Lisa Scottoline hooked me with her hilarious memoirs written with her daughter Francesca. It wasn’t till this year when I borrowed a copy of, Every Fifteen Minutes, that I discovered her magic at writing fiction.
Lisa’s fiction is realistic, intense, colorful, emotional and hard to put down. This novel is about the life of pediatrician, Jill Farrow, whose rebuilding her life after an ugly divorce with her ex-husband William. She has a new relationship with a loving man named Sam. Her daughter Megan feels love and protected by her mom’s fiancé. Life takes an ugly turn when Jill’s ex-step daughter Abby shows up drunk with the news that her dad, William is dead. Jill can’t stand her ex, but still cares about his daughters Abby and Victoria. Abby is sure her dad was murdered due to how died. Jill doesn’t want to believe the worst, but when Abby goes missing she wonders if there is something to Abby’s suspicions.
This book deals with the topics of divorce, what makes up a family and can ex family members still be considered family after the divorce is finalized? What would you do for loved ones even when society tells you it shouldn’t matter now that you are divorced and out of their lives? This book is fast paced. I read it in 2 days. 410 pages of nonstop, action, guessing where Lisa was taking the storyline and rooting for Lisa.
Since I am a big fan of “Six Feet Under,” I grabbed this book up when I saw it at Half Price books. I’ve watched that show at least 3x all the way through and each time I watch it a different character stands out to me. “Six Feet Under,” got me interested in the mortuary profession, so any reading material related peaks my interest.
This book is filled with stories about humorous funerals, different myths explained on what being a mortician is actually like, the history behind epitaphs and more. If you enjoyed “Six Feet Under,” you might find this book funny, insightful, charming and intriguing.
I heard about Colin Wright from the best friends that started The Minimalists, Josh and Ryan. I was interested to read his books so I was excited to read his book on relationships last weekend.
Colin covers what he calls his polices when it comes to his relationships whether they are platonic or romantic based. His policies range from not drinking coffee after a certain time to be sure he’s able to get a good night’s sleep to making sure he communicates clearly in his relationships. Colin also, discusses the different types of relationships that are out there. As long as two people are adults and consenting then there are a variety of relationships from being in an open relationship or a poly relationship besides the traditional monogamous relationship. Colin also mentioned different societal myths of sorts like there is only one soulmate for each of us versus acknowledging that in our life time we may connect on a soulmate level if with different individuals and to put that level of pressure on one person is unfair and unrealistic.
Colin writes in a personal, readable manner. If you are looking for a quick, helpful read I recommend this book. Colin suggests outside the box solutions, so to be ready to be challenged.
Amy’s second YA horror novel is a step up from Daughters Unto Devils. Similar horror themes, but a smoother read for me. The cover keeps in true creepy fashion with lettering looking like dripping blood. The fog in the background adds a nice mysterious element.
Lucy Acosta is the daughter of a man who can’t be bothered because he’s, too busy planning estate parties for the country club. Lucy’s cousin Margaret and her mom Penelope live with them in their mansion. Both girls are homeschooled by tutors. Margaret and Lucy are best friends until Margaret’s mom Penelope walks into the woods behind their house and never comes back. Lucy finds it strange her dad stops searching for her after only two weeks. Margaret starts to act weird. Emotional one moment and bitchy the next. Margaret tells Lucy she didn’t really know Penelope. Lucy is closer to Penelope than Margaret is. She thought Margaret was merely jealous, till Lucy uncovers something deep in the back of Margaret’s closet. Lucy has secrets of her own. She’s a self harmer. Will Penelope ever return? Will Margaret’s strange behavior ever be explained? What secrets does the old mansion hold? What is the scratching noises Margaret shows Lucy?
If you are a fan of horror this one won’t disappoint. It’s an improvement from Amy’s debut novel. I think I will definitely steer clear of horror. I’m just, too spiritually sensitive to read it.
Horror is the one genre I don’t read. Ever. Till I reconnected with Youtuber Bisky Scribbles and I thought I’d give it a try. YA horror that is. I have read Stephen King, but it’s been a very long time since I’ve read him or Dean Koontz.
The title and cover of this book was a tad on the classic creepy level. Covers can make or break picking out a title. I almost resisted, but since I bought Amy’s newest title I figured I’d get her debut novel as well.
The storyline is of Amanda Verner and her family moving from the top of a mountain down to a prairie sounds innocent enough, until strange things start occurring. Prior to their move they are stuck inside their cabin due to bad winter weather, where they are snowed in. I think Amanda goes mentally ill. Her ma has a scary delivery of their new baby sister Hannah because their mom is sick with a high fever and can’t leave the cabin to get a doctor. Due to this Hannah is born blind and I believe deaf. Their ma is grief stricken over Hannah’s disabilities. Their pa try’s to stay stoick and keep the family focused on the Lord.
Amanda has a younger sister Emily whose her best friend along with a younger brother and sister. Her and Emily share everything about their lives with each other, until Amanda winds up prenant by the local post office boy. She feels evil having had sex before marriage and is scared she will be kicked out of her home if her parents find out.
Moving to the prairie more strange events keep occurring. The most glaring one is the new homestead they take over. The previous owner was either a messy butcher or something more sinister occurred. A house filled with dried blood all over? Cue creepy music. Will Amanda survive delivering her baby? Will her relationship with Emily be restored? If you are a fan of horror you might enjoy this book. For me not so much. I think I will stick with suspense novels.
I saw the movie, “Lion,” before I bought the book. Usually I like to read a book first before seeing the movie, but in this case I’m glad I did. The movie is so verbatim of the memoir I felt like I was just reading the movie via words vs visually through a movie.
This is the memoir of Saroo from India getting lost and separated from his brother Guddu at five years old. He begs to go out and help his brother gather what food they can find for their family. Being little Saroo is sleepy with it being late at night so he rests on a train station bench. Guddu tells him to stay put and he’ll be right back, but when Saroo wakes up his brother is nowhere to be found. He looks around the station and even in some of the trains. Thinking his brother will find him inside one, Saroo lays down for more sleep. The next thing he knows is that waking up the train is in motion and he’s stuck on the train.
Saroo winds up far from home with a limited vocabulary of how to express where his home is and who his family is. A few people try to help him with no success locating his family, so he winds up in a scary orphanage. Thankfully a nice Australian couple want to adopt him, so Saroo gets to fly for the first time. His new parents are loving and patient. Saroo even gains a brother, another adoptee from India.
Saroo keeps his memories of home in the back of his mind, to never forget them. He loves and thrives in his new home, country and family. After college he decides he wants to find his family. How to find it with the minimal information he remembers as a little five-year old? Welcome the lovely technology of Google Earth.
This memoir is beautifully written. It tugs at your heart, your sense of what makes up a family and how memories can bring miracles. Go see the movie first though. You won’t regret it.
Ellen Hopkins never disappoints and The You I’ve Never Known is her best yet. This thick tome follows the story of Ariel and her journey coming to terms with her sexuality. Her father is a mechanic who has quite the temper and paranoia of them living anywhere for, too long of a time. Ariel wonders why they don’t stay in any place very long. That is until they land in Sonora, CA.
With her new home comes making new friends with Monica and Gabe. Ariel has never had a boyfriend before and she’s not sure if she just might like girls. Monica is a closet lesbian and Gabe is the cute nephew of her dad’s current girlfriend. Ariel is leery to open herself to having friends since her dad always would yank her away to live in a new place.
When Gabe and Ariel discover one of Ariel’s rich classmates injured in a horseback ridding incident Ariel is in the lime light for saving her classmate’s life. Her dad is livid because the media is involved and that was one of his big rules. Don’t talk to or be seen by cops and don’t be interviewed. Why not Ariel has no clue why he’s so paranoid.
Growing up Ariel’s dad told her how her mom abandoned them to run off with her lesbian lover. Seeds of hate and distrust have been sown since Ariel was little. Sure she’d love to have a mother figure in her life. Every time they live with a new girlfriend of her dads a part of Ariel hopes this one will stick, but they never stay around long enough.
Will Ariel ever have a mother figure in her life? Will her mom ever reappear? Why has her dad kept them moving from place to place for her whole life? Can Ariel start to establish roots in Sonora? Read this gripping book and find out.
The cover of this book is gorgeous. I love the color blue, so the color scheme is pleasing to my eye. The silver font is enticing. The storyline hooked me even more than the cover. Who wouldn’t love to experience their favorite book and be inside the story?
Amy Lennox gets whisked away to an island in Scotland by her mom for school vacation. She has no idea what awaits her. Amy discovers there’s more to her family than meets the eye. Her grandmother lives in a big, old house. There are cliffs and moors. There is a secret library with classes on how to be a Book Jumper. Amy meets fellow book jumpers William and Betsy McAlister. They are relatives of the warring house that due to a truce band together to make sure that nothing alters the stories they jump into.
When a story character winds up dead in Scotland Amy and Will join forces to figure out whose set on killing storybook characters. Who will be a friend and who is a foe? Who can they trust? Is all as it seems in Scotland?
This novel was outside my usual reading preference. I don’t normally read fantasy. This novel does mention current social media networks like Facebook, which with the story being set on an island in Scotland threw me off a bit, but it is set in modern times, so I shouldn’t be surprised. I love the concept of being inside a favorite story, so the premise of this book got me enthusiastic to read it. If you love fantasy and want a fun read I highly recommend The Book Jumper.
This morning decided to get out for a bit so I don’t go stircrazy at home. Went on a little book shopping spree. I selected some outside my genre titles (horror) and am excited to tackle this pile.
Thankful to have a restful day at home. Watching more of Grace and Frankie, sipping on some cold brew. Feeling much better, but happy to still have tomorrow to lay low.
Lately I’ve been thinking about self-care and what that means to me. What entails me taking care of myself? There is physical self care, mental self care and spiritual self care. How do I give myself care in these different areas of my life?
Physical self-care to me is eating healthy, but occasionally indulging in a treat every now and then. My weakness is coffee. I start my day off with it and sometimes indulge in an evening cup. Obviously I don’t want to OD on it. Physical also entails getting plenty of rest. I’m an old lady in that I like to get to bed on a week night somewhere between 8:30-9pm. Five in the morning arrives too, fast otherwise. On the weekends I might be ‘wild’ and stay up till 10. As for exercising that’s the one self care area I need to work on. I sit for my job, so by the time work ends mentally I am ready to relax and exercise sounds like the last thing I want to do. Another area of self care I need to work on is pampering myself. I’m not a high maintenance woman. I rarely get a pedi or manicure. I need to see it as a small way I can self care once a month as a way to feel more pretty, confident and feminine. And it doesn’t have to break my bank. Shaving is another self care that’s a pain in the rear, but helps me not be a scary beast. Not that I wear shorts.
Mental self-care can be tricky. It seems every time I pass by a TV there is a new antidepressant being showcased. Not that they can’t be life saving, but the possible side effects can be more deadly than going to a therapist or trusted friend to talk things out. No, I am not depressed, but life happens and things can seem overwhelming. Personally I am not a fan of medication. Yes, even Advil or Tylenol. I’ll take them if I really have to, but they aren’t my first course of action. One way I like to self care in this department is not to watch horror movies. I’m a sensitive soul who isn’t fond of blood and gut movies, or spirituality dark movies. What we put in our mind is there for us to reply 24/7, so make it something worthwhile and pleasant.
Spiritual self-care is an area of my life I’ve been avoiding like the plague. I am somewhere between Christian and Agnostic. I own a few Bibles, but haven’t opened one in a long time. I think I go in cycles of wanting to be a good Christian and read my Bible, Christian nonfiction, etc and other times I feel like it’s just the teacher from Peanuts taking. Ever since I came out to my family and friends my faith has taken a back seat. I had to get over my fear of Hell to come out. Yes, I could have stuffed it down, ignored it, prayed it away, but it would end popping back up. I’ve already gotten the worried Hell speech once by an online friend. They mean well, but don’t tout Christianese and say you’ll only be there for me as a friend if I stop living my ‘lifestyle’. To me that’s not unconditional love that’s I’ll love you if. No thank you! I’ve read a number of outside the typical Christian genre that might be deemed scandalous, but has made quite a lot of sense. Conversations With God anyone? I need to attend to my spiritual self care. I just have to figure out what I truly believe.
How do you self-care? Any suggestions you can provide? If so, please feel free to comment below.