I think readers always have the "where did you get your idea" question running through their minds when they're reading a book. But, really man, how d...moreI think readers always have the "where did you get your idea" question running through their minds when they're reading a book. But, really man, how do you come up with financial poetry? Then how do you turn financial poetry into a book about a suburban dad who decides after endless economic hits to become a drug dealer with some dudes he meets outside 7-11 while picking up milk for his kids breakfast.
I was explaining "The Financial Lives of the Poets" to my husband last night when I finished it and had to say "I know it sounds nuts but it's a great book". How can you not love a story about a newspaper business reporter who quits his job to launch a financial poetry website (WT....) only to find out the idea won't fly (really??) then gets stuck in the endless whirlpool of today's economic crisis? Then while trying to figure out a way to save his house and his way of life, becomes a drug dealer. This story never went where I thought it was going and I loved every minute of it. It made me laugh and think and there's not much more you can ask for in a book.
The copy I have happens to be a PS edition which has extras at the end of the book including the incident that inspired to story. More and more books I'm getting are the PS editions and I have to say I love them. I really like being involved in what went into creating art. I love good dedications and acknowledgments too. I love feeling like I'm in the know of what goes on behind the pages of books I love. I hope more and more publishers come out with these editions. As for Jess Walter, I think I'll be checking out his other works and if he ever does decide to start up a financial poetry website I may just have to check it out.(less)
I think I’ve been mourning the upcoming loss of any new Maisie for a whole year which is why I’ve put off writing this review. You know I’m trying to...moreI think I’ve been mourning the upcoming loss of any new Maisie for a whole year which is why I’ve put off writing this review. You know I’m trying to be good about this waiting stuff but really, I already have to wait until next year for more Downton Abbey-if you haven’t seen this Masterpiece Classics series you must. It’s absolutely wonderful, though you may want to wait until later in the year then you won’t have to wait as long for new episodes. And now, after the next Maisie, I’m done for a year or more. Boo hoo! I didn’t think ahead when I joined Book Club Girl’s I’m Mad for Maisie Read-along what I would do when I finished so quickly. Actually, I didn’t quite finish the read-along. I’m going slowly through the last book so my Maisie withdrawal won’t be as bad. But, I’m here to talk about book seven so-on with the review.
This episode in the Maisie series made me the saddest and the happiest of all the books so far. Maisie deals with a heartbreaking loss but also finds an unexpected love interest. I knew the loss was coming but still found it hard, it was a character I had really enjoyed and found very interesting. As for Maisie’s new love well, I never saw it coming though looking back maybe I should have. I’ve become so invested in Maisie by reading the books so close together that I found this turn of events completely wonderful.
The mystery portion of the story was completely fascinating as it revolved around the role of cartographers or mapmakers during WWI. I had never really thought about how one would go about planning a war but the idea mapmakers would be used never crossed my mind. Then having read this it all made perfect sense. We learn about Michael Clifton through his journal and letters written to him by the girl he loves. He is such a lovely, spirited young man I was really hoping there was some mistake. And while he was indeed killed during the war there is a twist that left me satisfied there would still be some joy for his family.
Though this story is still deeply entrenched in WWI by the end we start to see Maisie moving on to the next phase of history. Sadly, the specter another war is starting to loom. But, it seems to be leading Maisie’s professional life in a new and exciting direction.
I don’t think there’s a need to say I loved this book and I have no problem saying that this is just as good if not better than the past books. So, with one last book before my long dry Maisie spell I loving where the series is heading. And after listening to Ms. Winspear on Book Club Girl‘s show on Blog Talk Radio there is a hint at what’s coming and boy am I excited. I have to add it was a real thrill to actually have her answer my questions, now I know what “more caf than cafe” means.
Well, I’m off to finish A Lesson in Secrets and then pout about having to wait for more. I’ll let you know what I think when I’m done. Bet, you can’t guess which way I’m leaning (wink)?
So, is anyone doing anything fabulous this weekend? I’m planning on reading and getting my patio cleaned up now that all our rain seems to be over. Hope you all have a great weekend.
Thanks to Book Club Girl for my copy of The Mapping of Love and Death(less)
From its beautiful cover to its lovely but heartbreaking ending The Postmistress gave me so much. I listened to the audiobook version in a two-day per...moreFrom its beautiful cover to its lovely but heartbreaking ending The Postmistress gave me so much. I listened to the audiobook version in a two-day period. What is the audiobook version of “I couldn’t put it down”? I guess I couldn’t stop listening. I had to know what would happen next.
After a bit of confusion at the very beginning trying to keep the characters straight I was swept right in. It’s been a long time since I’ve listened to a book and I think it threw me on how to follow along. I found myself having to rewind to remember who we were talking about and what was going on. But, about half way through the first chapter I was completely involved and totally enthralled.
The three women at the heart of this story were so believable, well written, and honest. I was thrilled when Postmaster Iris found love, was anxious waiting for word from Emma’s husband, and angry along with Frankie trying to get the voices of those most hurt by the war heard.
I have an affinity for the time period that this book is set. I love the music, the movies, and the fashion. The pace of living seemed much more my style. Mind you I wouldn’t want to live without my internet, tv, or other luxuries of this age but I do love to read, watch, and listen back in time.
I’m sure several people have already read this but I don’t want to give too much away. But I will say this, this book put me through the wringer. It’s heartbreaking on so many levels, yet there still is hope. Sometimes I think there’s nothing new that can be written about WWII. All the stories have been told, then something comes along and hits me. There will always be more stories to be told. As Frankie records the voices, really just the names and places, of these people running for their lives it reminded me of just how many people suffered through this horrible time. It’s easy to lose the individual in the vast numbers.
Frankie’s story is a huge part of this book but just as important are the stories of Emma and Iris. The doctor’s wife and the Postmaster (not postmistress). I loved Iris, she was a very New England type of woman. Practical and sensible, making a pivotal decision she makes in the course of her job all the more poignant. Iris becomes an important part of Emma’s life. Her connection to her husband far away. Emma really touched my heart (it helped that Emma is my daughter’s name) she was wounded yet brave, trying to become part of her husband’s life and town. Finally make the family she so longed for but had lost before.
I have to say a word about Orlagh Cassidy, who read the book. Like I said before it has been a while since I have listened to a book so it took me a bit to get into this. I a first I thought her reading was a bit off. Then like lightning it just caught fire. Her take on each of the three women was spot on and she had me so wrapped up in the story I hated to turn it off. I actually looked up her audiobook resume and found there were several books on it I would like to read. Including the Piano Teacher by Janice Y.K. Lee which has been on my list for a bit, so I think I’m off to order it so I can hear Ms. Cassidy again.(less)
I know there are some people (one of my sisters to be specific) who don't like epistolary novels. (I should own up to have to look up the the spellin...more I know there are some people (one of my sisters to be specific) who don't like epistolary novels. (I should own up to have to look up the the spelling of this I think it would sound better as epistlatory which of course is dead wrong) Anyway, I know reading a story told in letter form is not some folks cup of tea but I like them or at least I don't mind them. Especially a well written one. Though I guess that could be said about any book, if it's well written then it's a good book, no matter, right?
The story of two life long friends and the ups and downs of their lives together and apart told through the letters they send each other through childhood until a terrible fight tears them apart. Then after life changing events they begin to write again, this time via email, to reveal a secret that will either tear them apart or bring the together forever. Along the way the Val and Lilly share their love of cooking by sharing recipes in their "Recipe Club" of two.
I loved these two girls, then women and the way their personalities are slowly revealed over the course of their letters. Their hopes and dreams and the relationship between their families that will end up effecting their lives more than they could ever imagine.
This was a well told story told in bits and pieces. While the great secret was easily guessed it didn't stop the story from being very enjoyable and well rounded. Plus the recipes sound very yummy and there really is something for every taste.(less)
The Grace Chapel Inn series is a lot like the feel good story they run on the Friday evening national news. There may be a some hard ship but in the e...moreThe Grace Chapel Inn series is a lot like the feel good story they run on the Friday evening national news. There may be a some hard ship but in the end everything works out just fine.
The series has several different authors, some better than others. Jane Orcutt, may favorite passed away several years ago and I feared I may not find the series as enjoyable. Well, I need not have worried. Sunni Jeffers does a fine job handling her entries into the series.
This time around we have youngest of the Howard sisters, Jane, preparing for a 10K run while trying to fight her desire to beat an old high school rival. Then the Louise, the eldest Howard sister has decided to try her hand at gardening and could just be growing a record breaking giant pumpkin. All of this while middle sister Alice is out of town helping her friend decide whether or not to put a beloved relative into a nursing home.
While not the most complicated of stories there is enough story to keep you interested. Alice's story was by far the most intriguing to me. I thought it was nicely handled (even if it was easy) and ended happily (was there any doubt?). The story of the giant pumpkin was fun and I'll have to look up Louise's secret ingredient to see if it's real. The 10K run storyline was the least successful for me but I think that was just me and not the author's fault.
All and all I enjoyed this entry into the series. There will be no grand book awards for any of these books. But their entertaining and lighthearted. The only thing I wish they had were recipes for all the wonderful food mentioned because they all do sound yummy.(less)
I love this series. I love this author. Andriana Trigiani makes me happy the way only a few authors do. I know I'm going to end up happy by the end of...moreI love this series. I love this author. Andriana Trigiani makes me happy the way only a few authors do. I know I'm going to end up happy by the end of the story. I may not be happy with everything that happens in the book and boy this one had some drama.
It seemed no one in the Angelini/Rocellli family made it out of this one unscathed. But they were all well on their way to healing by the end. And hopefully, by the third in the series (I do believe there's suppose to be three) I'm sure everyone will live happily ever after.
I don't know if I love Valentine more than I love Ave Marie her heroine in the Big Stone Gap series but I know I can't wait to find out what happens next.
Thank you Ms. Trigiani for another wonderful read. Please don't take too long to give me another. (less)
Summery: It's 1964 and ten-year-old Felix is sure of a few things: the birds and the bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christm...moreSummery: It's 1964 and ten-year-old Felix is sure of a few things: the birds and the bees are puzzling, television is magical, and this is one Christmas he'll never forget. LBJ and Lady Bird are in the White House, Meet the Beatles is on everyone's turntable, and Felix Funicello (distant cousin of the iconic Annette!) is doing his best to navigate fifth grade—easier said than done when scary movies still give you nightmares and you bear a striking resemblance to a certain adorable cartoon boy. Back in his beloved fictional town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, with a new cast of endearing characters, Wally Lamb takes his readers straight into the halls of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School—where Mother Filomina's word is law and goody-two-shoes Rosalie Twerski is sure to be minding everyone's business. But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette, straight from QuÉbec, and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kabakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin' and Hopin' barrels toward one outrageous Christmas. From the Funicello family's bus-station lunch counter to the elementary school playground (with an uproarious stop at the Pillsbury Bake-Off), Wishin' and Hopin' is a vivid slice of 1960s life, a wise and witty holiday tale that celebrates where we've been—and how far we've come. – Library Things
I first read Wally Lamb when She’s Come Undone was an Oprah’s Book Club pick. This is when I was still reading Oprah’s picks. I don’t read her picks anymore but that’s a story for a different day. I really liked She’s Come Undone I thought he did a good job a capturing a woman’s voice. I liked I Know This Much is True as well but I never got around to reading The Hour I First Believed, I’m not sure why. So, I was excited when I won Wishin’ and Hopin’ from Book Club Girl this month.
I really enjoyed Wishin’ and Hopin’. It’s totally different from the other Wally Lamb books I’ve read. It’s a short, sweet, lightly funny Christmas tale. But it’s more of a story of parochial school in the late 1960s. Felix is a charming young man with a loving family and good, if a little wild, friends. Having never been to parochial school I don’t know how accurate the story is but I am going to guess it’s not too far off the mark.
While not laugh out loud funny I found it amusing and very sweet. I really liked Felix and the relationship with his family. They were real-his sisters took good care of him, loved him and still teased him the way any self-respecting older sisters would. After reading many books where the families are dysfunctional this was a refreshing little story where the family loved and supported each other.
This in not an overly Christmas Chirstmas story which was nice since I was reading it before Thanksgiving. Starting with the driving out of poor Sister Dymphna-a laugh out loud funny scene for me-we follow Felix and his friends through the Halloween, Felix’s mother’s brush with fame at the Pillsbury Bake-Off, Felix’s own thrilling TV appearance on the Ranger Andy show, and culminating in the Christmas Program and the 5th grade’s “tableauz vivants”. Charming is the word I think best describes this book. I was thoroughly charmed by Felix and his adventures. I really enjoyed the Epilogue following where the characters are today. It definitely added to the charm of the book (less)