April Mini Reviews

Each month I share a few short and sweet reviews of books I've read that might help you determine the next book you'd like to read. This month I'm adding: Planet of the Blind by Stephen Kuusisto, One Good Deed by David Baldacci, Missing Daughter by Rick Mofina, Beartown by Fredrik Backman, and The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones. Planet of the Blind by Stephen Kuusisto Genre: Memoir Published 1999, 189 pages Terrie's read This book wasn't for me. Though the story itself is interesting, I'm not a fan of the writing style. Kuusisto is a poet and the book is too ...... literary? .... for me. Too formal. Filled with lots of poem snippets and references that I don't know so couldn't co

Wednesday Web Wanderings #7

For this week's installment of Web Wanderings, I've included more than just fun book news because.....well, because so many of us are at home and looking for additional things to occupy our time and thoughts. Here's a few noteworthy links for you. A charming story about a Small Free Library Eat healthily AND reduce stress but incorporating some of these 9 food into your diet - here's how. In this time of staying home, it likely means you're cooking more. Or thinking about cooking more. A NYT article about digital community cookbooks caught my eye as a way to stay in touch over food. "Some cookbook projects have drawn in strangers. Alicia Cohn, a product marketer in Seattle, started sending

A retired spy drawn back into the espionage game in The Eighth Sister by Robert Dugoni

The Eighth Sister (#1 Jenkins) by Robert Dugoni Genre: Mystery, Legal Drama Published 2019, 437 pages This is the beginning of a new series by a favorite author of mine and it holds great promise. I'll read anything by this author for several reasons - the mysteries are always well plotted, he writes complete characters, he often has a legal component to the stories (because he's a lawyer), and he's a local author (Tacoma, WA). That pretty much checks all my boxes! It's always fun to me to read books that reference places I've been - it really helps establish a sense of place. This one is set in my home town, Seattle. "To Jenkins’s left, the Seattle Great Wheel, festively lit in Seahawks blu

9 Books that take you on a ROAD TRIP

Do you consider yourself 'stuck at home'? Looking for an escape? How about a quick road trip? Even though you shouldn't actually hit the road right now, we can do a little armchair traveling. A few shorter stories, a variety of genres, a few backlist items to bring to your attention and a couple newer books - something for everyone. I put together a list of recommended books I've read that will take you on a road trip (arranged shortest to longest). Where do you feel like going? Winterdance by Gary Paulsen Genre: Memoir Published 1996, 272 pages This is the outstanding story of a man who, on a whim, decides to participate in the Iditarod. He buys dogs, trains them, transports them and all t

YA novel to read in a day but remember far longer

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie Genre: YA, General Fiction Award: National Book Award for Young People Published 2007, 230 pages This book has been on my bookshelf for years. I don't know why I've kept avoiding it - especially since I didn't even know what it was about; I barely remember buying it. So finally, in these days of staying at home AND because I'm trying to read more books that I already own to satisfy reading challenge categories, I read the book. What I do know is more about the author than the actual book. I know he's a local author from the Spokane tribe of Washington. I know he's written many books about native Americans. But I didn't know th

Cinderella reimagined

In the 2020 Linz the Bookworm reading challenge, readers are challenged to reread a classic fairy tale and then read a corresponding retelling of that fairy tale. There are LOTS of retellings out there and I've read some in earlier years and really liked them, so I jumped in. I chose Cinderella. Cinderella, Charles Perrault Genre: Children, Classic, Fantasy, Published 1697, 10 pages I picked up a book of 11 fairy tales by Perrault, translated from French, at the library. I learned a lot about the history of fairy tales. This collection predated the Grimm Brothers tales published in 1812. He didn't create the tales, but he did write them down from the oral folktale telling of the time. Thoug

Casino heist goes wrong!

Ghostman (#1 Jack White) by Roger Hobbs Genre: Thriller Published 2013, 400 pages A while back I was shopping at Half-Price Books and came across this book. I read it many years ago and didn’t really remember it except that I knew I had really liked it. So, I bought it and just finished re-reading it. I enjoyed it this time also. Be warned it is pretty violent if that bothers you – there are a couple of especially graphic torture scenes in particular. A ghostman is someone who is good at disappearing and good at disguises – two qualities needed after pulling a heist. “Jack” (we never learn his real name) is an expert at this. When the robbery of an Atlantic City casino goes bad, Jack is hire

Let's Get Personal - April

Today's Musings: My thoughts probably mirror the thoughts of many of you. In this time of Covid-19 and staying at home, we're overloaded with news and yet we can't quite turn away; we're stressed and tired, some of us are alone and lonely, some of us are trying to figure out how to manage our kids, teach our kids, keep our kids safe. And yet. And yet, daily I see more online efforts to reach out, to connect. There are online games, free classes, music (all keeping social distances) and Patrick Stewart reading through all the Shakespeare Sonnets, one per day. This daily influx of sharing is a reminder that there's lots of good in the world and sharing our thoughts, silliness, creations, and a

Wednesday Web Wanderings #6

I'm so glad you joined for another installment of Wednesday Web Wanderings - hope you find something to enjoy in this random collection of links! Bookish #PostcardsOfKindness is a great program sending postcards to people in nursing homes. This short article explains its value but also how it might be adapted to include a wider range of people who find themselves isolated during the Covid stay-at-home directives. Who can you send a postcard to? I'm wondering. While you're practicing social distancing and shelter-at-home, are you using your library's digital resources? Even though you may prefer a hard copy book in your hands, if you're desperate for something new to read, their digital coll

Doomsday Book: A sci-fi novel by Connie Willis

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis Genre: Sci-Fi Nebula & Hugo awards Published 1992, 550 pages I am not a sci-fi aficionado - I don't have a ton of sci-fi book experience to compare this one to. Therefore, I can only judge it on my enjoyment and I found it very engaging, entertaining, and interesting. As described in the blurb and every review, the basis of the story is time travel. A young female student travels back in time to the medieval era (1300s) but unexpectedly finds herself in the midst of the Black Plague. Back in London, the supervisory group of the travel is in chaos because......they're in the beginning stages of a severe viral epidemic! I had no idea that there would be that par

Lots of time on your hands? Maybe it's time to tackle a LONG book. Here are 12 recommendations.

Since many of us are in some level of shelter-in-place, stay-at-home orders, I figure you might have some time on your hands. Here's a selection of 12 l-o-n-g books to grab your attention. I randomly determined that anything over 400 pages is long but I included a range of lengths so those of you who really appreciate a tome will also find something here. Most must-read lists heavily favor new releases, but this list includes lots of excellent back list books that you may have overlooked. In fact, maybe they're already on your own bookshelves (or from the library digitally or on audio). Also, Donna or I have actually read every one of these and whole heartedly recommend them. So, put your f

A remote monastery, murder, and music combine for The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

The Beautiful Mystery (#8 Gamache) by Louise Penny Genre: Mystery Awards: Agatha, Anthony and Audie awards Published 2012, 390 pages I've read books from this series in a very haphazard way - as I've come across them, rather than in order. This book can be read as a stand alone because it's not set in the town of Three Pines where most of the action usually takes place and only has a few of the main characters. There were ongoing references to an earlier disastrous police incident but I was able to gather enough info about it to understand the ramifications. I listened to this on audio and it was an enjoyable listen. Since I don't speak French (or Latin), it was interesting to hear how names

A Roundup of 15 Book Reviews for March

Here's a reminder of the books reviewed in March in case you missed any. Donna and I had two books planned for Buddy Reads but then the Seattle shelter-at-home directive was enacted and all libraries closed so I wasn't able to get the books.....they're sitting at the library, waiting for me to pick them up. So we postponed till April, assuming the libraries reopen. Here's the master list of books reviewed by their ratings. 5-Star reads this month Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo - magic and ghosts and a spunky heroine combine for a great ride The Ten Thousand Doors of January #1 by Alix Harrow - a coming-of-age story about a young girl who can find the magical doors between worlds - adventure,

Wednesday Web Wanderings #5

I absolutely love my new bookmark from Mitercraft, a company based on Guemes Island in the great Pacific Northwest. It's made out of wood from sustainably managed or certified forests and the selection of bookmarks is amazing and can be customized. In addition to bookmarks, they make coasters and cribbage boards and more. If you're looking for that perfect special gift, visit their website - you'll be amazed! Good Morning America has put together a list of 22 books to read while stuck at home. Encompassing everything from fiction to thrillers to nonfiction to parental help books, there's surely something for everyone on this list. How To Spend 42 Days Stuck in Your Room, an article by Will S

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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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