I love Christmas. Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners is a great subtle Christmas book. Similar to Seven Days of Us, it takes place over Christmas but isn’t really about Christmas. Violet Baumgartner is the matriarch of her family and she takes it very seriously. She is one of those helicopter moms, even though her only daughter is now 30 something. Cerise, the daughter, is about to start her own family – and this is where things get funny. I thought it was a great story with more humor than drama. I liked it a lot and would suggest it over one of those days you’re stuck at home with your family over the holidays.
I received this book from Netgalley.
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
I liked this book a lot. I received a copy from Netgalley. I love Hilderbrand and have read most of her books (here’s a review of one). She tends to release one every summer, great beach reading considering the locale she uses (Nantucket). I’ve also read her Winter Street series and loved it.
This book has a different tone for sure. It starts with a murder. That’s not a spoiler. It happens in the first chapter. She did a good job bringing it together, however I would say that there were a LOT of twists and indiscretions. Too many to be normal. At least I hope normal people don’t have that many affairs. Needless to say, some might find that a bit irritating, the lack of realistic plot twists. But I thought it was entertaining and I would recommend it. Perfect for summer! Goodreads summary below.. Well actually. I was going to post the summary but ironically the summary is wrong. It says the death is the bride-to-be and it’s not. So.. we’ll skip that. Get it together Goodreads.
I can’t stop looking at this cover. It is so beautiful. The best. I received this book from Netgalley and had to check out the real copy because I wanted to see the cover in person. I should find the artist and see if I can buy a print..
Well anyway. The book is just as good as the cover y’all. SO great! I loved it. I finished it in a day. I loved the characters and the slow burn of their lives in the quartet. (I like books with a slow burn and minimal climaxes). I can’t say that I understand a lot about chamber music but the writing felt very lyrical when she was talking about their music. If you know anything about violins or cellos, you might get more out of those parts and enjoy it even more. Such a great book. Multiple POVs. Fast read! I also LOVED this section about love.
“Love is inexact, Henry said. It is not a science. It is barely a noun. It means one thing to one person, and one thing to another. It means one thing to one person at one point and then something else at another point. It doesn’t make sense… I love you, it’s a mystery. Because it’s a mystery, we have to take care of it. Feed it. It can’t go missing, but we can’t tie it up. We can only tie it to someone else. Other people. The the world is like this : full of the geometry of my rope tied to you, and to you, and yours tied to him, and to her, and hers to someone else. I love you, it’s a mystery.”
I requested Clock Dance from Netgalley *bows thanks to Netgalley*
I confuse Anne Tyler and Ann Patchett sometimes. Is that weird? Not because their writing is similar, but because their names get mixed up in my head. And then half way through I’m like, this is not like her. And then I realize I’m thinking of the wrong author.
Anyway. The beginning of this book felt like Some Luck by Jane Smiley, which I love! You are following a character quickly through time and jumping decades. She’s just a slow burn, moving through the decades without dramatic plots or events. So at first I was thinking, this is going to be great. But then, there was a semi-dramatic plot event. And that’s where the book focused. I didn’t even like the plot twist. It seemed so unusual. However, I like how Willa grew as a character and that she ended up finding herself and what she wanted without other’s influence. Along with Jane Smiley, I’d say it’s also similar to Stewart O’Nan or Kent Haruf.
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)
I received a copy You Think It, I’ll Say It, a book of stories, from Netgalley. And Lord, was I excited! I love Curtis Sittenfeld. Two years ago, I read Eligible which is a re-telling of Pride & Prejudice. It was hilarious. So I was very excited to read this new one of hers.
If you also liked Eligible, be aware that these stories are not funny. I was thinking it would be more like American Housewife, which was hilarious. But most of Sittenfeld’s stories are day in the life, fairly serious and thought provoking stories. I don’t care for the one that came from the book’s title but I really liked most of them. The title story is about a married woman with kids who plays a game called You Think It, I’ll Say It with a fellow dad at parties or sporting events where she rips on other people and he listens. For some reason she thinks this means they have a connection and she believes she’s in love with him. Meh. My favorite one was about this woman who’s obsessed with a celebrity and her social media accounts. This celeb is essentially described like The Pioneer Woman. The character is obsessed with her because in their early twenties they had an affair. And yet now, she’s married with 3 kids! What a hypocrite. It’s a great story.
I love how all of the stories feel well rounded and thought out and you really feel like you know the character and what they’re thinking and doing and even what they’ve been thinking and doing off the page before their story came to you. It’s such a great book. Highly recommended. The release date for this book is May 3, 2018.
Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge : a book with an ugly cover