Open Book – July 2018

Open Book

I’m joining with Carolyn Astfalk and Catholic Mom for An Open Book.

Happy Fourth of July!

Here’s what I’ve been reading (or listening to) during the past month!


Secrets Visible and Invisible by Catholic Teen Authors

Synopsis: Seven Stories. One Theme.
♦ In a dystopian future, an innocent picnic turns deadly!
♦ Elijah knows nothing of an elderly stranger’s secret past
—until her disappearance changes everything.
♦ A mysterious, ever-changing painting alarms a group of teens.
♦ A cannonball took Dario’s legs . . . Will he lose his soul too?
♦ The arrival of a mysterious girl challenges everything about Jason’s life.
♦ An unlicensed driver. His dad’s truck. What could possibly go wrong?
♦ An old tale of murder and forbidden love leads to a modern-day treasure hunt

My review: I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology with a story for every kind of reader.  The seven stories are entertaining and relevant for today’s teens.  Highly recommend!

Playing by heart

Playing by Heart by Carmela Martino

Amazon Synopsis:   Emilia Salvini dreams of marrying a man who loves music as much as she does. But in 18th-century Milan, being the “second sister” means she’ll likely be sent to a convent instead. Emilia’s only hope is to prove her musical talents crucial to her father’s quest for nobility. First, though, she must win over her music tutor, who disdains her simply for being a girl. But before she can carry out her plan, a tragedy sends the family into mourning. In her sorrow, Emilia composes a heartrending sonata that causes the maestro to finally recognize her talent. He begins teaching her music theory alongside Antonio Bellini, the arrogant great-nephew of a wealthy marquis. Emilia’s feelings toward her rival gradually change as she strives to outdo him. But just when her dreams seem within reach, Emilia learns that her success could destroy not only her future but her sister’s very life.

My review: Beautifully written, wonderful story.  Highly recommend!

Somewhere in Time

Somewhere in Time (formerly Bid Time Return) by Richard Matheson

Amazon Synopsis: Matheson’s classic novel tells the moving, romantic story of a modern man whose love for a woman he has never met draws him back in time to a luxury hotel in San Diego in 1896, where he finds his soul mate in the form of a celebrated actress of the previous century. Somewhere in Time won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, and the 1979 movie version, starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, remains a cult classic whose fans continue to hold yearly conventions to this day.

My review: Before the movie came the book.  I absolutely love Somewhere in Time (it’s one of my favorite all time movies!). I remember back in the early 80’s watching the movie, then wanting to read the book.  The book has a different setting but it also has so much that the movie doesn’t. Rich imagery, beautiful writing. I like to read this every few years.  Highly recommend!

The Chamber

The Chamber by John Grisham (Audiobook)

Amazon Synopsis: Twenty-six-year-old Adam Hall stands on the brink of a brilliant legal career. Now he is risking it all for a death-row killer and an impossible case.

Maximum Security Unit, Mississippi State Prison:  Sam Cayhall is a former Klansman and unrepentant racist now facing the death penalty for a fatal bombing in 1967. He has run out of chances — except for one: the young, liberal Chicago lawyer who just happens to be his grandson. While the executioners prepare the gas chamber, while the protesters gather and the TV cameras wait, Adam has only days, hours, minutes to save his client. For between the two men is a chasm of shame, family lies, and secrets — including the one secret that could save Sam Cayhall’s life…or cost Adam his.

My review:  Coming

5 thoughts on “Open Book – July 2018

  1. I’ve never seen that movie but there is someone who lives in my area whose car is COVERED in bumper stickers about it. I’m intrigued now that I know what it’s about! Should I read the book first, or watch the movie?

  2. Ellen, I’m so glad you enjoyed Playing by Heart. I’m honored by your recommendation.
    I, too, am a great fan of the Somewhere in Time movie. I’ve wanted to read the book but never have. Will have to put it on my summer reading list!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s