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Showing posts from 2018

Book Review: The Great Gatsby, The Authorized Text by F. Scott Fitzgerald

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It never ceases to amaze me when I hear an adult say that they've never read F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby, especially when those adults are close in age to me. It was required reading in my junior year of high school (11th grade) in my American Literature class, and we had a heavy load of required reading in this class. I'm guessing my high school had higher expectations of us seeing as it consistently makes the top 1,500 public high schools in America. (If I sound like a snob or braggart, I don't mean to sound like one.)
As a high school student, I absolutely loved reading The Great Gatsby. I was enchanted with every book we read my junior year, but I remember this one being one of the ones that I enjoyed the most. When one of the book clubs I belong to decided to read this book, I was excited to reread it as I didn't remember a lot about it, and it allowed me to refresh my memory before the Leonardo DiCaprio version of the movie came out. As an adult, …

Book Review: Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich

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In Lean Mean Thirteen, written by Janet Evanovich, Stephanie Plum does a favor for Ranger byplanting a bug in her ex-husband Dickie Orr's office. In the process of doing this, Stephanie sees one of their wedding presents, a clock, on his desk and tells him it is now hers. She then sees a picture of her arch nemesis, Joyce Barnhardt, on Dickie's desk and goes ballistic . . . punching and hitting him (and more). Unfortunately for Stephanie, the whole office sees her do this, so when Dickie goes missing, she's the number one suspect in his case.
Overall, I enjoyed this book because it featured Ranger quite heavily, but I am growing tired of him always saying how he is barely keeping control of himself from having sex with Stephanie. I'd really like to see Stephanie's character finally get over her commitment phobia and settle down with Joe Morelli, her on again off again boyfriend. Morelli isn't in it too much and that was quite disappointing to me because I love …

Book Review: Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

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New York Times Bestselling Author Emily Giffin's Something Borrowed is a fast paced, heart breaking story about a hard working lawyer in Manhattan, Rachel White, who is the maid of honor to her best friend Darcy. Since they were little kids in elementary school, Rachel has always been the Watson to Darcy's Sherlock, but that changes when Rachel confesses her true feelings to Darcy's fiance, only to find out the feeling is mutual. As Darcy's wedding approaches, Rachel knows she has to make a hard choice . . . steal the man away from her best friend or cut him out of her life.
When the movie trailer came out for Something Borrowed, I immediately knew I wanted to see the movie. I had no idea it had been adapted from a novel (and not to mention I hadn't ever heard of the author) until I was at a book club meeting and one of the members was talking about the book and the author, and several other of the members jumped in on the discussion. I ended up enjoying the movie …

Book Review: Teamwork (Sweet Valley Twins, # 27) Created by Francine Pascal

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Teamwork (Sweet Valley Twins, # 27) created by Francine Pascal is a story about twin sisters, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, deciding they want to visit their great aunt, but their parents decide that the girls need to learn a lesson about money and earning the bus fares themselves. Determined to show their parents that they know the value of money and being responsible, they decide to start their own dog walking business, which quickly expands to dog sitting. Taking on a second client for dog sitting, the girls and their friend, Ken Matthews, quickly learn that the dog has been abused and take matters into their own hands to keep him safe.
Sweet Valley Twins is the series that made me an avid reader, and now, that I'm rereading the series as an adult, I love the fact that it teaches kids valuable lessons about serious issues and how to deal with them as a kid. I know some adults might say that Teamwork glossed over the issue of animal abuse, but we have to keep in mind that the …

Book Review: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

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1850, Adam Ewing, a notary, is traveling home to California on a ship. 1931, Robert Frobisher, a composer, orchestrates a way into a sickly maestro's home. 1970's, Luisa Rey, a journalist stumbles across a story that threatens her life. Present Day, a Korean superstate has overtaken England. Post-apocalyptic Iron Age, the last days of Earth on Hawaii. Then, we go back in time in reverse order, finding that all the characters are connected and intertwined.
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell was a book selection for the first book club I ever joined. It isn't a book that I would've ever picked up to read on my own. I loved the concept of the story when I read the synopsis and was looking forward to reading it.
Typically, I don't mind when a book jumps from one time period to the next, but with Cloud Atlas I did mind. It took away from the overall story line and made it very choppy. It felt like five distinct short stories, not a cohesive story. The only two story lines th…

5 Books to Get Lost In

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On a rare occasion comes along a book so well written that when you start reading it, it sucks you in that you forget all else . . . reality ceases to exists. And, when you close that book, you're in a funk, and the world comes crashing down around you. Here are five books to get lost in.



The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

There are no advertisements, no warnings . . . the circus arrives without any to do. Not your typical circus, everything is in shades of black and white, and there are no animals. Behind the scenes, a competition between two magicians is brewing. When the two fall in love, there are dire consequences. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern is a masterful work of art that put me in a funk for days afterwards.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

A scholar and a descendant from John Proctor & Bridget Bishop (of the Salem Witch Trials fame), Diana Bishop is researching an ancient manuscript, Ashmole 782, in Oxford's Bodeleian Library. Its secrets let out…

Book Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

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It appears suddenly with no announcements, no advertising. Yesterday, there was nothing, and today . . . today there is Le Cirque des Rêves . . . a circus like no other. Mystically delightful in shades of black and white and unique acts you'll find no where else. Unbeknownst to those involved, a game is taking place within the walls of the tents . . . a chance of only one to remain left standing.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was published in 2011 and was a selection for one of the book clubs I joined (but only attended once or twice because I didn't feel welcome). I promptly bought the novel on my e-reader, a Literati sold by Brookstone. It's in this book club that they announced that the author was doing a book signing with a local bookstore, The FoxTale Book Shoppe, and I immediately bought tickets to attend, and it included a copy of the book that would be signed at the event. Was I ever glad that they allowed us to pick up the books early because my Literati di…

Book Review: Helter Skelter, The True Story of The Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry

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Los Angeles, 1969:  During the summer, a series of random, brutal murders make headlines across the United States. The murders include actress Sharon Tate and her unborn child, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, and Abigail Folger. Eventually, a trail of circumstances led to Charles Manson and his followers living with him in the desert.
When I was in middle school or high school, there was a news documentary about Charles Manson that came on television . . . I want to say it was an episode of the television show 60 Minutes, but I could very well be wrong. This of course spurred a discussion in my history class. Up until this point, I had learned very little about Manson and his "family" at school, and it piqued my interest. I knew that there was a book that had been written about the murders called Helter Skelter, and I wanted to read it. It wasn't until I started my own book club that focused on books that were in the thriller, horror, and suspense categories that I act…

Book Review: The Devil's Tickets: A Vengeful Wife, a Fatal Hand, and a New American Age by Gary M. Pomerantz

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1929, Kansas City:  Myrtle and Jack Bennett invite another couple over to play Bridge for the evening. During the competitive game, Myrtle grumbles that Jack is lousy player, and he slaps her and announces that he's leaving. Moments later, Myrtle shoots and kills her husband. Subsequently, Myrtle Bennett is put on trial for the murder of Jack and is represented by onetime presidential candidate, James A. Reed.
I won The Devil's Tickets: A Vengeful Wife, a Fatal Hand, and a New American Age by Gary M. Pomerantz in Goodreads.com's First Reads Giveaway. Entering the giveaway because I thought the book sounded intriguing, I was ecstatic when I found out that I actually won a copy of the book. 
However, it was a different story once I sat down to actually read the book. Although I don't read a lot of non-fiction, I do enjoy a well written account of events that happened in the past. This was not one of those books . . . it read like a text book. Painfully boring best descri…

Book Review: California Girl (Sweet Dreams # 6) by Janet Quin-Harkin

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California Girl(Sweet Dreams # 6) by Janet Quin-Harkin is part of the teen romance book series, Sweet Dreams. The books in this series are written by different authors and rarely have anything to do with any of the other books in the series. The one exception to this that I'm aware of is P.S. I Love You (Sweet Dreams # 1) and Falling In Love Again (Sweet Dreams # 23), both written by Barbara Conklin.I fell in love with the Sweet Dreams teen romance books in middle school after discovering them at the school book fair. They ended up being very hard to find at the libraries . . . the school library and the public library branches didn't have any of these books to check out. And, I had trouble finding them in local bookstores, so whenever I came across one, I had to buy it. 

In California Girl, we meet Jennie, who is an aspiring Olympic swimmer and has just recently moved to Texas. Absolutely miserable with her new swim team and new school, all Jennie wants to do is move ba…