Book Review: Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

3_DiscoBalls

3 disco balls

Published: October 3, 2017 by Scribner
Length: Hardcover, 438 pages
Category: Historical Fiction
National Book Award Nominee for Fiction (2017), Women’s Prize for Fiction Nominee for Longlist (2018), Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction (2018), Walter Scott Prize Nominee (2018), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Historical Fiction (2017)

I alternated back and forth between reading the hardcover and listening to the audio (which had 3 narrators). I liked to do that with books so I can optimize my reading time, especially when I have book club deadlines!

I liked the story, but at the 70% mark it just became okay to me. It wasn’t terrible, but I wasn’t moved in any way by it. The author did a good job of capturing the different dynamics within families, communities and the workplace (whether that workplace was legit or not). I always find the sign of the times of historical fiction fascinating. Read More »

Audiobook Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

3_DiscoBalls

3 disco balls

Published: August 21, 2018 by Penguin Random House Audio @PRHAudio
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Length: 9 hours, 27 minutes
Category: Fiction, Sci-fi, Dystopian

Julia Whelan is a brilliant narrator. She keeps you engaged in an audiobook and I was not disappointed in her performance of Vox by Christina Dalcher.

I started Vox last week when it felt like women were truly being silenced. We didn’t have bracelets limiting our words to 100 a day, but it felt as if only 100 words a day (if that) were being listened too. It was a heart pumping, blood boiling experience. This book makes you think and it scares you. Although I gave it 3 disco balls (for reasons I will delve into shortly), it’s a read that all should partake in: a fruitful discussion will certainly be had.Read More »

Book Review: Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

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4.5 disco balls

Published: June 12, 2018 by Minotaur Books
Category: Suspense, Thriller, Mystery
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First things first: what a pretty book cover, it’s certainly intriguing. I am a huge fan of suspense books: the build up and the ending need to impress.

Like the book cover, the story did not disappoint.

I was addicted from the start and the chapters move so quick it wasn’t hard to keep saying “just one more chapter.”

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Book Review: A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult

Book Birthday

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5 disco balls

Publish Date: October 2, 2018 by Ballantine Books
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Family Life

Jodi Picoult is my favorite author so I know I may be a bit bias, but trust me when I say that this book was one of her most compelling and thrilling reads. She is known for addressing controversial subjects, but does extensive research to present both sides in an authentic, realistic way.Read More »

Audiobook Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith #HSReadingRedo

5_DiscoBalls

5 disco balls

Published: August 12, 2005 by HarperAudio (book first published 1943)
Narrator: Kate Burton
Length: 14 hours 55 minutes
Category: Classics, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Coming of Age

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was Book 7 out of 8 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list. As we approach the new month, I am proud to report I did most of my homework and only need to read the Cliff Notes or watch the movie of one unread book (The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck). 😉

Set in Brooklyn in the early 1900s, we fall in love with the Nolan family; whom are poverty stricken but resourceful. Francie Nolan became one of my favorite literary characters.

Goodreads Synopsis: 4.25 average rating
The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

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Name a Book that Matches my Playlist

I love music just as much as I love reading (maybe even more 😬) and for me the two often go hand in hand. I often will be reading a storyline and think of a corresponding song. So I thought it would be fun to play out a musical scenario and ask you which books the “conversation” reminds you of. Hence, finding me my next TBR additions!

You also get to pick the ending! Fun, right?!

Here’s how the story goes (as sung by the likes of Mariah Carey, Ariana Grande and TSwift):Read More »

Book Review: Lord of the Flies by William Golding #HSReadingRedo

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2 disco balls

First published: September 17, 1954 by Faber & Faber
Category: Classics, Fiction, Young Adult

Lord of the Flies was Book 6 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list. All I know is that after this one I am reading a book for leisure before I pick up another book from my “homework” reading list. I need a classics break!

The following 28 second video will tell you all you need to know about Lord of the Flies. Thank you, Running Out of Pages for reminding me of this scene, it perfectly summed up my reading experience.

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Audiobook Review: Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

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4_DiscoBalls

4 disco balls

Published: August 28, 2018 by Listening Library
Narrators: N’Jameh Camara, Jose Carrera, Dean Flanagan, Angel Romero, Toshi Widoff-Woodson, Mikelle Wright-Matos, Jacqueline Woodson
Length: 3 hours 50 minutes
Category: Realistic Fiction, Childrens, Young Adult

When I requested to read and review Harbor Me through Penguin Random House’s Volumes app I didn’t realize it was a middle grade book; BUT, don’t let that put you off from this story. It is for all ages; and would be a great book for families to read/listen to together. The content would spark discussions on topics such as bullying, grief, racism, classism, and immigration.

Author, Jacqueline Woodson, carefully crafted a story that addresses these major issues without forcing them into place; it was an authentic take on what is going on today and impresses upon our youth to talk more openly about their feelings and try to understand each other. We are all the same in that we want to feel that we belong. Even though the story is rather short, the character development was strong and you can’t help but feel for this group of children. I want to see them 20 years from now.Read More »