MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Reviews by CarolT

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The Beekeeper of Aleppo: A Novel
by Christy Lefteri
Thought-provoking (6/28/2020)
A little hard to get into, but once in it, I found it hard to put down. I also want to know what it next, always the sign of a good book.
Daughter of the Reich: A Novel
by Louise Fein
This grew on me (3/18/2020)
When I started Daughter of the Reich, I thought it was so-so, just another WWII novel; however, after just a few pages, I found it mesmerizing. Louise Fein has a knack for historical fiction - really pulling me into the mind of the main character. Some of the minor characters (Tomas, for instance) could use a little more development, but on the whole, I whole-heartedly recommend Daughter of the Reich and will be watching for Fein's next book.
Welcome to the Pine Away Motel and Cabins
by Katarina Bivald
Thought provoking (2/28/2020)
Thank you to translator Alice Menzies for the excellent translation! I can't even tell that this was translated (not always the case with translations). Bivald is excellent at building a town character by character, just as she did in The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, then letting those characters pull us into their world. She is just the writer I need in this chaotic world.
The Giver of Stars
by Jojo Moyes
Surprising (2/21/2020)
I was leery because some books are just over-praised, but this one deserves every one. Couldn't put it down.
Trace of Evil: A Natalie Lockhart Novel
by Alice Blanchard
Nice beginning to a new series (2/18/2020)
Good character development and believable plot. The conclusion is a little rushed.
Remembrance
by Rita Woods
Compelling (1/18/2020)
Woods has a real knack for drawing the reader in and holding her there. The characters are real and the plot is fascinating. I found myself wondering what talents I might have if I only focused better.
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
by Elizabeth Kolbert
Easy to read, yet not easy reading (1/10/2020)
Well-written and easy to read, yet definitely not easy reading. One of the best environmental books around.
The Year of Magical Thinking
by Joan Didion
Thought provoking (12/7/2019)
Thought provoking and moving.
The Yellow Bird Sings: A Novel
by Jennifer Rosner
I wish there were 6 stars (12/4/2019)
Just as I was about to give up on WWII novels (OK, this year's overhyped novels in general), The Yellow Bird Sings landed in my mailbox. This book made my reading year! (Maybe next year, too.)
Chocolat
by Joanne Harris
Mouthwatering (11/19/2019)
I had difficulty "getting into" this book, but once I was in I was hooked. Hungry, too. :-)
A Bitter Feast: Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James
by Deborah Crombie
As always, a keeper! (11/12/2019)
I admit I'd read anything Deborah writes, but I'd read A Bitter Feast if someone else wrote it, too. An interesting departure from the London-based usual, and excellent character development.
Other People's Houses
by Abbi Waxman
Good afternoon's read (11/11/2019)
Not as spectacularly good as her first, but definitely worth reading. Waxman is a writer to watch.
The Grammarians
by Cathleen Schine
Words win (11/9/2019)
I wish I could give this separate stars for plot and the love of words. The plot was slow to stars. But for the words, I'd have stopped after a chapter or two, certainly before the middle. The words, though, pulled me through to the meat of the matter. Words 5, plot 3. Average: 4.
The Garden of Small Beginnings
by Abbi Waxman
Couldn't put it down (11/8/2019)
Absorbing. I couldn't put it down. Too bad Abbi can't write faster. I need more like this! :-)
The Gilded Hour
by Sara Donati
Pulled me in (11/2/2019)
Nice job, Sara Donati! You pulled me in and held me, even though I read Where the Light Enters first. As I go back and read your earlier works, I see you were excellent from the beginning. Highly recommended.
Where the Light Enters
by Sara Donati
Oh, my... (10/12/2019)
Not only an enthralling story, but exceedingly well written. The second in a short series that is, itself an extension of an earlier series, Where the Light Enters stands alone very well. I'm ashamed to say I've not read Sara Donati before and will be searching out her earlier books to see the development of this excellent author. Any chance she needs more early readers?
The Undying: Pain, vulnerability, mortality, medicine, art, time, dreams, data, exhaustion, cancer, and care
by Anne Boyer
She found the words I looked for (10/10/2019)
It's been so long since my own diagnosis and treatment that the trauma has (mostly) faded into the mists. Boyer's triple negative was far worse than my stage 1, but her descriptions were right on and her poet's brain said things my less poetic writing could not.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
by Abbi Waxman
Need an antidote for reality? (10/7/2019)
Exactly what I needed to combat reality!
The In-Betweens: The Spiritualists, Mediums, and Legends of Camp Etna
by Mira Ptacin
A little disappointing. (10/6/2019)
Mira Ptacin is a better writer than this subject turned out to be, unless you're really entranced with spiritualism. Apparently, I'm not.
The Ventriloquists
by E.R. Ramzipoor
Disappointing (9/21/2019)
I looked forward to this because the story behind it is so different from all the others out there right now; However, I couldn't get past the author seeming to be enamored of her own writing.

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