Book Reviews

40 Love by Madeleine Wickham

40 Love
By: Madeleine Wickham 

Published: August 2011
Published By: Macmillan Audio
Format Read: Audio Book, OverDrive App,
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 2.5/5
♥♥.5

Synopsis

Caroline and Patrick Chance have come a long way since their days on Seymour Road. To celebrate their wealth they invite some old friends to their country house for a tennis tournament. This contemporary novel follows the Chance’s and their friends who all vary in terms of success. Is it just their intention to show off their wealth or does Patrick have an ulterior motive behind this weekend of fun?

My Thoughts

Over the years I have read several Sophie Kinsella books, but this is the first one I have read under her real name Madeleine Wickham. I was curious to see how her older books compare to her more current releases and the tennis theme caught my interest as well.

What can I say about 40-Love? Keeping up with the Jones’s was definitely a theme here. From their expensive clothing, art and private schools, each character was more materialistic than the next. And their backstabbing snobbery became more infuriating as I read along.

Katherine Kellgren’s narration was spot on, when bringing a voice to the Chance’s and their guests. She did a great job expressing their selfish personalities and high brow accents. Wickham’s familiar contemporary style and the anticipation of confrontation kept me listening to this book.

Unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend 40-Love, but I would recommend Madeleine Wickham/Sophie Kinsella as an author to read.

 

 

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Book Reviews · Read-a-thons · Recommendations

The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6.5) by Louise Penny


The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6.5)

By: Louise Penny

Published: 2010
Published by: Grass Roots Press

Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Mystery, Short Story, Series 

Rating: 3.5/5
♥♥♥.5

Synopsis

While out on a morning jog in the woods a man stumbles across the body of a man hung from a tree. What looked like a suicide is determined to be much more and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to the small secluded town to investigate.

My Thoughts

The Hangman is part of a collection of short stories that is geared towards encouraging people to read. At under 100 pages, I picked this up for a read-a-thon and flew through it.

The Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series has been on my TBR for quite a while now, so I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this at my local library.

This was a fairly simple story, in the ‘locked room’ style. However instead of a ‘locked room’ it was set in a secluded town called Three Pines. The author included a detailed backstory for the suspects that fit well into its short length. Although I did enjoy it, I wish that there were more clues throughout instead of having the reader find out many facts when the truth is revealed. I am hopeful that the full length installments for the Armand Gamache series will allow for more of a build up.

I recommend The Hangman to mystery fans who are looking for a quick read.

Book Reviews

The Islands of Doctor Thomas by Francoise Enguehard

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The Islands of Doctor Thomas
By Francoise Enguehard

 

 

Published: 2009
Published By: Breakwater Books

Format Read: Paperback
Genre: Canadian Literature

Rating: 3/5
♥♥♥

Synopsis

A successful architect returns to his childhood island home; St. Pierre et Miquelon. There he and a young family friend become fascinated with the discovery of a collection of photographs by a Dr. Louis Thomas dating back to 1913.

My Thoughts

I came across The Islands of Doctor Thomas at my local library and was intrigued by the setting. While St. Pierre et Miquelon are French islands, they are located very close to Newfoundland on the Atlantic Ocean. Even though it is on my bucket list to visit, I know very little about them.

So naturally this book interested me from a geographical point of view. It also compared the culture of these islands and how they differ and compare to that of France and North America (specifically Newfoundland).

The authors writing style (which was translated from French) is reflective and rich in metaphors. The story is very connected to the nature of the islands and the mood of those who live there.

Although the overall tone was quite melancholy it was still beautifully written. Unfortunately some of these traits went over my head and I don’t think that I was able to truly appreciate the meaning behind Enguehard’s words.

I would recommend The Islands of Doctor Thomas to those who enjoy literary fiction.

 

Currently Reading · Personal Post · Wrap-ups

Monthly Wrap-up: August 2017

September 1st already! Wow this summer just flew by.

Here are some of my high’s and low’s in August…

  • I decided to move on from my first blog Melissa Lee’s Many Reads and create a fresh new start here on WordPress with ML’s Red House Reviews.
  • I’m pretty sure my laptop bit the dust. So I’m writing this post on my Dad’s computer, so I apologize for the lack of creativity in this wrap-up. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that I didn’t lose all my files and photos.
  • I had my best reading month so far this year.
  • Joined a local Mommy group and have met some wonderful ladies.
  • Charles turned 4 months old. He is such a happy baby and loves to babble and laugh.
  • Spent most of the month of August nursing a bad back, which is never fun. It is even less fun when you have a little one to care for.

Now lets talk books..

Books Completed

2 of these books were re-reads and the other 2 were for Bout of Books, which I failed miserably.

♥♥♥ 3/5
The Luxe ( Luxe, #1) by Anna Godbersen
Genre: Historical Fiction, YA Lit
RE-READ

♥♥♥3/5
The Islands of Doctor Thomas by Franchoise Enguehard
Genre: Canadian Literature

♥♥♥♥ 4/5
The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6.5) by Louise Penny
Genre: Mystery, Short Story

♥♥♥♥♥4/5
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3) by JK Rowling 
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
RE-READ

The Stats

Total Number of Books Read: 4
Total Number of Fiction: 4
Total Number of Non-fiction: 0
Total Books Sent for Review: 0
Total Books Read From My Shelves: 2
Total Library Books Read: 2

Formats Read
Physical Books: 4
eBooks: 0
Audio Books: 0

Total Books Read in 2017: 19

Currently Reading

10468550

 

 

I hope you all had a wonderful summer and wishing you all the best in September.

 

Books Hauls · Uncategorized

Bout of Books 20 Sign-up

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 21st and runs through Sunday, August 27th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 20 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I can’t believe that last Bout of Books Read-a-thon I participated in was a year ago! So its about time that I participate again. Not to mention that fact that I’m so far behind in my yearly reading goal. I’m hoping that this week will be as productive as can be.

Here is my tentative TBR:

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The Hangman (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #6.5) by Louise Penny

On a cold November morning, a jogger runs through the woods in the peaceful Quebec village of Three Pines. On his run, he finds a dead man hanging from a tree.
The dead man was a guest at the local Inn and Spa. He might have been looking for peace and quiet, but something else found him. Something horrible.
Did the man take his own life? Or was he murdered? Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to the crime scene. As Gamache follows the trail of clues, he opens a door into the past. And he learns the true reason why the man came to Three Pines.

The Islands of Doctor Thomas by Franchise Enguehard 

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Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul by Jack Canfield, et. al. 

There are many ways to define a woman: daughter, mother, wife, professional, friend, student… We are each special and unique, yet we share a common connection.

Wishing the best to those who are participating.