Shelf Control #323: One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

A scheduling note for Shelf Control: I have a short trip planned for next week, and rather than schedule a Shelf Control post in advance, I’m planning to go easy on myself and skip a week! So, for June 22nd, I will not have a Shelf Control post up on Bookshelf Fantasies, but if you’re participating in the meme, please add your link to this week’s post so I don’t miss it!

Title: One Perfect Summer
Author: Brenda Novak
Published: 2020
Length: 464 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

From New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak comes a novel about finding family in unexpected places and the lifelong bonds that don’t need a lifetime to forge

When Serenity Alston swabbed her cheek for 23andMe, she joked about uncovering some dark ancestral scandal. The last thing she expected was to discover two half sisters she didn’t know existed. Suddenly, everything about her loving family is drawn into question. And meeting these newfound sisters might be the only way to get answers.

Serenity has always found solace at her family’s Lake Tahoe cabin, so what better place for the three women to dig into the mystery that has shaken the foundation each of them was raised on? With Reagan navigating romantic politics at her New York City advertising firm, and Lorelei staring down the collapse of her marriage, all three women are converging at a crossroads in their lives. Before the summer is over, they’ll have to confront the paths they walked to get there and determine how to move forward when everything they previously thought to be true was a lie.

But any future is easier to face with family by your side.

How and when I got it:

I bought the Kindle edition about a year ago.

Why I want to read it:

I mean… summer!!

Check out that cover! Doesn’t that just make you want to curl your toes in the sand and kick back with a fruity, slushy drink and a good book?

I did a Top 5 Tuesday post this week about books that make me think of summer, and when this one popped up as I was browsing through my Kindle library, I had to stop and ask myself why I haven’t read it yet.

There’s no particular reason why not — just time and moods, I guess. I’ve never read anything by this author, but I know she’s incredibly popular. I don’t necessarily go for books that get tagged (dismissively, in my humble opinion) as “chick lit” — but something about this synopsis really calls to me. In fact, I think it may have originally caught my eye after I did a home DNA test. (Mine came back with unsurprisingly not-surprising results. Still, it was fun to think about “what if” — what if some deep dark family secret suddenly comes to light?)

The book’s description of finding sisters suddenly and getting to know them sounds intriguing — plus, gotta love that Lake Tahoe setting!

This doesn’t sound like a heavy or serious read… and with summer just around the corner, I’m thinking one of my upcoming trips to visit family might be the perfect time to finally dig into it.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

The Monday Check-In ~ 6/13/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

I ran errands all weekend, took care of some scheduled car maintenance, and even found time to go to a farmers’ market!

As of next weekend, I’m heading off on a mini-vacation with my husband, doing a Northern California/Oregon road trip for a week. We plan to keep it pretty mellow, with some walks in the Redwoods and a stop at the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon.

I will be basically off-line while I’m away, so as of a week from now, you won’t be hearing much from me!

What did I read during the last week?

New reviews:

Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean: I loved it! My review is here.

The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle by Jennifer Ryan: A heart-warming story of women during wartime. My review is here.

Audiobook rereads:

I listened to audiobook versions of two books I read (and loved) last year, in preparation for their sequels, both arriving this coming week. Check out my original reviews of A Spindle Splintered and The Witness for the Dead.

Also this week:

Himawari House by Harmony Becker: This is a graphic novel that I grabbed on a whim while at the library. I liked a lot about it, but the art style was often confusing. Still, worth checking out!

Heroic Hearts edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie L. Hughes: Another library book — I grabbed this new fantasy anthology specifically to read its stories by Jim Butcher and Patricia Briggs, and once I’d done that, I returned the book. The stories were entertaining enough, fitting into the authors’ established fictional worlds without being super dramatic. A nice afternoon’s read.

On Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi : DNFd at 25%. The story seemed promising, but the author uses footnotes constantly, and at least in e-book format, it’s incredibly disruptive and made it impossible to establish a reading flow. I didn’t care enough to force my way through it, although based on the premise, it could be a good read. Maybe if I come across a print version at some point down the road…

Pop culture & TV:

I’ve just started watching The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem on Netflix:

I’ve only seen two episodes, but I like it so far. (Watching with my husband, who does not like to binge, so it make take a while to get through all 10 episodes.) I read the book several years ago and really liked it. I’m not sure why the trailer is set to Scarborough Fair, though…

Coming up this week, I plan to start watching Becoming Elizabeth on Starz. Looks like they’re releasing one episode per week, which can be frustrating in this age of binges. Still, it looks really good! Has anyone tried it yet?

Fresh Catch:

Three new books this week:

Classics Club Spin!

It’s time for a new Classics Club Spin! This is my 2nd time participating, and while it’s a fun challenge, at the moment I’m not entirely thrilled about my selection: Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. See here for my list; I’ll let y’all know how the book goes!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Book of Night by Holly Black: I bought this book as soon as it was released (early May), and I’m just now sitting down to read it. I’ve only gotten about 20% into it so far, but I’m certainly intrigued to see where the story goes. Very dark and grim!

Now playing via audiobook:

Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur: I was looking for a light romance for my next audiobook, and this one seemed like a good choice for Pride-month listening! Plus, it’s a spin on Pride and Prejudice (I didn’t know that when I started it), and that’s always fun.

Ongoing reads:

These books will be on my plate for months to come:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’ve started our group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: My book group’s current classic read. We’re reading one scene per week — now in the middle of Act III.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

Shelf Control #322: The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse
Author: Louise Erdrich
Published: 2001
Length: 384 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved Native American tribe, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. To further complicate his quiet existence, a troubled colleague comes to the reservation to investigate the life of the perplexing, possibly false saint Sister Leopolda. Father Damien alone knows the strange truth of Leopolda’s piety, but these facts are bound up in his own secret. He is faced with the most difficult decision: Should he tell all and risk everything . . . or manufacture a protective history for Leopolda, though he believes her wonder-working is motivated solely by evil?

In a masterwork that both deepens and enlarges the world of her previous novels set on the same reservation, Louise Erdrich captures the essence of a time and the spirit of a woman who felt compelled by her beliefs to serve her people as a priest. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse is a work of an avid heart, a writer’s writer, and a storytelling genius. 

How and when I got it:

I have no idea! I’ve had a paperback edition on my shelf for well over 10 years.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve read several of Louise Erdrich’s books — but not nearly enough. I’m always impressed by her gorgeous writing, and even had the pleasure of attending a book talk of hers several years ago, where she was so incredibly impressive and passionate and inspiring.

I’ve missed out on her early novels so far, and should probably start by going back to Love Medicine (published 1984). Goodreads lists The Last Report as the 6th book in the Love Medicine series, but my impression (and I could be wrong) is that these books aren’t so much a series as they are novels set in the same place/same world. In any case, of the books listed as part of the series, this is the one I actually own, so it’s the one I’m most likely to read!

As for The Last Report itself, I think the synopsis sounds fascinating. I really don’t remember buying this book, but I’m guessing that I stumbled across it at a book sale, read the back, and wanted to know more!

My book group will be reading Louise Erdrich’s most recent novel, The Sentence, this fall, and the reality is that I’m unlikely to get to The Last Report between now and then. But who knows — maybe after The Sentence, I’ll be inspired to go back and read her early books as well.

If you’ve read this book (or other books connected to Love Medicine), I’d love to know if you think they need to be read in order — or if not, where you recommend starting.

And if you haven’t read this…

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

The Monday Check-In ~ 6/6/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

I’ve been playing catch-up all week, but finally got time over the weekend to pause, take a deep breath, and even relax a bit!

What did I read during the last week?

Two of these are books I finished last week — but now I’ve found time to write reviews, so I’m including them again:

A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong: A time-traveling detective! I liked this book a lot — my review is here.

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White: This ghost story/mystery was my book group’s May book. Just an okay read, in my opinion. My review is here.

Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall: A spur-of-the-moment borrow from the library — such adorable fun! My review is here.

Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean: Such a happy follow-up to Tokyo Ever After (which I loved). I’ll be posting a review later this week as part of the blog tour for this book’s release — stay tuned!

Pop culture & TV:

My son and I finished Moon Knight , which was consistently fun but also consistently confusing. I finally got around to watching the final batch of Grace & Frankie episodes. It’s been a fun show to watch, but it felt like it was time for it to end.

And, oh boy, The Boys is back, crazy and out-of-line as ever.

Puzzle of the week:

It’s another fun “world of” puzzle from Laurence King Publishing:

This one is The World of Charles Dickens — as with the other puzzles in the series, it has a ton of tiny details, including people and places from his novels. There’s a poster included that identifies who’s who, which is super helpful to refer to once the puzzle is done. This one was a bit more challenging than some of the others. All those roofs and windows!!

In case you’re interested, here’s the product image and purchase link:

Fresh Catch:

This hardcover (which I preordered ages ago) arrived this week:

(Yes, I already finished the audiobook… but I really needed a hard copy too!)

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle by Jenny Ryan: I’d planned to start this a week ago… better late than never!

Now playing via audiobook:

A Spindle Splintered by Alix E. Harrow: The second Fractured Fables book (A Mirror Mended) will be out mid-June, so this felt like the right time for a re-read of book #1. I read the print edition when it was released last year, and I’m enjoying the audiobook so far!

Ongoing reads:

These books will be on my plate for months to come:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’ve started our group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: My book group’s current classic read. We’re reading one scene per week — now in the middle of Act III.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

Shelf Control #321: Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Before You Know Kindness
Author: Chris Bohjalian
Published: 2005
Length: 448 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

For ten summers, the Seton family—all three generations—met at their country home in New England to spend a week together playing tennis, badminton, and golf, and savoring gin and tonics on the wraparound porch to celebrate the end of the season. In the eleventh summer, everything changed. A hunting rifle with a single cartridge left in the chamber wound up in exactly the wrong hands at exactly the wrong time, and led to a nightmarish accident that put to the test the values that unite the family—and the convictions that just may pull it apart.

Before You Know Kindness is a family saga that is timely in its examination of some of the most important issues of our era, and timeless in its exploration of the strange and unexpected places where we find love.

As he did with his earlier masterpiece, Midwives, Chris Bohjalian has written a novel that is rich with unforgettable characters—and absolutely riveting in its page-turning intensity.

How and when I got it:

I have a paperback edition on my shelf — but it’s been enough years that I don’t remember where or when I actually got it.

Why I want to read it:

At this point, Chris Bojhalian’s new book releases are always a cause for celebration. I just checked my reading records — it turns out that I’ve read all of his past nine new books! I’ve read a couple of older ones too, but there are still some I haven’t gotten to, and Before You Know Kindness is one of those.

This author never fails to surprise and provoke — whether it’s historical fiction or a family drama, set in WWII or modern New York or Puritan-era Boston, his books always deliver compelling plots, multi-layered characters, and knotty dilemmas.

Before You Know Kindness sounds fascinating, telling the story of a family destroyed (or maybe not? hard to tell from the synopsis) by a violent accident. I’m very curious to find out more — what exactly happened, who was involved, what were the repercussions?

It’s always exciting to know that a favorite author has more books in their backlist to explore. I’m looking forward to reading this one, as well as a few others by Chris Bohjalian that I haven’t quite managed to get to yet.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

The Monday Check-In ~ 5/30/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

It’s been a busy, jam-packed week. I did not finish reading a single book!! But I’m not complaining, since it’s also been pretty fun.

My family attended two different weddings this weekend — in both cases, the brides are the daughters of old friends, and had originally planned weddings for over a year ago before COVID changed everything. The brides both grew up with my daughter, and she came to town for the long weekend so she could attend, so that was an extra bonus for me!

What did I read during the last week?

So yeah, no books finished this past week! Too much going on, not enough time to read or go for walks (which is when I do most of my audiobook listening). So… I’m *this close* to finishing both of these (one e-book, one audiobook) — I hope to finish today or tomorrow.

Pop culture & TV:

An excellent wrap-up to This Is Us. I’m going to miss spending time with those characters!

Beyond that, my son and I have been watching Moon Knight — it’s fun, but confusing. And having now watched two episodes of The Time Traveler’s Wife, I’m mostly liking it. It’s not nearly as bad as some of the reviews have described it, but the fact that I loved the book and can already accept the weirder elements probably helps.

Fresh Catch:

No new books this week!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

(These are my next-up books… haven’t started yet!)

Currently in my hands:

The Wedding Dress Sewing Circle by Jenny Ryan: This book releases tomorrow, and I’m excited to start it! Jenny Ryan’s books are always terrific.

Now playing via audiobook:

Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean: I’m excited for this audiobook too! This is the sequel to Tokyo Ever After, which I loved.

Ongoing reads:

These books will be on my plate for months to come:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’ve started our group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: My book group’s current classic read. We’re reading one scene per week — now in the middle of Act III.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

Shelf Control #320: Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: Foundryside
Author: Robert Jackson Bennett
Published: 2018
Length: 512 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Sancia Grado is a thief, and a damn good one. And her latest target, a heavily guarded warehouse on Tevanne’s docks, is nothing her unique abilities can’t handle.

But unbeknownst to her, Sancia’s been sent to steal an artifact of unimaginable power, an object that could revolutionize the magical technology known as scriving. The Merchant Houses who control this magic–the art of using coded commands to imbue everyday objects with sentience–have already used it to transform Tevanne into a vast, remorseless capitalist machine. But if they can unlock the artifact’s secrets, they will rewrite the world itself to suit their aims.

Now someone in those Houses wants Sancia dead, and the artifact for themselves. And in the city of Tevanne, there’s nobody with the power to stop them.

To have a chance at surviving–and at stopping the deadly transformation that’s under way–Sancia will have to marshal unlikely allies, learn to harness the artifact’s power for herself, and undergo her own transformation, one that will turn her into something she could never have imagined.

In a city that runs on industrialized magic, a secret war will be fought to overwrite reality itself–the first in a dazzling new series from City of Stairs author Robert Jackson Bennett. 

How and when I got it:

I picked up the paperback edition 2 – 3 years ago.

Why I want to read it:

I remember seeing very positive reviews when this book first came out, and since some of these positive reviews were by bloggers whose tastes tend to align with mine, I made a note to check it out. So, of course, when I stumbled into a used book store and found a copy, I couldn’t resist!

The synopsis sounds complicated but intriguing. Industrialized magic? Deadly transformations? Powerful artifacts? Check, check, and check — definitely up my alley.

My hesitation about starting Foundryside are (a) lately, anything over 500 pages feels pretty daunting, and (b) it’s the first in a trilogy, and I already have too many series and trilogies to keep up or catch up with. On the plus side, it’s a (soon-to-be) finished trilogy, since the 3rd book will be released next month — so no getting invested in an ongoing story and then having the conclusion not yet published or not expected for years and years.

This sounds like a book with complex world-building, which means I shouldn’t start it until I know I have the patience and uninterrupted time to really concentrate. I have a strong suspicion I’ll enjoy it once I start — the problem will be psyching myself up to actually dive in.

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

The Monday Check-In ~ 5/23/2022

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My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

It’s been another busy workweek, so I was happy to spend the weekend basically doing nothing but reading and getting outside to enjoy the sunshine as often as possible.

I went to my very first Zumba class this week! I decided I needed more cardio in my routine (I basically was doing none), and I know I tend to like dance-based workouts more than other types of group exercise classes. It was fun! Hard, but fun. I’m going to keep going! (And since I’m putting in writing and sharing it, I guess I’ll have to stick with it!)

What did I read during the last week?

Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel: Ew. Creepy, but not in a good way. My review is here.

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu and Suzanne Walker: A sweet, fun YA graphic novel featuring witches, werewolves, and lots of really positive and diverse representation.

In audiobooks, I finished books 3 and 4 in the lovely Mure series by Jenny Colgan. I wrote a wrap-up post (here), and now I’m just eagerly awaiting the release of book #5 in June!

Puzzle of the week:

Another good one from Laurence King (1000 pieces):

This one is called The World of the Tudors. It wasn’t particularly hard, but all the little details made it really fun to do. Here’s the product image:

Pop culture & TV:

Another movie! That’s two weeks in a row of seeing movies in an actual movie theater! I saw The Northman with a friend. It was so well done, but very gory and violent.

This last batch of This Is Us episodes are bringing on the waterworks! Can’t believe the series finale is coming up this week.

Fresh Catch:

I’ve won two Goodreads giveaway this month, when I haven’t won a single one in years!

I’d forgotten that I entered the giveaway for The Lioness! I’ve already read an ARC via NetGalley (and loved it), but it’s nice to have the actual Kindle edition now too. And this week, I found out that I’ve won a print edition of The Hidden Palace by Helene Wecker, which is super exciting! It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m thrilled to have won!

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

A Rip Through Time by Kelley Armstrong: I’ve only read the first two chapters, but it seems interesting! I’m just a little bummed to see this book listed on Goodreads as the first in a series — when I requested it on NetGalley, I expected it to be a stand-alone.

Now playing via audiobook:

The House on Tradd Street by Karen White: My book group’s book for May — I’m a little behind. I’ve only listened to about 20% so far. I’m loving the Charleston setting (I lived there for a few years, ages ago), but despite being published in 2008, the book feels a little dated somehow. My book group friends all seem to really like the story, so I’m feeling hopeful overall.

Ongoing reads:

These books will be on my plate for months to come:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’ve started our group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: My book group’s current classic read. We’re reading one scene per week — starting Act III this week.

So many books, so little time…

boy1

Shelf Control #319: The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: The House on the Strand
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Published: 1969
Length: 352 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

Dick Young is lent a house in Cornwall by his friend Professor Magnus Lane. During his stay he agrees to serve as a guinea pig for a new drug that Magnus has discovered in his scientific research.

When Dick samples Magnus’s potion, he finds himself doing the impossible: traveling through time while staying in place, thrown all the way back into Medieval Cornwall. The concoction wear off after several hours, but its effects are intoxicating and Dick cannot resist his newfound powers. As his journeys increase, Dick begins to resent the days he must spend in the modern world, longing ever more fervently to get back into his world of centuries before, and the home of the beautiful Lady Isolda…

How and when I got it:

I bought the e-book edition several years ago.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve been seeing several bloggers sharing posts for Daphne du Maurier Reading Week (hosted by Heavenali) — and while I wasn’t thinking about this in time to participate, seeing the posts reminded me that I have a bunch of Daphne du Maurier books that I need to read! In fact, the only boos of her that I’ve read is the one that pretty much everyone has read, Rebecca. But I know there’s so much more to explore, and I do want to make a point of reading more of her books.

The House on the Strand caught my attention as soon as I first came across it. I mean… hello? Time travel fan here!

I’d guess time travel was a much less written-about fiction device at the time when this book was published. It was one of the author’s later books (published 30 years after Rebecca) — I’m so curious about how she portrayed the time travel elements, as well as what the overall reaction to the book was at the time of publication. (I know I could look up this piece, but would rather wait until after I’ve actually read the book).

I believe I have 4 or 5 of the author’s books sitting unread on my physical or virtual bookshelves. The House on the Strand seems like a great place for me to start.

What do you think? Have you read this book? Do you have a favorite Daphne du Maurier book to recommend?

Please share your thoughts!


__________________________________

Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

The Monday Check-In ~ 5/16/2022

cooltext1850356879

My Monday tradition, including a look back and a look ahead — what I read last week, what new books came my way, and what books are keeping me busy right now. Plus a smattering of other stuff too.

Life.

What a week! For the first time since 2020, I took a little vacation that was purely for fun, and loved it! My husband and I spent three days in the Palm Springs area (Southern California), and lucked into some great weather while we were there.

I’d originally thought we’d be mostly exploring Palm Springs itself, but we ended up spending most of our time outdoors, hiking and enjoying the gorgeous settings. We spent one day at Joshua Tree National Park, then did some other trails at a state park and a local canyon. Bliss!

A Joshua tree, at Joshua Tree National Park

It didn’t hurt that we stayed at a hotel with a lovely pool and some interesting spa/relaxation options, including a Himalayan salt room. I’m not sure that it was actually therapeutic, but it felt luxurious to lie there all the same!

And now, back to reality…

What did I read during the last week?

Seasonal Fears by Seanan McGuire: This story about living embodiments of Summer and Winter kept my attention, despite how confusing it all gets. My review is here.

Something Wilder by Christina Lauren: This author duo’s romances are always fun, but this one was less to my taste than some of their others because of the focus on an adventure story with a dangerous/criminal element. My review is here.

By the Book (Meant to Be, #2) by Jasmine Guillory: This retelling of Disney’s Beauty & the Beast for grown-ups is just as sweet and enchanting as you’d expect. My review is here.

The Emma Project (Rajes, #4) by Sonali Dev: This modern-day interpretation of Jane Austen’s Emma is a quick read, but I found some of the emotional entanglements overwrought. The main fun is figuring out how these characters relate to the Austen characters — it’s not always obvious! My review is here.

Pop culture & TV:

First time in a movie theater in a year! My son and I went to see the new Doctor Strange movie and it was… okay. I’m not a big fan of the character anyway, and I really didn’t like who they chose to be the villain of the piece. It felt like very unfair treatment of a great character. But, there’s plenty of fun, some good actions sequences, and a few surprising cameos, so overall, still an enjoyable experience.

I think I’m going to start watching the new HBO adaptation of The Time Traveler’s Wife… but with severe trepidation. The reviews have been awful!! Still, at one point, it was a favorite book, so I’m curious enough to want to check it out.

Puzzle of the week:

It’s been a few weeks since I last did a jigsaw puzzle, but over the weekend, I indulged. This one was really fun! Another great puzzle from the Laurence King literary-themed puzzle collection — The World of Dracula. So many terrific details to pore over and enjoy! Here’s what my finished version looked like (excuse the shoddy lighting and photography…):

And here’s the product image:

Fresh Catch:

Haha, my new book makes me laugh just by looking at it! This is a graphic novel by Julia Quinn, bringing to life a story that her Regency characters read in various books. It looks incredibly silly… and who doesn’t need some silliness in their reading every now and then?

What will I be reading during the coming week?

Currently in my hands:

Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel: I’ve only just gotten started, so all I know so far is that it has to do with girls who grew up in a cult. And that it has a creepy cover!

Now playing via audiobook:

Christmas on the Island (Mure, #3) by Jenny Colgan: I don’t typically read Christmas-themed books, but I make an exception for author Jenny Colgan, especially when the book fits into a series that I love! This is the 3rd book in her lovely Mure series, and I’m so happy to be back with these terrific characters!

Ongoing reads:

These books will be on my plate for months to come:

  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone by Diana Gabaldon: Over at Outlander Book Club, we’ve started our group read of BEES, reading and discussing two chapters per week. If anyone wants to join us, just ask me how! All are welcome.
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare: My book group’s current classic read. We’re reading one scene per week — in the middle of Act II this week.

So many books, so little time…

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