Adult Summer Reading ~ Read Reviews

Date:June 22 2017
Name:
Book Title:And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer & Longer
Author:Fredrik Backman
Ratings:stars
Review:Touching novella about 3 generations coping with a grandfather's memory loss and declining health.
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Date:June 22, 2017
Name:Beth
Book Title:Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
Author:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Ratings:stars
Review:Great read, written as a letter from one friend to another (now a new mother of a daughter), on how to raise a strong daughter in today's world.
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Date:June 26, 2017
Name:Tasondra
Book Title:Krik? Krak!
Author:Edwidge Danticat
Ratings:stars
Review:Interesting yet heartbreaking short stories about life in Haiti during the rebellion. Written to make you think and feel about how life must have felt during that time. It places you in the depths of a prison, aboard a raft of refuges and many more. If you want to get an inside view check out this book, its won the National Book Award Finalist medal.
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Date:June 26, 2017
Name:Phyllis K.
Book Title:My Beloved World
Author:Sonia Sotomayor
Ratings:stars
Review:Sonia Sotomayor is 1 of 2 U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Her book, My Beloved World, is her autobiography on her road to the Supreme Court and her life living in the Bronx. it is a touching book that is difficult to put down. She is an inspiration and keeps you rooting her on. Definitely one of my favorite books!
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Date:June 29, 2017
Name:Sherri Ehrenberg
Book Title:The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Author:Muriel Bradbery
Ratings:stars
Review:Bradbury does an excellent job using two voices (a 54-year old concierge and a 12-year old girl) to tell the story of their seemingly different lives at 7 Rue de Grenelle in Paris. I enjoyed her characters and how she intertwined the lives of all the residents, though, at times her definitions of Beauty and Art were beyond my grasp. Definitely thought provoking on how we view ourselves and those around us based on social status.
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Date:June 29, 2017
Name:
Book Title:The Stars of Fortune
Author:Nora Roberts
Ratings:stars
Review:As usual with Roberts, very entertaining first in the Guardian Trilogy, as she gathers six people to combat an evil god in their quest to return three stars to their rightful home. Each player in the story (eventually will be three couples) brings a unique gift or talent which gives the story enough twists to keep reading. Light and fun--perfect for summer reading by the pool.
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Date:6/29/2017
Name:Larry Covey
Book Title:Age of Discovery
Author:Ian Goldin
Ratings:stars
Review:Just finished a worthwhile book entitled “Age of Discovery”. It draws parallels between our current times and the European Renaissance of the 15th and 16th centuries. I suspect that almost any era could make the same comparisons, but the book makes some valid points nonetheless. And there were some interesting nuggets buried within:

“Google now gives away, to each of its nearly 1 billion cloud users, online storage that would have been worth about $15,000 per person at 1995 prices. In other words, what would have cost a combined $15 trillion just 20 years ago is now free.”

“CERN’S Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland produces a gigabyte of new data every second about how fundamental particles behave. The world's DNA sequencing machines together churn out one to two gigabytes per second about how our genes work. At NASA, data floods from the sky: its various missions generate about 150 gigabytes per second of new observations about the universe. The same deluge swamps climatologists, geologists, sociologists, economists, and most other data-driven researchers, far beyond our ability to analyze or interpret it. Science has probably already gathered the answers to many big important questions. We just don't know it yet.”

“Some 30,000 foreigners from more than 100 countries have joined ISIS since 2011, including perhaps 5,000 from Europe and North America. It is the most successful recruitment of foreign fighters since the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930’s
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Date:6/29/2017
Name:Larry Covey
Book Title:The South China Sea
Author:Bill Hayton
Ratings:stars
Review:A history of the Sea and of the peoples and countries around it, combined an analysis of the political, diplomatic, and military situations in the region today. Well-written, informative, and somewhat scary. Some of the better quotes:

“Economic competition, superpower logic, and populist nationalism are increasing the chances for conflict. Dozens of stakeholders, from medium-sized countries to pint-sized politicians, are seeking to gain some advantage. Interests are being assessed, and alliances formed and reformed: strategic partnerships, mutual defence treaties – a web of commitments binding so many nations to the future of the South China Sea. What happens if somebody shoots an archduke?”

“This basic piece of jurisdiction doesn’t seem to be understood by the various claimants for the islands, who persist in making irrelevant gestures and protesting about the irrelevant gestures made by others.”

“This sense of ‘righteousness’ – combining victimhood with superiority – increasingly comes across as arrogance to smaller countries on the receiving end.”

Re the regional conference held every year in Singapore and known as the Shangri-La Dialogues: “Once through the metal detectors, guests are free to network with ministers in suits and generals in braid. It’s easy to miss the steely-eyed Gurkhas blending into the background in their charcoal business suits. Only their over-large attaché cases mark them out - just the right size to conceal their submachine guns. It’s security for gentlemen in this 21st-century Shangri-La, where men from the Himalayas handle the close protection.”
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Date:6/30/2017
Name:
Book Title:The Husband's Secret
Author:Liane Moriarty
Ratings:stars
Review:
I really enjoyed this book. It starts out with Celeste the wife whose husband has a secret. She finds an envelope from her husband that says on the front of the envelope open in the case of my death. And so it begins should or shouldn't she open it. There are many other players in this book that connect with the secret. You have to keep reading until about half way through before finding out the secret, so it keeps you wanting to read it to find out the secret...I figured out the secret before thou. The setting is in Australia. I read this for a book group and it was a great discussion. I would definitely recommend reading this book.The ending will surprise you. And I heard they are making it into a movie.
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Date:6/30/2017
Name:
Book Title:How to Tell if Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You
Author:The Oatmeal - Matthew Inman
Ratings:stars
Review:
This book is a little dark. Part of the book is about two cats who are mean spirited bullies who go around the office and harass their colleagues. Other parts of the books are about cats their temperaments and habits. I would not recommend this book to children because of some of the bad swear words. The graphics are well done and if you have ever had a cat you will get this book. The were some funny quirky things that happened and it's easy reading.
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Date:6/30/2017
Name:
Book Title:John Wick 2/DVD/Movie
Author:Derek Kolstand
Ratings:stars
Review:I really liked this movie...because I'm a big fan of Keane Reeves. He's a great actor and the perfect person to play the role he did in the movie. I would recommend watching John Wick one to better understand the players in JW2 and understand what's going on. John Wick was put of a club that were assassins for hire. There were rules that had to be followed in this killer club. Someone in the club tells John W that he needs to honor a maker that he gives John. John W wants to retire from this club but this guy wants him to kill his sister so he can be on the board and have more power/money.John wants to retire..John's wife has died in JW 1 and he just wants out of the killing business. One the reasons why this guy in the club wants John to kill his sister is because John is very very good @ what he does. John has killed many people. This guy ends up buring down John's house because John does not want to honor his marker and kill this guys sister...and so the action begins because his hand is forced to do the job. I loved how John has this very cute obedient pit bull dog. He adopted this pit bull and calls him dog because someone killed his puppy that his wife bought him as a present in JW 1. There's a lot of fighting, gun shooting and some martial arts, very intense fighting scenes. I think there will probably be a JW 3 and I look forward to it.
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Date:6/30/2017
Name:
Book Title:Fifty Shades Darker
Author:Niall Lenard
Ratings:stars
Review:So it picks up where Fifty Shades of Grey stop...with Anna and the rich man broken up but he tries to woe her back and Christian does. But there are new rules this time. Christian was abused as a child...his birth month was a drug addicted and brought men home that abuse Christian, but Christian does get adopted very young by a very healthy, wealthy family. They love him and he is successful as an adult but he still carries the scars of his tragic childhood and it sometimes affects his healthy, normal relationship he is trying to have with Anna.They do get engaged in this movie, but there is a couple of villains who want to hurt the couple. Looking forward to # 3 in this series and many love making scenes are very very graphic.
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Date:6/30/2017
Name:
Book Title:A Dog's Purpose/DVD/Movie
Author:Lasse Hallstrom
Ratings:stars
Review:Couldn't wait to watch this movie because I'm a huge dog lover. This movie was terrific. I laughed, cried and was so moved. It was enduring. I think it could be a family night movie. It's about a dog that keeps getting reincarnated when he dies into another breed of dog. This dog narrates through out the movie and he's a cutie. It's his perspective of his life purpose through his (the doggie) eyes. His favorite friend is a boy who adopts him. This boy and his mother find the puppy in a very hot car and break the window to rescue him. They take him home and so the story begins. The boy and the dog do everything together and have a very strong bond. Eventually the dogs dies, but it does have a good ending, but I don't want to tell you because I want you to watch this movie...it's worth watching. Some one should come up with the idea of a "Cats purpose" how cool would that be.
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Date:6/30/2017
Name:
Book Title:A Street Cat Named Bob/DVD/Movie
Author:James Bowen
Ratings:stars
Review:Loved, loved, loved this movie. It's a powerful story of a man, named James who is struggling with demons of addiction and his new found friendship with a stray cat that he names Bob. James so very much wants to get victory over his addictions and he tries very hard. He is a musican and tries to earn a living playing his guitar and music on the streets to buy food. There's a woman in the movie who tries to help James get off drugs and finds him a nice place to live but he needs to stay and continue working this program. Enter the stray cat Bob and Bob changes everything for the better for James. A must watch movie. Also there is an adult book and children's book about this true life story.
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Date:7/3/2017
Name:
Book Title:Everything I never Told You
Author:Celeste Ng
Ratings:stars
Review:This book is about a girl who is found dead at the bottom of a lake and her family's struggle to try and piece together what happens. The family has been plague with many bad experiences that are explained in flashbacks throughout the book. I found it to be very slow but the overall plot was pretty good. I would recommend this book to anyone who just wants to read a quick book, it would be a good book to bring to the beach.
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Date:7/3/2017
Name:
Book Title:Pirate Women
Author:Laura Sook Duncombe
Ratings:stars
Review:The material was well written and quite interesting. I would have liked to hear more of the tales associated with these women, and how they were perceived buy society then and now.
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Date:7/5/2017
Name:
Book Title:The Underground Railroad
Author:Colson Whitehead
Ratings:stars
Review:A very interesting historically-based novel with a captivating story about a young slave girl finding her way towards freedom.
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Date:7/5/201`7
Name:
Book Title:LaRose
Author:Louise Erdrich
Ratings:stars
Review:An American Indian accidentlly kills his friend's 5 year old son and playmate of his own son, La Rose...
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Date:7/5/2017
Name:
Book Title:Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Author:J. K. Rowling
Ratings:stars
Review:

What a fun way to read what happened to some of my favorite childhood charectors. I enjoyed it!
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Date:7/5/2017
Name:
Book Title:Undead & Unappreciated
Author:Mary Janice Davidson
Ratings:stars
Review:Perfect book for the beach. It's silly, keeps you interested and doesn't make you think to hard. Found out its part of a series so I'm going to follow-up with the next.
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Date:7/6/2017
Name:Sarah
Book Title:The Kingmaker's Daughter
Author:Philippa Gregory
Ratings:stars
Review:Excellent read. This book gives an interesting perspective to one of the women inadvertently involved in the Wars of the Roses. In other stories, she is usually portrayed as a character you wouldn't necessarily be fond of, but through this telling you actually start to sympathize with her.
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Date:7/7/2017
Name:Larry Covey
Book Title:Visit Sunny Chernobyl - – “And Other Adventures in the World’s Most Polluted Places
Author:Andrew Blackwell
Ratings:stars
Review:The first book by Andrew Blackwell, though almost certainly not his last given the quality of his writing. He’s funny, he’s insightful, his command of the language and his phraseology is just wonderful. Some example quotes:

This description of a mining machine in the oil sands of northern Alberta – “It was the bastard offspring of the Eiffel Tower and the Queensboro Bridge, abandoned by its parents and raised by feral tanks.”

And this, from his stint as a deckhand on a two-masted sailing ship – “Like most sensible people, I don’t have a fear of heights. Only a fear of falling to my death.” Re seasickness – “ Then the pendulum swings and you float half an inch into the air. An hour later, your face has melted and your stomach, having received so much from you over the years, now wants to give something back.”

“At the moment, our need was to concoct a cover story under which I could both snoop around and plausibly deny that I was a reporter. We soon realized, though, that while my credibility as a reporter was poor, my credibility as anything else was even worse.“

“This was a tributary of the Yamuna. Are you not to venerate it merely because it smells? Why not worship it, suspended solids and all? What could be more sacred than a river that springs from your neighbor’s belly?”

I’m probably not even picking the best examples. His similes, his metaphors, his ability to describe something in such a certain way that you immediately smack your head and think, “Of course! Yes, that’s it exactly!” He skewers left and right, environmentalists and global-warming deniers equally and leaves you rolling on the floor with laughter.
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Date:7/10/2017
Name:Sarah
Book Title:The Trials of Apollo: Book One: The Hidden Oracle
Author:Rick Riordan
Ratings:stars
Review:A pretty decent book, especially if you're already a fan of the Percy Jackson series. Per usual for these series there's a lot of Greek Mythology tied into modern day culture, though some of the modern references in this particular book seemed too forced. Still a good read.
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Date:7/11/2017
Name:
Book Title:Presumed Missing
Author:Suzie Steiner
Ratings:stars
Review:

A very human mystery. Characters are beautifully drawn
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Date:07/13/2017
Name:Sarah
Book Title:John Carter of Mars: A Princess of Mars
Author:Edgar Rice Burroughs
Ratings:stars
Review:Very Interesting. A sci-fi fantasy with some action, adventure, and romance. I'd seen the semi-recent movie when it came out, and though it was entertaining, it barely resembles this story. Not only was the story itself completely different, you learn so much more about this new world, and all the creatures who live on it, as well as rules, laws, and customs that differ from their earthly counterparts. John Carter tells the story in a first person narrative, as though it were a journal entry. The entire premise is just fascinating, and really just makes you wonder, what if.
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Date:7/17/2017
Name:
Book Title:News of the World
Author:Paulette Jiles
Ratings:stars
Review:I don't usually like westerns but this historical novel set in Texas after the Civil War is an exception. An itinerant news reader reluctantly agrees to bring a young captive of the Kiowa back to her relatives about whom she has no memory. The pair face a number of harrowing situations on the their journey west.

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Date:7/22/2017
Name:Kiersten
Book Title:From a Buick 8
Author:Stephen King
Ratings:5 stars
Review:This King book is absolutely enthralling. There are two things different about this book. It is set in Pennsylvania and it is told in a collaborative way by the characters. King manages to overcome these two changes in his writing. There really is no slow part in this novel, there are side stories- but just a Ned Wilcox did- you understand the importance. For anyone that isn't a fan of horror, this is a milder book. There is a bit grotesqueness that even I cringed at, but all-in-all, this book was wonderful.
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Date:7/22/2017
Name:Kiersten
Book Title:The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
Author:Stephen King
Ratings:stars
Review:
The short summary is that a girl gets lost in the woods, only equipped with a small lunch, a rain poncho, a gameboy, and most importantly a walkman. King really makes the reader envision the story, you really get into this. I think I read this story in three sittings. Every time I put it down, my mind was screaming "why did you DO that?" The horrors that this girl faced in the days she was lost weren't really horrible- she made it out barely unscathed. But she was brave and had to overcome her fears to get back home.
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Date:7/23/2017
Name:Larry Covey
Book Title:Lab Girl
Author:Hope Jahren
Ratings:5 stars
Review:I’ve been reading a lot of good books lately.
There was one that was about plants, and especially trees. How they evolved, how they live, some of the incredible things that they do. A “Holy Shit!” on every page. Notions that may give a vegetarian pause
There was one about scientific academia and the life of a research scientist – especially a female research scientist. How to work your way up from undergrad, to PhD, to post-doc. Getting grants, getting tenure, the incredible dedication and workload required.
And then there was one that was the memoir of this fascinating woman who grew up in rural Minnesota and has since lived and travelled all over the world, having all sorts of adventures on the way. Just an amazing life story of a very unusual woman who has done it “her way”.
And finally, the first book from a gifted writer who words just leap off the page. Probably the best description of manic-depression that I’ve ever read. Probably the best description of childbirth I’ve ever read. The way that themes are woven in and out, the self-disciplined sequencing needed to maintain the element to surprise.

As you have probably guessed by now, these are, in fact, all the same book – “Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren. I’m sure it would win a Pulitzer if they could just figure out the category. Here are some of my favorite quotes:
The physician’s assistant walks in. “Will you consider medication to help manage your discomfort during the birth?” he asks. “Why yes. Yes I will,” I answer, using his same dry tone that belies the fact that I have never been more passionately sincere about anything in my whole life.
… how the coming of dusk dissolves the laces of the splint that holds you together during the day, and the desperate sadness that follows can be anesthetized only with sleep. The heaviness of opening your eyes the next morning when you realize that you’ve begun another day of grief,…
A cactus doesn’t live in the dessert because it likes the desert; it lives there because the desert hasn’t killed it yet. Any plant that you find growing in the desert will grow a hell of lot better if you take it out of the desert. The desert is like a lot of lousy neighborhoods; nobody living there can afford to move.
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Date:7/26/2017
Name:The Giver
Book Title:Lois Lowery
Author:Heather
Ratings:5 stars
Review:This is a marvelous book for older kids through adults. It shows what a positive difference one person can make in their community.
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Date:7/29/2017
Name:Kiersten
Book Title:Eat, Drink, and Be Buried
Author:Peter King
Ratings:3 stars
Review:I had such a hard time reading this, it was a little bland. The author obviously loves food and is very eloquent at the descriptions; but plot, conversation, and the other subtle nuances of writing are not his specialty. This story is about a gourmet detective (unnamed) who has stumbled, for the second time or maybe more, on a murder- where the castle's lord, Scotland Yard, and the county detective just let him do investigating. The author makes a point to say that every woman is attractive (this is not and understatement) and tell of his intimate romances with two of the characters that help nothing with the plot. With that being said, I think the menu for this castle turned out pretty well. I am just surprised that a book so amateur is the sixth in a series.
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Date:7/29/2017
Name:Seli M.
Book Title:A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author:Sarah J. Maas
Ratings:5 stars
Review:The book, which is the first in a series, creates a nice coming-of-age story in an original fairy tale world. The imagery is amazing, and the characters and their development were well-thought out and provide for a story that is never a bore.
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