Sunday, June 17, 2018

What's Up, Weekend 6/17/18

Hello all! Almost didn't make it here since my Blogger is giving me grief this week for some strange reason and just forever spinning when I try to open a new window. I had hubby check my router and laptop, but it's all clear on my end, so... I don't know. I can be patient for a bit longer and see what happens, or I can jump ship and make a free WP, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

So much sadness in the news of the real world this week, and yet I'm fixated on choosing unusual titles that don't calm me or convey a happy message. I'm such a mood reader that I just let my inner self choose a book randomly, almost like using a Ouija board, lol!

Okay, let's talk books!

This past week, I read nonfiction:

Beauty in the Broken Places: A Memoir of Love, Faith, and Resilience
by Allison Pataki, (daughter of a former NY governor)

This author is best known for her historical fiction, but in this case she shares the tragic story of her doctor husband, who suffered a life-threatening stroke at age 30, and their struggle to regain some of his health and find acceptance. I like to read memoirs occasionally, especially if they are true stories that are a testament to our inner strength. This one was a good read for me-- but, as happens when I read nonficton-- I feel like I would've been just as satisfied with a shorter version of the story. This is just me, but I feel that in memoirs there is a certain amount of repetition that allows me to lose interest.
Well-written and recommended for fans of memoirs.

and a different take on the average cozy-type, light mystery:

by Micki Browning

This was a light mystery set in the Florida Keys, first in a series that features biologist.divemaster Mer Cavallo. Written by an author who knows her subject well, the story veers from a paranormal plot to a more realistic mystery, with quirky secondary characters. Scuba diving and boats feature here, but don't overwhelm the reader who doesn't share this hobby. It was a bit much for me that the person who is a creepy underwater ghosthunter who went missing was named Ishmael Styx (really?) There's a touch of romance, nothing heavy, and the story rebounds from a middle section that was in danger of losing my attention. Good first book. Recommended for readers of light suspense/cozies.

I didn't finish anything else, but I'm almost finished with this fiction title:

The Book of Essie
by Meghan MacLean Weir

This is one of those that I start, put aside and said no way-- not my type-- but then I pick up and keep reading because I want to find out how it all ties together at the end. I'm a reader who will never skip to the end of a book, even if it's a DNF! I kept going with this one, almost like a rubbernecker on the road giving in to the urge to stare at an accident. This isn't my typical story and I'm not even sure who I would recommend it to. I thought it would be more lighthearted or at least humorous, dealing just with the reality tv setting that this family lives in, but it's darker, snarkier, and has triggers for certain readers (all offstage).

It's about a 17 year old pregnant teen named Essie, who kept all her diaries chronicling her life in this fishbowl setting and is about to release them to the press and blow her phony family life out of the water. The author writes with a sharp edge, managing to walk the line between parody and reality, and coming just short of insulting various groups. I can't say I love this book, but I'm still reading because I just have to satisfy my need to find out how the author will wrap this up. When I finish it, I'll let you know if it was worth the read for me. Not sure who I would recommend it to; it's potentially an enjoyable story for a certain niche of readers.  

Edit: I finished the book and the last 15% or so is very good and ties up loose ends. I realized the book had a message of tolerance for all, but needed some "baddies" on the other side, thus the use of a cliched fervently religious, wealthy family. In the end, some human foibles are shown for the main characters... too little, too late? Not my favorite of the year, but some might really enjoy it.

Next up--because I need to get away from my current direction of reading:

The Search 
by Nora Roberts
What I bought, borrowed, or received from NetGalley (I know, I'm slowly pulling away from it... but I can't resist when I get emails offering me a desirable title or a read-now that I've been wanting to read):

Purchased, used:
The Search by Nora Roberts

Received from NetGalley:
As You Wish by Jude Deveraux
Death and a Pot of Chowder by Cornelia Kidd
The Fall of Innocence by Jenny Torres Sanchez
The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
The Real Michael Swann by Bryan Reardon
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
How did your week look? Did you venture out of your comfort zone as I did? Or did you stick with the tried-and-true authors you enjoy? What's up next for you?

I'm linking up with Kim @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer for the Sunday Post!