Having been in the workforce and business world for almost twenty years I thought I was pretty up to date on all of the proper business etiquette, but it was nice to brush up on my skills and learn some of the new etiquette surrounding social media and technology in the workforce. The author did a great job of including pop culture references and real life scenarios to demonstrate what is and is not appropriate in the work place. It really added life to what could be considered to be a dull topic. Those scenarios really helped the book flow along nicely and enjoyable to read.
Bottom line, I know that many of us view etiquette, even business etiquette, as "common sense" to many others it is not inherently known and a book like this is definitely needed. The Essentials of Business Etiquette is a must read for every college graduate about to enter the workforce or even someone who is switching professions mid-career. Implementing the rules of proper etiquette in the business world is sure to make one stand out to a potential employer. Definitely worth the read. (less)
Forever, Interrupted is one of those novels that packs quite a punch and leaves an unexpected emotional impact on the reader. The story flashes back and forth from the "before" months when Ben and Elsie were together and the "after" months following his death. I loved how the author weaved books and the library into the plot, it really connected me to Ben and Elsie. I also found myself connecting to Elsie and her disbelief that she was married and that he was really gone. I remember in the days and weeks after I got married it just didn't seem real, so I could really relate to Elsie in that aspect. As the months after Ben's death go by, the relationship between Elsie and Susan was an unique one. It really added to the emotional punch the book had on me.
Bottom line, I will be really surprised if Forever, Interrupted doesn't get optioned by someone in Hollywood. The story is unique and touching. In my head I was already casting the roles, Meryl Streep would make a perfect "Susan". If you are looking for something to touch your heart, find a copy of Forever, Interrupted. Like right now. Go.(less)
The Girl You Left Behind is a hauntingly beautiful novel that will break your heart. After the initial introduction to both women, the novel flashes back and forth between the past and the present. The details of Sophie's detainment was utterly heartbreaking. Even knowing what was likely going to be the outcome, I kept hoping that there would be a "happy ever after" for Sophie and Edouard. And so was the heartbreak that belonged to Liv. It was so clear that her life was destroyed by the loss of her husband and just when she thought she was making progress in her grief by being with Paul things blow up regarding the painting. My heart just ached for Liv, I felt so horrible for her and her loss was almost contagious to me as the reader.
Bottom line, JoJo Moyes has a way of writing such beautiful works of literature. Her characters and their feelings are so vivid that it is easy to be swept away to another place and in this novel, another time. If you are looking for a novel to touch your heart,(and really who isn't?) then you must read The Girl You Left Behind. (less)
Mary Kay Andrews is another one of those great "Summertime" authors. Her slow, Southern novels always have that "vacation" feel. Even when they are about a group of women with shitty husbands. I really liked Grace and I really like Wyatt and the rest of the group, but I found myself getting very frustrated for Grace when her ex and the floozy were trying to sabotage her new blog. As a blogger myself, I know there are ways to prevent that kind of sabotage and it frustrated me to see how long it took Grace to catch on to those tricks. Even with those minor frustrations, I found Ladies' Nights to be a fun way to pass the time while on the treadmill. Grace is a great character and I found it sweet the way she took on Sweetie ( an abandoned dog) and the house on Mandavilla Lane, not to mention Wyatt and his son. (less)
Bottom line, if you are looking for a literary masterpiece, then you need to put this book down and pick up Night Film. If you are looking for fluff and keep your expectations low (or non-existant ) then The First Affair might be the right book for you.(less)
Do you want a book club book that will generate hot conversation, then you have found your book. For a very long time in the state of North Carolina, the Department of Welfare used forced sterilization in order to control poverty. Diane Chamberlain has taken this dark time in history and woven a gripping tale of two young women from opposite sides of the tracks who are both struggling to survive in this world. Jane is such a naive character and to see her deal with such a heavy topic was great to see, especially when she knew her new husband disapproved. i was very pleased with the character development in all of the characters, but especially with Jane. I was almost proud of her by the end of the novel, if you can believe that. My emotions were all over the place with this novel, I started out being appalled and went through a whole range of emotions, including anger and hatred. I guess an argument (insert heated debate here) could be made that this form of eugenics would save the government a lot of money, but when the women are not even told what is happening to them, well it was absolutely horrifying.
Bottom line, I have gushed endlessly about Diane Chamberlain for years now and with good reason. Her writing is so gripping that her books are the kind of books that stay with you long after the last page. I can easily say, though, that I think Necessary Lies is one of her best books. Like I mentioned earlier, the perfect book for a book club, guaranteed to generate a lively discussion(less)
From almost the very first page of Night Film I knew I was reading something great. The dark, gritty world that Scott McGrath plunges into as he investigates Cordova is frightening, yet captivating. I could not stop reading, no matter how much the hair on the back of my neck was standing up. It was amazing. Bottom line, Night Film is not for the faint of heart. It is gritty,mysterious, and at times, utterly terrifying. But it is an absolute must read novel. This novel has been getting a lot of positive press for months leading up to the release date and now I know why. If you want to be part of publishing history and read the book that everyone will be talking about, you must read Night Film.(less)
Last spring I went on a Life As We Knew It binge and read the first three books in just a few days, ever since I have been anxiously awaiting the fourth book. It was unique to see that the book was from Jon's perspective, but I was completely disheartened to see that he had been sucked into the snobbery that is prevalent in Sexton. There were many, many times that I was almost disgusted with not only Sexton, but Jon as well. There was an event (don't want to give away too much) that finally shook Jon out of his comfort zone and he started to realize that the way things were wasn't right. I will say that it was nice to "see" familiar characters and see how they were doing in their "new normal". It also challenged me to think about what I would do in that kind of scenario. Oh, and the author definitely left it open for another book and I sure hope that she follows through, I love these books!
Bottom line, loyal fans of the Life As We Knew It will not be disappointed with the fourth book in the series. You may get a bit discouraged at first with what is happening in Sexton & White Birch, but you must stick with it until the end. I promise, you will not be disappointed!(less)
Cathy Lamb has become a very successful author because of her ability to create such unique and quirky characters. If you Could See What I See is no different. Meggie, herself, is not that quirky, but she is the most damaged of all the O'Rourke girls. Her marriage cost her a lot, and through out the book the author flashes back to the darkest times of Meggie's marriage. The handsome Chief of Police, Ben, that lives across the street has expressed his interest in Meggie, but she is afraid to pollute him with her damage. Meggie's spitfire of a Grandma is a fun character to watch in action, not to mention Meggie's own mother, Brianna, a world renowned sex therapist that is known for her creative methods. She loves her daughters tremendously, but is glad that they are taking over the family company and not her. Throw into the mix a nephew who believes he should have been a girl, another nephew who is single handily trying to save the pet population in Oregon, and a niece who has had more sex in the last month than Meggie has had in years. They all add a special something to the story, but I think my favorite thing about this book was the way Meggie and her sisters put together the "Fashion Story". Instead of doing a regular Fashion Show, they enlisted the help of all their staff and put together a "Fashion Story" that was unique, clever, and tugged at my heartstrings.
Bottom line, Cathy Lamb, is a talented author who has a way of creating characters that find a way into your heart. If You Could See What I See is a heartwarming story of the healing power of love and family. If you are looking for something good to read that will tug on those heartstrings, Cathy Lamb's newest novel will not disappoint.(less)
The Book of Secrets is a love letter to some of the greatest literature of our time. Not only are books such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Robinson Crusoe and Romeo & Juliet mentioned, but the Gothic tone of the book is very similar to what you might find in Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights, with a secret message like what you might find in a Dan Brown novel. Chloe and Nate are very flawed characters, but they have so much shared history and a deep love that they are counting on to see them through to the end. And the mystery of what happened all those years ago will keep you guessing all the way to the end.
Bottom line, from the very first page I got swept up into the story. I loved the way the author takes us into Chloe and Nate's world. I was transported to another time and place and it felt good. The way the author pays homage to some of the greatest literature made my heart smile. If you are looking for a good book to cleanse the palate after some fluffy beach reads, then you must pick up The Book of Secrets. You will thank me, I promise.(less)
Bottom line, Time Flies is a quick read that I could easily relate to as my own class reunion looms on the near horizon. If you are looking for a fun book to take you down memory lane, then you must ad Time Flies to your Summer reading list. (less)
I have always been a big fan of Beth Harbison. Her characters are always so dynamic and Quinn is no different. The story is told with a lot of flashbacks to both ten years ago and even further back when Quinn first meets the Morrison boys, the back-story is necessary and it keeps things moving. But my favorite parts of the book have to be the ones with Glenn. Especially his red envelopes that just randomly appear. I can honestly say that I "LOL'd" during the champagne scene. There were a few times when I felt that the whole Burke/Quinn thing was dragging out a little bit too long, but the ending of the book was pretty satisfactory. I will say that there was a "Happy Ever After", but I won't elaborate other than to say that I think Quinn got it right.
Bottom line, Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger is a fun Southern book with a lot of colorful characters. While I thought some parts were a bit too long, the colorful characters kept the story fresh and moving along. Fans of Beth Harbison won't be disappointed in her newest novel and newcomers to her work will want to rush out and pick up her back-list. Either way, you are in for a treat!(less)
Karin Slaughter's books are like candy to me. Old familiar candy that I turn to when I am craving something good. I like the consistency of the same characters throughout her novels, yet each book is fresh with it's own mystery. While it is nice to have read a series start to finish, it isn't necessary to have read all of the books. The author does a great job of giving a new reader just enough backstory to not be lost by what is going on with the characters. But I will warn you that Unseen is a murder mystery that does not hold punches. It is gritty and grisly and someone with a weak stomach may want to avoid the scene where Faith and Sara and Nell go in to clean the crime scene, it is not for the faint at heart.
Bottom line, Karin Slaughter knows how to write a good, gritty mystery. After many years as a faithful reader I am excited to pick up her new books just to see how my old friends are doing. If you are looking for a good mystery, then you must not miss Karin Slaughter's Unseen.(less)
Curtis Sittenfeld is so masterful in the way she writes her characters and her stories it is nearly impossible to put her books down. Only she could write a literary masterpiece about characters with ESP. From the very first page I got swept up into the lives of Vi and Daisy. She flashes us back to their childhood working her way back to the year 2009. And since the twins were born a month after me, I loved seeing all of the references from my childhood. Not to mention all of the Missouri references. I think one of the things I liked so much about this book were really how normal Vi and Kate really are despite their "senses". They aren't glamorous characters, they lead normal lives and have normal flaws. I also really enjoyed the interaction between Kate & Jeremy and their friends, the Wheelings, even when things get "sticky" their friendship is so well written.
Bottom line, Sisterland is a really, really good book. From start to finish I was pulled into their story and did not want to put the book down. I know a lot of you wouldn't bother with a book about ESP, but Sisterland is really one that you should not miss.(less)
I LOVED this book! I read Big Girl Panties from the viewpoint of a fat woman who has been trying to get in shape and lose weight for the last six months and is married to a man who loves me no matter what size I am, but also willing to support me in my efforts. But I also read this book as a once previously single woman with a disability who dated men who hesitated being seen in public with me because of my disability. I know firsthand what those insecurities are like and how they influence your actions and reactions. So I could really, really empathize with Holly. I could empathize with her feelings of inadequacy, especially after she saw Logan's ex girlfriends. I could empathize with her trying to laugh off what happened between them, even though it killed her inside. I loved everything about Holly, her spunk, her determination, her easy going ways. And Logan, Logan scored big points with me when he got the call from Holly in the middle of the night, but I wanted to smack him senseless later in the book and at times his ego was almost too big for the pages. And I loved the way I found myself wiping my eyes when things go south, I cared so much for Holly that her story made me cry.
Bottom line, any book that makes me care so much for it's characters that I cry like a baby gets a "Best of" from me. I was able to relate to Holly more than any character I have read in a long time and that really struck a chord with me. I am anxious to see more from this debut author, she has set the bar high with Big Girl Panties and I hope it only goes up from here.
Nowhere but Home started off being your normal Chick Lit kind of book. I could relate to the big city girl going home plot line, but the moment she thinks about taking a job cooking the last meals for death row inmates it gets kind of heavy. Queenie has all sorts of mixed emotions about being back in Texas to begin with, and then to be offered a job preparing the last meal that these people will ever eat? Throw into the mix her very single ex-boyfriend? Woah. I was surprised at how much I was sucked into Queenie's story, especially after she went to work at the prison. Her reaction to those meals really touched my heart, she goes home and crawls into bed with her big sister, because she can't bear the thought of being alone.
Bottom line, Nowhere but Home, is a great little novel with a unique main character. While Queenie is a little rough around the edges, she has a heart of gold and just wants to be happy. I truly believe that Nowhere but Home would be an excellent selection for your next book club meeting. There is so much discussion to be had from one little novel, for example, what would YOU choose for your last meal?(less)
Marian Keyes has always been known to write Chick Lit novels with a somewhat dark overtone, but The Mystery of Mercy Close is the only one that somewhat parallels her own life. In 2009 Marian Keyes experienced a crippling bout of depression, much like Helen Walsh, it nearly destroyed her. Her experience with depression is the reason why this book was so good. The darkness that envelopes Helen is almost as terrifying for the reader as it is for Helen. When she even went so far as to buy a knife and start planning her suicide I was so tense and found myself so concerned for her well being.
Bottom line, The Mystery of Mercy Close, has everything you would want in a novel. Mystery, romance, rock-stars,divas, crazy families and more. At the heart of everything is the severity of mental-illness. It is an important message to get out there and one that I think needs to be discussed more often, like maybe at this month's book club meeting?(less)
All The Summer Girls was a really quick read and it certainly transported me from cold, rainy Utah to the beaches of the Jersey shore. All three characters had their strengths and their weaknesses, very obviously flawed. Kate is a control freak, Vanessa is contemplating adultery, and Dani has a problem with over indulging on pills and booze. But, despite their flaws, they are good women who will be there for each other no matter what. It is something that all women can relate to in one way or another. (less)
Beautiful. The only word that could accurately describe Beth Hoffman's new book, Looking For Me. I was almost finished with the book when I realized that I really didn't want it to end. Teddi is such a great character that I found myself just wanting to be in her presence. Despite the pressure from her Mama, she asserted her independence in a time where good Southern girls just did what was expected of them and nothing more. She took the risk and followed her dream. The people that Teddi surround herself with in Charleston are unique, quirky, and absolutely add such warmth to the story that you just can't help but fall a little bit in love with all of them. And the customers that frequent Teddi's shop are just as quirky and fascinating and heart-achingly sweet. (less)
Even though Jen has started to dip her toes into the fiction waters, it is obvious that her talent lies within the memoir category. I love to hear how my favorite authors (almost like celebrities to me) are just as normal (okay maybe normal isn't the best word) as me. I mean when Jen starts talking about specific episodes of Doomsday Preppers, I was like "OMG! I saw that episode!" Seriously, I know I should be ashamed to admit I watch that show, but really, shouldn't everyone be a little bit prepared for the zombie apocalypse?
Bottom line, Jen Lancaster is one of those authors that it doesn't matter what she writes I will be first in line to make a purchase. Fiction, memoirs, or even directions for the toaster, I will buy it, I will read it, and I will laugh out loud, guaranteed.(less)
Bottom line, while Always Watching wasn't nearly as terrifying for me as Never Knowing, there was still the underlying element of fear. If you are ready for a read to make your hair stand on end without requiring a night light, Always Watching will be for you. (less)
Bottom line, The Widow Waltz WAS a good book. I have read many a great book where the ending disappointed me (remember that little book, Me Before You), but that didn't stop me from liking the book. I would love to hear what others thought of The Widow Waltz, and the ending. For that reason alone you must give it a read! (less)
Bottom line, when it is all said and done, The Moon and More is just about a normal teenage girl with a normal family and normal problems. There is a certain kind of beauty that can be found in "normal". The Moon and More was the first novel I have ready by Sarah Dessen and I rather enjoyed it.(less)
Flashing between Europe and Texas, The Doll shows us the battle on both sides of the ocean. Bradford's desperate attempts to rescue Michael's loved ones, hoping that their efforts will help Michael escape in Europe. Taylor Stevens also did a great job at exposing the horrible injustice that is human trafficking. Human trafficking is a very real thing that happens all over the world, even the United States, yet it is not really something you see on the nightly news. With each book that Taylor Stevens writes, she unveils a little bit more about the person that is Vanessa "Michael" Munroe. She is such a complex, layered character, that I like a little bit more with each passing chapter. Her interaction with Neeva in this novel revealed even more of her character and I really, really liked those interactions. (less)
He's Gone is a very well written book about the consequences of our actions. In the days that Ian is missing, Dani reflects on their relationship. How it began, where it began, how it developed into the marriage they have today and she is a bit disappointed in the truths she forces herself to face. Disappointed in herself and the pain she has caused others. But she is also desperate to remember what happened when they got home from that party Saturday night. As a reader you can sense the frenzy of panic building in Dani with each day that Ian is missing. It just keeps building and building until the truth comes out. Sometimes in books like this the conclusion is a bit of a disappointment, but I was really satisfied with the conclusion of He's Gone. (less)