Monday, June 22, 2015

Where Is Your Bookmark? (06/23/2015)


Happy Summer! I hope your week has gotten off to a good start. Mouse was unable to start her swim lessons as planned last week. Her cold turned into Walking Pneumonia, unfortunately. She finished the last dose of her antibiotics this past Sunday and seems to be doing well now. She was unhappy about returning to school yesterday, having all of last week off.  I cannot blame her, really.

With the doctor's approval, she joined her swim class in progress Monday evening. My water loving daughter was suddenly afraid to get into the pool. It was my turn to be that parent whose child cries and screams about having to get into the pool. Hopefully Tuesday's lesson goes better.

This past weekend I was able to finish reading Heather Graham's The Silenced, the 15th book in her Krewe Hunter FBI series, which I enjoyed. I loved the historical tidbits the author threw into the novel about the Civil War and Virginia, in particular.

I recently began reading Alexandra Sokoloff's Cold Moon, the third book in her Huntress/FBI series, and am also in the middle of a short story collection called The Lovers Set the Spoons Down by Heather Slomski. One is a more intense, can't put down sort of book and the other is more the kind you want to take your time with and savor. I do need to hurry up with Slomski's book, however, because I need to get it in the mail by the end of the month for the next person in my Postal Book Club. I don't know how I got so behind!

My progress through Paula Hawkin's The Girl on the Train is slow going. I have not had much time to listen. I am still enjoying it though and hope to finish before then end of July. That's my goal anyway.

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


A blurb from the publisher about The Lovers Set The Spoons Down:
In the fifteen stories that comprise this collection—some short as breaths, two of them novelettes—Slomski writes with a keen eye about relationships. About the desires that pull us together and the betrayals that push us apart. About jealousy, obsession, loneliness and regret—the byproducts of loving someone that keep us awake at night.

First Paragraph of the first story in The Lovers Set The Spoons Down with the same title:


We are sitting at a table in a restaurant. The four of us. You. Me. The woman with whom you had an affair. Her boyfriend. I sit across from her, you across from her boyfriend. There is wine, red and white. There are four water glasses, four linen napkins, four spoons, eight forks, four knives. There are tables on all sides of us.



The opening of the first story struck me as interesting in that I automatically could tell the four characters are in an awkward situation. The story is written in the style of a play, which I also found interesting. The first paragraph sets the scene.


Teaser from page 67, from the short story "Iris and the Inevitable Sorrow, or The Knock at the Door"

On the wooden desk piled with books and papers was a red envelope scribbled with her name. Inside was a card with a small pink heart on the cover, and upon opening it she found in Stephen's handwriting the words, "I've met someone." Underneath his signature he apologized for the misleading card, but Valentines were all he could find in the shop.


The teaser is from a short story later in the book, with a title I just love:"Iris and the Inevitable Sorrow, or the Knock at the Door". It's written in a very different style from the opening story. I felt an instant sadness for the woman who receives Stephen's card.

What do you think? Would you keep reading?  


© 2015, 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.

69 comments:

  1. That's not a meeting that I would want to be at - the temptation to shout 'Awkward' would be far too great - sounds like an enticing set of stories though. Here is my Tuesday post https://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/first-chapter-first-paragraph-june-23/

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    1. Cleo - I wouldn't want to be at that table either! I am liking the collection so far. I hope to finish in the next day or so.

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  2. Now that's an uncomfortable sounding table for 4 LOL

    Poor Mouse. My 3 y/o granddaughter is suppose to start a swim class - not sure how it will go, as her mom HATED swim lessons and never learned to swim:(

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    1. Diane - I thought so too! I can't even imagine. I am not sure I could be civil. LOL

      I hope your granddaughter enjoys her swimming classes. According to me mother-in-law, my husband hated swim lessons. Mouse did really well last year--with the same teacher and doing the same things. I imagine she doesn't remember that so well (although it is amazing what she can remember). Hopefully today will be better. My husband gave her a pep talk last night before bed. We'll see if it helps!

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  3. Yes, that definitely sounds like an awkward situation! I'm interested in a collection with stories of such varied length. I've read a collection of flash fiction where all were "short as a breath"... surprisingly good. I like extended short stories, too. Hope you like them.

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    1. JoAnn - I like that the stories vary in length too. I'd be curious about the flash fiction book you read. Were they actual stories or more like scenarios?

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    2. I read Anthropology by Dan Rhodes several years ago and at the time I considered them stories, but scenarios may be a more accurate description.

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    3. JoAnn - I'll have to look for it. The title is enough to make it sound appealing to me. Thanks for the recommendation, JoAnn!

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  4. I liked the opening paragraph *and* the teaser. Cool cover too. This is new to me, but I'm adding this collection to my list.

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    1. Beth - Isn't that a great cover? I hope you do enjoy this book if you decide to read it!

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  5. Hmmm...well, I'm not sure about the book of short stories. Those are not my favorite anyway, short stories I mean. Both little excerpts sound really sad.

    As to your other reading. that sounds good. Good luck to Miss Mouse on her swimming lessons. My girl loved swimming and did swim team for a number of years. It was a good activity for the summer. Glad she is feeling better.

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    1. Kay - I am not a huge short story fan either, but I can appreciate a few now and then. Not all the stories are sad, fortunately. I'd say they are more thoughtful, really.

      Thanks for the good luck wishes! Mouse usually loves the water, and so this is new for her. Hopefully it was just an off day.

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  6. I'm sure tonight will go better - Mouse was just off her routine. I hope she's back to 100% soon.

    I'm reading The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig.

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    1. Kathy - I hope that's all it is. That's kind of what I was thinking too. She does love the water usually.

      I love the title of the book you are reading. It brings up all sorts of images.

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  7. Glad to read that is Mouse on the mend.

    Having heard mixed things about The Girl On The Train I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

    I'm busy reading the fifth instalment of the Kitty Hawk series by Iain Reading which so far is proving just as good as the previous books.

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    1. Tracy - All of the negative thoughts I have heard about The Girl on the Train had only made me think the book would be a perfect fit for me. It's funny how that works sometimes. :-)

      I can't wait to read your review of the fifth book of the Kitty Hawk series. I love sound of that series. We need more protagonists like Kitty.

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  8. Oh I hope swim lessons got better. Kids go through such odd phases and sometimes they're completely mystifying. I've given up on audio until the summer is over but I'm hoping to be able to listen to The Girl on the Train then. Hope Mouse is feeling tons better!

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    1. Katherine - Thank you! You can never tell at this age. One minute they love something and the next they hate it and then they are back to loving it again--all within the same minute. I imagine her having been sick recently and still in the process of regaining her strength may have something to do with it. Hopefully today will go better.

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  9. I don't often read short story collections, but this one sounds like it has fascinating stories, based on the two you shared. In the first scene, I can imagine what will happen as the evening continues. Something dramatic, perhaps.

    And the second excerpt made me feel so sad for the woman.

    Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog. Sorry about Mouse's illness and her fear of the pool afterwards.

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    1. Laurel-Rain - So far I am enjoying the collection. I like the author's writing quite a bit.

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    1. Trish - Isn't it? I would hate to be broken up with that way.

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  11. I love reading short stories, too. I have several collections in my TBR pile. This opening is really intriguing, so I'd keep reading!

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    1. Monica - I am enjoying the collection so far. The stories are varied and I enjoy the author's writing.

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  12. I read The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons last year. Like most short stories, it was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I enjoyed some of them and had to push through others. I still love the cover, though! Here's my teaser: https://randomamb.wordpress.com/2015/06/23/teaser-tuesdays-the-girls-of-mischief-bay/

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    1. Amber - I find that to be true in my experience with short stories too--they can be a mixed bag. Hopefully I will enjoy all the ones in this one--but we'll see. :-) It is a great cover, isn't it?

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  13. I'm not much of a short story reader, but the intro to the first story really grabbed me and made me want to know how they got there and what will happen next. I'm intrigued.

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    1. Suzie - Unfortunately, in this case, we are never to know how they ended up in that situation, although I can kind of guess. I would like to have known that as well!

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  14. I'm glad Mouse is feeling better. I like short stories and would keep reading.

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    1. Vicki - Thank you. I'm glad she's feeling better too. :-)

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  15. I think I'd keep reading both stories, though feeling like I want to cringe over the meeting in The Lovers Spoon Set. Not where I would want to be.

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    1. Emma - Can you imagine? I wouldn't want to be in that position at all.

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  16. Poor Mouse. Glad she's feeling better. I wonder why she decided she didn't want to go swimming. You never know but I bet she'll be better by the next lesson.

    I really like Graham's Krewe Hunter series too. Like you I love the historical tidbits she throws in. I'm not hugely fond of short stories still if the collection sounds intriguing I will give it a go. I finished Every Fifteen Minutes and it was good Wendy. Put it on your list for a future listen maybe. Right now I'm listening to Grey. Yes I did read Fifty Shades and although they shocked me many times I enjoyed them. lol.

    Hope you have a great week.

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    1. Darlene - Thank you, Darlene. She's going through a stage where it almost seems as if she is trying on fears, if that makes sense. One day she's afraid of one thing and the next another. I don't know if that's what it is, or perhaps, like Kathy suggested, she was just out of her usual routine and it's thrown her off.

      I have another of Graham's books waiting in my queue and I'm looking forward to getting to it soon. Hopefully.

      I will definitely add Every Fifteen Minutes to my audio library. I get a credit every month through Audible, so I might as well use it. I think suspenseful books are the best for me to listen to. I don't do well with just any kind of audio book unfortunately.

      You'll have to let me know what you think of Grey. My coworker has a print copy and is reading it right now. I read the first two books, but never did get to the third.

      I hope you have a great week too!

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  17. Awww, poor Mouse! I'm so sorry to hear that she was sick and then scared of returning to the pool. My kids are often frightened of the water (even after weeks of having fun in it). So, I've definitely been that parent.

    As for what I'm reading, I'm between books at the moment. I just finished Neil Smith's Boo, which I loved, and I'll start something new tonight. It might be a biography of Louis XVI. We'll see!

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    1. A.M.B. - The other parents were so nice--they all clapped for Mouse when she blew bubbles in the water or kicked. I'm sure many of them have been there too.

      Good luck deciding what to read next. It sounds like you may have a good one in mind. :-)

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  18. Short story collections always seem to be a bit hit or miss for me, but I do like the start of this one. Girl Who Reads

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    1. Donna - Same here. I definitely prefer full length novels, but sometimes I find a short story that hits the right spot.

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  19. That is a profoundly awkward meeting!

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  20. Oh wow. Just in those few sentences, I really feel for this woman. Great teaser! I would definitely keep reading!

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    1. I Heart Fictional People - It's hard not too, isn't it? I really like that intro too.

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  21. Wendy, I forgot to mention how much I love the way your cats love books as much as you LOL

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    1. Diane - They certainly give that impression, don't they? LOL

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  22. I am going to add this one to my ever growing list of books. I don't do short stories often, but I like them mostly. The title intrigues me.

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    1. Judy - I hope you enjoy the collection if you do read it!

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  23. Glad Mouse is feeling better. I hope the swimming lessons get better/funner for her! I love those unputdownable books!

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    1. 'Nise - Thank you! Yesterday's class wasn't any better, I'm afraid. We'll try again today and see what happens.

      The books that are hard to put down are my favorites too. :-)

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  24. Oi, heartbreaking. Poor girl.

    My TT is from Sally Green’s Half Wild (the sequel to half bad) http://wp.me/p4IAgx-3x

    Have a lovely week.

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    1. Stace - She's still not quite able to put into words what she is afraid of about swimming. :-S We'll keep trying. Hopefully she'll regain her confidence. She had done so well last summer. But I know time away form the pool makes it easy to forget. Especially when you're that young.

      I hope you have a good week too! Enjoy Half Wild!

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  25. Seems like that Valentine should have been torn as a warning.

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    1. Alice - Right?! Or something. It seems cruel to break up with someone that way.

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  26. I hope Mouse is feeling better soon! And I hope her thought of not swimming is only temporary. My girls don't know swimming and they fear water, and it takes a while for them to warm up before dipping into the pool.

    I miss reading short stories. I hope I'll get to them some day soon. The teaser you shared sounds interesting and it was definitely an awkward situation.

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    1. Melody - She's feeling lots better now. If only she felt better about being in the pool. She used to love it. :-(

      I don't often read short stories anymore either. I imagine I wouldn't be reading any right now if not for the Postal Book group I'm in.

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  27. I'm reading The River of Doubt by Candice Millard for book club and The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry.

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  28. I've heard The Silenced was good, and I liked The girl On The Train for the most part. didn't love it, but thought it was pretty good- and I was very curious as to who the culprit was. :)

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    1. Greg - I'm ready to find out who the culprit is in Girl On the Train too. :-)

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  29. Interesting teaser! It's good to know I'm not the only one that likes to read several books at once! Thanks for dropping by my TT! :)

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    1. Ali - I used to be a sworn monogamous reader, but occasionally I have more than one going at a time. I try to have an audio going and at least one print book.

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  30. Poor little Mouse - and mom and dad. So scary when little people get so sick. So sad she was afraid of the water - she loved her swimming lessons last year, I remember.

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    1. Lisa - She's doing much better now, thank goodness. She'd been acting so normal when she was sick that I felt sure the doctor would think I was silly for bringing her in for just a cold. I'm glad I did though--there was just something that made me want to make sure it wasn't more.

      Mouse did much better yesterday with her swimming fortunately. A female instructor was subbing and Mouse seemed to take to her much better. I hope she's not disappointed if she has the regular male instructor again today. :-(

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  31. Oh, poor Mouse! I'm glad she is feeling much better now and can get back to her swimming lessons.

    I love the cover and title of Lovers Set Down Their Spoons. Looks and sounds very delihgtful. I hope you enjoy it.

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    1. Athira - Thank you. I hope we can all stay healthy for the rest of the summer.

      So far I am enjoying the book. :-)

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  32. What an interesting cover. I don't usually read short story collections. I'm not sure why, because it would be perfect for days when I don't have a lot of reading time.

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    1. Kim - I try to remind myself of that too as I don't often read short stories either. :-) They are great when you don't have a lot of time.

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  33. That teaser sure has me asking questions and wanting to know more. Thanks for sharing.

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  34. I really like the opening lines of "Cold Moon."

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