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Stef S. (bookgoddessme) - Reviews

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Cracking India
Cracking India
Author: Bapsi Sidhwa
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 6/30/2013


In Cracking India baby Lenny is our child story teller. We view the violent and brutal division in India through her sensitive and innocent eyes. My heart broke reading about the violence, rape, and bloodshed against innocent people. Definitely not a favorite for me, I didn't respond to the manner it was written in, it seemed to "wordy", and like the author was having a conversation with herself instead of telling the story to an outsider. I will still read An American Brat by Bapsi, and see how I like it.


The Cure for Death by Lightning
The Cure for Death by Lightning
Author: Gail Anderson-Dargatz
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 6/10/2014


Not at all what I was expecting, what a creative tale! Told from the point of view of the youngest daughter, we really get more than a peek into the challenges of life during World War II in Canada. This young lady has perseverance and strength that is not to be believed as you watch the obstacles unfold that she is forced to face. Her mother's scrapbook is artfully woven seamlessly into the story. Thankfully, this young lady has a couple allies, and a little magic on her side as well. I hope you will enjoy the adventure this book takes you on as much as I did.


The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
Review Date: 4/6/2014


Wow, details details details, Erik Larson really got it right this time. I was disappointed in his non-fiction In the Garden of Beasts, but if he had written that book like he wrote this book, he would have had 5 stars in my opinion. The historical details and factoids in this book were amazing. The time period is FASCINATING with all the firsts happening for a young America. The characters were deep and interesting, and the story took hold and held on to you to the end. A favorite for sure!


The Disobedience of Water: Stories and Novellas
The Disobedience of Water: Stories and Novellas
Author: Sena Jeter Naslund
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 4/6/2014


Sena is a great author that I enjoy reading overall. It is true that her sense of character and details is remarkable. I was disappointed first because I thought these stories followed the theme of water, they do not. The stories are disparate, and seem random and misplaced together in one book. They are well written by all means, but the lack of having a common theme bothered me.


A Dog's Purpose
A Dog's Purpose
Author: W. Bruce Cameron
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 102
Review Date: 6/7/2015


I didn't have the same experience with this book that many others had. Telling the story from the dog's point of view was sweet and successful. I just didn't buy the concept or have my heartstrings tugged by the albeit sweet and emotional telling of the dog's lives. Try it, you might like it. I do love dogs, and will always remember the insight from the dog's point of view on human's confusing behavior.


Drawing from Within : Unleashing Your Creative Potential
Drawing from Within : Unleashing Your Creative Potential
Author: Nick Meglin, Diane Meglin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 4/11/2015


This was a quick read for a seasoned artist with lots of smart suggestions for sharpening and releasing drawing procrastination. I don't agree with all of the author's opinions about learning to draw, but I think he makes very good points about unlocking our minds to keep us from having success with drawing. Recommend for artists, and want to be artists at all levels. Everyone can take something good from this book.


Dreamland
Dreamland
Author: Kevin Baker
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 4/24/2013
Helpful Score: 1


Kevin Baker tells the story of New York City at the turn of the century in a gritty, grotesque, unapologetic manner creating characters that we care about deeply that stay with us long after the book is done. Is is a love story, a life story, a death story? You see Coney Island's Dreamland, the immigrant's experiences, and the gangsters impossible lifestyles jumping from the perspective of one character to the next. Being a New Yorker born and bred it broke my heart, and held my hand while I wept. Highly Recommend...


The Elegant Gathering of White Snows
The Elegant Gathering of White Snows
Author: Kris Radish
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 184
Review Date: 7/30/2012


LOVED this book when I read it, purchased it with loose tea in a beautiful container for many friends. It is a beautiful story of women and rituals. The characters could be any of us, and their story will have your nose in the book the entire read. Recommend.


Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
Review Date: 7/25/2014


Wow, this book is immensely powerful. I feel like it should be required empathy reading for at least every American citizen, especially our young people. The author goes about unapologetically telling the true story of the founding of our nation, and the brutal treatment that humans are capable of toward one another. The book really demanded my full attention, and I took lots of notes. It was really fascinating. Recommend, but not for a "light" read.


Falling Angels
Falling Angels
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 376
Review Date: 8/1/2014


I found this book to be really entertaining. It doesn't hurt that it revolves around a time period I am obsessed with, not to mention the unexpected theme of changing Victorian funeral culture on the cusp of the new century. I liked this even better than Girl with a Pearl Earring, although it could be perceived as macabre by some, it was so much less depressing. A GREAT story with fascinating historical details. The main character of Maude is my hero! Highly recommend...


The Fig Eater
The Fig Eater
Author: Jody Shields
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 126
Review Date: 8/5/2014
Helpful Score: 2


Not sure what it was about this book that made it so challenging for me to enjoy. Great time period, lots of details about dress, culture, food, even fascinating details about forensic techniques of the time. The characters, I think, are really hard to like. Maybe that's it. Mind you, they are rich, multi-dimensional, and definitely have lots of empathy and life written into them. I also could not get passed one of the main female character's name throughout the whole book, Wally lol... It was dreadful to me. I was relieved to be done, and underwhelmed by the conclusion. Murder mystery have never been my favorite genre, but I have started Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, and am enjoying the lively style of writing so much more. Try it, maybe you'll like it.


Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Revised Edition)
Review Date: 2/8/2014


Entertaining and informational. Really makes me look at data analysis with a new outlook. They have a lot of potential in this series. I wish this book had been able to cover more... Recommend.


The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millenium, Bk 3)
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Millenium, Bk 3)
Author: Stieg Larsson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 785
Review Date: 5/6/2014


Though detail ridden with names and places that sound foreign to my ears, and riddled with the baddest of "bad guys", this book did not disappoint! Mr. Larsson has created another brilliant story about the continuing tales of our impossibly hard to kill heroine Lisbeth. I roared through this aware that once I was done, I would be saying goodbye to characters I have grown so close to over the three books in this series. I am added to the list of people who await the eventual relinquish of his final novel.


The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, Bk 2)
The Girl Who Played with Fire (Millennium, Bk 2)
Author: Stieg Larsson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 461
Review Date: 4/26/2014


After really enjoying the first book, I just sailed through this one with my nose in the book every free moment I had. I have never read a series in sequence, I always needed a bit of a break, but THIS series had you on the edge of your seat wondering what could possibly happen next! The plot twists, and impossible situations were riveting. I'm obviously going right into book 3. If you like adventure, and a strong female lead with lots of enigma, this is for you!


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, Bk 1)
Review Date: 4/26/2014


I waited a bit to read this series, after all the hub bub had settled. The tragic story of the author's life drew me in, and I didn't read the summary until I was ready to begin the book. When I realized it was some sort of mystery/crime novel I thought, "oh, I would have never picked this up if I knew this". Boy, was I surprised. I found the book nearly impossible to put down. Yes, it's loaded with details, and names of places, and people, but WOW, what a story! The characters are so easy to care about, and the story just keeps you wondering how each character is going to manage to get through their latest crazy mess.


The Glass Castle : A Memoir
The Glass Castle : A Memoir
Author: Jeannette Walls
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 468
Review Date: 7/1/2014
Helpful Score: 2


This was a tough one for me, and I will tell you why... The author was incredibly, amazingly, accepting and forgiving of her parent's down right insane, dangerous, and hypocritical behavior. What a powerful story, what an amazing success story. Jeannette truly defines the term THRIVE not survive. Deep breaths, and try it, I recommend. To say I loved it, I didn't, it was painful to read for me. Not a favorite.


Grayson
Grayson
Author: Lynne Cox
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 2/27/2014
Helpful Score: 1


A quick read. Good book with a much bigger message than a brave girl who swims with a whale. Lots of positive messages and life lessons for all of us. Whales are part of NYS 5th grade curriculum, and this book would be a GREAT addition to that unit. Great book to read along with your kids. They will learn a lot about aquatic life and human life.


The Greatest Miracle in the World
The Greatest Miracle in the World
Author: Og Mandino
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 6/26/2013


I found this book to be a nice, quick read. Written in a simple and direct manner, teaching lessons through the telling of a story. I will read others in this series by this author. I did not however, find the Memo from God to be something I would use in my own life the way the author proposed. Enjoyable and sweet, would recommend that others try it too...


Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel
Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel
Author: Jeannette Walls
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 296
Review Date: 7/25/2014


Quick read, and really entertaining and enjoyable. In retrospect I wonder if I would read this BEFORE Glass Castle as that would be chronologically accurate. I enjoyed this book a lot more than Jeannette's first, the characters were simply more likable to me, and I adore a strong female lead. This thrilled me in my love for historical fiction. I had also read The Empire of the Summer Moon right before, which although that was non-fiction, it really provided a GREAT foundation for this novel. Recommend.


The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors: A Novel
The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors: A Novel
Author: Michele Young-Stone
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 6/7/2015


This story was brilliantly sewn together between two main character's points of view and stories. The tale that this author wove was just as surreal and beautiful and painful as a Dali painting. The characters were really survivors, and it is a journey I recommend you taking! Excellent novel...


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