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

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Tuesday Top Ten

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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 list of books that I want to read this summer.  There are WAY more than ten, there are always way more than ten books on my TBR list, and I am probably forgetting some or there are some that will hop to the top of the list later this summer when I realize they are coming out, but here’s what I’m looking forward to right now…

  1. How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny – Most anticipated book for me is definitely this one, I cannot say enough wonderful things about her Inspector Gamache series of books and have even managed to hook my husband!  The last book left me hanging and I have waited nearly a year and can hardly wait any longer!
  2. Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz – I’m a big fan of the Odd Thomas series and just getting started on the latest installment!
  3. Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – I love Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book was one of my family’s favorites for story time, and I am looking forward to his latest adult novel.
  4. In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods by Matt BellNext in my Indiespensables subscription!  They haven’t steered me wrong yet!
  5. The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth Silver – This thriller is getting a lot of positive press, and I’m hoping it will live up to the hype.
  6. The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel – Behind every great man… I just can’t imagine sending my husband into space (of course, there ARE days…), and I think it’s fascinating to get a glimpse of these women who share that bond.
  7. Silver Starr by Jeanette Walls I really enjoyed her memoir and the novel based on her grandmother’s life.  I’m hoping that her fiction work is as engrossing!
  8. City of Hope by Kate Kerrigan – Having read and enjoyed Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan, I am looking forward to reading this follow-up story of the characters.
  9. Cozy Mysteries – A bunch of my favorite mystery series have new books coming out this summer –  Angora Alibi by Sally Goldenbaum, Cookbook Conspiracy by Kate Carlisle, Body in the Piazza by Katherine Hall Page, …  easy, quick, fun summer reading!
  10. Summer Reads! – There are a bunch of authors who come out with books each summer that are perfect quick reads for sitting on the back deck or the beach with an iced tea – Ladies’ Night by Mary Kay Andrews, The Engagements by J. Courtney Sullivan, The Last Original Wifeby Dorothea Benton Frank, Island Girls by Nancy Thayer, Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand, …