Thursday, September 12, 2019

Book Beginning: The Woman in the Park by Teresa Sorkin and Tullan Holmqvist

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS
THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



When the doorbell rang, neither of them reacted right away.

– The Woman in the Park by Teresa Sorkin and Tullan Holmqvist. This short, fast-paced thriller finds Sarah Rock the prime suspect in a woman's disappearance and her fancy Manhattan life falling apart. It's an exciting story of love and madness.

The Woman in the Park is published by Beaufort Books and is available now. Teresa Sorkin is a television producer. Tullan Holqvist is an investigator, writer, and actor. This is their first novel.



Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

SOCIAL MEDIA: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up. Please find me on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING

Sorry for the lack of linky! I’m traveling for work without my laptop and can’t figure out how to do it on my phone. Please leave your link in a comment this week.




TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


MY FRIDAY 56

The teacher was unlike most she had encountered, with their forced-calm voices and thinly veiled judgments. He liked to dispense droplets of a dour sort of wisdom in between his more usual litany of sarcastic remarks and inappropriate jokes.



Monday, September 9, 2019

Mailbox Monday: Brené Brown and Portland Noir

I got two very different books last week:



The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brené Brown.

This time of year when the season starts to change and autumn is in the air, I always get in a back-to-school, self-improving mood. I undertake organization projects, read self-help books, tidy the house. And, of course, start planning for the holidays.

I’m new to the Brené Brown bandwagon, having just read my first book of hers, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. I really liked what she had to say -- as so many people do -- and want to read more of her books. People seem to like this Gifts of Imperfection book a lot, so I got it.



Frank's Revenge: Albina After Dark by Don DuPay, author of Behind the Badge: A Portland Police Memoir. Frank's Revenge is a new novel, a neo-noir thriller set in Portland, written by a former homicide detective. It looks like a great read!

DuPay's book caught my eye because it has a blurb on the front cover by Phil Stanford, my favorite former Oregonian newspaper columnist and author of a book I loved, Portland Confidential: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Rose City and, more recently, Rose City Vice: Portland in the 70's - Dirty Cops and Dirty Robbers.

What books came into your house last week?





Thanks for joining me for Mailbox Monday, a weekly "show & tell" blog event where participants share the books they acquired the week before. Visit the Mailbox Monday website to find links to all the participants' posts. You can also read more about Books That Caught Our Eye from the week before.

Mailbox Monday is graciously hosted by Serena of Savvy Verse & Wit, Leslie of Under My Apple Tree, and Martha of Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf.



Thursday, September 5, 2019

Book Beginning: Winded: A Memoir in Four Stages by Dawn Newton

BOOK BEGINNINGS ON FRIDAYS
THANKS FOR JOINING ME ON FRIDAYS FOR BOOK BEGINNING FUN!

MY BOOK BEGINNING



The wind from Hurricane Sandy swept into Michigan and onto the campus of Oakland University, a college nestled within a suburb of Detroit.

Winded: A Memoir in Four Stages by Dawn Newton. In this new memoir, Newton writes about living with lung cancer for six years with the help of an unexpected prescription drug. She writes about her fears and her family and living life to the fullest no matter what.

Winded is published by Apprentice House Press, a student-managed book publisher at Loyola University Maryland. It comes out October 1, 2019 and is available for pre-order.



Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

EARLY BIRDS & SLOWPOKES: This weekly post goes up Thursday evening for those who like to get their posts up and linked early on. But feel free to add a link all week.

SOCIAL MEDIA: If you are on Twitter, Instagram, or other social media, please post using the hash tag #BookBeginnings. I try to follow all Book Beginnings participants on whatever interweb sites you are on, so please let me know if I have missed any and I will catch up. Please find me on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

YOUR BOOK BEGINNING




TIE IN: The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice is a natural tie in with this event and there is a lot of cross over, so many people combine the two. The idea is to post a teaser from page 56 of the book you are reading and share a link to your post. Find details and the Linky for your Friday 56 post on Freda’s Voice.


MY FRIDAY 56

From our mother we learn to sing by ear at an early age, before we knew about notes. She'd grown up in a large family with talented singers, and although her older sister, my aunt Angie, knew how to play the piano, my mother did not.




Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Favorite Author: Julia Spencer-Fleming



Julia Spencer-Fleming published In the Bleak Midwinter, the first book in her Clare Fergusson series, in 2002. Fergusson is a former army pilot, now Episcopalian priest and the first female priest at St. Albans in the small Adirondack town of Millers Kill. (Kill is the old Dutch word for river, but it sounds spooky, doesn't it?)

Now up to eight books with another due in 2020, the series is called the Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne series, as Clare’s police chief love interest gets double billing. Electricity sparked between pastor and cop from the get go. While Episcopalian priests can date and marry, they are definitely not supposed to date married men, especially high profile citizens like the police chief. The development of their relationship is one of the best parts of the series.

Spencer-Fleming has won several awards for her books and was nominated at least once for the coveted Edgar. She deserves the acclaim. This is one of the best-written, most intelligent mystery series going. The plots are creative and intricate. The pacing is solid, with exciting scenes that are actually exciting. The characters are complex -- Fergusson is one of the most interesting sleuths out solving mysteries. Spencer-Fleming does a masterful job of having Clare maintain her spiritual role while wrestling with human issues.

A big difficulty with amateur sleuth series is how to get the amateur sleuth involved in so many murder investigations. Spencer-Fleming handles this well, usually by having Fergusson face a minor problem in the beginning -- something a small town priest could believably have to deal with -- and then only throwing in the dead body after Fergusson is well involved. There are enough "stay out of this; I told you to wait in the car" conversations with Van Alstyne as necessary, but not annoyingly many.

I've read the first seven. All the titles are the names of hymns:

In the Bleak Midwinter (2002)

A Fountain Filled With Blood (2003)

Out of the Deep I Cry (2004)

To Darkness and to Death (2005) (reviewed here)

All Mortal Flesh (2007) (reviewed here)

I Shall Not Want (2008)

One Was a Soldier (2011) (reviewed here)

Through the Evil Days (2013)

Hid from Our Eyes (2020 - available for pre-order only)

NOTES

Last updated on September 2, 2019.

OTHER FANS

If you have reviews of Julia Spencer-Fleming's books, or other posts about this author, and would like them listed here, please leave comments with a links and I will add them here.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Teaser Tuesday: Big Sky by Kate Atkinson



Crystal was hovering around thirty-nine years old and it took a lot of work to stay in this holding pattern. She was a construction, made from artificial materials – the acrylic nails, the silicone breasts, the polymer eyelashes.
Big Sky by Kate Atkinson, the new Jackson Brodie novel. This is the fifth in Atkinson's Jackson Brodie series, my favorite mystery series.

I've only just started this one. I'm reading it with my ears because my library has it available on Overdrive for instant download with no wait list (unbelievable). And -- what a treat -- it is read by Jason Isaacs, the cutie patootie who plays Jackson Brodie in Case Histories, the tv adaptation of the first three books.

All the Brodie books have involved several disparate stories that more or less come together. Like with her literary fiction, Atkinson's droll commentary and crackling wit make every page a delight. These are in no way conventional mysteries. They are stories about people facing conflict, struggling with relationships, finding their place, and trying to understand life. That they have a few dead bodies thrown in make them "mysteries," but they are literature.

PUBLISHER'S DESCRIPTION
Jackson Brodie has relocated to a quiet seaside village, in the occasional company of his recalcitrant teenage son and an aging Labrador, both at the discretion of his ex-partner Julia. It's picturesque, but there's something darker lurking behind the scenes.

Jackson's current job, gathering proof of an unfaithful husband for his suspicious wife, is fairly standard-issue, but a chance encounter with a desperate man on a crumbling cliff leads him into a sinister network-and back across the path of his old friend Reggie. Old secrets and new lies intersect in this breathtaking novel by one of the most dazzling and surprising writers at work today.


Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by The Purple Booker, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.

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