Holy cats, I haven't blogged about books since before DisneyWorld! Bad reader, bad, bad!
So let's get going, shall we?
The Spinster Sisters by Stacy Ballis
I've enjoyed Ballis' previous titles, so I was happy to have this on my Kindle for vacation. Two sisters, a lifestyle company about being single and fabulous, wonderful doting aunts, and a revolving door of men...so what happens when one of them gets engaged? Chaos - but with a happy ending. :-)
Bond Girl by Erin Duffy
This title was getting lots of press and publicity when it was released a month or so back. In a nutshell, it's The Devil Wears Prada meets Wall Street. Alex Garrett lands a job out of college on Wall Street, and must endure all the hazing, long hours, chauvanistic coworkers and trials and tribulations - and that's just to get a CHAIR. This was an engaging, interesting and at times horrifying read about a section of society about which I know NOTHING - but I feel I know it a bit better now. Fascinating "car crash" reading. :-)
Leaving Paradise and Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles
I really liked Elkeles young adult "Perfect Chemistry" trilogy, so when I saw this duo, I thought I'd toss them on the Kindle for vacation. Caleb Becker is being released from juvie after serving time for hitting a high school girl while driving drunk. Maggie and Caleb used to be friends, before he left her permanently injured in the crash; now they don't speak at all. But over the course of several months, their relationship will shift and change...and then continue in the second book. Not *as* good as Perfect Chemistry, but still worthy YA reading!
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
I've been enjoying Hannah's newer titles, so I thought I'd work backwards and try some of her older titles, and this one kept coming up on list. Tuly and Kate become friends one summer in 1974, and this lengthy novel chronicles their 30-year friendship through romance, distance, work, fights and making up. While I enjoyed it well enough, I found it "going on a bit", if you know what I mean, and anyone who knows me knows I'm not going to like the ending at all. A fine novel on women and friendships, but not my favorite of Hannah's, I'm afraid...
Sorrow's Anthem by Michael Koryta
I like Koryta's "Lincoln Perry" novels, and this was one I had no read previously, so I grabbed the audiobook for my travels. This time, one of Lincoln's childhood friends is being accused of mass arson around Cleveland, but before Lincoln can sort it out, his friend is killed in a (suspicious) hit and run. From there, the story ravels and unravels and twists and turns to the dicey finale. A good suspense read, and BONUS! Narrated by Scott Brick! *swoon*
The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
It's no secret I'm a fan of Jane Eyre - both book and yummy miniseries with Toby Stephens (The best! Sorry, Fassy!). I even did this year's NaNo as a modern take on Jane Eyre, but Livesey blew me out of the water with her retelling of Jane. Gemma is her Jane, growing up in 1950s Scotland before heading to one of the Orkneys to work for the intriguing Mr. Sinclair. There are many, many similarities in the books, but I so enjoyed this one just the same. The writing is wonderful, the setting evocative, the romance deft and the conclusion satisfying. Highly recommended if you love Jane - or just a good story.
Labor Day by Joyce Maynard
This was a reread for a book discussion I was leading...original review here...
Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal
Francine Pascal, in one short book, destroyed my childhood. Damn you, Francine Pascal. I'm disavowing any knowledge that this books exists, so bad/unbelievable/dumb was it. Sigh.
Now You See Her by James Patterson
I typically like the books Patterson co-writes with Michael Ledwidge, and this one is a fast-paced read, assuming you can totally suspend belief in any number of sections. Still, a lively listen as an audiobook!
The Ex-Pats by Chris Pavone
This novel was getting a LOT of advanced press, so I had to snag it off the shelf after it had sat there for a few days. This is a hard novel to really review - yes, it's about expats in Luxembourg, one of which is ex-CIA (her husband doesn't know that) and one of which is a bit cagey (but he doesn't know his wife has noticed). What follows is not only a good suspense story, but a slow drip-drip-drip of a novel - not boring, just paced to exaggerate the disconnectedness of the ex-pats, the reliance on outside stimuli, and what happens when we begin to suspect those around us, and what it does to marriage...
A interesting enough novel, but a bit slow for my taste...and the hot mess of an ending gave me whiplash. Still...I'm glad I read it!
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult
I have mixed feelings about this newest title from one of my fave authors.
On the one hand, it's another good novel of family drama, hard choices, a twist and great characters.
On the other hand, it took me a long time to really get into it, which is unusual for Picoult books.
I didn't DISLIKE it, I just....I just didn't have that feeling of not being able to WAIT to read another chapter or two, ya know?
In a nutshell...a car wreck, a man in a coma, a family fighting to decide whether to keep him in a vegetative state or let him go. And lots of wolves. Lots and lots of wolves.
Interesting, but no my favorite of hers...
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
It's been a while, so it was time for a reread before the movie (stupidly excited!)...
DC Dead by Stuart Woods
It's Stone and Dino investigating a murder in Washington, a string of murdered women, a lot of drinking and sex and a tidy ending. I love Stone Barrington novels! *grin* Especially on audio!