Friday, July 14, 2017

Review: Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Funny, serious, thoughtful, empowering, and now I want to move to Minnesota.

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Review: The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Spiritual, whimsical, thought-provoking, imaginative, creative, masterful storytelling. And while a juvenile fiction book, I think it transcends ages. I'd easily consider it for book club...so much to discuss.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Review: The Dry

The Dry The Dry by Jane Harper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An apparent murder-suicide of a young family in the outback of Australia leaves a small town unsettled and looking for answers.
I'm not a mystery reader, so my opinion may be biased. I thought the story, for the most part, was a snoozer. Nothing really happened until the last 100 pages. And even then I'm not sure the "twist" was that much of a shocker. The final moments were alarming, but by then I was ready for it to be over.
I'm still not sure what the Australian definition of "bugger" means.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Review: Girl in the Blue Coat

Girl in the Blue Coat Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

German occupation, Dutch resistance, a case of mistaken identity, hiding Jews, black market intrigue -- of all these elements make an intriguing and page turning YA WWII historical fiction novel. In fact, there were so many twists and turns at the end, I could have easily started the book again, to re-read what I missed the first time. For those who loved Salt to the Sea or Code Name Verity.

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Review: She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Sometimes being a girl isn't easy. At some point, someone will probably tell you no, will tell you to be quiet, and may even tell you your dreams are impossible. Don't listen to them."
My only issue with this book is there are far too few women mentioned.
Persist. Always.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Review: Words in Deep Blue

Words in Deep Blue Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars
This is a hard one to review.
Things I loved: Henry and Rachel's love of books; their letter writing; the bookshop; their deep discussions of poetry and literature; their friendship; her grief over Cal; the final letter from Frederic -- wow, it was beautiful.
Things I didn't love: She was really awful to him in the beginning; Amy; Greg; the overabundance of Fbombs -- like, on every page -- I grew so weary of reading that word.



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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Review: The Garden of Small Beginnings

The Garden of Small Beginnings The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars
I only bought this book only because I had a "Cartwheel" coupon from Target that made the purchase a bargain $8. Well worth my literary money.

This is a quaint, witty novel about a woman who is still trying to recover and find balance after the death of her husband. It's about complicated family dynamics and unexpected friends. It's about relationships and overcoming fear. And it's about growth and change -- much like the gardening that anchors the book.

I loved the multiple characters and the sharp, bantering dialogue. It made me want to take a gardening class.

A perfect summer novel.

*Language including the Fbomb


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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Review: Dark Matter

Dark Matter Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars
A family of three goes on a mind-bending, physics-altering, time-warping, metaphysical journey thorough time and space, and the reader is along for the nail-biting ride. Wow!

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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Review: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Currently, Pawhuska OK is most famous for Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman, and her Mercantile Store, that brings as many tourists/shoppers to this small town as it has residents.

But at the turn of the century, Pawhuska was knows for oil. And lots of it. And it was owned by the Osage Indian tribe.

In riveting and engrossing detail, author David Grann, details the nearly systematic elimination of the Osage by Whites because of money. Nothing else. The Osage had it. The Whites didn't. By means of murder, poison, explosion, anything to get the "headrights" to the Osage's land and mineral rights.

Growing up, my dad use to tell me stories of the Osage and their wealth -- one I remember was that when one of their cars would run out of gas, instead of filling up the tank, they'd discard it and buy a new one...true or tale, who knows...but as a Oklahoman, I had a vague knowledge of the Osage wealth. I had no idea that many attempted to kill them off because of it.

An extraordinary book. One I could easily start over from page one and read straight through again.


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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Review: Alex and Eliza

Alex and Eliza Alex and Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alex and Eliza sitting in a tree...
K I S S I N G...
First comes love...
Then comes marriage...
Then comes Hamilton's scandalous affair with Maria Reynolds, and lastly, his death at the hands of Aaron Burr.

But before that, in this YA fictional account, they were the Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy of the Revolutionary set.

I adored this book (and the musical), even if it's a work of fiction and Hamilton turned out to be an adulterer.

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