What Norma’s Reading!

All Our Wrong TodaysAll Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

Goodreads Giveaway!

From Goodreads:  You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn’t necessary.

Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.

NOS4A2NOS4A2 by Joe Hill

Audiobook Version

From Goodreads:  Don’t slow down

Victoria McQueen has an uncanny knack for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. When she rides her bicycle over the rickety old covered bridge in the woods near her house, she always emerges in the places she needs to be. Vic doesn’t tell anyone about her unusual ability, because she knows no one will believe her. She has trouble understanding it herself.

Charles Talent Manx has a gift of his own. He likes to take children for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the vanity plate NOS4A2. In the Wraith, he and his innocent guests can slip out of the everyday world and onto hidden roads that lead to an astonishing playground of amusements he calls Christmasland. Mile by mile, the journey across the highway of Charlie’s twisted imagination transforms his precious passengers, leaving them as terrifying and unstoppable as their benefactor.

And then comes the day when Vic goes looking for trouble…and finds her way, inevitably, to Charlie.

That was a lifetime ago. Now, the only kid ever to escape Charlie’s unmitigated evil is all grown up and desperate to forget.

But Charlie Manx hasn’t stopped thinking about the exceptional Victoria McQueen. On the road again, he won’t slow down until he’s taken his revenge. He’s after something very special—something Vic can never replace.

As a life-and-death battle of wills builds—her magic pitted against his—Vic McQueen prepares to destroy Charlie once and for all…or die trying…

Posted in Reviews

Review by Norma: The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

The BreakdownThe Breakdown by B.A. Paris

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Date read:  March 27 to 29, 2017

4.5 stars rounded up!  What an absolutely thrilling and emotional ride this book took me on!

This book totally consumed me and I couldn’t think of anything else but this book. I was reading it everywhere and anywhere which was annoying the heck out of my husband.

THE BREAKDOWN by B.A. PARIS is an interesting, thrilling, suspenseful, and cleverly written psychological thriller that takes you on a very emotional and apprehensive tale here questioning the psyche of our main protagonist, Cass.  Is she really having a breakdown, early onset dementia, or is there something more sinister at work here?

B.A. PARIS delivers an impressive, tense, and mind-blowing story here that was executed at breakneck speed grabbing my attention from the very first page and didn’t let go until the very last word.  I could really feel Cass’s emotional distress, guilt, anguish, and frustration throughout the novel and questioning her mental health right along with her.  I didn’t know what the heck was going on and I loved it!

Okay, while I found this story to be really fun and exciting for the most part I must say that I did find some of it to be a little predictable and tedious in parts but it sure made up for it though with its heavy buildup of anticipation, the thrilling climax, and the unexpected and surprising conclusion to make this an extremely good read.

To sum it all up it was an entertaining, gripping, fast-paced, and an easy read with an unexpected and exciting ending. Highly recommend!!

Publication date: July 18, 2017

Thank you so much to NetGalley, B.A. Paris, and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book for a fair and honest review.


Posted in Reviews

Thoughts by Brenda:  The Break by Katherena Vermette

The BreakThe Break by Katherena Vermette

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Read March 25 – 28, 2017

5 huge bright red stars from me!

When I first saw The Break at the bookstore it caught my interest but I decided against it as it had a trigger warning for violence. I can be sensitive to violence however knowing in advance it does take some of the sensitivity away. I saw it again at the library and knew then that I was going to have to read it. It was definitely a good read for me. I felt that Katherena Vermette handled the violence well and is so well written that I didn’t feel sensitive towards it at all.

The Break is an emotional, powerful and intense literary thriller about the strength and love that connects a family of women and friends together, while dealing with a violent act. The Break refers to a field between two rolls of houses but also refers to broken relationships.

The story is told in shifting perspectives of connecting characters as they share their past and present stories. This added suspense to the story as I pieced together how the characters were connected to the crime. There is a large cast of characters and at times I needed to use the helpful family tree that is included at the beginning of the book to sort them all out.

I really enjoyed the beauty and the love that connected these women amid the suffering and their struggles to survive. It will be a story that stays with me for a very long time.

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Posted in Reviews

Review by Norma: The Angel of Innisfree by Patrick F. Rooney

The Angel of InnisfreeThe Angel of Innisfree by Patrick F. Rooney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Date read:  March 25 – 28, 2017

4.5 stars rounded up to 5 stars

THE ANGEL OF INNISFREE by PATRICK F. ROONEY is an epic, awe-inspiring, and a powerful Historical Fiction Romance novel that had me totally engrossed and savouring every moment while I was reading this book.

I found both the cover and the title of this book to be appealing and very fitting which draws you right into this breathtaking and wonderful tale of enduring love.

THE ANGEL OF INNISFREE has us following along the story of Elizabeth Reilly and Brian O’Rourke told in their own points of view set over a 50 year period beginning in Ireland, 1848 to the satisfying and heartwarming conclusion in New York of 1898.

I haven’t read too many books that takes us on such a journey through time and this part of history which includes the Irish Potato Famine, the invention of the telegraph, the Underground Railroad, the American Civil War, President Lincoln, slavery, concert halls, and some other events and people that were influential in history from this time period.  This is what I really enjoyed most about this novel because while I was reading I was also learning about these important events in history.

I really liked the author’s writing style, narrative, and how the storyline was delivered as I was entertained and interested to the very end. The writing is simple and easy to understand with all the history that was included in this novel.

To sum it all up it was an insightful, moving, steady-paced, and an enjoyable read with a satisfying ending.  Would recommend!!

Thank you so much to the author for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review!


Posted in Reviews

Review by Norma: Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

CommonwealthCommonwealth by Ann Patchett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Listened from March 19 to 26, 2017

Dysfunctional family drama * Dysfunctional formatting * Dysfunctional review

COMMONWEALTH by ANN PATCHETT is a literary fiction novel to cherish for its many different interwoven and blended stories of love, destiny, loyalty, loss, secrets, disappointments, betrayal, and mistakes creating a family bonded together by a common understanding of each other.

ANN PATCHETT delivers an interesting, complicated, and well-written read here but I did find it to be somewhat challenging at times to keep up with all the characters, the different timelines, and their points of view as each chapter would jump around from place and time so you had to really pay close attention.  It definitely made it an unusual and enjoyable read though.

There were a few scenes in this novel that I found extremely enjoyable and others where I cringed but what I actually really liked for the most part was that we got a good sense into how time changes and affects the lives of these characters.  How their lives evolved with the help and support from the people in their lives.

To sum it all up it was an entertaining, unusual, insightful, and a steady-paced read with a satisfying ending.  I found that the audiobook had an excellent narrator for another enjoyable listen!  Would recommend!!


Posted in Reviews

Thoughts by Brenda:  The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird LaneThe Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read March 23-26, 2017

From reading other reviews for The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane I was intrigued by the tea in this story as tea is my choice of beverage while reading. It used to be wine but I read too much for that.

I loved the quiet time reading and drinking my tea with this remarkable and intriguing book that drew me into a fascinating world of pu’er tea and culture. I partially listened to the audiobook and found it a good one to listen to as well.

The story is mostly told by only daughter Li-Yan called girl by her family who takes us from tea growing Chinese minority Akha who are strong on rules, customs and traditions, to a Chinese drug infested village and to glamorous Los Angeles.

From the vivid descriptions of the tea, background and processing it’s like the tea becomes a character in the story. At times I was overwhelmed by the chilling superstitions and customs of the Akha tribe and it did take a bit away from the drama of the story for me. I loved the powerful bond between Mother and daughter that was stronger than tradition. The excitement was the build up for me as I started to piece together the ending and I loved the way Lisa See wrapped up the ending.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane was an alluring escape that left me wanting to explore and taste fine tea (not my usual Tetley tea) and more of Lisa See’s books.

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