logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: A-Drink-Before-the-War
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-01-14 12:51
Stiff Drink Audiobook narrated by John Lane
Stiff Drink: Arthur Duet #1 - Blair Babylon


As always one of my favorite authors.  The audiobook narrator hits this straight on. Have both audio and hard copy. This is the first installment of Gen & Arthur's story.   Enjoyed this very much and am looking forward to the next. All these stories over lap the previous books in spots, so makes you want to go back and read in order. Good read And listen

Source: mybagofbooks88.blogspot.com/2020/01/stiff-drink-by-blair-babylon-audio.html
Like Reblog Comment
review 2019-06-17 13:24
Book Review: Happy People Read and Drink Coffee
Happy People Read and Drink Coffee - Agnès Martin-Lugand

Book: Happy People Read and Drink Coffee

 

Author: Agnes Martin-Lugand

 

Genre: Fiction/Grief/Romance

 

Summary: Diane seems to have the perfect life. She is a wife, a mother, and the owner of Happy People Read and Drink Coffee, a cozy literary cafe in Paris. But when she suddenly loses her beloved husband and daughter in a car accident, the world as she knows it instantly vanishes. Trapped and haunted by her memories, Diane retreats from friends and family, unable and unwilling to move forward. But one year later, Diane shocks her loved ones with her surprising decision to move to a small town on the Irish coast. Finally determined to rebuild her life, Diane's new home is all quiet and comfort - until she meets Edward, the attractive yet taciturn Irish photographer who lives next door. Abrasive and unwelcoming, Edward resents Diane's intrusion into his life of solitude. Diane wants nothing more than to heal in peace, but her neighbor's gruff manner provokes her. Can their standoff bear the weight of an undeniable attraction? At once heartbreaking and uplifting, Diane's story is deeply felt, reminding us that love remembered is love enduring. - Weinstein Books, 2016

 

Read more
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2019-04-29 09:44
A diverse collection of beautifully observed and written stories
Live Show, Drink Included - Vicky Grut

I received an ARC copy of the book from the publisher. This has in no way affected the content of my review.

This is a great collection of short stories. The author has a talent for being able to create a vivid background for her stories and she also gives us a good insight into who her characters are and what makes them tick. I am mostly a reader of novels, and I am aware that sometimes, even after reading a whole novel we still don’t have a clear sense of who these characters are, so this is a skill I particularly appreciate. The stories are beautifully observed; we get to see what is going on through the heads of the characters and also the situation that develops around them. The stories share a variety of moments and events in the lives of the characters, seemingly chosen randomly, ranging from tales of job difficulties, to family relationships, illnesses, and even the death of some of the characters.

I didn’t find any of the stories weak, and I enjoyed them all, although some of them might be better received depending on the mood of the reader and personal taste.

I’ll briefly comment each one:

In the Current Climate. A quietly menacing story that although somewhat surreal and taken to extremes seems very apt in today’s job market and big companies.

Debts. In appearance a vignette of everyday life rather than a complete story, it beautifully conveys how our state of mind can be reflected and amplified by everything around us: interfering neighbours, children’s tantrums, and even the weather. Mundane, wonderfully observed and beautiful.

Downsizing. After reading this story, I don’t think I’ll ever think of audits and management books in quite the same way. A great combination of realistic insight into the workings of modern companies and corporations and the whimsy and imagination of people that can never be totally subjugated.

Mistaken. Retail therapy with a difference. An articulate and high-achieving academic discovers that prejudice is still alive and well, sisterhood can have different meanings for different people, and some artworks can be prescient.

An Unplanned Event. The story of a man who never felt he belonged anywhere and finally gets to feel accepted and loved.

Escape Artist. A young woman ends up violently trapped at home and realises that she is also trapped in her relationship.

Live Show, Drink Included. What starts at a seemingly seedy and slightly menacing location turns up to be a beautiful love story full of light humour and some of my favourite lines.

“If you cut me open with a little knife there’d be a print of her right there in the middle of me” (Grut, 2018, p. 86).

A Minor Disorder. Two young men travelling in South Africa in the mid-1950s with very different attitudes to the situation are affected by the atmosphere around them in contrasting ways.

Saucers of Sweets. A story of life imitating art, especially recommended to people in the book publishing business, with some precious quotes.

“A book should be like a saucer of sweets, each chapter brightly wrapped and inviting in its own right” (Grut, 2018, p. 100).

Stranger. A lyrical observational vignette about an episode that feels oddly familiar and can be read in different ways.

Rich. This story contains the germ of a whole novel, full of fascinating characters (I loved Ashley), a compelling background and enlightening insights. It also has a great sense of time, place, and atmosphere. Its open ending can be discomforting to some readers, but I found it liberating.

There is a quote that particularly resonated with me:

“People equate emotion with weakness…” (Grut, 2018, p. 132).

Visitors. A vignette of small-town life in Wales, containing sharp observations about family relationships and motherly love.

On the Way to the Church. A possible life-changing revelation comes at the weirdest moment and explains many things.

Into the Valley. Having spent time in hospital with both of my parents in recent times, this story felt particularly touching and true to life. It records the last ten days in the life of a woman, spent in hospital, from the perspective of her daughter-in-law. The longest of the stories, it captures the feeling of numbness and routine that can take over one’s life in such circumstances.

“Night shift, day shift, back again to the night. We are far away from the world. We are in the Valley. Deep In” (Grut, 2018, p. 166-7).

There are characters with similar or the same names in different stories, and there are also typical corporate speech expressions which appear in separate stories, so as we read them we might find some similarities or links between the stories included, but as the end note explains, many of the stories have been published before, have received awards, and can, indeed, be read separately. I was impressed by the quality of the collection and this is an author I intend to keep a close eye on in the future.

Grut, V. (2018). Live show, drink included. Collected stories. London, UK: Holland Park Press.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-12-10 00:16
24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 - Mawlid, Book
Candy Cane Murder - Leslie Meier,Laura Levine,Joanne Fluke,Suzanne Toren

Well, let's just say that none of these three ladies is anywhere near Donna Andrews's league when it comes to cozy mysteries, plotting, character creation, dialogue, and a writer's craft in general.  And if I thought Joanna Fluke's entry was disappointing (mediocre plotting and dialogue, character responses that felt forced / didn't make sense, and one of my no-go TSTL behavior tropes as the "big reveal" cue (though I have to hand it to Fluke, the setting and overall scene of the final confrontation with the murderer was inspired)), I'm sorry to have to say that Leslie Meier's contribution did even less for me -- you could scratch off the Hallmark sugar coating with a shovel, virtually NONE of the characters' actions and responses bore even the slightest semblance of realism,  and she managed to make 1980s rural Maine come across as more backward than it probably was even in the 1940s and 1950s (while also looking more dripping-with-saccharine-style-homely than any Norman Rockwell picture -- and for the record, I like Norman Rockwell.  Or at least I like his Christmas pictures.)

 

Laura Levine's entry fared a bit better (I'd call it the book's highlight if such a term were appropriate for a muted glow in the midst of two seriously dulled lights); at least she took me right back to L.A. inside my head and the plotting was halfway decent.  But her story seriously suffered from an overabundance of quirky characters, not-very-subtle hints at the MC's padded waistline and her resolutions to do something about it (in which she predictably fails on every single occasion -- and yes, I know this actually is an L.A. thing; been there and would have bought the T-shirt, too, if I'd found it funny then, but the last thing I want is to have this sort of fad jammed up my nose with a sledgehammer in a book) -- and an equal overabundance of wannabe hipster slang and coloquialisms ... everything from repeated exclamations like "ugh!", "oh golly!" and "drat!" to "bet my bottom cupcake" (and yes, even there she goes again with the calorie stuff).  Oh, and the MC's conversations with her cat and said cat's female-Garfield act got old pretty soon as well.

 

Oh well.  If nothing else, this has made me appreciate the consistently high quality of Donna Andrews's writing even more -- I'll happily be returning to her for my cozy contemporary Christmas mysteries (I just hope she'll reliably continue to produce them for the foreseeable future).

 

I may try some of the recipes included in this book eventually, though.

 

Since the audiobook I listened to has a green cover, I'll be using this as my book for the Mawlid square.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-10-11 03:51
Not a Drop to Drink
Not a Drop to Drink - Mindy McGinnis

 

Lynn was nine the first time she killed to protect the pond, the sweet smell of water luring the man to be picked off like the barn swallows that dared to swoop in for a drink.

- first sentence

 

I couldn't wait to see how this one would end. It is the story of a young girl raised in the wilderness by her mother. In this world, water is more than scarce. The only water Lynn and her mother have comes from their pond and they will do anything to defend it. Her mother taught her not to trust anyone and to be entirely self-reliant. But how long can they survive this way?

 

I enjoyed the wild west feel of this one. I loved Lynn and enjoyed watching her mature and adapt emotionally as the book progressed. Her life is full of struggles and the constant threat of death, but Lynn is strong and she doesn't give up. There was a devastating event towards the end that I totally didn't see coming - it was tough.

 

Apparently, there is a "companion book",  In a Handful of Dust, that I look forward to reading after Halloween Bingo concludes.

 

I read this one for the Doomsday square:

 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?