Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Gentleman in Moscot - Amor Towles

A Gentleman in MoscowA Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I LOVED this book. I didn't expect to when I was just a few chapters in, despite the fact everyone I knew who read it absolutely raved about it. For me, it got off to a slow start. But then I was hooked. I didn't want to put it down.
This is definitely a characters driven story. And what a character we get in the Count and his "comrades." To see each of the characters grow and develop over the course of the book, in addition to learning snippets of the back story of each. It was just beautifully done.
I learned some Russian history as well, so that's always a nice bonus.
Also liked the alliteration in all the chapter titles.

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The Polygamist's Daughter - Anna LeBaron

The Polygamist's DaughterThe Polygamist's Daughter by Anna LeBaron
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I think my empathetic bone is broken. On one level, I realize that Anna's experiences are horrific and her upbringing so damaging. However, on another level, I just didn't feel anything for her. I'm not sure if it's the way it was written. Or the fact I average 5 hours of sleep a night between my 2- and 4-year-old's wakings so my emotions are dead.
I do admire how Anna has overcome all the things in her past to be the strong woman she appears to be today.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Enigma (FBI Thriller #21) - Catherine Coulter

Enigma (FBI Thriller, #21)Enigma by Catherine Coulter
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Given the amazing ratings this book has on Goodreads, I’m going to be upfront and say it’s probably a great book but just wasn’t a good one for me.
When I requested it on NetGalley, I don’t remember reading anywhere that it was #21 in a series. That information would have been helpful. As would having read the previous 20 books. The synopsis was even confusing to me.
This book covers two separate stories, complete with their own contingency of suspects, victims, and FBI operatives. One story line follows a hardened criminal who has escaped custody while being transferred. The other is about a scientist who is trying to develop the proverbial “fountain of youth.”
There is just so much going on in this book I was overwhelmed. Too many characters (although I’m sure that wouldn’t have been so overwhelming if I’d read the previous books first). Too many plots. Just too much going on for me. The fact that there had to be multiple epilogues to wrap up all the story lines is telling. And while you pretty much who’s guilty of what pretty much from the get go, you don’t know the details of motivation and plan until the epilogues.
I never was invested in any of the characters or the stories themselves. I was too busy trying to keep it all straight.
I know people love Catherine Coulter and her writing. Clearly, or there wouldn’t be over twenty books in this series. But this book just wasn’t for me.

***Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy.
If you would like to read more of my reviews, please visit www.mommyreadsbooks.blogspot.com

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Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd

The Invention of WingsThe Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So, so, so, SO GOOD!!! I didn't want to put this down. Told from two different perspectives - both strong women in their own rights. Loosely couched in a true historical figure.
Some parts were certainly hard to read due to the content of the material, not the quality of the writing. The writing was engaging. The characters I loved...or loved to hate.
Well done, Sue Monk Kidd.

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If I'm Found (If I Run #2) - Terri Blackstock

If I'm Found (If I Run #2)If I'm Found by Terri Blackstock
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoyed this addition to the series. Some of it's fairly implausible (How in the world does Casey keep stumbling upon these situations that need her help but put her at risk?) but I like the characters.
A suggestion for all writers/publishers of books in a series: Can I PLEASE get a summary for the story to that point in the front of each book? It took me much longer than it should have to get into this book because i was trying to remember what happened in the first one. Can't imagine having to wait until the third book and what details I'll have forgotten by then.

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Nine Parts of Desire - Geraldine Brooks

Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic WomenNine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I probably wouldn't have picked up this book if it hadn't been a book club choice. This despite the fact I really enjoyed Geraldine Brooks Caleb's Crossing and have other books of hers on my To Read list. This one never crossed my radar.h
While it was tedious to get through and I had to look up a lot of the words, I did find the information interesting. The chapters were arranged by topic and not sequentially. It was almost like each chapter was its own essay.
The book is rather outdated (copyright 1995 and I'm writing this review in 2017), so probably not all of the facts and figures contained remain accurate. However, it is a good jumping off point for me to continue a basis of understanding into women and the Muslim world.

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Spring Brides: Three Novellas - Rachel Hauck, Lenora Worth, Meg Moseley

Spring Brides: A Year of Weddings Novella CollectionSpring Brides: A Year of Weddings Novella Collection by Rachel Hauck
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really liked the March Bride. Probably because I've read all of Rachel Hauck's books and enjoyed this additional glimpse into the romance/wedding of Susanna and King Nathaniel. I found it to be well written and nicely paced. 4 stars.
I really did NOT like the April bride. First of all, I couldn't handle the characters' names. They about sent me over the edge. The timeline seemed wonky - slow in some places and completely skipped in others. And the whole thing was just beyond far-fetched. 0 stars. I didn't even like it enough for 1 star. And since I'm averaging, I don't have to give it a star if I don't want to. :)
And the May bride was okay. I liked the characters...even the over-the-top mom. I would have liked this to be a full-length story where the characters could have developed and not had everything so rushed. 2.5 stars...maybe 3.
So an average for the book of 2.2...since Goodreads doesn't allow half stars (They really should), I'll round to 2.

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