Books: June 2013

Don't you love this quote?

I tend to enjoy books set in a foreign land or have me learning about a culture I haven't experienced - this quote sums it up nicely.

In June I loaded my ipad with books written by go-to authors. Having a comfort that I enjoy these writers and know what to expect from them.

Let's talk books!

Reviews in this post: 6
Favorite book read:  Stories I only tell my Friends (Lowe)

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Why I picked it: I picked this one after hearing several people wave about his storytelling and knowing Lowe was the narrator.

Synopsis: Never mean-spirited or salacious, Lowe delivers unexpected glimpses into his successes, disappointments, relationships, and one-of-a-kind encounters with people who shaped our world over the last twenty-five years. These stories are as entertaining as they are unforgettable

Quick Take: I loved this book - I knew little about Lowe's life.  I haven't watched The Outsiders so I was surprised to hear this was his breakout role.  I gasped a few times when he mentioned roles he thought he would get but didn't, or role others should have played.  I can't imagine ANYONE but Lowe playing Youngblood.

It was the perfect companion for a bumpy road and game safari!

Rating: 4 stars
Source: Library (audio)

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Why I picked it: It's unfair to simply say I read this for book club.  I would have read this anyway, I adored Helen of Pasadena and couldn't wait to read Dolan's second novel.

Synopsis: Elizabeth, an English professor at Pasadena City College, finds her perfectly dull but perfectly orchestrated life upended one summer by three men: her movie-star ex-husband, a charming political operative, and William Shakespeare.

She’s off to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the summer to make sure her ex-husband doesn’t humiliate himself in an avant-garde production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Quick Take: I love all things Shakespeare and love a story about a strong woman with a fun story.  This is a great book for summer vacation, and book clubs will have a lot to discuss.  The Manic Mommies Book Club discussed it for over an hour!

Read it, you will enjoy it.

Rating: 4 stars
Source: personal copy

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Why I picked it: I enjoyed American Wife and Prep so much hat I had to read her new novel.

Synopsis: Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of American Wife and Prep, returns with a mesmerizing novel of family and identity, loyalty and deception, and the delicate line between truth and belief.

Funny, haunting, and thought-provoking, Sisterland is a beautifully written novel of the obligation we have toward others, and the responsibility we take for ourselves.

Quick Take: While I love Sittenfeld's storytelling and sentence structure... yes you read that right... I'm sorry to tell you that I didn't enjoy this story very much.

At the root of this story complications arise when someone has a premonition and takes advantage, twisting a story for attention.  I didn't like either sister enough to care what happened.

Did you read it? Did I miss something?

Rating: 2 stars
Source: review copy

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Why I picked it: I was in London earlier this year and loved all the history.

This popular history book explores daily life in Queen Elizabeth’s England, taking us inside the homes and minds of ordinary citizens as well as luminaries of the period, including Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Sir Walter Raleigh, and Sir Francis Drake.

Organized as a travel guide for the time-hopping tourist, Mortimer relates in delightful (and occasionally disturbing) detail everything from the sounds and smells of sixteenth-century England to the complex and contradictory Elizabethan attitudes toward violence, class, sex, and religion.

Quick Take: If you appreciate history and plan to visit England soon, this is a must read book.  I learned so much, it's a handy book that you can jump around in... and learn.

I have a real copy of this book - so happy to put this on my bookshelf and share with friends.

Rating: 4 stars
Source: review copy

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Why I picked it: Did you see who wrote it? I love Hilderbrand's blend of summer reading, smart women's fiction.

Synopsis: When Arch Newton, a prominent New York attorney, dies in a plane crash on his way home from a business trip, his beautiful widow, Beth, can barely keep things together. Above all, though, she decides that she must continue the family tradition of going to Nantucket, and at the same time fulfill a promise that Arch made before he died.

Quick Take: Here's another story where I struggled with the plot, there are too many complicated sub-plots: murder, class issues, eating disorders, dysfunctional relationships, and more.

Just too much going on, I wonder how this book would have read from the young daughter's voice.

Rating: 3 stars
Source: personal copy (audio)

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Why I picked it: I have read some books from this author, it was on sale on Nook so I bought it.

Synopsis: What would you do if an old friend needed you, but it meant turning your new life upside down?

Pen, Will, and Cat met during the first week of their first year of college and struck up a remarkable friendship, one that sustained them and shaped them for years – until it ended abruptly, and they went their separate ways. Now, six years later, what happens sends past and present colliding and Pen and her friends on a journey across the world, a journey that will change everything.

Quick Take: It took me three weeks to finish this book!  I would love to read this for book club, I can imagine my Omaha group of gals picking this one apart, discussing life experiences, would we handle the situation like Cat did?  There is a lot to talk about!

Rating: 3 stars
Source: personal copy

3 comments

  1. Hmm, I was really dithering about picking up a Netgalley copy of Sisterland. Seems I was right not to bother - thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I'm pretty sure I read Falling Together but forgot all about it. Ah, yes, I was a bit so-so about it. Your other books I don't know, but it sounds they kept you happy. :-)

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  2. You have filled up my "books to buy" list! I just started Elizabeth the First Wife FINALLY! Rob Lowe was my favorite character on The West Wing, so I would love to read his stories. And Curtis Sittenfeld - loved The American Wife!

    Great recommendations!

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  3. I've heard great things about Lowe's book, too. I'm not much one to read celebrity books but I might have to make an exception for this one. Was just catching up with Chaos Chronicles the other day and it reminded me I really need to get to Lian's book. "Falling Together" for book club? I do believe we have a month without a book - and I think I have this one!

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