Title: The Music Shop
Author: Rachel Joyce
Publisher: Random House
“An unforgettable story of music, loss and hope. Fans of High Fidelity, meet your next quirky love story.”—People
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE TIMES (UK)
It is 1988. On a dead-end street in a run-down suburb there is a music shop that stands small and brightly lit, jam-packed with records of every kind. Like a beacon, the shop attracts the lonely, the sleepless, and the adrift; Frank, the shop’s owner, has a way of connecting his customers with just the piece of music they need. Then, one day, into his shop comes a beautiful young woman, Ilse Brauchmann, who asks Frank to teach her about music. Terrified of real closeness, Frank feels compelled to turn and run, yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems, and Frank has old wounds that threaten to reopen, as well as a past it seems he will never leave behind. Can a man who is so in tune with other people’s needs be so incapable of connecting with the one person who might save him? The journey that these two quirky, wonderful characters make in order to overcome their emotional baggage speaks to the healing power of music—and love—in this poignant, ultimately joyful work of fiction
Title: My Not So Perfect Life
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Random House
Part love story, part workplace drama, this sharply observed novel is a witty critique of the false judgments we make in a social-media-obsessed world. New York Times bestselling author Sophie Kinsella has written her most timely novel yet.
Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she’s desperate to make her dad proud.
Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.
Sophie Kinsella is celebrated for her vibrant, relatable characters and her great storytelling gifts. Now she returns with all of the wit, warmth, and wisdom that are the hallmarks of her bestsellers to spin this fresh, modern story about presenting the perfect life when the reality is far from the truth.
Title: Maybe in Another Life
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Published Date: July 2015
From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results. At the age of twenty-nine, Hannah Martin still has no idea what she wants to do with her life. She has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles and takes up residence in her best friend Gabby’s guestroom. Shortly after getting back to town, Hannah goes out to a bar one night with Gabby and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan. Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. Hannah hesitates. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan? In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Quickly, these parallel universes develop into radically different stories with large-scale consequences for Hannah, as well as the people around her. As the two alternate realities run their course, Maybe in Another Life raises questions about fate and true love: Is anything meant to be? How much in our life is determined by chance? And perhaps, most compellingly: Is there such a thing as a soul mate? Hannah believes there is. And, in both worlds, she believes she’s found him.
My Review: (more…)
When I say Liv Tyler, most people would recognize I am talking about the actress who portrayed Arwen undomiel in The Lord of the Rings but do they know she also has an etiquette expert grandmother, Dorothea Johnson. Liv and her grandmother have come together to write an amazing manners reference book recently.
The book is divided by six major contents: Meetings & Greetings, On the Job, Electronic Communications, Out and About, Dining Skills and The savvy Host. It covers from the most basic handshake, interview, on the job, party to table manners. At the end of each major topic, there are two list to summarize the topic: the DO and DON’T lists. Other the cute cover picture, the one thing I like most about this manners book is the funny little side stories or facts. I actually laughed out loud several times.
Etiquette can be very subjective due to culture, region even within the states, generation. There is no 100% right answer to any rules but there is definitely some big NO NOs one should never do whether in a formal or causal setting. There is one rule I disagree with authors; turn your chopsticks around and use the handle ends to pick up your potions from a communal platter. I think a better way to do it is to ask for an extra pair of chopsticks, most Asian restaurants provide communal chopsticks without asking now a day so asking should not be a problem. The reason why I don’t like to turn the chopsticks to pick up food is because some people like to hold their chopsticks higher (there is nothing wrong with that). If that person were to use the other end to pick up food, it is like using his/her hands on the communal platter.
I would recommend this book to everyone especially young adults who are looking or just started their careers.
4 out of 5 Stars
Received a free copy through Blogging for Books for this review.
Synopsis from the back cover:
Almost seventy years ago, in a nation devastated by World War II, Tei Fujiwara wrote her memoir 流れる星は生きている (Nagareru Hoshiwa Ikiteiru) about her harrowing journey home with her three young children. But the story of her story is what every reader needs to know.
Tei’s memoir begins in August 1945 in Manchuria. At that time, Tei and her family fled from the invading Soviets who declared war on Japan a few days after the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. After reaching her home in Japan, Tei wrote what she thought would be a last testament to her young children, who wouldn’t remember their journey and who might be comforted by their mother’s words as they faced an unknown future in post-war Japan.
But several miracles took place after she wrote the memoir. Tei survived and her memoir, originally published in Showa Era 24  became a best seller in a country still in ruins. Over the following decades, millions of Japanese became familiar with her story through forty-six print runs, the movie version, and a television drama. To understand the war experience, Empress Michiko urged young Japanese to read Tei’s story.
Now English readers will have the chance to read her amazing story of survival and hope, and understand how she influenced an entire generation and a nation
Tei Fujiwwara was born in Japan in 1918 and moved with her family to Manchuria, China in 1943. As of the printing of this English translation, she is 96 years old and living in a senior home in Tokyo, Japan.
My Review: (more…)