Tag Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

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Rating: B+/ After her father dies and leaves her a small fortune’s worth of cattle, independent, no-nonsense Precious Ramotswe sells the livestock and single-handedly starts up her own detective agency with the money. People underestimate and try to undermine Precious at every turn, but her quick wit and ingenuity eventually make fools of them all. But she finds herself out of her depth while investigating her first major case, the disappearance of a little boy thought to have been snatched by witch doctors. Continue reading Book Review: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

Book Review: The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg

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Rating- B/ A deceptively simple, brief little novel, The Pull of the Moon is the lyrical yet straightforward story of Nan, a fifty-year-old housewife who takes a hiatus from the monotony of her everyday life and goes on an aimless road trip in hopes of ‘finding herself.’ The book, told in the form of Nan’s letters to her husband Martin and her intimate journal entries, is not particularly rife with surprises but contains a peculiar charm and grace all it’s own. Continue reading Book Review: The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg

Book Review: Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

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Rating: B/ There isn’t much funny about Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, it’s a somewhat bleak and depressing book narrated by a ten-year-old unsupervised hell raiser who runs with a group of kids who are more Lord of the Flies than Our Gang. The lack of plot or traditional structure offered in this novel can be initially jarring and frustrating, but Paddy Clarke’s idiosyncratic, often tangential voice rings true and there is a real artistry hidden behind the seemingly random and directionless prose. Continue reading Book Review: Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

Book Review: Lucky by Alice Sebold

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Rating: A-/ Over the last few years, but particularly since Trump’s vile ‘grab ’em by the pussy’ comments recently resurfaced in the form of a viral video, sexual assault has been a commonly discussed topic in the American media. Most people would probably agree that it’s a subject that needs to be talked about, and incidents like Brock Turner’s trial have brought to life time and again the rampant issues concerning sexual violence against women and the justice system. Continue reading Book Review: Lucky by Alice Sebold

Book Review: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

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Rating: B+/ I’ve been having a creative dry spell lately, ever since I finished a novella I was writing and became completely stumped over what to work on next. My mom encouraged me to read this book, a copy of which she had bought me a couple of years ago and which has spent ever since just kind of gathering dust with all my hundreds of other books on the shelves in my room. I hadn’t read a book all the way through in several months, lacking the concentration and patience, but I completed this short, sweet bit of autobiographical non-fiction by one of my mom’s favorite authors within three days without hardly trying. I found it an easy and leisurely read, and in the end, I was glad I took the time with it. Continue reading Book Review: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Book Review: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

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Rating: B/ The Sword of Shannara is my dad’s favorite book, and I decided to read it instead of continuing with the awful television series, The Shannara Chronicles. Even if The Sword of Shannara was utterly forgettable and a shameless rip-off of Lord of the Rings like some of the less charitable critics believed it to be, it had to be better than watching Will Ohmsford and his pube-stache try unsuccessfully to act, hadn’t it (who thought it was a good idea to get stupid Slade from Arrow to play Allanon, anyway?) Continue reading Book Review: The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

Book Review: I’m Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti

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Rating: B+/ A quick read that sucks you in immediately with it’s fascinating premise, I’m Not Scared actually pales a little in comparison to it’s outstanding film adaptation, but is nevertheless absolutely a compulsively readable and extremely entertaining book. I bought the book because I was a huge fan of the film, and I finished it in a day. I think I would have liked it better if I didn’t know almost exactly what was going to happen from the movie version, which robbed the suspenseful story of the element of surprise; and the ending did not quite work for me. I think it will make for a better experience if you read the book first. But nonetheless, I’m Not Scared is a compelling read with a likable boy protagonist who is forced to come of age and make some very hard decisions over the course of a sweltering summer in a small Italian village in 1978. Continue reading Book Review: I’m Not Scared by Niccolo Ammaniti

Book Review: Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley

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Rating: B-/ It’s attraction at first sight for Nathan, the sensitive new kid in town, and his somewhat older classmate Roy. Living across from Roy in a house rented out on Roy’s property, fifteen-year-old Nathan is the victim of incestuous advances from his drunken father, and discovers sexual pleasure for the first time in the arms of the quiet, intense Roy. Nathan starts hanging out with Roy and his friends every day, chubby scaredy-cat Randy and ultra-aggressive alpha male Burke. But, unknown to to them both, Nathan and Roy are headed for unthinkable tragedy, in the form of a jealous act of violence. Continue reading Book Review: Dream Boy by Jim Grimsley

Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

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Rating: B/ Good, but over-rated. Those are the words I’d use to describe George Orwell’s hugely influential dystopian novel, 1984. There’s plenty of bright spots here, and many moments of  brilliance, but parts of this book can be hard to read due to heavy info-dumping and scenes that hit you over the head with it’s themes. It’s definitely worth reading, to ponder, as well as to see what all the fuss was about, but it definitely pales compared to Fahrenheit 451, one of my favorite books. Continue reading Book Review: 1984 by George Orwell

Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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Rating: A-/   I have a weakness for stories taking place in dystopian societies. The way I see it, society is so fucked up at this point, a 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 type scenario hardly seems that outlandish. On the other hand, I’ve always been wary of feminism. I know, I know, the stereotype of the man-hating stone butch with a chip on her shoulder is just that, a stereotype. There are certainly issues involving women’s rights that need attending to, and there are a lot of decent feminists trying to make a better future for the girls of tomorrow. I know all that, of course; but God help me, when I hear the word ‘feminism,’ I cringe a little. There’s nothing rational about it, it’s just a prejudice I have. Continue reading Book Review: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood