"All Our Wrong Todays" is a sci-fi story that shows the cascading effects of decisions. Tom is at a dead end. He works for an elite company that speci"All Our Wrong Todays" is a sci-fi story that shows the cascading effects of decisions. Tom is at a dead end. He works for an elite company that specializes in time travel in 2016. The problem is the company is owned by his father and Tom's elite job is really a pity job, which means that his co-workers who had to fight to get these jobs are almost unilaterally against him. Pushed to find a different outcome for his own life, Tom makes a decision that disrupts the whole course of the world. Will he regret it?
Tom's 2016 looks vastly different than our 2016. Imagine all of those stories about the future from the 1950s: hover crafts, flying cars, space-y looking buildings and you have what Tom's original 2016 looks like. I loved the juxtaposition between his initial 2016 and the 2016 he finds later on in the book (trying not give away the twists and turns here too much). The difference in detail was really good and makes the reader feel like they are really experiencing things along with Tom.
The world building in this book is really good. I was a little worried about this in the beginning of the book. Tom dives into a couple very technical discussions which do serve a purpose in setting the stage for the book but it's a lot of telling and not necessarily showing. It's necessary to have these things explained but makes for a dry beginning with a lot of circles. Once the context is set up, the book really takes off and makes for a great, thought-provoking read!
Overall, this is a book that I am going to be thinking about for a long time after I read the last pages. Decisions are powerful and I loved exploring how one decision changed not only Tom's life but the course of the world. ...more
In "Sweet Lake," Linnie know that it is up to her to pick up the pieces after her brother, Freddie, leaves devastation in his wake, taking down theirIn "Sweet Lake," Linnie know that it is up to her to pick up the pieces after her brother, Freddie, leaves devastation in his wake, taking down their family-owned inn and deeply injuring the economy of the small town of Sweet Lake. It falls to Linnie to make things better for everyone even if it means giving up what she really wants to do for herself. The up side to returning to Sweet Lake is that her relationship with Daniel the lawyer may finally take off. This is a good start to a new series by Christine Nolfi that is as sweet as its title.
The characters in this book are great and I am excited to see what happens to them in future books (this is only the first in a series). Linnie is driven. She doesn't want to let anyone else down and will take on being disappointed herself if it means that she makes everything better for everyone else. It is a tough load to carry. I really felt for her because she is trying to clean up some pretty big pieces for something that she did not even have a hand in. Reading about the difficult relationship between her and Freddie was fascinating. You can see how their past has bled into the future. I thought that the author did a really good job of showing the tension between them.
I also thought that she did a good job of showing how appearances can be deceiving. Freddie in particular is not what he seems at first. I loved seeing how the perception of him changes as we get to see who he really is and that his situation is more complicated than it seemed at first.
The romance in the book is good. There is a great deal of chemistry between Linnie and Daniel. As with many romances in books, the love doesn't come easy and Linnie and Daniel's relationship is certainly a ride.
Overall, this is a good book if you like family drama, small town settings, memorable characters, and sweet romances!...more
"That's Me Loving You" is a gorgeously illustrated book about how parents are still thinking and sending love to their little ones even when they are"That's Me Loving You" is a gorgeously illustrated book about how parents are still thinking and sending love to their little ones even when they are far away. The illustrations are lovely and dreamy and really stand out in this book. The story is simple and sweet. It's a perfect bedtime story!
It had always been my plan to go back to work after I had my girls. It was a hard decision but the right one for me and my family. Even when I'm gone, I want to make sure that my girls know that I am still thinking about them and sending them love. They are too young to really get that message but they do know that their mom and dad always come back.
This is the perfect book to share with little ones to show that love can come in unexpected forms even when we are far apart!...more
3.5 stars. "Dragon Springs Road" is the story of Jialing who is abandoned by her mother (who Jialing fears may be gone forever) to the family that mov3.5 stars. "Dragon Springs Road" is the story of Jialing who is abandoned by her mother (who Jialing fears may be gone forever) to the family that moves into the compound where they lived. Luckily the family is kind to Jialing and she is allowed to live there with a Fox spirit who sometimes appears as a literal fox and sometimes as a gorgeous woman. It is the early 1900s in China and the country is changing rapidly. This book is a historical fiction with a healthy dose of magical realism.
While the story line itself was very good and interesting, this book was a mixed bag for me and felt a little uneven. It took me awhile to get into the story. There was a lot of set up that goes into the story and it moved quite slowly. By about the last third of the book, there is a ton happening and it all happens very quickly as if the writer were in a rush to end the book. The very end itself seems like there may be an opening for a sequel, which would be welcome to tie up the remaining loose ends.
I don't read nearly enough historical fiction set in Asia. I was swept up in the description of the setting. Jialing has spent most of her life in the same house with a big, beautiful garden and the Fox spirit that her mother prays to. As the story goes on, the garden changes to reflect the events of the book, which I thought was a really cool device. I loved the descriptions of both of the houses on the compound.
I also loved the descriptions of what life was like during that time period in China. As I mentioned before, this is a time when things are changing rapidly. As Jialing is mixed race, she is sent to mission school to learn English, which will hopefully help her in the future as she has no true family. There are a lot of political implications that are referred to in the book, which was a nice taste of a history that I don't visit in my reading all that often.
Overall, this story was good even if they way that it was told was uneven....more
Just a few years ago, Hyong Yi decided to celebrate his wife, who was lost to cancer very quickly, by handing out 100 love notes to people on the streJust a few years ago, Hyong Yi decided to celebrate his wife, who was lost to cancer very quickly, by handing out 100 love notes to people on the streets of Charlotte, NC. It was his way of taking something difficult and sad and turning it in to something beautiful. This book is a collection of all of those notes. Yi commissioned many different artists to illustrate what was in the notes, turning this book into a beautiful celebration of love.
The story between Hyong and his wife, Catherine, is beautiful. It's simple. We get to see the relationship from the very beginning where Catherine isn't sure if she wants to fall for Hyong to the very end where Catherine leaves behind Hyong and their two young children and a unit of four becomes three. It's incredibly intimate and you can feel the love that passed between these two people.
I can remember watching coverage of Hyong and his children handing out the love notes (there was a lot of news stories that covered and reported on the event) and thinking how great of a story it was. The book only hits that point home. Between Hyong's background stories on each of the letters and the artists' background stories on why they chose to illustrate the letters in the way that they did, you have a full sensory experience that will pull on your heart.
This is the kind of book that you give a loved one to remind them of all of the different ways that you can love each other. I know this book is going to be high on my gift giving list! This book shows how even the most difficult things can be turned around to create something beautiful!...more
In "A Country Between," Stephanie and her husband (their love story alone could have made a whole 'nother book) make a new life in Jerusalem. It's a gIn "A Country Between," Stephanie and her husband (their love story alone could have made a whole 'nother book) make a new life in Jerusalem. It's a gorgeous exploration of the historic city that has been so marked by fighting. It's a place of different groups of people pressing against each other and trying to carve out their own place. It's also an incredibly personal story of love and of building a life together. Filled with gorgeous prose, this book brought me to tears by the end - a certain feat!
This book is written as a letter to their first son, Joseph, talking about their new life in this city. Stephanie and her husband never set off to live in Jerusalem but it was as if it called to them. I loved the descriptions of the places in the book. Jerusalem is definitely some place that I would love to visit today and I would love to visit it even more after reading the vivid descriptions in this book. I really loved the descriptions of the people that become the family's family abroad. There are so many different people that make up the fabric of the author's experience.
The writing of the book is gorgeous. There is the travel aspect of the book certainly but there is also a very personal family-oriented bend to the book. There is the love between Stephanie and her husband. The description of how they fall in love is just gorgeous. There were also a lot of good passages on being a parent and the kind of love that relationship between a parent and child imparts. These are the parts that made me teary - so very vivid for someone who is a parent themselves!
This was a great book with great writing! I would love to read more by Saldana in the future!...more