Fiction

Bookish Life of Nina Hill
by Abbi Waxman

I picked up this book because the blurb mentioned the main character being a bookish, self-proclaimed introvert. Those are some of my favorite kind of people! Well, this book was, cute. In the literary world that is probably an insult. It was a quick read. The beginning reminded me a lot of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine but the surrounding story wasn’t quite as difficult. I enjoyed it!

 

Eleanor Elephant is Completely Fine
by Gail Honeyman

This book started off quirky and light, then took me on a roller coaster of emotions. It got deep and serious but kept a little humor here and there, which is nice. It was not predictable at all and it had a most satisfactory ending! I couldn’t put it down!! I recommend it!

 

Where the Crawdads Sing
by Delia Owens

Here is the hot new thing at my library. I ended up buying it because everybody is talking about it and the wait list is huge. Well, it was NOT worth the buy. The first 100 pages were too slow. As I kept reading, I realized this was going to be one of those books with a twist at the end (predictably so because this book wasn’t about great writing) and it that is exactly what happened. I kind of saw it coming. Slightly disappointed as well. Not very good closure either. Boo.

 

Of Love and Other Demons
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This is the third novel I’ve read by the author. The book is set in the eighteenth century. The daughter of noble family is bit by a rabid dog and believed to be possessed. The book filled with love, lust, exorcism and sheer madness. My head is still spinning.

 

A Spark of Light
by Jodi Picoult

I’ve been a follower of Picoult for a while now, but somehow her new book wasn’t on my radar until someone at work asked me about it. The husband & wife read Picoult and have conflicting opinions and wanted to know my point of view, so I picked it up!

Normally Picoult writes in the same style for every novel. She writes from each character’s point of view which helps her weave together a really great story (not to mention the subject matter is almost always a controversial, hot topic). This time though, she changed her writing format. She starts the story at the end and works backwards. Each chapter is by time, not by character.

While I thought the book was good, I had trouble understanding the character development. I felt a little lost. There was a twist at the end that was almost predictable, which is not true of most of her other books. I would still recommend it, but I hope she returns to her normal writing style.

 

My Sister, the Serial Killer
by Oyinkan Braithwaite

I saw this book reviewed in quite a few places. I noticed it hadn’t made the NYT best seller list yet so I figured there must be something special about it. It is a small book with super short, choppy chapters so I couldn’t take it seriously. But, I finished it and was left puzzled. Strangely, I enjoyed this book where we really only understood the characters on the surface. Bit of a conundrum here! Hmm….

 

If Beale Street Could Talk
by James Baldwin

I used to be totally on top of all the award nominated films. Then streaming services and greedy companies like Netflix and Amazon starting making their own shows and movies and don’t allow their made-for shows out on DVD in time for the awards, which means I can’t get them at the library, which means I won’t watch them. The only nominated film I saw was Bohemian Rhapsody. I turned the awards show on during Regina King’s thank-you speech. She won best supporting actress for If Beale Street Could Talk. I looked it up and it is actually a book (aren’t most if not all films today stolen from great books?). I have always wanted to read a novel by Baldwin, so I figured I’d pick this one up from the library. It was a quick story packed with tough characters and lots of emotion. Worth the read before seeing the film. Meanwhile I am still on the waiting list at the local library for the film. Stay tuned to the main page of my blog for a film review!

 

An Elderly Lady Is Up To No Good
by Helen Tursten

The size of this book is adorable (as well as the cover art). I was initially concerned this would stink because it was translated, but it was great. Quick read in little stories revolving around the same elderly woman. It is dark but funny.

 

Another Brooklyn
by Jacqueline Woodson

It’s a coming of age story that is well written, interesting and could almost be read in one sitting (if I had the time I would have loved to!) I recommend it!

 

Ghost Notebooks
by Ben Dolnick

Nice, quick read to gear up for the spookiest season of the year! Not TOO predictable either!

 

Rebecca
by Daphne Du Maurier

Can’t believe I read this for the first time as an adult. What a great book!! Why didn’t I discover this earlier?!

 

Baker’s Secret
by Stephen P. Kiernan

If you have read all the popular books on WWII (NightingaleAll the Light We Cannot SeeBook ThiefSarah’s Key etc.) then this is the next title you should pick up. It is quick read but hard to put down. The writing isn’t anything to call home about, but still worth the read!

 

Mermaid
by Jodi Picoult

This is an Amazon Kindle Single Kindle in Motion book! Very cool! Looking forward to the novel!

 

Left Behind
by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins

This was awful. Awful characters, awful plot and awful waste of time.

 

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And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer & Longer
by Fredrik Backman

Fans of A Man Called Ove are sure to love Backman’s latest novella. This is a touching story about a grandfather and grandson. Get the tissues out!

 

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Murder at the 42nd Street Library
by Con Lehane

Who can resist a murder mystery set at one of the most famous libraries in the USA? This was a quick & fun read. Does include some sexual content that might make some uncomfortable.

 

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The Invisible Library
by Genevieve Cogman

“I & Mr Strongrock are agents of a library which exists between alternate worlds. Our task is to collect books for the Library from all these worlds, to preserve them.”

Harry Potter fans may enjoy this 1st book of the Invisible Library series.
Our protagonist, librarian Irene, battles bad guys, vampires and all sorts of mythical creatures, in alternate universes to retrieve a very special book that belongs in a very special library. This is a quick, fun read.

 

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Small Great Things
by Jodi Picoult

I always jump at a new Picoult release. Her last two novels were great. I had high expectations but this novel fell short. The story was interesting enough to finish but not quite compelling. Yes there was a dramatic twist at the end but not good enough for me! Still love ya Jodi!

 

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Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
by Mark Haddon

Here is one of those books you wish you’d known about sooner. You can read this in 1-2 sittings! Haddon’s novel is told from the point-of-view of Christopher John Francis Boone. It is obvious as you read along he has some form of autism. You will love him because he is honest and funny ( even though he doesn’t quite “get” funny.)  I do enjoy reading from other’s perspective and his is very interesting. Ride along as Boone tries to solve the murder of a dog and learns a WHOLE LOT about his family & his life!

 

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Shine
by Jodi Picoult

Before you read this, please note this novel is available only in EBOOK form. Picoult released this short story as sort of an introduction to her novel coming out this Fall, calledSmall Great Things. In her normal “Picoult” fashion, we are introduced to the main character, Ruth, who is about to attend a prestigious school. She is a bright young lady who is expected to do well in school. But there is something that is setting her apart from the rest of the class: RACE. Picoult does not disappoint.

 

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The Pearl That Broke Its Shell
by Nadia Hashimi

Outstanding. Just totally outstanding. Fans of Khaled Hosseini’s Kite Runner & A Thousand Splendid Suns will love this one, perhaps even MORE.  I will be honest – I almost quit. I had a really hard time dealing with the way women/girls are treated in this book. I am glad I didn’t stop. These are some amazing people &  amazing stories. And who knows – perhaps they were inspired by true stories? We will never know.

 

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Digital Fortress
by Dan Brown

Brown delivers another super-fast, edge of your seat thriller with Digital Fortress. This time it revolves around the NSA, U.S. Intelligence and computer hacking. Although published in 2008 some of the circumstances would still hold true with today’s technology! Hard to put down.

 

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Italian Lessons
by Peter Pezzelli

Quick, easy and entertaining with local references! LOVE IT!

 

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The Cry & The Covenant
by Morton Thompson

I think it was almost 10 years ago that I spent a week with my aunt in California. She was telling me that this was one of her all time favorite books. My cousin ordered it for me and I had it on my doorstep within a week (thank you Amazon). Well can I just say it actually took me almost 10 years to finish it? I know, you think, that’s awful. It was a slow read at times but SO worth it in the end. I tend to put the books on my bookshelf aside when I checkout library books, so that can be to blame…right?.. Anyway, it’s historical fiction regarding a physician by the name of Ignaz Semmelweis. He learns that by simply washing hands, medical staff can prevent the spread of child bed fever.  Sounds simple right? Well, what happens when no one in your field believes you? Your students examine cadavers then head straight to the examining table to work on pregnant women. Some instances multiple women were assigned the same bed with soiled linens. We don’t realize how advanced the medical field is today. Let’s not take that for granted. Semmelweis’ journey was a long one and the ending will break your heart.

 

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
Magic Strings of Franke Presto
by Mitch Albom

I LOVE MITCH ALBOM’S BOOKS. Seriously, the man just knows how to get to me! Told from multiple points of view, this book does jump back and forth in time, so it is very interesting. We follow the life and career of  (fictional) musician Frankie Presto. A troubled young man with a tough life this story – the story slowly unfolds as to where he came from and how he became the famous (and important) individual he is! LOVE LOVE. 5 stars!

 

iuGo Set a Watchman
by Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird is my all time favorite novel, and Atticus Finch is my favorite character. The media has already labeled Finch as racist in this latest novel. I approached this book not as a sequel or prequel, but just took the knowledge I already have of Lee’s characters and read along. My verdict is – it’s great! Granted this is really a rough draft of a book, it is full of interesting characters and lots of tension between them and of course it’s setting – the SOUTH. While it isn’t fully developed, it is still well written. I highly recommend everyone read this book!

 

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Me Before You
by JoJo Moyes

Looking for a nice little book with a unique love story? Then this book is for you. Sure to be a quick read, Moyes tell she story of Louisa Clark, who is down on her luck, unemployed and seeking work to support her family. She is assigned to a pretty challenging job – caring for a quadriplegic by the name of Will. Will is essentially standoffish and really depressed. You can expect to shed a few tears at the end of this book (don’t worry, it is a lovely ending!)

 

UnknownAll the Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

Doerr’s book was on the long list for the 2014 National Book Award. There are many World War II novels out there, but this is one of the best I have read in a while. Told from two points of view, the book moves back and forth and gives you two very different views of the war.

 

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Orphan Train
by Christina Baker Kline

This book was a quick read, but considering it was historical fiction, it was a bit too brief. This is a part of U.S. history that I was unaware of so I was glad to learn while I read the novel. Great book!

 

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A Paris Affair
by Tatiana De Rosnay

Tatiana De Rosnay & I are through. I LOVED “Sarah’s Key”. I tried her other book “A Secret Kept” and was horribly disappointed. Why I ever picked this book up I will never know. This was a very short book of short stories about adultery in Paris. UGH! What happened to you Tatiana?!

 

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Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins

Critics call it “the new Gone Girl.” I called it a waste of time. Yes it is a typical page turner but I was not surprised at all and was rather annoyed but some of the characters. I suppose I am in the minority with this review, but I just didn’t love it.

 

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Norwegian by Night
by Derek Miller

This is the 2015 Reading Across RI selection. I enjoyed it! A little action and family drama all rolled into one with an ending that will leave you wondering!

 

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The Rainbow
by Pearl Buck

This was the second novel I read by Pearl Buck after the Good Earth. POOR CHOICE. This (in comparison to Good Earth) was awful. It wasn’t even interesting.

 

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Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern

WOW. This book was fantastic. I haven’t enjoyed a novel like this since Audrey Niffenegger’s novels. It was dark and magical and I couldn’t put it down!

 

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Cellist of Sarajevo
by Steven Galloway

A patron at the library asked me to read this because she enjoyed it so much. It is a really quick read but beware it is not very uplifting. Although reading things like this remind us how lucky we are for our freedom!

 

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Leaving Time
by Jodi Picoult

SO WORTH THE WAIT! Huge twist at the end will leave you speechless!

 

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Where There’s Smoke
by Jodi Picoult

Here’s an ebook novella that Picoult released while she delayed the release of her novel “Leaving Time.” I need not critique as I consider Picoult the master!

 

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Storied Life of A.J. Fiery
by Gabrielle Zevin

I LOVED Zevin’s “Elsewhere.” I read another teen book by her and was disappointed. So I must admit I was skeptical about reading her adult fiction! But she proved me wrong! What a quaint little story for all book & bookstore lovers!

 

n224281Blue Bistro
by Elin Hilderbrand

I admit this is my first Elin Hilderbrand! Her books are wildly popular at the library and I figured it was about time I read one! It was a nice light read! Good beach book!

 

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Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho

This is a lovely story about the spiritual journey of a young shepherd boy, Santiago. The core of the story teaches wonderful ideas and lessons. The ending will truly touch your heart and bring the book back full circle. It is a story that will allow you to step back and examine your life as well.

 

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Invention of Wings
by Sue Monk Kidd

Just as great as “Secret Life of Bees!” Nothing like a fierce, strong female character to stir things up!!