Review and my movie cast for The Banker's Wife

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Do you ever have books where the whole time you're reading them, you're just thinking about how great they would be as a movie? Or even, how much better the movie would be? The Banker's Wife by Cristina Alger is one of those books for me. This review is going to be half review, half dream movie casting.

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The Banker's Wife is about, well, a banker's wife, but also a journalist and the banker's assistant and the journalist's fiancé. When Matthew Lerner's plane crashes in the alps (he is the banker, at the bank Swiss United) with one of his female clients that his wife Annabel had never heard of, she just has a gut feeling that it wasn't an accident. Meanwhile, journalist Marina Tourneau is engaged to Grant Ellis, the son of a powerful businessman who is about to announce his run for president. Marina's mentor leaves her with information about the shady dealings of Swiss United before he is found dead in his home. Her findings tie a lot of powerful people to some unethical and illegal to Swiss United.

Annabel races to uncover the truth about Matthew, while Marina must decide how much of the Swiss United story to expose. Meanwhile, Matthew's beautiful young assistant Zoe must hide from the powerful forces at Swiss United who want to make sure she doesn't know too much. 

This book is a fast paced thriller, and I enjoyed it, but the lack of place and character development kept me from really loving it. However, I can totally picture it as a movie! So, I'm going to give you the movie cast you never asked for. First up, our main lady, the banker's wife herself, Annabel. She's described as a redhead, and beautiful, Matthew only has eyes for her, yadda yadda. But she's also a little bit smarter than the other bankers give her credit for, and she loves art. My choice: Emma Stone!

Next up, we have Marina. Marina was recently engaged to golden boy Grant Ellis, and struggling with her decision to leave her budding career behind and play trophy wife. Her description said black hair and blue eyes, and referred to her being pale so... basically everyone in this book is supposed to be white (of course, the usual), but I don't care so I'm going with Kerry Washington because she would be perf for this role. Serving up some Olivia Pope fierceness as a badass woman journalist crumbling the patriarchy and exposing hideous acts of powerful men.

Zoe is beautiful, young, French, and as is a trend with these women, smarter than men expect. I don't know many blonde French actresses (pretty sure it said blonde? Going with it) but I do think Clemence Poesy would be great.

And the last person I'm going to cast is Jonas. Head of Swiss United, mastermind of schemes. I think Steven Weber would be great for this. Pretends to be nice but secretly (or not secretly) an evil villain, head banker, asshole extraordinaire. 

Most of the rest of the cast would be sleazy bankers, golden boy politicians, and crooked businessmen. I don't really care to cast them.

So what do you think? Do I have a future as a casting director? I think Hollywood would be silly not to hire me. They'd really miss out. Also, if you've read this book, let me know if you agree with my choices!

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August TBR and why TBRs aren't my usual thing

Hi y'all! Here for my third blog post and hosting a group of Book Riot Insiders who blog together weekly! We will all be talking August TBRs - click the icon at the end of my posts to see their posts too. 

I did an unusual thing this month and made a TBR (I realize this is book lingo - if you aren't in the bookish world as much as I am, TBR stands for "to be read") stack. I made it extra big, though - like big enough that I know I won't read all the books.

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My August TBR includes a wide variety, because I'm a mood reader, and I will need lots of books to choose from. Quite few of these books were gifted to me for free from publishers (thanks to Viking for The Great Believers, Putnam for Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win and Where the Crawdad Sings, Little, Brown for Okay Fine Whatever, Random House for How to Love a Jamaican and Spinning Silver, and Crown Publishing for OK, Mr. Field). A few of these I've already started and not gotten far into - A Manual for Cleaning Women and The Essex Serpent. The Book of M was a Canada impulse buy because the back cover made it sound up my alley. I recently read and loved Plainsong, the book before Eventide by Kent Haruf. I also recently loved This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell, and I've heard people rave about her memoir so I bought it. 

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I don't usually do TBRs because I'm SUCH a mood reader. It's the same reason there are books I've been wanting to read forever but keep just not getting around to, like Cutting for Stone. I just really have to be in the right mood for a book, or else I don't enjoy it. I keep picking up Cutting for Stone, and it keeps not speaking to me. I haven't actually started it - I just pick it up, add it to a pile of "soon" books, and then ignore it. 

But this month... I'm going to try. I'm hoping that this large and very varied stack will help remedy the mood situation. We have fantasy, we have memoir, we have two very different collections of short stories, we have contemporary fiction, we have lit fic... hopefully most of the books I reach for this month will be from this pile, because I tried to make this pile out of books I want to read SOON. Prioritization is important, right?

 Bonus picture of a subset of my giant stack with napping floof with a tooth you can see if you look closely. Love her little fangs. 

Bonus picture of a subset of my giant stack with napping floof with a tooth you can see if you look closely. Love her little fangs. 

I have the best of intentions, but who can say what will happen. Maybe I'll go to the bookstore and see the second book of the Southern Reach Trilogy and want to read it right then. Maybe I'll get a sudden burst of motivation and desire to read a big classic (looking at you, Count of Monte Cristo). Maybe I won't read at all.

At the very least, I'll try this month. I'll try this TBR thing, again, and see how it goes. 

Be sure to click the icon below to see posts from the other bloggers in the #bookishbloggersunite group!

Book review: This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell

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Thought I would start off my blog reviews on a high note... a very high note... a FIVE STAR BOOK high note! That's right, this book earned my notoriously hard to earn fifth star! Meaning, I loved it, I lived for it, I want everyone to read it and I especially want everyone to love it as much as I did.

What is the book, you ask? Or, you don't, because it's in the title. The book is This Must Be the Place, and the brilliant amazing author is Maggie O'Farrell. I heard about this book on the What Should I Read Next podcast from the book blog queen herself, Anne Bogel. Usually I like her recommendations, so when I saw this at my local favorite bookstore (Browsers, pictured), I impulse bought it.

 The two impulse buys on my Browsers trip

The two impulse buys on my Browsers trip

I cannot say enough good things about this book. The writing, the way she weaves together the stories of the characters so that you feel like you got to read 10 different stories (even though they're all anchored together with our main character, Daniel), the way she writes about relationships, and the story. The STORY! The characters! I just fell so in love with this book, I immediately went out and bought two more of her books after finishing it.

This Must Be the Place is about a marriage, and a family. It's also about a man, the man in the marriage, Daniel Sullivan. Daniel is a New Yorker who went to school in England and now lives in a remote home in Ireland with his wife Claudette and their two children. Daniel has two older children from a previous marriage that he never talks to or get to see, but not really by choice. Claudette also has one older son from a previous marriage who is off at boarding school.

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Claudette, as it turns out, is an ex-movie-star turned recluse. She disappeared, just straight up ghosted society, in the middle of filming a movie by running away with her son, and nobody knows where she went. Daniel stumbles upon Claudette when he journeys to Ireland to collect his late grandfather's ashes, and voila, they fall in love and he moves there to be with her.

When Daniel heads back to the US for his father's 90th birthday, he hears a radio program speaking of a long lost lover from his past as if she's been dead for awhile. He looks into it, and she has, and he had no idea... as Daniel spends more time away from Claudette, he tries to confront some things from his past, including his far away children, and gets caught up uncovering the truth about his ex-love's death.

This story is told from multiple perspectives and jumps around in time. I just LOVED the structure of this book. For example, one of Daniel's kids loves footnotes. A chapter focused on him is full of footnotes. Another chapter is entirely full of descriptions of items to be auctioned off that used to belong to Claudette. It's so unique! And, each character has their own story, all related to Daniel or Claudette in some way, but their own so that you feel like you got to read many more books than one by the end, somehow. Maggie O'Farrell's language is entirely readable but also nerdy? Somehow? Is that a thing - nerdy language? It helps that Daniel is a linguist.

For a story about a marriage, this book is so gripping. I didn't want it to end. It was an immensely satisfying book, without a contrived intentionally satisfying ending. The way the story built, the realness of the characters (even those you only spend a little time with) - O'Farrell is so talented. So many times entire books will be about a character and I'll never feel connected or invested in them. With these characters, I was immediately invested. They immediately felt real.

This book tells a story of a complex relationship, and of a man coping with grief and confronting his demons. I highly recommend this to, well, everyone! I can't wait to read more of O'Farrells writing, and This Must Be the Place is going down as one of my favorites. 

Let me know in the comments if you've read this, what you thought of it, if you're going to read it, or if you've read any of her other books! Happy reading!

 Browsers haul of the day + Izzy

Browsers haul of the day + Izzy

New blog who dis

Hi y'all! As a few of you may recall, I had a not-so-popular, not-so-used blog quite a few months ago. I had big plans and good intentions for that little ol' blog, but alas, my ideas and my follow through did not come to fruition. 

 This time though... this time will be different! First of all, I switched platforms to Squarespace. My previous platform didn't allow for subscribers, so now I'm slightly more motivated. Secondly, I'm going to join some Book Riot Insiders for a bookish bloggers unite tag. We all will be writing posts about the same themes each week. I'm hoping this camaraderie gives me an extra motivation boost to stay active on here. Third, I'm almost to 10k followers on instagram! By almost I mean I still need to gain 1,500 more followers, but that seems reasonable?! And 10k means you get the swipe up option in stories, so I think the ability to easily link to posts will make me more motivated to write them!

My current plan for this space is that it will be mostly books. However, it's my blog so I'mma do what I want and maybe sometimes post not books.

Hope you will join me in a new adventure/new space! Oh, and here are some pictures of my face, in case you don't know me!

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