Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach

Paperback Edition
Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach is a work of historical fiction that has been sitting in my 'to be read' pile since March 2013. Anyone who has been following my blog for awhile knows I'm a fan of historical fiction!! So, once again in an effort to read more of the older books I've acquired and not yet read, I made it a priority to read Tulip Fever in 2019.

Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach is a little bit on the slow side in parts. Additionally, some of the storyline is also a bit predictable in parts as well. However, I did enjoy the short chapters. The characters are decent. The writing is good and the plot is interesting enough to keep you wanting to know how the novel is going to end... And Tulip Fever's ending is a good one.

Favorite quotes from Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach include the following ones:

"Life is short; time is fleeting. Grasp it while you can, said the painter. And for once Cornelis has to agree with him." page 271

"And love, as we know, is a form of madness." page 116

"There is no heaven, only a spilled deck of cards. Life is a gamble; it is nothing but a handful of tulip bulbs, a brace of kings. Even the righteous can draw the joker from the pack." page 104

"His world offers no vocabulary for doubt. He has not admitted it in so many words to himself.  All he knows is that loss has weakened rather than reinforced his faith, and the only sure thing to which he can cling lies in his featherbed. " page 22 

The following is a plot summary for Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach from Amazon:
In 1630s Amsterdam, tulipomania has seized the populace. Everywhere men are seduced by the fantastic exotic flower. But for wealthy merchant Cornelis Sandvoort, it is his young and beautiful wife, Sophia, who stirs his soul. She is the prize he desires, the woman he hopes will bring him the joy that not even his considerable fortune can buy.
Cornelis yearns for an heir, but so far he and Sophia have failed to produce one. In a bid for immortality, he commissions a portrait of them both by the talented young painter Jan van Loos. But as Van Loos begins to capture Sophia's likeness on canvas, a slow passion begins to burn between the beautiful young wife and the talented artist.
As the portrait unfolds, so a slow dance is begun among the household’s inhabitants. Ambitions, desires, and dreams breed a grand deception—and as the lies multiply, events move toward a thrilling and tragic climax.
In this richly imagined international bestseller, Deborah Moggach has created the rarest of novels—a lush, lyrical work of fiction that is also compulsively readable. Seldom has a novel so vividly evoked a time, a place, and a passion.
I am giving Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - New-to-Me Authors I Read In 2018


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader GirlTop Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Here's my top ten list of new to me authors that I read this year!

1. Wendy Walker ~ All Is Not Forgotten
2. Deborah Coonts ~ Wanna Get Lucky?
3. Jana Deleon ~ Louisiana Longshot
4. Victoria Helen Stone ~ Half Past
5. Ariel Lawhon ~ I Am Anastasia
6. Ann Howard Creel ~ The Whiskey Sea
7. Natalie Baszile ~ Queen Sugar
8. Raina Telgemeier ~ Drama
9. Ariel Levy ~ The Rules Do Not Apply
10. Andrew Sean Greer ~ Less

Have you read any books written by the above authors?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss by Anderson Cooper & Gloria Vanderbilt


I read the hardback edition of The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss by Anderson Cooper & Gloria Vanderbilt in record time! This memoir has been on my reading wishlist since its release and I was lucky enough to find a copy of this book at a Little Free Library in Solana Beach, California earlier this month. I knew the basic outline of both Anderson Cooper's life and Gloria Vanderbilt's life, but learned so much more about each of their lives in this memoir that showcased their relationship as mother and son. I enjoyed how their memoir is written in the form of emails to each other. 

The following are some quotes I found interesting that Gloria Vanderbilt expressed in The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss:

"Death is the price we pay for being born." page 13

"Without plans, I believe in dreams, even if sometimes they melt like ice cream." page 171

"Hope has energy and its own life force to make dreams come true." page 277

The following is a summary for The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss by Anderson Cooper & Gloria Vanderbilt from Amazon:
Though Anderson Cooper has always considered himself close to his mother, his intensely busy career as a journalist for CNN and CBS affords him little time to spend with her. After she suffers a brief but serious illness at the age of ninety-one, they resolve to change their relationship by beginning a year-long conversation unlike any they had ever had before. The result is a correspondence of surprising honesty and depth in which they discuss their lives, the things that matter to them, and what they still want to learn about each other. 
Both a son’s love letter to his mother and an unconventional mom’s life lessons for her grown son, The Rainbow Comes and Goes offers a rare window into their close relationship and fascinating life stories, including their tragedies and triumphs. In these often humorous and moving exchanges, they share their most private thoughts and the hard-earned truths they’ve learned along the way. In their words their distinctive personalities shine through—Anderson’s journalistic outlook on the world is a sharp contrast to his mother’s idealism and unwavering optimism. 
An appealing memoir with inspirational advice, The Rainbow Comes and Goes is a beautiful and affectionate celebration of the universal bond between a parent and a child, and a thoughtful reflection on life, reminding us of the precious insight that remains to be shared, no matter our age.
I am giving The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son On Life, Love, and Loss by Anderson Cooper & Gloria Vanderbilt a rating of 3 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

Paperback Edition
I've been meaning to read the paperback edition of Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson since it landed in my possession in December 2013. 

I first became acquainted with Joshilyn Jackson as an author when I listened to the unabridged audio version of her novel, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming in 2013, which I loved by the way. Because I enjoyed reading a prior novel by Joshilyn Jackson and also in an effort to read older books in my 'to be read' pile, I decided to make Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson my first read of 2019!! I am so happy that I did read this contemporary fiction novel as it had me captivated from start to finish.

The writing, the storyline, and characters for Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson are splendid! I enjoyed the alternating chapters that blended the past with the present to help propel the plot forward for Gods In Alabama and helped build suspense as the plot unfolds... And of course, the first paragraph for Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson hooks you in immediately; "There are Gods in Alabama: Jack Daniel's, high school quarterbacks, trucks, big tits, and also Jesus. I left one back there myself, back in Possett. I kicked it under the kudzu and left it to the roaches."

The following is a plot summary for Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson from Amazon:
For 10 years Arlene has kept her promises, and God has kept His end of the bargain. Until now. When an old schoolmate from Possett turns up at Arlene's door in Chicago asking questions about Jim Beverly, former quarterback and god of Possett High, Arlene's break with her former hometown is forced to an end. At the same time, Burr, her long-time boyfriend, has raised an ultimatum: introduce him to her family or consider him gone. Arlene loves him dearly but knows her lily white (not to mention deeply racist) Southern Baptist family will not understand her relationship with an African American boyfriend. Reluctantly, Arlene bows to the pressure, and she and Burr embark on the long-avoided road trip back home. As Arlene digs through guilt and deception, her patched-together alibi begins to unravel, and she discovers how far she will go for love and a chance at redemption.
I am giving Gods In Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson a rating of 5 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Little Free Library in Solana Beach, California!!!


This is a new Little Free Library that has recently popped up in Solana Beach, California. I found it by accident this afternoon on my way to the grocery store. It's always fun to find Little Free Libraries unexpectedly. Especially when I have a book ready for such an occasion.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday - Favorite Books Read in 2018


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader GirlTop Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I've read or listened to 89 books this year! I had a difficult time narrowing down my top ten favorite books read in 2018 as I read many wonderful books this year.

I've attached a link to each of my book reviews. This way you can read more in depth detail about my thoughts on each of my favorite books of 2018! 

I've included both fiction and nonfiction books to my list for this week's post.

1. An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
2. All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
3. Half Past by Victoria Helen Stone
4. I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon
5. Enchantment by Orson Scott Card
6. Why We Can't Wait by Martin Luther King Jr
7. Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust, and Lunacy by Eric Hansen
8. The Coming Storm by Michael Lewis
9. Life's Work: A Moral Argument For Choice by Dr. Willie Parker
10. The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy

Share some of your favorite books of 2018 in the comment section below.

Happy New Year!!


Wishing you all a happy, healthy, prosperous 2019!!

I appreciate all of my blog readers and blog followers.
Thank you for helping my blog be a success.
I enjoy reading your comments to each of my posts &
I look forward to embarking on my 8th year 
of blogging this year.
I can't wait to see what the year ahead has in-store
for me in terms of reading and blogging.

So here's to the year ahead!