Monday, February 17, 2020

Review: Next Year in Havana

Next Year in Havana Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Marisol is returning to Cuba for the first time since her family's escape during the revolution to return her grandmother's ashes to her homeland. Marisol meets old family friends and neighbors and what was initially an excursion to write about Cuban tourism and travel, results in discovering old family secrets and ignites new political controversy.

I really liked this novel! Told is alternating voices -- both Marisol and her grandmother, Elisa - I was engage with both narratives and stories.

I knew/know absolutely nothing of the Cuban revolution or about Cuba (shame on me), other than Castro, Communism and Cuban refugees and families in Florida. While I'm sure this barely skims the surface of what actually occurred (hopefully it was accurate), I certainly know more now about Cuba than I did before.

This was our book club choice for March. Look forward to discussing it.

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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Review: New Kid

New Kid New Kid by Jerry Craft
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A graphic novel within a graphic novel, Jordan is an aspiring artist, who is now a minority student in an exclusive private school. He sketches his "thoughts" in diary-like entries as he encounters issues of racism, elitism, and social awkwardness at school
A brilliant, very funny, and insightful book.
Illustrations are amazing.
Newbery award worthy.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Review: Before She Was Harriet

Before She Was Harriet Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A quick easy audio during breakfast.
The diverse voices narrating Harriet's the stages of her life were great. As were the sound effects.
But clearly this was picture book. So, yeah, missed seeing the illustrations.


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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Review: Letter from Birmingham Jail

Letter from Birmingham Jail Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Such an important, almost gospel-like, letter.
And while expertly and emotionally narrated, I can only imagine what it would have sounded like in Dr. King's voice.

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Monday, January 13, 2020

Review: Tomorrow I'll Be Brave

Tomorrow I'll Be Brave Tomorrow I'll Be Brave by Jessica Hische
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This may be a picture book, but the message is timeless and ageless.
The illustrations and lettering are stunning.
Tomorrow be:
Adventurous
Strong
Smart
Curious
Creative
Confident
Brave

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Sunday, January 5, 2020

Review: Tidelands

Tidelands Tidelands by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I read over 300 pages of this dreadful book and decided I couldn’t read anymore. I did skip to the last 10 pages to find out what happened. Not sure I missed much in the 100 pages I skipped.

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Review: Stepsister

Stepsister Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Turns out, Cinderella’s stepsister was a badass.
And it’s important to forgive.
Absolutely LOVED this book.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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Review: The Unteachables

The Unteachables The Unteachables by Gordon Korman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It was OK.
Highly improbable from start to finish.
Not intended for an adult reader. Or at least, this adult reader.

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Review: Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book

Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book by Jennifer Donnelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love Jennifer Donnelly novels.
This is a reimagined telling of Beauty and the Beast after Beast introduces Belle to the castle library.
Part Wizard of Oz, part creepy Toy Story, Belle must write her own “story” and determine her destiny.
Great storytelling.
Good middle grade fiction.

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Review: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Julie
Boyfriend
Wendell
Rita
John
Myron
Caroline

I was immersed in everyone of these patients’ stories.

I loved the writing. I loved the growth. I loved the therapy.

So many favorite quotes, but this one I marked, “I thought about how many people avoid trying for things they really want in life because it’s more painful to get close to the goal but not achieve it than not to have taken the chance in the first place.”

I listened to the audible as well as read the physical book - the audio narration is excellent!

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