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The Best Recent Reader Reviews posted at Bookbrowse

The Best Recent Reader Reviews

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  • (01/15/17): Lovely, Dark and Deep was an amazing read. Every book I had read I would finish and put down but two years later I still find myself coming back to it and reading it more and more. Amy McNamara did a fabulous job in description and portrayal of emotions and events. I was so drawn in to the story I could count off all the events that happened down to the little ones in order. Hands down my favourite book, so far nothing else has come to match it.


  • (01/14/17): If you love history, you have to read this book. If you think this historical era is not your cup of tea, also try this novel. We meet a young lady who is not stucked up. We meet a lady with a heart of courage and fortitude. The author, Daisy Goodwin,writes this story as you have discovered a new best friend. The author makes you feel you are with Queen Victoria when she takes her carriage rides. When she has to choose with love, you would want to be with her and help her though. Again, this author really connects you with the Queen. The book also has a character named Lord Melbourne. As the Queen calls him Lord M for her heart has fallen. Despite the age differences and despite his past, it is through Lord Melbourne that he teaches the Queen. He teaches by being direct. He taught her not only the policies of being a queen, but lessons that life give us. He also shows her respect. Do not forget the historical era this book is in. A queen as a women was rare. There was only one queen before her. His teachings helped her be a better queen. This book is historical fiction, with romance, and suspense. This writer takes these three subjects and interwoven into one of the best historical fiction novels. This is a book that you will always remember.


  • (01/07/17): An #1 Indie Next Pick, this beautifully layered novel features Paula Vauss (aka Kali Jali) who spent the first decade of her life on the road with her free-spirited mother, Kai. Her mother was a Georgia storyteller who blended Hindu mythology with southern tales to reinvent their family’s history. Soon the mother-daughter bond is fractured landing her mother in prison and Paula into foster care system. As the story begins Paula is now a tough-as-nails divorce attorney with a successful practice in Atlanta. Even though she hasn’t seen her mother in fifteen years, she does continue her obligation by sending her monthly support monies until the day her last check is returned in the mail, along with a cryptic letter containing words about a final journey, death, and a new beginning when we met again. Then Kai’s most treasured secret literally lands on Paula’s doorstep, throwing her life into chaos and transforming her from only child to older sister. Desperate to find her mother, Paula sets off on a journey of discovery that will take her back to the past and deep in her heart. With the help of an ex-lover and her newly discovered younger brother, she now has to figure out how the other missing family pieces are put back together. I am a huge fan of Southern writers such as Jackson. In this book she delivers another one of her quirky, Southern-based, character-driven novels that combines writing with a vivid and imaginative storyline. This novel is an intense look at broken people and how they heal themselves and each other through forgiveness, love, and the power of “stories.” “The Opposite of Everyone” has been a bright spot in my last few months of leisure reading. Jackson hits both this reader’s emotional nerve and the funny bone by using evocative language and creating memorable characters to carry her story.


  • (01/06/17): I am a big fan of fairy tales and folklore in the vein of the Brothers Grimm. This tale has been told over the centuries with variations from country to country. But this current retelling, which is based in the Alaskan wilderness of the 1920's, tugged at me because I grew up in Alaska. The author captures the era and landscape vividly, and the story of the childless couple who create a snow child from a snowman feels fresh and new. Mabel and Jack's tale of longing and love will whisk you away to a beautiful, barren, faraway place and leave you pondering the power of our mind's capacity to fill the voids in our lives. Perfect for curling up next to the fire on a cold winters day and reading in one sitting.


  • (01/03/17): The plaudits for this book are fully deserved. It is a great read and every bit as thrilling as the critics say. I read this book not long after it came out in hardback and thoroughly enjoyed it. I decided to read Gillian Flynn's earlier books it was so good. I recommend this book strongly


  • (01/02/17): Great plot, well written story. Other than sleeping at night, I couldn't put my copy down until I had reached the end. I'm puzzled that the translator didn't check his German translation. For example,in Chapter 7, p87 in my copy, "Spater, spater" should have "a Umlaut", or at least be written as spaeter.. Rainbow is Regenbogen, not Regenborn. Unless there is some kind of old-German, used in Russia. No need to post this review, as I just wanted to make a comment on Andrew Bromfield's German translation. He has done a fantastic job of translating Russian to English.


  • (12/22/16): A fiction book that reads like a nonfiction, very unusual, almost like a self help book for people living in loving relationships. I learned more about my marriage from this book than about the main characters. My best read in 2016.


  • (01/07/17): An #1 Indie Next Pick, this beautifully layered novel features Paula Vauss (aka Kali Jali) who spent the first decade of her life on the road with her free-spirited mother, Kai. Her mother was a Georgia storyteller who blended Hindu mythology with southern tales to reinvent their family’s history. Soon the mother-daughter bond is fractured landing her mother in prison and Paula into foster care system. As the story begins Paula is now a tough-as-nails divorce attorney with a successful practice in Atlanta. Even though she hasn’t seen her mother in fifteen years, she does continue her obligation by sending her monthly support monies until the day her last check is returned in the mail, along with a cryptic letter containing words about a final journey, death, and a new beginning when we met again. Then Kai’s most treasured secret literally lands on Paula’s doorstep, throwing her life into chaos and transforming her from only child to older sister. Desperate to find her mother, Paula sets off on a journey of discovery that will take her back to the past and deep in her heart. With the help of an ex-lover and her newly discovered younger brother, she now has to figure out how the other missing family pieces are put back together. I am a huge fan of Southern writers such as Jackson. In this book she delivers another one of her quirky, Southern-based, character-driven novels that combines writing with a vivid and imaginative storyline. This novel is an intense look at broken people and how they heal themselves and each other through forgiveness, love, and the power of “stories.” “The Opposite of Everyone” has been a bright spot in my last few months of leisure reading. Jackson hits both this reader’s emotional nerve and the funny bone by using evocative language and creating memorable characters to carry her story.


  • (11/25/16): Tremaine us one of my favorite authors. She digs in deep with her characters and we live their troubles, thoughts, and triumphs. Exquisite reading to lose yourself in.


  • (11/23/16): You just have to read it. I have a fairly high level for praise, having read many, many okay books. This book challenges my capability for awe and appreciation.


  • (11/19/16): “When a thing has always been forbidden and must live in darkness and silence, it’s hard to know how it might be, if allowed to thrive.” A Place Called Winter is the sixteenth novel by British author, Patrick Gale. In early 20th century England, shy and stuttering Harry Cane, nurturing older brother to the infinitely more confident Jack, is rather surprised to find himself married to Winnie, and before long, a father to Phyllis. Even more surprising, the obsessive infatuation for another that forces him to abandon his family, England and the bulk of his wealth for the hardship, privation and loneliness of the Canadian prairielands. Harry is befriended on the ship by a strangely charismatic man, a Dane named Troels Munck, who commandeers his life and steers him to a land plot near the remote Saskatchewan town of Winter. The narrative alternates between two time periods: Harry’s life after he leaves a mental asylum and joins the therapeutic community run by the unconventional Dr Gideon Ormshaw at Bethel; and the events of his life from when his father died, events that led up to his admission to the asylum. Based on story of his own great-grandfather’s life, Gale’s story portrays the reality of pioneering in the Canadian wilderness. It also touches on accepted therapies for mental illness at the time and the dangers of being a homosexual in this era. Gale has a marvellous talent for making the reader feel true empathy for his main character: it is virtually impossible not to feel Harry’s heartache, his anxiety, his anger and his fear, but also his love. Gale’s descriptive prose is a pleasure to read: “She looked after the geese and ducks and was an excellent shot, regularly bagging wild duck…. She also shot rabbit and the occasional hare. These she would pluck or skin herself in an efficient fury all the more self-righteous for being unapplauded and unregarded” and “As Troels came to stand beside him, Harry smelt the musk of his sweat and something else, something threatening, if threat had a smell” and “There were stars, a seamless, spangled fishnet of them from horizon to horizon, coldly lighting the land and lending the farm buildings, outlined sharply against them, an eerie loveliness” are just a few examples. Fans of Gale’s work will not be disappointed, and newcomers to his work will want to seek out more of it. This beautifully written novel is incredibly moving and completely captivating. With thanks to Hachette and The Reading Room for this copy to read and review.


  • (11/13/16): I am an avid reader and read all types of books. I grew up in NY, I am of Jewish descent, and my grand parents were immigrants from Russia. I loved the story, could relate to the family to some extent, though horrified by others, and got lost in her life. To me, that makes a good book.


  • (11/11/16): I almost passed on reading this book because of the tragedy involved in the story. So glad I didn't. This is one of the best pieces of fiction I've read in awhile. Great storytelling and really wonderful character development. I highly recommend it.


  • (01/07/17): An #1 Indie Next Pick, this beautifully layered novel features Paula Vauss (aka Kali Jali) who spent the first decade of her life on the road with her free-spirited mother, Kai. Her mother was a Georgia storyteller who blended Hindu mythology with southern tales to reinvent their family’s history. Soon the mother-daughter bond is fractured landing her mother in prison and Paula into foster care system. As the story begins Paula is now a tough-as-nails divorce attorney with a successful practice in Atlanta. Even though she hasn’t seen her mother in fifteen years, she does continue her obligation by sending her monthly support monies until the day her last check is returned in the mail, along with a cryptic letter containing words about a final journey, death, and a new beginning when we met again. Then Kai’s most treasured secret literally lands on Paula’s doorstep, throwing her life into chaos and transforming her from only child to older sister. Desperate to find her mother, Paula sets off on a journey of discovery that will take her back to the past and deep in her heart. With the help of an ex-lover and her newly discovered younger brother, she now has to figure out how the other missing family pieces are put back together. I am a huge fan of Southern writers such as Jackson. In this book she delivers another one of her quirky, Southern-based, character-driven novels that combines writing with a vivid and imaginative storyline. This novel is an intense look at broken people and how they heal themselves and each other through forgiveness, love, and the power of “stories.” “The Opposite of Everyone” has been a bright spot in my last few months of leisure reading. Jackson hits both this reader’s emotional nerve and the funny bone by using evocative language and creating memorable characters to carry her story.

  • Evicted
    Poverty and Profit in the American City
    by Matthew Desmond

    (11/03/16): The rental market is rigged, it is especially so for the poor. I don’t know how one of the most basic of necessities has become so abused. Are there any reputable landlords out there, I think not, especially in poor communities. The book follows eight families and two landlords experience with renting and renters in Milwaukee, it is not a pretty story. We tend to forget the depth of poverty in this country. The vacancy rate for cheap housing is in the single digits, it’s a landlords market and they know and exploit it. Very sad, heart wrenching read, but also a necessary read.


  • (10/28/16): I recently just finished The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls for my outside reading book in my English class. Getting straight to the point, this has for sure been one of my most favorite books I have ever read. I could not only relate to many of the events and feelings that take place but also I love the way Walls expresses each character. Each individual has their own unique personality. Walls does a great job on making all the characters have different views and beliefs as well and making them all clear to see and understand. Just in this one family, there was such a wide variety of different types of people. At first I didn’t know what a memoir was, and I didn’t really bother to look it up until after I finished the book and relooked at the author’s name. I noticed that it was the same from the girls in the story. After this, I looked up the definition and I was in awe at all the extreme hardships that she had to go through. In the future, I am going to look more into this genre that I didn’t even know existed. I definitely think it is very interesting. I first picked up this book because I was at a loss of time and it was the 1st thing I saw. I didn’t think I would like it. It’s really not the type of book I would usually pick to read in my spare time but because I didn’t have many options, I stuck with it. Fortunately for me, the book turned out to be 100 better than I thought. When I read the back, I thought it was going to be a long boring and depressing story. Though at parts it got sad and or depressing, it never managed to get boring to me. Even in the sad parts, there was always some sort of strong emotion that would make me think why? I tend to think about everything. It’s a blessing and a curse. I loved that in this book because every thing each person did made me question who they were growing into and becoming throughout the story. In my English class, we are working on building a reading habit. I’m not going to lie, I really don’t enjoy reading that much anymore. In the past, it was one of my favorite things to do but as I have gotten older I find that a lot more distracts me when trying to read and I can never seem to find a book that I really like. This book was a real breakthrough to me. It actually helped me to make a reading habit for myself and slowly but surely I am enjoying reading more and more. I know that it probably seems like I am exaggerating quite a bit but I just want to make it clear to everyone how much I really did enjoy this book. Take it from someone who doesn’t even enjoy reading, yet couldn’t put it down. That must mean it’s good. I suggest you give it a go and see for yourself.


  • (10/25/16): This is an episodic novel that weaves the events in Lucy Barton's life into a diary-like first person account. These events included glimpses of how poor Lucy grew up, five in the family, living in a garage until a relative's death lands them better shelter. "Lonely was the first flavor I had tasted in my life, and it was always there, hidden inside the crevices of my mouth, reminding me." At the center of this recollection is a visit that Lucy's mother makes to the hospital when Lucy has complications from an appendix surgery. For five days her mother sits at the foot of her bed and they tell each other stories about people they know from their hometown of Amgash, Illinois, mostly these are stories about failed marriages. (A daughter and her mom gossiping about people they knew is the premise of Strout's Burgess Boys as well.) On the fringes of all these episodic stories is a terrible past that is not talked about, her father suffered from war trauma is the brief excuse given but certainly Lucy is scarred. Her mother is unable to tell her she loves her , but does seem to admire that Lucy moved on and did something with her life. She got away , unlike her two siblings. These brief scenes also reveal glimpses of her marriage and her experiences as a mother with two daughters of her own, and of her career as a successful writer. Lucy records these thoughts; she writes about her life as an observation, little emotion is detailed. It's a thoughtful portrait. As Lucy grows as a novelist, taking a class in Arizona, her teacher/mentor summarizes "This is a story about a mother who loves her daughter. Imperfectly. Because we all love imperfectly. But if you find yourself protecting anyone as you write this piece, remember this: You’re not doing it right.” She did it right.

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