Friday, April 18, 2014

Blackberry Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen #17) by Joanna Fluke - Review

It's been a sleepy summer for the folks of Lake Eden, Minnesota. In fact, it's been a whole four months since anyone in the Swensen family has come across a dead body—a detail that just made the front page of the local paper. And that means Hannah Swensen can finally focus on her bakery…or can she?
Life is never really quiet for Hannah. After all, her mother's wedding is a little over a month away and guess who Delores put in charge of the wedding plans? But just when Hannah believes her biggest question will be whether to use buttercream or fondant for the wedding cake, she accidentally hits a man with her cookie truck while driving down a winding country road. And not just any man, but Keith Branson, quarterback for the local high school some twenty years past. Hannah is wracked with guilt, until Doc Knight's autopsy reveals the victim was dead before Hannah even hit him, his shirt covered in stains that could come from one thing: Blackberry Pie. Now Hannah's on the trail of a pie baker with a penchant for murder. And it's going to take more than sugar and spice to catch this killer…
~Synopsis from Goodreads

The tag line of the book is 'Mystery with Recipes', but this turned out to be more like mystery between recipes if there ever was one.

This is my first book by Joanne Fluke and I did not had a clue about Hannah Swensen. Hence I read the first few pages of the book with a lot of enthusiasm. But later on when there was nothing going on and there were lots of recipes thrown at the reader, I started getting bored.There was a murder but the entire police procedure and the way people were giving away information and evidence etc looked unbelievable.

I was not very bothered about the love triangle between Norman, Hannah and Mike. Somehow Hannah's ability not to choose either did not matter as the love story itself did not look convincing.

And when it came to the ending, I literally turned pages to see if I missed something because the end (end of the book) took me totally unaware because there were no conclusion at all. I read somewhere that Joanne Fluke  may have this idea of starting the next book in the series at the point where this book ended. If so, it was such a bad attempt.

Very much skippable book..

Rating: 2/5
Publisher: Kensington Books
Release: Feb 2014

Note: I received a digital galley of this book from the publisher through netgalley in return for my honest review.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Generation Game by Sophie Duffy - Review

Philippa Smith is in her forties and has a beautiful newborn baby girl. She also has no husband, and nowhere to turn. So she turns to the only place she knows: the beginning. Retracing her life, she confronts the daily obstacles that shaped her very existence. From the tragic events of her childhood abandonment, to the astonishing accomplishments of those close to her, Philippa learns of the sacrifices others chose to make, and the outcome of buried secrets. Philippa discovers a celebration of life, love, and the Golden era of television. A reflection of everyday people, in not so everyday situations.
~Synopsis from Goodreads

Philippa was abandoned by her mother at a very young age, left with Bob who loved her like her own.But she was always haunted by the fact that the mother who promised to return for her never came back for her.  The book is filled with all the emotions of Philippa who loves Bob very much and considers him more like a father; but the pain of being ignored by her mother does hurt her a lot.

Sophie Duffy has written a touching story about Philippa starting from infancy without suffocating the reader with her sad emotions. She goes on to narrate the life of Philippa through teenage and adult years and her marriage, till the birth of her child where this book actually starts.

There are lots of secrets related to Philippa's life that are slowly revealed towards the end of the book. Believe me..this is not a chick lit fiction where everything ends happy. This is all about a happy conclusion about lots of questions surrounding the painful life that Philippa has lived till now.

I liked this book very much for the writing, story and the narration which is sometimes difficult when you talk about painful memories. Either they can be depressing or less convincing, but this book strike the right note.

Rating: 4/5
Publisher: Legend Press
First Release: July 2011

Note: I received a digital galley of this book from the publisher through netgalley in return for my honest review.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Recent Books on My Shelf #10

I have wanted to write a 'Recent Books on My Shelf' post for a long time. But time has become a big problem these days. Then my decline in reading is another factor responsible for lack of such posts.

Few books that I read so far in 2014:

The top read so far would be Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult. Gone Girl is more of a suspense thriller and The Storyteller revolves around World War II and the holocaust.

Forget Me Knot by Mary Marks book review

And I am currently reading these three books. Blackberry Pie Murder gets the priority as it is a kindle book which I read on my mobile. The other two are hard copies which makes it little difficult to find time to read them.

I think I was quite late in reading Gone Girl and The Fault in our stars among serious book readers. But sometimes I like to wait and read some reviews before grabbing a popular book and that usually works fine by me.

I am extremely happy that I am a netgalley member which enables me to keep track of new books that are released and gives me lots of opportunities to read great  books. I really don't want to read free kindle books on my mobile if it is possible to read something else.

If you are a serious book reader and is not aware of netgalley, you should totally check it out. All you need to start off is a Kindle or a mobile with Kindle app or a laptop with Kindle app or Adobe Digital Editions. You will get to read ARCs of many books to be published this year.  Personally I use the Kindle app on my Lenova P780 which is an android phone. For certain kinds of book, I have Adobe Digital Editions installed on my laptop :)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Trip to Indore

We were back from Indore on Sunday night, but due to the hectic schedule this blog post is coming a few days late. :)

The flight journeys were comfortable to the level that was possible with a toddler who is forced to sit in one seat for 3 hours at a stretch. We just paid for her seat since she is more than 2 years, but Indigo cabin crew asked us to hold her in the lap during take off and landing. So the third seat was mostly used as book/handbag storage area.

Clara was pretty cool about landing and take off and her ears did not seem to hurt much during landing unlike my husband who had to drink warm water to ease off the ear pain. We actually forgot to carry chewing gums which is the best solution for ear ache (new gyan for me)

Indore is quite warm to venture out during the day with a kid. And I realized that there is no concept of public transport system there. There is a system of A/c buses called the ibus which was introduced recently, but everyone seems to rely on personal vehicles. I cannot even recall seeing an auto rickshaw in Indore. So different for a Bangalorean...I should say that it was a relief to go out with very less traffic on road, but the drivers are more aggressive in Indore. And the number of people wearing helmet in Indore is almost equal to the number of people who does not wear helmet in Bangalore :).

I did not go out to eat anywhere. But my husband got lots of items from the famous Gurukripa hotel. The Chilly Paneer, Methi Mattar Malai and Paneer Butter Masala from that place was yummy. I also had the Palestian dish Falafel with Pita bread from a roadside place next to Mother Mary's grotto. The other place I visited was the Katori Market  for shopping which was quite crowded. I had a tough time walking around with so many two wheelers around.

The highlight of the trip was a trip to the Indore zoo. Indore zoo is quite small, but this was the first time when Clara got to see so many animals in real life. We are planning to take her to Bannerghatta National Park one of these days. The white peacock decided to open its wings as a goodbye gesture !!!

Overall it was a short and sweet trip - visiting family, being to a part of India that I have never being etc. The climate in Indore was not very warm and we could almost survive without turning on A/c at night.

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