Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Review--The Bookshop on the Corner

The Bookshop on the CornerThe Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A charming story for book lovers and anyone who likes tales of quirky little towns, amazingly perfect cottages in the country, good friends, having a job where you could spend all day talking about books, and meeting a hunky man or two along the way.

I listed this as both a romance and general fiction, because while the story is about librarian Nina reinventing herself in the Scottish hinterlands, there's also a love interest or two on her way to her HEA. I pretty much read it through in one sitting because it was a delightful way to spend a sunny spring afternoon.


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Monday, May 22, 2017

Review--Remnants of Trust (Central Corps, #2)

Remnants of Trust (Central Corps, #2)Remnants of Trust by Elizabeth Bonesteel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Space opera is alive and well in the very capable hands of Ms. Bonesteel. The first Central Corps novel was excellent, especially in its portrayal of diverse characters and strong female protagonists. This one's even better.

On the heels of her court martial, Commander Elena Shaw is sent to the backwaters of space to patrol a nearly empty sector, or so she's led to believe. There events from years past return to haunt her, and an attack on a Corps ship leaves more questions than answers.

What I'm loving about this series is the diverse nature of the women characters. The captain of the PSI generation ship is a heavily pregnant mother of six, not the usual starship captain we're used to. I saw a review that said the Central Corps novels are like "Star Trek for grown-ups", and I felt that way as I was reading it. I look forward to more novels in the Central Corps series and following Elena Shaw on her complicated career path.


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Friday, May 12, 2017

#NationalLimerickDay




"There once was a writer of books,
who was used to getting strange looks.
'I write about love,
The genre fits like a glove,
And with my pirates, I've got a hook!'"

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Review--Cutting to the Chase

Cutting to the ChaseCutting to the Chase by Rose Phillips
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rose Phillips captures the essence of being a teenager, where daily life can be a constant upheaval of emotions and changes. I found this far more engrossing than a dystopian saga about young adults, as Lizzy seems so very real. The choices she has to make, the relationships she navigates, all bring an intensity that is easy to overlook from the more adult perspective.

Lizzy is also a cutter. She needs the release of her razor blades, and the reader doesn't know how far she'll go to escape her angst. The book deals with so many teen issues: bullying, cutting, first love, being part of the out-group, mean girls, suicide, parents, and ethnicity. I loved it, and I couldn't put it down.

This is the author's debut novel, and I look forward to reading more from this promising newcomer.



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Review--Burning Bright (Peter Ash, #2)

Burning Bright (Peter Ash, #2)Burning Bright by Nicholas Petrie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Excellent suspense novel that kept me turning pages late into the night. Peter Ash has been compared to Jack Reacher, but I find him to be more like Stephen Hunter's Bob Lee Swagger--someone who's having real difficulty dealing with his personal demons and adjusting to civilian life. What I especially like about Ash is that he's growing and making progress in dealing with his PTSD. It's not all that defines him.

In this novel he meets a young woman who's up to his weight in terms of her ability to cope with adversity, and I especially like how much he deferred to her. She was in charge, and he went along with that, something she (and this reader) found refreshing.

I hope there are more Peter Ash stories in the works. It would be an autobuy for me.


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Review--Cafe Nevo

Café Nevo: A NovelCafé Nevo: A Novel by Barbara Rogan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cafe Nevo is a beautiful and poignant tale of Tel Aviv, almost a microcosm of the story of modern Israel. There are clashes between the generation of founders--kibbutz pioneers and refugees--and the disenchanted younger generation sent to fight in Lebanon; clashes between Arab and Jew; women held captive by religious law governing marriage and divorce; and the struggle of artists of all stripes, both the talented and the hack. There's even a touch of magic realism.

At the center of it all in grungy, fly-specked Cafe Nevo is Sternholz, the waiter (maybe owner) who takes it all in and filters it for the reader.

I found it a captivating read, but initially was thrown off by the shifts of point of view and characters within a scene. After the first couple times of being pulled out of the narrative, I chalked it up to the author's voice and the element of magic realism present in the story and went along for the ride. It was worth the effort, and the book is recommended to anyone who likes serious fiction about people--and a country--in turmoil.


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Monday, May 01, 2017

Review--The Nowhere Man (Orphan X, #2)

The Nowhere Man (Orphan X, #2)The Nowhere Man by Gregg Hurwitz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mark Twain famously said of writing that it involves chasing your characters up trees and throwing rocks at them.

Gregg Hurwitz has this down to an art. Poor Evan Smoak! First we learned about Orphan X in his debut novel, and now he's back, the Nowhere Man who takes phone calls from strangers desperate for help. All he asks is that they pay it forward by giving his number to someone else who's desperate and has nowhere to turn.

Of course, no good deed goes unpunished, and Evan finds himself up to his neck--and beyond--in troubles when a bad guy takes him prisoner.

If you like nail-biting, page turning suspense with a high level of gore. then the Orphan X books are for you. I can't wait for the next one!


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