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BookConnection

Book Connection

I'm a lover of books. I love how discussing books connect us in really substantial and interesting ways.

Currently reading

The Heretic's Daughter
Kathleen Kent
The Wishing Thread: A Novel
Lisa Van Allen
Madison Central Library
Madison Central Library

Taken September 21, 2013 at their grand opening.

Jojo Moyes and Me
Jojo Moyes and Me

September 21, 2013  Book reading with Jojo Moyes at Madison Central Library.

"“We’re all strangers connected by what we reveal, what we share, what we take away–our stories. I guess that’s what I love about books–they are thin strands of humanity that tether us to one another for a small bit of time, that make us feel less alone or even more comfortable with our aloneness, if need be.”
~Libba Bray"

Life is Full

 

To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.

~Emily Dickenson

 

I’m not a great reader of poetry; it’s a failing of mine. However when a writer chooses to use a poem in their story to reflect the mood or theme I usually “get” the poem.

 

There are times though that poetry speaks loud and clear to me. As I was desperately trying to come up with a topic for today’s post I began looking for quotes. Give me a good quote and I can go on forever, although I do try not to bore my audience. Pinterest is a great place for searching out quotes and other topics. And there I came across the above Emily Dickensen quote and it spoke to me.

 

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Book Chic or Book Geek

I’m a book nerd.  There is no doubt about it.  I’m a groupie.  Not that I’ve met that many authors.  But given the chance, I’m going to do my best to get authographs.  Usually, my best chance is to get authors who’ve written books in my field. Let’s face it, not a lot of mental health workers are standing in line with their copy of Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, in hand for Jon Kabat-Zinn to sign.  So I have my collection of signed “work books” that I’m very cautious about loaning to my co-workers.

 

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Me Before You - Jojo Moyes Emotional, thought provoking, a keeper.
Fin & Lady: A Novel - Cathleen Schine, Anne Twomey I'm thinking 4 stars for this one. I liked it more and more as it continued. More to come.
In the Woods  - Tana French, Steven Crossley Review to come
The Bookstore - Deborah Meyler Review in Progress.
Wallflower in Bloom - Claire Cook 3.5/5 starsReview in progress
Still Life  - Ralph Cosham, Louise Penny Review in progress
Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn, Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne Audio version5/5 for plot characterization and writing5/5 performance2/5 based on my own personal reactionWow that seems like quite a divide. Let me start out by saying that Gillian Flynn has written this book masterfully. The characters were very convincing. When they spoke they came alive. She kept me guessing as to who did what and what would happen next. I really enjoyed the structure of the book. Nick's character tells the story from the time of Amy's disappearance forward. Amy's character is telling the story through diary entrys from when they met. The narration was very good. This book has two narrators one for Nick and one for Amy. Both narrators performed very well. Even when the narrators had to speak as another character they made changes to tone or speech pattern that let the listener know they were speaking as someone else. The production was more a radio play than pure narration and kept me thoroughly engaged.As for my own reaction, this will be encased in a spoiler tag. Please be aware that if you read the spolier you will read how the book ends. The ending of this book was totally depressing and I felt like I had wasted my precious time with people who were not worth my time. Amy is a sociopath who sets up her husband, decides to return to him when he comes to heel and then manipulates him into staying with her in the end. She gets away with everything. Yuck. Life is too short to spend with such unattarctive people. Based on my own subjective opinion I most likely will not be reading more of Gillian's books. Too dark for me.

Looking for Me

Looking for Me - Beth Hoffman Format: Hardcover, Library copyPublisher: Viking AdultPublication Date: May 28th 2013Length: 354 pages
Her Sister's Shadow - Katharine Britton 4/5 I really enjoyed this book. A story of family and how each one deals with a series of terrible events. It's true that we bring these things into our aduthood and if unexamined they can continue to impact us for the rest of our lives. For LiLi, she has the chance to go back and see things in a different way. The real strength of this book was in the characterization. The characters acted and spoke true to who they were. The resolution was true to each of the characters. Take some time to get to know the Niles sisters. They will stay with you after you've read the last page.
Tapestry of Fortunes - Elizabeth Berg I listened to this on audio. I highly recommend you avoid the audio version and read the book. The narrator has a very distinctive voice. The main characters are all women and the narrator doesn't chnge tempo, pitch, or tone for the chnage in charcters. I'm not sure what the director was thinking but the narrator read this book with great enthusiasm and a lot of exclamation points. Now on to the book. I love books that feature female friendships. My female friends have been one of the greatest joys in my life. This book really doesn't add anything to the genre. There is no real special moments or characters that stood out. It was all rather ordinary.
Is This Tomorrow - Caroline Leavitt, Xe Sands Title : Is This TomorrowAuthor: Caroline LeavittNarrator: Xe SandsPublisher: HighBridge CompanyUnabridgedLength: 11.5 hoursYear of Publication: 5-7-13There is something about listening to someone read you a story. I love it. Although not using the active visual processing there is a comfort to processing a story through our hearing. Perhaps it harkens back to the days before writing existed and our history was passed from mouth to mouth. I wonder how many stories may have died out because someone wasn’t really captivated by the story or the narrator. I admit to finding myself feeling bored in sections of this story.As the single narrator, Sands had the daunting task of creating both adult and adolescent voices. She changed up her tone to signify changes in characters. She was just not really adept at distinguishing her female characters from other females and the same for her male characters. All the women started to sound the same and same for the male characters. Her adolescent boy voice grated on my nerves. This sounded like such an interesting story. It’s 1956, and working-mother Ava Lark and her son, Lewis, have rented a house in a less-than-welcoming Boston suburb. There, Lewis finds he is only able to befriend the other fatherless kids on the block, Jimmy and Rose. But when Jimmy goes missing, neighborhood paranoia ramps to new heights, further ostracizing Ava and Lewis. Leavitt creates a convincing portrait of what it is like to be a divorced mother in this period of history. That she is Jewish as well adds a whole other layer. And for me, this is the problem. She created such an intriguing character in Ava. She was a woman ahead of her time and I found her fascinating. I found her son Lewis much less so; he was bland and sometimes annoying. As for the mystery of Jimmy’s disappearance, the author dealt with the fear and paranoia of it very well. But I found the reverberation in Lewis’s and Ava’s life written superficially. I understood intellectually that this event impacted them tremendously but the author never made me feel it. As for the denouement – it felt forced. With this in mind, I felt the narrator did do what she could with the material she had. Ava Lark was such an interesting character - when she was on stage I enjoyed this audio version very much. I found myself wishing at the end that Leavitt had thought to write purely from Ava’s point of view what it was like to be a divorced Jewish single mother in the 1950’s. I would have enjoyed that story much more. Enjoy this book for the wonderful characterization of Ava but don’t expect much from the mystery.This audio was provided by the publisher. This in no way impacted the outcome of this review.