Tag Archives: © 2021 Book Chatter

Sunday Matters: Feels Like Summer

Sunday Matters

This is very early in the year for us to be experiencing these warm temps. It feels like summer! My brain has a little catching up to do. I am not yet thinking about summer reading lists although I know a few of you have already started to think about your lists. This warm weather does have me thinking about BBQ’d food and fresh fruit though!

Right Now:

We have our normal church activities today. We take two separate cars to church because right after the service, I head to youth group so I won’t be home until after 1pm. Makes for a late Sunday walk with the pup but she usually understands as long as it’s not too hot! If so, we will have to wait until it cools off. She doesn’t mind a pre-dinner walk either.

This Week:

No big plans or appointments this week. The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is virtual this year and I have two fiction panels I hope to catch at the end of this week. One is with Shuggie Bain author Douglas Stuart and the other will feature many fiction authors. They both conflict with other things I have going on but I am hoping to pop in for some of each.


This past week I reviewed We Begin At The End (loved) and Vera (was ok).

I just finished Liane Moriarty’s The Husband’s Secret. Any time I need a book to grab my attention I reach for Moriarty but I think I have read nearly everything she has written now. She has been my go-to author during this pandemic. Excuse me Ms. Moriarty, can we get a new book please?

That leaves me pondering what to read next. I have a review copy I need to get to but it comes out in May so I will probably hold off. Maybe Shuggie Bain even though I know it will be a heavy read. Or, possibly Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood. Have you read it? I bought a beautiful copy of it a couple months ago.

Cat's Eye


We are trying to find a new British show to watch. Preferably a crime drama. We have viewed many clips but haven’t settled on anything yet.

Last week we watched the new Kong vs Godzilla movie on HBO Max. It was not great. No story, but the fight scenes were good. I just remember growing up with the old B&W Godzilla movies and the newer movies miss the mark, in my opinion. A lot of the movie theaters that just re-opened are showing it though so I suspect it will do well.

Grateful for:

  • Warm weather fruit. I am not much of a fruit eater until the warmer weather hits. Grilled peaches with vanilla ice cream cannot be beat.
  • All of the vegetarian and gluten-free options that restaurants offer now. Makes eating out so much easier for me.

Are you doing anything fun today?

Review: Vera


By Carol Edgarian
Scribner, 9781501157523, March 2021, 336pp.

The Short of It:

Not the thrilling historical novel I expected.

The Rest of It:

I can’t recall any other stories I’ve read that were set during the San Francisco quake of 1906. For this reason, when Vera showed up on my doorstep I was very excited to read it. Much of the city was destroyed by the quake itself but whatever was left was taken by the fires that resulted from compromised gas lines and the like. In Vera, Vera and her sister Pie are left without a home, their mother killed in the quake. Young, but old enough to fend for themselves, they head to Madam Rose’s house to take refuge. But when they arrive Rose is nowhere to be seen and Vera and Pie are left wondering if she survived the quake.

You may have caught my mention of it above, Rose ran a brothel and was known to many in the area. A brothel is not a place for young girls to take refuge unless you want a reputation to go with it. However, Vera and Pie don’t have many options and when Rose’s hired man, Tan, finds a way to make a living and to keep the food on the table, Vera and Pie stick around while Vera vows to find Rose and to bring her back.

There is an interesting cast of characters in this novel and Vera is likable and plucky and determined. I enjoyed her persistence but felt that overall the story was lackluster. What could have been a thrilling adventure was only lukewarm in the telling. I was in the devastating Northridge quake, right at the epicenter and can speak from experience. It’s a harrowing event to live through and needs become known quite quickly like how will one relieve themselves when no running water exists? How will one buy supplies when there is no power and ATMs don’t work, or even filling up the gas tank to get out of town. Gas pumps do not work when there is no power. Obviously, the story is set in 1906 so these characters don’t worry about such things but I didn’t sense the immediate panic that one experiences after such a devastating event.

All in all, the story was just okay for me. I think it could have been a lot more riveting had we been given a real sense of the panic that these two women felt.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.