Thursday, September 18, 2014

I'm Currenly Reading...

Derry, Maine is where It's at!  Ack!  Isn't that a creepy cover?  Well, its the kindle cover for King's bestselling book about the murderous clown who terrorizes a group of best friends.  And right now I'm in deep with this book.  I want to read it all the time, but can only manage to do so during daylight hours.  Why?  Because this book is freaking me out and reading it at night when its dark and things go bump in the night is not an option.  So far, I'm at the part where Ben is at the library and those three bullies are waiting outside for him.  I'm hoping they don't get a hold of him, but I'm thinking this might be where he gets that "H" carved in his stomach - I could be wrong though.  I hope I'm wrong!

King has me hooked on this little town and its disturbing history.  I'm eager to find out just what "It" is and what exactly happened that summer when this group of kids befriended each other and made a pact to come back home if "It" happened again.  I'm also loving the way King goes back and forth in time with these characters - its such a great way to get to know them and "It".  I have to admit that I teared up at the beginning when Georgie died - that was just awful.  That sweet little boy!  And reading about Mellon was so hard, because I just wanted to save him from those monsters and the clown.  I can't believe that no one came out to help him and Don - you know they heard the screams and fight.   I can't help but imagine that evil clown biting Mellon's armpit - ugh!  King is just killing it with this story - it is frightening, maddening, and addicting.  I am loving this book!  I really can't wait to find out how these friends will banish "It", because I'm sure as hell hoping that they do.

This book is my first spooky read for R.I.P. IX, because it the epitome of scary.  Or at least the cover is.  And now, I'm off to try and get a few more chapters in before it gets really dark outside.  Wish me luck!

Monday, September 15, 2014

The New Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot Mystery: The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

The bestselling novelist of all time.
The world’s most famous detective.
The literary event of the year—an all-new mystery featuring
Agatha Christie’s legendary hero Hercule Poirot.

Since the publication of her first novel in 1920, more than two billion copies of Agatha Christie’s books have been sold around the globe. Now, for the first time ever, the guardians of her legacy have approved a brand new novel featuring Dame Agatha’s most beloved creation, Hercule Poirot.

‘I’m a dead woman, or I shall be soon…’

Hercule Poirot’s quiet supper in a London coffeehouse is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified – but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.

Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London Hotel have been murdered, and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim…

my thoughts:

Agatha Christie is an author whose work I've never felt inclined to read before.  So, when I was offered the chance to dive into the latest Hercule Poirot Mystery by acclaimed author, Sophie Hannah, I jumped at the chance.  I know it doesn't count as reading Christie, but I figured it would be a good way to meet the famous mustachioed Belgian detective that everyone seems to rave about.  Plus, I just love the idea of an author paying homage to another author in this manner - its rather exciting.  It reminds me of how thrilled I was when I heard that Sebastian Faulks would be penning a new Jeeves story last year - as a fan of Wodehouse, I was eager to read more Jeeves. 

The Monogram Murders finds Hercule Poirot on vacation in London, or actually in hiding.  He's trying to relax and remain incognito - he wants to give his tiny grey cells a break.  Of course, murder and intrigue never take a break and Poirot manages to find himself involved in a new case - a triple murder at the posh, Bloxham Hotel.  His friend Catchpool is in charge of the investigation and relies heavily on Poirot for guidance in solving this mysterious case.  There are red herrings, secrets, misconstrued statements, monogrammed cufflinks, a famous artist, and so much more to deal with during this triple turned quadruple murder investigation and Hannah manages to keep you guessing all the way through.  I loved Poirot and his obsession with making sure things were in order - from cutlery to bookshelves - along with his mustache and proclivity to suss out the truth.  He was adamant about letting Catchpool figure things out for himself, which only added to Catchpool's frustrations when he couldn't.  In fact, there were many a times that I couldn't help but wonder why Catchpool was even a member of Scotland Yard - he just didn't seem able to handle the job.  As for Poirot, he's the type of man you would definitely want on the case.

This story had me chuckling, gasping in shock, and reading until the wee hours - I couldn't help myself!  I loved getting to know Poirot and reading about him solving a crime - it was fascinating.  He picked up on things that no one else would even think to notice - his attention to detail was fantastic.  And, I really did admire the way he believed in Catchpool - he was a true friend and mentor.  Poirot is most definitely a character I would love to read again and again.  I plan on reading Christie's books about this wonderfully charming character in the future and look forward to getting to know him through her own words.  I do think Hannah did a superb job in creating a rich, detailed story that was engaging, mysterious, and utterly enjoyable to read.  I would definitely read her work as well.  

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Monogram Murders
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Story Hour: A Novel by Thrity Umrigar

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

From the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of The World We Found and The Space Between Us comes a profound, heartbreakingly honest novel about friendship, love, and second chances.

An experienced psychologist, Maggie carefully maintains emotional distance from her patients. But when she agrees to treat a young Indian woman who tried to kill herself, her professional detachment disintegrates. Cut off from her family in India, and trapped in a loveless marriage to a domineering man who limits her world to their small restaurant and grocery store, Lakshmi is desperately lonely.

Moved by Lakshmi’s plight, Maggie offers to see her as an outpatient for free. In the course of their first sessions in Maggie’s home office, she quickly realizes that what Lakshmi really needs is not a shrink but a friend. Determined to empower Lakshmi as a woman who feels valued in her own right, Maggie abandons protocol, and soon doctor and patient become close. Even though they seemingly have nothing in common, both women are haunted by loss and truths that they are afraid to reveal.

However, crossing professional boundaries has its price. As Maggie and Lakshmi’s relationship deepens, long-buried secrets come to light that shake their faith in each other and force them to confront painful choices in their own lives.

With Thrity Umrigar’s remarkable sensitivity and singular gift for an absorbing narrative, The Story Hour explores the bonds of friendship and the margins of forgiveness.

my thoughts:

The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar is utterly fantastic!  It is a slow-going, mesmerizing read that deftly explores the themes of friendship, secrecy, betrayal, and loyalty.  I absolutely loved it!

Maggie and Lakshmi are two very different women whose lives intersect upon a chance meeting.  Lakshmi hates her life - she works for her husband, has no contact with her family in India, and endures the aching pain of loneliness.  Maggie is confused about her life - she's a successful shrink, has a terrific husband, but finds herself committing adultery.  Both women meet when Lakshmi winds up under Maggie's care at the local hospital.  At first, Lakshmi is determined to ignore Maggie - she doesn't trust her - but sooner than you can imagine she is spilling the beans about her unhappy life in America.  As the story progresses and the lines of doctor/patient are blurred, we find ourselves learning more and more about these two strong women and the horribly wrong choices they have made in their lives - its riveting!

Umrigar has written a quiet and powerful story about two unforgettable characters, Maggie and Lakshmi.  Their differences and similarities were spellbinding, heartbreaking, and shocking at times. 
I really enjoyed getting to know them and learning about their past mistakes and their hopes for the future.  I really loved this book - Umrigar's writing style and voice is a revelation to me.   I would happily recommend The Story Hour to fans of Umrigar's works and fans of literature - you will love this book!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tours schedule for: The Story Hour
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Debutante Divorcee: A Novel by Plum Sykes

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

From New York Times bestselling author Plum Sykes comes the delicious follow-up to Bergdorf Blondes, a hilarious tale of marriage, friendship, and divorce.

Filled with wit and charm, The Debutante DivorcĂ©e stars Sylvie Mortimer, a recently married socialite who is quick to discover that her marriage is far from photo-perfect. Her best friend, Lauren Blount, the chic-est of the Debutante DivorcĂ©es, is basking in her freedom, taking solo honeymoons, having divorce showers, and pursuing any man she chooses as part of her “Make-Out Challenge.” And Sylvie’s perfect Town & Country life is about to be rocked by a divine and dangerous predator—the very rich, very young, very thin, and very divorced Husband Huntress.

my thoughts:

I loved Plum Sykes' novel, Bergdorf Blondes, because it was funny, smart, and entertaining.  It was the epitome of a chick lit book, which is a genre I love.  So, color me surprised when I had to declare her second novel, The Debutante Divorcee, a DNF -  a book I did not finish!  Ugh! I was so disappointed.  I was all set to read another engaging book by Sykes, but instead found myself faced with an annoying and rather dull read.  The story was too superficial in all aspects - the characters were stereotypical caricatures of socialites (they were beyond vapid) and the insipid story line had me rolling my eyes from the very beginning (this was not a good sign).  So, I stopped reading.  This book just wasn't for me.  However, I think you should find out what other bloggers have to say about this book before you decide if you want to give a read.  Here's the link for the TLC Book Tour schedule of: The Debutante Divorcee

Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

R.I.P. IX is nigh...Hurrah!

Its almost time for everyone's favorite reading challenge - R.I.P. IX!!  How exciting, eh?  I know that I can't wait to dive into some spooky reads that will keep me up late at night.  In fact, I've been trying to figure out which books I want to read for this challenge.  I'm thinking of the following ones:
What do you think?  Any suggestions?  Part of me wouldn't mind reading something gothic, but I'm just not sure what to read.  Leave me a comment if you know of any great scary reads.  And for those of you who are wondering what R.I.P. IX is, here's some information:

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril, or R.I.P. for short, is a participatory event created by Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings, wherein we the people spend however little, or much, time we want over the months of September and October imbibing all things ghastly and ghostly.

The purpose of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX is to enjoy books and movies/television that could be classified (by you) as:
Dark Fantasy.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

There are two simple goals for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX
1. Have fun reading.
2. Share that fun with others.

There are multiple levels of participation (Perils) that allow you to be a part of R.I.P. IX without adding the burden of another commitment to your already busy lives. There is even a one book only option for those who feel that this sort of reading is not their cup of tea (or who have many other commitments) but want to participate all the same. And there is a group read, too - (September 1st thru October 1st) a read-a-long of   The Haunting of Hill House.  For details on the various Perils check out Carl's site.  And, just so you know, there is a review site where you can add a link to your R.I.P. IX posts and check out what everyone else is reading or watching!

So, there you have it folks, all the pertinent details regarding one of the blogosphere's funnest reading experiences - R.I.P. IX.  Pick out your books or movies and have fun! I know I'm excited to dive right in. And now, I'm off to finish reading The Story Hour by Thrity Umrigar, so that I can start reading something spooky sooner rather than later.  Happy reading!!