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Showing posts from 2019

Peek Inside a Book - Minhunter

Book Beginnings on Friday from Rose City Reader The Friday 56 with Freda's Voice.

This week I'm reading: Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas, Mark Olshaker

It Begins: Prologue
I Must Be in Hell
I must be in hell.  It was the only logical explanation. I was tied down and naked. The pain was unbearable. 

On Page 56: We were indoctrinated to be on the lookout for Soviet agents, who would try to compromise us and get out secrets. These agents could be anywhere. We were told particularly to beware of women! The brainwashing was so effective I turned down a date with an extremely good-looking woman who worked in the building who had actually asked me out to dinner. I was afraid it was a setup and I was being tested. 

Verdict: I'm not that far into the book yet, just getting to the parts where he joins the Behavioral Science Unit, but it's really interesting for this true crime junkie!

Little Thoughts about Book Club Reads

These last few months I've done readings for four different book discussion groups. The only one I've done each month is the reading for the group at my local library.  I'll be taking over the group in 2020!  I'm so excited. We're currently going through our selection process to pick the books we'll be reading next year. 


Title: Woman in Cabin 10 Author: Ruth Ware Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Group: MCLS Tuesday Book Club (Facebook Group)
Review: It was a bit slow moving for me at first, but then it started to pick up and I found myself really pulled into the story.  In the discussion, since this was the kick off to the library system's online discussion group, it was mostly staff and as such we all had interesting takes.  One being for such a high end ship it's WiFi was pretty crappy!
Title: Saga, Vol. 1
Author: Brian K. Vaughan Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Group: SLSG Book Club (Facebook Group)
Review: This graphic novel series had been on my TBR list for awhile so I was e…

It's Monday! What are you reading? Nov 11

Currently Reading:

Title: Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit
Author: John E. Douglas
Date Started: November 4
Goodreads Summary: 
During his twenty-five-year career with the Investigative Support Unit, Special Agent John Douglas became a legendary figure in law enforcement, pursuing some of the most notorious and sadistic serial killers of our time: the man who hunted prostitutes for sport in the woods of Alaska, the Atlanta child murderer, and Seattle's Green River killer, the case that nearly cost Douglas his life.

As the model for Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs, Douglas has confronted, interviewed, adn studied scores of serial killers and assassins, including Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Ed Gein, who dressed himself in his victims' peeled skin. Now, in chilling detail, the legendary Mindhunter takes us behind the scenes of some of his most gruesome, fascinating, and challenging cases -- and into the darkest recesses of our worst nightmares.


Peek Inside a Book - Bear Town

Book Beginnings on Friday from Rose City Reader The Friday 56 with Freda's Voice.

This week I'm reading: Beartown by Fredrik Backman

It Begins: 1 Late one evening toward the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barreled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else's forehead, and pulled the trigger.

This is the story of how we got there.

On Page 56: When Peter got his contract with the NHL and was about to move to Canada, his dad told him in no uncertain terms not to think he was "anything special."

Verdict: This is a book club selection, I'm only a few chapters in doing an audiobook. So far I like it, and the description of the town and the importance of hockey reminds me the movie Mystery, Alaska.

It's Monday! What are you reading? - November 4

Currently Reading:

Title: Beartown
Author: Fredrik Backman
Date Started: November
Goodreads Summary: 
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl tr…

Peek Inside a Book - The Library at the Edge of the World

Book Beginnings on Friday from Rose City Reader The Friday 56 with Freda's Voice.

This week I'm reading: The Library at the Edge of the Worldby Felicity Hayes-McCoy

It Begins: The turquoise sky reflected the color of the ocean. There was a stone slab for a doorstep and beyond it a scrubby field sloped to the cliff's edge, where a stone wall marked the boundary. Beyond that was nothing more than a grassy ledge clustered with sea pinks and a sheer drop to the churning waves below. The little house stood at the top of a narrow field with its back to the road and its door opening to the ocean.

On Page 56: There was a pause. Despite what she had just said about them getting on each other's nerves, Hanna had always seen herself as the sensitive one and her mother as too thick-skinned to be hurt. Now Mary looked at her shrewdly. "I'm not a fool, girl, even if I reared one, and I can do without my own daughter looking down on me day and night."

Verdict: I don't…

It's Monday! What are you reading? - Oct 28

Currently Reading:

Title: The Library at the Edge of the World
Author: Felicity Hayes-McCoy
Date Started: Oct. 24
Goodreads Summary: 
As she drives her mobile library van between villages of Ireland’s West Coast, Hanna Casey tries not to think about a lot of things. Like the sophisticated lifestyle she abandoned after finding her English barrister husband in bed with another woman. Or that she’s back in Lissbeg, the rural Irish town she walked away from in her teens, living in the back bedroom of her overbearing mother’s retirement bungalow. Or, worse yet, her nagging fear that, as the local librarian and a prominent figure in the community, her failed marriage and ignominious return have made her a focus of gossip.

With her teenage daughter, Jazz, off travelling the world and her relationship with her own mother growing increasingly tense, Hanna is determined to reclaim her independence by restoring a derelict cottage left to her by her great-aunt. But when the threatened closure of the…

Peek Inside a Book - Wicked Girls

Book Beginnings on Friday from Rose City Reader The Friday 56 with Freda's Voice.

This week I'm reading: Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill

It Begins: Salem
January 1692
Silent, not even the twitter
of insects. The wind stills
against a distant sky of clouds.

On Page 56: A sole stalk that survived
the cruelest winter, I search
for friendly, familiar terrain,
where I can fashion my boots
and trade in the temporary,

Verdict: I wasn't sure about this Bookclub selection.  The host hadn't read it, just tried to pick something that would fit with Halloween. Then it was coming in at nearly 500 pages. So I was relieved when I realized it was written in verse.  I've been breezing through the book, though it's taken me a bit longer to read than usual.  I blame it on the fact that I'm reading it in the hoopla app and the app keeps crashing on me so I get frustrated and give up.

It's Monday! What are you reading? - October 21

Currently Reading:

Title: Wicked Girls
Author: Stephanie Hemphill
Date Started: October 14
Note: Bookclub selection
Goodreads Summary: 
A fictionalized account, told in verse, of the Salem witch trials, told from the perspective of three young women living in Salem in 1692-- Mercy Lewis, Margaret Walcott, and Ann Putnam, Jr.

Check out my Goodreads 2019 Challenge to see what I've read this year.

Peek Inside a Book - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Book Beginnings on Friday from Rose City Reader The Friday 56 with Freda's Voice.

This week I'm reading: Snow Flower and the Secret Fanby Lisa See

It Begins: Sitting Quietly
I am what they call in our village "one who has not yet died" -- a widow, eighty years old. 

On Page 56: As women, we are told never to discuss our bound feet, that it is improper and unladylike, and that such conversation only inflames the passions of men. But we were girls and still in the process of our footbinding. These things were not memories, like they are for me now, but pain and suffering we were living at the time. 

Verdict: I'm barely a quarter of a way into the book and there are so many emotions while I read.  I'm disturbed by the descriptions of footbinding, but moved by the friendship starting between Lily and Snow Flower. I'm heart broken for the women but also happy for their strength because of their positions in life.

It's Monday! What are your reading? - September 16

Currently Reading:

Title: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
Author: Lisa See
Date Started: September 12
Goodreads Summary: 
In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, an “old same,” in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she’s written a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on the fan and compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together they endure the agony of footbinding and reflect upon their arranged marriages, their loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace in their friendship, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their rel…

Peek Inside a Book - Killers of the Flower Moon

Book Beginnings on Friday from Rose City Reader The Friday 56 with Freda's Voice.

This week I'm reading: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
by David Grann

It Begins: In April, millions of tiny flowers spread over the blackjack hills and vast prairies in the Osage territory of Oklahoma. There are Johnny-jump-ups and the spring beauties and little bluets. The Osage writer John Joseph Mathews observed that the galaxy of petals makes it look as if the "gods had left confetti."

On Page 56: Money was the one means at Mollie's disposal that might induce the indifferent white authorities to pursue a killer of Indians. 

Verdict: I'm almost done this book and I'm loving it!  As a true crime fan, I've been drawn into the case, one I've never heard of, as well as the formation of the FBI.

Peek Inside a Book - Window on the Bay

Book Beginnings on Friday from Rose City Reader The Friday 56 with Freda's Voice.

This week I'm reading: Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber

It Begins: Prologue
Where It All Began
"We need to talk," Maureen said, as we walked across the quad at the University of Washington's main campus. The cherry trees were in full bloom, and the fragrance filled the air.

On Page 56: No need to pause - my reason were multiple. "First off, he's a surgeon."

"That doesn't make him a serial murderer," Maureen pointed out. 

Verdict: So far I'm really enjoying this book.  My mom and a friend have both finished it and said it's like a Hallmark movie, but sometimes that's just what you need to read.

It's Monday! What are you reading? - August 12

Currently Reading:

Title: Window on the Bay
Author: Debbie Macomber
Date Started: August 7
Goodreads Summary: 
Jenna Boltz's life is at a crossroads. After a messy divorce from her surgeon husband nearly twenty years ago, she raised her two children on her own, juggling motherhood with her beloved job as a Seattle intensive-care nurse. Now that Paul and Allie have gone to college and moved out, Jenna can't help but wonder what her future holds.

Her best friend, Maureen, is excited for Jenna's newfound independence. Now is the perfect time to finally book the trip to Paris they've been dreaming of since their college days. But when it comes to life's other great adventure--dating--Jenna still isn't sure she's ready to let love in . . . until an unexpected encounter begins to change her mind.

When Jenna's elderly mother breaks her hip, Dr. Rowan Lancaster saves the day. Despite his silent, stoic exterior, Rowan is immediately smitten with Jenna. And even th…

Peek Inside a Book - Wanderers

Book Beginnings on Friday from Rose City Reader The Friday 56 with Freda's Voice.

This week I'm reading: Wanderers by Chuck Wendig

The woman who discovered the comet, Yumiko Sakamoto, age twenty-eight, was an amateur astronomer in Okayama Prefecture, in the town of Kurashiki. 

On Page 56: Shana reached down, massaged her calves through her jeans. Walking all night had left her exhausted. She asked Zig: "You bring me breakfast?"

Verdict: As I said on Monday, the novel is a bit slow-moving but it's engrossing.  There are a number of storylines and I'm intrigued into how they are going to intertwine. Each time they get woven together it's another OMG or AHA moment that just adds to the story. I'm really enjoying it and I already know it's going to be my next 5 star book of 2019.

It's Monday! What are you reading? - August 5

I've hit a bit of a slump in my reading, but I'm really enjoying this book. It's big so I can't be bringing it everywhere with me, so all I want to do is sit in one place and read!  It's a bit slow, but the story is so engrossing that you just want to keep reading to see how everything is going to play out.

Currently Reading:

Title: Wanderers
Author: Chuck Wendig
Date Started: July 20
Goodreads Summary: 
A decadent rock star. A deeply religious radio host. A disgraced scientist. And a teenage girl who may be the world's last hope. In the tradition of The Stand and Station Eleven comes a gripping saga that weaves an epic tapestry of humanity into an astonishing tale of survival.

Shana wakes up one morning to discover her little sister in the grip of a strange malady. She appears to be sleepwalking. She cannot talk and cannot be woken up. And she is heading with inexorable determination to a destination that only she knows. But Shana and are sister are not alone. So…

Little Thoughts about Book Club Reads - April-June

So besides the library book club meetings, I also was able to make it to a Meetup group book club since I hosted it! 

Title: Orphan Train Author: Christina Baker Kline Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review: I loved this book, even though I felt it used too many stereotypes and the ending felt rushed.  The connection between Viv and Molly was great and the idea of portaging and Viv's pack rat attic was a nice device to weave the stories together.  I also liked how with each change in her live Viv had a new name, reminded me of The Girl with Seven Names.

Title: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Author: Alexander McCall Smith Rating: 3 of 5 stars
Review: This was a bit too slow moving for me, even though it was a good reflection of the culture. I did like how the stories were about the people and not so much about the cases she was solving. I enjoyed the description of working in a mine, around the time we read this book, I had just finished The Power of One which also talks about working in a…

It's Monday! What are you reading? July 8

Currently Reading:

Title: Rancher in Training
Author: Marie Johnston
Date Started: July 7
Goodreads Summary: 
Deputy Farah James arrests bad boys, she doesn’t date them. So when an ex-con with a fiery past returns to town, she ignores the criminal things he does to her pulse. Behind bars, Jesse Rodriguez and his wicked looks were easy to dismiss, but as a free man with a life to reclaim, he’s never been more dangerous to her—or her job and the ranch that depends on her paycheck.

When stopping to help a stranded motorist puts Jesse on the radar of the local deputy, for once, he doesn’t complain. After all, Farah’s just as cute as he remembers. Too bad she’s also an icy professional who doubts he’s a changed man. He’s willing to give her up as a lost cause and make his way out of town…until an accident strands him at the ranch next door.

Crossing paths on duty is one thing, but seeing how good Jesse is with his hands threatens everything she’s ever worked for. But Farah’s not the only o…

It's Monday! What are you reading? - July 1

Currently Reading:

Title: The Woman in Cabin 10
Author: Ruth Ware
Date Started: June 30
Goodreads Summary: Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo's stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo's desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong.

Title: Awkward: The Science of Why We…

It's Monday! What are you reading? - June 24

Currently Reading:

Title: Awkward: The Science of Why We're Socially Awkward and Why That's Awesome
Author: Ty Tashiro
Date Started: June 18
Goodreads Summary: 
In the vein of Quiet and The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth comes this illuminating look at what it means to be awkward—and how the same traits that make us socially anxious and cause embarrassing faux pas also provide the seeds for extraordinary success.

As humans, we all need to belong. While modern social life can make even the best of us feel gawky, for roughly one in five of us, navigating its challenges is consistently overwhelming—an ongoing maze without an exit. Often unable to grasp social cues or master the skills and grace necessary for smooth interaction, we feel out of sync with those around us. Though individuals may recognize their awkward disposition, they rarely understand why they are like this—which makes it hard for them to know how to adjust their behavior.

Psychologist and interpersonal relationship …

Peek Inside a Book - Awkward

Book Beginnings on Friday from Rose City Reader The Friday 56 with Freda's Voice.

This week I'm reading: Awkward: The Science of Why We're Socially Awkward  and Why That's Awesomeby Ty Tashiro, PhD

It Begins: Preface I can feel everyone staring. The sharply dressed guests, all sipping their cocktails a safe distance from the pool, are surely wondering what I plan to do about the frail six-year-old struggling to stay afloat in front of me. I'm wondering the same thing. 

On Page 56: They found that awkward participants performed just as well as non-awkward participants on the emotion recognition task, but imaging results showed that during these tasks, awkward participants had reduced activity in areas typically recruited for emotion recognition and they showed hyperactivity in regions usually associated with nonsocial problem solving. 

Verdict: A friend gave me this book earlier this year for this book swap thing we did on Facebook.  It's a really interesting read …

It's Monday! What are you reading? June 17

Still reading this one.  If it wasn't for a book club discussion, I probably wouldn't be trying to finish this novel.  I don't know if it's me or the book, but I'm just not feeling the story.

I did read a few graphic novels over the weekend.  Those were really good. Check out my goodreads challenge page to see them!

Have a good week!!

Currently Reading:

Title:The Golem and the Jinni
Author: Helene Wecker
Date Started: June 10
Goodreads Summary: 
In The Golem and the Jinni, a chance meeting between mythical beings takes readers on a dazzling journey through cultures in turn-of-the-century New York.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic and dies at sea on the voyage from Poland. Chava is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899.

Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire born in the ancient Syrian desert, trapped in an old copper flask, and released in New York City, though st…