This book affirms my desire to be Helene Hanff when I grow up. This is a brilliantly written travel memoir of her trip to England. Unlike most travelThis book affirms my desire to be Helene Hanff when I grow up. This is a brilliantly written travel memoir of her trip to England. Unlike most travel memoirs where the author tells you why his or her point of view of the destination is far superior to most tourists, she unabashedly tells her story of her time in England and the people she came to love without a care in the world to what anyone else might think. Many people take their trip to England, but this trip was hers and written in the humorous style she was known for. The minute I finished it, I wanted to start it all over again for the first time. I looked her up and was so sad to discover she died in 1997. It felt like losing a friend....more
One of my favorite Stephanie Plum books yet!!! I actually cried when I finished reading it, not because the ending was sappy or sweet, but because I'mOne of my favorite Stephanie Plum books yet!!! I actually cried when I finished reading it, not because the ending was sappy or sweet, but because I'm done in 2 days with a book I feel like I've been waiting forever for, and I don't know when the next one will come out!
This was, in my humble opinion, Evanovich and Plum at their best. The story revolves around a nine million dollar fortune that may or may not be buried in Morelli's basement.
Favorite characters return and new, loveable characters make their debut. I hope we'll see more of Gary and Brenda, and I loved seeing Mooner and his potato gun. What a blast...
Plus Lula was at her finest, as were Morelli and Ranger.
In short, all you can ask for from this wickedly fun series....more
Rare is the book that can say so much without saying a word. A Small Miracle is a beautiful book composed entirely of pictures. It follows the ChristmRare is the book that can say so much without saying a word. A Small Miracle is a beautiful book composed entirely of pictures. It follows the Christmas Even journey of a poor gypsy woman who is saved from certain starvation by a true Christmas miracle.
Every picture is a work of art, and the story is so beautifully moving and sweet. You are doing yourself a disservice if you miss this one. For kids of all ages....more
This is the best book I've read this year, and one of my top 5 favorite books ever.
The story centers around Joey Margolis, a quick talking, too-smart-This is the best book I've read this year, and one of my top 5 favorite books ever.
The story centers around Joey Margolis, a quick talking, too-smart-for-his-own-good kid in Brooklyn who idolizes one Charles Banks, a third baseman for the NY Giants. Through letters, report cards, interviews, newspaper clippings, and more, Joey and Charlie's relationship grows and develops and the book is at turns laugh-out-loud hilarious and move-you-to-tears poignant. Relationships develop amongst many "minor" characters as well, including Joey's principal and teacher, Joey's mother and aunt, Charlie's teammate Stuke and girlfriend Hazel, and even the Press Secretary of the White House and FDR.
I emailed the author after reading it and he got right back to me, which is always a good sign. I have given the book to several people as gifts and they have enjoyed it (my dad stole my copy!).
Covering an exciting and scary time for many Americans, the era after the Depression and of World War II, the book encompasses a time of hope, a time of sorrow, and a time of joy. Read it and be transported....more
This is my ultimate guilty pleasure, beach book piece of fluff, and consequently I read it in its entirety while I was at the beach this weekend. WhenThis is my ultimate guilty pleasure, beach book piece of fluff, and consequently I read it in its entirety while I was at the beach this weekend. Whenever I'm in the dumps, there are 2 books I pick up, and this piece of hardcover romantic comedy is one of them. When I broke my leg, I probably read it 5 times in those 3 months.
Bet Me is the story of Min Dobbs, insurance actuarial at large. She is "chubby" by her mother's standards, has a fetish for fun shoes, has lousy luck picking men, adores her sister and her two best friends, and is a die hard Elvis Presley fan. As the story opens, Min is being dumped by her "I-oughta-love-him" boyfriend, David, a sleazy software developer who dumps Min in a bar, as she won't "put out" for him after 3 months.
Cal Morrissey is a risk taking golden boy, gorgeous, rich, self assured, and afraid of commitment. He happens to be at the same bar that Min and David are at. On a bet from David, he takes Min to dinner. The bet is altogether more complicated than that, but I don't want to give too much away.
Min knows Cal's reputation as a playboy, and upon overhearing the bet being made, decides she'll string him along for 3 weeks and get him to take her to her sister Diana's wedding. But can she?
Despite their best efforts, they fall for each other. Min struggles as much to reject Cal as he does to come to terms with the feelings that he's finally met the woman of his dreams. But the bet may very well come back to haunt them.
Yeah right. It's a romantic comedy, not a tragedy. ...more
I found this book at the Wilderness Library and very nearly didn't buy it. Just looking at the title, the words didn't exactly compute and I thought,I found this book at the Wilderness Library and very nearly didn't buy it. Just looking at the title, the words didn't exactly compute and I thought, "hmmm, this book seems kind of silly." Then I read "A Novel in Letters" and my shameless snoop side came out. I love, love, love reading books that are comprised of letters, I feel like I'm really snooping in someone's mail or diaries, and it makes it so interesting. So I picked up Ella and on my way to the car, said the title out loud and the light went on.
The story is one of letters, literally, written in letters between various people. The fictional town of Nollop is facing a crisis: Named after Nevin Nollop who famously coined the phrase "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog", a statue to its founder in town is falling to pieces. Specifically, letters on tiles comprising the famous sentence are falling off the statue, and the town council has taken that as a sign. The citizenry is officially banned from using any letter which falls off the sign. Failure to restrict use of those letters results first in lashing, and then in banishment from the island. They may neither speak nor write the offending letters. It starts out fairly simply, with the letter Z, but eventually more and more letters drop and it becomes harder and harder to write and speak.
I won't reveal how it is resolved, but it was an excellent story and one that I only wish I had had the cleverness to invent myself. It's a fairly short book as well, so you could read it pretty quickly if you wanted to! Fun and funny, definitely a book for people who love words. Take up the town's challenge yourself and see if you can come up with a sentence...? ...more
The focus of the tale is the small town of Small Plains, Kansas, where one night, tragedy strikes when an unknown girl is found naked and dead in a frThe focus of the tale is the small town of Small Plains, Kansas, where one night, tragedy strikes when an unknown girl is found naked and dead in a frozen cow pasture belonging to the town's sheriff. The same night, the son of one of the sheriff's best friends (who happens to be the town judge) disappears, sent away by his parents after the girl's death. Mitch leaves his devastated girlfriend, Abby, behind, and the unknown girl's murder is never solved.
Fast forward 20 years, and Mitch's mother dies. Mitch returns to town months later, for the first time since the death of the girl, now called The Virgin of Small Plains. Her grave is a magnet for miracle seekers and many miraculous healings are attributed to the young woman. Mitch's return opens many old wounds and new questions are brought to light. The mystery of the girl's has to be solved and Abby has to put her feelings for much to rest, one way or the other, to move on with her life. Mitch and Rex, his other best friend who discovered the girl's body, must also put the past behind them.
What a nail biter. It was a book I absolutely hated to have end. I put off the ending for as long as I could. I wanted certain things to happen, and by and large, they did, and I was surprised at the end as to how the whole mystery wound up, so I was even more satisfied. Great, great reading. ...more
A winner of the Pen Hemingway Award, Housekeeping is the story of Ruthie and Lillian, two girls left orphaned when their mother drives herself off a cA winner of the Pen Hemingway Award, Housekeeping is the story of Ruthie and Lillian, two girls left orphaned when their mother drives herself off a cliff and into a river. They move in with their grandmother, who promptly dies and leaves the girls to the care of their two aunts, who are so anxious and nervous that they call upon the girls' mother's sister. Sylvie comes into town and immediately the girls lives are transformed. Not necessarily for the better. Eventually Lillian leaves and goes to live with a teacher and Ruthie becomes a younger picture of her eccentric aunt.
Housekeeping is one of the two best books I read this month. It was written like poetry, and the pages seemed to flow into one another like the river that plays so prominent a role in the entire book. Lillian and Ruthie's lives are disrupted by the deaths of the women close to them, and turned on their heads by this strange woman who has strange ideas about everything. For instance, when the town suffers through a flood, rather than go to a shelter or escape the waters rapidly rising through their home, Sylvie simply moves the girls to the second floor of the home and they live there until the floodwaters subside. Sylvie then begins to collect tin cans, and doesn't seem to mind that the girls are skipping school on a daily basis, even when the sheriff arrives. Eventually, Sylvie decides to leave town, and Ruth goes with her, leaving her sister, about whom she writes my favorite line in reading, "Having a sister is like a warm window in the dark."
I absolutely loved this book, go read it. Now. ...more
This was a favorite when I was a kid. Kendra Kaye is a 14 year old Manhattanite, facing a summer in the city alone while her BFF's escape to summer caThis was a favorite when I was a kid. Kendra Kaye is a 14 year old Manhattanite, facing a summer in the city alone while her BFF's escape to summer camps and family homes in the Hamptons. Kendra dreads day after day, stuck at home with her annoying little brother, Oscar. But Mom and Dad have other plans. Their friends, the Lees, are sending their son, Frank, to NYC for the summer, and together, the 4 parents have put together a city-wide scavenger hunt for the 3 kids to complete. They will travel all over NYC and learn history, culture, language, food... And if they complete their mission? They will win a trip to England.
I know, it already sounds like pretty much the greatest kids' book ever written, doesn't it? I thought so then, I think so now. And I love Paula Danziger, I love every book she ever wrote. So even better. ...more