Friday, October 30, 2015

The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

My Rating: 4.8

Wow. I just finished this for my bookclub next week.  I thoroughly enjoyed this well researched piece of historical fiction. This is the story of Rachel growing up on the risland of St. Thomas along with her friend Jestine.  This is about friendships, love, prejudice and life in the Caribbean.

It is also about the painter Camille Pissarro, the father of Impressionism but, I found the story of his mother Rachel to be much more fascinating. For myself, the part about Camille seemed to drag a bit but it was all worthwhile in the end.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bookmarks Magazine for Nov/Dec 2015

I just got my latest Bookmarks Magazine - WOOHOO! Here are the reads that are jumping out at me that I am going to put in my queue: Let me know what books you have in your queue (whether from Bookmarks or some other source)


I am almost finished reading this book for my book club and agree with their fabulous reviews:

I already have this on my kindle and iPod so I need to prioritize it.

This month's Bookmarks featured the 4th Ferrante novel.  It reminded me that I want to read this series and I have My Brilliant Friend, the first in this series on my kindle.

To get 11 Book recommendations at only first glance - I love this magazine! :-) BTW, my library had all of the above books available on kindle/overdrive...gotta love the library. Maybe that should be in my favorites next month!

I don't typically like short stories but there were a few in there that I may consider. This was definitely a great month. I would love to hear any books that are on your radar. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

When the Moon is Low by Nadia Hashimi

My rating: 3.0

After a woman's husband is murdered in Kabul, she is forced to take her 3 children and flee the country.  While this was a well written book that captured the plight of refugees / immigrants, I didn't feel connected to any of the characters.

I felt the story was worthwhile but could have been much shorter.The first half of the book told in the mother's voice, worked better for me than the second half where the narrative switched between the mother and the son. Maybe it was my lack of connection to the characters that made this feel very long and drawn out.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

My Rating: 5.0

I have had girlfriends recommending this book to me for years. I knew two things about it, neither of which were selling points: 1) It is a Western 2) It is long.  When I started it, it seemed very slow and rambling and I thought "I don't think this book is for me". My girlfriend made me promise to read 100 pages before I gave up on it.  By about page 50 I was hooked.

Wow.  I loved it.  I loved all the characters but especially Gus (my gf is going to call her next dog Gus!). This is about a cattle drive from Texas to Montana.  I 'felt' what it was like to live in those times.  This is amongst my all time favorite books. Did I say 'wow' already?  Amazing! Read it.  You won't be sorry.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Art of Communicating byThích Nhất Hạnh

I have been wanting to read more self-help books and so glad that I picked this gem to revisit. This is short, simple and powerful. Some of the way things are expressed sound 'clunky' or 'out dated', but the examples given flow smoother and all of the advice is applicable.

This is one for the night stand that is good to ponder and revisit in order to get the most out of it.  I will continue to re-read this book over time and glean additional thoughts from it every time.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sweetness In The Belly by Camilla Gibb

Rating: 4.3

After her hippie British parents are murdered, Lilly is raised at a Sufi shrine in Morocco. As a young woman she goes on pilgrimage to Harar, Ethiopia, where she teaches Qur'an to children and falls in love with an idealistic doctor. But even swathed in a traditional headscarf, Lilly can't escape being marked as a foreigner. 

Forced to flee Ethiopia for England, she must once again confront the riddle of who she is and where she belongs. identity, life choices and travels (although I cringed at some of her choices), 

The juxtaposition of Lilly's life in the 70's in Ethiopia and her life in the 80's in London was beautifully done.

This is part education on Ethiopa, politics, Muslim, prejudice and love story. While this is not entirely an accurate portrayal of Muslimism, This was a quiet, well written book.