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Sheila

Sheila's Reads

I love to read. I am very eclectic in my reading but I especially enjoy erotica and erotic romance. I also like movies, live theater and concerts, hockey, and counted cross-stitch.

THE ROSIE EFFECT by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Effect: A Novel - Graeme Simsion
  This is the sequel to The Rosie Project. Now Don and Rosie are married, living in New Year, and pregnant. Don has many unusual ways to learn about pregnancy and how he'll be as a father. Unfortunately he and Rosie are not communicating well with each other and havoc ensues.

I love this couple! Don is so literal about everything and Rosie does not want to hear it. She's studying and working on her thesis and does not want to be distracted. Don wants to make sure Rosie is not stressed so he keeps secrets which he has not done before. It blows up in Don's face and he almost loses all that is important to him.

There are the returning characters--Gene, Claudia, and their children. There are new characters--Sonia, Dave, George, the 3 B's, Lydia, and others--that Don has to learn to work with or around. I had to laugh as Don plows right through. I'm going to miss these characters. Don and Rosie were fun!

GIVE ME EVERYTHING YOU HAVE: ON BEING STALKED by James Lasdun

Give Me Everything You Have: On Being Stalked - James Lasdun
  This is his side of being stalked by a former student via the internet. He is detached as he tells the stalking tale. It maddened me. Why didn't he change his e-mail address? Why didn't he go to the local police first? I didn't care about the stalking part. It was unresolved by the end of the book.

What made the book worth reading was when he left the stalking part behind and told stories of his father, of Jerusalem, his train ride, and history of places and people he met. I got lost in those stories. His writing was excellent.

MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE by Robin Sloan

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan
 

I loved this book! It starts slow with Clay explaining how he got to Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore but when he decides there is a mystery about it and it's decided lack of customers it picks up. As I followed Clay and his friends around as they try to unravel the mystery of the bookstore and Mr. Penumbra and his boss, I could not wait for the clues. I loved the pop culture references. When all is revealed I was satisfied. I would love to work in that bookstore.

 

It is even better the second time around.

THE LAST BOOKANEER by Matthew Pearl

The Last Bookaneer - Matthew Pearl

Copyright laws are to go into effect on both sides of the Atlantic.  Bookaneers are book pirates who steal from authors, booksellers, current owners and give to buyers who have hired them.  It is learned that Robert Louis Stevenson is dying and working on his seemingly last book and the most elite bookaneers are after the book. 

 

I loved this book.  How imaginative!  I like the glimpse into Stevenson's life in Samoa.  I also like how the story is told--past and present (present being 1890's.)  Characters abound--all flawed.  I rooted for Davenport but was shocked by all their endings.  Excellent storytelling.  I was grabbed from the beginning and held on for the ride.  A keeper!

ARIANE (LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON) by Claude Anet

Ariane, Jeune Fille Russe - Claude Anet

I have an English translation of ARIANE, entitled LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON.  Used as the basis for the movie of the same name, the flavor of the book is in the movie but, except for the last scene in both, they are different stories.  Ariane is a young woman who gets involved with an older man.  Both try to deny they are in love but truth wins out in the end.

 

I liked this book.  It is romance but so much more.  There is a freedom in Ariane's thoughts toward sex and love that changes her and Constantin.  He hears her words but does not look beneath them until the end.

 

I liked the writing.  It is intelligent and made me think.  The words were not trite.  I am definitely going to read more of Claude Anet.  It was such a pleasure to read a book that I needed a dictionary at times.

THE VEGETARIAN by Han Kang

The Vegetarian: A Novel - Han Kang

I'm not sure what I feel about this book.  It is three points of view about Yeong-hye (husband, brother-in-law, and sister.)  I liked it but I have questions which will probably be answered or discussed in my book club.  The first part I wanted to smack the husband upside the head because of how he dealt with Yeong-hye.  I found the second part sensual and erotic.  The third part as the sister tells her tale made me wonder why they didn't just let her go.  This is not a book that easily can be forgotten.

GHETTOSIDE: A TRUE STORY OF MURDER IN AMERICA by Jill Leovy

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America - Jill Leovy

Putting names to the murdered young black men in LA she tells the story of one, a cop's son, and gives us more vignettes of others around the same time as his.  She also takes us into the detectives' lives who are handed these murders and how they solve them.

 

I liked this book.  While there was a lot of statistics and history of what lead up to the high murder rates of young black men, she puts names to them.  They are not statistics only.  She shows what the detectives do and how invested they are to find their killers.  There were times I cried as she talks about the Tennelle family and tells of funerals and the fears many of the young men have of not living to be 21. 

 

Though a few years old, it is still timely.  Well worth the read.

BORN IN DEATH by J. D. Robb

Born in Death - J.D. Robb, Susan Ericksen

While Dallas has two murders in an accounting firm to deal with, Mavis comes to her about a missing friend who is in her childbirth class.  Eva takes on the case to keep Mavis calm and happy.

 

I liked this story.  I liked seeing Eve and Roarke freaked out about Mavis and her impending childbirth.  I liked how Eve feels pressured into doing the right things for Mavis but lets Peabody do the actual work.  Though dealing with death and kidnapping, I liked the lightheartedness of the impending baby stuff.

EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES by Laura Dave

Eight Hundred Grapes: A Novel - Laura Dave

Georgia is at her final wedding gown fitting when she spots her fiancé walking down the street with a woman and child.  Learning that her fiancé has been less than open with her, she runs back to her childhood home only to learn that her parents are splitting and selling their family vineyard to a competitor.  Georgia has a lot to sort out.

 

I enjoyed this book.  There are a lot of family secrets that come out when Georgia returns home.  Accusations are made and Georgia has to face up to some of them as others in the family have to face up to theirs.  It makes for interesting reading as Georgia keeps putting her problems on the back burner to deal with others' problems only to have them force her to face her own problems.  She needed their insights.

 

I liked most of the characters but not all.  I wasn't crazy about her fiancé, her brother Bobby, or her mother.  They were not warm, fussy people.  The ending is what was right for Georgia.

THE COLOR OF LAW: THE FORGOTTEN HISTORY OF HOW OUR GOVERNMENT SEGREGATED AMERICA by Richard Rothstein

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America - Richard Rothstein

Interesting book on how the government ignored the Constitution to create segregate communities of African-Americans and Caucasians.  I learned a lot and much made me angry.  He gives the history of how and when this happened and remedies to correct the past.  At times I didn't understand but he wrote so that I could understand the concept.  He documents everything.  I especially liked the FAQ section.  Worth reading.

NEVER DARE A WICKED EARL by Renee Ann Miller

Never Dare a Wicked Earl (The Infamous Lords) - Renee Ann Miller
  Hayden is shot by a woman who wants to be his wife. Sophia is his nurse. They are at odds from the beginning on his treatment. He suggests a bet that she will not stay 10 days. And they are off.

I enjoyed this story. Hayden and Sophia are well developed characters. At times they are funny as they fight about his treatment. I am glad that they learned to communicate and tell the truth rather than keep secrets. Both have secrets that weigh them down with guilt. Celia, Hayden's daughter, is a doll. I liked the acceptance both find with the other and within the family.

This is a good set up for the series, Infamous Lords. I look forward to more of the books

TAKING OUT THE TRAILER TRASH by Janice Ivy

Taking Out the Trailer Trash - Janice Ivy

Charlene is a writer making a living managing a trailer court.  She has an array of tenants that make for a wild ride especially when they start dying.  Turns out peoples' pasts are coming back at them.

 

This book held my interest.  The characters are some of the best I've read.  They are well defined and you know who they are.  The story was good.  I wanted to know what secrets were being hidden.  I loved Charlene.  She thinks she is a mild mannered good woman but, wow, when she needs to defend herself, she can. 

 

I look forward to more of the series.

 

ONE SHINGLE TO HANG by Deann Smallwood

One Shingle to Hang - DeAnn Smallwood
  Lil leaves her family in Denver to move to Chesterfield, Colorado, to open her own law practice. She's one of a handful of lady lawyers in the country. Before she has even opened for business she has her first two customers, one a local rancher accused of cattle rustling. She figures out a way to save him and ends up falling in love with Drew.

I loved this story. The characters are well defined. Lil is outspoken and feisty. Drew is a product of his times but he begins to see where he may be wrong. Around them they build a family but not a traditional one. The villains are hiss worthy. Her parents are a piece of work. I loved when she stood up to them. There is a subtle humor running below the surface. I felt happy while reading this. The only thing missing was a clear resolution on the rustling charge but it doesn't change the story or my feelings towards the tale.

A SENSE OF THE WORLD: HOW A BLIND MAN BECAME HISTORY'S GREATEST TRAVELER by Jason Roberts

A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler - Jason Roberts

An interesting man who went from being a naval lieutenant who suffered from joint pain then became blind and traveled the world alone.  Fascinating!  And this all takes place from 1787-1857.  James Holman was an apothecary/shop owner's son who was destined to follow in his father's footsteps when family fortunes changed.  He goes to the Navy at 12 and expects to be there for the rest of his life but his health turns bad and he must retire on half-salary.  He becomes a Naval Knight of Windsor to retain his half-salary.  He absents himself a lot from his duties as he travels the world.  What is does and how he learns his way around with short funds and limited language skills is remarkable. 

 

I loved that the history of the time is explained and that what is happening in the countries he explores is also given.  That he often is on naval vessels and helps is remarkable.  I also enjoyed seeing the societal downsides of his times.  He is a remarkable man.  I am glad the bookseller recommended it as I was checking out.  Excellent read!

CALIFORNIA GRIL CHRONICLS: BREA & THE CITY OF PLASTIC by Michelle Gamble-Risley

Brea And The City Of Plastic - Michelle Gamble-Risley

Brea moves to Los Angeles to be a screenwriter and gets involved with men from home and LA.

 

I did not like most of these people at all.  Brea and Drew (as well as Drew's many "friends") were so shallow that I was disgusted by them.  All Brea worried about was clothes and sex.  She was raped but went along with it instead of calling the cops especially with Drew.  He is a whacked out job.  I truly could not relate to her.  I was in shock that she tells Drew off but never goes to the cops. She finally finds a good guy and she messes it up.  I liked Kale and Maya.  They seemed the only ones who were realistic and down-to-earth.

 

The author can write (which is why I finished the book.)  She had me feeling emotions towards the characters (probably not the ones she wanted me to feel.)  She also writes good sex scenes.  I would like to see her write a book with less shallow characters who care about something or someone rather than how people or events affect/serve them.  I probably will not read the next book of the series because I only want to know what happens between Brea and Kale and the blurb for the next book mentions Kale but he's in a list with others.  I will, however, look for other books by her because I liked her writing style.

HOLLY & HOCKEY BOOTS by V. L. Locey

Holly & Hockey Boots - V.L. Locey

Short Christmas read of Adam, a minor league goalie, and Cason, a man who brought his nephew to a game.  Eyes meet and they click.  So Adam does something stupid and it backfires.

 

I liked Adam.  He is quirky and fun.  I also liked his aunt and uncle who bring stability to his life.  His roomie and teammate, Rob, is a quirky as he is.  They have a good relationship.  The secondary characters were good.

 

The story was so-so.  It was predictable.  The characters made the story and were well-developed which is why I finished it.  Not her best book.