Friday, February 27, 2015

The Walk (The Walk, #1)The Walk by Richard Paul Evans
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Typical Richard Paul Evans ... not great literature, but always feel-good fiction with believable characters, setting, and a moral or three worth pondering. I will likely read the sequel(s).


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What Would a Holy Woman Do?What Would a Holy Woman Do? by Wendy Watson Nelson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Our RS group bought a few copies of this and gave to members to read, write comments on pages following each chapter, and then pass on to another in our branch to read and pass on, etc. We are having a branch RS overnight retreat next month and one of the planned activities will be a discussion of the book, sharing our experiences with each other. what a great idea. It is a short book with the suggestion of reading one chapter per day (10-15 minutes,tops) and then applying the principle gleaned to own life for 24 hours. I will likely give this little book as gifts to daughters and friends.

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The Husband's SecretThe Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an intricately woven and incredibly interesting story about betrayal, trust, forgiveness, and perspective. It is about the secrets we keep and the lies we tell ourselves all in relation to our perspective. The characters are consistent, real, and all of them are interesting. The issues are relevant.

If you are looking for a book that will keep you up at night wanting to know what happens then this is it. The metaphorical writing is superb, but the language is harsh which, if you follow my reviews, you know I feel is never necessary in truly good literature, and the palliative conclusion is not morally uplifting, thus it lost a star in my rating.

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FangirlFangirl by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Bleh....with unnecessary overuse of the "f-word".

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Me Before YouMe Before You by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This must-read will anger some, sadden all, and hopefully cause its readers to live outside of themselves. It is a lopsided love story majorly conflicted, especially so depending upon one’s spiritual and religious beliefs. But to explain why reveals more than I want to share about its plot or ending. So let me just say the story of Lou Clark, a 26-year-old working class girl who becomes the care assistant to Will Traynor, a victim of quadriplegia in the wake of a motorbike accident, is deserving of the high ratings it has received. Moyes paints life as a quadriplegic with such poignancy, your heart feels as though it will be crushed by the weight of the burden this once vibrant, still handsome man must endure. It is a book about respect, life, living, and changing course when all you find yourself doing is running around in circles or living with stupid or no goal in mind.

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We Were LiarsWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

ew.....An unreliable narrator with amnesia drags out a tale of her sterotypical self to its strange and tragic end. This would have made a brilliant short story but as a novel it just didn't get there for me.

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My Reading LifeMy Reading Life by Pat Conroy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This love story to reading will prompt you to read more, both of this silver tongued tale spinner and of others. Conroy chronicles his lifelong love affair with the English language: as a student, reader, teacher, and writer. Books are the vessel on which Conroy first escaped a troubled childhood and abusive father, the bullying of officers as a cadet at the Citadel from which he graduated, and at a young age became a national-bestselling author.

He recounts how throughout his life he’s found meaning in words: through his mother's self-education and passion for "Gone With the Wind,” the loving mentorship of Gene Norris, his 9th grade English teacher, the absurdity of Eileen Hunter, the irascible librarian at his Beaufort, South Carolina high school, the rhapsodic detail of author Thomas Wolfe’s, the exactness and purply prose of US Congress Poet Laureate and novelist James Dickey, and so much more.

As you read this book, inspired in Conroy's own journey is perhaps a parallel and more powerful narrative: that of the way in which words have had a similar purport in your own life.

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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dairy Queen (Dairy Queen, #1)Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Finally, here is current YA fiction I actually would feel comfortable recommending to YAs. It is a witty, cute, clean, well-done realistic teen romance, more likely enjoyed by girls than guys. I read it a while back so it is not fresh I my mind but I remember having an enjoyably fun time listening to the audio book.

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The Invention of WingsThe Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a sometimes uncomfortable yet compelling tale of abolition of slavery and the search for freedom. It is a very well written book based upon the lives of a real women.. Sue Monk Kidd is an excellent author and has done much research resulting in a historically accurate and detailed portrayal of Charleston, S.C., with its iconic characters of the 1800's.

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The Language of FlowersThe Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is hard to believe this beautifully told poignant story is a debut novel. It hooked me at the beginning, tore at my heartstrings, and I didn't want it to end. The author's own experiences as a foster mother and teacher shine throughout.
It was a great selection for me and would make for excellent review and book club discussion.

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