Thursday, March 22, 2018

Goodbye, Vitamin by Rachel Khong

Goodbye, Vitamin
by Rachel Khong

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2017
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Contemporary, Humor
Hardback: 208
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
Tonight a man found Dad's pants in a tree lit with Christmas lights.

Her life at a crossroads, a young woman goes home again in this funny and inescapably moving debut from a wonderfully original new literary voice.

Freshly disengaged from her fiancé and feeling that life has not turned out quite the way she planned, thirty-year-old Ruth quits her job, leaves town and arrives at her parents’ home to find that situation more complicated than she'd realized. Her father, a prominent history professor, is losing his memory and is only erratically lucid. Ruth’s mother, meanwhile, is lucidly erratic. But as Ruth's father’s condition intensifies, the comedy in her situation takes hold, gently transforming her all her grief.

Told in captivating glimpses and drawn from a deep well of insight, humor, and unexpected tenderness, Goodbye, Vitamin pilots through the loss, love, and absurdity of finding one’s footing in this life.

My two-bits:

This is a humorous, yet serious perspective of a young adult in a caregiver role for a father experiencing the early stages of Alzheimer's. The gradual transition of the relationship between father and daughter is also presented by way of short observations of daily living.


* part of Tournament of Books 2018 (here)

Monday, March 19, 2018

Lulu Anew by Étienne Davodeau

Lulu Anew
by Étienne Davodeau

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2015
Publisher: NBM Publishing
Genre: Literary, Women's Fiction, Graphic Novel
Hardback: 160
Rating: 5

First sentence(s):
I can only tell you what I know about Lulu.

At the end of yet another unproductive job interview, Lulu, on a whim, takes off for the shore just to get away from it all. She’s got a husband and kids left bewildered but it’s nothing against them. This is just her time, getting away from the grind and with no other plan than savoring it. Surprised at her own temerity, she meets other people on the edge of the world. It wasn’t meant to be for long. It wasn’t meant to be anything but in the end thrilling, fun, and possibly dangerous, this improvised experience will make of Lulu a different woman.


My two-bits:

LOVE how the premise of the story grabbed me which holds true from the first page of the story to the end.

The story is told through different perspectives other than directly from the main character, Lulu, which was refreshing and different than the norm.

Interesting twists and turns along the way for Lulu with support and care from friends.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day with S.A. Dunphy and Kit de Waal

CELEBRATE today with Irish authors!

When She Was Gone
by S.A. Dunphy
-Crime, Thriller
Release date: March 1, 2018
Amazon | Goodreads

When criminologist David Dunnigan receives the shocking delivery of one of his niece Beth's shoes, it reignites the eighteen-year-old investigation into her disappearance - which Dunnigan has always blamed himself for. But is he ready for what he might find?

New evidence links Beth's abduction to an antiquated psychiatric hospital, and on to an Inuit village in the frozen north of Greenland where the parents of Harry, a homeless boy Dunnigan and his friend Miley rescued from the streets, may have been trafficked.

Can Dunnigan survive the hunt, and will he find Beth after all this time?


The Trick To Time
by Kit de Waal
Release date: March 29, 2018
Amazon | Goodreads

Mona is a dollmaker. She crafts beautiful, handmade wooden dolls in her workshop in a sleepy seaside town. Every doll is special. Every doll has a name. And every doll has a hidden meaning, from a past Mona has never accepted.

Each new doll takes Mona back to a different time entirely - back to Birmingham, in 1972. Back to the thrill of being a young Irish girl in a big city, with a new job and a room of her own in a busy boarding house. Back to her first night out in town, where she meets William, a gentle Irish boy with an easy smile and an open face. Back to their whirlwind marriage, and unexpected pregnancy. And finally, to the tragedy that tore them apart.


* found these authors amongst The Irish Times Books to Look Out for in 2018 article (here)

Lovely Books and Things - 3.17.18

Lovely Books and Things
My Weekly Books and Films Update

Linking up with:
Stacking the Shelves (details)
Sunday Post (details)
Mailbox Monday (details)



1. Happy St. Patrick's Day - going out to get Irish Soda Bread

2. Watching Japanese tv show about making miniature food with miniature appliances (source: image)

3. Studio Ghibli Pop Up Shop



My Neighbor Totoro
by Tsugiko Kubo
illustrated by Hayao Miyazaki
-Fantasy, Japan
Amazon | Goodreads

MY treat from the Studio Ghibli Pop Up shop.

Prize: books and audiobooks

Red Sparrow Trilogy
by Jason Matthews
-Espionage, Mystery, Thriller
courtesy of Simon and Schuster via instagram -Thanks!

FIRST book win from an instagram giveaway! So cool ;-)

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews Amazon | Goodreads
Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews Amazon | Goodreads
The Kremlin's Candidate by Jason Matthews Amazon | Goodreads

AND watched: in theatre

Red Sparrow (2018)
Director: Francis Lawrence
Screenplay: Justin Haythe
Based on book by: Jason Matthews
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Mary-Louise Parker
-Mystery, Thriller | imdb | my rating: 4

Ballerina Dominika Egorova is recruited to 'Sparrow School,' a Russian intelligence service where she is forced to use her body as a weapon. Her first mission, targeting a C.I.A. agent, threatens to unravel the security of both nations.

THE origin story for the Dominika character with Jennifer Lawrence doing what she does best. Tough cookie that she is.

AND watched: on Netflix

The Armstrong Lie (2013)
Director/Writer: Alex Gibney
Stars: Lance Armstrong, Reed Albergotti, Betsy Andreu
-Documentary | imdb | my rating: 4

A documentary chronicling sports legend Lance Armstrong's improbable rise and ultimate fall from grace.

THE curiosity of this whole affair is fascinating.

AND watched: at event

The Ito Sisters (2018)
An American Story
Director/Writer: Antonia Grace Glenn
-Documentary | website | my rating: 4

THE ITO SISTERS is a feature-length documentary film that captures the stories of three Japanese American sisters, interviewed in their 80’s and 90’s, as they recount how their immigrant parents struggled to make a life in America at the beginning of the 20th century. The family’s chronicle is set against the backdrop of the anti-Japanese movement in California, a 60-year campaign by politicians, journalists, landowners, labor leaders and others that culminated in the evacuation and incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans from the West Coast during World War II. THE ITO SISTERS is written, directed and produced by Antonia Grace Glenn, the granddaughter of the middle of the three sisters.

THE Presidio Trust presented a screening of this which included a Q&A with director, Antonia Grace Glenn, and lead scholar, Evelyn Nakano Glenn.

GREAT personal story piece to watch and learn about for Women's History Month!


* comment and TELL me what you have acquired for your shelves recently

Thanks for stopping by :-)

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Different Kind of Evil by Andrew Wilson

A Different Kind of Evil
by Andrew Wilson

Find out more about this book and author:

Just released: March 13, 2018
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Genre: Historical, Mystery, Agatha Christie
Paperback: 336
Rating: 4

Agatha Christie series:
A Talent for Murder
A Different Kind of Evil
book 3 - tba

First sentence(s):
As I felt the ship tilt and roll, I looked out the porthole to see a hidden horizon, the skyline obscured by the dirty smudge of a black storm cloud.

Agatha Christie—the Queen of Crime—travels to the breathtaking Canary Islands to investigate the mysterious death of a British agent in this riveting sequel to the “twisty thriller” (Publishers Weekly) A Talent for Murder.

Two months after the events of A Talent for Murder, during which Agatha Christie “disappeared,” the famed mystery writer’s remarkable talent for detection has captured the attention of British Special Agent Davison.

Now, at his behest, she is traveling to the beautiful Canary Islands to investigate the strange and gruesome death of Douglas Greene, an agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service. As she embarks on a glamorous cruise ship to her destination, she suddenly hears a scream. Rushing over to the stern of the liner, she witnesses a woman fling herself over the side of the ship to her death.

After this shocking experience, she makes it to the Grand Hotel in a lush valley on the islands. There, she meets a diverse and fascinating cast of characters, including two men who are suspected to be involved in the murder of Douglas Greene: an occultist similar to Aleister Crowley; and the secretary to a prominent scholar, who may also be a Communist spy. But Agatha soon realizes that nothing is what it seems here and she is surprised to learn that the apparent suicide of the young woman on the ocean liner is related to the murder of Douglas Greene. Now she has to unmask a different kind of evil in this sinister and thrilling mystery.

My two-bits:

This captured the Agatha Christie vibe with its slow pacing and various characters that take you down the wrong path.

I liked the on holiday vacation setting and lore that went with the island doings.

As I read this mystery I had and inkling of who the culprit might be, but was taken to the end for the final reveal.

Makes me want to do an Agatha Christie reading binge.


* review copy courtesy of book tour sponsored by publisher
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu