BookwormKath - - Reviews

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The Gnostic Mystery
The Gnostic Mystery
Author: Randy Davila
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.7/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 4/2/2010


A friend loaned me this book to review for her store, otherwise it's probably not one I would have chosen on my own. Having said that, I really did enjoy the book. I had had only a very rudimentary understanding of Gnosticism before reading the book and this was a good "primer" on their belief system, wrapped up in a fictional story. The writing itself was amaturish, but an easy read that held my interest. As for the Gnostic aspect, the book references several other nonfictional works on Gnosticism that I'll definitely be looking for to do additional reading on the subject.

All in all, an easy to read book on a topic that'll make you go hmmmmm.......


A God Who Looks Like Me: Discovering a Woman-Affirming Spirituality
Review Date: 4/28/2010


I think that many women today are investigating and reevaluating their spiritual beliefs, looking for "their" truth as opposed to the "truth" that was taught to them in the churches of their youth. Many have felt minimized and devalued by the teachings of male-dominated mainstream religions and are seeking to heal from that experience without foresaking religion as a whole. This book would be valuable for women who have had that experience, are redefining their place in a spiritual world and seeking the Feminine Divine.


Hearts on a String
Hearts on a String
Author: Kris Radish
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 1/14/2011


Wow, I don't even know where to start with this one. Five unbelievable characters are stranded together in a hotel during a hurricaine. They spend 3/4 of the book cat fighting until, just when you think it will never end, the "twist" occurs, which is also so unbelievable it's laughable. It is, however, their "bonding experience" and the book ends with everyone teary-eyed and loving each other.

I used to be a HUGE Kris Radish fan. This will be my last Radish book. Sorry Kris.


Her Fearful Symmetry
Her Fearful Symmetry
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 7/8/2010


I had SUCH high hopes for this book. It started off with a bang and held me about halfway through.... Then it became transparent and I knew how it was going to end. And the end - well, it was just weird. The book just seemed to fall apart at some point, like the author knew she had to finish it, but didn't quite know how. On the up side, it was a quick read and entertaining for the most part.


Home Street Home - The Virginia Beach Chronicles*
Home Street Home - The Virginia Beach Chronicles*
Author: Georgia Saunders
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/20/2012


The best thing I can say about this book is God love the author for giving it a go. That said, I now know why it was a self-published book. I finally gave up after a hundred pages. There was so little depth to any of the characters that I couldn't keep them straight... They all seemed to just be drunk and hopping in and out of bed with each other, then going to the church to eat. There wasn't any character development or background -- It was simply a chronicle of "and then this, and then this, and then this...." Maybe 100 pages wasn't enough to give it a chance, but I finally couldn't take it anymore.

Amended to Add: Our book club, who read this book as this month's selection, discussed the book tonight. Several other members didn't bother to finish the book either, but the ones who did agreed that it didn't get any better. It was a thumbs down from every member in the group.


The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus: A Novel About Marriage, Motherhood, and Mayhem
Review Date: 6/28/2011


Despite our misgivings, our bookclub decided to read this book at the suggestion of one of our members. The lesson here: Never second guess yourself.

Written in poem verse (annoying), it's tells the story of a 40-something wife and mother and the angst of aging/marriage/motherhood. It's supposed to be clever, but I didn't find it particularly humorous.

As I was reading, I kept glancing longingly at my overstuffed bookshelf of to-be-read books and wondering why I was wasting my time on this one. Not willing to second guess myself a second time, I finally gave up on it in lieu of something I'd really been looking forward to reading.

I think I'll go to the bookclub meeting just to see what everyone else thought of it. (And because somebody's supposed to be bringing cheesecake.)


I Think I Love You: A Novel
I Think I Love You: A Novel
Author: Allison Pearson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 2/5/2012


This book is a-dor-able. Written in two parts, you'll meet the young Petra (and if you were a David Cassidy fan back in the day, you WERE Petra) and the adult Petra and her hysterical friend Sharon, Welsh girls who devoted their lives to the "I Think I Love You" craze.

You'll laugh when you see yourself in the pages and cringe at the tweener angst that you remember so well. And you'll really like the women these women become.

Even if you weren't "of the era," you'll be able to appreciate it, whether your crush was on little brother Sean or the Backstreet Boys.

It's a quick, easy read and one that I think you'll enjoy. I did.


If Walls Could Talk (Haunted Home Renovation, Bk 1)
If Walls Could Talk (Haunted Home Renovation, Bk 1)
Author: Juliet Blackwell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 124
Review Date: 2/7/2011
Helpful Score: 2


I really enjoy this author's witchcraft series, so looked forward to the debut of this one, but was disappointed overall. In and of itself, it's not a "bad" read, but very different from the others. Nothing much really happens in the first 3/4 of the book, lots of pretty obvious groundwork being laid for the mystery, and then suddenly the whole mystery is solved in the last pages. Still, it's a fast read and the main character is likeable. I can't say I hated the book, but I won't continue the series.


The Kindness of Strangers
The Kindness of Strangers
Author: Katrina Kittle
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 305
Review Date: 4/24/2010


I won't lie to you.... This isn't a fun "beach read." But it's definitely a "should read." Dealing with the very painful subject of child sexual abuse, it's a difficult book to pick up and a difficult one to put down. Beautifully written and compassionate, touched with enough moments of love and tenderness to balance the disturbing subject matter. It's a survivor story that's worth your time.


The Lace Makers of Glenmara (P.S.)
The Lace Makers of Glenmara (P.S.)
Author: Heather Barbieri
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 42
Review Date: 7/31/2011
Helpful Score: 2


A review on the back of this book described the story as charming and that's exactly what it was.

The story is that of a young woman who suffers several losses in her life and returns to Ireland, the land of her mother's ancestors. There, she makes the acquaintance of the women of a small Irish community and ultimately they end up changing each others' lives.

A great summer read when you want something that's not too heavy but will hold your attention.


Land of a Hundred Wonders
Land of a Hundred Wonders
Author: Lesley Kagen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 72
Review Date: 10/19/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I loved "Whistling in the Dark" and looked forward to this book. As others have said, "Land of a Hundred Wonders" didn't live up to WITD, but it was an enjoyable read. The storyline wasn't believable, but the characters likeable (most of them -- and you weren't supposed to like the ones you didn't) and there was humor in the writing. I wouldn't put it at the top of my reading list, but if you need something for a rainy weekend, this will fit the bill.


The Language of Flowers
The Language of Flowers
Author: Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 169
Review Date: 6/23/2012
Helpful Score: 6


This book was intriguing in the beginning. I couldn't wait to find out how the Victorian language of flowers played into the plot. I had a little trouble following the dual timeline, but the complexity of the main character pulled me in and kept me going. Then *bam* 3/4 of the way through it fell apart..... The kind of ending that makes you think, "Really? REALLY!?! Aw, c'mon". I thought it was unbelievable and felt "hurried." Too bad, because it had great potential.


Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog
Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog
Author: John Grogan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 338
Review Date: 3/30/2010


Anyone who has ever lived with a dog, particularly a lab, should treat themselves to this book. I grew up with a black lab that could have BEEN Marley, so the book made me laugh out loud all the way through it. There's the obvious sad moment, but if you need a book that will entertain you, pick up these pages. You'll be glad you did.


The Necklace: Thirteen Women and The Experiment That Transformed Their Lives
Review Date: 10/4/2010


If you liked "The Girls from Ames," you'll like this book. Personally, I didn't care for either. In fact, I skip-read the second half of this book.


The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro, Bk 1)
The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro, Bk 1)
Author: Nora Roberts
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 306
Review Date: 4/23/2012
Helpful Score: 1


If you like Nora Roberts, you'll enjoy this book. I wasn't crazy about the last "Bride" trilogy, so almost gave up on her books, but I'm glad I gave her another try. The characters are likable, the town it takes place in sounds charming and, as always, there are things that will tug at your heartstrings and other things that will make you chuckle. And a (friendly) ghost to boot... Doesn't get better than that. Looking forward to the next one!


Night of the Living Deed (Haunted Guesthouse, Bk 1)
Night of the Living Deed (Haunted Guesthouse, Bk 1)
Author: E. J. Copperman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 163
Review Date: 9/28/2010


I love a good ghost story. Truly I do. This just isn't one of them. Yes, there are ghosts in the books... They're simply shticky characters to give the book a foundation.

Yes, it's a mystery. And not a good one. Predictable, shallow (REALLY shallow). Unbelievable, corny characters.

And as if that's enough, the writer's continual (and overdone) attempts to be clever make it even more painful.

On the upside, it's a quick read. The book doesn't take any concentration or energy. That's about the best I can give it.

"Night of the Living Deed" is being promoted as the first in a new series. Needless to say, I won't waste my money or time on #2.


Olive Kitteridge
Olive Kitteridge
Author: Elizabeth Strout
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 884
Review Date: 10/25/2009
Helpful Score: 18


This review would probably get me banned from most book clubs in America but, truth be told, I thoroughly disliked this book. My opinion..... A boring book about boring people. I only finished it because we DID read it for our book club. As always, it was a lively discussion, but only one of our members enjoyed it. After hearing the rave reviews, I was at least relieved that I wasn't the only one who didn't like it.


The Owl & Moon Cafe
The Owl & Moon Cafe
Author: Jo-Ann Mapson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 56
Review Date: 3/2/2011


This book tells the story of a family of four generations of women.... The challenges they face, secrets they keep and love they share. It's not terribly full of twists and turns, but tells the story straight away and leaves you feeling good in the end. It's well written and the characters are likeable. I really enjoyed it.


A Parchment of Leaves
A Parchment of Leaves
Author: Silas House
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 7/20/2011
Helpful Score: 2


While certainly not a happy beach book, this was a very good read. Well written and poignant, it touched on many different topics -- discrimination, poverty, crime, love, forgiveness. I would recommend it.


People of the Book
People of the Book
Author: Geraldine Brooks
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 312
Review Date: 10/25/2009
Helpful Score: 7


It's been quite a while since I've read a book that left me thinking "Wow!", but this one did. I had really enjoyed the book "March" by this author, so looked forward to reading "People of the Book." And she didn't disappoint. The author wove a wonderful tale about a fascinating topic, and I loved this historical aspect of it. Books written in two time periods can leave you feeling dazed and confused if it's not done well, but I thought Geraldine Brooks did it seamlessly. Two thumbs up.


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