Around the Internet

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Check out these five great stories from around the web.

  1. The New York Times is correcting a grievous wrong and finally publishing the obituaries of previously “Overlooked” women — like Sylvia Plath.
  2. Publishers are finally figuring out what the rest of us already know — when our fave celebrities talk about a book on Instagram, we listen.
  3. A delightful tale of the Publisher Pirate of London. Because copyright infringement is a tale as old as time.
  4. How the Oxford University Press is recreating dictionaries — and preserving endangered languages — in the modern digital age.
  5. A criticism I can’t criticize: the Amazon Books is a lousy replacements for our beloved and maligned brick-and-mortar bookstores.


Review Time: Three Wishes


“It was always like that. They never said sorry. They just threw down their still-loaded weapons, ready for next time.” 

Cat, Gemma and Lyn are triplets and best friends (or mortal enemies, depending on the day). Lyn is a wildly successful entrepreneur who has a penchant for micro-managing her, and her sisters’, life. Gemma is a free spirit who has some serious commitment issues after the way her last relationship ended. Cat wants nothing more than to start a family — but her husband has other plans. And they just turned 33.

Their thirty-third year brings quite a bit of drama into their individual and collective lives, beginning with a revelation from Cat’s husband, Dan. (not-so-spoiler alert: he’s cheating). As Cat tries to grapple with the fact Dan has thrown a wrench in her family plan, Gemma has to try to downplay the pleasure she gets from her newest boyfriend, Charlie. As chick-lit is wont to do, a string of coincidences brings underlying tensions to the surface during what turns out to be a rather eventful (and messy) Christmas celebration. While Cat and Gemma hash out their differences over the next few months, Lyn tries to reign in her surprise parking-lot-induced panic attacks and the women’s parents, divorced since the kids were 6 years old, decide that maybe they don’t want to be so divorced any more.

Three Wishes was a lighthearted departure from my usual murder mystery and I enjoyed the heck out of it. It was fun and flirty and flippant and just a good ole time. There weren’t any characters that I didn’t care for, but some of Cat’s inner turmoil got a little tedious in places — but that’s life, isn’t it? Charlie was precious (especially at the end — heart-eye emoji), Dan was a total asshole (especially at the end — eye-roll emoji) Cat’s former flame was the worst of all. But, as Cat would say, he got what was coming for him, eh?

My favorite scene: The book opens with Lyn, Cat and Gemma at dinner to celebrate their 34th birthday at a classy seafood joint. Instead of being told what happened, the reader is taken on a bit of a “telephone” ride (remember that game? where you passed a single sentence around the circle and what came out at the end was not at all the sentence the game started with?) and as the narrator says, “Of course, no two [stories] were the same.” The sisters are having having a grand ole time until they’re suddenly not. They start fighting and one sister ends up with a fondue fork stabbed into her pregnant belly, one faints to the floor and the other is left to clean up the mess. The story of what started the fight is eventually retold within the context of the narrative, but I love that the story started with some serious drama and gossip. Because who doesn’t love a good goss session?

Grade: ★★★★☆

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Around the Internet

links 030218

Check out these five great stories from around the web.

  1. In a heartbreaking — but not unsurprising — revelation, the world of children’s books is having its own #MeToo movement and shake-ups are happening.
  2. On a more upbeat note, Hachette Audio is releasing a series of audiobooks on vinyl and my ears are ready for it.
  3. Take a look at the publishing company that’s only publishing female authors in 2018 — because GIRL POWER.
  4. You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but let’s be real. It happens. Meet the book jacket designers whose job it is to catch your attention in a busy, busy world.
  5. So a bigwig at one of the world’s largest publishers has decided that ebook are a “stupid product.”Welcome to the real world, Jim.

To Read: March Edition


…I’m not even going to try to apologize for dropping off the face of the earth again. It happened, we’re back, we’re moving on. Up on tap this month:

Three Wishes: In the midst of the mania surrounding Big Little Lies, I decided I wanted to check out what all the hoopla was about. Of course, the waitlist for Big Little Lies is 10 miles long, so I changed tactic and decided to read all of Liane Moriarty’s novels. Three Wishes is her very first book, so that seemed like a good place to start. PS – look ma, not a murder mystery!

The Good Daughter: Nearly 30 years ago, in the backwoods of Georgia, the happy Quinn family was torn apart by unimaginable violence. Now, violence has come back to the small Georgia town and the secrets of what really happened to the Quinn sisters three decades ago are brought to the surface. I mean… C’mon. How could you not want to jump into that? Pegged as both a “cold-case thriller” and a “psychological suspense,” the one promises to be the book of every crime junkie’s dreams.

The Child: The demolition of an old house leads to the discovery of the body of a teeny babe and crime writer Kate Waters asks “Who is the child?” What Kate finds is a decades-old mystery and and her quest for answers turns over stones that some people would have preferred to stay unmoved. This was a Book of the Month club selection and yes, yes, yes I’m excited to love this.

Right Behind You: This one is the latest from Lisa Gardner and y’all know how much I love her. Quincy and Rainie have fixed their marriage and are about to adopt a troubled, 13-year-old girl (be still my heart). The problem is, the murder they’ve just been called out to seems to have been committed by their soon-to-be daughter’s even-more-troubled older brother. Oh the DRAMA!


Review Time: The River at Night


“There’s nothing wrong with a little fear. Keeps you sharp.”

For years, Wini and three of her best friends have taken a vacation together to escape their grueling, everyday lives. This year, Pia — the group’s unofficial leader — has talked the women into hiking and rafting in Maine’s Allagash Wilderness. After a sufficiently creepy start to their trip involving a deserted road and an uncomfortable bathroom encounter, the women make it to their final destination — a beautiful lodging campus in the middle of the woods, only a short distance from the raging river that they’ll be rafting in the coming days with their college-aged tour guide, Rory.

The rafting portion of the trip get off to a rocky start when Pia decides to spend a special night with Rory, causing a tension between the women that they find hard to overcome. Not long after they launch their raft into the water, the group experiences a terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad accident that leaves them stranded and helpless in the wilderness. As they try to navigate their way back to safety, they stumble upon a sign that help could be near. But (as these things tend to go) safety comes at what cost?

I’m going to be honest here… I didn’t love The River at Night. I’ve been trying to put a finger on why and I think it boils down to the characters themselves. I found the female characters — especially the narrator, Wini — to be frustrating. Yeah, okay, so your friend slept with a dude on what was supposed to be a “girl’s weekend.” Get over it, girl. You’re a grown-ass woman. You don’t need to pout about it for days. (I mean, I probably would pout just as long,  but I annoy even myself sometimes.) The other reason I didn’t love this book was due to the Amazon tease that prompted me to read this book in the first place. The tease mentioned the women’s “supposed saviors” and the suspense that surrounds the search to find out their true intentions. Which sounds awesome. The book, though, takes about 100 years to get to that point and, while this is where the majority of the book’s excitement comes from (for me, at least), it’s not nearly as suspenseful and spine-tingly as I thought it was going to be. Which is, admittedly, my own problem, but it just didn’t live up to the hype I had for it. Sorry, Charlie.

My favorite scene: It’s hard to come up with a way to describe my favorite scene without giving away pivotal surprises and plot twists. But my favorite scenes come towards the end of the novel when, (shocker) the women’s potential saviors show up and they are forced to put aside their own preconceived notions and ideas about how and when help will arrive. Because nothing rounds out a suspense novel like a little of the unexpected.

Review Time: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo


“When you’re given an opportunity to change your life, be ready to do whatever it takes to make it happen. The world doesn’t give things, you take things.”

As you may remember, pretty much everyone in my life was thrilled that I put my murder-mystery streak on hold for a week to dive into something new. Hey… I love a good who-dun-it. I will say, though, that I wasn’t sad to break the streak with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. It promised to be gossipy and dramatic — and it definitely delivered. But what I wasn’t really ready for what the depth of the story and the light it shone on the lives of the people we love to watch on screen.

Evelyn Hugo was Hollywood’s “It” star in her heyday. She was talented and smart and sexy. Everyone wanted a piece of her. The final piece, though, would be her memoir, shared on her own terms. Monique Grant, a rather inexperienced journalist, is stunned when she gets word that THE Evelyn Hugo wants her to write the coveted memoir. She knows it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance for her and she’s going to make the most out of it.

As Monique already knows, Evelyn’s had an interesting (and gossip-worthy) life. Born to a poor family in Hell’s Kitchen, she rose above her neighborhood (and terrible father) to forge a path for herself, even if it meant trading a few things on the way to Hollywood stardom. As Monique gets to know the real Evelyn Hugo, a picture begins to emerge of a woman who did what she had to do, and hid what she had to hide, to make a name for herself.

Evelyn knows that the real question her fans want answered is which husband she considered to be her “true love.” So she starts at the beginning, from her road trip out to Hollywood to her abusive first husband and continues through them all one at a time, painting a portrait of a woman with unlimited depth, cunning ambition and unimaginable strength. By the end of Evelyn’s story, she reveals the two things she’s held closest to her heart: which husband was her true love and why she chose Monique to write her story. And the answers to both questions with break your heart. Mine did.

My favorite scene: One of Evelyn’s seven husbands was the kind-hearted Hollywood staple Harry Cameron and their love story is the one that I haven’t been able to forget. Their lives are glamorous — and not without pain — but they manage to navigate them in a way that makes you root for them, despite everything you know (and by this point, you know a lot). Love you, Evelyn. And Harry too.

Grade: ★★★★★

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