Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

If you liked Silver Linings Playbook and enjoy quirky characters (and I mean quirky with a capital Q), this is a must read.  

There was so much about this book I liked…first the characters, you just have to love Bartholomew.  His sweet, gentle, innocent nature made me root for him (and perhaps, he reminded me just a bit of my sweet girl.)  That he is secretly in love with the Girlbrarian and goes to the library everyday, well just icing on the proverbial cake. 

The setting was no surprise for this local author…Philadelphia.  It is always cool to read about places that you have been to and can actually picture that exact spot.  Bartholomew and I share a favorite location in the city…right behind the Art Museum looking at the Delaware, perfect.

Another home run for Matthew Quick!!!

Book Description via Amazon

From Matthew Quick, the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook,comes The Good Luck of Right Now, a funny and tender story about family, friendship, grief, acceptance, and Richard Gere—an entertaining and inspiring tale that will leave you pondering the rhythms of the universe and marveling at the power of kindness and love.
For thirty-eight years, Bartholomew Neil has lived with his mother. When she gets sick and dies, he has no idea how to be on his own. His redheaded grief counselor, Wendy, says he needs to find his flock and leave the nest. But how does a man whose whole life has been grounded in his mom, Saturday mass, and the library learn how to fly?
Bartholomew thinks he’s found a clue when he discovers a “Free Tibet” letter from Richard Gere hidden in his mother’s underwear drawer. In her final days, mom called him Richard—there must be a cosmic connection. Believing that the actor is meant to help him, Bartholomew awkwardly starts his new life, writing Richard Gere a series of highly intimate letters. Jung and the Dalai Lama, philosophy and faith, alien abduction and cat telepathy, the Catholic Church and the mystery of women are all explored in his soul-baring epistles. But mostly the letters reveal one man’s heartbreakingly earnest attempt to assemble a family of his own.
A struggling priest, a “Girlbrarian,” her feline-loving, foul-mouthed brother, and the spirit of Richard Gere join the quest to help Bartholomew. In a rented Ford Focus, they travel to Canada to see the cat Parliament and find his biological father . . . and discover so much more.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty and First Love by James Patterson

Two very different but AMAZING books...sadly no pictures...blogger is acting weird.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

I have seen this book pass the circulation desk a lot, read all the great reviews but I waited.  I actually got this from the library awhile ago but returned it unread because I had so many other great books to read (#nerdgirlproblems).  It wasn't until my good friend and co-worker started reading it and convinced me to give it another go...and WOW... I am so glad I did.  The way Moriarty intertwined these three different stories into an unbelievable ending was epilogue I have read in a long time.  This would make a great book club selection...lots of discussion.

An Amazon Best Book of the Month, August 2013: Liane Moriary is probably doomed to be forever labeled a writer of “chick lit.” But despite its dopey name, her new novel, The Husband’s Secret, is better described as a comedy of manners and one with a serious undertone. As in her previous books, most successfully What Alice Forgot, Moriarty here wittily and observantly chronicles the life of middle aged, middle class Australian women, suburbanites who grapple with prosaic issues like marital fidelity and torturous ones like moral guilt and responsibility. You can’t help but laugh along with the small observations--“And there was poor little Rob, a teenage boy clumsily trying to make everything right, all false smiles and cheery lies. No wonder he became a real estate agent.” But it’s the big ones--Can good people do very, very bad things, and what, exactly, are we responsible for, and for how long?--that will make you think. This is a deceptively rich novel that transcends its era and place at the same time that it celebrates same. --Sara Nelson

First Love by James Patterson

Oh boy, this book.  First a warning, that might be kind of a spoiler, but you will need TISSUES, lots of them.  Reading this makes you remember falling in love for the first time and just how amazing and powerful and terrifying and wonderful it is.

Book Description via Amazon

Axi Moore is a "good girl": She studies hard, stays out of the spotlight, and doesn't tell anyone that what she really wants is to run away from it all. The only person she can tell is her best friend, Robinson--who she also happens to be madly in love with.

When Axi impulsively invites Robinson to come with her on an unplanned cross-country road trip, she breaks the rules for the first time in her life. But the adventure quickly turns from carefree to out-of-control...

A remarkably moving tale with its origins in James Patterson's own past, First Love is testament to the power of first love--and how it can change the rest of your life.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

This is the perfect book to read during a cold winter storm...just like the one that is approaching us on Thursday...I kind of wish I had saved it for a bit longer.  It is has a very similar to feel to all her other books, mostly realistic fiction with just a touch of magic.  I loved the characters and I desperately want to spend a summer at Lost Lake, it just churns up memories of lemonade, and stars, and summer love.

My favorite quote:

"You can't change where you came from, but you can change where you go from here.  Just like a book.  If you don't like the ending, make up a new one."


From the author of New York Times bestseller Garden Spells comes a beautiful, haunting story of old loves and new, and the power of the connections that bind us forever…
The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future.
That was half a life ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby’s past. Her husband George is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone. All that’s left is a once-charming collection of lakeside cabins succumbing to the Southern Georgia heat and damp, and an assortment of faithful misfits drawn back to Lost Lake year after year by their own unspoken dreams and desires.

It’s a lot, but not enough to keep Eby from relinquishing  Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand, and calling this her final summer at the lake. Until one last chance at family knocks on her door.

Lost Lake is where Kate Pheris spent her last best summer at the age of twelve,  before she learned of loneliness, and heartbreak, and loss. Now she’s all too familiar with those things, but she knows about hope too, thanks to her resilient daughter Devin, and her own willingness to start moving forward. Perhaps at Lost Lake her little girl can cling to her own childhood for just a little longer… and maybe Kate herself can rediscover something that slipped through her fingers so long ago.

One after another, people find their way to Lost Lake, looking for something that they weren’t sure they needed in the first place:  love, closure, a second chance, peace, a mystery solved, a heart mended.  Can they find what they need before it’s too late?

At once atmospheric and enchanting, Lost Lake shows Sarah Addison Allen at her finest, illuminating the secret longings and the everyday magic that wait to be discovered in the unlikeliest of places.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Midwinter Blood by Marcus Sedgwick

Where to start??? First, this was this year's ALA Michael L. Printz award winner…and I am scratching my head.  It is not that it is not a great book, it is, but Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park was ROBBED with just an Honor nod…but I digress.  It is a haunting love story, beautifully written and the structure is so different and wonderful…and the last page makes the whole read worth the trip.  I just don't see this as the BEST read of the year for teens….I actually am not sure why this is even classified as a teen read at all, the majority of the characters are adults.   That aside, it is definitely worth checking out, especially during this month of love, the ending made my heart ache…lovely.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* In the year 2073, a reporter named Eric is sent to Blessed Island to research a rare flower called the Dragon Orchid. There he finds an insular community of mysterious villagers, a delicious tea that has him losing days at a time, and a beguiling girl named Merle. In just 50 pages, we reach a shattering conclusion—and then start anew in 2011. An archaeologist is digging on Blessed Island, where he meets a quiet boy named Eric and his mother, Merle. So begins this graceful, confounding, and stirring seven-part suite about two characters whose identities shift as they are reborn throughout the ages. Sedgwick tells the story in reverse, introducing us to a stranded WWII pilot, a painter trying to resurrect his career in 1901, two children being told a ghost story in 1848, and more, all the way back to a king and queen in a Time Unknown. It is a wildly chancy gambit with little in the way of a solid throughline, but Sedgwick handles each story with such stylistic control that interest is not just renewed each time but intensified. Part love story, part mystery, part horror, this is as much about the twisting hand of fate as it is about the mutability of folktales. Its strange spell will capture you. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus