May and June Book Reviews

And A Question for You!

I read ten books in May & June. That has to be a personal record. I normally read two to three books a month. Steve and I spent a week at the beach, and I was able to get in a lot of quality reading time. Four of the books were Advanced Reader Copies through NetGalley. You can click on the title to see my full review of those books as well as my author interview with the delightful Terry Lynn Crane.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane. 5 Stars. I think this will be on the Best Seller list. It would be a great book club discussion book. This was an advanced reader copy. The publisher’s plot summary for this book is “A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the friendship (and love) between their children (Peter and Kate), a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, and the power of forgiveness.”

The book has now been published.

Becoming by Michelle Obama. Beautifully written, albeit sometimes with too much detail, autobiography about the interesting life of Michelle Obama. The story focuses on her own family, her education, her life being married to a politician, her children, and those who have mentored and encouraged her. It gives an interesting insight as to what it is like to be first lady and to try and raise children inside the White House. The book resonates with hope and encouragement. Mrs. Obama rarely says anything negative about anyone, until it she gets to Donald Trump where her ill will is evident. Like many others, my favorite quote is: “If you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

Bethlehem by Karen Kelly. 3.5 Stars. A young woman arrives at the grand ancestral home of her husband’s family, hoping to fortify her cracking marriage. But what she finds is not what she expected: tragedy haunts the hallways, whispering of heartache and a past she never knew existed. This was an advanced reader copy. The book should be published next week.

The Beantown Girls by Jane Healey. 5 Stars. I choose this book as my selection for book club. It made for an interesting discussion. I love a good World War II Historical Fiction. This one was about the Red Cross Club Mobile Girls. Prior to this book, I had never heard of the Club Mobile program of sending young women in 2 ton food trucks to the war front to serve coffee and donuts to soldiers. The book gives great insight to the friendships along with the dangers these brave women faced.

I lost My Girlish Laughter by Jane Allen. 4 Stars. This novel was first published in 1938. It is based about the co-writers’ experiences working in the movie industry during the golden years. This rollicking epistolary novel gives us a secretary’s viewpoint of life at a 1930’s Hollywood studio through free spirited personal letters, newspaper gossip columns, telegrams, interoffice memos, calendar entries, and the secretary’s private journal entries. 

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley. This is the first book in a series about For the most part I really enjoyed this story about Maia and her journey to find where she came from. The historical fiction regarding Christ the Redeemer was especially interesting. However, the part about Pa Star and his adopted girls who never questioned who he was drove me a little crazy. My rating is more like 3.5 stars. I might read another one, but it won’t be a high priority.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. 3 Stars. I didn’t fall in love with this multi-generational novel as so many others have. I became bored with the constant discrimination of Koreans by the Japanese over the course of 50 years. After 496 pages, I was glad to be finished. It has a 4.26 rating on Goodreads and a friend of mine highly recommended it. On the up side it is a story of is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty during very difficult circumstances.

Fiddle Dee Dee Recipes: A Taste of”Gone With The Windby Terry Lynn Crane. This book is filled with wonderful stories of the cast of Gone With The Wind. It is so much more than a cookbook! Thanks to the author for the great interview! I have really enjoyed making the recipes.

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger. 10 stars on a scale of 1 to 5. I loved this book of Huckleberry Finn, meets the Odyssey, meets the Book of Job. This was an advanced reader copy. This book won’t be released until September, 2019. Put it on your to read list! I have a very strong feeling that this will be my favorite book of 2019. I recommend it especially to those of you who loved Where The Crawdads Sing and Before We Were Yours.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. 3 stars. A very unique take on the life of Achilles as told by Patroclus, his gay lover of many years. I wanted to love this as much as I did Circe. Unfortunately, it was slow and boring during many parts, especially the war.

And Now for My question to you: What has been your favorite read this year?

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