This was my first book by this author, so I wasn't sure what to expect--but the buzz around "The Boston Girl" piqued my interest and the premise seemeThis was my first book by this author, so I wasn't sure what to expect--but the buzz around "The Boston Girl" piqued my interest and the premise seemed unusual and unique. Like other reviewers, I read the book quickly, and was impressed with the narrator's ability to compress many events and situations effectively and really almost efficiently, so that at times I almost felt the writing and the storytelling was more rushed then they had to be. The attention to the historical details of the times was well done, and it was refreshing to revisit what women were and were not expected to do during the 1920's. The book did have the feel of being written for young adults, with more of a broad strokes approach. I'm not sure that the premise of the grandmother telling her story to the granddaughter was particularly needed, and it felt a bit cliche to me, like the writer needed a reason to tell all these narratives. Could she not have been visiting with one of her childhood friends, or reconnecting with a sister or other family member? Also, for this book to have really been successful, we need to be rooting for the main character, and I didn't feel as much for her as I thought I would. While the book had my attention while I was reading it, I didn't think about it that much afterwards, and it didn't have a lot of relevance or resonance for me, perhaps because it felt rushed. I'm curious how the author got the idea to write this novel, and what she was most trying to convey, other then the obvious struggles of a family new to America....more
Wow, I was pleasantly surprised by this book, which I picked up after having seen the film on a whim. To those reviewers who wrote: "this book has noWow, I was pleasantly surprised by this book, which I picked up after having seen the film on a whim. To those reviewers who wrote: "this book has no plot..." Really? I thought the plot was quite tangible and well crafted. A book can examine the characters' mindsets and still be strong on plot. The idea of a girl's mother disappearing, with possible scenarios woven throughout, is a strong literary hook that has been used as a premise in fiction quite a bit. While I think the author is a talented enough writer to perhaps have introduced a more original premise, the characters were well rendered and the nuances very poetic and subtle. I was also impressed with how she integrated the passage of time in a convincing way. In many ways, the story reminded me of Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones," or even "Gone Girl."
My main critiques are these: - the movie has a different twist at the end then the book, and I preferred the movie version. Since the author was involved with the script, I wonder why she chose one over the other, and I think the book would have felt more original with the plot twist that the film took. -I could have gone for more character development of the narrator's group of friends. They felt a bit flat to me. -I'm not sure that the girl's affair with the detective is that necessary in either the book or the film, Yes, much of the book is about her growing up and awakening sexuality, but the detective feels a bit cliche to me, and his character is also underdeveloped given the other relationships in the book.
Still, I was impressed enough to read more from this writer, who given her academic background, seems to have a solid feel for being both literary and accessible and tuned into popular culture....more
Loved this collection for its depth and diversity. Some stories resonated more then others, but the author knows how to give quick descriptions that aLoved this collection for its depth and diversity. Some stories resonated more then others, but the author knows how to give quick descriptions that are evocative, and definitely has a "less is more" style. My favorite story was "Hibachi," which ironically I read in a Japanese restaurant. The title story was also one of my favorites, mostly because it took risks and certainly made a strong and clear statement about relationships. Can't wait to read more by this author....more
This book consisted mostly of social media tips and was an easy read, with a lot of scannable content for those so busy doing social media that they pThis book consisted mostly of social media tips and was an easy read, with a lot of scannable content for those so busy doing social media that they probably barely have time to sit and read a book about it.I had of course heard of and heard Guy Kawasaki speak in person, but had never heard of his co-author, Peg Fitzpatrick, which did give me pause...if she was such a social media influencer, why had I never heard of her? (I'd be curious if others had heard of her before reading the book.) I do think name recognition important in this context.
While there were some valuable tips overall, I was a bit surprised that the book completely ignored important trends in online visibility, such as: brand ambassadors, Snapchat, Vine, Instagram video, podcasting, and other video platforms outside YouTube, such as Vimeo. The discussion of blogging could have been more substantive through at least a brief description of the various blogging platforms out there, and the suggestion to guest blog for places like Huffington Post and Hubspot probably not realistic for most of us, who are not as connected as the authors. I was also surprised that the discussion of YouTube was rather cursory, with no mention of hugely important tools such as annotations, geotagging, etc., and the suggestion to create a channel trailer, which is pretty common knowledge. I was also disappointed that the LinkedIn section was rather superficial. Most of us know to customize a request to connect and not use the default language LinkedIn provides, as well as the importance of connecting with Groups.
I agree with some of the other reviewers that the book could have used more case studies, and there were too many references to the companies Guy is involved with, particularly Canva. (I just started using Canva for Facebook posts, and while it's a cool platform, the fact that users have to pay for nearly all the images offered if they don't use their own photos, is pretty annoying.)
Visually, I found it odd that the book was full of underscores representing hyperlinks, but obviously if we are reading the hard copy this isn't going to happen, so why not do readers a favor and include the URLs in parentheses for us to look up on their own? It was also difficult to read the small screenshots meant to illustrate specific points.
On the positive side, I ended up with about 10 action items as takeaways, most related to Pinterest, with fresh tips on the arrangement of boards, use of public vs private boards, etc. But overall, the book could have been a more dynamic and compelling read....more
Started with trepidation given some of the reviews here and elsewhere --everything from boring to "why bother," with more then a few readers commentStarted with trepidation given some of the reviews here and elsewhere --everything from boring to "why bother," with more then a few readers commenting on the specific audience required to appreciate this novel. So, here goes:
On the + side: Ferris is clearly a talented writer, so I had enough motivation from the crispy dialogue and "dance" of sad funny satirical moments at the dentist office Paul presides over to keep reading.
The originality of the characters, story, and plot, deserve merit here. When everyone else is writing about disappearing spouses and relatives, the idea of Paul being taken over by an online identity that suddenly provides him with a website, as well as Twitter and Facebook profiles, and posts all kinds of commentary and religious dogma, is pure techno genius, and so right on in the era of digital reliance. I also felt the dialogue rang true for the most part, and Ferris does a great job interweaving New York City and the Brooklyn promenade, not to mention dentistry and imaginatively fabricated religious secs, as key vehicles for his story.
On the -- side: The long religious passages were tough to stick with, and may lose readers who weren't prepared for them. I see why Ferris felt he needed to do this, as his religious identity is one of the key plot points, but they were just too long and I found myself skimming them so as to get to the relationships and faster moving sections.
I wanted to be rooting more for Paul, but in the end I don't think I was as excited about his self-discovery as the author wanted me to be. I tend to read more women writers with women protagonists then men, so perhaps I just didn't identify enough with Paul, baseball obsession and all.
Summary: if you are a patient reader and like a lot of philosophy and religious curiosity mixed into your fiction, this book is for you. It's also worth the read for probably one of the best extended descriptions of a woman putting her hair into a ponytail, that I've ever read.
Loved this book! A combination of the best in magical realism and contemporary fiction. Seamless interweaving of relationships and dynamics, both enteLoved this book! A combination of the best in magical realism and contemporary fiction. Seamless interweaving of relationships and dynamics, both entertaining and moving. highly recommend anything by this writer, esp "Dreaming in Cuban."...more
My first reading of this author. Definitely a quirky book with many twists and turns, and a few shocking bits of dialogue and inner reflection along tMy first reading of this author. Definitely a quirky book with many twists and turns, and a few shocking bits of dialogue and inner reflection along the way. Interesting satire of modern life, love, and relationships, with a who-done-it twist. I don't think I've ever read a novel where animals played such a role in terms of plot and character, and I really like the descriptions of Gus the goose and Folly, Hugh's dog. I can't say that I was rooting for Matilda, the main character, although the reader does come to understand her suicidal leanings, as her life of superficial relationships and failed family unfolds. Unlike some of the reviewers, I don't think I will reflect too much on this book, as it felt a bit too much like a "theatre of the absurd." But I would seek out the author's other books. Inspiring to see she wrote her first novel at 70!...more
This book was definitely a mixed bag. While I liked the setting and eye candy of French countryside, and I liked the premise, the writer rushed back tThis book was definitely a mixed bag. While I liked the setting and eye candy of French countryside, and I liked the premise, the writer rushed back to back dramatic incidents and quick backstory for readers as if anticipating super short attention spans, rather then taking the time to develop the characters beyond cliches. The neat resolutions of all the predicaments at the end didn't help either. There were also numerous scenarios that simply did not ring true. Call me old fashioned, but I do not know anyone who would meet a guy on a plane and take him to her mother's wedding...really? Nor get in a car with a complete stranger just because they felt attracted to them, or the fact that they were in...France! Or, get on a boat with young drunk French sailors...really? The supposed rift between the 2 sisters over a drug related high school incident felt forced, and the sum up narration of exchanges, glances, and "so glad I finally met you" type dialogue felt soap opera-esque. The 2 main characters getting married didn't convince me that they belonged together, and the rugged Wyoming man stereotype got old quickly. I can get into a good beach read, but this wasn't it. ...more