Monday, April 23, 2018

My Grandfather's Blessings

by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D. 

This is a reread for me.  I've left my bookmark in the book because I'm sure I'll be reading it again in a few years.  Dr. James Allen, our family doctor, recommended this book years ago and both my husband and myself have read it twice.  It's that good!  Fist time through we marked passages we especially liked with book darts.  This time through I used a yellow marker.  I didn't mark passages we'd already book darted and I was surprised at the new items that stood out to me.  This is one from the last few pages: "Only the people who become free can serve God's holy purposes and restore the world.  Only those who are not enslaved by something else can follow the good in them."  Dr. Remen was loved and taught by her Jewish grandfather, raised by socialist parents, suffered since a youth with chrones disease, and still became a doctor.  She is amazing!  And her writing is thoughtful, inspiring, and empowering.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

The Night Bird

The Night Bird by Brian Freeman

The cover captured my attention the first time I saw it.  It's quite striking.  Of course, it was the book's description that encouraged me to read it.

I loved this smart, complex mystery and I instantly liked the main character, Detective Frost Easton.  Psychological novels hold a special appeal for me, too.

Frost teams up with a psychiatrist who helps people erase troubling, debilitating memories so they can live 'normal' and productive lives.

Immediately after finishing I bought book two in this series.  Book three will be out later this year.  I love finding the first in a series that grabs hold and makes me anxious to read the next.

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Swap

by Nancy Boyarsky

I loved this mystery!  There was a lot of action and surprises.  And the story line was new.

Gilded Cage

by Vic James

I requested this title from NetGalley.  When Istarted reading I realized it was a YA dystonian novel and almost stopped reading.  I decided several years ago that I didn't enjoy YA books anymore.  Most have too much teen-age angst and are written at a lower reading level.  However, Gilded Cage grabbed my attention and I continued reading and enjoying it.

I thought the book was well written with layers of complexity and interesting characters and story line.  The book is set in an alternate modern day England where Equals rule and the commoners have to spend ten years of their life in slave towns.  The Equals have Skills or the ability to do magic.

The chapters alternate between a few different characters.  I generally enjoy reading books that give perspective from different characters so I liked that.  Plus we meet different people in the different settings - some in the most powerful family's enclosure and some in a dirty factory town.

The book is well paced and kept my interest throughout even though there were some major events happening in my life.  As I neared the end I realized that everything wasn't going to be resolved in the next few pages at that this was book one in a trilogy or series.  I will definitely be watching for the next installment.

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Perilous Undertaking

by Deanna Raybourn

Love the cover!  This is the second installment in the Veronica Speedwell mystery series.  I read the ARC for book one, A Curious Beginning, and was thoroughly delighted with it.  You can read my review HERE

I didn't enjoy A Perilous Undertaking as much.  Veronica is a high-spirited, free-thinking young woman that doesn't mind discussing her dalliances and her feelings about "physical congress."   Here's a quote from Veronica, "Whilst I was perfectly forthright about such matters, Stoker possessed a charming reticence to discuss his baser urges."  I thought there was too much of Veronica's forthrightness and it grew wearisome.   Add to Veronica's coarseness a courtly, elderly woman, Lady Wellingtonia, who was every bit as salacious.  

A few days before starting this book I had added Veronica to a list of favorite characters.  I don't think that highly of her anymore and she is not someone I want to identify with as I tend to do with the main female character.

It's interesting to me that I was put-off by Veronica's crassness, but not bothered by the debauchery of a group of people involved with the accused murderer.  Perhaps it is because I didn't become personally attached as I did to the main character.  

Raybourn's writing style, idioms, and vocabulary seemed to fit the late 1800s, though I'm not an expert.  It just felt like I was reading in that time period.  I highlighted many words that I wouldn't know their meaning if they had not been in context.  I like picking up new words and idioms.

 Would I recommend this book?  Not readily and certainly not without conditions.  There are so many books that entertain, enlighten, and enrich - why waste time of less than satisfying reads?