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Book Review and Bonus Bookclub Questions


This was our bookclubs pick this month and we had quite the discussion after finishing it. As always I like to share our review with you.

About the Author

Rebecca Skloot is an award-winning science writer whose articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, O, The Oprah Magazine and Discover. She has worked as a correspondent for NPR’s Radiolab and PBS’s NOVA scienceNOW and is a contributing editor at Popular Science magazine. She is a former Vice President of the National Book Critics and has taught creative nonfiction and science journalism at the University of Memphis, the University of Pittsburg and New York University. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was her debut novel and became an instant New York Times bestseller. It won the Chicago Tribune Heartland and the Wellcome Trust Book Prize. It was named best book of 2010 by Amazon.com. and the best book of the year by Entertainment Weekly, O Magazine, The New York Times, Washington Post, US News, and  World Report.

The Synopsis

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her a HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer, whose cells taken without her knowledge in 1951-became one of the most important tools I medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine,c cloning, gene mapping, and more.  Continue reading “Book Review THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS by Rebecca Skloot”

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Book Review STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel

Book Review STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel

Our book club recently finished reading STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel and as always I like to share our review with you. Also at the end of this post, you will find questions to ask at your own book club.

About the Author

Emily St. John is the author of four novels, most recently Station Eleven.

The Synopsis of STATION ELEVEN

Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devasting flu pandemic arrived in the city and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end.

Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and  Continue reading “Book Review STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel”

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Our book club just finished reading  THE WHOLE TOWN’S TALKING by FANNIE FLAGG and as always I like to share our thoughts and review with you.

About the author

Fannie Flagg began writing and producing television specials at age nineteen and went on to distinguish herself as an actress and writer in television, films and the theater. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling Daisy Fay and The Miracle Man, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (which was produced by Universal Pictures as Fried Green Tomatoes). Welcome to the World, Baby Girl, and Standing in the Rainbow. Flagg’s script for Fried Green Tomatoes was nominated for both the Academy and Writer’s Guild of America Awards and won the highly regarded Scripters Award. Flagg lives in California and in Alabama.


Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it’s called, is anything but still. The Whole Town’s Talking, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways.

Lordor Nordstrom created, in his wisdom, not only a lively town and a prosperous legacy for himself but also a beautiful final resting place for his family, friends, and neighbors yet to come. “Resting Place” turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, however. Odd things begin to happen, and it starts the whole town talking.

With her wild imagination, great storytelling, and deep understanding of folly and the human heart, the beloved Fannie Flagg tells an unforgettable story of life, afterlife, and the remarkable goings-on of ordinary people. In The Whole Town’s Talking, she reminds us that community is vital, life is a gift, and love never dies.

Our Review


This is the first time any of us had read anything by this author. No one knew what to expect. We had decided to pick a light-hearted book because the last two were somewhat depressing. This book certainly fit the bill. It’s a quick read and would make a perfect book to take to the beach. We all agreed that it was a cute story and was probably how most people hoped life would be after death.

At times the story was humorous and took us on a trip down memory lane, pointing out certain nostalgic events. The book began well with the founding fathers and we felt like we were getting to know them but as soon as we did, they passed away and the book moved on to the next generation. After that, the book began to go downhill. There was just too much crammed into the story. As soon as we began to get to know a new character, Poof, they died. It was really hard to keep track of them and because of that, we had a hard time connecting with the story. We also felt what happened to the town, in the end, was depressing and quite unexpected. Overall we were somewhat disappointed with this book.

Our Overall Rating


COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – We all agreed the cover was great with eye-catching colors and a theme that was fitting for the storyline. 

CHARACTERIZATION – 3 STARS – Too many characters to keep track of and were short-lived in the book, prevented us from connecting with the characters or story.

STORY & PLOT 3 STARS – It was a cute idea for a story but fell short to engage us or get us excited.

OVERALL RATING – 3 STARS – After having high hopes for this book, we left feeling somewhat disappointed. It was just okay. 

Questions to ask at your book club


1- Lordor met his wife Katrina by placing an ad for a mail-order bride. Did this surprise you and does it remind you of online dating?

2 – Why do you think Lordor and Katrina’s marriage was so successful? What did they do that many couples overlook?

3 – The book chronicles the history of one small town in America, beginning in 1889 and ending in 2021. Do you see any similarities between Elmwood Springs and the town you or your parents grew up in? If so, what are they?

4 – Do you know of any towns that have simply turned into ghost towns?  Why do you think the towns didn’t make it. Did you live in any of the towns you mentioned?

5 – Do you believe in life after death? How do you vision it?

6 – Were there any particular characters you could relate to? If yes, explain why.

7 – The book spans over many decades. Which is your favorite era and why is it? What do you remember the most about that time?

Buy the Book From Amazon

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RECKLESS BEGINNINGS is currently available in paperback only. The Kindle/ebook edition will be available in about six weeks.

Ordering the book is easy from any of these fine online retailers.




Other News

Last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by ARTIST FIRST RADIO NETWORK. Listen to the entire interview below.







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Spooky books to read on Halloween & bonus interview with one of the authors

Spooky books to read on Halloween

A list of Spooky tales for Halloween

I’m not sure how many of you curl up in a darkened room, illuminated with a few candles and read horror stories by flashlight during the Halloween festivities.  This was something I loved to do when I was a teenager.  Sometimes I’d take it a step further and bury myself under my blankets with the light and read a super scary book from there. Now I do it with my grandkids.

In case you like to celebrate Halloween with a good horror book I’ve composed a list of new books released in 2018 from some Indie Authors, I’ve come across on Facebook.  I’m always looking for Continue reading “Spooky books to read on Halloween & bonus interview with one of the authors”

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Book Review The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver

Book Review The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver

Our book club at the local library just finished reading The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver and as always I like to share our review and thoughts with you.

About the Author

Elizabeth Silver is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, the MA program in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia in England, and Temple University Beasley School of Law/ Elizabeth has taught English as a second language in Costa Rica, writing and literature at Drexel University and St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia , and worked as an attorney in California and Texas. Born and raised in New Orleans and Dallas, she currently lives in Los Angeles with her family.

The Synopsis of The Execution of Noa P. Singleton

Noa P. Singleton never spoke a word in her own defense throughout a brief trial that ended with a jury finding her guilty of first-degree murder. Ten years later, having accepted her fate, she sits on death row in a maximum-security penitentiary, just six months away from her execution date.

Meanwhile, Marlene Dixon, a high-powered Philadelphia attorney who is also the mother of the woman Noa was imprisoned for killing. She claims to have changed her mind about the death penalty and will do everything in her considerable power to convince the governor to commute Noa’s sentence to life in prison, in return for the one thing Noa can trade: her story. Marlene Continue reading “Book Review The Execution of Noa P. Singleton by Elizabeth L. Silver”

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Book Review INSPIRED BY MURDER by Audrey J. Cole

Book Review INSPIRED BY MURDER by Audrey J. ColeAbout the Author

Book Review INSPIRED BY MURDER by Audrey J. Cole

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Audrey J. Cole is a registered nurse and a writer of thrillers set in Seattle. After living in Australia for the last five years, Audrey now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two children.

Website: https://www.audreyjcole.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AudreyJCole

Twitter: https://twitter.com/audreyjcole

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Audrey-J.-Cole/e/B071GFZMLT

The Synopsis of Inspired by Murder

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To write the perfect murder, he needs to commit the perfect crime.

Tired of his day job, psychiatrist Eric Lero yearns to fulfill his true destiny of becoming a New York Times bestselling author. But there is one thing he lacks to create an enthralling murder mystery: real-life inspiration. Continue reading “Book Review INSPIRED BY MURDER by Audrey J. Cole”

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Book Review LILAC GIRLS by Martha Hall Kelly

Book Review LILAC GIRLS by Martha Hall Kelly

Our book club at our local library just finished reading LILAC GIRLS by Martha Hall Kelly and as always I like to share our review and thoughts with all of you.

About the Author

Martha is a native New Englander now living in Connecticut and Martha’s Vineyard. She worked as an advertising copywriter for many years, raised three wonderful children who are now mostly out of the nest and Lilac Girls is her first novel. She is hard at work on the prequel to Lilac girls. More infomation about the true story behind Lilac Girls can be found on her website site: https://www.marthahallkelly.com

The Synopsis of  Lilac Girls

New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post-French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939-and then sets its sights on France. Continue reading “Book Review LILAC GIRLS by Martha Hall Kelly”

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Book Review – THE ROOSTER BAR by John Grisham

My Bookclub’s Review – The Rooster Bar – by John Grisham

Book Review - THE ROOSTER BAR by John Grisham
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The book club I belong to at our local branch library has just finished reading The Rooster Bar by John Grisham. We discussed everything from the cover, the plot, characters and also compared it to his other books. I’ve posted our review along with questions you may want to ask at your own book club.

About the Author

Long before the days of becoming a New York Times Best Seller, Grisham worked as a lawyer at a Southaven Mississippi law practice, squeezing in time to write early in the mornings and during courtroom recesses. Continue reading “Book Review – THE ROOSTER BAR by John Grisham”

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Book Review- The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn – A Bestseller

Book Review- The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

I belong to the Frazier Park Branch Library book club. We read one book a month and meet every other Tuesday. We have just finished reading The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn and thought I’d share our review with you.

Book Review- The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

About the Author

(Copied from the about author page) THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW has been sold in 43 territories around the world and is currently in development as a major film at Fox 2000, starring Amy Adams, directed by Joe Wright, written by Tracy Letts, and produced by Scott Rudin. I really want a cameo in the movie, in case anyone asks.

I spent a decade working in publishing in both New York and London, with a particular emphasis on thrillers and mysteries. Authors I published or helped acquire over the years include Robert Galbraith (aka J. K. Rowling), Agatha Christie, Patricia Cornwell, Carl Hiaasen, Sara Paretsky, and Nelson DeMille.

Now I write full-time, to the relief of my former colleagues. THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW was inspired by a range of experiences: my lifelong love affair with suspense fiction, from the Sherlock Holmes stories I devoured as a kid to the work of Patricia Highsmith, whom I studied at the graduate level at Oxford; my passion for classic cinema, especially the films of Alfred Hitchcock; and my struggles with agoraphobia and depression. The result, I hope, is a psychological thriller in the vein of Gillian Flynn, Tana French, and Kate Atkinson, among others.

Stuff I love; reading; swimming; cooking; dogs; ice cream; travel. (Note that third semicolon. It’s crucial. I do not love cooking dogs.) Given the chance, I’d seriously consider cloning my late yellow Labrador, Tugboat (2001-2012) — one of history’s few truly perfect creations. I collect first-edition books and divide my time between New York and London.

The Synopsis of “The Woman in the Window”

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

My Review

Book Review- The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

This was a page-turning, nail-biting unable to put down thriller with so many twists and plots that it had me guessing through the entire book.

The main character Dr. Anna Fox, a depressed psychologist with a drinking problem and also suffering from agoraphobia, spends her days looking through her binoculars at her neighbors.

Separated from her husband and daughter, but the reader has no idea why until later in the book, but we know she talks to them often

Because of her illness she is cut off from the outside world, her only connection is what she sees through her binoculars. One day while watching the family across the street she witnesses something terrible happen but Anna has a hard time getting anyone to believe her but she’s determined to get to the bottom of what she saw and prove that she isn’t crazy and just imagined it.

Overall all this was a fantastic read and one that was hard to put down. I highly recommend it.

My Overall Rating

Book Review- The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn


COVER DESIGN – 5 STARS – Great eye-catching colors that grabs the readers attention. 

CHARACTERIZATION – 5 STARS – Each character was well developed and had their own distinguished quirks.  Anna especially was excellently written. How her illness was portrayed was spot on. 

STORY & PLOT 5 STARS – Couldn’t put the book down, The plots and twists had me kept turning the pages and the ending was a huge surprise.


Questions to ask at Your Bookclub

Book Review- The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

Do you belong to a Bookclub? Are you planning on or currently reading The Woman in the Window?  Below are a set of questions you may find helpful pertaining to the book.

1- What did you think of the main character; Anna Fox? Did you like her, if not, explain why?

2 – At what point were you drawn into the book?

3 – When you find out the truth about Anna’s Family were you shocked?

4 – How do you think the author portrayed the illness agoraphobia? Did you know much about it before you read the book?

5 – Do you think the author purposely dropped red herrings to distract the reader. What do you think about them? Which was the biggest?

6 – The title The Woman in the Window – do you think that refers to Anna or the woman she saw in the window?

7- What was your favorite part of the book?

8 – Did you guess the ending? Was it satisfying?

If you have read this book I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Buy it From Amazon

Click the image to purchase – The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

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New York Times Adult Fiction Best Sellers of 2017 – Part 2


The List part 2

As mentioned in last weeks post, there are thirty books on the New York Times Adult Fiction Best Seller List. This week I have posted the remaining fifteen that held the number one spot for one week or more.

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

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A gripping psychological suspense thriller. A single mother is found dead at the bottom of a river. Earlier in the summer, a teenage girl was found dead in the same river. The daughter left behind is placed in the care of her aunt, who is now dragged back to the place she vowed she’d never return to. Continue reading “New York Times Adult Fiction Best Sellers of 2017 – Part 2”