Hosseini is a masterful storyteller. He seriously weaves stories that break your heart and leave you exhausted from pondering. If you have read and enjoyed his previous works, this book will not disappoint you. It’s a piece of art. I found this to be not as sorrowful as his previous works. That’s not to say that it’s upbeat. I think the area he chooses to base his stories in doesn’t allow for your average feel good stories. This reads like linked short stories when actually it's family story that spans generations and travels in circles.
I will not spoil the beauty for you by telling way too many details.
I immediately was hooked. There were several times that I got a bit nervous while listening that I worried that my adoration for the work was about to take a bad turn; the next narrator was difficult to acclimate to at first or a new chapter took a little while to suck me up. Those fears left soon and each chapter left me claiming that was my most favorite.
Whipping Boy was totally different than what I was anticipating. I foresaw more a story about 10 year old boys and how they matured, or didn't. I was not expecting a book that is largely in-depth legalese about a financial crime. It was as much, if not more, a book about a nameless international fraud as it was about the author’s personal revelation and retribution.
Allen Kuzweil is a well-known author of children’s books. In midlife he decided to try to find a childhood nemesis, a boy he knew for about eight months. This search turned into more than night stalking on facebook and google. It became a hobby that led him to an extensive research of a crime over years and time zones. Kuzweil did “scurrilously research” for this project. He did fine job writing. He interjected humor and personal stories into a lot of tedious information. Mr Kuzweil’s examination should have been more inwardly directed.
The fault of this book is that Mr Kuzweil never for a second takes into consideration that his 10 year old self’s recollection has to be somewhat flawed. Partly because his detached existence and the emotional turmoil he was under had to weigh in on the thoughts of the event. His memory is not the be-all and end-all truth. As a mother of adult children, I was there for many a childhood event that turns into many adult memories that were not anywhere close to reality. Considering that the main infraction against the author was not witness or proved, I think it is not fair to claim it to be fact.
What a perfect book to warm the winter up!!
First Frost revisits the Wavery sisters ten years after we left them in Garden Spells. Garden Spells is just so magically wonderful; I was so anticipating this revisit. I was delighted that Evanelle was included in this return and really enjoyed the new additions to the ensemble.
Can First Frost standalone though? One could enjoy this book without reading Garden Spells first, though Garden Spells is so outstanding – why would you? Garden Spells ended so perfectly that I question the necessity for a revisit. I am still not completely convinced it was necessary. The author’s introduction to the back story in this book is not the smoothest I have read. The flipping between the teenage and adult narratives was awkward. It took the believably out of the family magic. Such as, I have a hard time getting my head around a fifteen year old's relationship with a boy she met in high school as her destiny. These are minor infractions.
I will always be first in line on the day of release for a Sarah Addison Allen work.
The Girl on the train is a psychological thriller/mystery novel written by a debut author that is well worth your attention. The first part of the book takes place in the mind of a woman that you are not really sure of her mental health. It sits you in the midst of her turmoil and does take a little time for you to feel grounded. I implore you to trudge ahead for its well worth the effort. Before the book is over you will be you rotate opinion on who is the crazy and who is the culprit many times over.
The narration performance is just perfection.
A story of racial tension set in the 1930’s, it started out well and I had such high hopes. My first problem was that the pace was quite slow. With Audible that is a quick fix with just boosting the speed. That worked till the content started to drag. A great deal of repetitive fretting and lamenting occurred.
The male characters had not been developed enough to make the relationships remotely believable. Isabelle had an adolescent crush on Robert. How their relationship went beyond that was not likely, given the flat dialog between them. I also should mention that I found it hard to believe that they would not have considered their loved ones as well. Robert’s family suffered as a result to their relationship. I can’t imagine that would not have been considered before doing something so cavalier.
It was worthy of ten hours of listening, if you are doing something that doesn’t require a lot of thought
A family’s Rocky Mountain family vacation turns tragic when their high school graduate daughter is kidnapped.
Do yourself a favor and not allow yourself to read any reviews that want to give you a book report review giving any additional information that what I wrote above.
This literary thriller is written by an extremely talented author. His writing style is on the edge of poetic, quite lyrical, and just so powerful. You will be blown away just hearing the descriptive justice given to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Next you become lost in this unique story. Not your average kidnapping story. No one that actually read the book will ever describe it as predictable. Only one word describes the last half of this book – CAPTIVATING.
I was a bit put off by the narration at first but, it grew on me.
What a GREAT read!
I had high hopes for this book but, I found this book depressing and dismal.
The author develops the characters well then, somewhere in there, just stop trying and killed all her work by being heavy handed with her agenda. It’s like those chanting monks, yeah their music is pretty and earthy but, after a few hours of what seemingly sounds like the same sad song over and over – you have had enough. I spent several days trying to get through the last twenty minutes of this book for I repeatedly kept falling asleep. Thankfully I wasn’t driving
If you are in the midst of this book and asking yourself if you should continue because you just know there is a twist in there but, you just can’t stand the anguish working for it, the answer is skipping ahead to the last 30 minutes.
You will thank me for it.
An outstanding debut novel set in Pennsylvania in the 60’s that allows the reader an appreciation for nature, coal mining and the people of that area and time. This is a fiction based at a time of a true event in American history - when the land and the properties above them became compromised due to sink holes and underground coal fires. The fires in that area are still smolder today.
This coming of age story told through the view of 11 year old Brigid Hawley is so heartfelt. Brigid’s family is falling apart as the ground gives way. Losing her haven and care-giving aunt to underground fire, her parents are forced to take the family to the home of her grandparents where they are not welcomed with opened arms.
Each member of the family seems consumed by their numerous issues. Once forced to return to the origin of their dysfunctionality, their childhood homes, Brigid’s parents lose all semblance of being care givers. It’s an interesting pattern of the progression of parental dominoes.
Brigid really pulled at my heartstrings throughout as she strives to just want to act her age. There were times in this book I held my breath for I was so worried for her. The scene where Brigid and her friend Marisol meet the boys at the abandoned house is just one tense moment after another…, So well written. The story consumed me. Not always a happy story but it authentic. The setting of the ground burning and all of the fallout from it just fascinated me.
As for narration Luci Christian was just spot on with numerous of her performances. Speaking for a moxy 11 year old and a bitter mother and a cantankerous old grandmother has never been done better.
Natalie Harnett – I’ll be watching you.
This book was not what I was expecting. I happened to be reading this while North Korean was in the news quite a bit.
The author, Jang Jin-Sung, was one of the admitted North Korean socially chosen because of his literary ability. During his time in North Korea he was granted numerous privileges. He had personal encounter with Kim Jong-il, which was interesting and quite telling. I was expecting a bit more information of his day to day life.
Though his journey to South Korea was at times exciting, at other times I felt the author continued to feel privileged. He survived because of the kindness of others. When you consider that he didn't help anyone less privileged when he was in the elite group yet upon being in need, his survival was paramount to everything. The author never seemed too concerned about the danger he put those that aided him in. Once he found assistance – he held on to them till he brought them danger, with little regard or concern for them. He called the first family that helped him, to ask for additional information and assistance, more than repeatedly,fully aware of the danger he was putting them in. It was disturbing to me.
This is such a powerful book. A breathtaking tale of three Anthropologists studying tribes in New Guinea, in the 1930’s, it’s history when there were still discoveries made on this planet. Based loosely on the lives of Margaret Mead and her second and third husband, the love triangle develops into an intense character study that will have you feeling for each person at more than one point. The underlying tension that the author builds within the story is outstanding. I also liked how she was able to use small antidotes and scenes to paint whole pictures. The short sex scene in the first chapter just lays out every single thing you need to know about this couple’s marriage. What an extremely talented author.
I thought the audiobook was just a perfect means to tell this story. I enjoyed both of the narrators personally.
I can’t imagine a better, more surprising ending. I re-listened to the last several chapters several times because I was just so surprised by it.
If you were on MY Christmas list - you would alllll be getting this book.
What a wonderful soul searching book this turned out to be. For some reason the cover of this book instantly had me thinking it was a fantasy book, which doesn't appeal to me, so I never gave it a nod. Thankfully it was picked by so many for book of the year in fiction on one list. I have to agree this was one of the best books I have read this year. I am so happy I found it.
Gabrielle Zevin does put the perfect word in the perfect place at the perfect time while laying a heartwarming story. Thankfully it leaves out details, as it spans through decades, and you realize later that you really didn’t need it. What it leaves in is the feeling of hope. There were several times Zevin’s words felt directed to me about issues I am struggling.
I thought the book was about an independent bookstore on an island on the north east shore. Through the next several decades a host of people are brought together though chance. Each character is beautifully portrayed and we soon care deeply for each of them.
The humor is smart and the wit is adorable. The ever loving irony of the ereader really made me chuckle.
I personally found Scott Brick to be a seamless narrator.
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