Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Girl of the Train

Synopsis (from Amazon): EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

One (or more) Sentence Summary: WOW!  Crazy good thriller.  Told from the view point of three different women, Rachel, Megan and Anna.  Rachel is on the train and will do anything for a drink.  She blacks out a lot, so never sure is what she witnesses is real or made up.  Megan disappears but looks just like Anna.   Anna is the perfect second wife....really?  The Girl on the Train is one crazy good book.

Fast read/slow read:  Super turner.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes, I would.

Paula Hawkins worked as a journalist for fifteen years before turning her hand to fiction. 

Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, Paula moved to London in 1989 and has lived there ever since. The Girl on the Train is her first thriller.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Shopaholic to the Stars

Synopsis (from Amazon): Sophie Kinsella returns to her beloved Shopaholic series with Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) newly arrived in Hollywood and starry-eyed. She and her two-year-old daughter, Minnie, have relocated to L.A. to join Becky’s husband, Luke, who is there to handle PR for famous actress Sage Seymour. Becky can’t wait to start living the A-list lifestyle, complete with celebrity sightings, yoga retreats, and shopping trips to Rodeo Drive. But she really hopes to become a personal stylist—Sage’s personal stylist—if only Luke would set up an introduction. Then, unexpectedly, Becky is offered the chance to dress Sage’s archrival, and though things become a bit more complicated, it’s a dream come true!
Red carpet premieres, velvet ropes, paparazzi clamoring for attention—suddenly Becky has everything she’s ever wanted.
Or does she?

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Another great Shopaholic book.  Just like all the books in the series, laugh out loud, chic-lit at its best, and can't get enough.  Becky doesn't let us down in Shopaholic to the Stars.  Same Becky, new experiences....keep them coming Sophia!

Favorite Character(s):  I love all of them!  The whole cast of character is just perfect and too funny.
Fast read/slow read:  Super fast read.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I read every book by Sophia Kinsella.  Just love all them.

Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series, as well as the novels Can You Keep A Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number, and Wedding Night. She lives in England.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Trails and Triumphs of Golf's Greatest Champions: A Legacy of Hope

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Golf can be a vexing and cruel game, and teaches us much about ourselves. It has been described as “a contest calling for courage, skill, strategy and self-control. It is a test of temper, a trial of honor, a revealer of character.” In the end, as with most of life, success hinges on the character and spirit we possess. But how would our tempers be tested if we suffered a career-threatening injury from a near-fatal car accident, as Ben Hogan did in the prime of his life? How would our honor be preserved if we faced constant derision and racism both on and off the golf course, as Charlie Sifford encountered his entire career? How would our character be revealed if cancer robbed us of the ability to play the game we loved, as it did to Babe Didrikson Zaharias? Would we give in to self pity, or persevere and keep going?

In Trials and Triumphs of Golf’s Greatest Champions: A Legacy of Hope, Lyle Slovick has pulled together the inspirational stories of six golfers and a caddy whose strength of character sustained them against the physical and emotional trials that threatened both their careers and lives. In an era when many athletes have lost their luster as role models, the people in this book—Harry Vardon, Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Charlie Sifford, Ken Venturi, and Bruce Edwards—offer lessons in perseverance, dignity, humility, and faith. Slovick tells each of their stories with rich detail, including the childhoods that shaped their characters, their rise in the world of professional golf, the crises they faced in their lives, their struggles to keep doing what they loved, and their refusal to give up. They had their flaws, to be sure. But when faced with a true test of will, all showed a strength that inspired those around them.

The first book to gather the stories of these golfers into a single volume, Trials and Triumphs of Golf’s Greatest Champions offers a unique blend of characters who shared the same love for a game that gave them the courage and fortitude they needed to face whatever life threw their way. This book will not only interest golfers and fans of the game, it will also inspire those who have suffered their own personal setbacks and show them they are not alone in their trials.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Trails and Triumphs of Golf's Greatest Champions: A Legacy of Hope takes us through the ups and downs of seven men who love the game of golf.  Even though the seven people made history, there lives were not without struggle.  There was a lot research and thought put into the book.  Trials and Triumphs of Golf's Greatest Champions: A Legacy of Hope would make a wonderful gift for golf lovers.

What Others Are Saying:  Make sure you check out what others are saying on the TLC Book Tour.

Wednesday, July 6th: Links Life Golf
Thursday, July 7th: Ruthless Golf
Monday, July 11th: Ottawa Golf Blog
Wednesday, July 13th: Ted Lehmann's Bluegrass, Books, and Brainstorms
Thursday, July 14th: Tina Says…
Monday, July 18th: My Journey Back
Tuesday, July 19th: Seaside Book Nook
Wednesday, July 20th: byron kalies
Thursday, July 21st: Bat Flip Sports
Friday, July 22nd: The Guy Who Reviews Sports Books
Monday, July 25th: The Grateful Golfer

Lyle Slovick is a historian and golf enthusiast, having played and studied the game for over 40 years.  He has an M.A. degree in American History and is a former Assistant University Archivist at the George Washington University, where he worked for 13 years amongst the rare books and manuscripts in the Gelman Library Special Collections Department.  Lyle enjoys telling stories that shed new light and offer new perspective on often well-trod subjects – what he describes as “augmented interpretation.”  This book is an expression of his passion for the game of golf, which has taken him to various major championships around the world, including the Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland, the home of golf.  Lyle enjoys travelling, reading (especially biographies), and resides in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he currently works as a consultant for the United States Golf Association.
Find out more about Lyle at his website, and connect with him on Facebook.

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Purchase Links: Rowman & Littlefield | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Monday, July 18, 2016

Finding Audrey

Synopsis (from Amazon): From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shopaholic series comes a terrific blend of comedy, romance, and psychological recovery in a contemporary YA novel sure to inspire and entertain.

Audrey wears dark glasses all the time, even in the house. She almost never goes out, doesn’t talk to new people, and finds making eye contact to be nearly impossible. 
But then one day she meets Linus. Linus is her brother’s friend and a sensitive spirit with whom she can talk through her fears. He makes her laugh and doesn’t leave her feeling like she’s being judged. As their friendship deepens, Audrey’s recovery gains momentum, and she and Linus begin to develop feelings for each other. But how can they have a future together when Audrey hasn’t dealt with her past? And how could anyone ever love her once they’ve seen her at her worst?

“An outstanding tragicomedy that gently explores mental illness, the lasting effects of bullying, and the power of friends and loving family to help in the healing.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred 
“Kinsella’s knack for humor and sensitivity shine.” Publishers Weekly

One (or more) Sentence Summary: First, let me state that I LOVE Sophia Kinsella.  However, Finding Aubrey didn't do it for me.  I think the issues that the book deals with (anxiety, depression, bullying) are all very serious issues facing YA.  I wish she would have brought more attention to them as I felt they were somewhat masked.  Good read, just not what I would classify as a "typical" laugh until I am crying, Kinsella book.

Fast read/slow read:  I listened to Finding Audrey via Audible.  I wasn't driving around the block or taking the long ride home to get in another chapter.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Of course, as I said, I LOVE Sophia Kinsella and read her books the day they come out.  JUST LOVE THEM.

Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling Shopaholic series as well as the novels Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I've Got Your Number, and Wedding Night. She lives in England.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Is It Day Or Night?

Synopsis (from Amazon): It's 1938, and twelve-year-old Edith is about to move from the tiny German village she's lived in all her life to a place that seems as foreign as the moon: Chicago, Illinois. And she will be doing it alone. This dramatic and chilling novel about one girl's escape from Hitler's Germany was inspired by the experiences of the author's mother, one of twelve hundred children rescued by Americans as part of the One Thousand Children project.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Is It Day Or Night? was a book I found at my school library.  I brought it home and my mom and I started reading it.  We both really liked it and just can't imagine what those children went through.  On one hand they were so lucky to be brought to America, but on the other hand so unlucky to be torn from their families and brought to some where they knew nothing about.  Edith was very strong girl.  She endured a lot of torturing during her journey.  

Fast read/slow read:  A good pace.

Cover:  Makes me so sad.

What Others Are Saying:  Is It Night or Day? is a 2011 Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Yes, I would like to read Like Finding My Twin.

Critically acclaimed Chicago-based writer Fern Schumer Chapman has written three award-winning books. Her memoir, MOTHERLAND -- a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, and a BookSense76 pick -- is a popular choice for book clubs. Her two other books, IS IT NIGHT OR DAY? and LIKE FINDING MY TWIN, are used in middle school classrooms. In 2004, the Illinois Association of Teachers of English (IATE) named Chapman the "Illinois Author of the Year." Twice, Oprah Winfrey shows have featured her books.

IS IT NIGHT OR DAY? explores immigration, Americanization, and identity formation through a little-known program that rescued 1,400 youngsters from the Holocaust. LIKE FINDING MY TWIN showcases how 8th graders reunited two Holocaust refugees. Teachers Guides aligned to the new Core Curriculum State Standards are available for all three books at Fern Schumer Chapman gives many school speeches each year, sharing these amazing stories with students. Her next book will be released in September 2016.

As a journalist and reporter, her work has appeared in many publications including the Chicago Tribune, Forbes, The Forward, The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Fortune, USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, she has taught magazine writing and other seminars at both Northwestern and Lake Forest College.

Amazon |  Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Thanks for reading my review!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Capital Girls

Synopsis (from Amazon): Jackie Whitman, Washington DC's "It Girl." She's drop-dead gorgeous, brilliant and dating the President's son. Under 24/7 media scrutiny, she never makes a mistake…but there's a new guy on the scene with all the right moves. Suddenly, being bad has never looked so good. 
Taylor Cane, blonde bombshell and wild child extraordinaire. She's the leader of the pack and the glue that binds the four of them together. Reckless adventure is her specialty, flirting with danger her drug of choice, no matter the consequences. 
Lettie Velasquez, she's all brains and blind ambition. Her goal: Princeton. Though money and privilege elude her, she's counting on hard work to pay off one of these days. So long as her heart doesn't lead her astray. 
Laura Beth Ballou, poor little rich girl and a real southern belle. She dreams of Julliard and the bright lights of Broadway. She's sweet as pie…until the new girl in town starts messing with her friends. 
Capital Girls forever…But when one of them dies in a mysterious accident, their once impenetrable bond is shaken. And as secrets long kept rise to the surface, the future of their friendship hangs in the balance. One thing's for certain, though: Washington DC will never be the same again.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I am going to date myself here, but I would say this is One Tree Hill/ The O.C. of DC!  I believe the kids today would say its the Gossip Girls take over DC.  Regardless, I thought it was a fantastic read.  I would say this read is for 9th grade up...but again, maybe dating myself!  My twins are in 6th grade and I would not let them read yet.  Great story line, great lessons learned, great characters, great sudo-mystery along the way.

Favorite Character(s):  Lettie Velasquez...the brains, non-materialistic girl!

Fast read/slow read:  Enjoyable pace!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes, and I was happy to find out there are 2 other books in the series.  I can't wait to read them!

Ella Monroe is the pen name of Maz Rauber, a former New York Post reporter, and Amy Reingold, a textile artist and Cordon Bleu trained chef, who've been friends since their kids were in kindergarten. When not writing together at Maz's desk, Amy creates yummy desserts and redesigns vintage coats. Maz can be found gardening on her balcony, kayaking on the Potomac River, or walking her dog, Aussie.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Opening Belle

Synopsis (from Amazon): Getting rich on Wall Street would be a lot more fun if the men would keep their hands off her assets.

A whip-smart and funny novel told by a former Wall Street insider who reveals what it’s like for a working woman to balance love, ambition, and family in a world of glamorous excess, outrageous risk-taking, and jaw-dropping sexism.

In 2008, Isabelle—a self-made, thirty-something Wall Street star—appears to have it all: an Upper West Side apartment, three healthy children, a handsome husband, and a high-powered job. But her reality is something else. Her trading desk work environment resembles a 1980s frat party, her husband feels employment is beneath him, and the bulk of childcare and homecare still falls in Belle’s already full lap.

Enter Henry, the former college fiancé she never quite got over; now a hedge fund mogul. He becomes her largest client, and Belle gets to see the life she might have had with him. While Henry campaigns to win Belle back, the sexually harassed women in her office take action to improve their working conditions, and recruit a wary Belle into a secret “glass ceiling club” whose goal is to mellow the cowboy banking culture and get equal pay for their work. All along, Belle can sense the financial markets heading toward their soon-to-be historic crash and that something has to give—and when it does, everything is going to change: her marriage, her career, her world, and her need to keep her colleagues’ hands to themselves.

From Maureen Sherry, a prize winning writer, a former Managing Director on Wall Street (who never signed a nondisclosure agreement when she left), Opening Belle takes readers into the adrenaline-fueled chaos of a Wall Street trading desk, the lavish parties, the lunch-time rendezvous, and ultimately into the heart of a woman who finds it easier to cook up millions at work than dinner at home.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Loved it!  Devil Wears Prada + Bridget Jones Diary + I Don't Know How She Does It + Wall Street male donimated world + non-driven husband + women power + humor with a dash of crazy = Opening Belle.  Great cast of characters really make the book....fabulous read.

Fast read/slow read:  Super fast listen!

Cover:  Spot on!

What Others Are Saying:  “A smart, biting, and honest peek into what it means to be a woman on Wall Street. I loved this book.” —Reese Witherspoon

Working Girl meets Wolf of Wall Street in this in-depth, behind-the-pinstripe peek inside a temple of elite finance, navigated by a sharp, smart woman in an old boys’ world.” —Jill Kargman, author and creator of Odd Mom Out

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Please, please, please write another working mother book!

After twelve years on Wall Street, Maureen Sherry—formerly, the youngest Managing Director at Bear Stearns and a Cornell graduate—switched gears to earn her Masters of Fine Arts at Columbia University, to write, and to tutor at inner city schools. Walls Within Walls—her first book, a mystery for middle school audiences—has been awarded curriculum prizes by the states of Texas and Connecticut, and she was named one of the Best New Voices by the American Library Association. Maureen is also an active board member of numerous charities. But Maureen believes her biggest project is raising her four children with her husband which never feels like a job at all.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Lift - TLC Book Tour

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis:  A riveting cultural history of fitness, from Greek antiquity to the era of the “big-box gym” and beyond, exploring the ways in which human exercise and physical ideals have changed over time—and what we can learn from our past.

How did treadmills and weight machines become the gold standard of fitness? Why have some of us turned our backs on the mirrors and gleaming devices of the traditional gym? What is the appeal of the stripped-down, functional approach to fitness that’s currently on the rise?
In this captivating narrative, Daniel Kunitz sets out on a journey through history to answer these questions and more. What he finds is that, while we humans have been conditioning our bodies for more than 2,500 years, we’ve done so for a variety of reasons: to imitate gods, to be great warriors, to build nations and create communities, to achieve physical perfection, and, of course, to look good naked. Behind each of these goals is a story and method of exercise that not only illuminates the past but also sheds light on aspects of the widespread, multi-faceted fitness culture of today.
Lift begins with the ancient Greeks, who made a cult of the human body—the word “gymnasium” derives from the Greek word for “naked”—and then takes us on an enlightening tour through time, following Asian martial artists, Persian pahlevans, nineteenth-century German gymnasts, and the bronzed bodies of California’s Muscle Beach. Kunitz uncovers the seeds of the modern gym in the late nineteenth-century with the invention of the first weightlifting machines, and brings us all the way up to the ultimate game-changer: the feminist movement, which kicked off the exercise boom of the 1970s with aerobics, and ultimately helped create the big-box gyms we know today. 
Using his own decade-long journey to transform himself from a fast-food junkie into an ultra-fit—if aging—athlete as a jumping off point, Kunitz argues that another exercise revolution is underway now—a new frontier in fitness, in which the ideal of a bikini body is giving way to a focus on mastering the movements of life.  

One (or more) Sentence Summary: My favorite section of Lift was From Women's Work to Women's Movement.  It brought all sorts of memories for me.  Jazzercise, Jane Fonda's workouts, co-ed gym memberships, Shape magazine, racquetball (do they even play that anymore?), Flashdance, and aerobics.  I remember my first workout was a record album with a book that showed you the exercises.  I remember Working 9 to 5 was one of the songs and I had do windmill toe touches!  Exercise has come a long way, baby! 

If you are into fitness, this is a book for you.
What Others Are Saying:  Make sure you check out what others are saying on the TLC Book Tour.
Tuesday, July 5th: Life By Kristen
Wednesday, July 6th: Seaside Book Nook
Thursday, July 7th: My Life in Books
Friday, July 8th: Literary Quicksand
Monday, July 11th: BookNAround
Tuesday, July 12th: Man of La Book
Wednesday, July 13th: Worth Getting in Bed For
Thursday, July 14th: What Will She Read Next
Monday, July 18th: The Well-Read Redhead
Tuesday, July 19th: Book Journey
Wednesday, July 20th: Luxury Reading
Thursday, July 21st: Evelyn Parham
Thursday, July 21st: Tina Says…

Monday, July 25th: 110 Pounds and counting

Daniel Kunitz has served as editor in chief of Modern Painters, as well as an editor at the Paris Review and Details, and has been a contributor to Vanity Fair, Harper’s Magazine, and New York. He is also an avid CrossFitter and weightlifter. He lives in New York City.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Total Package

Synopsis (from Amazon): The New York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties is back with a funny, sweet, and sizzling novel about love, redemption, and second chances.

Heartthrob star quarterback Tyson Palmer has it all: a million-dollar arm, a winning season and the promise of a Superbowl ring. But more importantly, football’s biggest star is the ultimate comeback kid. After an addiction to painkillers nearly derailed his career, Tyson got sober and went from zero to hero in the eyes of the public.
But one person remains unconvinced: Dani Carr, a sports commentator with high ratings and following of her own.
Dani can’t forgive Tyson’s transgressions or forget a single passionate night with him back in college. To make things worse, Tyson doesn’t realize that the bombshell with huge ratings is the cute co-ed whose heart he once broke.
But can a sports journalist trying to claw her way to the top and a quarterback who knows all about rock bottom make it to the Super Bowl without destroying each other? And what will happen when Tyson—riding high now that he’s revived his career—realizes he needs to make an even more important comeback with Dani? Can he use his million-dollar moves to get past her defenses—or will she sideline him for good?
Stephanie Evanovich is a full-fledged Jersey girl from Asbury Park and the New York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties and The Sweet Spot.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I really enjoyed The Total Package.  I thought I would know where the book was going and that it would be very predictable.  However, right from the start, it was not what I thought it would be.   I liked all the characters and how they all tied together and yet each one had a different story that was weaved into one big story.  I really like the sports/chicklit them.

Fast read/slow read:  The Total Package was a fast listen.  It is one of those type of books you take the long way home so you have more listen time!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes, I have read Big Girl Panties and would like to read/listen to The Sweet Spot.

Stephanie Evanovich began writing fiction while waiting for her cues during countless community theater projects. Now a full-time writer, she’s an avid sports fan who holds a black belt in tae kwon do.