Monday, March 30, 2015

Mrs. Poe

Fiction by Lynn Cullen.

Mrs. Poe

This was a good story but a little too drawn-out.

Contrary to the title, it was NOT about Poe's wife, but about his mistress. The characters were interesting. I always like to see historical people brought to life in novels.What I may have enjoyed most was reading the note at the end about what parts of the story were actually true.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Rosie Effect

Fiction by Graeme Simsion.

The Rosie Effect: A Novel

This is the sequel to The Rosie Project. That was about a physics professor who searches for a wife as if it were another research project. In this book his story continues. He's a really good character.

It's a cute story with some funny situations and definitely worth reading. Read the first book first, though.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Children Act

Fiction by Ian McEwan.

The Children Act

This story is about a British family court judge: both her personal life and her professional life. There are some thought-provoking ethical dilemmas here, and believable characters as well.

Also, it was short. Definitely worth your time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Elvis and Ginger

Nonfiction by Ginger Alden.

Elvis and Ginger: Elvis Presley's Fiancee and Last Love Finally Tells Her Story

Elvis was engaged when he died. Did you know that? I didn't. Also he was only forty-two years old. So I'm already older than Elvis ever was. That is super weird to me. I mention this information because that was all I manged to glean from this book.

Ginger, the author of this book, spent the last nine months or so of Elvis's life with him. She witnessed his death firsthand. She had a lot of insight into the end of his life. But unfortunately, this book was really boring. Sorry.

If it weren't about Elvis Presley, I'd give it a huge thumbs-down. But... for The King, I can't do that.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Everything I Never Told You

Fiction by Celeste Ng.

Everything I Never Told You: A Novel

Lydia Lee, who is arguably the main character of this book, is dead on page one. Her story is revealed piece by piece through the other members of her family.

And it's a good story. Although we do find out what happened to Lydia at the end, the focus of the book is really the people who are still alive, and what's happening to them.

Good book.

Monday, March 16, 2015


Fiction by Isabel Allende.

Ripper: A Novel

This book is not about Jack the Ripper, except in a very peripheral way.

Instead it's about some teenagers who play a "game" called Ripper, in which they try to solve real-life murders. (They apparently began with the Jack the Ripper murders in a minor backstory.)  It helps that one of the teens is the daughter of the police chief investigating said crimes.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Magicians

Fiction by Lev Grossman.

The Magicians (Magicians Series #1)

Okay. So this book here is supposed to be a grown-up Harry Potter. Like, imagine if Harry, Ron, and Hermione went to magic school at age 17 instead of 11. And screwed each other indiscriminately and became depressed alcoholics in the bargain. Oh, and then what if they went to Narnia and ruined that place as well?

Ugh, right?

Yeah, that's what I thought.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Winter People

Fiction by Jennifer McMahon.

The Winter People

This novel tells a story that goes between two different times in the same (apparently haunted) house. Central to the narrative is a book entitled Visitors from the Other Side: The Secret Diary of Sara Harrison Shea. And that secret diary tells about Mrs. Shea's mysterious disappearance.

The Winter People was a good story and a page-turner as well. But it was also kind of horrifying.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Someone Else's Love Story

Fiction by Joshilyn Jackson.

Someone Else's Love Story

At the beginning of this story, Shandi is a twenty-year-old girl with a three-year-old son who lives with her mother and struggles to finish college. This sounds like such a cliche, doesn't it?

But this is far FAR from an episode of "Teen Mom." The book is insightful and suspenseful, and it has some surprises in store. I loved it!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

In the Heart of the Sea

Subtitled: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
Nonfiction by Nathaniel Philbrick.

In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex

There is a movie version of this book coming out soon, which will probably be exciting, but I found this book  kind of boring. Sorry.

Monday, March 2, 2015

We Should Hang Out Sometime

Nonfiction by Josh Sundquist.

We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarrassingly, a true story

This is a funny memoir with an awesome first line:

When I was twenty-five years old, it came to my attention that I had never had a girlfriend. At the time, I was actually under the impression that I was in a relationship, so this bit of news came as something of a shock.

Well worth reading. I mean, don't you want to know how this could happen to a guy?