Posted in Weekly Posts

Musing Mondays (July 14)

musingmondays51

Musing Mondays is a meme from Should Be Reading

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

I have decided to use Musing Mondays to have a bit of a ramble this week.

As regular readers to my blog will be aware I have just been on holiday. In preparation I made sure that I didn’t accept any books that would require reviewing for that time to free up my reading choices for books that I already owned or ones that I purchased particularly for the trip. Now I love having the latest reads and this year has produced a bumper crop of excellent reads, but the downside is that the opportunities to read other books that I want to have been severely reduced. I took a variety of books away with me and it was great to pick my next book on my mood rather than my schedule.

It soon became apparent when I was on my trip that I actually would choose to read a physical book rather than an eBook although my choices were evenly split between the two mediums, I only bought one physical book home unread but I wouldn’t have had the choice available without my kindle so it is a double-edged sword. Carrying enough books to make sure I could choose from a wide variety of books would have used a fair bit of my baggage allowance.

As time has gone on I have thought more deeply about why a book works, or doesn’t, for me. While away I had one DNF which was one that I had really looked forward to reading, What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman. This should have been a sure fire winner for me as its synopsis indicated that insanity led to Izzy’s mother killing her father whilst in the past Clara was locked in an asylum in 1929 for falling in love with the wrong man. Unfortunately although this time I wasn’t turned off by incorrect historical detail (something that is most likely to make me stop reading) this book’s present day story was far too flimsy. Izzy somehow instantly knows her current foster mother is good, despite by the age of 17 having lived in a variety of different homes.  She starts a new high school, meets a boy and knows that he won’t be her boyfriend. What?? What is all this just knowing! When the story got bogged down in who could be most horrible class-mate at school, and their motivations for behaving that way, I’m afraid I gave up.

Obviously this isn’t a full review as I didn’t finish the book. I didn’t get as far as finding out Clara’s story but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to engage after being disillusioned by the first 20% that I did read. The idea for this book is fantastic but I prefer it when the characters have a little more depth which is apparent through their actions not just their thoughts.

Please share your Monday Musings in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (June 13)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

So, come on — share with us your FRIDAY FINDS!

No new books have entered my house this last week! I am concentrating on choosing great books to read on my holiday and although I have plenty of both physical and eBooks I like to have a wide selection of great books to read and that invariably means choosing some new ones.

Over the last couple of weeks these are some that I’m debating packing with my swimsuits!

Go To Sleep by Helen Walsh after finding a review by What Hannah Read

Go To Sleep
Blurb

As she drinks in the view in front of her, Rachel Massey stands on the cusp of the biggest journey of her life. For Rachel is about to become a mother. Mere hours from now, her first baby will be here and she can’t wait to meet it. Terrified and excited, there is nothing she wants more, yet she senses things will never be the same again. This is the story of Rachel’s voyage into motherhood. Full of the same hopes and dreams as any parent-to-be, she soon realises that nothing about this new world is as she imagined. As the raw shock of sleep deprivation takes its toll on her and the truth begins to blur with the unreal, Rachel becomes consumed by one sole desire – to sleep. But how far will she go to get her baby to sleep? Goodreads

Too disturbing for a poolside read?

On Musings From A Bookmammal I found not one, but two books

The Blessings by Elise Juska

The Blessings

Blurb

When John Blessing dies and leaves behind two small children, the loss reverberates across his extended family for years to come. His young widow, Lauren, finds solace in her large clan of in-laws, while his brother’s wife Kate pursues motherhood even at the expense of her marriage. John’s teenage nephew Stephen finds himself involved in an act of petty theft that takes a surprising turn, and nephew Alex, a gifted student, travels to Spain and considers the world beyond his family’s Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood. Through departures and arrivals, weddings and reunions, THE BLESSINGS reveals the interior worlds of the members of a close-knit Irish-Catholic family and the rituals that unite them. Goodreads

and The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin, a book for book lovers.

The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry
Blurb

A.J. Fikry owns a failing bookshop. His wife has just died, in tragic circumstances. His rare and valuable first edition has been stolen. His life is a wreck.
Amelia is a book rep, with a big heart, and a lonely life
Maya is the baby who ends up on A.J.’s bookshop floor with a note.
What happens in the bookshop that changes the lives of these seemingly normal but extraordinary characters?
This is the story of how unexpected love can rescue you and bring you back to real life, in a world that you won’t want to leave, with characters that you will come to love.
Growing up, Gabrielle Zevin’s parents took her to the library like it was church and she suspects this is why she became a writer. The Collected Works of A.J. Fikry is her eighth novel Amazon

I came across a book whose synopsis is ideal for me, what better than a little historical fiction within a healthy dollop of insanity thrown in for good measure? What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman

What She Left Behind

Blurb

Ten years ago, Izzy Stone’s mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother’s apparent insanity, Izzy, now seventeen, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy’s help in cataloging items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past.
Clara Cartwright, eighteen years old in 1929, is caught between her overbearing parents and her love for an Italian immigrant. Furious when she rejects an arranged marriage, Clara’s father sends her to a genteel home for nervous invalids. But when his fortune is lost in the stock market crash, he can no longer afford her care–and Clara is committed to the public asylum.
Even as Izzy deals with the challenges of yet another new beginning, Clara’s story keeps drawing her into the past. If Clara was never really mentally ill, could something else explain her own mother’s violent act? Piecing together Clara’s fate compels Izzy to re-examine her own choices–with shocking and unexpected results.
Illuminating and provocative, What She Left Behind is a masterful novel about the yearning to belong–and the mysteries that can belie even the most ordinary life. Amazon>.

Now in case after the creepy start, you have wondered where the normal murder and mayhem books are this week I confirm that no holiday would be complete without at least one quality crime book so I have added The Bones Beneath by Mark Billingham.
The Bones Beneath
Blurb

The Deal
Tom Thorne is back in charge – but there’s a terrifying price to pay. Stuart Nicklin, the most dangerous psychopath he has ever put behind bars, promises to reveal the whereabouts of a body he buried twenty-five years before. But only if Thorne agrees to escort him.
The Danger
Unable to refuse, Thorne gathers a team and travels to a remote Welsh island, at the mercy of the weather and cut off from the mainland. Thorne is determined to get the job done and return home before Nicklin can outwit them.
The Deaths
But Nicklin knows this island well and has had time to plan ahead. Soon, new bodies are added to the old, and Thorne finds himself facing the toughest decision he has ever had to make…Amazon

What have you found this week?