Cloudy With A Chance Of Clouds

• Thank #RandomHouse via #Netgalley for this ARC of The Warehouse by Rob Hart •

Today is publication day for The Warehouse by Rob Hart. There has been a lot of hype surrounding this novel and the movie rights have already been acquired by Ron Howard.

This was a fantastic read and I do recommend it. I was given an ARC in part because I had given a favorable review for Recursion by Blake Crouch on Netgalley. After reading The Warehouse, although the story and writing style differ from Crouch’s, I do think if you are a fan of Crouch you will enjoy this book.

Below is part of the review I posted on Netgalley:

This story follows Paxton and his job at an all encompassing company called The Cloud, which is quiet reminiscent of another large company that exists today. In addition, The Cloud also reminded me a bit of the tech-giant company in another book called The Circle by Dave Eggers, which is also a good read.

As Paxton cannot believe his luck at landing a position at The Cloud, Zinnia never thought she’d be investigating (undercover) The Cloud. She is sent to uncover what makes The Cloud work, to find out its secrets. Life and work at The Cloud is meant to offer entertainment as well as a wonderful career, tied up neatly together. As Zinnia learns more, she realizes her relationship with Paxton will be at stake. Obviously trouble is bound to follow. This novel is fast-paced and will keep you guessing.

Go check it out, because “success begins with you,” or so they say at The Cloud.

Sincerely,

tmc

“And read… read all the time… read as a matter of principle, as a matter of self-respect. Read as a nourishing staple of life.”

– David McCullough Jr.

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Something Old, Something New

Rather than ‘something borrowed and something blue,’ this is ‘something old and something new.’

I was looking at my bookshelves today and thought of something. About twelve years ago, due to a move and then not having any bookshelves I got rid of almost all my books. My collection wasn’t large at all back then, but I had read most everything I owned and not having any shelves posed a problem. I kept a few favorites and stuck them in a closet. Horrible, I know.

I’m older and thankfully much wiser (ha!) now. That, and my husband built some incredible bookshelves (which I’m sure he regrets because it only made my book collection grow) for me. The majority of the books on my shelves are unread because I have been working on building my collection over the past several years. I do keep what I’ve read, but only if I really love it.

So looking at my shelves I thought it might be fun to do a post on ‘something old, something new.’ Meaning, something I’ve read and kept (“old”) and something I haven’t read yet (“new”).

‘Something old‘: Nemesis by Philip Roth

My neighbor, friend, and fellow bookworm Frank gave this book to me a few months back. I devoured it in about two days. It’s about the polio epidemic of 1944 and the effect it has on a tight-knit community in New Jersey. Going in to this book, I knew a little about polio. Typically children today are vaccinated against it, but I know before the vaccination existed, many who contracted it were left paralyzed. What I didn’t know is that it often killed those who contracted it, and quickly. It came on with a fever and then quickly escalated in to a terrible disaster and tragedy. This story follows a twenty-something playground director who begins losing some of the children he cares for to polio. No one was able to uncover where or why polio was becoming rampant in that area. He ends up working at a summer camp where the air is supposed to be “pure of contaminants.” From there the story continues its devastating path. I do recommend Nemesis, if anything it will give you an introduction to Philip Roth. Continuing on yesterday’s thread, Philip Roth won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral in 1998.

Here is ‘Something New’: The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

This book has been around for a few years now, but I’ve yet to read it, so it’s new to me. Morganstern has a new book out this November titled, The Starless Sea. TNC looks like a fun read and I know many of you have read it-so please share your thoughts about it. Did you enjoy it, do you think it’s worth reading?

For those bookworms who are out of the three-ring-circus loop like me and haven’t read this, here is the Amazon synopsis:

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. 

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance.

‘Something Old and Something New’ is new to this blog. It came about sort of on its’ own and I think I’ll let it run its course, unless I run out of books!

Sincerely,

tmc

“My life is a reading list.”

– John Irving

Looking For Someone Who Deals In Luxury Goods-Yeah, The Cashier At The Liquor Store Will Be Just Fine

• Thank you #Scribner for this ARC of Turbulence by David Szalay •

I have a stack or two of homeless books in my bedroom. I am out of shelf space so they reside in a somewhat neat but hoardish stack next to a full book shelf. That stack is made up of new or new-to-me books. I usually sit near this stack when I blow dry my hair and put on make up (because the lighting is good) so I end up looking at them quite often. This is good in a sense because it keeps them more towards the forefront of my mind rather than competing with the rest of my book collection that are in another room.

Turbulence is one that I received about two months ago, but hadn’t read yet (and was sitting in this stack). If you can’t tell from the picture it is relatively short, coming in at just 145 pages. This is especially short in comparison to Lonesome Dove, at 843 pages, which I am also reading. For some reason Turbulence has been staring at me all week. So yesterday after my day of doing a million things was winding down, I grabbed this book from the stack. Don’t judge, I read a little of LD first.

Not only is Turbulence a fantastic read, but bookworms-it was a book I was able to read in one sitting.

This rarely happens.

In fact, it happens so rarely the last time it happened (after consulting my book journal) was November of 2016. The book was Chess Story by Stefan Zweig and I do recommend that book as well. I have read many books in two or three days over the course of my life, but a book in one sitting, hardly ever. Life is just too crazy. There is always somewhere to be, something to do, someone annoying talking thus disturbing precious reading time, or maybe you simply need to close your eyelids and sleep. I think life is against bookworms reading whole books in one sitting (too often) out of protection of getting lost in the amazingness. It simply too luxurious of a thing and one would get too entrapped by the luxury of it if it were allowed too often.

So, with that thought I will tell you a bit about Turbulence. Each chapter is titled with the combination of two airport codes. So chapter one is LGW-MAD, chapter two is MAD-DSS, three, DSS- GRU. Each chapter features a character from the previous chapter and their story. Someone they interact with will be a main character in the next chapter. I had to keep reading. If you pick this one up, you will too. I think I breezed through it in an hour and a half. Pure luxury is what that time was.

Since it’s Friday I decided to combine the decadence of reading a book in one sitting with dessert and wine, which are equally decadent.The wine featured is a red blend called Wish Flower and the dessert is an almond butter chocolate chip bar, sort of like a blondie.

They path to my heart is paved with pages, chocolate, and wine. Simple things that when combined are incredibly extravagant.

Cheers to Friday!

Sincerely,

tmc

“Language is wine upon the lips.”

-Virginia Woolf

Anonymously Yours, Women Everywhere & Anywhere

• Three women who were sweet enough to indulge my picture request for Three Women by Lisa Taddeo. This crew was seated so perfectly just to the right of us, so I snatched the photo opportunity •

We are married, single, divorced, dating, hooking up, widowed, mothers, not mothers, old, young, or somewhere in the middle. We make thought out choices and we also act on the spur of a moment. We get our hearts broken and we also allow those same hearts to mend. We laugh too loud and we sing at the top of our lungs when we are in the car alone. We do things that are unique and yet we share daily habits with a bazillion other women across the globe. We are women, but most of all we are human.

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo was my #bookofthemonth July pick. I started hearing the buzz surrounding this book a few months back. Taddeo followed the lives (with their permission) of three women for a decade, documenting their stories, in particular their love lives.

Maggie’s story is one the follows her relationship with a married teacher while she was in high school. The relationship ends and later on that teacher is named ‘Teacher of the Year,’ which sets Maggie off. She brings the relationship to public and ultimately to court (This is not a spoiler, you know this going in to the story).

Lina is a housewife and mother who is in a more or less loveless (or very little love) marriage. She begins an affair with someone from her past.

Sloane is also married with children. Her and her husband are swingers, although she calls it something else.

I have summed these women’s stories in just a few words, but they are so much more (as we all are). They attempt to balance the complexity and simplicity of desire as they see it, while also revealing layers of themselves.

I am over halfway through this book and what interests me most are the various histories of these women. What events happened, what moments shaped them to make the decisions they made, good and bad. Everyone has different desires and feels desired in different ways.

Everyone has a story. And Three Woman presents three that I feel are worth reading, if only to gain human perspectives that may differ from your own. There’s always something to be learned from others.

I did finish Daisy and the Six yesterday. It was definitely an enjoyable read and a good one to take on vacation.

Sincerely,

tmc

“Employ your time in improving yourself by other men’s writings so that you shall come easily by what others have labored hard for.”

– Socrates

Rock ‘N’ Roll On The Beach

The horizon has a hypnotic effect. The loud rushing waves combined with the thought that the distance just keeps on going is enough to keep me pleasantly distracted. That view makes me a dreamer of possibility.

Today was the first full day of vacation and it didn’t disappoint. Yesterday I began the first of the books that I brought with me. See below to see which one I chose.

Daisy and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid has been a fun read so far. Depending on how long I can keep my eyes open tonight will determine if I finish it or not. It’s a fast read and I can easily see it becoming a movie at some point. The writing is easy and the storyline flows. A friend (J) said it reminded her a bit of The Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann and I completely agree. I will say there is something that feels a little more authentic with VOTD versus DJATS. Both were written and published after the time with when they begin taking place.

VOTD: Begins in 1945, published 1966

DJATS: Begins 1965, published 2019

Is it the fact that the time gap is much shorter with Valley, therefore not a whole lot had changed in real life ( vs. the amount time and what had changed in the world with Daisy), therefore there weren’t as many details to make sure were correct to that time period? Not that I was analyzing Daisy for errors, I truly wasn’t- it’s just it was a long time ago compared to current day. I don’t know, just a thought.

I do recommend DJATS if you want to read something entertaining (and about the entertainment industry) which really, all books should have this quality, right? Otherwise, why read them in the first place? I don’t think it will be the best book of the year (although some will disagree with me), but definitely a good read. Celebrity status in general travels on the path to a train wreck and we as the viewer can see this coming from miles away. A dream can be realized in a moment and then gone in the next. There’s a reason and truth behind the saying, “fifteen minutes of fame.” Watching Daisy Jones and her crew rise to fame, you just know there is massive drama on the inside and you can’t help but keep watching and reading.

Life is a mixed bag. Sometimes you get what you want, sometimes you don’t, and other times you just wait it all out, hopefully becoming a better person in the process. Wherever you are in the whole scheme of life, just make sure you’ve brought a book with you. I’m a broken record I know, but I also know good books can be cures to the many ailments of life.

Now I’m off to hopefully finish Daisy and start the next book in my stack.

Goodnight Bookworms.

Sincerely,

tmc

“Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.”

– Fernando Pessoa

I Won’t Be On A Deserted Island, But I Still Had To Choose Some Books To Take Along

Happy Friday!

Every day of this past week has been a little crazy. A million things to do, places to go, and chores to finish. All of this so some vacation days can be enjoyed in the upcoming week. Why is there so much to do to actually be able to relax?

As always, I begin thinking about which books I want to bring with me when I go somewhere a few weeks in advance. I need choices. What type of book will I be in the mood to read? What if one stinks or what if I read way faster than normal (don’t laugh, it could happen) and need more books? Of course I’ll have my Kindle and that has more books than I could need. But always in the back of my mind, the thought lurks-a Kindle is an electronic device, it could fail. There’s no way I would ever not have traditional books with me. I’m totally ready in the event of a zombie-apocalypse, at least book and wine wise 😉

I decided a few days ago which books I would bring along. Those books are the ones inside the cute yellow bag. As I begin to read them I will share them with you all. There is one in particular that I am so excited to read. I decided at the last minute to throw in The Nest, because

A. I just picked it up a used copy thanks to a good review by a fellow book blogger. I had previously been on the fence about it. Thanks @eastcoastapproach

and

B. The cover is beautiful

Again, I need choices. Just like with clothes, what if something you thought was going to be good actually decides to be itchy or all of sudden fits weird? Yeah, I know you understand.

Also in my bag is my giant, somewhat water-damaged book of variety puzzles. It’s the thing with a bright green mechanical pencil sticking out of it. Yes, this officially makes me a hundred and four, but sometimes I do want to do a word search or crypt-o-gram puzzle. No shame.

There are three magazines inside as well. Two I haven’t read and the third has a list of the best bookstores in the south, one of which I hope to be visiting next week. If I do get the chance to go, I will take you all with me (at least in pictures).

Currently I’m halfway through reading Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith.

It’s the first book in a trilogy that takes place in Russia. I’m sort of on a Russian kick- if reading two books in row that take place in Russia equals a Russian kick? I’ve read The Farm by Smith last year and enjoyed that as well.

Amazon synopsis:

Stalin’s Soviet Union is an unofficial paradise, where citizens live free from crime and fear only one thing: the all-powerful state. Defending this system is idealistic security officer Leo Demidov, a war hero who believes in the iron fist of the law. But when a murderer starts to kill at will and Leo dares to investigate, the State’s obedient servant finds himself demoted and exiled. Now, with only his wife at his side, Leo must fight to uncover shocking truths about a killer-and a country where “crime” doesn’t exist.

So far so good!

Last but never least, the red and white top sticking out of my bag belongs to one of my favorite wines called Jam Jar. It’s a red sweet shiraz and it’s lovely, especially when paired with a book.

Have a great evening and read lots of words!

Sincerely,

tmc

“From the reading of ‘good books’ there comes a richness of life that can be obtained in no other way.”

-Gordon B. Hinckley

If Walls Could Talk

My introduction to Anita Shreve came many years ago when I picked up a copy of The Pilot’sWife. Something interesting about that book is that it is part of a quartet. I say the word quartet loosely because the only thing that joins these four books is a house. To me, that is so interesting. Think about how many people might live in a house in a fifty or hundred year time span. All of the living that must have taken place between those people and those walls. A house can be many things. Somewhere to lay your head or eat a meal, spend time with family, or a quiet spot to shut out the world. The walls of a house bear the remnants of tears and shouts, the expressions of joy and pain, as well as the times of heartbreak and celebration. The walls of house become the walls of a home when they continually stand steady through the many chapters of life being lived.

I believe the order to read the four ( if you want to read them as they would take place on a time line) is:

1. Fortune’s Rocks (one of my favorite books)

2. Sea Glass

3. The Pilot’s Wife

4. Body Surfing

I read that Shreve was somewhere in New England (if I’m not mistaken) and she went on a walk and came upon a house that sparked an idea. I just love that. I think a lot when I walk, (probably too much) maybe one day, thousands of miles from now I will come up with a good idea for a story!

Shreve has written many books beside the four mentioned above. I have read several of them. Usually they involve a love story of sorts. I hadn’t read a book of hers in a while when I came across this copy of Stella Bain.

Below is the synopsis from Amazon:

When an American woman, Stella Bain, is found suffering from severe shell shock in an exclusive garden in London, surgeon August Bridge and his wife selflessly agree to take her in.

A gesture of goodwill turns into something more as Bridge quickly develops a clinical interest in his houseguest. Stella had been working as a nurse’s aide near the front, but she can’t remember anything prior to four months earlier when she was found wounded on a French battlefield.

In a narrative that takes us from London to America and back again, Shreve has created an engrossing and wrenching tale about love and the meaning of memory, set against the haunting backdrop of a war that destroyed an entire generation.

Her books have always had a solemn quality about them (at least to me),which is a characteristic I know I am drawn to in stories. Her last book published was The Stars Are Fire and came out in 2017. Sadly, Anita Shreve passed away last year.

If you haven’t read anything by her, give Fortune’s Rocks, Body Surfing, or Testimony a shot.

Sincerely,

tmc

“The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest (people) of the past centuries.”

– Descartes