Hey y'all! Happy Sunday! I am finally back to bring you this long-overdue post ... So let's get into it!
Week Two Reads
The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne
Y'all. I am not sure a book has put my heart through so much in a very long time! This is such an important book, so poignant, and you heart, oh your heart, it will be broken, wrenched, warmed, lifted... the twists, the turns, the ups, the downs; this novel is the Texas Giant for your heart. The tears I cried, and the anger I felt, the hope, the sadness; this book is so paramount to today, and it is so deeply disturbing that the story of Cyril is not just a story, it is not just a work of fiction, the work of imagination; this is the story of so many humans that have had to hide their love away, shielding their true selves for fear of imprisonment, torture, brutality and harassment, and death. Most-especially death. I will never understand how one human can say "I don't understand/agree with/like how you live your life, therefore you aren't allowed to live that way" to another human being. But that is another story for another day. Everyone just please love one another, whether you agree with how someone lives, love them, lift them up and encourage them, because this world needs all kinds of kinds, and we must nurture them all. I gave this FIVE STARS on Goodreads. And that is only because five is the limit.
"From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, a sweeping, heartfelt saga about the course of one man's life, beginning and ending in post-war Ireland
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery -- or at least, that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he?
Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from - and over his many years, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.
In this, Boyne's most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart's Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit."
So obviously having my heart beaten black and blue, I needed to cure my emotional book hangover... Enter Audible's Romance Package! I needed light, fun stories to get through and onto my next Literary Fiction read. I read three books in a series by Rachel Gibson about a Hockey Team ... Or at least I thought so, first of all, these are books 2-4 because I couldn't find the first book on Audible? I am not sure what the issue was, more-than-likely it was one of those 'User Errors'. I gave the first book (book #2 in series) FOUR STARS on Goodreads, and then the subsequent two (#3 and #4) THREE STARS and TWO STARS respectively, mainly due to not following the same people, but different players on the team. Listen, 'hate >to> love' is probably one of my favorite Romantic-Comedy tropes - HELLO! You've Got Mail is my favorite movie, Ohhkayy?? - but after the third book, I couldn't do it anymore...These were like a Hallmark movie marathon with some HBO smut thrown in; good in small doses.
See Jane Score (Chinooks Hockey Team #2) by Rachel Gibson
"This is Jane
A little subdued. A little stubborn. A little tired of going out on blind dates with men who drive vans with sofas in the back, Jane Alcott is living the Single Girl existence in the big city. She is also leading a double life. By day, she's a reporter covering the raucous Seattle Chinooks hockey team—especially their notorious goalie Luc Martineau. By night, she's a writer, secretly creating the scandalous adventures of "Honey Pie"...the magazine series that has all the men talking.
See Jane spar
Luc has made his feelings about parasite reporters—and Jane—perfectly clear. But if he thinks he's going to make her life a misery, he'd better think again.
See Jane attract
For as long as he can remember, Luc has been single minded about his career. The last thing he needs is a smart mouthed, pain in the backside, reporter digging into his past and getting in his way. But once the little reporter shed her black and gray clothes in favor of a sexy red dress, Luc sees that there is more to Jane than originally meets the eye.
Maybe it's time to take a risk. Maybe it's time to live out fantasies. Maybe it's time to....
See Jane score!"
The Trouble with Valentine's Day (#3) by Rachel Gibson
"Dumped by her boyfriend, stressed out by her job, Kate Hamilton needs to regroup and get back some self-esteem. She moves from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the wilderness of Gospel, Idaho for some small-town fun. But when her first attempted seduction of a hunky stranger is completely rejected, she wonders what else could possibly go wrong?
Well, for starters she quickly realizes that the Mountain Mama Crafters Original Poetry reading is about as good as it gets on a Friday night. Then she comes face to face with Rob Sutter, former ice hockey madman, owner of Sutter's Sports—and the hunky stranger who told her to get lost!
Rob's been more than burned by love—but then he and Kate find themselves in an ultra-compromising position in the M & S Market after-hours, giving the phrase "clean-up in aisle five" a whole new meaning, and cause a whole lot of gossip in Gospel..."
True Love and Other Disasters (#4) by Rachel Gibson
"Hard knocks and hunger taught Faith Duffy not to believe in love. Still, when she married her very wealthy—and very old—husband, she became the perfect wife. And then he went to that big bank in the sky, leaving Faith with lonely nights, a pile of money, and a total mess of a pro hockey team. Heck, Faith doesn't even watch hockey!
Disaster Number Two: PASSION
But most of America and half of Canada is watching Ty Savage. His lethal sex appeal and deadly right hook make him the favorite of fans. For most of Ty's life, he's dreamed of winning the Stanley Cup. The last thing he needs is a bimbo messing up his plans.
Disaster Number Three: LOVE
Faith loathes Ty on sight, but she can't stop thinking about him all day ... and night. Then a moment of temptation ends with Faith in Ty's bed, and she begins to see there's more to him than sex appeal. Ty discovers there's far more to Faith than beauty and billions. But a relationship with Faith is impossible, and falling in love—that would be a disaster."
Week Three Reads!
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
This is my Book Club's January pick, thus I am not going to go into detail, as they read this Blog, because they are my awesome, empowering, LIFT A SISTER UP TRIBE! So I will say, I gave this FOUR STARS on the ole Goodreads, and I loved it and cannot wait for the fantastic discussion that this novel is going to bring us!
"The brilliant new novel from the author of the New York Times bestseller, Everything I Never Told You.Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principal is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When the Richardsons' friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia's.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak."
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
If you haven't caught on, I listen to books on Audible, mostly - I do read physical books, but am blessed to have the ability to have my earbuds in at work, therefore creating reading time where they wouldn't be if I were reading a physical book, or even on my iPad. I say that to say this: if you are an audible reader and a fan of Anna's, do yourself a favor and get this one on Audible! Like so many autobiographies and memoirs, Anna is the narrator, and that takes the enjoyment and relate-ability factor so much higher than that of a physical book. At least I have always felt that hearing an author read their work aloud is a greater experience that I could have with those words and with their work in my own voice. If you know me, you know I love non-fiction, especially a memoir, biography, and all the like... I am an anthropologist by nature. I want to know someone, I want to the whys of their life, the truths of their souls, I want to dig into a subject with someone and know the reasons for the opinions and actions they exhibit. Chasing rabbits... Back to this book in particular! Anna writes with the same hilarity that we have come to love her for, she is a celebrity, but is the very definition of "Stars! They are just like us!" I felt a huge kinship to Anna; it is always nice when people of a certain caliber let their freaks flags fly so other freaks can find them, and especially if it can help to un-alienate someone and help them to feel less alone in this big world... I am so glad that I finally picked this one up, and that Anna decided to get all the "crazy" out of her head and onto the page! I gave this FIVE STARS on Goodreads!
"A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.
Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”
At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.
With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”
Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious)."