My Christmas Book Wish List!

Are there books you would love to have, but will not buy for yourself? Me too! Yes, believe it or not, there are some books I just cannot justify buying for myself…

There are 14 total Wizard of Oz books written by L. Frank Baum. I would love to have this hardcover set for my library. Would I read them? Doubtful, as I have read them all before. I think it would look fantastic on a shelf in my library.

Another is anything ever written about Abraham Lincoln. I believe most of you know my feelings about our 16th President … I own numerous books about President Lincoln, but there are so very, very many out there. Biographies, Fiction, Civil War books, and the list seems nearly endless. I can honestly say there is probably not a book currently in print that would have any information about Lincoln that I do not already know. So, there would be no sense in me buying them. I would still like to have them though! Below are some of my favorite pictures taken in Springfield, Illinois.

Finally, I would love to have the new Harry Potter illustrated novels that are being released. I absolutely love this series, but I would not ever spend that kind of money on these illustrated editions. Honestly, I am perfectly content with having my mixture of hardcover and paperback novels of the 7 books. I also have not read The Cursed Child, and wouldn’t unless if someone gave it to me as a gift. For me, Harry Potter ended after book 7, and I prefer to leave it that way.

HP Illustrated POA Cover
photo courtesy of amazon.com

What is on your Christmas wish list? It will be here before we know it!

Night Mask – William W. Johnstone

Well, I know for a fact I have never read this horror story by Mr. Johnstone. When I bought it, I noticed many of the reviews discussed the high level of violence and depravity in the story. I was expecting it to be much worse than it was. It was right in line with most of the other horror novels he had written. I am guessing that those reviewers have likely not read anywhere near as many of Mr. Johnstone’s horror novels as I have.

Night Mask Cover Image

It is a rather lengthy story, but it certainly engages you right from the get-go and keeps those pages turning. I will not get into too many details since it really is quite graphic, and I always try to avoid spoilers whenever possible.

The main thing to remember about these stories is that they were written before there were computers in every home, DVD players, and cell phones. It is definitely part of the charm of why I enjoy these books.

Lani and Leo are police officers who are put on a case that will change their lives. What seems like one gruesome incident is just the tip of the iceberg. They are about to discover a killing club that has been active for decades.

As more and more bodies are discovered, more help gets brought in to assist the two officers. They soon realize there are people everywhere whom they should not trust, even in their own department.

Someone is using the local radio station to introduce subliminal messages to the listeners, who in turn fall under the control of a very evil pair of twins. What begins in one small town takes you from the East Coast to the West Coast, with a body count so high, it is the worst in history.

There are many characters involved in the story, so you definitely need to pay attention to all the different angles going on. In the end, it all comes full circle, and everything is tied together.

Definitely an intense read, but well worth the efforts!

The husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty

This is one of the two Liane Moriarty books I purchased recently at Barnes and Noble. I had never read her stories before, so I was taking a chance buying two.

from lianemoriarty.com
from lianemoriarty.com

It certainly did not disappoint, but I have to say, it took several chapters into the story before I really felt a vested interest in the characters and what was going on with them. I think the thing I disliked the most is that each chapter focused on one family, of many that were intertwined. And it rotated as such. Chapter 1 was about family A, chapter 2 was family B, and chapter 3 was family C. Then chapter 4 went back to family A, and the entire story was plotted out in this manner.

Cecilia discovers a letter her husband wrote with instructions to only be opened upon his death. It took her a few chapters to get there, but she did indeed read it. What that letter contained was something that affected more than just her husband and herself. Cecilia does not know if she can bear the weight of carrying this secret.

Tess and Will have the marriage everyone admires, and she is comfortable in her life. Until she gets told something that damages the life she thought she had.

Rachel cannot let go of the fact that whomever murdered her 17 year-old daughter, so many years ago, has never been caught. She finds what she feels is evidence enough to convict the person she has suspected for the past 28 years.

As the characters deal with their own families and issues, the story comes together in a way you do not expect, and you will not want to put this one down until you have it finished!

Have you read this already?

What did you think of it?

You can read more about Liane and her stories here: Liane Moriarty Website

Go Set A Watchman – Harper Lee

I want to tell you I loved it; but I can’t. I am not ready to tell you I hated it, either. I tried my best to ignore all of the spoilers and media-hype as I was reading this story, and I think I was fairly successful.

photo courtesy of http://pastemagazine.com
photo courtesy of http://pastemagazine.com

But; life goes on as it always goes on, and I was well beyond distracted with work, daughters, school-things, editing, and oh, yeah: I have not been feeling well for 6+ days now.

So, I will absolutely cut Ms. Harper Lee some slack here. But I do feel that even in my most focused state of mind, I would have found this a bit difficult to read.

When I first started it, it was like a breath of fresh air: someone who wrote because they had to, and it all came natural and nothing sounded forced. But then the point-of-view was changing faster than my teenage daughters change their clothes, or minds, or attitudes; truth-be-told.

At this point I am looking forward to hearing what you thought of it. One passage that I absolutely have to share:

‘Why doesn’t their flesh creep? How can they devoutly believe everything they hear in church and then say the things they do and listen to the things they hear without throwing up? I thought I was a Christian but I’m not. I’m something else and I don’t know what. Everything I have ever taken for right or wrong these people have taught me – these same, these very people. So it’s me, it’s not them. Something has happened to me.’ (Ms. Jean Louise Finch, pg 167, Go Set a Watchman).

Did you love it, or did you hate it?

In The Unlikely Event – Judy Blume

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I think it has been about 20 years since I have read a book by Judy Blume. As always, she did not disappoint. I will be honest and say it took a few chapters before I really began having a vested interest in the characters and plot, but once I got to that point, it was difficult to put it down.

This is a fictional story, with the main action of the story revolving around real events that happened in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where Mrs. Blume grew up. There were 3 airplane crashes within a span of 58 days during the 1951-1952 school year, and Judy was an 8th grade student at the junior high school when these crashes took place.

She easily pulls together a story that spans 35 years, and many characters are introduced that play a significant role from beginning to end. The main characters are Miri, Henry, Natalie, Mason, Rusty, Irene, and Corinne, just to mention a few. Okay; just to mention several.

There is drama, suspense, romance, fighting, and all of the struggles that boys and girls go through as they become adults. No spoilers as usual, but it is definitely a story worth investing a few days of reading on.

Have you read it already? Let me know what you thought!

Sweet Water – Christina Baker Kline

After becoming the owner of a house and 60 acres willed to her after her Grandfather’s death, Cassie Simon decides this is just the change she needs. Having lived in the city for the majority of her life, she was not exactly sure what she was looking for, but that this was her chance to do something different.

image from: http://christinabakerkline.com/novels/sweet-water/
image from: http://christinabakerkline.com/novels/sweet-water/

Her long-lost family, who have not seen her since she and her father moved away after her mother was killed, are skeptical about why she would come back. Why would she decide to live in a house that has been empty for so long? Would she be capable of even taking care of herself, or would she expect her new-found family to help her out?

Cassie does her best to fit in, and get her new home in tip-top shape. Her relationship with her grandmother, whom everyone calls “Clyde”, is tense for reasons she does not understand and can’t seem to figure out.

This story is told from two different viewpoints: Cassie’s, and Clyde’s. This story drew me in right from the beginning, and I was anxious, and sad, and angry right along with Cassie as she learns more and more about her family, this new town, and what really, truly happened to her mother. The biggest question is, when she learns the truth, will she have any forgiveness left in her?

This is my first read of Ms. Kline, and I was not disappointed. She his highly reviewed, and highly rated. I happened to stumble on this book while browsing through others, not knowing what exactly I was looking for, but that I would know it when I saw it. And I did.

You can find out more about this book, and Ms. Kline, here: http://christinabakerkline.com/novels/sweet-water/

If you have read any of her stories, including this one, I would love to hear what you thought of it!