Greetings and welcome to the It’s the Bridge Too Far Edition of You Are What You Read.
In this week’s housekeeping, I am pleased to announce that Babs B and I are still sporting the Bare Leg. So for those of you who are wagering and said that we would be done with that by now and donning the tights were wrong. Thank you Global Warming! I feel the end of this is nigh though and I am willing to predict that next week limbs may be encased in nylon and spandex.
You may all well remember a few weeks ago when I was railing against the all-pervasive sign of the season. The unrelenting march of Pumpkin Spiced everything, most specifically the Pumpkin Spiced Cough Drop available at CVS. I am still having a hard time wrapping my brain around why anyone who is sick would think that this would be a nice solution to cough due to cold.
I now have something new to think about. Yes, it’s Pumpkin Spiced. Yes it’s a short drive for you all to get some. And yes, it’s about 50 levels of wrong.
Now Man’s Best Friend can join in the Pumpkin Spice Hysteria.
According to their website they are soy and corn free and are even shaped like little pumpkins, just in case you are confused between them and a normal dog biscuit. Let’s think on that. A biscuit. Shaped like a pumpkin. Tasting like a pumpkin. For your dog.To help clean his teeth and freshen his breath.
Ok, I get the whole dog as my fur baby thing. I think it’s weird but I get it. I can be as amused as the next woman by the dressing up your pet for Halloween and parading him/her around.
We have to stop the Pumpkin Spice March to the Sea. We need to end this all ready. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of time before we have Pumpkin Spiced Toothpaste. And no one wants Pumpkin-ey fresh breath. Because that can’t be a Thing. Because, really? Do you want your breath to smell like your dog’s?
This week we have some quirk, two reviews for one book, Paris (of course Paris), Sweden, and some stuff I don’t understand. If you do, report back.
Let us begin!
Jeanne is only doing one thing this week which, as always, makes me nervous. “Soon to be a major motion picture with Reese Witherspoon! Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman and read by Cathleen McCarron is original; it's moving and I found myself rooting for the character, Eleanor as she struggles with the past that has radically changed her, both physically, mentally and especially emotionally. Yet she tries to fit in and make her way in a world that looks at her like she's damaged. One of the things I love about audiobooks is that the story comes closer and the characters become more real as I listen. This was especially true with this author's debut novel. It is smart, engaging, and definitely quirky.”
Barbara M has finished My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent. “Someone whose opinion I value highly told me not to read My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent but I didn’t heed her advice. After starting it I didn’t think I would get through the first part but I became so engrossed with the main character that I continued and I’m glad I did. The subject is horrific; incest and guns and physical and mental abuse. Fourteen year old Turtle lives with her father, a survivalist who thinks the apocalypse is near, in a remote area of Mendocino, California. Turtle struggles with her conflicting emotions of love and hate toward him and it is this struggle that propels the book. This is a very well written suspenseful novel with well-developed characters. If you can deal with the subject matter, it is an excellent read. It’s one of the best books I’ve read this year.”
Here’s Alan’s take on the same book. “Gabriel Tallent’s My Absolute Darling is a mesmerizing, fascinating, horrifying and eventually uplifting book about a 14-year old girl being raised alone by her father in the natural setting of the California coastline. Not for everyone, since he abuses her physically and mentally, while trying to get her ready for the apocalypse he sees coming, she is proof of the saying, ‘that does not destroy me makes me stronger.’ It has the strongest and most uplifting final fifty pages of any book I’ve ever read.”
The Always Fabulous Babs B has been raving all week about The Paris Spy: A Maggie Hope Mystery by Susan MacNeal. “Maggie Hope is an American born spy who secretly navigates Nazi-occupied France with a mission to find two brave women during the darkest days of World War II. Maggie is in Paris posing as a wealthy Irish girl shopping for her trousseau while looking for her sister and a missing British spy. Paris under Nazi rule is a dangerous place for most people, especially for British spies. When a high ranking German officer starts falling for Maggie, the reader just prays that Maggie can keep her cover. I couldn't put this book down and the ending left me speechless. I can't wait until the next installment!”
Sweet Ann is here with Quick Sand by Malin Persson Giolito. “This is quite a compelling detective mystery that is not an easy read but is definitely a page turner. The novel takes place in a privileged community in Sweden, where there has been a mass shooting in a private high school. The focus of the novel is Maja, who is a student at the school. Is she part of a conspiracy with her troubled boyfriend, Sebastian, or is she an innocent caught up in the shooting? The story begins with Maja, who is in jail waiting for her trial to begin. Through the course of the novel you learn about Maja's life as well as the troubled upbringing of Sebastian and the drama of the courtroom scenes are powerful and riveting. I recommend this book if you are looking for a taut courtroom drama.”
The Amazing Amanda is still lost in the woods of fae stories. "An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson can be read in one or two sittings. Isobel, a gifted painter, captures Prince Rook's sadness a little too well — an emotion that threatens his life in the cruel world of the fair folks. He kidnaps her and they formulate a plan to save both of their lives. Along the way, Isobel struggles to put away her feelings towards him. This book feels a bit like Howl's Moving Castle h with how practical Isobel is in the face of immense danger. The fair folks and their beasts are creepy and unsettling. No too-perfect-for-this-world beauty here, folks. Instead, you have fingers with too many joints, teeth too sharp, and maggots scuttling in your pastries. It's fantastic to finally have a fae book where the love interest is unsettling non-human."