My friend Tom has been trying to get me to read Dibdin for some time. So, the fact that I am on vacation, that Tom is here and he finished this myster...moreMy friend Tom has been trying to get me to read Dibdin for some time. So, the fact that I am on vacation, that Tom is here and he finished this mystery and handed it to me, might have something to do with why I read this book. I don't particularly like starting mystery series in the middle, but I made an exception.
If this novel is any indication, this series is as good as my friend claims. There was one time that I felt like I was smarter than the characters, but that did not last once Zen entered the story. This met my criteria for mysteries - tell me something new, but not too much gratuitous violence. The mysteries I read don't have to be cosies, but I don't want a bloodbath.
Dibdin not only kept the blood to a minimum, but he made me think about modern Italy, the course of love and honor. All in all this was a good story.
If you read Donna Leon and have not encountered Michael Dibdin, you should pick up one of his Aurelio Zen mysteries. I think you will enjoy them. (less)
For many years, one of our family traditions was to find a Donald Westlake audiobook for our vacation. Many of his John Dortmunder novels were recorde...moreFor many years, one of our family traditions was to find a Donald Westlake audiobook for our vacation. Many of his John Dortmunder novels were recorded on cassettes. My husband and I had a great time listening to Dortmunder and his "gang" bumble their way through ridiculous crime capers.
One of our friends found this novel at the library booksale. Dortmunder is nowhere to be seen, but the string of coincidences in this story remind me of him. Francis Meeham has a week to save himself from prison and everything is conspiring against him. I know this sounds weird, but reading about Meecham's misadventures was great fun.
If you enjoy Westlake's lighter tales, if you like Carl Hiaasen's and Tim Dorsey's novels or you would like to see some political creeps get their just desserts, pick up this enjoyable novel. My only regret was that I didn't get to listen to it. (less)
There were many times when I just wanted to toss this book against the wall. I could not decide if Corrigan is a late, very late bloomer or if she is...moreThere were many times when I just wanted to toss this book against the wall. I could not decide if Corrigan is a late, very late bloomer or if she is just more honest about her dependence on her dad than many people.
For Corrigan the middle place is where you are both child and parent. I like her definition, but I don't believe that being a child means acting childishly. For me, there were times in this book that I found her to be very immature. Once you are an adult, I believe that your parents should treat you as an adult. I am not sure that Corrigan would agree with me.
On the other hand, it was good to read about a functional family. Corrigan, her parents and her brothers seem to actually love one another. Also Corrigan's relationship with her husband seems loving, although she presented herself as fairly needy. Too many memoirs talk about dysfunctional families. Love is very apparent throughout this book.
I recommend this story to anyone going through similar issues. Also to those who like to read biographies. If you find Corrigan whiny you can always stop reading. (less)
I bought this book about a year ago to complete a thrift books order. My local library didn't own it and I wanted to read it. Also I thought I would r...moreI bought this book about a year ago to complete a thrift books order. My local library didn't own it and I wanted to read it. Also I thought I would recommend it to my book group. I am not sure why it took me so long to get to this.
I am definitely suggesting it to my book group. Even though we have some issues about feminism, I think we can safely read it and not have a battle about "working" moms. We will see.
Coontz does an excellent job of putting The Feminine Mystique in context. I was glad to find out more about where women were when the book came out; what women were most affected by this and how Friedan and her writings fit in with the feminist movement of the 60's and 70's.
I also was pleased to read Coontz' perspective on this seminal work. As a feminist scholar, Coontz could talk about the way Friedan influenced many aspects of American life.
Because Coontz is a professor, she is able to talk knowledgeably about the negative effects of this feminist book. Somehow it never occurred to me that if you are a scholar in this area, you should be reading the conservative, backlash to this type of materials. Now that I know that, of course it makes sense. Another plus in reading for my own edification, rather than for teaching. I am grateful to read what I want rather than what I need to read.
If you have any interest in history, in the changes that have happened since the 1950's or you just want to know more about Betty Friedan, this is the book for you. (less)
I did not take this book with me on my vacation because I was half way through it and I didn't want to give it space instead of a book I hadn't starte...moreI did not take this book with me on my vacation because I was half way through it and I didn't want to give it space instead of a book I hadn't started. However, as soon as we unpacked today, I headed back to see what Molly was cooking up in the next chapter.
This is the eighth non-fiction book I have read this year about food and I have another one started. I like learning about why people like to eat what they eat. I also enjoy knowing the stories that go with people's recipes and food interests. Somewhere in this book (which I now can't find) Wizenberg talks how on her blog she need to include life stories as well as recipes. That is what I am looking for when I pick up these books.
Wizenberg gave me all I could want and more. Her personal stories are wonderful - she goes from her childhood through her marriage. Also there are several recipes that I will have to try. Her writing creates images that will stick with me for some time.
If you like reading food essays, make sure you pick this up. (less)
I have to thank Hoover for introducing me to a new type of book. I have never encountered a new adult novel before. At least, I don't think I have. Ac...moreI have to thank Hoover for introducing me to a new type of book. I have never encountered a new adult novel before. At least, I don't think I have. According to Wikipedia, "(t)his category is intended to be marketed to post-adolescents and young-adults ages 18 to 30." Who knew? Somehow this type of book passed me right by. I should have been purchasing these for the library that I worked for, but I had missed the marketing all together.
As romances go, this one was a bit light to me. There are two reasons for this - one it is a novella. Secondly, there may have been less back story because the protagonists are young - high school seniors.
I gather that Hoover is a popular author. She seems to be a good writer and knows her audience. I probably won't read another one of her novels, but that is only because I am not interested in this type of romance. I want my hero and heroine to be adults.(less)
The first volume in the Blackthorn Brothers series, this one as good as the second. I have been over dosing on romance lately, but it has been fun.
I a...moreThe first volume in the Blackthorn Brothers series, this one as good as the second. I have been over dosing on romance lately, but it has been fun.
I appreciate Michaels conceit in these books that all the brothers have Shakespeare connections. I am not sure I could come up with an original twist on English historical romances. There are so many of them. Oliver like his brother Puck has had an unusual upbringing. Their path to romance is not smooth. Of course, when all is said and done, everyone lives happily ever after.
If you like historical romance and have not read Kasey Michaels, I recommend this series to you.(less)
I really liked this novel. I think that all the characters were worth meeting, especially Fikry and his lady love. Also, since I enjoy short stories,...moreI really liked this novel. I think that all the characters were worth meeting, especially Fikry and his lady love. Also, since I enjoy short stories, the chapter headings were great.
My only problem with this story is that I feel a bit manipulated. I knew this would be a romance, in that it follows that genre's storyline. However, I don't want to see the strings being pulled. I want to fall into a book and enjoy the tale. I did that with The Storied Life, but every so often, I could feel the pull and see the puppet master.
There are several quotes that I loved in this book. I don't usually do this, but so much of what is said in this novel is how I feel about life. Maybe that is why I feel manipulated.
“We read to know we're not alone. We read because we are alone. We read and we are not alone.”
“We aren’t the things we collect, acquire, read. We are, for as long as we are here, only love. The things we loved. The people we loved. And these, I think these really do live on.”
“Sometimes books don't find us until the right time.”
All in all, I highly recommend this story. If you love books, bookstores and libraries, you will enjoy this book.(less)
I picked this book up because Doerr's latest has a lot of holds at my library. I like most short stories and I was hoping for some that were realism r...moreI picked this book up because Doerr's latest has a lot of holds at my library. I like most short stories and I was hoping for some that were realism rather than fantasy.
I got what I wanted, in that all these stories might happen although I would hope that some of them would never come to fruition. I believe that a realistic version of "July Fourth" might be as silly as Doerr tells it and I wish that parts of "The Caretaker" were not true.
There are eight stories in this collection and I found all of them to be wonderfully written and fascinating in their own way. One of the reasons I could never be an author is my imagination is very limited. How do authors invent the people they write about? Doerr's characters are possible, but no one else has thought them into being.
I especially liked the people in the first and last stories. I know that "The Shell Collector appealed to me because of the sea shells, but then the story drew me in. "Mkondo" was so strange and beautiful - the ending was better than I hoped.
If you read short stories, you should not miss this collection.(less)
This was an impulse purchase because Amazon owed me some money from the lawsuit about price-fixing. I read reviews before buying this and I am glad I...moreThis was an impulse purchase because Amazon owed me some money from the lawsuit about price-fixing. I read reviews before buying this and I am glad I ignored the naysayers. Although Altman and her companion are nothing like me, I enjoyed reading about their relationship and how they dealt with their food differences.
Altman is a food snob. If we had ever met, I am not sure what we would have talked about. I am not about to spend lots of money on odd ingredients. I believe time is too short to finish uninteresting books and also to try recipes that require things like fennel pollen. There is plenty to cook without going to such extremes.
However, after Altman meets Susan, she changes and relaxes about food. I am looking forward to trying her onion panade and I was glad to see that she learned to eat warm tomato sandwiches.
All in all, the best part of this book, for me, is the relationship. Elissa and Susan seem made for one another. I am glad to have gotten to read about such a loving couple.
If you like food and you like autobiographies, I highly recommend this story to you.(less)
I am assuming that enough readers have asked Burrowes about the progenitors of her most read series, that she felt obligated to create this back story...moreI am assuming that enough readers have asked Burrowes about the progenitors of her most read series, that she felt obligated to create this back story. Since I have enjoyed the Windhams, I figured this was worth picking up.
It was, but only because I have read some of the series. If you are new to this series, I would read some of the romances about the Windham children before I read this novella. Much of the humor was, for me, based on knowing the other stories in the series.
I think Burrowes is a fun, good writer, but this is a minor work. Well worth reading, but I am glad I could borrow this rather than buy it.(less)
Project Gutenberg strikes again. Once I had reread Daddy Long-Legs, I figured I might as well go back to find the sequel. Unfortunately, Dear Enemy di...moreProject Gutenberg strikes again. Once I had reread Daddy Long-Legs, I figured I might as well go back to find the sequel. Unfortunately, Dear Enemy did not stand up to time in the same way that Webster's earlier novel did.
The story was wonderful since it had a happy ending. By now, it should be obvious to everyone that I am a sucker for romance. Even though I knew everything would work out at the end, the journey was lots of fun.
The difficult part was that the attitude towards drinking and mental health left a lot to be desired. This novel was written in 1915, so the ideas about alcohol and feeble mindedness fit the time. I found it jarring every time the subject came up, so that I found myself drawn away from the tale.
On the other hand, I did like the fact that Sallie was considered able to run an orphanage even though she was only a woman. Remember, 1915 is before women had the vote in this country. If we think women deal with a lot of discrimination now, just imagine what it was like 100 years ago.
I recommend this novel to readers of epistolary novels, to those who like historical tales and to anyone who enjoys a happy ending. I just wish the drawings were in this edition. As I said about Daddy Long-Legs, it is weird not to have the illustrations.(less)
I am not sure what it says about me, that Bell seemed powerful while I read this book, but a week later I don't remember much about what he had to say...moreI am not sure what it says about me, that Bell seemed powerful while I read this book, but a week later I don't remember much about what he had to say. I went back to the book and remembered what I liked. I guess part of the issue is that Bell's not the only one who has written about God and the amazing things that God is doing.
For example, I believe that Sara Maitland's A Joyful Theology covers much of the same material and does it well. She does not have the public attention that Rob Bell does and so he gets accolades for his books from the general public and Maitland is read by fewer people. This is how the world works.
I would like to discuss Bell's books with some other people. I want to know how others see his views about God and faith. (less)
When Borrowed Time came out in 1988, I was deep into my life as a librarian, wife, mother. I was expecting my second child and I believed like so many...moreWhen Borrowed Time came out in 1988, I was deep into my life as a librarian, wife, mother. I was expecting my second child and I believed like so many others that AIDs was a disease that would never touch my life. However, for whatever reason, I read Monette's memoir Borrowed Time, of his life with Rog and found the book touching and the events tragic.
More than 25 years later, I was reading about the books published by Open Road Media and there was Paul Monette's name. I had not thought of him in years. So I looked to see what my library had by him and this is the only book. I may have read it back in 1994, but it was time to revisit those years. The Normal Heart by Larry Kramer has finally made it to television and I am reading Paul Monette.
The only problem with this was I am angry all over again. Too many good people died before everyone found some answers. Our country really did treat AIDs and HIV as if only gay men were ever going to be affected. (My anger has extra fuel now, thanks to the Supreme Court and the Hobby Lobby.)
I know change can be slow, but it often does arrive. I was just sad that we lost a writer like Monette. His essays were all wonderful - he made me look at life and love in new ways. I am very grateful to him - I just wish our society could pay more attention to radial justice, good medical care for all, enough food, women's bodies, etc., etc., etc.(less)