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SLSbooks

SLSbooks

Joined August 2017

review
SLSbooks
Sea of Tranquility: A Novel | Emily St. John Mandel
Mehso-so

This latest from the author of the incomparable Station Eleven is a sketchy try at time travel that left me with a case of vertigo. I have decided to read it again but this time with a flow chart to aid in recognizing some of the characters that initially seem superfluous but are later found to be key to unlocking the tumbling plot! Should I have to stay so organized when the author did not? Maybe this was her intent. Stay tuned ….

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Pickpick

Such a good read, an encapsulation of the various moral shades of humanity that always surround us. Towles lets us into each of their lives, their thoughts - and helps us to understand each other more clearly. Such a treasure of a book.

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Eye of the Needle | Ken Follett
Pickpick

Great WWII quick thriller. I need to read more spy novels!

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Where Light and Shadow Meet: A Memoir | Erika L. Rosenberg, Erika Rosenberg, Emilie Schindler
Pickpick

Wanted to hear Mrs.Schindler‘s side of the story. She was a rock if a woman, taking abuse and giving kindness to many. While no author, her short story does offer a valuable lesson: don‘t expect accolades if you do great deeds for others. Do whatever you can when you can because it is just the right thing to do.

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Pickpick

Usually don‘t read nonfiction history books, but an upcoming trip made this a wise choice. Now, with Russia invading Ukraine this is more important than ever. We all hear that history repeats itself if lessons are not learned. I think that people who want to re-live parts of history where countries are toppled and many are killed are the worst kind. They know history and choose to ignore its lessons. Let‘s all get wiser.

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Growing Up | Russell Baker
Pickpick

My second reading, though decades have separated the time I last picked up this book. In these chaotic times it was somehow comforting to read about my father‘s generation, raised during the Great Depression. That time was no less chaotic and uncertain, but the ties of family kept the world a smaller place where things could be tackled together. We could all learn by talking, in person, more and TikToking less.

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Pickpick

A Christmas present. A quick read with a good message, though it may not strike a cord for all, including myself at times. We do need to get over our disappointments and get down to the business of living - really living - our lives, not just breathing through them. Appreciate the New Year we have been given and MAKE it a good one….!

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Schindler's List | Thomas Keneally
Pickpick

After sitting on my bookshelf for decades I just finished this. We‘re visiting Krakow in July so I thought I should give it a try. I knew the tale behind the man, but never watched the movie either, thinking it was too depressing - but the current state of the world makes the horror of this part of history important to never forget. Schindler was a man with many flaws but he used every one of them to save lives.

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Anxious People: A Novel | Fredrik Backman
Pickpick

Another treasure from Backman. So witty and sensitive when the world is full of anxious people these days. It is nice to take time for some humanity.

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Pickpick

I can‘t decide if I enjoyed reading The Other Einstein or not … because I am SO angry that the history books have glorified Albert Einstein while he abused his wife and the mother of his children. Marie Benedict has done a great job at illuminating the wrongs of history in her works. I‘m officially a fan.

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The Personal Librarian | Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray
Pickpick

An easy read, but it left me wanting to know more about Belle da Costa Greene, which may have been the intent. Greene‘s life-lived-on-the-edge is something that could never be pulled off in today‘s world of never ending social media scandals and I hope no one would need to hide who they are in order to be successful in their lives, but unfortunately plenty still do. Thanks Belle, but there is still work to be done.

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Winter Cottage | Mary Ellen Taylor
Pickpick

A freebie from Amazon when they sent me the wrong book and I decided to check it out. Quick read with some solid writing but few real surprises - yet enjoyable!

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Pickpick

Fun romp through the crazy history of the British royals.

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Pickpick

Great true story of a daughter‘s quest to find out who her father truly was. Part detective, part historian …Ariana Neumann does a superb job shedding light on painful pasts that must never be forgotten.

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Compelling true story of how greed destroyed an entire community and how those who write the history books for this country never paint the correct picture of how this nation was built. We have much to make right in this world.

10 likes1 stack add
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Troubled Blood | Robert Galbraith
Pickpick

A bit of a task getting through some of this, but well worth it in the end. I felt more connected to Strike and Robin this time around, but some of the side plots (other cases) were yawners. Maybe that was why this one just felt a bit more realistic than some of the past books - life is just not so glamorous a lot of the time.

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Next Year in Havana | Chanel Cleeton
Mehso-so

So I haven‘t been to Cuba. If I had (or was planning on it) I would recommend reading this. But since my reality is what it is, this book just falls short for me. I do understand that Cuba is a country that has seen too many struggles and misses at freedom, but when the characters continue to have the same conversations throughout the book on these struggles, over and over again - they lose me. I skimmed over pages of text and didn‘t miss a thing.

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Pickpick

A hard book to finish and to put down. So conflicting, so raw. The things people do to each other.....

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The Huntress | Kate Quinn
Mehso-so

For the most part predictable. Book club read.

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Pickpick

Great fling back to a Regency Romance! Just a fun book to relax with after reading so many serious books.

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Pickpick

Just what I needed - a quick spy novel fix.

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Pickpick

My sons are runners. We live in San Diego and have rubbed elbows with some of the people mentioned in this book. Despite or because of that - this is such a well written book about the passion of running and working through pain, physical and emotional, to reach for a connection with your body. For those who want to improve their times I‘m sure you will find great training tips here; for those who simply want to be inspired- it‘s in here too.

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Anatomy of a Murder | Robert Traver
Pickpick

A view of Upper Michigan country justice in the 1950s. Full of “aw shucks” moments from a good ole country lawyer, but a good attorney nonetheless. The working of the case is superb and a good read. The perceived value of women (or lack of)is quite eye opening as well. Thank goodness we no longer all have to be like June Cleaver!!

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Pickpick

Usually read fiction to get away from life for a while, but after seeing the author being interviewed I felt compelled to read this brilliant piece of nonfiction. So educational, eye opening and painful to see the gaping holes in the fabric on this country. A must read for anyone willing to change their lives and make this country live up to the words of the Constitution under which it was founded.

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Bossypants | Tina Fey
Mehso-so

Enjoyable while reading about her personal life, but lackluster when discussing her professional life. I found myself wandering while she is discussing her successes and struggles on 30 Rock. This is where she lost her comedic flare and just sounded like the rest of us - overworked and on edge. The very thing I wanted to escape from!

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The last of the series that can‘t end - there is so much more yet to feel. Elena Ferrante, whoever she may be, does an amazing job of highlighting the push and pull of friendship in complex characters that I expect to walk right up to my door.

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Pickpick

Book #3 shows so much growth in Lenu, yet such trepidation of success. Meanwhile Lila‘s life is a giant chess piece being moved by exactly whom? “As usual it seemed to her that she could enter and leave my life without any worries, as if we were still a single thing and there was no need to ask how are you, how are things, am I disturbing you.”

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Pickpick

Book #2 does not disappoint. Two lives going in different directions but bound together inextricably.

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A wonderful introspective beginning to the life of a friendship- but keeping reading the entire series! A must read for anyone who wants to see how friendships endure.

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Galapagos: A Novel | Kurt Vonnegut
Mehso-so

A quirky book - probably not recommended pandemic reading (what was I thinking?!?) - unless you like going down sarcastic apocalyptic roads! Just flippant enough to keep me reading, but the ending was at the beginning so no surprises, including how humanity can be so fickle in the middle of crises - sound familiar?!?!?

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Great Expectations | Charles Dickens
Pickpick

So glad I picked this dusty old paperback (inherited from the in-laws) off my bookshelf and finally read it. This one reminded me of why I love the classics so much! Dickens is SO good at showing us the follies of humanity, while ultimately leaving us happier and wiser. I was only sad to see that humans haven‘t changed much in all these years, which means we probably never will....

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Pickpick

I enjoyed the book, but wanted to like it more. Kya‘s character was believable until it wasn‘t. Still, a good read from a first time novelist.

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A warm remembrance. A little too light on the details concerning connecting with her husband‘s family and overcoming the racial and cultural divide, but the love shines through.

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Borrowed from a friend, I was glad to have read Comey‘s perspective on troubling events.

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There There: A novel | Tommy Orange
Mehso-so

Each character in and of themselves is compelling, but the story was just too disjointed for me to follow. Maybe this isn‘t a before-bed kind of read, but I almost needed a character map to keep everyone straight. zzzzz.....

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The Invisible Bridge | Julie Orringer
Pickpick

I am somewhat torn.
Having just gotten back from Budapest I recognized some of the street names, the bridges and pictured the boulevards destroyed by the war.
On the other hand, did I really need 389 pages of Parisian primer before reading about the true conflict of the story?
But did I finish the book? Yes I did. Was I glad I did? Yes I am.

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Mehso-so

A fairly strong book (for a dog) with a weak ending. If only life could be wrapped up so nicely in a big beautiful bone. If you want an unrealistic feel good story this is it. Maybe if I could actually find a dog like Enzo I wouldn‘t be so flip.

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American Street | Ibi Zoboi
Pickpick

A solid fast read with a few questions remaining. That may be what the author wanted. Trying to empathize with a situation that seemed a bit contrived? Still, a strong statement that is strongly made about our country and its imperfections.

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Station Eleven | Emily St John Mandel

I think I have your Station Eleven book if you still want it :)

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Long Way Down | Jason Reynolds
Pickpick

Quick read - in just one sitting - of poems-as-a-story. The ending was point on.

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Salvage the Bones | Jesmyn Ward
Panpan

Book Club pick. So hard to read. Do people who live like this really read Greek mythology? Life is so precious, and this book really shows how it just becomes existence to too many.

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Pickpick

I think I was impatient to find out what happened, so I skipped over some of the more eloquent writing and descriptions. This probably means the story was compelling but didn‘t move at pace needed to keep me reading every word?

Lizzybennetgirl I had the same dilemma! When I finally got to the moment where the two stories converged I didn‘t feel invested anymore. I loved the characters but I felt like the poetic style of the story became excessive after a while. 3y
SLSbooks Glad to hear I wasn‘t the only one to feel this Pulitzer Prize winner wasn‘t quite the right fit. The ending was a bit lackluster as well I‘m afraid..... 3y
4 likes2 comments
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Pickpick

So my husband gave this to me last year for my birthday and I was turned off by the title (I know, don‘t judge a book by its cover) but I have finally read it - and I love it! What a treasure trove of new books to read with a lovely story about an amazing woman/mother at the end of her life as told by her son. A lasting memoir of a life well lived.

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Lilac Girls: A Novel | Martha Hall Kelly
Pickpick

A so-so thumbs up. I didn‘t appreciate the three character back-and-forth format, and Caroline was portrayed as a superficial yet charitable socialite that I could not care about. The story is fascinating; the way that it is told is less than it could have been.

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The Mars Room: A Novel | Rachel Kushner
Mehso-so

Insightful woman‘s view of life in CA prison system, but if you are looking for a feel good read this is not it. The choices we make do define us - that is the take away....

Jakaranda this is on my to-read list! 3y
1 like1 comment
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SLSbooks
Panpan

Not fluent in Spanish, so spent too much time on the colloquialisms. Kept waiting for something redeeming to happen and it never did. Pulitzer Prize Winner?! For most depressing book ever....

Jakaranda i have heard about it but don‘t know much. 3y
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Station Eleven | Emily St John Mandel
Mehso-so

I know I started this book at one point and put it down. I managed to finish it this time and wish I could say I was happy with the experience. Unfortunately there were too many characters, many of them just one dimensional. I wanted to get pulled into their life but always felt like I was in the doorway, looking into the scene but not part of it. If you want a dystopian novel go for Handmaid‘s Tale.

Jakaranda I read this book mainly in the tub😆parts of it really stuck with me. makes me want to read it again bit not sure what i did with book😆 3y
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Mehso-so

John Steinbeck musing on a partly fictitious travelogue of America in the early 1960s. Some thoughts are spot on and others? Not so much. His commentary on this country show that a lot has not changed in the last fifty years, which is the saddest thing of all.

Jakaranda hope you are reading current bookclub read😉 3y
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Barkskins: A Novel | Annie Proulx
Panpan

Decided to take on this tome since I had the summer off. Mistake. I patiently waited for it to grab my attention, but the characters were flat and too numerous to follow (okay, I did have a whopper of a summer cold while reading most of it, so that may have been a part of the problem).
Wish I would have passed on this one.

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Tender is the Night | F Scott Fitzgerald
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Pickpick

This one I will have to read again. Initially confusing, then compelling, then finally revealing. Anyone who is interested in Fitzgerald‘s complicated life will see it on display here. Was going to give it a so-so, but can‘t do it to him.