Literary Quote of the Month

It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that." J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Friday, February 12, 2016

First Lines Friday...

The new expatriates arrive practically on the hour, every day of the week. They get off Cathay Pacific flights from New York, BA from London, Garuda from Jakarta, ANA from Tokyo, carrying briefcases, carrying Louis Vuitton handbags, carrying babies and bottles, carrying exhaustion and excitement and frustration. They have mostly been cramped in coach, a precious few have drunk champagne in first, others have watched two movies in business class, eating a ham and brie sandwich. They are thrilled, they are homesick, they are scared, they are relieved to have arrived in Hong Kong—their new home for six months, a year, three-year contract max, forever, nobody knows. They are fresh-faced, they are mid-career, hoping for that crucial boost up the ladder, they are here for their last job, the final rung before they’re put out to pasture. They work at banks, they work at law firms, they make buttons, clothing, hard drives, toys, they run restaurants, they are bartenders, they are yoga teachers, they are designers, they are architects. They don’t work. They are hoping to work. They are done, done, done with work.
                                                                                                      ... The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee

I have seen a lot of press for this new book by Janice Y.K. Lee and like the opening of the book. What do you think? Would YOU continue reading from these First Lines?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Memoir Monday... The Lovers by Rod Nordland

An astonishingly powerful and profoundly moving story of a young couple willing to risk everything for love that puts a human face on the ongoing debate about women’s rights in the Muslim world.

Zakia and Ali were from different tribes, but they grew up on neighboring farms in the hinterlands of Afghanistan. By the time they were young teenagers, Zakia, strikingly beautiful and fiercely opinionated, and Ali, shy and tender, had fallen in love. Defying their families, sectarian differences, cultural conventions, and Afghan civil and Islamic law, they ran away together only to live under constant threat from Zakia’s large and vengeful family, who have vowed to kill her to restore the family’s honor. They are still in hiding.

Despite a decade of American good intentions, women in Afghanistan are still subjected to some of the worst human rights violations in the world. Rod Nordland, then the Kabul bureau chief of the New York Times, had watched these abuses unfold for years when he came upon Zakia and Ali, and has not only chronicled their plight, but has also shepherded them from danger.

The Lovers will do for women’s rights generally what Malala’s story did for women’s education. It is an astonishing story about self-determination and the meaning of love that illustrates, as no policy book could, the limits of Western influence on fundamentalist Islamic culture and, at the same time, the need for change.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Sunday Salon and 3 Of the Most Anticipated Time Traveling YA Books of 2016



Welcome to The Sunday Salon, where bloggers from all over the world talk about all things bookish is a virtual library! And The Sunday Post, which is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, in which more bloggers share their bookish news!! Sunday is the day of the week we sit back, relax and talk books! Here in Connecticut, we are still recovering from 5 inches of unexpected snow from friday, and it isn't as unusually warm as it has been lately, so staying inside and reading seems a great idea! I just finished Lisa Gardner's Find Her, and loved it!(Here's a link to my review) and though I have a few books in the wings to start (My reading group selection this month is Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger) and one library book to finish (Concussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas) I am always on the lookout for fresh reading. There has been a lot of buzz about some great YA books to come out the last month (and one coming out next week) that I thought I would share with you. These books piqued my interest, not only because the plots sound interesting, but because they all involve time traveling, and I just LOVE time travel books! The Time Travelers Wife and Outlander are two of my favorites.


Let's Look at 3 of the most anticipated Time Traveling YA books...
The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry... Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

I've heard so many great things said about this debut from Emily Henry that it is definitely on my TBR list! This came out January 26, 2016 from Razorbill an imprint from Penguin.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken  ...Violin prodigy Etta Spencer had big plans for her future, but a tragedy has put her once-bright career at risk. Closely tied to her musical skill, however, is a mysterious power she doesn't even know she has. When her two talents collide during a stressful performance, Etta is drawn back hundreds of years through time. 

Etta wakes, confused and terrified, in 1776, in the midst a fierce sea battle. Nicholas Carter, the handsome young prize master of a privateering ship, has been hired to retrieve Etta and deliver her unharmed to the Ironwoods, a powerful family in the Colonies--the very same one that orchestrated her jump back, and one Nicholas himself has ties to. But discovering she can time travel is nothing compared to the shock of discovering the true reason the Ironwoods have ensnared her in their web. 

Another traveler has stolen an object of untold value from them, and, if Etta can find it, they will return her to her own time. Out of options, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the mysterious traveler. But as they draw closer to each other and the end of their search, the true nature of the object, and the dangerous game the Ironwoods are playing, comes to light--threatening to separate her not only from Nicholas, but her path home... forever.

Yes! This sounds fabulous, doesn't it! A true adventure and a bit of romance thrown in. On my TBR list too! This came out January 5, 2016 from Disney Hyperion.

The Girl From Everywhere Heidi Heilig... Sixteen-year-old Nix Song is a time-traveller. She, her father and their crew of time refugees travel the world aboard The Temptation, a glorious pirate ship stuffed with treasures both typical and mythical. Old maps allow Nix and her father to navigate not just to distant lands, but distant times - although a map will only take you somewhere once. And Nix's father is only interested in one time, and one place: Honolulu 1868. A time before Nix was born, and her mother was alive. Something that puts Nix's existence rather dangerously in question...

Nix has grown used to her father's obsession, but only because she's convinced it can't work. But then a map falls into her father's lap that changes everything. And when Nix refuses to help, her father threatens to maroon Kashmir, her only friend (and perhaps, only love) in a time where Nix will never be able to find him. And if Nix has learned one thing, it's that losing the person you love is a torment that no one can withstand. Nix must work out what she wants, who she is, and where she really belongs before time runs out on her forever.

Another fun looking time travel adventure! This is coming out February 26, 2016 from Greenwillow Books an imprint of HarperCollins.
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What do you think about time travel in books?! Time travel can be confusing, and I have heard readers not liking The Time Travelers Wife because they were pretty confused at the start of that book.  But if handled well, I think time travel can be so much fun!

Weekly Update... Here's what went on last week on the blog:

Monday, Feb. 1st...
Memoir Monday with Concussion by Jeannie Marie Laskas and Mailbox Monday featuring the two great eGalleys in my mail.

Friday, Feb. 5th... 
First Lines Friday with The 6:41 to Paris by Jean-Philippe Blondel and My Review of American Housewife by Helen Ellis

Saturday, Feb. 6th...  My Review of Find Her by Lisa Gardner (BTW, I gave it 5 stars!)
                               
Next week I'll be finishing up Concussion by Jeannie Marie Laskas (hopefully) and start The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee. There are two more YA books on my nightstand that are trying to lure me their way, but they are going to have to wait... (maybe!)


               
                                               Pax by Sara Pennypacker           Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Hope you found something interesting to read here today! And please, share what you're reading this week and what good books you've found! 

Happy Reading... Suzanne

*P.S. Don't forget next Sunday is VALENTINE'S DAY! We'll have something sexy for The Sunday Salon!





Saturday, February 6, 2016

Find Her by Lisa Gardner... A Review

When the book you're reading starts out ... When you first wake up in a dark wooden box, you’ll tell yourself this isn't happening.” you KNOW you're in for a incredible ride, especially when it's Lisa Gardner driving! 

The gist of the story is that Flora Danes is abducted while partying at a local bar. She wakes up in something like a garage, naked, with her hands bound tightly. She immediately springs into action, evaluating her situation and trying to find something that will help her get away. Let's just say we find out shortly that this wasn't the first time Flora had been abducted. Flora had been kidnapped 5 years earlier during spring break in Florida. Waking up then and finding herself in a pine box was just the start of her 472 days of unspeakable horrors, but she did survive... only to be abducted 5 years later? But something happened to Flora... she's not the carefree farm girl from Maine any longer... something darker is behind those eyes. The story alternates between Flora the Spring break kidnap victim and the ordeal as told through her voice, and the present day Flora, who has dedicated her life to learning to survive, so that she will never be a victim again... or so we think that's the reason. And how does she keep getting herself into these "situations"? Coincidence? Bad luck? Survivor turned vigilante... maybe? Add to the mix an FBI victims advocate, a great female detective, and race to the finish line and you have one heart pounding read. 

Find Her by Lisa Garnder is a gripping, edge-of-your seat psychological suspense/thriller that will have you turning those pages as fast as you can, long into the night. The story is filled with twists & turns that seamlessly fit together. The characters are so human, so real. Hearing Flora tell us about being kidnapped and living in that pine box is haunting. I love the way the story alternates, it gives us insight into what makes Flora tick, and it also gives us hints as what's to follow. 

I loved this book! It left me guessing until the very end! It was a thrilling ride and worth every moment I was reading! I don't rate too many 5 stars, but this book is definitely a 5 star read!

If you love psychological thrillers you need to read this! If you like police procedurals, this is a great one! Available Feb. 9, 2016!

*I received a copy of the eGalley from the publishers, for my honest review. Thank you!

Friday, February 5, 2016

American Housewife by Helen Ellis... A Review

I don't often read short story collections. Why? I can only say it's because of the investment. After I read the first story, it's like the first chapter of a "normal" book, I want to keep turning the pages. BUT, short story collections need to be savored and I usually am not the savory kind of reader. But I made an exception with American Housewife by Helen Ellis and I am so glad I did.

American Housewife is a collection of fun, contemporary, tongue-in-cheek stories that had me smiling cheek to cheek! And by contemporary, I mean stories I can relate to in the present day. Like the story of two women who live in apartments and share the same hallway (The Wainscoting War). One woman is rather elderly and has lived there forever with her flocked damask wallpaper and huge antique oil paintings in the common hallway they both share now. The other woman is a young "new money" girl and has ideas about updating what she thinks is a depressing and old looking hallway soon after she moves in.  Their "disagreement" is fought in emails to each other, until a final resolution, that is by no means neighborly, is reached. It is funny as all heck to read. Then we move into a behind the scenes look at a new reality show called Dumpster Diving with The Stars, that pits an ex-playboy bunny against a nobody writer and includes John Lithgow as part of the fun. No need to read these stories in order- enjoy them at will! In these stories you'll meet a housewife who "pumps the salad spinner like a CPR dummy", a housewife who thinks wainscoting is "the bomb" (and you should too or else!), and a group of book club ladies who have an unusual requirement when you join the club.  In all there are 12 stories, 2 of which are just 2 pages each, but a great 2 pages they are.

My favorite stories? Definitely The Wainscoting War (See description above), Hello!Welcome to Book Club (very Handmaiden Tales like), And The Fitter, which is about this husband who can tell exactly what bra will fit any lady and not just fit, but feel absolutely the most comfortable and look great too. No need to touch the woman, just looking at her reveals all he needs to know. It is a talent that he had since he was little, and he's very much in demand. And what woman wouldn't want a man who could do that! But being married to the guy is a full time job! That's all I'm going to say! I also really liked My Novel is Brought To You By, which is about this woman who signs a contract with Tampax to write a book and let's just say, product placement becomes an issue. It is funny!

I checked this out of my fabulous library, but now I think I'm going to have to buy this because it would be something I would open up and enjoy again. And that's a great thing about your library- you can try before you buy!

A slim 185 pages, but 4 stars from this housewife! Helen Ellis' writing is enticing and these stories are insightful, not to mention bitingly funny at times. Definitely borrow, and buy if tongue-in-cheek housewives put a grin on your face.

First Lines Friday...

 

I could have taken the 7:50, or even the 8:53. It’s Monday. Mondays are dead quiet at work. It’s just that I couldn’t take it anymore. What was I thinking, staying Sunday night. I don’t know what came over me. Two days are more than enough.
                   … The 6:41 to Paris by Jean-Philippe Blondel



I've been toying with buying this book. It's gotten some great press. But do these first lines make you want to read more?! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Mailbox Monday

In My Mailbox... I've received a couple of wonderful ebooks last week! And I decided I would join in on the fun sharing them with you and the other bloggers participating in Mailbox Monday!

Mailbox Monday is a weekly event for bloggers to share what books arrived in their mailboxes. Mailbox Monday was originally created by Marcia of To Be Continued and is now hosted by Vicki, Serena and Leslie at Mailbox Monday's own blog.

I received two amazing eGalleys this week! I am so excited because I was just dying to be able to read them! The first is Find Her by Lisa Gardner and the second is The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee. Here's what they are about...

Find Her by Lisa Gardner... Flora Dane is a victim. Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure. Flora Dane is a survivor.

Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who's never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she's become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who've never made it home.

Flora Dane is reckless. 

. . . or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who's determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.

Publisher: Penguin Group Dutton
Publishing Date: February 9, 2016

If you love suspense, mysteries & thrillers, Lisa is your gal! And Find Her is a gripping, edge of your seat read so far! I meant to only read a bit of the beginning before finishing up another book, but once I started reading Find Her, I just could not put it down! It is that good! The writing is great, the storyline is wonderful, and the characters are so well rounded. I am going to continue reading this until I finish it... could mean a very long night.

The Expatriates by Janice Y.K. Lee... Janice Y. K. Lee’s blockbuster hit debut novel The Piano Teacher was called “immensely satisfying” by People, “intensely readable” by O, The Oprah Magazine, and “a rare and exquisite story” by Elizabeth Gilbert. And now, in her long-awaited follow-up, Lee explores with devastating poignancy the emotions, identities, and relationships of three very different American women living in the same small expat community in Hong Kong.

Mercy is adrift. A recent Columbia graduate without a safety net, she can’t hold down a job—or a man. Hilary, a wealthy housewife, is haunted by her inability to conceive a child she believes could save her floundering marriage. Meanwhile, Margaret, ostensibly a happily married mother of three, questions her maternal identity in the wake of a shattering loss. As each woman struggles with her own demons, their lives crash into one another in ways that could have devastating consequences for them all. Moving, atmospheric, and utterly compelling, The Expatriates confirms Lee as an exceptional talent and one of our keenest observers of women’s inner lives.

Publisher: Viking Books
Publishing Date: January 12, 2016

I originally ran across this book as a Kirkus review and after reading a sample knew I needed to read more. Janice Y.K. Lee's writing just drew me in. I can't wait to dive head first into this one!

And that is what was happening in my mailbox! Hope you found these interesting! Check out these books and what the other book bloggers received in their mailboxes at Mailbox Monday!

Memoir Monday... Concussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas

Concussion by Jeanne Marie Laskas... Jeanne Marie Laskas first met the young forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu in 2009, while reporting a story for GQ that would go on to inspire the movie Concussion. Omalu told her about a day in September 2002, when, in a dingy morgue in downtown Pittsburgh, he picked up a scalpel and made a discovery that would rattle America in ways he’d never intended. Omalu was new to America, chasing the dream, a deeply spiritual man escaping the wounds of civil war in Nigeria. The body on the slab in front of him belonged to a fifty-year-old named Mike Webster, aka “Iron Mike,” a Hall of Fame center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the greatest ever to play the game. After retiring in 1990, Webster had suffered a dizzyingly steep decline. Toward the end of his life, he was living out of his van, tasering himself to relieve his chronic pain, and fixing his rotting teeth with Super Glue. How did this happen?, Omalu asked himself. How did a young man like Mike Webster end up like this? The search for answers would change Omalu’s life forever and put him in the crosshairs of one of the most powerful corporations in America: the National Football League. What Omalu discovered in Webster’s brain—proof that Iron Mike’s mental deterioration was no accident but a disease caused by blows to the head that could affect everyone playing the game—was the one truth the NFL wanted to ignore.

Taut, gripping, and gorgeously told, Concussion is the stirring story of one unlikely man’s decision to stand up to a multibillion-dollar colossus, and to tell the world the truth.

In sports, you hear horror stories about steroid use and the after effects, and a myriad of other drugs, but you never hear too much about concussions. Boxer Muhammed Ali's form of Parkinson's disease was blamed on injuries to the brain caused by fighting, but even then traumatic brain injury was not heard too loudly. This book seems to bring light to a delicate subject and maybe one we should be talking about more with our children who play these contact sports.

Further reading... Before the book, in 2009, Jeanne Marie Laskas published a story in GQ magazine called, Bennet Omalu, Concussions, and the NFL: How One Doctor Changed Football Forever about Dr. Bennet Omalu. And in 2011, she wrote another story for GQ called The People versus Football about Star linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings, Fred McNeill, and how repeated concussions altered his life. These brain injuries are frightening, heartbreaking, sad and devastating for the men and the families of these men.

Reading right now and not what I expected. Dr. Omalu is very interesting and his background is amazing. Will be reviewing this soon...

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Sunday Salon and Read Me a Story... 4 Short Story Collections You Need to Read NOW!



Welcome to The Sunday Salonwhere bloggers from all over the world talk about all things bookish is a virtual library! And The Sunday Post, which is a weekly meme hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer, in which more bloggers share their bookish news! It's that day of the week we chat about books! So find yourself a comfy chair, grab a cup of joe and let's talk... Stories! Yes, sometimes the short story collection gets the short end of the reading pile, doesn't it? But why?! Didn't we all like bedtime stories when we were children?! Stories short enough to be fulfilling and yet easily read in a limited about of time? I generally don't read short stories, and I think it's because if the story is really good, I want more, and if it's not good, I feel like I wasted my time, and do I really want to continue with the rest of the stories in a collection after that? I really enjoyed  You're Not Lost if You Can Still See the Truck by Bill Heavey, but these were more like essays, I guess because these "stories" were not fiction. And if I think about it, I do enjoy reading stories in The New Yorker and other publications. But... I've heard about so many great short story collections in the past month, that I am willing to give it my all and try some. The first three lady writers here are new to me, but I've had Helen Oyeyemi's Boy, Snow, Bird on my TBR list for a while. All of them have gotten rave reviews for these short story collections! Here we go...

Honeydew by Edith Pearlman...Over the past several decades, Edith Pearlman has staked her claim as one of the all-time great practitioners of the short story. Her incomparable vision, consummate skill, and bighearted spirit have earned her consistent comparisons to Anton Chekhov, John Updike, Alice Munro, Grace Paley, and Frank O'Connor. Her latest work, gathered in this stunning collection of twenty new stories, is an occasion for celebration. Pearlman writes with warmth about the predicaments of being human. The title story involves an affair, an illegitimate pregnancy, anorexia, and adolescent drug use, but the true excitement comes from the evocation of the interior lives of young Emily Knapp, who wishes she were a bug, and her inner circle. "The Golden Swan" transports the reader to a cruise ship with lavish buffets-and a surprise stowaway-while the lead story, "Tenderfoot," follows a widowed pedicurist searching for love with a new customer anguishing over his own buried trauma. Whether the characters we encounter are a special child with pentachromatic vision, a group of displaced Somali women adjusting to life in suburban Boston, or a staid professor of Latin unsettled by a random invitation to lecture on the mystery of life and death, Pearlman knows each of them intimately and reveals them to us with unsurpassed generosity. In prose as knowing as it is poetic, Pearlman shines a light on small, devastatingly precise moments to reflect the beauty and grace found in everyday life.These stories are a crowning achievement for a brilliant career and demonstrate once more that Pearlman is a master of the form whose vision is unfailingly wise and forgiving.

Edith Pearlman has won 3 O. Henry Awards, a Pen/Faulkner Award and numerous other literary honors, and yet she is not very well known. Her last short story collection, Binocular Vision, helped put her name out there, but she still remains a bit obscure. I definitely want to read Honeydew and have it on my TBR list now. I actually checked to see if my library carried it, and they did... EXCEPT, whoever checked it out NEVER returned it and it's been 3 months. Does this mean that it was THAT good?! In any case, here is a great piece from The New Yorker about Pearlman and her writing. And follow this link to Little, Brown and company to read Tenderfoot, one of the short stories in Honeydew! 


A Manual For Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin... A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN compiles the best work of the legendary short-story writer Lucia Berlin. With the grit of Raymond Carver, the humor of Grace Paley, and a blend of wit and melancholy all her own, Berlin crafts miracles from the everyday, uncovering moments of grace in the Laundromats and halfway houses of the American Southwest, in the homes of the Bay Area upper class, among switchboard operators and struggling mothers, hitchhikers and bad Christians. Readers will revel in this remarkable collection from a master of the form and wonder how they'd ever overlooked her in the first place.

This is suppose to be a more "grittier" collection of stories, but fantastic none the less. Thesis on my TBR pile as well. You can learn more about Lucia Berlin at her website. Lot's of great insight there! Here is a link to Vice Media, where you can read the short story, Friends, which is from A Manual For Cleaning Women. 


American Housewife by Helen Ellis... A sharp, funny, delightfully unhinged collection of stories set in the dark world of domesticity, American Housewife features murderous ladies who lunch, celebrity treasure hunters, and the best bra fitter south of the Mason Dixon line. Meet the women of American Housewife: they wear lipstick, pearls, and sunscreen, even when it's cloudy. They casserole. They pinwheel. They pump the salad spinner like it's a CPR dummy. And then they kill a party crasher, carefully stepping around the body to pull cookies out of the oven. These twelve irresistible stories take us from a haunted prewar Manhattan apartment building to the set of a rigged reality television show, from the unique initiation ritual of a book club to the getaway car of a pageant princess on the lam, from the gallery opening of a tinfoil artist to the fitting room of a legendary lingerie shop. Vicious, fresh, and nutty as a poisoned Goo Goo Cluster, American Housewife is an uproarious, pointed commentary on womanhood.

This collection of short stories is more light-hearted and filled with a bit of wry humor. It's a slim book of 185 pages, which I know because I just checked this out of my library. I've been reading these stories for the last few days and have for the most part really enjoyed them! They are funny and have a wonderful tongue in cheek way about them. They are contemporary in nature too.  I'll be reviewing this collection next week though, so come back to hear the full scoop. And I know size doesn't matter (right?!), but I love those small gift size books and that's what this is. I could not find a sample of any of the stories, but here is an interesting interview of Helen Ellis by Elle magazine. 

What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi... Playful, ambitious, and exquisitely imagined, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours is cleverly built around the idea of keys, literal and metaphorical. The key to a house, the key to a heart, the key to a secret—Oyeyemi’s keys not only unlock elements of her characters’ lives, they promise further labyrinths on the other side. In “Books and Roses” one special key opens a library, a garden, and clues to at least two lovers’ fates. In “Is Your Blood as Red as This?” an unlikely key opens the heart of a student at a puppeteering school. “‘Sorry’ Doesn’t Sweeten Her Tea” involves a “house of locks,” where doors can be closed only with a key—with surprising, unobservable developments. And in “If a Book Is Locked There’s Probably a Good Reason for That Don't You Think,” a key keeps a mystical diary locked (for good reason).  Oyeyemi’s tales span multiple times and landscapes as they tease boundaries between coexisting realities. Is a key a gate, a gift, or an invitation?

These stories sound fascinating to me. I definitely plan on reading this and can't wait to see how keys literally fit into all these stories! There is an interesting piece written on Helen Oyeyemi by Annalisa Quinn for NPR online, and HERE is the link.

Weekly Update... 
This week we started off with Memoir Monday and When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, who wrote his memoir after being diagnosed with lung cancer and having to switch roles from Doctor to patient. I also put up a video of Paul talking about his diagnosis and his decision to have a child with his wife even though his prognosis was not good. Very heartbreaking. Click on Memoir Monday above to read the post and watch the video.

Tuesday we talked briefly about the NEW Beatrix Potter book coming out! A long lost manuscript of her children's book The Tale of Kitty in Boots will be published this fall for Beatrix's 150th birthday! Here is the link for, Did Ya Hear About... 

First Lines Friday (yes, on friday) brought us to Kenya and the first lines of Paula Mclain's book, Circling the SunWould YOU keep reading after those first lines? Click on the First Lines Friday link above to read them if you haven't.

Two reviews went up this week too! First on friday, Beat, Slay, Love by Thalia Filbert is a culinary who dun it, with serious complications for the TV Chefs involved. Click on the link to see if it tasted good to me! And saturday I brought you Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins. A wonderful children's picture book with a grumpy bear and 4 baby goslings, who were suppose to be hard boiled, but became hard to turn away! Click on Mother Bruce to read my review.
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So, what do YOU think about short stories and short story collections? I guess the short story collection is alive and well. It's a great way to sample a writer without investing in a full length novel (that is if they have one yet) and you do see many writers come back to the short story after writing novels. It's also a great way to read a little bit before nodding off to sleep... like a bedtime story (for adults!) Hope you've found something interesting to read here today! And please share any short story collections you have enjoyed! (And since I'm reading American Housewife, I will be able to cross off one more square on my Book Bingo card! The "A Poetry or Short Story Collection". That's 6 squares picked off already! Are you playing Book Bingo? How many squares have you completed?!)

Happy reading... Suzanne

P.S. To celebrate the release of Stephen King's recent short story collection (Bazaar of Bad Dreams) King's publisher and the Guardian hosted a short story competition in which 800 short stories were submitted! After the stories were short listed to 6, Stephen King picked Elodie Harper as winner with Wild Swimming. (Click on Wild Swimming to read the story!) And if you're up for creepy, last year Nicholas Cage came out with a horror movie called Pay the Ghost, about a missing child that had supernatural reasons. That movie was based on a short story by Tim Lebbon called Pay the Ghost and is available for Kindle for .99cents. Here's the link for the Kindle Book if you're interested. 





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