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review 2017-04-23 15:50
Finished my reread of Queen of Roses
Queen of Roses - Elizabeth McCoy

I just spent four months rereading this, mostly while in line at the grocery store and such. My review from back when I first read it in 2014 still stands. The main things I'd add are that the fluffy "dealing with passengers" stuff in the beginning of the book still meshed a bit oddly with the later more action-y stuff. Also, while

the things Loren did still bugged me

(spoiler show)

, I couldn't help it, I still loved that character. I had also forgotten how much I liked R.J. And I still want to read some kind of spin-off or sequel with Loren and Roger. A combination sci-fi and cozy mystery starring those two would be so good.

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review 2017-04-23 04:12
Beartown
Beartown: A Novel - Fredrik Backman

By: Fredrik Backman 

ISBN: 978-1501160769

Publisher: Atria

Publication Date: 4/25/2017

Format:  Hardcover 

My Rating:  5 Stars

 

This author has a knack for "Best Books To Tug At Your Heart Strings."

Talented storyteller, Fredrick Backman returns following the novella (2016), And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer: (A small book with a BIG message ), with his latest powerful story, BEARTOWN — A Swedish dying hockey town. A town of stories. A town of secrets.

High-expectations. Burdens. Pressures. A town which relies on the sport and its youth to pull them through. Some people have the "bear" in them.

Beartown isn’t close to anything. The town is losing. It has been a very long time since it won at anything. The town slogan, “Beartown Leaves You Wanting More.” The wind, snow, and weather have since wiped out the word “more.”

The ice hockey stands are packed every weekend, even though the team’s achievements have collapsed in line with the town’s economy. A small town with big dreams. A community. Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden to carry, for all concerned.

There are also those from the Hollow. Those less fortunate. How do those from different social classes stack up?

“Hockey is both complicated and not complicated at all. It can be hard to understand the rules, challenging to live with the culture, as good as impossible to get all the people who love it not to pull so hard in different directions that it breaks . . . “

This is why everyone hopes that when the team’s fortune improves, the rest of the town will get pulled up along with it. Their motto has been: "Word hard, take the knocks, don’t complain, keep your mouth shut, and show the bastards in the big cities where they are from."

Once upon a time, Beartown Ice Hockey’s A-team was one step above the juniors and second best in the top division in the country. That was more than two decades and three divisions ago, and now Beartown will go up against the best once again. A win means something for the town’s economy. Survival.

“The sport demands only one thing from you. Your all.“

Maya hates hockey but understands her father (Peter)’s love for it. Peter had made it all the way to Canada and the NHL, matching up against the best in the world. He had come home to take over the team. Peter and his wife, Kira (attorney) have their own grief from the past. Does family mean more than sports, a town, a community's survival?

When the star player on the hockey team, whom everyone looks up to is accused of rape, the town is devastated. The guy on the pedestal. Who would dare take him down?

"It’s only a game. It can only change people’s lives. "

A hidden crime. One that could change lives. There are secrets and lies among friends, family, teens, husbands, and wives.

Backman reaches down into the soul and hearts of his characters and the human psyche. He takes his flawed characters to the dark places and brings hope. They become heroes. As with all his books, readers will find themselves bookmarking many passages, with this bold story of friendship and family bonds; ultimately one of redemption. Rich in character and the true meaning of family.

From loyalty, betrayal, and courage.

Backman's writing is lyrical, poignant, and thought-provoking. Highly emotional and insightful; part coming-of-age and a cautionary tale for both parents and teens; the consequences of carrying other’s dreams on our shoulders.

 



Have read all his books and highly recommend each one.
A Man Called Ove
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
Britt-Marie Was Here
And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer

 

Best Novella of 2016

A special thank you to Atria and NetGalley for an early reading copy. (always love his quirky covers). Also purchased the audiobook.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 

PRAISE FOR BEARTOWN

“Like Friday Night Lights, this is about more than youth sports; it's part coming-of-age novel, part study of moral failure, and finally a chronicle of groupthink in which an unlikely hero steps forward to save more than one person from self-destruction. A thoroughly empathetic examination of the fragile human spirit, Backman's latest will resonate a long time.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“Lest readers think hockey is the star here, it’s Backman’s rich characters that steal the show, and his deft handling of tragedy and its effects on an insular town. While the story is dark at times, love, sacrifice, and the bonds of friendship and family shine through ultimately offering hope and even redemption.”—Publishers Weekly

 

“The sentimentally savvy Backman takes a sobering and solemn look at the ways alienation and acceptance, ethics and emotions nearly destroy a small town and young people.”
Booklist

 

 

About the Author

 

 

Fredrik Backman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, as well as a novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. His books are being published around the world in more than thirty-five languages.

 

He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.  Read More 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/11/01/Beartown
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review 2017-04-22 22:01
This makes me love John Waters a little more
Make Trouble - John Waters

Recently, John Waters was asked to give a commencement speech at The Rhode Island School of Design.  He turned that speech into a book, which I heard about on NPR.  I rarely listen to it, but my family does, and I join in when they do it in the house.  

 

The interview was interesting, but I was most interested in getting my grubby little hands on this book.   My family also likes lounging in Barnes and Noble, and we did so today.  I ended up picking up Make Trouble and reading it in ten minutes; this wasn't a long speech, and it didn't make a long book.   That, however, made it no less self-aware and charming.   John Waters is not only aware of his own faults, he is unabashedly honest about them, injecting some self-deprecating humor into this book.   He talks about wealth, but never in terms of money: he talks about wealth in terms of being his own boss, living life on his own terms, and finding ways to avoid assholes in all walks of life, personal and professional. 

 

He talks about what it takes to be an artist, without crushing dreams, nor with a false promise of success.   Try.   Know you have talent, work at it, and stir things up: look at what was done before, and do something that spits in the eye of that, just to see where it gets you.   Question everything.   Read, watch movies, learn about culture not just by doing but by inhaling that culture.  

 

Also, he talks about parents and their children.  How children can be brats, and how parents can close themselves off to their children's eccentricities.   But be patient, try, and he tells the parents to accept the children as they are, and for the children not to blame their parents for everything.   Everyone is dealt a hand in life, and we deal with it, he says.   (In this context, I think it's about just that: not blaming your parents for absolutely everything and getting on with your life.)

 

And if the text, and the amazing amount that Waters conveys in such a short time, isn't enough to convince anyone to read this, the illustrations - done in the grotesque style when illustrating Waters, or the world ,and otherwise abstract to mimic the words on the page - are just absolutely gorgeous - and again, charming.   I'd loved Waters, even if I wasn't a devotee.  I had a healthy appreciation for his movies, and more than that, I loved the way he just completely accepted himself, while tipping his hat to the little weirdo he was.   (And being a little weirdo myself, I say that with much warmth.)   This, though, this was breathtaking.   And, yeah, I love him a little more for giving this speech and writing this book.

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review 2017-04-21 16:49
All the bants
The Secrets of Gaslight Lane - M.R.C. Kasasian

Thanks to my friends (Katie, I'm talking to you!) over at Pegasus Books, I was able to get my hands on the latest installment to The Gower Street Detective series before publication (April 11th aka my birthday). Sidney Grice and his plucky assistant, March Middleton, are at it again in The Secrets of Gaslight Lane where they are tasked with solving not one but two locked room murders perpetrated in the same house several years apart. I have to caution yet again that this is not a series for anyone with a weak stomach or an aversion to overuse of adjectives and adverbs. (I think M.R.C. Kasasian possesses the most extensive vocabulary of any author I have ever read.) For those hoping for further resolution to the dramas surrounding Grice's past with March's mother and/or March's relationshiop with Inspector Pound then you're going to be fairly disappointed with this book. This is a case-heavy narrative with complicated facets and multiple characters. It's also chock full of hilarity and acerbic wit. Grice and March are definitely getting in the groove of their partnership and their back-and-forth banter (especially with clients) is delicious. This is a series I could see being re-tooled on Masterpiece Mystery and if cast correctly it would be fantastic. And as with his previous books in this series, Kasasian manages to drop a bombshell at the end which will leave readers salivating for more. 10/10 and I can't wait for Dark Dawn Over Steep House which will hopefully be out at the end of the year.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-04-21 03:17
Home
A Charmed Little Lie - Sharla Lovelace

Lanie had given a lie to a dying aunt.  Now, she must prove the marriage is real.  No pressure, right?  Especially since she is not even seeing anyone right now.

 

Nick comes across Lanie in the middle of a crisis and is not sure to take her seriously.  She has him fitting the general description of the man she lied about.  He needs the money, so he gives in.  Then the attraction begins......

 

I really felt it all with this story.  There is plenty of humor, heat, sarcasm, and lots of fun.  I really wanted the characters to see what I saw for them.  There was sparks flying between them and it was fun to see the slow burn speed up.  I cannot wait to see the next book in the series.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

****This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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