Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life

July 28, 2015 Uncategorized 1 ★★★

Review: The Woman Who Stole My LifeTitle: The Woman Who Stole My Life
Author: Marian Keyes
Source: NetGalley
Rating: three-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This was a mix of good and bad that just can’t compete with many, better books in this genre.

“Stella Sweeney is back in Dublin. After living the dream in New York for a year – touring her self-help book, appearing on talk shows all over the USA and living it up in her 10-room duplex on the Upper West Side – she’s back to normality with a bang. And she’s got writer’s block. Stella wants a clean break as she didn’t exactly leave New York on a high. Why is she back in Ireland so soon? Who is it who keeps calling? Stella wants to get back to being the woman she used to be. But can she? And should she?” (source) Read more »

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Review: Moneyball

July 26, 2015 non-fiction 6 ★★★

Review: MoneyballTitle: Moneyball
Author: Michael M. Lewis
Source: Bought
Rating: three-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This story had a lot of good qualities – an underdog story, fun stats, well written – but felt very shallow to me in terms of content.

“Billy Beane, general manager of MLB’s Oakland A’s … had a problem: how to win in the Major Leagues with a budget that’s smaller than that of nearly every other team. Conventional wisdom long held that big name, highly athletic hitters and young pitchers with rocket arms were the ticket to success. But Beane and his staff, buoyed by massive amounts of carefully interpreted statistical data, believed that wins could be had by more affordable methods such as hitters with high on-base percentage and pitchers who get lots of ground outs. Given this information and a tight budget, Beane defied tradition and his own scouting department to build winning teams of young affordable players and inexpensive castoff veterans.” (Source) Read more »

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Back From Dublin! – Literary Tourism and Photos

July 21, 2015 Uncategorized 23

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You may have noticed that it’s been a bit quiet on the blog lately. That’s because… I’ve been in Dublin! I attended a great conference, helped plan a student symposium, met some awesome people, and even had time to go to the library. The National Library of Ireland is a fun little free museum, with exhibits on James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, and Ireland’s involvement in WWI. I also really enjoyed the neighboring archeology museum, especially the viking exhibits. It gave me so many things I want to go read more about! Read more »

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Review: Xamnesia

July 8, 2015 Memoir, non-fiction, Review 20 ★★★★★

Review: XamnesiaTitle: Xamnesia
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: five-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

After reading my interview with Lizzie Harwood, my mom jumped at the chance to review her memoir and I’m excited to share her review with you today. Thanks Mom for the great guest post!

Wow! I love reading memoirs and have read quite a few, but none quite like this one!   Xamnesia:  Everything I Forgot in my Search for an Unreal Life   is the story of a young woman who leaves her native New Zealand to work for VIP billionaires in a remote oil-rich oasis.   The perks are extravagant but the cost to the author turned out to be very steep. Read more »

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Soundbite Sunday: Not That Kind of Girl

July 5, 2015 Audiobook, Memoir, non-fiction, Review 18 ★★

Soundbite Sunday: Not That Kind of GirlTitle: Not That Kind of Girl
Author: Lena Dunham
Rating: two-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: I found the author’s voice annoying and the focus of her story was on relationships I didn’t find very interesting.

I’d never heard of Lena Dunham prior to reading Not That Kind of Girl, but I’m always up for a memoir read by the author, so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, this particular author’s voice really did not work for me. Although I did enjoy hearing the story with the author’s intended inflection, she sounded whiny and childish to me. Read more »

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Beauty and Chaos Review

July 1, 2015 non-fiction 4 ★★★★★

Beauty and Chaos ReviewTitle: Beauty and Chaos
Author: Michael Pronko
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: five-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This collection renewed my faith in short stories collections with a series of beautiful, meditative pieces on the little things in life.

After living in and writing about Tokyo for years, Michael Pronko is able to share fascinating details about the city that the casual visitor would probably miss. He highlights the duality of the city, with its islands of serenity and peace in the midst of what is the largest city in the world, and explains many beautiful customs. Read more »

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Review and Giveaway: Everything I Never Told You

June 27, 2015 Fiction, Review 20 ★★★★★

Review and Giveaway: Everything I Never Told YouTitle: Everything I Never Told You: A Novel
Author: Celeste Ng
Source: NetGalley
Rating: five-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This book was heartbreakingly real, with some of the most relatable characters I’ve ever encountered.

““Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.” (Source) Read more »

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