Archive of ‘My Reading Life’ category

The One With The Book Review

The problem with being an avid reader and a writer is that you tend to find plot holes and issues with stories. I’ve spent enough time participating in writing workshops to recognize what works, what went wrong, and what I would have done if I wrote the book.  And, of course, I didn’t write it – so who am I to criticize?

For fun, I’m going to critique the book anyway. 🙂

The Mother-In-Law is a murder mystery in which the woman dies, and everyone in the family is considered a possible suspect. From the children to the in-laws, everyone had a reason to do her in.

The book started off with a look at the happy couple when they first met and in present day. The timeline changes between the past and present, and the story unfolds with both the victim and her daughter-in-law engaged in a conflict and sharing different sides of the story. At first, I thought this would be difficult to follow, but it turned out to be an entertaining way to keep the story moving along at a good clip. Whatever the confrontation, the reader sees it from both sides, understands the underlying miscommunication and subsequent fallout. And, in my case, sympathizes with both main characters. I think the author wanted me to sympathize with the daughter-in-law but I found her to be oversensitive and a tad whiny. While her mother in law did some questionable things — she had her reasons.

Here’s what I didn’t like about the book. I thought it was a shame that we didn’t hear more from the other family members – aka suspects. I think the author could have spent more time and pages on each of their lives to create some fun moments of confusion and wonder as to who did the deed. Also, as murder mysteries go, usually, there is a law enforcement component. I found myself intrigued by how the detectives handled the family members and proceded with their investigation. Unfortunately, they all but disappeared from the storyline a few chapters into the novel.

If you are thinking this book is the new “Gone Girl,” far from it. However, it is a fun read, and you will be left wondering who the murderer is until the bitter end.

Spoiler alert – if you what to know who did it without reading the entire book, the table of contents offers a dead giveaway.


My Reading Status

Sometimes I think it would be a wonderful idea to set up a GoFundMe page to feed my reading habit. My desire for more books–new ones, old ones, fiction, nonfiction, business or biography–is insatiable. Take a look at my current reading status and you will see what I mean. (For your convenience, I’m adding links to Amazon if you want to purchase a book for yourself).

Actual Books On My Nightstand 

I’m in the middle of 4 real books right now:

  • The Other Einstein (Chapter 9, page 95) – This is an interesting read based on the true story of Albert EInstein and his first wife Mileva “Mitza” Maric who was just as smart as he but has the extra challenge of studying physics in a men’s world in the 1890s. I’ve been enjoying this book off and on. It is an easy read and I will continue reading because I enjoy Einstein’s clumsy attempts at winning her affection while her laser-like focus is on her studies. But, I’m in no hurry to finish it and it isn’t as interesting as…
  • The Book of Unknown Americans (Page 157 – no chapter numbers)  – Truth be told, this was our book club pick from 3 or 4 books ago. The characters have depth and their immigration story and assimilation into America is not one that I’m as familiar with as I’d like to be. I wish I had finished this book in time to talk about it. Maybe my book club friends will allow me a few minutes to discuss before we talk about our current book (which is Before We Were Yours – an excellent read and one that I finished!)
  • Fifty Things That Aren’t My Fault: Essays from the Grown-Up Years (Chapter 4 page 60) – If you are close to my age, you probably read the comic strip Cathy as a kid. Heck, you may have cut a few out and put them on your fridge because they were so true and so funny. This book is by the creator of Cathy. She writes essays about her life in a way that makes me LOL as if I was reading her comic strip all over again.
  • I See Life Through Rose`-Colored Glasses (Essay 24, page 96) – Lisa Scottoline is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read several of her mystery novels which are mainly based in Philadelphia. Her fictional stories are always engaging page turners, but when she writes essays based about her actual life, I’m all in. She is the kind of writer I want to be when I grow up.

Plus 1 Book on My Kindle

  • Herding Tigers: Be the Leader Creative People Need.– I honestly don’t know what page I’m on because I’ve jumped around a lot…and its a Kindle. Page numbers are optional. But, if you lead a communications department like me and work with incredibly talented and creative people this book may come in handy.

So, if I set up a GoFundMe page, would you support me? My to be read (TBR) list is even longer than this list. This is part because I’m a sucker for summer reading lists. So far, this list includes:

Sorry, I’m Booked

spent this chilly Sunday morning taking inventory of my bookshelves. With my new goal of not buying new books this year intact, I wanted to reacquaint myself with the books I already purchased. All 89 of them. That’s right, 89 books. This includes all of what can be found on my bookshelf and what is currently downloaded onto my Kindle. And now that I have that big number in my head, I won’t buy another book for quite some time. I’m not even going to calculate how much this habit of collecting books has cost me, but if you’ve ever purchased a book, you can do the math. (However, in my defense, most of the books are in paperback). So, what books are these? Here is a breakdown:

  • 35 popular fiction selections
  • 20 leadership and business books
  • 18 titles with words of wisdom and encouragement from fellow writers
  • 16 random books that fit into various categories

You know how when you want to lose weight, you put a number on the fridge of how much you want to lose to stop yourself from eating anything that is bad for you? (Am I the only one that does this?). Well, I’m going to find a way to do something along those lines with my Amazon account. I’ve even unsubscribed from any social media page that touts book lists in front of my eyes. And when I pass by the local Barnes & Noble, I will repeat the number in my head until I am a safe distance from the premises. I’ve gone cold turkey. Meanwhile, back to my bookshelves…there is good news. Actually, great news! There are some fantastic books in my possession. I can’t wait to finally dive into The Hate U Give and Crazy Rich Asians (both of which I’ve been waiting to read before seeing the movie). I’m looking forward to cracking open the two marketing titles from well-known business writers Dan & Chip Heath. I keep hearing how amazing they are, and I haven’t yet had the pleasure of soaking in their expertise. And of course, my “can’t-live-without-but-apparently-have-had-no-time-to-read” books about my passion for writing. There is so much there that I need to absorb. If you want to see my book list, friend me on Goodreads, but please don’t recommend any titles to me. I’m not sure I’m strong enough yet to resist the temptation.

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