Tuesday, June 30, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Hyacinth Girls; Lauren Frankel

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where I share the first paragraph or (a few) of a book I am reading or thinking about reading soon.

Hyacinth Girls; Lauren Frankel
Crown - 2015


"On a chilly October morning I watched them put Callie's face on a billboard: two men in hard hats hoisting the vinyl sheet on a rope through the air.  I chewed gum in my parked car, the traffic whizzing by me, as the sheet billowed and flapped in the wind like a huge dark flag.  I wanted to be the first one to see her, so I'd driven over early, making promises to myself about how I was going to be. Focused. Resilient. Like nothing could touch me.  I wouldn't reach for the tissues in my pockeys, and I wouldn't start wailing in front of the highway."

What do you think -- keep reading or pass?
(feel free to join in by posting your link below)

Monday, June 29, 2015

May and June Reading Update

My reading has been so off for the last (2) months, I just realized I never posted a summary of my May reads,  I know to some of you, it probably looks like I had some good months, but I know otherwise based of previous patterns.  I finished (61) books in the first half of 2015, that is (10) fewer than the halfway mark of 2014 when I had (71).

My reading started to slide after finishing A Little Life (3) months ago. This was a book like no other that left me with the feeling that I will never find another book as terrific as this one.  Don't get me wrong, I've still read some decent books, but I've also grown bored more easily with mediocre reads.  Has this ever happened to you?

So this is what my May and June looked like.
  1. The Shore; Sara Taylor - 4.5/5 - (arc)  (May)
  2. The Listener; Rachel Basch - 4/5-  (eGalley) (May)
  3. You Nest Here With Me; Yolen and Semple - 5/5 (personal copy) (May)
  4. I Saw a Man; Owen Sheers - 3.5/5 (eBook) (May)
  5. Love May Fail; Matthew Quick -4/5 (arc) (May)
  6. The Grasshopper and the Ants; Jim Pinkney - 5/5 (library) (May
  7. The People in the Trees; Hanya Yanagihara - 4,5/5 (audio) (May)
  8. Big Ray; Michael Kimball - 3.5/5 - (personal copy) (May)
  9. Beside the Sea; Veronique Olmi Page - 4.5/5 (library) (June)
  10. Liar's Bench; Kim Michelle Richardson - 3.5/5 (arc) (June)
  11. Radiant Angel; Nelson Demille -4/5 (audio) (June)
  12. Tad and Dad; David Ezra Stein - 5/5 (personal copy) (June)
  13. The Farmer and the Clown; Marcia Frazee - 5/5 (library) (June)
  14. It's Only Stanley; Jon Agee - 4.5/5 (library) (June)
  15. The Life We Bury; Allen Eskens - 4.5/5 (personal copy) (June)
  16. Glaciers; Alexis Smith - DNF - (June)
July Plans
 mood reading (except for 3 books I committed to)
Happy Reading Everyone!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Life We Bury - Giveaway Winner

Thanks to all who took the time
to comment. 

The giveaway winner was....

Congrats to Kay and thanks to all
my loyal readers.

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Life We Bury; Allen Eskens

The Life We Bury; Allen Eskens
 Seventh Street Books – 2014

The Life We Bury is an addictive debut novel that hooked me from the very first paragraph and never let go:

The story begins with 21 year-old Joe Talbert, a college student who is struggling financially.  He has an irresponsible, alcoholic mother and an autistic brother named Jeremy at home.

As part of a college English assignment, Joe must meet with a senior citizen, and write about that person's life.  Joe sets out to interview, Carl Iverson, a Vietnam Vet and convicted murdered who was sent to prison after being found guilty of raping and murdering a 14-year old girl who lived next door to him.  Carl is dying and no longer in prison, instead spending the remaining weeks in a nursing home since his pancreatic cancer diagnosis.

Throughout his arrest and confinement, Carl has maintained his innocence. Joe along with Lila, a romantic interest, and Joe's brother Jeremy, set out see whether what Carl professes just may be true. Is it possoble that the real murderer is still running free?

Part thriller, part mystery, part coming of age story, The Life We Bury, is fast paced and well written. Most of the characters have depth and substance, and the story line keeps you engaged, with some edge of moments, making this one hard to put down.  It's a story that has some controversial threads - child abuse, sexual abuse, alcoholism, and a sometimes failed justice system. The author does a terrific job tying it all together.  After finishing the book, I now see just how perfect the title the author chose for this one is as well.

Readers who enjoy well written mysteries and stories about justice and redemption are likely to enjoy this one as well.  The author has a second book coming out in October called, The Guise of Another, that sounds very good as well.

4.5/5 stars
(personal copy)