Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

Blog Tour for The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King by Jerome Charyn

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I’m happy today to be part of Over the River PR’s blog tour for Jerome Charyn’s The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King A Noveld of Teddy Roosevelt and his Times. I’ve never read Charyn before, though I’ve heard of him, and I have to say that his writing makes the characters just come alive and jump right off the page!

Here’s the overview via Amazon:

Raising the literary bar to a new level, Jerome Charyn re-creates the voice of Theodore Roosevelt, the New York City police commissioner, Rough Rider, and soon- to-be twenty-sixth president through his derring-do adventures, effortlessly combining superhero dialogue with haunting pathos. Beginning with his sickly childhood and concluding with McKinley’s assassination, the novel positions Roosevelt as a “perfect bull in a china shop,” a fearless crime fighter and pioneering environmentalist who would grow up to be our greatest peacetime president.

With an operatic cast, including “Bamie,” his handicapped older sister; Eleanor, his gawky little niece; as well as the devoted Rough Riders, the novel memorably features the lovable mountain lion Josephine, who helped train Roosevelt for his “crowded hour,” the charge up San Juan Hill. Lauded by Jonathan Lethem for his “polymorphous imagination and crack comic timing,” Charyn has created a classic of historical fiction, confirming his place as “one of the most important writers in American literature” (Michael Chabon).

I have to say that Roosevelt was a far more interesting man that I’ve ever given him credit for! In fact, this novel is filled with interesting characters and events.

Thank you for my e-copy and for inviting me to be part of your tour!

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The Winter Sister by Megan Collins

Description (via Net Galley)

In this spellbinding and suspenseful debut, a young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.

Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.

The Winter Sister is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we know the people we love most?

Well – I got this one a while ago via Net Galley (thank you!) and I started it right away and could not put it down! It was a suspenseful read and not easy to figure out. I really liked Sylvie’s character and I had my fingers crossed for a happy (or at least uplifting) ending with a sense of resolution and forgiveness. I was not disappointed! I read it in two evenings because I wanted the resolution.

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She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge

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Description (via Net Galley)

We all know that I love a suspenseful read! Winter is the best time to pick up a thriller and to try to reason out who the killer is. I was a bit worried that this one might really bother me since the victim is a teen, but I was okay as it was certainly troubling/disturbing/sad but not overly graphic. (see tags for possible triggers)
A great read while cuddled up in bed! Thank you for my review e-copy!
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Kids’ Choice: Marshfield Dreams and Marshfield Memories by Ralph Fletcher

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With my 6th graders, each fall we read MARSHFIELD DREAMS by Ralph Fletcher. This is a funny yet touching memoir of Mr. Fletcher’s childhood, growing up in Marshfield, MA, in the 1960’s. He has a large family (8 kids) and a host of fun experiences. Part of the joy in this book is in the simple details of typical family life, such as getting a new baby sibling or a first pet. Events are portrayed in language that kids and adults will both enjoy. Each fall the kids tell me that this is “one of the best books I’ve ever read!”.

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You can imagine my great excitement when I discovered that a sequel to Marshfield Dreams — MARSHFIELD MEMORIES — was published this past fall! I contacted Mr. Fletcher’s publicist and she kindly sent me a copy to enjoy and to share with my students. The Fletcher fun continues with more stories about boy scouts, the woods, sibling hi-jinks, and Ralph’s burgeoning interest in both writing and girls. I was thrilled to be transported back to Marshfield!

Highly recommended for readers in grade 4/5 and up. This was a great choice for reluctant readers in older grades. And adults will enjoy it as well! Thank you for my review copy of Marshfield Memories. My school purchased my copy of Marshfield Dreams through Amazon.

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Saturday Snapshot: Across the Pond!

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Over the break, we went to London!

Above is London Bridge, St. Paul’s, the V&A, and my family on the London Eye.

(Used my husband’s iPhone8 which is super for pictures!)

 

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda at http://www.awebofstories.com

See her site for participation details!

 

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My Fave Reads of 2018!

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Well, the new year has passed and I still haven’t found the time to post my FAVE READS for last year! I apologize – working full-time does not impact my reading time, but it does impact my blogging time!

So here – in no particular order beyond the fact that I’m reviewing my blog Jan to Dec to find them – are 16 novels, 2 audiobooks, and a podcast: my favorite reads/listens from last year:

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (wins the “I almost didn’t read it because I thought I’d hate it but instead I loved it” award)

West Cork – an audible podcast (still haunts me – true crime)

The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhorn

Wildwood by Elinor Florence

The Secret Life of Mrs. London by Rebecca Rosenberg

Us against You by Frederic Backman (sequel to Beartown by this exquisite writer)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (having my 8th graders read it next year)

Flavia de Luce mysteries by Alan Bradley (they are all brilliant!)

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner (just read her latest, too, and loved it!)

Susan Elia MacNeal’s Maggie Hope stories (all are good – WWII mysteries)

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton

Christmas at the Lakeside Resort by Susan Schild

The Tatooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (controversial, I know)

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas (always a great YA read from her)

And here are TWO GREAT AUDIOBOOKS I listened to this year: Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

 

Please know that I read MANY wonderful books and this list is highly subjective and specific to me and what I like to read (I read to escape, to relax, to unwind).

 

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The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman

I discovered this title on Net Galley and was excited to read it as I’m a huge WWII HF fan!

Ruth and Millie are two very different sisters and their paths separate and then cross in this novel. Each one is holding a secret, and Millie, a war widow, risks everything to start her new life in Springfield, MA, where her older sister Ruth is an officer’s wife. Strength, forgiveness, fortitude, and self-acceptance are all themes in this wonderful novel. It was a compelling read, and one where you feel like the characters are real people. I couldn’t put it down. This is my first title by this author and I loved her writing!

Thank you for my e-copy to review!

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Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army by Edoardo Albert

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I received an electronic copy of CONRAD MONK AND THE GREAT HEATHEN ARMY from the publisher, and it was an entertaining read. Conrad is not the most scrupulous of people, and he’s pretty funny as he makes his way around, keeping his own needs first and manipulating others at will. The time period was one I don’t read too often, and I found it well done and interesting.

Definitely entertaining, Conrad Monk is a protagonist you won’t soon forget!

Thank you for my review copy!

MEET THE NINTH CENTURY CAD, REWRITING HISTORY (from the publisher)

Conrad is a monk, but he has become a monk through trickery and against his will. So, it is fair to say that his heart isn’t really in it.
Conrad is also clever, charming, entirely self-serving, self-absorbed and almost completely without scruple — but in Anglo-Saxon England, when the Danish invaders come calling, those are very helpful attributes to have.
And so it comes to pass that Conrad finds himself constantly dodging death by various
means, some reasonable, some… less so. His tricks include selling his brother monks into
slavery, witnessing the death of a king, juggling his loyalties between his own people and the Danes, robbing corpses and impersonating a bishop.
By his side throughout is the gentle and honourable Brother Odo, a man so naturally and
completely good that even animals sense it. He is no match of wits for the cunning Conrad, but can he, perhaps, at least encourage the wayward monk to behave a little better?

Conrad and the Great Heathen Army takes the reader on a hugely entertaining and highly informative trip through the Anglo-Saxon world, in the company of a persuasive and likeable — if frequently despicable — tour guide. It is a story that combines painstakingly accurate depictions of history with a fast-moving and often hilarious plot, and as such is bound to appeal to lovers of history, historical fiction and character-driven fiction alike.

MEET THE AUTHOR
Edoardo Albert is a writer of Sri Lankan and Italian descent based in London. He has written a number of full length novels, as well as shorter stories for publications ranging from Daily Science Fiction to Ancient Paths.

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Naughty on Ice by Maia Chance

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This holiday installment of the cozy mystery series featuring society gal Lola and her companion Berta was a fun read at this time of year! I love period pieces, and this one takes place during Prohibition. Lola and Berta must discover a murderer while they are in Vermont backwaters.

A fun and easy cozy mystery! Thank you for my review e-copy via Net Galley!

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Happy 10th Bloggiversary to Me!

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Cue the fireworks!

I realized this morning that today marks the 10th anniversary of my blogging about books! What started as a new year’s resolution to share more globally about books I was reading has become a life-changing and important part of my life! While I wish I had more time to write (and read!), I still am doing my best to share what I’m reading and listening to in order spread the news about good books! I’ve met a lot of people, bloggers, readers, authors, and publicists through my blog, and for that I am forever grateful!

Here’s to 2019 and all the wonderful reads it will bring!

 

 

Photo by Audrey Fretz on Unsplash

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