I'm so glad that Susan Cain wrote this book. I've always known I was an introvert, but living in an extroverted world has always been frustrating for me. What Cain offers is the opportunity to stop apologizing for who you are and permission to feel comfortable in your own skin. I now understand how my extroverted mother and ex-spouse had such difficulty understanding me. And, how tough it still is to live in a world that expects introverts to participate in our culture like extroverts.
I was always fascinated by how believably Alan Cumming (a Scotsman) could play an American, Jewish political consultant on the Good Wife so I had to read his memoir to see what he was all about. Turns out that he is a terrific writer who can weave a down right crazy tale. It is amazing that this brilliant actor was brought up under such terribly abusive circumstances and was still able to become a hugely talented actor. His story is a testament to survival and ultimately thriving despite the worst of circumstances.
This is my third Liane Moriarty book and I'm now a real fan. I just love her ability to take everyday life and extraordinarily real characters and delve really deeply into circumstances and emotions. And, she is able to do this through normal human interactions and humor. Clearly living on the North Shore of Sydney isn't any different than any upper middle class US suburb. Caroline Lee's performance was spot on.
My first Liane Moriarty book. What a nice surprise! Definitely a step above chic lit. Engaging, humorous and thought provoking. The only thing I didn't like was the ending. It just kept ending...3 or 4 times. I thought the conclusion would have been better if the author stopped with the first ending.
The reviews of this book were so stellar, I thought I couldn't help but enjoy it. And, the beginning started out really strong with the premise of the widowed bookshop owner and the unexpected things that get him back to living. The book references just didn't save the plot as it started to unravel about halfway through the novel. From then on, there were hints dropped that just never went anywhere. I had this great idea about the ending, but the real ending was just downright depressing. A good first effort by Gabrielle Zevin, but needed a seasoned editor to tighten/add depth to the story.
I don't know how you could listen to both of Rob Lowe's memoirs and not admire him. Forget that he is a great story teller and narrator. What really makes his work shine is his honest self reflection. And, through his words, we get to know someone that, like all of us, is not perfect, but has striven for conscious awareness and self improvement. I will be interested to read the memoir he writes when he is 75.
I really loved the premise of this book and I thought that it could have been a serious exploration of losing faith. But it wasn't. The characters were there, the plot was set, and yet it stayed on the surface, never delving into the philosophy of a spiritual crisis. Barbara O'Neal's writing, especially her realistic dialogue, was very good and the narration by Tanya Eby was spot on. I just feel liked the author missed the opportunity to go deeper.
I have to say that this book was extraordinarily clever. You would probably have to read it more than once to really appreciate the extent of the acumen that was needed to write it. The ability to combine astrology with a unique place and time (1860's Gold Rush in New Zealand) signals a very talented writer. The swirling of characters as they mirror the night sky made for a great tale, and yet there was something lacking. The attention was placed so much on the "mechanics" of it all that it lacked emotion. And, real attachment to any one character was just not possible. In the end, all the players were just living descriptors of the signs and planets, seemingly lacking any soul...which is why any good astrologer knows that a chart is nothing without the influence of spirit.
This book reminded me of Jonathan Stroud's young adult fiction in its dark/fantasy storyline, but lacked Stroud's writing polish. The idea of joining a Golem and a Jinni in a relationship in turn of the century NY, however, was quite unique. The novel, unfortunately, had its flaws. There were times that I really had to remind myself that it was a fantasy because sometimes the "magical" characters inconsistently showed both human and non-human traits. And, as all current books, it was too long and poorly edited. The narration by George Guidall was outstanding.
Guzeman's writing was lyrical, Cassandra Campbell's narration was lovely, and the plot was interesting. But this novel was very depressing...a treatise on how one woman's evil destroyed the lives around her. There was great inconsistency and naivete in the actions of the characters which made the story seem less believable. I think a better editor could have taken this novel to the next level.
I probably wouldn't keep reading these books but for the fact I've been reading them for decades. And, I'm curious how the series will end. In W is for Wasted, Kinsey is much more emotional than in Grafton's other novels. Her relationship phobias are a bit more pronounced and you get the sense that she is becoming more lonely. The mystery part of the story was Ok, maybe a little predictable, but always entertaining. And, Judy Kaye's narration as always, was stellar. I would have given it a 3.5 if I could.
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