Reviews by lani

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Bloodroot
by Amy Greene
Great voices (2/22/2010)
There has been criticism that the shifting voices in chapters leads to confusion, but I did not feel this way at all. The voices were incredibly authentic, and although the pace was slower in the beginning the increasing tension continued to build. I was sorry to put this book down.
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt: A Novel
by Beth Hoffman
a book to make you smile (2/6/2010)
Touching tender book of a 12 year old who comes to live with a group of eccentric Southern women, all who have been "battle scared" but have become strong independent women. A light book, but perfect for a snowy day!
Alice I Have Been
by Melanie Benjamin
what a treat (2/5/2010)
The best part of the book was the authentic voices used; I can just picture this as a wonderful audio book. The weakest part is the third section but I delighted in this book and am now back to reading Alice in Wonderland and will see Tim Burton's movie adaptation after!
Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy
by Melissa Milgrom
Mixed feelings (12/19/2009)
I had hoped to really enjoy this novel, but was so put off by the writing of the first two chapters, that I had difficulty pursuing the rest. I counted 2-3 digressions in parentheses per page that were annoying and irrelevant. That said, there were amusing tidbits on the minutiae of what is sold in trade fairs,and interesting snapshots of taxidermists' lives. This is a book that you will either love or hate.
Havana Fever
by Leonardo Padura
what a treat (7/9/2009)
Thank goodness for Book Browse! I never would have heard of this book and missed one of the terrific treats in life. Having been to Cuba, this book even resonated more. The writing is superb and the smoky haunts of the clubs resonates on every page. Do not miss this!
The Last Secret: A Novel
by Mary McGarry Morris
Another tension grabber (4/20/2009)
What grabbed me from the start was Morris's ability to reel you in to the characters emotions. Disturbing and tension packed, I kept reading feeling I had to get to the end to soften the anxiety I felt.The emotional drama of family relationships, betrayal and honesty is so recognizable in today's society.
The Help
by Kathryn Stockett
A real gem (3/8/2009)
I loved the characters,the stories, and how this white woman was able to create voices that felt so real in terms of my own experience. I never wanted this to end.
Little Bee: (aka The Other Hand)
by Chris Cleave
Run,run to the store (3/4/2009)
All I need to say is this-I got so caught up in this heartstopping book that I missed both lunch and supper as I couldn't stop reading. It continued to haunt me the rest of the night and I quickly emailed my friends and ordered his previous book
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson
Run to buy this one (9/27/2008)
Although not a fan of crime fiction, I could not put this book down. I have shouted to the rooftops to anyone I know that they must purchase this book.A compelling mystery, binding a dysfunctional family with larger themes of corruption, greed,and investigative journalism makes this book the number one book of the year!
A Golden Age
by Tahmima Anam
A Golden Age (1/16/2008)
In the beginning, I was frustrated that there was not a glossary for many of the Urdu words and expressions. This omission was an annoying distraction from the total experience. Emotionally, however, the simple prose builds gradually to a dramatic and poignant tension, necessitating the need to finish the book in the wee hours of the night.

After finishing the novel. I happened to hear the author on NPR noting that the main character, Rehama, was based on her own grandmother's experience and that one of the other main characters was her uncle. Her grandmother actually did hide the weapons at the house and was confronted by the Pakistani army at gunpoint as they were looking for her son. It would have been an added bonus to have included that information at the end, making this chilling and uplifting story all the more poignant.

Book clubs should love this book, not only for the exploration of the depths of a mother's love,but also for a fascinating historical and intimate look at Bangladesh's quest for independence.
Someone Knows My Name: aka: The Book of Negroes
by Lawrence Hill
Someone Knows My Name (11/14/2007)
How can one not be intrigued with a book whose first sentence reads,"I seem to have trouble dying."? This historical fiction novel of a young African child educates one to the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade in a painful raw voice. What was remarkable to me is how well this male author was able to give authenticity to a female child's voice and her transition to a woman. Indeed, the novel had wonderful melodic sections, well developed and distinct voices, superb storytelling and dramatic tension. I read the 486 page book in two days. Needless to say, sleep was unimportant when reading such a masterpiece!
Sold
by Patricia McCormick
Sold (10/19/2006)
If not for you, I would never have come across Sold by Patricia McCormick. I was devastated by this book and hope that when I get to Calcutta in January i will be able to visit the Apne Aan Women's Center or the Deepika Social Welfare center for women and children in the red light district. I am urging all of my friends to read it.

Thank you, as always, for continuing to being the ray of light and guidance in our thirst for knowledge and enlightenment in this world!
Cover The Butter
by Carrie Kabak
Cover the butter (7/16/2006)
This book was a quick read with amusing scenarios and dialogue. Unfortunately, I found myself so irritated by Kate's character who had no self and spent her life pleasing others, that it colored my perceptions. I have met too many women who have lost their "souls" and become doormats for others to walk on. That however, is what I thought makes this book a perfect vehicle for a women's book club discussion. Some will find it funny and entertaining while others may be disturbed and angry..A great conversation is sure to emerge...

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