Archive for July, 2011

Review: Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You Can
Catch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One of the few books where I can say I enjoyed the movie way more, but still, this is a fascinating story (mostly true) of how a teenage boy in the 1950s managed to run away from home, impersonate an airline pilot and a doctor and a lawyer….become an expert forger…and get away with it for more than a decade. Originally released in 1980, the book was a hit, but the movie really shone. Read the book if you don’t mind outdated lingo and self-congratulatory Holden Caulfield-esque details; but afterward, be sure to see the movie if you haven’t already.

 

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Review: Little Bee

Little Bee
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book shook me up.

A shocking and brutal event on a Nigerian beach manages to interweave the lives of a 16-year-old orphan with a British couple vacationing there. What happens in the course of a few hours comes back later to haunt the couple, and the 16-year-old (Little Bee) takes a journey that ends up revealing how something shared can color and weight and twist and explode a life forever. I can’t give more plot details without spoiling the story, but this is a gorgeous but harrowing book I recommend you read as soon as possible.

 

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Review: Incognito

Incognito
Incognito by Gregory Murphy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an advance reader copy and had about it a Gatsby-esque feel that I liked. A lot. Set in 1911, in New York City, William Dysart is an attorney representing a wealthy widow who wants to buy a piece of land near her Long Island estate. Dysart goes to the owner of the land (and the small house there) and offers Sybil Curtis a generous amount to move. When she refuses, Dysart is stuck between the demands of his wealthy client and his fascination with Sybil Curtis and his conviction that she deserves to keep her property.

Unfortunately, Dysart is trapped in a shallow marriage to a socialite, and Sybil begins to care for him. The feeling is mutual. Bound by propriety, he is increasingly obsessed with her and torn between his job and his place in society, his duty to his wife, his client, and this new person who could make him either happy or miserable. This book is part suspense, part romance, and part social commentary. It is 100% well written and absorbing.

 

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Review: The Dirty Parts of the Bible

The Dirty Parts of the Bible
The Dirty Parts of the Bible by Sam Torode
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sweet, funny and engaging novel about a young man in the 1930s who sets out to find work and a purpose for his life after his father is blinded in an accident. He is introduced to hobo culture, and winds up in a small town where he meets and falls in love with a beautiful but mysterious woman. Don’t let the title give you the wrong impression: this modern-day allegory for the Book of Ruth is gorgeous, touching and well worth the read.

 

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Review: The Hedge Knight

The Hedge Knight
The Hedge Knight by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

After finishing all five books in the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin, I was pleased to find this little dose of backstory, a short novella about background characters that helped to explain some of the events in the book by taking place several years before the book’s plot unfolded.

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Review: A Dance With Dragons

A Dance With Dragons
A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m just glad I was late to this series so I didn’t have to wait five or six years between books four and five. Although now, I am in the same boat with millions of other fans, while we wait for the author to write and publish book six. It’s killing me.

Book four was written involving about half the characters in the book. This book runs concurrent with the events of A Feast For Crows, but from the point of view of the other half of the characters. Like book three, there was a pivotal event toward the end of this book that made me want to throw my Kindle across the room. I am left hanging and need to know what happens next.

 

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Review: A Feast for Crows

A Feast for Crows
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading this one was like eating after looking forward to a meal for hours: I went way too fast to get to the end, and then realized it would be a VERY long time before my next meal. I can’t imagine how it was for fans of the series who finished it before Martin had released the fifth book in the series, since I only had to wait a week or two to get the fifth book, being a latecomer to the books.

There’s no way I can adequately review this book, since you either love them or hate them. The characters really get under your skin and you find yourself thinking like them, dreaming about them, and thinking of them for days or weeks afterward. Love this series.

 

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