Now on sale as a$4.99 e book

The Lost Book of the Grail: A Novel by [Lovett, Charlie]My earlier review…take out winter and note it is a good book for spring too.

I adored this book.  It has everything that an Anglophile could possibly want.  There are churches, books and searches.  There is romance between a Brit and an American.  There are mysteries and family connections. There are even arguments about print versus digital.   On your first cold night in the fall, imagine you are by the fire and enjoy this read!

Tis the season: One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak

  Do you enjoy women’s fiction?  Are you ready to be immersed in a long (464 page) book?  If you  might answer yes to these questions, this title could provide you with an escapist read.

The setting is Lake Tahoe, a beautiful and peaceful place with lots of water, places to walk and sports to enjoy.  There are three protagonists; Serenity, Reagan and Lorelei.

Serenity writes books about true crimes.  There is a true crime in her personal life that has changed everything for her.  Next is Reagan; she is an ambitious, successful advertising executive until one decision and one moment changes everything. She will be faced with some big decisions. Then there are Lorelei and her four year old daughter Lucy.  Lorelei grew up in foster care and knows nothing about her family.  She was happy in her marriage until…

What do these women have in common?  No spoiler as this comes out early in the novel; the three share a blood relationship discovered after they did testing with a DNA site.  How are they connected?  Who is their common biological relative?  Why has no-one ever discussed any of this with any of them>  You will need to get very close to the end of the book to find the answer.

Around this central plot there are many others involving the sisters’ families, their evolving relationship and their next door neighbors, all of whom have their own stories.  The strands intertwine and four narrators voice the story; these are the three sisters and Finn, one of the neighbors.

Overall, this was a book where the pages turned.  The characters are well established and each is very much their own person.  That said, I think that the novel might have been (even) better had it been shorter.  Sometimes sections replayed things that were already known to the reader.

This was the first novel that I have read by this author.  I would most likely read another of her books.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

Pub date:  April 7, 2020

#OnePerfectSummer #NetGalley

Be in on it: Secrets of Meditation by Kim Davies

If you already practice mindfulness or meditation, you may find that it is helping you during these trying times.  If you would like to see if these practices can offer solace, this is a good time to investigate.  Whichever person you may be, I recommend taking a look at this title.

The author notes the long history of meditation and some of its more modern evolutions.  All are designed to facilitate regulating one’s mind and developing awareness.  They also place one firmly in the moment, rather than spending time in the past or future, which have either happened or we do not yet know.

There is a lot of information inside this book, all of it presented clearly.  The majority of the practices are for adults but a section on children is also included. .  The illustrations and photographs will help readers to see how to perform their meditation and work on their practice. Choose a practice that might work for you; one of my personal favorites was the chocolate bar meditation; another was one for washing dishes.

The author seems like an ideal guide for those exploring mindfulness.  She helps readers to think about why they want to practice, how they might practice and where.  Common obstacles are also given attention.  The importance of self-kindeness is emphasized.

All in all, I found this to be an excellent title.  Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this read.  All opinions are my own.

#SecretsofMeditation #NetGalley

Now out: Murder at the Mena House by Erica Ruth Neubauer

They say that you can’t judge a book by its cover but I have to say that, as soon as I saw this one, the visual appeal made me want to read Murder at the Mena House. This is an historical mystery set in Egypt in 1926. The author does a wonderful job with the setting, both in terms of the indolent, luxury hotel and the sites, including the pyramids, museums, camel races and more. There are a variety of colorful characters and some interesting backstory for the majority of them.

I think that this is the author’s first published book. I enjoyed this read although the mystery itself was the least engaging part for me. I will read further adventures of Jane as they are published. She was a good guide to Egypt and those around her.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

#MurderattheMenaHouse #NetGalley

Fun with pups: Bark Park (Bark Park Book 1) by Brandi Dougherty

This title is an illustrated chapter book for beginning readers.  The cartoon-like illustrations give each of the dogs a personality and will help to keep young readers turning the pages.

There are three short stories here.  Each attempts to have a bit of suspense.  For example, there is a mystery concerning a ball in the first story.   In the second one, a dog has a cone on.  Why?  Can they take it off?  And in the third chapter, there is a visit to the pet groomer.

At the end of the book, there are entries that talk about aspects of each story.  For example, the third one describes what a pet groomer does.

It is always good to encourage young readers.  They will feel grown up to be reading “chapters.”  Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title in exchange for an honest review.

Pub date:  May 12, 2020

#BarkParkBarkParkBook1 #NetGalley