Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
Bookies

BookiesVerified

Joined June 2016

A pair of independent bookstores on the south side of Chicago and now in south suburban Homewood, IL
review
Bookies
The Great Believers | Rebecca Makkai
post image
Pickpick

I feel like this book is as close to perfect storytelling as you can get. The characters were so fleshed-out. The multiple plot lines were woven together seamlessly. There were so many good choices and parts that fed other timelines. Really enjoyed this book. Gut-wrenching and hopeful at the same time.

review
Bookies
The Luster of Lost Things | Sophie Chen Keller
post image
Mehso-so

Finally grabbed one from my stack of books I meant to read a year or two ago but never got around to reading! Not bad — quirky with magical realism. I think people who enjoyed The curious incident of the dog in the night time will like this one. A couple things prevent this from being a good middle grade book and keep it grown-up, but I think it might have been better had the author intended and written it for kids.

review
Bookies
Fox 8: A Story | George Saunders
Pickpick

Took a few minutes to finish this one today. A tiny book, really a bound short story. About 40 pages. Some have called it a novella. It is not. Cute and dark, a modern fable. The book is written by Fox 8 himself — a fox who can speak, read, and write “Yooman,” so it‘s almost written in dialect with a lot of phonetic spellings to translate. It was on the indie bestsellers lists for a while. Though part of me wants to stock it in the kids‘ section.

review
Bookies
China Miville | Embassytown
post image
Pickpick

This is some of the most incredible world building I‘ve ever seen — so utterly original. What I like about it especially is that it‘s all about linguistics. It‘s about discovery, learning, and language. It‘s utterly immersive in that not everything is explained. You have to learn as you go. Words are used that you have to figure out through context, and you can. It‘s so completely alien — a fantastic book that‘s going straight onto my picks shelf

review
Bookies
Less: A Novel | Andrew Sean Greer
post image
Mehso-so

Just finished this one. Interesting. I don‘t know what criteria are used to decide the Pulitzer, but I don‘t know that I‘d have chosen it. Good book, fun, made me laugh out loud in several places, but the Pulitzer? Like I said, it‘s fun, but AJ Fikry was more fun. It was sweet, but Arthur Pepper was sweeter. It was adventurous, but The Life of Pi was more adventurous. Still kept me going though.

review
Bookies
We Care For You | Paul Kitcatt
Pickpick

One of my favorite books from last year. Loved it. We read this (my choice) for my store‘s main book club. Skyped with the author. This one takes place in a near future. So much to think about from an ethical perspective. A slow build-up to an ominous end. Almost everyone loved it. A great find that needs to be picked up by a big publisher in the US!

review
Bookies
The Last Sword Maker | Brian Nelson
post image
Pickpick

A techno thriller. A slow buildup of characters. When a think-tank of brilliant scientists and mathematicians comes together to work on a government project it gets pretty interesting. Takes place in a not-so-distant future with lots of espionage and some pretty awesome technology. Some cliches and common tropes, but it kept me entertained.

review
Bookies
Exit West: A Novel | Mohsin Hamid
Mehso-so

This is a well-written, mediocre book. I made it through, as it was short. But to list it among the top books of the year leaves me scratching my head. For me, it was a whole lot of “too much of this” and “not enough of that.” The immigrant story was solid. The magic was meh. I found myself repeatedly saying, “I don‘t really care about this” or “OK, that happened.” The buildup to the relationship was probably the most interesting part for me.

RaimeyGallant Nice review! 12mo
2 likes1 comment
review
Bookies
The Oracle Year: A Novel | Charles Soule
post image
Pickpick

This book worked for me. I saw some of the criticisms, and this is one of those times I just can‘t relate. It has an imperfect protagonist in extreme situations with knowledge he doesn‘t know how to handle. Sure, some of the predictions are mundane, but they have to be for exactly the situations that require them for the grand scheme. This was a fast read with quick pacing. It would make a great screenplay.

review
Bookies
Pickpick

A pick because I did enjoy this book, but it was a paradox. It was original and yet completely unoriginal. It was a few other fantasy books I‘ve read rolled into a new setting with new characters. It seemed original in that respect. And that‘s why it should be read. But I felt like I always knew what was coming around the next corner because I‘d read that one. I liked the characters, but the perspective shifts made reading quick but repetitive.

review
Bookies
Drum Roll, Please | Lisa Jenn Bigelow
Pickpick

Loved this book. Lots of fun - quick and entertaining with a genuine voice. It felt like it must have been fun to write. She really got into the psyche of middle school kids. I found the language and dialogue convincing. I remembered some of the drama from when I was in middle school. It made me reminiscent for these years and relieved that I was not in the midst of them. The exploration of relationships was innocent with starry-eyed realism.

blurb
Bookies
post image

So excited today about our book club meeting to discuss this book! Author Roger Higgins is here to discuss! It‘s a heck of a piece of historical fiction about a young Irish boy coming to America in the 1840s.

1 like1 stack add
review
Bookies
Megabat | Anna Humphrey
Pickpick

Loved this book and so did my daughter. It‘s so cute.

review
Bookies
The Forgetting | Sharon Cameron
Pickpick

It took me more than a year to finally get to this one. It‘s an interesting book. It has elements that fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent will enjoy, but it‘s definitely original.

review
Bookies
The Shape of Water | Andrea Camilleri
Mehso-so

I had high expectations for this book. Some of my customers raved about it, so I finally read it. I thought it was OK. That‘s it. Maybe I missed something. I heard it was funny. I smiled a couple times. I heard it had compelling characters. I didn‘t really find them compelling. I thought it would be immersed in Italian culture. There was some, but it wasn‘t as immersive as, say, the No. 1 Ladies‘ Detective Agency series. So-so is accurate for me.

review
Bookies
post image
Pickpick

This book is a paradox. Algren is incredible. His descriptions are so vivid. His characters are complicated. He‘s one of those writers that makes me think, “How did he think of that?!” I won‘t put it on my picks shelf. Some of my customers would end up angry. Some might thank me, but I think they‘d be writers. This book is dark and seedy. What makes it paradoxical is being really amazed at how beautifully Algren describes something utterly vile.

review
Bookies
Magpie Murders | Anthony Horowitz
post image
Pickpick

I like classic mysteries. I like modern mysteries. With this book, I get both.

review
Bookies
Wilson | Daniel Clowes
Mehso-so

Interesting, quick read. Saw a preview for the film and decided to read it first. Wilson the character is insightful, crass, offensive, good, and selfish. Hard to like and likable. Each page is a scene from Wilson's life. Every one is kind of like its own short story with a punchline in the last panel. I read the first few and thought there was no connection, until the overall narrative became more clear. That's where the brilliance is.

blurb
Bookies
Scythe | Neal Shusterman
post image

Typo!! Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

5 likes1 stack add
review
Bookies
Spontaneous | Aaron Starmer
post image
Mehso-so

This is often a clever book. When I revived an arc at bea I found the marketing clever as well. The book was packaged with a plastic rain poncho! So much of the writing was good. I never felt like the story got bogged down. Mara's voice was believable even in an insane situation. In the end, however, I was left unsatisfied with the resolution -- or lack thereof. It's a daring book though.

blurb
Bookies
post image

Not really about this book in particular, but this is one of my customers who gave me this picture today! He's 96 and a Tuskegee Airman! This was taken in Italy in 1944, and I was proud to receive it on this Veterans Day!

review
Bookies
The Cuckoo's Calling | Robert Galbraith
Pickpick

Interesting experience reading this one. Loved the secondary character of Robin. Appreciate her intelligence, candor, intuitiveness, etc. Loved the acknowledgement of it. Strike is a decent enough character. Now, my experience with this book -- got into it at first. Then I found I didn't care at all about 80% of the characters or their lives. Then I ended up becoming really interested as Strike learned more about the situation. All over the place.

Books_Wine_Repeat I love this series! Book 2 is a bit more gruesome but still very good. 3y
andreadmw I'm definitely a fan of her adult books. They are dark, but like Potter, her characters are engaging. As a reader, I'm invested in Strike and Robin. So, I'll keep coming back. 3y
11 likes3 stack adds2 comments
blurb
Bookies
M Train | Patti Smith
post image

Now that it's out in paperback, I'll throw this out there again. I can't be the only one who noticed.

Books_Wine_Repeat 😂😂👍 3y
17 likes1 comment
review
Bookies
post image
Mehso-so

I am of the opinion that this book is something you just have to get through to get to the good stuff. I think a lot of people give up on the series as a result of this book, but the rest of the books are so superior.

review
Bookies
Omegaball | Robert J. Peterson
post image
Mehso-so

Better than so-so, not quite a pick, I will be carrying this book. There are elements of Ready Player One and Feed. The story is intriguing with fleshed out characters, including one in a wheelchair. Some twists and turns -- some predictable, one that shocked me, one that I didn't buy. Teens might enjoy it. It's fast-paced, told in intertwining blog posts of a sort. Some goofy humor that didn't quite work for me, but a cool world and new sport!

Bookies P.S. This was a review copy provided at BEA by Rare Bird Books. 3y
Bookies Hiya. I received an email from the publisher that the typos have been fixed. With this being a teen book and the issues resolved, I'm changing this to a pick because the situation and characters are interesting enough to warrant it! 3y
4 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
Bookies
post image

Dementors took my daughter away!

blurb
Bookies
post image

Some artwork one of the store employees made

WordWaller Oh I love this! Nice work! 3y
10 likes1 comment
blurb
Bookies
post image

We're ready!!!!

MrBook Niiiiice! 3y
9 likes1 comment
review
Bookies
The Magicians: A Novel | Lev Grossman
Mehso-so

This book had some brilliant sections that had me excited to be reading them. But there were parts that angered and annoyed me due to character fates, etc. Comparisons to HP are inevitable, but the book was weakest when it acknowledged them. Funny though. I will read the sequels.

andreadmw Curious if you kept with the series? I agree with your review and I thought I would keep going as so many friends raved about it. Got through 1/4 of the 2nd book and realized I didn't care. Put it down and never went back. 3y
Bookies @andreadmw still haven't started it. Honestly, there were a few parts of that first book that I loved -- the test, the geese, and Alice. But I disliked so much of it too. I do want to continue, but it really hasn't been a priority. 3y
andreadmw @Bookies totally agree! There were highs definitely. Maybe I'll try it again one day 😀 3y
7 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
Bookies
The Sting of the Wild | Justin O. Schmidt
post image

This one has me hooked from the first sentence. This guy got himself stung by insects for science and rated each experience.

review
Bookies
Box of Lies | Mark LaFlamme
Pickpick

An excellent and varied collection of stories. Horror, post apocalyptic sci-fi, sweet E.T. tale, just all-around strangeness -- this book has a lot to offer.

3 likes1 stack add