Archives for July 2017

Summer Reading Challenge 2017: The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor (Chrissy’s review)

 

The Shark Club
written by Ann Kidd Taylor
published by Viking, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I really did enjoy The Shark Club. I read it every free chance I had and couldn’t put it down.

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a marine biologist, and I happen to love watching Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, so I was so excited to read this book. The Shark Club has marine biologists, sharks, a hotel with rooms based on authors, a chef, and a precocious 6-year-old who loves sea life and prehistoric animals! This book has so many things I love. The love stories/triangles worked well. I loved Maeve’s relationship with her grandmother and with Hazel, the founding member of The Shark Club. And the men in her life are great characters, each different and distinct.

This book left me with a smile and a warm, giddy feeling. I loved the whole book, especially the ending.

 

Would I recommend it: Absolutely. This is a great summer read!

 

Chrissy

About the book – from Goodreads: 
A warm and wonderfully vivid novel about taking second chances—in life and in the sea

One summer day on the beach in Florida, two extraordinary things happen to Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is bitten by a blacktip shark.

Eighteen years later, Maeve has thrown herself into her work as a world-traveling marine biologist discovering more about the minds of misunderstood sharks. But when Maeve returns home to the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses where she was raised by her grandmother, she finds more than just the blood orange sunsets and key lime pies she’s missed waiting for her.

While Maeve has always been fearless in the water, on land she is indecisive. A chance meeting on the beach with a plucky, irresistible little girl who is just as fascinated by the ocean as Maeve was growing up leaves her at a crossroads: Should she rekindle her romance with Daniel, the first love she left behind when she dove into her work? Or indulge in a new romance with her colleague, Nicholas, who turns up in her hometown to investigate an illegal shark-finning operation?

Set against the intoxicating backdrop of palm trees, calypso bands, and perfect ocean views, The Shark Club is a story of the mysterious passions of one woman’s life: her first love and new love; the sea and sharks that inhabit it.

 

 

Happy 2

 

h&m online

Summer Reading Challenge 2017: July Books and a Giveaway!

 

This month brought some really great reads for BookSparks’s Summer Reading Challenge! Check out these awesome book boxes and books!

 

 

A Game of Ghosts
written by John Connolly
published by Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Internationally bestselling author John Connolly returns with another superb fusion of noir and the supernatural (My Bookish Ways) in this latest thriller in his gripping Charlie Parker series.

It is deep winter and the darkness is unending. A private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished and Charlie Parker is assigned to track him down. Parker s employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found. Eklund is no ordinary investigator he is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker is drawn into Eklund s world: a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts…”

 

 

The Captain’s Daughter
written by Meg Mitchell Moore
published by Doubleday Books, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: For fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Emma Straub comes an emotionally gripping novel about a woman who returns to her hometown in coastal Maine and finds herself pondering the age-old question of what could have been.

Growing up in Little Harbor, Maine, the daughter of a widowed lobsterman, Eliza Barnes could haul a trap and row a skiff with the best of them. But she always knew she’d leave that life behind. Now that she’s married, with two kids and a cushy front-row seat to suburban country club gossip in an affluent Massachusetts town, she feels adrift.

When her father injures himself in a boating accident, Eliza pushes the pause button on her own life to come to his aid. But when she arrives in Maine, she discovers her father’s situation is more dire than he let on. Eliza’s homecoming is further complicated by the reemergence of her first love–and memories of their shared secret. Then Eliza meets Mary Brown, a seventeen-year-old local who is at her own crossroad, and Eliza can’t help but wonder what her life would have been like if she’d stayed.

Filled with humor, insight, summer cocktails, and gorgeous sunsets, The Captain’s Daughter is a compassionate novel about the life-changing choices we make and the consequences we face in their aftermath.

 

 

 

Eden
written by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, Book Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Becca Meister Fitzpatrick–wife, mother, grandmother, and pillar of the community–is the dutiful steward of her family’s iconic summer tradition . . . until she discovers her recently deceased husband squandered their nest egg. As she struggles to accept that this is likely her last season in Long Harbor, Becca is inspired by her granddaughter’s boldness in the face of impending single-motherhood, and summons the courage to reveal a secret she was forced to bury long ago: the existence of a daughter she gave up fifty years ago. The question now is how her other daughter, Rachel–with whom Becca has always had a strained relationship–will react.

Eden is the account of the days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, as Becca prepares to disclose her secret and her son and brothers conspire to put the estate on the market, interwoven with the century-old history of Becca’s family–her parents’ beginnings and ascent into affluence, and her mother’s own secret struggles in the grand home her father named “Eden.”

 

 

A Work of Art
written by Micayla Lally
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Letting go after her abrupt break-up with Samson is harder than Julene thought it would be, especially since her ex has wasted no time in burying himself in the local dating scene. But during an extended visit to her parents overseas, Julene rediscovers her love of art, and a burgeoning career develops. Samson, on the other hand, after trying valiantly–and unsuccessfully–to forget Julene, has settled instead on his own new career. 

When Julene returns home to Australia, a coincidental meeting leads to an emotional reunion–but her love and patience will be tested when she finds out just how busy Samson has been in her absence. Yes, they have both made mistakes they can work through and move past–but when a specter from Samson’s past looms, Julene wonders: Can she trust him again?

 

 

American Family
written by Catherine Marshall-Smith
published by She Writes Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: Richard and Michael, both three years sober, have just decided to celebrate their love by moving in together when Richard driven by the desire to do the right thing for his ten-year-old-daughter, Brady, whom he has never met impulsively calls his former father-in-law to connect with her. With that phone call, he jeopardizes the one good thing he has his relationship with Michael and also threatens the world of the fundamentalist Christian grandparents who love Brady and see her as payback from God for the alcohol-related death of her mother. Unable to reach an agreement, the two parties hire lawyers who have agendas far beyond the interests of the families and Brady is initially trusted into Richard and Michael s care. But when the judge learns that the young girl was present when a questionable act took place while in their custody, she returns Brady to her grandparents. Ultimately, it s not until further tragedy strikes that both families are finally motivated to actually act in the best interests of the child.”

 

 

The Shark Club
written by Ann Kidd Taylor
published by Viking, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

My review of this fantastic read will be up tomorrow!

About the book – from Goodreads: A warm and wonderfully vivid novel about taking second chances—in life and in the sea

One summer day on the beach in Florida, two extraordinary things happen to Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is bitten by a blacktip shark.

Eighteen years later, Maeve has thrown herself into her work as a world-traveling marine biologist discovering more about the minds of misunderstood sharks. But when Maeve returns home to the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses where she was raised by her grandmother, she finds more than just the blood orange sunsets and key lime pies she’s missed waiting for her.

While Maeve has always been fearless in the water, on land she is indecisive. A chance meeting on the beach with a plucky, irresistible little girl who is just as fascinated by the ocean as Maeve was growing up leaves her at a crossroads: Should she rekindle her romance with Daniel, the first love she left behind when she dove into her work? Or indulge in a new romance with her colleague, Nicholas, who turns up in her hometown to investigate an illegal shark-finning operation?

Set against the intoxicating backdrop of palm trees, calypso bands, and perfect ocean views, The Shark Club is a story of the mysterious passions of one woman’s life: her first love and new love; the sea and sharks that inhabit it.

 

 

Hello, Sunshine 
written byLaura Dave
published by Simon Schuster, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

About the book – from Goodreads: From Laura Dave—the author of the “addictive” (Us Weekly), “winning” (Publishers Weekly) and critically acclaimed bestseller Eight Hundred Grapes—comes a new novel about the secrets we keep…even from ourselves.

Sunshine Mackenzie has it all…until her secrets come to light.

Sunshine Mackenzie is living the dream—she’s a culinary star with millions of fans, a line of #1 bestselling cookbooks, and a devoted husband happy to support her every endeavor.

And then she gets hacked.

When Sunshine’s secrets are revealed, her fall from grace is catastrophic. She loses the husband, her show, the fans, and her apartment. She’s forced to return to the childhood home—and the estranged sister—she’s tried hard to forget. But what Sunshine does amid the ashes of her own destruction may well save her life.

In a world where celebrity is a careful construct, Hello, Sunshine is a compelling, funny, and evocative novel about what it means to live an authentic life in an inauthentic age.

 

 

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Happy 2

 

Chrissy’s Review: Lights, Camera, Middle School by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm

Lights, Camera, Middle School (Babymouse Tales from the Locker)
written by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm
published by Random House Books for Young Readers, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
It was okay. Not my favorite young reader/middle grade read.

It was cute. The graphics/comics fit the story. I think the young readers will like them. The story was entertaining, and I could see some of it happening in middle school. BUT . . . there were some things I really didn’t like. Why were the middle school students out in the middle of the night (after midnight) doing a film shoot for a school club? No parents. No chaperones. I know kids today are more independent, and yes, I know this is a comic series about animals, but still . . . Babymouse’s mother was concerned about her friends coming over and messing up the house but she had no problem with her kid being out in the middle of the night??? And I really didn’t like Babymouse or the leads in her movie. They had bad attitudes and were mean. The crew on the film was great.

As I said, I think young readers will enjoy this book. They will get a kick out of the story and the “epic” movie, which was pretty creative. But for me, not my favorite young reader story.

 

Would I recommend it: I’ll let my kids read it, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend it.

 

Chrissy


About the book – from Goodreads: 
It’s a new kind of book for Babymouse! Fans of Dork Diaries, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and James Patterson’s Middle School books, this is going to be epic. . . .

For Babymouse, middle school is like a monster movie. You can never be sure who’s a friend and who’s an enemy, and the halls are filled with mean-girl zombies. Instead of brains, the zombies hunger for stuff—the perfect wedge sandals or the right shade of sparkly lip gloss—and they expect everyone to be just like them.

But Babymouse doesn’t want to fit in—she wants to stand out! So she joins the film club to write and direct a sweeping cinematic epic. Will making the film of her dreams turn into a nightmare?

Thanks to Babymouse, middle school gets schooled in this hilarious new series from bestselling authors Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm.

 

 

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Book Blogger Hop – July 28 – August 3, 2017

About the Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer from Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the meme on February 15, 2013.

Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end on Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.

This week’s question:

Do you read tie-in novels to movies or television series? If so, which ones? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

 

If we are referring to novels with new covers that match the movies or TV shows instead of the book’s original cover, then yes, I believe I have. I can’t tell you off the top of my head which ones, though.

 

Is that like fanfic? So, I guess, no. lol.

 

 

What about you? What tie-in novels have you read?

 

Gina’s Review: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes AirWhen Breath Becomes Air
written by Paul Kalanithi
published by Random House, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooks, Target, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: I loved this book. It was deep, and it was emotional but also beautiful. You know from reading the description that it won’t be a happy ending because Paul dies from cancer. The ending isn’t a secret, but how you get to the end is the journey. It’s what makes the book special.

Paul is a talented writer. You can tell that he loved to read and was influenced by some of the greatest writers. You can tell he was a deep person and took the time to think things through, and he had to be because he was also a neurosurgeon. I can’t imagine going through what Paul and his family went through, but the stories he tells about his life left me feeling emotional. Death, life, and faith have a relationship with one another. It’s not black and white–there are gray areas. He isn’t afraid to write about them, even if they are painful. He is thorough and thoughtful. I only wish he had time to write more books.

GOLDEN LINES

“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.”

 


 

Would I recommend it: YES.

Gina

About the book – from Goodreads: For readers of Atul Gawande, Andrew Solomon, and Anne Lamott, a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living? 
 
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air, which features a Foreword by Dr. Abraham Verghese and an Epilogue by Kalanithi’s wife, Lucy, chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a young neurosurgeon at Stanford, guiding patients toward a deeper understanding of death and illness, and finally into a patient and a new father to a baby girl, confronting his own mortality.

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir.

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.

 

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My Favorite . . . Book as a Child — July 26, 2017

 

My Favorite . . . is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it, the world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive.

 

Each week I will post a new My Favorite . . . post about one subject and I’ll tell you all about it. And the best part? Everyone is welcome to join. The only thing you’ll have to do is sign up on the weekly post, link back to that post, and visit others.

 

This week’s Favorite is: Book as a Child

 

The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone and The Boxcar Children Series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

 

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Patterson

 

 

What was your favorite book as a child?

 

Melissa’s Review: Rapture of the Deep by David A. Grindberg

Rapture of the Deep: A NovelRapture of the Deep
written by David A. Grindberg
published by Indian Grass Books, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
Absolutely. It’s one of those books that’s too good to read quickly. Grindberg’s prose is downright beautiful, and his storytelling is spot on. The characters were big and complex and full of those teeny little details that make them truly come to life. Well done.

GOLDEN LINES

“Meg really believed that friendship would and should trump everything else, including this indiscretion. It never occurred to her that even the most casual of friendships are always predicated upon an assumed, nearly invisible, honesty. Thus when Meg left Jeff, when the honesty was discarded and it became clear that Meg was not the wife, the mother, the person she pretended to be, that nearly invisible foundation began crumbling. Naivete. Meg really believed that her affair was a private matter and that other than Jeff and her girls no one else could or should claim a stake. It never occurred to her that when nearly invisible foundations start crumbling, even the most casual of friendships have a way of becoming casualties. For eleven years Meg said she was Jeff’s wife. For eight of those years she said she was Molly and Maci’s devoted mom. What she didn’t understand is that when it comes to everything else and everyone else, being who you say you are matters.”

 

 

Would I recommend it: Again, absolutely.

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads:

In the middle of the night, the doorbell rings, and Jennifer Johnson is pulled from a deep sleep. Outside her front door stand two police officers, messengers bearing tragic news. Joe, Jen’s recently estranged husband, is missing, the victim of a scuba diving accident.

Joe “Puck” Johnson is a master carpenter. He is quiet, thoughtful, and passionately loves his deeply scarred wife. Their separation, unwanted, painful, and immersed in unfinished business, is now punctuated by this unfathomable loss.

Tom Hyden is a high profile banker. He has the perfect home, the perfect wife, the perfect child, the perfect everything; yet beneath the surface of his well manicured life Tom carries a dark and shameful secret.

Born and raised in the small Iowa town of Lake Pulaski, these two men cannot remember a time before their friendship. It is a bond most recently sealed by their mutual love of scuba diving. Beneath the waves diving provides a peaceful respite. However on the surface, their worlds are reeling and the peace they so desire is being torn asunder. Both men find their families disintegrating and their lives twisting apart, the result of events they cannot talk about, even with each other.

So Tom and Joe are lost, and they must now take a journey that for one will lead to tragedy and the other redemption…

 

Happy 2

Boost It Tuesday! – July 25, 2017

Have you noticed that despite ALL of your Facebook “Likes” you are only “reaching” a very small portion of those followers? Does that bother you? It bothers us, and we want to boost each other up. Link up with Every Free Chance Books.

 

What is Boost It Tuesday, you ask? Well, we want to help each other out. We are a great community of bloggers and authors, and we should be supporting each other. Share your Facebook address below, then visit the Facebook pages, like 3-5 posts, share or comment on 1 or 2 posts. That’s it. You don’t have to “like” the page if you don’t want to, just “like” some posts. Let’s help expand each other’s page reach. Who knows! You may find a new blog or author to follow along the away. Please be aware that any non-Facebook links will be deleted.

 

Here are some tips for Boosting. A big thanks to Kate at If These Books Could Talk for the image!

Boost It Poster

 

We will be featuring one blogger or author on the Boost It Tuesday post. We hope that you will visit that blogger or author and give their page a bit of extra BIT attention!

 

If you would like to be featured one week, please fill out the form below.

Click Here to Sign Up to Be a Featured Booster!

Remember: Like, comment, and share!  Let’s all give each other a boost!




 

       
 

Happy 2
 

 

Jaclyn’s Review: Tangled Up (Bachelors of Buttermilk Falls #2) by Robyn Neeley

Tangled Up (Bachelors of Buttermilk Falls, #2)Tangled Up (Bachelors of Buttermilk Falls #2)
written by Robyn Neeley
published by Robyn Neeley, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) AmazonGoodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did! Full disclosure–this book is the second in a series. The series is about the people in a small town, two of whom can do magic. I did not read the first book, and they did enough of the backstory in the second that I didn’t really NEED to read it. Before reading this you need to accept that 1) the characters do magic, and 2) there is enough drama in this small town to warrant multiple books. Once you accept that, this book is actually pretty cute.

The main character has a few one-night stands with the town hottie (can you have multiple one-night stands with the same guy??).  She decides he’s not ready to settle down, but she is–so, the obvious thing to do is magic. She casts a spell to make him forget they ever met. However, as soon as she casts the spell she decides she really DOES want a relationship with him. She then spends the rest of the book trying to make him fall in love with her, WITHOUT magic. It’s a cute read, and the characters are well written. You want them to fall in love at the end.

 

Would I recommend it: I’d recommend this to a girlfriend for some light reading.  t was fun and quick with just enough drama to move the plot along.

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads: Abby Stevens doesn’t know what’s gotten into her, but getting tangled up nightly with the latest bachelor to Buttermilk Falls has to stop. Sure, Brandon Swift’s got rock hard abs and blue eyes to die for, but the Los Angles playboy is not the man for her. To end things between them once and for all, she might need some magical help.

Brandon is settling into small-town life thanks to his new bartending gig and the cute redhead sharing his bed. He suspects she might be looking for more than a fling. After a bitter divorce and a few months of playing the field, he might finally be ready, too.

But when Abby presents him with an enchanted cupcake that reverses his attraction to her, both discover strong feelings they didn’t realize they had. Is it too late to reverse the spell?

 

Happy 2

June 2017 Subscription Boxes

what's in the box 4

Hi, Everyone!

Here are our subscriptions from the month of June:

 

Owl Crate

 

The Bookish Box

The Hufflepuff House Box from Bookish box!

June Bookish Box – YA novel

 

GeekGear – World of Wizardry

 

Erin Condren Seasonal Box

 

I’ve loved the last two seasonal surprise boxes from Erin Condren. This one isn’t my favorite, but I will probably get the next one.

 

FabFitFun

 

 

What do you think of June’s boxes?

Do you subscribe to any boxes? If so, which ones? I did include my referral links, so if you’re interested, please feel free to use them! I know I would appreciate it.

 

Chrissy

 

Happy 2