Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Coming Soon to a Bookshelf Near You: Summer Edition

Book Shelf

Hello Friends -

Beautiful weather in Minnesota and tomorrow the MN State Fair starts.  It is always bitter sweet as that means school is starting very soon.   Soccer Season has already started, and Tommy made the varsity team.  Life is good….my family is good!   I am meeting my reading goals, but slacking on writing reviews!

Currently Reading:

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What are you reading???  What is your best summer read???

How to do you keep track of new books coming out??  I thought I would share some books that caught my eye so far this summer.   I know I have already gotten on the waitlist for a few at the library.   The books are still on order and I am not even the first person to request the book. 

I always have a TBR list that is ever growing, but I hate to forget about a book I heard of.  Maybe I will have a better chance with my TBR list when I retire - 15+ years from now!

Here are some new releases or upcoming release that have caught my eye.   I hope you find something that interests you as well!

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GIVEAWAY:  I will be holding a give away of 1 previously read copy of Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris on Reading in White Bear Lake in September!!  Sign up to receive updates so you don’t miss your chance!

Happy Reading!


*Note – if you would like to keep up with book reviews on Reading in White Bear Lake, please take a moment to like us on facebook!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

GIVEAWAY: Win a Print Copy of Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

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Title:  Baby Teeth
Author: Zoje Stage 
(Website) (Twitter) (GoodReads)
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press (July 17, 2018)
Length: 320
Source: Author/Publisher

About the Book: (Goodreads.com)

Sweetness can be deceptive.

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette's husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

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GIVEAWAY: I have three copies of Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage to giveaway. To enter, please head over to Our Reading in WBL facebook page.  Please comment on the giveaway post with the latest book you read that you enjoyed and why to be entered into the giveaway! We’ll announce a winner on June 30th . Good luck.

GIVEAWAY: USA only, please.

Click TO ENTER on facebook page!

Happy Reading!


*Note – if you would like to keep up with book reviews on Reading in White Bear Lake, please take a moment to like us on facebook!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Coming Soon to a Bookshelf Near You: May 2018

Book Shelf

Hello Friends -

Finally, it is warming up in Minnesota, which has me wanting to make more time to read.   I love walking and listening to audio books.   I have joined a book club again.  This one meets every other month, which works well for me.   Most of the books selected for this year, I already had on shelf waiting to be read.  I decided to cancel my audible subscription and have been having good luck with downloading audiobooks from the library. 

I recently started the Cork O’Connor Mystery Series audiobooks.   Cork is a former cop living in the Minnesota's northern lake country.  I have listened to the first two books in the series.   As many know, my family loves the Duluth and North Shore area of MN.  So of course I will enjoy books set in that area as well.  William Kent Krueger does a very nice job weaving in the Anishinaabe culture into the stories. 

Currently Reading:

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What are you reading???

To help with you with your May reading,  I thought I would share some books that have caught my eye.   These books will be available in May.  If you like, maybe even get on the waitlist at the library for these upcoming titles.  As a book blogger, I am able to request, read and provide feedback on upcoming titles.   I love being able to do this, but some months my ambitions are larger than what time allows.  I still have a full time job which interferes regularly with my reading/blogging schedule.  So I decided to share with you some upcoming releases that have caught my eye.    I would hate for you to miss an upcoming title due to my lack of time!!

Here are some books which will be available in bookstores in May 2018, that caught my eye!

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GIVEAWAY:  We will be holding a give away of 3 copies of Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage on Reading in White Bear Lake in May!!  Sign up to receive updates so you don’t miss your chance!

Happy Reading!


*Note – if you would like to keep up with book reviews on Reading in White Bear Lake, please take a moment to like us on facebook!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Review: The Nearness to You by Amanda Eyre Ward


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Title:The Nearness to You
Author: Amanda Eyre Ward (Facebook)
(Website) (Twitter) (Instagram) (Goodreads)
Genre: Literary
Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books (January 31, 2017)
Length: 7 hours and 45 minutes
Source:
Audiobook Jukebox‘s reviewer program

 

 

About the Book: (From Goodreads)

In this profound and lyrical novel, acclaimed author Amanda Eyre Ward explores the deeper meanings of motherhood—from the first blissful hello to the heart-wrenching prospect of saying goodbye.

Brilliant heart surgeon Suzette Kendall is stunned when Hyland, her husband of fifteen years, admits his yearning for a child. From the beginning, they’d decided that having children was not an option, as Suzette feared passing along the genes that landed her mother in a mental institution. But Hyland proposes a different idea: a baby via surrogate.

Suzette agrees, and what follows is a whirlwind of candidate selections, hospital visits, and Suzette’s doubts over whether she’s made the right decision. A young woman named Dorothy Muscarello is chosen as the one who will help make this family complete. For Dorrie, surrogacy (and the money that comes with it) are her opportunity to leave behind a troubled past and create a future for herself—one full of possibility. But this situation also forces all three of them—Dorrie, Suzette, and Hyland—to face a devastating uncertainty that will reverberate in the years to come.

Beautifully shifting between perspectives, The Nearness of You deftly explores the connections we form, the families we create, and the love we hold most dear.

My Review:  3/ liked it – The initial story line of The Nearness of You starts with Suzette a heart surgeon.  She is very career orientated and does not want to have any children.  She is afraid her upbringing has not prepared her to be a good mother.   Suzette is also concerned that her mother’s mental health problems will be passed on.  Hyland is an architect and changes his mind.  He now wants to have a baby, even though he agreed to this arrangement previously. 

Suzette and Hyland do decide to start a family through surrogacy.   This is where 21 year old  Dorrie, looking to escape her current life, comes into the story.  Dorrie agrees to be Suzette and Hyland’s surrogate.  She plans to use the money from being a surrogate to escape her life with her mother and attend college.  Nearness to You by Amanda Eyre Ward is told in alternating view points.  The view points of Dorrie, Suzette and Hyland are very well conveyed in regards to their feelings about having a baby, their fears and concerns about surrogacy. 

Dorrie decides to keep the baby.   She has to live a life of fear and makes many poor decisions to keep her baby.   Later, the baby, is raised by Suzette and Hyland.   She is named Eloise, after Hylands sister.   Eloise struggles with feelings  of not belonging as a teen and seeks answers.  She goes down a scary path, which leads her to some surprising information.  The pace of the story is good and keeps you engage.  There are twists and turns to keep you interested.   The ending leaves far too many loose ends, felt rushed and did not give me closure with the characters and their stories.   It felt like the author just stop writing before the end.  The journey to the end was wonderful, the ending just fell flat for me.

Nearness to You is a emotional read dealing with surrogacy, the bond of motherhood and difficult childhood experiences  and how those experiences affect us. 

My Rating Scale: 1 – didn’t like it; 2 – it was ok; 3 – liked it; 4 – really liked it; 5 – it was amazing

Happy Reading!

**Disclosure – The Nearness to You by Amanda Eyre Ward was received from The Audiobook Jukebox reviewer program in exchange for a fair review. All opinions are my own.  This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Coming Soon to a Bookshelf Near You: August 2017

Book Shelf

Loving this warm weather!   I can’t believe it is August already.   Summers in Minnesota go by so quickly.   We have been pretty busy in July.  Hubby and boys have been going to all the MN United Games (soccer).   They certainly are getting good use of their season tickets.  The remodel of the basement room is done.   Just waiting for the carpet to arrive and be installed.   Than we will be working on moving our youngest son to that room.  Next week they will be here to install new kitchen flooring.   I read a few books in June, but as you can see, I haven’t been writing many reviews. 

This week, I am sort of on vacation.   I am only working a few hours a day from home, while I am home caring for my father in law.  I hope to get some reading and reviewing done as well as just organizing in the house.   I also need to start walking again each evening,  which will have me listening to more audiobooks.   Never enough hours in the day!  

Currently Reading: 

Home Sweet Home by April Smith (set in South Dakota)

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In the Country We Love: My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero (very timely, deals with immigration)

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To help with your August reading,  I thought I would share some books that have caught my eye.   These books will be available in August.  If you like, maybe even get on the waitlist at the library for these upcoming titles.  As a book blogger, I am able to request, read and provide feedback on upcoming titles.   I love being able to do this, but some months my ambitions are larger than what time allows.  I still have a full time job which interferes regularly with my reading/blogging schedule.  So I decided to share with you some upcoming releases that have caught my eye.    I would hate for you to miss an upcoming title due to my lack of time!!

Here are some books which will be available in bookstores in August 2017, that caught my eye!

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Happy Reading!


*Note – if you would like to keep up with book reviews on Reading in White Bear Lake, please take a moment to like us on facebook!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Review: Practicing Normal by Cara Sue Achterberg

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Title:  Practicing Normal
Author: Cara Sue Achterberg
(Facebook) (Website) (Twitter)
Genre: Woman’s Fiction
Publisher: Story Plant (June 6, 2017)
Length: 336
Source: Providence Book Promotions

 

  

About the Book:

The houses in Pine Estates are beautiful McMansions filled with high-achieving parents, children on the fast track to top colleges, all of the comforts of modern living, and the best security systems money can buy. Welcome to normal upper-middle-class suburbia.

The Turners know in their hearts that they're anything but normal. Jenna is a high-schooler dressed in black who is fascinated with breaking into her neighbors' homes, security systems be damned. Everett genuinely believes he loves his wife . . . he just loves having a continuing stream of mistresses more. JT is a genius kid with Asperger's who moves from one obsession to the next. And Kate tries to manage her family, manage her mother (who lives down the street), and avoid wondering why her life is passing her by.

And now everything is changing for them. Jenna suddenly finds herself in a boy-next-door romance she never could have predicted. Everett's secrets are beginning to unravel on him. JT is getting his first taste of success at navigating the world. And Kate is facing truths about her husband, her mother, and her father that she might have preferred not to face.

Life on Pine Road has never been more challenging for the Turners. That's what happens when you're practicing normal.

Combining her trademark combination of wit, insight, and tremendous empathy for her characters, Cara Sue Achterberg has written a novel that is at once familiar and startlingly fresh.

untitled Author Bio:

Cara Sue Achterberg is a writer and blogger who lives in New Freedom, PA with her family and an embarrassing number of animals. Her first novel, I’m Not Her, was a national bestseller, as was her second, Girls’ Weekend. Cara’s nonfiction book, Live Intentionally, is a guide to the organic life filled with ideas, recipes, and inspiration for liv- ing a more intentional life. Cara is a prolific blogger, occasional cowgirl, and busy mom whose essays and articles have been published in numerous anthologies, magazines, and websites. Links to her blogs, news about upcoming publications, and pictures of her foster dogs can be found at CaraWrites.com.

 

My Review:  4/5 Rating – Practicing Normal, don’t we all do that?  Going through life doing the best we can and telling ourselves it is alright.  Kate wants to believe her marriage to Everett is good, though in the back of her mind are those thoughts that contradict that belief.  Teenage years are hard, Jenna is only going through “typical” teenage stage of life.   As with many families, mine included, add the caring for an aging parent while raising your own children and you are just trying to make it through the day.   Kate’s life is busy from morning to night caring for her family.  As we all know, life isn’t always what it seems or what we want to believe it is.   Kate gets a wake up call that is hard to deny, which changes the course of her family and life.  

Cara Sue Achterberg skillfully intertwines into Practicing Normal, the story of a father who abandoned his family and all the emotions associated with the discovery of that story.  In addition the author addresses, very well I might add, the struggles of raising a child on the spectrum in combination with caring for an aging parent.  This really resonated with me as this is an actual struggle in my own life. Cara Sue Achterberg captures the emotions is such a real way, that really touched me. 

Cara Sue Achterberg does a remarkable job with character development.  Each character is well defined and you feel a real connection with them. I felt a real connect with Kate as well as her mother.  The secondary characters such as Cassie (hospice nurse) and the retired Doctor are also so well developed and play an important part in the story.   Practicing Normal by Cara Sue Achterberg is told from three perspectives, Kate (mom and wife of Everett), Jenna (daughter) and Everett.   I liked this as each perspective was different and helped you to understand that character better, as well as the dynamics between the main characters.  

I found myself sitting down on Sunday morning meaning to read for an hour, only to get up 4 hours later having finished the book.  I found myself immersed in the lives of Kate and her family and just lost track of time.  I have never really had an opinion on a title of a book, but Practicing Normal is the perfect title!! 

Practicing Normal is a authentic portrayal of the complex lives many of us lead and the desire to hold it all together and be perceived as normal.   If you enjoy stories of family dynamics, Practicing Normal will not disappoint.  I think you will enjoy spending a Sunday afternoon with the Turner family as I didl!

Practicing Normal by Cara Sue Achterberg is currently only $1.99 in the kindle format and free with kindle unlimited – don’t miss out on this great read! 

Click here to view the Practicing Normal by Cara Sue Achterberg Book Tour Participants
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading!

**Disclosure – Practicing Normal by Cara Sue Achterberg was received from  Providence Book Promotions in exchange for a fair review. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Coming Soon to a Bookshelf Near You: July 2017

Book Shelf

Loving this warm weather!   I can’t believe it is July already.   Summers in Minnesota go by so quickly.   We were pretty busy in June with starting a remodel project and work projects.  I read only a couple of books in June.  I am walking again each evening, which has me listening to more audiobooks. 

Currently Reading:  To Siri with Love: A Mother, Her Autistic Son and the Kindness of Machines by Judith Newman (available in stores, August 2017)

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Currently Listening:  The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers

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To help with your July reading,  I thought I would share some books that have caught my eye.   These books will be available in July.  If you like, maybe even get on the waitlist at the library for these upcoming titles.  As a book blogger, I am able to request, read and provide feedback on upcoming titles.   I love being able to do this, but some months my ambitions are larger than what time allows.  I still have a full time job which interferes regularly with my reading/blogging schedule.  So I decided to share with you some upcoming releases that have caught my eye.    I would hate for you to miss an upcoming title due to my lack of time!!

Here are some books which will be available in bookstores in July 2017, that caught my eye!

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Happy Reading!


*Note – if you would like to keep up with book reviews on Reading in White Bear Lake, please take a moment to like us on facebook!