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March 6, 2017 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ March 6th

WelcomeBirdhouseMailbox-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.


 
Happy Monday! It was a slow week for new books, and that’s probably a good thing. They have been arriving faster than I can read them, and they all sound so good.

I enjoy historical fiction, especially the 1920s, so I’m always happy to accept a new Beatriz Williams book . . .

New Arrivals

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A Certain Age by Beatriz Williams from Wm Morrow.
The bestselling author of A Hundred Summers brings the Roaring Twenties brilliantly to life in this enchanting and compulsively readable tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal in New York Society, brimming with lush atmosphere, striking characters, and irresistible charm.

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March 2, 2017 / Leslie

Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Ed Tarkington

A Rapid Review

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Publisher: HighBridge | January 2016
Format: Audio CD | 10½ hours | Rating: 3½ stars
Audio Listening Level: Intermediate

Ed Tarkington’s debut novel draws you into a small-town American Gothic story of coming-of-age, brotherhood, and family fealty, first love, scandal, and murder.

What’s it about . . .
This is mostly a coming-of-age-story set in Spencerville, Virginia, in the 1970s. The story goes on to span a lifetime including lots of family drama, small town entanglements, and a mystery.

Our narrator is eight-year-old Rocky Askew. He adores his older half-brother, Paul, a rebellious teen with a cool car and a hot girlfriend. One day Paul disappears with his girlfriend and doesn’t return for seven years. During that time Rocky becomes a teenager and begins his journey toward adulthood, but never forgets about Paul.

What did I think . . ..
This is a nostalgic read for those of us who grew up in the 70s. There are many cultural references and Neil Young songs are mentioned often. But even if one can’t relate to the times, the book is well-written, very readable, and with a host of interesting, although often troubled, characters. There was a lot going on, sometimes too much, but still a worthwhile read.

Audio production . . ..
I listened to the audio book which was narrated by Peter Berkrot. His performance was very enjoyable and a pleasure to listen to with excellent pacing and good character vocals.

Audio Sample at Highbridge.

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
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Source: Review copy provided by LibraryThing.
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March 1, 2017 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Empty Nest

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Almost wordless: I am fascinated by how well birds hide their nests. This is in a shrubby thicket near a small pond only a few feet from a path. I never saw it until winter when the plants died back.

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February 28, 2017 / Leslie

First Chapter First Paragraph ~ Tuesday Intros

A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery

Mira Books |February 2017 | Hardcover • eBook • Audio | 368 pages

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1st Paragraphs:

“My name is Zoe Saldivar and I just had stupid sex with my ex-boyfriend.”

As Zoe spoke, she carefully pulled on the rope dangling from the attic door in her ceiling. The mechanism was very stiff and if it snapped back in place too hard, the door would be stuck forever. Or so the building inspector had told her when she’d been in escrow for her house.

“Not that the sex was stupid,” she continued. “It was okay. I want to say I was drunk, but I wasn’t. I even knew better. And I do know better. I was weak. There. I’ve said it. I had stupid ex-boyfriend sex in a moment of weakness.”

What do you think? Based on this intro, would you read more?

I’m in the mood for something a little more lighthearted than my usual choices.

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From Goodreads:

Zoe Saldivar is more than just single-she’s ALONE. She recently broke up with her longtime boyfriend, she works from home and her best friend Jen is so obsessed with her baby that she has practically abandoned their friendship. The day Zoe accidentally traps herself in her attic with her hungry-looking cat, she realizes that it’s up to her to stop living in isolation.

Her seemingly empty life takes a sudden turn for the complicated-her first new friend is Jen’s widowed mom, Pam. The only guy to give her butterflies in a very long time is Jen’s brother. And meanwhile, Pam is being very deliberately seduced by Zoe’s own smooth-as-tequila father. Pam’s flustered, Jen’s annoyed and Zoe is beginning to think “alone” doesn’t sound so bad, after all.


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 Tandem Literary.
© 2017 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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February 27, 2017 / Leslie

Mailbox Monday ~ February 27th

WelcomeBirdhouseMailbox-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.


 
Nothing in in my mailbox last week but I did download a couple of new audio books . . .

Audio Downloads

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The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel from Random House Audio.
The Roanoke Girls shocks and tantalizes, twisting its way through revelation after mesmerizing revelation, exploring the secrets families keep and the fierce and terrible love that both binds them together and rips them apart.

Celine by Peter Heller from Random House Audio.
A luminous, masterful novel of suspense–the story of Celine, an elegant, aristocratic private eye who specializes in reuniting families, trying to make amends for a loss in her own past.

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February 22, 2017 / Leslie

Wordless Wednesday: Waiting for Spring

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Almost wordless: We are having gorgeous spring-like weather with temps in the 60s and no snow in sight.

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February 21, 2017 / Leslie

Crosstalk by Connie Willis

A Rapid Review

CrosstalkPublisher: Del Rey | September 2016
Format: Hardcover 498 pages | Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Science Fiction / Romance

Science fiction icon Connie Willis brilliantly mixes a speculative plot, the wit of Nora Ephron, and the comedic flair of P. G. Wodehouse in Crosstalk a genre-bending novel that pushes social media, smartphone technology, and twenty-four-hour availability to hilarious and chilling extremes as one young woman abruptly finds herself with way more connectivity than she ever desired.

What’s it about . . .
In the near future, a brain implant has been developed called an EED which would allow couples to sense each others emotions – a type of telepathy. Briddey’s boyfriend suggests that they have the procedure done. She agrees, convinced that a marriage proposal would soon follow. But things don’t go as planned, and Briddey ends up with a wrong connection. The law of unintended consequences!

What did I think . . .
This was a fun book with a bit of a slow start. Like most Connie Willis books, it’s a little longer than need be, but that is her writing style and I have learned to enjoy it. There are lots of characters, including Briddey’s crazy family and co-workers, and a few subplots. Once those are set up, the story takes off.

The plot is clever and timely. Briddey live in a world that already has too much connectedness, and since she got the EED, she can’t turn off the noise. Now Briddey needs to find out what happened, how to fix it, and not let her boyfriend know the procedure has not worked the way they planned.

This is not serious science fiction, it more of a comedy with lots of techy gadgets, a romance, fun characters, and farcical situations.

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
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Source: Review copy provided by NetGalley.
© 2017 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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