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Showing posts from October, 2014

The Rosie Effect - Graeme Simison

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Title: The Rosie Effect (Don Tillman #2)
Author: Graeme Simison
Pages: 414
Published: 2014
Challenges: I Love Libraries
Genre: Fiction
Edition: Trade Paperback
Source: Library

Description: Don Tillman and Rosie Jarman are back. If you were swept away by Graeme Simsion’s international smash hit The Rosie Project, you will love The Rosie Effect.

The Wife Project is complete, and Don and Rosie are happily married and living in New York. But they’re about to face a new challenge.

Rosie is pregnant.

Don sets about learning the protocols of becoming a father, but his unusual research style gets him into trouble with the law. Fortunately his best friend Gene is on hand to offer advice: he’s left Claudia and moved in with Don and Rosie.

As Don tries to schedule time for pregnancy research, getting Gene and Claudia back together, servicing the industrial refrigeration unit that occupies half his apartment, helping Dave the Baseball Fan save his business and staying on the right side of Lydia the s…

Bridge to Haven - Francine Rivers

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Title: Bridge to Haven
Author: Francine Rivers
Pages: 500
Published: 2014
Challenges: Chunkster, Historical Fiction, I Love Libraries
Genre: Christian Fiction
Edition: Trade Paperback
Source: Library

Description: To those who matter in 1950s Hollywood, Lena Scott is the hottest rising star to hit the silver screen since Marilyn Monroe. Few know her real name is Abra. Even fewer know the price she s paid to finally feel like she s somebody. To Pastor Ezekiel Freeman, Abra will always be the little girl who stole his heart the night he found her, a wailing newborn abandoned under a bridge on the outskirts of Haven. Zeke and his son, Joshua Abra s closest friend watch her grow into an exotic beauty. But Zeke knows the circumstances surrounding her birth etched scars deep in her heart, scars that leave her vulnerable to a fast-talking bad boy who proclaims his love and lures her to Tinseltown. Hollywood feels like a million miles from Haven, and naive Abra quickly learns what s expected o…

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

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Title: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket #1)
Author: Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illustrator)
Pages: 155
Published: 2007 (first published 1964)
Challenges: Classics Club, I Love Library
Genre: Children's, Classics, Fantasy
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

Description: Willy Wonka's famous chocolate factory is opening at last!

But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!
Thoughts: I got this book because I hadn't read this book for quite sometime and also due to the controversial cover that was releas…

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson

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Title: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Pages (File Size): 224 (297 KB)
Published: 2013 (first published 1886)
Challenges: Classics, E-Book, R.I.P. IX
Genre: Classics, Gothic
Edition: E-book
Source: Personal

Description: When lawyer Gabriel John Utterson witnesses the odd behavior of a man named Edward Hyde, who uses cheques signed by Utterson’s friend Dr. Henry Jekyll, he decides to investigate the strange and violent man. Utterson soon discovers the horrible and incredible truth in the form of a letter written by Dr. Jekyll and left near the body of the late Mr. Hyde. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I got this book due to the fact that I had just read Under the Wide and Starry Sky.  While I enjoyed the book, I somehow lost the subtleties of the book due to the fact that I lost the story somewhere during between starting the book and getting to the final chapter.

Bottom line: While it was interesting to read Dr. Jekyll's rationalizations, I did f…

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin

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Title: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
Pages: 258
Published: 2014
Challenges: I Love Libraries
Genre: Fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: Hanging over the porch of the tiny New England bookstore called Island Books is a faded sign with the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A.J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.

 A.J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly. And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everyt…

All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

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Title: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Pages: 531
Published: 2014
Challenges: Chunkster, Historical Fiction, I Love Libraries
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.

In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a ta…

The Children Act - Ian McEwan

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Title: The Children Act
Author: Ian McEwan
Pages: 240
Published: 2014
Challenges: I Love Libraries
Genre: Fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She is fiercely intelligent, well respected, and deeply immersed in the nuances of her particular field of law. Often the outcome of a case seems simple from the outside, the course of action to ensure a child's welfare obvious. But the law requires more rigor than mere pragmatism, and Fiona is expert in considering the sensitivities of culture and religion when handing down her verdicts.

But Fiona's professional success belies domestic strife. Her husband, Jack, asks her to consider an open marriage and, after an argument, moves out of their house. His departure leaves her adrift, wondering whether it was not love she had lost so much as a modern form of respectability; whether it was not contempt and ostracism she really fears. She decid…

Wuthering Heights - Emily Brontë

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Title: Wuthering Heights
Author: Emily Brontë
Pages (File Size): 450 (680 KB)
Published: 2012 (first published 1847)
Challenges: Chunkster, E-book, R.I.P IX
Genre: Classic, Gothic
Edition: E-book
Source: Personal

Description: Wuthering Heights is the tale of two families both joined and riven by love and hate. Cathy is a beautiful and wilful young woman torn between her soft-hearted husband and Heathcliff, the passionate and resentful man who has loved her since childhood. The power of their bond creates a maelstrom of cruelty and violence which will leave one of them dead and cast a shadow over the lives of their children. (via ChaptersIndigo)

Thoughts: This was a second re-read for me and probably because I was frantically trying to get the book completed prior to a book club meeting, I was unable to enjoy the book as much as I did the first time I re-read the book.

As much as Heathcliff is supposedly this romantic hero of sorts, I found him to be manipulative and selfish, as I did wi…

The Story Hour - Thirty Unrigar

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Title: The Story Hour
Author: Thirty Umrigar
Pages: 336
Published: 2014
Challenges: I Love Libraries
Genre: Fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: An experienced psychologist, Maggie carefully maintains emotional distance from her patients. But when she meets a young Indian woman who tried to kill herself, her professional detachment disintegrates. Cut off from her family in India, Lakshmi is desperately lonely and trapped in a loveless marriage to a domineering man who limits her world to their small restaurant and grocery store.

Moved by her plight, Maggie treats Lakshmi in her home office for free, quickly realizing that the despondent woman doesn't need a shrink; she needs a friend. Determined to empower Lakshmi as a woman who feels valued in her own right, Maggie abandons protocol, and soon doctor and patient have become close friends.

But while their relationship is deeply affectionate, it is also warped by conflicting expectations. When Maggie and Lakshmi ope…

The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd

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Title: The Invention of Wings
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Pages (File Size): 383 (1.1 MB)
Published: 2014
Challenges: E-book, Historical Fiction
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition: E-book
Source: Personal

Description: Hetty "Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd’s sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah’s eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid.We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each other’s destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.
As the stories build to a riveting climax,…

The Guns of August - Barbara W. Tuchman

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Title: The Guns of August
Author: Barbara W. Tuchman
Pages (File Size): 566 (8.7 MB)
Published: 2009 (first published 1962)
Challenges: Chunkster, E-book, I Love Libraries, Non-Fiction, War Through the Generations
Genre: Non-Fiction
Edition: E-book
Source: Library

Description: In this landmark, Pulitzer Prize–winning account, renowned historian Barbara W. Tuchman re-creates the first month of World War I: thirty days in the summer of 1914 that determined the course of the conflict, the century, and ultimately our present world. Beginning with the funeral of Edward VII, Tuchman traces each step that led to the inevitable clash. And inevitable it was, with all sides plotting their war for a generation. (via ChaptersIndigo)

Thoughts: If there was anything that I did like about this book it was the detail that the author included in the book.  I particularly like the chapters that the author devoted on the four main combatants (Britain, France, Germany and Russia) at the start of the First…

Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty

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Title: Big Little Lies
Author: Liane Moriarty
Pages (File Size): 416 (983.7 KB)
Published: 2014
Challenges: E-book, I Love Libraries
Genre: Fiction
Edition: E-book
Source: Library

Description: Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.   But who did what?
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads: Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bi…

The Martian - Andy Weir

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Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Pages (File Size): 384 (5.9 MB)
Published: 2014
Challenges: E-book, I Love Libraries
Genre: Science Fiction
Edition: E-book
Source: Library

Description: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he''s sure he''ll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. 

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. 

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmo…

Under the Wide and Starry Sky - Nancy Horan

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Title: Under the Wide and Starry Sky
Author: Nancy Horan
Pages (File Size): 496 (3.15 KB)
Published: 2014 (first published 2013)
Challenges: Blogger Summer Reading, E-Book, Historical Fiction, Chunkster, I Love Libraries
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition: E-book
Source: Library

Description: At the age of thirty-five, Fanny Van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium—with her three children and nanny in tow—to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires.  Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, ten years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent, and opinionated “belle Americaine.”

Fanny does not immediately take to the slender you…

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson

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Title: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
Author: Jonas Jonasson
Pages (File Size): 384 (2.7 MB)
Published: 2012 (first published 2009)
Challenges: Blogger Summer Reading, E-Book, I Love Libraries
Genre: Fiction
Edition: E-book
Source: Library

Description: After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’ s still in good health, and one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn’ t interested (and he’ d like a bit more control over his alcohol consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey.

It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, he has actually played a key role in them. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: It was a…

What's On Your Nightstand? (Oct. 28)

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It has been about 6 months since I last participated in on of these, so some of the lists will be long.

Here are the books that I have read and reviewed since my last post:

• Labor Day by Joyce Maynard (Apr. 2014)
• The Reason that I Jump by Naoki Higashida; translated by K.A. Yoshida and David Mitchell (Apr. 2014)
• Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson (Apr. 2014)
• The Interestings  by Meg Wolitzer (Apr. 2014)
• Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup (Apr. 2014)
• Shopping, Seduction, & Mr. Selfridge by Lindy Woodhead (Apr. 2014)
• The Whole Golden World by Kristina Riggle (Apr. 2014)
• The Orenda  by Joseph Boyden (July 2014)
• Princess Elizabeth's Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal (July 2014)
• HHhH by Laurent Binet (July 2014)
• Boxers by Gene Luen Yang (July 2014)
• Saints by Gene Luen Yang (July 2014)
• The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly  by Sun-mi Hwang (Aug. 2014)
• The Ocean at the End of the Lane  by Neil Gaiman (Aug. 2014)
• The Mysteries of Udolpho  by Ann Radcliffe (Aug. 2014)
• The P…

Mrs. Hemingway - Naomi Wood

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Title: Mrs. Hemingway
Author: Naomi Wood
Pages: 336
Published: 2014
Challenges Blogger Summer Reading, Historical Fiction
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Edition: Trade Paperback
Source: Personal

Description: [T]ells the story of how it was to love, and be loved by, the most famous and dashing writer of his generation. Hadley, Pauline, Martha and Mary: each Mrs. Hemingway thought their love would last forever; each one was wrong.

Told in four parts and based on real love letters and telegrams, Mrs. Hemingway reveals the explosive love triangles that wrecked each of Hemingway's marriages. Spanning 1920s bohemian Paris through 1960s Cold War America, populated with members of the fabled "Lost Generation," Mrs. Hemingway is a riveting tale of passion, love, and heartbreak. (via Goodreads)

Thoughts: I first heard about the book through You Wrote the Book, a podcast hosted by The Reader's Simon Savage, when he interviewed Naomi Wood about this book and another n…