What am I reading?

Here is a lovely meme you might want to take part in, hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open for anyone to join in and is a great way to share what you’ve been reading! All you have to do is answer three questions and share a link to your blog in the comments section of Sam’s blog.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?

 

 

Currently Reading: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

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NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST * A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW TOP TEN OF THE YEAR * NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017 *A USA TODAY TOP TEN OF 2017 * JULY PICK FOR THE PBS NEWSHOUR-NEW YORK TIMES BOOK CLUB NOW READ THIS * FINALIST FOR THE 2018 DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE
 
Roxane Gay’s Favorite Book of 2017, Washington Post
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * #1 BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER * USA TODAY BESTSELLER * WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER * WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER

In this gorgeous, page-turning saga, four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan, exiled from a home they never knew.

“There could only be a few winners, and a lot of losers. And yet we played on, because we had hope that we might be the lucky ones.”

In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant–and that her lover is married–she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son’s powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.

Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan’s finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee’s complex and passionate characters–strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis–survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.

 Recently Finished: Bellewether. By Susanna Kearsley

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USA Today Bestseller!

“I’ve loved every one of Susanna’s books! She has bedrock research and a butterfly’s delicate touch with characters—sure recipe for historical fiction that sucks you in and won’t let go!”— DIANA GABALDON, #1 New York Timesbestselling author of Outlander

“The house, when I first saw it, seemed intent on guarding what it knew; but we all learned, by the end of it, that secrets aren’t such easy things to keep.”

It’s late summer, war is raging, and families are torn apart by divided loyalties and deadly secrets. In this complex and dangerous time, a young French Canadian lieutenant is captured and billeted with a Long Island family, an unwilling and unwelcome guest. As he begins to pitch in with the never-ending household tasks and farm chores, Jean-Philippe de Sabran finds himself drawn to the daughter of the house. Slowly, Lydia Wilde comes to lean on Jean-Philippe, true soldier and gentleman, until their lives become inextricably intertwined. Legend has it that the forbidden love between Jean-Philippe and Lydia ended tragically, but centuries later, the clues they left behind slowly unveil the true story.

 

 

What will I read next? Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart

 

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“Stupendous . . . a novel that seems to have been created in real time, reflecting with perfect comedy and horrible tragedy exactly what America feels like right this minute.”—Elizabeth Gilbert

The bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story returns with a biting, brilliant, emotionally resonant novel very much of our times.

Narcissistic, hilariously self-deluded, and divorced from the real world as most of us know it, hedge-fund manager Barry Cohen oversees $2.4 billion in assets. Deeply stressed by an SEC investigation and by his three-year-old son’s diagnosis of autism, he flees New York on a Greyhound bus in search of a simpler, more romantic life with his old college sweetheart. Meanwhile, his super-smart wife, Seema—a driven first-generation American who craved the picture-perfect life that comes with wealth—has her own demons to face. How these two flawed characters navigate the Shteyngartian chaos of their own making is at the heart of this piercing exploration of the 0.1 Percent, a poignant tale of familial longing and an unsentimental ode to what really makes America great

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📚 Worth Getting in Bed For July 2018

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A STARZ ORIGINAL SERIES

Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages.

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read

Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.

Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.

Worth Getting in Bed For? I finished book six in the series and I’m still hooked!

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

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Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller!

“Astounding. Thrilling. Amazing.” —Gillian Flynn

“Unputdownable.” —Stephen King

“A dark, twisty confection.” —Ruth Ware

“Absolutely gripping.” —Louise Penny

For readers of Gillian Flynn and Tana French comes one of the decade’s most anticipated debuts, to be published in thirty-six languages around the world and already in development as a major film from Fox: a twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house.

It isn’t paranoia if it’s really happening . . .

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.

Worth Getting in Bed For? Believe the hype. Well written and the suspense is layered on at a perfect pace. Some twists and an ending I didn’t see coming until the moment the author wanted me to.

Calypso by David Sedaris

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David Sedaris returns with his most deeply personal and darkly hilarious book.

If you’ve ever laughed your way through David Sedaris’s cheerfully misanthropic stories, you might think you know what you’re getting with Calypso. You’d be wrong.

When he buys a beach house on the Carolina coast, Sedaris envisions long, relaxing vacations spent playing board games and lounging in the sun with those he loves most. And life at the Sea Section, as he names the vacation home, is exactly as idyllic as he imagined, except for one tiny, vexing realization: it’s impossible to take a vacation from yourself.

With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny–it’s a book that can make you laugh ’til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris’s powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.

This is beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumor joke. Calypso is simultaneously Sedaris’s darkest and warmest book yet–and it just might be his very best.

 

Worth Getting in Bed For? I have seen Sedaris at three events and the only thing better than reading his work is listening to him read his work.

Some Books Worth Getting in Bed For

The Night Visitor – July 3, 2018
by Lucy Atkins

From the Publisher.

Professor Olivia Sweetman has worked hard to achieve the life of her dreams, with a high-flying career as a TV presenter and historian, three children, and a talented husband. But as she stands before a crowd at the launch party for her new blockbuster book about a pioneering female surgeon of the Victorian era, she can barely pretend to smile. Her perfect life is in fact a desperate tangle of lies, and if the truth were to come out, she would lose everything.

Only one other person knows what Olivia has done: Vivian Tester, the socially awkward, middle-aged housekeeper of a Sussex manor who found the diary on which Olivia’s new biography is based. Vivian proved to be remarkably adept at hunting down obscure sources and eventually became Olivia’s unofficial research assistant.

But the seemingly chance circumstances that brought these two very different women together turn out to be far more complex–and far more sinister–than Olivia ever realized. In a gripping narrative that shifts between London, Sussex, and the idyllic South of France, Olivia and Vivian will learn knife-edged truths about themselves and discover just how far each will go to protect her reputation.

 

Worth Getting in Bed For:  An excellent novel that layers suspense throughout. Science vs history and what role does imagination play in the two. How does imagination impact credibility of the scientist and historian. Olivia is an historian with some role on tv. She is writing a book about a female doctor at a time when women were barely allowed in the profession. Vivian becomes her research assistant and creepiness sets in. A book about a book and dung beetles and it all works. Thought provoking and mysterious, a top read!

Copy provided by the Publisher and NetGalley

 
All Grown Up
by Jami Attenberg

From the Publisher

“I read it twice, laughing, cringing, and even tearing up.” — Judy Blume, New York Times

“Powerful . . . All Grown Up is so intimately [and] sharply observed.” — Vogue

“Bravo to Attenberg, who, with hilarity and honesty, tells the story of an adult woman who wants what she wants, not what she’s supposed to want.” — Marie Claire

Who is Andrea Bern? When her dippy therapist asks the question, Andrea knows the right things to say: she’s a designer, a friend, a daughter, a sister. But it’s what she leaves unsaid—she’s alone, a drinker, a former artist, a shrieker in bed, captain of the sinking ship that is her flesh—that feels the most true. Everyone around her seems to have a different idea of what it means to be an adult, though. But when Andrea’s niece finally arrives, born with a heartbreaking ailment, the Bern family is forced to reexamine what really matters. Will this drive them together or tear them apart? Told in gut-wrenchingly honest, mordantly comic vignettes, All Grown Up is a breathtaking display of Jami Attenberg’s powers as a storyteller and a whip-smart examination of one woman’s life, lived entirely on her own terms.

 

Worth Getting in Bed For:   I loved this book. Witty and thought provoking, some chapters especially relevant to the me too movement. The main character, Andrea, has sex and the city like escapades but maintains her vulnerability without becoming pathetic. She evolves and is still surprised by the humanity of others. Sexy and sardonic on the surface but so much more, relatable to any woman who had grappled with her femininity. An easy contender for the read again list.

 

 
The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After Hardcover – April 24, 2018
by Clemantine Wamariya (Author), Elizabeth Weil (Author)

From the Publisher

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“The plot provided by the universe was filled with starvation, war and rape. I would not—could not—live in that tale.”

Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when her mother and father began to speak in whispers, when neighbors began to disappear, and when she heard the loud, ugly sounds her brother said were thunder. In 1994, she and her fifteen-year-old sister, Claire, fled the Rwandan massacre and spent the next six years migrating through seven African countries, searching for safety—perpetually hungry, imprisoned and abused, enduring and escaping refugee camps, finding unexpected kindness, witnessing inhuman cruelty. They did not know whether their parents were dead or alive.

When Clemantine was twelve, she and her sister were granted refugee status in the United States; there, in Chicago, their lives diverged. Though their bond remained unbreakable, Claire, who had for so long protected and provided for Clemantine, was a single mother struggling to make ends meet, while Clemantine was taken in by a family who raised her as their own. She seemed to live the American dream: attending private school, taking up cheerleading, and, ultimately, graduating from Yale. Yet the years of being treated as less than human, of going hungry and seeing death, could not be erased. She felt at the same time six years old and one hundred years old.

In The Girl Who Smiled Beads, Clemantine provokes us to look beyond the label of “victim” and recognize the power of the imagination to transcend even the most profound injuries and aftershocks. Devastating yet beautiful, and bracingly original, it is a powerful testament to her.

 

Worth Getting in Bed For:

This is the powerful and poignant memoir of a young girl as refugee and survivor of the Rwandan massacre. This is not a graphic horror story, but a thoughtful exploration of how this young girl evolves into a young woman in the U.S. White privilege, body image, soul searching and Oprah Winfrey factor in so that there is connection on many levels. The narration changes as Clemantine matures, evolving as she does from random child like observations to philosophy of Sebald. A wonderful book that has my mind and sense of soul whirring. There is much to offer many readers.

Copy provided by the Publisher and NetGalley

 

National Book Critics Circle announces finalists for 2017 awards

A thorough must read!

Read Her Like an Open Book

Today the National Book Critics Circle announced its 30 finalists in six categories––autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry––for the outstanding books of 2017. The winners of three additional prizes (The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, The John Leonard Prize, and the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing) were also announced. The National Book Critics Circle Awards, begun in 1975 and considered among the most prestigious in American letters, are the only prizes bestowed by a jury of working critics and book-review editors.

The awards will be presented on March 15 at the New School in New York City. The ceremony is free and open to the public. A reading by the finalists will take place the evening before the awards, also at the New School.

Carmen Maria Machado’s debut story collection, Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf), is the recipient of the fourth annual John Leonard Prize, established…

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Worth Getting in Bed For

All the Money in the World: previously published as Painfully Rich by [Pearson, John]

I went to the movie last weekend and was enthralled. I wanted to know more about the Getty family and the infamous kidnapping of Paul number 3. The book expands on the movie and hits just the right balance between gossipy and informative. The movie is a bit different in places when it comes to the kidnapping, but both book and movie are worth your time if the subject interests you. See the movie first.

 
Two Kinds of Truth (Harry Bosch #20)
by Michael Connelly 

 

Harry Bosch remains relevant and fresh. In his sixties, retired and working cold cases , Connelly has made Bosch even better than when he first wrote him on the scene. Working three different cases, methodically the suspense and the evidence builds up to where the reader can’t be anything but satisfied. Bosch is one of the good guys and this series doesn’t get old.

 

Need to Know
by Karen Cleveland (Goodreads Author)

 

Vivian, wife and mother of four, is a CIA Analyst working on infiltrating a Russian cell through a cell leader’s computer. She comes across a picture and her whole life as she knows it comes in to question. What would you do to protect that life? The life of your loved ones. Cleveland has created a character that is relatable and one that you root for in Vivian. The story takes off and never stops with the sense of urgency. One of the best Thrillers I’ve read all year.

Copy provided by the Publisher and NetGalley

 

Bout of Books

http://boutofbooks.blogspot.com/

Here’s some more info…

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 8th and runs through Sunday, January 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 21 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

 

The first book I plan on reading is
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by [Wolff, Michael]
Michael Wolff
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

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With extraordinary access to the Trump White House, Michael Wolff tells the inside story
of the most controversial presidency of our time

The first nine months of Donald Trump’s term were stormy, outrageous—and absolutely mesmerizing. Now, thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, bestselling author Michael Wolff tells the riveting story of how Trump launched a tenure as volatile and fiery as the man himself.

In this explosive book, Wolff provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office. Among the revelations:
— What President Trump’s staff really thinks of him
— What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama
— Why FBI director James Comey was really fired
— Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn’t be in the same room
— Who is really directing the Trump administration’s strategy in the wake of Bannon’s firing
— What the secret to communicating with Trump is
— What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The Producers

Never before has a presidency so divided the American people. Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury shows us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion.

About the Author
Michael Wolff has received numerous awards for his work, including two National Magazine Awards. He has been a regular columnist for Vanity Fair, New York, The Hollywood Reporter, British GQ, USA Today, and The Guardian. He is the author of six prior books, including the bestselling Burn Rate and The Man Who Owns the News. He lives in Manhattan and has four children.

Top Ten 2017 Favorite Releases

TTT summer

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Top Ten Favorite 2017 Releases So Far This Year.

Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel by [Saunders, George]
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The Handmaid’s Tale Hardcover – April 25, 2017

The Last Wave by [Best, Gillian]
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The Last Wave Kindle Edition

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by [Sedaris, David]
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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Hardcover – March 6, 2012

Homegoing: A novel by [Gyasi, Yaa]
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The Lucky Ones: A Novel by [Pachico, Julianne]
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The Lucky Ones: A Novel Kindle Edition

Swimming Lessons by [Fuller, Claire]
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Swimming Lessons Kindle Edition

Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing by [Weiner, Jennifer]
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Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing Kindle Edition

The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life by [le Carré, John]
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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

IT’S MONDAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING? 26TH JUNE

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!
The Last Wave by [Best, Gillian]
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A beautifully rendered family drama set in Dover, England, between the 1940s and the present day, The Last Wave follows the life of Martha, a woman who has swum the English Channel ten times, and the complex relationships she has with her husband, her children, and her close friends. The one constant in Martha’s life is the sea, from her first accidental baptism to her final crossing of the channel. The sea is an escape from her responsibilities as a wife and a mother; it consoles her when she is diagnosed with cancer; and it comforts her when her husband’s mind begins to unravel.

An intergenerational saga spanning six decades, The Last Wave is a wholly authentic portrait of a family buffeted by illness, intolerance, anger, failure, and regret. Gillian Best is a mature, accomplished, and compelling new voice in fiction.

 

Worth Getting in Bed For?  Yes. This was a five star read for me. I was drawn to the fabulous cover and from the first chapter, I had a lump in my throat. Rarely do books make me cry as they can tend to be over wrought if intensely emotional. The Last Wave strikes the right balance and you get to know each character’s story through alternating chapters. And the sea! It’s own character, all – consuming for the swimmer, Martha and for the reader. There are many themes here that circle a somewhat dysfunctional family– aging parents, motherhood. Alzheimer’s, terminal illness, obsession–and all are relatable. These characters will pull you in to the story and stay with you after you turn the last page.

Copy provided by NetGalley.

 

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by [Sedaris, David]
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One of the most anticipated books of 2017: Boston Globe, New York Times Book Review, New York‘s “Vulture”, The Week, Bustle, BookRiot

David Sedaris tells all in a book that is, literally, a lifetime in the making

For forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and through them he has honed his cunning, surprising sentences.

Now, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world. Theft by Finding, the first of two volumes, is the story of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.

Written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable, and with a generosity of spirit that even a misanthropic sense of humor can’t fully disguise, Theft By Finding proves that Sedaris is one of our great modern observers. It’s a potent reminder that when you’re as perceptive and curious as Sedaris, there’s no such thing as a boring day.

Worth Getting in Bed For? Yes. I actually listened to this one because David Sedaris is that much better when he narrates his own work.  I have been to three of his readings over the years and each one was even better than the last. Sedaris gets better as he progresses through his diaries. I cringed, cried and laughed out loud. The worst thing about this is that it ends, rather abruptly, in 2002 and although it clearly states this in the title, I felt surprised. The next volume is already eagerly anticipated. Sedaris does great voices and his ironic tone makes for great listening. I cringed over the blatant harassment he encounters based on his sexual orientation and over his painful use of drugs and alcohol. I cried when his mother dies and his family later comes across a home movie of her. And I laughed out loud countless times.