Sunday, July 8, 2018

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

Another BrooklynAnother Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story is a haunting look at the lives of four young women in New York City in the 70's. The lyric writing style is beautiful but at times very confusing. I know this book has many glowing reviews, but for me the writing style with short choppy thoughts and sentences and rapid switching from different time periods made it hard to follow. I wanted to know more of what August, the main character, was thinking and feeling. The author left so many thoughts incomplete, as a reader I was confused and had so many questions.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos

Fat Girl on a PlaneFat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The story begins with Cookie Vonn, the main character, as she is forced to purchase an extra seat on a plane due to her weight. The first chapter tells us everything we need to know about Cookie, she has a love for fashion and a strong personality and when she is pushed too far, Cookie will not back down. Cookie is continually frustrated by the very beautiful and very rich Kennes Butterfield, who manages to take away Cookie's job and her best friend and seems bent on humiliating Cookie at every turn. The book jumps back and forth between the story of Cookie Vonn before and during/after her weight loss as Cookie begins to see that losing weight is not necessarily the answer to all her problems. What makes this book so special is the brutally honest portrayal of emotions that Cookie deals with as a fat person, particularly in the fashion field. Even after loosing weight, Cookie is still acutely aware of her weight at all times and how it affects her life. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it highly.

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The Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey

The Saturday Evening Girls ClubThe Saturday Evening Girls Club by Jane Healey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love history and this charming book took an important historical place, the Hull House, and made it into an engaging story about four young women who spent time at Hull House participating in the Saturday Evening Girls club. The four characters Caprice, Ada, Maria and Thea are best friends trying to make their way into adulthood, but for an immigrant in a poor neighborhood of Boston that is not always easy. Supporting each other as only a group of girlfriends can, the author makes these four young women engaging and interesting. This was a fun book and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fictions.

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Monday, June 25, 2018

Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine K. Albright

Fascism: A WarningFascism: A Warning by Madeleine K. Albright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Secretary Albright gives a fascinating lesson in the history and political science of the past century. This timely and extremely relevant book is eye opening. Albright discusses the peril we confront and it is clear that the election of Trump is a shadow that looms over this book. The book goes into detailed accounts of how famous historical and current fascists achieved power. Albright shares that Fascism poses a more serious threat now than at any time since the end of World War II. I listened to the audio book, which added to the message by hearing it in Secretary Albright’s own voice.

Relaying her own family’s escape from two different fascist regimes, she doesn’t resort to hyperbole or dramatics, but instead lets the facts speak for themselves. Her accounts of her time as Secretary of State are engaging and enlightening, from her visits with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to her interactions with Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin, her credibility on the subject is well established.

Albright refrains from lecturing the reader; instead she lays out a complex and detailed set of facts and challenges the reader to ask their own questions about the likelihood of fascism’s possible rise here in the United States. She asserts that we should all be awake to the assault on democratic values that has gathered strength abroad and has been diving America at home. According to Albright history tells us that for Freedom to survive it must be defended.

The parallels to historical events that Albright describes astounded me. I was completely engrossed in this book and felt as I was taking a graduate course on the subject as I read (listened).

Her closing words are chilling in their simplicity; she implores us that recent events are a warning we dare not ignore.

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Rejected Writers Take the Stage by Suzanne Kelman

Rejected Writers Take the Stage (Southlea Bay #2)Rejected Writers Take the Stage by Suzanne Kelman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A sweet fun story that continues the escapades of the Rejected Writers Book Club. These women are all charming, quirky and lovable. Although they get themselves in zany adventures, they somehow manage to make it through their chaos and leave us laughing. This is a perfect summer reading book.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

The Rejected Writers' Book Club by Suzanne Kelman

The Rejected Writers' Book Club (Southlea Bay, #1)The Rejected Writers' Book Club by Suzanne Kelman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This quirky story was absolutely fantastic. It started out a bit slowly, but as the strange cast of characters began to emerge the hilarity reigned. The Rejected Writers Book Club had me laughing out loud and desperately wishing I could go on a trip just like theirs. Suzanne Kelman is a genius at tickling our funny bone, and her characters are bold and audacious. I would highly recommend this book, its a perfect light hearted summer read.

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Monday, June 4, 2018

The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty

The Hypnotist's Love StoryThe Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Hypnotist's Love story is a oddly charming story about a young woman named Ellen who works as a professional hypnotist. When Ellen meets a nice widower named Patrick through an online dating site, she is hopeful that this might bloom into something special, but his ex-girlfriend stalking them is not exactly what she had in mind. Liane Moriarity is a wonderful writer, her characters are quirky and fun and this book was no exception. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Ellen and Saskia, the stalking ex, this story moves along and is an easy read. The only reason I did not give 5 stars for the review was the ending. I tend to dislike stories that wrap up like a nice bow at the end, and this ending felt just a little too neat and convenient, but overall I enjoyed the book and would definitely recommend it for a fun summer read.

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