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Happy New Year’s To You All

newyears   Happy New Year to all of You!

Of the many books and manuscripts I read this past year, here is a list of the Best of the Best in each genre. I hope you have read some of them and if not please give something new a try. I learned this year that I actually do like YA Fiction. If it’s written well. So that was out of my comfort zone and next year I’m adding another new to me category. Goals*

Best Science Fiction Read

The Cicada Prophecy by J.R.McLeay   The Cicada Prophecy    

Best Historical Fiction

The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly   Lilac Girls

Best Psychological Thriller

The Girl Before by J.P.Delaney The Girl Before

Best Laugh Out Loud Book

Be Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson Be Frank With Me

Best Non-Fiction Read

War by Sebastian Junger War

Best Fantasy Read

Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning  Feverborn (Fever, #8)

Best Horror Thriller

Unholy Code by Thomas Waite   Unholy Code (Lana Elkins #3)

The Cartel by Don Winslow   The Cartel

Best Suspense Thriller

The Girl In Between by Laeken Zea Kemp  The Girl In Between (The Girl in Between, #1)

Best Science Fiction/Fantasy

Superhighway by Alex Fayman    Superhighway (Superhighway, #1)

Best Horror/Supernatural Read

Harvest of Scorn  by F.G.Cottam    Harvest of Scorn (A Colony Novel)

Best Young Adult Fantasy

Heartborn by Terry Maggert  Heartborn

Best Young Adult Fiction

Accidental Cinderella by Emily Evans  Accidental Cinderella (Accidental, #6)

Best Cozy Mystery

Crepe Factor by Laura Childs Crepe Factor (A Scrapbooking Mystery #14)

This was really difficult so when I had numerous nominations I put them all in a bowl and blindly picked one or in some cases two! I had a blast reading these and thanks to all of you for writing them!  All the best in 2017!

Happy Reading! xxPP

 

 

 

 

White Trash. The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America by [Isenberg, Nancy]

In her groundbreaking  bestselling history of the class system in America, Nancy Isenberg upends history as we know it by taking on our comforting myths about equality and uncovering the crucial legacy of the ever-present, always embarrassing—if occasionally entertaining—poor white trash.

“When you turn an election into a three-ring circus, there’s always a chance that the dancing bear will win,” says Isenberg of the political climate surrounding Sarah Palin. And we recognize how right she is today. Yet the voters who boosted Trump all the way to the White House have been a permanent part of our American fabric, argues Isenberg.

The wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement to today’s hillbillies. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds.

Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. Reconstruction pitted poor white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics–-a widely popular movement embraced by Theodore Roosevelt that targeted poor whites for sterilization. These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and LBJ’s Great Society; they haunt us in reality TV shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty. Marginalized as a class, white trash have always been at or near the center of major political debates over the character of the American identity.
 
We acknowledge racial injustice as an ugly stain on our nation’s history. With Isenberg’s landmark book, we will have to face the truth about the enduring, malevolent nature of class as well.

This was a really good and a really hard book. Ms. Isenberg  does a great job of going through the different evolutions of the idea of “white trash”.

It’s an always evolving term as explained by Ms. Isenberg. She takes the reader through the present day, and links it back to the civil war and to the revolutionary war.

All the talk of that one percent has brought a lot of discussion on who they are and the dynamics behind them. We overlook the fact that privilege is deeply embedded in our culture. Racial injustice is a nasty blot on our history and maybe now we’ll take a hard look at class in America. We pride ourselves on being progressive and tolerant when in fact we are neither.

Please do not mistake this as a political book. This is a historical narrative at it’s best.

Highly recommend this book!

xxPP

A Blank Page….2017

Just a few days away from a brand new year. Oh the possibilities. It’s like getting a brand new journal. All the pages blank, waiting for you to write your own story. That is my absolute favorite part of the first day of a new year, getting a brand new journal. Each page waiting for me to write something deep and meaningful or rant about things that just tick me off to no end. Or as Daniel Ray would say things that grind my gears!

So far this year I have read 210 books!  Not all of them got a review because let’s face it I don’t think there is a huge audience for Human Resource Manuals and books that were just so bad I refused on principle to even acknowledge them in this hallowed space!

Besides the oh so tacky election shenanigans, the entire eye debacle and the loss of someone dear to me, this hasn’t been the worst year I’ve seen, but it’s up near the top. Which brings me to my AAARRRGGGHHH moments. The Lists.  The top 10 ways to increase your followers, top 5 ways to lose weight, top 10 ways to handle your anxiety….and so on and so on. Seriously these types of lists make me roll my eyes!

I blog because it’s against the law to stand on the street corner and tell people about the books you are reading! I’m not interested in debating religion, politics or money. I am interested in all of you who live in all parts of the world. I love hearing about other cultures and I love hearing about other people’s stories. The food, the fashion, the books, the poetry…I love this stuff. And sports. I love sports.

I’ll have some more really good book reviews and recommendations at the first of the year and until then I am cleaning every corner of my house and eliminating everything that I don’t use. I’ve been inspired by so many bloggers who are living simply that this is the year of simplifying my world.

xxPP

 

Release Day!! Iced Under by Barbara Ross

 Iced Under (A Maine Clambake Mystery, #5)  A Maine Clambake Mystery
 It’s winter in Maine, and the snowbirds have left for warmer climates. Buried in snow and ice, Julia Snowden and her mother Jacqueline are settling in for a long winter. Their family business, The Snowden Family Clambake Company, is closed for the season and Julia’s boyfriend has gone to Florida to help out a friend.
The only excitement the laddies are expecting is a new baby from Julia’s sister, but when Julia pops into the Post Office to pick up her mother’s mail, she finds a small box with no return address.

Opening the box the ladies find a huge black diamond necklace. Julia’s mother is shocked. The necklace has been missing for years. Thought stolen after a party that ended badly they have no idea who sent it or why.

As Julia sets out to solve the mystery of the necklace, she finds out the family has a long and colorful history. Along the way she will find relatives she never knew and grudges that are decades old and still going strong.

Will she find the true story? Is their a murderer in the family? Will Julia even make it back home?

You will have to read it and see. This was a book I would recommend wholeheartedly. Ms. Ross’s cozy mysteries have more depth to them than most and I hope there will be more!

Behind Closed Doors by B.A.Paris

Behind Closed Doors: A Novel by [Paris, B. A.]

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.

Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.

Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.

So there you have it. This has been one of the most talked about books on line for a while now. And I’m going to just say it. I did not care for it at all.

There wasn’t really a lot of depth to it. I figured out what was going on in the first chapter. And how it would probably end. It always amazes me how authors come up with such intelligent and independent female leads that turn in to idiots when they meet the ‘perfect’ man. Who always turn out to be psycho.

Who in this day and age marries someone they barely know and then the guy doesn’t show for the honeymoon night? That right there would be enough for me to dust off my shoulders and kick myself in the ass for being an idiot!

I didn’t get the psychological thriller part. Sadist? Maybe. For the first time in maybe forever I just wanted it to be over and done with.

Sorry folks but that’s my own humble opinion!