Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Book: The Nature Of Secrets

 Book: The Nature Of Secrets

Author: Debra Webb

Pages: 347

This is my 50th read of the year

This is the second book in the Finley O'Sullivan series.  Finley and her partner Jack have a new case.  Ellen Winthrop's husband is dead and she has become the prime suspect for his murder.  Finley and Jack set out to prove her innocense and discover who actually killed her husband.  At the same time, Finley continues to try and figure out if her husband was who he says he was before he was killed.  As she chases down leads with the help of her friend, Matt, she is worried she is going to discover that her husband had a dark past that got him killed.

This was a pretty good book.  I enjoyed the first one enough I wanted to see how the second was.  Mostly because the first ended with a cliff hanger about her husband.  This book wraps that story line up for the most part.  I understand there is a 3rd book and I expect it will come up again,but the big mystery has been revealed in this book.  The writing isn't top quality, but it kept me entertained.  I will be reading the third book when it comes out later this year. 


Monday, May 29, 2023

Book: The Midwife's Confession

 Book: The Midwife's Confession

Author: Diane Chamberlain

Pages: 432

This is my 48th read for the year

This is the story of three friends - Emerson, Tara, and Noelle.  When Noelle commits suicide, she leaves her friends realing with the "why".  They cannot believe they missed the signs that Noelle was in trouble.  She wasn't married, but she was devoted to her friends and to her baby program she started when she was a midwife.  As Tara dn Noelle start to sort through Noelle's house they discover that their friend was harboring a lot of secrets that she shared with only other person.  And that person is dead.  In the end, Tara and Emerson's lives are changed forever by what they discover.

This was a pretty good book.  I have read a few of Chamberlain's books- a good fall back for me when I don't have something else to listen to as I do endless projects at our house.  It is easy to figure out where her mysteries are going, but it doesn't make the book less enjoyable for me.  They are prety well written, and I usually end up liking most of the characters.  It is a good summer read so check it out

Stars: 4

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Book: A Song For A New Day

 Book: A Song For A New Day

Author: Sarah Pinsker

Pages: 384

This is my 47th read for the year

This is the story about Luce and Rosemary.  The book starts with Luce in the past and Rosemary in the future, and soon their paths cross.  In Luce's past, a pandemic is about to start.  A pox of some sort is killing people and it drives people indoors.  No one is allowed to gather in large groups, and working from home becomes the norm.  Rosemary is a young woman who is working for a large company, from home because that is what she believe is the only choice she has.  When she gets a chance to switch jobs and actually go outdoors and meet people she isn't sure what to think.  At first she is terrified of being so close to people, but soon she discovers what she has been missing.  Her new company wants her to search for bands to bring to their virtual platform.  She "discovers" Luce and her band and when she reports the find back to her new job, things take a change that Rosemary cannot undo.  The story unfolds with Luce who is trying to find her way as a musician in this new world and Rosemary trying to find where she belongs.

This was an okay book.  I was looking for a dystopian novel to listen to and found this available at the library.  I would say this is a light dystopian.  Meaning that most of the story was about the musicians and the music and the bands.  It barely covered the pandemic and what happened.  Didn't really unfold how the world came to be the way it was.  So it didn't really fulfill for me the whole "dystopain" genre based on that.  

Iwill say - this was written in 2019- another author who wrote about a pandemic that drove people into a virtual world - without knowing what was coming.  Also - if you really love bands and stories about them - this book is for you.

Stars: 3

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Book: Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

 Book: Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

Author: Balli Kaur Jaswal

Pages: 320

This is my 46th read for the year

This is the story of Nikki.  A young woman who left law school and started working at a pub.  Her parents were so disappointed in her choice to leave school to work at a local pub.  After her father's death, her sister tells her that her mother is going to need more financial support, so Nikki takes a job teaching creative writing at a local community center in a close knit Punjabi community.  Nikki, who has tried hard to make herself more Western in her London home, and distance herself from her Sikh past, suddenly finds herself teachers Punjabi Widows and women how to write.  The women were told this class would teach them basic literacy and so Nikki sets out to teach them the basics.  One day one of the women finds a book of sexy stories and the class takes on a whole new meaning for Nikki and the students.  What develops are friendships and laughter and Nikki discovers that under their dupattas are women who have passions and desires.  The women and Nikki must keep the class a secret from the more conservative people of the community, espeically the men.  But words spreads quickly in this community and soon the class is overrun by Punjabi women all wanting to share their stories and learn to write for themselves.

This was a fun book.  I listened to it after a recommendation from a friend that it would make a great audiobook and she was correct.  I think that is what made this book for me.  Hearing the voices of these women and some of the more hilarious lines were made best by listening to the reader.    I liked Nikki and the other women in the class and enjoyed listening to their banter and heartfelt stories as the book progressed.  Warning: the book has some sexually explicit material that is used as a catalyst for empowering women.  This is not my normal type of book.  I steer clear from the overly sexualized books. However - these stories were a minor part of the book and there to tell a larger one, so they didn't bother me.  

I would say if you decide to check this out, make it the audio.  You won't regret it.

Stars: 4.5

Friday, May 19, 2023

Book: The Last House On The Street

 Book: The Last House On The Street

Author: Diane Chamberlain

Pages: 352

This is my 45th read of the year

This is the story of two women-Ellie Hockley and Kayla Carter.  The timeline shifts from 1965 to 2010 as the two women's stories are woven together until their paths meet.  Ellie - a young woman in the 1960s who is trying to find her place in the world   She decides she wants to spend the summer canvasing for civil rights in North Carolina and help black citizens register to vote.  Against her family's wishes she joins Scope and finds quite quickly that a white girl from the south is going to be in danger at every turn when it comes to the task of working with black citizens.  She puts herself - and everyone around her - in danger but refuses to give up something she cares deeply about.  She falls for a fellow volunteer and soon discovers how her neighbors and friends in North Carolina truly feel about this movement.

Kayla in 2010 has just recently lost her husband to a tragic accident.  She and her husband designed and built their new house and Kayla is unsure about moving into it without him.  Her dad encourages her to do this for her young daughter and use it as a way to move forward.  When Kayla moves in, strange things start to happen and someone is trying to frighten her into moving away.  She eventually meets Ellie who has returned to this small town to help care for her ailing mother and brother and together they discover the truth of what has haunted this small town in North Carolina for so many years.

This was a pretty good book.  No real surprises were revealed at the end - it was pretty easy to figure out what happened and who caused it.  But it was still a good read.  I liked Ellie and Kayla and you felt the hate that surrounded them from the people who wanted to block people from registering to vote.  Chamberlains books are easy reads and cozy mysteries, and I will probably keep reading her novels in the future.

Stars: 4

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Book: Spare

 Book: Spare

Author: Prince Harry

Pages: 416

This is my 44th read for the year

This is Prince Harry's story in his own words.  Starting from right around the time his mother was killed to right after the Queen dies, he recounts his life as a royal and the time since he left the family.  He talks about his time traveling the world, being a part of the British army, and getting married to Megan Markle and how that changed everything.

This book was a bit of a slog.  I read it because I was curious about the hype.  I should have passed on it.  The entire royal family sounds like a group of petulant children who get mad if they don't get their way.  For as much as Harry craves "privacy"- since he was let go from the family finances, he sure has done a good job being as public as possible so he can make a living. (living the way he was used to as a royal).  He actually mentions in the book being surprised when his dad cut him off financailly.  And honestly - the whole family sounds horrible from Harry's perspective.  The only people he speaks kindly of are his mother, and his grandmother - but only on occasion.  

Skip it.  I should have.

Stars: 2

Friday, May 12, 2023

Book: Skin

 Book: Skin

Author: Liam Brown

Pages: 272

This is my 43rd book for the year

This is a story about Angela. A virus has swept the world driving everyone indoors. The virus is carried by contact and skin cells, so no one can be together withou a protective suit.  Even that is dangerous.  People can't even be together in the same house - their houses all retrofitted so they can exist solely on their own-their only way of communication is online.  Their food is government issued and brought to them in secure locations once a week.  

For five years what remains of the human race has existed behind closed doors. Talks of a cure have long stopped.  People just exist on their own - squirreled away wondering if they will ever see another person ever again. For Angela. her husband and two kids-their communciation levels have long since broken down withou the ability to see each other.  Her daughter Amber - a sulky teenager barely talks to her parents.  Charlie - their younger son has become a monster in his own right. Angela - who has joined the neighborhood watch goes out in her suit one night and discovers a man - no suit, no protection - existing and not sick.  Not knowing what to make of him, she realizes she needs to find out who he is and if he could be the key to ending this nightmare.

This was a pretty good book. It was short, but the author packed a lot into the pages.  It was written in 2019 which is eerie - it was a premonition to our own pandemic.  It is well written and a well thought out dystopian.  I did not care for Angela's husband - his character was awful. As was her son Charlie.  But they are small parts of this story, so it didn't distract from the story.

I found this novel by accident while perusing a used book store and I am read I found it.

Stars: 4