It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?


The Its Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey. In Sheila’s  absence I’m linking this post via Twitter at #IMWAYR, and the Sunday Post hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.



What I Read Last Week

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

My Life as A White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

How To Write Your Blockbuster by Fiona McIntosh

Ascendance by John Birmingham

Eat the Week by Anna Barnett

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery ★★★★

Review: My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland ★★

Review: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty ★★★★

Review:  Ascendance by John Birmingham ★★

Review:  How To Write Your Blockbuster by Fiona McIntosh ★★★★

Weekend Cooking: Eat the Week by Anna Barnett

What I Am Reading Today

Six Feet Under meets Stephanie Plum in Amy Andrews’ fresh, funny, sexy urban-family noir about a country singer who almost made it, a private investigator who’s seen too much and a mother who will cross all barriers to save her child. When ex hillbilly-punk rocker turned cadaver make-up artist Joy Valentine is visited by the ghost of a high-profile murder victim begging for Joy’s help to find her kidnapped baby girl, Joy knows from experience the cops are going to think she’s crazy.  So she takes it to the one guy she knows who won’t. The last thing disgraced ex-cop turned private investigator Dash Dent expected is a woman from his past turning up to complicate his present with a nutty, woo-woo story. The problem is he knows Joy is telling the truth and he can’t ignore the compelling plight of baby Isabella whose disappearance six months prior transfixed the nation. Discounted and discredited by the police, Dash and Joy work together to uncover the mystery and find Isabella, with a whacky supporting cast including Eve, a brothel madam; Stan, an excommunicated priest; Katie, Dash’s ten-year-old daughter; and two horny goldfish. It’s a race against time and against all odds – but the real battle for Dash and Joy might just be keeping their hands off each other.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

When a series of passenger airplanes crashed in Elizabeth, New Jersey within a three-month period in 1951–1952, Judy Blume was a teenager. “These events have lingered in my mind ever since,” says Blume. “It was a crazy time. We were witnessing things that were incomprehensible to us as teenagers. Was it sabotage? An alien invasion? No one knew, and people were understandably terrified.” Against this background, Blume uses her imagination to bring us the lives of three generations of families, friends, and strangers, who will be profoundly affected by these events, either directly or indirectly. But life goes on and Blume digs deep into her characters—we see them coping not only with grief but with first love, estranged parents, difficult friendships, familial obligations, divorce, career ambitions, a grandparent’s love, a widower’s hope, and everything in between. . . . Most important, In the Unlikely Event is filled with the same warmth and authenticity that have won Blume the hearts and minds of readers of all generations.

A few weeks after finishing their final exams high school sweethearts have an argument at a party. Joe wants to go – Jen begs him to stay. They fight in the corridor, following their usual script, and then he walks out and leaves her. A few hours later she dies. Three years on, after burning up his own dreams for the future, Joe is working in dead-end jobs and mentoring a wayward teenager not dissimilar from his younger self. Driven by the need to make good, he spends all his spare time doing parkour under an inner-city bridge, training his mind and body to conquer the hostile urban environment that took his love and blighted his future. Somewhere else, a middle-aged woman, Elise, is treading water in her life as her marriage breaks up. We watch as she retreats to the only place that holds any meaning for her – the tiger enclosure at Melbourne Zoo, where, for reasons she barely understands, she starts painting the tigers and forms a close connection to them. Joe is broken by grief, but the outside world won’t let him hide forever. A cool and bewitching girl turns up on the doorstep of his share house, somehow painfully familiar to him. Then there is the skateboarding chef at the bar where he works, the girl with the Cossack-blue eyes, who wants to be his friend. And someone going by the Facebook tag Emily Dickinson wants to reminisce about his dead girlfriend and won’t leave him alone. Can Joe staunch the flooding return of desire – or is it time to let go of the past? And will he make the nine-foot leap from girder to pillar or does he want to fall too?

What if you could do it all over again? Jennifer Wright is pretty sure her husband doesn’t love her anymore. She and Max used to be the perfect couple, but the pressures of work and kids have pulled them in opposite directions. Now , Jen is full of “what if” questions about whether her bland, suburban existence is all she was ever destined for. When a terrible accident sends Jen into a coma, she is able to see what her life could have been if she had run off to Australia with the handsome, dangerous man she met on vacation, or if she had stayed with her workaholic college boyfriend. Would she ever have loved another child as much as she loves her daughters? Could she have become rich? More than anything, Jen wants to do the right thing for her family. But what she discovers may leave her with even more questions about the choices she made, and no easy answers about what to do next.

A charming tale of family, friendship, love and loneliness. Barbara Constantine’s And Then Came Paulette has climbed the European bestseller charts providing many smiles and laughs as along the way. When his son’s family move away, widower Ferdinand is left with only a sadistic kitten for company on a farm that was built for a family. Just as loneliness starts to bite, he discovers his neighbor Marceline has long been shivering beneath a leaky roof. He welcomes her to his farm, temporarily of course, and also provides a home for her dog and her gluttonous donkey. As each begrudgingly adjusts to the other’s quirks, yet more new arrivals appear. It seems that Ferdinand isn’t the only one who was all-alone, and the dusty farm becomes a haven for lost souls of every age to share their sorrows and set about rediscovering their joie de vivre. Amidst the newfound hustle and bustle, one final uninvited guest threatens to upset the apple cart once and for all. Constantine has created a delightful and poignant novel of people coming together to create new interpersonal relationships of support.




Thanks for stopping by!


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Deborah
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 14:39:12

    I’ve got an email from Amy about her novel and it sounds very intriguing!

    I love the cartoon at the top. My weeks are a bit the same at the moment…. I’m wondering when the fun starts.



  2. readingwritingandriesling
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 16:46:46

    Sadly been too busy with all things festival so haven’t done very much in the way of reading -and it feel like today should be Sunday 🙂



  3. Kathryn
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 18:59:05

    Hmm think I will put that Judy Blume book on my want to read for sure list.



  4. herschelian
    Jun 01, 2015 @ 23:17:03

    Thanks to you I downloaded ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’ by Caitlin Doughty and am in the middle of reading it at the moment.
    It has was I think is the best opening sentence of any book I’ve ever read:
    “A girl never forgets the first corpse she shaves.” ….beat that!!!



  5. Lisa
    Jun 02, 2015 @ 00:32:01

    And Then Came Paulette sounds like such fun! And I’m really looking forward to the Judy Blume book as well. Have a great week!



  6. laurelrainsnow
    Jun 02, 2015 @ 01:51:29

    I can’t wait to get my hands on In the Unlikely Event…I have loved all of Judy Blume’s adult novels….thanks for sharing!




  7. divabooknerd
    Jun 02, 2015 @ 05:20:22

    A nice eclectic mix of books this week to immerse yourself in, especially looking forward to what you think of Leap. Sadly, Judy Blume has been a bit of a hit and miss for me. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful week of reading ❤



  8. Annette
    Jun 02, 2015 @ 10:09:58

    And The Came Paulette sounds kind of wonderful; I’ve been looking for a Jonas Jonasson type read and this just might be it! It sounds like you’re current read is fun too – Six Feet Under meets Janet Evanovich!



  9. Nise' (Under the Boardwalk)
    Jun 02, 2015 @ 10:48:31

    I like the sound of Limbo. Looking forward to Judy B’s new book Have a great week.



  10. MarthaE
    Jun 02, 2015 @ 11:59:11

    Ouch – five days too long! You had a good reading week.
    If You’re Not the One sounds different – I hope you like it.
    Happy Reading.



  11. Joy @ A Little Reading
    Jun 03, 2015 @ 01:19:25

    You’ve got some great reads coming up! I’m really curious about the Judy Blume book — hoping to get around to it very soon, too. Have fun with your reading!



  12. Greg
    Jun 03, 2015 @ 10:31:23

    Happy Monday! I think If You’re Not The One looks good- I like those what if kinda stories sometimes. May check that one out!



  13. cleopatralovesbooks
    Jun 04, 2015 @ 18:04:49

    I think the Judy Blume is the one that appeals to me the most from your list today – it takes me back to my teenage years before there was a YA genre.



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