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Username/Login : Kerrinhp
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My Reviews

My Antonia by Willa Cather
 
Book Club Recommended
Slow, Pointless, Insightful
Beautiful Imagery

Willa Cather's beautifully written description of the prairie and the lives of the inhabitants in the late 1800's. The book is narrated by a man, who has the greatest admiration and respect for the females in the book. It is easy to get swept away in the landscape she describes.

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Informative
Finding One\\\'s Identity

The book covers the entire life of Cora X, from her days as an orphan, her time in New York City as a chaperone for Louise Brooks, to the end of her life. During her journey she discovers many things about herself and her sense of purpose. She is a loyal and loving woman

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Beautiful, Inspiring

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Inspiring

Mrs. Kennedy and Me by Clint Hill, Lisa McCubbin
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
Interesting Account

The writing is not very good, but the story is interesting.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Dramatic

The Nightingale: A Novel by Kristin Hannah
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Informative, Inspiring

 
Book Club Recommended
Brilliant, Insightful, Inspiring
Classic

Each time I read this book, I am filled with so many emotions. Shame, over the bigotry. Pride over Atticus' equal treatment of all, and Remembrance of the innocence of children are the top three emotions. I have read the book five times now and it continues to move me and encourage me to be a better person when dealing with others.

 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Informative

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Romantic, Beautiful

Maude by Donna Foley Mabry
 
Book Club Recommended
Addictive, Interesting, Beautiful

How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Beautiful, Dramatic
Classic Coming of Age novel

I wish the word "poignant" was one of the Bookmovement Choices when you pick the 3 words that describe a book. This is a classic coming of age novel that centers around a loving, hard working family. The Welsch language is poetic in places.

Plainsong by Kent Haruf
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful, Beautiful
Finding Community

This is a very quiet, simple book. It is about real people, both adults and children, who have been abandoned in some way. They find help and solace in each other.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Beautiful
Enjoyable Book

This is a nicely written autobiography. Our club enjoye discussing Lee Smith's childhood, her Mississippi River adventure, the impact of Southern writers on her career, and the history of mental illness throughout her family.

 
Book Club Recommended
Slow, Interesting, Insightful
The summer before, during and after the war

This book follows the lives of a small community of English, starting in the summer before WWI, and continuing through the war. The book emphasizes how unprepared most people were for the real effects of war.

The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Beautiful, Interesting

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Fun

The Little Locksmith: A Memoir by Katharine Butler Hathaway
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Interesting
Beautifully Written

This is a poignant autobiography of a woman whose spirit was much greater than her physical deformities.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting
Sociological Study of the white lower class

Interesting story about a poor young man from a dysfunctional family in Appalachia who was able to "take the train out of crazy town" and graduate from Yale Law School.

The Rent Collector by Camron Wright
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Informative
Great Story of Hope

Who would have thought that a poor woman living in a garbage dump in Cambodia could be so inspiring? This is a wonderful story of hope, the search for a better life, family, friends, and the power that comes with literacy.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Brilliant, Dramatic
Honest and Funny memoir

This is a honest, but funny memoir of how the author dealt with her aging parents. The art work is fantastic.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
My Favorite Book of 2017

Beautifully written story of a shocking time in American history when human trafficking of children was over looked.

This Tender Land: A Novel by William Kent Krueger
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Beautiful, Interesting
God is A Tornado

My favorite book of 2019!

How special it is to find one of those rare and beautiful books that etches a place in your heart. This Tender Land is certainly one of those books for me. I have a feeling it will be on the best seller list for quite a while. Thank you to the author, William Kent Krueger, for sharing your heart with this book.

The book starts with the narrator, Odie O’Bannion, looking back upon events from the great depression. He tells the reader to open themselves to every possibility, for there is nothing your heart can imagine that is not so. Then he promises a tale of killing, kidnapping, children pursued by demons (and a very persistent Black Witch), courage, cowardice, love, betrayal, and of course hope. And boy does he deliver a magical story!

The story is an odyssey of four orphaned children who escape a horrible existence at an Indian School in Minnesota and try to travel via canoe to try to find an aunt in St. Louis, Missouri. The year is 1932. Odie, along with his brother Albert(the only two white children at the Indian school) their best friend Mose, rescue a young girl, Emmy, and take off with some stolen cash and a gun. They know they will be chased by the law and accused of kidnapping Emmy. As they follow the twists and turns of the great rivers they paddle, the four learn more and more about themselves. There are many well wishers, who always say to them “God be with you”. There are also several evil people, who shake their belief system entirely.

Odie O’Bannon, who was only 12 years old, tries to understand God, who had taken away his last hope of happiness with a tornado that killed Emmy’s mother who was his favorite teacher. He felt like at every corner of the journey the Tornado God had its ultimate purpose to deny the boy a happy ending. But as the journey continues, he realizes he can’t pin down God. The most important truth he learns is that when he yields to the river and embraces the journey that he finds peace. The other 3 children are also able to come to peace with their purpose, and to find a place they could call home.

On a scale of 1 to 5, I give this 10 stars. I really loved this book. I would highly recommend it to book clubs and readers who enjoyed Before We Were Yours and Where The Crawdads Sing.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Romantic, Optimistic
A Millennial Rom-Com

A Millennial Love Story… which is perfect for female Millennials and those who enjoy romantic comedies. But alas, as a baby boomer grandmother, it held less appeal to me. I doubt my book club would enjoy this book, but it would be great for a group of younger women.

I was torn between giving this a 3 star vs. a 4 star rating and have decided to go with 3 Stars. It is cleverly written and full of snappy repartee. It deals with the issue of anxiety in a sensitive manner. But I was not at all interested in competitive trivia or the mind numbing facts that were constantly mentioned throughout the dialogue. I am also completely put off when a book says there will be “A Reading of The Will”. There is not a single state in America that requires a will reading. It is such nonsense to include that as a plot line.

Nina Hill is a single 29 year old in Los Angeles, who deals with her anxiety by keeping a planner and living a simple life. Her activities include a regimented schedule of working at a book store, being on a competitive trivia team, book club, exercising, and reading. Her mother , who never told her who her biological father was, left Nina in the care of a nanny while she traveled the world as a photographer. Nina’s life is interrupted when she learns that her unbeknownst biological father has died and left her something in his will. She also learns she has a rather large family, some nice, and some not so nice. In the mean time, she starts to fall for a guy on one of the other competitive trivia teams. And then there is the problem that her employer has failed to pay rent and the book store is in jeopardy. But alas, there is hope for a happy ending!

Cilka's Journey: A Novel by Heather Morris
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Inspiring, Insightful
A Harrowing Journey

Like many others, I was fascinated by Heather Morris’ book, The Tattooist of Auschwitz about Lale Sokolov. During their time together, Mr. Sokolov told Heather Morris that Cilka Klein “was the bravest person” he ever met and said she was the person who saved his life. In their conversations Ms. Morris learned that Cilka, a very beautiful young girl of 16, was imprisoned at Auschwitz-Birkenau and only survived by allowing herself to be repeatedly raped by two senior SS officers. The first part of her story is mentioned in The Tattooist of Auschwitz. In the epilogue the author states she received many inquiries as to what happened to Cilka. This novel is the answer to that question. While one would not need to read The Tattooist of Auschwitz prior to reading this book, I think would be helpful.

This novel starts right after Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp is liberated by the Soviets. Cilka is immediately convicted, without a trial, of working with the enemy, as a prostitute and additionally as a spy . Her punishment is to be further imprisoned for fifteen years in the coldest place on earth, Vorkuta Gulag.

Cilka is a fascinating character. She is smart, loyal, and generous. She is befriended by a kind female physician, who allows Cilka to train as a nurse. Cilka is able to improve the condition of the nursery, and is a comfort to many people. She is brave and often entered dangerous situations as a member of the ambulance crew. Cilka was human too, often entering into dark periods because of the hopelessness she often found herself in. She lives with the guilt of her time at Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Heather Morris has done a fantastic job of historical research to show us the horrendous conditions of the Vorkuta Gulag, where Trustees ruled in gangs, raped as many women prisoners as they pleased, and tormented the staff.

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy of this book that will be released on October 1, 2019. 5 stars.

Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Optimistic, Inspiring
Gem of a book

This is a gem of book. Words to describe Have You Seen Luis Velez? Uplifting, thought-provoking, encouraging, and big-hearted. If you need any of those ideas in your life (and who doesn't), then I highly recommend this book. It is a simple reminder that if you want to see good in the world, YOU need to be the one to do good.

I read this book during the Covid-19 pandemic. Being confined to the house for weeks on end is a little shocking for us all. This book gave me a peaceful feeling, one of reassurance that this too will pass.

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