I received a complimentary copy of this via the S&S Book Club (and I am so sorry I forgot to write a review even though I read and rated it rightI received a complimentary copy of this via the S&S Book Club (and I am so sorry I forgot to write a review even though I read and rated it right away!).
This was an interesting family drama and a great book club pick. The Cal Bomber in the story is loosely based on the real-life Unabomber, but as the synopsis indicates it is more about what it is like being the family of such a terrorist. It was a compelling read as you find yourself often wondering what you would do in the main character's situation.
I don't think it was the author's intent with this particular story, but in addition to the story at hand, I did find myself wanting to learn more about the real Unabomber situation. Ted Kacynski is not someone I know much about, other than the obvious mail-bombing, anti-technology, and living off the grid in some tiny cabin. But as the case in the story developed, I felt myself compelled to find out what transpired in the real life scenario.
Hard to say much more without giving away the story, but character-wise I wanted a little more at times (which is why the 4 out of 5 stars). Natalie could be frustrating, which some people will feel maybe it make here more real. Some of the best parts were the way in which the entire family reacted throughout the crisis and with each other, but even more so in the flashbacks. The way different personalities handle the same situation different ways and the way some people won't really deal with it at all, or they only see things they way they want to see it. The synopsis says it best by saying: "...some of the most dangerous things in the world are the stories we tell ourselves."...more
4.5 stars. Very entertaining, and quite funny. I would have finished a lot sooner, but I got hit with several ARCs at once, plus the holidays. The wri4.5 stars. Very entertaining, and quite funny. I would have finished a lot sooner, but I got hit with several ARCs at once, plus the holidays. The writing was incredible. I just kept thinking how I wish I could write so well. It’s not cutesy or trying to be overly clever, just very natural—and so true! I am roughly the same age as the author so it was interesting reading about the pop culture of my youth as seen through the eyes of a coming-of-age immigrant. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars was because my interest waned a little towards the end, as I found it hard to relate to the author’s party days at Oberlin College.
I have wanted to read The Russian Debutante's Handbook since I first heard of it, and I'd picked up Absurdistan at a book sale a couple years back but have yet to read it. I will definitely be bumping those up my TBR list after reading this book!
I received a complimentary copy via the Goodreads “first reads” program. ...more
Perfect book for your next book club read. Citizen’s Creek is a fascinating story based on a real black family living as Creek Indians in the 1800s, aPerfect book for your next book club read. Citizen’s Creek is a fascinating story based on a real black family living as Creek Indians in the 1800s, and spans 3 generations of great change. The story appears to be well researched and is very well told. Never knew that the Indians took black slaves, and so far no one that I’ve spoken with about this book had known either (you will want to speak with people about this book!). It is an amazing story of perseverance, starting with Cow Tom’s rise from slavery to becoming a free man, and ultimately a chief himself.
I wasn’t emotionally attached to this story as I was with Cane River (and I hate to be that person who has to compare the two because it is just not fair with a writer as good as Lalita Tademy). I think it was because of the large leaps ahead in the story line. I would have preferred a lengthier work, filling in some of those gaps, but that is just me. I like getting involved in the minutia that a lot of readers would rather skip. The gap between grandfather and granddaughter was to be expected and would have worked out just fine, but gaps within each main character’s stories were what threw me off at times and made me a little detached. But, it is also why I think it makes for a good book club pick; not too daunting, but enough there that would spark really good conversations. Conversations not just about the history itself, but there are some good plot points and character motives to analyze as well.
There was also so much more I really wanted to know about the time period and politics that there just wasn’t time to get to in this story, but it was enough to pique my interest to make me want to read further about the actual family the book was based on, but also about the period itself—which, I think is what Historical Fiction is really all about.
My thanks to the author, publisher, and the Goodreads “first reads” program for the beautiful hardcover finished edition in exchange for my review....more
Won a copy of this via goodreads. A quick and easy read, just lacked the depth and emotion I wanted. Review to follow soon.
Review (updated 11/13)
The bWon a copy of this via goodreads. A quick and easy read, just lacked the depth and emotion I wanted. Review to follow soon.
Review (updated 11/13)
The book is written as a letter to the protagonist’s son, and alternates between past and present events. Not only was the mother-to-son delivery distracting—and pulled me out of the story ever time I saw the word “you”—but some of the details conveyed would have been inappropriate, and therefore quite unrealistic, for a mother to share with her son. Not that there were any real explicit sex scenes, but enough that it would be…well, very awkward, at least. So that whole delivery put me off almost the entire book.
Aside from that it was fairly entertaining. Nothing I couldn’t wait to get back to, but easy to keep reading once I’d started. I did want to be pulled in more emotionally, but I couldn’t really feel for any of the characters. I just keep thinking what a dumb girl–which, yeah, I guess was the point in places. The plot was okay. No real surprises, but very well-paced. ...more
I received a complimentary copy via the Goodreads “first reads” program in exchange for an honest review.
I struggle with what to say about this book I received a complimentary copy via the Goodreads “first reads” program in exchange for an honest review.
I struggle with what to say about this book because I really didn’t seem to “get it” and I really wanted to. I’m familiar with some New Age philosophy but not all, so perhaps some of the subtle humor was simply above my head. What I do know is that the first half of the book zoomed along, and I really thought “this is going to be good!” And then I just lost interest. There were so many characters to keep track of that I found it hard to get to know any one of them. Even the protagonist got shut out by the ancillary characters. I slogged along to the end, forcing myself to pick it up in between other reading, but there was just nothing worthwhile there for me.
I will try a book by this author in the future as his style was pleasing. ...more