Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

My Rating:  3.8

I was disappointed when my bookclub selected this out of pure preconceived notions that I wouldn't like it (based on the book and the author).  I thought I would give it a try but, don't believe in reading books I don't enjoy, even if they are for book club.  Well, I was very pleasantly surprised!

Cara and Edward's parents, Luke and Georgie, are divorced.  Luke, a renowned wolf expert, frequently lives with wolves.  Cara adores her father and  doesn't feel she fits with her mother, Georgie's new family.  Edward has had a falling out with his father and lives in Thailand.  An car accident brings this estranged family back together  
Lone Wolf

Lots of secrets are revealed in this intriguing story.  The character development and plot kept me interested all the way through.  It is not a 'deep' book and will definitely not make my 'best of' list but, it was a very entertaining read and I am sure it will make a good book club discussion.

Wool by Hugh Howey

Wool (Wool, #1)

My rating:  4.8

I kept hearing about this very short (<50 pages) story.  It is a dystopian sci-fi so I didn't think it would appeal to me.  I was wrong.  This was a fabulous novel.  I can see why Amazon is giving it away for free as they want to hook you to buy the rest of the books!  <grin>   Well, it worked.  I have to find out what happens so, I bought the Omnibus Series which is books 1 to 5 of the 9 book series.  Do not read too much about this book as it is better to just let it unfold.  Very enjoyable little read.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

My rating:  5.0

War-torn Chechnya, 4 families and their intertwined lives and the most gifted author.  Read it.  That is all you need to know.

This book unfolds in the most amazing poetic and beautiful way.  From the very first pages, you will know that you are in the hands of a gifted writer.  This novel is told in flashbacks so PAY ATTENTION TO THE DATES that, on the kindle, are in teeny tiny letters at the beginning of each chapter.

I believe this is the best book I have ever read.  Yes, ever. I will reread it again to be sure it is as amazing as I think it is....maybe I will have to reread it two or three time just to be absolutely sure.  Anthony Marra I want to know, when is your next book coming out? No pressure but, I eagerly anticipate it and will be waiting with baited breath.

Here are the characters in their households/groupings
Akhmed -a failed physician
Ula - his bed-ridden wife

Dokka - Father of Havaa.  Finger-less arborist.
Havaa - Eight year old daughter

Khassan - Father, writer.
Ramzan - Informant son

Sonja - Doctor and sister of Natasha
Natasha - Sister to Sonja
Deshi - Nurse and sister to Maali
Maali - Nurse and sister to Deshi

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Tale For The Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

A Tale for the Time Being

My Rating:  3.2

This is the story of 16 yo Nao who is the victim of bullying, a loving but dysfunctional home and is the great granddaughter of a very cool 104 year old Buddhist Nun.  On a British Columbia island is Ruth, who finds Nao's diary which pulls Ruth into the past and interesting plays on time.

There were so many things to love about this book...great writing, a unique storyland, settings in Japan and Vancouver Island (both of which have been my stomping grounds and it felt like she NAILED both places way of life) and playing with Nao/Now....or even "now!"

On one hand, Ozeki's novel is full of multi-faceted layers upon layers that were very compelling (loved the play on Nao/now).  She is a gifted writer and she had an extremely unique story line that came so close to grabbing me but, in the end, it was a miss.  It felt overly long and I didn't like Nao for the greater portion of the book and the time play was implausible (maybe I am too practical and only believe in the here and now).  I have great admiration for Ozeki and will definitely be checking out more of her brilliant writings and storylines as this one still is being turned over in my mind so, that says something.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messue

The Woman Upstairs

My rating:  3.7

This is the story of Nora, an elementary school teacher, and her relationship with her new student Reeza and his parents Sirena and Skandar. It is also about friendship, art, growing old, your purpose and outlook on life.

I started off completely dazzled by this book - both the story line and the prose....then it waned. The ending pulled me back in a bit. This felt like a short story stretched out to be a novel. Messud is an extremely talented writer with great character development and delicious prose but the pacing of this book needed some work.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Dance of Fear by Harriet Lerner

The Dance of Fear by Harriet  LernerMy rating:  5.0

Harriet Lerner really is one of the best in her field.  So calm, rational and clear.  Her books are easy to digest and really resonate.  I always learn something from her books no matter how many times I reread them.....they are gold.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

My rating:  5.0

This is about how the choices we make echo through many generations.  Each section switched voices and it took me a while to place how the new character(s) intersected with the previous character(s).  I also missed the voice from each section until I got wrapped up in the new voice, only to have it happen again and again - the sign of a great storyteller.  This beautiful book held so much and I am still reflecting on it.  I want to reread it again, this time keeping track of the characters.  IMO, this is his best book yet.