Sunday, June 29, 2014

Book Review -- We Were Liars

We Were LiarsWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart
My enjoyment rating: 5 of 5 stars
Hangover rating: 5 (I want to re-read it to see what I missed!!)
Source: Library copy
Genre: YA
Objectionable material: multiple uses of the F-bomb

 
 
 
 
Cousins.

Summer vacations.

Private island.

Wealthy family power struggle.

Teen love.

Lives shattered.

Cover-up.

Totally unexpected ending.

Loved every word.

Perfect pool/summer/beach read.



View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review -- Lost in Shangri-La

Lost in Shangri-la: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War IILost in Shangri-la: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II by Mitchell Zuckoff
My enjoyment rating: 4 of 5 stars
Hangover rating: 3
Source:  Library copy
Genre:  Non-fiction; WWII
Objectionable material: None


 
 
 
Add this to one of the MANY survivor tales of WWII. 

I can't get enough of WWII fiction and non-fiction.
 
A harrowing tale of 3 lone plane crash survivors in the jungles of New Guinea and their quest for survival.

The first part and the last part of the book were engrossing...nail biting almost. The middle was a drudgery.

That being said -- another testament to the greatest generation of Americans. Who are now all gone.

View all my reviews

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Book Review -- Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's NestBand of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's Nest by Stephen E. Ambrose
My enjoyment rating: 4 of 5 stars (5 stars for story -- 4 stars for storytelling)
Source:  Personal copy
Genre:  Non-fiction; WWII history
Objectionable material: None.

 
 
 
 
Heros.

All of them.

Men who changed the world.

Now they are all gone.

Their memories of what they did live on forever.

View all my reviews

Friday, June 20, 2014

Book Review -- The Fortune Hunter

The Fortune Hunter: A NovelThe Fortune Hunter: A Novel by Daisy Goodwin
My enjoyment rating: 3 of 5 stars
Hangover rating: 2
Source:  Book club kit (10 copies) provided by Reading Group Guides through a random drawing. I was not compensated in anyway for my review.
Genre:  Historical fiction
Objectionable material:  None

Steeped in the tradition of British and European royalty, entitled British landowners, summer estates and fox hunts, author Daisy Goodwin has created a fictional account of the lives of Sisi (Elizabeth), Empress of Austria, her "pilot" Bay Middleton, and Bay's "fiancée" Charlotte Baird. Generously mixed with other historical characters, like Queen Victoria and her companion, Mr. Brown -- the stage is set for a luscious, historical drama.

Ms Goodwin accurately portrays the historical facts of these individuals and subsequent love triangle -- Sisi is lonely, she's obsessed with her looks, she's an expert horsewoman; Bay is a well known Casanova (already alleged to have fathered an out of wedlock child), an expert horseman and British officers; Charlotte, the woman who would eventually marry Bay.

But the fictional story around these three seemed bogged down by the need to make sure it was historically accurate. The structure kept the story from feeling authentic -- just a repetition of known facts about their fox-hunting summer. The most "real" character was Caspar -- a fictional American character created to be Charlotte's friend and photography colleague. He truly was the most entertaining and fresh character in the book.

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805–1873), Kaiserin Elisabeth von Österreich (Portrait of Elizabeth, Queen of Austria)I think in the end, both I and my book groupies would have preferred an autobiography of Sisi.

That being said -- the group loved being able to read the book club kit provided by Reading Group Guides in advance of the American release date. Thank you.


View all my reviews