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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Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel Kindle Edition

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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]
 NO
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Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) Kindle Edition

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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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Homegoing: A novel Kindle Edition

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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The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life Kindle Edition

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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Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) Kindle Edition

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.

 

A to Z survey

Today I’m doing the A to Z bookish survey. Martina at https://themysterycorner.wordpress.com/author/martinarg/ saw this over at Pretty Deadly Reviews some time ago. It looks like fun!

A – Author you’ve read the most books from:

Michael Connelly. Michael Connelly is the bestselling author of twenty-eight novels and one work of nonfiction. With over sixty million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into thirty-nine foreign languages, he is one of the most successful writers working today. I have read all of his novels!

B – Best sequel ever:

For books, I can’t think of one that is a true sequel and not just the next in a series. Most sequels are a bit disappointing. So I’m going with best movie sequel, Godfather 2.

C – Currently reading:

Add to
The White Queen: A Novel (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels) by [Gregory, Philippa]
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The White Queen: A Novel (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels)Kindle Edition

D – Drink of choice while reading:

Diet Coke

E – E-reader or physical book:

I prefer physical book. However, I find myself reading more on my kindle as the backlighting helps my ageing eyes. But, nothing beats the smell of an old book and the turning of pages!

F – Fictional character you probably would have dated in high school:

Inspector Banks

G – Glad you gave this book a chance:

A Child Across the Sky by [Carroll, Jonathan]
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A Child Across the Sky Kindle Edition

 

H – Hidden gem book:

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers by [Lamott, Anne]
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Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers Kindle Edition

I – Important moment in your reading life:

When I got my first library card.

J – Just finished:

Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy by [Lamott, Anne]
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Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy Kindle Edition

K – Kinds of books you won’t read:

I’ll try just about anything. I tend to shy away from Sci-fi and Westerns

L – Longest book you’ve ever read:

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo at 1443 pages.

Les Misérables by [Hugo, Victor]
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Les Misérables

M – Major book hangover because of:

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It was so different from the movie and so good!

 N – Number of bookcases you own:

12

O – One book you have read multiple times:

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The World According to Garp Mass Market Paperback – November 3, 1990

P – Preferred place to read:

The best place for me is in bed, with cats Lucy and Ethel or on the beach.

Q – Quote that gives you all the feels:

“I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.”
Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

R – Reading regret:

Finishing books that weren’t good.

S – Series you started and need to finish:

Peter Robinson’s Inspector Banks Series.

T – Three of your all time favorite books:

The World According to Garp by John Irving

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

U – Unapologetic Fangirl for:

Brooding, break the rules detectives named Harry–Bosch or Hole.

V – Very excited for this release:

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by [Sedaris, David]
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Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) Kindle Edition

W – Worst bookish habit:

I dog ear pages.

X –  marks the spot: start at the top of your shelf and find the 27th book:

This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression by [Merkin, Daphne]
This Close to Happy: A Reckoning with Depression

Y – Your latest book purchase:

The Dry: A Novel by [Harper, Jane]
The Dry: A Novel

Z – Zzz-snatcher: a book that kept you up way too late:

Me Before You: A Novel by [Moyes, Jojo]
Me Before You: A Novel

Book Blogger Hop

 Question of the Week:


If you read a book you ended up hating, would you stay away from future books by that author, or would you give them a second chance? (submitted by Maria @ A Night’s Dream of Books)
I would probably give the author a second chance if they showed potential in the hated book or if through word of mouth, another book was recommended. I have many Good reads and blogger friends whom I trust so if they mentioned a book by the same author as noteworthy, I would pay attention. If I hated the book due to racism or a sexist slant, I would steer clear. There are too many good books waiting to be read!

Kissing the Beehive

I’m taking part in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, in which bloggers share a bit about what they’re reading or planning to read soon.

I DO NOT LIKE to eat alone and that is one of the reasons why I became famous. There is something both pathetic and unattractive about a person eating by themselves in public. Better to stay at home, drinking orange soup from a can with a handful of dry white crackers in front of the TV, than be seen sitting by yourself waiting for that forlorn single meal to be served.

Kissing the Beehive by [Carroll, Jonathan]
Kissing the Beehive
A writer returns to his hometown to look into a long-ago murder in this “gripping” literary thriller with “a smashing and surprising climax” (Kirkus Reviews).

After nine books, three wives, and a massive advance for his as-yet-unwritten next novel, Sam Bayer has run out of ideas. He tries to write but his characters are dull, lifeless. So his thoughts turn to his hometown, Crane’s View, and the tragedy he once encountered there.

Bayer was fifteen when he found Pauline Ostrova floating in the Hudson River. The official verdict was murder, and the girl’s ex-boyfriend was convicted. But decades later, Bayer remains certain the killer still lives in his bucolic town—and he’s determined to write a book about what really happened. He’s come home for inspiration, but the longer he stays, the more Bayer’s investigation spirals toward madness and a final, shocking conclusion.

Bout of Books The White Queen

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, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 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 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

 

I’ve picked my first book!

The White Queen: A Novel (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels) by [Gregory, Philippa]
The White Queen: A Novel (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels)

The inspiration for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries The White Queen, #1 New York Times bestselling author Philippa Gregory brings to life the extraordinary story of Elizabeth Woodville, a woman who rises from obscurity to become Queen of England, and changes the course of history forever.

Elizabeth Woodville is a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition. Her mother is Jacquetta, also known as the mystical lady of the rivers, and she is even more determined to bring power and wealth to the family line. While riding in the woods one day, Elizabeth captures the attentions of the newly crowned King Edward IV and, despite her common upbringing, marries him in secret.

When she is raised up to be his queen, the English court is outraged, but Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for her family’s dominance. Yet despite her best efforts, and even with the help of her mother’s powers, her two sons become pawns in a famous unsolved mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the lost princes in the Tower of London.

In this dazzling account of the deadly Wars of the Roses, brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize: the throne of England.

 

 

Bout of Books

You were going to read that week anyway, right?  Read with us.

The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon was created by Amanda @ On a Book Bender on a complete whim in August 2011*. It took on a life of its own and was such a hit that Amanda decided to do it again and turn it into a somewhat regular occurrence.

  • Bout of Books is a week long read-a-thon, usually from 12:01am on a Monday through 11:59pm on a Sunday in whatever time zone you are in.
  • It is low pressure, meaning participants are only asked to push themselves to read more than they normally would during any given week. There is no competition between readers.
  • How much time a reader wants, and can commit, to read, tweet, or network with fellow bloggers is left to individual preference. All challenges and giveaways are optional.
  • Networking with fellow bloggers is actively encouraged, though never required.
  • Use Twitter to post updates throughout the read-a-thon. Everyone will be tweeting with the #boutofbooks hashtag.

Next Read-a-Thon
Bout of Books 19 – 5/8/2017 — 5/14/2017

Hour 8 Mini-Challenge!

 

Welcome to the Hour 8 Mini-Challenge!

For this challenge, I want to hear about the books that inspire and empower you. The books that—when you turn the last page—make you feel recharged. The books that motivate you to jump up and go get it, whatever the referent for “it” is.

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by [Rhimes, Shonda]
Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

Product Description

The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal and executive producer of How to Get Away With Murder chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life―and how it can change yours, too.

With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No.

And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear.

Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed―and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life―and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.

 

 

Worth Getting in Bed For? Yes.

I don’t watch Shonda Rhimes’ shows. I used to watch Grey’s Anatomy and liked it very much. My point is, you don’t have to watch Rhimes’ shows to enjoy her audio book, which she narrates. I suspect if you do, you’ll enjoy it that much more. Listening to the audio version of this book will make you want to say Yes to the things you avoid. Rhimes is real, like a girlfriend you want to hang out with who has a bit of attitude. Yes, that friend. Who tells you that dress is ugly. We need friends like this we can trust. Listening to the audio was inspiring, heartfelt, and very relatable. There are live speeches included that almost brought me to tears and definitely made me laugh out loud.

Dewey’s 24 hour Read a thon Update 1

What a day! We had a job fair at work so I missed out on reading today. However, I listened to

Nevertheless: A Memoir by [Baldwin, Alec]
Nevertheless: A Memoir

One of the most accomplished and outspoken actors today chronicles the highs and lows of his life in this beautifully written, candid memoir.

Over the past three decades, Alec Baldwin has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most gifted, hilarious, and controversial leading men. From his work in popular movies, including Beetlejuice, Working Girl, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Cooler, and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed to his role as Jack Donaghy on Tina Fey’s irreverent series 30 Rock—for which he won two Emmys, three Golden Globes, and seven Screen Actors Guild Awards—and as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live, he’s both a household name and a deeply respected actor.

In Nevertheless, Baldwin transcends his public persona, making public facets of his life he has long kept private. In this honest, affecting memoir, he introduces us to the Long Island child who felt burdened by his family’s financial strains and his parents’ unhappy marriage; the Washington, DC, college student gearing up for a career in politics; the self-named “Love Taxi” who helped friends solve their romantic problems while neglecting his own; the young soap actor learning from giants of the theatre; the addict drawn to drugs and alcohol who struggles with sobriety; the husband and father who acknowledges his failings and battles to overcome them; and the consummate professional for whom the work is everything. Throughout Nevertheless, one constant emerges: the fearlessness that defines and drives Baldwin’s life.

Told with his signature candor, astute observational savvy, and devastating wit, Nevertheless reveals an Alec Baldwin we have never fully seen before.

 

Now that I’m home, I’m going to switch to a book to read.

Prussian Blue (A Bernie Gunther Novel) by [Kerr, Philip]
Prussian Blue (A Bernie Gunther Novel)
The French Riviera, 1956: The invitation to dinner was not unexpected, though neither was it welcome. Erich Mielke, deputy head of the East German Stasi, has turned up in Nice, and he’s not on holiday. An old and dangerous adversary, Mielke is calling in a debt. He intends that Bernie go to London and, with the vial of Thallium he now pushes across the table, poison a female agent they both have had dealings with.

But chance intervenes in the form of Friedrich Korsch, an old Kripo comrade now working for Stasi and probably there to make sure Bernie gets the job done. Bernie bolts for the German border. Traveling by night, holed up during the day, Bernie has plenty of down time to recall the last time Korsch and he worked together.

It was the summer of 1939: At Hitler’s mountaintop retreat in Obersalzberg, the body of a low-level bureaucrat has been found murdered. Bernie and Korsch are selected to run the case. They have one week to solve the murder—Hitler is due back then to celebrate his fiftieth birthday. Lucky Bernie: it’s his reward for being Kripo’s best homicide detective. He knows what a box he’s in: millions have been spent to secure Obersalzberg. It would be a disaster if Hitler were to discover a shocking murder had been committed on the terrace of his own home. But the mountaintop is home to an elite Nazi community. It would be an even bigger disaster for Bernie if one of them was the murderer.

1939 and 1956: two different eras, seventeen years apart. And yet, not really apart, as the stunning climax will show when the two converge explosively.

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros

Every Tuesday Bibliophile by the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. Share the first paragraph, maybe two, of a book that you’re reading or plan to read soon.

THE SEA FELT warm as Michael Rockefeller lowered himself in from the overturned wooden hull. René Wassing peered down at him, and Michael noticed René was sunburned and needed a shave. Their exchange was brief. They’d been drifting on the ocean off the coast of southwest New Guinea for twenty-four hours now, and there wasn’t much that hadn’t been said.

I really don’t think you should go.

No, it’ll be okay. I think I can make it.

Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller's Tragic Quest for Primitive Art by [Hoffman, Carl]
Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art

Product Description

The mysterious disappearance of Michael Rockefeller in New Guinea in 1961 has kept the world and his powerful, influential family guessing for years. Now, Carl Hoffman uncovers startling new evidence that finally tells the full, astonishing story.

Despite exhaustive searches, no trace of Rockefeller was ever found. Soon after his disappearance, rumors surfaced that he’d been killed and ceremonially eaten by the local Asmat—a native tribe of warriors whose complex culture was built around sacred, reciprocal violence, head hunting, and ritual cannibalism. The Dutch government and the Rockefeller family denied the story, and Michael’s death was officially ruled a drowning. Yet doubts lingered. Sensational rumors and stories circulated, fueling speculation and intrigue for decades. The real story has long waited to be told—until now.

Retracing Rockefeller’s steps, award-winning journalist Carl Hoffman traveled to the jungles of New Guinea, immersing himself in a world of headhunters and cannibals, secret spirits and customs, and getting to know generations of Asmat. Through exhaustive archival research, he uncovered never-before-seen original documents and located witnesses willing to speak publically after fifty years.

In Savage Harvest he finally solves this decades-old mystery and illuminates a culture transformed by years of colonial rule, whose people continue to be shaped by ancient customs and lore. Combining history, art, colonialism, adventure, and ethnography, Savage Harvest is a mesmerizing whodunit, and a fascinating portrait of the clash between two civilizations that resulted in the death of one of America’s richest and most powerful scions.

I just picked up the kindle version for $1.99. What do you think? Keep reading?