Tag: book

One Plus One

July 1, 2014 Contemporary, Fiction, Women's Fiction 18

18693716Title: One Plus One
Author: Jojo Moyes
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Yet another awesome read from Jojo Moyes, with unique but believable characters, lots of emotional ups and downs, and a fun plot.

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.” (Source) Read more »

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The Glass Kitchen

June 29, 2014 Fiction, Magical Realism, Women's Fiction 5

18404283Title: The Glass Kitchen
Author: Linda Francis Lee
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: I’m still not sure about the love interest in this book, but I adored the main character; loved the idea of cooking magic; and thought the secondary plot made the story unique.

Portia Cuthcart has spent years suppressing her cooking magic and trying to be the perfect politicians wife. Even after her husband’s betrayal and an acrimonious divorce, Portia is afraid to let magic have too much control over her life.  However, her sisters are facing difficulties of their own and want Portia’s help reviving their grandmother’s restaurant. Portia has an even harder time saying no to her attractive neighbor and his children, all of whom are still coming to terms with losing their wife/mother. Portia wants to take a chance on magic again but she’s not certain that even a cooking a good meal can solve all of her problems. Read more »

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The Sea Garden

June 26, 2014 Fiction, Historical Fiction 17

18635091Title: The Sea Garden
Author: Deborah Lawrenson
Source: from publisher for TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: The first of three interconnected stories didn’t work for me, but I enjoyed the second two and loved the way the three stories worked together to provide a richer experience.

Since this story is not just a dual narrative but a triple narrative, for the full explanation you’ll want to visit goodreads. The first storyline follows a British garden designer hoping a commission on a beautiful  island will be her chance to break into the international scene. However, once she realizes that her clients are eccentric and possibly malicious, she’s not sure the job is worth the risk. The second story is that of a young blind woman living in Nazi-occupied France with a difficult decision to make. And the third story is that of a British intelligence agent during WWII who falls for a French agent who disappears, suggesting he might have had hidden allegiances. The way these three stories connect is a surprise. Read more »

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Reading Style

June 24, 2014 non-fiction 12

18847887Title: Reading Style
Author: Jenny Davidson
Source: from publisher via NetGalley
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Sometimes this book was too academic for my taste, but at other times I enjoyed sharing the author’s passionate love of a beautiful sentence.

Author Jenny Davidson is both an English and Comparative Literature professor and an inveterate reader. She reads everything from classics to old but forgotten books, from high-brow literature to popular novels. Reading Style is a mix of all of these things. Although it refers to some literary theory, the author explains early on that what informed her decisions to talk about specific books was not a desire to”[make] an argument about style” but to share passages that “speak to [her] strongly.” Read more »

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It’s Complicated

June 23, 2014 non-fiction, Psychology 17

18342787 (1)Title: It’s Complicated
Author: Danah Boyd
Source: from publisher via NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Even though this book had an academic bent, everything was explained clearly and the mix of research with anecdotes and ethical questions made for some fascinating reading.

Being a blogger means I use social media quite a bit, something which often highlights for me how technologically behind I’d be if I didn’t blog. This has made me curious about how more technologically savvy people use social media, so I was excited to see how teens who grew up with social media use these sites. In  It’s Complicated, the author takes a look at teen use of the latest social media sites over the past decade, from MySpace to Facebook to Twitter. The author systematically questions the stereotypes about social media-using teens. These include the assumption that all teens are good at and potentially addicted to technology to the idea that technology has fundamentally changed the way teens interact. She supports her conclusion with facts and figures, as well as hundreds of interviews with teens and parents. Read more »

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Classics Mini-Reviews

June 17, 2014 Classics, Fiction 15

18133Title: Lolita
Author: Vladimir Nabokov
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆

With Lolita, as with many classics, I’m definitely glad I read this just for the experience of reading it. Nabokov has a very unique writing style and Lolita is certainly a unique book. It’s also a book I’m happy to be able to discuss from experience. It was well written and I’m not at all surprised at it’s continued popularity. That said, I don’t know that I enjoyed reading it. The main sensation I experienced while reading this book was a desire to go take a bath, it was just that disturbing. I think it’s worth giving it a try to see if you love Nabokov’s one-of-kind writing style, but it’s (obviously) not a book to pick up if you’re just looking for something fun. Read more »

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Assassination Vacation

June 15, 2014 History, Humor, Memoir, non-fiction 12

3110Title: Assassination Vacation
Author: Sarah Vowell
Source: library
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: Despite Vowell’s enthusiasm and interesting content, her disorganization and focus on her own political opinions made this only an ok read for me.

For a unique and morbid vacation experience, Sarah Vowell decided to travel the country by visiting locations where politicians have been assassinated. In this book, she shares interesting anecdotes, both from history and her own experiences, as well as a ton of fun facts. I really liked this approach to the story because, as I mentioned in my review of The Map Thief, I like when authors of nonfiction insert themselves into their work. It’s one way of adding immediacy to a story which is mostly about the past. I also enjoyed the historical information which the author presented in a fashion suitable for a cocktail party. This was often enjoyable but something about her light tone sometimes rubbed me the wrong way. Read more »

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