Reviews by CarolT

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Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
by Isabel Wilkerson
Thought-provoking (11/1/2020)
Wilkerson's easy to read prose kept me reading, but the topic kept me up nights. Everything she says is true. So, when I wonder about a "lower caste" person's promotion, am I wondering because she really isn't as qualified as other candidates, or because she's lower caste? And what, exactly, can I do to improve things? Is just the fact that I stop to think enough?
In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer's
by Joseph Jebelli
Fascinating (10/11/2020)
Having watched my mom go through this, I'm drawn to anything about Alzheimer's. However, Jebelli makes it fascinating, leaving me wanting more information about all the attempts to solve the AD puzzle. And leaving me with hope.
All the Devils Are Here: Chief Inspector Gamache #16
by Louise Penny
Louise spoils me (9/28/2020)
As always, Louise has spoiled me for the next few novels - or books of any type - I try to read. If only I could write like this!
The Shadow King: A Novel
by Maaza Mengiste
Disappointed (9/19/2020)
As is often the case these days, I found a highly rated book and glowingly reviewed book disappointing. While the language is poetic, the plot and the characters leave much to be desired. If I hadn't agreed to read it for a book discussion, I wouldn't have finished it. Sigh.
A Gentleman in Moscow
by Amor Towles
Disappointing (9/19/2020)
I had high hopes for this, but found myself unable to finish it. Perhaps it is the coincidence of Rostov's imprisonment and the isolation of COVID-19. I was struck by the Rostov's deciding to read a book he previously found impenetrable just because he was imprisoned, but unlike some reviewers, that wasn't enough to keep me going.
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.

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