Welcome to Marjay's reading blog.

Multiple Points of View

I love reading books where you are introduced to more than one point of view.  Especially books where there is a chapter for each character telling his or her own story. I love reading about all the characters’ would’ve, could’ve and should’ve (s).  I think the story becomes a better story with more depth and character analysis.  What is the old expression about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes before judging them?  Recently, I have read three such books with great enjoyment.  Sometimes in life you wish you could turn off other people’s points of view, but in a book it is much more manageable.

Chris Bohjalian uses the multiple points of view in many of his books.  It is especially poignant in his newest book, The Guest Room when you read the matter of fact words of the sex slave’s back-story. It enriches the understanding of motive and drive.  I think it also ups the emotional aspect. 

The Forgotten Room is by three authors:  Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig.  This book added still another twist to the multiple points of views.  Multiple points of views over three different stories all centered around two families and one house.  Each main character tells a story over a series of chapters with the three different times.  Olive lived in the late 1890s, Lucy in the late 1920a and Kate in the 1940s.  Each character has their own narrative about their story.  Together they weave the lives of the grandmother, mother and granddaughter into a powerful drama. While the multiple points of view are over three stories - you can tease out multiple points.

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon is another example.  This book comes out later this month (Feb 23, 2016) and is a page-turner.  Not only do you get multiple points of view - but also one of the views is from an unexpected character. I was surprised at how that affected me within the story!  That extra point of view helped drag me to the edge of my seat in this mystery thriller.  

There are other authors that do this so well that I have not named, but the point remains that I really enjoy reading novels that use that technique.  There is one caveat however; I do not want to buy another book that tells the same story from another character’s point of view.  I want the points of view all mixed in with the story.  

Books I read this week - all thanks to NetGalley!

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon (at least 4 stars)

Hard to Handle by RC Boldt (4 stars)

Hidden Heat by Carla Swafford (4 stars)

Breakdown by Jonathan Kellerman (4 stars)

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martha lawton

Demographics

Demographics and books do not sound like they go together.  However the Marjay’s Reading Blog facebook page has Demographics.  Who Knew!!!

One set of the demographics show information about where people live who have visited my page. The largest majority of people come from around where I live - Concord, Manchester, Warner, and Bow.  (Just what you would have expected).  The next largest group comes from Illinois with people checking in from Peoria, East Peoria, Chicago and Tazewell.  The third largest group was the one that knocked my socks off - Canada!  There were two groups - one from New Brunswick (Centreville and Fredericton) and Vancouver, British Columbia.  Two people from Shanghai, China have visited here too!  How cool is that! The one town that made me laugh out loud was Wide Awake, South Carolina.  What a great name!  People from Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa have visited and my page had been translated into French, Spanish and Indonesian.  

I am in absolute awe of the people who have visited and checked out my facebook page.  I hope they have clicked through to my blog on Simplesite.  It is amazing how me - from a little New England Town – have people from around the world reading my page.  I know I people are probably just exploring new sites, but still how wicked cool is that.  (Sorry - a New Englandism - wicked is another word for very.) I hope people leave me messages about where they are from.  

This book blog has been a slow and steady journey of discovery for me.  I did not know where this was going to take me and each new step has allowed me such joy… Please drop me a line about what you are reading and where you are from.  I would love to hear from you! 

Read this week

The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Lauren Willig and Beatriz Williams

Leaving Yesterday by Zoe Dawson (need to write review)

The Millionaire’s Proposal by Janelle Denison (need to write review)

Adult Read

Drake Restrained:  Book 1 in the Drake Series by S. E. Lund (not finished yet)

YA Books

Cutter Boy (Lorimer:Side Streets) by Christy Watson (need to write review)

Elementary Level

Marvin Redpost books #5 (Class President) and #6 (A Flying Birthday Cake) by Louis Sachar

Perfectly Princess:  #5 Blue Princess Takes the Stage by Alyssa Crowne

Writing with stuttering and stopping

Some weeks, words just seem to flow from me when thinking about books and other weeks are more difficult.  Don’t get me wrong, I love writing the blog and about books, but some weeks the words seem to stutter and stop with each new thought. This week is one where the words are not flowing.  It is not from the lack of information to share, after all we had the opportunity to meet Chris Bohjalian this week and hear him read from his new book.  

Our book group have heard and meet Chris previously and we enjoyed the experience.  This time was no different.  He was able to share the quirky humor of being an author in places where he was an unknown.  Chris read part of his newest book to us and was kind enough to take questions and sign our books.  There is something so precious about having a book signed by an author to you. The book takes on a new life, becoming not just a  story to curl up and enjoy, but a special gift of a story to you.  I am sure for some people a signed book is not big deal, but for me it is always special.  I have had books signed by a couple of special authors and each time I feel like I’m on top of the world.

Life this week for many people included being snowed in and for many losing heat and electricity.  We were lucky so far north to be snow free this weekend, but that did not stop me from declaring a partial snow day and read for part of Saturday. Chris’s newest book really held my attention and was finished.  I also had to finish the book for our book club.

Writing with stuttering and stopping.

Yet with all that book related stuff happening, I feel stuck.  I can not imagine how a writer manages to write everyday and keep stories moving forward.  So many different plots and twists and settings with all the different ways to resolving conflicts are manufactured by so many people.  How do they work through the block.  Some of told me that they write anyway.  Chris Bohjalian this week reminded us this week that it is easier to edit written work than a blank page.  So following his advice, I am writing none the less.  I hope the meanderings do not stutter and stop like I feel they do.  

This week I read

The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian

Nellie by Cynthia Woolf

Hard to Handle by RC Boldt (review will be in the future)

Winter Reading

In today’s Boston Globe there was an article about how winter and cold weather really cause people to hunker down.  The article suggested a number of different activities and ways to help boost your energy from taking in more sun to planning a fun activity after work with friends. I appreciated reading the article because I hate going out in the cold weather and really miss seeing the sun.  I find myself curling up on the couch earlier than usual and reading a book.  

I am a ‘happily ever after girl’ when it comes to books.  I like knowing that there will be a positive resolution to the story.  I realized that I tend to lean toward cosy mysteries and romance/ romantic thrillers more in the winter.  In the summer I read a wider variety of literature, but not in the winter.  I also noticed that the books I do read in the winter more often than not are set in a warmer place or time of year.  Let’s be real...it is harder to wear a sexy little black dress with high heels when it is snowing or sleeting.

I did however take one of the suggestions.  I am going out on Wednesday with some friends as we go to one of the local independent bookstores to hear Chris Bohjalian speak about his latest book, The Guest Room.  I even have the book sitting in my to be read pile (from the library) and plan on reading it Monday and Tuesday.  We are going to grab a bite to eat before that as well.  I hope that helps kick the winter blues, but realistically I know that I use winter as a time to curl and read - hopefully with one of the cats cuddling nearby.  

This week I read several books on my kindle

The Art of Taming a Rake by Nicole Jordan

The book comes out in a couple of weeks and I did enjoy it. The review is posted.

Contract to Wed by Holly Bush

Cute HEA with characters from Texas after it became a state.

Sebring by Kristen Ashley

I love this author and was sorry to that this series is done. The review is posted.

Dirty Sexy Saint by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde

A fun read by two awesome authors.  It comes out later this week.

Sutherland’s Secret by Sharon Cullen

A historical romance from Scotland - men in kilts - no need to say more.  

The review is posted and it too comes out soon.

Hidden Ink by Carrie Ann Ryan

A novella  about the Montgomery Family and their tattoo shop.

Book Boyfriends

The snow has finally found us - granted not much, but enough to declare winter is here.  We have had some nasty cold days as well.  Winter is a great time for reading, mostly because you are able to read for hours at a time where usually very few if any people are going to bother you!  Which is a SCORE, especially if it is snowing and cold at the same time.

For me, this means lying on the couch - head on the arm of the couch with cushions behind my back and a blanket nearby just in case there is a need for an intervention.  There is plenty of light to read by with both the lamp and the window.  It is also wonderful if the cats come up and join you by sleeping near you.  Nirvana has been achieved once a book is being read voraciously while you are stretched out, knowing that you will not be disturbed for hours.

However, the problem with Nirvana is that the peace can be intruded upon unexpectedly.  Last night I was on the couch living vicariously through Kristen Ashley’s book, Motorcycle Man, one of the best of the best biker romances ever!  There was a knock on the door and for a moment - yes - just one - okay maybe more, I thought Tack Allen might be at my door.  That was a wrong guess when I saw the nice clothes and heard him speak about one of the political candidates. He was looking for another apartment, which was lucky for him and left. I was able to get back into reading quite quickly and once again enter the world of Kristen Ashley and Tack, leader of Chaos Motorcycle club.  

This morning, I started a new book by Jayne Ann Krentz - Secret Sisters, I thought about the different main characters between the books and I realized how lucky I was it was not Tack Allen on the other side of the door last night.  Tack Allen would mean that today I would not be able to read about Jack Rayner or tomorrow Clay Kincaid or later this week Brice Sutherland .

While reading, I can have a different hot hero every day.  I can imagine and swoon over the situations they get in and I can leave them up on a pedestal.  Living with one of the heroes of my books would require me to leave the couch to pick up their dirty clothes or cook someone dinner or - horror of all horrors - realize they are just flesh and blood and ordinary.   Thank goodness, I don’t need to have my delusions broken so emphatically!  As long as they stay in their pages, I can obsess over them forever.  

I am going back to reading,  Jack Rayner is going to do something wonderful next … surely he is going to save Madeline somehow!

Reread this week

Mystery Man, Wild Man, Law Man and Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley

Read

Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz

A 'Bookaholic' Resolution

It is the time of year where people have made new resolutions and goals for their life.  Since I am a ‘bookaholic’, mine of course are about books. I think that should be mine is (not are), because I still only have one goal.  I want to keep reading and sharing the fun of reading as well as introduce some great new books with my friends and family.  Goodreads asks that I quantify that number so I chose 200 books.

Now before you go into shock, let me remind you this is the same goal that I have had and met several times, already.  For a while, I actually thought of qualifying it even more.  A couple of different friends have put up these Reading Quests for 2016, requiring you to read certain books or types of books in a variety of genres.  I did consider it and then I got real.

I would cheat...  Well I would.  I really don’t want to have to read specific books that meet an arbitrary criterion.  I would say I did just to get it over with so I could go back to reading the books I love...  I think that makes me a stubborn ‘bookaholic’. Never mind the fact that I have a gazillion unread books on my kindle or stacked in my house and then there is the library with all their lovely books to be borrowed and read. 

I look forward to reading and sharing books with you for another year!  I have been growing my blog by stretching where the information can be found.  So if you are new – Welcome. Stop in and read a while.  Let me know about the fabulous books you are reading as well.

You can find the blogs, and book reviews at the web addresses below.

http://marjay.simplesite.com/

http://marjaystuff.tumblr.com/

www.pinterest.com/marjay7/my-reading-blog/

https://www.facebook.com/marjaybooks?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

New Reviews this week include: (Look Under Dec and Jan)

Thread and Gone by Lea White

Pretending to Dance by Diane Chamberlain

One White Lie by Jeannette Winters

The Best of Me by Elisabeth Barrett

How to Say Goodbye...

It is time to say goodbye – not to you – but to another series coming to an end – The Unfinished Heroes.  Kristen Ashley is one of the authors I love to read.  I find her books interesting to read with characters that you want to love.  They are strong and determined.  The books are not always a smooth read. There is a rawness and grittiness to her books that some do not like. 

This would be the fifth series she has ended.  {It is really hard – not to say - on me.} The Unfinished Heroes Series are about heroes that are not the typical heroes.  If anything they are anti heroes.  They have their own code and in some cases not the code others would find acceptable (never mind legal). In January her last book in this series comes out - Sebring.  A book I am looking forward to reading. 

I hate ending a series of books. Sometimes it is time and I stop reading them, but some series cannot end – they are intertwined with me in my life. {Eve Dallas for example} Some series get under your skin and the books and characters become a part of your life in such a way that it is hard to let go.  I am sure each of you have authors you like to binge on – you read their books with eagerness knowing that you are going to get another fix on the characters and places you love.  I am thankful for the books I get to read and the authors I love so much – but really – do the series ever really have to end???

 

Some of my favorite serial authors

Katy Regnery – The Blueberry Lane Series (English Brothers, Winslow Brothers, etc)

J.D. Robb – In Death Series with Eve Dallas and Roarke

Susan Mallery – Fool’s Gold Series

Sue Grafton – Alphabet Mysteries – Kinsey Millhone

Jonathan Kellerman – Alex Delaware Novels

Faye Kellerman - Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series

Statistics Don't Measure

Statistics Don't Measure

Goodreads sent me my annual notice about the books I read this year on Friday.  I guess they know how few books most people can read over the holidays with all the activities. According to their record keeping I have read 217 books this year with 63,082 pages.  (Just for your information, it was only in 2013 that I readmore books with 263.)

The shortest book I read was 32 pages and the longest I read this year was 641 with an average length of 314 pages.  I wonder if other people have such a huge range, although I imagine many people who read aloud to small children would have similar short books on their lists.

This year the most popular book I read was The Giver with 1,581,768 readers and the least popular book I read was the Christmas Coal Man with 24 readers. Out of all the books I have read since I joined Goodreads, romance and popular fiction are the two genres that were the highest. I also have read more books on the Kindle followed by borrowing books from the library.  

The one statistic that makes me smile is that the average rating for the books this year was 4.1 stars. I know for many of you - that you will find this a high average, but realistically, I rarely bother to review books that are under three stars.  I figure that the authors work really hard to write books and I should not make it any harder for them, even if I don’t like a book,  After all who I am to be negative about another’s creative endeavour - at least on a site where many many people see it!

What the statistics don’t show you is how reading is still my passion and my escape.  They do not tell you how I have met some of the nicest people while reading.  They do not tell you how I have laughed and cried over the triumphs and sorrows of the characters.  I have curled up on the couch or stretched out in the sun (don’t tell the dermatologist, please) with anticipation or horror.  Books open so many roads and adventures...that is not a statistic that can be measured.

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Pauline | Reply 09.02.2016 10.17

Thank you for opening this style of writing with some fine examples. I never thought about this before.

Jeannie | Reply 10.01.2016 19.35

Loved the trend of this meandering. Can picture it all!

Jeannie | Reply 21.12.2015 18.12

Agreed! Intrigue and escape into other worlds!

Jeannie | Reply 21.09.2015 15.17

Really, Marti! Worth relinquishing books for interesting views like that!
Good to read about men, too, and conjure up our own variations of wonderful.

Jeannie | Reply 26.07.2015 10.59

Marti, this commentary is beautiful, poignant and an affirmation of living one's own life. Moreover, it is beautifully written!! Right to the heart.

Marti 26.07.2015 13.00

Thank you Jeannie.

Jeannie | Reply 22.07.2015 18.57

I have my little LL Bean bag to hold my current constant companion of a book.
Still in love with print in the tangible, bound book version. Happy reading!

Kathy-CT | Reply 26.06.2015 21.49

"Blueprints" is my next read, this weekend. I actually snagged a book from my library within two weeks of its release! Always enjoy reading Delinsky's books.

husam | Reply 18.06.2015 03.26

this really cool site

Marjay 18.06.2015 07.05

Thank you!

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Latest comments

09.02 | 10:17

Thank you for opening this style of writing with some fine examples. I never thought about this before.

...
10.01 | 19:35

Loved the trend of this meandering. Can picture it all!

...
21.12 | 18:12

Agreed! Intrigue and escape into other worlds!

...
21.09 | 15:17

Really, Marti! Worth relinquishing books for interesting views like that!
Good to read about men, too, and conjure up our own variations of wonderful.

...
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