Mini Reviews for June & July - mysteries galore!

The Finders (#1 Reid) by Jeffrey Burton Genre: Mystery ARC from #NetGalley Publish date 6/30/2020, 288 pages My first book by this author, and I really liked it. Though the plot wasn't terribly original in terms of a mystery, I really liked Mace Reid and his relationship with his dogs. That's a highlight and the strength of this story. Burton treats the dogs as characters and gives them great personalities. For those with animal sensitivities, dogs do get seriously injured but no dogs die. The story is carried quickly along with short chapters, plenty of action, smart dialog, and even some humor. I found the characters and their motivations and actions believable, even the secondary ones. I

Pale Morning Light With Violet Swan is a novel about an artist, family, and secrets

Pale Morning Light With Violet Swan by Deborah Reed Genre: General Fiction Publish date October 2020, 288 pages When I first saw the title and read the blurb to learn it's a story about an artist, the image that came to mind is of a painting of a misty dawn with a violet-colored swan on a pond. But, no. Pale Morning Light is actually the title of the last painting by the renowned artist (lead character) Violet Swan. Still can't get that image out of my head though! I'm an artist and so the jacket copy caught my attention because it described a story about a well known abstract artist and her life. I usually enjoy books that focus on art in some way so I requested this ARC. "There was nothing

July TBR additions

Every month I share with you the books that caught my attention and that made it to my TBR list. This month has more than usual for some reason - maybe it's because I only added 9 last month because I was house-focused (we're remodeling!). You can see my full TBR list, all 600 of them on my Pinterest Terrie's TBR List board. I keep it updated with what is on my list and remove books once I've read them. They're further divided by genre folders to help me find something I'm in the mood for. A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker Genre: Sci-Fi Award: Nebula 2019 Published 2019, 384 pages I added this book because: Nebula winner that sounds prophetic and intriguing Synopsis: the government has

Sleeping Giants is the beginning of a creative sci-fi trilogy

Sleeping Giants #1 by Sylvain Neuvel Genre: Sci Fi Published 2016, 320 pages "It was one of the firemen that had gotten me out of the hole. He’d taken some pictures and thought I’d like to see them. He was right. There I was, this tiny little thing at the bottom of the hole, lying on my back in the palm of a giant metal hand." The premise of this novel/trilogy is great! A little girl (Rose) falls into a hole and when she's rescued, everyone can see that she landed in a large metal hand. Rose then grows up to become a scientist in charge of investigating the origins of the hand and the strange symbols surrounding it. The book is written in interviews, interrogations, reports, and letters, whi

My Top 10 Brain-Candy Books

I'm again participating in Jana's Top Ten Tuesday book sharing blog roundup. The Artsy Reader Girl's theme this week is a "freebie - make up your own category" so I decided to share some of my all time fave brain-candy books. What is a brain-candy book? To me, it's a default, go-to genre or author where I know I'll enjoy the book, but it isn't usually particularly challenging or complex......just a solid, enjoyable read. Here's some of my faves: MYSTERIES / THRILLERS David Baldacci is a favorite go-to author. He's authored several series, all in the detective genre, and all entertaining. The Fallen is #4 in his most recent series of the "memory man" and I really like the premise behind it (

Nary a horror story in sight in this collection by Stephen King

Different Seasons by Stephen King Genre: General Fiction Published 1982, 578 pages This collection is comprised of four stories: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (turned into a fantastic movie), Apt Pupil, The Body (also a movie, "Stand By Me"), and The Breathing Method. There were several surprises in the collection - #1, none of these is remotely a horror story, proving that King can absolutely write engaging, entertaining, very readable stories without scaring the pants off you! I expected more 'short story' format, but the first three read as almost full-length novels. In the afterward King does mention that these are an odd length.....not his usual full novel length, but too long

Top Ten Tuesday - Books that made me smile.....

I'm a new participant in the weekly book blog roundup sponsored by The Artsy Reader Girl. Jana publishes a list of bookish topics for each Tuesday ...... and this week's topic seemed a good time to join in. It seems a particularly good time to focus on books that made me smile, and I didn't have to work too hard to come up with my 10! In no particular order, here we go: Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart A quick, entertaining, smile inducing story of a couple who move to Spain - a remote part of Spain, to raise sheep. #nonfiction #spain #adventure #booklist #4halfstars Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell This book ran the gamut of feelings for me, but I found myself smiling more than once

My Reading Challenges update

I was probably a bit overly ambitious this year when I set off down the path of trying to complete 5, count ' em FIVE, challenges. But, challenges for me aren't particularly stressful because I really just use them to occasionally pull me out of my comfort zone, out of my usual picks, and into new reading territory. I don't view challenges as a competition or a "must finish" situation and if I don't finish, I don't really's just a fun exercise. So at just a little over half way through the year, here's a quick look at my challenge stats: You might notice that I've read 58 books but satisfied 95 challenge categories.....a little double dipping going on there! And at 95 categories

The Woman in the Window is a good summer thriller

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn Genre: Mystery, Thriller Published 2019, 455 pages I was prepared to be put off to the seeming similarity to the movie Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart. However, it is similar in only the very broadest of terms. It's engaging and surprising. It drew me in from the first chapter and kept me turning pages steadily to find out what would happen next. The plot is simple and not particularly unusual on its face. Anna Fox, child psychologist, is an agoraphobic who watches her neighbors obsessively, and thinks she sees a murder. Of course, events transpire to make her question her conclusions. And what a great unreliable narrator she is! An interesting characteris

Cloud of Sparrows is set in 1800s Japan as the age of the Samurai declines

Cloud of Sparrows #1 by Takashi Matsuoka Genre: Historical Fiction Published 2002, 560 pages I really enjoyed this sweeping saga that tells the story of Genji, a Great Lord samurai in 1800s Japan. There's action, philosophy, a little romance, battles & subterfuge, political maneuvering, history and excellent writing. Genji is a forward-thinking Great Lord and willing to give Outsiders (Americans, British, French) some leeway and attempt to learn from them.....he sees the end of the Samurai way. The book explores his past with stories of his ancestors, and the potential future via his prophetic visions (a small touch of magical realism in an otherwise historical setting). His clan's ability o

14 Excellent Beach Reads

As we head into July, and with some states in reopening phases, we all want to be outside! Whether it's to a literal beach or a virtual beach, a shady meadow in a park or a sunny afternoon in your back yard, let's head outside and enjoy a good summery beach read! Here's a collection of 14 recommended Summer/Beach Reads (alphabetical by title). That leads to a bit of a discussion about what constitutes a "beach read." Something light and fun and doesn't need much concentration as you bake in the sun? Or, something long and engrossing now that you have time to lounge around by the lake (ocean, pool)? Maybe a light romance or will it be a scary thriller since it stays light longer? Is your idea

5 star reads - so far this year

Since we're about half way through 2020, I asked my sister Donna to join me in this article sharing the best of the best of what we've read so far this year. These are books that have surprised us, thrilled us, made us keep reading, and that we just loved for one reason or another. (presented alphabetically by author; if I reviewed it, the links are the blue titles) What are some of your five-star reads so far? Ninth House #1 by Leigh Bardugo Genre: Fantasy I couldn't put this page turner down! Secret magic houses at Yale, a woman who can see ghosts, great ghostly interactions, secret rituals and a most unusual heroine. TERRIE The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg Genre: General Ficti

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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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