#8 in attorney Andy Carpenter series

Former cop and Iraq war veteran who is now a thief is arrested on suspicion of murder. Dog Tags (Carpenter #8), David Rosenfelt Genre: Animals, Mystery Published 2010, 360 pages “As his adversary, that gives me an advantage, because nothing is beneath my dignity.” Attorney Andy Carpenter (#8) series. I have read all of the books in the Carpenter series, actually I’ve read all of Rosenfelt’s books period. Two things I especially like about his books are the humor and the fact that he loves dogs and often has one featured in his story and nothing bad happens to them – no animal ever dies in a Rosenfelt book. “There’s something obnoxiously charming about Bill, but I’ve always been able to resis

October Mini Reviews - SIX short book reviews

This month we have six mini book reviews including The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida, Driving Miss Norma by Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle, Most Dangerous Place by James Grippando, A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz, Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane, and The Other Wife by Michael Robotham. The Reason I Jump, Naoki Higashida Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir Published 2005, 135 pages Terrie's read I read this short book to satisfy a category in the #BookRiot #ReadHarder annual challenge. I participate in this challenge most years but rarely complete all the categories. The category for this book is: written by a person who identifies as neurodiverse. I admit I had to look that up! Written by a 13

Where the Crawdads Sing: A young woman survives alone in the marshes of N Carolina

A young woman from an abusive home who basically raises herself finds her life complicated when she meets a young man - and someone ends up dead, with her as the main suspect. Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens Genre: General Fiction Published 2018, 384 pages This book certainly got a lot of hype so I picked it up as my first read of 2019 and I think it mostly lived up to all that attention. As a debut novel, it's amazingly perceptive and satisfying. It's not a book I would normally gravitate toward, but this is one of the times when Instagram (and Reese Witherspoon for her book club) got it right - it's a book of desperate loneliness and resiliency and just plain survival. But it's not ov

Eleven people board a private jet which crashes leaving only two survivors.

Eleven people board a private jet flying from Martha’s Vineyard to New York. When the plane crashes into the ocean only two survive. Before The Fall, Noah Hawley Genre: General Fiction Award: Edgar Award Winner Published 2016, 401 pages On a private jet flying to New York, Scott, a down-on-his-luck painter and JJ, the 4-year-old son of a billionaire survive a plane crash. Scott rescues the crying JJ from the water carrying him on his back as he swims for hours to land. Hailed a hero by most, Scott tries to adjust to the media attention. The crash opens the story and the rest of the book focuses on the aftermath and a look at each of the passengers aboard the plane. There is also quite a bit

Michelle Obama's insightful autobiography

An articulate, eloquent, thoughtful autobiography. Michelle Obama shares her story starting with her childhood through the time the Obamas leave the White House. She shares insights into what drives her, her dislike of politics, and the things that matter most to her. Becoming, Michelle Obama Genre: Autobiography Published 2018, 421 pages This is the hardest review I've written - trying to corral my thoughts and put them in a reasonably cogent order is proving difficult. The reason I don't read many biographies or autobiographies is I generally don't like the format of a rigidly structured "when I was 4 this happened, then when I was 7 we lived here, I went to college and met XXX". That beco

Set in Tokyo, Convenience Store Woman is a simple story with complex subtext

Written and translated by a woman, this story is set in Tokyo and is all about a woman who starts working at a convenience store in college and never leaves even though friends and family try to get her to see the error of her ways. Convenience Store Woman, Sayaka Murata Genre: General Fiction Published 2016, 163 pages I'm torn with my opinion. A quirky book with weird characters, I found it entertaining and sort of a societal commentary about sexist expectations....get a good job (not at a convenience store), get married, have kids, and then you're normal. However, Keiko liked her job at the store, was good at it and comfortable with it - until others told her there's something wrong with h

Get Shorty, a classic Leonard book is our Buddy Read - this one of movies and mob guys

Another Buddy Read is this classic Elmore Leonard story. A Miami mobster ends up in LA as he's hunting for a guy who owes him money. He finds a sleazy movie maker and the fun begins! Get Shorty (Chili Palmer #1), Elmore Leonard Genre: General Fiction Published 1990, 384 pages Donna's Thoughts Chili: “Jesus, what you had to go through with actors. The ideal situation would be if you could make movies without them.” Whether you’ve seen the movie with John Travolta first or read the book first, the movie closely follows the book. I saw the movie a couple of times and really liked it and remembered it very well, so when I was reading the book, I was actually anticipating scenes and also a bit s

Two Books by Thrity Umrigar

A couple who loses their son moves to India to "start over" is the framework for The Weight of Heaven, which Donna read. Terrie read The Space Between Us, the story of a wealthy Parsi woman, her valued servant of 20 years, and their changing relationship. The Weight of Heaven, Thrity Umrigar Genre: General Fiction Published 2009, 365 pages Donna's read I have read several books by this author and they have all been wonderful. This is a heart-wrenching story of an American couple who loses their 7-year-old son suddenly. The husband’s job moves them to India and gives them a chance to start over and recover. Ellie is willing and tries but her husband, Frank, meets a young Indian boy whom he ta

Buddy Read: a childhood classic about a little orphan girl who comes to Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables #1, L.M. Montgomery Genre: YA, Classic Published 1908, 320 pages Have you read this yet? I don't know how I never read this before.....and the writing style took me aback at first. But, on audio, my goodness, the flow of language! The words! The flowery, joyful, effervescence of Anne is so engaging that it made me smile. And it wants to make me use my words better. Instead of everything being "great", try splendid, terrific, or sublime. And though Montgomery used 20 words when one or two would do, I loved them all.....and I usually prefer a more spare writing style. I wonder if I would have liked it as much if I read it instead of listened to it............hmmmm. I foun

After the Flood: A fantasy set in a post-apocalyptic world of water

A woman and her young daughter try to survive the weather and the raiders as they search for her other daughter in a dangerous world. After the Flood, Kassandra Montag Genre: Dystopian Published 2019, 417 pages "Children think we make them, but we don't. They exist somewhere else, before us, before time. They come into the world and make us. They make us by breaking us first." What a killer first paragraph to this book! I requested this from my library and was lucky to get it so quickly! My first thought after about 50 pages was that this reminded me of the movie Waterworld. Although this story has a different focus, I found my mental images referencing back to that movie. "[children] with t

Intertwining stories set in 1970s New York explores the lives of very diverse people.

Ultimately, a tragedy connects them all. Let the Great World Spin, Colum McCann Award: National Book Award Genre: General Fiction Published 2009, 351 pages As you start reading this book, you might think you’re reading a collection of short stories, although the chapters are quite lengthy and really put you into the lives of these people. Then the people start overlapping into the other story lines and you discover how they are tied together in tragedy. Ultimately, I liked the way it all pulled together and the impact each of the individuals had on others in the story. One of the best surprises I feel I shouldn’t reveal here is a relationship that develops between two of the characters who a

The Dog Master is historical fiction set in the time of early man

This is the story of one tribe's survival and how a man came to befriend a wolf - and how it changed mankind forever. The Dog Master: A Novel of the First Dog, W. Bruce Cameron Genre: Historical Fiction, Animals Published 2015, 416 pages What a pleasure to read! This seemed a well-researched historically based story of early man. I like the tribal life representations, contrasting different styles of survival – the seasonal hunters following the cycles of their prey, the fishermen, the aggressive take-what-they-need tribe. The story focuses on two main tribes, the Wolfen and Kindred, and both had characters who represented 'good' and 'bad' people, some who tried to do the right thing as well

Start with a murder, add commitment to a mental institution and what do you have? The Silent Patient

A wife murders her husband, is arrested and sent to a mental institution where she doesn't say a word until years later when a therapist slowly discovers what truly happened. The Silent Patient, Alex Michaelides Genre: General Fiction, Mystery Published 2019, 323 pages Donna's Thoughts “Somewhere, in the back of my mind, was a vague feeling of familiarity, a nagging sense of déjà vu I couldn’t quite place. Perhaps it was simply a recollection of childhood stories, fairy tales, and magical trees being gateways to other worlds.” “In order to be a good therapist, you must be receptive to your patients’ feelings – but you must not hold on to them – they are not yours – they do not belong to you.

Three sisters take an emotional trip to India after their mom's death

Pursuant to their mother's wishes, three sisters who are not close, take an emotional trip to India to carry their Mom's ashes, spend time together, and reconnect. The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters, Balli Kaur Jaswal Genre: General Fiction Published 2019, 310 pages I have a personal interest in India having dated an Indian man so I've read quite a few books by Indian authors or set in India. I find it endlessly fascinating. Each chapter of this book begins with a snippet from a letter the mother wrote to her daughters telling them where she wants them to visit and why it was special to her and what she hopes they will get out of it. I really enjoyed those insights. This journe

Adventure. Danger. Raging fire and raging river. Bonds of friendship. The River.

A captivating adventure story full of danger, both from man and Mother Nature. The bonds of a strong friendship are the driving force behind everything - along with an epic fire, of course. The River, Peter Heller Genre: General Fiction Published 2019, 272 pages There's something about this book that just drew me in. The brisk writing style. Short, abrupt, almost sentences. The pacing of action, then non-action. The details of making or breaking camp alongside the river and the detailed description of fly fishing and how the guys settled into the Zen of it, followed by the crashing of rapids or the heat of the forest fire. I loved the building tension as man and nature conspire against Jack

Reading Roundup - a reference list of the 16 books reviewed in September

Looking for something different to read? We read some great books in September; check it out below to see if there's something just begging to be added to your TBR. This month's Buddy Reads include Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise. Surprisingly, neither of us had ever read Little House, and we felt it was high time to right that wrong. Especially if you're a foodie, you can't pass up Garlic and Sapphires, but even if you're not, this is a book worth your time. REVIEWS FROM SEPTEMBER Notes From a Blue Bike by Tsh Oxenreider - stories and tips from her life on how to live intentionally. Waiting for Tom Hanks b

A fantasy about a unicorn leaving her magical world in search of more of her kind.

Told in a fairy tale style, this lyrical and haunting fantasy about a unicorn leaving her magical world and searching the 'real' world for more of her kind is engaging. The Last Unicorn (#1), Peter S. Beagle Genre: Fantasy Published 1968, 294 pages “But she was a unicorn still, with a unicorn’s way of growing more beautiful in evil times and places. Even the breath of the toads that grumbled in the ditches and dead trees stopped when they saw her.” An imaginative and touching story. A unicorn leaves the safety of her magical forest on a quest for others of her kind. In her travels she meets two strangers who try to help but also makes the disturbing discovery that people no longer recognize

Imagine a world where the Civil War never happened - Underground Airlines

Slavery exists with governmental approval in the Hard Four - four states granted the legal right to own and 'discipline' slaves. Each of those 'states' essentially functions as huge prisons. Underground Airlines, Ben H. Winters Genre: General Fiction Published 2016, 322 pages I picked this up for the Book Riot Read Harder 2019 challenge: alternate history - my goodness, this is a grim imagining! "But even after all these years, I still found myself astonished daily by the small miracles of liberty. Just walking out of a restaurant with a clear head and a full stomach, holding a styrofoam box with leftover food inside it, smelling the wet asphalt, feeling a light drizzle as it condensed on my

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© Bookshelf Journeys, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terrie Purkey and Bookshelf Journeys with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.   2019

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