Sunday, November 23, 2014

check out my old blog: http://www.planthetrip.com/lindasnook/ If I could copy & paste the posts and photos here, I would, but yo no sé cómo...........

Friday, September 26, 2014

Anansi BoysAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Recognizable Gaiman: weird, inventive, creepy, creative fantasy. This is an entertaining sequel to American Gods, which I thoroughly disliked, but I did not realize it until I was well into the audio version, performed by British stand-up comedian Lenny Henry whose deep rich voice and character comedy is absolutely perfect for this novel. It's clever, it's funny, it draws on a lot of African/Caribbean mythology, specifically that of the trickster spider god Anansi (introduced in American Gods). Henry's voices are brilliant (especially the old Caribbean women) and he had me literally smiling nearly all the way through the story. Actually, if it weren't for the audio I'd have to say that I probably would only give this novel 1 star. Book is way too long imho. Gaiman is a fine story teller, but his tales are all the same. I'd like to see him apply his talents to a new repertoire /genre of stories.

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The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Absolutely loved this unique, delightfully sweet, face-paced novel! The author does an exceptional job of capturing the mind of a quirky, analytical, brilliant man with Asperger's Syndrome. He totally lacks insight to sarcasm, is literal, guileless, and honest to a fault. There are several screwball laugh-out-loud moments, as well as some touching, thought-provoking scenes. The book makes you feel like there is somebody out there for everybody, no matter how weird or different you are. This is a book about choosing to look at our blind spots and address them. It is also about how love and commitment are a choice. The author originally wrote this wonderfully clever novel as a screenplay and has sold the screen rights, so hopefully it will soon be made into a movie.

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The Night CircusThe Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a magically written, unusual, whimsical, and engrossing tale. I listened to the audio version and it is wonderful - made me feel like I was right there in the story. I was sorry when it was over and want to go back to that magic circus.

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Some Girls, Some Hats and Hitler: A True Love Story RediscoveredSome Girls, Some Hats and Hitler: A True Love Story Rediscovered by Trudi Kanter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting true account of a woman who escaped from Austria just after Hitler's invasion, but not particularly well written. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a memoir/journal, not written by an accomplished novelist. l found it difficult to really identify with the characters, especially the author who was a bit vain and too self congratulatory for my taste. I would like to have read more about the girls & the hat factory.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Case of the Missing Marquess (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #1)The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting concept and character but predictable plot with poor resolution. This is recommended YA fiction, targeting middle school, but the vocabulary used is quite advanced and beginning on page 3 there are references to prostitution and alcoholism that don't seem to fit that reading level. Enola Holmes is not a Flavia de Luce.

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Devil's Food Cake Murder (Hannah Swensen, #14)Devil's Food Cake Murder by Joanne Fluke
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Poor grammar. Boringly predictable plot. Unbelievable and annoying characters. Tedious detail with no imagination. Unnatural, repetitive dialogue. An unfinished ending in order to get you to read the next book in the series, which I will never do. Poor writing and story construction. Since this is on NY Times Bestseller list I'm really concerned about my fellow American readers. The book is a bust, but there are some good recipes.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

In Sunlight and in ShadowIn Sunlight and in Shadow by Mark Helprin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Helprin’s writing is lyrical, lush, metaphorical, and the imagery throughout is wonderful. The plot is strong, and it delivers the right level of emotional payoff at the end. But it gets bogged down with monologues that are inflated and unrealistic and there’s a whole looong interlude spent on Harry's flashbacks to his wartime experiences which was too much. If the 700 pages were edited to 500 I would give it 5 stars. Still, the story and the characters still remain with me 4 weeks after reading it and I'm hoping it will be made into a movie.

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Eleanor & ParkEleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this YA fiction about two 16 yr old misfits: Park, the weird, overly sensitive, slight Asian kid who is near bottom on the social ladder, and chubby Eleanor with red hair, glasses, & an appalling wardrobe, who is the new girl and thus the new target for ridicule and mean spirited jokes. Setting 1986, Nebraska. A wonderful cast of characters used to tell a compelling, emotionally charged story that. Genius writing, killer dialog. Rowell does an excellent job of being brutally honest with some delicate subjects with being explicit. Outstanding audio narration. Be prepared for some crude teen language in first chapter, but not representative of entire book and nothing you wouldn't hear at the back of any school bus.


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The All-Girl Filling Station's Last ReunionThe All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thoroughly delightful light reading with quirky, loveable characters! This was especially enjoyable because it is a tribute to the WASP of WWII, Women Airforce Service Pilots, first women in history to fly America's military aircraft.
Always an enjoyable read, Fanny Flagg is one of my favorite authors. I like how she subtly weaves personalities from her previous stories into each new book. I listened to audio book, narrated by author...very good.

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