Month: March 2013

My Thoughts on The Lifeboat by Rogan

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I believe that in another life I could have been a fabulous editor. Not because I am quick to find grammar mistakes on the page, I am proud of the fact that I can spell grammar to begin with, but because I usually have ideas on how to make a good book great.

For example, The Lifeboat by Rogan. This is the story of Grace who, while on her honeymoon, found herself on a sinking ship. Through the bribery of her wealthy husband (or not?) she was able to get on a lifeboat with 38 other people and together they tried to stay in the area and waited for rescuers to come. Surely someone sent out a distress signal? Surely someone will come?

At the very beginning of the book Grace is off of the lifeboat, safe and sound, but she is being prosecuted for murder. The book is her recollection of what happened on that lifeboat for 21 days and then of being in prison and on trial. But the reader gets a sense that her recollection has been cleaned up a bit and her involvement in some of the activities on the boat, even relating to Mary Ann (yes, I caught that last threat), may not be as innocent as she outlines and seems to believe herself.

The book ends with just a hint, a little whisper, of the true character of Grace. I wish there had been a little more. Perhaps it would have been too similar to Life of Pi, but I wish that she would have received a letter from a survivor on the boat, providing another view into her life and her actions, perhaps trying to blackmail her? It would have made a good book great.

What I’m Reading Now: The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan

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Grace Winter, 22, is both a newlywed and a widow. She is also on trial for her life.

In the summer of 1914, the elegant ocean liner carrying Grace and her husband Henry across the Atlantic suffers a mysterious explosion. Setting aside his own safety, Henry secures Grace a place in a lifeboat, which the survivors quickly realize has exceeded capacity. For any to live, some must die.

As the castaways battle the elements and each other, Grace recollects the unorthodox way she and Henry met, and the new life of privilege she thought she’d found. Will she pay any price to keep it?

THE LIFEBOAT is a page-turning novel of hard choices and survival, narrated by a woman as unforgettable and complex as the events she describes.

My Thoughts On How To Eat A Cupcake by Donohue

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There appear to be a great number of these books out lately. I have read a few in the last year: a mystery that surrounds a cupcakery where the chef is also the detective and at the end of each chapter we find some yummy recipes.

This book was along those lines — sans the recipes. Annie and Julia grew up together ad wer best friends . . .until the world got in the way. Annie was the daughter of “the help” and eventually Julia tried to put her in her place by starting a rumor about her their senior year.

For years Annie has held a grudge, but when Julia offers to help her start her own cupcakery, she decides to try to set the past aside and see if they can just work together.

There are a few mysteries in this book: where is Annie’s mother’s diary? Who is the mysterious man that hangs around the shop? What secret is Julia keeping from her family and fiance? Who is sabotaging the new cupcakery?

At the end, all mysteries are resolved and everything gets wound up with a nice, tight bow. Kudos to the author because one mystery I did not even see coming, and usually I see everything!

What I’m Reading Now: How To Eat A Cupcake by Donohue

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Author Meg Donohue has cooked up an absolutely scrumptious debut novel, How to Eat a Cupcake, that explores what happens when two childhood friends, Annie and Julia, reconnect as adults and decide to open a cupcakery.

But success in their new baking business venture will depend upon their overcoming old betrayals, first loves, and an unexpected and quite dangerous threat.

Donohue’s How to Eat a Cupcake is contemporary women’s fiction at its smartest, sweetest, and most satisfying, joining the ranks of The Recipe Club, The School for Essential Ingredients, and Joanne Harris’s classic Chocolat by proving once again that fiction and food make an unbeatable combination.

My Thoughts On How To Dance With A Duke by Collins.

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Did I just read a romance novel? Hmmm….I think I did.

This book was referred by a librarian at the local library, but the cover, which I am too ashamed to post on the blog, should have given me pause.

The storyline follows the successful pattern of most romance novels: girl, in trouble, gathers up her courage to face a daunting foe. Gallant, and usually very wealthy, hero steps in to save the day and falls in love with the beautiful and strong and brave and unusual main character. Together they face this common enemy, all the while fighting their feelings for each other but falling progressively more in love. And usually there is a baby at the end to seal the deal.

It’s not my preferred genre, but a romance novel now and then can be fun.

What I’m Reading Now: How To Dance With A Duke

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What’s a wallflower to do when she’s suddenly in need of a husband? Use all the pluck and moxie she can muster to get what she wants…


Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father’s exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father’s name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club—and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it.


Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He’s a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily—even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season’s most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston’s expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer’s bluestocking daughter could bring Lucas closer to the truth about what happened…or it could lead him to a more dangerous love than either he or Cecily could have imagined….