The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The First Time She Drowned by Kerry Kletter

Two and a half years ago Cassie O’Malley’s mother left her locked up in a mental institution against her will and her sanity. Now 18, Cassie has made the decision to leave the institution and go to college. Once there she made friends and melded into the life that she always wanted to live. So much so that she began to wonder if she could actually rebuild the broken relationship with her mother.

Even though you don’t know whether Cassie really is a danger to herself at the beginning of the novel, you come to realize that her relationship with her mother, Bevy, has always been unhealthy and destructive. Cassie has been seriously emotionally damaged by this.

Bevy has always loved Cassie’s brother Matthew unconditionally. He can do nothing wrong in her eyes, while everything Cassie does is criticized. No matter what Cassie does, she never has her Bevy’s approval.

Even though the reason Cassie was sent to the mental institution was a sham perpetrated by her mother, she does suffer from anxiety and depression. Who wouldn’t with the life she has led?

This is a very powerful book that sheds light on mental illness, self-worth and how our own image is formed at a very young age and how hard it is to change that image. It is also a great example of how so many YA books are great novels for adults as well.

Book Details: 

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This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

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The Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

I had heard a lot over the past few years about The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up but didn’t really want to buy and read it. (It is 224 pages, for goodness sake!), but I did want to learn how the method works. So when I got the chance to read The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up for free, I jumped on it.

Chiaki, a young woman in Tokyo is struggling with a very messy apartment, a messy love life, and a messy lack of direction. Her next door neighbor is very attractive and Chiaki is extremely embarrassed when he mentions the mess on her balcony.

So she calls Marie Kondo to come and help her with her messy life. Kondo uses her tidying up “KonMari” method to get Chiaki’s apartment in tip-top shape. They work on the mess one group at a time until the things Chiaki needs and wants are all in place and the things that were cluttering her life are gone.

This book is 192 pages but is written as a manga story (which is a Japanese comic book) and only has short dialog between the characters, but still explains the KonMari method completely.

If you have a room, or rooms, in your home that need to be decluttered, this book is absolutely worth your time and money. This method really works well and helps you figure out what things to keep, what to donate, and what to trash in order to get your home back in ship-shape order.

The book is marvelously illustrated by award-winning manga artist Yuko Uramoto. So whether or not you have ever read a manga novel before, this is a great choice! Not only is it a very quick read, and the illustrations are great, but the technique that you learn is extremely valuable.

The Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. A Propensity to Discuss review.
Pages from The Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Once you have read the book, which I highly recommend, you can also head over to Netflix to watch Season 1 of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo where she tackles more messy homes and shares the KonMari method there, also.D

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Netgalley in return for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Beach Trip by Cathy Holton. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Beach Trip by Cathy Holton

In the 1980s, Mel, Sara, Annie, and Lola were friends and housemates during their time at a small liberal arts college. Each had her own issues then and now, 23 years later, they are still living with some of those same issues.

Their lives after college took completely different paths, but they do still talk and get together occasionally. (Some of them more than others.) Now each of them has issues that they really don’t want the others to know about.

Mel is living in New York with two failed marriages and a writing career that seems to have momentarily stalled out.

Annie is very successful living in Nashville and married to her one and only love, but has many regrets from her college days and an affair she cannot let go.

Sara, who lives in Atlanta and is a successful lawyer, is not having a great amount of success with her marriage at the moment.

And Lola, sweet Lola, spends all of her time spending her husband’s money and taking all those little pills that make her life livable. Being married to a very rich man doesn’t live up to the hype when his head games and manipulations rule your life.

So 23 years after college, they all meet at Lola’s luxurious beach house for a week to relive their glory days, whether they really want to or not. Because being together might mean that they eventually have to confront their pasts and a secret that threatens to blow up in their faces.

Get ready for some out loud belly laughs, ugly tears, shock and awe, and most especially be ready to fall in love with these ladies. I just want to be one of them. This novel is centered around the lifelong friendships of four women, no matter what life has thrown at them moves seamlessly back and forth from past to present to tell the stories of each of them. This is women’s fiction at it’s best!

This is a book about a summer beach trip, even if it is the middle of winter, this is an amazing read that will keep you captivated right through to the end. And maybe with the cold temps of winter, a beach read is just what you need during a chilly night by a fire.

Book Details:

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley

Kat Holloway, a highly regarded cook, is hired to work in a Mayfair mansion for the very odd Lord Rankin. She loves her job and has made many friends through her work, most especially Daniel McAdam who works as a delivery man, but Kat believes he is much more than that.

Soon after beginning her job, her assistant, a young Irish girl named Sinead, is found murdered in the pantry of the kitchen. Kat is determined to find out who killed the girl and asks Daniel to help her. Lord Rankin’s sister-in-law, Lady Cynthia, is also quite an oddball. She has never married and dresses in men’s clothing, which is astonishing considering this takes place during the Victorian age. She is also a mathematical genius.

With the help of Daniel and Lady Cynthia, Kat begins to investigate Sinead’s death, beginning with the torn piece of paper she had in her hand when Kat found her.

What they discover is a plot to disrupt the nation that even involves Queen Victoria.

Anne-Marie Piazza narrates this very interesting story and her voice is very pleasant and very easy to listen to. She does an amazing job on this novel, which itself is really good. This is a really good mystery and I really enjoyed listening to it. As of now, this is the first of a three book series, so I am excited to read the next one, Scandal Above Stairs.

Book Details: 

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner

Once upon a time, Telly Ray Nash was a ten-year-old parent to his 5-year-old sister, Sharlah. Their parents, usually drunk or high, or both, didn’t have enough concern to deal with them. So Telly fed Sharlah breakfast, got them both to school and took her to the library every day after school to stay away from home for as long as they possibly could.

He cared for her completely until one night when things got way out of hand and their father stabbed their mother and then turned the knife to them.  Telly, armed with a baseball bat protected them both, but in the frenzy, Sharlah was injured and social services severed their ties and put them in separate foster homes. After several bad experiences in foster care, Sharlah eventually ended up with Pierce Quincy, a retired FBI profiler, and Rainie Conner, a former sheriff’s deputy and is two months away from being adopted by them 13 years after that fateful night.

When Sheriff Shelly Atkins is called to the scene of a shooting at a gas station in their small town she sees the video footage from the crime scene. The shooter has looked straight into the camera, and she fears that this may be just the beginning of a shooting spree. She calls Quincy and Rainie to ask if they will consult on the case.

In less than an hour, the shooter has been identified as Telly Ray Nash, his foster parents have been found, also having been shot to death and pictures of his sister from the last week are on his phone. So now Quincy and Rainie are on high alert. They will protect Sharlah no matter the cost, but Sharlah has a mind of her own and a fear that something terrible will happen to Telly before she has a chance to see him again. But the question is, is he after her for good, or for evil? Sharlah doesn’t know, but she is determined to find out for herself.

This story told over the course of fewer than two days makes a few turns that take you from one train of thought to another rather quickly. This is a very well-written story and the characters are very complex, while remaining likable and believable and also flawed, less than perfect, which adds to their credibility. The idea that a case of this magnitude, with all of the underlying issues and side stories, could be solved in a day is a little far-fetched, however being the experienced writer that Lisa Gardner is, she makes it work. Not to mention the level of research that she puts into her work that generally leads to you learning something new.

With Quincy being a retired profiler, the psychology involved in getting into the mind of the shooter comes into play and reminds me so much of Criminal Minds on ???, of which I am a huge fan, so that definitely makes this story a huge draw for me. The story is told in 3rd person except for Sharlah’s and Telly’s parts, which are in 1st person. I didn’t realize this for a while, and I actually liked the insight that came from Sharlah and Telly’s stories. This aspect lends their stories to be quite sentimental, without being sappy, just the right mix to allow you to become really attached to both of them.

I really did like this book and recommend it to anyone who likes police procedural, profiler and a psychological aspect of suspects and characters. I look forward to the next Pierce Quincy/Rainie Conner novel.

Right Behind You by Lisa Gardner

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This story is the 7th in the Pierce Quincy series, so if you haven’t read the others, and would like to read them, I have included the series list and links to the books. I highly recommend all of these books!

The Pierce Quincy/FBI Profiler Series in order:

    1. Say Goodbye

     

    1. Gone

     

    1. The Killing Hour

     

    1. The Next Accident

     

    1. The Third Victim

     

    1. The Perfect Husband

     

    1. Right Behind You

     

    1. The 4th Man – Short Story – eBook and audiobook only

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. 

Our Little Secret by Roz Nay. A Propensity to Discuss review.

Our Little Secret by Roz Nay

Angela’s parents moved frequently during her young life, always uprooting her before she ever really fit in anywhere. 

At the beginning of her 9th grade year they moved to a very small town, Cove, Vermont. When some of the girls picked on her HP Parker took up for her and walked her home. That was the start of a friendship that continued to grow over the next 4 years. Even through all of HP’s girlfriends. 

After their graduation, however, their relationship changed. No longer just best friends, they were together and, though they didn’t say it, they loved each other and were in love. 

Angela had been accepted to Oxford for a year and though she did not want to leave HP, she did not think she could turn down such an opportunity. It was only 8 months, after all, and they kept in touch through Skype. 

Six years have passed and HP is now married (not to Angela) with a child. Angela, however, has never gotten over him and her feelings for him have continued as they were. 

HP’s wife is now missing and Angela is being questioned. In order to make the detective realize she had nothing to do with the disappearance, she tells him the whole story of their lives together. 

After several twists and turns in their relationship, Angela knows HP still loves her. She just has to get the detective to understand. 

This is a twisted tale of love, hurt, hope, and despair, but you’ll have to read it to find out which emotion goes to which person. And trust me, you want to read it!

Book Details: 

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”

The Banker's Wife by Cristina Alger. A Propensity to Discuss review.

The Banker’s Wife by Cristina Alger

Anabelle Werner does not fit in to her life in Geneva. Originally from New York, her husband, Matthew’s new job was far too good to turn down, so they moved. Anabelle didn’t have to work, though she really missed her job, but none of the other wives of Swiss United Bank’s top employees worked, so she tried to fit in by following their examples. 

Marina Tourneau is in Paris celebrating her engagement to Grant Ellis, whose super rich father is about to announce his candidacy for president of the United States. She has promised Grant that she will give up her job as a journalist after they marry. After all, there will be plenty to keep her busy as Grant’s wife.

When Marina’s boss, Duncan Sander, calls and asks her to very discreetly meet with someone in Paris, she is immediately intrigued.

The same weekend, Anabelle is devastated when two men from FedPol (Federal Office of Police, Switzerland) knock on her door to tell her a plane that Matthew’s was on went down in the mountains and there were no survivors. 

Marina is likewise devastated to learn that her mentor and father-figure of a boss, Duncan has been killed in a botched burglary of his home. She is certain, however, that his death has to do with the story he was working on and she is determined to find out the truth. 

This is a very intriguing novel that takes you from Geneva to Paris to New York and through the clandestine world of numbered bank accounts, fraud, and people who will stop at nothing to make certain that their secrets remain hidden. 

The story is being made into a TV series starring Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, Return to Sender, Pride and Prejudice) slated to begin sometime in 2019. I’ll be watching, hoping that it stays true to the original. 

If you are interested in off-shore or Swiss banking, this is a really good book. It does not get bogged down in the details of the industry, but it does a great job of explaining how it works and how easy it is for corrupt people to exploit the system. 

Book Details: 

4 Stars. A Propensity to Discuss Review.

Check out all the books, movies and TV shows I have reviewed on the blog by clicking this link.

This post contains affiliate links. I would never include an affiliate link on any product that I would not completely endorse. So if you choose to purchase through this link, I get a small payment that does not affect your price at all. And I wholeheartedly recommend these linked products! If you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small payment, but it does not affect your cost at all. “Propensity to Discuss is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.”