Thursday, October 19, 2017

THE HATE U GIVE

Author:  Angie Thomas
Genre:  YA Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2017
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Bahni Turpin
Yearly Count:  37


High schooler, Starr, lives in a poor, gang-invested neighborhood, yet she attends school in a posh environment.  She struggles with where she fits in.  With the past and current violence around her, Starr needs to figure out who she is and what she stands for.

This book was interesting, and it kept my attention, but it may be more eye-opening for the intended audience of young adults.  Actually, it's perfect for them.  It delves into a lot of teen topics (adult, as well) and gives a personal feel to emotions experienced.  Good book, but not great.

Thoughts of Joy

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE

Author:  Gail Honeyman
Genre:  Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2017
Personal Rating:  4/5 (very good)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Cathleen McCarron
Yearly Count:  36


Eleanor is an awkward woman who holds onto a difficult childhood.  She meets a co-worker and the life she knows begins to change.

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would.  It didn't make me laugh, but it did remind me a little of a more uptight Rebecca Bloomwood (Shopaholic Series).  I "saw" people I know in real life that have had traits like Eleanor and actually wanted to help her at times.  However, other times, I felt it was a bit far-fetched that she didn't know or understand something.  The storyline was definitely stretched here and there.  Ultimately, I'm happy I listened to this book and was delighted that something surprised me.

Thoughts of Joy

Sunday, October 01, 2017

September Reads





Monthly - Yearly

Audiobooks:  1 - 26

Books:  0 - 5 

eBooks:  0 - 4 

New-to-Me Authors:  0 - 26  

Short Story Collection:  0 - 0

DNF:  1 - 3

Monday, September 25, 2017

BRILLIANCE

Author:  Marcus Sakey
Genre:  Paranormal, Brilliance Trilogy
Published:  2013
Personal Rating:  DNF  #3
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Luke Daniels



I really tried to like this book.  After listening to close to 4 CDs, I gave up.  It just wasn't a good fit for me.  I'm disappointed, because I have the other books in the trilogy and was really looking forward to all 3.  Oh well.

Thoughts of Joy  

Thursday, September 14, 2017

ONE OF US IS LYING

Author:  Karen McManus
Genre:  YA Mystery, Standalone
Published:  2017
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Various
Yearly Count: 35


From Goodreads:
One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive.  Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

I've been incredibly busy with life lately, and trying to find a book that would keep my attention has been a huge endeavor -- until this one.  It kept me engaged, and I enjoyed it.  Although, I guessed totally wrong, but had fun trying to figure it out.  This was a well done YA mystery.

Thoughts of Joy 

Thursday, August 31, 2017

August Reads





Monthly - Yearly

Audiobooks:  2 - 25

Books:  0 - 5 

eBooks:  1 - 4 

New-to-Me Authors:  2 - 26  

Short Story Collection:  0 - 0

DNF:  0 - 2

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

PARK BENCH

Author:  Christophe Chaboute
Genre:  Graphic Novel, Standalone
Published:  2017
Personal Rating:  2.75/5 (eh +)
Format:  eBook
Yearly Count:  34


From NetGalley:
From its creation, to its witness to the fresh ardor of lovers, the drudgery of businessmen, the various hopes of the many who enter its orbit, the park bench weathers all seasons. Strangers meet at it for the first time. Paramours carve their initials into it. Old friends sit and chat upon it for hours. Others ignore the bench, or (attempt to) sleep on it at night, or simply anchor themselves on it and absorb the ebb and flow of the area and its people.

I have mixed emotions about this graphic novel. The lack of color was interesting, yet it turned out to be very boring and drab; however, it was apropos for its purpose.  The scenarios depicted with a variety of people was fine, but incredibly repetitious -- again, apropos for its purpose.  The stories that developed were okay, nothing exciting or intriguing.  I just kept turning the pages.  Now, the actual drawings themselves were very good, especially using only black and white.  They felt like the black was etched off to create a white scene.  I liked that a lot.  Ultimately, mixed emotions remain.

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Gallery Books and NetGalley for providing me with this eGalley.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

THE PASSENGER

Author:  Lisa Lutz
Genre:  Psychological Thriller, Standalone
Published:  2016
Personal Rating:  2.75/5 (eh )
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Madeleine Maby
Yearly Count:  33


From NetGalley:
In case you were wondering, I didn’t do it. I didn’t have anything to do with Frank’s death. I don’t have an alibi, so you’ll have to take my word for it...

Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone, and flees town. It’s not the first time.

She meets Blue, a female bartender who recognizes the hunted look in a fugitive’s eyes and offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya-now-Amelia accepts. An uneasy―and dangerous―alliance is born.

It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have the courage, the ingenuity, and the desperation, to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret…can she outrun her past?


Well, I didn't have much luck with Lutz's other books, but I really wanted to give this one a try.  I still am not a fan of her style, BUT I actually finished this book!  And, I didn't strongly dislike it!  :)  There was definitely an element of wanting to know what was going to happen instilled in me, and that was a good thing.  Can't say I'm interested in picking up another, but this one wasn't so bad.  😝

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for providing me with the eGalley.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

WHERE IT HURTS

Author:  Reed Farrel Coleman
Genre:  Mystery, Gus Murphy Series #1
Published:  2016
Personal Rating:  3.25/5 (just okay +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/
Chris Andrew Ciulla
Yearly Count:  32


From NetGalley:
Gus Murphy thought he had the world all figured out. A retired Suffolk County cop, Gus had everything a man could want: a great marriage, two kids, a nice house, and the rest of his life ahead of him. But when tragedy strikes, his life is thrown into complete disarray. In the course of a single deadly moment, his family is blown apart and he is transformed from a man who believes he understands everything into a man who understands nothing.

Divorced and working as a courtesy van driver for the run-down hotel in which he has a room, Gus has settled into a mindless, soulless routine that barely keeps his grief at arm's length. But Gus's comfortable waking trance comes to an end when ex-con Tommy Delcamino asks him for help. Four months earlier, Tommy's son T.J.'s battered body was discovered in a wooded lot, yet the Suffolk County PD doesn't seem interested in pursuing the killers. In desperation, Tommy seeks out the only cop he ever trusted—Gus Murphy.

Gus reluctantly agrees to see what he can uncover. As he begins to sweep away the layers of dust that have collected over the case during the intervening months, Gus finds that Tommy was telling the truth. It seems that everyone involved with the late T.J Delcamino—from his best friend, to a gang enforcer, to a mafia capo, and even the police—has something to hide, and all are willing to go to extreme lengths to keep it hidden. It's a dangerous favor Gus has taken on as he claws his way back to take a place among the living, while searching through the sewers for a killer.

I liked Gus and Coleman's writing style, but I found the storyline to be a bit lackluster.  It was a little slow with not much happening.  However, Gus and the narrator (Ciulla) were a good team, and I'll be happy to visit with Gus again.

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Penguin Group and NetGalley for providing me with the eGalley.

Monday, July 31, 2017

July Reads



29.  Roughneck (Lemire) ~ 4.25/5





Monthly - Yearly

Audiobooks:  2 - 23

Books:  1 - 5 

eBooks:  1 - 3 

New-to-Me Authors:  3 - 24  

Short Story Collection:  0 - 0

DNF:  0 - 2

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

LIES SHE TOLD

Author:  Cate Holahan
Genre:  Thriller, Standalone
Published:  2017
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format:  eBook
Yearly Count:  31


From NetGalley:
Sometimes the truth is darker than fiction.

Liza Jones has thirty days to write the thriller that could put her back on the bestseller list. In the meantime, she’s struggling to start a family with her husband, who is distracted by the disappearance of his best friend, Nick. With stresses weighing down in both her professional and her personal life, Liza escapes into writing her latest heroine.

Beth is a new mother who suspects her husband is cheating on her while she’s home alone providing for their newborn. Angry and betrayed, Beth sets out to catch him in the act and make him pay for shattering the illusion of their perfect life. But before she realizes it, she’s tossing the body of her husband’s mistress into the river.

Then the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. Nick’s body is dragged from the Hudson and Liza’s husband is arrested for his murder. Before her deadline is up, Liza will have to face up to the truths about the people around her, including herself. If she doesn’t, the end of her heroine’s story could be the end of her own.

Oh my goodness.  I liked so much about this book, but frankly, it was just too confusing!  It took me about 1/2 the book to get into the swing of the two storylines.  I enjoyed them both immensely, I just couldn't keep anything straight; therefore, not knowing what was real and what wasn't.  (Later to find out, I didn't have all the subtitles in my version.  Uhhhhh, that would have helped tremendously!)  Anyway, I liked the complexity of the story, but I'm writing this a week after finishing it, and I don't remember the actual final ending.  Ultimately, this one seems a bit too confusing to read sporadically (and without subtitles).  : /  I will gladly read another by this author, though.

*subtitles = chapter title headings

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Crooked Lane Books and NetGalley for providing me with this eGalley.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

TIME FLIES WHEN YOU'RE HAVING FUN!



Eleven years!  Eleven!!  My oh my, the years have just flown by!  Although, all the while, I've been having fun!  :) 

Not much has changed since last year; however, I have felt the desire to read actual books lately.  I have read some (read:  not very many, but more than before) and have really enjoyed the old-fashioned method.

Listening to audiobooks remains the priority due to the ability to multi-task, but reading an ebook or picking up an actual book is still a favorite past-time.  I'm very happy to continue keeping track of my reads (in any form) here on Thoughts of Joy.  I hope you'll continue to join me.

Happy Reading!

Thoughts of Joy
(11 years old today!)   

Thursday, July 13, 2017

COP TOWN

Author:  Karin Slaughter
Genre:  Police Procedural, Standalone
Published:  2014
Personal Rating:  2/5 (not enjoyable)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Kathleen Early
Yearly Count:  30


From NetGalley:
Atlanta, 1974: As a brutal murder and a furious manhunt rock the city’s police department, Kate Murphy wonders if her first day on the job will also be her last. She’s determined to defy her privileged background by making her own way—wearing a badge and carrying a gun. But for a beautiful young woman, life will be anything but easy in the macho world of the Atlanta PD, where even the female cops have little mercy for rookies. It’s also the worst day possible to start given that a beloved cop has been gunned down, his brothers in blue are out for blood, and the city is on the edge of war.

Kate isn’t the only woman on the force who’s feeling the heat. Maggie Lawson followed her uncle and brother into the ranks to prove her worth in their cynical eyes. When she and Kate, her new partner, are pushed out of the citywide search for a cop killer, their fury, pain, and pride finally reach the boiling point. With a killer poised to strike again, they will pursue their own line of investigation, risking everything as they venture into the city’s darkest heart.
Hmmm.  This one is terribly difficult for me to rate.  I thought the manhunt was done well, but everything surrounding it was incredibly tough to hear.  There was every kind of discrimination and "ism" you can imagine.  Reality of the times (70s Georgia, and maybe even now), but nonetheless, it was tough to hear over and over and over.  Not a pleasant listen for me, but solving the crime kept me from making it a DNF.  (yikes)

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing me with the eGalley.
  

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

ROUGHNECK

Author:  Jeff Lemire
Genre:  Graphic Novel, Standalone
Published:  2017
Personal Rating:  4.25/5 (very good +)
Format:  Book
Yearly Count:  29


An ex-hockey player and his sister reunite and attempt to bring their broken lives to a better place.

I sat down and read this in a very short period of time.  Obviously, as a graphic novel it's going to go fast, but I was intrigued by the story and the graphics, which encouraged me to keep turning the pages.

Thoughts of Joy
  

Thursday, July 06, 2017

THE LAST ONE

Author:  Alexandra Oliva
Genre:  Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2016
Personal Rating:  2/5 (not enjoyable)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/
Chamberlain & Zanzarella
Yearly Count:  28


From NetGalley:
She wanted an adventure. She never imagined it would go this far.

It begins with a reality TV show.

Twelve contestants are sent into the woods to face challenges that will test the limits of endurance. While they are out there, something terrible happens—but how widespread is the destruction, and has it occurred naturally or is it man-made? Cut off from society, the contestants know nothing of it. When one of them—a young woman the show's producers call Zoo—stumbles across the devastation, she can imagine only that it is part of the game.

Alone and disoriented, Zoo is heavy with doubt regarding the life—and husband—she left behind, but she refuses to quit. Staggering countless miles across unfamiliar territory, Zoo must summon all of her survival skills—and learn new ones as she goes.

But as her emotional and physical reserves dwindle, she grasps that the real world might have been altered in terrifying ways—and her ability to parse the charade will either be her triumph or her undoing.

Sophisticated and provocative, The Last One is a novel that forces us to confront the role that media plays in our perception of what is real: how readily we cast our judgments, how easily we are manipulated.

Dour.  That's the first word that comes to mind to describe this book.  I did not enjoy it for a couple of reasons.  One - it was dour.  Two - I think I prefer to watch reality TV shows over listening to all the monotonous descriptions of every little expression or movement of the contestants.  Just blah.

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing me with the eGalley.

Friday, June 30, 2017

June Reads





Monthly - Yearly

Audiobooks:  2 - 21

Books:  2 - 4 

eBooks:  0 - 2 

New-to-Me Authors:  2 - 21  

Short Story Collection:  0 - 0

DNF:  0 - 2

Monday, June 26, 2017

CAMINO ISLAND

Author:  John Grisham
Genre:  Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2017
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format:  Book
Yearly Count:  27


Five priceless manuscripts have been stolen from Princeton's Library, and they want them back.  Mercer has been approached to help recover them due to her connections to Camino Island where the powers that be think they reside.

As usual, this was a good book.  I find Grisham to be one of few authors that I can count on for a good read.  His writing style is comfortable and lets me breeze through, yet maintains my interest.  This one definitely fits a female audience, which isn't my preference, but I still thought it was good.

Thoughts of Joy
   

Saturday, June 17, 2017

WHAT WAS MINE

Author:  Helen Ross Klein
Genre:  Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2016
Personal Rating:  3.75/5 (good +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Various
Yearly Count:  26


From NetGalley:
Lucy Wakefield is a seemingly ordinary woman who does something extraordinary in a desperate moment: she takes a baby girl from a shopping cart and raises her as her own. It’s a secret she manages to keep for over two decades—from her daughter, the babysitter who helped raise her, family, coworkers, and friends.

When Lucy’s now-grown daughter Mia discovers the devastating truth of her origins, she is overwhelmed by confusion and anger and determines not to speak again to the mother who raised her. She reaches out to her birth mother for a tearful reunion, and Lucy is forced to flee to China to avoid prosecution. What follows is a ripple effect that alters the lives of many and challenges our understanding of the very meaning of motherhood.

After being engaged throughout the entire book, the ending left me incredibly unsatisfied.  I didn't even particularly like any of the characters, but I wanted to listen every chance I got.  Such a disappointing way to end a good experience.  :(

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Gallery Books and NetGalley for providing me with the eGalley.

  

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

BEFORE THE FALL

Author:  Noah Hawley
Genre:  Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2016
Personal Rating:  2.5/5 (eh)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Robert Petkoff
Yearly Count:  25


From NetGalley:
On a foggy summer night, eleven people--ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter--depart Martha's Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs--the painter--and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the tragedy and the backstories of the passengers and crew members--including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot--the mystery surrounding the crash heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy: Was it merely dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations--all while the reader draws closer and closer to uncovering the truth.

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

This started out good, but ended up getting bogged down with too many characters that I didn't care about in the least.  And, the completed storyline felt underwhelming.  

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Grand Central Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with the eGalley.

Friday, June 02, 2017

READING IN THE WILD

Author:  Donalyn Miller 
Genre:  Professional, Companion Book
Published:  2013
Personal Rating:  4/5 (very good)
Format:  Book
Yearly Count:  24


From Goodreads:

Reading in the Wild offers solid advice and strategies on how to develop, encourage and assess key lifelong reading habits,  including dedicating time for reading, planning for future reading, and defining oneself as a reader.  It contains accessible strategies, ideas, tips, lesson plans and management tools along with lists of recommended books.

This a companion book to The Book Whisperer.  It contains all the details needed to run a reading classroom.  It's filled with Miller's experience and has much value for a novice.  

Thoughts of Joy

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May Reads





Monthly - Yearly

Audiobooks:  2 - 19

Books:  1 - 2 

eBooks:  1 - 2 

New-to-Me Authors:  2 - 19  

Short Story Collection:  0 - 0

DNF:  0 - 2

Friday, May 26, 2017

ORPHAN TRAIN RIDER

Author:  Andrea Warren
Genre:  Young Reader NF, Standalone
Published:  1996
Personal Rating:  3.5/5 (good)
Format:  Book
Yearly Count:  23


The true account of Lee Nailling riding an orphan train is told with chapters of the history.

I enjoyed reading the story as a whole, but the writing was a bit choppy.  It was a good introduction to this period of our history and could inspire a child (or adult) to read more.

Thoughts of Joy

Thursday, May 25, 2017

THE BREAKDOWN

Author:  B. A. Paris
Genre:  Psychological Thriller, Standalone
Published:  2017
Personal Rating:  4/5 (very good)
Format: eBook
Yearly Count:  22


From NetGalley:
If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her . . .

 This was a quick read, mainly because it kept me intrigued, so I wanted to keep reading -- even though I figured out a lot of it from the get-go.  No worries, though.  I really enjoyed it.  Yay for Paris, another "very good" from me!

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with the eGalley.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

THE TEARS OF DARK WATER

Author:  Corban Addison
Genre:  Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2015
Personal Rating:  2.25/5 (not enjoyable +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Korey Jackson
Yearly Count:  21


From NetGalley:
Daniel and Vanessa Parker are an American success story. He is a Washington, DC, power broker, and she is a physician with a thriving practice. But behind the gilded façade, their marriage is a shambles, and their teenage son, Quentin, is self-destructing. In desperation, Daniel dusts off a long-delayed dream of theirs—a sailing trip around the world. Little does he know, the voyage he hopes will save them may destroy them instead.

Half a world away, on the lawless coast of Somalia, Ismail Adan Ibrahim is living a life of crime in violation of everything he was raised to believe—except this: the love and loyalty driving him to hijack ships for ransom and to plot the rescue of his sister, Yasmin, from the man who murdered their father. There is nothing he will not do to save her, even if it means taking innocent life.

Paul Derrick is the FBI's top hostage negotiator. His twin sister, Megan, is a celebrated defense attorney. They have reached the summit of their careers by savvy, grit, and a secret determination to escape the memory of the day their family died. When Paul is dispatched to handle a hostage crisis at sea, he has no idea how far it will take Megan and him into the past—or the chance it will give them to redeem the future.

Across continents and oceans, through storms and civil wars, their paths converge in a single, explosive moment. It is a moment that will test them, and break them, but that will also leave behind an unexpected glimmer of hope—that out of the ashes of tragedy and misfortune the seeds of justice and reconciliation can grow.

 This book moved at a snail's pace.  The first half is the introduction of characters and being hijacked on the ocean. The second half is figuring out why it happened.  For me, much of it was just boring.  (second attempt)

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing me with the eGalley.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

ALWAYS WATCHING

Author:  Chevy Stevens
Genre:  Thriller?, Standalone
Published:  2013
Personal Rating:  2.75/5 (eh +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Joyce Bean
Yearly Count:  20


A psychiatrist realizes that she has much more in common with a patient than she ever imagined.

It was not believable, but I still listened to it.  And it definitely wasn't a thriller.

Thoughts of Joy

Sunday, April 30, 2017

April Reads











Monthly - Yearly

Audiobooks:  4 - 17

Books:  1 - 1 

eBooks:  1 - 1 

New-to-Me Authors:  6 - 17  

Short Story Collection:  0 - 0

DNF:  1 - 2

Thursday, April 27, 2017

THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO US

Author:  Annie Barrows
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2015
Personal Rating:  DNF #2
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Full Cast



I tried reading and listening (over 4 CDs!) to this twice, but it never grabbed my attention.  I was waiting and waiting and waiting for something . . . anything to happen.  Sorry to say, it was just too slow and boring for my taste.  Time to say good-bye.

Thoughts of Joy
   
 My thanks go to Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for providing me with the eGalley.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

THE BOOK WHISPERER

Author:  Donalyn Miller
Genre:  Non-Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2009
Personal Rating:  4.25/5 (very good +)
Format:  Book
Yearly Count:  19


A sixth grade reading teacher shares her philosophy of teaching reading.

Another book that did not shed any new light on the topic; however, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.  It has reawakened the desire in me to tweak a thing or two, and for that, I'm grateful.  Miller's writing is very genuine.  Together we share the love of books (not genres, though!), so I feel a bit of a kinship with her.  :)

Thoughts of Joy
  

HILLBILLY ELEGY

Author:  J. D. Vance
Gerne:  Memoir, Standalone
Published:  2016
Personal Rating:  3.75/5 (good +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/J. D. Vance
Yearly Count:  18


This is an account of a self-professed Hillbilly who makes it against many odds.

Since I have read numerous books regarding poverty (and see it in my profession), this book didn't hold any revelations for me, but it was interesting.  Vance did a great job reading his own work, and I appreciated his efforts in showing that getting out from underneath can be accomplished.

Thoughts of Joy

Saturday, April 15, 2017

THE ROANOKE GIRLS

Author:  Amy Engel
Genre:  Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2017
Personal Rating:  2/5 (not enjoyable)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Brittany Pressley
Yearly Count:  17


Lane Roanoke returns to her grandparents home after the death of her mother.

Incredibly predictable.  Boring.  Incredibly predictable.  (Oops!  Did I say that already?)

The narrator's forced, gravelly voice was the first sign I was in trouble.  It simply was not my type of book.

Thoughts of Joy

Saturday, April 08, 2017

THE DRY

Author:  Jane Harper
Genre:  Mystery, Aaron Falk Series #1
Published:  2017
Personal Rating:  4/5 (very good)
Format:  eBook
Yearly Count:  16


From NetGalley:
After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.

Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.

This is Harper's debut novel, and I think she did a great job! I enjoyed the characters, the mystery and the pace.  I was concerned when I realized there were going to be flashbacks, but they didn't bother me at all, which is very unusual.  I suppose a compelling story is enticing whether it's in real time or flashbacks.  Kudos to Harper!

Thoughts of Joy

My thanks go to Flatiron Books and NetGalley for providing me with the eBook.
        

Friday, April 07, 2017

WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?

Author:  Zoe Heller
Genre:  Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2004
Personal Rating:  2.5/5 (eh)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Nadia May
Yearly Count:  15


An art teacher in a UK school has an affair with a 15-year-old student.

Other than liking the title, I'm not sure how this arrived in my iTunes stash of audiobooks.  It came in handy when I needed a short book, though.  Overall, it was rather boring.  I didn't want to give up on it, but it was difficult to keep my interest.

Thoughts of Joy

Saturday, April 01, 2017

THE RENTED MULE

Author:  Bobby Cole
Genre:  Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2014
Personal Rating:  3/5 (just okay)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/David de Vries
Yearly Count:  14


Cooper has a marriage that's falling apart and a business partner (with problems of his own) that wants to sell the business.  That happens to be just the beginning of the trouble coming his way.

The audiobook performance was not to my liking, but I did want to keep listening.  The plot was a bit goofy, as were the characters; however, I think I just wanted to know how Cooper was going to resolve his dilemmas.

Thoughts of Joy
   
  My thanks go to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for providing me with this eGalley.

Friday, March 31, 2017

March Reads





Monthly - Yearly

Audiobooks:  3 - 13

Books:  0 - 0 

eBooks:  0 - 0 

New-to-Me Authors:  2 - 11  

Short Story Collection:  0 - 0

DNF:  1 - 1

Friday, March 24, 2017

THE LIFE LIST

Author:  Lori Nelson Spielman
Genre:  Women's Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2013
Personal Rating:  3/5 (just okay)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Rebecca Gibel
Yearly Count:  13


When Brett's (female) mother passes away, she must complete some selected items from her Life List that she made when she was 14 years old, in order to receive her inheritance.  

I have no clue how this got in my collection of audiobooks, but I saw it there and for some reason it appealed to me.  I began to get dizzy with all the eye-rolling I was experiencing, but . . . I admit it, I wanted to know how she would accomplish her goals.  It ended up being totally cheesy with lots of predictability, but somewhat enjoyable nonetheless.  😝

Thoughts of Joy


  

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

THE RIVER IS DARK

Author:  John Hart
Genre:  Thriller, Liam Dempsey Series #1 
Published:  2013
Personal Rating:  3.25/5 (just okay +)  
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Erik G. Dove  
Yearly Count:  12


A little boy is the surviving victim in a brutal attack against his family and another.  He only can identify the assailant as a monster.

This book had great potential.  I was enjoying the storyline and the characters until the ending, which was a bit predictable and ridiculous.

Thoughts of Joy

Sunday, March 05, 2017

SHOPAHOLIC TO THE RESCUE

Author:  Sophie Kinsella
Genre:  Chick Lit, Becky Brandon Series #8 
Published:  2015
Personal Rating:  2.5/5 (eh)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Clare Corbett
Yearly Count:  11


Becky gathers up friends and family to assist her in the search of her father.

Someone I know has just started the series and loving it, so I was inspired to audioread the latest.  I didn't dislike it or anything, it just wasn't very good.  It only got a couple of smirks.  Oh well.

Thoughts of Joy


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Reads








Monthly - Yearly

Audiobooks:  10 - 10

Books:  0 - 0 

eBooks:  0 - 0 

New-to-Me Authors:  5 - 9  

Short Story Collection:  0 - 0

DNF:  1 - 1

Monday, February 27, 2017

THE THINGS WE KEEP

Author:  Sally Hepworth
Genre:  Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2016
Personal Rating:  2/5 (not enjoyable)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Plummer & Kreinik
Yearly Count:  10


Anna enters a residential housing situation due to her diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's.

This was not an enjoyable audioread.  I didn't care for either of the storylines, which was pretty much all negative.  And, on occasion, I was confused as to the timeframe.  Blah.  

Thoughts of Joy
    

Thursday, February 23, 2017

THE SNOW CHILD

Author:  Eowyn Ivey
Genre:  Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2012
Personal Rating:  2/5 (not enjoyable)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Debra Monk
Yearly Count:  9


Making a new homestead in Alaska during the 20's proves to be quite a lonely task for Mabel and an exhausting one for her husband, Jack.  They build a snow child one snowy day and that begins a life they never thought they'd know.

This was not my type of book.  I didn't enjoy it at all, but kept listening as I was busy with my hands. I liked the narrator fine, but the content just wasn't my thing.  I can understand why others may like it, though.

Thoughts of Joy


Friday, February 17, 2017

THE MIDWIFE OF HOPE RIVER

Author:  Patricia Harman
Genre:  Fiction, Hope River Series #1
Published:  2012
Personal Rating:  2.25/5 (not enjoyable +)
Format/Narrator:  Audiobook/Anne Wittman
Yearly Count:  8


Patience works as a midwife in West Virginia during the Depression Era.

If you want to read about this birth and that birth and the other birth, then this book is for you.  :)  In all fairness, the births are nothing but miracles and each event blessed; however, there wasn't much more.  There was a lot of "today times" sprinkled in, which didn't seem to fit, but I wasn't around then, so what do I know.  I know that I was bored most of the time.  :(

Thoughts of Joy