Book Review – The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my first Ruth Ware novel and I’m so glad I chose this book from my Book of the Month book club. Not only was it my first Ruth Ware novel but it was also by first book from Book of the Month…. two great firsts.

The story starts when the protagonist, Laura, wakes up in her home as it’s being burgled. She suffers a minor injury but as we can all expect the emotional scars are a much more difficult to hide or cure. Laura, has been working at the same magazine for over 10 years and has recently gotten the opportunity to review a new luxury yacht during its maiden voyage. Hopefully the emotional scars and the lack of sleep from her burglary experience 3 days earlier will not impact this great opportunity at a promotion.

The story was so well written that thought it all I could not get myself to stop thinking of “what could be happening.” More than wanting to know who did it, I wanted to know most of all I wanted to know what happened and to whom. The style of writing kept me turning the pages. It was possible the short chapters, which I will admit most of the time feel as if they are interrupting my reading, but in the case of this book they served as a way for my brain to absorb what had just happened in the previous chapter. I found myself wanting to get to the next chapter ….. Just one more chapter mommy🙂

It was not until almost the end of the book, and only because Ruth Ware took mercy on me and decided to explain what happened, that I was comfortable with what had taken place on that ship….. But still I was asking myself as I reached the last page “Is Laura paranoid?”

Having said all this, I will have to admit that there were things about the book that really annoyed me. I found Laura to be really whiny and frustrating. If I were on that ship with her I would have slapped her to make her snap out of it. Between her drinking and her headaches…. Take a pill already. She seemed to be ok with taking medication but why wasn’t she taking headache pills and stop complaining already.

I’m also not sure if the burglary at the beginning of the story is necessary. Sometimes I thought it was so there could be another suspect….. worked. But sometimes I feel as if it made the story less believable. So many things happening to one person…… Perhaps there was a different way. It was almost two stories in one and I kept waiting to find out how the two things tied together…. Maybe I missed something.

Otherwise, I thought Ruth Ware handed us a novel tied up in a little bow. This is a great read but beware, you will be thinking about it all the time….. I know I was trying to figure out what happened and to whom even when I wasn’t reading it.


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Book Review – Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler

Vinegar GirlVinegar Girl by Anne Tyler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my second book by Anne Tyler. For those who may not know, this book is the retelling of the Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare which I never read and perhaps that’s the reason I was a bit underwhelmed by this book.

This is the story of Kate Battista and her family, her father and a younger sister. We find out that the mother passed away “died” as Kate Battista, the oldest daughter seems to prefer at some point after Kate’s sister, Bunny was born. Kate’s father is a scientist, Dr. Battista. I got the sense that he was not a good one…. I’m not sure why I thought that. I don’t believe Anne Tyler wanted that to be a fact, but … throughout the book I kept trying to like him and completely failed at that. Dr. Battista’s lab assistant, Pyotr, an immigrant, in the United States on a Work Visa was on the verge of perhaps being deported which would have put Dr. Battista’s research in jeopardy so the only solution was for Kate to marry him and help him get his green card.

The writing is beautiful as we all know Anne Tyler can do. The scene description made me feel like I was completely familiar with my surroundings and gave me the sense of being there, standing next to Kate when she told her co-workers about her impending marriage, or when her and Bunny talked to each other on the morning of the wedding.

As expected from Anne Tyler, each character was very well developed. None of them felt two dimentional at all. There was substance to who they were. Kate, although not very likable, was a good person and wanted to do right by her father and her family…. Dr. Battista, although a jerk, in my opinion, did the best he could and knew how, and even Pyotr, who may be as much a victim as he the aggressor. The only problem I had was the predictability. Once I got to know the characters the only one that surprised me was Bunny. There was very little Anne Tyler could do to make me believe, from the beginning that Pyotr was not going to turn to out to be who he was, or was he?

The story develops normally, as expected and then the end was a let down. It felt as if it was cut short. it didn’t flow and it didn’t fit the personalities of the characters. it felt fake and I felt as if I missed something.

Having said all this. I still thought the writing was very much worth it. I never once felt as if I needed to put the book down that stop reading. As a matter of fact I couldn’t wait to pick it up again. The hardest question is whether or not I would recommend it. I think the answer would be; if you like reading about families and the intricacies within a family unit…. what makes people who they are and how they get that way and if you like reading and feeling taken to the place you’re reading about, I would recommend the book. I would caution you that you will not be reading an award wining book (at least I don’t think you are). You will probably be disappointed at the end, and if you’re not I would love to speak to you about it…..what did I miss?


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Book of the Month Club

Hello all.  If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw pictures of my Book of the Month box.  I was so excited I had to post it even before I opened it.

So, let’s start from the beginning.  A few months ago I stopped my Vegan Box membership.  Not because I hated it or didn’t think it was good but because I wanted to try something new.  I didn’t want to be that woman who receives a million subscription boxes because I think at some point it stops being special.  It’s like have too many Christmases (yeah, I know…. that may not be a bad thing).  Anyway, as usual I’m totally missing the mark and going in a whole bunch of different directions…… So, I canceled the Vegan Box and for a month or so wanted to subscribe to something else.  Enter The Book of the Month Club….. It could have been the Wine of the Month Club (it might still be at some point).

So, Basically what is The Book of the Month Club?  It’s a monthly subscription box where you receive one book picked by you….. What???? I hear you say.  Yes, so there are five judges (I don’t know why they call them judges) and they each pick a book.  5 judges and 5 genres.  At the begging of the month you go on line and you pick the book that most interests you.  You can also pick an additional 2 books for only $9.99.  I only picked the one Book of the Month.

The book is shipped to you at some point after the first week.  I received mine on the 13th of the month…. I was super excited.  As it usually happens with me I get my packages after I purchase a similar item.  So the books you see next to the box were books I had just bought at Barnes & Noble (Reviews will come).  I started reading Milk and Honey in the car on the way home — Fun Fact, I was not driving🙂


The book is shipped USPS and you get a tracking number.  I was not supposed to receive my book until that Monday…. So it was early, yay Postal Service…. Bonus points to you.

With the book you receive a note from the judge which sort of explains a little about what you are about to read…. Nice touch I thought… you also receive a little something extra and this month we all received a wine glass koozi.  I don’t have much use for that since my my wine doesn’t last that long in the glass to get warm🙂 …. (Is is serious or is she joking?!?!?!?).


I’m looking forward to starting this book this weekend.  According to the judge this is a book about a woman who may or may not exist and who goes missing.  Yeah, strange.  It’s touted as an Agatha Christie type mystery so I’m super excited to start it.


Reading around the net


Again, another quote that has nothing to do with what I’m reading or about reading.  However, I like it and I did find it on the internet…. It counts🙂

So, this has been again a week from heck at work and my reading has been basically my books….. I finished The End of Average by Todd Rose and gave it five out of five stars.  It’s a non-fiction so admittedly not for everyone but if you like non-fiction and, like me, have always wondered why averages always confused me, this book is for you.  Nope, not about math…. I would NEVER do that to you so don’t worry.

I did have some time to read a few articles on line, but not a lot so ….. good news…. this will be a short post.

Have you ever been a situation when you have to introduce someone and …. OMG I can’t say this person’s name is all that your brain can scream at you?  Gosh knows I’ve been there so many times.  Normally I just say…. I’m so sorry…. I will totally butcher your name so why don’t you just help me …. and then laugh.  I’m thinking the person probably thinks I’m a dope but…. hey!!!!! have you read the article?

Yep…. I’m almost 50 years old but I have a Pokemon problem.  I’m in good company though.  Check out this article.

This new mom’s response to body shammer’s comment is disgusting.  Ladies and gentlemen, if you ever feel the need to comment on someone’s appearance, please think about it.  If it’s not nice and you would not like to hear it yourself….. don’t say it.  It’s really none of your business.

Lastly, as everyone knows, I am always looking for new books.  I have list of books I want to read and to be honest, I may never be able to read them all but I find such pleasure adding more books to that list.  This article from Real Simple lists a bunch a great juicy reads…. .have you read any?  Can you recommend one or two for my list?

That’s it!!!!! that’s all the internet time I had…. Although there was also that time on Snapchat and Instagram……. go find me.  I’m there🙂

Book Review – The End of Average by Todd Rose

The End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values SamenessThe End of Average: How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness by Todd Rose
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is for all of us who, at times, have felt let down by being compared to an unattainable average. Perhaps I’m not good at something but that certainly doesn’t make me below average. I enjoyed every aspect of this book and the author makes some really good points. I found it interesting that not only did he make an argument for the end of what we call average (which what exactly is that) but he also makes a great argument for individuality.

Why can’t we celebrate our differences without being made feel like if we don’t measure up to some preconceived idea there is something wrong with us? The author makes the point for this with a story about a baby crawling and how we, in the West, think it’s normal for a baby to crawl. We never stop to think that our normal is someone else abnormal.

One of the things I found refreshing about this book is its lack of “tooting his horn.” Most of the books within this genre always make me feel as if the author is trying to show me how much he/she knows and how important he/she is. There is short passage where this author mentions his credentials but it’s appropriate where located and then that’s it. I don’t particularly care about the author (well, I do but not for my enjoyment of the book). However, I’m super interested in what the research in this area has to teach me.

I couldn’t recommend this book more. I’m not swearing but it may wind up in one of my Most favorite of 2016.

The End of Average How We Succeed in a World That Values Sameness by Todd Rose

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Book Review – A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

A Spool of Blue ThreadA Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is my first book by Anne Tyler and I can already tell you that this will not be my last. The story is about a family (3 generations). It’s a sweet story of secrets kept and found out, love stories and heart aches, lives and deaths and how everything is connected some how.

Anne Tylor seems to be able to write about each individual in a way that makes you feel completely comfortable with him/her and even find little pieces of yourself in each one. The intricate weave of the three generations kept me interested throughout the book even though nothing much was going on but yet…. there was so much going on at the same time.

I couldn’t wait to finish the book but now that it’s done I can’t wait to get on to the next one.

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Book Review – First Women

First Women: The Grace and Power of America's Modern First LadiesFirst Women: The Grace and Power of America’s Modern First Ladies by Kate Andersen Brower
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After reading The Residence I was super excited to read this one. However, unlike The Residence, this one felt more like a gossip novel. Although interesting, in the way of a tabloid magazine but without the craziness, I am not sure that’s what I was looking for and I think that’s why only the 3 stars. I don’t think it’s the writing or the topic itself….. Actually, I’m not sure what I was expecting but I for some reason it fell short of my expectations.

One of the interesting aspects of the book was that it looked at all the friendships between the various women who have lived in the White House. I was particularly surprised at some of those. There were some that seemed obvious and one in particular which totally surprised me. Another aspect of the women’s lives which I find interesting is how they support each other. Although at times from different sides of the isle these women share an experience that very few of us will ever experience so, although not surprising that they turn to each other, it’s the ones they turn to that felt surprising at times. The relationship between Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton was one that made me chuckle and surprised me until I gave it a little more thought. These women, although political at times, are more often than not the glue that holds the family together and the attacks on their husbands during the presidential elections are felt, perhaps much deeper than we perceive. During the last election when Hillary ran agains Barack Obama, some things were said that cut very deep. It was interesting to see how Michelle Obama still feels the wounds.

It was endearing to read about Nancy Reagan. Always the lady…. her devotion to her husband came through in the book and you could tell the love the White House Staff felt for the couple.

All in all, this is a good read…. a look at a side of the White House that few of us ever get. It’s a great Summer read, light and quick and something you can read while laying out on the beach🙂

See you next time.

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Everybody Rise – Book Review

Everybody RiseEverybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I will admit that I’m glad I read this book as an audio book instead of reading it. I think reading it would have been a little worse. This is the type of narrative that you can do other things and listen in the background as it’s not the type of writing you really need to pay attention to.

The narrator was really good with her ability to change voices with the various characters. I think that made it more interesting.

I will say that this is a good Summer, mindless read. That is if you are interested in how the other half lives — that’s the half that has money and the half who will stop at nothing to have money🙂

We all need these types of books once in a while.

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You by Caroline Kepnes

YouYou by Caroline Kepnes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book took me a month to read. I really enjoyed that the book was written from the perspective of the main character and I found it really interesting to see what was going on in his mind while he was coming up with the things he came up with as well as his reasons behind what he was doing…. sometimes he even convinced me that it was the only way to resolve the problem…. until reason took over.

Joe is a self-centered person who will stop at nothing to get the woman he set his eyes on…. Do I think this is a romance as some have filed it? Absolutely not. This book will make you cringe at times both due to some sexual content and also due to the reasons for the actions Joe chooses to take. However, don’t think that it’s only Joe…. there are others who are less then perfect.

I thought the book was very well written and the plot was captivating. However, where the book falls short is that I think it towards the middl of the book it just dragged. The reason for it taking me a whole month to read it. I just didn’t want to pick it up and read the same thing again. They’re on, they’re off…. it became a boring rollercoaster.

Having said all that, I would recommend this book to anyone who does not mind mild sexuality and some violence. I will be picking up her next book but I think I will have to give myself a short break from it so it sinks in a bit more.

Hope this was helpful.

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Book Review – Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own PersonYear of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to admit that I went into this book with a lot of expectations and I am very impressed that it did not disappoint me. I don’t watch a lot of television and I will admit that out of all of Shonda Rhimes’s shows I have only watched one and not even an entire series. I guess I have little patience for television. However, the little bit of her series I watched (will remain nameless) I enjoyed due to the dialogue and the relationship between the characters. So, when I picked up this book I expected to feel the same.

I expected to feel as if I were sitting at a coffee shop with Shonda Rhimes talking about “stuff.” Because Shonda and I are one😉 and she tells me tons of stuff. We’re buddies… you see?!

I liked that I felt the same she does and her book allowed me to be ok with feeling that way. Not only because someone else feels that way but because, according to her, and she is very convincing, there is a way out. I actually have a blog post about feeling like an impostor when I got my promotion which means that I have to work my you know what off in case someone is going to find out that they made a mistake….

Although it sounds like a very simply concept, saying yes to most things can be terrifying. This book has made me thing about starting my own challenge of saying yes….. Notice I just said thinking about… I’m not ready to let go of my security blanket…. I’m busy, really busy. These laws are not going to read and analyze themselves and the clients are expecting my advice.

Great book. I would recommend it.

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