Beth T. (Betholyn) - Reviews

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All That I Have
All That I Have
Author: Castle Freeman Jr.
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 4/27/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Quick read; A nice perspective on the gentle side of law enforcement. Interesting dynamics between the older and younger generation of law enforcement folks in New England. There were some great comic lines. I kind of see this as a bit more of a philosophy book than a good guys/bad guys book. The "crime" seemed to be just the backdrop for the narrator to give his views on how to treat people.


Arcadia
Arcadia
Author: Lauren Groff
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 10/30/2013


I have read a series of "meh" books over the past few months. Thank goodness for Arcadia, which broke the mold. The premise and plot were original, the characters were people I enjoyed spending time with, and, the book has stuck with me even as I am slogging through another set of "meh."


Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace
Review Date: 5/27/2011


I wanted to like this book much more than I actually did like it. Although I found it to be well-written and alternately funny and heart-wrenching, I couldn't get past the feeling that the author is kind of a snob. It seemed like there were little digs on every other page, "Oh, since you don't live in Berkeley, you wouldn't understand" or "Oh, since you aren't married to a Pulitzer Prize winning husband, it's too hard to explain." Ultimately, then, this book left kind of a bad taste in my midwestern, non-Pulitzer winning mouth.


Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions
Review Date: 3/3/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Those crazy MIT students--making hundreds of thousands of dollars by counting cards. Quick read with some interesting info about how Las Vegas operates behind the scenes.


By Bread Alone
By Bread Alone
Author: Sarah-Kate Lynch
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 3/3/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Not the most realistic story in the world, but if you like food books, it's probably worth reading--makes you appreciate sourdough bread.


Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship
Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship
Author: Cathie Beck
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.1/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 5/3/2011
Helpful Score: 2


I really wanted to like this book, but, unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Too much looping through time periods and alternately feeling sorry for herself and bragging. Not the memorable memoir I was hoping for.


The City of Falling Angels
The City of Falling Angels
Author: John Berendt
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 163
Review Date: 2/26/2007


Non-fiction about the arson of the Fenice opera house in 1996. Anyone going to Venice should read this one first....


Crescent
Crescent
Author: Diana Abu-Jaber
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 2/26/2007
Helpful Score: 1


This book is ALMOST too good to give away. An unmarried almost middle-aged Arab-American runs a restaurant (LOTS of food talk!) in Los Angeles.


Crescent
Crescent
Author: Diana Abu-Jaber
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 2/26/2007
Helpful Score: 1


I almost hate to give this one away. It's one of those books where the food figures as prominently as the characters. The main character is an almost 40 year old, never married Arab American who co-owns a restaurant. GREAT BOOK!


Cutting for Stone
Cutting for Stone
Author: Abraham Verghese
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 497
Review Date: 4/25/2011


I ultimately ended up really enjoying this book, but I almost couldn't make it throught the first section. There is A LOT of background material to get through before the twins get born. No, really. A LOT of background. If you can power through the first 130 pages (which will get you through--seriously--the first hour of the twins' life outside the womb!) the rest of the book is quite engaging and a memorable read.

As an added perk, the book taught me where the term "Rastafarian" comes from. Who knew?


Death in a Tenured Position (Kate Fansler, Bk 6)
Death in a Tenured Position (Kate Fansler, Bk 6)
Author: Amanda Cross
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 3/9/2007
Helpful Score: 2


Not much of a murder mystery. I found this book to be much more interesting for its description of feminism in academia in the late 1970's. I was just a little too young (or possibly too naive) to be paying attention to how "women's libbers" were being treated. Thanks to those of you from that generation who made it so much easier for the next group!


Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Author: Jorge Amado, Harriet de Onis (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 2/26/2007


I saw this movie in the early '80's. I liked it better as a movie. But maybe SOMEONE will appreciate it as a book.


The Electric Michelangelo
The Electric Michelangelo
Author: Sarah Hall
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 27
Review Date: 3/4/2007
Helpful Score: 1


If you have ever wanted to know more about the history of tattos OR about the history of Coney Island, this is your book. A tattoo artist on Coney Island at the beginning of the 20th century. I liked this book but my book group hated it. Frankly, I think that most of them didn't make it past the first chapter and it would have grown on them if they had.


Ella Minnow Pea : A Novel in Letters
Ella Minnow Pea : A Novel in Letters
Author: Mark Dunn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 205
Review Date: 6/11/2007
Helpful Score: 7


This is one of the most original books I've ever read. I still use the central challenge in this book (writing as short a sentence as possible using all of the letters of the alphabet) to help clear my mind on those insomnia nights....I would post my copy of the book, but I REALLY don't want to get rid of it.


Emotionally Weird
Emotionally Weird
Author: Kate Atkinson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 46
Review Date: 9/8/2009


I would count Kate Atkinson as one of my favorite authors. Her plots, her characters. I think she's a masterful author! And then, there's this book. Yecch. Couldn't get into it. I think that this book is supposed to be some clever literary piece. Perhaps that's the case, and I'm just not smart enough to get it. So, I hope others who are more intellectual than I will enjoy it.


The Fig Eater
The Fig Eater
Author: Jody Shields
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 126
Review Date: 2/26/2007
Helpful Score: 7


Vienna 1910--This book feels like it was written in the early 20th century. Mystery, romance, Sigmund Freud--what more could you ask for?


The Fig Eater
The Fig Eater
Author: Jody Shields
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 2/26/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Vienna, 1910. The hunt for a killerbegins in the darkness of a hot August night, when an 18 year old girl is found brutally murdered near the Imperial Palace....this book feels like it was written in the early part of the 20th century, though it was published in 2000


The Final Solution: A Story of Detection
The Final Solution: A Story of Detection
Author: Michael Chabon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 69
Review Date: 4/21/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Not my favorite Chabon book (I kept feeling like I must have missed a chapter somewhere) but still worthwhile reading.


Fool
Fool
Author: Christopher Moore
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 77
Review Date: 3/18/2009
Helpful Score: 4


Hmmm. I guess I'm in a minority here, but I thought this book was unsatisfying (to use a charitable adjective). I am a big Christopher Moore fan and was ready for another spectacularly funny book, but, by the time I got to about Act 3 (of the 5 acts) I felt like I was only reading the book out of duty rather than pleasure. The plot was hard to follow, the characters were flat, and, I hate to say it, but the comedy wasn't all that comical. Maybe I would have liked the book better if I had read King Lear more recently, but I really don't think that would have helped.

For people who love Christopher Moore already, of course, read this book. For those who aren't already his fans, though, PLEASE DON'T START with this one. Find Lamb or Blood-Sucking Fiends or even Fluke, for pete's sake, but if you start out reading this, I'm afraid you'll never pick up another Christopher Moore book, and THAT would be a tragedy!


Forever Odd (Odd Thomas, Bk 2)
Forever Odd (Odd Thomas, Bk 2)
Author: Dean Koontz
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 727
Review Date: 2/26/2007
Helpful Score: 3


This is the second of the "Odd Thomas" series. UNIQUE main character. Gives "I see dead people" a whole new meaning.


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