Friday Night Always Looks Good To Me

• Thank you to #RandomHouse #partner for these books •

No matter what, if it’s Friday, then things are looking up. Friday is for putting your feet up, cracking open a book, a bottle of wine, and eating dessert. It’s not that the rest of the week is bad, it’s just that often it’s hectic. It’s nice to know there’s a smidge of extra brightness waiting, something a little extra to look forward to.

The four books pictured above look to be very interesting and as I look at them I just want to start them all at the same time. How do you choose what you read? Are you organized, as in you read in the order you receive books (not counting library books)? In theory I try to read that way, but many times I end up reading an article that discusses or reviews a book- then I skip to reading that book.

Here is a little about these books:

1. Diagnosis by Lisa Sanders. This book is the basis of a Netflix Original documentary series. Sanders was an advisor for the medical television show House, M.D. Sanders is a doctor as well and this book is about medical mysteries.

2. Inland is Téa Obrecht’s first book since The Tiger’s Wife. Although TTW was a huge international bestseller, it wasn’t a favorite of mine and didn’t finish reading it. I think Obrecht has talent, so I am excited to give her another shot. This book takes place in the 1890s in the Arizona Territory. It follows a frontier women who is awaiting the return of her husband and sons. One in search of water and the others who left after a bad argument.

3. The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney. This is about a woman who awakens in a daze and has no memory of how or why she is where she is. She doesn’t know her husband or son, or that she is an artist. She is told by her husband (who is a huge titan of the tech world in Silicon Valley) that she has been in a horrible accident and has been brought back due to an incredible technological breakthrough. But, she begins to doubt everything and doesn’t know if she can trust him.

4. Lost You by Haylen Beck ( Amazon Synopsis). Libby needs a break. Three years again her husband left her to raise their infant son Ethan alone as she struggled to launch her writing career. Now for the first time in years, things are looking up. She’s just sold her first novel, and she and Ethan are going on a much-needed vacation. Everything seems to be going their way, so why can’t she stop looking over her shoulder or panicking every time Ethan wanders out of view? Is it because of what happened when Ethan was born? Except Libby’s never told anyone the full story of what happened, and there’s no way anyone could find her and Ethan at a faraway resort . . . right? 

But three days into their vacation, Libby’s fears prove justified. In a moment of inattention, Ethan wanders into an elevator before Libby can reach him. When the elevator stops and the doors open, Ethan is gone. Hotel security scours the building and finds no trace of him, but when CCTV footage is found of an adult finding the child wandering alone and leading him away by the hand, the police are called in. The search intensifies, a lost child case turning into a possible abduction. Hours later, a child is seen with a woman stepping through an emergency exit. Libby and the police track the woman down and corner her, but she refuses to release Ethan. Asked who she is, the woman replies: I am his mother.

Don’t these sound good?!

I’m about to eat some dinner, then I plan to dive in to the good stuff! Happy Friday, Bookworms.

Sincerely,

tmc

“There is nothing more luxurious than eating while you read—unless it be reading while you eat.” – E. Nesbit

PS. If what you are eating is dessert, then it’s even more luxurious.

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I Think You’ll Find That Most Readers Are In Fact, Happy Readers

Not surprisingly many of my favorite things are book-related. Cute book totes, bookmarks, and the publication The Happy Reader (published by Penguin Random House) are prime examples.

THR is a quarterly literary magazine that has become a fast favorite of mine over the years. It travels from the UK to my mailbox in a smart envelope that makes me smile when it peeks out from the mail stack.

Every issue of THR is divided in to two parts. Part one features an in depth interview with who ever graces the cover.

The summer issue features the actor Owen Wilson. Included in part one is a section titled Snippets, which is two pages of reading/book related news from all over the globe. Sometimes it is a funny blurb, or a death of a prominent person, or some other interesting factoid. There are no ads, just beautiful matte pages filled with words to read and photography to look at.

Part two features The Book of the Season, which is always mentioned in the previous issue (on the last page), giving you three months to read it before the next THR arrives. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is this issues BOTS, which was listed at the end of the spring 2019 magazine. The BOTS is discussed and is basically the other half of the publication, like a mini-bookclub. There are other features in part two that tie together nicely with the magazine as a whole.

Another item that makes my heart sing are the bookmarks. Each issue has a lovely card stock bookmark tucked just inside the cover. Sometimes a quote is featured on one side, with an artsy print on the other. As you can see, like the magazine itself- I also hold on to the beautiful bookmarks.

As much as I love this magazine, I don’t tear through it. Not sure if it’s because I want to savor it a bit since there are only four issues a year, or if it reminds more of a book than a traditional magazine. Meaning, with a regular-type magazine I sort of flip through, maybe only really giving my attention to a few areas, but with a book and also THR, I read every page. Years ago I received several magazine subscriptions. Over time I realized they were stacking up unread because I was devoting my precious reading time to books. I canceled the subscriptions to all but one, which even though I genuinely like it, I still don’t read it on the same level as THR. THR is also the perfect size. It reminds me of a slightly larger (not in page amount) trade paper back book, easy to tuck in a bag or purse. Another cool thing, the only price you pay is shipping. I think each magazine comes out to $5-6. That price is probably different depending on where you live. My subscription just comes out of my account four times a year. THR can be bought individually (though it may cost more that way), by the year, or ongoing subscription (what I have). Go to http://www.thehappyreader.com to find out more specifics or to order.

I think THR would make a great gift for any bookworm you may know. As you can see, they don’t look clutter-y, just stylish as they lay out in all of their literary glory.

Sincerely,

tmc

“Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.”

– Henry Ward Beecher

It’s Always A Maine Event

• Thank you to #Randomhouse #partner for this copy of Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes •

I love Maine.

I had the chance to visit five years ago and fell in love with it instantly. We traveled from Kennebunkport to Bar Harbor, with stops in Acadia, Cape Elizabeth, Portland, and Bangor. While in Bangor, we parked and went walking down the street where Stephen King lives. In complete transparency, that was the main reason we stopped in Bangor- SK simply amazes me, I think he is brilliant. I couldn’t help but think of his fictional town of Derry as we walked around taking in the sights.

Evvie Drake Starts Over is written by Linda Holmes, who is an NPR correspondent. “Holmes is an unabashed and ardent defender of the romantic comedy, so it’s unsurprising that her debut novel is exactly that,” according to the Bookpage article written about her. Sometimes rom-com books are exactly what I’m in the mood for. They serve as wonderful buffers between longer and more serious reads. A palate cleanser of sorts, which really, if you read across many genres, then every book can serve this purpose.

Below is the Amazon synopsis for this new book:

In a sleepy seaside town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her large, painfully empty house nearly a year after her husband’s death in a car crash. Everyone in town, even her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and Evvie doesn’t correct them. Meanwhile, in New York City, Dean Tenney, former Major League pitcher and Andy’s childhood best friend, is wrestling with what miserable athletes living out their worst nightmares call the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and, even worse, he can’t figure out why. As the media storm heats up, an invitation from Andy to stay in Maine seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button on Dean’s future. When he moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken—and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. To move forward, Evvie and Dean will have to reckon with their pasts—the friendships they’ve damaged, the secrets they’ve kept—but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance—up until the last out.

This book sounds like a fun, fast read-perfect for the summer.

Regarding Maine, the town of Kennebunkport was my favorite spot that we visited. If you get the chance, go visit this beautiful state, it might just steal your heart.

-tmc

“Reading brings us unknown friends”

– Honoré de Balzac

Fleishman

• Thank you to #Randomhouse for this copy of Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner . #partner •

This book arrived on my porch last week. One day during lunch I flipped to the first page to see what the writing style was like and I was instantly sucked in. I was right in the middle of reading and loving Unsaid (see previous post), but it was obvious I was quickly coming back to this one.

I read somewhere, maybe one of the inside book blurbs, that it is in a similar vein to Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple, which is a fantastic book. Immediately I put Fleishman into a category in my head titled something like: It’s Probably Good and Worth Reading. Catchy and not wordy at all- but it’s only in my head, so that’s all that matters. Anyway.  Brodesser-Akner’s writing is nothing short of phenomenal. It’s as though I cannot read it fast enough. She writes and captures subjects like we all speak. Even when she is talking about the (in my opinion) crazy, awful, often crude world of online dating, she zips through it with the ease of a true professional.

I haven’t finished it yet, but I have no doubt this is going to get either four or five stars. I’ve talked nothing about the story and I guess that’s because I’ve assumed you all have read Semple’s book. The Fleishman gist is this: a couple divorces after fifteen years of marriage. They have two children and have just begun to navigate the sharing custody waters when the wife disappears a-la-Bernadette-style. This story has subtle differences, I just mention Bernadette as a positive influence. I’m going to leave it at that. Just go and get this book-it’ll raise your eyebrows, tug at your heart, and have you laughing out loud. A perfect trifecta if you ask me.

 

Reading is departure and arrival.

—Terri Guillemets

Farming

• Thank you #Randomhouse for this advanced copy of The Farm by Joanne Ramos. #partner •

A week or so ago I made a small stack of books that I’d like to read this summer. The Farm was the first book I pulled from the stack and read. Initially I saw this book on netgalley’s site and after reading the synopsis I wasn’t particularly drawn to it. However, when Random House offered to send it, I took them up on it. The cover art is alluring and the colors quickly grabbed my eye. This novel follows several girls as they offer themselves as surrogates for the extremely wealthy. During their pregnancy stay at this facility (dubbed The Farm)they are given the ultimate in comfort, including the best and healthiest food choices, exercise options, and are paid quite handsomely upon delivery. Many of the girls who offer their services are minorities or immigrants, although there is a desire from The Farm to bring in lighter skinned or Caucasian women. Several of the main characters are from the Philippines. Ramos draws upon her own heritage as well as her experience from her time at Princeton for this novel. Her writing flows and the story feels authentic, if not all that original. Surrogacy and being paid greatly for it has existed forever more or less. Perhaps the idea of extravagant facilities existing for this is a newer notion, however the ultra-rich have always had more “options” available, so it wouldn’t surprise if these places currently exist. Actually it would surprise me if they didn’t. Money buys almost anything, especially these days. Those who come to the US lacking the skills, education, and knowing the right people-or all three, are always going to be susceptible to the whims/ideas of those who have these things under their belt. This underprivileged group may be easier influenced, but they (in this story) are compensated highly. Money does buy more freedoms, right, wrong, or indifferent.

I gave this book three stars. The pace and character development was on target. I didn’t love the story, but Ramos has an eye for detail, so I will keep an eye out for future novels.

“No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting.”

-Mary Wortley Montagu