Get in My Kindle: Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

Title: Nine Perfect StrangersNine Perfect Strangers

Author: Liane Moriarty

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Description:

Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? In Liane Moriarty’s latest page-turner, nine perfect strangers are about to find out…

Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

Combining all of the hallmarks that have made her writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft.

Why I Can’t Wait to Read: I have a confession to make. I haven’t read or watched Big Little Lies. This oversight is probably worth a FOMO book post where I invite you to tell me whether or not it’s worth it, but at the moment I’m simply establishing the fact I am not a Liane Moriarty fan. I’ve heard the name, but to be honest, I think of the arch nemesis of Sherlock Holmes before the #1 New York Times Bestselling author.

What intrigues me about this book isn’t name recognition or a particularly well thought out title (Although the title is reminiscent of the original title of an Agatha Christie mystery that was renamed, and the prospect of reading a book like that is exciting. Perhaps the title is ironic and the characters are either not strangers or not as perfect as they seem. Operating on the book’s description, I can’t be sure. However, I reserve the right to a smug, knowing smile if either guess proves correct). The draw for me is the description.

I’m a big fan of character driven works. Having an attention grabbing premise is a good hook, but if you want to reel in a reader like me, you’re going to need to get me on the side of at least one character quickly. From the brief description of the main character, Frances, I think I’d love to follow her. She’s a former bestseller, which makes me wonder why she isn’t a bestseller now. She’s nursing a bad back (how old is she) and a broken heart (who broke her heart? Does that factor into the story). Then we’re given the curious detail of the “exquisitely painful paper cut,” when her back and broken heart aren’t given such descriptors. It’s not surprising that a writer would be intrigued by the other people at the health resort, but the teasing hint of danger at the end, should she run while she still can?, well, that is surprising.

If Ms. Moriarty is as skilled a writer as the internet says she is, this may be a page turner I can’t put down until I know what happened and who’s behind it. It’s times like this I wish I had enough of a following to be sent ARCs of books like this for review, or be granted interviews with well known authors, because I would love to be ahead of the curve on this one.

If a potentially witty page turner with an interesting protagonist and a good bit of mystery thrown in strikes your fancy, pre-order your copy from Amazon using my affiliate links below:

Hardback:

Kindle:

Have you read anything by Liane Moriarity? Are you looking forward to Nine Perfect Strangers? Let me know your thoughts on this week’s pick in the comments

FOMO: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

FOMO posts are blog posts about the books that have been buzzed about, made the bestseller lists, won all the awards, are constantly cited as life-changing or industry shaping…and I haven’t read a word of them. These posts are my chance to explain why I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon, and your chance to tell me if I should. The book I’ve chosen for today has been mentioned on Anne Bogel’s much lauded podcast What Should I Read Next? and was featured in all the glossy magazines for their must read summer 2017 lists. Even fellow By Her Shelf contributor Alex of CatFairy Books can’t stop raving about it and recommending it. So why haven’t I read it yet? 

Title: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoSeven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Release Date: June 13, 2017

Why I have FOMO: This book has been talked about and recommended by both glossy magazines and “serious” publications. It has glitz, glamour, and the backdrop of the golden era of Hollywood. The book smacks of Elizabeth Taylor and other starlets of old Hollywood. The buzz for the book is strong, but the premise is a stronger draw for me: an aging icon who chooses an unknown reporter to write her biography. There promises to be secrets, a look at the sacrifices of one woman to be the best, and some gut wrenching revelations. I should be all over this.

Why I haven’t read it yet: As I said, this book has been recommended in several places, and some of the recommenders have hinted at what the revelations might be, and let me tell you, nothing ruins a book (or movie) for me faster than hints or spoilers at the book’s central mystery. Not only does this ruin the reading experience for me, but this particular hint/spoiler is not something I’m interested in reading. I know I’m being vague, but that’s so I don’t ruin it for anyone else thinking of reading it (I’m a giver that way).

Also, a book with a mystery at its core always runs the risk of the mystery not living up to all the foreshadowing and hype around it. You get to the end and go “that’s it? I spent umpteen hours reading and speculating for that?”

Another reason I haven’t read it is because books with a historical element are hit or miss for me. Sometimes I can get into them, and sometimes I lose interest. I don’t mean books that were contemporary when they came out a long time ago (somehow this doesn’t bother me at all, especially if I love the premise), but stories that are contemporary that “harken back to a ‘simpler’ time.”

Here’s Alex’s endorsement of Evelyn Hugo:

This is the kind of book that I will never forget about. I have to say this book left a profound effect on me. Mrs. Reid’s book made me realize the fragility of life and that we must live our lives now. This book taught me to hold the people that I love close and to never take them for granted because even though we all want to be successful in life it shouldn’t be in the expense of others.

Evelyn Hugo taught me that we must take chances in our lives and that we don’t get many chances to make a mark in this world.

Evelyn Hugo is more than Evelyn Hugo the starlet and the one that America worships in cinematic history… This is about a woman that literally grabbed life by the balls and made incredibly hard decisions. She hardly apologized for the choices that she made in her life and she has ne regrette…(No regrets)…

Your turn: What do you think? Am I missing out by not reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo?

Get In My Kindle: A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

Happy Tuesday, fellow readers! It’s time for what is one of my favorite features: Get in My Kindle! The books chosen for this feature aren’t out when they are featured, but are books to look forward to finding on your doorstep or in your kindle like an unexpected gift. Today’s pick is a fiction book from an author many readers are familiar with–Jodi Picoult. 

A Spark of LightTitle: A Spark of Light

Author: Jodi Picoult

Release Date: October 2, 2018

Description: The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center—a women’s reproductive health services clinic—its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage.

After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman. As his phone vibrates with incoming text messages he glances at it and, to his horror, finds out that his fifteen-year-old daughter, Wren, is inside the clinic.

But Wren is not alone. She will share the next and tensest few hours of her young life with a cast of unforgettable characters: A nurse who calms her own panic in order to save the life of a wounded woman. A doctor who does his work not in spite of his faith but because of it, and who will find that faith tested as never before. A pro-life protester, disguised as a patient, who now stands in the cross hairs of the same rage she herself has felt. A young woman who has come to terminate her pregnancy. And the disturbed individual himself, vowing to be heard.

Told in a daring and enthralling narrative structure that counts backward through the hours of the standoff, this is a story that traces its way back to what brought each of these very different individuals to the same place on this fateful day.

Jodi Picoult—one of the most fearless writers of our time—tackles a complicated issue in this gripping and nuanced novel. How do we balance the rights of pregnant women with the rights of the unborn they carry? What does it mean to be a good parent? A Spark of Light will inspire debate, conversation . . . and, hopefully, understanding.

Why I Can’t Wait to Read: I’ve only read one other Jodi Picoult novel, The Pact. The Pact was a heart-wrenching book on a difficult topic, and Picoult handled it beautifully. The depth of her characters and her ability to wring every available emotion out of them in a way that readers can lose themselves in impressed me. There were plenty of moments I had to put the book down because what was happening felt that so real and present with me. Picoult brought the scenes she’d written to life.

When I first saw Jodi Picoult had a new book coming out, I looked at two things to determine if it was worth me pre-ordering it: the cast of characters and the situation they are placed in. Knowing Picoult’s ability to build and wield tension in fraught situations, to create characters you care about and understand even if you don’t agree with the choices they make, I was immediately intrigued by the description. I’m excited to see what she does with this premise and these characters.

Amazon Associate links: Hardcover: Kindle version:

Are you a Jodi Picoult fan? Excited for A Spark of Light? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

XOXO,

Erica