Friday, December 30, 2011

Book Club

It was tough to get some reading done this last week and a half--just busy with Christmas and family.

I finally was able to finish Kate Morton's newest book, The Distant Hours
The Distant Hours: A Novel

A long lost letter arrives in the post and Edie Burchill finds herself on a journey to Milderhurst Castle, a great but moldering old house, where the Blythe spinsters live and where her mother was billeted 50 years before as a 13 year old child during WW II. The elder Blythe sisters are twins and have spent most of their lives looking after the third and youngest sister, Juniper, who hasn’t been the same since her fiance jilted her in 1941.  
Inside the decaying castle, Edie begins to unravel her mother’s past. But there are other secrets hidden in the stones of Milderhurst, and Edie is about to learn more than she expected. The truth of what happened in ‘the distant hours’ of the past has been waiting a long time for someone to find it. 

 I enjoy Kate's work but I do feel like in each of her novels she seems to add a lot of details that could remain untold. I felt that this book was rather long and slow moving until it got to the last 150+ pages it became more engrossing. Although it was sort of confusing to keep moving back and forth between the time periods with numerous characters telling their story. It is an interesting story and plot and I really liked that it was told from a younger main character. I love the general idea of this story and even the way it ended. Unique set of characters and it had me guessing till the end. I give this a C/B.

Next I  read skimmed Bossypants by Tina Fey.

Before Liz Lemon, before "Weekend Update," before "Sarah Palin," Tina Fey was just a young girl with a dream: a recurring stress dream that she was being chased through a local airport by her middle-school gym teacher. She also had a dream that one day she would be a comedian on TV.
She has seen both these dreams come true. At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon -- from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.


Let me just preface this review saying that I was really looking forward to reading this autobiography, I have heard all great things and I couldn't wait to dive right in...I don't know what happened but it was not my cup of tea. I was very disappointed with it. Sure, there were a couple funny parts but after the first 30+ pages I stated skimming it. There was no real set story/time line to all her anecdotes and life lessons. It was hard sometimes to tell if she was being serious or just joking around. It seemed like a little kid wrote it, especially with all the added pictures,etc in the middle of paragraphs. Oh well....I give this book a D.

The Lost December by Richard Paul Evans

When Luke Crisp graduates from business school, his father, CEO and co-founder of Fortune 500 Crisp’s Copy Centers, is ready to share some good news: he wants to turn the family business over to his son. But Luke has other plans. Taking control of his trust fund, Luke leaves home to pursue a life of reckless indulgence. But when his funds run out, so do his friends. Humbled, alone, and too ashamed to ask his father for help, Luke secretly takes a lowly job at one of his father’s copy centers. There he falls in love with a struggling single mother and begins to understand the greatest source of personal joy. Lost December is Richard Paul Evans’s modernday holiday version of the biblical story of the prodigal son, a powerful tale of redemption, hope, and the true meaning of love.
(from his website and

I couldn't put this book down! So fast paced and such a great twist on a classic Bible story. I was annoyed, sad, shocked, happy and upset right along with the main character. Another wonderful and enriching story by Richard. I give it a solid A.

And lastly, I read Karen White's newest book, The Strangers on Montague Street

With her relationship with Jack as shaky as the foundation of her family home, Melanie’s juggling a number of problems. Like restoring her Tradd Street house…and resisting her mother’s pressure to ‘go public’ with her talent—a sixth sense that unites them to the lost souls of the dead. But Melanie never anticipated her new problem.
Her name is Nola, Jack’s estranged young daughter who appears on their doorstep, damaged, lonely and defiantly immune to her father’s attempts to reconnect. Melanie understands the emotional chasm all too well. As a special, bonding gift Jack's mother buys Nola an antique dollhouse—a precious tableaux of a perfect Victorian family. Melanie hopes the gift will help thaw Nola's reserve and draw her into the family she’s never known.
At first, Nola is charmed, and Melanie is delighted—until night falls, and the most unnerving shadows are cast within its miniature rooms. By the time Melanie senses a malevolent presence she fears it may already be too late. A new family has accepted her unwitting invitation to move in—with their own secrets, their own personal demons, and a past that’s drawing Nola into their own inescapable darkness…

(from her website)

This novel is the third in it's series and I loved it just like the rest of Karen's work. A great story and ghost mystery. A fun new character along with the "old" ones we have followed before. Jack and Mellie drive me crazy still with their back-and-forth relationship but it also adds a funny and real life charm to the whole story. What a surprising twist and cliff-hanger ending! I really can't wait for the next novel. I give this a book an A.

What have you been reading?

Happy New Year's Weekend!


  1. I agree with your review of The Distant Hours. It was good but slow, and the changing was confusing. I usually like books where the timelines all jump back and forth, but she needed to mark them better, or something.

    Thanks for sharing and for dropping by!

  2. I'm disappointed that Bossypants wasn't very good! It's been on my list forever, I just haven't gotten to it.


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