At first I didn't realize this book was part of a series, Book 3 in fact, but I decided I would read it anyway. Though there was some back-st3.5 Stars
At first I didn't realize this book was part of a series, Book 3 in fact, but I decided I would read it anyway. Though there was some back-story with a few of the characters I wasn't privy to, I don't think it took too much away from the story. The book started off strong so it didn't take me long to get into the story. I felt that way through most of the book but a little more than half way I began to sense a redundancy, like the police were a step behind me in figuring things out when I thought they'd already done so. It wasn't real bad but enough to make me wish things would move on quicker.
As with any series there were a few sub-plots, one that involved a complicated relationship Inspector Douglas has with a woman he's been seeing and another incident that centers around his recently deceased brother. I'm hoping these two story lines will be addressed further in the next book. This story was a bit dark, which doesn't bother me and there was a good amount of mystery. I do intend to continue on with the next installment, called STRANGER CHILD and I'm hoping my connection to the characters will continue to develop.
The botom line is it wasn't one of my favorites, but it was at under 300 pages, it was a quick rea that kept my attention all the way through. Worth the time in reading for sure. ...more
This is a story of friendship, loyalty and a secret between three women. It's a good summer read and my first Wendy Wax book. My full review is here:This is a story of friendship, loyalty and a secret between three women. It's a good summer read and my first Wendy Wax book. My full review is here: http://tiny.cc/on0zzx...more
I really enjoyed this latest offering from one of the South's leading authors. Right away I had a soft spot for BEACH TOWN because the location of theI really enjoyed this latest offering from one of the South's leading authors. Right away I had a soft spot for BEACH TOWN because the location of the story is basically in my backyard where I live in North Central Florida. It was so easy for me to relate to the story, especially since I could envision the locales so easily. Greer has a great story and I enjoyed where it took me and, as usual, I loved all of the characters, who were so genuine and original. Andrews' Southern charm and wit make it a fun, entertaining read perfect for summer. That said, it was a bit predictable, but the enjoyment I got out of reading it made up for that. it's the perfect vacation book! ...more
This story has a bit of everything I enjoy in a book. It was about family, the secrets they bury, it had a ton of history weaved into it and even hintThis story has a bit of everything I enjoy in a book. It was about family, the secrets they bury, it had a ton of history weaved into it and even hints of spells and curses. I also liked that it was set in Alexandria, Virginia.
This is the first book in a new series for Mary Ellen Taylor. I'd never read her Union Street Bakery books, so I was a newbie to her writing. What a pleasant surprise it was for me! Her style is lyrical without being too flowery and was pleasing to read. Her words are fluid, making it a quick read that moves along at a good pace. The story itself I found to be original, dealing with issues that are current in our society. The characters were believable and well developed. Even though a few of the secondary characters were cross overs from the Union Street Bakery books, it didn't matter that I hadn't read them. I flew through this book quickly, mainly because I felt connected to Addie, the main character, and was interested in what she was going through. It totally held my attention.
Though it did flash back to the mid-1700's at the beginning of each chapter, the flashbacks were so brief that it didn't take away from the main story, instead they provided information about Addie's family history, which was crucial to the story. The curse/witchcraft elements were subtle and not over done, which brought an aire of mystery to the story.
The bottom line is I enjoyed this novel and will look forward to what's next for Addie and her fractured family in the next installment of this Alexandria Series. My complete review is here: http://tiny.cc/wk7qxx...more
Don Tillman, a highly intelligent genetics professor who happens to have Aspergers comes up with the perfect method, for him, to find a wife. ObviouslDon Tillman, a highly intelligent genetics professor who happens to have Aspergers comes up with the perfect method, for him, to find a wife. Obviously, The Wife Project is a logical and straightforward plan that he thinks will work perfectly. Then he meets Rosie, who needs his help as a geneticist. Though there's a miscommunication to start with, Don agrees to help Rosie and they spend a lot of time together. She totally throws off his well-scheduled, orderly life and introduces him to things he's never considered trying.
The Rosie Project is a breath of fresh air and Don is funny without meaning to be. His quirkiness is endearing and I fell for him right away. I, along with many other readers, made comparisons between Don and Sheldon Cooper of The Big Bang Theory TV show. Don's innocence and brutal honesty were refreshing. I smiled through this book and rooted for Don the whole way.
I chose the audio version of this book and was very happy with that decision. Dan O'Grady did a wonderful job portraying Don Tillman, making it a very enjoyable audiobook to listen to.
A Southern novel a bit on the dark side with difficult subject matter. When a 15 yr old girl is sexually assaulted in a 'safe' neighborhood in 13.5***
A Southern novel a bit on the dark side with difficult subject matter. When a 15 yr old girl is sexually assaulted in a 'safe' neighborhood in 1989, it changes lives forever. The narrator, then 14, now a grown man, is explaining his involvement in this crime against the girl who stole his heart all those years ago. M.O. Walsh does his best to take us back in time and set the stage for what life was like back then but in doing so I felt a redundancy in memories, particularly with the pubescent fantasies of the young boys. On the other hand, his insight as a mature man into memories and how they change as we age, was thought-provoking and added a psychological element to the book. This is a complex story that I did enjoy. As a debut novel, I found it bold and courageous, however it may not be a book for everyone. I'd also like to mention that the author used restraint with the details of the actual assault which was appreciated. The book is full of nostalgia and the writing was very good and the ending was not predictable at all. There is even a surprising revelation at the very end.
After almost passing on this book partly based on many readers complaining of how slow it began, I opted for the audio version and it turned out to beAfter almost passing on this book partly based on many readers complaining of how slow it began, I opted for the audio version and it turned out to be a great decision for me. Whether it was because I was listening or not, I didn't experience the slowness that others did. I thought the story was disturbingly interesting and kept me pulled in completely. I did struggle to find characters that were likable but, I believe, that added to its complexity. This is definitely a mystery/suspense novel with a bit of a Hitchcock feel to it that I enjoyed very much.
Regarding the audiobook, I was very pleased with the performances and that may be the reason I liked this book so much. There are three narrators who all do fantastic interpretations of the three women involved in this story.
I think Paula Hawkins has delivered a debut novel that, in my opinion, is a huge success and I'm very happy that I did not let it pass me by. I'll definitely be looking forward to her next book.
Though not my favorite in this well established series, I still enjoyed this installment very much. Archer has a knack for blending the right amount oThough not my favorite in this well established series, I still enjoyed this installment very much. Archer has a knack for blending the right amount of humor and intrigue into his stories that make them very entertaining. I especially enjoyed Harry's storyline and the historical fiction elements it brought. His writing is superb and he makes you believe every word. There was not as much action in this book but it was still contained the plotting and maneuvering his books are known for.
The Clifton Chronicles is my favorite series and if you enjoy business and political intrigue, family drama, and espionage with a tiny bit of romanced thrown in, I think you'd really enjoy it as well. In my opinion this series is suited for the more mature reader because of the storylines involving business and politics. I also recommend you start at the beginning since these books rely so heavily on the history of the characters and their relationships. This is to be a 7 book series, so there's only two more left. They are so entertaining the pages fly by. I recommend this book and the entire series very highly. ...more
Though I can't say this book has the same intensity as the first book, TripTych, it does have compelling twists and turns that I've come to expect froThough I can't say this book has the same intensity as the first book, TripTych, it does have compelling twists and turns that I've come to expect from Karin Slaughter's work. Agents Trent and Mitchell have now been partners for about a hear now. They haven't worked out all ot he their issues but they do make a good team and they have each others backs. The introduction of the Sara Linton character to this series adds another layer that I think will only make it more complex. Readers of Slaughter's Grant County Series know that Dr. Linton is that series' main character. I, myself, have not read that series but the way in which she was brought in was seamless and fit the story well. Unlike some of the already established characters, Dr. Linton is a likable character with a soft side that will round out the diverse cast.
The story, like the previous books, was brutal, so if you don't care for gory details, this series may not be for you. The crimes are disturbing and unthinkable but, for me, I'm not offended or freaked out by them. Its great crime fiction and suspense writing. Slaughter is very creative and its't afraid to push the envelope. I'm really glad I've made the time to read her books. It reminds me of how Stieg Larsson and Jo Nesbo's books had me on the edge of my seat. Its an adrenaline rush I didn't know I'd craved so much.
This is the first time I've listened to one of Karin Slaughter's books and though I did enjoy it, I prefer reading her books as opposed to listening to them. Maybe some of the intensity I was missing would've been there had I been reading it. Not that the narrator, Natalie Ross, didn't do a good job. I just didn't love it. Since I'd read the first two books, I already had the tone of the characters in my mind and it was just different. I don't know if that makes sense or not but that's the only way I can explain it. It may just be the act of flipping pages to see what's happening next that I missed....more
4.5** There is nothing I love more than when a book, or in this case, an audiobook, pulls me in so tightly and quickly, I lose all sense of time and w4.5** There is nothing I love more than when a book, or in this case, an audiobook, pulls me in so tightly and quickly, I lose all sense of time and what's going on around me. That is what happened when I began listening to this audiobook.
This compelling, historical fiction novel centering around a blind Parisian girl and an orphaned German boy whose paths would, under normal circumstances, probably never cross, proves that even in life's most challenging phases, it can bring out the best in people, even those from two drastically different worlds.
In early 1940's France, Marie-Laure and her father flee Paris to escape the Nazis and go to Saint-Malo to live with a reclusive uncle until they can return home, where her father works as the lock maker for the Museum of Natural History. Werner lives in a German orphanage with his sister. After finding a broken transistor radio, and making it work once again, they listen in secret to a man's voice reading children's stories over the airwaves. They are mesmerized by this and wonder where this man could be. Soon Werner's talents become a knack for working on these radios he is recruited by the German army and sent to Hitler's Youth Camp for further training, leaving his sister behind.
Marie-Laure's father later sets out for Paris alone to return a precious item to the museum that had been entrusted to him for safekeeping. This mission was so secret not even his daughter was aware of the valuable item in his possession. Meanwhile, Marie-Laure and her uncle wait for his return.
Werner proves himself very useful to the German's and is sent on expeditions to scout out anyone resisting the Nazi takeover. The fact that his passion for and knowledge of these electronic devices were having a direct effect on progress of the war, and ultimately on people's lives, did not escape Werner and, in fact, caused him great conflict.
Over four years passed and with the end of the Occupation in sight, these two young people from opposite worlds found themselves in the same city wanting the same thing: to return to the life they remembered with the people they love.
Though my synopsis does give a good idea of what this book is about, I left so much out purposefully. It is much deeper and absolutely captivated my attention. I was pulled into Marie-Laure's world of blindness, imagining what it must have been like for her in a strange city with relatives she didn't know, waiting for a father she may never see again. Werner was a boy swept up in a war he didn't understand simply because he was born German and possessed skills other people needed.
Because I loved it so much, it is difficult for me to review I want to do it justice without saying too much. All I will say is it is a beautifully layered story with sub-plots that give it depth and a lot of feeling. The characters were perfectly developed and authentic to the time, place, and circumstance. It was an easy book to fall into.
Though I'd read where some listeners of this audiobook had trouble keeping up, I didn't have that problem at all. It was all very visual to me, very fluid and completely satisfying. I felt the narrator, Zach Appelman, did a terrific job with his interpretation. I would not hesitate to listen to any of his other performances.
Whether in book form or audio, I would highly recommend this book to readers who really enjoy historical fiction, particularly the Nazi Occupation of France. About a year or so ago I began seeing more books on this topic and I find myself drawn to their perspectives. ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE is definitely worth reading. ...more
I received this debut from the publisher days before its release and started reading it immediately. It doesn't read like a novel or even a4.5 Stars
I received this debut from the publisher days before its release and started reading it immediately. It doesn't read like a novel or even a memoir, but more like a personal journal of a middle-aged woman looking back on her unconventional life - very unconventional for a girl from Missouri. Each short chapter focuses on a particular time in her life, eventually taking the reader to where she is today and ultimately what she's learned from each experience. It is different, poignant, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes funny, but always honest and powerful. Because she told her story so openly and frankly, I liked her immediately. Its a short read (under 300 pages) and I feel its very much worth reading. I hope you'll read my full review here: http://tiny.cc/uyu2sx...more
A daughter vanished, a son left physically damaged, a marriage already on shaky ground. These are the hardships the Courtland family faces. This debutA daughter vanished, a son left physically damaged, a marriage already on shaky ground. These are the hardships the Courtland family faces. This debut novel made a big splash when it came out in January and I believe it deserves the attention it got. It's not a complex story, yet the steady pace and heavy-hearted characters project the desperation of wanting to find answers to what happened to their child. The not knowing helplessness is palpable yet they never give up hope of finding Caitlin.
I chose the audio version of this book not realizing the male narrator was R.C. Bray (The Martian), so that was an extra bonus for me. I was totally sucked in by Bray and Xe Sands, the female narrator. It was a good story with a big sub-plot that kept the whole thing moving. At one point, I was afraid I had predicted what would happen, but I was very pleasantly surprised to be wrong. 0.
I could pick out a few minor things that didn't work for me but they are so minute and don't impact the story so I will just say I think this is a very good debut novel. Tim Johnston has my attention and I will gladly pick up his next book.
There were a lot of things I liked about this book. but mostly it was the many book references and wittiness in the dialogue that kept me smiling whilThere were a lot of things I liked about this book. but mostly it was the many book references and wittiness in the dialogue that kept me smiling while reading. The characters were fantastic and I loved getting to know each of them and how they fit into A.J.'s life. I also liked that Gabrielle Zevin managed to keep the surprises coming throughout the book. The transformation of A.J. and the friendships he developed were heartwarming and uplifting. He evolved from being a detached, lonely man to a contented man with friends, love and happiness in his life. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and thought it had an ending perfectly suited to the story.
The narrator of this audio book was the highly acclaimed Scott Brick. Though he has narrated many bestsellers, this is only the second audio I've heard him perform, the first being Harlan Coban's SIX YEARS. He has a very distinct voice and method in which he reads, which makes him instantly recognizable. He is a dramatic narrator, which can be a bit distracting at first, however I felt his voice was absolutely perfect for this book. It suited A.J. Fikry's personality to a tea.
I would highly recommend this book, in any form, to other lovers of books and book people. Its a story that will absorb you quickly and you will get lost in it. If you're in a place where you're not quite sure what you want to read next, you should read THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY. It will be a great choice. ...more
When it comes to reading memoirs I'm kinda picky but when I ran across Billy Crystal's I didn't think twice. He's always seemed to me to be a regularWhen it comes to reading memoirs I'm kinda picky but when I ran across Billy Crystal's I didn't think twice. He's always seemed to me to be a regular guy who doesn't put on airs and even with a hugely successful career, keeps a low profile. Not to mention he's managed to stay married to the love of his life for over 40 years. I respect that.
STILL FOOLIN' 'EM (Where I've Been, Where I'm Going and Where the Hell Are My Keys) is Billy reflecting on his life now that he's 65 years old and sharing what's important to him. I'll say right off the bat the best part about this audio is that Billy, himself, narrates it. Another great thing is that several of the chapters are read in front of a live audience! During those chapters there is some unexpected moments that are really funny when he interacts with the audience.
I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the real Billy Crystal through his stories and was fascinated by the friendships he made in his early years. One thing is made clear: Billy treasures his friendships almost as much as he treasures his family. Crystal also discusses what its like for him getting older. Billy reminds you that everyone gets older - the thing is you have to take it in stride and be able to laugh about things. I was also touched by how sentimental he is. He is a big collector of sentimental things. I totally relate to this probably because both Billy and I are Pisces which are borderline hoarders. We will hold on to anything if it has a memory attached to it. That is just one of the many qualities I found endearing about this comic.
Its well known that Billy had a long and close friendship with the late great Robin Williams. Williams is mentioned many times throughout the book but it was especially moving when Billy talked about how they met and the friendship they developed through the years. This book was released shortly before Robin's death, so Crystal could not know that his friend would be gone soon after writing those words. I had a lump in my throat listening to the affection in his voice for his dear friend. I'll be honest, tears were present during those moments for me.
If you're looking for an audio book, either for yourself or as a gift to someone, I'd put this one at the top of your list. I literally laughed out loud, especially during the live audience readings. I'm so glad I 'read' this memoir. Its one of the best I've ever read....more
This was a very satisfying read for me, mainly because it wasn't just a story about family, it held a mystery and with each chapter more secrets wereThis was a very satisfying read for me, mainly because it wasn't just a story about family, it held a mystery and with each chapter more secrets were revealed. It was a well-paced, creatively written plot that was very believable and interesting. I also connected with Riley, the main character, right away which made it easy to get caught up in the story.