Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Where Is Your Bookmark? (08/05/2014)

Happy August!  August is birthday month in my family.  My grandmother, my mother, my parents-in-law, two of my aunts, and several of my friends all celebrate birthdays this month.  And, of course, I have yet to do any gift shopping.  My mom and mother-in-law are fairly easy to shop for as they enjoy reading--and I've got plenty of ideas for them in that regard.  My father-in-law is a bit harder.  He likes to read, but his tastes are not so easily met.  I tend to give him nonfiction books dealing with sports figures or war most often. Stereotypical, I know.  But that's what he likes.  Anyway, recommendations are welcome.

The triple digit heat the end of July was followed by thunderstorms and rain the beginning of August.  The temperatures are still hovering in the 90's--who says California doesn't get humidity?  We just beat the rain with a trip to a local amusement park this past weekend, enjoying the water slides at the water park and then hitting the rides. We had a fun time and Mouse made sure we knew how much she wanted to stay when it was time to go.  We may or may not have bribed her with an ice cream sundae after in order to ease our exit.  It started sprinkling just as we were leaving the park.

The rain came hard and fast over the weekend, with flash floods resulting in car accidents and road closures. It was all tempered by news of the fires raging out of control in the northern part of the state, something I know may very well be the reality down my way given the dryness and drought conditions throughout the state.  My heart and prayers go out to those impacted by the fires, as well as those brave men and women who are fighting them.

You would think rain would equal reading time, however, that was not to be.  I do not think I cracked open my books once this weekend.  I hope to make up for it this week as I really am anxious to finish Ben H. Winters' World of Trouble, the third book in the Last Policeman Trilogy.  My favorite detective is searching for his sister with just days to spare before the asteroid is scheduled to hit the earth.  I just have to know:  Will he find his sister?  Will the asteroid hit?  And most importantly, will the dog survive?

Last week I also began Further Out Than You Thought by Michaela Carter.  I was drawn to the book because of the setting, the 1992 Los Angeles riots.  The novel is about three people who are trying to get by: a pregnant stripper, a street musician, and a nightclub entertainer.  As described by the publisher, it is a novel that combines "poetry and sensuality with an edgy urban sensibility," and also "a celebration of life and a haunting story of love, friendship, and one woman’s quest for redemption."  I have a feeling this will be a book that takes me a while to get through, if only because it is is one I want to savor every word.

What are you reading at the moment?  Is it something you would recommend?




Every Tuesday Diane from Bibliophile By the Sea hosts 
First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, where  
participants share the first paragraph (or a few) of a 
book they are reading or thinking about reading soon.


Since I do not have my copy of Further Out Than You Thought with me (it's at home on my nightstand), I will share the opening line of my other current read, World of Trouble by Ben H. Winters:
"Are you here about the dust?  Please tell me you're here to do something about the dust."
I don't answer.  I don't know what to say.
The girl's voice is throaty and ill, her eyes looking out over a nose-and-mouth mask, staring hopeful and crazed at me as I stand baffled on her doorstep. Beautiful blonde, hair swept back out of her face, dirty and exhausted like everybody, panicked like everybody. But there's something else going on here, something not healthy. Something biochemical in her eyes.
 Would you continue reading?


© 2014, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

48 comments:

  1. I'm glad you all had fun at the amusement park despite the rain, Wendy! We've had showers and even flash floods over here, which I find it strange because we don't usually have them often till October. I suppose the weather has changed.

    "Further Out Than You Thought" sounds good. I love it when I want to savor every words written by the author. The last book I read "I'll Be Right There" is exactly it. :)

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    1. Melody - It does seems as if the weather has changed. The rain seems to have passed for now, although the temperatures are still cooler. Not that I am complaining about that. I'll take 94 over 104 any day!

      As much as I love racing through a more intense book, I do love being able to slow down with a book I can really take my time with. :-)

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  2. The intro makes me want to keep reading Wendy and this author has received some great reviews. enjoy

    Birthday wishes to all in your family -- Feb and March and April are our big months where we do multiple parties.

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    1. Diane - I was looking at Winters' back list recently and had no clue he was the author of Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. I can't say I'm even tempted to read that one, but I thought it was interesting nonetheless. The Last Policeman trilogy has been really good. I am about half way through the third book now.

      Thank you for the family birthday wishes. Mouse keeps asking me if we can have a big party. I guess maybe I should invite them to town . . .

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  3. Whilst I don't find the excerpt you shared particularly appealing I am intrigued by the characters.

    I've just started reading Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee. Celebrating its centenary year, I haven't read much but so far I'm enjoying it.

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    1. Tracy - I'm really enjoying World of Trouble. It's a good trilogy, but if you don't like mysteries or pre-apocalyptic type books, this wouldn't be for you.

      I haven't read Cider with Rosie. I am glad to hear it is good!

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  4. It sounds like you've had some brutal weather, in terms of extreme heat and flooding. I'm glad you and your family got a chance to get out and have some fun.

    The Last Policeman trilogy has been on my list for a while. Further Out Than You Thought sounds intriguing too.

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    1. Irene - I hope we can avoid the fires in Southern California this fire season, but I'm not too optimistic. I think the rain has left us for awhile.

      I've really enjoyed The Last Policeman trilogy so far. I look forward to seeing what the author comes out with next.

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  5. Last week was strange here - lots of rain and cool temperatures. We're back to normal now. I hope you find time to read this week!

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    1. Kathy - The cooler temperatures isn't so bad. :-) I hope I am able to fit in more reading this week as well. I did get some on yesterday, but not as much as I was hoping.

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  6. Crazy weather. It sounds like the rain would be more useful in the northern part of the state instead of causing the problems in your area. I wish we could arrange it like that. Interesting books this week. It definitely sounds like Further Out Than You Thought has compelling characters. I think with small children rain no longer equals reading. Maybe when they get a little older we can indulge in some rainy day reading again?

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    1. I wish I could have seen some of the rain up north to help with the fires. :-( I think that was part of the problem though--the lightening, anyway. Even on the beaches down this way, the lightening has been a terror.

      As much as I do not want my daughter to grow up too fast, there are certainly aspects of her getting older I am looking forward to. :-)

      I am not too far into Further Out Than You Thought, but so far I am enjoying it.

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  7. I'm not sure if A World of Trouble would be for me, but hope you enjoy it. I just read Lone Survivor by Marcus Lutrell and loved it. I think it is a book, men would enjoy as well. Happy Birthday to all of your friends and family whose birthday it is this month!

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    1. Pat - Thanks for the recommendation and the birthday wises. I haven't read Lone Survivor, but it does sound good. I think my father-in-law might like it too.

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  8. This might not be for me, but I hope you like it. July is a big birthday month here... seems like we were celebrating every single weekend. Has your father-in-law read The Boys in the Boat or Unbroken? I thought both were excellent.

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    1. JoAnn - I'm really enjoying the trilogy--it's right up my alley as I love a good mystery.

      Thank you for the recommendations! I believe he has read Unbroken. I am not sure about The Boys in the Boat. That one sounds good!

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  9. The trilogy sounds good, especially after you mentioned the dog and I see it on the cover. Why do they always seems to kill off the dogs or cats in a story??
    Happy Birthday to all this month!

    Has your father in law read Night by Elie Wiesel? I've had it on my list but haven't got it read yet. It is autobiography set in 1944. The author has some fiction books also.
    Someone mentioned Unbroken, he might like that before the movie comes out.
    I enjoyed Calico Joe by John Grisham. It has a baseball theme. He might enjoy Visiting Tom by Michael Perry. I liked it alot. Has he ever read Shane by Jack Schaefer? Or maybe Thunder Dog by Michael Hingson. I really enjoyed a book called Soldier Dogs by Maria Goodavage and Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton. If he likes westerns, the Appaloosa series by Robert B. Parker was excellent, as was the Appaloosa movie. Sorry for making this so long.
    I am currently listening to Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel and not sure what i really think of it yet. It kind of drags along so far.
    Happy Tuesday!

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    1. Carla - I hate it when animals are hurt or killed in books. :-(

      Thank you for the recommendations! Night is really good. I hope you do get a chance to read it. That's a good option though for my father-in-law. I'm making note of all the titles you mention so I can look for them when I go shopping. :-)

      I haven't read anything by Yann Martel, but I do remember hearing mixed thoughts on Beatrice and Virgil. I'll be curious to know what you think when you are done listening to it. Did you read Life of Pi?

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    2. No, I have not read Life of Pi, at least not yet. I waffle on it. I think I am going to listen to it then I am drawn to another book.
      Some might have more sports book recommendations. Does your father in law have favorite sports or just kind of all sports in general?
      I might also suggest a book about a fellow Iowan Ed Thomas. The book is called Sacred Acre but not sure of the author. He was a high school football coach in Parkersburg Iowa. He helped the town get through a tornado and then a year or so later was murdered by a troubled student.

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    3. Carla - I haven't been all that interested in reading The Life of Pi, but I'm curious about the movie. Maybe I'll take it in that way.

      My father-in-law loves sports in general. Although I think he's partial to football and baseball and basketball. He also likes soccer. He used to be an umpire and referee for high school sports when my husband was growing up. I think I remember hearing about Ed Thomas. Such a sad end.

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  10. I have heard of the trilogy and was considering it, as I do read dystopian/apocalyptic books sometimes. I will look for the first one in the library and give it a try.

    I also live in CA (Riverside Co.) and we got the first real rain since I moved here in May, two straight days but no thunder, lightning or mud slides, thank goodness. In my opinion, there is no "normal weather" anymore. Across the country everyone is being surprised by unexpected types of violent weather...sigh.

    On a brighter note, have fun reading this week.

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    1. Rita - I hope you like it if you do give the trilogy a try!

      Wasn't it nice? The rain, I mean. We did hear thunder and saw lightning at our house, but it wasn't too bad. Not as bad as it was on the coast. Several road closures, although most of them minor roads, thank goodness. A couple of coworkers got caught on the other side of that mudslide up at Mt. Baldy and weren't able to get through to come to work.

      I hope you have a good week!

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  11. This one sounds good...and I'm also intrigued by the book you mentioned, about the LA riots.

    August brings a lot of birthdays to my family, too: my daughter, my youngest son and his wife, and the father of my two youngest children.

    Enjoy! And thanks for visiting my blog.

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    1. Laurel-Rain - I am enjoying both so far, although I am sure I will be finishing World of Trouble sooner.

      I see you'll be having a busy August too with so many birthdays!

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  12. I guess I'm going to have to add this trilogy to my list! I'm reading JoJo Moyes' Ship of Brides at the moment, and I am enjoying it on both the personal and the historic level!

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    1. Jenclair - I think you would like it, Jenclair. Or maybe you should wait until I finish the third book. LOL Seriously though, I'm enjoying the trilogy quite a bit.

      I am glad you are enjoying Ship of Brides! I haven't yet read anything by Moyes, but I have one of her books on my Kindle. I was able to buy it on sale one day. :-)

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  13. It's funny how birthdays seem to cluster in a certain month, isn't it? In my family, it's April. I hope you enjoy the rest of the summer.
    The opening to World of Trouble definitely made me want to know more. I rarely read sci-fi, but my husband is a big fan. I'll tell him about this book.
    My Tuesday post features BETTER THAN YOUR DREAMS.

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    1. Sandra - Yes, it is funny how that happens! A friend of mine has three children and all their birthdays fall in the same month. :-)

      The Last Policeman Trilogy is a good one, and I hope your husband enjoys it if he does read it!

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  14. Sounds like a good read. I would continue reading.

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  15. Sounds scary! I would keep reading..definitely want to know what's going on!

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  16. Sounds like alot of rain over there, I hope it helps put the fires out. I can't believe it's August already, I feel like summer just flew right on by.
    Enjoy all those birthdays!
    And lastly, that is an interesting quote, I'd keep reading.

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    1. Naida - The areas with the fire haven't been getting much rain at all, I'm afraid. I'm sure they wish they would though!

      I'm not sure I am ready for August yet, but here it is. I just learned I have to work this Saturday. :-(

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  17. I keep hearing such goo dings about the Winter's trilogy. Sounds like a must read at this point! A day at the water park sounds absolutely perfect :) I am a bit jealous myself..lol!

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    1. Samantha - I finished the final book last night. It really is good and I hope you will like the trilogy if you read it.

      The water park was so much fun! I didn't even know it was there until about a month ago. I thought the park was just a miniature golf course--come to find out they've got quite a big spread there with rides and the water park too. And it's not that expensive!

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  18. Ah yes, the bribery. I know that well. Too bad we can't seem to figure out how to get Elle to stay in bed at night. Bribery isn't cutting it as she wants something more immediate than "tomorrow." I loved seeing all of your picture from the park--it looks like y'all had such a fun time.

    I have seen so much about the rain and the fires in California. Hope you get some relief soon. Our summer has been fairly moderate but I think our problem is too many communities drawing water from the same lakes without enough rain to replenish. If it's not one thing...

    Hope you can get some reading in! I just finished a short little book and have no idea what to start next. Always a strange feeling.

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    1. Trish - I wish I had some great words of wisdom to share with you in regards to getting Elle to stay in bed at night. :-( I hope you are able to find something that works though--You know it won't last forever, at least. Not that it makes things better now.

      I imagine you are in a similar situation with your water as we are. :-(

      I hope your next read is something good!

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  19. Interesting, "something biochemical in her eyes."

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    1. Tea - Isn't that an interesting way to describe that someone appears to be mentally ill?

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  20. The extract sounds intriguing. Glad you missed the rain, good timing!

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    1. Charlie - I am glad we just missed the rain too!

      I really enjoyed the trilogy, especially taking into consideration the different ways people might react to the possible end of the world. So many different ways to cope . . .

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  21. I recently listened to "Guide to the Perplexed" by Dara Horn. I was so disgusted with Israel's war and was sharing this disgust so freely that I thought I needed to reinforce my non-anti-Semitism by reading some books by Jewish-identified authors. "Guide" was very richly layered, an enjoyable read that reminded me a bit of "Where'd you go, Bernadette?" (crazy mom character who disappears), another recent fave.

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    1. Greta - I am not familiar with Guide to the Preplexed. I will have to look it up. I am glad you liked it!

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  22. That's a lot of birthdays in one month! Good luck finding the perfect gifts. I really struggle to choose books for other people.

    Further Out Than You Thought sounds very interesting. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it!

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    1. A.M.B. - The family members that live close by each other always get together for a big lunch. :-)

      I'm still enjoying Further Out Than You Thought. :-)

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  23. I hope the weather cools down over there soon. The drought in California has not been a good news. Glad that you got some rain, but wish the fires stayed off. I need to pick up the second book in the Ben Winters series - it wasn't available in my library earlier but it should be there now.

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    1. Athira - Even though the temperatures here have been in the mid-90's, it does seem cooler than it's been, especially in the mornings and evenings. I told my husband it almost seems like fall. I wonder how long it will last before we get another heat wave. The mountain areas are supposed to be getting more rain this weekend. I don't think my town will see any though.

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