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, August 28, 2023

Memoir Monday... or rather Ironing out the Truths of History

The Wager, A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder by David Grann... On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty’s Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. While the Wager had been chasing a Spanish treasure-filled galleon known as “the prize of all the oceans,” it had wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia. The men, after being marooned for months and facing starvation, built the flimsy craft and sailed for more than a hundred days, traversing nearly 3,000 miles of storm-wracked seas. They were greeted as heroes.

But then ... six months later, another, even more decrepit craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways, and they told a very different story. The thirty sailors who landed in Brazil were not heroes – they were mutineers. The first group responded with countercharges of their own, of a tyrannical and murderous senior officer and his henchmen. It became clear that while stranded on the island the crew had fallen into anarchy, with warring factions fighting for dominion over the barren wilderness. As accusations of treachery and murder flew, the Admiralty convened a court martial to determine who was telling the truth. The stakes were life-and-death—for whomever the court found guilty could hang.

The Wager is on all the Buzz lists. Descriptions like Masterful, a Tour de Force, Incredible have all been used to describe it. Although not a Memoir, the base of its' essence is memoirs. The diaries and journals David Grann could find to lay out all the players and their accounts of the HMS Wager and what happened to the ship and its' crew. Years of research. It sounds so interesting to me. And I am also curious as to the different accounts of what happened. Published by Doubleday ( and found on the Penguin Randomhouse website), The Wager is available at your favorite bookstore! 

Sunday, August 27, 2023

The Sunday Salon... and Great Books in my eReader...

 Welcome to The Sunday Salon! What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine Some university library’s vast reading room. It’s filled with people — students and faculty and strangers who’ve wandered in. They’re seated at great oaken dests, books piled all around them, and they’re all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they’ll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon’s literary intake. Thank you to Deb at ReaderBuzz for keeping us all together on Sundays now and hosting The Sunday Salon! 

There are so many great books to talk about this week! I'm limited myself to the 3 I think you've got to hear about first and are availabe right now at your favorite book... 

The Invisible Hour by Alice Hoffman... 

One brilliant June day when Mia Jacob can no longer see a way to survive, the power of words saves her. The Scarlet Letter was written almost two hundred years earlier, but it seems to tell the story of Mia’s mother, Ivy, and their life inside the Community—an oppressive cult in western Massachusetts where contact with the outside world is forbidden, and books are considered evil. But how could this be? How could Nathaniel Hawthorne have so perfectly captured the pain and loss that Mia carries inside her? Through a journey of heartbreak, love, and time, Mia must abandon the rules she was raised with at the Community. As she does, she realizes that reading can transport you to other worlds or bring them to you, and that readers and writers affect one another in mysterious ways. She learns that time is more fluid than she can imagine, and that love is stronger than any chains that bind you.

Alice Hoffman always writes wonderful, sink your teeth into stories. Some sprinkled with magic, it's been a few years since we've gotten a new story so this is exciting! Just published and released by Atria Books  August 15th, let's journey with Mia as she learns the strength that exists inside of her. This is waiting for me in my eReader courtesy of Atria Books! A thank you to them for the opportunity to review The Invisible Hour by Alice Hoffman! I can't wait!!


Molly Molloy and the Angel of Death by Maria Vale... 

Death needs a do-over. Azrael--Grim Reaper, Destroyer, Angel of Death--has messed up. Instead of taking Molly Molloy's soul, he accidentally saves her from choking on a chicken wing. Molly has been visited by Death before. He took her parents, her grandparents. Her first love. But now this utterly unexceptional waitress at a breastaurant in New York can see him. Touch him. Talk to him. Say 'no' to him. Make him doubt. The Powers that Be are waiting for Death to fix his mistake but before he can, he makes one more...

He falls in love.

We've gotten a glimpse of the grim reaper in books and television (Dead Like Me fans should love this book) and it's always interesting to see another aspect of "his" personality. Of course he is the Grim Reaper, so he is gathering souls, but how does he manage to fall in love? This is waiting in my eReader for me too, courtesy of Wild & Ashe LLC who published the ebook. Sungrazer Publishing has published the paperback version. Molly Molloy and the Angel of Death by Maria Vale is now available at your favorite bookstore AND the Kindle version is only $4.99 right now!


Someone Else's Shoes by JoJo Moyes... 

Who are you when you are forced to walk in someone else’s shoes? Nisha Cantor lives the globetrotting life of the seriously wealthy, until her husband announces a divorce and cuts her off. Nisha is determined to hang onto her glamorous life. But in the meantime, she must scramble to cope--she doesn’t even have the shoes she was, until a moment ago, standing in. That’s because Sam Kemp – in the bleakest point of her life – has accidentally taken Nisha’s gym bag. But Sam hardly has time to worry about a lost gym bag--she’s struggling to keep herself and her family afloat. When she tries on Nisha’s six-inch high Christian Louboutin red crocodile shoes, the resulting jolt of confidence that makes her realize something must change—and that thing is herself. Someone Else’s Shoes is a story about how just one little thing can suddenly change everything.

I love JoJo Moyes writing! I interviewed her for Chick with Books in 2018, when she came out with her book Still Me, which continued the story of Louisa Clark, who we first met in Me Before You. ( You can find that interview HERE ). She writes these characters that just pull you in. Totally relatable, flawed but honest characters. Someone Else's Shoes sounds like a fun romp with the heartwarming characters JoJo Moyes is known for. Published by Pamela Dorman Books, a division of Penguin the beginning of 2023, you can find this at your favorite bookstore! Right now this is on my wishlist!

So, there you have it! 3 books that look like great reads and available right now! Next Sunday, I'll share some books that you should mark your calendars for because they are the ones you are going to want to read next!

What's on your Nightstand? or eReader?

Weekly Wrap-up:


This week I've been reading about those "Golden Girls" of  a secret government agency taking care of business in Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn. It's my Library Loot for this week and in my eReader. As I get to know these ladies and the story their story, I am obsessively turning those pages to get to what happens next. I love Deanna Raybourn's Victorian Mystery series and so far, the writing here is holding my attention. It's not a "gripping" read, more light reading with a good story. Stay tuned for the review coming...

 And just in case you missed... My Review on The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston. A mix of  Top Chef and a Rom Com.

Hope you've found something interesting here! Leave me a comment and let me know what piques your interest! Happy reading... Suzanne

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Library Loot....

 "Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that’s their secret weapon. They’ve spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they’re sixty years old, four women friends can’t just retire—it’s kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller"

Library cards are a great thing to have... and this week I used my Pickens County Library Card and downloaded Killers of a Certain Age by Deanna Raybourn. A light, "fun" read by a writer that is primarily known for her 2 Victorian Mystery series that star bright female protagonists. Killers of a Certain Age is set in contemporary times, starring 4 women who were recruited while in college and trained to be international assasins for a group working outside of the "system". They've been at it for 40 years now and are on their retirement cruise... but it's not all fun and games and something is afoot on that ship...

Buzzfeed summed up its' review of this book as "The Golden Girls meets James Bond thriller."

Do you have a library card? 

Published September of last year by Penguin Random House,  be on the lookout for my review...

Saturday, August 19, 2023

The Seven Year Slip... a Review

Light, airy and a perfect summery read. Open the pages of The Seven Year Slip and join Clementine, aka "Lemon" as she navigates life as an up and coming book publisher in a NYC job that she absolutely loves... or did love until she realizes that there is more to life than books. How does she come to realize that? By falling in love of course! And where there are plenty of books that have a "type A" heroine succumb to the wiles of a handsome hero, The Seven Year Slip gives us a fun story with a twist... a "magical" twist. You see, and I won't be giving anything away because you'll find this out soon enough, the magic is in the apartment that her Aunt gives her after she passes away. The magic is the 7 years it, meaning the apartment, jumps back to at unexpected times, where Lemon meets a mysterious handsome stranger... and slowly falls in love. 

I found the story very clever and the writing enjoyable. Ashely Poston whisked me right into the story with her wonderful characters and I never looked back. Finished the book in a few days because I just had to keep reading to find out what happened next. Good story with added romance and a bit of the "other" stuff (wink, wink), but not enough to classify this as a sizzler. I would definitely tell my besties to give it a go. 

The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston is 326 pages (even though Amazon says 352) and recently published by Berkley Romance, which means you can find this on the shelves of your favorite bookstore! 

P.S. The Readers Guide, just before the discussion questions, has some very interesting insights about Ashley and her book. That's well worth the read too!

Monday, August 14, 2023

Memoir Monday...

One Hundred Saturdays by Michael Frank... With nearly a century of life behind her, Stella Levi had never before spoken in detail about her past. Then she met Michael Frank. He came to her Greenwich Village apartment one Saturday afternoon to ask her a question about the Juderia, the neighborhood in Rhodes where she’d grown up in a Sephardic Jewish community that had thrived there for half a millennium. Neither of them could know this was the first of one hundred Saturdays that they would spend in each other’s company as Stella traveled back in time to conjure what it felt like to come of age on this luminous, legendary island in the eastern Aegean, which the Italians won in 1912 as the Ottoman empire was disintegrating, began officially governing as a colonial possession in 1923, and transformed over the next two decades until the Germans seized control and deported the entire Juderia to Auschwitz in July of 1944.

Probing and courageous, candid and sly, Stella is a magical modern-day Scheherazade whose stories reveal what it was like to grow up in an extraordinary place in an extraordinary time—and to construct a life after that place vanished. One Hundred Saturdays is a portrait of one of the last survivors, drawn at nearly the last possible moment; it is also an account of a tender and transformative friendship that develops between storyteller and listener as they explore the fundamental mystery of what it means to collect, share, and interpret the deepest truths of a life deeply lived.

In the vein of Tuesday with Morrie, Michael Frank spends 100 Saturdays, nearly 6 years, talking with Stella Levi in her Greenwich Village apartment. A chance meeting at a lecture turns into a wonderful friendship and of Stella sharing her story, her life.

One Hundred Saturdays was listed under the Indies Next selections as one the 6 Now in Paperback selections for September 2023. Originally this book was in the running for the Indie Next pick in September of 2022, but didn't win the #1 spot. But that's how I found this book... reading about Septembers' picks. And it intrigued me. I generally shy away from books about the Holocaust. They just depress me. But this book takes place in an area I'm unfamiliar with: Rhodes, Greece. But not only is this a story of survival, but it also is a coming of age story. I like how the author and Stella Levi meet and how the author takes the next 100 saturdays to listen to Stella recount her life to him. 

On my nightstand, published by Avid Reader Press, a division of Simon & Schuster last September, it is now available in paperback.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Easy & Fun Summer reading...

I've always considered summer reading light and airy. Guilty pleasure reading... books you don't normally sink your teeth into but go perfect with a glass of sweet tea on the back porch. I've added quite a few books to my 'summer reading" pile over the last few weeks. Books I don't normally turn to, such as Fantasy, have sucked me in with great writing. I'll get to the fantasy books this weekend, but for now, let me share what I opened the cover on this morning...  I don't even know how I came to find this book. Somewhere between must read books of the summer and Kirkus starred book reviews. But here it is and so far so good... really good. In a fun, light, bit of romance in the air kind of way. 

Here's the publishers blurb... 

"An overworked book publicist with a perfectly planned future hits a snag when she falls in love with her temporary roommate…only to discover he lives seven years in the past, in this witty and wise new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Dead Romantics."

I've just met Clementine. She's told me about her larger than life Aunt Analea and invited me to the Upper East Side into the quirky "magical" apartment she just inherited from her Aunt. (Well, not just, because it's been 3 years since she passed.) In a wonderful old building Clementine now calls home, we also meet a few other... characters, one of which just nudges her awake the morning after her first night sleeping there. Oh and he's cute too... but why is he there?! Oh, the fun has just started...

What grabbed my attention about The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston, (published by Penguin Random House this past June), was the "time travel" hook. I love time travel romances. Yup, my guilty pleasure from all my "serious" reading. This isn't exactly what I'd call a time travel book, but it's sprinkled with a bit of that magic. Of course there was also bookish people in the story, that was a plus. But what really hooked me was the writing. It invited me in and I felt like I was right there with Clementine walking beside her. Stay tuned for a review when I'm done, but if you'd like to read an excerpt, here's a link. And in the meantime, let me know what you're reading! Is your summer reading different from your normal reading?

Happy reading... Suzanne

FSB Media Book Blogger Directory
my read shelf:
Suzanne's book recommendations, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
First To Read
Reviews Published
Professional Reader
Challenge Participant