If you are a fan of mysteries, detective stories and/or British storytelling, this book is for you.
I gave it a five star rating for all categories. The performances were delicious, the story was engaging and the characters were well-crafted, and multi-dimensional:The brilliant but evil Count Fosco, the worthless Uncle Frederick Fairlie, and of course the love story between Walter and Laura.
The plot has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end and the performances are stellar. Every time I turned on my iPod it felt like I was getting a front row seat at the hottest show on Broadway.
This is my second book by Liane Moriarty and I'm looking forward to reading/listening to her others. Moriarty has an ability to focus on the caddy, petty,selfish, mean-spirited inner -thoughts all us have but try so hard to disguise. In doing so, we fall in love with these characters because we know them.
She keeps us guessing throughout the book and delivers an epilogue that is priceless.
Can't say enough good things about this book and Caroline Lee's performance. It was spot on.
Wally Lamb writes big books. They're long, luscious, complex, layered with flawed characters. Just the kind of book I love to listen on audio. You get so invested in the story and character that if you listen while on your daily walk, you take a longer route so you don't have to stop listening so soon. If you listen while straightening up your house -- your house looks better because of the book. And when you listen in the car, you don't care that there's a lot of stop and go traffic because you are with the Ohs.
And, when you start listening to the third and final download you wish that there was a fourth.
My only surprise is that at the end of the book - Lamb shares with us what "we are water" means as if he didn't trust the readers to figure out out ourselves. I found that a bit out of character - not necessarily disappointed that he shared his thinking but I think a good book club conversation could have come up with that interpretation as well.
Loved the interview with Lamb at the end of the book - it was a joy to hear his writing process - that he doesn't know where the story is going and he lets the story take him there when he is in the zone.
Okay, so now I'll probably have to waiting until 2019 for another book. It will be worth the wait. Lamb is absolutely one of my favorites!
Because this is a collection of 10 novellas that have overlapping characters, there were times when I wish I had an opportunity to look at the table of contents or a diagram of the relationship of all the characters. There were just so many characters that without the addition of seeing their names and roles in writing, I sometimes got lost and felt I was missing an important link that would add to the significance of the story.
The individual novellas didn't have titles and the only way I knew we were switching novellas was when the main narrator changed. I found this somewhat frustrating because I felt lost in the story.
However, besides that, this was one of the best books I have read in years. I am in awe of how Yamashita told these stories with the backdrop of the counter culture of the 1960s and 70s. She captures the violence, the sit-ins, the demonstrations, and through her attention to detail brings that period of San Francisco history to life in a way that no text book ever could.
Out of the 10 novellas, there were about two that I felt didn't live up to the other 8 but maybe that was because in the end I was listening to the book for several hours at time and may have just needed a listening break.
My other regret is that I didn't have a reading buddy for this book. It's a book that is ideal for a book club because it makes us look at ourselves in a way that is not always pleasant. And I would love to hear how other people reacted to the story, the history and the message of I Hotel.
Near the end of the book, Tony Hsieh says one of the goals of his book is to inspire others. It is an inspirational story. But listening to this story, you quickly realize that Hsieh was "born" to be a success. It's in his DNA. he didn't just fall into being an entrepreneur, he has been an entrepreneur since he was 8 years old.
What I loved about the book was the transparency. The message that mistakes happen. What is inspiring about the book is that Hsieh was willing to risk all the money and financial security he had to follow his passion - Zappos.
This is a must read for anyone who wants to create a culture of success in their business. Whether they are a business owner or a first level manager, there are wonderful lessons to learn from this story.
I particularly enjoyed the section describing the tension between the board of directors and Hsieh's vision of delivering happiness. Like many, when I read that Zappos had been "bought" by Amazon, I thought that the quirky culture that is Zappos would slowly disappear. This book helped me understand that if they had not been bought by Zappos , the culture would be suffocated by investors who just want to focus on the bottom line.
Hsieh's message is one that my parents gave to me and many other parents give to their children. Love what you do and the rest will follow into place. Of course, Hsieh's team is not going about this in a loosey goosey manner, they have created a formal process to make sure that the company delivers on its promise to deliver happiness.
The one thing that I thought was missing from the book is what happened to Nick Swinmurn, the person who came up with the idea of Zappos in the first place. In less I was completely tuned out for that portion of the story, I missed when Nick decided to take his marbles elsewhere.
Since learning this particular fact in "Lies" I have asked many colleagues and to a person, no one was even aware that there was any question or debate regarding Betsy Ross and the first flag.
Granted, the truth about the first flag doesn't impact economics, world relations, or human rights, but it does make you feel foolish - at age 60 I feel like I just learned there isn't a Santa Claus.
Of course the myth about Ms. Ross is just the tip of the misinformation students are fed regarding American history.It gets better. From Columbus, to Woodrow Wilson, to our involvement in war, the American history most of us learned is embarrassing, inaccurate, and dangerous.
This was one of the most eye-opening and educational books I have ever read I really think it's a most read for anyone who is interested in current events and curious why the rest of the world doesn't see the US quite the way we do.
While the narrator was definitely not one of my favorites and at times to book seemed to get bogged down in educational politics,the information was so important that those annoyances were simply minor aggravations.
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