A Little Person with a BIG DREAM (Mother Teresa by Vegara)

This is a highly appealing entry in a highly appealing series. The illustrations were so f

This is a highly appealing entry in a highly appealing series. The illustrations are so engaging and adorable. The book is about Agnes. who grew up in Macedonia and, when young, learned about missionary work in India. The work spoke to her, leading Agnes to travel to Ireland where she became a nun. Agnes soon moved to India where she dedicated her life to educating children and taking care of the poor. Agnes, who grew up to be Mother Teresa, led a truly exceptional life. Let your little one be inspired by this amazing, modest and saintly woman.  This charmingly told read aloud for children includes photos and additional biographical information along with a short reading list.

#MotherTeresa #NetGalley  Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher!

Pub day post!

This is an honest introduction to the stories of forty Greek gods and goddesses. All the gory details including husbands and wives who are brothers and sisters (or fathers and daughters) and brief accounts of the violent acts that the gods committed are there but all is simply told. Each god or goddess has a couple of pages in the book, complete with illustrations, interesting facts, genealogy, symbols and accomplishments, etc. This reads more like a beginning reference book than a story-like retelling of the myths. It is a good reference for those who want to learn about the early Greeks’ stories and world views.

Welcome back, Book Buzz!

Another issue of an excellent resource. Find out what you can look forward to reading in September. Among the titles noted are Jude Devereaux’s first mystery novel along with The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock which has garnered excellent reviews in England. Debut novels, fiction, non-fiction are all included with the names of forthcoming titles. Pick your fall reading by starting here. Thanks BookBuzz!

Still Me (at the end of Jojo Moyes trilogy)

Still Me: A Novel (Me Before You Trilogy)Me Before You was truly a breakout book for Jojo Moyes.  It was not her first book.  Other novels that she has written include Ship of Brides, Windfallen, and Last Letter to My Lover (which I liked very much), among others.  The sequel to Me Before You was Me After You.  Honestly, I found that one to not be nearly as good.  Then came Still Me.  Still Me was an excellent read.  In this one, Louisa finds her footing after some ups and downs.  She has moved to Manhattan where she becomes the assistant to a wealthy second wife.  It would be easy to caricature Mrs. Gopnick but Ms. Moyes does not do this; the reader feels empathy for her, along with the elderly woman whose dog’s name is Dean Martin and the building’s doorman and his family.  There are two romances for Louisa, one with Sam (from Book Two) and one with Josh.  Read the book to find out who the better man is.  Louisa’s family also figures in the novel; her sister finds a happier life and her parents move forward as well.  This book feels like it will be the last one about Louisa.  She has been given a very good send off!

A Little Writer with a Big Dream (Jane Austen by Vegara and Isa)

Jane Austen (Little People, Big Dreams)All of the books in the Little People, BIG DREAMS series are about well-known women, starting when they were girls and watching as they grow up. Each entry can inspire young readers. This story about Jane Austen is no exception. As always, the illustrations are charming and engaging. Jane is described within her family and credit is given to her father for believing that girls should be educated.Jane grows up loving to read and to make up plays. A romance that she experienced is explored and, of course, Jane grows up to be a writer who gives her heroines agency and the chance to make some of their own decisions. This book is another welcome addition in a good series! Thank you NetGalley and Quarto!

E-book bargains (McLain and Massey)

Love and Ruin: A NovelCurrently on sale for $2.99.  I previously blogged on this book and am attaching the review below:

Much has been written about Ernest Hemingway and his wives but no-one writes about them better than Paula McLain, whose new novel is about Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn. I thought that this author’s debut novel, The Paris Wife, was a wonderful book; it told the story of the young Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley. The author beautifully captured Hadley’s voice. When I started Love and Ruin, I wondered if Ms. McLain would be able to again capture the essence of an historical character…she does!
Martha Gellhorn and Hemingway initially meet in Florida. They become closer when traveling to Spain during the Civil War, a war which is hearbreakingly portrayed in the novel. Hemingway and Gellhorn travel together to Cuba, Florida, Europe during WWII, Utah, etc. with each locale coming alive. World events unfurl in their presence.
This is also the story of a relationship; what is it like to be in the orbit of a truly charismatic person? Is that enough? How does one maintain a sense of identity? Gellhorn, a writer and reporter of merit, struggles as a relationship of equals becomes less so. There is love and yes, ruin, in the coming together and apart of these two historical personages. The reader is a witness to the joys and struggles of this couple.
I highly recommend Love and Ruin. It is one of the finest historical novels that I have read. Thanks for this one NetGalley! It was special.

The Salaryman's Wife (Rei Shimura Mysteries Book 1)On sale for $1.99.

I have read and enjoyed every book in Sujata Massey’s Rei Shimura series. I wish that the author would write more novels about Rei.  However, Ms. Massey is currently writing another series that is based in India. The first in that series is The Widows of Malabar Hill.  But..back to this Japanese series.   Each novel is an excellent mystery with recurring characters, a bit of romance and information about Japanese life.  For instance, this one is about the lives of the wives of Japanese businessmen; other novels have had information about manga, flower arranging, etc. These themes are seamlessly intertwined with the stories.  This series is highly recommended!

“Sujata Massey blasts her way into fiction with “The Salaryman’s Wife, ” a cross-cultural mystery of manners with a decidedly sexy edge.”– Janet Evanonich”A witty, perceptive take on how contemporary society clashed with traditional culture in modern Japan.”– Laura John Rowland”This book is a magic carpet to the Japanese Alps, and serves up murder as well. Great reading!”– Barbara D’Amato”A terrific debut, crafted with surprising twists and turns, and steeped in the flavor of contemporary Japan.”– Jonnie Jacobs

About the Author

Sujata Massey was a reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun and spent several years in Japan teaching English and studying Japanese. She is the author of The Salaryman’s Wife, Zen Attitude, The Flower Master, The Floating Girl, The Bride’s Kimono, The Samurai’s Daughter, The Pearl Diver, and The Typhoon Lover. She lives in Minneapolis.

A Monthly Recap for July 2018 (Children’s Books)

white teddy bear reading book

Oh, to be a child again in a world with so many wonderful reads.  Recaps below.

National Parks of the USA-Cheerfully illustrated and full of facts.

The Know Nonsense Guide to Space-A great introduction for future astronomers and astronauts.

Surfer Dude=A lovely, touching book about a Chincogeague pony.

Anna at the Art Museum-For adults and children who may not have been enthusiastic at the prospect of a visit.

Fantastic Failures-From all walks of life, those who learned form their experiences.

Little People, Big DreamsJosephine Baker-One of my favorite children’s series.  Another good entry.

I Like Art-Realism-A quick and factual introduction to the art movement with good reproductions.

10 Reasons to Love a Penguin-As if you needed them?  Cute and appealing.

The Night Dragon-A lovely bedtime story that is beautifully illustrated.

The Bossy Pirate-One to help children learn to share.

Joy-Wonderful illustrations about a young girl and her grandmother.

Music Legends-An appealing look at great artists that is full of fun facts.

Greek Gods and Heroes-As above but about gods.

Good Morning Neighbor-A lovely read aloud for young children.  I liked the repetition and the illustrations.

Time for Bed, Miyuki-A fantastical bedtime story with gorgeous artwork.

Who Made This Mess?-A book to gently teach children to look after their stuff.

See the blog archive for the full reviews.  Thanks for reading!


A Monthly Recap for July 2018 (Adult)

books in black wooden book shelfSo many good books this month.  A recap is below.  Please see the blog archives for July for the posts.  As always, I welcome your comments and thoughts, your visits and likes.  Thanks for reading!!

 Books That I Read This Month

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Hurston:  Written by an African American author and a classic.  Find out who Janie is and wants to be.

The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald:  Another classic that is well worth a first read or a second…or even more reads.

The Glass Room by Cleeves:  An entry in the Vera Hope mystery series.  Always enjoyable to spend time with Vera and her team.

Charleston by Bell and Nicholson:  For lovers of the Bloomsbury group.

Dark Tide Rising by Perry:  The newest Monk mystery which will be released in August.  Readers of the blog know that I love this author.

A Double Life by Berry: Based on Lord Lucan’s murder.  A fictional re-telling and a page turner.

The Perfect Couple by Hilderbrand: A popular women’s fiction writers first mystery.  A good summer read.

The Banker’s Wife by Alger:  A financial thriller.  I really enjoyed this one!

Okay!  On to August.  Happy reading.


Published today!

This is Flynn Berry’s second novel; it follows Under the Harrow. A Double Life is inspired by a true murder that was reportedly committed by Lord Lucan. Lord Lucan supposedly murdered his children’s nanny after he mistook the nanny for his wife. Lord Lucan was never seen again and nothing is definitvely known about what happened to him. Lord Lucan’s wife died only recently, never saying anything more.

In this novel, Flynn Berry imagines what might have happened. She tells her story largely through the eyes of the daughter, imagining what life was like for her, her mother and her brother following the horrific murder. Flashbacks about the relationship of the protagonist’s parents and their friends add to the seeming veracity of the story.

I found this book to be a page turner and finished it within a few days. There were some plot twists and some food for thought once the full story was told. Anyone out there who reads this, I will be interested in your take on the ending.

Note this is a fictional account and does not in all respects follow what happened to the family.

Thanks for this excellent read NetGalley and the publisher!

Kudos to Quarto publishers and the author for another informative, appealing and enjoyable entry in the Little People, Big Dreams series. This time it is the story of Josephine Baker, a dancer and entertainer, who moved far from her segregated hometown to find renown in Paris and beyond. I discovered things that I did not know about Ms. Baker in this short book. While I knew about her performances and the large family that she created through adoption, I just now learned that she helped the French Resistance during WWII and was active in the Civil Rights movement.
This book will appeal to both children with dreams and the adults who encourage them. As always, the illustrations add to the appeal of the book.

Thanks NetGalley and the publisher for publishing these inspiring stories

Find out what “The Banker’s Wife” knows (Alger)

The Banker’s Wife is a great summer read, especially for those who enjoy novels like The Expats by Chris Pavone. The set up…Annabel is married to Matthew. Matthew is a banker at a Swiss bank that keeps secrets for its depositors. Marina is a journalist who is engaged to a prospective presidential candidate’s son. She works with Duncan. They are trying to locate a notorious Ponzi schemer. The story, of course, is even bigger than this.

Matthew is reported killed in a plane crash along with a cousin of Syria’s dictator. Annabel is left bereaved and unsafe. Marina is unsafe as well. While the two do not meet, they are both impacted by the business practices of Swiss United Bank.

Both Annabel and Marina are connected to a myriad of other characters. There are questions about whom to trust and how to unravel the bank’s schemes and hold those who are guilty accountable. The reader experiences doubts too regarding what has happened and who all of the ‘bad guys’ are.

Christina Alger has written a book that is suspenseful and engaging. The plot is complex but not too hard to follow. The reader will understand more about financial shenanigans and the private banking worlds that are fascinating and not part of many readers’ daily lives.

I truly enjoyed the settings, characters and the plot of the novel. I highly recommend it!

“First-rate…Slick, heart-hammering entertainment.”–The New York Times Book Review

#TheBanker’sWife #NetGalley