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review 2018-08-29 22:07
Summer on the New Hampshire coast.
Body Surfing - Anita Shreve

I originally read this book back in 2010 and only gave it 3 stars. Then a friend recently gave me an abridged audio version and so I decided to give it another go. The shortened version was more enjoyable and I gave it 4 stars this time around, maybe I was just in the mood for it - or maybe the full version lost my attention somehow.


Sydney is only 29, but has already been divorced from one husband and bereaved from a second. While she reassess her life, she takes on the job of coaching Julie, the not-so-academic daughter of Mark and Anna Edwards. They are spending their summer at the beach house - quite a mansion to be just a summer home - and Julie needs help to get her through her final year at school.

Everything seems fine until Julie's two older brothers, Ben and Jeff, join the family for their summer vacation. Jeff is involved with Victoria, a local girl he's known from childhood, and an announcement is expected. Ben is single. The presence of Sydney rather upturns the apple-cart and events proceed from there.


As others have commented, there was rather too much description of what characters are wearing, which doesn't really add anything for me and starts to irritate after a while. Otherwise, the characters were well drawn, even in the abridged version, and I'd completely forgotten the ending, which helped.


I didn't purposely set out to read all four books in the Fortune's Rocks quartet, in fact, I didn't originally realise that they were connected. I did, however, start to wonder whether the house on the New Hampshire coast that each of the novels revolved around was in some way connected; it seemed it was sharing its history with us through each of the novels. I love the reappearance of characters or features from previous works, so this was a bonus for me.


Fortunes Rocks Quartet (my ratings)

Fortune's Rocks (5 stars)

The Pilot's Wife (5 stars)

Sea Glass (5 stars)

Body Surfing (3, 4 stars)

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review 2018-01-13 17:49
A Surprisingly Fun Mystery
Collared (An Andy Carpenter Novel) - David Rosenfelt

I picked it up for the cover alone. I found this while shelf surfing at my library. I read the authors blurb, he has 35 dogs, runs a rescue. My kind of human, I had to give the book a try. It was a fun quick  mystery with realistic drama.

The main character is lawyer who doesn't need to work for a living, he does it because it's the right thing to do. He is married to a PI, has and adopted child and several dogs. His humor is snarky and intelligent. His relationship with his family and coworkers was believable and relevant to the story. I liked the guy, liked his wife, his wacky coworkers and how they went about getting things done.

This was book #16 in this series. Why not start towards the end right ?   I have a lot more books to read in this series, and that is good. I have plans to start from book 1 and slowly work my way through them

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text 2018-01-12 18:44
Reading progress update: I've read 51%.
Collared (An Andy Carpenter Novel) - David Rosenfelt

I would have never picked this up if I'd known the MC was a lawyer.  I grew up surrounded by lawyers, practically lived in a law firm. You can see where I'm going with this ? Good thing I didn't know because I'm really enjoying his humor.

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review 2017-12-10 22:31
DNF at 19%
Cowabunga Christmas - Anna Celeste Burke Anna Celeste Burke

This is basically a light murder mystery. Dressing the body as Santa doesn't make it feel Christmassy and the writing is amateur at best. Life is too short. Nobody even went surfing yet!

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review 2017-10-19 09:45
Surfing with Snakes & Dragons- Roger J. Couture


We read in the minds of characters, which are all by degree, hedonistic, narcissistic, masochistic, and deeply psychologically introverted. That doesn’t mean that they are necessarily uncaring and detached from others, far from it. But deep exploration of subject character is so much the essence of these individualistic snakes and dragons. All the characters are flawed, troubled by the direction of their lives, and struggling between living for the moment and their worldly, practical, daily responsibilities, by concern for their own well-being and that of others. None of the main characters are uncaring of others, but they are all certainly self-absorbed. Perhaps most of us are, perhaps that is the message?

Couture quite probably exposes more of the conflicts in himself than those of others through these stories, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t also extremely observant of how others see their worlds. He writes in a highly descriptive, word-rich, and psychologically penetrating style. At times he borders on repetitive description and on says too much about what has surely already been deduced by any fully engaged reader, but he writes with such poetry, such cadence, that the overflow of description can easily be forgiven. Ultimately, nothing is decided, but every consideration is explored, possibility is left hanging, food for thought. Life is drawn to the extreme, to the fear, to toy with danger, and to them contemplate what it is that makes people repeat behaviour again and again. Couture writes with particular conviction about what it is to be a dedicated surfer, clearly a sometime overriding passion in his own life. But there is much more here, beyond the draw of the pounding sea. However, I recommend mixing the eight reads, as, for me, we start with rather too much abundant surf. There is connectivity between each story, characters spilling from one to the other, but these are truly independent constructions that can be shuffled like the cards in a single suit.

The poems at the start of each story acted as mood setters for the rich poetry of prose inside. A lot of this book is an exploration of the ‘adrenaline’ in life, in sport, in personal relationships, and at times raises one’s own hormonal beat, but this isn’t writing for the lover of the pacey thriller. This is writing for the lover of literature, for the lover of detail, for the contemplative, for those that like to enjoy the journey of an adventure rather than necessarily the climb to peak tension and final relieving climax. If one likes descriptive writing, and the analysis of what makes people tic, then this series of stories is for you. I might call these essays on the waves in life rather than stories with firmly placed beginnings or any definitive endings.


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