It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.
To Err Is Common by Margot Terrence
It’s 3AM. Do you know where your nurse is? It is a sad truth that each year around 200,000 people enter American hospitals for one reason and leave on a funeral-home gurney for a completely different reason. And while there have been many TV and movie portrayals of life in a hospital, much of what really happens remains a mystery. And a lot happens! Join Andrea Pastori, R.N., a bright, attractive and gifted young woman on her rounds both in and out of the hospital, as she attempts to deal with the often tragic consequences of medical errors on patients and on those who became nurses and medical professionals to heal others but instead have ended up doing the opposite. Through her eyes, you will take a long, hard but also entertaining and involving look at modern-day nursing. You will be impressed or confounded by the complicated and sometimes maddening procedures nurses must undertake to successfully do their jobs while keeping their personal lives intact. At the same time, you will have a new understanding of how and why things can occasionally go terribly wrong. You will also have a new respect for the challenges of this noble profession and those who work in it. TO ERR IS COMMON is a ‘truvel,’ fiction based on actual incidents that have taken place in hospitals all over the United States. The story is told through the life and times of Andrea, a profoundly concerned and dedicated young nurse who is looking for personal and professional fulfillment in a complex, stressful, sometimes depressing but often exhilarating environment. The names, of course, have been changed, but the truth has not. Andrea’s character is fictional, but the incidents she encounters in her quest to serve as a compassionate and competent nurse are real. Whether you are a nurse or just someone with an interest in American health care as practiced in hospitals, Andrea’s story will entertain, enlighten and inspire you. And, very importantly, what you learn about her — and from her — will give you insight that may someday help you or someone you love survive a hospital stay.
Diamond Life by Aliya S. King
The follow-up to the critically acclaimed novel Platinum, Diamond Life returns to the smoke and mirrors world of fame with brand new characters and more true to life plotlines.
Alex Maxwell’s career as a journalist and celebrity ghostwriter is taking off, but it pales in comparison to her rapper husband Birdie’s multi-platinum debut and world tour. Slowly but surely, everything they swore would never happen begins to happen—leaving Brooklyn for a mansion in suburban New Jersey and letting a reality TV crew into their home. Birdie is confronted time and again by the sexy groupies who pursue famous rappers, and he’s forced to make some life-changing choices.
Meanwhile, the largely unknown performers Trip and Step release their new single, and it becomes the hottest song of the year. The duo’s popularity spreads like wildfire at the expense of entertainment’s leading icons—Jake and Z—who seem to be losing their edge, their market share, and perhaps their reputations, too.
Diamond Life doesn’t just pick up where Platinum left off—it reintroduces Platinum’s main characters from a different perspective and gives background characters center stage while presenting future stars. Whether readers have read the first book or not, they’ll be swept up by this intoxicating story of love, sex, ambition, money, betrayal, and the surprising realities of making it big.
The Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate
Award-winning novelist Martha Southgate (who, in the words of Julia Glass, “can write fat and hot, then lush and tender, then just plain truthful and burning with heart”) now tells the story of a family pushed to its limits by addiction over the course of two generations.
Josie Henderson loves the water and is fulfilled by her position as the only senior-level black scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. In building this impressive life for herself, she has tried to shed the one thing she cannot: her family back in landlocked Cleveland. Her adored brother, Tick, was her childhood ally as they watched their drinking father push away all the love that his wife and children were trying to give him. Now Tick himself has been coming apart and demands to be heard.
Weaving four voices into a beautiful tapestry, Southgate charts the lives of the Hendersons from the parents’ first charmed meeting to Josie’s realization that the ways of the human heart are more complex than anything seen under a microscope.
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
What do you think you’ll read next?
Wallflower in Bloom by Claire Cook – It comes out June 5th and I have a giveaway copy for a lucky reader….
From the acclaimed bestselling author of Must Love Dogs comes a winning and witty new novel about a woman who emerges from the shadow of her overbearing family and finds herself “dancing with the stars.”
Deirdre Griffin has a great life; it’s just not her own. She’s the around-the-clock personal assistant to her charismatic, high-maintenance, New Age guru brother, Tag. As the family wallflower, her only worth seems to be as gatekeeper to Tag at his New England seaside compound. Then Deirdre’s sometime boyfriend informs her that he is marrying another woman, who just happens to be having the baby he told Deirdre he never wanted. While drowning her sorrows in Tag’s expensive vodka, Deirdre decides to use his massive online following to get herself voted on as a last-minute Dancing with the Stars replacement. It’ll get her back in shape, mentally and physically. It might even get her a life of her own. Deirdre’s fifteen minutes of fame have begun. Irresistible and offbeat, Wallflower in Bloom is an original and deeply satisfying story of having the courage to take a leap into the spotlight, no matter where you land. -via Simon & Schuster
Freeman by Leonard Pitts, Jr.
Freeman, the new novel by Leonard Pitts, Jr., takes place in the first few months following the Confederate surrender and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Upon learning of Lee’s surrender, Sam–a runaway slave who once worked for the Union Army–decides to leave his safe haven in Philadelphia and set out on foot to return to the war-torn South. What compels him on this almost-suicidal course is the desire to find his wife, the mother of his only child, whom he and their son left behind 15 years earlier on the Mississippi farm to which they all “belonged.”
At the same time, Sam’s wife, Tilda, is being forced to walk at gunpoint with her owner and two of his other slaves from the charred remains of his Mississippi farm into Arkansas, in search of an undefined place that would still respect his entitlements as slaveowner and Confederate officer.
The book’s third main character, Prudence, is a fearless, headstrong white woman of means who leaves her Boston home for Buford, Mississippi, to start a school for the former bondsmen, and thus honor her father’s dying wish.
At bottom, Freeman is a love story–sweeping, generous, brutal, compassionate, patient–about the feelings people were determined to honor, despite the enormous constraints of the times. It is this aspect of the book that should ensure it a strong, vocal, core audience of African-American women, who will help propel its likely critical acclaim to a wider audience. At the same time, this book addresses several themes that are still hotly debated today, some 145 years after the official end of the Civil War. Like Cold Mountain, Freeman illuminates the times and places it describes from a fresh perspective, with stunning results. It has the potential to become a classic addition to the literature dealing with this period. Few other novels so powerfully capture the pathos and possibility of the era particularly as it reflects the ordeal of the black slaves grappling with the promise–and the terror–of their new status as free men and women.
Feel free to share your reads and have a great day!