The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.
My son’s birthday party was a success, though it took me about 4 hours to make the cake (a Minecraft dude)…it was a lot more complicated than it looks! He was happy with it though which is what matters. Now preparations begin in earnest for my daughter’s 18th next week.
My husband surprised me with pancakes for breakfast on Mother’s Day, delicious with butter and maple syrup, and my children spoilt me with hand made gifts, including some lovely bookmarks. We went to my parents for lunch where we passed a pleasant afternoon. I hope you enjoyed a lovely day with someone special!
What I Read Last Week
Jailhouse Glock by Lizbeth Lipperman
Where Earth Meets Water by Pia Padukone
Ronan’s Echo by Joanne Van Os
The Scent of Murder by Felicity Young
Under A Silent Moon by Elizabeth Haynes
(click the titles to read my reviews)
Review: Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink ★★★★
Review: Jailhouse Glock by Lizbeth Lipperman ★★★1/2
Review: Ronan’s Echo by Joanne Van Os ★★★★
Review: Where the Earth Meets Water by Pia Padukone ★★
AWW Feature & Giveaway: The Scent of Murder with Felicity Young
Review: The Scent of Murder by Felicity Young ★★★★1/2
Stuff On Sunday: Mum’s Favourite Books
What I Am Reading Today
One of the most anticipated debut novels of 2014, Cutting Teeth takes place one late-summer weekend as a group of thirty-something couples gather at a shabby beach house on Long Island, their young children in tow. They include Nicole, the neurotic hostess terrified by internet rumors that something big and bad is going to happen in New York City that week; stay-at-home dad Rip, grappling with the reality that his careerist wife will likely deny him a second child, forcing him to disrupt the life he loves; Allie, one half of a two-mom family, and an ambitious artist, facing her ambivalence toward family life; Tiffany, comfortable with her amazing body but not so comfortable in the upper-middle class world the other characters were born into; and Leigh, a blue blood secretly facing financial ruin and dependent on Tenzin, the magical Tibetan nanny everyone else covets. These tensions build, burn, and collide over the course of the weekend, culminating in a scene in which the ultimate rule of the group is broken. Cutting Teeth captures the complex dilemmas of early mid-life—the vicissitudes of friendship, of romantic and familial love, and of sex. It confronts class tension, status hunger, and the unease of being in possession of life’s greatest bounty while still wondering, is this as good as it gets? And, perhaps most of all, Julia Fierro’s thought-provoking debut explores the all-consuming love we feel for those we need most, and the sacrifice and self-compromise that underpins that love.
What I Plan To Read This Week
(click the covers to view at Goodreads)
A sexy, sugar-laden David vs Goliath story about a local bakery, a national chain, and what really matters. Clover Loveday has worked hard to get her café Four-Leaf Clover up and running — her ticket out of an increasingly alarming financial situation and her dream come true. When she literally falls off her ladder into the arms of sexy-as-sin Liam Sinclair. The same Liam Sinclair who owns the new bakery being built just across the road…the new store by bakery chain Upper Crust owner! Clover decides then that no matter how nauseated she is about the idea, it is best keep your enemies close, rather than leave things to fate. Liam has never put too much thought into the competition when he opens a new outlet, other than taking their customers and strengthening the Upper Crust brand. But here in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges, Clover Loveday’s cafe is a little too close for comfort, and Clover herself a little too good-looking. So Liam asks his PA to put together a ’fact sheet’ about his new competition. He has a business to run, a father to please, and hundreds of people to keep in jobs. Surely information can keep an unwanted strong sexual pull at bay… A sweet, caffeinated, satisfying story about unexpected temptations, forgiveness, and putting love before money.
After a couple of years working in a privileged private school, Lucy Francis yearns for adventure. So when she hears about a job teaching four children on a massive cattle property in North Queensland, she decides to throw caution – and her teaching job – to the winds. When Lucy arrives at Charlotte’s Creek Station she finds a family in crisis. To make matters worse, the four children she’s been charged with educating are very spirited, not always cooperative, and dismally behind in their schooling. To Lucy, the only person who seems to be keeping Charlotte’s Creek afloat is the family’s gruff stockman, Ted. With his support and encouragement Lucy throws herself into the day-to-day activities of the station and makes excellent progress with the children. Though Lucy and Ted’s feelings for each other grow, Ted can’t see any future for them because of his lack of prospects. As the family divisions at Charlotte’s Creek prove insurmountable and the property looks set to be put on the market, Lucy faces returning to the city and leaving Ted behind.
In the evening, Abu Fadi peeled oranges and apples and recounted stories of Palestine, orange groves and the house with the large wooden door that awaited their return. He pulled a black metal key out of his pocket and said, ‘See, children, this big key is to open our front door. I locked the house before I left. Everything is waiting for us in Palestine. This is the story of Lavi, a middle-aged Polish Jew who, desperate to have children, flees his barren marriage and moves to British Palestine in 1945. He converts to Islam and is soon arranged to marry a beautiful young Palestinian girl, Keira. Months after the birth of their daughter, the Jewish state of Israel is created and Lavi and his young family are forced to settle amid the chaos of a refugee camp in Lebanon. Eight years and three children later, Keira courts the attention of young men in the camp with her sultry beauty. Then one day she disappears, leaving her children with unreliable memories, the hope of her survival and the persistence of their fears. Ajamia, Keira’s middle daughter, takes up the story – growing up in a Catholic orphanage in Beirut, the early years of civil war, her misadventures in France and her life in the mountains. But the ghosts of the past are close, and Ajamia returns to Beirut to find out the truth about her mother’s fate, her sister’s demise and settle once and for all the sins of the past. A debut novel of astounding force and compassion, Chasing Shadows is the story of Palestine’s trials, the clash of cultures, the brutality of tradition and the inheritance of loss across generations.
As the day unfolds, lies are told, choices are revisited, family, friends and strangers are lost and found and Lilith Grainger discovers it’s exhausting being an unknown woman. It is Tuesday May 15 and accidental housewife Lilith Grainger wakes to find herself in a photograph on the front page of the newspaper, in a place she shouldn’t be, in a world her privileged family knows nothing about. At the centre of the novel is 44 year old Lilith Grainger a former actuary who gave up work to look after her two children. It was meant to be for a year or so, but that year or so has turned into 10. She has a lovely, funny husband Bernie who works as a lawyer. Two children, Olivia (14) and Daniel (11) a father in a nursing home, a CEO brother who has just been accused of sexual harassment at work, a neighbour who is getting under her skin (some may say she is becoming obsessed by her) and a mother-in-law coming for dinner. Lilith’s relationship with her selfie obsessed 14-year-old daughter, her overweight son, her good husband who works long hours, her convenience friend Nikki, her mother-in-law Garland who has launched a successful career as a sculptor at 63, are all laid bare.
‘You wouldn’t get involved, Johnny, would you? What about those terrible bombs? You wouldn’t do a bad thing, would you?’ In this passionate and heart-wrenching debut novel by Irish writer Mark Mulholland, we meet Johnny Donnelly — an intense young man who is in love with books, with his country, and with the beautiful Cora Flannery. But in his dark and secret other life he shoots British soldiers: he is an IRA sniper. How can this be? As his two worlds inevitably move towards a dramatic collision, Johnny takes us on a journey through the history, legends, and landscapes of his beloved Ireland. In the end, Johnny has to make sense of his inheritance and his life, and he does so in a riveting, redemptive, and unforgettable climax. Told in Johnny’s unique voice, and peopled by a cast of extraordinary characters, A Mad and Wonderful Thing tells its tale lightly, but pulls a heavy load. It takes us beyond the charming, familiar, and often funny experiences of everyday life to the forces that bind people together, and that set them against each other — and to the profound consequences of the choices that they make.
While you are here…
Enter to win The Scent of Murder by Felicity Young (Australian only)