I received this book from Netgalley. I love B.A. Shapiro’s books. Particularly The Art Forger. I haven’t read The Muralist, but I have it and I have no doubt I will enjoy it. Whenever I read Shapiro’s books I want to put the book down and google all the paintings she mentions. I wish there were an appendix of photographs of them so I could visually see them. She writes them so well.
This book follows Paulien, later Vivienne, who has been shunned by her family due to a horrible engagement where her fiance stole all her family’s money and some of their friends’ as well. She makes a new life as Vivienne and becomes an art collector’s apprentice, a knowledge and skill she had through her father’s art collection in their home. She ends up moving with the collector from Europe to America, totally platonic. At some point there is a mystery, and a murder trial. She’s also followed by her horrible fiance in America and they pick up a relationship. I love the multiple storylines and different twists and turns. The ending was quick and satisfying. I also enjoyed how there were real historical figures mentioned and weaved in. I recommend it if you like historical fiction, art mysteries or Shapiro’s other books.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book involving a heist
This book is the first in Sarah Jessica Parker’s new publishing imprint with Hogarth. My recently went to an Indian wedding with some friends and so I had some initial interest just from that. One of the friends I went to the wedding with told me it was a great book so that was my official queue to pick it up. I listened to most of it, and almost missed the fact that the last part, the father’s part, is narrated by a different person. Which I found interesting.
I want to warn you. I cried. A lot. Not through the whole book, but with the last 50 or so pages. SO MANY TEARS.. So if that’s not your jam then do not read this book. Like I said, I recently went to a three day Indian wedding and was attracted to this book initially to hear about the back story, themes and culture of the families who participate in these wonderful cultural celebrations. And I got that, but also so much more. It was such a moving story of parenting, being a child and trying to live up to your parents’ expectations, and just life in general. I loved the perspective from all of the family members. Highly recommended. Can’t wait to see what else SJP picks for her imprint. Also, Fatima went to the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Go Iowa! 🙂
Great NPR review
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : a book set in or about India (it’s more about Indian family and culture but I thought it counted)
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book from a celebrity book club (SJP new publishing imprint)
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book recommended by someone with great taste
I read Marisha Pessl’s book, Night Film, in 2014. It was weird. Review here. I remember thinking I liked it though. Or at least I liked the ending, according to my review. So when I saw this one come up and my co-worker endorsed it, I decided to read it.
It was also weird. Shocking, I know. I was trying to explain it to someone and even saying what it was about out loud sounded weird. One of those books where you keep reading just because you need to know what’s happening. Constantly in a state of, what the hell is going on. Sometimes I like this so it caught me at just the right time. If you like weird unexplained supernatural things and unlikable characters, I suggest this book. Or if you liked Everything I Never Told You and that kind of back and forth, you’ll probably like this.
“A mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions. Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers… and at life. And so begins the Neverworld Wake.”
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book you borrowed or that was give to you as a gift (borrowed from YA librarian who received it at ALA)
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book recommended by a librarian or indie bookseller (recommended by previously mentioned YA librarian)
I liked this cover. That’s it. I picked it up because of the cover. I kept reading it because of the characters. Zadie and Emma are friends from the very beginning of medical school. They were roommates and hit it off. At the start of the book you know something happened to them in their past, specifically their third year of med school. You don’t know who did what or why. Most of the book is figuring out what the heck happened. There are flashbacks from present day to med school that reveal bits and pieces as you go along. I love flashback books and multiple POV books. You get the perspective of Zadie and Emma, which is very helpful when things start going down. I liked it but I must say, I loved the characters so much I was a bit disappointed in the ending. One of them seemed to change so much and the other kind of laid down and took it. I didn’t feel like that was true to what I’d read about them throughout the beginning of book. But, I ended up liking it nonetheless. Great read, and good audio. Having listened and read, I can say that listening was much easier because each of the two characters had a different person reading. So you could tell when it was a Zadie chapter and when it was an Emma chapter. In the book, it wasn’t quite as obvious. Great summer reading (not fluff) and Modern Mrs. Darcy agrees because it’s on her Summer Reading Guide.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book that’s published in 2018
And I’m back in the game! (90s movies, anyone?)
While I was on vacation (which was great) I finished this book. I like Emily Giffin. I never got in to her Something Borrowed books, but I did read her other books Where We Belong, Heart of the Matter, and The One & Only. So I like her. I received this book from Netgalley and didn’t remember what it was about when I first started reading. I was a little put off by the conflict the book centers around, because it’s such a hot button issue in culture today. However, I think Giffin did a good job talking about it. She let all the characters have a POV chapter so you could see it from different angles without feeling like she was hitting you over the head with her morals. Very good book. Quick read. Not fluff, but definitely a summer read. It’s even on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer List, so she agrees. This book will be released June 26, 2018.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book with song lyrics in the title (YouTube video here)
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book about a problem facing society today (from the advanced challenge)
Apparently I jumped the gun on my vacation post. Because I just finished this book and it was so cute so I wanted to write and tell you about it.
I was first attracted to this book because I love the movie with Debra Messing and Durmot Mulroney. It is not that movie. Alexa and Drew meet in a stuck elevator. Cliché, yes. But it worked in this book. They don’t have sex, they don’t do anything romantic, they just have a funny conversation. He then asks if she’ll be his date for the wedding of his x. She agrees and they have a great time. Then comes the romantic things. But it’s a normal relationship. It doesn’t immediately work and all is not fine and perfect. I appreciated that Guillory portrayed a long distance relationship so well. The characters were real and their relationship didn’t read like a perfectly tied bow. She added in some current news topics by making the characters a white man and black woman and also added in some political things by making Alexa the mayor’s chief of staff. Overall, I enjoyed it a lot. There are a lot of F bombs though. While that may be normal conversation for some, it was too much for my liking.
It’s on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer List, so she agrees that it’s a good one.
BookRiot 2018 Read Harder Challenge : a romance novel by or about a person of color
Scythe, the first book in the Neal Shusterman trilogy, Arc of the Scythe, first came out in November of 2016. The second book, Thunderhead, just came out in January of 2018. I first heard about Scythe when it came out, it was a PW Best Book of 2016 and a SLJ Best Book of 2016 for teens. Exciting, right? I checked it out when I saw this and posted about the Best Books lists but didn’t read it. Then, an old friend from when I lived in Tennessee messaged me on Goodreads and said, read this book. So I did. Interestingly, she also said that she teaches Unwind (also a Shusterman book) to her high schoolers. So maybe I’ll investigate that too.
In my mind I had kept Scythe on the back burner for the same reason I avoided reading The Hunger Games. Now, I don’t want to compare these books to The Hunger Games, other than to say there’s violence and that’s why I avoided them. They are nothing like The Hunger Games. At all. I enjoyed Scythe and Thunderhead SO.MUCH.MORE than The Hunger Games. So much. They are so good.
Possible spoilers ahead. Quick setting explination. The cloud (yes, like Apple) has become something called the Thunderhead. It knows everything and has basically figured out how to run the world and keep people from dying. Therefore, a new occupation was formed called Scythes, people whose job it is to kill people in order to control the population etc. In book 1, Citra and Rowen are chosen to be Scythe apprentices. You quickly learn that this has apparently never been done before, having two apprentices, and it is decided that only one will survive. Moving on to book 2. I have inner feelings about the middle book in trilogies. That is not the case with this book. Book 2 might even be BETTER than book 1. No joke. I won’t tell you much about it other than to say, Citra has won the fight to be a Scythe, Rowen has turned into a semi-bad guy to everyone but Citra, and the real bad guy has taken over the world. It is the best.
I cannot wait for book 3. According to his timeline of release for books 1 & 2 it apparently takes him about 1 year and 2 months. Which means I have one more year to wait.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book about death or grief (Scythe)
Modern Mrs. Darcy 2018 Reading Challenge : a book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion other than your own (Thunderhead)