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December 8, 2014 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ December 8th

WinterBirdsMailbox-smlWelcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 

Another quiet week on the blog. A nasty cold pretty much wiped out most of my energy for the week, so not much got done. Thankfully, it’s almost gone now. Here’s what arrived in my mailbox…

New Arrivals

Dec8Books_200046

Lillian on Life by Alison Jean Lester from Putnam.
Life and love lessons as told by sassy narrator Lillian as she looks back in this brilliantly written, bold debut. Lillian, a single, well-traveled woman of a certain age, wakes up next to her married lover and looks back at her life. It’s not at all the life she expected.

God Loves Haiti by Dimitry Elias Leger from Harper.
A story of romance, politics, and religion that traces the fates of three lovers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the challenges they face readjusting to life after an earthquake devastates their city.

How was your week?

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December 5, 2014 / Leslie

Review: Adultery by Paulo Coelho

A Rapid Review

AdulteryAdultery by Paulo Coelho

Publisher: Random House Audio | August 2014
Format: Audio Download | 8 hours | Rating: 3 stars
Audio Listening Level: Easy – Intermediate

A woman in her 30s begins to question the routine and predictability of her days. In everybody’s eyes, she has a perfect life: happy marriage, children, and a career. Yet what she feels is an enormous apathy. All that changes when she encounters a successful politician who had, years earlier, been her high school boyfriend…

I could not relate to Linda, the main character – not because she was unhappy, we all experience unhappy times, but because her solution was so extreme. A degrading affair? Yes, I thought it was a bit raw and unfulfilling. This was not a romance; this man was using her. And then she would have these long, soul-searching conversations with her husband. Really? Too often I felt like I was listening to man’s view of a women having a mid-life crisis.

I kept listening partly because the audio was good and I was hoping it would get better, but in the end I was left underwhelmed.

Audio production:
Susan Denaker narrates the story using quiet, even tones and steady pacing. The story is written in the first person and she did a nice job capturing the flat, depressed sounding Linda.

Audio Sample:

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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December 4, 2014 / Leslie

Review: Woman With A Gun by Phillip Margolin

WomanWithAGunWoman With A Gun
by Phillip Margolin

Genre: Mystery / Suspense
Publisher: Harper
Publish Date: December 2014
Format: Hardcover | 320 pages
Rating: 5 of 5

About the Story

I usually quote a portion of the publisher’s blurb for a quick synopsis, but this one reads as if the story takes place in the present, and in a way it does by beginning and ending there, but in between are several time lines where the bulk of the story actually occurs and focus shifts to a different primary character…

We begin, briefly, in 2015…
When Stacey, an aspiring writer, decided to spend her lunch hour relaxing at an art exhibit, she never dreamed it would completely change her life. She had moved to New York thinking just being in the Big Apple would spur her creativity, but so far it was one boring day after another, toiling away at a dreary job as a receptionist to pay the bills. Everything changed when she saw a prize-winning photo of a woman on a beach holding a gun – there was a story behind that photo, and that would be her novel.

We jump back in time to 2005 and later to 2000 to learn the story behind the photo…
Photographer Kathy Moran is walking on the beach when she see a woman, wearing a white dress gazing, out over the water and holding a gun behind her back. She takes a photo and then offers help to the woman who appears dazed and in shock. We learn it was her wedding night and in a robbery at their home she was attacked and knocked unconscious. When she woke she found her husband dead. There are several suspects but the murder is never solved despite the efforts of prosecutor Jack Booth, who we will learn has a prior history with the photographer, Kathy, in the jump back to 2000.

Thoughts

It sounds complicated, but once the characters are established, the non-linear story line works well. We spend enough time in each period to understand the plot, develop the characters and pick up a few clues.

The mystery was compelling and the jumps in time felt seamless. The shifting points of view – Stacy in the present and Jack in the past – provided plenty of insight and revealed bits and pieces of the story. Photographer Kathy Moran and prosecutor Jack Booth are present throughout and tie the stories together with an eventual resolution of the mystery in the present time line.

I didn’t figure out who the killer was until the end, when enough information was revealed to understand the motive. Now, looking back and thinking about it – revenge, anger, greed – it all falls together. If you like a compelling mystery that keeps you guessing, this is a good choice.

For More Info

Facebook | Goodreads | Webpage | Tour StopsTLC-TourHost

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Source: Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours.
© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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December 1, 2014 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ December 1st

WinterBirdsMailbox-smlWelcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 

The blog has been quite the past week – life and other obligations sometimes get in the way. I still have time to listen to some audio though. Here’s what arrived last week…

New Arrivals

Audio Downloads from Random House:

StrangeLibraryGolconda

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami
A fantastical illustrated short novel about a boy imprisoned in a nightmarish library.

Once in Golconda: A True Drama of Wall Street 1920-1928 by John Brooks.
A dramatic chronicle of the breathtaking rise, devastating fall, and painstaking rebirth of Wall Street in the years between the wars.

How was your week?

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© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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November 26, 2014 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Charlie Finds A New Toy

CharlieFindsANewToy_IMG_0570

Almost wordless: Who needs expensive bird toys when there are rolls of paper towels to chew!

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More Wordless Wednesday. © 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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November 25, 2014 / Leslie

Giveaway Winner: Genesis Code by Jamie Metzl

Thank you to everyone that stopped by to enter the giveaway last week.

 

Winner: Kimberly V

GenesisCode

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© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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November 24, 2014 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ November 24th

AutumnChickadeeMailbox-smlWelcome to Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia of To Be Continued, a place where readers share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week.

After several years of being on tour with different blogs as the monthly host, the Mailbox Monday Blog is now the permanent home for the meme.


 

Here’s what arrived last week.

New Arrivals

BooksNov24_200141

Revival by Stephen King from Simon & Schuster Audio.
A dark and electrifying novel about addiction, fanaticism, and what might exist on the other side of life.

The Jaguar’s Children by John Vaillant from Houghton Mifflin.
A gripping survival story of a young man trapped, perhaps fatally, during a border crossing.

How was your week?

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© 2014 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
Advertisements appearing on this site are placed by WordPress and are not endorsed or approved by me.

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