Saturday, October 29, 2016

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman

My rating: 4.2

7 year old Else and her 77 year old Grandmother are both unique individuals, with an amazing bond. When her Grandmother dies, through letters her Grandmother left to people she has wronged, Elsa goes on a mission

I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. At first, it seemed fluffy and too sweet. Somehow, Granny and Elsa both grew on me and I was soon immersed in this sweet story (although the fantasy parts were a bit tedious). I think this was on par for me with Bakman's first book A Man Called Ove and I will definitely check out the follow-up to this book Britt-Marie Was Here.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Bookmarks Magazine Nov/Dec 2016

When I came home from work last night, I knew I had to work...a LOT!  I checked my mailbox and lo and behold there was my new Bookmarks Magazine - woohoo! I told myself that when I finished work, it would be my reward to be able to look through the magazine. I didn't finish work till late but I still stayed up perusing the magazine.  This is my all time favorite magazine and this month was loaded with some great picks. Thanks Bookmarks for motivating me and being my reward!


I already had To The Bright Edge of the World on hold at the library as Eowyn's first book The Snow Child was one of my absolute favorites.

I thought this edition of Bookmarks was loaded with great picks that I can't wait to read.  Let me know what your picks were or, if you don't get Bookmarks, what books are in your queue that you can't wait to read?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Girls by Emma Cline

My rating: 4.0

This is about "The Girls" in a Charles Manson type of situation.Set in California in the late 1960's Evie see a group of carefree girls in the park and is enthralled with them, particularly Suzanne.  She goes on to meet the cult leader, Russell and to feel at home on the sprawling ranch where they live. Everything moves along as you would expect.  No twists. Nothing other than the expected deplorable violent crime.

For myself, when I already know the ending of a book, I expect to fall in love with the characters....but I didn't.  I actually didn't care for any of the characters and was considering abandoning this book.  The writing wouldn't let me. It was amazing writing that captures what it is like to be a lost clueless teenager who wants more than anything to fit in and find meaning and how it would feel to be part of that group.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

My rating: 5.0

This is a WWII book unlike any I have ever read (and I have read a lot of them!). This is told from three different female perspectives:

  • Caroline is a New York socialite working at the French consulate
  • Kasia is a polish teenager who has to grow up far too quickly (this is the only fictional character)
  • Herta is a German doctor assigned to work in the concentration camps

Through these three women in three different countries, Kelly deftly weaves a complete picture of the autracities of the Nazi and the various political perspectives. Sometimes the details are uncomfortable. Always, they are real and the characters come to life. I can't believe that this is Kelly's first novel. Phenomenal.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

My rating: 4.8

Very disturbing. This book is about different women's lives that are connected over a missing girl. It is told primarily about one woman but it weaves together her relationship with her two sisters (one who went missing years ago) and her husband. Karin Slaughter is a gifted writer who spins the tale and slowly lets out snippets for you to piece together.

This is extremely graphic and uncomfortable and I did some skimming of parts that were too disturbing for me. That being said, I could not put it down and will be reading more of Slaughter's works.

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton

My rating: 3.2

Mary Francis "Frankie" and her brother "William are raised on a farm.  Across from their orchard is her cousin "Amanda". This is a beautiful quiet coming of age story. You see the world through a child's eyes (Frankie's) with the simple but all important moments such as waking up in the back seat of the car on a family roadtrip and hearing her parents disagreement or having a new teacher that she is in love/awe of.

This was such a unique book in that it captured a child's perspective better than any book I have ever read. While this was sweet and wholesome I do not feel that it was a must read. I also felt that the last portion of the book fell apart.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen

My rating: 4.6

This is the second in this trilogy. I loved the first book The Queen of Tearling but it took me a while to get in to this one. Once I understood that Kelsey was having flashbacks to Lily's life, then it flowed. (This disconnect may have been due to my listening to the audio.)  This was also much darker than the first book. People seem to either love the first book or this second book better so this one was definitely different.

I am still loving this series and will definitely be reading the final book in this series. Note: I am labeling this as "Young Adult" although with the language and sexual content this book is not marketed that way. For me, it still seems to fit best in that classification.

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

My Rating: 4.6

At 38 years old, Anna has early on-set Alzheimer's. She quits her job as a paramedic and goes to live at Rosalind House where single mother Eve is the chef. This goes back and forth in time and helps you to understand both Anna and Eve's journies - both of love and descent into Alzheimer's

It is hard to say that a book about Alzheimer's was 'enjoyable' but this was. It felt light and easy to read and captured so much - good & bad - about the disease. At the core of it, we are all people and that never changes. Definite recommend.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman

My Rating: 4.0

Three sisters and their dysfunctional relationship. This is a coming of age story, a family saga, the trials of being a mother and captures New York and France.

I enjoyed the first part of this book a lot. A very unique story line that drew me in to their imaginary world/language. The last half of the book dragged a bit and felt like it should have been condensed but, that may have been my frame of mind with work. Still, a very creative read. I think this will make an interesting discussion at an upcoming book club.