Well written, interesting story of two brothers in New York City circa 1850. They are early members in NYC's police force, known as the Copper Stars. A delicious tale with surprising twists and turns and a protagonist that you'll love.
This was an interesting story about a woman who is hired to convince a cantankerous, aging artist de-clutter her house against her will. The story kept me intrigued but I felt the author didn't include enough about the artist's hoarding, given that this was the whole raison d'etre for the novel. A good book for listening to while you are driving or doing other tasks - engaging and well written, but not so laced with literary imagery that you have to concentrate deeply to follow the story.
In a phrase that Colbert himself might use, this book contains too much hyperbolic hyperbole. I enjoyed his previous book, which was very entertaining and more subtle. That book kept leaving me with a question of "wait, does he really think that? Oh no, of course not." In this book, he hits you over the head with a humor hammer; he is working too hard for the laughs by making all his exaggerations huge. It is still entertaining, just not his best work. Too dramatic, which he really doesn't need to create a successful work.
I love a novel in which I learn about an interesting subject wrapped in a compelling story. The Last Chinese Chef does all that quite well. I was fascinated to learn about the importance of food in the Chinese culture and how differently the Chinese view the experience of eating than do westerners. Simultaneously, I couldn't wait to find out what was happening with Mones' well wrought two main characters as their parallel stories intertwined. Mones successfully brings together the experience of an American writer looking for closure re her husband's life and sudden death and the experience of a Chinese-American Chef competing in a national competition as a lead up to the Beijing Olympics. A fun and different novel.
I had heard so much buzz about this book, I expected to love it or at least laugh out loud at moments. Billy Lynn is ok. Fountain wants us to believe that Billy Lynn is really struggling with returning to Iraq after coming back to the US on leave after a significant skirmish victory. The problem is that there really never seemed to be a question as to whether or not he would return with his squad; just that he is getting some pressure from his sister to act a certain way. That said, the main conflict was not believable for me. What was more intriguing was 19 year old Billy's observations of successful businessmen and what it took for them to succeed. This seemed to provide impetuous for Billy, perhaps for the first time, to think about his long term future, not just day by day living. Billy Lynn is not a bad book; I just think that it was overhyped.
As my friend put it, this was the best worst book meaning the ethical dilemma (worst) tears your heart out but it is really well written (best). Without giving away the story, the light keeper on the island of Janus, 100 miles off the western shore of Australia, is struggling between doing what is best for his wife and what is ethical. The internal turmoil he is suffering is palpable. The book made me feel heavy with conflict - but I couldn't stop listening! My only complaint is that the recording is very soft and the narrator had quite a sonorous voice which combined often made it difficult to hear/understand.
I love Michael Connelly's writing and usually give his books a solid 4 star rating. I am giving Black Ice 3 stars because the story just was not as compelling as usual. Not bad, just not up to standard if you are a Connelly fan.
This book gave me pause. It made me stop and think about spouses taking each other for granted in the day to day and the long term effect that can have on a marriage. Am I guilty? Though the plot for What Alice Forgot is highly unlikely, Moriarty weaves the tale convincingly and left me tearful in several places. It is painful (but well done) following Alice post injury as she discovers that her marriage has fallen apart, yet she is in the happy mindset of her marriage from 10 years prior. Clever and fresh, What Alice Forgot is a satisfying, well written book.
Margaret Maron does not disappoint. Her first Deborah Knox mystery kept me guessing right up until the end - incorrectly at that! Maron's book is easy going and light, great for listening in the car. The Bootlegger's Daughter is enjoyable and clearly sets the stage for more Deborah Knox mysteries to come.
What a great story! This is the story of Mary Ingles who was captured by Shawnee Indians around 1750. Without giving anything away, she escapes and follows the New River home to West Virginia some 500 miles on foot in winter without supplies. A great tale of perseverance, love and determination with lots of action. I was so surprised at the end when listening to the Author's Note to learn that this was (basically) a true story. Warning - there are some very violent, detailed descriptions of Indian attacks on settlers that will be too gruesome for some readers.
I know this was a story that was supposed to have me riveted, but I thought it was fairly flat with some interesting spikes of action. Restless is a the type of book where you can't figure out exactly what is going on or why the characters are doing what they are doing until pretty near the end. Is this good quality literary fiction - yes; is it a riveting tale - no. I think I just prefer books where I understand the characters' motivations and actions more readily.
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