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Archived > 2018 Reads and Reviews ~ Anything goes

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message 1: by Lady ♥ Belleza, Gif Princesa (last edited Jan 02, 2018 08:11AM) (new)

Lady ♥ Belleza (bella_foxx) | 187 comments Mod
When I say anything goes, I mean any type of book, from anywhere, doesn't have to be a library book.

I'm currently reading Innocent Victims, which is not a library book.


message 2: by Terris (new)

Terris | 164 comments I finally started The Secret History. I've been meaning to read it for so long!


message 3: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 716 comments Cartoon County My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe by Cullen Murphy
Cartoon County: My Father and His Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe
Cullen Murphy
4.5/5 stars
Somehow this book ended up on my hold shelf, I know I must have ordered it but had forgotten all about it. What a wonderful surprise this book was to me! I love comics and this was a look at a slice of life that is disappearing. Cullen Murphy, the author and comic strip artist; writes of the heydey of print comic strips and the artists that lived in Connecticut including his father, John Cullen Murphy who drew the Prince Valiant comic for a time. If you love comics or just a good book, I think you will enjoy this look back at the wonderful artists and the work they did.


message 4: by Julie (last edited Jan 06, 2018 02:00PM) (new)

Julie (julielill) | 716 comments You Don't Look Your Age And Other Fairy Tales by Sheila Nevins
You Don't Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales Sheila Nevins
3/5 stars
Filmmaker and television producer, Sheila Nevins writes about life as a woman living and working in this day and age through short stories based on true life scenarios. I did enjoy this interesting book, some tales more than others and I think all women can empathize and share similar stories.


message 5: by Julie (last edited Jan 06, 2018 02:05PM) (new)

Julie (julielill) | 716 comments Santa's Husband by Daniel Kibblesmith
Santa's Husband
Daniel Kibblesmith
4/5 stars
This is a wonderful story about a different take on one of the most famous couples known. I enjoyed this sweet picture book and was happy to find it after reading about it.


message 6: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Written in Stone (A Books by the Bay Mystery, #4) by Ellery Adams
Written in Stone – Ellery Adams – 3***
This is book number four in the Books By the Bay Mysteries series. I like Olivia and her friends – the Bayside Book Writers. Of course the writers’ group includes the town Police Chief, handsome Sawyer Rawlings, which is convenient for the amateur sleuths.
LINK to my review

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The Shape of Water (Inspector Montalbano, #1) by Andrea Camilleri
The Shape of Water – Andrea Camilleri – 3.5***
Book number one in the Inspector Montalbano mystery series, set in Sicily is an absolute delight! Montalbano is a wonderful character. He deals with the worst of human situations and yet still finds humor in his life. Camilleri’s writing is very atmospheric. I almost felt as if I were visiting Sicily. I look forward to reading more of this series.
LINK to my review


message 7: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 463 comments Book Concierge wrote: "Written in Stone (A Books by the Bay Mystery, #4) by Ellery Adams

Written in Stone
– Ellery Adams – 3***
This is book number four in the Books By the Bay Mysteries series. I like Olivia and her friends – the Bayside Book..."


Is this book related to the Guillermo Del Toro film of the same name? It sounds utterly different but I thought I'd check.


message 8: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Fishface wrote: "Book Concierge wrote: "Written in Stone (A Books by the Bay Mystery, #4) by Ellery Adams

Is this book related to the Guillermo Del Toro film of the same name?..."


Don't know ... haven't seen it. But from what I know about Del Toro, this cozy mystery doesn't sound like the kind of story he's interested in filming.


message 9: by Book Concierge (last edited Jan 07, 2018 02:21PM) (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale
Catch Me If You Can – Frank Abagnale – 4****
Subtitle depends on the edition: The Amazing True Story of the Most Extraordinary Liar in the History of Fun and Profit! -or- The True Story Of a Real Fake. Frank Abagnale began his career as a forger, check-kiter and con-man when he was just sixteen years old. It’s a fascinating memoir of his years of crime, full of daring escapades, humorous situations, and outlandish lies.
LINK to my review

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The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James – 3.5***
A ghost story and psychological thriller. A young woman is hired to be governess to two young children, Miles and Flora. The governess is certain that some malevolent entity is intent on capturing the children in her care, and she is determined to prevent it from doing so. All the uncertainty and secrecy serve to increase the emotional tension in the story. It is dark, and puzzling, and disturbing.
LINK to my review


message 10: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (officerripley) | 18 comments Reading The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler Parable of the Sower (Earthseed, #1) by Octavia E. Butler ; about halfway thru & am really enjoying it. Too bad she died so young, such a good author.


message 11: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 716 comments The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yōko Ogawa
The Housekeeper and the Professor
Yōko Ogawa
3.5/5 stars
A Japanese professor has lost his ability to retain his memory for more than 80 minutes and requires some care. A housekeeper has been enlisted to help him during the day and has brought her son along. Their relationship grows as each day goes by and is helped as the professor and the housekeeper's son's bond with their love of baseball and by the housekeeper's interest in learning more about math.

This had been on my reading list for quite a long time probably since it first came out and I thought what am I waiting for- either read or take it off my list. This was very popular when it first came out and it still retains its charm. Very enjoyable.


message 12: by Terris (new)

Terris | 164 comments Julie wrote: "The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yōko Ogawa
The Housekeeper and the Professor
Yōko Ogawa
3.5/5 stars
A Japanese professor has lost his ability to retain his ..."


Oh, I really liked this one, Julie! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's a good one to start the year on :)


message 13: by Lady ♥ Belleza, Gif Princesa (new)

Lady ♥ Belleza (bella_foxx) | 187 comments Mod
I went to the library (website) to put a hold on Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West only to discover my card had expired. Double rats!


message 14: by Terris (new)

Terris | 164 comments Fishface wrote: "Book Concierge wrote: "Written in Stone (A Books by the Bay Mystery, #4) by Ellery Adams

Written in Stone
– Ellery Adams – 3***
This is book number four in the Books By the Bay Mysteries series. I like Olivia and her frie..."


I just looked at the description of The Shape of Water and it's not the same book/story. Guillermo del Toro wrote the movie story himself.


message 15: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments The Girl Who Fell from the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky – Heidi W Durrow – 4****
Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I., becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy after a fateful morning on a Chicago rooftop. I found the book in turns horrifying, moving, disturbing, riveting, and confusing. The story moves back and forth in time, and with multiple narrators. I was moved by Rachel’s predicament. And empathized with her struggles to come to terms with what had happened to her, and to those she loved. All told, this is a great debut, and I look forward to reading future works by Durrow.
LINK to my review


message 16: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Our House in the Last World by Oscar Hijuelos
Our House in the Last World – Oscar Hijuelos – 3.5***
Hijuelos’ debut novel spans five decades, telling the story of the Santinio family from 1929 in Cuba to 1975 in New York. Alejo is a man who has never met a stranger. He is exuberant and generous. Mercedes is a woman who lives in the past. She cannot let go of past glories of life in Cuba as a girl. She loves Alejo, but the man he has become is a stranger to her. Hijuelos’s writing is vivid and passionate, with scenes that are ethereal and full of mysticism contrasted with scenes of brutal reality. People yell in anger, whoop in celebration, and cry in despair.
LINK to my review


message 17: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Starry Night by Debbie Macomber
Starry Night – Debbie Macomber – 2.5**
It’s a typical Macomber holiday schmaltz novel. The characters are straight out of central casting and the plot is predictable. Still, it’s a fast and entertaining holiday read.
LINK to my review


message 18: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Killers of the Flower Moon The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
Killers of the Flower Moon – David Grann – 4****
Wow. I am ashamed to say that I knew nothing of this shameful episode of American history. Grann did a marvelous job researching and reporting his findings. He did more than simply report what the FBI managed to uncover, and that only emphasizes how institutionalized the racist attitudes were.
LINK to my review


message 19: by Julie (last edited Jan 18, 2018 02:54PM) (new)

Julie (julielill) | 716 comments Atonement by Ian McEwan
Atonement
Ian McEwan
4/5 stars
Briony, a young English girl in pre-WWII, sets into motion a tragedy affecting a young man and her sister when she implicates the young man in a crime. I love McEwan's writing because he is not one to shy away from difficult subjects and doesn't rely on a happy ending to satisfy his readers.


message 20: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
Commonwealth – Ann Patchett – 4****
The novel follows the four parents and six children of the Cousins and Keating families over five decades. As children, the six kids are frequently left to their own devices, the adults in their lives too busy with their own drama to focus on the children. How the adult siblings each interpret and remember what has happened, and how they manage the guilt or shame is the main focus. Patchett really shines when exploring human relationships. She slowly reveals secrets, hopes, and fears until the reader feels she truly knows these people. Little by little events are revealed, and characters are fully realized. Like her other works, this would be a great choice for a book club discussion.
LINK to my review


message 21: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Julie wrote: "Atonement by Ian McEwan
Atonement
Ian McEwan
4/5 stars
Briony, a young English girl in pre-WWII, sets into motion a tragedy affecting a young man and her sister w..."


Loved this book!


message 22: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 716 comments Walking Through Walls by Philip Smith
Walking Through Walls
Philip Smith
3/5 stars
In this non-fiction book, Philip Smith, an editor and artist writes about his life growing up with his father, Lew Smith, a decorator and psychic healer. Yes, this is non-fiction though it does read like fiction and in this very interesting account, he details his father’s highly unusual life as he helps heal people psychically using pendulums and also has the ability to talk to the dead. As I read this very interesting book, I did and still have my doubts about his father’s abilities but I think you’ll have to read this hard to put down book to make up your own mind.


message 23: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 463 comments War! What Is It Good For?: Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots, Ian Morris
4 enthusiastic stars!

The last thing I expected after reading the description of the contents was a book on archaeology, but that's what this is, and it's a totally gripping read. The authors whisks you all over the globe, across continents and through the centuries, matching up changes in the technology of war with changes in the societies affected by those wars. He never lost me once, which is saying a great deal -- he was literally covering the whole of known human history and it would have been easy for him to leave the reader in the dust. He makes a good case that war causes at least as much peace and prosperity as it destroys, probably more. I felt a little squeamish about his statements that we can really know how many people still living in caves died violently, but in general his arguments make sense and there is a great deal to back up most if what he is saying. Fellow Discordians will be utterly intrigued by the critical role of bureaucracy in societal change


message 24: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Cotton by Christopher Wilson
Cotton – Christopher Wilson – 1.5*
I was intrigued by this idea of a “white-skinned black boy” in the segregated South of the mid-20th century. But the novel took a decided turn for the weird. …. Let’s just say that Lee Cotton changes skin color and/or gender like some women change hair color. Wilson gives Lee a unique voice – with an odd mixture of local dialect and educated English. But in the end, I found this just too fantastically absurd to be believed. I never warmed up to Lee or any of the other characters, and I found it a chore to finish.
LINK to my review


message 25: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Letters for Emily by Camron Wright
Letters For Emily – Camron Wright – 1.5*
Harry is dying of Alzheimer’s and he struggles to complete a book of wisdom for his favorite granddaughter. I thought the plot was predictable and emotionally manipulative, and that the characters were straight out of central casting. If it hadn’t been a book-club selection I would not have finished it. I will say that some of the advice Harry leaves is poignant and resonated with me, but the book’s construct really irritated me.
LINK to my review


message 26: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen – 4****
One of the best opening lines of literature: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” It's no wonder this is a classic. Austen is simply the master of dialogue. The way in which the characters interact brings them to life.
LINK to my review


message 27: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 463 comments I Had to Survive: How a Plane Crash in the Andes Inspired My Calling to Save Lives, Roberto Canessa with Pablo Vierci
5 stars!!!

I can't recommend this one too warmly. (After reading a book about the Andes crash survivors, especially in January in Michigan, all you want is to get warm again.) Beautifully written, thoughtfully presented, impossible to put down. There was a bit of a contradiction between Canessa protesting that he's just an ordinary schmo and all his patients' parents saying he's God's gift to humanity, but that's only a quibble. For those of you interested in disaster psych, here is a beautiful example of how it can unfold and make a person's life richer and more meaningful. I just wish all 16 survivors would write their own memoirs. Thanks, Dr. Canessa, for taking the time to write this one. I will read it again and again. The way he described finally tasting normal food again, after 72 days without it, is just one of many moments in here I will never forget.


message 28: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 716 comments Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty
Apple Tree Yard
Louise Doughty
4/5 stars
Yvonne Carmichael, a English scientist/professor whose life is busy but uncomplicated, meets a man who is quite the opposite of her husband and enthralls her. They begin an affair and when an incident occurs at a faculty party that shakes her to her core, she asks for help from her lover that will have devastating consequences. This is so suspenseful and shocking at times that it was hard to put down.
This reminds me of Gillian Flynn's writing and I just found out this was made into a series in England. I would love to see it just to compare it to the book.


message 29: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Hidden Figures The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
Hidden Figures – Margot Lee Shetterly – 3.5***
The subtitle is all the synopsis anyone needs: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race. I had seen the movie, but it covers just a few years, and compresses the story of many women into three characters. Shetterly’s book covers the time from the early years of WW2 to the Moon Landing in August 1969. I’m glad I read it, and that these women’s stories are finally brought to the forefront of America’s consciousness.
LINK to my review


message 30: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 716 comments Book Concierge wrote: "Hidden Figures The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures
– Margot Lee Shetterly – 3.5***
The subtitle is all the synopsis anyone needs: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Math..."

I thought this was so interesting and a must read for people who like history.


message 31: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Inside the O'Briens by Lisa Genova
Inside the O’Briens – Lisa Genova – 5*****
A diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease affects not only Boston cop Joe O’Brien, but his entire family. Genova writes so well about neurological disorders, making the story both entertaining and informative. I really felt as if I knew these characters – their fears, joys, dreams, and anxieties.
LINK to my review


message 32: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments The Midnight Watch A Novel of the Titanic and the Californian by David Dyer
The Midnight Watch – David Dyer – 2.5**
Subtitle: A Novel of the Titanic and the Californian. Like many people, I am fascinated by the Titanic’s story, and I was eager to read Dyer’s debut novel. But his changing points of view somehow failed to capture my attention. The last sixty pages of the novel, however, were gripping.
LINK to my review


message 33: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 716 comments The Doctor Wears Three Faces by Mary Bard
The Doctor Wears Three Faces
Mary Bard
3.5/5 stars
I have always been a big fan of Betty MacDonald and have read her books. I did not know that her sister was also a writer of several books and was very excited to find this one. In this book, Mary describes her married life to a very busy doctor and raising a family, along with remodeling a home and the endless problems with all of it. She has a similar writing style to her sister and puts a lot of humor and wit into her writing. If you enjoyed her sister's books you will enjoy Mary's spin on life.


message 34: by Julie (last edited Feb 02, 2018 08:59AM) (new)

Julie (julielill) | 716 comments The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini
4.5/5 stars
I am probably the last person to have read this book but had passed it over because I knew some of the content (for me) would be disturbing. But then someone had given it to me as a gift and so I bit the bullet and read it and was really touched by this story of two boys growing up in the 1970’s in Afghanistan. One was Amir, the son of a rich man and Hassan, was the son of his servant. They were very close till a disturbing incident separated them and eventually Amir and his father moved to the States after the Taliban took over leaving Hassan and his family behind. Years later Amir finds out the fate of Hassan and his wife and returns to Afghanistan to try and make up for the mistakes he has made in his relationship with him.


message 35: by Lady ♥ Belleza, Gif Princesa (new)

Lady ♥ Belleza (bella_foxx) | 187 comments Mod
Got Never Let Me Go from the library yesterday and read it when I got home. I was not impressed. My review is here: link.

I also got the movie and will be watching it this weekend.


message 36: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments The Longest Night by Andria Williams
The Longest Night – Andria Williams – 4****
A young military couple, Nat and Paul Collier vs his supervisor at the nuclear power plant where Paul works, and MSgt Reynolds’ mean-spirited wife, Jeannie. Add a handsome local cowboy and a reactor with problems that are being ignored and it’s only a question of which will blow first: the reactor, Paul’s career, or Paul and Nat’s marriage. Great character-based novel with a gripping story line. I was engaged and interested from beginning to end.
LINK to my review


message 37: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 463 comments I gave 4 stars to the memoir written by the 3 surviving Dionne quintuplets, Family secrets: the dionne quintuplets' autobiography. This is a completely weird story from the outset and it seemed to get weirder as time went on until the girls finally learned to put their feet down and decide for themselves how they wanted their lives to go. Well written in an oddly disconnected way, probably the result of funnelling 5 points of view through an "as told to" co-author, and squozen through the filter of attempting to tell the truth without descending into bitterness. This is not at all "tabloid" and never sensational, but they did a great job of giving me the almost physical sensation of being trapped in a tiny, constricted life with little information and little ability to really question what they were being told and how they were being treated. Anyone interested in the lives of sideshow attractions or abused children will be very interested in this one, among the most famous cases of all.


message 38: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Packing for Mars The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach
Packing For Mars – Mary Roach – 3***
Subtitle: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Another entertaining and informative read from an author who has become a favorite “science” writer for me. As she has done for sex, our alimentary canal, and cadavers, Roach turns her curiosity, sense of adventure and wit to the topic of space travel. Entertaining and informative (and with some laugh-out-loud moments).
LINK to my review


message 39: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Fishface wrote: "I gave 4 stars to the memoir written by the 3 surviving Dionne quintuplets, Family secrets: the dionne quintuplets' autobiography. This is a completely weird story from the outset and..."

I think I may have read this back before joining either Shelfari or Goodreads. Two of the sisters are still alive, and last year entered into a debate with the township over whether the family's original home (in which the quints were born) will be sold and moved to a distant fairgrounds.


message 40: by Lady ♥ Belleza, Gif Princesa (new)

Lady ♥ Belleza (bella_foxx) | 187 comments Mod
Book Concierge wrote: "I think I may have read this back before joining either Shelfari or Goodreads. Two of the sisters are still alive, and last year entered into a debate with the township over whether the family's original home (in which the quints were born) will be sold and moved to a distant fairgrounds. "

Here's the Linky


message 41: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 716 comments Book Concierge wrote: "Packing for Mars The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

Packing For Mars
– Mary Roach – 3***
Subtitle: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Another entertaining and informative read from an author who has bec..."


I enjoy her books-have not read this one but it is on my never ending reading list.


message 42: by Fishface (new)

Fishface | 463 comments Book Concierge wrote: "Packing for Mars The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach

Packing For Mars
– Mary Roach – 3***
Subtitle: The Curious Science of Life in the Void. Another entertaining and informative read from an author who has bec..."


I have been meaning to read this one. I'm glad you liked it; that may move me closer to getting my hot little hands on a copy.


message 43: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
Etta and Otto and Russell and James – Emma Hooper – 3***
Eighty-two-year-old Etta has never seen the sea, so she decides one day to leave her Saskatchewan farm and head out on foot. It reminded me of Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, but it was not quite as engaging. Use of magical realism and non-linear timeline.
LINK to my review


message 44: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments The Butterfly's Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe
The Butterfly’s Daughter – Mary Alice Monroe – 2.5**
I knew this was a chick-lit, road-trip, find-yourself kind of novel going in. I was intrigued by the link to the monarch butterfly migration, and by the main character’s journey. I liked how Luz grew through the novel, and liked the various characters she picked up along the way and how they helped her. I also liked that the ending, while hopeful, was NOT just wrapped up in a pretty little happy-ever-after bow. But there were elements that dropped it a half-star, chiefly how bad the audio performance was. If you want to read it, do so in text format. Skip the audio.
LINK to my review


message 45: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments 'Round Midnight by Laura McBride
’Round Midnight – Laura McBride – 3.5***
As she did in her debut work, McBride tells the story of four different characters with little apparent connection, until their stories come together in one specific event. The reader gets a pretty clear idea of the connection of at least two of these women early on but must wait for events to unfold over several decades before the characters will catch on.
LINK to my review


message 46: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 716 comments OZ The Complete Collection Volume 1 by L. Frank Baum
OZ: The Complete Collection Volume 1
L. Frank Baum
4/5 stars
Finished the 3rd story in the book called Ozma of Oz. Dorothy, whose character returns to the Oz novels, is now traveling by ship with her Uncle to Australia when she is swept into the ocean with her chicken, Billina and they end up in the Land of Ev. They run into Princess Ozma who is traveling with the lion, the scarecrow and the tin man. They are there to rescue the royal Ev family members from the horrible Nome King who has turned them into ornaments. Dorothy is excited to be re-united with her friends and helps in trying to procure the release of the Ev family. Delightful and fun.


message 47: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments It's All In The Frijoles 100 Famous Latinos Share Real Life Stories Time-Tested Dichos, Favorite Folktales, and Inspiring Words of Wisdom by Yolanda Nava
It’s All in the Frijoles – Yolanda Nava – 2**
Subtitle: 100 Famous Latinos Share Real-Life Stories, Time-Tested Dichos, Favorite Folktales, and Inspiring Words of Wisdom. Nava has compiled the wisdom of our ancestors through the stories, legends, folktales and sayings they imparted. She divides the book into chapters, each dealing with a basic value: Responsibility, Respect, Hard Work, Prudence, Chastity, etc. These short vignettes (many barely a page long), are perfect for a daily meditation, so it’s a nice book to have around the house for that purpose. But reading it straight through just emphasizes how repetitious it is.
LINK to my review


message 48: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
Autobiography of a Face – Lucy Grealy – 4****
What is more important to your sense of self than to recognize yourself in the mirror? What if the face you saw in the mirror was one you could not bear to look at? A face that could not possibly reflect the you inside? Grealy writes so eloquently and honestly about what she went through as a result of childhood cancer, and how she felt growing up “ugly.”
LINK to my review


message 49: by Julie (new)

Julie (julielill) | 716 comments Chasing the Last Laugh Mark Twain's Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour by Richard Zacks
Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain's Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour
Richard Zacks
4/5 stars
Not knowing a lot about Mark Twain, I found this book at the bookstore which looked very intriguing. This is not a full biography of Twain but encompasses his later years when he is facing bankruptcy after investing in the Paige typesetter. To get out of debt he agrees to a round-the-world speaking tour beginning in 1896 and traveling through Australia, New Zealand, India, North and South America with his wife and two of his daughters. This book describes his experiences in those countries, the people he meets and retells some of the programs and stories he gives during his speaking programs. The tour is fairly successful but he has bouts of illness and a tragedy happens towards the end of the tour. I found this very interesting and it really expanded my knowledge of Twain and his writings.


message 50: by Book Concierge (new)

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 977 comments You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon
You Remind Me of Me – Dan Chaon – 3.5***
Chaon’s skill as a short-story writer shows in his debut novel. The first four chapters of the book introduce us to four different characters and time frames. Eventually the connections between them will be clear to the reader. What I really like about Chaon’s writing is how he explores issues of identity, how characters are shaped by their environment, by chance and opportunity, and by the choices they make. There is much to dislike about these damaged people, and yet I am drawn to these characters and their stories.
LINK to my review


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