The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Posted by on Mar 24, 2015 in 2015, 4 stars, Book Review | 2 comments

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Genre: Suspense
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 323
Source: Copy provided by publisher

The Short Version:
Rachel watches people from her daily train and when something she sees shocks her and later the news seems to indicate that what she saw might be important.

Why I Read It:
I heard about this one when a friend mentioned on Twitter that she pretty much read it straight through. I checked into it and it sounded right up my alley.

The Book:
From the publisher:

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

My Thoughts:
This was a suspenseful psychological thriller with a cast of unlikable people. I believe that it takes a skilled author to keep me interested in what will happen (or has happened) to characters when there’s no one I’m really rooting for in the mix.

I was fortunate to get a copy through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. Unfortunately before I started to read it the chat on social media ramped up and I inadvertently learned a few things I wish I hadn’t known before I started it.

For that reason I’m not going to say anything more about the story than what the publisher’s synopsis above has to say.

The story is told from multiple perspectives and I generally enjoy stories like that. I like getting different viewpoints of the same or overlapping events. Hawkins uses this method to gradually fill in pieces of the puzzle as the story progresses and takes many twists and turns.

4 stars Rating 4/5

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It’s Monday What Are You Reading #27

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Blogging/Reading, What Are You Reading? | 1 comment

It's Monday What Are You Reading?

This weekly reading roundup is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

My free time this week was filled with catching up on things after being busy all last weekend at Left Coast Crime but I did manage to squeeze in some reading time here and there.

Continuing with

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

This one has been slow so far. I don’t know how much of that is the book and how much of it is because I’ve only had small bursts of reading time. I’m about a third of the way through and so far I’m likin it but not loving it.

Started this week

100 Bullets Vol. 4: A Foregone Tomorrow by Brian Azzarello

100 Bullets Vol. 4: A Foregone Tomorrow by Brian Azzarello

This is kind of an odd series and it seems that just about every time I decide to let it go, another twist comes along that keeps me reading. It’s pretty gritty and noir-ish at times but it’s keeping me intrigued enough to continue

Finished on audio this week

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Oh my goodness this was just wonderful. I am so glad I opted for the audio format, It was so good. I plan on purchasing the print format now that I’ve heard it in the author’s own voice.

Started on audio this week

As the Crow Flies by Craig Johnson

As the Crow Flies by Craig Johnson

This is one of my favorite audio series. I enjoy the characters, the stories and the narration. I’m glad to be back in Wyoming with Sheriff Walt Longmire for a while.

What are you reading?

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Weekend Update: The Bit of Sunday Randomness Edition

Posted by on Mar 22, 2015 in Blogging/Reading, Fun, photos, Weekend Update | 2 comments

Weekend Update

This week consisted of too much stuff and not nearly enough reading time.

I had a busy week at work and it seemed like much of my free time was filled with catching up on things I didn’t do last weekend because I was at the Left Coast Crime Convention.

Wolf Hall progress
So while I didn’t make as much progress in Wolf Hall as I’d planned I did make some time to read and hope to do more of that this afternoon.

My week did have
Stormy Sunday
A little bit of everything weather wise which is pretty typical of Oregon in the springtime.
Sunny Wednesday
A couple of pretty spectacular sunrises
Spring sunrise
A bit of rowing. I am loving having my own indoor rower at home.
Rowing log
A bit of entertainment watching Abby watch You Tube cat videos. Her favorite part is the squirrel.
Abby Watching Cat TV

Hope you’re having a great weekend!Stormy Sunday

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Bone Vol. 2: The Great Cow Race by Jeff Smith

Posted by on Mar 20, 2015 in 2015, 4.5 stars, Book Review, Graphic Novel, Jeff Smith | 1 comment

Bone Vol. 2: The Great Cow Race by Jeff Smith

Bone Vol. 2: The Great Cow Race


Genre: Fantasy
Series: #2 in the Bone series
Publisher: Vertigo
Publication Date: 2005 (originally 1991 and 1992)
Pages: 135
Source: Library


The Book:

From the publisher:

In The Great Cow Race, volume 2 of this 9-book epic, Fone Bone and his cousins plan to return home after visiting the village of Barrelhaven with Thorn and Gran’ma Ben. But Phoney risks everything on one last get-rich-quick scheme for the town’s annual Great Cow Race.
As usual, Phoney’s plans go disastrously awry, and Boneville seems further away than ever. Meanwhile, ominous signs indicate that a war is brewing, and Fone finds himself helping his friends defend their valley from a formidable enemy.

My Thoughts:
I loved the first volume of this series and the second is just as much fun if not more. I’m plotting how I can get The Hubster to read it.

The series is written for kids but has plenty of appeal for adults. The art reminds me a bit of Walt Kelly’s Pogo comics. The characters are a hoot. The Bone cousins make me laugh. Phoney is always up to no good, Fone is head over heels in love with Thorn. Thorn’s Grandma Ben is my favorite character. She’s got some secrets and is full of surprises.

It’s a great combination of lightness and humor but there are also some darker elements. What ARE the rat creatures up to?? And will they stop for quiche first?

If you haven’t tried this series you should. I think that once I finish the volumes from the library I’ll end up buying either the series or the compiled one volume edition.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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Nutshell Review – Audiobook – Death of an Outsider by M.C. Beaton

Posted by on Mar 19, 2015 in 2015, 3 stars, Audio, Book Review, MC Beaton | 1 comment

Death of an Outsider by M.C. Beaton, Narrated by Shaun Grindell

Death of an Outsider by M.C Beaton

Genre: Crime Fiction
Series: #3 in the Hamish Macbeth series
Publisher: AudioGo
Publication Date: 1988 for the book, 2013 for this audio edition
Length: 4 hours, 54 minutes
Read by: Shaun Grindell
Source: Purchased

The Book:

From the publisher:

The most hated man in the most dour town in Scotland is sleeping with the fishes, or more accurately, has been dumped into a tank filled with crustaceans. All that remains of the murdered victim are his bones. But once the lobsters have been shipped off to Britain’s best restaurants, the whole affair quickly lands on the plate of Constable Hamish Macbeth.

Exiled to the dreary outpost of Cnothan, Macbeth sorely misses his beloved Lochdubh, but before he can head back home he must first contend with a detective chief inspector who wants the murder hushed up, a dark-haired lassie who is out to seduce him, and a killer who has made mincemeat of his last victim – and will no doubt strike again.

My Thoughts:
I enjoy this light series featuring small town Constable Hamish Macbeth set in Scotland. In this one Hamish leaves his hometown to cover for the vacation of their police sergeant.

Hamish hated change almost as much as he hated work.

It’s a typical setup when the outsider no one likes is murdered, and everyone in town seems to be a suspect. Not exactly probable but the books are fun and fairly short so I like them when I want something in between longer or more intense audiobooks.

The first two I listened to were narrated by Davina Porter and while I love her narration and she’s perfect for books set in Scotland I was actually quite happy with the change to Shaun Grindell as the narrator for this one. He’s equally as good with the accents and voice characterizations but for me he seemed a better fit for the series. Even though the books aren’t told from Hamish’s viewpoint I like the male narrator better for a book that is so focused around a male character.

3 stars Rating 3/5 for the book

4 stars Rating 4/5 for the narration

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