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April 30, 2016 / Leslie

Audiobook Review: Three-Martini Lunch

A Rapid Review

ThreeMartiniLunchThree-Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell

Publisher: Penguin Audio | April 2016
Format: Audio Download | 17 hours | Rating: 4½ stars
Audio Listening Level: Easy – intermediate

In Three-Martini Lunch, Suzanne Rindell has written both a pause-resisting morality tale and a captivating look at a stylish, demanding era – and a world steeped in tradition that’s poised for great upheaval.

Setting: 1958, Greenwich Village; an exciting time and place poised on the brink of change.

Three young people from very different backgrounds are each trying to succeed in the publishing business. Cliff is the son of a successful book editor who doesn’t understand why his father can’t see the greatness in his less than brilliant writing. Eden longs to become an editor and is willing to start at the bottom in the secretarial pool, but as a young Jewish female finds her options for advancement are limited. Miles is a poor but talented black writer from Harlem who encounters discrimination in multiple ways.

The story is told in alternating points of view by these three distinct voices. It was a little slow in the beginning as the characters and situations were developed, but once their lives intersected, it began to pick up. Each of these interesting but flawed characters were richly developed, as were a few unsavory secondary character we meet along the way.

While New York in the late 1950s considered itself progressive, many discriminatory practices were the norm. The author did an excellent job portraying the atmosphere and prejudices of the era.

Audio production:
Narrators: Will Damron, J. D. Jackson, and Rebecca Lowman
The story was told in three alternating points of view, each voiced by a different narrator. This was very effective and makes it easier for the listener, especially when the characters are so distinctly different. At almost 17 hours in length, I was happy that the narrators maintained a good pace and all three were pleasant to listen to.

Audio Sample:

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
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Source: Review copy provided by PRH Audio.
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April 27, 2016 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Hyacinths

Hyacinths_20160424_180036

Almost wordless: These are the first flowers to pop up in my garden every spring.

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April 26, 2016 / Leslie

First Chapter First Paragraph ~ Tuesday Intros

The Atomic Weight of Love by Elizabeth J. Church

Algonquin Books | May 2016 | Hardcover • Kindle | 352 pages

Atomic Weight of Love

1st Paragraph:
In early June of 2011, forty-five hundred red-winged blackbirds fell dead from the Arkansas skies. A few days later, five hundred more birds plummeted to earth, and their broken bodies covered an entire quarter-mile stretch of the highway near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Some thought that one bird, confused by bad weather, led the others to their deaths; others blamed pesticides. I suspect there were also those who felt God has struck the birds from the sky in some sort of apocalyptic fever. Eventually, wildlife experts determined that the birds had died of blunt force trauma. Startled by the explosion of celebratory New Year’s fireworks, the birds—who had poor night vision—flew into power lines, telephone poles, houses, mailboxes, and tree branches. Our exuberance killed them.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?

Although this sounds like a “bird book” it is actually a love story. I am not usually drawn to love stories or romance, but this novel sounds like it has a strong female character and a substantive plot—qualities I enjoy in a story.

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From Goodreads:

In her sweeping debut novel, Elizabeth J. Church takes us from the World War II years in Chicago to the vast sun-parched canyons of New Mexico in the 1970s as we follow the journey of a driven, spirited young woman, Meridian Wallace, whose scientific ambitions are subverted by the expectations of her era.

 


First Chapter Tuesday is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea. Join us by visiting Diane and linking your own First Chapter post or to find out what others plan to read this week.

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Source: Review copy from the publisher.
© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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April 25, 2016 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ April 18th

SpringBirdsFenceMailbox-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.


 
My mailbox was busy last week with five new books. I spent most of last week listening to audio while I worked in the yard and got it ready for summer, my favorite season. Tables, chairs, benches, rain barrels, garden gnomes, bird baths, and on and on — I didn’t realize so much stuff was crammed into the shed and garage. Once my deck is set up, the garden is planted, and the flowers are in bloom, that is my favorite place to sit down, relax, and read.

New Arrivals

-BooksApril25_20160424_174811

The Secrets of Flight by Maggie Leffler from William Morrow Paperbacks.
This captivating, breakout novel—told in alternating viewpoints—brings readers from the skies of World War II to the present day, where a woman is prepared to tell her secrets at last.

Black River Falls by Jeff Hirsch from Clarion Books.
A thrilling, fast-paced work of speculative fiction for teens, from a bestselling author, Black River Falls is an unforgettable story about survival, identity, and family.

Underground Airlines by Ben H. Winters from Mulholland Books.
It is the present-day, and the world is as we know it: smartphones, social networking and Happy Meals. Save for one thing: the Civil War never occurred.

Keep You Close by Lucie Whitehouse from Bloomsbury.
A brilliantly twisting psychological thriller by the author of Before We Met. When the brilliant young painter Marianne Glass is found dead in her snow-covered Oxford garden, Rowan Winter, once her closest friend, knows it wasn’t an accident.

Falling by Jane Green from Berkley.
The New York Times bestselling author of The Beach House, Jemima J, and Summer Secrets presents a novel about the pleasure and meaning of finding a home—and family—where you least expect them…

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April 23, 2016 / Leslie

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon

2016ReadathonLogo-smlLet the Reading Begin

Many of you are familiar with the Readathon, a twice yearly event which begins today at midnight GMT and continues for 24 hours.

Hundreds of readers are participating and posting on their blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

I will only be participating part of the day. I’ll be taking a break mid-day to attend a family birthday party but other than those four or five hours, I intend to read or listen to audiobooks as much as I can.

The Readathon began for me at 7 a.m. Chicago time, and this is my ninth Readathon. I have yet to make a full 24 hours and unfortunately won’t this time either.

I will be updating this post throughout the Readathon.

Rather than fill my feed with posts that some of you may not be interested in, I will use this one post for my updates and mini-challenges throughout the day and on twitter at #readathon.

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Hour 1 – Introduction

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I live in the USA in a suburb of Chicago.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Read more…

April 20, 2016 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Spring Prairie

CatTails

Almost wordless: Last season’s cattails are still standing tall in the prairie.

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More Wordless Wednesday. © 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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April 18, 2016 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ April 18th

SpringBirdsFenceMailbox-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.


 
 
Two new books last week . . .

New Arrivals

BooksApril18_20160417_170642

The Last One by Alexandra Oliva
Survival is the name of the game, as the line blurs between reality TV and reality itself—and one woman’s mind and body are pushed to the limit.

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker.
In the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut everything seems picture perfect. Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory.

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© 2016 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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