February is ending in just a few days, so I am ready to really dig down into my TBR stacks, which mostly consist of books on Pippa, my Kindle. I like hanging out at one of the neighborhood restaurants for lunch, a martini, and my books. The Reading the Books You Buy Challenge is going pretty well, with 13 books completed so far.
I think there would be more, but I’ve also been reading my NetGalley downloads…as usual, I enjoyed reading a few while hanging out with Pippa (and a martini!).
The rag dolls (at the top of the post) are my little homage to my daughter and granddaughters: one daughter, two granddaughters. These dolls were Heather’s, but Fiona (who lives nearby) enjoyed playing with them, too. Fiona and Aubrey had birthdays in February, turning nineteen. How did that happen?
It is hard enough to realize that my daughter, my BABY, is grown up.
She looks intense in the photo above, primarily because she was cooking for a group of us last summer, when my eldest and his wife were visiting.
Okay, on to the bookish topic. Books I had bookmarked on Amazon have been downloaded today and yesterday….
Under the Influence, by Joyce Maynard, was released yesterday, but I had pre-ordered it in November! That’s how eagerly I have been anticipating this one.
The New York Times bestselling author of Labor Day and After Her returns with a poignant story about the true meaning—and the true price—of friendship.
Drinking cost Helen her marriage and custody of her seven-year-old son, Ollie. Once an aspiring art photographer, she now makes ends meet taking portraits of school children and working for a caterer. Recovering from her addiction, she spends lonely evenings checking out profiles on an online dating site. Weekend visits with her son are awkward. He’s drifting away from her, fast.
When she meets Ava and Swift Havilland, the vulnerable Helen is instantly enchanted. Wealthy, connected philanthropists, they have their own charity devoted to rescuing dogs. Their home is filled with fabulous friends, edgy art, and dazzling parties.
Then Helen meets Elliott, a kind, quiet accountant who offers loyalty and love with none of her newfound friends’ fireworks. To Swift and Ava, he’s boring. But even worse than that, he’s unimpressed by them.
As Helen increasingly falls under the Havillands’ influence—running errands, doing random chores, questioning her relationship with Elliott—Ava and Swift hold out the most seductive gift: their influence and help to regain custody of her son. But the debt Helen owes them is about to come due.
Ollie witnesses an accident involving Swift, his grown son, and the daughter of the Havillands’ housekeeper. With her young son’s future in the balance, Helen must choose between the truth and the friends who have given her everything.
Today I downloaded The Ramblers, by Aidan Donnelley Rowley, a book I’ve been eyeing throughout the blogosphere.
For fans of J. Courtney Sullivan, Meg Wolitzer, Claire Messud, and Emma Straub, a gorgeous and absorbing novel of a trio of confused souls struggling to find themselves and the way forward in their lives, set against the spectacular backdrop of contemporary New York City.
Set in the most magical parts of Manhattan—the Upper West Side, Central Park, Greenwich Village—The Ramblers explores the lives of three lost souls, bound together by friendship and family. During the course of one fateful Thanksgiving week, a time when emotions run high and being with family can be a mixed blessing, Rowley’s sharply defined characters explore the moments when decisions are deliberately made, choices accepted, and pasts reconciled.
I also got one of the NetGalley e-ARCs that I had requested earlier: The Girls, by Emma Cline: Release Date – June 14.
Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.
This one takes me back…and knowing how everything unfolded, I am eager to read it.
What are your bookish/non-bookish thoughts as February comes to an end?