Wondrous #373

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 a new word in a newsletter from NPR. The newsletter features books that have been discussed each week on various NPR programs. In one of the stories was a headline and it lead to an interesting discovery.

Diwali:  “3 Romances To Light Up Your Diwali

I had no idea, but it turns out that Diwali is an Indian festival of lights. The author of this NPR article, Sonali Dev went on to say this:

Like all holidays, it’s a time of love, family, and food. A time when the Indian American community comes together to satisfy all the stereotypes in one fell swoop — sparkly silks and heirloom jewelry, syrupy sweets and deep-fried savories, all that decadence only a tad bit heavier than our nostalgia.

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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.

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What Am I Reading? Ordinary Grace

This week I’m featuring a book by an author I just discovered this year, William Kent Krueger. So far I’ve read three in the Cork O’Connor series. This book is a stand-alone written in 2013. So far I’m enjoying this story set in small town Minnesota in the summer of 1961. Here’s how the story begins:

Prologue

ordinary-graceAll the dying that summer began with the death of a child, a boy with golden hair and thick glasses, killed on the railroad tracks outside New Bremen, Minnesota, sliced into pieces by a thousand tons of steel speeding across the prairie toward South Dakota. His name was Bobby Cole. He was a sweet looking kid and by that I mean he had eyes that seemed full of dreaming and he wore a half smile as if he was just about to understand something you’d spent a hour trying to explain. I should have known him better, been a better friend. He lived not far from my house and we were the same age. But he was two years behind me in school and might have been held back even more except for the kindness of certain teachers. He was a small kid, a simple child, no match at all for the diesel-fed drive of a Union Pacific locomotive. 

What do you think?

Would you keep reading?

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

 

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A Fun Book On Tour: Love, Literary Style

After all the dark and depressing stuff (mostly political) I’ve been reading the last couple of weeks I was ready for something light and fun. Maybe something that would make me laugh out loud? A good romantic comedy should do the trick. Lucky for me, I’d signed up to be a part of the TLC book tour for Love, Literay Style. Honestly, it helped a lot. First let me tell you what the book is about and then I’ll share my thoughts.

love-literary-styleThey say opposites attract, and what could be more opposite than a stuffy literary writer falling in love with a self-published romance writer?

Meet novelist Aaron Mite. He lives in a flea-infested rented alcove, and his girlfriend Emma, a combative bookstore owner, has just dumped him. He meets Laurie Lee at a writers’ colony and mistakenly believes her to be a renowned writer of important fiction. When he discovers she’s a self-published romance author, he’s already fallen in love with her.

Aaron thinks genre fiction is an affront to the fiction-writing craft. He likes to quotes the essayist, Arthur Krystal who claims literary fiction “melts the frozen sea inside of us.” Ironically Aaron doesn’t seem to realize that, despite his lofty literary aspirations, he’s emotionally frozen, due, in part, to a childhood tragedy. The vivacious Laurie, lover of flamingo-patterned attire and all things hot pink, is the one person who might be capable of melting him.

Their relationship is initially made in literary heaven but when Aaron loses his contract with a prestigious press, and Laurie’s novel is optioned by a major film studio, the differences in their literary sensibilities and temperaments drive them apart.

In a clumsy attempt to win Laurie back, Aaron employs the tropes of romance novels. Too late. She’s already taken up with Ross, a prolific author of Nicholas Sparks-like love stories. Initially Laurie is more comfortable with the slick and superficial Ross, but circumstances force her to go deeper with her writing and confront a painful past. Maybe Aaron and Laurie have more in common than they imagined. 

My Thoughts:

This was such a fun book to read. Although the story contained a romance, it did not fit into the “romance” genre. I’ve read plenty of good romances to know the difference. This is more a romantic comedy. It’s very witty and appeals to the head and heart.

I loved both Aaron and Laurie, thanks to the author who did such a good job of making them real. It was fun to mess around a little bit with a couple of different parts of the publishing world. Karin Gillespie is a new author to me, but I loved how she wrote this book and I’m eager to read more of her word.

If you too need to read something fun, I recommend you read this book.

About the Author:

karin-gillespieKarin Gillespie is the author of the national bestselling Bottom Dollar Girls series, 2016 Georgia Author of the Year, Co-author for Jill Connor Browne’s novel Sweet Potato Queen’s First Big Ass Novel. Her latest novel Love Literary Style was inspired by a New York Times article called “Masters in Chick Lit” that went viral and was shared by literary luminaries like Elizabeth Gilbert and Anne Rice. She’s written for the Washington Post and Writer Magazine and is book columnist and humor columnist for the Augusta Chronicle and Augusta Magazine respectively. She received a Georgia Author of the Year Award in 2016.

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Thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book and to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be a part of it all. To see other stops on the book tour, visit the schedule here: Karin Gillespie’s Book Tour Schedule

tlc tour host

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Book Review: The Whistler by John Grisham

whistlerI’ve read all of John Grisham’s legal thrillers, but this is the first time I can recall that the focus has been on corrupt judges. Yes, there have been some judges in a couple of his other novels, but this one focuses on one judge in particular that is so greedy that it amazed me. There’s a lot to this story, so let me give you a brief summery.

Lacy Stolz is a lawyer working for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. Her job it is to investigate complaints against the state’s judges. When Lacy and her partner Hugo Hatch first talk with the person filing this complaint, they find it hard to believe. The extent of the corruption is just too wide. And, they want to know, why has none of this leaked out before now?

As Lacy and Hugo quietly investigate they learn that the judge, Claudia McDover, has been doing her part to pave the way for a casino on Indian land and the extensive real estate development surroounding the casino. All of this is extremely profitable even after the mobsters and the judge skim a huge chunk off the top. As they dig deeper, Lacy and Hugo believe the problem is so big that the really should involve the FBI.

When Lacy and Hugo outline the case to the FBI, they are surprised and disappointed that the FBI is reluctant to join in. It will take more work and some tragic outcomes before the FBI realizes there is indeed a major problem here that needs their assistance. The result is a strategic and satisfying solution – one that legal thriller fans will enjoy.

This newest book does not disappoint at all. I still like what John Grisham writes. I listened to this one on audiobook, narrated by one of my favorites, Cassandra Campbell. Prior to the book’s release date I listened to a short (54 minutes) teaser-audio called Witness To a Trial (narrated by Mark Deakins). It was also written by Mr. Grisham. It was a nice little insider’s look at each of the major players in a criminal trial. (All except the witnesses and the jury.) It did the job of making me anticipate the new book’s release. I recommend both of these recordings to you, particularly if you are a Grisham fan or a legal thriller fan.

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