Bibliophile Confessions – Top Ten Books To Be Read – February 2018

For various reasons, the current book I am reading, Henna House, is taking a bit longer to digest than usual. Some of those reasons are personal, but the main reason is,  I have been so focused on other goals, that reading hasn’t been a priority yet this year. Since we are only in February, that can easily be changed. So this week I decided to take the oppurtunity to share the top ten books on my current To Be Read list, in hopes that sharing my reading goals and progress more often will help keep me accountable to making reading a priority in my day to day routine.

So, in no particular desired reading order, here is my selection for the Top Ten Books I want to read next, after Henna House. All links will take you to the book’s description on Goodreads.

Martyr, by Rory Clements

The Ghost and Mrs. McClure, by Alice Kimberly

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

The Almost Sisters, by Joshilyn Jackson

An Invitation to Murder, by Leighann Dobbs

The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George

Magic to the Bone, by Devon Monk

Sarah’s Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay

Stalking Jack the Ripper, by Kerri Maniscalco

The Friday Night Knitting Club, by Kate Jacobs

My goal is to read a minimum of 36 books this year, so hopefully working my way through this list will get me on the way to exceeding that goal.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and if you like you can follow my reading progress on Goodreads here.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Advertisements

Bibliophile Confessions – A Review Of A Brew To A Kill, Coffeehouse Mystery #11

A Brew to a Kill (Coffeehouse Mystery, #11)A Brew to a Kill by Cleo Coyle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once again I am sharing my thoughts on a Coffeehouse Mystery book; this time it is book number 11: A Brew To A Kill. Did you know that, I rarely read book series? You can count on one hand the different series I keep up with. That is because I find that in most by the time I get to book 9, 10, or 11, the story has become redundant, often repeating themes from earlier books. That is not the case with the Coffeehouse Mystery Series. Actually, the later books have been even more enjoyable than the initial ones. This is of course due to the talent and skill of Cleo Coyle, creating characters and situations that are enjoyable, believable, and a pleasure to return to time and time again.

*potential spoilers*

In A Brew To A Kill, we find our heroine, Clare Cossi, expanding the reach of the Village Blend coffeehouse into the food truck business, placing herself in a turf war with a self-proclaimed cupcake queen. She is witness to the hit-and-run of her dear friend and subsequently drawn into the investigation of the accident. All this while trying to keep herself and her ex-husband from either being arrested by the DEA or killed by drug smugglers. Just another day in the life of a New York coffeehouse manager, eh?

The coffee house mystery books always seem to draw me into the culture and the neighborhood of New York, where the story is taking place. In this book, especially, I appreciate the excellent way the author draws us into the culture. For example, the portrayal of an Asian American accent in the chase through Chinatown. So often it is difficult to imagine what the dialogue of a story sounds like, but in this instance, I quickly realized that the author captured the syntax of the accent so well that as I was reading the dialogue I was able to hear the accent in my head.

In every Coffeehouse Mystery book, I have truly loved the journey from the initial problem through the climax and into the resolution. However, in A Brew To A Kill, more than any of the previous books, the story continually built in excitement, from the shocking entrance of the DEA in the warehouse & subsequent arrest of Claire and Matt, to the sting operation when Clare goes head to head with Dragon Lady. The action in this book really got my heart pounding, as I tried to figure out how Clare & Matt were going to get out of jail, if they would survive the sting operation without getting shot, and also trying to figure out who ran down Clare’s friend on the street.

A Brew To A Kill is a lovely, enjoyable, and intriguing read, that left me once again enamored with Clare Cossi.

View all my reviews

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

SaveSave

Bibliophile Confessions – My Year in Books – 2017

I realize that it is already late January, however, I have been wanting to do a quick post covering the books I read in 2017, and I just now have the time to sit and write it. The year of 2017, wasn’t my best year as far as quantity of books go, but quality is better than quantity, and 2017 was definitely my year for quality books. Last year, I only managed to read 20 books, an average of 1-1/2 books a month. The low count is partly due to several books that I abandoned out of boredom or frustration, that are not included in the total count. The twenty books I did read were all enjoyable and satisfying.

Glance over the images below to see what I read in 2017:

Of the twenty books I read in 2017, I did pick a top three and they are:

The Keeper Of Lost Things, by Ruth Hogan (read review)

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, by Phaedra Patrick (read review)

Behind Her Eyes, by Sarah Pinborough (read review)

That sums up my year in books for 2017. Hopefully 2018 will bring me more reading time and good quality books, fingers crossed.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Bibliophile Confessions – A Review Of Murder by Mocha, Coffeehouse Mystery #10

Murder by Mocha (Coffeehouse Mystery, #10)Murder by Mocha by Cleo Coyle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Murder by Mocha is the 10th book in the Coffeehouse Mystery series written by Cleo Coyle, the pseudonym for the husband and wife writing team of Alice and Marc Cerasini. The series first caught my eye at my local library, when I spotted book one, On What Grounds, with a delicious looking cup of coffee on the front. Since I am a huge coffee addict I was very intrigued by the promise of mystery with a side of coffee. This was actually my first real foray into the cozy mystery genre, and I’m glad to be here. What I love about the Coffee House Mystery series is that they are well written and intriguing mysteries, they are perfect for when you want to settle in with a good cozy book. Typically, I read a book from this series within a couple of days, curled up under a blanket, with a cup of coffee.

The series is set in modern day New York, revolving around the life of The Village Blend manager, Claire Cosi. This seemingly innocuous barista somehow manages to become ensconced in a variety of murder mysteries to which she is drawn like a moth to a flame. In the 10th book, Murder by Mocha, Claire finds herself entrenched within the corporate politics of a very unusual female focused corporation. As with anything that involves high levels of competition, and high stakes for those involved, tempers flare, schemes are hatched, and murder soon finds its way into Claire’s life.

The subsequent investigation leads Claire to the unraveling of a decade long grudge and gets herself caught up in the path of the killer. Not only is Claire in the crosshairs of a serious vendetta, she is also juggling personal troubles of her own. In addition to keeping her ex-husband clear of her daughter’s brewing romance with a young police officer, Claire’s own officer love, is hinting at questions of commitment If that wasn’t enough, Claire is also concerned over the involvement of her mother-in-law in a cold case that has now become a little hotter.

In the fashion that I have come to expect from a Coffeehouse Mystery, this story captured my attention while still allowing me to play along at a leisurely pace. Claire Cosi is the reluctant sleuth that one can’t help but cheer for as she stands her ground and defends those she holds dear to her heart.

View all my reviews

Thanks for taking the time to read my post.

SaveSave

Sunday’s Stitches & Stuff – Episode 20

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend. Here in NC, we had a fabulous holiday. My parents were able to join us once again this year and Thanksgiving dinner was healthy & delicious, thanks to the wonderful recipes in Lindsay Nixon’s cookbook: Happy Herbivore Holidays & Gatherings.

In addition, hubby and I celebrated Black Friday, as we always do, with our traditional mid-day movie outing. This year we saw Murder On The Orient Express. What a fabulous movie! I cannot say enough about how much I enjoyed this adaptation of Agatha Christie’s beloved story. If you have not had the chance to see it, I would say this movie is not to be missed. Now let’s move on to a few other activities from the week.

What I’m Stitching

Thankfully, I have not tired of my Happily Ever After piece, because I am still working on this stitch a long. This week I finished the July motif, The Wind In The Willows, and moved on to Aladdin and the Enchanted Lamp, released in August. Here are some progress pics:

My progress is fairly steady and I’d like to finish this row of motifs before our trip to PA in 2 weeks.

What I’m Reading

As you read this post, I should be cracking the spine on Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens. Although I still have a few chapters left in Stalking Jack the Ripper (look for a review in the coming week), Never Let You Go is the book for my mystery book club which meets on Thursday. Therefore I am going to dedicate Sunday afternoon to reading this book. Hopefully the zoo will stay quiet while I am.

What I’m Watching

This week I’ve been rewatching Castle. There were no new shows or other TV series that really peaked my interest and, with the holiday, I had a lot of work to do this week. Having something I’m already familiar with on the TV was less distracting allowing me to work and watch. Unfortunately, this show is not available on the major streaming venues. Hubby & I really liked it so we collected the DVD sets.

Weekly Highlights

Naturally, the highlight of this week was having my parents down for the holiday. It was great to spend time with them and enjoy each other’s company. As a bonus, our doggies did not have to be crated for our movie outing, the “grand parents” watched them. As you can see from the picture they were in good company, four legged and two legged creatures sleeping soundly.

That’s all for now I hope you have a great week and thanks for taking the time to read my post.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Sunday’s Stitches & Stuff – Episode 18

This has been a very dreary week. It started well, with my personal stitching retreat on Sunday, but then the week went quickly downhill. On Monday I turned myself at an odd angle and my back went into full spasm, putting me out of commission for the whole day. The rest of the week was damp, cold and raining. The dogs and I were going stir crazy for a bit of sun and fresh air. However, I did manage to gather some momentum as the week came to an end and even manage to get outside and enjoy some nature and sun, albeit I did need a hoodie; I even got some beautiful pictures of our backyard tree which is turning gorgeous shades of purple. Continue reading

The Keeper Of Lost Things

The Keeper of Lost ThingsThe Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everyone has lost something or someone at some point in their life. Sometimes the loss is small, like misplacing your keys. Other times the loss is great, like losing your great grandma’s locket. While some items may be found again, others are lost forever, potentially impacting our lives profoundly. In The Keeper of Lost Things, by Ruth Hogan, we meet one such person, whose profound lose of a single, sentimental item, changes the course of his life, and ultimately the lives of many others along his journey.

The Keeper of Lost Things is one of the greatest pieces of literature I have read in my adult life. That may sound like a very serious statement about a relatively new work of fiction, but no story has touched me so deeply since I was a child. Every thought and idea presented is brought to completion, with vignettes that bring you to the brink of tears then pull you back with laughter. The main plot ebbs and flows like a river through a valley of heartbreak, joy, and fulfillment.

The book opens with the pivotal character, Anthony, who has spent the better part of his life collecting lost items. An umbrella, a single glove, even a tin of ashes come to live in Anthony’s collection. Due to his own loss, a medallion his late wife had given to him, Anthony comes to believe that each and every item he finds is potentially very meaningful to the owner, and Anthony choses to keep these items until they can be returned. Although he never quite figured out how to return the items that came to him for safe keeping; as his life is nearing its end, he bestows, not only his home and worldly possessions, but also the collection of lost things to his assistant, Laura, entrusting her with the daunting task of locating the owner’s of as many lost things as possible.

As Laura takes hold of her new home and new purpose, the reader has the privilege of experiencing Laura’s growth into a dependent and confident woman. While we learn that the catalyst for change happened years before, when she divorced her husband, it is not until she begins to explore the job Anthony left for her that she truly finds herself. Interwoven within the story of Laura and the aftermath of Anthony’s death, are the stories of the lost items and the people who lost them. While most of the stories are brief insights into how the items were lost, one story is consistently intertwined and ultimately poignantly connected to the beginning of Anthony’s journey as The Keeper of Lost Things.

View all my reviews

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave