37 Followers
20 Following
MemoriesFromBooks

Memories From Books on Booklikes

Always a reader. Writing to remember and to share my thoughts on the books I read.

Alternate Side

Alternate Side: A Novel - Anna Quindlen

Alternate Side by Anna Quindlen tells the story of marriage and life through Charlie and Nora Nolan, who live ensconced in a clannish, small street of stately homes in New York cities. The book is a slow burn. It takes a while to realize that this book is more about the city and the characters than a plot. I go from not being sure I am enjoying the book to crying by the end because the emotion creeps up on me.

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/09/alternate-side.html

I Was Anastasia

I Was Anastasia: A Novel - Ariel Lawhon

Perhaps, the fault lies with me, and I am simply not the reader for I Was Anastasia by Ariel Lawhon because I know the history of Anastasia and Anna Anderson. I would love to hear the perspective of a reader not familiar with the history. Knowing a history does not make reading a story of that history any less engaging or entertaining. For me unfortunately, the circular structure of the book and its billing as a “historical suspense” make it not the book for me. 

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/09/i-was-anastasia.htmlwww.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/09/i-was-anastasia.html

The Recipe Box

The Recipe Box: A Novel - Viola Shipman

Sometimes, I just need a feel good book that reminds me of the priorities in life and the bonds of family. The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman is one of those books. Since I love to cook, an added bonus is the fact that it is also a foodie book centered around a recipe box passed down from generation to generation. There are hints of seriousness, but the heart of the book is a feel good story perfect for a summer beach read. 

 

Reviewed for NetGalley.

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/08/the-recipe-box.html

Sugar Money

Sugar Money: A Novel - Jane Harris

Based on actual events, Sugar Money by Jane Harris introduces me to a history I did not know and brings to life yet another aspect of the brutality of slavery. The narrator's language scattered between French, English, and Caribbean Creole makes the book a challenge to read at times. The voice of an adolescent narrator also superimposes on the horror of slavery a certain innocence. It is an interesting contrast at times and accentuates the brutality when the descriptions do come.

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/07/sugar-money.html

Flying at Night

Flying at Night - Rebecca L.  Brown

The plot of Flying at Night, the character driven debut novel by Rebecca L. Brown is a relatable one. It is about a family redefining itself and rediscovering itself in light of a medical crisis and a medical diagnosis. The book is touching, and the ending is a surprise to me. In hindsight, I can see it, but not in first reading the book. It leaves me thinking.

 

 

Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/flying-at-night.html

The Coincidence Makers

The Coincidence Makers: A Novel - Yoav Blum

For most of this book, I don't see where The Coincidence Makers by Yoav Blum is going. I mean that in the best way possible. At times, the story is a set of distinct threads. I know that they are coming together. I have hypotheses as to how, but it is not until almost the end that everything does come together. It does so in a way I do not see coming. So, clearly, I concentrate on the wrong thing, and for that reason have a great reading experience.

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/the-coincidence-makers.html

All the Beautiful Girls

All the Beautiful Girls - Elizabeth J. Church

A heart wrenching premise and a strong character should make All the Beautiful Girls by Elizabeth J Church a moving, emotional read. It is that to an extent. Lily aka Ruby is a sympathetic character, and I want things to work out for her. However, the book corrals the topic into too neat a package. Life, as we know, is not that simple, and I am left wanting something more. 

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/all-beautiful-girls.html

Other People's Houses

Other People's Houses - Abbi Waxman

I liked the premise of Other People's Houses. We truly do not know what happens behind someone else's closed door. That premise could have led to deeper questions about the strength of a marriage and the building and destroying of trust in a relationship. Unfortunately, for me, it does not. The off putting opening scene, the gratuitous cursing, and the large cast of characters and issues incorporated make this not the book for me.

 

Read my complete review athttp://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/other-peoples-houses.html

 

Reviewed for the Penguin First to Read program.

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/other-peoples-houses.html

I Have Lost My Way

I Have Lost My Way - Gayle Forman

Given the news headlines these days, I walk away with some philosophical messages from I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman. No matter how different we are from each other, more unites us than divides us. Emotions are universal as the young people in this book learn. Although the circumstances of each are completely different, they see reflected their own sadness and loneliness in each other. It is that recognition that says to them that no matter how bad things may seem, you are not alone.

 

Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/i-have-lost-my-way.html

The Italian Teacher

The Italian Teacher - Tom Rachman

The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman follows the trajectory of Charles “Pinch” Bavinsky's life as he perpetually tries to gain the approval and recognition of his father, world famous artist Bear Bavinsky. The magic of this book is that the characters feel so real. The book is pure fiction, but it feels as if it is a real story about real people. Also, no spoilers, but I love the unexpected ending. 

 

Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/the-italian-teacher.html

Gun Love

Gun Love - Jennifer Clement

The writing of Gun Love by Jennifer Clement is beautifully visual in creating the setting. I don't particularly like any of the characters or the depiction of social services in this book. However, even then, the book works because more than Margot's decisions and the guns, what I leave this book with is the literal image of a car that is a home and a image of love from the beginning to the unexpected ending. 

 

Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/gun-love.html

A Long Way From Home

The history about Aboriginal culture and the treatment of Aboriginal populations in Australia are the ones I find most interesting in A Long Way from Home by Peter Carey. Unfortunately, I am not the right reader for the fictional context the book places around the history. The book begins as a mad dash adventure and veers completely into a simultaneous look at a dark history and the vibrant culture that was almost destroyed. It's all a little bit confusing and a little bit too much.

 

Reviewed for the Penguin First to Read program.

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/a-long-way-from-home.html

Hotel Silence

Hotel Silence - Audur Ava Olafsdottir, Brian FitzGibbon

The title of Hotel Silence by Audur Ava Olafsdottir (translated by Brian FitzGibbon) in the original Icelandic translates to "scars." That is the heart of the book all the way up to and including the very surprising ending. Each person bears the scars of his life. The scars of physical wounds are visible, but the scars of emotional wounds manifest themselves in different ways. Jonas thinks his path takes him to ending his life. In helping others, he finds himself. Therein lies the lesson of the book. 

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/hotel-silence.html

The One

The One - John Marrs

The One by John Marrs asks a question. Would you take a test that would identify the person you are meant to spend your life with? Two things make this such a fun book to read. The first is that there are surprises. Some of the plot twists I can see coming, but some catch me off guard. The second is that the book does not answer the question. It takes the reader along for what proves to be a quick, page-turning ride. 

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/the-one.html

Mrs.

Mrs.: A Novel - Caitlin Macy

I really want to like Mrs. by Caitlyn Macy. However, the lack of likable or truly unlikable characters in this book make it a challenge. Further, the structure of the book with way too many characters, shifting viewpoints, and a very slow pace make it a challenge. If I read the first few chapters and the last few chapters, I would get the entire story. The rest is simply a circuitous route to connect the dots from beginning to end, unfortunately making this not the book for me.

 

Read my complete review athttp://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/mrs.html 

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/06/mrs.html

Next Year in Havana

Next Year in Havana - Chanel Cleeton

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton picks up on the recent political climate of Cuba and also goes back to the beginning of the Castro regime. As often in historical fiction, this book follows the story of two individuals in two time periods. As with books of this structure, the story one time period and one character has a stronger pull. In this case, it is definitely the story of the 1950s, not just Eliza but the entire Perez family. Eliza's story keeps me reading until the final page.


Reviewed for NetGalley

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/05/next-year-in-havana.html