HUMP DAY SPARKS: WAITING ON “THANKLESS IN DEATH” — AUGUST 7

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Welcome to a Wednesday event that is sure to spark your intrigue:  Waiting on Wednesday, by Breaking the Spine.

My find for today is one in a series I am enjoying.  The In Death series, by J. D. Robb.  Thankless in Death will be released on 9/17/13.

 

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In the latest suspense thriller in the #1 New York Times bestselling series, the year 2060 is drawing to a close in New York City and loved ones are coming together for Thanksgiving. But sometimes the deepest hatreds seethe within the closest relationships, and blood flows faster than water…

Lieutenant Eve Dallas has plenty to be grateful for this season. Hosting Roarke’s big Irish family for the holiday may be challenging, but it’s a joyful improvement on her own dark childhood.

Other couples aren’t as lucky as Eve and Roarke. The Reinholds, for example, are lying in their home stabbed and bludgeoned almost beyond recognition. Those who knew them are stunned—and heartbroken by the evidence that they were murdered by their own son. Twenty-six-year-old Jerry hadn’t made a great impression on the bosses who fired him or the girlfriend who dumped him—but they didn’t think he was capable of this.

Turns out Jerry is not only capable of brutality but taking a liking to it. With the money he’s stolen from his parents and a long list of grievances, he intends to finally make his mark on the world. Eve and her team already know the who, how, and why of this murder. What they need to pinpoint is where Jerry’s going to strike next.

***

What are you drooling over today?  Come on by and share….

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MONDAY SPARKS — MUSING — JULY 11

Good morning, and welcome to another Monday…a day that could spark your creativity.  Join in for Musing Mondays, hosted by Should Be Reading.

Do you think it makes you NOT (or less) “well-read” if there are certain genres that you won’t read because you KNOW you won’t enjoy them? Why?

That’s a good question.

I suppose that, in my opinion, “well-read” would mean that a person has read a wide variety of books, from the classics to contemporary; literary fiction and nonfiction; and that encompassing all genres might balance out into being “well-read.”

However, at this point in my life, having read other people’s choices through high school, college, and graduate school, what I read nowadays is what I enjoy.  I choose to read some literary fiction, a lot of women’s fiction, many memoirs, some mystery to spice things up….and no vampire stories.   I’m not a fan of YA, and also would have included “no paranormal” in that list, but last week, I did a brief foray into that genre, and realized that I have done so off and on over the years.

I guess that if the characters intrigue me, I can read almost anything.  I am a big fan of character-driven work.

Here is a sampling of some of my favorites:

Favorite Books in May:

FICTION:  Love You More (Lisa Gardner), Once Upon a Time There Was You (Elizabeth Berg)

FAVORITE NONFICTION BOOK:  I’m Over All That, by Shirley MacLaine

Favorite Books in June:

FAVORITE FICTION BOOK:   Tied Between The Midwife’s Confession (Diane Chamberlain), and The Violets of March (Sarah Jio)

FAVORITE NONFICTION BOOK:  Seducing the Demon, by Erica Jong

Favorite Books So Far in July:

The Little Women Letters, by Gabrielle Donnelly

In my younger years, I was a big fan of Daphne du Maurier and Ayn Rand.  I dabbled in Jane Austen, etc.  I no longer feel the need to go there.

What about you?  Any thoughts about what you enjoy and what constitutes being well-read?

THURSDAY SPARKS — THURSDAY THEMES & BOOKING — JUNE 9

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to another day when sparks might fly.  Join in the discussions to see what might happen.

At Booking Through Thursday, our leader poses this question:

All things being equal (money, space, etc), would you rather own copies of the books you read? Or borrow them?

I love being surrounded by books.  My books cocoon me and provide that feeling of comfort in a way that nothing else can.

This shelf sits beside my couches....
Hallway Shelves
Some shelves in my bedroom....
Shelves in my office....

 

These are just a sampling of the shelves in my world.  I even have a new shelf in the bathroom, now, and shelves in the dining room.

Do you get the picture?  I think I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve borrowed, but I love owning them.  I do occasionally visit the library.  Back in the day, the library was my first choice, as I didn’t have the room or the funds to buy.

What about the rest of you?  What’s your choice?

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Now curl up for Theme Thursdays, hosted by Kavyen, at Reading Between the Pages.

 

Theme Thursdays is a fun weekly event that will be open from one thursday to the next. Anyone can participate in it. The rules are simple:

  • A theme will be posted each week (on Thursday’s)
  • Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
  • Mention the author and the title of the book along with your post
  • It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)
    Ex: If the theme is KISS; your sentence can have “They kissed so gently” or “Their lips touched each other” or “The smooch was so passionate”

This will give us a wonderful opportunity to explore and understand different writing styles and descriptive approaches adopted by authors.


This week’s theme is

NUMBERS

 

My selection today is from Dismantled, by Jennifer McMahon.

 

 

To the right of the clearing was the path that led down to the water.  The lake and the land around it was a protected watershed area and threatening TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED signs were nailed to trees every twenty-five feet or so.  The lake, referred to on maps only as Number 10 Lake, was not accessible by the main road and theirs was the only cabin even close.  About fifty feet up the driveway to the cabin, there was a turnoff leading to the little beach they used….

I’m really curious about how the numbers here set the scenes….

I know that it’s a story about long-held secrets and the aftermath of a long-ago time….

 

Stop on by and share your own Thursday events….

A BIT OF ME (ME) – ARTISTRY — APRIL 16

Welcome to another edition of A Bit of Me (Me), hosted by There’s A Book.

As usual, our prompt from our leader helps us dig down a bit, exploring those bits and pieces of ourselves.

This Weeks Question: What is your favorite type of art? Or do you happen to have a favorite painting/artist/sculpture/etc.?

Art is in the eye of the beholder.  Isn’t that something you’ve found to be true?  I am enamored of many artistic expressions, but my all-time favorite is PHOTOGRAPHY AS ART.
When someone captures an image on film (or digitally, as today’s technology dictates), we can see another version of art.
Since some of you know that my eldest son is a photographer who has been capturing European images for several years now, I cite him as the perfect example of photography as art.
In my blog header today, I am sharing an image he captured when he was quite young, and the subject was his sister, at age fifteen.
A couple of years ago, he focused on the Berlin Wall, under reconstruction, and showcased the process from start to finish.
The Wall Under Reconstruction


A Piece of the Reconstructed Wall

And here’s one more:

In some ways, this is art twice created:  first, from the painters brush to the wall; and then, captured by a camera.

What are your artistic choices?  Why don’t you stop by and share…..

TEASER TUESDAYS — WAITING FOR SPRING — APRIL 12

Welcome to Teaser Tuesdays, our weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B, at Should Be Reading.

Here’s how it works.

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

Today I’m excerpting from my current read, Waiting for Spring, by R. J. Keller—an ARC from the Amazon Vine program.

 

A recently divorced woman trudges out of one small, Maine town and into an even smaller one, hoping to escape her pain. Instead she finds herself surrounded by people who are trudging on, just like her. Waiting for things to get better. Waiting for spring. Waiting For Spring takes readers beyond the lighthouses and rocky beaches tourists visit and drops them instead into a rural Maine town that is filled with displaced factory workers who struggle with poverty and loss, yet push onward with stubbornness and humor.

 

Teaser:  The first question people insist on asking a new acquaintance is:  What do you do for a living? I hated that.  Insecurity, probably, because I’m not a lawyer or a doctor or any of those other professions that make people say, Oh…in that reverent, awestruck way. p. 18

 

So that’s it…so far, I’m really enjoying this read, and the MC has left her old town and is settling into a new one.  She has left behind pain, loss, and secrets.

What are you sharing today?  I hope you’ll stop by….

TEASER TUESDAYS — PICTURES OF YOU — APRIL 5

Good morning, and welcome to our weekly bookish meme, hosted by Miz B, at Should Be Reading.

Here’s how it works:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

Today I’m spotlighting a book that I’ll be diving into some time in the next couple of days.  Pictures of You, by Caroline Leavitt, is a story about two women, fleeing their marriages, who collide on a foggy, deserted stretch of road.

The Boston Globe describes Pictures of You “as part literary mystery, part domestic drama, and part psychological examination,” and, indeed, the novel kept most critics on their toes the entire time. A novel of loss, redemption, forgiveness, and self-discovery, the intertwining stories grapple not only with the tragedy but also with the mystery of April’s hasty departure from her family. Reviewers commented that what could have been a maudlin, predictable storyline instead becomes fresh with Leavitt’s direct, unsentimental writing; her you-are-here details; and her fully convincing characters. Readers who enjoy both fine storytelling and writing will be sure to savor this novel…

In this excerpt, we see the bits and pieces of the aftermath.

Teaser:  It began to seem like the worst kind of cruelty that her job was to photograph kids.  She fell in love with their faces and got upset when parents didn’t fuss over them enough, or hug them, or seem to realize what a blessing it was to have children.  p. 104

What moments did you excerpt this week?  I hope you’ll stop by and share your thoughts.

A BIT OF ME (ME) — WORRIES & OBSESSIONS — APRIL 2

Good morning…and welcome to A Bit of Me (Me), hosted by There’s A Book.

Every Saturday, we gather around and share bits and pieces of who we are, prompted by a question.

This Weeks Question: If you could change something about yourself, what would it be & why?

Okay, there are probably SO many things on which I should focus here…I’ve had a lot of years to establish my patterns of behavior.  Many, many years…LOL
So, presumably, there could be a whole host of things.  A series of things, even.  And…can you see what I’m doing here?  Totally rambling on as a way of avoiding the question.
Because…if there were things I wanted to change, wouldn’t I have already done so?  Why am I still beleaguered by these traits, behaviors, and attitudes so completely that I’m still clinging to them?
Okay…let’s start with my tendency to WORRY.  Worry about the strangest things can actually wake me up during the night.  Did I remember to do this?  How about that?  What if?
My thoughts are full of these kinds of questions.  In some ways, worry is just a side effect of my obsessiveness.  Yes, if I didn’t obsess so much, than I wouldn’t have these full-blown worries.  I could be like this little person:
When you think about it, worry (and it’s first cousin obsession) take a lot of the joy out of our lives. So if I could curtail this even a little bit, at least, I could sleep better at night.  I might not feel the need to do things that keep me going from morning to night, with very little let-up…like the obsessive blogging, for one thing.  LOL
What am I trying to prove with that?  Well, yes, I tell myself that I have a lot of blogs because I want to express all these various aspects of myself…and that would be true.  But is there more to the story?
Hey, something more to worry about!
So what about you?  Do you have any big, bad habits or patterns you’d like to change?  I hope you’ll stop by and share….

 

FRIDAY MEMES: BOOK BEGINNINGS & FRIDAY 56 — MARCH 25

Welcome to our Friday memes, in which we excerpt passages from books we’re reading (or about to read).

Book Beginnings is hosted by A Few More Pages, and in this meme, we share the opening lines of a book…and then react to it.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice, and we grab an excerpt on p. 56…and then link to our host’s site.

My spotlighted book has been on my TBR stacks for awhileIn Cold Blood, by Truman Capote, is all about a horrific crime that took place in Kansas in the late 1950s.

Product Description: Controversial and compelling, “In Cold Blood” reconstructs the murder in 1959 of a Kansas farmer, his wife and both their children. Truman Capote’s comprehensive study of the killings and subsequent investigation explores the circumstances surrounding this terrible crime and the effect it had on those involved. At the centre of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human. The book that made Capote’s name, In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative.

Beginning:  The village of Holcomb stands on the high wheat plains of western Kansas, a lonesome area that other Kansans call “out there.”  Some seventy miles east of the Colorado border, the countryside, with its hard blue skies and desert-clear air, has an atmosphere that is rather more Far West than Middle West.

This opener doesn’t really grab me, but it does lay the foundation and the setting of this book that tells about an unusually terrible crime that completely blindsided the residents of the town.

Friday 56:  Nancy was invariably the last of the family to retire; as she had once informed her friend and home-economics teacher, Mrs. Polly Stringer, the midnight hours were her “time to be selfish and vain.”  It was then that she went through her beauty routine, a cleansing, creaming ritual, which on Saturday nights included washing her hair.  p. 56

This gives me the chills.  The sheer normalcy of those moments…followed by what came next.

What are the rest of you sharing this week?  I hope you’ll stop by with your comments and links.

A BIT OF ME (ME) — CARTOON CHARACTERS — MARCH 12

In our Saturday event, A Bit of Me (Me), we hop on over to There’s A Book to find out what is in store for us today.  What new prompt or question will lead the way?

This Weeks Question: What cartoon character describes you the best?

I guess that I had one character in mind when I started thinking about this:
I love Minnie, and have many collectible Mickey and Minnie items, including a designer Minnie phone.
However, when I went to the “interpretative” site, to see what I would discover, guess what?
Pepe Le Pew – Without the Smell
You are a lover.  Romance, flowers, and wine are all you need to
enjoy yourself.  You are serious about all commitments.  A family
person.  You call your Mom every Sunday, and never forget a Birthday.
Don’t let your passion for romance get confused with the real thing.

Then I went back and tweaked my answers to the questions just a bit, since in many situations, more than one answer suits, depending on the mood, and THIS is what I got.

 

You are cute, and everyone loves you.  You are a best friend that
no one takes the chance of losing.  You never hurt feelings and
seldom have your own feelings hurt.  Life is a breeze.  You are
witty, and calm most of the time.  Just keep clear of back stabbers,
and you are worry-free.

 

Naw, I don’t think this describes me either…

 

Hey, maybe they just didn’t ask the right questions?  So what do you think?  I have no idea of the Minnie “characteristics,” but I just like her.  So maybe I’ll just go with my gut.

 

What about you?  Did you have fun, by the way?  I thought it was kind of a kick…

FRIDAY MEMES: BOOK BEGINNINGS & FRIDAY 56 — MARCH 11

 

 

 

 

Welcome to our Friday Memes, the event that brings us together to spotlight books we’re reading, either now, or very soon.

Book Beginnings is hosted by A Few More Pages.

The Friday 56 is hosted by Freda’s Voice.

Today I grabbed a book that’s described as “breezily hilarious…and, ultimately, tender and heart-tugging.”

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakthrough, by Ruth Pennebaker, is one I received for review.

 

In our beginnings, we excerpt one or two (or so) lines, and then share our thoughts.

Beginning:  “I don’t want you to get upset when I tell you this,” Richard said.

He was breathing heavily into the phone.

 

Okay….now whenever I hear someone telling me I shouldn’t get upset, I know it’s bad news.  And the heavy breathing doesn’t bode well, either.

 

For the “56,” we pick an excerpt from that page in the book.

The 56:  She didn’t want to do anything.  She just wanted to disappear.

 

I can’t wait to plunge into this one.  Descriptions like “hilarious” and “heart-tugging” tell me I’m going to love it.

What did you decide to share today?  I hope you’ll stop by and leave some comments and links.