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The Good House
My five star book for the year arrived early it seems, and in rather a roundabout way - the title came up on my library's newly acquired audio downloa ...more
Feb 18, 2013
Feb 12, 2013
Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality
Well ... I made it through the book (OK, so I skimmed in places), though at around the 2/3 mark I was sorely tempted to bail! Two stars out of five re ...more
Nov 25, 2012
Nov 22, 2012
Life Without Limits
If you have a choice, listen to the audio version: Nick has a good sense of humor ("Aren't you glad you got the audio, so you can hear me sing!"). I b ...more
Dec 07, 2010
Dec 07, 2010
The Sunday Philosophy Club (Sunday Philosophy Club, #1)
I was just telling a friend that I rarely leave two-star reviews, but this is one of them. I probably wouldn't have read the entire book (Davina Porte ...more
Nov 28, 2010
Nov 28, 2010
The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty
Historically accurate perhaps, though incredibly slanted.

Henry VIII was a bully/monster/tyrant. Period. End of Story. Most of the coverage of his reig
May 26, 2010
May 20, 2010
Fatally Flaky (Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, Book 15)
“To Carolyn Marino – with deep gratitude for excellent editing and for possessing a kind heart and a light touch”

I cannot vouch for Ms. Marino’s “kind
Apr 23, 2009
Apr 22, 2009
Objects of My Affection
I have given up on this book about halfway through ... here's the breaking point at which I decided enough was enough ...

Lucy, the protagonist, has a
May 22, 2012
May 20, 2012
The Transcriptionist

I was invested in the protagonist, Lena, throughout the book.
NYC setting was very well done.
Satire (or at least critique) of the news biz was wel
Jun 02, 2014
Jun 03, 2014
Traversa: A Solo Walk Across Africa, from the Skeleton Coast to the Indian Ocean
Incredible story of trekking from Namibia's Atlantic Coast to the Indian Ocean (ending up at Zanzibar). Although the author's attacked by neither man ...more
Apr 25, 2008
Apr 12, 2008
The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards
Another in a recent series of audiobooks that can best be described as "exhausting" I'm afraid, with a plot that careens and lurches like a pinball ga ...more
Apr 18, 2013
Apr 12, 2013
The Book of Ruth
We were assigned this book as part of a writing course, with the intention that the instructor would have us read a few chapters per week, for us to d ...more
Apr 2002
May 09, 2008
Bookplate Special (A Booktown Mystery #3)
I'm going to try to describe the problems I had with the book without revealing any (major) spoilers, so please bear with me if things get a bit awkwa ...more
Apr 25, 2011
Apr 25, 2011
The Mangle Street Murders
Bad news first: I loathed the Great Detective, Sidney Grice, who had all of Holmes and Poirot's pompousness and petulance, with nary a hint of their c ...more
Apr 17, 2014
Apr 12, 2014
Midnight in Siberia: A Train Journey into the Heart of Russia
I was disappointed that there was relatively little travel narrative involved (perhaps 30%), with the rest portraits of "average" Russians he met alon ...more
Dec 17, 2014
Dec 05, 2014
Charlotte Au Chocolat: Memories of a Restaurant Girlhood
Many memoirists engage in name dropping. To her credit, Charlotte Silver does not (except for a couple of references to Julia Child, who lived nearby, ...more
Sep 07, 2012
Sep 07, 2012
And Then There Were Nuns: Adventures in a Cloistered Life
I liked the author's books on Spain and Italy, but wasn't sure about this one. However, when I ventured up into the Seattle Public Library's stacks to ...more
Apr 06, 2014
Mar 31, 2014
In the Land of Believers: An Outsider's Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church
First, I want to say that, though I have little first hand knowledge of the evangelical scene, Falwell's church probably wasn't the best place to find ...more
May 10, 2011
May 04, 2011
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap: A Memoir of Friendship, Community, and the Uncommon Pleasure of a Good Book
Well ... I finally finished the book, so on to the review ... which isn't necessarily a good thing, as I'm of two minds here. I want to be fair, but I ...more
Dec 29, 2013
Nov 18, 2013
My Invented Country
I've never been tempted by Allende's fiction, and I can't say I am now, but this is one well-written, engaging memoir! To break things down, I'd say i ...more
Nov 29, 2013
Nov 19, 2013
Brief Lives
I wasn't going to review this one, but having finished listening a few minutes ago, I've changed my mind.

A reviewer has stated that if the protagonist
Feb 2015
Feb 01, 2015
I really liked this one ... a lot!

Where to begin after saying that ... I spent a few decades in the Garden State (ages 2 - 35), though have only been
Dec 28, 2014
Dec 25, 2014
On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta
Really 3.5 stars I suppose, but three would feel a bit ... unfair.

I wasn't sure I'd be able to get into the book at first, but the Chinese section pro
Aug 20, 2013
Aug 10, 2013
All the Little Live Things
Much of the first half of the book is typical story setup: introduction of characters, setting the scene, and the like, which is fine, although it's d ...more
Dec 30, 2013
Dec 12, 2013
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
I wrote a longer review that was stolen by the Review Monster (a cousin of the Sock Thief), so here goes try number two ...

I knew Zevin could write as
Jul 09, 2014
Jun 14, 2014
Coming Clean
I listened to the audiobook, finding myself neutral as to whether there should've been a professional narrator hired instead of the author reading the ...more
Dec 03, 2013
Nov 30, 2013
10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story
I had not heard of the author, a television personality, before starting this book. The first part, regarding his early life and career, really wasn't ...more
May 08, 2014
Apr 25, 2014
Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House
The first half, about the author's childhood and life in NYC, I found interesting. Her days in Nebraska and Los Angeles, not as much, although the poi ...more
Aug 11, 2014
Dec 20, 2010
The Art Forger
I'm going to start with a bit of a spoiler, because I just can't discuss the book without mentioning it: the "forgery" itself blows up in their faces; ...more
Mar 31, 2014
Mar 28, 2014
Polyglot: How I Learn Languages
I felt the author was a bit disingenuous here. She starts off telling of how she taught herself Russian using only a novel and a dictionary. Later, ho ...more
Nov 20, 2014
Nov 20, 2014
Two Old Fools on a Camel: From Spain to Bahrain and Back Again (Old Fools, #3)
I found the couple very naive; the points raised in their orientation about local culture was stuff that shouldn't have been as much of a surprise to ...more
Nov 15, 2014
Nov 15, 2014
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