2 Book Lovers Reviews

Week of April 26th, 2021


Book Review:
Slaughterhouse-Five
By Kurt Vonnegut


​​​Billed as one of the 100 best novels of all time, and with my fabulous experience with  Galápagos, my expectations for  Slaughterhouse-Five  were set very high. Did the book meet my expectations? No. Was I disappointed?  Again, no. So it goes.

Vonnegut had a way about him. He was, and still is, able to entertain, while at the same time making deep, thoughtful statements about humanity.

*See my full review...



Week of April 19th, 2021


Book Review:
Nöthin' but a Good Time
By Tom Beaujour & Richard Bienstock


​​​​Have you every listened to that Audible that made you think to yourself, man I wish that could have been twice as long and a musical? Well, Nöthin' But a Good Time  is that book!

In the vein of  Ready Player One and  The Dirt, this book capitalizes on nostalgia. Every singer, every song, all those bands, each one brought back memories. 

*See my full review...



Week of April 12th, 2021


On my Radar!
Near the Bone
By Christina Henry
Releasing April 13th!


​​​​Mattie can't remember a time before she and William lived alone on a mountain together. She must never make him upset. But when Mattie discovers the mutilated body of a fox in the woods, she realizes that they’re not alone after all.

There’s something in the woods that wasn’t there before, something that makes strange cries in the night, something with sharp teeth and claws...


*Read more...​



Week of April 5th, 2021


Book Review:
Hollow Kingdom
By Kira Jane Buxton


​​​​Every once in a blue moon a book comes along that makes you want, no, not want, need to scream its praises from the rooftops. Hollow Kingdom  is one such book. Read this book!

Buxton starts her story off with a unique enough concept: what would a domesticated crow make of a human zombie apocalypse? 

*See my full review...



Week of March 29th, 2021


Book Review:
Nameless
(6-Book Series)
By Dean Koontz


​​​​When it came to Dean Koontz’s  Nameless, I opted for the Audible version, which is a compilation of six short stories. Edoardo Ballerini did a fantastic job of narrating this collection of stories revolving around a man with no name.

The beauty of the Audible version of  Nameless  was how Ballerini’s narration enhanced the atmosphere.

*See my full review...



Week of March 22nd, 2021


Book Review:
Heroes
By Stephen Fry


​​​​Sometimes you just know that a book is exactly what you want and need. Stephen Fry’s narration of his own book, Heroes, hit the spot.

This wasn’t a book about creating something new, a unique story unlike anything people have read before. Stephen Fry created nothing new. This was a book of presentation and Fry’s presentation of these well-known stories was immaculate. 

*See my full review...



Week of March 15th, 2021


Book Review:
Bubba Ho-Tep
By Joe R. Lansdale


​​​​Now this is what a short story is supposed to be!

Lansdale kept it simple and shocking with  Bubba Ho-Tep. Two protagonists and some real toilet bowl humor. I laughed my whole way through this story.

The concept was brilliant. I won’t get into the details, that’s for the synopsis, or I would spoil the whole thing.

*See my full review...



Week of March 8th, 2021


Book Review:
The Lost Spear

By N.J. Croft


​​​​I love a good archaeological adventure; they always bring me back to my dreams of being Indiana Jones: pursued through the jungle while recovering a long-lost talisman from the past. These stories allow for all of the convenience and setting of a modern story with a connection to our past. The Lost Spear  brings us back to the world of Genghis Khan.

*See my full review...



Week of March 1st, 2021


Book Review:
The Scarred Woman
By Jussi Adler-Olsen


​​​​I’ve now completed book seven in the Department Q series, it really speaks to the strength of Adler-Olsen’s characters that I’m still so invested in the series; I find all too often with a series that it will go stale over time, but these characters are continually refreshed, with back-ground secrets still just around the next turn.

*See my full review...



Week of February 22nd, 2021


Book Review:
The Sanatorium
By Sarah Pearse


​​​​The Sanatorium  had all the makings of a great story: an isolated location with a serial killer on the loose, a broken detective trying to put herself back together again, more suspects than you can shake a stick at. Unfortunately, I felt nothing.​

*See my full review...



Week of  February 16th, 2021


New Release:
The Minders
By John Marrs


​​​​In the 21st century, information is king. But computers can be hacked and files can be broken into - so a unique government initiative has been born. Five ordinary people have been selected to become Minders - the latest weapon in thwarting cyberterrorism. Transformed by a revolutionary medical procedure, the country's most classified information has been taken offline....​

*Read more...​



Week of February 8th, 2021


Book Review:
Lore
By Alexandra Bracken


​​​​With a gaggle of Greek gods and comparisons to some fantastic YA stories, Lore  looked like it was written for someone just like me.

It’s funny how on paper a book can look like a perfect fit, but once you get into it something strange happens: it doesn’t work, you get annoyed at things, you find yourself saying, “That wouldn’t happen!”

*See my full review...



Week of February 1st, 2021


Book Review:
Darling Rose Gold
By Stephanie Wrobel


​​​​Some books are adventure stories, more about the “what” than the “who.” I love immersing myself in the adventure, the action and all that goes along with that; but there is something special about stories that revolve solely around the interaction of characters. It takes a talented author who can keep their audience captivated without distracting them with all of the action. Stephanie Wrobel did exactly that!

*See my full review...



Week of January 25th, 2021


Book Review:
We Hear Voices
By Evie Green


​​​​We Hear Voices  piqued my interest with the mysterious imaginary friend. Where does it come from? What is it?

How bad will it get? These are all questions that came to my mind when I read the synopsis of  We Hear Voices.

I’ve never read (or listened to) a story that needed a disclaimer like this one. 

*See my full review...



Week of January 18th, 2021


Book Review:
A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
By George R.R. Martin


​​​​Like many other readers, I have been waiting for Martin to return to Westeros, back to the world of the Targaryan’s, Lannister’s and Stark’s. I’m going to assume that you want to return to this world as well; if you have not read  A Song of Ice and Fire  up to  A Dance with Dragons  and you have never seen the series, you may find a few spoilers here.

*See my full review...





​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Week of May 10/21


Book Review:

The Girl Who Died

By Ragnar Jonasson

New Release!


​​​Once in a while I like to immerse myself into a Nordic Noir, these stories have a much different feel from the old standby American mysteries. They are generally darker; the heroes more flawed, blurring the lines between the right and wrong side of the spectrum. The Icelandic novels are colder again, reflected in the isolation, short days and ruggedness of the land and people.


*See my full review...

Just Last Night

​By Mhairi McFarlane

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​This week's list of new

releases is posted.

Let's read!  


                 New Releases!


People We Meet on

Vacation  – By Emily Henry 

Poppy and Alex. Alex and

Poppy. They have nothing

in common. She’s a wild

child; he wears khakis.

She has insatiable wander-

lust; he prefers to stay

home with a book. And

somehow, ever since a

fateful car share home

from college many years

ago, they are the very best

of friends. For most of the

year they live far apart—

she’s in New York City, and

he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together. 
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven't spoken since. 
Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees. 
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?


- Mary Jane  – By Jessica Anya Blau – Almost Famous meets  Daisy Jones and The Six

In 1970s Baltimore, fourteen-year-old Mary Jane loves cooking with her mother, singing in her church choir, and enjoying her family’s subscription to the Broadway Showtunes of the Month record club. Shy, quiet, and bookish, she’s glad when she lands a summer job as a nanny for the daughter of a local doctor. A respectable job, Mary Jane’s mother says. In a respectable house.
The house may look respectable on the outside, but inside it’s a literal and figurative mess: clutter on every surface, Impeachment: Now More Than Ever bumper stickers on the doors, cereal and takeout for dinner. And even more troublesome (were Mary Jane’s mother to know, which she does not): the doctor is a psychiatrist who has cleared his summer for one important job—helping a famous rock star dry out. A week after Mary Jane starts, the rock star and his movie star wife move in.
Over the course of the summer, Mary Jane introduces her new household to crisply ironed clothes and a family dinner schedule, and has a front-row seat to a liberal world of sex, drugs, and rock and roll (not to mention group therapy). Caught between the lifestyle she’s always known and the future she’s only just realized is possible, Mary Jane will arrive at September with a new idea about what she wants out of life, and what kind of person she’s going to be. 


- That Summer  – By Jennifer Weiner 

Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?
While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?


- All the Beautiful Things (Love and Lies Duet #2)  – By Stacey Lynn 

- Say You Hate Me (Love at Work Series)  – By Amanda Richardson – An enemies-to-lovers office romance!

Natalia
My love life would be almost comical if it weren’t so depressing. Why can’t romance be like it is in the novels I love? I stupidly assume things can’t get any worse, but then I get fired from my job. Good one, universe. Now I have no choice but to work for my brother and his surly business partner, Anderson.
We can’t seem to get on the same page about anything. He’s judgmental and rude, and I can’t stand him. To make matters even more trying, he’s ridiculously hot.
Anderson
I never agreed to bring on a new marketing manager, and certainly not her. My business partner leads with his heart, and when he hires his sister, her ability to crawl under my skin is insurmountable.
So, why does she make my heart race every time she’s close? When things escalate, I lose all semblance of control, which just makes me angrier. I can’t keep my hands off her, even though she makes me crazy.
Hatred can drive a person insane, but so can love.
 


- Don’t Make Me Turn This Life Around  – By Camille Pagán 

It’s been thirteen years since doctors declared Libby Ross-Velasquez a goner. Yet here she is—cancer free. So why doesn’t she feel more alive?
Sure, Libby’s husband, Shiloh, has been distant. One of their daughters has a serious health condition. And her father’s death hovers over Libby like a rain cloud. Still, this eternal optimist knows she’s the winner of the existential lottery.
But when her forced cheer isn’t enough to keep her family from catching her blahs, she decides to fly them all to Vieques. The Puerto Rican island is where she and Shiloh fell in love—and where she decided to fight for her life after her cancer diagnosis. Where better to put their problems into perspective?
Then a tropical storm strikes. Libby pretends everything’s fine, even as she fears she’s doomed her family. What she can’t see is that the worst disaster they’ve faced may be the best thing that ever happened to them. But first, they have to get through it.


- Royal Line (Tattered Royals #1)  – By Carrie Ann Ryan & Nana Malone 

- Hope  – By Marc Levy


- Here With Me (The Adair Family #1)  – By Samantha Young - Romantic suspense!

Settled in the tranquil remoteness of the Scottish Highlands, Ardnoch Estate caters to the rich and famous. It is as unattainable and as mysterious as its owner --ex-Hollywood leading man Lachlan Adair--and it's poised on the edge of a dark scandal.
After narrowly escaping death, police officer Robyn Penhaligon leaves behind her life in Boston in search of some answers. Starting with Mac Galbraith, the Scottish father who abandoned her to pursue his career in private security. To re-connect with Mac, Robyn will finally meet a man she's long resented. Lachlan Adair. Hostility instantly brews between Robyn and Lachlan. She thinks the head of the Adair family is high-handed and self-important. And finding closure with Mac is proving more difficult than she ever imagined. Robyn would sooner leave Ardnoch, but when she discovers Mac is embroiled in a threat against the Adairs and the exclusive members of the estate, she finds she's not yet ready to give up on her father.
Determined to ensure Mac's safety, Robyn investigates the disturbing crimes at Ardnoch, forcing her and Lachlan to spend time together. Soon it becomes clear a searing attraction exists beneath their animosity, and temptation leads them down a perilous path.
While they discover they are connected by something far more addictive than passion, Lachlan cannot let go of his grip on a painful past: a past that will destroy his future ... if the insidious presence of an enemy lurking in the shadows of Ardnoch doesn't do the job first.


- Off the Record: A With Me in Seattle Mafia Novel  – By Kristen Proby 

- A Special Place for Women  – By Laura Hankin - Soon to be a television series!

For years, rumors have swirled about an exclusive, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whisper all sorts of claims: Membership dues cost $1,000 a month. Last time Rihanna was in town, she stopped by and got her aura read. The women even handpicked the city's first female mayor. But no one knows for sure. 
That is, until journalist Jillian Beckley decides she's going to break into the club. With her career in freefall, Jillian needs a juicy scoop, and she has a personal interest in bringing these women down. But the deeper she gets into this new world—where billionaire "girlbosses" mingle with occult-obsessed Bohemians—the more Jillian learns that bad things happen to those who dare to question the club's motives or giggle at its outlandish rituals.  
The select group of women who populate the club may be far more powerful than she ever imagined. 
And far more dangerous too.


- The Anatomy of Desire  – By L.R. Dorn - Thriller!

Claire Griffith has it all, a thriving career, a gorgeous boyfriend, glamorous friends. She always knew she was destined for more than the life her conservative parents preached to her. Arriving in Los Angeles flat broke, she has risen to become a popular fitness coach and social media influencer. Having rebranded herself as Cleo Ray, she stands at the threshold of realizing her biggest dreams.
One summer day, Cleo and a woman named Beck Alden set off in a canoe on a serene mountain lake. An hour later, Beck is found dead in the water and Cleo is missing. Authorities suspect foul play, and news of Cleo’s involvement goes viral. Who was Beck? An infatuated follower? Were she and Cleo friends or lovers? Was Beck’s death an accident . . . or murder?


- From Something Old  – By Nick Alexander 

Four people looking for love. Four choices that could be the start of everything.
At thirty-three, nurse Heather is desperately waiting for her romantic life to begin. Then she meets handsome, strong Anthony and is sure she’s found the one. Brushing any doubts aside, she projects all her hopes for true love onto him.
Meanwhile, at a yoga retreat in Spain, happy-go-lucky Joe can’t believe his luck when he meets vivacious, witty Amy. She’s the sharpest, most beautiful woman he has ever dated, and the fact that she’s interested in him feels like a dream come true.
But new love can be blind, and when the two couples meet, the cracks are easy to see.
Will their crossed paths lead the way to happiness? Or are they all destined for heartbreak?


- The Mothers  – By Genevieve Gannon 

- Reckless Refuge (The Wrecked Series #4)  – By Catherine Cowles 

- A Summer to Remember  – By Erika Montgomery 

For thirty-year-old Frankie Simon, selling movie memorabilia in the shop she opened with her late mother on Hollywood Boulevard is more than just her livelihood—it’s an enduring connection to the only family she has ever known. But when a mysterious package arrives containing a photograph of her mother and famous movie stars Glory Cartwright and her husband at a coastal film festival the year before Frankie’s birth, her life begins to unravel in ways unimaginable.
What begins is a journey along a path revealing buried family secrets, betrayals between lovers, bonds between friends. And for Frankie, as the past unlocks the present, the chance to learn that memories define who we are, and that they can show us the meaning of home and the magic of true love.


- Brat: An ‘80s Story  – By Andrew McCarthy - I'll admit that I had a big crush on this member of the Brat Pack!

In his memoir Brat: An '80s Story, McCarthy focuses his gaze on that singular moment in time. The result is a revealing look at coming of age in a maelstrom, reckoning with conflicted ambition, innocence, addiction, and masculinity. New York City of the 1980s is brought to vivid life in these pages, from scoring loose joints in Washington Square Park to skipping school in favor of the dark revival houses of the Village where he fell in love with the movies that would change his life.
Filled with personal revelations of innocence lost to heady days in Hollywood with John Hughes and an iconic cast of characters, Brat is a surprising and intimate story of an outsider caught up in a most unwitting success.


- Hidden Beauty (Beauty and the Beast Trilogy #2)  – By Amelia Wilde 

- Black Knight  – By Lynn Raye Harris – Romantic suspense! 


- The Mistake (Bad Bridesmaids #1) – By Noelle Adams 

Amanda Griffin has made a mistake. Or maybe a long series of them.
First, she gets drunk at her sister's wedding and shares all her guilty secrets with Robert Castleman, the worst possible man. Then, at her cousin's wedding, she ends up in bed with him.  At her best friend's wedding, they have a big, embarrassing fight. And then she gets stuck with him on the world's most annoying road trip. Her heart has always belonged to a man she can never have, so it's not like she'll ever fall for Robert. It's just that she can't get away from him, and now she's not sure she wants to.
Robert has lived his life watching from a distance and never investing in relationships that will end up hurting him. So the last thing he should do is hook up with his niece's best friend. She's too young. Too beautiful. Too clever. And already in love with someone else. But since he can't keep his hands off her, he'll at least be smart with his heart. After all, it would be a huge mistake to let himself fall for her.
But it's a mistake he can't help but make.


 

Releasing Later This Week!


- May 12Bad Blood (Corrupt Gods Duet #1)  – By Cora Kenborn & Catherine Wiltcher


- May 13 - Office Hate: An Enemies to Lovers Romance  – By Rachel Van Dyken


​​​


​​Happy Reading!

Week of May 10/21 

Autumn: Dawn

​By David Moody

What he's reading!

What she's reading!

Greg's Dailyish Blog

Shelley's Daily Blog