How do you want to live your life? How To Be A Stoic

Ancient Wisdom for Modern Living

by Massimo Pigliucci

What can modern readers take from the wisdom of the Stoics? How can they help us now to lead a good and meaningful life? It is impressive to read this title and discover the many ways in which the stoics can help us in making decisions and choosing the life that we want.

Take a look at this title by Professor Pigliucci. He writes in a thoughtful style and offers a glimpse into his own life in these pages. This title may change your worldview or at least provide some welcome perspective.

An e book bargain for 6.13.21

The Killings at Kingfisher Hill

by joycesmysteryandfictionbookreviews

#TheKillingsatKingfisherHill #NetGalley

The New Hercule Poirot Mystery

by Sophie Hannah

#TheKillingsatKingfisherHill #NetGalley

The Killings at Kinfisher Hill is the fourth mystery that Sophie Hannah has written with the permission of the Agatha Christie estate. The books feature Hercule Poirot. They are stand alones so can be read in any order.

This book, along with the others in the series, have an old fashioned feel. They have some Christie trademarks with traditional settings, intricate plots and some interesting characters. Readers know that with the help of his “little grey cells,” Poirot will solve the case.

There are a number of threads to the story. In one, a young woman refuses to initially board a coach because she has been told that she will be murdered if she sits in seat seven. What will happen to her whether she sits there or not?

Poirot has a conversation with a mysterious woman on this same coach. She tells him that she has murdered someone and regales him with the tale while remaining anonymous. Who is she? Did she do what she said? How will Poirot find out?

Then there is Helen. She has confessed to a murder but it is not clear that she actually killed the victim. Did she? Why if she did, and why confess if she did not?

And…who is the second murder victim? Why were they murdered? HOw does this connect with the first murder in the story?

Thank goodness that Poirot is around to bring order to the case and the reader’s world. Fans of traditional mysteries and/or Agatha Christie will enjoy this case. Can your “little grey cells” figure it out?

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this enjoyable read. All opinions are my own.

An e book bargain for 6.13.21

Lady Clementine by Marie Benedict

by joycesmysteryandfictionbookreviews

Lady Clementine is a wonderful historical novel and one that I highly recommend. As can be seen from the title, it is the story of Clementine Churchill, wife of Winston. The story is told in Clementine’s voice and Ms. Benedict inhabits that so well that, while reading, I truly felt that Clementine was telling her story. The book focuses quite a bit on WWII but there was much before that in Clementine’s biography and these earlier times merit also captured the author’s attention.

Readers learn that Clementine’s childhood was rather insecure and find out why this was so. The losses she experienced and her opportunities to marry before meeting Winston are detailed.

Clementine and Winston had many years together prior to WWII. Readers experience the ups and downs of their relationship, Winston’s political and military woes and their significant family tragedy. Winston’s neediness and strong need for Clementine to be available become quite clear. Readers also witness Clementine’s mental health struggles and the challenges that she faced as a mother. Throughout there is the lens of Clementine finding her own voice and her desire to be appreciated and recognized for the incredible woman that she was.

I give this novel 5 stars, something that I rarely do. I recommend it that highly.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for this read in exchange for an honest review.

An e book bargain for 6.13.21

Trace Elements A Comissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon

by joycesmysteryandfictionbookreviews

Where I live, the weather is currently cold and the days are short. When Trace Elements takes place during a summer in Venice, it is as hot as hot can be. Clothes are sticking, meals need to be light and our detective, Guido Brunetti is mystified by the tourists who want to be in Venice at this miserable time. I could feel the heat and the need to drink mineral water. All of this is to say that Ms. Leon is a master at creating her scenes and characters. When Brunetti was eating his cheese and salad, I salivated. When I followed this essentially good man throughout the story, I wanted to know him and his colleagues as real people. When Brunetti was with his wife, Paola, I wanted a marriage like theirs. All of this adds verisimilitude to a novel that, in parts, is deeply tragic.

Tue story begins when Brunetti and a female colleague go to visit Benedetta, a women in hospice care, who is dying a miserable death from cancer. Readers will feel great sympathy for this character’s suffering. Before she dies, Benedetta presents Brunetti and Claudia Griffoni with something to investigate. They learn that Benedetta’s daughters are about to become orphans as Benedetta’s husband recently died in a crash. Was his death an accident? If it was murder how, if at all, does it relate to his job?

In Trace Elements (an apt title), the crime as it relates to Venice feels all too plausible. Ms. Leon has done her research and written a believable and sad tale of human corruption and its consequences. Wrong actions happen but the reasons for them differ.

This title is the latest entry in Donna Leon’s long running series about Guido Brunetti. It is a most excellent novel and I recommend it highly.

Get to know the man and: The General’s Women

A Novel

by Susan Wittig Albert

I have long been a fan of this author’s China Bayles mystery series. Here she branches out into historical fiction telling the story of Eisenhower and his love affair with Kay Summersby.

At the time, Eisenhower was, of course, married to Mamie. He was in Britain because of the war and former model Kay was his assigned driver. This novel vividly imagines and brings to life their attraction to one another during times of great stress and their becoming involved with each other.

This book is titled The General’s Women because, of course it tells the story of what Mamie’s life was like as well. It was not easy. Eisenhower’s own perspective is also included.

Readers may well know which relationship Eisenhower ultimately chooses. This will not interfere with their absorption in this story.

The title covers the war but also the time after it as Eisenhower seeks a number of positions.

Fans of historical fiction, give this book a look. It makes for a good read.

Kudos to Albert for doing her research and bringing this story to life.

She might like someone to: Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley

#TalkBookishtoMe #NetGalley

Readers looking to add to their (fun) summer reading lists may well want to take a look at this title. It has all of the elements of a good light read. There are engaging characters and there is, of course, some romance.

Protagonist Kara is a writer of romantic fiction who is suffering from writer’s block. What will help her to get her novel written? Will her good friends wedding be a help or obstacle? How will the arrival of an old boyfriend shake things up?

This book has humor, some steamy scenes and more. It was an enjoyable read.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

Now out:

Talk Art

Everything You Wanted to Know About Contemporary Art but Were Afraid to Ask

by Robert Diament and Russell Tovey

#TalkArt #NetGalley

Talk Art offers readers a wide ranging look at art. While the authors come from the arts,t their fields were acting and music. Together, the two have engaged in learning more about contemporary art. They eventually began a pod cast called Talk Art and then came this title. Tovey and Diamant begin by sharing some of their own history with the readers; this helps those picking up this book to know something of the authors’ evolution.

What follows are chapters on many topics. To name a few, there are Performance Art, Public Art, Photography, Sound Art, Ceramics and more. Further, they do not shy away from the political.

This title also includes a helpful section on ways to become involved with contemporary art whether it is seeing art, creating a collection, being an artist or reading more.

This book is lavishly illustrated. Dip in anywhere or go through this title in order. A reader will walk away with something each time.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.

What happened on: A Fatal First Night

by Kathleen Marple Kalb

#AFatalFirstNight #NetGalley

This title follows on last year’s debut by this author. A Fatal Finale was a good title for cozy readers and the same can be said for A Fatal Night. Here, readers welcome back Ella Shane. This time around she is getting ready for opening night. The opera is one based on the well-known story of the princes in the tower.

Well, aficionados know that passions are often aroused at the opera. Still, it is a surprise when a murder occurs.

Watch as this Gilded Age mystery is solved by the intrepid heroine. It is a fun read with a nice sense of its period’s way of life..

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.