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Showing posts from July, 2017

Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica: A Review

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I first heard of Mary Kubica's books when I had finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and was looking for similar fiction.  Kubica's books came recommended and I picked up The Good Girland fell in love with Kubica's thrillers.  I was so excited when I heard that she would be writing another book and got my hands on it as soon as I could.  I was not disappointed!

Clara is mother to Maisie and Felix, a four-day old infant, and wife to Nick, a dentist at an upscale dental office that is bleeding money.  Nick takes Maisie to dance class one day to give Clara time to rest and take care of Felix but he ends up in an accident that leaves him fatally injured while Maisie is virtually unharmed and seems to be unaware of what happened.  Clara is understandably heartbroken and believes that there may have been foul play when Maisie starts to have nightmares and flashbacks involving a man in a black car.  Not getting the attention she would like from the police, Clara decides to invest…

My Last Lament by James William Brown

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Young Aliki is a witness to her own father's execution at the hands of the Nazis and lives the rest of her childhood with a local woman and her son, Takis.  When the woman hides a Jewish woman and her son, Stelios, Aliki and Takis are exposed to the world of puppetry by Stelios.  The Nazis that occupy the Greek village learn of the Jews in the basement and they kill the women and the children must fend for themselves.  The children earn money by performing puppet shows for a country that is trying to heal itself after the devastation of World War II and the fall of the Nazis.

I usually like historical novels about World War II and the holocaust but this book just didn't do it for me.  I enjoyed the first third of the book but after the Germans left Greece, the story wasn't as interesting.  I think the story would have been better if the story was centered around Stelios and his mother hiding in the basement of Aliki's home but after that point, there was too much goin…

I Hate Everyone, Except You by Clinton Kelly: A Review

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Clinton Kelly's memoir I Hate Everyone, Except You had me laughing from the very first page to the very last!  I have to confess that I am not an avid viewer of What Not to Wear so I was able to approach this book as it was presented, without any pretenses.  I am so happy that this book found me!  His writing reminded me of reading a book by David Sedaris, another one of my favorite comedy writers.  Kelly can be a bit snarky when he wants to be but he is surprisingly kind to those he writes about.  His observations on life and society are insightful and relate-able.  I really enjoyed this book and I think anyone who enjoys funny, essay-style memoirs will enjoy this book.  It was a wonderful, light read to pick me up on a rainy day.    

Watch a video about Action Park, the amusement park that Kelly describes in his book:


My rating:
★★★★☆

Books like this one:
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Sleepless Nights and Kisses For Breakfast: Reflections on F…

The Standard Grand by Jay Baron Nicorvo: A Review

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Bellum has gone AWOL and left her husband and home in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.  She is already suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from her past deployments and can't stomach the idea of another one.  She follows an older veteran that has set up a camp for homeless veterans called The Standard Grande.  Milt inherited The Standard Grande, an old resort in the Catskills, from his father-in-law and uses it to help veterans become more self-sufficient and acclimate to coming home from a war environment.  Milt is under water on the venture, though, and is being aggressively pursued by a company that wants to use the land for what they say is a golf resort.  The veterans aren't so sure that is the real purpose, though.

This book just didn't hit the spot for me.  Most of the story dragged.  I didn't find it humorous and the mystery wasn't enough to keep my attention.  I actually had to leave this book several times and come back to it while reading o…

Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer: A Review

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Darcy and Boyz divorced due to his infidelity but they were never really compatible to begin with.  Boyz was a uber-successful real estate agent and Darcy is a bookish librarian.  After her divorce and the death of the grandmother who raised her, Darcy moves into her grandmother's old home on Nantucket and begins a peaceful life there as a children's librarian.  She has a new love interest, Nash, and a great group of friends.  The community is smaller during the off-season but now it is summer and the crowds have come to enjoy the great weather.  One of her neighbors happens to be Boyz and the woman he cheated on Darcy with and the other is an older woman with a handsome grandson that might be competition for Nash.

After reading the emotionally charged Human Acts by Han Kang, I wanted something a little lighter to read.  Secrets in Summer did just that.  What a great beach book!  I loved the descriptions of Nantucket and found myself envying the characters for their breezy is…

Human Acts by Han Kang: A Review

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A while back, I read Han Kang's book The Vegetarian and was impressed with the unique style and story.  If I'm being honest, I enjoyed The Vegetarian a bit more than Human Acts but I think that Human Acts is a more important work.  The book centers around the shooting and death of middle-school student Dong-ho.  The young boy was shot by the military and his body was disposed of in an unmarked, mass grave.  The book follows Dong-ho, his family, friends and acquaintances and discusses the political turmoil that occurred in South Korea in 1980.  The description of the aftermath of the events puts the reader in the middle of the events.  The book was hard to read but not because of the writing or translation but because of the subject matter.  I think this is an important book for readers to experience because it teaches us about the horrors of political extremism and the military state.

My rating:
★★★★☆

Reviews of books like this one:
The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Exit West …