Literary Quote of the Month

"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies," said Jojen. "The man who never reads lives only one." - George R.R. Martin, A Dance With Dragons

Monday, January 15, 2018

Memoir Monday...

Molly's Game by Molly Bloom... From the back cover: When Molly Bloom was a little girl growing up in a small Colorado town, she watched her brothers win medals, ace tests, and receive high praise from everyone they met. Molly wanted nothing more than to bask in that glow a little herself, so she pushed herself too—as a student, as an athlete. She was successful but felt like she was always coming from behind. She wanted to break free, to find a life without rules and limits, a life where she didn't have to measure up to anyone or anything—where she could become whatever she wanted.

Molly wanted more, and she got more than she could have ever bargained for.

In Molly's Game, Molly Bloom takes the reader through her adventures running an exclusive high-stakes private poker game. Her clients ranged from iconic stars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck to politicians and financial titans so powerful they moved markets and changed the course of history. With rich detail, Molly describes a world that until now has been shrouded in glamour, privilege, and secrecy, one where she fearlessly took on the Russian and Italian mobs—until she met the one adversary she could not outsmart, even though she had justice on her side: the United States government.

Molly's Game is an incredible coming-of-age story about a young girl who rejected convention in pursuit of her version of the American dream. It's the story of how she gained—and then lost—her place at the table, and of everything she learned about poker, love, and life in the process.

I'm not really sure where I saw this originally. The cover struck me and I had to read what it was about. I thought it was some piece of literary fiction with a central character that had some cat and mouse game going on. But wow, it looks like this definitely is not what I was expecting! Molly Bloom was an olympic class skier, who got involved with high stakes poker that lead her to be arrested by 17 automatic rifle wielding FBI agents in the middle of the night. I'm thinking Orange Is The New Black meets poker. I read an excerpt and really liked the writing! It's now a major motion picture... read the book before the movie! On my TBR list NOW!

Friday, January 12, 2018

First Lines Friday...

“I remember the gunshots made a wet sort of sound, phssh phssh phssh, and each time he hit her she screamed. Do the math and the whole thing probably went on for as long as 10 minutes. I just stood there and watched.”
                                             ...Grist Mill Road by Christopher J. Yates

A Thriller published by Picador and published January 9th!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Chalk Man by CJ Tudor... In my eReader now...

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Bargain alert! Have you read...

This classic has been on my TBR list for forever. Have you read The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck yet? It's actually part of a trilogy with the first book being The Good Earth, the 2nd book is Sons, and the 3rd book is A House Divided, and if you are quick today, it's at a bargain eBook price of $3.99 at Amazon and B&N!

The Good Earth won the Pulitzer Prize in 1932, and follows the story of Wang Lung, a Chinese peasan farmer, and his wife, O-lan, a former slave...
"With luck and hard work, the couple’s fortunes improve over the years: They are blessed with sons, and save steadily until one day they can afford to buy property in the House of Wang—the very house in which O-lan used to work. But success brings with it a new set of problems. Wang soon finds himself the target of jealousy, and as good harvests come and go, so does the social order. Will Wang’s family cherish the estate after he’s gone? nThe family’s story continues in Sons and A House Divided, when the Revolution sweeping through China further unsettles Wang Lung’s family in this rich and unforgettable portrait of a family and a country in the throes of widespread national change."
There was a bit of controversy surrounding as to the authenticity of an American author writing about Chinese culture and the struggles of this Chinese family. But the parents of Pearl S. Buck were missionaries in China and Pearl had spent her childhood growing up there and remained there until she was seventeen. She then went off to college, but soon returned to China, married John Lossing Buck, who was in China teaching American farming techniques. Because of all of this, Pearl had an intimate and sympathetic view of the Chinese and wrote from the heart.

I can't resist a bargain, so I downloaded the trilogy! Use the links above to get your Kindle or Nook eBooks! But act fast, who knows when the bargain prices expire, AND always check the price before you hit the "buy" button!

*Update... The Bargain Sale is officially over as of 1/10, just one day later, and the price is now $23.99! 

Happy reading... Suzanne

Monday, January 8, 2018

In My Mailbox... Great Books Coming Soon to a Bookstore Near You!

In My Mailbox... Getting back into the swing of things this week, with lots of packing to go, but needing to sit down and relax with some great reading! I'm a little over half way thru Still Me by Jojo Moyes, which is such a good read, but I wanted to share some great books I've received in my mailbox (or actually in my eReader because all of the books this week are eGalleys!). 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.

So, here are the books...

The Girls in the Picture by Melanie Benjamin... It is 1914, and twenty-five-year-old Frances Marion has left her (second) husband and her Northern California home for the lure of Los Angeles, where she is determined to live independently as an artist. But the word on everyone’s lips these days is “flickers”—the silent moving pictures enthralling theatergoers. Turn any corner in this burgeoning town and you’ll find made-up actors running around, as a movie camera captures it all.

In this fledgling industry, Frances finds her true calling: writing stories for this wondrous new medium. She also makes the acquaintance of actress Mary Pickford, whose signature golden curls and lively spirit have earned her the title “America’s Sweetheart.” The two ambitious young women hit it off instantly, their kinship fomented by their mutual fever to create, to move audiences to a frenzy, to start a revolution.

But their ambitions are challenged by both the men around them and the limitations imposed on their gender—and their astronomical success could come at a price. As Mary, the world’s highest paid and most beloved actress, struggles to live her life under the spotlight, she also wonders if it is possible to find love, even with the dashing actor Douglas Fairbanks. Frances, too, longs to share her life with someone. As in any good Hollywood story, dramas will play out, personalities will clash, and even the deepest friendships might be shattered.

With cameos from such notables as Charlie Chaplin, Louis B. Mayer, Rudolph Valentino, and Lillian Gish, The Girls in the Picture is, at its heart, a story of friendship and forgiveness. Melanie Benjamin perfectly captures the dawn of a glittering new era—its myths and icons, its possibilities and potential, and its seduction and heartbreak.

Melanie Benjamin knows how to weave historical fiction into a story we become totally absorbed in! Looking forward to starting this book soon. Coming out January 16th and published by Random House Publishing Group- Ballantine, Delacorte Press.

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian... Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She's a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police - she's a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home - Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it's too late to come clean-or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did? 

I Love Chris Bohjalian and this sounds like a thriller I can sink my teeth in! Coming out March 13th and published by Doubleday Books!

The Night Child by Anna Quinn... Nora Brown teaches high school English and lives a quiet life in Seattle with her husband and six-year-old daughter. But one November day, moments after dismissing her class, a girl’s face appears above the students’ desks—“a wild numinous face with startling blue eyes, a face floating on top of shapeless drapes of purples and blues where arms and legs should have been. Terror rushes through Nora’s body—the kind of raw terror you feel when there’s no way out, when every cell in your body, your entire body, is on fire—when you think you might die.”

Twenty-four hours later, while on Thanksgiving vacation, the face appears again. Shaken and unsteady, Nora meets with neurologists and eventually, a psychiatrist. As the story progresses, a terrible secret is discovered—a secret that pushes Nora toward an even deeper psychological breakdown.

This sounds so crazy good! It's gotten some great reviews too! And this is Anna Quinn's debut. Coming out January 30th and published by Blackstone Publishing.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

The 3 Hottest Books for the Coldest Winter Days...

Welcome to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post! It is damn cold here in Connecticut! Right now as I write this it's 7 degrees. Tonight it's predicted to get to 20 below zero! It started this past Thursday when it started to snow furiously all day, the wind whipping it all about in tall and beautiful snowdrifts. The temperatures then started to drop. I don't ever remember it being this cold and the only thing I want to do is stay snuggled up inside the house. BUT, I do have some books to keep me company until the spring thaw...

My First Book of The Year for 2018 is Still Me by Jojo Moyes, and I am enjoying it so much! I have 60 pages to go and I'm trying to slow down because I don't want it to end! But I know it will and I'll have to find other pages to read. And I do have some great reads in my eReader (come by tomorrow and I'll share them with you!). But today let me share with you some books coming out next week that are lighting the publishing world on fire (and don't we need a little fire with all this cold!)...

The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani... She has the keys to their apartment. She knows everything. She has embedded herself so deeply in their lives that it now seems impossible to remove her.

When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family’s chic apartment in Paris’s upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on one another, jealousy, resentment, and suspicions mount, shattering the idyllic tableau. Building tension with every page, The Perfect Nanny is a compulsive, riveting, bravely observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, and motherhood—and the American debut of an immensely talented writer.

This is the first "Hot" book of 2018! This book won The Prix Goncourt (The Goncourt Prize) in 2016, which is a prize in French literature given by the académie Goncourt to the author of "the best and most imaginative prose work of the year". Originally published in France as Chanson Douce, or "lullaby" (Sweet Song),  It has sold over 600,000 copies since then. Available Jan. 9th and published by Penguin. On my TBR list!

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn... 
Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

Lots of buzz about this book. Even movie rights have been sold for it. It's suppose to be a taunt psychological thriller and I'm so hoping that it lives up to all the hype! Lots of positive reviews pre-publication! Coming out on January 2nd and published by Harper Collins! P.S. A.J. Finn is not the authors real name... On my TBR list!

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen... 
When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. 
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen's The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage - and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Another twist and turn book that's gotten quite a bit of buzz. It's made the Indie Next List this month, as did all of these book I'm talking about today, and it has gotten a lot of great pre-publishing reviews. Coming out January 9th and published by St. Martin's Press. Definitely on my TBR list!

And one more honorable mention in the hot books of the month club... 

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin... 
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.

The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

This is the #1 Indie Next choice for January, but I've seen a mixed bag of pre-publication reviews. Not so much of a thriller as literary fiction, I don't think this is going to get your heart beating fast and your palm sweating, but sounds like an interesting read. I'm reserving my judgement for this one, but it is on my TBR list. Coming out on January 9th and published by Putnam.

Week in Review...

*Sunday was New Years Eve and my reveal for my First Book Of The Year... Still Me by Jojo Moyes!

*First Lines Friday revealed the beginning of Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor!

*Sadly on Dec. 28th, 2017 the reading world had to bid farewell to Sue Grafton, who passed away at the age of 77 from cancer. The posted her obituary January 3rd. Unfortunately for fans of Grafton's alphabet series, the alphabet will be ending with Y.

How Are You Keeping Warm on These Cold Winter Days?

That about does it for this week. Next week we'll have some more great books coming out. And tomorrow I reveal 3 great eGalley's I just received from publishers for some great books coming out in the near future! Stop back and see what they are! 

Happy reading... Suzanne

Friday, January 5, 2018

First Lines Friday...

The girl's head rested on a small pile of orange-and-brown leaves.
     Her almond eyes stared up at the canopy of sycamore, beech and oak, but they didn't see the tentative fingers of sunlight that poked through the branches and sprinkled the woodland floor with gold. They didn't blink as shinky black beetles scurried over their pupils. They didn't see anything any more, except darkness...
                                                                                                          ... The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor

A psychological thriller published by Crown and coming out January 9th!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

First Book of The Year 2018... Still Me by Jojo Moyes!

How are you starting your reading year?! For the last 5 years, Sheila from Book Journey has hosted First Book Of The Year. Anyone can participate (with a blog or not), you just need to pick a book! A special book you've been waiting to read, a book maybe you received as a gift, any book you'd like to read... 
My choice this year is... Still Me by Jojo Moyes. Are you familiar with Jojo Moyes? She wrote Me Before You and had the whole reading world turning those pages faster than the speed of light (not only that, but the book was made into a great movie that honestly did the book justice) When I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes I never cried so much! But it was all good. The book was wonderful and we all came to know Louisa Clark as a quirky, intelligent and determined young lady full of heart. I'm ready to catch up with Louisa Clark as she starts life over in New York in Still Me! I'm also ready to start a new chapter in MY life... it's called retirement! So, the title of Jojo Moyes book fits right into that plan as well... even though I'm not working a 9 - 5 anymore, it's Still Me! Here's the publishers blurb...

In STILL ME, Lou arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure, and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. Taking a job as the personal assistant to a New York socialite, Lou mixes with high society where she meets a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. As Lou tries to keep the two sides of her world together, she finds herself carrying secrets—not all her own—that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances. When matters come to a head, she has to ask herself, Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places? STILL ME is Jojo Moyes’ quirky, touching, and empathetic writing voice at its best, reminding readers why they fell in love with Me Before You. 

I want to thank the publisher, Penguin Random House, for sending along an advanced copy of Still Me just in time for my first book of the year! On January 30th, you can find a copy of Still Me at your favorite bookstore! 

*Psst... later this month look for a special Q&A with Jojo Moyes AND possibly a giveaway!!

Monday, December 25, 2017

'Twas The Night Before Christmas...

A Visit from St. Nicholas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds;
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
Gave a lustre of midday to objects below,
When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny rein-deer,
With a little old driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too—
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.
His eyes—how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard on his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly
That shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
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