Sunday, August 25, 2019

Sunday Skim

Week of 8/18/2019:


Started off a bit slow but then it picked up to where I wanted to see where the story was going.

Currently Reading:

Looking Forward To:

Back to school week here. Well to be fair my daughter started high school last Thursday but the majority of kids go back today. This means back to schedules and waking up at a decent time for the 11 year old. I'm ready for it but yet sad to see summer end!


Friday, August 23, 2019

Julie's Review: Careful What You Wish For

Author: Hallie Ephron
Series: None
Publication Date: August 6, 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 304
Obtained: publisher
Genre:  Suspense
Rating: 3.75/5
Bottom Line: A bit slow to start and bit easy to figure out
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab

Summary: Emily Harlow is a professional organizer who helps people declutter their lives; she’s married to man who can’t drive past a yard sale without stopping. He’s filled their basement, attic, and garage with his finds.Like other professionals who make a living decluttering peoples’ lives, Emily has devised a set of ironclad rules. When working with couples, she makes clear that the client is only allowed to declutter his or her own stuff. That stipulation has kept Emily’s own marriage together these past few years. She’d love nothing better than to toss out all her husband’s crap. He says he’s a collector. Emily knows better—he’s a hoarder. The larger his “collection” becomes, the deeper the distance grows between Emily and the man she married. Luckily, Emily’s got two new clients to distract herself: an elderly widow whose husband left behind a storage unit she didn’t know existed, and a young wife whose husband won’t allow her stuff into their house. Emily’s initial meeting with the young wife takes a detour when, after too much wine, the women end up fantasizing about how much more pleasant life would be without their collecting spouses. But the next day Emily finds herself in a mess that might be too big for her to clean up. Careful what you wish for, the old adage says . . . now Emily might lose her freedom, her marriage . . . and possibly her life.

Review: I've never ready anything by Ms. Ephron before but I definitely enjoyed this one. Emily is a go getter she quit teaching to start her own organization business after a video of her went viral. She loves helping people declutter their lives. Unfortunately, there's a bit of a hiccup her husband is a bit of a collector (aka horder) so she controls her things and leaves his to collect dust in various areas of the house.

Emily and her partner, get 2 new clients on the same weekend. One is a widow who needs help sorting through her husbands storage unit that she didn't even know about. The other client is a younger wife who needs help going through all her belongings that she didn't move into the house when she got married.

As you know, things aren't always what they seem so as Emily starts to get involved in both new clients decluttering she begins to question what is really going on. She gets enbroiled into their lives in not the best manner. As she tries to put the pieces of the puzzle together things start to go out of control. How will she remain in control? How can she prove that she was used as a scapegoat?

Careful What You Wifh For  is a study in character and in understanding that sometimes you don't always understand people even the one closest to you.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunday Skim

Week of 8/11/2019:


Good story but ultimately not for me. The writing felt a bit noir, like a Quentin Tarintino film without all the violence.

Currently Reading:

Looking Forward To:

As you can see it's been a slow reading week. It took me a bit to get into and then finish Lady in the Lake. I ended up finishing China Rich Girlfriend this week instead of last. It was good but maybe a little much about how rich they were. I'm hoping I can focus and get through some good books this week. I think work will still be busy but all analysis work so the earpods go in and I can listen to my audiobook.


Monday, August 12, 2019

Julie's Review: Lock Every Door

Author: Riley Sager
Series: None
Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 384
Obtained: publisher via NetGalley
Genre:  Horror, Psychological Thriller
Rating: 3/5
Bottom Line: Kind of expected a bit more
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Library

Summary: No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan's most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind. As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story...until the next day, when Ingrid disappears. Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew's sordid past and into the secrets kept within its walls. What she discovers pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

Review: The first part of Lock Every Door totally freaked me out. So much so that I debated it reading the book before going to bed at night.  It was giving me some wicked dreams as well. Jules is having a bit of bad luck (lost job, cheating boyfriend) when she seems to get perhaps a bit of good luck might be coming her way. She interviewed to be an apartment sitter in the exclusive Bartholomew. She's not even put off by all of those rules that seem a bit excessive. Plus if she completes the 3 month stint she'll get $12K.

She quickly becomes acquainted with another apartment sitter, Ingrid, who seems a little scattered and agitated when they meet at the park. Jules blows it off until the next day when Ingrid doesn't show up for their lunch date and won't answer her texts. This sends Jules on a wild goose chase to find Ingrid.

In a lot of ways I understand why Jules' sister disappearing years ago fuels her fire to find Ingrid but she ignores a lot of red flags for a person she's known for 2 seconds. That perhaps is the thing that drove me most nuts about the novel. Why would you put yourself in harms way for someone that you don't even know without protecting yourself?!

While it was definitely a thriller, I felt that it definitely has elements of horror in it as well. While there are twists and turns, I didn’t feel that the ending was completely surprising.

For what it's worth, I think Final Girls was a better novel.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Sunday Skim

Week of 8/4/2019:


Currently Reading:

Looking Forward To:

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Julie's Review: Natalie Tan's Book Fate and Fortune

Author: Roselle Lim
Series: None
Publication Date: June 11, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 320
Obtained: Library
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: A sweet novel about honoring your family and heritage
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: At the news of her mother’s death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn’t spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco’s Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She’s even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother’s restaurant. The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant’s fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around—she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.

Review: What a lovely book about family, heritage and opening yourself up to love. Natalie, who even though she's traveled the world is still unsure of herself, comes back home to Chinatown in San Fransisco after her mom who suddenly dies. She begins to see her mom through the eyes of the neighbors and the people who Natalie thought never looked after her mom while she was gone. She starts to ask questions about her Grandma who ran a hugely successful restaurant under their apartment and why her mom never wanted to run it.

What Natalie finds is her grandma's old recipe book and starts to recreate the recipes, magic seems to happen and put spells on her neighbors giving them what Natalie thinks she needs. Things start to backfire and Natalie has to find a way to make it right, while also trying to figure out her life.  Will Natalie face her problems straight on or will she run away like she has in the past?

Be prepared to be hungry though when you are reading the book and get a craving for Chinese food. This book will get you on all emotional levels and perhaps get you thinking about how you can honor your own family. 

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Sunday Skim

Week of 7/28/2019:


Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune is about family, love and honoring your heritage. Still Me is the continuation of Louisa Clark's story and it is centered around her year in NYC. I listened to it on audio and loved every minute of it.

Currently Reading:


It is still on my Kindle, so I might come back to it but the characters were not intriguing me. I know it's gotten a lot of good buzz, so it's possible the timing was wrong.
Looking Forward To:

We are in a lull with baseball and other kid activities so I've been reading and also watching Veronica Mars on Hulu. I'm watching all the old seasons first before I dive into the new one. Is there any book that has gotten good buzz lately that you just couldn't get into and put aside?

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Julie's Review: The Wedding Party

Author: Jasmine Guillory
Series: None
Publication Date: July 16, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 352
Obtained: library
Genre:  Romance
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: I can not get enough of Ms. Guillory's writing & chracters
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab

Summary: Maddie and Theo have two things in common: 1. Alexa is their best friend
2. They hate each other. After an “oops, we made a mistake” night together, neither one can stop thinking about the other. With Alexa's wedding rapidly approaching, Maddie and Theo both share bridal party responsibilities that require more interaction with each other than they're comfortable with. Underneath the sharp barbs they toss at each other is a simmering attraction that won't fade. It builds until they find themselves sneaking off together to release some tension when Alexa isn't looking, agreeing they would end it once the wedding is over. When it’s suddenly pushed up and they only have a few months left of secret rendezvouses, they find themselves regretting that the end is near. Two people this different can’t possibly have a connection other than the purely physical, right? But as with any engagement with a nemesis, there are unspoken rules that must be abided by. First and foremost, don't fall in love.

Review: Here's the thing about Ms. Guillory's books, I devour them and then I'm sad because I have to wait for her next novel! These books are so much fun to read and enjoy. The characters are so well rounded an interesting plus there's always an undercurrent of more serious issues at hand.

Plus with this series you get to see what some of your favorites are up to and how they are all interconnected. The 2 characters we are focusing on this time appeared in The Wedding Date but now get their turn to shine. Maddie and Theo are both fiercly independent and driven people, they don't want any distractions to getting to their goals. Until one night they find themselves eagerly ripping each others clothes off which is weird because well they can't stand each other.

What starts off as a mistake and "we will never do it again" quickly turns into booty calls while keeping it all a secret from their mutual best friend Alexa. They don't want to admit it but they begin to become comfortable with each other and maybe don't quite hate each other like they thought. They become supportive of each other in their careers and other area of their lives. Their mutual attraction to all things each other.

Of course it's not like there aren't bumps along the way but it was so much fun to see them try to work it all out.