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review 2017-07-14 19:09
The House of Memory (Pluto's Snitch) - Carolyn Haines

I love Carolyn Haines books and this one did not disappoint. I miss Sarah Booth, but Raissa James is growing on me. As a matter of fact, I think I liked this second book in the series better than the first.

I liked the addition of Zelda Fitzgerald that gave it a little credibility, however, I know it was still fiction. I can't help it, but sometimes I wondered if Raissa had any relations to Jitty, Sarah Booth's haint. HA!

A good story with a lot of creepiness involved that I loved!

Thanks to Thomas and Mercer and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

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review 2017-07-12 17:18
The Memory Watcher
The Memory Watcher - Minka Kent

Rating: 3 stars

 

Book Blurb:  When Autumn Carpenter stumbles upon the social media account of the family who adopted her infant daughter years ago, she finds herself instantly drawn into their picture-perfect existence. 

From behind a computer screen, Autumn watches Grace's every memory, from birthdays to holidays to bedtime snuggles. But what starts as an innocent fascination soon spirals into an addictive obsession that comes to a screeching halt the day the McMullen family closes their Instaface account without so much as a warning. 

Frantic and desperate to reconnect with her daughter, Autumn applies for a nanny position with the McMullens, manipulating herself into Grace's life under false pretenses. And it's only then that Autumn discovers pictures lie, the perfect family doesn't exist, and beautiful people? They have the ugliest secrets. 

 

Decent thriller with a twisty ending.

 

This was not Girl on a Train but it was pretty good. I really enjoyed the writing, Minka Kent really pulls you into the minds of two very different women to the point where it gets under you skin.  You compulsively turn the pages wanting to see what happens next.

 

Recommend if you're into psychological thrillers. 

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review 2017-07-10 10:51
White Nights
White Nights - Ann Cleeves

New to my bucket list - go to Shetland

 

In a small community, a strange newcomer shows up at an art exhibit opening. While admiring the art he suddenly becomes very emotional and makes a big scene. He claims he doesn't remember who he is or where he is from. Later, he is found hanging from the rafters of an old fishing hut. It looked like a suicide but the death was determined to be murder. Everyone becomes suspect and Jimmy Perez begins questioning everyone. He himself feels guilty because he talked to the man when he became emotional at the gallery and tried to help him. He didn't go after the man when he took off though and he felt responsible for his death. With the help of Taylor from Inverness, Jimmy is determined to figure out what happened to this man no one knows. 

 

I loved this book and the chance to learn more about Shetland. I was just as fascinated in learning about the place as I was in the mystery. I googled many details about the place and looked up a lot of terms I didn't know. I even looked up a recipe for oat cakes and can't wait to make some. I was also intrigued to learn about the "midnight sun" or "white nights" which we also have where I live in Alaska. I looked at my son's globe and noticed that Alaska lines up with Shetland between the same two latitude lines close to the north pole so in some ways where I live is similar.

 

The story was very complicated and I was never sure who was to blame. Ann Cleeves is a master at weaving stories that are so unpredictable. The characters are well built and I felt like I knew them and could visualize their homes and their way of life. Just like with the first book there was a character that seemed the more obvious choice for the killer and I knew it wouldn't be that person BUT Ann would always leave me second guessing myself. As the story progressed I ended up thinking everyone in the book could be guilty at some point. Ann Cleeves has now become a favorite author for me and I've already ordered the next book in the series.

 

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-07-09 14:16
Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold
Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10) - Lois McMaster Bujold

If you choose an action, you choose the consequences of this action.

 ... and this novel is ripe with consequences.

 

First of all, Miles's cryorevival comes with a seizure-condition that rears its ugly head in the most inconvenient moment - moreover, Miles then lies about it in his mission report, and Illyan has little choice but to dismiss him from service.

 

And Miles now has to learn for himself who he is if he doesn't have ImpSec and through them the Dendarii Mercenaries to prop him up. Who is he on Barrayar? Just the little mutant who gained access to the Imperial service through nepotism? Can he be Lord Vorkosigan, and survive without the little admiral?

 

Add to that Gregor falling in love - and Illyan himself falling to pieces. And Miles's focus quickly shifts from personal anguish and depression to that which he does best: problem-solving.

 

I've reread Memory now 5 or 6 times from cover to cover with countless repetitions of the various most memorable scenes, like the confrontation with Illyan over lying, or all the meetings with Gregor... and I'm still as pulled into this story as if it's the first time. The Vor Game was Gregor's story, Mirror Dance Mark's - and this is finally Miles coming fully into his own, accepting and embracing who he is (and not only what he created for himself). He's wrestling with temptation: go down the easy route, or do it right; the realization that despite all insecurities and yearnings there are lines that he won't cross; and the moment calm finally settles his mind, and clarity focuses it - that's still immensely satisfying to read.

 

Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart.

 

It doesn't come as much of a surprise that I especially love the Barrayar-set novels within this series. First of all, Bujold's talent to create characters is fantastic, and it's one thing to see Miles in all his glory among the Dendarii (as head of the chain of command), but it's a wholly different experience to see him in a more socially complex setting. Remember, on Barrayar children like him were killed not so long ago (and boy is it an intense scene when he seeks out Raina and Harra Csurik to ask for forgiveness!), even his own grandfather tried to kill him. He's had to fight his whole life to make a place for himself, and most people still think that nepotism is all that got him into service. And that most of his service was in covert ops doesn't help with his self-esteem issues. So, coming from the top of the food chain, he's suddenly the odd one out, having to find his way against prejudice, suspicion and jealousy.

 

Seeing him interact with Gregor, his foster-brother, friend and ultimate liege-commander is always a joy because of the various, sometimes contradicting layers of their relationship. Love Gregor, pure and simple, and seeing him find love and joy is one of the many highly enjoyable facets of this novel (as is his courtship told from Miles's PoV - the horse, groomed to within an inch of its life!!!). The same goes for Illyan who was a confidant of Miles's father, always the protector... but who couldn't protect Miles from himself. Again, so many layers of loyalty, familial and personal, not to mention the chain of command make for a complex and differentiated relationship. Add to that Ivan and Galeni whose lives are inextricably bound to Miles's through various reasons, and the story unfolds. Loyalty, friendship, trust, all these build the foundation and, paired with Miles's (and Gregor's) inimitable judgement of character and indomitable drive, make for a fascinating study of loss, betrayal and overcoming adversity.

 

Yes, Memory isn't an action-packed, fun romp through the galaxy. It's introspective, it's sometimes painful, but, again, oh so rewarding. Chicken always come home to roost. My favourite of the entire saga.

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text 2017-07-05 18:45
June 2017 Round up!
The Changeling - Victor LaValle
Ascent - Luke Walker
Empire Falls - Richard Russo
The Memory of Running - Recorded Books LLC,Ron McLarty,Ron McLarty
The North Water: A Novel - Ian McGuire
Gwendy's Button Box - Stephen King,Richard Chizmar
Criminal: The Deluxe Edition - Volume 1 - Ed Brubaker,Sean Phillips
The Fever: A Novel - Megan Abbott
Hoodoo Harry (Bibliomysteries) - Joe R. Lansdale
DIS MEM BER and Other Stories of Mystery and Suspense - Joyce Carol Oates

I read 18 books in June!

 

 

Graphic Novels

 

Criminal Deluxe Edition 5*

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger-Last Shots 4*

American Vampire 5 4.5*

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger- The Man in Black-3*

Total: 4

 

Audio Books

 

Empire Falls by Richard Russo 5*

The Fever by Megan Abbott 3.5*

The Memory of Running by Ron McClarty 5*

Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo 4*

The North Water by Ian McGuire 4*

Total: 5

 

E-ARCS

 

Ascent by Luke Walker 4*

The Halloween Children by Norman Prentiss and Brian Freeman 4.5*

Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones 5*

The Boy on the Bridge by M.R. Carey 3.5*

The Changeling by Victor LaValle 4.5*

Hoodoo Harry by Joe R. Lansdale 4.5*

Dis MeM ber by Joyce Carol Oates 4*

Total: 7

 

Random Books

 

Gwendy's Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar 4*

The Summer Job by Adam Cesare 3*

Total: 2

 

Total books read in June: 18

 

 

 

Reading Challenges

 

Horror Aficionados Mount TBR Challenge:

(Horror Aficionados Group on Goodreads)

Goal: Read 40 books I already own in 2017

January Count: 1

February Count: 2

March and April Count: 0

May: 2 (Boo! and The Well)

June: 0

Running Count: 5

 

 

Graphic Novel Challenge:

(Paced Reading Group on GR)

Goal: Read 25 Graphic novels in 2017 

January count: 5

February count: 2

March count: 5

April count: 5

May count: 3

June count: 4

 

Running count: 24

 

I'm ditching the Coolthulhu Crew 2017 challenge. It just seems to be too much work for me right now!

 

Keep Calm and Read On!

 

 

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