Cis H. (californiadreamin) - , - Reviews

1 to 20 of 150 - Page:
365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed My Life
Review Date: 8/18/2014


Very inspiring book! An easy and enjoyable read. Kralik is really at the end of his rope, living in a small apartment, his law firm failing, his love life on the rocks.....life sucks. He decides to show appreciation to clients who have paid their bills, friends who have shown him kindness, employees who have worked so hard for him. These thank you notes are hand written, in this age of emails and texts. Gradually his life improves, more clients are paying their bills, his sons repay loans, his attitude toward life is cheerier. It's a very uplifting book. Even inspired me to write a few thank you notes myself.


700 Sundays
700 Sundays
Author: Billy Crystal
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 93
Review Date: 4/11/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Great book! I felt like I was listening to Billy instead of reading his words. I could hear his intonation, his voice was in my head during the entire reading (one day)! And how profound to put your time with your father in perspective with Sundays. That was the only day the whole family spent together-a time they SHARED each other. My favorite passage was when Billy stated, "Time is a bastard. When you're sad there's too much of it, and when you're happy, there's not enough." This story reminds all of us of how precious time is and how we must not waste it. We only have a limited number of Sundays.


Aches and Pains
Aches and Pains
Author: Maeve Binchy
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 5/7/2016


This is not a novel, just a cute little book on how to deal with being in the hospital, and visiting patients in the hospital. It's light, funny in a few spots, nothing memorable except now I know if I ever need a hip replacement, it's a breeze....ha-ha. I'm happy to pass this book on to next reader.


After I'm Gone
After I'm Gone
Author: Laura Lippman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 5/24/2018


Another intriguing Lippman novel! Love the way she twists the plot and keeps you guessing. Thought I had it figured out but she always throws a surprise at the end. She's such a great story teller, developing the characters so well that she makes you feel as though you know them. Her style always flips though different time frames so you have to pay attention to dates, but it all works! Great writer!


Alice I Have Been
Alice I Have Been
Author: Melanie Benjamin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 52
Review Date: 9/12/2016


Had a hard time getting into this book, almost quit reading a few times but based on reviews I kept at it. Am so glad I did as the story finally became interesting and believable. It is, of course, historical fiction so while most of the info is factual, there is a bit of fiction involved. Very well written. And I appreciated Melanie Benjamin's explanation of how she structured the story and filled in the blanks.


Alice Let's Eat: Further Adventures of a Happy Eater (On Food)
Alice Let's Eat: Further Adventures of a Happy Eater (On Food)
Author: Calvin Trillin
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/6/2014


Having read Trillin's tribute to his wife, Alice, I thought this book might be as funny and perhaps as tender. It was somewhat enjoyable, and Alice plays a major part in the stories, but I was amazed, nay, appalled at the amounts of food this man would eat in a day. I felt as though my arteries were clogging as I read his daily intake; so much so that it distracted from the pleasure of reading as I was so concerned about his health! Overall an enjoyable book, and if I EVER want to throw caution to the wind, I have some new restaurants to try when traveling.


American Adulterer
American Adulterer
Author: Jed Mercurio
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 1.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 7/8/2012


I don't understand why the author claimed with was 'fiction' while telling readers who he was writing about throughout the book. His constant reference to "the subject" was so annoying, I had to put the book down several times in order to read something more enjoyable. I'd pick it up again, trying to get in to the story, but finally gave up. I was a teen when JFK was President, so am familiar with many news items of that time; even the speculation of his affairs, but I was so disgusted by JFK's apparent sense of entitlement to have sex because he 'needed' it, I just couldn't finish reading it. What a despicable husband and father. Jackie deserved better. This book was not worth my time.


American Story: A Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things
Review Date: 8/19/2017


I looked forward to read this uplifting book, especially in these tumultuous times of riots and picketing. The true stories are enlightening but Dotson's writing style needs help. Very choppy, little distinction between one story and the next so got confusing more than a few times. Overall, these wonderful Americans give hope that our country is full of truly caring individuals.


An Invisible Sign of My Own
An Invisible Sign of My Own
Author: Aimee Bender
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 2/3/2019


Such a strange story! I don't need to recap pbs summary, but I will add that this is definitely not a book for everyone. If you enjoy far-fetched stories with totally ridiculous events, this is for you! I must be too stable for Ms. Bender.
My first question was, "What school system hires a 20-yr old without a teaching certificate to teach math to 2nd graders?"
And the HUGE questions was, "Who in hell brings an AXE into a classroom and hangs it on the wall?!?!?" Oh, the weirdness goes on and on.
I finished the book, only because she hooked me into wanting to know what happened to Mr. Jones. And the ending was too neatly wrapped up. So overall I would say I liked her writing style but story was too weird.

Favorite line: Through the trees, a tiny albino eyebrow of moon waxed high and far on the blue.


An Underachiever's Diary
An Underachiever's Diary
Author: Benjamin Anastas
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 2/5/2013


What a peculiar little book. Very well written, this diary starts in the womb. Story of twins, the writer being the underachiever with his brother being the overachiever. Quick read. Gives you an inside look at people we've all met in life that just don't seem to fit in, don't meld with the masses. The kind of person you walk away from thinking, "I wonder what went wrong? What made him/her just give up on their life?" Surprisingly, it was not depressing; instead, it made me open my mind to being more accepting of the losers I've encountered, giving them credit for coping with such a debilitating lifestyle. As Dorothy Parker said, "What fresh Hell is this?"


And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
Review Date: 9/19/2018


A sweet and poignant novella sharing the fear of losing one's mind to old age. Written with warmth and care, showing us how love can make the end of life so much easier to bear. The imagery was perfect as I could feel myself sitting in the square with Grandpa and Noah, feeling the wind on my face. Or crouched in the green tent in the hospital hallway. Backman has great talent in describing feelings and wrapping them into family hearts.


And When She Was Good
And When She Was Good
Author: Laura Lippman
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 30
Review Date: 6/24/2014


Another gripping Lippman novel that kept the pages turning! Story of abused teen who turns to men for acceptance and love, and the world's oldest profession. Helen parlays this into a business that affords her a 'normal' life for her son. But she's feels she owes her mentor and that financial, ethical obligation may bring her death. The story twists and turns with interesting pieces of Helen's life revealed. And I won't spoil the ending, just make sure you read to the last page!


Angry Fat Girls: 5 Women, 500 Pounds and a Year of Losing It ... Again
Review Date: 8/27/2012


I adhere to Nancy Pearl's Rule of 50, except I'm a little more forgiving and will read 100 pages before deciding if I like a book enough to continue. I made it to page 111 and am sending it out through pbs.com for someone else to hopefully enjoy.
Angry Fat Girls is about fat women, weight loss, self discovery, etc ad nauseam. Really, in this age of reality shows and internet, we don't know WHY we eat? And I hope you find the humor, as I didn't. Too many great books out there to waste my time on this one:(


Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral
Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral
Author: Kris Radish
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 299
Review Date: 3/14/2019


Loved this book for the warmth and love these friends shared. I would have loved to have had Annie Freeman as a friend.
I was afraid it was going to be Chick Lit, but it truly is a story of friendship, deep and loving friendship. And the travels were hilarious, fun, exciting. So many laughs, and tears, and just comforting feelings. So glad I read it, and I think you will be too.


Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret
Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret
Author: Steve Luxenberg
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 7/2/2011
Helpful Score: 2


Interesting subject, and I agree with most reviewers that almost all families have secrets. When the secret holder dies, it leaves the rest of the family wondering. Luxenberg writes well, and is thorough in his investigation so you get the feeling his journalism kicks in when it could have been so simple to let the personal, family snooping take over. I appreciated all of the digging he did, especially in the old country. My impression was that the reason for the secret was not so much shame or embarrassment as it was fear. Fear of not being a viable bride if her family was 'tainted' by defect. Well worth the read!


Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama
Are You My Mother?: A Comic Drama
Author: Alison Bechdel
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 9/22/2016


Bechdel is a talented artist and writer, but this book will only be enjoyed by a very special reader as it's not for the masses. Her drawings are great but the format drove me crazy (funny, since she constantly refers to Freud) as I wanted to read left to right but little boxes of writing are all over the page. I laughed when reading Fun Home and hoped this book would be as much fun, but I couldn't finish it. Passing it back thru swap program, hoping next reader enjoys.


The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author: Garth Stein
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 994
Review Date: 7/4/2011


LOVED this book! It was so much fun to read! Enzo, the dog, is the main character. He tells the story of the family he's living with, loving life with, sharing their stories. I had a cat in my life that reminded me of Enzo; I swear she could understand what we were saying, not only to her but to each other. Enzo will make you laugh, and cry, and enjoy all of it. A quick read, totally delightful.


Ask Again Later
Ask Again Later
Author: Jill A. Davis
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 91
Review Date: 3/14/2019


Praise for Ask Again Later: "Hilarious, heartfelt", "A witty cut above..."

All I can ask is, "Who ARE these people? And what are they reading that must be so idiotic that they find THIS book to be witty and hilarious??"

I wasn't impressed with first 50 pages, which is my cut-off point, but kept reading as the writing wasn't terrible but certainly wasn't witty or hilarious. Perhaps if you're a New Yorker, this book would resonate with you, but it just wasn't drawing me in. Surprisingly, I did manage to finish it but won't bother looking for any of her other books.
One word: MEH


The Astor Orphan: A Memoir
The Astor Orphan: A Memoir
Author: Alexandra Aldrich
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 8/20/2017


I was fascinated by this story! American society thinks of the early aristocrats as wealthy and cultured. We don't realize that they are sometimes flawed and that the money eventually runs out! To think of that beautiful home falling in disrepair is sad enough, but to read of the dysfunctional family was even sadder. I hope Alexandra Aldrich has finally found happiness. Quick read, done in one day!


Astrid and Veronika
Astrid and Veronika
Author: Linda Olsson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 126
Review Date: 11/5/2018


Captivating story of two women who have each experienced tragedy in their lives, who learn to heal through their friendship. Veronika is writing a novel so rents a house in the woods in Sweden. She's young and having a hard time processing her recent loss. Astrid is elderly, lives alone in the house nearby, and has also experience a tragic loss in her life. Author Linda Olsson writes with such descriptive detail that you feel their pain, and their joys in simple encounters like taking a walk in the forrest, or enjoying lunch together. The friendship grows to the point of each woman being able to verbally release the demons of loss, and thus heal. It's a beautifully written novel that will stay with you, reminding you that everyone has a little piece of their heart that hurts.


1 to 20 of 150 - Page: