fiction · It's Monday! What Are You Reading? · words

December’s books…

December was a good month for books.
All five of the books I read were very good
and I enjoyed each one.

PersonalAnother Jack Reacher novel and as usual…good. In this story Jack, a former US Military police officer and now a homeless drifter, is found and brought in by the powers that be to find someone who attempted to assassinate the French President. The someone he is to find is a man he helped put in prison several years ago.  I like the Reacher books because Jack Reacher is smart and funny.  He just wants to be left to drift but keeps getting entangled in political espionage.

wish you wellThis is a bit of a departure from what Baldacci usually writes and I really liked it.  It is about two children who, with their mother, go to the mountains to live with their grandmother.  The old woman owns acres of land that a power company wants to mine, but she won’t sell and there is a lot of tensions revolving around that.  But the part that held my interest was the children and how they coped with moving from the big city to the poor rural mountains, the death of their father, and their devastated and disabled mother.  The children make two friends, one a lawyer and one an orphan kid living on his own. The young boy teaches them many things about believing in the unbelievable and the magic of an abandoned well. I liked the book for the strength of the characters and the beauty of how love holds them together.  A lovely book, though, there was one chapter that broke my heart.

LilaLila only knew work and hardship her whole life.  And only had one person ever love her.  That person was a woman who stole her from people who may have been her parents, but that is never really clear to Lila or the reader.  The woman and Lila travel with a small group of migrant workers during the days of the dust bowl.  As an adult Lila lives alone and doesn’t make friends, moving on when it suits her.  On one of her wanderings, she happens upon the town of Gilead and her life changes forever when she meets an old preacher man.  This is a beautiful book with depth of writing.  It is easy to see why Robinson is a Pulitzer Prize winner for her book Gilead.

Stay CloseHarlan Coben is my new favorite author.  You will be seeing many of his books here.  He is the best at surprising the reader with unexpected secrets and events.  In this book Megan, happily married with two children, is drawn back to her old life in Atlantic City that no one knows about.  Over seventeen years men go missing on Mardi Gras and are never found.  An abusive lover/customer of the woman was the first to disappear.  When an old friend tracks her down to tell her she has seen this man the new life Megan has made is threatened.  Threatened not only by the possibility that her old life will be made known but also by the feelings she still has for her first true love who was part of the old life and has a terrible secret of his own.  When it is revealed what has happened to all the missing men the perpetrator of the crimes and the reason behind them it is a wonderful mix of surprise and a kind of relief.

leaving timeI always like Jodi Picoult’s books. They are quick to read, but you have to be careful to not miss little nuances that seem unimportant and show up chapters later and are pivotal.  Two scientists who research elephants meet and marry soon after.  They have a little girl and settle down as owners of an elephant refuge in New Hampshire. The husband has serious mental problems that his wife did not know about before their marriage, but they become apparent when lack of funding threatens to close the refuge.  She has confided in and fallen in love with one of the caretakers of the animals.  Because of her husband’s erratic behavior she decides to take their daughter and run away.  Before she can do that there is violence and death.  The story is told by the mother, the daughter, a private detective, and a psychic.  It is the daughter, now thirteen, who hires the detective and the psychic to find her mother who has been missing ten years. To say this has a really different ending is an understatement.  I should have known it would be a surprise. Picoult’s final pages are always surprising.

That’s it for 2014.

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fiction · Five Sentence Fiction · Stories

The Trust…

Five Sentence Fiction
prompt this week is

TRUST

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When he got to the early morning meeting all the officers were already seated at the large conference table waiting for him, the favorite son. In spite of the solemn expressions and the obvious discomfort of those attending, he felt in control, confident, sure of his place at the table. The meeting was immediately brought to order by the Chairman of the board, with little discussion and no time wasted it, the meeting was over.   The trust was gone, he was broke, he was wasn’t the favorite son anymore.  He left the conference room a different man, still confident, but no longer in control, and feeling free for the first time in his life.

 

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Five Sentence Fiction · Stories

Wanting to be Julia……

The prompt for Five Sentence Fiction this week is

ENVY

sadwoman

 Everyone wanted to be Julia, to have her charmed life.   She had it all;  beauty, talent,  money, big house, cute kids, handsome husband.  She would sadly shake her head when      they would tell her how lucky she was and how they would gladly trade places with her.They didn’t know the truth, and would never believe, that she was afraid, abused,  devastated, depressed, alone, ashamed.  With a breaking heart she hid behind all the  things they envied and just wanted to be anyone but Julia.

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Image: morgueFile

books · It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Books I read in October…

Here it is the first Monday in November
and my list of books that I read in October.

nantucket

Nantucket Sisters by Nancy Thayer

I like the stories that Thayer writes. They are easy reads and
always have a happy ending.  This book is about a rich girl and a poor girl
who become friends when they are five years old.
The friendship is a happy one until it isn’t.
Affairs of the heart get in the way and there are misunderstandings and drifting apart.
But true friendship finds its way back and when a friend is needed she is there for you.

after

After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman

Two women love the same man and he loves them.
One he marries one he keeps.
One he has children with one he doesn’t.
He leaves both of them and disappears.
What happens to the women after his disappearance  is the story.
It was a good book.  Kept my interest. Not too many surprises but there were some.

paying

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

After WWI, a mother and daughter who were once rich and now are not
take in a young married couple as lodgers.
A love affair develops and the lovers try to find a way to be together.
Someone is accidentally killed and everything gets complicated.
The author spends two-thirds of the book setting up the story then
seems to rush through the last part of the book.
it was okay.

children

There is no great excitement in this book but it is a very good book.
A long married childless couple, a judge and a professor, have a mid-life crisis.
The judge has a case in her court involving a teen who is refusing medical treatment.
She must decide whether to allow the boy to refuse treatment or order the procedure.
The professor wants to have an affair with a young colleague
and asks the judge, to understand that he loves her but needs this last fling.
It’s a good character study with real emotions and pain and few answers.
Just like life.
I liked it.

angels

Angels Watching Over Me by Michael Phillips

At the end of the Civil War, a plantation owner’s daughter and a slave meet
and help each other cope with unbelievable violence and tragedy.
They become unlikely friends who must grow up too quickly.
The story is told by the slave girl when she is an old woman.
This book is the first of a series and I liked it but I don’t know
if it has made me want to read the rest of the books.

good

If God Is Good by Randy Alcorn

This has taken me an age to read.
It is a very good book and I will write a review this week.
All I will say here is that this is not easy reading
and I think it would best be read in a study group.
It is not light reading and discussion would have helped me
wade through some of the deeper stuff.

So, that’s it for my October reading list.

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Click here and see what others are reading.

Five Sentence Fiction · Two Shoes Tuesday

Hunger and Empty…

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the prompt is

HUNGER

I am also linking to

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 using prompt # 39

EMPTY

 

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Image: pixabay

The feeling of being empty never really went away. It was an unrelenting gnawing of wanting the very thing she must deny herself. Again, today, the sense of an empty abyss within surprised her in mid-afternoon. Some days she was strong and overcame her desire but this day she would give in and enjoy her favorite forbidden pleasures. Diet be damned!

books · fiction · It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Seven books in September…

Here’s what I read this month.

deadI really liked this book.
It takes place in a small Ohio town with an Amish community.
34 Years ago an Amish family was murdered, the wife and mother kidnapped.
Now people are being murdered and there seems to be a connection.
I can’t say the ending was a surprise but getting there was a good read.

see

This is the first of Anthony Doerr books I have read but won’t be the last.
Tales place in France during WWII.
The lives of a blind French girl living with her agoraphobic uncle
and a young Nazi soldier are separate but come together because of
a hidden valuable artifact that the Nazi’s want for their museum and a radio.
It is a sad story wonderfully told.

target

The President makes a promise he can’t keep that could lead to nuclear war.
Two CIA agents are charged with preventing the worst case scenario and that leads
them to North Korean labor camps and a highly trained assassin
from one of those camps.
The book is fast paced and interesting in its characters and the moral issues they face.
The ending is not a surprise, that’s not a spoiler.
Of course the good guys, us, have to win.

unen

This is a teenage young adult novel that I read as an ebook.
It’s a cute story of teenage turmoil and tension with a bit of magic thrown in.
Mina Grimes is a descendant of Wilhelm Grimm of fairy tale fame and is the
latest of the family to find that there is a curse that goes along with being a Grimm.
Her father died because of it and her mother has tried to protect her but the bad guys
have found her…along with a good guy who helps her out.
It’s not the best written book but it was a fun read.

six

Six years ago a love affair ends when the woman marries another man.
The jilted lover promises her to never try to contact her or bother them in any way.
He keeps his promise for six years then sees his lover’s husband’s obituary.
He goes to the funeral but the wife is not his lost love.
So begins the unraveling of a mystery that has more questions than answers.
This is the second of Harlan Coben books I have read and I will keep reading his books.

lives

A dog, two cats, and a coyote help solve the mystery
of the skeleton found first on a mountain then in a driveway
while their humans try to solve the recent murder of two men
who were pillars of the community.
I have read a couple of Rita Mae Brown’s books that are
co-authored by her tabby cat Sneaky Pie Brown.
It’s an easy read with people, and animals, that are like those
you probably know and love.  Even the murderers seem normal.

mean

This is another book that once I started I couldn’t put it down.
When I get into a book like this all else is forgotten and nothing gets done.
A woman is training for a marathon and is attacked on a remote mountain trail.
She is found unconscious by a man and taken to his cabin.
Then begins a story that is strange and not easily figured out.
I was totally off in my thinking about parts of the narrative and right on with others.
But I was surprised by the uncovering of the events of the back-story
and who did the nasty deed.  I liked the complexity of the characters and
how you have to search for clues to who and what they are.
The only thing I will say in the negative is that there is some somewhat graphic sex that
was, in my opinion, unnecessary.  I mean it’s an adult novel and adults know
what’s going on without the details.

So that was my reading for the month.
More than I usually read but a couple of the books I just couldn’t put down.
Made me a happy reader.
Click on the books to read more about them on Goodreads.

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