So many good books, so little time, LOL!! I like the quiet of the early morning for reading, and a rainy morning makes me linger a bit longer in my cozy chair. I am still working my way through a very long list of recommended reads from friends and book blogs, so more of my reading is spent with books I would recommend. Yet, a few still linger on my home library shelves, and I’ll pull one to read not checking the reviews. One such book made it into this month’s reading, and I should have left it at the thrift shop. Still, six out of seven were well worth my reading time. Here’s my list for the past few weeks, let’s start with two good ones. Links to Amazon are provided, thank you for using my affiliate links!
Golden Girl by Elin Hildebrand
An unusual book with an interesting premise, the family involved has deeply flawed characters very indicative of real life. As almost everyone can relate, some people just have issues and this creates conflict within a family. As they come to terms with the loss of their mother, I became so involved with this family it was difficult to put the book down. The person responsible is easy to guess, but the book is not about who killed her in a hit and run. The book is about the people left behind and the choices they make, with three helpful nudges from their mother from the spirit world. I really liked the story, and look forward to reading more from this author.
The Glass Forest by Cynthia Swanson
Slow moving at the start, this novel seems to drag a bit until about half way in. The brooding teenager seems annoying at first, and two plot points are easily guessable early on. But, things are not as they seem with Ruby, and her motivations are suspect. Or are they? There will come a point in the story, just after 200 pages in, that all of a sudden you won’t want to put the book down. Circumstances will change, family secrets come to light for Angie, and there is yet more to reveal in the last pages. Truly, a slow burn building to a crescendo of secrets and lies. Brilliantly plotted.
The Vintage Teacup Club by Vanessa Greene
A charming story of three British women who love vintage things, they meet at a flea market when all three are drawn to a vintage tea set. Each wants it for different reasons, and they agree that they will take turns using it. The story that follows is each of their lives and struggles with problems in their lives and their growing friendship over searching for more teacups for two to use in special events, and the last to make into candles when the events are done. The teacup set is a minor plot point in the prologue, the story is focused on the women and their relationships. The ending is charming and sweet, but in a way unfinished as we only get to see the first event, and the others are left to our imagination.
Knitting Under the Influence by Claire LaZebnik
I picked this one up for the title, as it sounded funny, expecting a typical chick lit book. It had some humor, but some of the situations were just beyond belief – like a woman leaving her sister’s employ and home only to have a guy give her a job and lets her live in an empty apartment on the same day. There was some good story telling in the one woman with an austistic brother working with autistic children. but even that got a little over the top. She takes on the son of the man who tormented her brother when they were in high school. A little too much. Plus, the knitting is just a background theme, as the women get together to stitch and bitch once a week. Overall, meh.
The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis
An entertaining work of historical fiction surrounding the Grand Central Terminal in New York both in its heyday in the 1920s and deteriorating in the 1970s. The real life art school which was there up to 1944 provides a backdrop for the voices of two women in two time periods. The fight to preserve the old building is in the background while the two main characters struggle in their own ways – one to become recognized for her art in a time when women were relegated to second class citizens, and the other to find herself again after a mastectomy leads to a devastating divorce. The stories are connected through the discovery of a watercolor painted by the artist and found in the future. Although the last quarter of the book gets a bit convoluted, the story is enjoyable.
The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs
Sweetly written tale of a woman dealing with grief of losing her mother, the slow decline of her grandfather into dementia and crushing financial debt left behind in a vintage bookstore in a decrepit building. Utterly predictable, but isn’t that why we read this genre? We want the problems to resolve in nice ways, the right man to win her heart, and all to be OK in the end. This story doesn’t disappoint with this criteria, and leaves the reader with a warm feeling. Is it chick lit? Sure. Is it great literature, no. But it is a perfect autumn read for a cozy chair and a quilt next to a fire on a chilly night.
The Whispering House by Elizabeth Brooks
Dark and gothic, a profoundly depressed and grieving woman is drawn into the world of a tortured artist living with his elderly and ill mother in a crumbling mansion. The book moves slowly, as if time slows down and crawls through the days. The reader is drawn in, insidiously, until a point is reached about 2/3 of the way in where it becomes next to impossible to put down. This is a great gothic read, and the perfect book for long and rainy days.
I have some fun reading on the way, with a few holiday theme books. I’ll share those with you after Thanksgiving.
What are you reading now?