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text 2017-10-30 00:51
Books I Read in October 2017
The Diamond Empire (A Diamonds Novel) - K'wan
Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel - Jesmyn Ward
Brazen - Katherine Longshore
The Longest Memory - Fred D'Aguiar
The Tragedy of Brady Sims (Vintage Contemporaries) - Ernest J. Gaines
The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah

I read 6 books in October and am pleasantly surprised. I thought I'd only read 2 or 3. Has that ever happened to you? My highly anticipated read was The Tragedy of Brady Sims by Earnest J. Gaines. It was also my biggest disappointment. I was not wowed by it and the interest I had for the build up in this short novellla wasn't and was what I thought it would be. The other shocker was Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward. I connected with only one of the characters (the son Jojo) and the story was a bit of multiple stories I'd read before. I didn't enjoy Salvage the Bones by her either. I think I stopped 75% through. I don't think her style of writing is for me. However, she is well regarded, loved and accoladed. 

 

The Nightingale and The Longest Memory were the "show stoppers" this month. These stories gutted me. Oh, the pain I felt. These two books I would highly recommend to anyone. It doesn't matter if you pick them up today, next month or years from now. Put them on your tbr or wishlist and read them! You won't regret it, I promise. I'm clearing out my YA shelves and have donated hundreds to date. This last purge I decided to keep some series that I started and loved, but didn't finish. Brazen (Royal Circle) is one of those I decided to keep. I had already read Guilt and Tarnish and enjoyed them. Brazen didn't disappoint. I do love historical fiction. Longshore wrote these in a style I could enjoy as well as her intended audience. 

 

 

 

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review 2017-10-26 07:36
The Ghostwriter
The Ghostwriter - Alessandra Torre

By:  Alessandra Torre

ISBN: 1940941946

Publisher:  DCA

Publication Date:10/2/2017 

Format: Paperback

My Rating:  5 Stars ++

 

WOW! THE GHOSTWRITER is the author's best yet! 

Alessandra Torre has found her groove! Please, more of this genre-contemporary fiction. (Listen to your character's advice). A ripping riveting drama, domestic suspense, thriller, literary fiction, plus much more. 

A perfect husband. A perfect daughter. A perfect lie. Simon is gone. Bethany is gone. She is alone. 

Bestselling romance author, Helena Ross (age 32) is dying.Cancer. She has three months to live. She has no friends and no family to speak of. An empty house. 

“I have only this countdown, a dark ominous chant of days, sunrises and sunsets before my body gives up and my mind shuts down.”

She has a story which needs to be told. The truth. One which she has avoided for the last four years.

Helena does not have decades. She does not have years. Three months. The deadline is the tightest she has ever faced. Three months to write a story that deserves years.

. . . "I've always been a liar. Maybe that's why writing came so naturally. A thousand lies, disguised in a character's voice, bits of my life sprinkled through the pages, the perfect camouflage for whatever it is I feel the urge to say."

She notifies Kate, her agent of thirteen years she is retiring. No more outstanding deadlines. She wants to walk away from all her commitments. She wants to write a new book with a different editor. The hottest editor in publishing. 

"There is something soothing about the act of writing, a drug that lures you into another world, but then forgets to stop, and sometimes carries you all of the way into sleepdom."

This editor does not do romance. Helena has no outline. Everyone will need to trust her. 

She needs a ghostwriter. 

Not just any ghostwriter. She wants her arch-enemy, Marka Vantly (pen name). International bestselling author. She hates her. She would almost rather die than ask her. Helena needs her. She is terrified of her. 

This will be no normal manuscript. Once the story is written it will be real. She will be exposed. Two thousand words a day. One million dollars. 

An impossible task. However, Helena is determined. She knows the writer who writes smut; deep down, a highly talented author and one which will be able to help write her story. 

However, she never thought that possibly contemporary fiction with heart, may not sell as well as the smut. She cannot imagine an author hating the novels they spend months writing. Ones they do not respect. 

Kate, nor anyone would understand why this book was so important. The most critical book of her career. She cannot die with this book unwritten. Word count is her everything.The truths buried among her bones. It needs to come out. The real truth. 

She is fearful of how her final novel will come across. She is terrified, yet almost giddy with liberation. Soon her final story will come out, and everyone will know the truth. Life and death. 

However, her ghostwriter may prove to be the one person to get her through her dying days. In the process, they may learn something from one another. Her agent may see a side of her she has never seen. 

Instead of "entertaining" like her usual books. This final book would be both her punishment and her absolution. 

Loved the Epilogue! 

The relationship with THE GHOSTWRITER is as equally powerful as Helena's story. Raw, emotional, heart wrenching, and touching - we hear from Kate, Helena, and Mark’s POV. 

Intense, riveting, and suspenseful. Readers will not know how or why the deaths occurred until later in the book, as her story unravels — writing each chapter and hands off to THE GHOSTWRITER. You know Helena carries guilt. She has pushed everyone away, until now. 

Get out the Kleenex. "How quickly a life can change."

Torre is dynamite! The writing is superb. I would not change "one" word. A must-read for every writer, author, publicist, and reader out there today. 

THE GHOSTWRITER is on my Top Books of 2017!. Readers, you will have a new respect for authors. I cannot imagine how difficult this was to write. 

Buy this book now! You will not be able to put it down. Award-winning. A big turning point for this author. If this is a beta test, then scratch the test and go for it, Torre. Top of the chart's quality. This is my kind of book and hits all the spots. This is the "real deal" and she is a master! Ultimately no sleep, but it was worth every single word. 

Poignant, beautifully written, lyrical, raw, soul-searching, suspenseful, emotional, and heartbreaking. 

I was hanging on every word. Tried to go to bed about 4 am and could not sleep thinking about Helena. Had to know what happened. The suspense and intensity . . . so back up, espresso in hand and dove back in until the final heart-pounding conclusion. This is a true test of how absorbing a great novel should be. 

At 90% this scene was intense. Readers will be dying to know the circumstances surrounding Simon and Bethany. I bookmarked so many pages; it is one of the most highlighted books I have ever read. THE GHOSTWRITER would be perfect for a TV mini-series. 

Younger TV Series would love this one (could you imagine??) . . . Ideal for book clubs and further discussions. I am not an erotica or romance fan; however, I am a lover of this genre. Hits on all cylinders. The author has a God-given talent for intimate words and gut-wrenching feelings of the heart. 

I loved the Deanna Madden (suspense-psychological thriller) series; however, THE GHOSTWRITER to me is so far beyond her other books, and really allows the author to really showcase her writing. She shines without the sex, erotica, romance, and violence. THE GHOSTWRITER opens up an entirely new reader base for her (more my style). 

For fans of Jo Jo Moyes, Colleen Hoover, Liane Moriarty, Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Weiner, Amy Hatvany, and Renee Carlino . . . with Torre's unique unstoppable witty style. 

For some reason, I am strongly reminded of Blake Crouch's Good Behavior. Even though different, two unlikely souls find strength, clarity, and redemption in one another. A huge Mark fan! 

OMG . . . I have Helena's list on my door too— for the last two years. Laminated and regular. (too funny). 

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/09/13/The-Ghost-Writer
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review 2017-10-17 20:28
Life after LIfe
Life After Life - Kate Atkinson

I have feelings about this book. Predominantly annoyance, because I really did not get this book and the message it tried to convey. I didn´t care about the theme of reincarnation or the philosophical musings that time is like a palimpsest, the only thing I did care about was the end after 600 excruciating pages. My first complaint is that this novel is too long and it could easily have been cut by 200 – 300 pages.

 

As I have said, I don´t get this book. Ursula doesn´t become a better person towards the end of the novel (as a matter of fact she doesn´t know that she is reliving her life, she only has something like a déjà-vu all the time). And the first chapter, in which Ursula shoots Hitler, is a huge led down. I´m honestly not sure what that has been all about. Call me stupid, but I´m not clever enough for this book. Or I simply shut down my brain on page 400, simply because I couldn´t care less for this story.

 

This novel is so bleak and depressing, every new life of Ursula´s was downright horrible. In some of these storylines I was eagerly anticipating for Ursula to kick the bucket. There were two lives in particular I immensely disliked:

 

  • Ursula getting raped, which leads to pregnancy and an abortion, nearly dying of an infection and ultimately being married to an abusive husband, who kills her with an ashtray.
  • Ursula being married to a German, who of course becomes something in huge in the party, which leads to her staying with Hitler in the Alps.
(spoiler show)

 

Even if this book is well-written and an engaging and immersive read, the plot is sentimental and preposterous drivel. Not my kind of book.

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text 2017-10-16 21:11
Reading progress update: I've read 311 out of 609 pages.
Life After Life - Kate Atkinson

Regardless how many times Ursula is able to live her life over again, one fact remains about all of her lifes: they suck. Good grief, this book is bleak.

 

Still not sure what to make of this book. So far the story has been rather pointless, I´m not particularly fond of the characters and the structure of the book feels gimmicky.

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text 2017-10-15 21:18
Reading progress update: I've read 90 out of 609 pages.
Life After Life - Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson just spent a couple of pages, describing how the main characters mother secretly lusts for the farmer with the blue eyes. Since this is a book about Ursula, living her life over and over again, I wonder if that information has any relevance in the upcoming chapters.

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