It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey.

Life…

Despite a rather lazy week I didn’t get much reading done, to be fair we did celebrate my son’s 9th birthday on the 30th and then New Years, of course. I did however do a little maintenance on the blog: updating lists, creating  pages to track my 2015 challenges  and backing up, plus I posted everyday.

This week it’s my daughter’s 12th birthday and I have 8 preteen girls coming for a sleepover party tomorrow. After baking 5 cakes in the last 3 weeks for birthday and Christmas celebrations, I was relieved when she asked that I make her an ice-cream cake. It’s chilling in the freezer as I write – M&M’s, Maltesers, Caramello squares, crushed Flakes and Violet Crumbles plus white choc chips  mixed through vanilla ice-cream. I will just need to add the Ice Magic and Hundreds & Thousands when I serve.

  What I Read Last Week

Things Half in Shadow by Alan Finn

It Started with a Kiss by Lisa Heidke

Daughter by Jane Shemilt

The List by Joanna Bolouri

What Burns Away by Melissa Falcon Field

 New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: Murder at the Book Group by Maggie King  ★★

Review: The Divorce Diet by Ellen Hawley ★★1/2

It’s the end of the year as we know it (stats)

Reading Challenges for 2015

Review: It Started with a Kiss by Lisa Heidke  ★★★1/2

Review: Daughter by Jane Shemilt ★★★1/2

Sign up for the Australian Book Giveaway Blog Hop!

**On the AWW blog: 2014 General Fiction Challenge Round Up**

 

What I Am Reading Today

Rachel, Max, and their daughter Ellie had the perfect life—until the night Rachel’s heart stopped beating. She was thirty-six. Just as her family can’t forget her, Rachel can’t quite let go of them either. Caught in a place between worlds, Rachel watches helplessly as she begins to fade from their lives. This fresh debut novel touches on the various stages of bereavement, from denial to acceptance. As Max and Ellie work through their grief, Rachel too struggles to come to terms with her death. And as her husband starts to date again, Rachel realizes that one day Max will find love, and that Ellie will have a new mother figure in her life.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

 

After months working on an oil rig in the Atlantic Ocean, engineer Jo Blaine can’t wait to get home. Her job is tough, and she is desperate for some long-overdue girl time. When she walks through her front door to find an unexpected man in her house, she’s tempted to head straight back out to sea. Stephen Hardy has always felt guilty for the part he played in ruining Jo’s leaving home years earlier and jumps at the chance to make amends. It takes some fast talking, but he finally convinces Jo to let him look after her apartment and her giant cranky cat while she’s away on the rig. And by the time she leaves for her next shift, they’re both eagerly anticipating her return. But balancing family and friends with a new relationship when you’re never around is tricky, and Jo is also keeping secrets about her past. After a lifetime of taking care of herself, Jo isn’t used to sharing her problems – especially when they involve her messy family history. Picking up the pieces every time she comes home is getting harder, and Jo begins to wonder if a fly-in fly-out lifestyle is really worth it . .

A extraordinary, eye-opening look behind the razor wire into life inside the walls of one of the most notorious hospitals for the criminally insane, a hellish world inhabited by mass murderers, serial killers, and other figures from our nightmares.  Psychiatrist Stephen Seager was no stranger to locked psych wards when he accepted a job at California’s Gorman State hospital, known locally as ‘Gomorrah’, but nothing could have prepared him for what he encountered when he stepped through its gates, a triple sally port behind the twenty-foot walls topped with shining coils of razor wire. Gorman State is one of the nation’s largest forensic mental hospitals, dedicated to treating the criminally insane. Unit C, where Seager was assigned, was reserved for the ‘bad actors’, the mass murderers, serial killers, and the real-life Hannibal Lecters of the world. Against a backdrop of surreal beauty – a campus-like setting where peacocks strolled the well-kept lawns – is a place of remarkable violence, a place where a small staff of clinicians are expected to manage a volatile population of prison-hardened ex-cons, where lone therapists lead sharing circles with psychopaths, where homemade weapons and contraband circulate freely, and where patients and physicians often measure their lives according to how fast they can run. Behind the Gates of Gomorrah affords an eye-opening look inside a facility to which few people have ever had access. Honest, reflective, and at times darkly funny, Seager’s gripping account of his experiences at Gorman State hospital give us an extraordinary insight into a unique and terrifying world, inhabited by figures from our nightmares.

Twelve-year-old Bobby Nusku is an archivist of his mother. He catalogues traces of her life and waits for her to return home. Bobby thinks that he’s been left to face the world alone until he meets lonely single mother Val and her daughter Rosa. They spend a magical summer together, discovering the books in the mobile library where Val works as a cleaner. But as the summer draws to a close, Bobby finds himself in trouble and Val is in danger of losing her job. There’s only one thing to do — and so they take to the road in the mobile library…Quirky, dark, magical and full of heart, Mobile Library is both a tragicomic road trip and a celebration of the adventures that books can take us on. It’s a love-letter to unlikely families and the stories that shaped us.

t’s a wonder to behold what happens when love moves in . . . Former child star Fiona Hume deserted the movie biz a decade ago–right after she left rehab. She landed in Baltimore, bought a dilapidated old mansion downtown, and hatched dreams of restoring it into a masterpiece, complete with a studio for herself. She would disappear from public view and live an artist’s life. That was the plan. Ten years later, Fiona’s huge house is filled with junk purchased at thrift stores, haggled over at yard sales, or picked up from the side of the road. Each piece was destined for an art project . . . but all she’s got so far is a piece of twine with some antique buttons threaded down its length. She’s thirty-two years old and still recognizable, but Fiona’s money has finally run out. She’s gotten pretty desperate, too, and in her desperation she’s willing to do almost anything for money. Almost. So it is that she comes to rent out the maid’s quarters to a local blacksmith named Josia Yeu. Josia is everything Fiona isn’t: gregarious, peaceful, in control without controlling . . . in short, happy. As the light from the maid’s quarters begins to permeate the dank rooms of Fiona’s world, something else begins to transform as well–something inside Fiona. Something even she can see is beautiful.

 ***********

 

Thanks for stopping by!

20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. laurelrainsnow
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 14:10:27

    Enjoy your books! These are all new to me, but I am curious about Behind the Gates of Gomorrah. Have a great week!

    Like

    Reply

  2. Deborah
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 14:13:27

    Reading aside – that ice cream cake sounds amazing!!!

    A busy time of year for you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. thebookdate
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 14:27:11

    The ice cream cake sounds like its full of good things! Blog maintenance at this time of year always takes a little time. Looking forward to hopping around some Australian blogs later in the month!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Rebecca Bradley
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 16:33:40

    The Dead Wifes Handbook is supposed to be a great read. Enjoy. And enjoy your party🙂

    Like

    Reply

  5. Mystica
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 17:01:35

    All new to me. Enjoy them all.

    Like

    Reply

  6. Tien
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 20:14:24

    oh, dear…. we’ve just kick started our healthy eating today! I should’ve skipped reading when I saw ‘ice cream cake’ *drools*

    Like

    Reply

  7. Shannon (Giraffe Days)
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 20:15:32

    I got a major sugar high just from reading that description of the ice cream cake!

    I’m curious about Mobile Library, sounds like it could be good.

    Like

    Reply

  8. readingwritingandriesling
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 22:44:05

    Your first two books are on my TBR pile🙂

    Like

    Reply

  9. Teddyree
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 23:07:52

    YUM! Sounds like my kind of ice cream cake, Happy Birthday to your daughter. I need to do a big blog clean up and I’ll definitely be signing up for the Australia Day blog hop giveaway again. Have a great week and happy reading🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. readerbuzz
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 23:39:35

    Interesting. Mobile Library? I’ll see what I can find out about it. Thank you.

    Here’s my It’s Monday!

    Like

    Reply

  11. Katelynn
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 01:10:30

    Oh I love Lisa Samson!! and that first cover of the girl with the blue hair looks really cool!! I hope to see you around my blog

    Katelynn
    http://www.literarychameleon.blogspot.com

    Like

    Reply

  12. ondbookshelf
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 02:06:29

    Lots of good looking books on your list. Yummy……that ice cream cake sounds so delicious!

    Like

    Reply

  13. Lisa
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 05:01:13

    Happy New Year! Have a great week.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  14. Trish
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 08:09:44

    Despite all of the busyness you’ve still got a lot of great bookish stuff going on! Enjoy all the birthday celebrations! Sounds like a lot of yummy cake.😉

    Like

    Reply

  15. Jen G. (The Introverted Reader)
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 12:54:39

    I don’t even know what half the candy you mentioned for the cake is, but it sure sounds good! Enjoy your week!

    Like

    Reply

    • shelleyrae @ Book'd Out
      Jan 06, 2015 @ 14:50:54

      I’m sure you have American alternatives for the name brands but I don’t know what they might be – if it helps any, a Violet Crumble is basically honeycomb covered in chocolate, Maltesers are round balls of malt biscuit covered in chocolate and Flakes are a bar of flaky chocolate.

      Like

      Reply

  16. Greg
    Jan 06, 2015 @ 16:55:41

    Happy New Year! I was just looking at the Book Group mystery the other day, but your post has put the brake on a bit- I do like that cover, tho. Have a great week!

    Like

    Reply

  17. Susie
    Jan 07, 2015 @ 06:05:47

    Hey ! I’m gonna be wrapping up Captivated by You today, and then starting Outlander !! I’m super behind, I know but I’m excited to see what all the fuss was about🙂

    Like

    Reply

  18. shrakkbookattack
    Jan 08, 2015 @ 02:53:09

    I hope you made it through the preteens!

    Like

    Reply

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