A Moment on the Edge ~ #Mystery #Anthology #BookReview

6411705I’m not going to pretend that this was some life changing anthology, every story a priceless gem to learn from and cherish for a lifetime. I will say, however, that despite the less than stellar rating on Goodreads (3.86), this is not an anthology you want to read unless you are looking for more authors to add to your ‘to read’ list.

I think that this anthology is underrated (and under read) because many of the stories (and authors) are older. (I’d hate to think it’s because all the authors are women.) Some readers may consider them out of date. But can you ever really say that Shirley Jackson’s talent for creating suspense and Susan Glaspell’s biting insight are any less enjoyable because their stories were written so long ago? Not in my opinion. Not every story in this anthology is great, but there were many that I enjoyed, and I’m glad I read it. 5 stars!

The Reunion by Samantha Hayes ~ #Mystery #BookReview

36589926Everybody’s a suspect!

The author did an excellent job of creating enough red herrings that the reader really has no choice but to suspect almost everyone until the author reveals what the reader is dying to know! She also wraps up all the loose ends, which I’ve notice many authors failing to do lately. And the suspense! Like a gourmet meal, this book left me satisfied but still wanting more.

My honest impression of this book is that the author enjoyed writing it. I certainly enjoyed reading it. While a few incredulous readers may find some parts unlikley, it’s fiction, and it kept me guessing the entire way through, which always gets my seal of approval. Another author to add to my list! 5 stars!

When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker ~ #Literary #Mystery #BookReview

27401883This story was a bit of a literary mystery. A wife dies, and her husband receives letters from her, pages from the journal she kept during her sickness. He doesn’t know who’s sending the letters, and over the course of receiving them, finds mysterious and sometimes upsetting information in them.

I hate giving spoilers, so I’ll stop the exposition here. Suffice to say, he does a little detective work while also juggling the loss of his wife and the care of his three now mother-less children.

This isn’t my normal type of book, but it was quite nicely done. Fueled by the author’s own experience with cancer, there’s plenty to be learned and enjoyed on these pages. It was a lovely pallet cleanser between darker mysteries. 5 stars!

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch ~ Non-fiction #BookReview

8137230So, some of you may have heard of ‘last lectures’, where a professor is asked to give a lecture on what they would impart to their students before their death. Seems a little morbid, but the intention is right (I think). Randy Pausch, who was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give a last lecture. The only difference was he really was dying.

Instead of giving a lecture about lessons to learn before death, he gave a lecture on living. Entitled “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”, Professor Pausch shared what he wanted his three young children, who would grow up without him, to know. The lecture was video taped, as well as used as the starting point for this book. In this book, Professor Pausch shares what he believes led to his success, lessons he learned while facing his impending death, and the wisdom he believed was truly important to pass on to his children.

It was inspirational, if a bit sad. In a way, it seems that when no longer faced with thoughts, worries and plans for the future, one can truly focus on living in the present, which I think too many of us fail to do. We’re so focused on our goals for the future, that we tend to forget to enjoy the now. I think it was Oprah who said, “live your best life now.” (I’m probably wrong, but it sounds good, right?) Regardless, I enjoyed this book and the lessons I found on every page. 5 stars!