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L is for Literary Fiction #AtoZChallenge

by Donna Huber For the A to Z Challenge, I'm discussing different book genres/categories. Each day, I will give a few details about the...

September 1, 2018

The Stand by Stephen King #GreatReadPBS

by Susan Roberts

The Stand
This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides -- or are chosen.

When a man escapes from a biological testing facility, he sets in motion a deadly domino effect, spreading a mutated strain of the flu that will wipe out 99 percent of humanity within a few weeks. The survivors who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge--Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious "Dark Man" who delights in chaos and violence.

The Stand by Stephen King is one of the top 100 Best Loved Books on the new PBS Series American Reads.

Have you read it?  Do you agree that it should be one of the top American books?

August 31, 2018

Domani by Carolyn Gross ~ a Review

by MK French

Lulu always listened to the sermons given by the doyen on the steps of the Sanctuary. Their world of Dalia lay in the shadows of the gas planet above them, which protected them from the fiery star that was slowly burning everything on their planet outside of the city. In a world of darkness and ash, Lulu thought the words of the doyen would lift her spirits. This changed when he instead talked about how Dalia would burn, and one of the crawlers, the enhanced sentinels of the Sanctuary attempted to assassinate him on the steps. Lulu interfered with that plan, setting in motion a chain of events that revealed not only the truth about Dalia, but of herself, the doyen, and the reason why her life had progressed as it had to that point.

August 30, 2018

The Scroll by @KBHoyle_author ~ a Review #TheGatewayChronicles

by Donna Huber

I'm almost at the end of the re-read of this wonderful series. The Scroll is book 5 and there are only 6 books in the series. This is my 3rd time reading the series (which I have also bought 3 times as I've bought sets for my mom and niece) and still absolutely love it. I'm excited that two of my neighbors are reading it after meeting K.B. Hoyle last Saturday at our town's book festival.

August 29, 2018

Hotel on Shadow Lake by Daniela Tully ~ a Review @macmillanusa #thomasdunnebooks

by Susan Roberts

Hotel on Shadow Lake has a dual timeline. One timeline is about Martha in Munich in the years leading up to WWII. The second timeline is Maya's story. Maya is Martha's granddaughter and her story takes place in Munich and New York state during present times. Both storylines were very well written but I liked Martha's story better. I felt more compassion for Martha and the hard life she was facing balancing her views of Hitler with what was going on in Munich during this time period.  She was a strong and brave character and I thought that Maya was a bit too tentative in how she approached life.

August 28, 2018

Girls' Night Out by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Women need their friends to help them through the problems in their lives and to be there to celebrate the good times. Sometimes over time these friendships fracture and can't be put back together no matter how hard we try.

August 27, 2018

Donna's August Reading Round-up #MondayBlogs

by Donna Huber

K.B. Hoyle and me at Bogart's Books & More Festival (picture by: Bowen Craig)

Here we are at the last Monday of the month. It has been a busy month with the university starting back with its fall semester. While I don't deal with students so much there were somethings at work that follow the academic schedule so my days were a bit more structured by those activities. The exercise classes that are free to staff at the university also started back. I've been taking the yoga class, but I decided to try the indoor cycling class. I couldn't walk for 3 days after the first class. I'm not pushing myself quite as hard and have really enjoyed the last two classes so I will keep up with that.

I also helped organize my town's Book & More Festival this month. It was a lot of fun and I got to meet a favorite author, K. B. Hoyle, for the first time in person. After the festival, we went to dinner and had a great conversation about publishing, the changes going on in young adult literature, how to handle diversity and the #MeToo movement in storytelling, family, food, and of course the re-release of her fantasy series The Gateway Chronicles. It was fun to get her perspective on certain parts of the books and characters that I have been thinking about. (You can learn more about her books below).

Even with all the was going on, I still managed to read 11 books: 4 audiobooks (2 of which were for a review), 7 print/ebooks (5 of which were for a review).

I hope I can keep up with my reading as we move into fall, but there are several television shows starting next month that I enjoy which might cut into my reading time. I'm excited about the new Amazon Prime show Jack Ryan. I love the series by Tom Clancy and I hope they did a good job translating it into a television series.

August 26, 2018

5 Novels to Read Before the End of Summer

by MK French

Summer may be winding down, but great summer reading doesn't have to with these 5 books coming out on Tuesday. While it is mostly romances in this list there is one horror novel mixed in for those wanting something a little darker.