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Book Review: “Misery Loves Company,” by Rene Gutteridge

16923852Genre: Christian Inspirational fiction; contemporary; mystery

Plot Summary: Jules Belleno has lived alone since the shooting of her police officer husband two years ago.  Shut off from everyone and everything, her only involvement with the outer world is her through her social media where she posts book reviews, especially of books by her favorite author Patrick Reagan.  But then Jules goes missing, and no one seems to know where or why.  Does Reagan have anything to do with it?  Who will care enough to search for her before it’s too late?

My Book Review: I don’t usually read mysteries, but this one wasn’t a typical brooding murder and the plot sounded original.  Plus, the book cover art was so enticing I couldn’t pass it up!  It was the type of book you’d want to ‘curl up with,’ especially since Jules is held hostage at an idyllic mountain cabin getaway.

It’s hard to write a book review of a mystery that’s about a book review blogger who is kidnapped because of an unfavorable review of a mystery.  ????  (So if I go missing…  Just sayin’…:) )

The story started off well and really gripped me.  “Don’t tell me it’s terrifying.  Terrify me,” Jules writes in her book review post of Patrick Reagan’s latest work of fiction.  It looks like she gets exactly what she wished for.  But I started feeling too sympathetic with the kidnapper too quickly, and right away the story lost its tension.  I wasn’t scared anymore.  Trust me to develop Stockholm Syndrome.  By the way, was I the only one who felt a little romantic tension going on between Reagan and Jules?  Or was that sick?

I’m not sure I understood crucial parts of it, like why Jules was kidnapped in the first place (which is sort of disappointing when that’s the whole story right there).  I mean, I was told several different reasons, but none of them seemed to make sense to me and I felt confused.  Was it a writing lesson, insanity, a man going through the process of grief, or was it all for her own protection?

Don’t get me wrong, the book made for some good entertainment and I’m sure there are many who will enjoy it if they love mysteries all the way around.  I don’t like gorey, brooding, intense murders, so this was a much easier mystery for me to handle.  I felt the descriptions were very good, as I was easily able to picture the settings and people in vivid detail in my mind.  The character of Reagan especially looked so real to me in my imagination…  He was a dead ringer for Alan Rickman!

Alan Rickman as Patrick Reagan??

Alan Rickman as Patrick Reagan?

You can listen to the complete first chapter of “Misery Loves Company” below:

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Posted by on December 11, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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Missing Midday Connection…

b0d4dfced73409aed97fc65214ee2f06Today I was shocked to learn that my favorite Moody Radio program, Midday Connection, is being cancelled and will air for the last time on Friday, Sept. 18. I certainly am one of the many listeners who I’m sure are grieving right now. It might sound sort of funny to grieve over the loss of a radio show. Midday Connection has been around for 20+ years, and I know that it has been a major player in shaping how I think about life and all things spiritual.

Midday, through their hosts Melinda Schmidt, Anita Lustrea, and Lori Neff, along with their many wonderful guests over the years have taught me so many things. Through listening to their in-depth, intellectual conversations, I’ve learned to look at things from a different angle, get perspective, grow spiritually, learn to love God more, learn to think critically, and form my own theologies in living daily life. I know God has used this show to teach me so many spiritual skills that I don’t know where I’d be without today. I’ve often felt their programs were like a college course or therapy session I could always use.

9382abe23d27b8a2752dec0eab9ae1d3Through the magic of audio, one has a sense of being in close relationship with another, even though they’d never met. When I sat down at my computer with my headphones and listened to Anita or Melinda, I felt like they were familiar friends.  I’ve also had the honor of Lori Neff commenting on this blog! 🙂

I know the YouPick and WePick book clubs will be greatly missed on booklearned, along with Dr. Rosalie de Rosset’s great talks that always hit the mark. Many’s the time I’ve pumped my fist in the air and cheered to hear someone say something so right with such certainty and passion. (Love her! She needs her own podcast.)

You can listen to the original announcement made by Collin Lambert on the show last Thursday by clicking here.  Rosalie de Rosset was a guest on that program, talking about the book, “East of Eden,” by John Steinbeck, literature in general, plus several other good books she recommended.

 

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2015 in Midday Connection Book Club

 

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Midday Book Club: “Christy”

91128d2f2cdf519bc50da694b3aaaf06Hi there!  Hope you’re all having a wonderful summer!  If you’re looking for a perfect summer read, I’ll suggest one of my top all-time favorites: “Christy,” by Catherine Marshall.  This is one of the few books I’ve re-read and got more out of the second time around.  Many people have been impacted by the semi-biographical story of Christy Huddleston (based on the author’s mother), who travels to the Great Smoky Mountains pre-WWI era to teach school to the poverty-stricken community of Cutter Gap.

This is a rerun episode of the Midday Connection WePick Book Club, but I don’t believe I’ve ever posted it on here, so you can listen for a limited time (up to a year post air-date) by clicking here.  Enjoy!

 
 

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Lookin’ for a Book?

158ec7a29da520fabd9b3a58075b7099What are you reading?  That was the discussion of the day on Midday Connection’s program of Jul 20.  I listened to it under past programs (which you can do as well by clicking here and listening for free for up to a year after airdate).  Excited readers phoned in to talk about their current books,– fiction or non fiction, good or bad.  If you’re looking for your next summer read, you may just pick up some good titles to jot down on for your next trip to the library!

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Midday Book Club: “How Sweet the Sound”

17623511The new YouPick Book Club aired today and will be available for free for up to a year after airdate.  This time around, the discussion is on the fiction novel, “How Sweet the Sound,” by Amy Sorrells. It sounds like it’s on some heavy topics but Midday always has good, deep conversations!

There is no poll to vote for the next book club book, only some summer recommendations from the hosts of Midday Connection:

 

 
 

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Midday Book Club: The Good Earth

190c8373d211ba80b2d0479e7f7c5771Coming May 6th, Midday Connection will air it’s next WePick book club w/ Dr. Rosalie de Rosset.  This time around, the discussion will center around Pearl S. Buck’s classic, The Good Earth.  Program can also be listened to post-air date (free for up to a year).  I can’t wait to find out what the next book will be!

 

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Midday’s YouPick Book Club: “Glittering Images”

11245A little belated (sorry!), but here is the link to Midday Connection’s latest YouPick book club discussion on the novel, “Glittering Images,” by Susan Howatch, the first in the Starbridge Series.  I’ve heard this is an amazing read, and I’ve definitely included it in my To-Read notebook.  I don’t want to listen to the program just yet myself (to avoid spoilers), but here is the link to the program for anyone else interested!

*Unfortunately, I believe that the Moody website has recently changed things around, so that one is unable to listen to previous book club discussions for free if they date older than a year.  So this program is available for free for a limited time, after that you have to pay on iTunes.

I was unable to find the link to the polls to vote for the next book selection in time before the voting closed.  The next book club will center on the novel, “How Sweet the Sound,” by Amy K. Sorrells.

 
 

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