirky, original and fun. And while I usually prefer to read the book first, I'm just glad I got to enjoy this story at all.

On e-books.  I don't have an e-book reader, mostly because I prefer reading real books, but with the way things are going, I'm beginning to think I might have to give in and buy one. Just the other day I was looking up several titles on my library's website and over half of them were only available as e-books. What's a girl to do? So, what do you think? Should I buy a Kindle or a Nook?

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A bookish gem...

"Can you experience nostalgia for something that hasn't happened? We talk of 'regrets' about the course of our lives, when we are almost certain we have taken the wrong decision; but one can also be enveloped in a sweet and mysterious euphoria, a sort of nostalgia for what might have been."

Laurent is a divorced bookseller in his forties who finds a discarded purse in the garbage on his way to work. The money and identity card have been stolen, but all the other contents remain. As Laurent goes through the items in the purse one by one, he begins to fall in love with the mysterious owner. But can the clues he finds in the purse lead him to the woman in real life?

The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain is a delight. I loved the characters. And the way Laurain writes. And how Laurent falls in love with a woman he knows only through the contents of her purse. This book is thoughtful, charming, funny, and wonderfully told. Definitely a bookish gem! I am looking forward to reading Antoine Laurain (and this book) again.

Happy Reading!