Looking Forward to April

looking forward

looking forward

Tuesday Top Ten

spring tbr

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week’s challenge was to list the top ten books on our TBR list for this spring.  I stuck to books that are being released this spring.  What are you looking forward to reading this spring?

  1. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – A novel about bookstores – how can I resist?!  And it sounds like an interesting story, too.
  2. Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy – One last book from a master storyteller…
  3. One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern –Ahern’s books always have a unique perspective on life.
  4. The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt – The next book in my Indiespensables subscription which rarely disappoints!
  5. The Ninja Librarians by Jen Swann Downey – Sorry, I can’t help it!  When I told my husband I wanted this book, he told me I already have too many books.  My argument?  None of them are about Ninja Librarians!

And a bunch of books in series that I read are coming out this spring!

  1. Field of Prey by John Sandford – I didn’t love his last book, but I have always liked the Lucas Davenport books in the past, so I’m giving him another chance!
  2. Robert B. Parker’s Cheap Shot by Ace Atkins – Ahh… the chance to hang with Spencer and Hawk again!
  3. By Its Cover by Donna Leone – I’m looking forward to the opportunity to travel the streets of Venice again with Commissario Guido Brunetti
  4. In the Morning I’ll Be Gone by Adrian McKinty – The last book in The Trouble Trilogy, it will be interesting to see where Sean Duffy, a Catholic cop in the Protestant police force in Northern Ireland in the early 1980s, will end up.
  5. The Hollow Girl by Reed Farrel Coleman – I am so excited to read this book, but so sad to see the end of the Moe Prager series, one of the best detective series ever written.

Tuesday Top Ten

top ten debuts 2014

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Book bloggers create their own lists based on the chosen topics and post links to our lists. It’s a way of all sharing our thoughts and our love of books.  And who doesn’t love lists??

So this week’s challenge was to list the top ten debuts for 2014.  I wasn’t sure if that meant debut authors or just debut books, so I went with books since it’s hard enough for me to come up with my top ten list of new books for 2014 (I haven’t looked out that far into 2014!) without adding the complication of needing a debut author as well!   These are actually probably the top ten books I am looking forward to this winter since I haven’t really explored too much of what is coming out later in the year…

  1. Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd – While I loved The Secret Life of Bees I admittedly never have read The Mermaid’s Chair (and even sadder, it might be in my TBR pile, but I’m not sure…), but I am not going to let this one slip by!
  2. Perfect by Rachel Joyce – I adored The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Frye and am looking forward to her next book!
  3. Orfeo by Richard Powers – My next Indiespensable that will be arriving this month!
  4. The Museum of Extraordinary Things  by Alice Hoffman – While I have not read all of her novels, she has never disappointed me!  Her prose is always beautiful, thought-provoking, and engrossing.
  5. Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy – LOVE her books and grateful for the opportunity to read her one more time…
  6. One Hundred Names by Cecelia Ahern – The concept sounds interesting, and while my enjoyment of some of her previous books has varied, I am looking forward to seeing where she takes us in her latest.
  7. Dear Abigail: The Intimate Lives and Revolutionary Ideas of Abigail Adams and Her Two Remarkable Sisters by Diane Jacobs – I believe that Abigail Adams is one of the most interesting women in American history and after reading Book of Ages I am ready to re-immerse myself in this time in women’s history.
  8. Fortunate Son: A Novel of the Greatest Trial in Irish History by David Marlett – This novelization of true events, combining Irish and American history, with results that still impact our judicial system today, sounds fascinating to me.
  9. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson – Her gritty and realistic YA novels are disturbingly wonderful.
  10. Landline by Rainbow Rowell – The best new-to-me author that I discovered in 2013, I thought Eleanor & Park and Fangirl were both wonderful real books for teens and I’m looking forward to seeing if she will do the same when writing adult fiction.

Irish Authors

Doesn’t everyone love all things Irish?  I’m Irish by marriage only, but there is still a pull – a magical land, wonderful music, good beer…  Here are a couple of great books featuring Ireland by Irish authors that came out this summer.

city of hope

This is the follow-up novel to Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan, and now we find Ellie back in Ireland with her husband, running her own businesses and struggling with her inability to have children.  But when her husband dies suddenly, Ellie runs from all she loves, unable to deal with the grief, back to New York City.  She finds the city changed from her previous time there, and her plans of shopping and dining with old friends are overshadowed by the realities of the Great Depression.  Trying to distract herself from dealing with her grief, Ellie throws herself into opening homes, in a commune-like setting, for the homeless.  It seems to be working until one day someone from her past shows up at the door, opening up new emotions and possibilities, while eventually forcing her to confront her grief, and eventually to return to Ireland and face her past.

I didn’t like this installment of the series as much as the first, but it may just be that it suffers from the 2nd-in-a-trilogy syndrome, and the third book will pull me back in.  In spite of Ellie’s generosity and charity to others, I found her to be annoyingly self-centered and overly proud of herself and her independence in this book.  Having said that, I was still anxious to see what would become of her, and was pulled in by the descriptions of that time in NYC and by the people that surrounded her.

Title: City of Hope
Author: Kate Kerrigan
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 352
Publication: William Morrow Paperbacks, June 2013

time of my life

Dear Lucy Silchester,

You have an appointment for Monday, May 30.

Yours sincerely,

Life

Lucy has been making a real mess of her life, and now her life wants to sit down and talk about it.  Ever since she split with her boyfriend, things have unraveled and she has created an immense web of lies to keep others from asking too many questions.  She lives in a crappy apartment, has a job that she hates with people she dislikes, her car is breaking down, her relationship with her family is strained, and her friends are beginning to question her honesty and commitment.  Turns out that Life is actually a run-down man who wants her to focus on her Life and turn things around.  He follows her everywhere – to work, out with her friends, and to meet with her family – puzzling everyone and frustrating Lucy.  Eventually, Lucy learns to love her Life, and to face the choices she has made and the lies she has told.

Lucy got on my nerves sometimes – can’t lie about that – maybe it was her ability to effortlessly lie about EVERYTHING or her inability to make a smart decision!  But I loved Life – his humor, his patience, and his commitment to getting things right.  The idea of Lucy’s Life actually being another person seems implausible and awkward, and it was at first, but soon it seemed natural and obvious.  The message was obvious – the need for each of us to take the time to focus on our own lives once and awhile.  Overall, it was a fun read, with plenty of humor in Lucy’s interactions with Life.

Title: The Time of My Life
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 512
Publication: William Morrow Paperbacks, April 2013