Monday, December 5, 2016

A Study In Scarlet Women

Title: A Study In Scarlet Women
Author: Sherry Thomas
Published: October 18th 2016 by Berkley
Format: eBook, Paperback, 336 pages
Genre: Mystery
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Series: Lady Sherlock #1

What is so frustrating about this book is that for every part that I loved, there were three times as many that I despised. The pacing is slow, the repetition is unbearable and from time to time, I had a hard time figuring out who was who and who was currently talking. Unfortunately, that all overshadowed the humor that was Charlotte Holmes.

As the reader gets to know Charlotte, it is no wonder the lengths that she went to get out from under her parents. After being lied to by her own father, she was determined to find her own place and if necessary to create a separate persona. What she had not understood at the time was that she, all along, had the ability to create the life that she wanted and the ability to financially take care of both herself and her two sisters.

Creating a duel personality of sorts, she helps to solve what Scotland Yard is calling a triple murder. It is with deduction and reason that Charlotte, with the help of her new friend Mrs. Watson, sees through the ruse that is in front of them. Not to say that there is no romance in this book since Sherry Thomas began her writing in that genre, but amorousness is not in the forefront in this book, just a slight distraction between two characters. There is deviancy but that does not come out until the conclusion and you realize the clues that were sprinkled in the ending chapters.

This is the first book of a new series that will not be worth keeping for me. Though Charlotte was brilliant and relatable, everyone one else was a blur of indefinable qualities that I had a hard time separating.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Capsule Wardrobe: 1,000 Outfits from 30 Pieces

Title: The Capsule Wardrobe: 1,000 Outfits from 30 Pieces
Author: Wendy Mak
Expected Publication: January 3rd 2017 by Skyhorse Publishing
Format: eBook, Hardcover, 240 pages
Genre: Fashion
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and Skyhorse Publishing for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book

In a quick definition, a capsule wardrobe allows you to create multiple outfits from a few basic pieces. If you are like me and the idea of looking in your cluttered closet is getting a bit overwhelming; the capsule might be the next step in a wardrobe makeover.

Wendy Mak goes on to explain her vision of thirty necessary items, from 7-bottoms, 6-tops, 6-top layer items (blazer, sweater, jacket, coat, etc.), 3-purses, 6-shoes, and accessories. Work wear, weekend wear and going out are all included. This does not include loungewear or gym wear. This book is designed as a jumping off point and not something that is set in stone. Work with it and make it personal. Remember that each part must work with the whole.

Ms. Mak then goes into the specifics of style and color to add a bit more flare. She did lose me a bit here when she talks about skinny cuts. Not everyone has the body type for skinny so you will have to adapt. Presto change-o and you have a fast new wardrobe of 1,000 options.

Wait, not so fast, simple math tells you that the numbers do not add put. After a couple of pages of item suggestion and a few mix and match drawings of outfits you begin to realize that you are still not seeing 1,000 options.

Then you hit the appendix and this is where the whole idea fell apart for me. Changing an accessory or shoes or purse is not a new outfit. The same jeans and basic tank are used for the first 50+ outfit suggestions. Nope, I just knew that this was too good to be true.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer

Title: And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
Author: Fredrik Backman
Published: November 1st 2016 by Atria Books
Format: eBook, Hardcover 96 pgs.
Genre: Literary Fiction, General Fiction (Adult)
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and Atria Books for an opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.

This may be a short novella, but the impact is tremendous. Told through the eyes of his “numbers” grandpa, a little boy - Noah, who is more like his grandfather than his own “words” father Ted, learns the stories and fears of holding on to life’s most precious memories. How the square is getting smaller and smaller and how Grandpa’s family is both struggling to hold on to help him and to gently guide and let go at the same time.

The way home does not talk specifically about a place, but more of the comfort and memories that home entails. It is the people and the places. The stories and memories. The things that get lost over time and yet we try harder and harder to hold on to.

This is a story of compassion – surprising compassion from the most unlikely person. Sometimes we are too close to our own parents and it takes a grandchild to see through the blurred frustration that parents and children hold on to. The next generation is more open and willing to sit and listen to the stories and see both the hope and lament that is just below the surface.

As I said, this is a short novella that reads like a full-blown novel. Fredrik Backman is a master storyteller that knows just the right amounts to include without bogging down the reader with unnecessary drivel. The reader knows the amount of time that has passed and how the relationship between Noah and Grandpa has changed without going in depth with timekeeping and medical analyses. This book is not about a disease, it is about relationships, compassion, and wanting to spend as much time with a person that you love no matter what you are talking about or how many rocks you have to put under an anchor so you can always remember a child as a child.

I have underlined so much in this story that out of fear of quoting the whole book, I have not including any quotes. You will want to keep this novella close so you can read it frequently and I will guarantee that each time you do, you will get something different from the telling and take away a better understanding.