Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

My Rating: 1.0

I wanted to love this book.  It started off ok but then quickly started to drag for me.  At 20% of the way in, I realized that I was not looking forward to reading which is a sure sign that I need to switch to a new book.

Friday, December 19, 2014

I'll Never Be Long Gone by Thomas Christopher Greene

My rating: 4.7

Brothers Charlie and Owen Bender's lives are changed forever when their mother sends them into the woods to find their father to discover that he has commited suicide.  The second shock is in who he leaves the family restaurant to.


I found that the plot was quite predictable but, I didn't care.  I absolutely loved the writing and how it captured the rural lifestyle, nature and the delicious food. 


Monday, December 15, 2014

Broken by Karin Fossum


My rating: 4.5

This is a departure from Fossum's usual detective series. This book is about an author and her characters.  





A woman wakes up in the middle of the night to find a man in her room.  She is paralyzed with fear.  As they talk, she realizes that he is a character who is so desperate that he has jumped the queue and broken into her home demanding that he be next for his story to be told.

This was a very creative story telling method and I thoroughly enjoyed it but can understand those that didn't.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Hangman's Daughter

My rating: 2.9


This is a historical fiction mystery set in 1660 Germany. The executioner Jakob Kuisl and his mission to save the midwife Martha from a crime that she did not commit. Children are dying with witch’s symbol etched on their back. They blamed the midwife for being a witch and had her arrested and tortured until she admitted that she committed the crime. 



For me, it started off strong and declined steadily from there.  The first chapter was definitely the best.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The House In The Sky by Amanda Lindhout


My rating: 4.8


This is about a Canadian girl, Amanda Lindhout who gets the travel bug. The first portion of the book was wonderful.  It brought back so many memories of my travels.

Then she gets kidnapped in Somalia where she is held hostage for 460 days. This was co-written by Sara Corbett who did a beautiful job. She captured the beauty of each country, Amanda's optimistic positive outlook and the fear and dread of the kidnapping.  I also felt that she captured the mindset and horrors of spending that long alone in captivity in an artful and suspenseful way without being overly emotional.  There are some very horrible things that happen that are conveyed so well. An amazing memoir that is a tribute to Lindhout's fortitude and resilience.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica


My rating: 4.8


Wow.  I just finished this book.  Do NOT read too much about it as I there are a lot of spoilers out there. This is an easy read that you will devour.

This is about a girl who is kidnapped. Each chapter is told either by her mother, the detective or her kidnapper. It is mildly reminiscent of Gone Girl in that each chapter is told by a different person, and that it flashes back and forth to "before" and "after" her kidnapping.  


Absolutely stunning that this is her debut novel.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Paying Guests by Sarah


My rating: 1


I really tried to give this a fair chance but it just droned on and on and on. When I read other reviews saying that it got worse that clinched it and I have moved on to other enjoyable books.  


Let me know if you think I made the wrong decision and should give this another chance.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Euphoria by Lily King

My rating: 3.8


Three anthropologists in New Guinea.  After two years of working with a tribe, Andrew Bankson is very lonely.  Enter Nell and Fen. Despite trying to keep his distance, Andrew soon falls for Nell. Depending on your perspective, this fictionalized version of Margaret Mead's life is either dragging and overly long or fascinating in it's discovery of the ways of the Aboriginal people. I found it a bit of both.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Long Narrow Road To The Deep North by Richard Flanagan


My rating: 4.8


I was torn on how to rate this.  On one hand, the story of Dorrigo Evan's time with a group of Australian POWs during WWII was told in absolutely stunning vignettes.  On the other hand, it was so stunning that it still troubles me.  It is graphic, dark and has left me haunted.  



This is more intense and bleak stuff than Cormac McCarthy and, unlike McCarthy's apocalyptic projections it is based on history.  I do not recommend this if you are at all prone to depression or in a dark mood as it will only pull you deeper down into the abyss.  I also do not recommend it if you are squeamish. Still, an absolutely gorgeous piece of writing and I can see why it won the Man Booker Prize.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg


My rating: 4.8


Everyone knows the horrific story of WWII and the Concentration Camps. This story made me think....what would I do?  When would I be willing to leave my job, abandon my life and flee my country?  If I left it too late by being in denial then, how would I survive in Auschwitz?  Rosenberg brought the atrocities to life for me and this book will haunt me for a long time.  A definite worthwhile read.



The one criticism of this book is some feel that the author has a 'Christian agenda'.  While there are definitely characters with strong religious convictions I felt that it fit in with the horrific sufferings and their faith is what got them through.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Pearl That Broke It's Shell by Nadia Hashimi


My rating: 4.0

The story of a young Afghanistan girl Rahima and flashbacks to her great grandmother Shekiba’s story.  These alternating two stories come together to paint the typical deplorable life of Afghani women.  While this book started off well in telling a story that needs to be told, it needed some editing for the last third.



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Tortilla Curtain by T,C, Boyle


My rating: 4.8

Two couples – Delayne & Kyra, a writer and real estate broker, and their son live in Topanga Canyon trying to live the American dream and Mexican Illegals Candido and America cling to making their vision of the American dream come true.  




Yes, both sides are very polarized and Candido has more bad luck than befalls most people in 10 lifetimes but, what was amazing to me is how real the author makes all of these characters when three of them are very unlikeable and I only felt compassion for America.  This could be a very controversial novel for a bookclub discussion and yet I think it would be so good.




Sunday, October 19, 2014

Book Assessment Sites

In regards to my complaining about being in
book limbo, I ran across a couple of assessment sites and took the quizzes.  The first one recommended a book that was high in my queue and the second one recommended a book by an author I have read and enjoyed before. These are short quizzes and I thought you might enjoy playing around with them:



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Accident by Chris Pavone

My Rating; 4.6

Three worlds collide over an anonymous manuscript:
1. Literary agent Isabel Reed in New York, 
2. CIA operative Hayden Grey in Copenhagen, and 
3. The author of the manuscript in Zurich


This thriller espionage novel was quite entertaining.  I enjoy Pavone's writing and found this as entertaining as his previous book The Expats. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty

My rating: 4.1

Ellen is a hypnotherapist who helps her client's overcome addictions and phobias.  Through online dating, she meets and falls in love with Patrick. When Patrick confesses that his ex-girlfriend is stalking him, Ellen finds this more intriguing than frightening.

This quirky fun chick-lit was thoroughly enjoyable even if it was a bit syrupy sweet with a neatly packed ending.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Book Limbo


I call ‘book limbo’ anytime I finish a book (usually a really good book) and I just can’t find another book that grabs me.  I read a couple of chapters of one before starting another book and it can take 3 or 4 books before something grabs me.  I realized that I waste a lot of time in book limbo.  

Do you suffer from book limbo?  Do you have any suggestions for me of how to minimize the time I spend in book limbo? 


Monday, October 6, 2014

Flight of the Sparrow

My Rating: 3.8

Set in Massachusetts in the late 1600's, Mary and her children are kidnapped by Indians.  When they are ransomed three months later, she suspects that she has changed too much to ever fit back in to English Society.


While this was a very enjoyable read, sometimes some of the characters were a little too polarized (her husband) 

If you are looking for a meatier book that gives you some amazing history, I highly recommend the non-fiction book Empire of the SummerMoon 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Love In The Present Tense by Catherine Ryan Hyde

My rating: 4.6

If you haven’t noticed, I have been on a bit of a Catherine Ryan Hyde binge the last few months and, with good reason.  She is an easy to read author without being too fluffy or light.  Here books doesn’t put me off with being syrupy or too predictable.  She is so easy to turn back to after a hard day of work and it makes me feel good.  This novel was no exception.


There were a few parts in the beginning that were very uncomfortable/raw but, so real and essential in the character building.  Yes, some of it was a bit sweet but, it was deliciously so.  The story….

Pearl is only 18 years old and yet she has a 5 year old son, Leonard.  Life has given her every reason to mistrust people but circumstances force her to trust her neighbor Mitch.  As with all of Hyde’s books, this is beautifully written and has wonderful character development.  I absolutely loved the relationship between Leonard and Mitch.  This book has so many facets and layers and was absolutely delicious and will stay with me for a while.


Monday, September 29, 2014

100 Year Old Man by Jonas Jonasson

My rating: 2.8

I can definitely see why people compare this book to both Forrest Gump and The Unlikely Pilgramage of Harold Fry.  It was cute and entertaining but definitely not a book that I couldn’t put down or wait to get back to.  It was light, occasionally humorous but definitely more than a little far fetched.  I felt the characters were flat, the humor a little lacking and the writing wasn’t the best.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Invisible by Paul Auster

My rating: 2.0

I read this in 2011.  My girlfriend said I was too hasty in judging it so, without looking at my old review, I reread it.  While Auster is a talented writer, I wouldn't change a thing from my original review:


This book is akin to a car accident that you just can't help yourself with watching....even though you know you will regret it. The book is told in 3 parts, Summer, Fall & The Ending. Summer was very good, Fall was uncomfortable and The Ending was.....it just ended. I did LOVE the writing and that almost made me want to rate it higher but, the story line was lacking. I will definitely read something else by Auster in future.

If you are looking for a similar writing style but with a storyline that delivers, I highly recommend checking out Julian Barne's Sense of an Ending.





Friday, September 19, 2014

In The Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White

My rating: 4.0

This book is the true story of 3 things:

1. Neil White and his unabashed self-examination of his attitude, flaws and crime of kiting checks
2. The prison and prisoners of Carville
3. The lepers in Carville (it doubled as a prison and leper colony)

White doesn't hide that he is an unlikable con-man and it took over half the book before he had the epiphany as to the error of his ways.  The prisoners of Carville were an eclectic group and, at times, downright funny.  The story of the lepers in Carville was fascinating.  All in all, an enjoyable read.


Monday, September 8, 2014

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

My Rating: 4.8

About a self-centered, rich dysfunctional family.  The characters and prose and the fantasy descriptions were so well done.  People will either love or hate this book.  I am definitely in the ‘love it’ camp. Such a powerful and well crafted book.  The less you know about this book, the better. 


Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Translator by Nina Schuyler


My rating:  4.7

This is a book for those who appreciate words and language…not for those who want action.  This is also not a happy or upbeat book but, very full of meaning and trying to understand people and life. This beautifully written book feels like the many languages of Hanne Schubert come together.  Hanne is a 53 year old translator and this novel opens with Hanne immersed in translating a well-known Japanese author’s work into English.  You realize the many potential interpretations of the words, sentences, paragraphs. 

When Hanne falls down a flight of stairs, her injury is an unusual but real condition--the loss of her native language. She is left speaking only Japanese, a language learned later in life. With her personal life at a crossroad, Hanne leaves for Japan. There, the Japanese novelist whose work she translated stunningly confronts her publicly for sabotaging his work…and she realizes how she has translated so many things in her life incorrectly. 


The language is stunningly beautiful and captures so much.  It gave me an appreciation for the art of translation and made me wonder how many things we have misinterpreted in our lives by seeing only our own perspective. 


Friday, September 5, 2014

Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead


I don’t care about ballet and yet I really enjoyed this book that completely immerses you into the world of professional ballet. This beautifully written novel follows the lives of a mediocre American ballerina who is good but not great and a world famous Russian dancer who defects to America.




Shipstead immerses you into the world of professional ballet and it is an enjoyable journey.  There was good but not great character development and the storyline definitely kept my attention.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Electric God by Catherine Ryan Hyde

My Rating: 4.8

50 year old Hayden lives in a remote cabin in Northern California and struggles with his past, his temper and so many events that haunt him.  At times, he seems to be mellowing in his old age until events unfold that, in an instant, have him reacting in his old ways.




I have read and loved quite a few of Hyde’s books (the author of Pay It Forward) and this one was no exception.  I felt for Hayden.  He became real to me and I felt his pain, his troubles and even empathized with his temper.  This novel is funny, wry, moving and has such believable characters.  I love how Hyde has a penchant for writing about flawed characters that have so many redeemable qualities you just can’t help but cheer for them.  I found this book thoroughly enjoyable and will definitely be reading more by Hyde.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Wandering Falcon by Jamil Ahmad

My Rating: 4.4

This is an interesting and different novel with no continuous plot or character development, with the chapters being only loosely connected. Ahmad is a talented writer with a gift for poetry.

Each of these impactful stories are set in the Afghan/Pakistan area where the 80 year old author had a long civil service career.  He captures the harsh conditions with love and tenderness and the elegance of a nomadic lifestyle.



This is a series of short stories interlinked by Tor Baz (as the young boy becomes known).  The sparse writing and descriptions are sometimes reminiscent of Cormac MacCarthy. Beautifully told. 

The only things I didn't like was the short story/disjointed feel of each chapter as even though there was the constant of Tor Baz, you had to resituate yourself to each new situation/story.  The other complaint was that the book was so short as it was extremely well written.  If you like short stories, I would think you would find this book extremely enjoyable.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Painter by Peter Heller

My rating: 4.8

When I first started this book, I wasn’t sure what I thought of it. The main character, Jim Stegner is not a very likable character.  He is a man with a lot of violence and loss – he is haunted by his mother’s death when he was a teenager and by his teenager daughter’s murder as well as by a man he shot years ago in a bar. He also has a peaceful side that is expressed through his fly fishing and his painting.  He is a successful artist represented by a Santa Fe agent. 

The writing is absolutely pitch perfect stunning and that is what kept me reading despite not caring for Jim and even finding the story line a little boring.  And then something happened…Jim, along with the story, got under my skin and I couldn’t wait to get back to this book.  It is violent, savage and uncomfortable. It is also good.

This isn't as good as his first novel The Dog Stars but, still excellent. Thank you Mr. Heller!  I hope you are working on your 3rd book.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sing in the Morning, Cry At Night

My Rating: 3.5

This is Barbara Taylor’s debut novel.  This historical novel revolves around a family in the 1900’s mining town of Scranton.  Owen and his wife Grace and their daughter Violet have suffered many tragedies and when yet another one befalls them, you are pulled into the sorrow of each family member.  Taylor combines this against the setting of the town’s anticipation of the evangelist preacher Billy Sunday coming to town.


I was so torn with how I felt about this novel.  I felt the characters were very well developed and it was wonderful writing. I loved the story of each of the family members as well as the character ‘Grief’.  The excellently written story line had me enthralled in the first portion of the book.  As Taylor involved more and more of the towns people, the book felt trite and that the characters were all one dimensional (almost all gossipy, nasty people with no redeeming traits) so she started to lose me.  When she finished the story with such a nice neat pretty bow, I really felt disenchanted. What had started off so promising seemed to really fizzle.

Taylor is a gifted writer and this is a wonderful debut but, I hope her future novels avoid some of the flaws and she doesn’t feel the need for such a pat ending.  All in all, an enjoyable read as long as you don’t expect too much from it.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Girls Like Us by Gail Giles

My Rating: 4.9

Quincy and Biddy are two "Special Eds" or “Speddies” who have graduated from high school and aged out of the system. Their case worker places them together in the home of a woman who needs help with her physical maladies.
 
This is the story of two girls discovering that they are "real" people. They are valuable and lovable just as they are. 


This heartwarming story was light and a quick read but, one that will stay with me for a while.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin


My Rating: 4.2

This is a charming story of widower/bookstore owner A.J. Fikry

In the beginning of this book, I was thoroughly enamored but then found it got fluffy.  Still, this was such a unique little gem that I think you at least need to do your research as you may be like others who fall in love with this quirky book.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Books with Almost Identical Covers

I thought that this was an interesting article in the Huffington Post on books that have almost identical covers:




Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Heretic's Daughter by Katherine Kent

My rating:  4.7

This novel of the Salem Witch Trial's is told by Sarah Carrier the daughter of Martha Carrier, who was one of the first women to be tried and hung for witchcraft in 1692.  The first half of the book is the day-to-day life of Sarah .  You slowly feel things building towards the last half of the book when Martha is arrested and the gloom and fanatical fevered pitch of fear shows itself.  Very haunting and even uncomfortable and well told.

Katherine Kent is a direct descendant of Martha Carrier and spent five years researching and writing this novel.  





Monday, June 23, 2014

The Snow Hunters by Paul Yoon

My rating:  4.6

The Snow Hunters is about Yohan, a North Korean War Refugee who is arriving to live in Brazil.  The story goes back and forth in time as the memories ebb and flow.  This is a quiet haunting Hemingway type of book.  

 


The author captures the mood and the memories in this elegant novel.  This book definitely will not be for everyone but I thoroughly enjoyed this sparse novel even if the ending didn't live up to the rest of the book.



Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Son by Philip Meyer

My Rating: 4.7

This epic novel covers three generations of a Texas family; from the Comanche's in the 1800's to the oil boom in the 20th century

  1. It starts in 1840 with 13 year old Eli McCullough being kidnapped by Comanches after they brutally rape and murder his mother and sister
  2. Peter McCullough is Eli's son and considered a disappointment.
  3. Eli's great granddaughter is Jeanne/JA McCullough and she struggles to succeed in a man's world .  



For anyone who enjoyed Larry McMurtry's Lonesome Dove, you will love this book.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde

My rating:  4.7

Sebastian and Maria both ride the subway to escape their lives of abuse and control.   This is a modern day version of West Side Story. I love Hyde's writing style.  It flows so easy in the conversational style.  There are no plot twists and yet I thoroughly enjoyed this tale of love and finding one's identify.  This is my second book by Hyde and this won't be my last.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Mystery Book Recommendations

In my recent YouTube post about my beloved Bookmarks magazine, a lot of you wanted mystery book recommendations.  I contacted my mystery book friends and here is what they came up with for you.


  • The Shadow Woman by Ake Edwardson
  • Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason
  • Broken by Karin Fossum
  • Broken Harbor by Tana French
  • All of the Steig Larsson books
  • Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • Drowning Ruth by Christina Schwarz
  • Devil In White City by Erik Larson
  • Every Last one

Please comment below with any good mystery books you would recommend so others can benefit.  Thanks!



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Longbourn by Jo Baker

My rating:  4.0

This is the lives of the servants the Bennett estate of Pride & Prejudice.  There is Mrs.Hill who manages the staff that keeps Longbourn running smoothly: the young housemaids, Sarah and Polly; the butler, Mr. Hill; and the mysterious new footman, James Smith



I haven't read Pride & Prejudice but could appreciate this story.  That being said, sometimes it felt wonderfully light hearted with the typical struggles a Staff has of running an estate like Longbourn and other times it vascillated from a fluffy romance novel to the author adding in some very heavy topics that, for me, just didn't meld.

I think literary critics could find lots of flaws in this book but, all in all, this was an enjoyable read and I think most Jane Austen fan's would appreciate it.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

My rating:  4.8

In the early 1800's, a rich white girl is given her own slave.  The rich white girl doesn't want the slave and so the story begins with each chapter being told in turn by either the white girl, Sarah Grimke, or the Slave, Hetty (Handful).  This was a book that I couldn't wait to pick up again.



If you enjoyed The Secret Life of Bees or The Help, I think you will enjoy this book.  I also think it would make a wonderful book club discussion.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Day I Killed James by Catherine Ryan Hyde

My rating:  4.6

This raw witty novel starts off about Theresa's neighbor James who has a huge crush on her.  Theresa is smitten with her jerk boyfriend Randy.  This is the story of actions, consequences and coming to terms with what happens.  It is a light easy read that had me laughing out loud at several points while deftly dealing with heavy topics of guilt, remorse and healing.  This won't be the last book that I read by this author.  For such a dark topic, this was a thoroughly enjoyable little read.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Rating: 4.8

I enjoyed this book a lot. Not only was it interesting to hear about the lifestyle in 1920’s Paris and to learn about Hemingway and the circle of artists in 1920’s Paris (Picaso, Joyce, Fitzgerald, etc.) but the attitudes were so different back then. I think the author did a wonderful job of making the characters, even the unsympathetic ones, come to life. Some of it wasn't easy to read as Hemingway did not treat his wives well but the author did a fabulous job in bringing this to life.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

My rating:  4.2

This book was in need of an editor.  It also was excellent writing so I didn't mind that it was gratuitously long.  The other fault was the characters did not mature.  I have heard this called a 'coming of age' story.  When at the beginning of the book the boy who is 13 years old has not changed or matured when he is in his 20s at the end of the book, it is hard to agree with it being a coming of age story.

While the above is true, I enjoyed this book.  I don't know that it is a recommend and I definitely do not think it should have won the Pulitzer but, it was still an enjoyable read.



Monday, April 7, 2014

The Spymistress by Jennifer Chiaverini

My rating:  4.4

This work of historical fiction tells the story Lizzy Van Lew and her efforts to help the Union during the Civil War.  While there were times when the details of the war were a bit cumbersome, overall this book had a good pace and gave me a much greater understanding of the sacrifices both black and white made during those times to help the North succeed.



Sunday, April 6, 2014

How to Start a Book Club


I highly encourage you to join a book club.  If you can't find one you like, start your own!

Before you start your club, decide on things like:

  • a name
  • the type of books you want to read (mysteries, fiction, non-fiction?)
  • how you want to run your club
  • how many members
  • where do you want to have it

The hardest part is advertising.  I have had good luck with putting up flyers at Starbucks, advertising in the local paper.  Meet-up.com is ok but you have to realize that meetup is meant as a 'drop in' event so I haven't had as good of luck when I want permanent members.



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Bee-Loud Glade by Steve Himmer

Rating:  3.8

Finch is a lackadaisical cubicle worker until he gets laid off and meets the eccentric billionaire Mr. Crane.  Mr. Crane hires Finch to live the life of a hermit/monk in his garden.

This quirky book is very original and also quiet and understated.  Not much happens at all and some may call it boring but, for me, it was enjoyable.


Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

My rating;  4.5

This is a light cute story of Don Tillman, a professor of genetics, who is an extreme/cliche example of Asperger's.  Don decides to find a wife and has a very specific idea of what he is looking for.  He embarks on The Wife Project.  When he meets Rose, she is the opposite of everything he thought he wanted - a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.   This sweet story entertained me all the way through and was the perfect thing to capture my overworked exhausted brain.

It is free through your library or $1.99 for the Kindle version through Amazon.


Friday, February 28, 2014

Songs of Willow Frost by Jaime Ford

My Rating:  1.6

This book was very poor writing, the characters had no development (they were all good or all bad) and it felt cheezy.  It was one cliche after another.  Although I enjoyed the author's previous book, The Hotel On The Corner of Bitter and Sweet, I would not recommend this book.  Many reviewers said they found this book sad or depressing but I couldn't get involved enough to feel anything.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Diplomat's Wife by Pam Jenoff

My rating:  3.2

Marta survives a prison camp in WWII and is rescued by a soldier, Paul, that she conveniently crosses paths with many times. While this book had potential, I don't feel it was as good as The Kommandant's Girl. I didn't feel for any of the characters and, there were a lot of unrealistic moments. There were a lot of cliches, Simon is all bad and unlikeable, Marta is strong yet mousy and weak, etc. It seemed promising but, the book never really took off for me and felt much lighter than the first book did.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman

My rating:  3.2

This book instantly pulled me in and I devoured the first few chapters. The eccentric girl and the relationship with her brother combine with Winman's writing were magical and frequently had me chuckling out loud.  Then, after the first few chapters, it lost me.  For the rest of of the book, it waxed and waned.  While Winman's writing remained lyrical throughout, it was also was in need of some editing as it was verbose. I feel that maybe she also bit off too much in the scope.  It was still a very entertaining read but, not a recommend.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Goat Mountain by David Vann

My rating:  3.8

An unnamed 11 year old boy is the narrator in this bleak but gripping novel.  In 1978, the 11 yo boy, his grandfather, father and neighbor set out to go hunting on their 640 acre property.  The first kill is human.  This is so dark/stark that I am not recommending this book but, have to say that the writing was beautiful and artistic.  If you want a dark read, this would be a good book.


Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts

My Rating:  4.8

If this wasn't an amazing enough book, then I find out that it is based on a true story.  Wow.  This historical fiction set in the 1900's and opens with Lady Anne believing she has been kidnapped, only to find out she is in a mental institution.  Don't read too much about this book but, if you are at all interested, watch the book trailer.   Amidst the many twists and turns it also delves into the approach to mental illness in that era.  A quick easy read that had me coming back for more.  I could see that this would make a great book club discussion.

This is from the website:

A deep and riveting psychological thriller set within an historical context, packed full of twists and turns, The Medea Complex explores the nature of the human psyche: what possesses us, drives us, and how love, passion, and hope for the future can drive us to insanity.


Friday, January 3, 2014

NPR's Best Books of 2013

It's out!  NPRs Best Books of 2013.  I can't wait to scour through this list, find out which I have read and which ones I want to add to my queue.  I need more hours in my day!!!!  http://apps.npr.org/best-books-2013