Zee Devohrs and her husband Doug live in the carriage house on the grounds of her parents large mansion once home to an artists' colony. Doug is tryin...moreZee Devohrs and her husband Doug live in the carriage house on the grounds of her parents large mansion once home to an artists' colony. Doug is trying to earn his way into a tenured faculty position by writing a book about an artist who once stayed at the colony but hits a brick wall every time he tries to get any information about that time from Gracie, Zee's mother. The novel moves backwards through time revealing more of the story of the house and its inhabitants until you discover the secrets that everyone has been trying to conceal.
I like the conceit of the book, but I really just couldn't get into that much. I didn't care about the characters and although I didn't see the reveal coming I also wasn't that interested in it either. (less)
The authors interviewed 115 low-income families to find out about their experiences with the Earned Income Tax Credit. They compare the EITC to tradit...moreThe authors interviewed 115 low-income families to find out about their experiences with the Earned Income Tax Credit. They compare the EITC to traditional welfare asserting that the EITC is a more effective program especially in light of restrictions placed on welfare. They share the stories of the families that receive EITC and look at how they spend the money they receive.
This book seemed like something that would be right up my alley, and while in general the topic was I found the book itself to be very repetitive. I'm pretty sure the same information could have been conveyed much better in a 20 page journal article instead of being dragged out into a 300 page book. I just felt like the authors were saying the same thing over and over again.(less)
When they were six Richard's best friend Melanie went missing and was presumed dead. Every since she disappeared Richard has felt her presence with hi...moreWhen they were six Richard's best friend Melanie went missing and was presumed dead. Every since she disappeared Richard has felt her presence with him in a sort of shadow like form. Now ten years later Melanie has been found and returns, but if she's alive than whose ghost has been haunting Richard over the past decade? In his search to find out the truth he uncovers more than he bargained for.
I didn't care much for this book. I didn't think the characters were all that interesting and the horror aspects of the book didn't really do much for me either.(less)
Oh man was this a hard book to read, but so worth it. Lies We Tell Ourselves is set in Virginia in 1959. Sarah Dunbar and her younger sister are a cou...moreOh man was this a hard book to read, but so worth it. Lies We Tell Ourselves is set in Virginia in 1959. Sarah Dunbar and her younger sister are a couple of the few students who are chosen to integrate the previously all-white Jefferson High School. Linda Hairston is a firm believer in keeping segregation alive and aims to get her school back. Forced to work together on a school project the two discover that they may have more in common than they thought.
Talley does an excellent job of portraying a very difficult time in our nation's history that still has lasting effects to this day. I read this book before everything happened in Ferguson, but looking back on it now it's hard to think that we've come very far from the horrible physical and psychological brutality put upon kids who were just trying to gain access to an equal education. The subject matter makes it a very difficult read, but an extremely important one. It's so hard to think that people can be this awful to other people, but they were and they are. Hopefully this book can help open some eyes to the horrendousness of discrimination whether regarding race or sexuality, both of which are addressed in the book. (less)
Melinek writes a memoir about her time as newly minted forensic pathologist training in the New York City medical examiner's office. She shares many s...moreMelinek writes a memoir about her time as newly minted forensic pathologist training in the New York City medical examiner's office. She shares many stories about how forensic pathology works and what you can and can't tell from a body. She shares stories about deaths ranging from the mundane to the extremely bizarre. Although I really enjoyed the book up to this point too, the most compelling part of the narrative comes from her stories about working in the aftermath of 9/11, which occurred just a few months after she was on the job. I found the whole book to very interesting and a great look into a profession I don't really know anything about other than the fake stuff I've seen on television. (less)
Sue's 15 year old daughter is lying in the hospital in a coma after seemingly trying to commit suicide by stepping in front of an oncoming bus. Sue is...moreSue's 15 year old daughter is lying in the hospital in a coma after seemingly trying to commit suicide by stepping in front of an oncoming bus. Sue is distraught and doesn't believe that her daughter would really try to commit suicide, so she wants to understand what happened. She goes looking into her daughter's life to try and piece together what might have really been going on. Meanwhile she starts discovering mysterious things that seem to be coming from someone she thought she escaped from her own past long ago. Could her what happened to her daughter and this long ago abusive relationship from her past somehow be connected? Told in alternating timelines in Sue's present and past the story is a thrilling and creepy tale that will appeal to fans of books like Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep.(less)
I have loved all of Rainbow Rowell's other books, so I was really looking forward to reading Landline. I enjoyed it, but not as much as her two young...moreI have loved all of Rainbow Rowell's other books, so I was really looking forward to reading Landline. I enjoyed it, but not as much as her two young adult novels, Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. I do think I liked it better than her first adult novel, Attachments though. She has a way of writing about situations and feelings that describe things so perfectly about how they really are in real life or at least my life that it almost hurts. This book was no exception to that.
Georgie and Neal have been married for a number of years and have two small children. She's a writer on a successful sitcom while he is a stay at home dad. Tensions have been mounting between them as Georgie has been spending a lot of time at work and eventually come to a head when she tells Neal she can't accompany him to Omaha to spend Christmas with his family because she has to stay at home and work. When Neal goes without her she can't seem to connect to him in the present, but through some mysterious magic winds up able to talk to a past version of him through an old landline. Will she discover they were never meant to be together in the first place and will she ever find her way back to her current husband in time to save their marriage before it's too late?
As with all Rainbow Rowell novels I found the characters to be well written and likeable despite their flaws. They seemed human is what I'm saying. I really liked the idea of a sort of romance novel centering around a married couple trying to find their way back to the love they feel for each other through the chaos of living in the mundane, everyday life. As such I kind of wish there hadn't been this magical element with her only being able to talk to past Neal. I would have liked to see how it played out between them in reality. Despite the author not writing the book exactly as I wished it would have been (the nerve!), it's actually a really great book and I would recommend it along with any of her other ones. (less)
Cary Elwes writes his reminiscences about the making of the movie The Princess Bride. He shares the history of the film and how it almost didn't get m...moreCary Elwes writes his reminiscences about the making of the movie The Princess Bride. He shares the history of the film and how it almost didn't get made, how various people got cast in the film, and tales from the set. Each story also includes quotes off-set in boxes from other people involved in the making of the film that relate to what he is writing about. Elwes isn't the best of writers, but if you can get past that the book is warm-hearted and full of delightful little nuggets of information about the beloved movie. If you're a fan of the movie you will almost certainly enjoy reading this book. It will be interesting to rewatch it now and spot some of the things Elwes reveals in the book. (less)
I read this book for one of my book clubs and quite enjoyed it. Axie Muldoon and her siblings are taken away from their widowed mother in 1860s New Yo...moreI read this book for one of my book clubs and quite enjoyed it. Axie Muldoon and her siblings are taken away from their widowed mother in 1860s New York and sent off on an orphan train to a better life. Axie's brother and sister are adopted but she runs away from her placement only wanting to reunited her family and winds up back in New York where she is apprenticed to a doctor. She eventually becomes a midwife and works her way into becoming notoriously known for treating "women's ailments" eventually running afoul of the law for her practices. All the while even across the many years she dreams of nothing but reuniting with her long lost sister and brother.
The characters and the setting are all very well drawn, and the book takes many interesting turns throughout. If you're a fan of historical fiction I would definitely recommend this book.(less)
I keep telling myself I'm going to stop reading Jodi Picoult books, but then I keep getting free galleys of them so I can't help myself. If you've rea...moreI keep telling myself I'm going to stop reading Jodi Picoult books, but then I keep getting free galleys of them so I can't help myself. If you've read Jodi Picoult before then you know exactly what you're getting into with this book. It's got the story told from multiple character perspectives switching back and forth and then a big twist at the end and in this case elephants.
Thirteen year old Jenna was born on an elephant sanctuary where her parents worked, but she's been living with her grandmother for the past 10 years after one of the keepers was trampled by an elephant, her mother mysteriously disappeared, and her father was institutionalized after going crazy in the wake of tragic accident that led to all of this. Now Jenna is convinced her mother may still be alive and decides to hunt her down with the help of a psychic and the disgraced former detective who worked on the case originally both who are facing their own demons.
I certainly learned a lot about elephants that I didn't know before. I really did not care for the twist at the end of this one though. It wasn't one of my favorite Jodi Picoult books, but it wasn't one of the worst either. (less)
Meg Wolitzer dips her toe into the young adult novel scene with Belzhar. After deep mourning for over a year over her boyfriend who died, Jam Gallahue...moreMeg Wolitzer dips her toe into the young adult novel scene with Belzhar. After deep mourning for over a year over her boyfriend who died, Jam Gallahue's parents send her off to a special boarding school for troubled teens. At first Jam resents being there, but after getting drafted into a special English class devoted to studying the Bell Jar she begins to find healing power in the mysterious power of the journals their teacher provides them.
After devouring and loving The Interestings, Wolitzer's most recent adult novel, this book fell completely flat for me. The characters seemed one dimensional, and maybe it's because I'm old but I could not buy into the fact that Jam was that torn up over a boy she had only known for a little over a month. I don't want to say too much more about the plot, but even though I'm not opposed to non-reality based things in books the mysterious magical thing that is the heart of this book didn't really do much for me. I see tons of other people on Goodreads who loved this book though, so perhaps there is an audience that is not me that will love this including the teenagers it's written for. (less)