I read the last Anna Godbersen books (the Luxe series) almost exclusively because their cover art was DIVINE. I got this one on the Kindle, but clearlI read the last Anna Godbersen books (the Luxe series) almost exclusively because their cover art was DIVINE. I got this one on the Kindle, but clearly I'm not missing much in the 'gorgeous gowns on my bookshelf' department. Which is a bummer actually.
The book is much like the Luxe series, it follows a few 16-18-ish year old girls through lots of dating and SCANDAL! It lavishes a lot of attention on the clothes and the ambiance of the setting - Prohibition New York - which is SO hot right now.
It's nothing spectacular, but it isn't painful to read either. Thankfully, it tends more towards historical fiction than to teen romance. Not sure I'll read the rest of the series since I don't have any covetous need for the book covers this time....more
I made the mistake of reading others' reviews for a book I'm probably irrationally fond of. Oops. And I'll admit, if this book was up against CharlottI made the mistake of reading others' reviews for a book I'm probably irrationally fond of. Oops. And I'll admit, if this book was up against Charlotte's Web for the Newbury... E.B. White was robbed.
Still, I loved this book as a kid, probably just because I had lived in Peru and it reminded me of 'home' at the time.
But it's a book that exposes kids to another culture, and I didn't find it boring then or when I've read it later in life....more
Apparently I've read another Cotton Malone book by Steve Berry, and I have to say I don't see why he hasn't received all the acclaim the critics rainApparently I've read another Cotton Malone book by Steve Berry, and I have to say I don't see why he hasn't received all the acclaim the critics rain down on Dan Brown. I'm not really into the 'pop thriller' genre that these books fit into, but at least Berry manages to keep twists twisty and can wrap up a book without making me angry.
This book is set in the US, a bit unusual for the Cotton Malone books I guess? But I'm a fan of Jefferson and he seems a good fit for strange riddles and puzzles, and pirates add a fun aspect to the book. It's nothing ground-breaking, but it was a fun read. I was impressed that I didn't feel lost without knowing anything about the characters, but it's possible some of the exposition would have been repetitive if you read his other books. While I did find some early chapters a bit confusing as perspectives shifted, I think that confusion was probably the point.
I doubt I'll buy any of the other books in the series, but if I happen across them for free, I'll probably read some more....more
I should have gone back and re-read at least the last book of Locke and Key, because I was pretty lost when I read this one. But the story is great anI should have gone back and re-read at least the last book of Locke and Key, because I was pretty lost when I read this one. But the story is great and you don't want to stop and go back, so... I think I maybe missed some important plot points here.
But this book starts to give more information about the creation of the keys and the beginning of this generation's problems. Flashbacks to the Locke kids' father and his friends introduces newly demon-possessed Dodge.
I miss the one-offs where the kids played with the keys as they found them, but obviously those don't really advance the plot much. One of the flashbacks points out that only kids are supposed to find the keys now, and it's because adults start using the powers with an agenda which is where the problems arise....more
I enjoyed the book, but I feel like there were some easter-egg sorts of jokes that I couldn't follow, and characters I couldn't identify without moreI enjoyed the book, but I feel like there were some easter-egg sorts of jokes that I couldn't follow, and characters I couldn't identify without more knowledge of the Marvel universe.
Art was interesting and suitably dark, and the takes on the characters were unique - at least with my limited knowledge of them. I found the ending kind of obnoxious, and I really really hate time-travel continuum stories. ...more
I have gotten to the point where I can predict Jodi Picoult's last minute plot twists pretty reliably, and this was no exception. The most notable thiI have gotten to the point where I can predict Jodi Picoult's last minute plot twists pretty reliably, and this was no exception. The most notable thing about this book is that I bought it 2 weeks ago for half off. (The book came out today.)
As per usual for Picoult, if you're interested in the subject she's based the plot in, the book is pretty interesting. If you haven't read all of her other books the last second twist and the 'aw shucks' love story might not grate on your nerves. At least (tiny spoiler!) this one didn't have a courtroom scene!
The main character, Sage (and her sisters are named Pepper and Saffron. Seriously.) is a baker with a scar. She hides from the world in a variety of ways and is just kind of annoying and self-centered. But man can she bake! She meets an older customer who confesses that he was a Nazi, and the book is composed of some present day, some flashback to Nazis and concentration camps, and some nightmarish fairy tale story that serves as a metaphor.
I talk a lot of crap about Picoult's formulaic novels, but she continues to create engrossing characters and storylines. This still doesn't break into the top 3 Picoult books I'd recommend, but it's a decent novel about the Holocaust. I do think that the fairy tale allegory for the Holocaust has been over done, but this fairy tale was a good one....more
I passed this book up a couple of times in the laundry room, and finally grabbed it. Isn't it funny what we intuit from the cover of a book?
I didn't eI passed this book up a couple of times in the laundry room, and finally grabbed it. Isn't it funny what we intuit from the cover of a book?
I didn't expect to love this book as much as I did. Medical drama set in Africa, basically nothing I find interesting. But Verghese creates characters and drama while fleshing out the scenery in a way that drew me in.
The book bounces from India, to Addis, to 'Missing' Hospital in Ethiopia, to the US. It follows two generations of a tight-knit (but not necessarily biological) family that runs a mission hospital in Ethiopia. It mostly focuses on one half of a set of siamese twins (the link was cut at birth), but still ties in the politics and war of the surrounding country. It's a far-reaching book that, if anything, tries to do too much.
I loved how terribly imperfect each character was. You are almost always introduced to the flaws of each before you learn to like them. Every character is so complicated and frustrating, just like anyone in a family is.
The book is long and covers a LOT of time, and space, and character development. Towards the end I did start to count pages, but I still enjoyed it. The time spent in the US didn't keep me as interested since it wasn't a 'new' setting to enjoy, and I think that's what got me squirming towards the end.
I'd say this is worth reading if you're up to reading a 600 page book. It's long and it's dense and it covers a lot of ground. Although it's not dry or boring and the style is enjoyable, I wouldn't call it an easy or light read....more
Another of Amy Tan's multigenerational 'old world/new world' books. If I think of these as ways to learn more about Chinese culture and history, I enjAnother of Amy Tan's multigenerational 'old world/new world' books. If I think of these as ways to learn more about Chinese culture and history, I enjoy them more. Otherwise her books tend to be quite formulaic and uninspired.
I enjoyed the history aspect of the book, but found the main 'modern day daughter' character to be obnxious. She just seemed very selfish and dismissive of everything her mother said. Although there's an effort to made to depict her life as somewhat difficult, I never felt that her childhood merited her poor treatment of her mom. So not liking the main character made most of the present day sections frustrating to read.
The history part was interesting though, and disturbing. And I appreciated the parallels between generations - the mother/daughter tension is similar. ...more
I've read Lonesome Dove and felt like it dragged, but was worth the read. McMurty does a good job of pulling you into the setting he creates, and he cI've read Lonesome Dove and felt like it dragged, but was worth the read. McMurty does a good job of pulling you into the setting he creates, and he continues that in Dead Man's Walk.
Unfortunately, as other reviewers point out, he doesn't do much with his characters in this one. I could barely keep them straight beyond Gus being obsessed with whores and Clara and Call being cranky.
I found the particular ending of the story to be totally nonsensical, I even went back and reread a chapter to make sure I didn't miss something.
As someone else noted, it felt like McMurty didn't really care to do much with his 2 leads, they just had to stay alive for the next 30 years. In such high risk situations where ENORMOUS numbers of their companions die, knowing Gus and Call survive no matter the peril was kind of boring....more
Interesting book, but one that I sometimes had a hard time following. I'm not sure if I just wasn't attentive while reading or what, but I often was cInteresting book, but one that I sometimes had a hard time following. I'm not sure if I just wasn't attentive while reading or what, but I often was confused about the overlapping 'whens and wheres and whos.' The author does a good job of tying up loose ends in the end, but there were still some events that I wasn't entirely clear on.
It's an interesting blend of historical fiction and time-traveling scifi and magic. I liked that there was an implication that the magic was replicable with science, and I appreciated that magic was neither invincible nor infallible....more
I absolutely ADORED Hawaii and have picked up some other Michener books for free since. None have lived up to Hawaii, but there are certainly some enjI absolutely ADORED Hawaii and have picked up some other Michener books for free since. None have lived up to Hawaii, but there are certainly some enjoyable bits in the 800 pages of Caribbean.
I understand that the Caribbean is not a confederation of islands and that each island has its own tumultuous history. Michener's narrative really suffers from trying to pull all of these together, particularly in the final chapter where people from each island all fall into place on a cruise. It seemed like a last ditch attempt to pull all of these unrelated threads together and make them seem like a book rather than a series of vignettes.
There certainly were sections that I found enjoyable, but I'm not sure those justified reading the whole book. If I were a teacher some of these might be chapters I would assign seperately to give students a feel for the history of an island.
The region clearly has a very rich history and I enjoyed learning what I did from the reading. However it was so long-winded and scattershot that I can't say I felt the book was very good. ...more
Apparently I knew next to nothing about the Lizzie Borden case, so that was a learning experience. As a fictional account of something I'm clueless abApparently I knew next to nothing about the Lizzie Borden case, so that was a learning experience. As a fictional account of something I'm clueless about I always wonder how much fact is mixed in with the fiction. Much of this book is centered around inner monologues, weird mystical visions or hallucinations, and conjecture about Lizzie's lesbian relationships. Are these all in the head of the author or is some of this based in true accounts of the situation?
I think I would rather have read a more historical accurate account of the murders first, but I guess this was an interesting gateway to the story. Perhaps if I knew more of the facts I would find this take on the inner workings of the protagonists more intriguing....more
I've read some of these comics online, and I'm not sure there are any new ones. But Beaton does include some pithy asides or background information abI've read some of these comics online, and I'm not sure there are any new ones. But Beaton does include some pithy asides or background information about some of the comics. Either more tidbits about the actual historical figures, or funny anecdotes about the construction of the comic.
If you're a fan of the webcomic you've probably seen most of these, but can at least support the artist by buying her book while gaining a bit of more insight into its creation. If you haven't read Hark! a Vagrant before and are a history nerd, you'll love this book and go looking for more online. And the more you know about history the cleverer this book will be, since some of the jokes go over my head....more
I certainly enjoyed this book more than the author's previous book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In that one there was such a sharp drop in writingI certainly enjoyed this book more than the author's previous book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In that one there was such a sharp drop in writing quality and style between Austen and Grahame-Smith that it was unpleasant to read. It also tended towards the 5th grade boy level of gross out humor.
This book suffers from neither problem, and develops characters in a way that the author hadn't really needed to do in P&P&Z. I had started this one awhile ago, stopped for some reason about 50 pages in, and so my expectations were quite low by the time I finally got around to picking it up again.
It turned out to be a mostly enjoyable book although even as a casual Lincoln scholar (by which I mean I lived in Illinois and like the Civil War) some of the history and timelines were fudged. I felt that the poorly photoshopped sepia toned photos looked so silly that they were distracting. And seriously? Those were the best you could do?
But if you're a fan of cheesy vampire fiction (of the non-Twilight variety), or can see the humor in a different take on the Civil War, then this book isn't bad. And it's likely a pretty unique story unless there's more vampire alternative history than I know about....more
I hadn't heard anything about this book until people started getting excited about the movie. I had plans to go see a preview of the movie so I scrambI hadn't heard anything about this book until people started getting excited about the movie. I had plans to go see a preview of the movie so I scrambled to read the book. It's not something I normally would have jumped to read, but it was still pretty good.
Lots of strong women characters, but none of the women are perfect. Even the 'villains' of the book have some humanity to them. Some of the stories are hilarious, some are terrifying, some are just awful. But the sisterhood that grows in the book, and some of the relationships that come out in the open, give you some hope for humanity by the end....more