You Will Know Me


Author: Megan Abbott
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company


Summary: Katie Knox & her husband have sacrificed a lot for their daughter Devon, a rising star in the gymnastics world who is destined for the Olympics. A lot is riding on Devon's shoulders to make it big & Katie admires the singular focus Devon has when she's competing. Their gymnastics community though is hit hard by a violent death which threatens to distract Devon, disrupt the gym, & possibly tear the Knox family apart.


Review: I can sum this book up in one word: predictable. Not good for a mystery/thriller. I had the entire plot figured out fairly early on in the book & I'm one who can be fairly gullible. There are a few red herrings thrown the readers way but it's not very convincing & introduced so early on that you know that can't be the truth.


Sweetbitter: A Novel

image via Dream by Day

Author: Stephanie Danler
Publisher: Knopf

Summary: Without any particular ambition Tess packs up her belongings & moves to New York City. On a whim she gets a job as a low level server in one of Manhattan's best restaurants, learning the service industry & about the joys of wine & good along the way. However she is also drawn into the darker side of the business, from after-hours drinking & drugs to her relationships with another server & bartender.

Review:  If you're expecting a behind-the-scenes of a restaurant story or a young girl makes it in the big city, move along. This novel turned out to be fairly dark with Tess making some rather poor decisions & getting wrapped into what has been described as a "love triangle" (more on that below). There's a lot of coke in the bathroom & her relationship with the bartender can best be described as confounding.

On the otherhand, I didn't hate the book. It intrigued me enough to keep reading & I think it would make for a good book club selection as everyone would have strong opinions!


Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers...

Author: Bianca Bosker
Publisher: Penguin Books


Summary: Bosker leaves her job as a technology writer to spend a year learning about the world of wine & the people obsessed with it. In order to do this she decides to fully immerse herself in the New York sommelier scene, with the hopes of becoming one herself. While she documents her adventures in drinking at all hours of the day she also provides information on how the restaurant scene works, what it takes to be a sommelier, & the science behind smell & taste. It's a wonderful mix of a wine education along with the entertaining anecdotes of the wine obsessed.


Before the Fall


Author: Noah Hawley
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 

Summary: A private plane crashes on its way from Martha's Vineyard to New York City, leaving only two survivors: a young boy who has lost his entire family & a painter whose connection to the rest of the plan is questionable. As the search continues for the plane & the bodies of those assumed to be deceased, the book goes in flashbacks to each of the passengers' lives as the cause of the crash is investigated. Was this an accident? Or did something happen to intentionally crash the plane?

Review: The suspense of what happened on the plane & what secrets did the people on the plane hold keeps you reading way past your bedtime (it did for me!). The book is incredibly well written & each character has a clear voice. Character development was certainly the best part of this novel.

The Buzz // 6.2.17


via The Londoner

Book News:

How TV shows are borrowing literary techniques. Which may very well explain the renaissance of television that is happening these days.

First there was George & his art, now there's Bill writing a thriller. Presidential hobbies are getting more creative!

Planning a long summer road trip (we're driving from Virginia to Cape Cod & back, twice!)? Hilarious audiobook recommendations to make the drive a little less painful.

A review of the new NYC Amazon brick-and-mortar store. Which makes it sound like this is not the bookstore for those who love to read & actually enjoy perusing book stores. I have yet to walk into one- do you have any thoughts on Amazon stores?

And Some Great Reads:

A thought provoking article- the difference between imitation & inspiration. Thanks to the internet we have endless sources for inspiration & I like the list of how to make sure you don't totally cross over into imitation. Good to be aware of.

Fun fact: my senior seminar was on First Ladies, so I've always had an affinity for their role in the White House. And with Melania not taking on some of the modern expected duties it will be interesting to see how the new White House social secretary does in her job. It's definitely not all parties & frivolity so enjoyed reading this article!

The Rules of Starting a Book Club

image: Alexis Brown

This article on book club personalities & drama made me laugh, from the themed four-course dinner to how clubs kick out members. But it also brings up a good point that book clubs these days can be fairly treacherous with rules & expectations that can be pretty stringent.

So, is it worth it?

From my experience it's good to go in with realistic expectations & to have that discussion upfront. Figuring out what type of gathering this will be (formal & themed, serious discussion only, social & casual) will probably get rid of a lot of the issues discussed in the article. And when new members show up they should get the full rules ahead of time so they know whether or not this is the gathering for them.


The Handmaid's Tale


Author: Margaret Atwood
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Currently available for free through Amazon Prime Reading (Kindle edition only). 


Summary: Set in the not-so-distant future, where a religious-based authoritarian government has taken over the United States. Women have been placed into subservient roles & there are strict rules about what they can or cannot do (reading is off the list). And where have all the older women gone?

For the handmaids their job is one of the most important: successfully get pregnant & give birth to a healthy baby. With fertility rates at an all time low these women have the duty to procreate. Other women have their own duties: depending on your income you may have to be all the roles but wealthy & powerful homes have a cook, a maid, & yes, a handmaid.

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You Will Know Me