fiction, Memoir, Psychological Thrillers, Women's Fiction

New Year Reads

Happy New Year to all my readers out there.  I fell just short of my goal to read 85 books in 2017 with 80 books read, not counting professional reads for work. I’ve been a bit distracted these last few weeks with online shopping for the holidays.  The computer surely is like a black hole.  Once you get started, it’s hard to pull away.  Hoping now to get back to my reading life.

Below are some of my most recent reads that I thought you might enjoy as you kick off your reading goals for 2018.

The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates

This is a memoir and tale of two young men of color who take very different paths in life.  Both, grow up in the same low income area of Greater Baltimore.  One ends up a Rhodes scholar, investment banker and former aide to Condoleezza Rice.  The other ends up in jail for killing a police officer.  When Wes Moore, the investment banker reads an article about the other Wes Moore, he is intrigued and begins to research him.  During this journey, he discovers there are many similarities in their backgrounds – both raised in fatherless families, same age, same poor black neighborhood, both experienced the lure of fast money to be made.  But, there was one glaring difference as one was able to resist and one succumbed.   This book talks about the plight of poverty through the telling of the alternating stories of both Wes Moore’s.  A deeper read, yet still one that keeps you turning the pages.  Very timely read and one that I feel most need to read to gain some perspective.  The author is very humble about his reasons for writing this book and I am very glad he did.

Malachi and I

You’re going to have to just trust me on this one.  This is totally not my normal type of book, but oh did it make an impact.  I couldn’t put it down.  I can’t say too much for fear of ruining the plot of book.  Fans of time travel, Outlander and epic love stories will fall in love with this one.  Start the year with a book you won’t be able to put down.

The Good Mother: THE GOOD MOTHER
The book tells the story of three different women and the struggles they each face in their current lives.   Catherine has decided to correspond with a man in jail for murder and keeps this from her husband.  Kate is a young mother who is struggling with her marriage and loneliness.  Alison is a first year law student who is suddenly finding her coursework overwhelming.  She’s questioning her career choice until one of her professors begins to take an interest.    As you read, you will think you get how these three plot lines connect.  I really enjoyed this book.  It was just perfect for a lazy, rainy day off. I barely moved all day. Told from three perspectives, you kind of gather as you go how they’ll connect.  But, then you find out you were right, but oh so wrong. Well played Ms. Osman, well played.  I’ll definitely be looking for others books by this author.

The Wife Between Us: A Novel

I made all the assumptions outlined in the write up for this book. Glad I didn’t read it prior to reading the book. For the most part the book is focused on bridging the past and the present. It’s written in such a way that you actively are revising your thinking as you read. This, for me, is a sign of a strongly written plot that engages the reader in the process. Greer Hendricks slowly unravels the story, one page at a time. My only criticism is that I never fully felt the impact of the relationship. It built up to this huge crescendo and unravel, but left a lot on the cutting board. More depth in that section could have better captured the full impact. Overall a great read.

As you can see, I’ve got eclectic reading tastes and am open to read any type of book, so if you’ve read one that lingers with you, please do share.  Those are the exact books I seek.  Happy reading and drop me a line if you enjoy any of these titles.

fiction, historical fiction, Memoir, Uncategorized

March Reads

This was a slow reading month for me as I only read five books.  Two of them were professional reads for work, so I’m not including the review for those in my post.

The Princess Diarist

I grew up during the Star Wars generation.  Carrie Fisher may have been every guys dream princess, but for us young girls she was our hero.  She proved to the world that women could play strong characters in a man’s movie world.  With her sad passing, I was interested to read her books.  This is the second one I have read and it wasn’t my favorite.  I enjoyed reading the behind the scenes narration about life on the set of Star Wars.  I didn’t know til her passing that she had an affair with Harrison Ford so that felt like juicy gossip.  The warm relationship between the characters of this movie was evident when reading this book.  Their friendships lasted decades and it was truly touching to hear of the bonds.  This book felt like my last connection to the movie and the characters so I did savor reading it.  When reading Carrie’s books, you are treated to her sarcasm and wit.  Unfortunately, you also get a window, I feel, into her mental illness.  Must read for all Star Wars fans, but for others it may not be of interest.  I loved the narrative more than the actual diary entries.

Good as Gone: A Novel of Suspense

If you are a suspense junkie, then this book is for you.  Julie is kidnapped from her home and the only witness to the crime is her sister.  Years go by without a trace of Julie and the effects of this on her family are played out in the book.  The relationships are damaged, with her sister bearing the brunt, as her relationship with her mother have been forever altered.

Then suddenly, one day Julie rings the bell and returns home.  Her family is thrilled to have her back, but doubts begin to surface as to who she really is.  Did they just accept her wanting their daughter back?  Is it really Julie?  Would you be willing to lose your child all over again, or just accept what could be?  This novel is fast paced and suspenseful as you are pondering the fate of Julie throughout.  The past is told in snippets until the thrilling conclusion. Quick, one night read for me.

The Two-Family House: A Novel

I love multigenerational novels with strong characters.  The emotional sagas pull you in and tug at your heart as you follow the life of the novel’s families.  This one will not disappoint those who love this genre.  The strong narrative grabs you from the first page and pulls you right in.

The foreshadowing of the main event to come made it pretty obvious to me where we were heading, but that didn’t bother me as this is not a novel of suspense.  Rather, it’s a novel of emotional drama, a saga that will tug at your heart.  I highly recommend this one as well.  It was not a one night read though as I wanted to savor the book and not let it end.  My first read by this author and one that made the Popsugar’s 6 Books You Must Read list.

If you love family drama that spans generations, this book is for you.  If you are opposed to predictable plots then maybe not.  Considering the favorable reviews are strong and it’s made the 14 Most Buzzed About Books list, I think I’m in the majority on this one when I say – read it!

Hoping to have a better reading month in April.  I have a week off this month so I’m stocking up my Kindle now.  What have you been reading?  Please share some great titles with me as I’m always looking for new reads.


Memoir, Uncategorized

Sum it Up

Sum It Up: A Thousand and Ninety-Eight Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective

I remember when Pat Summitt was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimers disease and had to step down from coaching at Tennessee.  I remember being saddened that such a young, vibrant woman had to face this cruel disease.  Then, life went on and I didn’t think much about her anymore.  Recently, I was saddened to read that Pat had passed away.  Her battle with Alzheimer’s was brief.  She was diagnosed in 2011 and passed in 2016.  I truly had hoped she’d fight this disease as she fought so many worthy opponents on the basketball court.  But, as anyone who is familiar with this disease knows, it doesn’t discriminate and it doesn’t lose.  With Pat’s recent passing, I decided to read her book, Sum it Up.

This book is incredible.  It is a memoir that Pat worked on shortly after retirement perhaps to capture her memories.  We all knew what an incredible woman she was, but I had no idea what her life was all about.  Pat tells of her demanding, poor, farm upbringing with a demanding and often distant father.  It wasn’t until Pat was 43 that she got a hug and an I love you from her father.  Something she worked for her whole life, but something which also shaped the coach she became.

This book was well worth reading.  What an amazing life this women had.  What humble beginnings she came from and what a triumph her journey was.  There are so many lessons to be learned from Pat, the ultimate teacher.  She really at heart was a gifted teacher.  There are so many passages I’ve underlined and will use in my life.  She truly captured what I believe about education in this quote:

“My demandingness was based in a fundamental sense that every kid had potential greatness in her–and they understood that, because I made it clear to them.  I’d learned the single most important principle of teaching:they don’t care how much you know, unless they know how much you care.” Pat Summitt

In the beginning of the book, Pat describes Alzheimer’s and eloquently captures its devastation:

“Have you ever walked along a shoreline, only to have your footprints washed away by the surf?  That’s what Alzheimer’s is like.  The waves steadily erase the marks we leave in the sand, all the sand castles.  Some days are better that others – the waves come in and they recede, bringing a fog with them that sometimes clears.” Pat Summitt

I highly recommend everyone, even non basketball lovers like me, read her memoir.  If that’s not something you want to do, then instead make a donation to fight this incurable disease.  I made my donation in Pat’s honor through her foundation at: