Average, not stellar. The story was fine, but I think I was emotionally turned off. I headed into it without much knowledge of the Lindberghs other than that he was a pilot, she was a feminist and their baby was kidnapped. This book did a good job filling in the gaps - but I found it hard to reconcile this version of Anne Morrow Lindbergh with the feminist - she seemed to tolerate a lot of crap and dish out a lot of self-pity. I know it was fictionalized, but she wasn't a very inspiring or sympathetic character, and Charles seemed like a Grade-A douche.
Don't get me wrong - it's a quick listen and a fun way to fill your gaps about the LIndbergh lore, but it's hard to find a single character you actually like.
It made me want to kick everyone... Anne needed to grow a set and Charles needed to have his set removed.
I really wanted to like this. I was hoping for an adult version of Harriet the Spy, told from a boy's perspective. Instead, I got a front seat for the end of a marriage told through one boy's love for his mother. The story itself would be fine if the title didn't gear me up for a sleuth-like tale. The spying felt a bit forced, as if it were an after-thought or a device introduced to filter the narrative. Don't get me wrong - the book gathers steam as it goes and the second-half is better than the first, though I think part of that was my willingness to shift focus and accept the story for what it was rather than what I wanted it to be.
So in summary: it's a fine story if you're looking for a book about the complexity of relationships. If you're only buying it because you liked the cover or title - skip it.
This was my first Kate Morton book, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Bottomline: Based on this one, I'll check out another. If you're looking for great literature, you'll be disappointed. But if you're looking for a mystery that doesn't follow the traditional mold, then you'll enjoy this. I would call it a beach read, but it's a bit longer than your typical vacation book. The story toggles between WWII, the early 1960s and present day, and between narrators - yet it isn't confusing and the pacing doesn't feel contrived or annoying. This is a story of loss, love, second chances, deception and atonement. The narration seems simplistic at times, but it's easily forgiven if you allow yourself to go with the fun of the mystery.
If you've ever been curious about space travel and all the work that goes into it, then you'll find this to be a well-written, interesting true story by a recently retired astronaut. Hadfield is at his best when he's describing the experience since it's as close as I'll ever come to space. The "life lessons" imparted throughout don't really strengthen the story and make it a bit preachy. I think he would've been better served if he'd simply focused on his bio without the take-aways. That said, it's still a great read. It made this week's launch of the Soyuz (and its delay in connecting with ISS) really come to life for me. He seems like a solid human, and I was glad to see that he realized his life's dream.
If Bill Bryson wrote history textbooks, my knowledge on the topic would likely be improved ten-fold. He’s such a great storyteller, he’s able to suss out the interesting details that make people, places and times come to life.
In One Summer, he specifically focuses on the events of 1927, though - in honesty - it seems like that’s kind of an excuse for him to write about whatever he found interesting in the first quarter of the century, since he often backtracks to provide back-story leading up to the events of 1927. Regardless, it’s a great ride. One of the reviews I read criticized the book for being disjointed because Bryson hops from topic to topic without a clear plan. That might bother some people, but I didn’t find it distracting.
This book touches on:
* Babe Ruth
* Lou Gerhig
* Charles Lindbergh
* Henry Ford (in general, but also the Model T, the Model A and - most interestingly - Fordlandia)
* The mafia (specifically Chicago and Al Capone)
This was my first Nora Roberts book. I've long avoided her because I thought she primarily penned formulaic romances. So when this popped up as the Daily Deal, I read the reviews and the majority of them focused on the mystery-aspect of the plot, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to check her out.
I swear, I really did go in with an open mind. But I couldn't even make it half-way through the book before abandoning. The premise was interesting enough and the writing wasn't horrible... but I just find romance/bodice rippers to be lame. Eventually that part of the story outweighed the good and I felt I was wasting my time listening to trash. (Lest you think I'm prudish or anti-sex - I'm not. I just appreciate it being a thin vein of the story as opposed to its main artery.)
Whenever I start a book of historical fiction, I find often get frustrated because the author is so busy trying to construct the setting, that s/he neglects the characters and delivers two-dimensional paper dolls. Not Sue Monk Kidd. This book did a great job establishing very vivid characters and using their personal plights to illuminate the reality of that time period. While it's certainly an exploration of slavery and the morality of "owning" other humans, the real theme is independence - both what it means for slaves, and what it means to the daughter of a prominent southern family. This book doesn't resonate as emotionally as "The Secret Life of Bees," but it's well-written and thought provoking, with characters you can't help but root for.
Usually war books don't do it for me. But this story is so wholly different, I not only enjoyed it, but recommended to to several people. The entire story takes place on Thanksgiving Day, when Billy and his crew are attending a Cowboys game before deploying back to Iraq. Although everything unfolds over one day, the author manages to weave in a lot of other threads - about their time in Iraq, about the friendship the guys share, about the family drama on the home-front. It's a cleverly constructed story, but what I enjoyed most was the humor - both in the form of dialogue between the soldiers (which may offend some because it's f-bomb heavy, but it rang true and hilarious to me), and the more subtle humor, which the author used to deliver an almost-under-the-radar political commentary.
I normally don't go in for "true drama" stories, but I purchased this because it was a daily deal and sounded intriguing. Since that's not my genre of choice, I'm glad I got it on sale, but if you DO generally like that genre, this is a good listen. It's well written, it moves quickly, and it is easy to sympathize with the protagonist. It's almost like a feeling of claustrophobia, imagining what it would be like to realize you're going crazy but not knowing why. I found it interesting enough that I googled both the author and the disease after finishing the book to learn more.
This book had mixed reviews, so I was slow to pull the trigger. When I started, I found the repetition of "I like facts" to be somewhat annoying - but I powered through and it ended up fading to the background. I'm glad I ignored that minor blip, because the overall story was compelling, well constructed, and well told. The performer did a great job reading it too - I think it probably was more effective as an audiobook than a printed book. I'd definitely recommend it - especially to anyone who enjoyed "Silver Linings Playbook." It's not the same story, but it has enough of the same vibe for that to be a good indicator.
From its first sentences, this book spoke to me. I found myself walking and nodding, fist-pumping as Sandberg nailed it. FINALLY, I thought, someone is speaking my language. She did a great job presenting a balanced case for feminism - one that should appeal not only to successful professional women like myself, but also full-time mothers, women balancing work and children, and even men - not only the supportive husbands and fathers of women, but also the men leading companies. She made a great case for how fostering equality for women helps everyone.
Since listening to this book, I've recommended it to every woman I talk to and have purchased it for three others - including two who are also senior leaders in my company. Some of us may have succeeded individually, but we owe it to society to help lift others with us.
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