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text 2017-04-26 15:38
Reading progress update: I've read 52%.
The Wild Woman's Guide to Traveling the World: A Novel - Kristin Rockaway

Oh gods how many of us are stuck in this trap ? The job the career the relationship-Told how we should be so we strive for that, somebody else's expectations ? I see myself here, and wish I'd been more free

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review 2017-04-26 04:27
Anything is Possible
Anything Is Possible - Elizabeth Strout

By: Elizabeth Strout

ISBN: 9780812989403

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 4/25/2017  

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars +

 
From the author of My Name is Lucy Barton and the smashing hit Olive Kitteridge the HBO mini-series starring Frances McDormand (I loved) — Elizabeth Strout once again "wows" readers and her avid fans, with her insights into the human psyche — when ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

Extraordinary novels, deftly combining lyrical prose with heartrending subject matter. A desperate need to be understood and accepted.

Compelling! Nine powerful and emotional stories. Grace and forgiveness. Flawed people who have experienced tragedy and haunting childhoods, abuse, mental illness, injustice, poverty, bullying, regrets, torment, war trauma, imploding lives, marriage problems, and severe loss.

People who hide behind social status. A sense of entitlement. Those who have survived and yet still remain with their own scars. There have been deep fissures in each of these families. The cracks. Some have been pushed to the breaking point, with shattering, unforeseeable consequences.

If you read My Name Is Lucy Barton (highly recommend), you may be rushing back to the title to refresh yourself, as I found myself doing.

Lucy came from a poor and dysfunctional family. She was determined and managed to escape the small town of Amgash, IL. She was diligent and became a successful author. She ultimately forgave her parents.

However, the scars of her past and the people who shaped her life, and the way she was treated by her family, siblings, and people of this town have haunted her.

Strout takes us back to some of the characters, cousins, family members, neighbors, school classmates, and siblings. We learn of the heartaches and fears, the narrow-minded thinking of these people. Where are these people today? Discovering how harsh words and actions stay with people. A profound message.

Even when someone succeeds, there are those who try and tear down the things we are most proud of. Each story sends a powerful message. Who do they blame? Are they accountable for their actions?

Broken people. Such hope for us all if only can learn to communicate. Not only with our families but the people whom we come in contact with on a daily basis. Intuitive. Being able to help those who need someone to care.

We can see from the outside a dysfunctional family can fall prey to those in a small town who do not really understand what's going on with the family as a whole, or those that make up the family (s).

We each have our own favorite stories in the collection. I enjoyed the story of Tommy, Pete, Patty, and Lucy’s return to town which did not go as expected when Vicky (sister) brings up the horrors of the past and Lucy has a panic attack driving her away. I also enjoyed the people from her past which showed up at her book signing.

Family dysfunction, problems, and crossing social classes; people are mean and they are ugly. A cruel world and Strout does not hold back. A reminder to us all. One act of compassion, caring, or kindness can make all the difference in the word.

The characters in the nine stories are shaped and at the same time, haunted by their past. They still feel trapped by the difficulties in their present day relationships and their inability to say how they truly feel. The author is a master at drawing you into the lives of her characters as she weaves in her powerful observations of human complexities and interactions. From anger, frustration, and bullying mixed with fear and cruelty.

I love this stand-out author! Her writing just keeps getting better and betters. Beautifully written, with each book I read, it makes me return to re-read or perhaps one I missed. Strout is authentic, prolific, and has mastered her skilled craft at getting inside her character’s heads, heart, and soul. They come alive on the page. ?

If you come from a small town and you happen to be the one who left and got away (I am) and became successful— you will resonate with these stories. Often those left behind are often bitter and resentful, and lash out in hateful ways and try to destroy another’s happiness when they do not have the facts. Their views are narrow and they do not think big and wide outside the box. They could have made the choice to leave. Everyone has choices. How hard do we want to strive for a better life is the question.

If you have not watched Olive Kitteridge I highly recommend. I want to watch it over and over. It stays with you. I am hoping we will get to see Anything is Possible and My Name is Lucy Barton, will be played out on the big screen. These are powerful stories that people can connect with on many levels.

There is always hope, forgiveness, and love amidst the imperfections. We are reminded that in life Anything is Possible!

For me the Washington Post article by Susan Scarf Merrell offers the perfect summary of ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE:

. . . “These stories return Strout to the core of what she does more magnanimously than anyone else, which is to render quiet portraits of the indignities and disappointments of normal life, and the moments of grace and kindness we are gifted in response.

Such a simple goal, so difficult to achieve. Each of these stories stands alone, but they are richer in juxtaposition to the others. And that’s because over the years, from angle after angle, Strout has been packing and unpacking how silence works — between people, within a single person, on the page, in the spaces between stories.

Omission is where you find what makes a writer a writer; it is in the silences where forgiveness and wisdom grow, and it is where Strout’s art flourishes. This new book pushes that endeavor even further.” . . . Read More


Well said. I just purchased Amy and Isabelle and Abide with Me audiobooks, I missed along the way. Highly recommend this author.

"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in." —Leonard Cohen

This book reminds me of a plaque I have on my desk:
"Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."
I am reminded of this each time I return to my small hometown and family. Fans of Fredrik Backman will enjoy the exploration of small town characters and the examination of the fragile human spirit.

A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/Anything-Is-Possible
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review 2017-04-26 02:38
ARC Review: Anything For You by Ethan Day
Anything For You - Ethan Day

One major niggle up front - the way Trent drugged Jason, as unintentional as the consequences were - yeah, super not cool. I was mad!

But I got over it.

Jason is deep in the closet. So deep he's actually almost in Narnia. Not out to anyone except his closest friends, he has a basket by his front door so he can quickly "de-gay" his apartment whenever someone not his closest friends comes over. Such as his sister. Who's a lesbian herself, and who you'd think Jason might feel comfortable opening up to.

But no. Jason is in Narnia.

Then he meets Chad, while under the influence of alcohol and Valium. Chad is a coming-out guru who's recently moved back from D.C. and Jason wants to make like a monkey and climb him. And does. Repeatedly.

Except there's that thing about being in Narnia, and while Chad is patient for a while, eventually Jason needs to make up his mind about what's more important - staying in the closet and losing Chad, or joining the rainbow and keeping the love of his life.

With snappy dialogue, tons of humor, snark, and sarcasm, this is a fun and cute and really quick read. But it's not just a romantic comedy, there's some sadness and some angst too, but it's mixed in relatively sparsely and doesn't overpower the romance or the comedy. Well-developed characters, and a fine supporting cast, especially Jason's sister Annie, make this a great book to read during a long lunch break.

Recommended!


** I received a free copy of this book from the author upon its re-release. A positive review was not promised in return. **

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text 2017-04-25 15:42
Reading progress update: I've read 30%.
The Wild Woman's Guide to Traveling the World: A Novel - Kristin Rockaway

I'm not liking the amount of her life she is throwing out just because he's hot and sexy. I' really sick of this story line where the woman goes nuts giving up all she worked for just for "love" I hope this story changes tune

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review 2017-04-25 15:33
Release Day ARC Review: Ride Rough (Raven Riders #2) by Laura Kaye ~ Giveaway/Excerpt
Ride Rough - Laura Kaye

Review originally featured on Angel's Guilty Pleasures

 

Ride Rough

Raven Riders #2
Laura Kaye
Contemporary Romance
Avon
April 25th 2017
eBook/Paperback
480
Edelweiss

 

Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders...

 

Maverick Rylan won’t apologize for who he is—the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club Vice-President, a sought-after custom bike builder, and a man dedicated to protecting those he loves. So when he learns that the only woman who has ever held his heart is in trouble, he’ll move heaven and earth to save her.

 

Alexa Harmon thought she had it all—the security of a good job, a beautiful home, and a powerful, charming fiancé who offered the life she never had growing up. But when her dream quickly turns into a nightmare, Alexa realizes she’s fallen for a façade she can’t escape—until sexy, dangerous Maverick offers her a way out.

 

Forced together to keep Alexa safe, their powerful attraction reignites and Maverick determines to do whatever it takes to earn a second chance—one Alexa is tempted to give. But her ex-fiancé isn’t going to let her go without a fight, one that will threaten everything they both hold dear.

 

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“What am I going to do? My entire life is wrapped up in him. My job. Where I live. My car. Where Mom lives. Everything. Oh, God. This is going to be a nightmare, isn’t it?”

 

Maverick grasped Alexa’s hands. “One thing at a time. You’re out. You can stay here as long as you need to. I have plenty of room. I’ll help you through it. That’ll give you time to figure out what it is you want. There’s no rush.

 

“Okay,” she said. “Okay. God, thank you.” A shiver raced over her skin.

 

“You don’t have to thank me. I’m so relieved for you that I might fall the fuck over,” he said, his thumb rubbing over her knuckles. She almost managed a little smile. “Your hands are like ice, Al. I shouldn’t have made you stand her all this time when you’re soaking wet.”

 

Alexa shook her head. “It felt good to get it out, Maverick.”

 

“Glad to hear it. Would a hot shower make you feel better? I can find you a T-shirt and a pair of boxers to change into while your clothes dry.”

 

All the TLC and understanding he was giving her reached right inside her chest. When was the last time someone had taken care of her this way?

 

The last time you were with Maverick. The truth of that thought made her breath catch. “Yeah. I’d like that,” she managed.

 

He gave a tight nod and stepped back, and she missed his heat immediately. “Uh, good. That’s good. You remember your way around?”

 

“Of course,” she said. How much time had she spent here over the years? Even before they dated? At one point, Maverick’s place had practically been a second home.

 

“You okay?” he asked, watching her.

 

She pushed off the door. “I don’t know yet,” she said, coming to him. “But what I do know is how grateful I am to you. For everything. For being there when I told you not to. For listening. For just . . . being you.”

 

“Always.” He crossed his big arms and ducked his chin, like something about the exchange made him uncomfortable.

 

“I mean it,” she said, and then she pressed onto tiptoes and kissed his cheek, his stubble tickling her lips. “You saved me tonight.”

 

“No,” he said, eyes flashing, one brow arched. “You saved yourself, Al. I was just your getaway driver.”

 

Staring into one another’s eyes, the tender moment stretched out, morphed, suddenly flashed hot. Being so close to him set her body on fire, and finally she could actually consider acting on it. Need roared through her, a living, breathing thing. “Maverick,” she whispered.

 

“Fuck, Alexa, I think you better go take that shower,” he said, his jaw ticking. “Now.”

 

She released a shaky breath and nodded. He was right. Of course, he was.

 

So, showering. She could handle that. Afterward, God only knew what she was going to do.

 

 

Ride Rough is book two in the Raven Riders series by Laura Kaye. I loved this one.

 

Maverick and Alexa have a past, but they or I should say she broke it off. She just wasn’t ready and of course she’s moved own. Now she’s engaged to a man she thinks will give her everything she ever wanted. Maverick made a vow to watch over Alexa whether she is in his life or not. These two might just find a second chance.

 

WOW, it’s hard to read about abuse, of any kind, on anyone. The author vividly portrayed what was going on with Alexa, what she was thinking, and feeling. You can see and feel the abuse, but Alexa is not yet ready to see the signs, but when she does things get complicated; because her fiancé, Grant, has made it so her life is all wrapped up in his and their is no easy way out. 

 

Maverick is such a sweet guy. I loved him. When he gets his chance to be with Alexa again he doesn’t push. He is just their to help and maybe; become something more, if they can discuss the past and keep her safe. 

 

Their was just so much tenderness, passion, and warmth in this novel. I love the Raven Riders. They are a protective bunch and will do what they can to help Alexa out. The feelings Maverick and Alexa have for each other are deep and intense. The past was never resolved and they both have carried a torch for each other, even now, when they both tried to move on in their lives. 

 

Two things that really stood out and made this one fun, sexy, and entertaining where the carnival and the sex scene on Maverick’s bike. Who can resist a splendidly well written sex scene on a motorcycle. Oh boy, it was hot and so sexy. The carnival was adorable and delightful. It was so great that the Raven Riders had this idea to put together a carnival to bring back business after the events in Ride Hard. The carnival brought back many memories from when I was a kid and all the fun times me and my friends had at the fair. It was well done and everyone had such fun. 

 

The more I dive into the Rave Riders series the more I fall in love with the world, the club, and their ladies. I’m excited for Ride Wild, because it’s finally Cora’s turn. I’ve wanted her story since the moment she popped up in Ride Hard as Haven’s best friend. 

 

Rated: 4 Stars

 

*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy provided by Avon via Edelweiss with the sole purpose of an honest review. All thoughts, comments and ratings are my own.

 

Was this review helpful? If so, please consider liking it on Goodreads (Angela)!

 

 

Challenge(s): Pick Your Genre (Con) | New Release (2017)

 

 

 

 

 

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

 

 

Website | Facebook |Twitter | Newsletter Sign Up

 

 

$10 Amazon or B&N gift card for 3 winners

 

Click HERE to enter the giveaway! 

 

 

 

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Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/04/release-day-arc-review-ride-rough-raven-riders-2-by-laura-kaye
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