2 Jan 2017

Month in Review / December 2016

A very interesting reading month for the last month in the year that's for sure.  My favourite for this month would either have to be The Stone Angel or Christmas at Lilac Cottage.  Books that are completely opposite in every way but loved them both.

I hope you all have had a fantastic 2016 and are looking forward to an even better 2017!


BOOKS READ





BOOKS RECEIVED


SMALL GREAT THINGS
Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years' experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she's been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don't want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy's counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other's trust, and come to see that what they've been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn't offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.


THE WHISTLER
We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity and impartiality are the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the orderly and efficient flow of justice.

But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? It’s rare, but it happens.

Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.

But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. He now goes by the name Greg Myers, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout U.S. history.

What’s the source of the ill-gotten gains? It seems the judge was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. The Coast Mafia financed the casino and is now helping itself to a sizable skim of each month’s cash. The judge is getting a cut and looking the other way. It’s a sweet deal: Everyone is making money.

But now Greg wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Greg files a complaint with the Board on Judicial Conduct, and the case is assigned to Lacy Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous.

Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.


TWO BY TWO
At 32, Russell Green has it all: a stunning wife, a lovable six year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear...and no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down. In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding—one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined.

LYREBIRD
Life is in two parts: who you were before you met her, and who you are after.

A documentary crew discover a mysterious young women living alone in the mountains of West Cork. Strikingly beautiful she has an extraordinary talent for mimicry, like the famous Australian Lyrebird. The crew, fascinated, make her the subject of her story, and bestow the nickname upon her.

When they leave, they take Lyrebird with them back to the city. But as she leaves behind her peaceful life to learn about a new world, is she also leaving behind a part of herself? For her new friend Solomon the answer isn’t clear. When you find a rare and precious thing, should you share it – or protect it…



THE SILKWORM
As this is book 2, here is the link to the Goodreads page - Click here

FIRST SIGHT
Paris, L.A., and the world of ready to wear fashion provide rich backdrops for Danielle Steel’s deeply involving story of a gifted designer whose talent and drive have brought her everything—except the ability to erase her past and trust relationships.

New York. London. Milan. Paris. Fashion Week in all four cities. A month of endless interviews, parties, and unflagging work and attention to detail at the semiannual ready to wear fashion shows—the famous prêt-à-porter. At the center of the storm and avalanche of work is American Timmie O’Neill, whose renowned line, Timmie O, is the embodiment of casual chic, in fashion and for the home. She has created a business that inspires, fills, and consumes her life.

With an unerring instinct for what the next trend will be, an innate genius for business, tireless labor, and sheer fearlessness, starting from nothing, over two decades Timmie has built an international empire that has brought her enormous satisfaction and success. In a world where humility and compassion are all too rare, her humor, kindness, integrity, and creativity are inspirational. Yet as blessed as she feels by her success, Timmie harbors the private wounds of a devastating childhood and past tragedy. She is too smart, too experienced, and too hurt to want much in her personal life beyond a succession of convenient, very limited relationships. Always willing to take risks in business, she never risks her heart.

But despite her well-ordered and highly controlled world, it turns out that Timmie O’Neill is not immune to magic when it strikes. And it strikes in Paris during Paris Fashion Week, when an intriguing Frenchman comes into her life when she gets sick. At first, Timmie and Jean-Charles Vernier are only patient and physician. They become confidants and friends, corresponding at a safe distance between Paris and Los Angeles once she goes home. There is every reason why they must remain apart. But neither can deny their growing friendship and the electricity that sparks whenever they meet.
 
First Sight is as complex and compelling as modern life itself. Careers, families, histories, losses, duty, obligation, and fear of losing control and getting hurt. It is a tale of daring to take risks, and losing control just enough to have a life, when the opportunity presents itself. When two very different worlds and strong-willed people collide, everything changes in an instant, as they confront the age-old question of whether to lay oneself bare and risk intimacy—or not. Are they brave enough to face what comes next? And will they do it together or apart?


COUNTRY
Life for Stephanie Adams is all about being a devoted mother. For years, she has kept her unhappy marriage a secret, intent on protecting her children from seeing their family break up. Then Stephanie’s husband dies suddenly, and she sees a chance for everything to be different.

Stephanie strives to balance her children’s grief with her desire to move on from the past – but after years of giving up her life for everyone else, what should she do next? A spur-of-the-moment road trip leads her to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and a chance meeting . . . and her whole life changes forever.

When Stephanie meets country music megastar Chase Taylor, he opens up his exciting world to her. In Nashville, the music is bittersweet and the lyrics true. Now, Stephanie is no longer the same woman. By seizing the day, she has found a way to be free and happy.

But can her family find it in their hearts to let her go?

Dancing between the past and present, Country is a moving story of one woman finding the power to seize the day, and finding herself along the way. Carpe diem.


THE DIVIDE
The Divide was a place that seemed to want to keep itself secret. It perched concealed at the head of a split and tortuous valley that descended to another far grander. Montana had ritzier ranches, with finer cuisine and glitzier guests. But there were few, if any, so beautiful. Its guests came by word of mouth and returned again and again. ... more » And thus it was with the Cooper family. For the last two weeks in June, they always took cabins six and eight. This was their fourth visit and it would be their last, the vacation that would change their lives forever.

On a crystalline Montana morning, two backcountry skiers find the body of a young women embedded in the ice of a remote mountain creek. All through the night police work with floodlights and chainsaws to extract her. Identifying her, however, takes no time at all. Abbie Cooper is wanted for murder and acts of ecoterrorism, and her picture is on law enforcement computers all across the country. But how did she die? And what was the trail of events that led this golden child of a loving family so tragically astray?

A devastating journey of discovery that extends from the streets of New York to the daunting grandeur of the Rocky Mountains, The Divide tells the story of a family fractured by betrayal and struggling in search of lost happiness. It explores the pain we inflict on those we love the most, and charts the passions and needs, the dashed hopes and disillusionments that connect and divide all men and women.


THE BRAVE
The motto of the boarding school to which Tommy Bedford is dispatched is 'Fortune Favours the Brave'. It's 1959 and the school bristles with bullies and sadistic staff. Tommy, a quirky loner, obsessed with cowboys and Indians, needs all the bravery he can summon.

Salvation comes when his glamorous actress sister is swept off to Hollywood by one of his heroes, TV cowboy Ray Montane. But with the Cold War looming, the sinister side of Tinseltown seeps through and Tommy and Diane soon find themselves in jeopardy. Forty years on, Tommy has to confront his boyhood ghosts when his own son finds himself charged with murder.




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