Monday, January 17, 2022

The Hated Ones by Mike Fiorito

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

about book:

Fiction. Italian American Studies. Mike Fiorito shoots the brief documentary tales of THE HATED ONES in a vivid black and white, bringing to life a “Basketball Diaries”-like world of ne’er-do-wells growing up on the wrong side of whatever tracks separate the silver spoons from the rest of us with our wayward fathers, disappointed mothers, and ill-defined dreams of being somebody.

my thoughts:

Wow! What a terrific book! I just LOVED Mike Fiorito's latest, The Hated Ones

Stories about growing up in NYC during the 1970s - talk about a history lesson that packs an emotional punch. This book is chock full of the dangers and dark side of NYC from a teen's perspective - we get sexual assault, drugs, and violence. It is raw and it is real. Very eye-opening. 

The writing is powerful and the characters are unforgettable. This is one book you won't be able to put down for anything. The Hates Ones is a must-read for fans of Fiorito and for anyone looking for their next great read. You won't want to miss out on this amazing book! Check it out!

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

Friday, January 7, 2022

My Friday Five

1.  These Precious Days by Ann Patchett. I am LOVING this book of essays. Of course, I always seem to LOVE Patchett's writing, so I'm not really surprised by how much I am enjoying dipping in and out of this lovely tome. 

2.  TV shows. Hallmark was on 24/7 during the holiday seasons and now I am trying to figure out what to watch next.  I've started re-watching The Office and I am watching the new seasons of Real Housewives - Miami and OC. However, I am itching to get obsessed with a new-to-me TV show. Hmm...what to watch.

3. Music.  Yesterday I listened to The Lumineers all day long and today I have The Beatles on. I seem to be craving my favorite bands and wanting to listen to them constantly.  By the way I watched the new documentary on The Beatles called, The Beatles: Get Back. It was so good! I just loved watching them create music and work together. Of course there was drama, which I was captivated by. It was such a fun documentary to watch.  I loved their rooftop concert - excellent! 

4. Planners. What to use? So many choices. I tend to use several, which is the problem. I use one for my book blog, one for finances, one for general appointments, and one for gratitude. I was even thinking of starting one this year for social media and another for creative projects. However, I feel like that seems excessive. LOL! I think my addiction to planners stems from my addiction to journals and all things stationery. Hmm...

5.  Cookies. I am a cookie monster. Or at least it feels that way. I blame the holiday season for this addiction. I am currently noshing on Chesapeake cookies from Pepperidge Farms and these wafer cookies from some store brand I found at Aldi. They are all soooo delicious!

And now, I'm off to read some more Patchett. Hope you are having a great first week of the new year. Happy reading!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Out today...

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)

Everyone is raving about this book and it just came out today...how exciting! I have a copy on my kindle, but I'm itching to get my hands on a hardcover copy. I just love that cover and I just love the story. 

Molly struggles with social skills, but has always had her gran to help her until she no longer does. Now, Molly must navigate the world on her own. So, she throws herself into her job as a hotel maid and finds that she is rather great at her job. Until the day she discovers a dead body in one of the rooms and becomes the prime suspect. Talk about stress! Luckily, Molly has a lot of friends who are willing to help her clear her name. The only question is, will they be able to solve the murder? 

Nita Prose's debut novel is spectacular! The writing is top notch and the characters are unforgettable. And, the story itself is unputdownable. You will just love reading about Molly and this murder mystery - talk about a delightful story. I loved this book to bits!! And, I would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read. Check it out!!

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

Monday, January 3, 2022

Bookish Resolutions for 2022

Happy New Year!! 2022 is here and I am ready for it. Or at least I am telling myself that I am. Last year was rough (an understatement), so I am looking forward to a fresh start. I am setting up my planners, reading a new book (These Precious Days by Ann Patchett), cracking the spine on a new hardcover journal by this British shop called Choosing Keeping that I just discovered, and I'm finally using my green Montblanc pen. I am also figuring out what resolutions to make for the new year, or if I even want to make any. Let's be honest, I tend to forget about my resolutions a month after I make them, so should I even bother? And then there's the whole idea of choosing a word for the year. Hmm...resolutions...words...what to do? I'm thinking of choosing bookish resolutions and then taking it from there to see if I want to bother with life resolutions. What do you do? Do you make resolutions? Do you pick a word for the year? Or, do you just start the year like it's just another day? 

I'm thinking for my bookish resolutions I will aim for the following:

- Read. My reading was awful last year and I want that to change. I want to fall back in love with books. Don't get me wrong, I'm still reading, but just not like I used to (which was all the time) and it has been the worst. And the thing is, I'm still buying books all the time - I'm just not reading them. So, yeah, I need to work on that. Especially with so many wonderful books coming out this year - the new Antoine Laurain is on my list and I can't wait for it!!

- Stop buying books. Yep, I need to stop buying and starting reading what I already own. The only exceptions will be new titles by my favorite authors (Antoine Laurain) and limited editions that I come across of my favorite books. That's it. No more buying books randomly online or at Target - that mindless shopping is over. 

- Cull my books and donate the ones I don't want. 

- Reorganize my bookshelves. It needs to be done. 

- Subscribe to literary magazines. I used to love doing this, but haven't in ages. I figured it could be fun to try it again.

- Focus on my book blog via the blog and IG. I've neglected it far too long and I want to get back on track with it. 

- Read. The main resolution is to read. Just pick up a book and read. 

What about you all? Any new books to recommend? Resolutions you are excited about? Let me know. 

And now, I'm off to read an essay in Patchett's book. Happy reading!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

Agatha Christie meets Jane Austen in this atmospheric Regency tale brimming with mystery, intrigue, and romance.

When Miss Rebecca Lane returns to her home village after a few years away, her brother begs for a favor: go to nearby Swanford Abbey and deliver his manuscript to an author staying there who could help him get published. Feeling responsible for her brother's desperate state, she reluctantly agrees.

The medieval monastery turned grand hotel is rumored to be haunted. Once there, Rebecca begins noticing strange things, including a figure in a hooded black gown gliding silently through the abbey's cloisters. For all its renovations and veneer of luxury, the ancient foundations seem to echo with whispers of the past--including her own. For there she encounters Sir Frederick—magistrate, widower, and former neighbor—who long ago broke her heart.

When the famous author is found murdered in the abbey, Sir Frederick begins questioning staff and guests and quickly discovers that several people held grudges against the man, including Miss Lane and her brother. Haunted by a painful betrayal in his past, Sir Frederick searches for answers but is torn between his growing feelings for Rebecca and his pursuit of the truth. For Miss Lane is clearly hiding something…

my thoughts:

Wow, wow, wow! I just LOVED Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen. The story was fantastic! I found myself happily settling in with the book on a chilly day and couldn't believe how quickly time passed as I turned the last few pages of the story. Talk about the perfect read on a winter day. 

The story takes place at Swanford Abbey, a medieval monastery turned hotel. It's reputed to be haunted, which definitely adds to the atmosphere of the story. Rebecca's brother wants her to drop off his manuscript to an author staying at the abbey. She's not keen on doing the favor, but feels obligated and so she agrees. Once at Swanford Abbey, she begins to notice some pretty creepy things. And, it doesn't help when she runs into her ex, Sir Frederick Wilford - the man who broke her heart. Talk about awkward.  Of course, that reunion pales in comparison to the murder at the abbey. Yep, turns out the author is murdered and that nobody really liked him. Meaning there were grudges against him and Rebecca and her brother were some of the people holding grudges. Looks like Sir Frederick, the magistrate, has his work cut out for him - following his heart and searching for the truth. Especially as it seems that Rebecca is not being very forthcoming...hmm...what could she possibly be hiding? And, that is all I will write about this terrific tale. You need to get your hands on a copy to find out what happened to the author, and to find out if Rebecca and Sir Frederick get back together. What a story!

I would happily recommend Shadows of Swanford Abbey to fans of Klassen and to anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book to bits! Check it out! The writing is superb and the characters are so much fun to get to know. This is one book you will LOVE falling in deep with. A must-read for historical fiction fanatics who love the Regency era!

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