Many Bookstagrammers on Instagram raved about the book Home Before Dark by Riley Sager – especially those readers who enjoy a good thriller. I was curious about this author’s writing so decided to give the novel a read.
My extract comes from the beginning of the novel:
“I stare at the keys, hesitant to pick them up. I’m uncertain about accepting this part of my inheritance. I was raised to fear Baneberry Hall, for reasons that are still unclear to me. Even though I don’t believe my father’s official story, owning the house doesn’t sit well with me.
Then there’s the matter of what my father said to me on his deathbed, when he pointedly chose not to tell me he stile owned Baneberry Hall. What he did say now echoes through my memory, making me shiver.
It’s not safe there. Not for you.” (p17, Penguin Random House, 2020)
This was the perfect start to an excellent novel with an ending that surprised me. Will I be reading another of Riley Sager’s novels? I think I will.
Have you read any of Riley Sager’s stories? If so, which one?
In the month of July during my Summer Break from school, I have spent a little time every day reading teacher-related books to be inspired and gain some new ideas to keep my teaching practice fresh. The book I finished recently is the one Larry Swartz brought out last year titled Word By Word.
The book centres on vocabulary building and has many suggestions for activities that can be implemented in literacy centres. The aim of vocabulary building is to encourage children to collect words and to use them in their writing and speaking activities.
“Many of us – including young people – are collectors of things: stamps, coins, plush toys , dolls, figurines, comics, spoons, snow globes, etc. The goal … is to have students become word collectors so they can store them, use them, marvel in them, and expand their knowledge about them.” ( p11, 2019, Pembroke Publishers)
I am already implementing a couple of the activities in my classroom suggested by Swartz. I look forward to trying out a few more of his suggestions to get the kids excited about learning new vocabulary and using the words that they have learned.
I picked up With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo for two reasons: I had heard it was an excellent story; and the cover is absolutely stunning. The story is about a teenage girl who fell pregnant when fourteen. It centres on a young girl, Emoni, who loves cooking and has a special talent for it. She is a child on the cusp of becoming a woman and she has to find her place in the world despite all the obstacles in her way.
I am currently reading this novel and would like to share with you an extract from the beginning of the story that resonated with me:
“I just take another bite of my sandwich, close my eyes, and savor, because I can’t think of a single way to make my life more how I imagine it, but I can imagine a hundred ways to make this sandwich better. And sometimes focusing on what you can control is the only way to lessen the pang in your chest when you think about the things you can’t.” (p28, Harper Teen, 2019)
I am enjoying this Young Adult novel that contains a positive story.
I follow many readers on Instagram who enjoy posting about the books they read. One person whom I follow wrote a review on A Girl’s Guide to the Outback by Jessica Kate. I was intrigued, especially as she said the story had a Christian bent to it.
I enjoyed reading a romance that is unashamedly Christian. Throughout the novel there are references to Christian beliefs and values. There is one line that really stands out for me:
“Letting fear win also means you are refusing to trust God. That’s a slap in the face to Him.” (p333, Thomas Nelson, 2020)
These words can really hit home to the hearts of believers, especially in the light of recent events.
Yesterday I picked up a new read – one of the ARCs I received from the last Harper Collins event that I had attended. There is a lot of excitement about the debut novel of Kate Elizabeth Russell titled My Dark Vanessa. The blurb intrigued me as the novel is the story of a woman who was targeted by a sexual predator (her teacher) when she was a teenager.
The inside flap of the book contains the following quote:
“It’s just my luck,” he said, “that when I finally find my soulmate, she’s fifteen years old.”
I am interested to see where the author takes this story. So far the writing is perfectly pitched.
On Instagram, many women posted positive reviews of Twice In A Blue Moon by Christina Lauren so I decided to pick it up from the library to read. Today I will share an extract from this romantic comedy.
The extract I am sharing with you describes the moment when the main protagonist, Tate, is caught unawares by reporters and photographers. Since she was a child, she had been living in obscurity causing a lot of curiosity about her as her father is a famous and beloved actor:
“An explosion of cameras caught the awkward collision on film. I’d see the photos everywhere for weeks to come. A chorus of voices shouted my name – they knew my name. Nana turned, grabbing my hand and jerking me back into the hotel. It took me a long time – far longer than it took her – to figure out what was going on.” (p107, Simon & Shuster, 2019)
The story continues fourteen years later when she encounters her first love, the man who sold her story to the papers.
During December I read The Home For Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman – a novel of historical fiction that really opened my eyes to an atrocity that had been committed in Quebec, Canada. In order to receive more funding from the government, orphanages were transformed into mental hospitals and the orphans themselves were abused and neglected.
The extract I am sharing with you today describes the first hint of the change that Elodie, the young child in the orphanage, experiences:
“The next morning, three important things happen, all of which give Elodie an anxious feeling of terrible things to come. The first is the banging that wakes her up much earlier than usual. When she looks outside, she sees workers removing all the shutters from the windows and replacing them with black iron bars.
Next, when she goes downstairs to breakfast, she notices that all the sisters are wearing white habits instead of their usual black.” (p107, Harper Collins Books, 2018)
The story continues with heartbreaking intensity and is one I will not forget quickly.
I enjoy reading the modern rom-coms as they are so much more than a romance story. This weekend I finished How To Hack A Heartbreak by Kristen Rockaway. The story centres on a young woman who works in the male-dominated world of coding.
The extract I am sharing with you today makes a commentary on the use of technology in our lives:
“It was funny: modern technology could forge a connection between two people on the opposite ends of the earth, but it could just as easily drive a wedge between two people standing side by side in the same room. The more Alex scrolled through his phone, the more disconnected we became. His body was only two feet away from me, but his mind was off somewhere completely unknown.” (p168, Graydon House Books, 2019)
There are a number of insightful moments like this in the novel and it is these that make the story more in-depth than one would expect.
What do you think of the experience quoted?Have you ever felt this way?