Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Latest Summer Reads & Brief Review of The Liar

I admit this was a long book, but it didn’t feel long. Roberts does an incredible job of weaving in backstory as Shelby Foxworth works to put her life back together after the death of her husband.

It’s nice that Roberts didn’t make Shelby a whiner, or I’d have stopped reading. There were times I understood and sympathized with Shelby's role as a young mom of a three-year-old daughter. She juggles a lot, but puts her head down and keeps going. A hard-working, relatable character is one you root for in a story like this.

Roberts shows her mastery of character, setting, and story development—with a mystery to solve, a steamy romance (who doesn’t love a handsome man who works well with his hands?), and plenty of down-home comfort, this book is a definite summer read.

Here’s an overview from Barnes & Noble:

Shelby Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions…

The man who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn’t just dead. He never really existed.

Shelby takes her three-year-old daughter and heads south to seek comfort in her hometown, where she meets someone new: Griff Lott, a successful contractor. But her husband had secrets she has yet to discover. Even in this small town, surrounded by loved ones, danger is closer than she knows—and threatens Griff, as well. And an attempted murder is only the beginning...

*Booklist (starred review)

Controversial is an understatement when it comes to this book. Rumors and questions surrounded the publishing of the book so long after To Kill a Mockingbird. Was this what Harper Lee really wanted? Was it pushed out now because of money?  Oh boy, the conversations before the launch were lively, and now, they’re even louder.

Some folks love it, and are glad to read something else of Lee’s even fifty years later. Some can’t believe Harper Lee actually agreed to publish this as the character Atticus Finch is controversial in this one. (Word is the character inspired by Lee’s own father is shockingly different from the one we learned about in grade school.)

Either way, this book will be talked about for some time. So, if you’re curious, or want in on the discussion, you should probably check it out.

Overview from Barnes & Noble:

A historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014…

I posted the overview from Barnes & Noble (B&N) because it made me want to read this book. It just sounds interesting (King Lear and a pandemic? Whoa!). Maybe you’ll think so, and put it on your book list, too.

P.S. Mine is really long, and also eclectic.

Overview from B&N:

It seems like over the last few years a bunch of novelists got together and made a pact to pen postapocalyptic stories. If you choose to check out just one of them, Station Eleven, Arthur C. Clarke Award winnner and National Book Award finalist, is a great pick. In its opening pages, famous actor Arthur Leander collapses onstage during a production of King Lear. His death (though unrelated) heralds the beginning of a worldwide flu pandemic. The novel moves back and forth through time to describe what happens as the illness and panic spreads…

Friday, July 10, 2015

Summer TV Updates

TV is on a year-round cycle, but you already knew that, so here are show updates. This Yahoo! TV entry lists the shows that have been renewed or canceled since June. I admit to not recognizing half of these, some are, meh. Recent past favorites kept getting the axe, but it gave me more time to work on my book and read. See the Summer Reads posts. 

Glad USA renewed Suits, it's everything you could want in a modern legal drama, and more. Just hope they write some more fast-paced-witty scenes with Mike and Harvey in and out of the courtroom. 


Friday, July 3, 2015

Happy Independence Day!

There are so many reasons this year is a good year to celebrate freedom. While there is turmoil across the globe, we must continue to focus on what is good and right with our country—and our fellow humans.

If you like history, or just want to learn more about Independence Day, I suggest checking out books from the local library, or clicking on the History of Independence Day | A Capitol Fourth | PBS.

If you're in more of a party mood, why not have a picnic at a local park, or your backyard? A study conducted by the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (yes, it apparently exists) shows 80 percent of all U.S. households own a grill or smoker. But cook safely. While the Fourth of July is one of the most popular grilling holidays, it can also be dangerous. Make it safer by reading these grilling, highway, and fireworks safety tips from the American Red Cross.

Not into big crowds, or you've got little ones who are in bed by sunset? Modern technology allows us to see fireworks from sea to shining sea. So, grab a lemonade and check your local listings for Fourth of July telecasts. This video of fireworks over the Washington D.C. skyline should help put you in the mood. 

Now, go celebrate! 

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