TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE LOST FOR WORDS BOOKSHOP”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a book that has been languishing on my Kindle since June 2018:  The Lost for Words Bookshop, by Stephanie Butland.

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Intro:  (Unlooked-for)

A book is a match in the smoking second between strike and flame.

Archie says books are our best lovers and our most provoking friends.  He’s right, but I’m right, too.  Books can really hurt you.

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Teaser:  He laughed.  ‘No, I can’t go back to work, and neither can the man who hit me.  We’ve had our justice.’

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Synopsis:  Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.

Into her hiding place – the bookstore where she works – come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.

Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?

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Would you keep reading?  I know that I am intrigued.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a book I am currently reading:  Confessions on the 7:45, by Lisa Unger.

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Intro:  (Selena)

Selena loved the liminal spaces.  Those precious slivers of time between the roles she played in her life.

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Teaser Tuesdays: (Geneva)

Geneva hated the way winter afternoons started to darken around three.  As the light leaked out of the sky, a kind of heaviness descended on her spirit. (p.63).

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Synopsis:  Be careful to whom you tell your darkest secrets…

Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.

But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.

Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.

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Would you keep reading?  I am loving this book so far.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “LIFE IN PIECES”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s featured book is a new one that speaks to what is happening in our world these days:  Life In Pieces, by Dawn O’Porter.

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Intro:  (Introduction)

Dear 2020,

Earlier this year I got myself a paper diary.  I wanted to go back to writing things down, rather than having everything on my phone.  I found it today and got so sad when I saw how empty it was.  Just months of nothing.  No people, no meetings, no life.  I sat and looked at it and got a little weepy.  There was supposed to be all this other stuff, and it just wasn’t there.  There was only emptiness.

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Teaser:  4 April

Isolation Update – The bee was on the SOCK

Chris has just handed me the strongest margarita I’ve ever had in my life, so apologies in advance for any typos in this entry.

Hiccup. (p. 71).

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Synopsis: From reflections on grief and identity, bad hair and parenting, sleep and spirituality, to the things we can control and the things we cannot, Dawn has been doing a lot of thinking about life in lockdown. Mostly from a cupboard. Discover the daily diaries that track the journey – for a hilarious, heartbreaking and highly entertaining glimpse into the new normal.

‘There’s been a lot of well-meaning but mad advice on how to contend with the strangest period of human history any of us has ever lived through. Dawn O’Porter redresses the balance by telling it as it really has been: holding out for 5pm to crack open the tequila’ Mark Watson

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Would you keep reading? I think many of us will find that it resonates.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a new book:  To Tell You the Truth, by Gilly Macmillan.

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Intro:  (Prologue)

There are the facts, and then there is the truth.

These are the facts.

It is the summer solstice, June 1991.

You’re only nine years old.  You’re short for your age.  The school nurse has recommended that you lose weight.  You struggle to make friends and often feel lonely.  You have been bullied.  Teachers and your parents frequently encourage you to participate more in group activities, but you prefer the company of your imaginary friend.

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Teaser:  I loved our life then.  If you’ve experienced trauma as a kid, what you want most as an adult is a still pool to bathe in, one where you can see the edges, where the surface of the water is glassy. (p. 62).

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Synopsis:  To tell you the truth . . . everybody lies.

Lucy Harper’s talent for writing bestselling novels has given her fame, fortune and millions of fans.  It’s also given her Dan, her needy, jealous husband whose own writing career has gone precisely nowhere.

Now Dan has vanished. But this isn’t the first time that someone has disappeared from Lucy’s life. Three decades ago, her little brother Teddy also went missing and was never found. Lucy, the only witness, helplessly spun fantasy after fantasy about Teddy’s disappearance, to the detectives’ fury and her parents’ despair. That was the start of her ability to tell a story—a talent she has profited from greatly. 

But now Lucy’s a grown woman who can’t hide behind fiction any longer. The world is watching, and her whole life is under intense scrutiny. A life full of stories, some more believable than others. Could she have hurt Teddy?  Did she kill Dan?  Finally, now, Lucy Harper’s going to tell the truth.

Cross her heart.

And hope to die.

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Would you keep reading?  I am definitely eager to do so.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “ANXIOUS PEOPLE”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is Anxious People, by Fredrik Backman.

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Intro:  A bank robbery.  A hostage drama.  A stairwell full of police officers on their way to storm an apartment.  It was easy to get to this point, much easier than you might think.  All it took was one single really bad idea.

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Teaser:  So what do you do?  You struggle on.  Hope that’ll be enough.  Then you receive another threatening letter from the lawyer. (p.60).

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Synopsis:  Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

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Would you keep reading?  I’ve heard really good things about this one.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “MONOGAMY”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  Monogamy, by Sue Miller.

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Intro:  Annie had been single for seven years when she met Graham.  Whenever she thought about her first marriage, even long after it had ended, her primary emotion was a kind of shame. Shame that she could have been attracted to someone she felt so little for in the end.  That she could have lived with him for so long.

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Teaser:  Graham offered his theory:  the problem was that they both felt their mothers should have been better at being women.  At being wives.  “They should have held on to our fathers for us,” he said.  “It was all their fault.” (p. 57).

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Synopsis:  Graham and Annie have been married for nearly thirty years. A golden couple, their seemingly effortless devotion has long been the envy of their circle of friends and acquaintances.

Graham is a bookseller, a big, gregarious man with large appetites—curious, eager to please, a lover of life, and the convivial host of frequent, lively parties at his and Annie’s comfortable house in Cambridge. Annie, more reserved and introspective, is a photographer. She is about to have her first gallery show after a six-year lull and is worried that the best years of her career may be behind her. They have two adult children; Lucas, Graham’s son with his first wife, Frieda, works in New York. Annie and Graham’s daughter, Sarah, lives in San Francisco. Though Frieda is an integral part of this far-flung, loving family, Annie feels confident in the knowledge that she is Graham’s last and greatest love.

When Graham suddenly dies—this man whose enormous presence has seemed to dominate their lives together—Annie is lost. What is the point of going on, she wonders, without him?

Then, while she is still mourning him intensely, she discovers that Graham had been unfaithful to her; and she spirals into darkness, wondering if she ever truly knew the man who loved her.

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I am eager to read more of this one.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THREE PERFECT LIARS”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a new book entitled Three Perfect Liars, by Heidi Perks.

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Intro:  Monday, May 13 – the night of the fire

It had taken seven minutes for the first of the fire engines to screech to a halt outside the offices of Morris and Wood, but even by then anyone could have seen it was too late.  The fire had coursed through the building at an alarming rate.  Red and orange flames were already obscured by a billowing cloud of dark gray smoke.  The sound of breaking glass shattered the air.

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Teaser:  Mia could feel the bite on Laura’s tongue and the sneer in her voice.  So that was the game she was going to play.  Make out Mia didn’t deserve to be in this role, as if she hadn’t been putting everything into it over the last six months, proving her worth. (p. 61).

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Synopsis:Laura has returned to work at Morris and Wood after her maternity leave, only to discover that the woman she brought in to cover for her isn’t planning on going anywhere. Despite her close relationship with the agency’s powerful CEO, Harry Wood, she feels sidelined—and outmaneuvered—as she struggles to balance the twin demands of work and motherhood.

Mia was only supposed to be a temporary hire at Morris and Wood, but she’s managed to make herself indispensable to everyone. Everyone, that is, except Laura. If people only knew why she was so desperate to keep her job, they might not want her to stay.

Janie gave up everything to support her husband and the successful agency he runs. But she has her own dark secret to protect…and will go to any lengths to keep it safe.

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What do you think?  Do the excerpts and blurb tempt you to keep reading?

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REVIEW: GIRLS OF SUMMER, BY NANCY THAYER

Lisa Hawley is perfectly satisfied living on her own. Having fully recovered from a brutal divorce nearly two decades earlier, she has successfully raised her kids, Juliet and Theo, seeing them off to college and beyond. As the owner of a popular boutique on Nantucket, she’s built a fulfilling life for herself on the island where she grew up. With her beloved house in desperate need of repair, Lisa calls on Mack Whitney, a friendly—and very handsome—local contractor and fellow single parent, to do the work. The two begin to grow close, and Lisa is stunned to realize that she might be willing to open up again after all . . . despite the fact that Mack is ten years her junior.

Juliet and Theo worry that Mack will only break their mother’s heart—and they can’t bear to see her hurt again. Both stuck in ruts of their own, they each hope that a summer on Nantucket will provide them with the clarity they’ve been searching for. When handsome entrepreneur Ryder Hastings moves to the island to expand his environmental nonprofit, Juliet, an MIT-educated web designer, feels an immediate attraction, one her rocky love life history pushes her to deny at first. Meanwhile, free spirit Theo finds his California bliss comes to a brutal halt when a surfing injury forces him back to the East Coast. Upon his return, he has eyes only for Mack’s daughter, Beth, to whom he is bound by an unspeakable tragedy from high school. Can they overcome their past?

As the season unfolds, a storm threatens to shatter the peace of the golden island, forcing Lisa, Juliet, and Theo to decide whether their summer romances are destined for something more profound. Nancy Thayer dazzles again in this delightful tale of family, a reminder that sometimes, finding our way back home can bring us unexpected gifts.

 

 

When Lisa met her husband Erich, she was very young. The two of them seemed compatible, but once the children arrived and Erich began traveling more extensively, the distance grew between them until finally they divorced. Lisa bought a home on Nantucket, a place she loved, and began working in a shop that captured her interest in beautiful things.As time passed, she bought out the shop owner and renamed it Sail.

By the time her children, Theo and Juliet, were grown and finished college, she had settled into her life. But did she need more?

When her house needed repairs and she hired a contractor, Mack Whitney, the connection between them grew. He was ten years younger, and while she worried about the issue, she realized soon that it made little difference. The connection was powerful.

Our story takes us into the adult lives of Juliet and Theo, as well as of Mack’s daughter Beth.

Alternating chapters carry the story, and we see how Lisa and Mack deal with their issues, as well as those of their adult children.

A tale that kept me engaged throughout, although the narrative switched frequently between each of the characters, and not necessarily seamlessly, Girls of Summer was one I enjoyed. I felt passionate about the issues and the characters, including matters of climate change and saving the environment that are a big part of the story. 4.5 stars.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “HEART BONES”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  Heart Bones, by Colleen Hoover.

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Intro:  Summer 2015:

There’s a picture of Mother Teresa that hangs on our living room wall where a television would go if we could afford the kind of television that hangs on the wall, or even a home with the kind of walls that could hold a television.

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Teaser:  It’s interesting.  It’s like he puts the focus on the saddest part of whatever is in view of his lens, but the picture as a whole is still beautiful. (p. 40%).

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Synopsis:  Life and a dismal last name are the only two things Beyah Grim’s parents ever gave her. After carving her path all on her own, Beyah is well on her way to bigger and better things, thanks to no one but herself.

With only two short months separating her from the future she’s built and the past she desperately wants to leave behind, an unexpected death leaves Beyah with no place to go during the interim. Forced to reach out to her last resort, Beyah has to spend the remainder of her summer on a peninsula in Texas with a father she barely knows. Beyah’s plan is to keep her head down and let the summer slip by seamlessly, but her new neighbor Samson throws a wrench in that plan.

Samson and Beyah have nothing in common on the surface.

She comes from a life of poverty and neglect; he comes from a family of wealth and privilege. But one thing they do have in common is that they’re both drawn to sad things. Which means they’re drawn to each other. With an almost immediate connection too intense for them to continue denying, Beyah and Samson agree to stay in the shallow end of a summer fling. What Beyah doesn’t realize is that a rip current is coming, and it’s about to drag her heart out to sea.

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Would you keep reading?  I am intrigued by everything I have read so far.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “DON’T LOOK FOR ME”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events: First Chapter/Intros, now hosted by  Socrates Book Reviews; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a NetGalley ARC :  Don’t Look for Me, by Wendy Walker- (NetGalley – 9/15/20)

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Intro:  Day One

The sky grows dark as I drive.

I tell myself to concentrate, to focus on the two narrow lanes of smooth, black asphalt and the double yellow lines that divide them.

The road feels like a tunnel, carved between the walls of brown cornfields which flank the road on both sides and go on as far as the eye can see.  Darkness now hovers above and below, and from side to side.  It’s everywhere.

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Teaser:  I wonder who put this thought in her head, and if she knows how deeply she has wounded me.  I think, then, that wounding me was her intention.  Now she can feel sorry for me. (p. 55%).

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One night, Molly Clarke walked away from her life.

She doesn’t want to be found.

Or at least, that’s the story.

The car abandoned miles from home.

The note found at a nearby hotel.

The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together.

They called it a “walk away.”

It happens all the time.

Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over.

But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?

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What do you think?  Do the snippets entice you, draw you in?  Would you keep reading?

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