It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

The It’s Monday! What Are You Reading meme is hosted at Book Journey. In Sheila’s absence I’m linking this post via Twitter at #IMWAYR


Phew, what a weekend, between ten hours managing back stage at daughter’s annual concert on Saturday and celebrating Father’s Day on Sunday, I was exhausted today. I got the kids off to school and crawled back into bed for a few more hours, finally surfacing at about lunchtime!

This week’s plans include a five hour round trip for a 15 minute follow-up hospital appointment, lunch for a friend’s birthday and binge watching Madam Secretary.

It’s the beginning of the month so here are my challenge updates


The Eclectic Reader Challenge 10/12

Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 59/50 – Completed

Aussie Author Challenge 9/12

Around the World in 12 Books Challenge 8/12

What’s In A Name? Challenge 6/6 – Completed

What I Read Last Week

X by Sue Grafton

The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

The Landing by Susan Johnson

Coolibah Creek by Kelsey Neilson

New Posts

(click the titles to read my reviews)

Review: X by Sue Grafton ★★★★

Review: The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky ★★★★

AWW Feature: Susan Johnson on Landing an Idea

Review:  Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas ★★★★★

Review: Coolibah Creek by Kelsey Neilson ★★

*AWW Blog: August 2015 General fiction*

What I Am Reading Today

Caroline Jacobs is a wimp, someone who specializes in the suffering of tiny indignities in silence. And the big ones, too. But when the twinset wearing president of the local Parent Teacher Organization steps out of line one too many times, Caroline musters the courage to assert herself. With a four-letter word, no less. Caroline’s outburst has awakened something in her. Not just gumption, but a realization that the roots of her tirade can be traced back to something that happened to her as a teenager, when her best friend very publicly betrayed her. So, with a little bit of bravery, Caroline decides to go back to her home town and tell off her childhood friend. She busts her daughter out of school, and the two set off to deliver the perfect comeback . . . some twenty-five years later. But nothing goes as planned. Long buried secrets rise to the surface, and Caroline finds she has to face much more than one old, bad best friend. The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs is an enchanting novel about the ways in which our childhood experiences reverberate through our lives. It’s the story of a woman looking to fix her life through an act of bravery, and of a mother and daughter learning to understand one another. Deceptively simple and highly engaging, this latest novel by Matthew Dicks is perfect for those of us who were last to be picked at sports, and for everyone who is thrilled not to be in high school any more.

 What I Plan To Read This Week

(click the covers to view at Goodreads)

In this sequel to Amy Hill Hearth’s debut novel, Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society, the eponymous book club reunites one year later, in the late summer of 1964. Their mission: to fight a large development along the tidal river where member Robbie-Lee grew up and where his mother, Dolores Simpson, a former stripper turned alligator hunter, still lives in a fishing shack. The developer is Darryl Norwood, ex-husband of narrator Dora Witherspoon, who returns to Collier County to assist in the battle. An old land deed, the discovery that one of the key characters has been using a false name, and a dramatic court hearing are just a few of the highlights. Not to mention the reappearance of the Ghost of Seminole Joe. Just as Hearth’s debut explored the ways we can find a sense of belonging in other people, her latest novel shows how closely tied each of us is to our sense of home – and the conflicts that can arise when our idea of that home becomes threatened. For Darryl, the river is a place ripe for development. For Dora, who is known as the Turtle Lady because she rescues Everglades “snappers,” it’s a place that belongs to the critters. And for Dolores, former stripper, it’s a place to hide from the world.

Luisa has met the love of her life … now she just needs to figure out what to do with her husband.
Luisa has fallen madly in love with sculptor Jarvis, so she comes up with a plan to find a new wife for her husband Luke so she can exit stage left. She wants to screen potential stepmothers for her 8-year-old son Max and has strict criteria: the woman must be a single mother; have no more than two children; she can’t be authoritarian; she must be creative, nurturing and not much prettier than Luisa.
After a few carefully orchestrated meetings with different women that fail to raise a spark, Luke finally connects with a potential replacement wife. However, Luisa isn’t prepared for the fact that Luke’s interest in the other woman makes him a better man and a more attractive husband. After suffering for years in a half-dead marriage, Luisa starts to remember what it was about Luke that she originally fell in love with. But is it too late?

Mattie Wallace has really screwed up this time. Broke and knocked up, she’s got all her worldly possessions crammed into six giant trash bags, and nowhere to go. Try as she might, Mattie can no longer deny that she really is turning into her mother, a broken alcoholic who never met a bad choice she didn’t make.  When Mattie gets news of a possible inheritance left by a grandmother she’s never met, she jumps at this one last chance to turn things around. Leaving the Florida Panhandle, she drives eight hundred miles to her mother’s birthplace—the tiny town of Gandy, Oklahoma. There, she soon learns that her mother remains a local mystery—a happy, talented teenager who inexplicably skipped town thirty-five years ago with nothing but the clothes on her back. But the girl they describe bears little resemblance to the damaged woman Mattie knew, and before long it becomes clear that something terrible happened to her mother, and it happened here. The harder Mattie digs for answers, the more obstacles she encounters. Giving up, however, isn’t an option. Uncovering what started her mother’s downward spiral might be the only way to stop her own.

Stephen Dobyns–whom Stephen King has described as “the best of the best”–is back with his newest novel Is Fat Bob Dead Yet?, a comic suspense novel about a small-time con operation, a pair of combative detectives, and the pride, revenge, and deception that guide us all–Richard Russo meets Elmore Leonard. In the seaport city of New London, Connecticut, and newcomer Connor Raposo has just witnessed a gruesome motorcycle accident on Bank Street. At least he thinks it was an accident. But then he sees a familiar man–who else would wear an Elvis pompadour in this day and age?–lurking around the crime scene. Where does Connor know him from? And why does everyone he knows keep showing up dead?

Journalist, celebrity, television presenter, author, ambassador for beyondblue and patron of its work on post-natal depression, Member of the Order of Australia, risk-taker, social commentator, charity worker, public speaker, passionate mother and wife, Jessica Rowe is all of these things, and more. And in this extraordinary memoir, Jessica reveals herself as a woman who thought it would be easy to have it all, to do it all. But what was supposed to be her beautiful life derailed in the very public collapse of her television career accompanied by astonishingly hurtful public trolling, her long struggle to conceive, her fears and what she believed to be failings as a mother and in her professional life, and the diagnosis of post-natal depression. Thankfully, with proper medical help, and that of her beloved husband and family, Jessica ultimately rediscovers her ‘sparkle’. Deeply honest, funny, gut-wrenching and touching this book will be treasured by women who don’t feel they fit the mould of the perfect woman; women who understand that in life, ‘having it all’ may develop a different meaning; and women suffering from post-natal depression, who will be encouraged that it’s okay to ask for help.


Thanks for stopping by!

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. readingwritingandriesling
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 19:20:46

    How do you do it Shelleyrae? That is an amazing number of books read (and reviewed) !!



  2. Lloyd Russell
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 23:40:19

    Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s latest – We Never Asked for Wings



  3. laurelrainsnow
    Sep 08, 2015 @ 01:02:33

    I am impressed with your numbers…and this week’s reads caught my attention, too. I love the sound of The Art of Crash Landing and The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs.

    Thanks for sharing…and enjoy your week. Here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES



  4. Kathy Martin
    Sep 08, 2015 @ 01:27:38

    Looks like you have some interesting books on your stack. A five hour drive for a 15 minute follow up seems excessive to me. Can you at least do some other errands after the appointment? Happy reading!



  5. Patty
    Sep 08, 2015 @ 03:27:52

    You have been very busy…again! I hope you are enjoying Caroline’s comeback…I did!



  6. Kathryn
    Sep 08, 2015 @ 08:25:03

    Long trip for a 15 minute Dr visit. Hopefully you have an audiobook! You are doing well on your Challenge, I got stuck on the microhistory one because the one I thought I’d read looks too uninteresting now!



  7. Deborah
    Sep 08, 2015 @ 14:56:52

    Some very different books this coming week. You’re doing an excellent job on the challenge front. I didn’t join any so no expectations at my end! 😉



  8. Lisa
    Sep 09, 2015 @ 00:54:31

    The Perfect Comeback sounds awesome — can’t wait to see your review! Sounds like quite a busy week! I hope you enjoy the new week, and maybe get some time to breathe!



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