Netgalley Madness

Is it me or do you find it totally easy to lose control on Netgalley? I check it out on a regular basis to see what books are coming out but before I know it, I’ve submitted countless requests. I really appreciate having the availability to do so and a big thank you to the publishers for making these available.

I wanted to do a quick roundup of some of the books that I’ve been given access to and with some cover or marketing blurbs:

The Long Farewell by Michael Innes. After being found shot in his library with a note beside him, the police are satisfied that Lewis Packford’s death was a suicide. But his solicitor isn’t convinced. It seems Packford was in possession of a valuable scholarly discovery, a book annotated by Shakespeare. But, upon his death, the book was nowhere to be found.

The Vineyards of Champagne by Juliet Blackwell. Deep within the labyrinth of caves that lies below the lush, rolling vineyards of the Champagne region, an underground city of women and children hums with life. Forced to take shelter from the unrelenting onslaught of German shellfire above, the bravest and most defiant women venture out to pluck sweet grapes for the harvest.

Nine Elms by Robert Bryndza. Kate Marshall was a promising young police detective when she caught the notorious Nine Elms serial killer. But her greatest victory suddenly turned into a nightmare. Traumatized, betrayed, and publicly vilified for the shocking circumstances surrounding the cannibal murder case, Kate could only watch as her career ended in scandal.

Cross Her Heart by Melinda Legh. For more than twenty-five years, Philadelphia homicide detective Bree Taggert has tucked away the nightmarish childhood memories of her parents’ murder-suicide…Until her younger sister, Erin, is killed in a crime that echoes that tragic night

For the Sake of a Scottish Rake by Anna Bradley. After a sheltered upbringing, Lady Lucinda Sutcliffe is finally embarking on her first season, eager to experience everything she’s missed. When Lucy realizes that her uncle plans to quickly marry her off in exchange for a slice of her fortune, she begs a favor of a new acquaintance, Ciaran Ramsey.

I have a little bit of everything here. What do you think?  Would you put some of these on your wishlist? I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

...Read More

Convenience Store Woman

“A convenience store is a world of sound. From the tinkle of the door chime to the voices of TV celebrities advertising new products over the instore cable network, to the calls of the store workers, the beeps of the bar code scanner, the rustle of customers picking up items and placing them in baskets, and the clacking of heels walking around the store. It all blends into the convenience store sound that ceaselessly caresses my eardrums.”

Convenience Store Woman
By Sayaka Murata, Translated by Ginny Tapley Takemori
Source: Advance review copy

Keiko Furukura has always been a bit different. She doesn’t quite get the social clues to navigate being around others, even though her family tries to help her understand how relationships work. It isn’t until she finds a job at the Smile Mart convenience store when she’s eighteen that she finally feels like she’s found her place.

Following a manual that tells you how to deal with the different type of customer interactions makes life much easier for Keiko. She starts to emulate the phrases and dress of other workers and now daily interactions aren’t the landmines of the interactions she’s had in the past where people have always found her to be odd.

The years pass though and now she’s been working at the Smile Mart for 18 years and when she gathers with some family friends she realizes that everyone is moving on with their life but she’s still at Smile Mart. She hasn’t gotten married, she’s still a cashier but those are questions it seems others have for her. She’s been content with her life so far right?

Her life does end up going a bit topsy turvy when a co-worker, Shiraha, moves in with her after having been fired. His character is in you face and frankly intimidating but at times it felt like he was just rebelling against what people expected him to be like.

At first the novel can come off as light and breezy but the more I think about it, the more I found myself thinking about the effects of social pressures and what it means to be normal. I found the setting to be unique and so vividly described that I also wanted to wander around the aisles looking at the specials and different offerings from what we have in the States. I loved the observations and thought this book was a great addition to my shelves.

...Read More

Tuesday Intro

It has been so long since the last time I did a First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intro but I’d like to get back into posting some of these. If you aren’t familiar, Vicki, from I’d Rather Be at the Beach hosts this meme. It’s your chance to post a bit from a book that you are reading or planning to read. So here we go:

“The day they found the body on the shore, Matthew Venn was already haunted by thoughts of death and dying. He stood outside the North Devon Creamatorium on the outskirts of Barnstaple, a bed of purple crocus spread like a pool at his feet, and he watched from a distance as the hearse carried his father to the chapel of rest. When the small group of mourners went inside, he moved closer. Nobody questioned his right to be there. He looked like a respectable man, a wearer of suits and sober ties, prematurely gray-haired and staid. Not a risktaker or a rule-breaker. Matthew thought he could have been the celebrant, arriving a little late for the service. Or a diffident mourner, sheepish and apologetic, with his soft skin and sad eyes. A stranger seeing him for the first time would expect sympathy and comfortable words. In reality, Matthew was angry, but he’d learned long ago how to hide his emotions.”

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

Would you continue with this book? I have and am already a few chapters into the story. One reason is because I have enjoyed books from the author’s Jimmy Perez series and the other  because this is my book group’s selection for this month. So I need to get back to it in order to finish up by next week.

Let me know if you’ve read anything by Ann Cleeves and if you have read some of her books which is your favorite series?

...Read More