Forks, Knives and Spoons by Leah DeCesare

Title: Forks, Knives, and Spoons: A Novel, Author: Leah DeCesareForks, Knives and Spoons. Finished 5-17-18, rating 2.75/5, fiction, 392 pages, pub. 2017

There are three kinds of guys: forks, knives, and spoons. That is the final lesson that Amy York’s father sends her off to college with, never suspecting just how far his daughter will take it. Clinging to the Utensil Classification System as her guide, Amy tries to convince her skeptical roommate, Veronica Warren, of its usefulness as they navigate the heartbreaks and soul mates of college and beyond. Beginning in 1988, their freshman year at Syracuse University, Amy and Veronica meet an assortment of guys from slotted spoons and shrimp forks to butter knives and sporks all while trying to learn if the UCS holds true. On the quest to find their perfect steak knives, they learn to believe in themselves and not to settle in love or life.  from Goodreads

So, we read this for our book club and all of us being of a certain age connected with the 80’s early 90’s references.  We discussed the UTC system of rating guys as a utensil and a few thought it was fun, but the rest of us complained that it was mentioned on almost every one of the 392 pages, or at least it seemed.  It was not something anyone liked (save one!) for different reasons and to different degrees.  For me, the biggest issue was the writing itself.  I wasn’t the only one with this problem although a few thought it was better in the second half.  But four of us agreed that we never would have made it to the second half if we hadn’t read it for book club.

I will leave you with the awards it won last year so you can make your own decision.

2017 Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal for New Adult Fiction
2017 IAN Book of the Year Award for Outstanding Women’s Fiction

Freebie Friday

The first few years of this blog I culled my personal library by giving away books.  Well, the time has come to cull again so on Fridays for as long as I can I’ll be offering to mail these books to you free of charge.  Please request no more than two.

This week they have all been read but are in great shape.

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What Would Martin Say? by Clarence B. Jones – trade paperback headed to Elle’s

The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler – hardcover

The Appeal by John Grisham – hardcover

Forks, Knives and Spoons by Leah DeCesare – trade paperback  headed to Anne’s house.

Small Town Girl by LaVyrle Spencer – hardcover

Also, there are a few left from last week if you want to take a look.

 

The first one to request each book in the comments will ‘win’.  Thanks for helping keep my book hoarding in check!

Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Title: Devil in Spring: The Ravenels, Book 3, Author: Lisa KleypasDevil in Spring. Finished 4-29-18, romance, pub. 2017

Unabridged audio performed by Mary Jane Wells.

The Ravenels book 3 (1-Cold-Hearted Rake) (2-Marrying Winterborne)

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger. 

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.     from Goodreads

I  was happy to be back with the Ravenel family!  Pandora was not one of my favorite characters in the first two books, but she grew on me in this one.  I was so impressed that she wanted to be a creative businesswoman and didn’t want any man to take her accomplishments away from her.  She was a woman ahead of her time.

Gabriel was fine. I think he appeared in a different series at some point so there were probably more positive feelings to be had for him by those who knew him before.  The two of them had me for most of the book, although the last bit dragged for me.

I’m already looking forward to the next in the series.  I think these are best read in order.

 

 

 

 

Golden Prey by John Sandford

Title: Golden Prey (Lucas Davenport Series #27), Author: John SandfordGolden Prey. Finished 5-6-18, rating 4/5, thriller, 393 pages, pub. 2017

Lucas Davenport series #27 (1- Rules of Prey, 2- Shadow Prey, 3- Eyes of Prey, 4- Silent Prey, 5- Winter Prey, 6- Night Prey, 7- Mind Prey, 8- Sudden Prey, 9- Secret Prey, 10- Certain Prey, 11-Easy Prey, 12- Chosen Prey, 13- Mortal Prey, 14- Naken Prey, 15- Hidden Prey, 16- Broken Prey, 17- Invisible Prey, 18- Phantom Prey, 19- Wicked Prey, 20– Storm Prey, 21- Buried Prey, 22-Stolen Prey, 23-Silken Prey, 24-Field of Prey, 25-Gathering Prey, 26-Extreme Prey)

Thanks to some very influential people whose lives he saved, Lucas is no longer working for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but for the U.S. Marshals Service, and with unusual scope. He gets to pick his own cases, whatever they are, wherever they lead him.
And where they’ve led him this time is into real trouble. A Biloxi, Mississippi, drug-cartel counting house gets robbed, and suitcases full of cash disappear, leaving behind five bodies, including that of a six-year-old girl. Davenport takes the case, which quickly spirals out of control, as cartel assassins, including a torturer known as the “Queen of home-improvement tools” compete with Davenport to find the Dixie Hicks shooters who knocked over the counting house. Things get ugly real fast, and neither the cartel killers nor the holdup men give a damn about whose lives Davenport might have saved; to them, he’s just another large target.   from Goodreads

The Lucas Davenport series is one that continues to hold up well, not just because of the writing and well executed chase stories, but because Lucas ages and evolves.  Too many long running series seem to recycle the same stories and characters over and over.

Lucas is no longer stuck in Minnesota, so the country is his playground and it takes him south to track an old favorite on the FBIs most wanted list that’s never been caught.  There are a multitude of very scary bad guys and they are equal opportunity killers since the women may be even more scary than the men.

I missed some of Lucas’s old friends in Minnesota, but he has two new marshal pals that I’m sure we’ll see again.  This was another solid thriller in the series, perfect for plane rides or vacations because it reads so fast.  These do not have to be read in order to enjoy the series.

 

 

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Title: Small Great Things, Author: Jodi PicoultSmall Great Things. Finished April 28, 2018, rating 3.75/5, fiction, 458 pages, pub. 2016.

Jodi Picoult has a good thing going with a huge number of people who devour her books and always want more.  I am not one of them and I’m not sure why.  The first one I read was My Sister’s Keeper and I LOVED it.  It’s still on my top 100 favorite list.  I read two more (Vanishing Acts and The Pact) and thought they were okay.  After reading this I still feel the same way.  Picoult is a great writer and knows how to tell a story. The biggest difference with this one is that the subject matter is so on point for what is going on in our country right now, so I read it hoping for raw honesty and got it – up until a point.  I will reveal no details but feel free to discuss in the comments.

Ruth is a labor and delivery nurse, the only one of color at her hospital, and when a white supremacist couple comes in to deliver they reject her and her superiors agree to switch nurses. Something bad goes down and Ruth is suspended and needs a lawyer, enter Kennedy, a young white lawyer who wants to take race out of the case right away.  This book alternates between their three voices.

Turk’s chapters were difficult to read.  It was hard for me to come to terms with that kind of hate.  I feel like a got a firsthand look at the white power movement and  it was beyond disturbing.  Kennedy bore an almost too familiar feeling for this white mom.  So many things we think we understand about racism are really only surface deep and it takes someone like Ruth to come along to give us a small glimpse into her world.  The chapters between the women were what kept me reading.  Honestly, I just wanted to stop every time I saw Turk’s name come up.

We read this for our book group and there were many positives and a general good feeling about the book.  A few (me included) felt it was a little heavy handed.  But we all agreed that it did open our eyes about what is going on all around us that we may not have noticed before, and really, what more could you want in a book club discussion?

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What’s your favorite Jodi Picoult novel?

 

Classics Club Question

Here’s the question for May 2018:

 

What is your favorite classic book? Why?

This isn’t really a difficult question.  To Kill A Mockingbird, which I read in adulthood, is one that moved and inspired me.  We adopted a cat around the time I read this book and promptly named her Scout.

scout5I also have a love for Jane Eyre, since it was the first classic I read on my own when I was a sophomore in high school.  Although I haven’t read it recently I spent a few years watching all of the movie adaptations of the book. So much fun!

So what’s your favorite classic?

 

 

Freebie Friday

 


The first few years of this blog I culled my personal library by giving away books.  Well, the time has come to cull again so on Fridays for as long as I can I’ll be offering to mail these books to you free of charge.  Please request no more than two.

This week they have all been read but are in great shape.

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Bad Mother by Ayelet Waldman,

Half a Life by Darin Strauss,  headed to another Stacy’s house

Benny & Shrimp by Katarina Mazetti,

So Much Pretty by Cara Hoffman,  headed to Brendan

Kathy Smith’s Getting Better All the Time.

The first one to request each title will ‘win’.  Thanks for helping keep my book hoarding in check!

Kathy Smith’s Getting Better All the Time

Title: Kathy Smith's Getting Better All the Time, Author: Kathy SmithKathy Smith’s Getting Better All the Time. Finished 4-29-18, rating 2.5/5, health, 277 pages, pub. 1998

Reveals seven keys to success with a step-by-step program.

When I was younger I would turn to Kathy Smith videos and audios to help me lose weight.  And I was always successful!  I’m not sure when I acquired this book, but probably when it came out and I was still working at a bookstore.  It’s part bio, part self-help and some recipes and plans to get you started.

The seven steps for getting started were good. One-Make it a priority (my #1 problem since becoming a mother for sure).  Two-Be consistent.  Three-Shift Your Mindset.  Four-Find a passion.  Five-Manage stress (another problem area for me).  Six-Keep a diary.  Seven-One step at a time.

The next section on the complexities of food were nothing new. I do plan on trying some of the recipes, but I’m more concerned about using real food as opposed to shortcuts.  I did like her section on where the reader is at on the optimal eating scale. (hint-I’m not does so well)

The last section was about exercise and had some pictures, but it only made me want to track down her videos again.

Overall it was fine but nothing special in the diet/exercise genre.  I do think it’s always worthwhile to be reminded of healthy practices so I’m glad I finally read through it.

April’s movies and $ for charity

I picked my first movie for my March Madness win 🙂

Add your 5 words (or less!) to mine in a comment and earn $1 for charity.  Once we get to $100 the person with the most reviews will choose the charity.  Click here to see the past winners, the charities they chose and the other reviews you can add to.  Anyone is welcome to join in at any time.

We’re at $79 right now.

The film poster shows a close-up of Emily Blunt in-character with her hand over her mouth.The Quiet Place, 2018 (Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Noah Jupe, Millicent Simmonds)                                         Grade B+

Shhh. Silence when birthing babies.

Signs without Mel and better.  (Heather)


Nerve 2016 poster.pngNerve, 2016 (Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Juliette Lewis, Michael Heizer)         Grade B

A social media cautionary tale.

Hunger Games for our day.  (Heather)


A series of boxes containing of monochrome photos of the cast, colored with an orange to yellow gradient.Logan Lucky,  2017 (Tatum Channing, Adam Driver, Daniel Craig, Katie Holmes, Seth MacFarlane, Hilary Swank)   Grade B-

Good old boys steal money.

Fun money caper, twists, turns.  (Heather)

Was a fun surprise. What an interesting cast!  (Care)


Ninth gate ver3.jpg The Ninth Gate, 1999 (Johnny Depp, Frank Langella, Lena Olin, Emmanuelle Seigner)                                       Grade   C

Books – yay!  Devil worship – yuck 😦


 

Z – Top Ten Zany People

#AtoZchallenge 2018 friendly new badge logoBlogging from A-Z

Zany – one who acts the buffoon to amuse others. I’m coming in with 10 people who make me laugh, lol.  Z is hard y’all!

  1. That wild and crazy guy Steve Martin.
  2. Melissa McCarthy
  3. Julia Louis-Dreyfus
  4. Carol Burnett
  5. Nick Offerman
  6. Martin Short
  7. Dave Chapelle
  8. Kate McKinnon
  9. John Oliver
  10. Ben Stiller

What about you?  When you need a good laugh who do you turn to?

And with that this A-Z Challenge is in the books!  Thanks for visiting.