Marcia C. - Reviews

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1Q84
1Q84
Author: Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (Translator), Philip Gabriel (Translator)
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 11/19/2014


Plain and simple, this is a masterpiece.

You can read and enjoy it just for the story line, which involves lonely characters who connect with one another in a world that has turned uncanny on them. Or you can ponder deeper metaphysical questions about reality along with the author and the characters.

I think you have to be an introvert and willing to suspend belief about abnormal events to appreciate what Murakami has to offer. But this work is rich, involving and perfectly constructed.

Don't be surprised when Murakami wins the Nobel Prize eventually.


The Accident
The Accident
Author: Chris Pavone
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 7/20/2014


wow, what a thriller. very exciting! not predictable at all.


The Accident
The Accident
Author: Linwood Barclay
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 5/11/2012


This is one of the few thrillers I've read where most of the characters could be people I know - or who live around me and I don't know. Very chilling, absorbing and mostly believable.


The Accidental Millionaire: How to Succeed in Life Without Really Trying
Review Date: 10/11/2015


Loved this book! Offbeat stories about growing up as a first generation American of Asian parents (one Korean, one Chinese) and the surprising lessons life taught him about money and success.


Act of War (Scot Harvath, Bk 13)
Act of War (Scot Harvath, Bk 13)
Author: Brad Thor
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 3/26/2017


Suspenseful, engrossing, well-plotted, unpredictable, believable. A fine international thriller.


American by Day
American by Day
Author: Derek B. Miller
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 11/30/2018


I adored "Norwegian by Night," as a charming mystery with vivid characters and lots of cultural insights. This sort-of-sequel was disappointing. There's some intercultural insight when the Norwegian characters come to the US, but the author brings in US race relations in a very heavy-handed way that spoiled the storytelling. Not a recommended read.


American Spy: A Novel
American Spy: A Novel
Author: Lauren Wilkinson
Book Type: Hardcover
  ?
Review Date: 9/7/2019


A lot of unexpected aspects to this book. Even if you've read a lot of spy novels, this one is different, in its premise, its hazy politics, its psychology and its plotting. Many surprises; many plot turns revealed in a single sly sentence here or there. The writing style is extremely confident and accomplished. I would read the next book by this author in a heartbeat!


Apex Hides the Hurt
Apex Hides the Hurt
Author: Colson Whitehead
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 7/23/2012


This novel appears to be an allegory about racial identity. It was too subtle for me and I did not follow it, although I read it all the way to the end. Disappointing.


Argentina (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
Argentina (Eyewitness Travel Guides)
Author: DK Publishing
Book Type: Paperback
  ?
Review Date: 8/16/2019


Completely useless for planning a road trip in Argentina! It's on to Lonely Planet instead.


The Art Forger
The Art Forger
Author: B. A. Shapiro
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 60
Review Date: 4/28/2014


Brilliantly conceived. Engrossing. Well-plotted and interesting. Can't wait for the author's next work!


Away & Aware: A Field Guide to Mindful Travel
Review Date: 8/5/2019


This is a picture book! I would not have ordered it had I realized that. It doesn't seem to be quite intended for grownups. I don't know who its audience was supposed to be. Thew book description claims it is a " a complete guide to more mindful travel," but how can it be complete when there are so few words in the book??


Back Blast (Gray Man, Bk 5)
Back Blast (Gray Man, Bk 5)
Author: Mark Greaney
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 2/18/2019


One of the best plotted, most interesting thrillers I've read (and I've read a lot). Consistently suspenseful and believable. Highly recommended whether you're already a Court Gentry fan or not.


Bad Love (Alex Delaware, Bk 8)
Bad Love (Alex Delaware, Bk 8)
Author: Jonathan Kellerman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 93
Review Date: 12/29/2013


One of his weakest efforts. The plot was contrived (in the bad sense) and it was hard to care about solving the mystery at hand, which mostly took place way back in the past.


Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life
Author: William Finnegan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 4/9/2016


Unbelievably well-written and vivid. A memoir of five decades of surfing - mostly as a kid and young adult, but also as an adult. Loved it.


Beautiful Ghosts (Inspector Shan, Bk 4)
Beautiful Ghosts (Inspector Shan, Bk 4)
Author: Eliot Pattison
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 11/24/2014


There's something distant and remote in Pattison's writing that makes it hard to stay involved in this story. In addition, he has a black-and-white attitude toward the Chinese/Tibetan conflict. The Chinese are nothing but brutal ignoramuses and the Tibetans are nothing but victims of oppression. If that's what you believe before reading this book, it will confirm your beliefs, for sure. It's too bad because I would have liked to see a more nuanced view of the Tibetan situation.


Before the Poison
Before the Poison
Author: Peter Robinson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/19/2019


This book juggles and combines two perspectives - a present-day composer for Hollywood films who has returned to his native England and bought a house once lived in by a supposed murderess, and that of the supposed murderess during WWII and the 1950s.

The pace of the book is sometimes ponderous, and you may well wonder what the heck the woman's experiences in Singapore and other parts of Asia during the War of the Pacific have to do with the rest of the story. However, at the end everything comes together in a surprising yet very satisfying way.

Recommended, as long as you can be a patient and appreciative reader.


Before the Poison: A Novel
Before the Poison: A Novel
Author: Peter Robinson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 1/30/2016


Absorbing, nicely written and well-constructed.


The Beggar's Opera
The Beggar's Opera
Author: Peggy Blair
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 4/14/2015


Charming, quirky, accomplished and utterly unpredictable. A pleasure to read!

Please note: This novel also exists under the title "Midnight in Havana." Same book. Wasted a book credit because no one said this...


Black Sun (Danielle Laidlaw, Bk 2)
Black Sun (Danielle Laidlaw, Bk 2)
Author: Graham Brown
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 3/27/2016


Well-plotted thriller, fairly believable, a propulsive read. Am seeking out more books by this author now!


Bleeding Hearts (Jack Harvey, Bk 2)
Bleeding Hearts (Jack Harvey, Bk 2)
Author: Ian Rankin
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 4/16/2014


I was uncomfortable realizing I was supposed to root for the protagonist throughout the book being a hit man.


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