Archive for August, 2011

Review: Delivered With Love

Delivered With Love
Delivered With Love by Sherry Kyle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cute little book. I know that sounds condescending, but I don’t mean it that way. It’s a sweet story with a rather predictable ending that I liked anyway.

Claire James, after her mother’s death, loses her job and can’t continue living with her sister. She packs everything into the old VW that used to belong to her mother, and sets out for a new life. She discovers and old love letter in the glove compartment of the car, and decides to find the man who wrote it to her mother. She ends up in the town of Capitola, California, where she starts searching for this mystery man and along the way, finds a new life for herself.

This book was a nice palate cleanser, a bubbly surface book with emotionally satisfying situations.

Advance Reader Copy

 

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Review: Bossypants

Bossypants
Bossypants by Tina Fey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Probably THE funniest book I’ve ever read. I finished in a day and can’t say enough about it. Fey’s book is hilarious, moving (in a few parts), but mostly, it’s a wild and hysterical ride through the mind of one of the most witty people in our generation.

I think my favorite parts involved her bewildering entry into the world of motherhood, including her reference to the breast pump as the “Williams Sonoma Tit Juicer,” and this about infant formula:

“If you’ve ever opened a can of infant formula mix, then you know it smells like someone soaked old vitamins in a bucket of wet leaves, then dried them in a hot car. Also, formula is like forty dollars a can. They keep it locked up behind the counter with the batteries and meth ingredients That’s how bad people want this stuff!”

And after a long section about how people made her feel guilty for not enjoying or prolonging her breast feeding experience, she says this: “When people say ‘You really, really MUST’ do something, it means you don’t really have to. No one ever says ‘You really, really must deliver the baby during labor.’ When it’s true, it doesn’t need to be said.”

 

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Review: Gone, Baby, Gone

Gone, Baby, Gone
Gone, Baby, Gone by Dennis Lehane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the first thing I’ve ever read by Dennis Lehane and I really liked it! I did not see the movie adaptation of this book so the plot unfolded for me with plenty of suspense and surprises.

Two private detectives are investigating the disappearance of a small child, taken from her deadbeat mother’s apartment in a rough area of Boston. The convoluted maze of evidence and clues for the reader allows you to be surprised and satisfied at the ending – there’s nothing worse for me than a book where I figure out the ending long before I get there.

 

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Review: The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson 2)

The Sea of Monsters
The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The second in the series, I enjoyed this as much as if not more than the first. However, it’s been three months since I finished and I don’t recall a lot of detail. This time, Percy’s sidekick is Tyson, a six-foot-three mentally challenged homeless kid – who turns out to be a cyclops, son of Poseidon.

This series is smart and funny and does not condescend to young readers – or older ones. The pace builds throughout the book, there are many funny moments, and suspense gets you worked up–even if you’re a 43 year old Realtor who knows next to nothing about Greek mythology.

 

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Review: The Time In Between

The Time In Between
The Time In Between by María Dueñas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

WOW, I really liked this book!!!

Part Casablanca, part…something else, I don’t know, but this book was so engrossing for me. Sira is a beautiful seamstress, the daughter of a seamstress and her married lover. Sira meets her father only once as a child, and is raised to know that her future will likely be limited to sewing in a tiny back room, just as her mother did.

Sira wants more for her life, and soon falls in love with a handsome and fascinating man who sells her a typewriter, which she is buying with her (very dull) fiance. Eventually, Sira runs away with the salesman, and begins a life of glamour. Until he leaves her penniless, pregnant and suspected of his crimes.

From here, the story tells of how she hits rock bottom and then rebuilds her life until she is caught up in the middle of Morocco’s pre-WWII culture. She is a highly sought-after couturier, a fashion trend-setter. Then her past catches up with her and she finds herself caught up in political intrigue, spying, and torn between anti-Nazi forces and those who want to bring her back to Spain to atone for her former lover’s crimes.

This was a real page-turner!

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Review: 50 Jobs in 50 States: One Man’s Journey of Discovery Across America

50 Jobs in 50 States: One Man's Journey of Discovery Across America
50 Jobs in 50 States: One Man’s Journey of Discovery Across America by Daniel Seddiqui
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Daniel Seddiqui set out to work for one week at a time, at a different job in every state in the U.S. I got the impression from the book that he was a kind and pleasant person who worked very hard to find jobs and set them up in advance, traveled all over the country, stayed with some people who were complete strangers, and along the way discovered new things about himself and about the work environment in the U.S. He looked for jobs representative of each state’s culture and economy.

It was a quick read, but well done and fascinating.

 

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