Weekly Round-Up 3/19/2017

Well this post doesn’t even feel like it’s worth writing because this past week just didn’t really get off the ground for me. It’s one of those weeks when I just fell like I haven’t accomplished anything. So let’s see how under-accomplished my week really was.

TBR

TBR started at 272. I finished one book … one book … I am 60% through the next one on the list. The only positive note is that I didn’t add any new titles, so the week ends at 271. Not a good showing.

NetGalley

A very small nudge here. The one book I finished was a NetGalley title so my review of it bumped me from a 71% to 72%.

Coming Up

That 60% completion is for “Echoes From Death” by Helen Hanson which there is an outside chance I will finish today. Heads up, I’m really enjoying it and while it’s book 3 in the series, I think it’s even better than book 2. My review will go up on March 28th to coincide with the release of the book. After that will be “Where Dead Men Meet” by Mark Mills. So, wish me luck that this week is at least a little more productive and I hope you all have a great week.

Happy Reading!

 

“The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds” by Selina Siak Chin Yoke

“The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds” by Selina Siak Chin Yoke

This story is a masterpiece! I’m never quite sure what to expect when I pick up a book set in a different culture and I was very pleasantly surprised by this story. The author has based this story on the life of her great-grandmother and she must have been an amazing woman. The story begins in 1878 and is set in Malaysia. Chye Hoon in born into a Nyonya household and is trained in the tradition. Her marriage is arranged for her by her parents and she is fortunate because they choose a handsome young man who will become not only her husband but her best friend. The newlyweds settle in Ipoh just before the turn of the century and their family grows right along with the town. They will have 10 children before tragedy strikes and Chye Hoon must find the courage to go on. She turns to her Nyonya training to support her family.

Chye Hoon shows great strength in the midst of a quickly changing world. She never learns to read or write but she manages to start not 1 but 3 successful businesses. She faces incredible personal losses but her family keeps her going. Her story is beautifully told in this book. Since Chye Hoon supports her family with her Nyonya cooking there is a lot of talk about food in this story and the author’s descriptions will have your mouth watering in no time. The author also does an excellent job of describing the culture and the tension between the white rulers and the Malaysian people. I am highly recommending this book, especially for readers who enjoy learning about other cultures. This could also be a great book club pick.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating  5 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley and AmazonCrossing in exchange for an honest review.

Weekly Round-Up 3/12/2017

TBR

The week started with a count of 273 on the TBR. I (just barely) finished reading the two books I mentioned last week. My review of Dark Valleys went up on the 7th. I just finished The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds this afternoon and that review will go up tomorrow. In the acquisitions department, I almost made it through the week with no additions, but … yesterday I received from author Helen Hanson an advance review copy of the latest book in the Cruise FBI thriller series. The title is Echoes From Death and will release on March 28th. This is book 3 in the series and you can see my review of book 2 here. So, the new TBR total is 272!

NetGalley rating – I didn’t post any reviews on NetGalley this week, but I also didn’t request any books, so still at 71%.

Coming Up

I’ll be reading the aforementioned Echoes From Death so I can get a review out in time for the release.

Echoes From Death

So that’s my update. Hope you all have a good week!

Happy Reading!

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“Dark Valleys” by Gary Dobbs

“Dark Valleys” by Gary Dobbs

Subtitle: Foul Deeds Among the South Wales Valleys 1845-2016

Genre: True Crime

True crime lovers should really like this book. The author has compiled all the murders committed in South Wales for the years 1845-2016. I found this book so fascinating that I nearly read it all in one sitting. The perpetrators in these cases are male and female, young and old, British and foreigners. The author also notes the forensic techniques used in these cases and points out the development of the science over the period. It seems wrong somehow to say that I enjoyed this book, but I found it fascinating and the author’s writing style was very engaging. Overall, a job well done!

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-star-rating   4 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

Weekly Round-Up 3/5/2017

TBR

The week started with a total of 273. I finished reading 2 books, but I also picked up 2 new ones. So, still at 273.

NetGalley Rating

I completed 2 NetGalley reviews this week which bumped me up to 71%. I’m getting closer to the elusive 80% badge!

Coming Up

Currently, I am reading “The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds” by Selina Siak Chin Yoke

the-woman-who-breathed-two-worlds

I’m really enchanted by the cover of this book. I’m also reading a true crime book, “Dark Valley” by Gary Dobbs
dark-valleys

That’s what’s happening here. Hope you all have a great week and don’t forget to read!

 

 

“Moral Defense” by Marcia Clark

“Moral Defense” by Marcia Clark

Genre: Legal Thriller

I loved this book! This is book 2 in the Samantha Brinkman series. I am now totally hooked on this series. In this installment Samantha has 3 problems to resolve. She is defense attorney for a 16-year old girl who’s accused of killing both her parents and her brother. Making a repeat appearance in Sam’s office is DeShawn, a part-time drug dealer who she previously defended, and the Orozco’s who want to know who killed one of their own and they won’t take “No” for an answer. Alex and Michelle, her investigator and best friend, are also back and better than ever. Last, but not least, is the return of Dale, Sam’s father. He’s back on the police force and proves to be integral in solving the mystery.

So what is it about this book that I love so much. One of the most important things for me in making a good story is that the characters must be believable and relatable. I find every character in this series to be that way, from the Orozco thugs to Sam herself, every character could be a real person. In addition, I enjoy female protagonists who are tough and confident professionals but not afraid of their softer, feminine side, and I find Sam to be exactly that. She cares deeply about her friends but is not afraid to do whatever it takes to get the job done. I also like the way that Samantha’s personal story is gradually unfolding with each book and that she continues to work on her relationship with her father even though it can be awkward at times. Best friend Michelle is perfect as the voice of reason in her life. Alex is charming and endlessly surprising Sam with what he can discover with a few keystrokes. This book is full of great characters, legal drama and thrills. I highly recommend you check out this series.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating   5 stars!

Happy Reading!

Moral Defense on Amazon – book 2

Blood Defense on Amazon – book 1

Moral Defense on Goodreads

Blood Defense on Goodreads

“London Underground Serial Killer” by Geoff Platt

“London Underground Serial Killer” by Geoff Platt

Genre: True Crime

Kieran Kelly was a prolific serial killer who murdered at least 31 people in London over a 30-year period. He was a vagrant and often in prison on charges of drunkenness or theft. His career as a murderer began in 1953, with the murder of his best friend, and continued until 1983 when he was charged with the murder of a cell-mate. Kelly was more than willing to tell the police about his murders, after all they were a source of pride for him and he liked to brag. Geoff Platt spent months with Kelly, starting in 1983, investigating his claims. In the end, he was sentenced to life in prison and that is where he died.

Geoff Platt has carefully recounted the life of Kieran Kelly, from his boyhood in Dublin to his final arrest in London, and the intensive police investigation into his murders. He details for readers Kelly’s methods and his motives. I found this account to be well researched and a very thorough presentation of the facts concerning this man’s heinous crimes.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating  3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

Weekly Round-Up 2/26/2017

TBR

I finished two books this week and I didn’t add any to the list, so my ending TBR this week is 273!

NetGalley rating

Started the week at 69%, finished one NetGalley read, so I’m up to 70% today.

Coming this week

“London Underground Serial Killer” london-underground-serial-killer

I finished reading “If the Creek Don’t Rise” but the publisher has asked that reviews not be posted till closer to the pub date. I will be highly recommending it. if-the-creek-dont-rise

I have started reading “Moral Defense” by Marcia Clark. I really enjoyed the first book with this character “Blood Defense” so I’m excited to be reading this. moral-defense

Ok, so that’s about it for now. Hope you are enjoying your weekend.

Happy Reading!

 

“The Radium Girls” by Kate Moore

“The Radium Girls” by Kate Moore

Genre: Non-Fiction

You are probably familiar with the saying “truth is stranger than fiction”. I think this book fits into that category perfectly. The events detailed in this work are like something out of a sci-fi movie. The pages of this book tell the stories of the young ladies who worked as painters in the radium dial industry starting in 1917. At the time the story opens, the scientific community’s understanding of radium and its effects was still in its infancy, but the substance’s characteristic of glowing in the dark made it a very profitable business venture. It was used commercially as a paint for the dials of clocks so that the numbers could be seen in the dark. As World War I began it became highly demanded for the instrument dials used in the military. The challenge at the time was that the painting of these dials had to be done by hand, this led to large-scale hiring of young girls as dial-painters. The girls were told that the substance was safe and they would even paint the substance on their bodies so that they could glow-in-the-dark when they went on dates. The painting technique involved putting the brush between the lips in order to form a point and in this manner the girls were ingesting the radium in dangerous quantities. Radium was also being used at the time as a treatment for cancer, and as an additive to health tonics.

It didn’t take long before some of the girls starting having health problems. Often the first indication that something was wrong was when a girl’s teeth starting to loosen and fall out. Some girls began to have sarcomas. One of the girls had to go so far as to have an arm amputated because of a sarcoma. It took a few years for the various doctors and dentists who were treating these girls to understand that the root cause of the symptoms was the radium that they had worked with. This diagnosis led to a long, drawn-out legal process as the girls tried to get the companies to take responsibility for having lied to them and to offer some compensation for the pain and expenses they had endured.

The author’s stated objective with this book is to tell the story of “The Radium Girls” from the perspective of the women themselves and she has done just that. I found this book to be both shocking and emotionally moving. These girls are heroes for the fight they put up, and without their efforts this country may not even have a process for protecting the health and safety of workers. Today, we take for granted, and are sometimes annoyed by, the safety procedures present in our workplaces, but after reading this book you will never take them for granted again. I think this book should be required reading and I am giving it a 5-star rating because of the quality of the writing and the importance of its message.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

On Amazon   |   On Goodreads

Weekly Round-Up 2/19/2017

Welcome everybody to the Weekly Round-Up, where we will once again pull back the covers and see what progress I made over the last week.

TBR – the week started with a TBR of 276. I added one book (only one? how is that possible!) and I completed 2. That brings the TBR to 275. Does that deserve a pat on the back? Not sure…hmmm.

NetGalley rating: With the completion of Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency, my rating increased from 68% to 69%. I wonder if I can manage to break 70% this week?

Coming up this week:

I am about half-way through “The Radium Girls” which I am really enjoying so that review should be posted in a couple of days.

the-radium-girls

I have also started reading “London Underground Serial Killer” and hope to finish it before the week is out. london-underground-serial-killer

Ok, so that’s it for this week.

Happy Reading!