Book Recommendations for May 2017: Contemporary

Goodreads Group called Monthly Recommendations hosted by Youtubers Kayla Rayne and Trina from Between Chapters has picked Contemporary fiction as their theme for May!

Contemporary fiction is generally considered to be a real world setting with no fantasy or paranormal elements that takes place after World War II. It includes a variety of cross/sub-genres, such as:
-Romance
-Coming of Age
-Mystery
-Horror
-Humor
-Literary fiction

Here are my favourite Contemporary fiction novels:

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Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Goodreads Blurb:

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?”

 

Click here to read my review of Small Great Things

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Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

“Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

Click here for my review of Truly Madly Guilty

Fighting for Tara

 

Fighting For Tara by Sunanda J. Chatterlee

“Hansa, a thirteen-year-old child-bride in rural India, refuses to remain a victim of the oppressive society where a female child is an unwanted burden. Instead of drowning her baby, Hansa escapes from her village with three-month-old Tara.

Hansa soon discovers that life as a teenage mother is fraught with danger. But a single lie opens the door to a promising opportunity far from home.

Just seven years later, Hansa finds herself fighting for Tara’s life once more, this time in an American court, with a woman she calls ‘Mother.’

Will the lie upon which Hansa built her life, defeat its own purpose? How can she succeed when no one believes the truth?

A story of two mothers, two daughters and a fight to save a child, Fighting for Tara explores the depth of love and motherhood.”

Click here for my review of Fighting For Tara

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Tranquility by Laurie Gardiner

Sometimes there’s a price to pay for doing the right thing.

Support worker Sarah Scott learns this the hard way when, soon after being transferred to Tranquility’s dementia unit, she uncovers a sinister secret. Doing the right thing could mean losing her job, and unemployment is not an option for the young, single mom.

Meanwhile, Sarah begins to question whether her newest resident, Edie, belongs in the nursing home’s locked unit. The feisty, Scottish woman certainly doesn’t act as though she has dementia. Sarah is determined to have her released, but her plans may be thwarted when Edie risks her own freedom to help uncover the secret. ”

Gone Girl

 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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. 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?

Click here to read my review of Gone Girl

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Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Somer’s life is everything she imagined it would be — she’s newly married and has started her career as a physician in San Francisco — until she makes the devastating discovery she never will be able to have children.

The same year in India, a poor mother makes the heartbreaking choice to save her newborn daughter’s life by giving her away. It is a decision that will haunt Kavita for the rest of her life, and cause a ripple effect that travels across the world and back again.

Asha, adopted out of a Mumbai orphanage, is the child that binds the destinies of these two women. We follow both families, invisibly connected until Asha’s journey of self-discovery leads her back to India.

Compulsively readable and deeply touching, SECRET DAUGHTER is a story of the unforeseen ways in which our choices and families affect our lives, and the indelible power of love in all its many forms.”

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Left Neglected by Lisa Genova

“Sarah Nickerson is like any other career-driven supermom in Welmont, the affluent Boston suburb where she leads a hectic but charmed life with her husband Bob, faithful nanny, and three children – Lucy, Charlie, and nine-month-old Linus.

Between recruiting the best and brightest minds as the vice president of human resources at Berkley Consulting; shuttling the kids to soccer, day care, and piano lessons; convincing her son’s teacher that he may not, in fact, have ADD; and making it home in time for dinner, it’s a wonder this over-scheduled, over-achieving Harvard graduate has time to breathe.

A self-confessed balloon about to burst, Sarah miraculously manages every minute of her life like an air traffic controller. Until one fateful day, while driving to work and trying to make a phone call, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In the blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her jam-packed life come to a screeching halt.

A traumatic brain injury completely erases the left side of her world, and for once, Sarah relinquishes control to those around her, including her formerly absent mother. Without the ability to even floss her own teeth, she struggles to find answers about her past and her uncertain future.

Now, as she wills herself to regain her independence and heal, Sarah must learn that her real destiny – her new, true life – may in fact lie far from the world of conference calls and spreadsheets. And that a happiness and peace greater than all the success in the world is close within reach, if only she slows down long enough to notice.”

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A Secret Kept by Tatiana De Rosnay

It all began with a simple seaside vacation, a brother and sister recapturing their childhood. Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Mélanie’s birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island, where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. It had been too long, Antoine thought, since they’d returned to the island–over thirty years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased. But the island’s haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Mélanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island summer. When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car.

Recovering from the accident in a nearby hospital, Mélanie tries to recall what caused her to crash. Antoine encounters an unexpected ally: sexy, streetwise Angèle, a mortician who will teach him new meanings for the words life, love and death. Suddenly, however, the past comes swinging back at both siblings, burdened with a dark truth about their mother, Clarisse.

Trapped in the wake of a shocking family secret shrouded by taboo, Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with his own children. How well does he really know his mother, his children, even himself? Suddenly fragile on all fronts as a son, a husband, a brother and a father, Antoine Rey will learn the truth about his family and himself the hard way.

By turns thrilling, seductive and destructive, with a lingering effect that is bittersweet and redeeming, A Secret Kept is the story of a modern family, the invisible ties that hold it together, and the impact it has throughout life.”

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Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life–and her relationship with her family and the world–forever.

At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Judith Guest’s Ordinary People. “

For the #GilmoreGirls fan who doesn’t know what to read next…

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Thanks to Chrystal from Snowdrop Dreams for posting about the Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge. I had never heard of it until now!

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Here is the list in alphabetical order: https://www.buzzfeed.com/krystieyandoli/all-339-books-referenced-in-gilmore-girls?utm_term=.rp194RpVyR#.imgZA9Kd49

The Gilmore Girls Wiki Page has a complete list of books talked about or seen in every single episode. Choose a season, click on episode, then you’ll find the list of literature, music, and other trivia.

Here are the first few episodes 🙂

Season 1: Episode 1

  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Stephen King (referenced by Lorelai to Sookie)
  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir
  • The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
  • Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt (Rory is seen holding this book)
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Season 1: Episode 2

  • Harry Potter
  • War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
  • Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
  • David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
  • Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens
  • A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens
  • Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens
  • Dostoevsky
  • Balzac
  • George Sand
  • Shakespeare

Season 1: Episode 3

  • Mencken’s Chrestomathy, by H.L. Mencken
  • My Life As Author And Editor by H.L. Mencken
  • Plato
  • Mark Twain (quoted by Rory, “Golf is a good walk spoiled”)
  • Peyton Place

Season 1: Episode 4

  • The Comedy of Errors, by William Shakespeare
  • The Oxford Shakespeare, by William Shakespeare (Rory is holding this book)
  • Richard III, by William Shakespeare
  • Also referenced: Shakespeare, Marlowe, wikipedia:Francis_Bacon Bacon, Ben Jonson, John Webster, Sonnet 116, Sonnet 126, Sonnet 145

 

 

I like Big Books and I cannot lie #monthlyrecs

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The Monthly Recommendations Goodreads Group has chosen a theme for April 2017 and it’s …….. Big Books!

Here are some of my favourite tomes ♥

 

 

The eye of the world

 

 

The Eye of the World (Book One of The Wheel of Time series) by Robert Jordan. This tome has over 800 pages, and the following books in the series are all big beautiful books that require an enormous commitment, and likely note-taking, in order to follow along. It puts the “epic” in Epic Fantasy.

 

 

 

 

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The first novel of “A Song of Ice and Fire” series written by George R. R. Martin is A Game of Thrones. This 835 page Epic High Fantasy novel inspired the TV Show, Game of Thrones.

Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun.

As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must … and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty.”

 

 

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Winter is book four of “The Lunar Chronicles” written by Marissa Meyer. It has over 800 pages, however, it didn’t feel that big when I read it. Marissa writes fantastic stories that wrap you up in a fantastic world, with well-rounded, interesting characters, and a plot that keeps the pages turning fast.

 

 

 

 

 

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I cannot talk about big books without mentioning the Harry Potter series. The first few books aren’t tomes – but Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a whopping 734 pages – quite large for a “middle grade” novel.

 

 

 

 

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The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.

Cassandra is lost, alone and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident ten years ago, feels like she has lost everything dear to her. But an unexpected and mysterious bequest from Nell turns Cassandra’s life upside down and ends up challenging everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.”

 

 

 

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Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Sometimes dead is better….When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son — and now an idyllic home. As a family, they’ve got it all…right down to the friendly cat. But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth — more terrifying than death itself…and hideously more powerful.

 

 

 

What are some of your favourite BIG BOOKS?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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