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Have I got a story for you

For your reading convenients below you will find all the have I got a story for you published in 2018

January 2018

Welcome 2018!
I have exciting news for our Canadian readers! I wrote to C E L A (Center for Equitable Library Access) and received permission to search the library and I can now add the reference or call letters to books in my newsletter articles! Thanks Canada! I may not have each book, but the ones I can post, I will.
Book clubs? I am a terrible book club member. I belong to one online book club and I rarely finish the selections. I enjoy going in and chatting about books and listening to what others have to say about some of their favorites. How do you feel about book clubs?
New year goals? I donít do New Yearís book reading goals or any type of resolutions. I am simply a failure at those things, so why set myself up for disappointment. What about you? I would love to hear about your goals for 2018.
I have 2 very different books for you this month. A not for everyone thriller and yet another animal lover book. Iím just a sucker for these.

The Good Daughter
written by Karin Slaughter
reading time: 16 hours and 14 minutes

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind. Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father; Pikeville's notorious defense attorney devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, Charlie has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself , the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again, and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized, Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case that unleashes the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly 30 years ago won't stay buried forever.

Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling. This one contains violence, strong language and explicit descriptions of sex. Bestseller 2017.

My comments; I love Karin Slaughter. She writes very intricate stories, filled with strong and timely situations. Like I said, not for the faint of heart.

Animal Magnetism; My Life with Creatures Great and Small
written by Rita Mae Brown
reading time:6 hours and 51 minutes
Rita Mae Brown's first memory is the sound of a deep, rumbling purr. From the cat that slept in her cradle to the horses, hounds, cats, and chickens who live on her Virginia farm today, Brown has always been surrounded by animals. Listeners will meet Mickey, a long-haired tiger cat who joined Rita Mae on childhood exploits; Franklin, her grandmother's parrot with a wicked sense of humor; R.C., a courageous and devoted Doberman who was killed by a pack of coyotes; Baby Jesus, a tiger cat from New York City with sharp teeth to match his attitude; and, of course, her beloved tiger cat Sneaky Pie. Animal Magnetism is a celebration of these wonderful creatures and of their remarkable capacity to enrich our lives and our hearts.

My comments; Rita Mae Brown has been one of my favorite writers for a long time. I love her stand alone books as well as her Mrs. Murphy series that she writes with her cat Sneaky Pie. In this biographical book, we learn how she and Sneaky Pie met.

So, fellow readers, here we are again at the beginning of a new year, I hope all of you have one that is filled with love, good health, new adventures and most of all, great books!
Carla jo

February 2018

Hello book lovers,
I find myself in a bit of a pickle this month. I havenít read anything of particular note lately and so I want to write about comfort books. It is cold here in Northeast Texas and Iíve been in a bit of a funky mood. I want to snuggle in with an old friend, several old friends, books, comfort books.

I automatically went to the Harry Potter books written by J. K. Rowling, The Chronicles of Saint Maryís by Jodi Taylor and The Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon for my comfort books.

I asked several friends what their go to books are and now I have some new books on my to be read list. Here are just a few of the great comments I received;
The Mitford series by Jan Karon
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Hope was Here by Joan Bauer
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Vol. 1
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller
The Sweet Potato Queen books by Jill Conner Browne
The Lord of the Rings books by J. R. R. Tolkien
Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Thrush Green books by Miss Read
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

my go to read is the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones, makes me laugh every time, especially if I'm glum or depressed.

Harold Robbins
John Grisham,
Lisa Scottilini,
any book written about the life and times of Jackie Kennedy.
Lucas Davenport
Virgil Flowers
Jack Reacher
Joe Grey
Homemade mac and cheese and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There's no place like home

And to sum it all up perfectly, a note from my friend Victoria.
I don't think I would answer this way except just a couple of hours ago I said to myself that it felt so comfortable to be reading a John Sandford book. I love all his series and have been reading them since 1989. And, you know me, Carla, there are different kinds of comfort. Like mashed potatoes and gravy vs. pizza; a great detective story vs. a Christian novel.

Oh, how true, chocolate, pizza, Maryís homemade mac and cheese and so many more comforts we run to in times of feeling low. What are your go to books? Or your comfort foods? I love to have an audio book going and get in my kitchen and cook.

Next month weíll be back to our book reviews, there are so many great new releases right now!
Happy reading, Carla jo

March 2018

Hello again book friends,
This month Iím jumping into a bit of the fantastic, a little horror and a solid author and one of his many wonderful books.

For the Fantastic;
The Great Library Series written by Rachel Caine. So far there are 4 books in this series. Below is a summary of the first book and a look at the series. Please find book information at the bottom. This is listed as a young adult fantasy series and I am really enjoying it.

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times best-selling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time. Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly - but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden. Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family's spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the library's service. When he inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life - and soon both heretics and books will burn.

Book 1, ink and bone
Cela call number; DA51163
reading time: 14 hours and 32 minutes

Book 2, paper and fire
Book 3 ash and quill
And coming soon, book 4, smoke and iron

For the Horror;
This is the Blackwater series written by Michael McDowell. This is a complete series, 6 books with a total listening time of around 25 hours. Originally published as a series of six volumes in 1983, Blackwater is the crowning achievement of Michael McDowell, author of the Southern Gothic classics Cold Moon Over Babylon and The Elementals and screenwriter of Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Blackwater is the saga of a small town, Perdido, Alabama, and Elinor Dammert, the stranger who arrives there under mysterious circumstances on Easter Sunday, 1919. On the surface, Elinor is gracious, charming, anxious to belong in Perdido, and eager to marry Oscar Caskey, the eldest son of Perdido's first family. But her beautiful exterior hides a shocking secret. Beneath the waters of the Perdido River, she turns into something terrifying, a creature whispered about in stories that have chilled the residents of Perdido for generations. Some of those who observe her rituals in the river will never be seen again.

Book 1The Flood
Book 2 The Levee
Book 3 The House
Book 4 The War
Book 5The Fortune
Book 6 The Rain

And now for the solid author; Donít Let Go
written by Harlan Coben
reading time: 10 hours and 11 minutes
Suburban New Jersey Detective Napoleon "Nap" Dumas hasn't been the same since senior year of high school, when his twin brother Leo and Leo's girlfriend Diana were found dead on the railroad tracks - and Maura, the girl Nap considered the love of his life, broke up with him and disappeared without explanation. For fifteen years, Nap has been searching, both for Maura and for the real reason behind his brother's death. And now, it looks as though he may finally find what he's been looking for.

When Maura's fingerprints turn up in the rental car of a suspected murderer, Nap embarks on a quest for answers that only leads to more questions - about the woman he loved, about the childhood friends he thought he knew, about the abandoned military base near where he grew up, and mostly about Leo and Diana - whose deaths are darker and far more sinister than Nap ever dared imagine.

My comments; If youíve never read a Harlan Coben novel, you are missing out. Whether Itís one of his stand alone books or dipping into one of his series, you canít miss. His books do have strong language, violence and in some cases descriptions of sex. Check him out.

Happy reading,
Carla jo

April 2018

Greetings book friends!
We have something to celebrate and one of my favorite writers I want to talk about this month. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY FRANKENSTEIN!
Mary Shelley wrote the classic story of Frankenstein 200 years ago this year. And she did it at the age of 18! If youíve never read this classic horror book, grab it and get to reading. It really does stand the test of time. What were you doing at the age of 18? It boggles the mind to think about a young woman creating this story at that age.

Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus
Written by Mary Shelley
CNIB or CELA numbers; ET01163 and DZ31627
Reading time: 8 hours and 32 minutes
In trying to create life, the young student Victor Frankenstein unleashes forces beyond his control, setting into motion a long and tragic chain of events that brings Victor to the very brink of madness. How he tries to destroy his creation, as it destroys everything Victor loves, is a powerful story of love, friendship, scientific hubris, and horror.

My comments; The way the story opens just gives me chills. Mary Shelley tells a story rich in detail and feelings. If you havenít read it, do so, and if you have, read it again.

Now for one of my all-time favorite writers; Wilbur Smith.
Wilbur Smith was born in Central Africa in 1933. He was educated at Michaelhouse and Rhodes University. He became a full-time writer in 1964 after the successful publication of When the Lion Feeds, and has gone on to write many more novels, all meticulously researched on his numerous expeditions worldwide. His books are now translated into twenty-six languages.
Wilbur Smith lives in London and continues to have an abiding concern for the peoples and wildlife of his native continent, an interest strongly reflected in his novels.

My comments; Wilbur Smith writes sweeping sagas, telling the story of a country, itís people and the rich history of Africa. He has 4 series and many stand-alone novels. If you enjoy history, these books are for you. He writes about the jungles, savannas, the mountains and the wildlife, oh, the wildlife. Smith paints such pictures that it will carry you away. I canít recommend his books enough. He does write with some strong language, violence and some descriptions of sex. Here is a standalone novel Iíve chosen for this article. He is just a powerful writer.

Elephant Song
Written by Wilbur Smith
CELA or CNIB number; DC15058
Reading time: 17 hours and 49 minutes
Blood was the fertilizer that made the African soil bloom. From under the shadow of the Mountains of the Moon and the deep, brooding Forests of the Tall Trees, to the hidden opulence of Taiwan and the paneled boardrooms of power in the heart of London, a tough, determined man and a dedicated woman begin their fight against the forces of greed, evil and corruption.

In Zimbabwe, Dr. Daniel Armstrong, world-famous TV naturalist, films the slaughter of a herd of elephant: closing in as their blood stains the soil and their death song echoes around the stillness of the valley, his professionalism is tinged with a deep sadness.

In London, anthropologist Kelly Kinnear is forced into violent confrontation with the shareholders of the most powerful conglomerate in the City of London, warning them of the destruction of an African country and of a people Ė the Bambuti Ė she has come to love as her own.

Combining breathtaking realism with thrilling suspense, Elephant Song is a gripping adventure from the world's master storyteller Ė a journey deep into the heart of a wild, magnificent continent, threatened forever by the destructive hand of man.

Thanks go out to those of you who have written to me, it really does make a difference. I love getting book recommendations from all of you.
Until next month, Happy reading,
Carla jo

May 2018

Spring Salutations perspective book lovers!
I am thrilled to bring you some book recommendations of books that have finally hit the BARD website and has long been on the RNIB site. I am also pleased to announce that I have been allowed to research books on the RNIB site for the U K. So, letís get on with the good stuff, the books!

The Chronicles of St. Maryís, books 1, 2 and 3
written by Jodi Taylor
Book 1 from RNIB call number is; TB23851
The first 3 books in The Chronicles of St. Maryís series are book1; Just One Damn Thing After Another, book 2; A Symphony of Echoes and book 3; A Second Chance. These 3 books combined have a reading time of 28 hours and 54 minutes. I read these one at a time and I purchased mine from Audible. I was thrilled when they landed on BARD and I knew I could write about them. Here is a bit more about the writer and the books.

"History is just one damned thing after another."
Behind the seemingly innocuous faÁade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time travel', they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power, especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet.

Meet the disaster magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History. Their aim is to observe and document, to try and find the answers to many of History's unanswered questions, and not to die in the process. But one wrong move and History will fight back, to the death. And, as they soon discover, it's not just History they're fighting.

Follow the catastrophe curve from 11th-century, London to World War I, and from the Cretaceous Period to the destruction of the Great Library at Alexandria. For wherever Historians go, chaos is sure to follow in their wake.

Jodi Taylor was Born in Bristol and educated in Gloucester (facts both cities vigorously deny). She spent many years with her head somewhere else, much to the dismay of family, teachers and employers, before finally deciding to put all that daydreaming to good use and pick up a pen. She still has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up.

My comments: Please donít let the words, fantasy or time travel put you off. These are funny, delightful, often times very serious books. Jodi Taylor is a meticulous historical researcher, her characters are believable and engaging. BARD has the first 3 books and the RNIB has several. Canada, write your library and ask for these titles.

Here is a book I just happened to have on my to be read list and then I got a note from the writer. I havenít read this one yet, but didnít want to wait to give it a mention.

Writing out loud: what a blind teacher learned from leading a memoir class for seniors
written by Beth Finke
Reading time: 9 hours and 55 minutes
Journalist who chronicled her loss of sight from diabetic retinopathy in Long Time, No See (DB 56482) reflects on teaching a memoir-writing class to older adults in Chicago. Discusses living in a new city, describes challenges she faces as a teacher, and shares excerpts from her studentsí work.

The CNIB has Bethís first book, Long Time, No See and the call number is DZ29972.

Radio Free Vermont; A Fable of Resistance
written by; Bill McKibben
reading time;5 hours and 18 minutes
A book that's also the beginning of a movement, Bill McKibben's debut novel Radio Free Vermont follows a band of Vermont patriots who decide that their state might be better off as its own republic.

As the host of Radio Free Vermont, "underground, underpowered, and underfoot", 72-year-old Vern Barclay is currently broadcasting from an "undisclosed and double-secret location". With the help of a young computer prodigy named Perry Alterson, Vern uses his radio show to advocate for a simple yet radical idea: an independent Vermont, one where the state secedes from the United States and operates under a free local economy. But for now, he and his radio show must remain untraceable, because in addition to being a lifelong Vermonter and concerned citizen, Vern Barclay is also a fugitive from the law.

In Radio Free Vermont, Bill McKibben entertains and expands upon an idea that's become more popular than ever - seceding from the United States. Along with Vern and Perry, McKibben imagines an eccentric group of activists who carry out their own version of guerilla warfare, which includes dismissing local middle school children early in honor of Ethan Allen Day and hijacking a Coors Light truck and replacing the stock with local brew. Witty, biting, and terrifyingly timely, Radio Free Vermont is Bill McKibben's fictional response to the burgeoning resistance movement.

My comments; Pay attention! This is political satire, nothing more, nothing less. I am not discussing politics, just recommending a tongue in cheek book. A fun read. We need more fun in our lives. So perspective readers, go get a book and have some fun! Until next time,
Happy reading, Carla jo

June 2018

Hot Dang Readers! Itís finally summer!
At least it is here in Texas! Summer books abound! Do you have a summer read you are looking forward to? Let me hear about it! Share the summer fun!

This month itís all about blowing your mind! Books that had you so twisted up, reading faster and faster and when it is over, you stood there and said, ďWhat just Happened?Ē.

A book that has stuck with you over time. Here are a couple of books and a list of readers suggestions for brain tangling stories.

Shutter Island
Written by Dennis Lehane
Reading time: 9 hours and 38 minutes
RNIB number; TB17581
CNIB number; DA38753

Summer, 1954. U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels has come to Shutter Island, home of Ashecliffe Hospital for the criminally insane. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, he sets out to find an escaped patient, a murderess named Rachel Solando, as a hurricane bears down upon them.

But nothing at Ashecliffe Hospital is what it seems. Is he there to find a missing patient? Or has he been sent to look into rumors of Ashecliffe's radical approach to psychiatry; an approach that may include drug experimentation, hideous surgical trials, and lethal countermoves in the shadow war against Soviet brainwashing, or is there another, more personal reason why he has come there?

As the investigation deepens, the questions only mount. The closer Teddy and Chuck get to the truth, the more elusive it becomes, and the more they begin to believe that they may never leave Shutter Island because someone is trying to drive them insane. This one has strong language.

My comments; I was all over the map with this one. I still am not sure of the ending, it could be this, or it could have been that. A nail biter for sure.

Gone Girl
Written by Gillian Flynn
Reading time: 19 hours and 11 minutes
DB 74888
Cela or CNIB number; DA45572
RNIB number; TB 20316

Marriage can be a real killer. One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times best seller Gillian Flynn, takes that statement to its darkest place in this unpausable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work "draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction." Gone Girl's toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick's clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn't doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife's head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge.

Under mounting pressure from the police and the media - as well as Amy's fiercely doting parents - the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he's definitely bitter - but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn't do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around. This one has strong language, some violence, and some explicit descriptions of sex.

My comments; I loved this one. Flynn is an amazing writer. This one was made into a movie. I had read it, husband Scott had not. We saw the movie. I used the headphones with the audio description. When we got in the car, he looked at me and said, ďAre you kidding me? Thatís the way it ends?Ē. Mind blown. My best friend Mary read it, called me when she finished and said the same thing. Anything by Gillian Flynn will be worth your time, but this one is really a wild ride.

I asked for books that fell into this category and here is what some friends had to say; Amanda loved The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and from Victoria, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. Husband Scott said, The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Angela recommends, The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena and Buddy from Miami Manitoba Canada liked Blind Your Ponies by Stanley Gordon West.

As always, I love hearing from you, and remember, life is too short to read a book you arenít enjoying. Put it down and move on!
Happy Summer Reading Yíall!
Carla jo

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