Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last TsarThe Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actually found this book entertaining until the end. Of course, like any reader, I had speculated on what the final surprise would be but alas, I was not surprised at all.
It was interesting to get a view of the tsar from a different perspective but I'm not sure it was any more real than any of the other books I've read on the subject. Still, might be worth the read for a real Russia buff. Not for me.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Once We Were BrothersOnce We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A book club selection.
Holocaust novels usually seem trite to me. This one is a bit better than some. It might even start to get at the horror and tragedy. Either way, this is an engagiing story with interesting characters. Having it set in Chicago was an additional plus for me because I love my new home town.

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

WarlightWarlight by Michael Ondaatje
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is so beautifully written that I could hardly put it down. The problem is that the story didn't ring any of my bells. It should have because it is just what I like but.... I guess it never made it for me.
The book is too good to miss but at times I felt bogged down in it.

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Dear Mrs. BirdDear Mrs. Bird by A.J. Pearce
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked it. A perspective look at the blitz that was somewhat new. How the Brits managed to keep their spirit up is beyond my understanding. Night after night of disaster beyond imagination and then a quick cup of tea and off to work in the morning. As if the Germans wouldn't be back again that night.
The story unfolds with the characters developing in my mind and their situatuation getting more and more complicated with bombs and emotions.
This is not the definitive work on the blitz but I feel that I might have some new insights into how they managed and made it through.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The All-Girl Filling Station's Last ReunionThe All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion by Fannie Flagg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book club book that I would have passed on. I'm so glad I read it. It is a pleasure to read and has several aspects that are interesting and fun. The characters seemed larger than life and incredibly real. Come to find out they were based on real people and some real events. I loved it. Easy to read and with quite a lot of good personal philosophy that is worth reading. How does a grown up grow and change as a person? Can a grown person really change? What makes good parenting? Worth the read. Enjoy!

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Friday, August 24, 2018

The Money Shot (Teddy Fay #2)The Money Shot by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nothing much new here but Stuart Woods is my favorite read. His books are delightfully clever with interesting characters. This one has a great plot, dark humor. I just laughed at the end. I can't wait for the next.

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Monday, August 20, 2018

An Incomplete Revenge (Maisie Dobbs, #5)An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A little like reading the history of Britain between the wars. Fascinating look at that era with a remarkable set of characters. I love the plot, setting and sense of the story. These are remarkable books.

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Saturday, August 11, 2018

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely FineEleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, this is a book club book. I loved it. Its so beautifully written and the story unfolds so carefully that frankly, I could not put it down. A sad story that has so many tender and reflective moments. Don't take my word for it, read it. Don't read any reviews, just sit down and read it. Let the story wash over you and unfold for you. Better than knowing about it. I just hope Ms Honeyman has a long career and writes a lot more books. I'll line up for her next.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Turbulence (Stone Barrington #46)Turbulence by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a joy to read, sex, action and a touch of Stuart Woods humor. A very pleasant few days. I wish he would write six books a year. Alas, I now have to wait for Stone Barrington's next adventure and lover.
The character is so far fetched as to be unbelievable until Woods adds his personality, which makes him a real person.

People ask what I like about this author. I think its the many ways her weaves real life into this fantasy of wealth and beautiful people. I look forward to characters reappearing as the story unfolds. My guess is senator Box will come along in the next book. I'll be dissappointed if Stone doesn't deal with that slimeball.

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Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Other Woman (Gabriel Allon, #18)The Other Woman by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Of course I liked it, l have liked all of Daniel Silva's books. This one seemed special to me. I felt like the story was almost too real. I guess in this world, today, the reality is so far fetched as to make the newspaper read like a novel. It is fitting then that parts of a good novel might feel like a newspaper. Gabriel is still the main character but in this edition, the plot and subtext seems to be the main focus. I can't wait for the next masterpiece. Thanks Daniel Silva for a great read and some things to think about.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Lilac GirlsLilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a book club selection. Didn't particualrly like it. It seemed to make the holocaust too small. I guess that I will never be "happy" with a book about concentration camps. The subject is just so vast and the number of dead and maimed, both physically and mentally, is just too big to imagine. Alternatively, personalizing it in this story doesn't seem to help understand.
Caroline may be a real character but she is the least of the story. Her love affair, actually a construction of the author, seemed thin and hard to believe. Maybe I'm just too picky where this subject is concerned.

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Friday, June 29, 2018

Messenger of Truth (Maisie Dobbs, #4)Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Complicated plot that held my interest from page one. Again, the characters fit together and make for a great read.

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