Month: April 2019
Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you are all having a relaxing day. The sky is rather gray and cloudy but we had lots of sunshine yesterday. The snow is finally gone and the grass is starting to green up nicely. We’ve also got leaves budding on the trees which I love to watch. The songbirds are back. I was awoken by one this morning, though it sounded more like he was giving a lecture than singing a song. I still waiting to my first rabbit of the year. There are lots of wild rabbits in our area and they have a little path going across our yard but still waiting to see the first one this year.
April has been a pretty stressful month at work. We’re making this big transition of job duties which has might learning a lot of new stuff on top of what we already do. That has meant quite a bit of overtime and less reading time. Hopefully it will all settle down in the next two weeks and I can be a bit more relaxed. My son will be finishing his first year of college in the next couple of weeks. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year. The end of a school year also means he has another birthday coming up.
I have been doing some reading and listening. Hopefully, I will get reviews up soon of “A History of Women in Medicine” by Sinead Spearing, and “The Murderer’s Son” by Joy Ellis, audio book version. I am currently reading “The Night Window” by Dean Koontz. My next listen will be “A Game of Ghosts” by John Connolly and my next read is one that my father has been asking me to read. It’s “On Pluto” by Greg O’Brien, subtitled “Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s”. I may have mentioned here that my mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and my dad says that after I read this book he will tell me what page she is on. I’m really not sure I want to know what’s to come but curiosity will win the day. So with fear and trepidation I’m going to dig into this man’s story.
That’s it for today’s random rambles. I hope you all have a great week and read some fabulous books along the way.
Narrated by Kristin James, Brad Oxnam & Eric Stuart
Amazon blurb: What if you couldn’t remember the worst night of your life? What if you couldn’t forget it?
May 13, 1994.
On her 13th birthday, newly orphaned Evie witnesses a brutal attack at the hanging tree. She wakes the next morning on a bus to Los Angeles, dazed, bruised, and desperate to remember. Her best friend died that night – she’s sure of it. But there’s no body, no crime scene, and no witnesses. Twenty-three years later, the whole night is still a blur. The murderer, a faceless, nameless man.
Fresh out of a stint in juvie, Butch kills a girl, strangles her. Twenty-three years later, he walks out of prison a free man. But a haunted one, the ghost of his past at his heels.
When another body turns up at the hanging tree – a girl, strangled – Evie is certain her lost memory holds the key. Can Butch help her find the faceless man? Or is he hiding the darkest secret of all?
My thoughts: This is a definite discovery. The author kindly, at my request, sent me a copy of the audiobook version. I hadn’t read anything from Ellery Kane before so I wasn’t really sure if this would be something I liked. This story is another psychological thriller, this time with a psychologist as the lead character Evie. I have to say I was really impressed with this story. Evie has had more than her share of challenges in her life but still sees hope and promise in even the worst people she meets. But she is haunted by events from her past and a recent murder has started stirring it all up again in her mind. I found Evie to be a character that is easy to like but one who sticks to her principles. I also really like Butch. Even though he’s been in prison for many years for murder you can tell by his internal dialogue that he is really committed to making his new chance at life be a successful one. His loyalty to Evie is also impressive. There are several side dramas going on alongside the main plot with added richness to the story and gave it depth. The only thing I have an issue with is the narrator who voices Butch’s part of the story. It was dramatic but felt very forceful throughout and there were a few times when the intensity of the narrator’s voice felt overwhelming and I had to take a break. The story itself is great and I highly recommend you check out Ellery Kane’s books.
Alinefromabook’s rating: 4 stars!!
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.
Narrated by Sophie Amoss
Blurb: Ever since her husband’s death collided with the birth of her daughter, postpartum depression has taken hold of Veronica Shelton. She can’t sleep, can’t work, and can’t bear to touch her beautiful baby girl. Her emotional state is whispering lies in Veronica’s ear: You’re a bad mother. Your baby would be better off without you. But not everything can be reasoned away by Veronica’s despair. Can it?
After all, the break-in at her house happened. The disturbing sketches she found in her studio are real. So is the fear for her daughter’s safety—especially when Veronica comes home to a cold, silent nursery and a missing baby.
As she turns from victim into primary suspect, Veronica realizes that only she can find her daughter. Authorities aren’t helping. They’re only watching. Veronica’s concerned mother has suddenly vanished from her life. And a new friend seems to be keeping secrets from her too. Now, reality is waiting for Veronica in a dark place—because someone’s mind games have only just begun.
My Thoughts: I have mixed feelings about this book. I really like the psychological aspects of the story and the plot twists were definitely unexpected. However, the narrative seemed to get bogged down in a few places and some the of interactions between characters felt stiff and forced. I did enjoy Sophie Amoss’s narration which effectively portrayed the drama of the story. My overall assessment is that this a good story and wasn’t a waste of time to listen too, but it’s not the best story ever.
Alinefromabook’s rating: 3.5 stars!
Florence Nightingale is back! And she’s got another doozy of a mystery to solve. When her friend Liz is attacked by a man with a gun while riding in her carriage, Florence is asked by her husband Sydney, to investigate and try to determine who did it and why. Trouble is, the carriage was traveling through SoHo at the time and there’s an outbreak of cholera in the district. Florence can’t help but get involved at a local hospital in spite of the risk of contracting the disease herself.
So what keeps drawing me to this series? First of all, the mysteries are intriguing but I think what I like best is the historical aspects of the stories. Not only is the author following the progression of Florence’s career by using real events from her life in the stories, but she is also using the story to relate pieces of history that the reader might not otherwise come across. In this book, the plot focuses on events that took place in Afghanistan when the British tried to take over control of that country in the 1800’s. I found that reading about that war really helped me to understand the current difficulties in that country and their resentment of western countries. In this story, I also enjoyed how the author incorporated the work of Dr. Snow into the story. I have come across parts of his story and his impact on the fight against cholera before and it was fun to find him in this story. Ms. Trent’s Florence Nightingale is lovely, likable, and very committed to the work of improving the standard of nursing wherever she found herself. I think this series is a wonderful addition to the genre of historically based mysteries and suggest that you waste no time checking it out.
Alinefromabook’s rating: 4.5 stars!!
Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for providing a review copy. This book will be available in the U.S. on May 17, 2019.
Narrated by Morven Christie
Blurb from Amazon: In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of her lover. Agnes is sent to wait out her final months on the farm of district office Jón Jónsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderer in their midst, the family avoid contact with Agnes. Only Tóti, the young assistant priest appointed Agnes’ spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes’ story begins to emerge and with it the family’s terrible realization that all is not as they had assumed.
My thoughts: This story is dark and at times disturbing, but beautifully written and, in this case, beautifully narrated. I imagine that Agnes must have been a very difficult character to write. This woman is condemned to death but doesn’t know when, and while waiting she must continue to live and work to earn her keep. Her full story comes out in pieces either through conversations with other characters, or from her own inner musings. Agnes’s story is, as much as possible, based on the actual facts of her life and what a horrific one it was. I would not expect life in Iceland in the 1800’s to be in any way easy, but this woman, even as a child, was never offered even the smallest of comforts. I think the story does an excellent job of spotlighting the social issues of the time, some of which are still relevant today. There are also some interesting musings on what it means for a society to invoke capital punishment. This is a thought provoking and fascinating look at a life that never really had a chance. If your looking for something a little different, I would definitely recommend this one.
Alinefromabook’s rating: 4 stars!!
Welcome to Book 4 in the Jane Hawk series. The conspiracy in this series just continues to deepen. I don’t want to give away anything if you haven’t read the first 3 books yet, so I’ll just say that this part of the story centers around Jane trying to get back to her son while a national manhunt is underway to apprehend her. The media and the FBI are painting her as the most dangerous woman in the country but the few that are close to her know differently.
First of all, the conspiracy is complicated but not to the point of being outside the realm of possibility, which is something that really turns me off from a book. One of my favorite things about this series is the diversity of the characters. Mr. Koontz has created a cast that is black, white, Latino, young, old and in-between. One of the best characters in this book is the young man with autism. He plays a critical role and I think the author does a great job of writing this character’s personality and the quirks that come with autism. Now, let me talk a little bit about the bad guys. They just keep spiraling further and further into their depravity. There’s a couple of guys that are more than determined to find Jane and will stop at nothing to bring her in, dead or alive. But even these characters have distinct personalities and the interplay between them add a richness to this thriller that makes it an even better read.
Once again, Dean Koontz has tickled my imagination and sent chills down my spine with this latest installment in the Jane Hawk series. I can’t recommend this series enough. Book 5, “The Night Window”, comes out in about a month, so hurry up and get started on this series!
Alinefromabooks rating: A+
Thank you to Random House-Ballantine and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I can’t believe it’s already the 6th day of April. I’m really not sure what happened to the first 5 but here we are. North Dakota is in the midst of the Spring Melt which means that we are currently on flood watch. The Red River of the North is within walking distance of my house so there is some cause for concern but according to the latest predictions our house is not in danger this year. Nevertheless, my flood insurance is fully paid up.
I’ve been thinking recently that my writing doesn’t really communicate all that I want to say and I want to do something about that. One of the bloggers I follow is the writer Sammi Cox and every weekend she publishes a Weekend Writing Prompt. So I think I’m going to start taking her up on this challenge. This week’s prompt is Silence and I might actually have some thoughts on that topic. I’ll post whatever I come up with here and you guys can let me know what you think. Any tips for improvement would be appreciated.
I think it’s been a while since I did a numbers update so I thought I would do that now. My TBR is currently at 197. I started the year with 194. I could have sworn I wasn’t acquiring very many books. According to Goodreads, I’ve read 21 books already this year but I must confess that most of that reading has actually been listening. I am pleased with the status of my Goodreads challenge though. My best reading discovery this year has been the Audible Daily Deal. I’ve had the chance to try out new authors authors and genres without laying out a lot of cash. I’m also pleased that my NetGalley rating has reached 87%.
Coming up this week I will be posting reviews of “The Forbidden Door” by Dean Koontz and “Burial Rites” by Hannah Kent. I am currently listening to “The Waiting Room” by Emily Bleeker and I am reading “A Murderous Malady” by Christine Trent.
So that’s where things are at here. I hope you all are having a great weekend and I will talk to you again soon.
The 7-Step System to Awaken Your Spirit, Heal Your Body, and Live Your Best Life
Blurb: Eighteen years ago, health pioneer and practitioner Dr. Sue Morter had a remarkable and profound awakening. While meditating, she spontaneously accessed an energy field—a level of consciousness—beyond anything she had ever imagined. This dramatic experience changed her life, freeing her from years of struggle and pain.
It also set Dr. Morter on a mission to discover how to create such radical transformation for her patients. Through years of advanced study and research in energy healing and medicine, she developed the Energy Codes, a life-changing program that has now enabled thousands of people all over the world to overcome pain, disease, fatigue, anxiety, and depression, and to awaken their innate creativity, intuition, and inner power.
Bridging ancient healing practices with cutting-edge science, The Energy Codes offers a detailed road map to help you experience deep healing in your life. Grounded in practical, accessible exercises, including yoga, breathwork, meditations, and Dr. Morter’s proprietary B.E.S.T. protocol, The Energy Codes will help you activate untapped energy and neurocircuitry in your body, empower your hidden potential, and become one with your true, essential self.
My thoughts: I’m not quite sure how to start with this one. This book doesn’t fit neatly into a category. It’s not exactly a spiritual book, but I think it requires a certain level of belief in the premise if you plan to use the steps outlined within. I did find this book fascinating though. Though most Christians would probably label this book “New Age” there are, in my opinion, some similarities between the Christian concept of the Holy Spirit and this author’s description of an energy outside of ourselves that we can tap into to improve our lives. One of the things I liked about this book is that it’s written and presented in a very orderly yest easy to read manner. Her descriptions of the steps have enough detail to be replicated while also being concise. There are many stories of people who have used this methodology and seen great improvements in their lives. Will I be trying the methods for myself. Not sure but reading this book has definitely given me food for thought.
Alinefromabook’s rating: 4 stars!!
‘Madness’ in Britain 1450-1950
A rare synchronised study of the colourful, often horrific, account of women and madness over half a millennia. From scold to witch, virgin to whore, this book exposes how an unchanging perception of women has altered responses to gender and madness.
This book is packed full of the history of madness and how women were affected by it. The author exposes the numerous theories, put forward by men, to explain the behaviors of women that weren’t considered acceptable, and the treatment or mis-treatment that ensued from those theories. It is not uncommon to see a diagnosis of madness used as a means of controlling women in society. This book is extensively researched and documented. While the information here is fascinating it’s not written for the casual reader. This book is more suitable for a college text. That being said, it is well written, informative and an excellent study of the topic.
Alinefromabook’s rating: 3 stars!