Sailing in a Sea of Words

Literature Fanatic. Writer. I tend to lean toward mystery and fiction, but I like to change patterns with the occasional YA or non-fiction book. I hope you enjoy my reviews and they inspire you to read the book yourself!

SPOILER ALERT!

Book Revew: Salem Falls

Salem Falls - Jodi Picoult

Book: Salem Falls

 

Author: Jodi Picoult

 

Genre: Fiction/Crime/Small Town Life

 

Summary: A handsome stranger comes to the sleepy New England town of Salem Falls in hopes of burying his past: Once a teacher at a girls' prep school, Jack St. Bride was destroyed when a student's crush sparked a powder keg of accusation. Now, washing the dishes for Addie Peabody at the Do-Or-Diner, he slips quietly into his new routine, and Addie finds this unassuming man fitting easily inside her heart. But amid the rustic calm of Salem Falls, a quartet of teenage girls harbors dark secrets - and they maliciously target Jack with a shattering allegation. Now, at the center of a modern-day witch hunt, Jack is forced once again to proclaim his innocence: to a town searching for answers, to a justice system where truth becomes a slippery concept written in shades of gray, and to the woman who has come to love him. -Simon and Schuster, 2001.

 

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#7 Follow Friday with book bloggers: Sailing in a Sea of Words

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Say hello to Kat in Follow Friday book bloggers talks!

 

Let's meet a blogger behind the Sailing in a Sea of Words blog:

http://travelerbypage.booklikes.com/

 

When have you recognized a book lover in you?

 

My love for reading was most definitely fostered and encouraged by my parents. They read to me as a child and I began reading on my own at a very young age. I can’t remember a time where I didn’t love reading. It’s a core part of me and without it, I would have a hard time recognizing myself. All of my other interests are born from the books that I’ve read.

 

Please pick three books you’d like to recommend to our readers?

 

Book #1: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. It’s a really brilliant thriller/suspense novel that is beautifully written and well-researched.

 

Book #2: The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro. Few books have sucked me in as well as this one. Tessaro’s knowledge of scent and her mastery of balancing two different timelines so that neither is lacking in detail and plot makes this book a real gem.

 

Book #3: The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo. This is another book that really sucked me in. I finished it in a matter of days because I needed to find out what happened next. It’s a beautiful coming-of-age story wrapped in mystery and supernatural elements. I’m eager to get my hands on whatever novel she publishes next.

 

The Perfume Collector - Kathleen TessaroThe Ghost Bride - Yangsze Choo

 

Why have you decided to start a book blog? Do you like it so far?

 

I wanted to keep a record of the books I read and my impressions of them. I wanted to make each entry as detailed as possible, but I’ve been having trouble with that as of late. Once I finish my next series of books I have lined up, I’m going to be changing the way I write the reviews so that I can take the time to provide the detail I’ve always wished to give. I love it! I’ve shared my blog with friends and family so they can keep up to date on my recommendations and what I’ve been reading. It helps give me extra incentive to keep going and not let myself fall behind on posting my reviews.

 

In your short bio you reveal you’re a writer! Please tell us more!

 

I haven’t published anything I’ve written online, but I’ve written a bunch of short stories. I’ve been outlining and playing with an idea for a novel, but I haven’t waded into the deeper waters as of yet. The short stories I’ve written mostly revolve around chance encounters and pushing the boundaries of the world one has lived in for all of his or her life.

 

You write “I tend to lean toward mystery and fiction, but I like to change patterns with the occasional YA or non-fiction book”. Which YA and non-fiction books have amazed you?

 

Blythewood - Carol Goodman I’ve only just started re-reading YA books within the last year or so. I enjoyed Blythewood by Carol Goodman.

As far as non-fiction goes, I’ve been exploring books related to topics I like as well as biographies. I really enjoyed Carl Sandburg’s biography of Abraham Lincoln  that’s broken up into the Prairie Years and the War Years. I also enjoyed Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill. It’s a memoir of Hill’s time as Jackie Kennedy’s primary Secret Service agent. I really admire Jackie Kennedy and Hill’s memories made me want to dig deeper. I have a few books on the Kennedys and Jackie lined up for future reading. Stephen Sondheim’s Finishing the Hat has been really insightful as I love his musicals and I’ve had fun finding out his thoughts on the musicals he’s worked on.

 

Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years - Carl SandburgMrs. Kennedy and Me: An Intimate Memoir - Clint Hill,Lisa McCubbinFinishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics, 1954-1981, With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines, and Anecdotes - Stephen Sondheim

 

How much time do you spend reading?

 

Many people I know would say too much. I try to read every day. I have a long commute and I take public transportation so I read on my trips to and from work. On the weekends where I don’t have plans, I tend to read all day. That’s when I’ve been notorious for finishing books within hours.

 

What are your three favorite book covers?

 

Book #1: Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman. This was the first Goodman book I read and the cover just drew me in with how mysterious and elegant it looks.

 

Book #2: The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson. It’s one of the most gorgeous covers I’ve ever seen. The fields of lavender leading up to the lonely looking cottage is so mysterious yet so soothing.

 

Book #3: Wicked Autumn by G.M. Malliet. If you worship autumn like I do, this cover speaks to that love and adoration. I love mysteries to begin with so it was helpful that this book was one, but I wanted the cover just as much.

 

Arcadia Falls - Carol GoodmanThe Lantern - Deborah LawrensonWicked Autumn - G.M. Malliet

 

What’s your reading spot? We’d love to see the photos :)

 

When’s a nice day, I’ll read in the window ledge in my living room. I’ll prop up a pillow, grab a blanket and read away.

 

 

A paper book or an e-book?

 

Paper book, always. I don’t want to strain my eyes, plus I love the texture and smell of books. I’ll never go all digital – not for books.

 

Three books for a desert island?

 

The Hound of the Baskervilles - Arthur Conan Doyle Book #1: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s easily one of the best mystery novels of all time. I would argue that it is the best one, but I know many who would disagree. This book is responsible for my love of mysteries as my father read it to me when I was young. I love Sherlock Holmes so I need this novel, if not one of the collection of short stories. Who doesn’t love that line, Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound. Chills.

Arcadia Falls - Carol Goodman 

Book #2: Arcadia Falls by Carol Goodman. It’s not just the cover that I love about this novel. I adore the story and it’s one that I can read over and over and never get bored. It brings the feeling of autumn to me and I love that feeling, even if it’s while I’m on a desert island.

 

Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Classics) - Vivien Jones,Tony Tanner,Claire Lamont,Jane Austen Book #3: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I know I’m a minority, but I love Pride and Prejudice. It was close, as I would also love to bring Jane Eyre, but I just love Austen a little more. I need at least one love story on my island.

 

Favorite quote?

 

There are so many it’s hard to choose! I’m going to have to go with the inner romantic here:

I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.

 

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.

 

― Jane Austen, Persuasion

 

If you could meet one author, who would it be and why?

 

I’d love to meet Carol Goodman. She’s the only modern author where I have bought every single book she’s ever written. I haven’t read all of them (yet), but I love her writing, her subjects, and I would love to just chat with her on her writing as well as her inspiration.

 

The best thing about books?

 

The escape! Books allow you to travel to worlds and places too numerous to count. You can transcend time and place to follow the lives of people you’ve never met – both real and imagined. Books are an incredible gift and one that needs to be always appreciated.

 

Shelfie time! Please share your home library photos :)

 

I don’t have huge bookcases to house all of the books I own (yet), so here’s a photo of some of the books I have in my bookcase.

 

Thank you!

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Missed previous Follow Friday talks? Use ffwithbookbloggers tag or click the catch up links:

 

 

Remember, you can nominate your blogger friends for the Follow Friday interview! Click here and leave the URL address in the comment section.

 

See you next Friday!

Book Review: Ravencliffe

Ravencliffe - Carol Goodman

Book: Ravencliffe

 

Author: Carol Goodman

 

Genre: Teen/Fantasy Fiction/Romance/Sequel

 

Summary: Avaline Hall is no ordinary girl. She's a student at the Blythewood Academy, an elite boarding school that trains young women to defend human society from the shadowy forces that live among us. After the devastating events of her first year at Blythewood, Ava is eager to reunite with her friends - and with Raven, the compelling but elusive winged boy who makes her pulse race. She soon discovers, though, that the sinister Judicus van Drood hasn't finished wreaking havoc on Blythewood - and wants to use Ava and her classmates to attack a much bigger target. Ava's the only one with any hope of stopping van Drood. But to scuttle his plans, she must reveal her deepest secret to everyone at Blythewood. What's she willing to sacrifice to do what's right: Her school? Her love? Or her life? -Viking/Penguin, 2014.

 

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Book Review: The Drowning Tree

The Drowning Tree - Carol Goodman

Book: The Drowning Tree

 

Author: Carol Goodman

 

Genre: Fiction/Thriller/Mystery

 

Summary: Juno McKay intended to avoid her fifteenth-year college reunion, but she can't resist the chance to see her life-long friend Christine Webb. Though Juno cringes at the inevitable talk of her troubled personal life - and the husband who ended up in a mental hospital only two years after their wedding - she endures the gossip for her friend's sake. While lecturing at the Penrose College library, Christine shocks the rapt crowd by revealing little-known details about the lives of two sisters - members of the influential family whose name the college bears. Christine's revelations throw shadows of betrayal, lust, and insanity over the family's distinguished facade. After her speech, Christine seems distant, uneasy, and sad. The next day, she disappears. Juno is alarmed and begins to peel away the layers of secrets and madness that surround the Penrose dynasty. She fears that Christine discovered something damning about them, perhaps something worth killing for. And Juno is determined to find it - for her friend and for herself. -Ballantine Books, 2004.

 

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Book Review: North and South

North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell

Book: North and South

 

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell

 

Genre: Fiction/Social Commentary/Coming-Of-Age/Romance

 

Summary: When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill-workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice. This is intensified by her tempestuous relationship with the mill-owner and self-made man John Thornton, as their fierce opposition over his treatment of his employees masks a deeper attraction. In North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell skillfully fused individual feeling with social concern, and in Margaret Hale created one of the most original heroines of Victorian literature. - Penguin Classics, 1995.

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Book Review: Edenbrooke

Edenbrooke - Julianne Donaldson

Book: Edenbrooke

 

Author: Julianne Donaldson

 

Genre: Fiction/Historical Romance

 

Summary: Marianne Daventry will do anything to escape the boredom of Bath and the amorous attentions of an unwanted suitor. So when an invitation arrives from her twin sister, Cecily, to join her at a sprawling country estate, she jumps at the chance. Thinking she'll be able to relax and enjoy her beloved English countryside while her sister snags the handsome heir of Edenbrooke, Marianne finds that even the best laid plans can go awry. From a terrifying run-in with a highwayman to a seemingly harmless flirtation, Marianne finds herself embroiled in an unexpected adventure filled with enough romance and intrigue to keep her mind racing. Will Marianne be able to reign in her traitorous heart, or will a mysterious stranger sweep her off her feet? Fate had something other than a relaxing summer in mind when it sent Marianne to Edenbrooke. - Shadow Mountain, 2012.

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Book Review: Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth - Ian McEwan

Book: Sweet Tooth

 

Author: Ian McEwan

 

Genre: Spy Thriller/Fiction/Romance

 

Summary: Cambridge student Serena Frome's beauty and intelligence make her the ideal recruit for MI5. The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. England's legendary intelligence agency is determined to manipulate the cultural conversation by funding writers whose politics align with those of the government. The operation is code named "Sweet Tooth". Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is the perfect candidate to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer named Tom Haley. At first, she loves his stories. Then she begins to love the man. How long can she conceal her undercover life? To answer that question, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage: trust no one. - Anchor Books Random House, 2012.

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Book Review: The Seduction of Water

The Seduction of Water - Carol Goodman

Book: The Seduction of Water

 

Author: Carol Goodman

 

Genre: Thriller/Mystery/Fairy Tales

 

Summary: Iris Greenfeder, ABD (All But Dissertation), feels the "buts" are taking over her life: all but published, all but a professor, all but married. Yet the sudden impulse to write a story about her mother, Katherine Morrissey, leads to a shot at literary success. The piece recounts an eerie Irish fairy tale her mother used to tell her at bedtime - and nestled inside it is the sad story of her death. It captures the attention of her mother's former literary agent, who is convinced that Katherine wrote one final manuscript before her strange, untimely end in a fire thirty years ago. So Iris goes back to the remote Hotel Equinox in the Catskills, the place where she grew up, to write her mother's biography and search for the missing manuscript - and there she unravels a haunting mystery, one that holds more secrets than she ever expected. . . - Ballantine Books, 2003.

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Book Review: The Flight of Gemma Hardy

The Flight of Gemma Hardy - Margot Livesey

Book: The Flight of Gemma Hardy

 

Author: Margot Livesey

 

Genre: Romance/Coming of Age Novel

 

Summary: Taken from her native Iceland to Scotland in the early 1950s when her widower father drowns at sea, young Gemma Hardy comes to live with her kindly uncle and his family. But his death leaves Gemma under the care of her resentful aunt, and she suddenly finds herself an unwelcome guest. Surviving oppressive years as a strict private school, Gemma ultimately finds a job as an au pair to the eight-year-old niece of Mr. Sinclair on the Orkney Islands - and here, at the mysterious and remote Blackbird Hall, Gemma's greatest trial begins. - Harper Perennial, 2012.

 

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Book Review: The Truth of All Things

The Truth of All Things - Kieran Shields

Book: The Truth of All Things

 

Author: Kieran Shields

 

Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Occult/Historical

 

Summary: When Deputy Marshal Archie Lean is called in to investigate a prostitute's murder in Portland, Maine, he's surprised to find the body laid out like a pentagram and pinned to the earth with a pitchfork. He's even more surprised to learn that this death by "sticking" is a traditional method of killing a witch. Baffled by the ritualized murder scene, Lean secretly enlists the help of historian Helen Prescott and criminalist Perceval Grey. Although skeptical of one another's methods, the team pursues the killer's lurid trail through postmortems and opium dens and deep into the spiritualist societies and lunatic asylums of gothic New England. The closer they come to answers, the more dangerous their hunt becomes. Before the killer closes in on his final victim, they must decipher the secret pattern to these murders - a pattern hidden within the dark history of the Salem witch trials. - Broadway Paperbacks, 2012.

 

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Book Review: The Last Camellia

The Last Camellia - Sarah Jio

Book: The Last Camellia

 

Author: Sarah Jio

 

Genre: Fiction/Romance/Historical/Mystery

 

Summary: On the eve of the Second World War, the last surviving specimen of a camellia plant known as the Middlebury Pink lies secreted away on an English country estate. Flora, an amateur American botanist, is contracted by an international ring of flower thieves to infiltrate the household and acquire the coveted bloom. Her search is at once brightened by new love and threatened by her discovery of a series of ghastly crimes.

 

More than a half century later, garden designer Addison takes up residence at the manor, now owned by the family of her husband, Rex. The couple's shared passion for mysteries is fueled by the enchanting camellia orchard and an old gardener's notebook. Yet its pages hint at dark acts ingeniously concealed. If the danger that Flora once faced remains very much alive, will Addison share her fate? -Penguin Group, 2013.

 

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Book Review: Hush Now, Don't You Cry

Hush Now, Don't You Cry (Molly Murphy Series #11) - Rhys Bowen

Book: Hush Now, Don't You Cry

 

Author: Rhys Bowen

 

Genre: Historical Mystery/Fiction

 

Summary: Molly Murphy, now Molly Sullivan, and her husband, Daniel, a captain in the New York Police Department, have been invited to spend their honeymoon on the Newport, Rhode Island, estate of Alderman Brian Hannan in the spring of 1904. Molly doesn't entirely trust the offer. Hannan - an ambitious man - has his eye on a Senate seat and intentions of taking Tammany Hall to get it. When Hannan is found dead at the base of the cliffs that overlook the Atlantic, Molly's suspicions are quickly justified, and as much as she wants to keep her promise to Daniel that she won't do any more sleuthing now, there isn't much she can do once the chase is on. Rhys Bowen's brilliant wit and charm are on full display in Hush Now, Don't You Cry, another outstanding addition to her Agatha Award - and Anthony Award-winning historical series. -Minotaur Books, 2012.

 

 

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Book Review: Bel Canto

Bel Canto - Ann Patchett

Book: Bel Canto

 

Author: Ann Patchett

 

Genre: Fiction/Based on Real Events

 

Summary: Somewhere in South America, at the home of the country's vice president, a lavish birthday party is being held in the honor of the powerful businessman, Mr. Hosokawa. Roxanne Coss, opera's most revered soprano, has mesmerized the international guests with her singing. It is a perfect evening - until a band of gun-wielding terrorists takes the entire party hostage. But what begins as a panicked, life-threatening scenario slowly evolves into something quite different, a moment of great beauty, as terrorists and hostages forge unexpected bonds and people from different continents become compatriots. Friendship, compassion, and the chance for great love lead the characters to forget the real danger that has been set in motion. . . and cannot be stopped. - Harper Collins, 2001.

 

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Book Review: The Woman in Cabin 10

The Woman in Cabin 10 - Helen Ruth Elizabeth Ware

Book: The Woman in Cabin 10

 

Author: Ruth Ware

 

Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Thriller

 

Summary: In this tightly wound, enthralling story reminiscent of Agatha Christie's works, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests arrive jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea. At first, Lo's stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo hears what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers and crew members remain accounted for - and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo's desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong.... With surprising twists, spine-tingling turns, and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another taut and intense read in The Woman in Cabin 10 - one that will leave even the most sure-footed reader restlessly uneasy long after the last page is turned. - Simon & Schuster, 2016.

 

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Book Review: The Night Villa

The Night Villa - Carol Goodman

Book: The Night Villa

 

Author: Carol Goodman

 

Genre: Fiction/Classic/Mystery/Suspense

 

Summary: The eruption of Italy's Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79 buried a city and its people, their treasures and secrets. Centuries later, echoes of this disaster resonate with profound consequences in the life of classics professor Sophie Chase. In the aftermath of a tragic shooting on the University of Texas campus, Sophie seeks sanctuary on the isle of Capri, immersing herself in her latest scholarly project alongside her colleagues, her star pupil, and their benefactor, the compelling yet enigmatic business mogul John Lyros. Beneath the layers of volcanic ash lies the Villa della Notte - the Night Villa - home to first-century nobles, as well as the captivating slave girl at the heart of an ancient controversy. And secreted in a subterranean labyrinth rests a cache of antique documents believed lost to the ages: a prize too tantalizing for Sophie to resist. But suspicion, fear, and danger roam the long-untrodden tunnels and chambers beneath the once sumptuous estate - especially after Sophie sees the face of her former lover in the darkness, leaving her to wonder if she is chasing shadows or succumbing to the siren song of the Night Villa. Whatever shocking events transpired in the face of Vesuvius's fury have led to deeper, darker machinations that inexorably draw Sophie into their vortex, rich in stunning revelations and laden with unseen menace. -Ballantine Books, 2008.

 

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Book Review: Summer Island

Summer Island - Kristin Hannah

Book: Summer Island

 

Author: Kristin Hannah

 

Genre: Fiction/Family/Healing

 

Summary: Years ago, Nora Bridge walked out on her marriage, leaving her daughters behind. Now she is a celebrity talk-show host, famous for her stern moral advice. Her daughter Ruby is a struggling comedienne. The two haven't spoken in more than a decade. Then a scandal from Nora's past is exposed, and Ruby is offered a fortune to write a tell-all about her mother. Reluctantly, she returns to the family house on Summer Island, a home filled with frayed memories of joy and heartache. Confronting a past that includes a never-forgotten love, a sick best friend, and a mother who has harbored terrible family secrets, Ruby finally begins to understand the complex ties that bind a mother and daughter - and the healing that comes with forgiveness. - Ballantine Books, 2001.

 

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