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Reviews by Daniel A. (Naugatuck, CT)

Power Reviewer  Power Reviewer

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The People We Hate at the Wedding
by Grant Ginder
The People We Hate at the Wedding (4/10/2017)
This was an interesting story, one held my interest throughout; but I had some trouble with the title. For me, it was misleading. The wedding took place at the last ten pages of the book. What about the other 314 pages?
On a positive note, there were unusual people in the story that made reading it a bit memorable, but I didn't find too much in the humor department for my liking. Overall, I felt the story was just ok.
The Barrowfields
by Phillip Lewis
The Barrowfields (2/5/2017)
I liked this book very much. The story was riveting, and a good read. The characters seemed to be were standing next to me as the book unfolded. 4 stars
The Next
by Stephanie Gangi
The Next (6/30/2016)
This book was riveting and a page turner. I was hooked on the first page of the first chapter. The characters were alive and the story was one of the best I read in a while. A satisfying read.
The Alaskan Laundry
by Brendan Jones
The Alaskan Laundry (1/27/2016)
Overall, I thought this book was a good read. The story was riveting, and I learned a lot about Alaska with all its flora and fauna. The characters seemed to be alive and standing next to me as the story unfolded.
The Widow
by Fiona Barton
The Widow (12/3/2015)
There's a lot of hype on the covers of this book, which to me was unnecessary, because the story was told with a lot of suspense and mystery, something you can sink your teeth into. I liked it, especially the last 30 pages or so. 4 stars
All Is Not Forgotten
by Wendy Walker
All is Not Forgotten (10/1/2015)
Overall, I thought the book was good, and I didn't have too much trouble with the writing style except for the italicized words which denoted a person telling their version of a story. Sometimes I didn't know who was talking, but that was towards the beginning of the book. It was better written the last hundred pages or so.
Trust No One: A Thriller
by Paul Cleave
Trust No One (6/4/2015)
"WOW!" and that is all I can say about this amazing book; I just finished it. This is the first time I read Paul Cleave, and I could not put this book down. A strange thing about the story is that the main protagonist has early onset Alzheimer's, and has bad memory lapses often. You would think it's a poor choice by the author for him to tell the story, but it is brilliant.
If you read mysteries, then give this book a shot. The author's perspective is uncanny, and mystery lovers will absolutely embrace this book for its realism.
Fishbowl: A Novel
by Bradley Somer
Fishbowl (5/4/2015)
I really enjoyed this unique and fascinating story. It kept my interest throughout, and the author is creative to think of a tale such as this, and the particular way the story is told.

This story's creativity reminds me of Jonathan Safran Foer's novel, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close", also a good read.

If you enjoy stories that are a bit off-kilter, but with memorable characters, then give this book a shot; you'll be pleasantly surprised.
Make Your Home Among Strangers
by Jennine CapĂł Crucet
No Quotation marks? (4/12/2015)
I enjoyed reading this story for the most part, but I had some difficulty in determining which protagonist was speaking. There are no quotation marks. Instead, a long dash is at the beginning of the sentence to signify someone speaking. Somewhere in the dialogue, the person speaking is revealed. I have encountered this in some other books, but with little or no difficulty. Maybe it's something I have to get used to, if other writers follow suit.

Overall, the story is interesting and entertaining. I'm just not used to this particular writing style.
The Well
by Catherine Chanter
The Well (3/8/2015)
It took me almost a month to read this book, not because I had no time to read it, but I had difficulty in reading it but I don't know why. Most British books I pick to read are top-notched and easy to read, but I had trouble following the story line and I'm baffled. I guess the only explanation is that this book was not written for me.
Whispering Shadows
by Jan-Philipp Sendker
Whispering Shadows (1/14/2015)
I really enjoyed this book, it captured what it is like to live in Hong Kong and in China. The characters are memorable, and the story is well told. I have never read anything by this author before this book, but I think I'm going to add him to my to-read list.

I have to also mention the translator is outstanding; Christine Lo is her name. I do not understand German, but I'm told the translation from German to English is really close, about 98, and that is good enough for me.
by Norman Draper
Backyard (11/2/2014)
I really enjoyed reading this entertaining book. It was funny, actually, laugh out loud funny. I take my current book to read everywhere I go and while reading this book in various restaurants I frequent, loud laughter escapes my mouth to the chagrin of customers trying to enjoy their lunch; but much to my surprise, no negative feedback from the restaurant staff, so I'll continue bringing my books along.

This story is about backyard gardens in the little suburb of Livia, in the upper Midwest, and a contest for the best garden of Livia, held by the local garden shop. The reader finds out about the unusual cast of characters that enter this contest with the winner taking in $5,000.

Without any spoilers, I will say the book has a feel-good quality to it, especially the ending when the winner was announced.

My recommendation to you is read this book when it gets published in December 2014. You will be glad you did.
Enduring Courage: Ace Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker and the Dawn of the Age of Speed
by John F. Ross
Enduring Courage (5/16/2014)
This is one fascinating biography that was riveting and a page-turner. It is told in three parts: The most decorated WWI American fighter ace, Indy 500 race car winner in the early 1900's, and Eastern Airlines founder.
I highly recommend this book to lovers of good biographies, I think you will be pleased. 5 stars
City of the Sun
by Juliana Maio
City of the Sun (1/12/2014)
This is the first book written by the author and it is a page-turner. It is fast-paced and the story put me right next to the characters in WWII war-torn Cairo.
The story is about war, and spies, and Jews living in Egypt, and if that's not enough, it's also a love story.
I would definitely read anything else this author would write; she is really good, and I highly recommend this book to any History buff. 4 stars
The Last Enchantments
by Charles Finch
The Last Enchantments (11/9/2013)
I liked this book with reservations; it is well written but the story is not my cup of tea. I felt like I was not the target audience, and anyone who embraces the genre of romance novels will absolutely love this book.

I think I would enjoy the author's previous works much more.
Lost Luggage
by Jordi Punti
Lost Luggage (8/16/2013)
Reading this book was a huge challenge for me. The story was pretty good, but the translation was in British English, with all the similes and other cliches that made me look up some British terms often. also, I'm not used to reading sentences that comprise of 50 to 75 words. My reading pace slows way down and sometimes I tend to reread sentences and paragraphs.
Overall, I recommend this book to anyone that is from the UK, loves a good mystery, and likes to read books that won many awards. 4 stars
The Mouse-Proof Kitchen
by Saira Shah
The Mouse-Proof Kitchen (6/11/2013)
I liked this story overall, and the writing style enabled me to read it quickly, but it has to be the most depressing novel I ever read.

There are two sayings that came to mind while reading this book: 1. If it wasn't for bad luck, there would be no luck at all, and 2. If there wasn't any laughter, I'd be crying right now.

The author used levity for the first half of the book, but when the laughter ran out, it put this reader more and more into despair.

The ending changed all the negatives into a positive for me and after I read the author's notes, the story made more sense, as if Ms Shah wrote this book as therapy for coping with her own real-life daughter's disability at birth.
I am looking forward to her next book. (if there is one)
Flat Water Tuesday
by Ron Irwin
Flat Water Tuesday (5/8/2013)
This is a great story, I liked it a lot. It's so suspenseful, that I at times tried to squeeze key words on the page with my mind to find out what happens next, to no avail. I even called the phone number on page 271 hoping that would help; it didn't but I got a surprise at who was on the other end.
It wasn't until I turned the page, that I found what was happening next, and I couldn't stop turning pages quick enough. It almost drove me to drink, but I refrained. I enjoyed the book more because it has a Connecticut connection, my home state.
Overall, this is a page-turner that I will not soon forget. I recommend this book to fans of suspense/thrillers.
The Caretaker
by A .X. Ahmad
The Caretaker (4/7/2013)
I enjoyed reading this story, but something kept bothering me in some parts of this book; I had some minor difficulty in the dialogue. Sometimes I didn't know who was talking, or I thought another character was speaking, and it disrupted my flow of reading; I had to reread sentences or a paragraph over, but maybe it's just me. I glanced at some of the other reviews and no one else mentioned trouble with the dialogue. I also noticed on my copy of the ARC there are two publication dates - one in May 2013 on the spine and back cover, and one in August on the front cover. Maybe the author is in the middle of a major rewrite? I need to compare the finished product to the ARC for my final analysis.

Note from BookBrowse: There are always minor edits between the ARC and the finished book but unlikely to be a significant rewrite. This book is scheduled to publish in late May.
The Jericho Deception
by Jeffrey Small
The Jer1ch0 Decept10n (3/9/2013)
Question: What do you get when you combine these items - 1. A machine that taps into your seeing-God part of your brain, 2. The CIA, and 3. The Middle East?
Answer: A fascinating story with many twists and turns with plausible situations and memorable characters that just maybe would make you lose some sleep or a meal or two because you want to keep reading. Recommended for fans of mystery, suspense and thrillers.
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