Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Week in Winter

A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

This is simply a lovely, well-written novel by a good story-teller for all ages.  I like to think my mother would have enjoyed reading this book, especially because she loved to travel.  No violence, sex, or mystery.  Just a warm, charming novel about people.

It is set in Stoneybridge, a small town on the rocky west coast of Ireland.  Broken-hearted from an unrequited love, Chicky Starr returns to her native Ireland from New York, determined to persevere.  She turns an old, decrepit mansion, owned by a Ms. Queenie Sheedy, into a holiday retreat.  No one knows her deepest secret, believing her story that she is a grieving widow.  The impossible task begins of converting the crumbling structure, Stone House,  into a successful bed and breakfast.  Helping her along the way, is the troubled bad boy, Rigger, and niece Orla, who soon prove to be quite an assest.  

In each subsequent chapter, you will meet a vast array of guests who choose to vacation overlooking  the craggy cliffs of the Atlantic Ocean.  It is cold, windy and not particularly inviting.  Yet there is something compelling drawing each one to Stone House.

John, the American movie star who longs to remain incognito.  Nicola and Henry, physicians who can no longer tolerate death and despair.  Nell, a bitter schoolteacher who finds no joy in life.  Freda,  a psychic, frightened by her own incredible ability to see into the future.  Anders, who longs to pursue his passion for music rather than work in his father's successful business.  Winnie and Lillian who may soon be related but intensely dislike one another.  

The book is really about relationships.  Don't look for mayhem, intrigue or drama.  My only criticism would be that each chapter is almost a story in  itself.  This is my first time reading her work.  This is also her final book; she died in July of 2012.  A cozy, comfortable read.     

Don't Go

Don't Go by Lisa Scottoline

We all gravitate to authors we enjoy reading.  Lisa Scottoline is one of mine.  Her  latest book, Don't Go, will not disappoint her fans.

Dr. Mike Scanlon is an army doctor serving in Afghanistan.  At home is wife, Chloe, and Emily, the daughter he has never met.  When an odd, mysterious household accident claims Chole's life, Mike returns home for her burial to find his life in chaos.  A once-thriving medical practice is in jeopardy, Emily is a stranger to him and there seems to be no reasonable explanation for Chloe's death.  His late wife's shocking secrets threaten to shatter the perfect life he thought he once had.

When Mike returns home for good with a life-changing, horrific injury, he finds comfort in the fact that Chole's sister, Danielle, and her husband, Bob, have  bonded with Emily.  Unable to have children of their own, they  have  made a stable home for her.  Soon, however, feelings of despair and overwhelming grief cause Mike to make a series of bad choices, and his life spirals out of control.  An arrest for assault finds him in legal trouble.  The career he so dearly loves seems to be slipping away.  He may lose custody of the person dearest to him.  When one of Chloe's best friends, Sara, is found murdered, Mike realizes Chloe's death may not have been an accident after all.  And so begins Mike's search for the truth.

I think you will find yourself reading just one more chapter, even thought you may not have the time.  It is an emotional page-turner.  One I hope you will enjoy.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Chance

 The Chance By Karen Kingsbury

Now for a change of has been a long time since I have read this author.  Years ago, I read her series about the Baxter family and found it to be heart-warming and uplifting in many ways.  Yet I grew tired after a while of her stories-just too predictable.  Kingsbury's books always have Christian values at the heart of the story.  This book is no exception.  It tells the story of two teenagers-she an aspiring author, he a basketball star.  They part ways due to her fractured family, but agree to meet in eleven years at a certain date and location.  Years pass.  One finds success, the other,  many heartaches and failures.  I won't tell you who finds what!  Add in other characters in the family  who have their own issues that become an integral part of the story.  I read this book in one day.  Not one of my favorites, but if you want a feel-good book, this could be it.   It does emphasize that hope springs eternal and maybe, just maybe, good things really do happen to good people.

The Next Time You See Me

The Next Time You See Me   By Holly Goddard Jones

Okay, I have to admit, when I read that  Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) recommended this book, it was a must read for me.  The mystery begins when a small town woman with an unsavory reputation disappears.  This sets the stage for a story that will keep you guessing.  Now add in the other characters:  a thirteen-year old girl with a secret that makes her feel important when otherwise, she is an outcast.  A disgruntled factory worker who longs for a life he will never have.  A sister who is dissatisfied with life in general, yet is powerless to change.  Amazingly, all these characters and many minor ones, intertwine with one another to make a novel that I   didn't want to put down.   Sounds a little depressing?  Yes, in many ways it goes to those dark places like Gone Girl. However, it also tells a tale of  the human spirit and how all of us just want to be accepted for who we are.  You will feel sympathy, empathy, and maybe just a little sadness.  A complex story I recommend reading!

Welcome to EZ Book Nook

Today, May 27, 2013,  I mark the start of a blog that I have been discussing with friends and co-workers for quite a while.  As an avid reader, I am often asked "What book are you reading now?" or "Can you make a recommendation?"  As a result, I thought it might be helpful and fun to gather my thoughts in one place where we can discuss and share our reflections and ideas.

I certainly am not a professional reviewer;  however  I do have a unique perspective on many different genres.  Each week I will try to update this blog with new book titles and answer your requests for mysteries, thrillers, romance and so much more.   I hope to acquaint you with new authors as well as the best sellers.

I welcome your comments and questions so we can start an interactive "book club" this summer, fall,  and into the approaching  cold, cozy days of winter.   So grab your favorite book and check in with the EZ Book Nook this week!  Hope you enjoy your visit!

Looking forward to 2014!  See you soon.....

We survived the brutal winter of 2013-14 and those carefree lazy days of summer are on the horizon. It has been a year since I started my blog, and I hope that along the way, you discovered some entertaining selections that you enjoyed as much as I did. Thanks for your continued support!

In the next few weeks, my reviews will be categorized by genre to make it that much easier to choose exactly what you're looking for; this should streamline the process while still offering a glimpse of all the new books summer has to offer. Just from what I have previewed, I predict some break-out hits emerging in the months ahead.

Comments, suggestions and referrals to family and friends are always welcome.

Hope your summer plans include visits to the EZ Book Nook!

Wishing you all a joyous holiday season...looking forward to meeting again in 2015!

Spring 2015 officially arrives in a few days.....and along with spring, look for the arrival of a multitude of new books being released just in time for the warmer weather. Hope you'll check out the EZ Book Nook in the days to come for some great recommendations!

Memorial Day Weekend marks the beginning of summer 2015 for me, even if the calendar says otherwise! I'm going to add a few enticing non-fiction selections in addition to mystery, suspense, romance, and historical fiction. Of course, it wouldn't be summer without the beach reads so look for those,too.
May 2015 marks the second year for my blog-thanks to the new readers and those who have been with me since the start. Relax and enjoy a good book.......there's nothing better.

The holidays are upon us once again! As 2015 draws to a close, I hope you have been inspired to read the many new selections I've reviewed this past year. Working on a new format for this book review blog in 2016. Your continued support is invaluable. Happy Holidays from The EZ Book Nook!

As the days grow longer, so does my list of intriguing books from promising authors; undoubtedly, some of the best I've previewed in a long time. The spring and summer months of 2016 will be filled with many choices to enjoy as we head into the new season. Remember, you can go to The EZ Book and look under genres for previous reviews. Hope you'll pass on this link to friends and family!

Summer 2017 arrives soon with a multitude of selections from veteran authors and promising newcomers. I'm now on twitter. Check it out! emlezbooknook

Welcome, officially,  to Fall 2017!  It's going to be a stellar year for new arrivals in all genres. Hope you will check out The EZ Book Nook for easy-to-read recommendations. Look for my mini-reviews published periodically in the Top Shelf section of the Sunday Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch!

Summer, 2018, and it looks like a hot and humid one is on the way. Relax by the pool, ocean, or
on your deck or patio with a cool drink and an enticing book. I hope to review many of
the beach reads being released plus so many more...remember, my reviews are sorted by genre
on my blog. I'm happy to report that in addition to the Columbus, (Ohio) Dispatch, my reviews are being published this summer in Eye on Donegal, a local paper in Donegal, Ireland.
Thank you Ireland for the warm welcome! And you can always find me on twitter...