My Week . . .

Hi everyone. Thanks for stopping by to check on my activities this week. I concentrated on two books this week. The first book is the one I shared with you last Tuesday, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi.I’m still working on it for book club next Tuesday. The second book is the one I’m featuring below for a TLC Book Tour.

Wilde Lake is a book that was both a satisfying story as well as one filled with interesting and timely topics. The book made me do two things I love: Think and then talk about it with others. First, let me give you a brief summary of the book:

Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected state’s attorney representing suburban Maryland—including the famous planned community of Columbia, created to be a utopia of racial and economic equality. Prosecuting a controversial case involving a disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death, the fiercely ambitious Lu is determined to avoid the traps that have destroyed other competitive, successful women. She’s going to play it smart to win this case—and win big—cementing her political future.

I’ve read other books by this author, Laura Lippman, so I already knew this book would have depth and that it would feel as if it came from experiences she had back when she was a full-time journalist. Some of the topics or issues that came up in the story were these:

  • Giving your children the best kind of care while still working. The main character was a widow and had a time-demanding job as a prosecuting attorney.
  • Proving good supervision and care for an aging parent who seems to be developing Alzheimer’s.
  • Ethical issues that developed when an attorney learns the truth about various  people.

One final thing to enjoy in this story the characters. There were plenty of them, but not too many. The key characters were not perfect – in other words, they seemed normal and real. Overall, this was a great read. Thanks TLC Book Tours for letting me participate in the tour.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Laura Lippman

Since Laura Lippmanís debut, she has won multiple awards and critical acclaim for provocative, timely crime novels set in her beloved hometown of Baltimore. Laura has been nominated for more than 50 awards for crime fiction and won almost 20, including the Edgar. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Now a perennial New York Times bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore and New Orleans with her family.

Connect with Laura on her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

_________________________________________

What I’m Watching:

I am lucky enough to have our 3-almost-4-year-old grandson, TJ, with us every afternoon for a couple of hours and then again on Friday morning. We do a variety of things while he is here, from pretend camping to making pancakes to reading, playing with puzzles and toys, etc. He also loves to watch a little Netflix or YouTube.

For the last six months or so TJ has been adicted to Chuggington, an animated story about trains. But now he has finally grown tired of the Chuggers and has discovered a new little show that I also like. It’s called Ask the Story Bots. Its also an animated show. Each episode features a new question posed by a young child. So far we have watched “Where Does Night Happen?” and “How Do Airplanes Fly?” At first I thought this might be too advanced for TJ, but later he was able to tell the major gist of the story. The Bots are just so cute and funny and sweet that I think anyone can enjoy them. I planned to show you the trailer, but I’m having trouble getting the picture to run. I’ll show you the picture, but first here’s the YouTuber link.  You can also find it on Netflix.

_____________________________

That’s it for me this week. I do hope you have a good week ahead.

Posted in Book Tour, Weekly Review | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Wondrous Words #384

WWWEvery week word-lovers post new words they’ve discovered while reading. It’s called Wondrous Words Wednesday and was created by Kathy at Bermuda Onion’s Weblog.

I found this new word in a Goodreads promotion for a giveaway book:

1. buzzy: “Enter to win [one of] 20 SIGNED COPIES of this buzzy book that was named one of Goodread’s best fiction in 2016!”

Buzzy is not in my normal vocabulary, but I’d like to add it. Buzzy, according to the dictionary, is an adjective and is usually used when referring to a place or atmosphere, and means lively and exciting. In the sentence above the meaning also seems to extend to objects like a book. Another example: A buzzy bar with live music.

_____________________________

I found this word on Wikipedia when I was looking at the biography of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

2. anglophone: James Copnall wrote in the Times Literary Supplement that she was “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors [that] is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature”.[3]

_______________________________

That’s it for me this week. I hope you found some words worth celebrating. Feel free to join Wondrous Words Wednesday. Be sure to visit Kathy for the details.

Posted in Wondrous Words | 3 Comments

What Am I Reading? Americanah

This week I’m featuring Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s a book club selection. I’m the one who will be leading the discussion, so I feel some pressure to read it carefully. I’m about half-way through it and I have to say its pretty good. Its the story of a young woman from Nigeria who comes to America to go to college. Her impressions are fascinating.

I’m sorry the first paragraph is so long, but I hope you’ll find it interesting:

Part 1

Chapter 1

Princeton, in the summer, smelled of nothing, and although Ifemelu liked the tranquil greenness of the many trees, the clean streets and stately homes, the delicately overpriced shops, and the quiet, abiding air of earned grace, it was this, the lack of a smell, that most appealed to her, perhaps because the other American cities she knew well had all smelled distinctly. Philadelphia had the musty scent of history. New Haven smelled of neglect. Baltimore smelled of brine, and Brooklyn of sun-warmed garbage. But Princeton had no smell. She liked taking deep breaths here. She liked watching the locals who drove with pointed courtesy and parked their latest-model cars outside the organic grocery store on Nassau Street or outside the sushi restaurants or outside the ice cream shop that had fifty different flavors including red pepper or outside the post office where effusive staff bounded out to greet them at the entrance. She liked the campus, grave with knowledge, the Gothic buildings with their vine-laced walls, and the way everything transformed, in the half-light pf night, into a ghostly scene. She liked, most of all, that in this place of affluent ease, she could pretend to be someone else someone3 specially admitted into a hallowed American club, someone adorned with certainty.

 

What do you think?

Would you keep reading?

____________________________

firstparagraphEvery Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile By the Sea shares the first paragraph of a book currently being read. Feel free to join the fun.

 

Posted in First Paragraph | 12 Comments

My Week . . .

What I Read:

I always enjoy talking with people who love to read good books. That’s why I belong to two book clubs. It’s one of the benefits of being retired. This week I met with one of my book clubs to discuss Mrs. Poe by Lynn Cullen. This is the story of a woman, Frances Osgood, who has an affair with Edgar Allan Poe while at the same time has a special friendship with the famous poet’s wife. (Yes, awkward.) Francis is portrayed as an upstanding person simply caught up in her attraction for the man, aided by the fact that her husband was a seriel philanderer.

In case you can’t tell, I did not care for the book. The first third of the story was okay, especially the appearance of various literary figures of the time like Walt Whitman and even Louisa May Alcott. But,/ the story deteriorated into this melodramatic victorian romance novel. It could have been so much better, in my opinion.

Club members were split in their opinions with about a third of the members really enjoying the book. Split opinions usually make for lively discussions at our meetings and this was no exception. Fortunately, this is a congenial group. Our disagreements have never turned ugly. I can’t recommend you read Mrs. Poe, but I must admit that some of my friends will recommend.

In spite of Mrs. Poe, I did manage to have a good reading week. I did that by reading something completely unexpected. A few weeks ago I downloaded An Accidental Death by Peter Grainger when it became an Audible Daily Deal. I’d never heard of the book or author before, but I do love British mysteries.

Within a couple of chapters I fell in love with the main character, DC Smith, a retirement-age Detective Sergeant. As the story opens we learn of the drowning of a teenager. DC Smith is asked to investigate whether this was an accident or something else. He’s given a new Detective Inspector to mentor. Together they open up a surprising “kettle of fish” that is more than a local accident. There are upper-level police officers who don’t like DC Smith. I couldn’t help but be suspicious of them.

This was a very satisfying story and now, of course, I want to read more of DC Smith and his creator, Peter Grainger. It’s very well done – very smart writing.

What I Watched:

Prime Suspect – Season 3

I’m a Helen Mirren fan. While talking about her with a friend, I remembered watching a PBS series in which Helen Mirren was a lone female Detective Inspector in London. It was called Prime Suspect. It was a British TV show filmed back in the 1990s. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to watch it again. I actually thought the shows might be available on Netflix, but no, I found them at my local library. (I love my library.) I whizzed right through Seasons 1 and 2 and then I ran into a delay getting Season 3. The library had a couple of damaged dvds, but everything is okay now.

I loved Season 3. As the season opened, we see that Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren) has been promoted to Detective Chief Inspector and moved to Vice. Two things stand out right away: Every single detective smokes and they are all male. All that smoking makes the film seem hazy. Among the other detectives there is a lot of resentment and hatred toward Jane. Obviously, they all believe women don’t belong in police work and certainly not as the boss. I thought the story was fairly complicated. It revolved around the killing of a young homeless teenager who may or may not have been involved in an illegal group. There are also hints that upper-crust people may or may not have been involved. Helen Mirren is so good in this role. You really ought to see if you can find it.

That’s it for me. Have a really great weekend everyone.

 

Posted in TV Review, Weekly Review | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments