Always fun to get a box of surprises, no? Instead of sending my book exchange partner to my Goodreads list this year, I just suggested that they read my reviews and send me something they think I would like. Turns out that little experiment worked out! Thanks, Black Raven! None of these books were on my radar and ALL of them sound delightful. Can’t wait to read and review them. A cup of tea and the bonus chocolate bar you sent will be the perfect complement to my cozy winter reading situation. Happy Holidays!
CANNONBALL!!!! Yikes. I signed up for the half to give myself some breathing room this year and here I am at a full with over a month left to go. I blame CBR Bingo! This was my book club’s pick for November. It kept popping up in all my normal bookish circles, prominently displayed at the library and virtually pushed by Amazon and Goodreads. Reading it, I suppose, was inevitable. After emigrating from Korea, Young and Pak Yoo work hard to forge a new life that would afford more opportunities for their only child, Mary. They set up what they hope […]
This is a novel that I will be thinking about for a very long time. It’s so far out of my sphere of relatability that it is almost impossible for me to form a coherent thought about it. Not easy to read, and equally difficult to review. Weaving back and forth through time, Vuong’s novelized autobiography is about growing up as a Vietnamese immigrant in Hartford Connecticut in the 1990’s. Written as a letter to his mother who cannot read, the young man known as “Little Dog” looks back through his life and through the lives of his grandmother and […]
The fourth book in the “Lady Sherlock” series is out! I really enjoyed the first three books in Thomas’ gender bending re-telling of Sherlock Holmes. If you haven’t read the books, by all means do! They are delightful mysteries set in the same world as the classic Sherlock Holmes but with a twist. Here, Sherlock is the fictitious brother of Charlotte Holmes created as a smokescreen that allows her to earn a living as a detective in Victorian London. Many of the characters from the previous three books come together here to assist a friend of Mrs. Watson, the Maharani […]
Let’s face it. If Rainbow Rowell wrote the instructions on the back of a box of oatmeal, I would read it. Many Cannonballers understand exactly what I’m saying and I have to thank their rave reviews from the early days for introducing her to me. “Fangirl,” in particular, is one of my favorite books. Rowell captures what it’s like to be a college freshman: starting at square one, trying to make new friends, and figuring out who you are. The main character in that novel, Cath, is a fan of the fictional “Simon Snow” series of books about a school […]
CBR11 BINGO: Back to School Square BINGO BLACKOUT!!! I don’t often re-read. I like to live in the world of a book for a bit and then move on. While there is currently a metric crap ton of books from my high school and college past staring at me from the book shelves in my house, the dust is rarely blown off one unless I am trying to foist it on my teenage son. “Here! This is a gooood book!” I am 99.9% sure that I read “In Cold Blood” in high school, but it may have been my freshman […]
Books that follow a set of characters over decades (in this case a span of 50-ish years) and allow the reader to watch lives unfold from childhood to adulthood are fascinating to me. I appreciate the time spent to grow with them and to see how and why they become who they are. Combine that with the succinct, marvelous, heart-wrenching prose that Patchett dishes out and I am invested. When Cyril Conroy purchases a mansion outside of Philadelphia as a surprise for his wife, Elna, and their young daughter, Maeve, the move from an apartment in Brooklyn to an estate […]
As she did in her second novel “The Dreamers,” Karen Thompson Walker places her characters in the midst of a strange yet believable crisis. Here, for no discernible reason, the rotation of the Earth slows down. The gravitational pull is altered and tides change. Long periods of daylight are followed by long periods of night. Some wildlife begins to die while other types flourish. Plants are no longer able to grow without the aid of artificial light. The plot line reminded me a lot of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s YA series: Life as We Knew It. Both feature an adolescent girl trying […]