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it was amazing
This was a reading experience unlike any other I can recall. I felt like an anthropologist walking into a lost civilization or a birder spotting an ex ...more
Jan 05, 2014
Dec 19, 2013
An American Spy (The Tourist, #3)
really liked it
. . . Ten pages into An American Spy and I was dazed and confused. I pondered how I would ever be able to comment on this book and then it hit me: Ole ...more
Mar 22, 2012
Mar 07, 2012
Just Kids
really liked it
Patti Smith's memoir is compelling for many reasons: it is beautifully written and perfectly paced, but perhaps most striking-- is it is a homage to f ...more
Jan 17, 2010
Jan 17, 2010
The Love Song of Jonny Valentine
liked it
Teddy Wayne has written a poignant, fast-moving, coming of age novel about sheltered 11-year old bubble-gum pop star. I questioned at first whether th ...more
Mar 03, 2013
Mar 03, 2013
Madame Bovary's Daughter
really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel that I received as a First Reads selection.

It is very challenging for an author to reprise a character from another wr
Jul 26, 2011
Jul 24, 2011
An Impartial Witness (Bess Crawford, #2)
liked it
I received this First Reads book in the mail as I was finishing Maisie Dobbs--a light mystery about a WW1 nurse. Bess Crawford, the heroine of this no ...more
Sep 27, 2010
Sep 26, 2010
Gilded Age
liked it
I can't think of too many things more daunting for a fledgling author than to set yourself up for comparison with Edith Wharton. But, that is what the ...more
Apr 09, 2013
Apr 05, 2013
What Darkness Brings (Sebastian St. Cyr, #8)
liked it
There are several literary gifts I received from my mother and among them is a passion for E.F. Benson's Lucia novels and a very soft spot for Regency ...more
Mar 17, 2013
Mar 17, 2013
Frances and Bernard
it was amazing
It is going to be a long, long time before I encounter another novel as alive, engaging, thought-provoking and elegantly written as Frances and Bernar ...more
Feb 27, 2013
Feb 16, 2013
I Always Loved You
liked it
Historical fiction is a great way to live vicariously in another time or place, and to interact in our imaginations with notable people. Recently, the ...more
Feb 06, 2014
Jan 26, 2014
Pride and Perilous (Kyle Callahan Mystery, #2)
did not like it
I requested this mystery through First Reads because of my fondness for novels about art, artists and the gallery and museum scene. I also am a genuin ...more
Jul 31, 2013
Jul 15, 2013
Hush Now, Don't You Cry  (Molly Murphy, #11)
liked it
I was raised on Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, "matured" into Sherlock Holmes, and then blissfully discovered Nero Wolf and Lord Peter Wimsey. Perhaps ...more
Mar 06, 2012
Feb 17, 2012
Roma (Roma, #1)
liked it
Steven Saylor undertook a mighty challenge in this book: encapsulating 1,000 years of Roman history into 550 pages.

In many ways Roma reminded me of an
Aug 21, 2010
Aug 01, 2010
Conqueror: A Novel of Kublai Khan
really liked it
This dramatic historical saga about the coming of age (and triumphs) of Kublai Khan took me out of my literary comfort zone and into a bold, brutal, a ...more
Dec 23, 2011
Nov 30, 2011
Station Eleven
really liked it
Emily St. John Mandel has pulled off quite a feat. She has written a story of hope and wonder in the face of disaster. A catastrophic illness has erad ...more
Aug 15, 2014
Jul 20, 2014
Clutches and Curses (Haley Randolph, #4)
liked it
This was a book I won through the First Reads program. And, one of the nicest benefits of the book give-away is that it introduces readers to authors ...more
Jul 18, 2011
Jun 30, 2011
Mission to Paris (Night Soldiers, #12)
liked it
I've been exploring Nazi Germany through the wide variety of novels recently written about that era and was pleased to receive this Alan Furst new rel ...more
May 15, 2012
Apr 18, 2012
The Attenbury Emeralds (Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane, #3)
liked it
It is a privelege to be selected as a First Read recipient and, when this has occurred, I eagerly anticipate the book's arrival. But this time it was ...more
Nov 25, 2010
Oct 28, 2010
A Handful of Dust
liked it
I was attracted to this author's First Read's "giveaway" because of the setting and characters he chose: New York City during the Great Depression and ...more
Jan 12, 2011
Dec 27, 2010
The Three Weissmanns of Westport
really liked it
After the unbelievable hype that accompanied the publication of The Jane Austen Book Club, I've been very wary of books that invoke Jane Austen's name ...more
Feb 06, 2010
Feb 06, 2010
Truth Like the Sun
liked it
I love participating in this website's FirstReads program because it pushes me to read books I would have not found on my own. And this was one of the ...more
Dec 23, 2012
Nov 22, 2012
The Financial Lives of the Poets
liked it
This wise and witty contemporary novel is almost chilling in its portrayal of a well-educated, downwardly mobile young family man. If I didn't live in ...more
Oct 03, 2009
Oct 03, 2009
The Sleepwalkers (Willi Kraus, #1)
really liked it
This was a haunting book. I couldn't bear to read it, but I couldn't put it down.

Grossman's novel brought all the horror of Nazi Germany to life for m
Oct 10, 2011
Sep 05, 2011
Eliminating the Middleman (Maria Hart Mystery #2)
did not like it
I was really pleased to be the recipient of this FIRST READ book from the author, Chris Forman, but after delving into it I struggled with how to pres ...more
Jul 2010
Jun 30, 2010
The White Rajah
liked it
One of the benefits I've received from the First Reads program is that it often takes me out of my reading rut; this book most definitely was one of t ...more
Dec 19, 2010
Nov 26, 2010
The Emperor's Body: A Novel
liked it
The Emperor's Body opened as an historical novel and eventually unfolded as an exploration of the nature of love and liberty.

I was never a student of
Feb 26, 2011
Jan 21, 2011
Gone West (Daisy Dalrymple, #20)
it was ok
I am a fan of light mysteries and always enjoy a country house murder or story about an adventurous, aristocratic young woman who lands in the center ...more
Jan 24, 2012
Jan 03, 2012
Affirmations for the Everyday Goddess Spiritual Guidebook & 22 Wisdom Cards for Contemplation & Prayer (based on the 22 major arcana of the tarot)
liked it
I am interested in the Tarot and thought it would also be interesting to experience this contemporary riff. The cards are beautifully designed and off ...more
May 10, 2010
May 10, 2010
Eye of the Red Tsar (Inspector Pekkala, #1)
really liked it
This book is introduced as the first in a series of Inspector Pekkala novels. We can only hope that Eastland is prolific and his future books featurin ...more
Feb 27, 2010
Feb 09, 2010
The Language of Flowers
liked it
Vanessa Diffenbaugh has written a challenging, but memorable, story about the longing for love and acceptance and the struggle of growing up in the fo ...more
May 22, 2012
Mar 24, 2012
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