Tag Archives: books

The Story Hour

The Story HourTitle: The Story Hour
Author: Thrity Umrigar
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: four-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: The author’s beautiful writing made me experience the character’s emotions very deeply, but the emotional impact of the ending was weak compared to the rest of the book.

Psychologist Maggie has always been willing to try unorthodox methods and has become known for her ability to help in tough cases. When she is asked to help Lakshmi, an isolated Indian immigrant who tried to commit suicide, it is clear that unorthodox methods are called for. Lakshmi understand therapy to mean making friends with Maggie and Maggie relates to Lakshmi too much to maintain her usual distance. As these two very different women learn each other’s biggest mistakes, their differing backgrounds and expectations of their relationship will threaten their friendship, making it hard for them to forgive one another.
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Filed under Contemporary, Fiction, Literary, Review, Women's Fiction

Soundbite Sunday – Mistborn: The Final Empire

Soundbite Sunday – Mistborn: The Final EmpireTitle: Mistborn
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Narrator: Michael Kramer
Rating: four-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound


As with Words of Radiance, I’m probably rating this book less highly because I read The Way of Kings first. Compared to The Way of KingsMistborn seemed like a younger sibling, a scaled down version perhaps intended for a younger audience. There are a lot of similarities between the two books: a world with a tyrannical ruling class; a male and a female narrator; chapters beginning with quotes from books; and similar magical combat. This is a good thing because these were strengths of The Way of Kings, but it’s also a bad thing because Mistborn felt much less novel. Mistborn also had a similarly consistent magic system and great character growth. Unfortunately, the epic scale and impressive world building of The Way of Kings were missing, but hopefully that will come as I read the next two books in the trilogy. Michael Kramer’s narration was spot on as always.


Filed under Audiobook

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki

Colorless Tsukuru TazakiTitle: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Author: Haruki Murakami
Rating: four-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This book was written in the same beautiful, dreamy style I loved in 1Q84, but the ending felt a bit less climactic and a bit less resolved.

In high school, Tsukuru Tazaki was part of an inseparable group of friends. Coincidentally, the other four students all had colors in their name and Tsukuru didn’t, a fact that he found significant because he also believed himself to be the most average of the group. About a year after Tsukuru moved away, his four friends cut off all contact with him and refused to explain why. When, many years later, Tsukuru meets a woman he cares for deeply, he realizes that he needs to understand what happened with his friends before he can move on and believe he might be loved by someone else.
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Filed under Fiction, Literary, Review, Translated Fiction

2 A.M. At the Cat’s Pajamas

2 A.M. At the Cat’s PajamasTitle: 2 A.M. at the Cat's Pajamas
Author: Marie-Helene Bertino
Rating: three-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: I enjoyed this book’s quirky characters, descriptive writing, and creative plot but the magical realism felt tacked on and the ending felt unfinished.

Madeleine Altimari is a smart-mouthed, precocious nine-year-old and an aspiring jazz singer. As she mourns the recent death of her mother, she doesn’t realize that on Christmas Eve Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia’s legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut. On the same day, her fifth grade teacher Sarina Greene, who’s just moved back to Philly after a divorce, is nervously looking forward to a dinner party that will reunite her with an old high school crush, afraid to hope that sparks might fly again. And across town at The Cat’s Pajamas, club owner Lorca discovers that his beloved haunt may have to close forever, unless someone can find a way to quickly raise the $30,000 that would save it.” (Source)
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Filed under Fiction, Magical Realism, Review, Women's Fiction

Someone Else’s Love Story Interview and Giveaway

sels_pbcoverLast week, Someone Else’s Love Story was released in paperback. Since I loved it the first time around, I’m excited to be able to celebrate today with an interview with author Joshilyn Jackson and a giveaway of two of the new paperbacks. I adored the author’s voice in her story and I hope you’ll agree with me that her interview is equally wonderful. To enter the giveaway, use the rafflecopter at the bottom of the post. Continue reading


Filed under Blogger Events

Henna House

Henna HouseTitle: Henna House
Author: Nomi Eve
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: four-stars
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

Summary: This was a beautiful, poetic, inspiring story. I loved both the rich historical setting and the exciting foreshadowing.

Adela’s father’s health is failing and he’s desperate to find her a husband. As a Jewish child, if she is  isn’t betrothed when her father dies, she will be take from her family to be raised by a Muslim family instead. Just when Adela is giving up hope, her uncle arrives with a handsome son and an aunt who teacher her about henna and the woman’s world her harsh mother has never let her be a part of. However, when Adela’s family is forced to flee to Aden, she will begin to discover herself only to be betrayed by those she loves.
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Filed under Fiction, Historical Fiction, Review, Women's Fiction

In the Kingdom of Ice

In the Kingdom of IceTitle: In the Kingdom of Ice
Author: Hampton Sides
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: five-stars

Summary: My favorite narrative nonfiction this year! Well-researched and packed with details that bring this more fantastic than fiction adventure story to life.

The north pole was the late nineteenth century’s final frontier. Popular belief suggested that an undiscovered group of people might live at the pole in a region kept habitable by warm ocean water flowing under a surrounding ring of ice. After a rescue mission in which he acquitted himself heroically, navy man George Washington De Long was the obvious choice to lead the next expedition. With funding from eccentric newspaper owner Gordon Bennett, he led a team of 32 men (including a reporter) on a voyage aiming for the pole. However, as their ship was first trapped in ice and then smashed to pieces, it quickly became clear that the men of the expedition would be lucky to make it home alive.
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Filed under History, Narrative Non-Fiction, non-fiction, Review