Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

Lost Children Archive
by Valeria Luiselli

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: February 2019
Publisher: Knopf
Genre: Literary
Hardback: 400
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
Mouths open to the sun, they sleep.

A mother and father set out with their kids from New York to Arizona. In their used Volvo--and with their ten-year-old son trying out his new Polaroid camera--the family is heading for the Apacheria: the region the Apaches once called home, and where the ghosts of Geronimo and Cochise might still linger. The father, a sound documentarist, hopes to gather an "inventory of echoes" from this historic, mythic place. The mother, a radio journalist, becomes consumed by the news she hears on the car radio, about the thousands of children trying to reach America but getting stranded at the southern border, held in detention centers, or being sent back to their homelands, to an unknown fate.

But as the family drives farther west--through Virginia to Tennessee, across Oklahoma and Texas--we sense they are on the brink of a crisis of their own. A fissure is growing between the parents, one the children can feel beneath their feet. They are led, inexorably, to a grand, unforgettable adventure--both in the harsh desert landscape and within the chambers of their own imaginations.

Told through the voices of the mother and her son, as well as through a stunning tapestry of collected texts and images--including prior stories of migration and displacement--Lost Children Archive is a story of how we document our experiences, and how we remember the things that matter to us the most. Blending the personal and the political with astonishing empathy, it is a powerful, wholly original work of fiction: exquisite, provocative, and deeply moving.

My two-bits:

Quite a road trip! Although this was a good and engaging read I was in a state anxiety the whole time. I was worried for the various characters and all the things that could go wrong.

The format of the storytelling was in a documentary style with full effects of both sound and visuals despite being presented in a written form.

Treated to photos in the last chapter.

Got me thinking of refugees and the state of immigrants.


* part of the Camp ToB 2019 (here)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Death in Brittany by Jean-Luc Bannalec

Death in Brittany
by Jean-Luc Bannalec
narrated by Jean Brassard

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2015
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Mystery, France
Hardback: 320
Rating: 3

Brittany Mystery series:
Death in Brittany
Murder on Brittany Shores
The Fleur de Sel Murders
The Missing Corpse
The Killing Tide
books 6-8 not yet translated

First sentence(s):
The seventh of July was a magnificent summer's day, one of those majestic Atlantic days that always lifted Commissaire Dupin's spirits.

Commissaire Georges Dupin, a Parisian-born caffeine junkie recently relocated from the glamour of Paris to the remote (if picturesque) Breton coast, is not happy when he is dragged from his morning croissant and coffee to the scene of a curious murder. The local village of Pont-Aven-a sleepy community by the sea where everyone knows one other and nothing much seems to happen-is in shock. The legendary ninety-one-year-old hotelier Pierre-Louis Pennec, owner of the Central Hotel, has been found dead.

A picture-perfect seaside village which played host to Gaugin in the 19th century, Pont-Aven is at the height of its tourist season and is immediately thrown into uproar. Dupin and his team identify five principal suspects, including a rising political star, a longtime friend of the victim, and a wealthy art historian. An obstinate detective whose unconventional methods include good food, good wine, and taking in plenty of sea air, Dupin finds his case further complicated when ongoing incidents compound the mystery. As Dupin delves further into the lives of the victim and the suspects, he uncovers a web of secrecy and silence that belies the village's quaint image. A delectable read, Death in Brittany by Jean-Luc Bannalec transports readers to the French coast where you can practically smell the sea air and taste the perfectly cooked steak frites in an expertly crafted, page-turning mystery.

My two-bits:

While I liked the setting and it was presented well, I could not get into the story or the characters.


* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of Books, Inc. Foreign Intrigue Book Club (here)

Monday, July 15, 2019

Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

Lying in Wait
by Liz Nugent

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2018
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Ireland, Dublin
Hardback: 320
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.

On the surface, Lydia Fitzsimons has the perfect life—wife of a respected, successful judge, mother to a beloved son, mistress of a beautiful house in Dublin. That beautiful house, however, holds a secret. And when Lydia’s son, Laurence, discovers its secret, wheels are set in motion that lead to an increasingly claustrophobic and devastatingly dark climax.

My two-bits:

Creepy dark vibe with this one with unlikable characters all-around. And yet, it draws you in for the end that leaves you with a "whoa" moment.


* part of ibc book club (here)

Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game
by Sally Thorne
narrated by Katie Schorr

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2016
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 384
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them.

Zombie sighting:
Sorry for missing the deadline the other day. I can't wait to have a proper night's sleep. I'm like a zombie.
-chapter 8

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She’s charming and accommodating and prides herself on being loved by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. Everyone except for coldly efficient, impeccably attired, physically intimidating Joshua Templeman. And the feeling is mutual.

Trapped in a shared office together 40 (OK, 50 or 60) hours a week, they’ve become entrenched in an addictive, ridiculous never-ending game of one-upmanship. There’s the Staring Game. The Mirror Game. The HR Game. Lucy can’t let Joshua beat her at anything—especially when a huge new promotion goes up for the taking.

If Lucy wins this game, she’ll be Joshua’s boss. If she loses, she’ll resign. So why is she suddenly having steamy dreams about Joshua, and dressing for work like she’s got a hot date? After a perfectly innocent elevator ride ends with an earth-shattering kiss, Lucy starts to wonder whether she’s got Joshua Templeman all wrong.

Maybe Lucy Hutton doesn’t hate Joshua Templeman. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

My two-bits:

Loved the banter and games these two played along the way to their eventual climax. Also, some chuckles and cuteness along the way.


* a movie version is in the makings with Lucy Hale and Robbie Amell are set to star as the leads as of May 2019

* Listened to audiobook version.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Lovely Books and Things - 7.13.19

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Made fresh walnut pesto to go with spaghetti into my belly ;-)

2. Hainan Chicken with rice and soup to help combat a cold

3. Used an Amazon gift card to pick up some Paris in July themed items
- Harney & Sons Paris, Black Tea
- 8pcs Mini Notebook, with Eiffel Tower icon
- Cavallini Vintage Paris 10 Pencils and 1 Sharpener
- iPhone Case with Eiffel Tower and Pink Flowers



Lunch in Paris
A Love Story, with Recipes
by Elizabeth Bard
-Memoir, Food, Travel, Paris | Goodreads

FOR Paris in July reading list.

The Perfect Nanny
by Leïla Slimani
-Thriller, Mystery, Paris | Goodreads

FOR Paris in July reading list.

For Review:

The Hashtag Hunt
by Kristina Seek
-audiobook, Romance| Goodreads
courtesy of publisher for blitz tour -Thanks!

AND watched: in theatre

Midsommar (2019)
Director/Writer: Ari Aster
Stars: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper
-Drama, Horror, Mystery | imdb | my rating: 5

A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown's fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.

HORROR done in a visually beautiful way with its vibrant colors and constant sunlight.

Pulp Fiction (1994)
Director/Writer: Quentin Tarantino
Writers: Roger Avary
Stars: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson
-Crime, Drama | imdb | my rating: 5

The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster & his wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

PREPPING for the upcoming July 26 release of Tarantino film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a local theatre presented Pulp Fiction this week. I won a free ticket to see this. Next week will be Kill Bill, volume 1. And the following week will be Jackie Brown.

It was a re-watch for me and continues to be a wonderful classic with its innovate way of storytelling. Love that dance scene.

AND watched: on DVD for Paris in July

Fidelio: Alice's Odyssey (2014)
Fidelio, l'odyssée d'Alice (original title)
Director/Writer: Lucie Borleteau
Writers: Clara Bourreau (scenario), Mathilde Boisseleau (collaboration)
Stars: Ariane Labed, Melvil Poupaud, Anders Danielsen Lie
-Drama, Romance, France | imdb | my rating: 5

Thirty-year-old Alice's occupation is rather unusual for a woman : she works as an engineer on a freighter. She loves her job and does it competently but even in a greasy blue overall a woman will be a woman, with her heart, her desires and her seduction... In such conditions can an all-male crew really remain totally insensitive to her charms? A situation all the more complicated as not only does Alice leave her fiancé Felix behind but she also discovers on board the Fidélio that the captain is Gaël, her first love...
—Guy Bellinger

LIKED the female perspective of life as a sailor. Loved the character's strong independent spirit.


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

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