Thursday, August 22, 2019

Book Beginnings: Curtains for Romeo


Curtains for Romeo, by Jessa Archer (Archer Mysteries, July 2019). This is the book's first paragraph:
I'm not the type of person who is habitually late. In fact, I truly loathe being late. I'll get up an hour before I really need to in order to be sure I'm on time. Maybe even early. 
About the Book:
"Acting jobs are scarce now for former TV teen detective Antigone Alden. So when a teaching position opens up at Southern Coastal University, Tig packs up her teenage daughter and heads home to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The house she inherited from her mother isn't entirely empty, however. Her mom seems stuck between this life and the next, and now Tig is a local reporter's prime suspect in the murder of the former theater professor. Given his reputation as a ladies' man, there are plenty of people with a motive. Tig isn't a detective. She just played one on TV. Will that be enough to help her find the killer?"

Initial Thoughts:

When I read that opening passage, my first thought was that it sounds just like me! I always think I'm going to need much more time to get ready to go somewhere than I really do. So things tend to get really frantic around here when I have any sort of early errands or appointments.

Anyhoo... I received this one as the result of a GoodReads giveaway, and I'm a little late starting it. Sounds like a fun read, so I'm eager to get going. It's the first book in a new cozy series — the Coastal Playhouse Mysteries, by Jessa Archer who is also the author of the Hand Lettering Mystery series which sound very intriguing.

Happy Friday, everyone! And happy reading! And have a lovely weekend.



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.

Monday, August 19, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?



Since my last update, I've finished exactly NO books. Summer stagnation has got me. Also, a few minor medical surprises have been taking up a lot more time than I'd expected.

So this post will be nice and short: no books finished, no reviews posted. Several books started, though — this week I'm hoping to finish at least these two:



The Patience of a Dead Man, by Michael Clark


After that, I have a few more ARCs I should get to as soon as possible:

What Rose Forgot, by Nevada Barr


Pursuit, by Joyce Carol Oates


The Shape of Night, by Tess Gerritsen

That's definitely enough to keep me busy for the rest of August — and at the rate I read, probably into September as well. That's if I can stay AWAY from the doctor's office for a while. (Fingers crossed.) So, now it's back to the books....

Happy reading, everyone! And have a lovely week.



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs.


Friday, August 02, 2019

Book Beginnings: The Potted Gardener


The Potted Gardener: An Agatha Raisin Mystery, by M.C. Beaton (first published 1994). This is the book's first sentence:
A mild, damp winter was edging towards spring when Agatha Raisin motored slowly homeward to the village of Carsely after a long holiday.

About the Book:
Agatha Raisin has a crush on her neighbor, handsome ex-military officer James Lacey. In order to endear herself to him, she takes up one of his interests — gardening, hoping to participate with him in the prestigious Carsely Horticultural Contest. But as the contest approaches, villagers' gardens are being mysteriously uprooted, plants poisoned and burned. When the prime suspect in these malicious acts turns up dead, Agatha must turn amateur sleuth once more to solve the murder mystery. 

Initial Thoughts:

Not a really scintillating beginning, is it? That's OK, though, because these Agatha Raisin cozies (this is number three in the long-running series) tend to move really fast. So I know something interesting — and probably hilarious — is coming very soon. Just what I need right now.

Happy Friday, everyone! And happy reading! And have a lovely weekend.



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Reading Update: Almost August



Not sure how this happened, but July is nearly outta here! I had about a dozen books I was hoping to read this summer, and so far I'm a little off track. (As usual!) But even though this month has been really busy, I have managed to get a few books read in the last couple of weeks.

Mrs. Everything, by Jennifer Weiner
(which I actually started in June, so I guess it's not technically a July read) 


Recursion, by Blake Crouch (a very fast read)


Lady in the Lake, by Laura Lippman
(another quick read, although I still have a teensy bit to finish up tonight)

This week I'll be finishing up that last one, and trying to get some reviews posted on the blog — I've really been neglecting reviews this year. Then I hope to start a couple of others on my summer list:


We Were Killers Once, by Becky Masterman
(the fourth book in her Brigid Quinn mystery series)


Fake Like Me, by Barbara Bourland
(by another new-to-me author, creating a lot of buzz)


Anyway, that is the plan. So... back to the books.

Happy reading, everyone! And have a lovely week.



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs.


Friday, July 26, 2019

Book Beginnings: Lady in the Lake


Lady in the Lake, by Laura Lippman (William Morrow, July 2019). This is the book's first sentence:
I saw you once.

About the Book:
Lady in the Lake is "a novel set in 1960s Baltimore that combines modern psychological insights with elements of classic noir, about a middle-aged housewife turned aspiring reporter who pursues the murder of a forgotten young woman."

Initial Thoughts:

Well, that's short and sweet, right? Peek-a-boo! Right away I'm wondering who saw who, especially since this opening section is printed in italics. Who's talking here? And who's getting looked at?

Actually, my first thought about this book was that it might have something to do with Raymond Chandler's classic Philip Marlowe novel with the same title (The Lady in the Lake, first published 1943). Since I'm just starting this new one, I haven't answered that question yet.

This will be my first Laura Lippman book, but I've got several of her earlier works on my "want to read" list. So far, this one is definitely holding my interest, and as soon as I get back from the super market run today, I'll get stuck back into it.

Happy Friday and happy reading, everyone! And have a lovely weekend.



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Monday, July 15, 2019

Midsummer Reading Update



Well, maybe not officially midsummer, but suddenly it's the middle of July! Can you believe that? Generally, my reading slows down a bit during the summer, but this year I seem to be slower than ever. And what with all the Wimbledon tennis to watch the last couple of weeks, I find I'm still reading the same couple of books I was reading at the end of June....

Mrs. Everything, by Jennifer Weiner

and...

Recursion, by Blake Crouch

I'm enjoying both of those, but for some reason I can't seem to keep reading either one long enough to finish. Hoping to get through them this week so I can start this one (a "win" from a GoodReads giveaway):

Curtains for Romeo, by Jessa Archer

That's the plan, anyway. So...back to the books.

Happy reading, everyone! And have a lovely week.



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs.


Friday, June 28, 2019

Book Beginnings: Old Baggage


Old Baggage: A Novel, by Lissa Evans (Harper Perennial, 2018). These are the book's opening lines:
Part I
1928
Mattie always carried a club in her handbag — just a small one, of polished ash. That was the most infuriating aspect of the whole episode: she'd actually been armed when it happened.
************

About the Book:
Matilda "Mattie" Simpkin is a woman with a thrilling past and a chafingly uneventful present. During the Women’s Suffrage Campaign she was a militant. Jailed five times, she marched, sang, gave speeches, smashed windows and heckled Winston Churchill, and nothing – nothing – since then has had the same depth, the same excitement. 
Now in middle age, she is still looking for a fresh mold into which to pour her energies. But what starts as a brilliantly idealistic plan is derailed by a connection with Mattie’s militant past, one which begins to threaten every principle that she stands for. (--excerpted from publisher's description)

Initial Thoughts:

I love a woman who can take care of herself! And Mattie Simpkin certainly seems to fit that description.

Lissa Evans is a new author for me, and so far I'm really loving her novel. Hoping to finish it up later on tonight.

Happy Friday and happy reading, everyone! And have a lovely weekend.



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Monday, June 10, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?



Didn't finish any books last week. I was involved in a poetry-reading get together this weekend, and I ended up spending a great deal of last week tracking down some poems to read. It was fun, but unfortunately cut into my overall reading time a bit more than I'd expected. By the way, if you're looking for poetry to read aloud, a couple of good online resources are:

So this week I'm pretty much still reading what I had going last week....mainly:


Recursion, by Blake Crouch



The Patience of a Dead Man, by Michael Clark



The Last Romantics, by Tara Conklin

Three very different books — a nice variety. That's probably more than I'll likely get through, but it's good to have goals. Right?

Happy reading, everyone! And have a lovely week.



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs.


Monday, June 03, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?



So here we are at the beginning of another month. June!!!  2019 is almost half over, and I'm nowhere near halfway through all the books I'm hoping to read this year. Which is pretty normal around here, actually.

May wasn't a terrible month for me, reading-wise — but it wasn't stellar. I managed to finish three books....


Light from Other Stars, by Erika Swyler
Little Darlings, by Melanie Golding
The Invited, by Jennifer McMahon

and almost finish one more:

The Vicious Vet (Agatha Raisin #2), by M.C. Beaton

My goal for this week is to get those reviewed, and then start on my June list which includes all of these:


We Were Killers Once (Brigid Quinn #4), by Becky Masterman
The Patience of a Dead Man, by Michael Clark
Mrs. Everything, by Jennifer Weiner
Recursion, by Blake Crouch

So I've definitely got enough to keep me busy for a while. And now I'm gonna go see what everybody else is reading — and probably add a few more books to my already ridiculously-huge "MUST READ" list.

Happy reading, everyone! And have a lovely week.



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. If you want to let the world know what you're going to be reading this week, head on over to her blog and leave your link. It's also a great way to discover new books and new blogs.


Saturday, June 01, 2019

Summer Reading Events

I really should not be looking at new reading challenges, since I haven't been doing all that well with the ones I've already signed up for this year. But a few interesting challenges/events have shown up on my radar recently. Don't know if I'll be joining in, but these look like fun....


The Sci-Fi Summer Readathon is hosted by Michelle @ Seasons of Reading, and runs from June 1st (hey, that's today!) through the 14th. Two whole weeks of reading devoted to sci-fi or fantasy. Click here for guidelines and sign-ups.



20 Books of Summer, 2019 edition — hosted by Cathy @ 746Books — runs from June 3rd to September 3rd. This sounds like a great way to knock off some of those books you've been meaning to get to all year, but just haven't managed yet. And it doesn't have to be 20 books — could be 15 or even 10, and you can change your target list at any time. Click here to read all about it.



Then there's also a summer version of the COYER challenge — the COYER Summer Hunt, hosted by Michelle @ Because Reading is Better Than Real Life. The regular COYER challenges are usually a little more structured than I like, but this one is much looser, as Michelle says: "Normally you’re only allowed to read eBooks that were less than $5 for COYER, but since this is Summer Vacation you can read whatever you want!"

Summer COYER begins June 1st and runs until August 31st, and sign-ups will be open until Saturday, July 6th. Click here for more guidelines and sign-ups.


Friday, May 31, 2019

Book Beginnings: The Vicious Vet


The Vicious Vet (Agatha Raisin series, Book 2), by M.C. Beaton (first published 1993). These are the book's opening lines:
Agatha Raisin arrived at London's Heathrow Airport with a tan outside and a blush of shame inside. She felt an utter fool as she pushed her load of luggage towards the exit.

About the Book:
Feisty Agatha Raisin, former London PR exec, has retired to a quiet Cotswold village. After handsome vet Paul Bladen accidentally kills himself while attending Lord Pendlebury's horse, Agatha and her attractive neighbor James Lacey investigate the curious lack of sorrow shown by Bladen's divorced wife. Meanwhile, a killer plans another "accident."
Initial Thoughts:

Well, that first paragraph seems perfectly plausible — Agatha Raisin generally spends a lot of time feeling foolish.

I read the first Agatha Raisin book (The Quiche of Death) earlier this year and loved it, so I thought I'd get on with another in the series. It's unusual for me to read cozies in the proper order — for some reason, I usually start with the most recent and then work my way back. But I think the Agatha series would be fun in any order you choose.

Hope you're enjoying all your current reading. Happy Friday, everyone! And have a lovely weekend.



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Book Beginnings: Light from Other Stars


Light from Other Stars, by Erika Swyler (Bloomsbury Publishing, May 2019). Here's how it starts:
Aboard Chawla 
Nedda Papas rose to birdsong, the sharp, rasping call of a dusky seaside sparrow against a backdrop of waves — a reminder of home and things she'd never see again.
About the Book:
Swyler's new novel is "at once a wistfully nostalgic coming-of-age tale and a profound work of horror-tinged science fiction." (Kirkus Review)

Initial Thoughts:

I don't read as much sci-fi as I once did, but the sound of this one appealed to me. I read Swyler's earlier novel, The Book of Speculation, and didn't like it as much as most other readers seemed to. But so far, this one is definitely holding my attention.

Hope you're enjoying all your current reading. Happy Friday, everyone! And have a lovely weekend.



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.


Friday, May 03, 2019

Book Beginnings: The Invited


The Invited, by Jennifer McMahon (Doubleday, April 2019). This is the book's first sentence:
It had started when Hattie was a little girl.

About the Book:
The Invited is the story of a husband and wife who don't simply move into a haunted house, they start building one from scratch, without knowing it, until it's too late . . . (from GoodReads)

Initial Thoughts:

Well, of course I'm wondering who Hattie is, and WHAT started when Hattie was a little girl. And since this story is all about a haunted house, I'm thinking whatever it was is going to be nice and spooky.

Also thinking it's a little weird that I just got finished with a book called The Uninvited. Which was also a ghost story. Something of a pattern going on here, hmmm?

This is one of the books I was planning to read in April, so I'm a little late getting started. So far, I seem to be running late on just about everything this year. Just like last year!

Hope you're enjoying all your current reading. Happy Friday, everyone! And have a lovely weekend.



Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday.  As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.