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My Reviews

 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Slow, Dramatic

Donna Tartt is very good at setting scenes, and sentence construction. She does have a way of keeping the story moving. We all enjoyed the book,but we did feel it was too long. The time in the book set in Las Vegas could have definitely been shorter. Enjoyed discussing the comparisons of the life of Theo and the painting of the chained Goldfinch.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Dark

Incredible book! The author was able to weave a powerful story of lives intertwined. It pictured humanity in war torn times: Survival, heart ache, struggle, care and love thru impossible circumstances

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Insightful, Interesting

Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson
 
Slow, Boring, Pointless
Gilead

This awarding winning book and author have some good aspects, but it was written it a style that was difficult to get used to. It moved very slowly for most of us. Are we glad we read it...yes. Will we read the author's sequels to Gilead....probably not right away.

Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Interesting, Inspiring
Great as Audiobook

I enjoyed listening to the author read this book. Mindy Kaling is a very talented person and has made her way in a profession that is so hard for females and women of color to break into. She has some very insightful thoughts coupled with her unique since of humor.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Beautiful, Optimistic

This telling of one's life made me laugh and cry. Martin Short's account of his career was in depth. I never realized that he has accomplished so much. His love for his wife and his account of her battle with cancer was a wonderful tribute to their relationship. Listening to this via Scribed Audiobook in the author's own voice made the impact of this book so much larger.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Informative
Masterfully Written

Alice Hoffman weaves a very interesting story from the perspective of the 2 main characters. The plot unfolds with tragedy, crime, mystery, social justice and romance at it's heart. Worth the read!

 
Slow
Wishing this memoir went deeper

My Journey through War and Peace is a memoir of Melissa Burch. She relates her adventures while a film maker/ journalist in Afghanistan and the Soviet Union when it was very rare for women to venture into those areas to report. She is very honest and vulnerable in sharing her life journey. This memoir could have easily been twice as long. I would love to hear more about her travels and insights personally as a filmmaker overseas. She is very descriptive, documenting the look of the scene in the various events of her life that she speaks to in this memoir; what I would expect from a film maker. I feel this memoir just barely touched the surface of a very complex women. Many passages left me wanting to know more about what was going on internally with her during the events in her life that were turning points

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura. Esquivel
 
Interesting, Beautiful

Food, love, tragedy combined with magical realism. Very enjoyable read

Over the Plain Houses by Julia Franks
 
Dramatic, Dark, Brilliant

Loved this book! Franks was able to weave a powerful story out of Appalachian folk lore, religious fanaticism, social & agricultural changes all set in the Western North Carolina mountains in 1939. The strong characters of Irenie and Brodis lead the reader on a journey thru discontent, discord, & misunderstanding. I love books that I can visually "see" as I read. This story did not disappoint! I highly recommend this book!

The Mothers: A Novel by Brit Bennett
 
Brilliant, Interesting, Insightful

So smartly written. This is a powerful book about the choices we make- about the questions those choices leave us with. A truly amazing debut novel. "She had grown up and found God, people thought, but she hadn't found anything. She was searching for her mother."p.234

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
Fun, Fantastic, Beautiful

Such a wonderful story! I'm simply going to share some of my favorite quotes.
"You know; when you're feeling very sad, sunsets are wonderful..."p.19
"It's harder to judge yourself than to judge others."p.32
"One sees clearly with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."p.63

 
Life Changing, Difficult, Inspiring

This has been a very tough, but very timely book to read. It has challenged me to look deep within myself and the assumptions regarding racism & white privileges I may hold. It has helped me to renew my commitment to welcoming & understanding the stranger and to opening my heart, mind and soul to all who are in my world, my community, and my place of worship.

The Midwife by Jolina Petersheim
 
Interesting, Insightful, Dramatic

3.75 stars. A very heart tugging read filled with unexpected twists and turns. This story comes full circle with grief, loss, healing and hope. The interconnectedness of the women in this story was a wonderful addition.

 
Slow, Beautiful

Mary Oliver has a wonderful way with words and blends the spirit and nature into so much of her writing. The part that was the slowest for me was the section where she wrote about various other poets. I liked this enough to be interested in reading more of her work.

River Road: A Novel by Carol Goodman
 
Dramatic, Beautiful

Carol Goodman is an amazing writer. She has a flair for the eerie, suspenseful story. The only negative I had was I really didn't like the main character, Nan, and how she handled her grief. But I guess that's the point; grief is messy and nobody handles and processes it the same. P. 273, "...You hear the story you want to hear. And maybe the one you need to hear,..."

 
Difficult, Life Changing, Beautiful

I've tried to make an effort to read more diverse books this year & when this one showed up in a donation to my Little Free Library I knew it was time to read it. Toni Morrison is an incredible writer who pulls no punches. She gets to the heart & soul of the subject matter. Thru the child characters, Pecola, Claudia & Frieda, my insight into the effects of race, culture, and racism was expanded. Seeing these constructs thru the eyes of children was poignant.

 
Fun, Optimistic, Beautiful

Such a sweet book!

 
Informative, Difficult, Insightful

Themes of family disjunction, secrets & hoarding prevail in this book. The author told the story in a creative way by using the Mother's emails to a stranger interwoven in the narrative. It ends with redemption & healing.
P. 384 " I know as well as you do that only the individual had the key to change themselves."

 
Fun, Dramatic

Very light Christmas reading. This collection of 2 novellas combined feel good Christmas emotions with mystery, intrigue and romance

After the Quake: Stories by Haruki Murakami
 
Fun, Interesting, Adventurous

This is my first time reading Murakami. His books at first look, intimidate me, but this book of short stories listened to thru Scribd was a great way to get my feet wet. I found the stories very well written and enjoyable to read. Plan to pick up another Murakami book soon.

Another Brooklyn: A Novel by Jacqueline Woodson
 
Insightful, Beautiful, Inspiring

Love Woodson's writing. It's pure, vulnerable and speaks truth.
p. 23 "For God so loved the world their father would say, he gave his only begotten son. But what about his daughters, I wondered. What did God do with his daughters?"
p. 66 "How do we dream ourselves out of this?"

 
Dramatic, Interesting, Brilliant

Best short story collection I have read this year. Each story centered around a woman- a strong, independent and flawed woman. Absolutely loved this book!
Quotes from the story "Mothers, Tell Your Daughters."
P.89 "You can always find pain and suffering in this life, but why go looking for it."
P.103 "Everyone of you children was born at a crossroads because every woman giving birth becomes a crossroad."

 
Fun, Fantastic, Interesting

Loved this collection of holiday stories. Each story warmed the heart and allowed hope to shine thru. These stories can give your day a much needed break. This book is staying with my Holiday book collection.
P. 214 "Rules make people feel safe. But they can turn into judgements. Condemnation is easy, Vaughn. The harder choice is love." Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire

 
Interesting, Graphic, Dark

A dark, disturbing tale of the mind in 188 pages.
P.187" ...but surely the dream wasn't all there is? We have to wake up at some point don't we?"

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
 
Interesting, Dark, Dramatic

Margaret Atwood is an amazing author. This was published in 1986 but it alludes to the disturbing tragedy of losing individual rights. Scary and worrisome how women lost their rights and the society came under the authority of a patriarchal, strict fundamental religious based government. But YAY! for Quakers being around and still working for justice and running the Underground Femaleroad!

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
 
Difficult, Informative, Adventurous

Experienced this book as an audiobook. Interesting. She was so young, impressionable and lacked self esteem when she was thrown into stardom. The part of her diary read by her daughter Billie was my favorite part.

The Atomic Weight of Love: A Novel by Elizabeth J. Church
 
Beautiful, Inspiring, Interesting

This story is about love, about knowing ones' self; it's about discovery, deep emotion; it's about perseverance; it's about the untapped strength of women. Beautifully written.
P.233 "In practice, it's difficult to resist the impulse to fill the silence, to let the person you love off the hook, to let them be."

 
Informative, Inspiring, Dramatic

Powerful, meaningful account of the injustice that is prevalent in our criminal justice system. Bryan Stevenson has shared his heart, his soul and his life's work. It has truly opened my eyes and caused me to grieve injustice. P.294 "The power of just mercy is that it belongs to the undeserving. It's when mercy is least expected that it's most potent- strong enough to break the cycle of victimization and victimhood, retribution and suffering." There's not enough space to share how this book has impacted me. #stonecatcher #justice #mercy #hope

The Color Purple by Alice Walker
 
Insightful, Inspiring, Beautiful

Amazing storytelling. Loved the structure of the writing. Contains powerful themes of race, justice, culture, family and resilience. P. 207 "I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
 
Adventurous, Brilliant, Dramatic

This is a story of 2 strong young women. It's a story of their friendship. It's about the atrocities of war. It's a story of truth and strength.
"Careless talk costs lives"
"Fly the plane, Maddie"
"Kiss me, Hardy! Kiss me, Quick!"
"Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning "
P.201 "Patriotism is not enough- I must have no hatred or bitterness for anyone."

 
Graphic, Fun, Insightful

Amy Schumer jumps in with both feet in this vulnerable look at her life. Strong themes prevail: family, feminism, loving the body you have, things not to do in your young adult years, & advocating for decrease gun violence. Trigger warning: If you would rather not hear/read coarse language or hear/read about the intimate details of a persons sex life, this book may not be for you. Amy holds nothing back.

 
Fun

Easy, enjoyable read. Loved that it had a Little Free Library as part of this mystery. 3.25??

Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
 
Life Changing, Inspiring, Beautiful

This poetry collection from Rupi Kaur is incredibly powerful and moving. Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry about love, loss, trauma, abuse, healing and femininity. I wish I could quote every single line here. I read this as an ebook on Scribd but will be getting a hard copy to keep on my shelf. So emotionally moving.


 
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting

2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino
 
Confusing, Gloomy, Adventurous

Enjoyable- however I had difficulty at times following all the characters in addition to the main characters of Madeleine, Sarina and Lorca. This may be due to experiencing it as an audiobook. The book was paced well and it was an intriguing way to tell a story over a 24 hour period.

 
Dramatic, Informative, Pointless

 
Interesting, Insightful, Informative

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
 
Informative, Interesting, Insightful

 
Fun, Adventurous, Brilliant

Exit West: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid
 
Interesting, Adventurous, Dramatic

Alias Grace: A Novel by Margaret Atwood
 
Interesting, Dramatic, Slow

3.75?? More wonderful writing by Margaret Atwood. This book is different in that this book was based on a true story. The story did progress slowly, but I found it a compelling read none the less.

Miss You: A Novel by Kate Eberlen
 
Fun, Romantic, Beautiful

How do two people keep missing each other over a lifetime? Timing? Fate?- They meet when they are supposed to meet. Beautiful story of lives intersecting.

 
Dramatic, Brilliant, Beautiful

Great collection of Poems! Ron Rash's writing never disappoints. His words always paint the most vivid pictures.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
 
Interesting, Insightful, Dark

Station Eleven will take you on a journey you hope never truly happens. A Flu, so bad, wipes out 99% of the world's population & you're left with a circular story of past lives & an unknown future for those left. Disturbing- yet a very compelling read.

Swing Time by Zadie Smith
 
Interesting, Unconvincing, Pointless

3.5??. Experienced this read as an Audiobook. The Narrater, Pippa Bennett-Warner, did an excellent job. This story is basically a story of a life, the people and relationships that weave through the life of this unnamed narrator. The story looks at the life and experiences of the narrator over several years, from childhood to young adult. Some key words that keep coming to mind are- a lonely life & a self absorbed life. It is my 1st time reading Zadie Smith. I would be interested in reading one of her other books.

 
Fantastic, Dramatic, Adventurous

This book is a fascinating read and a little mind bending. The main character, Greta, travels through different time periods as herself following each shock treatment for depression. This is an enjoyable read looking at how we see ourselves and others when we have the opportunity to change/ redirect our lives.
P. 197"Don't we all have someone we'd like to save from the wreckage?"
P. 231"We can hardly guess the burdens people carry."

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
 
Brilliant, Beautiful, Adventurous

This is a wonderfully imaginative story about a young girl named, Luna, who finds out literally what she is made of and who she is meant to be. This is the story of sorrow, of hope, of joy, of redemption. The story poses the question...Will you feed your soul with sorrow or will you feed your soul with hope. Very moving story. Very worthy of it's Newberry Medal

Iron House by John Hart
 
Dramatic, Graphic, Beautiful

This book is not my typical genre- However, this book was a compelling, fast moving read. Pretty gory in places, but the twists and turns will keep you reading to the end.

 
Insightful, Confusing, Interesting

I'm just not too sure what this book is about. It felt like the story stayed just at the surface of so many intense issues and events that if they had been explored more in depth would have added a richness to the novel that I thought it lacked. I did enjoy it more than The Burgess Boys.

 
Fantastic, Brilliant, Adventurous

Haruf's writing is so real that it always puts me within the scene. This story was set in rural Colorado and centered around the town's life and what can happen when one person's actions affects the whole. It comes with some unexpected turns.

Pax by Sara Pennypacker
 
Adventurous, Dramatic, Interesting

A truly moving and emotional story about much more than a boy and his fox. Themes of love, loyalty & letting go are dominant themes. The images of war, struggle, strength, hope and resilience are also a large part of this story. A middle grade read, but adults will be touched by this powerful story as well.

 
Insightful, Informative, Interesting

Very convinced that books can be a gateway to understanding. When I understand how another person lives & what impacts that life, I learn so much & am more open to a life & culture different from mind. This book has done just that for me. Experienced this as an audiobook. I feel the author reading his own words increased the impact of these words.

 
Life Changing, Inspiring, Adventurous

P.18 "The stream is your soul. And you are the keeper." P. 24 "You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life." P.56 "Your soul can be alright when everything in your world is all wrong." P.184 "The soul is seen when it reaches out in love."

Maine (Vintage Contemporaries) by J. Courtney Sullivan
 
Slow, Beautiful, Unconvincing

4 women, 3 generations and lots of dysfunction all set on the coast of Maine- This book had so much potential but it just seemed to take an above ground look at the lives of the women in the family and never went deep to try and resolve some of the deep dysfunction that continued to linger. Lives didn't change much. They seemed to go back to their own lives maybe more content with their current situations? The larger relationships remained unmended for the most part. I guess I was looking for healing and redemption of family and didn't find it.

 
Life Changing, Beautiful, Adventurous

The tale of a journey- a journey of finding oneself - taking a path that is yours alone. I found the words beautiful and poetic. I found the message/ meaning relevant and significant for even today -Searching and longing for peace within.

The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines, Mark Dagostino
 
Inspiring, Fun, Optimistic

Experienced this book as an audiobook. The book is read by the authors and I felt it made their story so much more personalized and special. They talked about their journey, what brought them together and what keeps them together. They have a high commitment to each other and their children. They (Chip) don't hesitate to lend a hand to someone in need. They state that it hasn't been easy, that they have gone thru some pretty tough and uncertain times, but they have come thru it with perseverance and commitment. One comment Joanna made really stuck with me. She said to find happiness in the ugliness and the mess, and she remarked that she has allowed Chip to stretch her and make her a better person today. Very uplifting read.

 
Insightful, Dramatic, Informative

This story takes you on a journey with Cora, an escaped slave from Georgia. Whitehead, the author, effectively brings into the light the atrocities slaves experienced, endured and for many succumbed to. Powerful in word and meaning. The writing style was difficult for me in places ,but the storyline and message prevailed.
P. 255 " But we have all been branded even if you can't see it."

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