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MemoriesFromBooks

Memories From Books on Booklikes

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

The Wanderers

The Wanderers - Meg Howrey

The premise, cover, and marketing led me to read The Wanderers by Meg Howrey. Unfortunately, the book suffers from two things. First because of the number perspectives, it becomes difficult to track the different storylines or to fully vest in any of the characters. Second, this book described as Station Eleven meets The Martian suffers from its own marketing. It is like neither book, and sadly, I end up not the right reader for this book.

 

 

Reviewed for NetGalley & Penguin First to Read

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/03/the-wanderers.html

Say Nothing

Say Nothing - Brad Parks

Say Nothing by Brad Parks is a fun read. Say Nothing is a quick read. Say Nothing is an entertaining read. The “however” in these statements is that Say Nothing as a story is also implausible to the point that reality interferes with the story. I do have fun reading the book, suspending disbelief, ignoring the question of “really???”, and just going along. What more can I say?

 

Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/03/say-nothing.html

The Confessions of Young Nero

The Confessions of Young Nero - Margaret George

Happy Publication Day Margaret George!

 

What makes The Confessions of Young Nero by Margaret George work is the fact that it is about a young boy caught up in intrigues and machinations from his very birth. The first person narrative through his eyes initially sets up a sympathetic character. What also makes this book work is the detail with which the ancient Roman world is described. Never take historical fiction for being history, but let yourself indulge in this story that completely submerges you in its world.

 

Read my complete review & listen to Margaret George speak about Emperor Nero at Memories From Books - The Confessions of Young Nero

 

Reviewed for NetGalley.

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/03/the-confessions-of-young-nero.html

The Barrowfields

The Barrowfields: A Novel - Phillip Lewis

Characters and setting are the focal points of The Barrowfields, the promising debut novel by Phillip Lewis. The plot centers around the theme of parents and children and of children's ability to overcome the scars of their childhood. With beautiful writing, the author conjures up a dark and somewhat Gothic feel of a story-filled old mansion in the middle of 1980s North Carolina.

 

Read my complete review at Memories From Books - The Barrowfields

 

Reviewed for NetGalley & Penguin First to Read.

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/03/the-barrowfields.html

Harvest

Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants - Stefani Bittner, Alethea Harampolis

What really makes Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants by Stefani Bittner and Alethea Harampolis such an appealing book is the photography. From the simple and vibrant cover to the full page images that make up half the book, the book conjures up its message of the bounty possible in a garden and makes me want to run out and start planting.

 

Read my complete review at Memories From Books - Harvest

 

Reviewed for the Blogging for Books program

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/03/harvest.html

Pachinko

Pachinko - Min Jin Lee

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee is a saga of four generations of one Korean family. The history underlying the story is that of Korean immigrants in Japan. I love the first half of the book for its focus on the individual characters. The second half incorporates too many characters and story lines. At the end though, this book is the story of a mother and the story of an immigrant population and well worth reading.

 

Read my complete review at Memories From Books - Pachinko

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/02/pachinko.html

The Mothers

The Mothers: A Novel - Brit Bennett

The Mothers by Brit Bennet, as the title might suggest, is a book all about motherhood. The book begins with a suicide and an unwanted pregnancy and continues until the young people involved are in their thirties. Unfortunately, time passes, but the characters seem not to evolve. I keep waiting for growth, an understanding, an acceptance, or something. It does not come. The entire book remains at the fact that tragic decisions were made, and they altered many lives.

 

Read my complete review at Memories From Books - The Mothers

 

Reviewed for the Read It Forward program

 

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/02/the-mothers.html

The Chilbury Ladies Choir

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir: A Novel - Jennifer Ryan

World War II provides the context for The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan, but the war is not the story itself. The heart of this story are the women of the small village of Chilbury in Kent, England. This story becomes about each woman finding her own individual voice and about learning that the voice can stand alone and can be heard. The end result is a charming story of women, love, and survival tempered by the somber circumstances.

 

Read my complete review at Memories From Books - The Chilbury Ladies Choir

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/02/the-chilbury-ladies-choir.html

The Young Widower's Handbook

The Young Widower's Handbook - Tom McAllister

Given the topic and enormity of the loss depicted, I so wanted to like this book and the main character Hunter Cady. I wanted to marvel at the strength of hope and to cheer for his survival. A journey such as this is often one of healing and self-discovery, but that self-actualization does not seem to happen for Hunter. His journey seems rather to drift from thing to thing, making this not the book for me.

 

Read my complete review at Memories From Books - The Young Widower's Handbook

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/02/the-young-widowers-handbook.html

Juliet's Answer

Juliet's Answer: One Man's Search for Love and the Elusive Cure for Heartbreak - Glenn Dixon

I look at Juliet's Answer: One Man's Search for Love and the Elusive Cure for Heartbreak by Glenn Dixon as two separate books. One is a personal journey. The other is a history of a place and an organization. While the personal story of this book is not for me, the legend of Casa di Giuletta and the history of the secretaries of Juliet is fascinating. It makes me want to visit Verona and the Casa di Giuletta and perhaps write my very own letter to Juliet.

 

Read my complete review at Memories From Books - Juliet's Answer

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/02/juliets-answer.html

The Refugees

The Refugees - Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Refugees by Pulitzer prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen is a collection of eight short stories about Vietnamese refugees in the United States. The author himself is a refugee and a child of refugees. Thus, in many ways, these stories are a reflection of his own experiences. The word that comes to mind through all these stories is haunting. Based on that, I will be adding The Sympathizer to my reading list.

 

Read my complete review at Memories From Books - The Refugees

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/02/the-refugees.html

We Were the Lucky Ones

We Were the Lucky Ones - Georgia Lyn Hunter

What sets We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter apart from other books I have read about the Holocaust is its simultaneously narrow and expansive scope. Amazingly, this is the story of one family. Yet, it reaches across Poland, Siberia, France, Northern Africa, Italy, South America, and even the United States of America. This is a remarkable story of survival in war. It paints not only a horrific image of the war but also a beautiful picture of family, love, and hope.

 

Read my complete review at Memories From Books - We Were the Lucky Ones.

 

Reviewed for the Penguin First to Read program.

 

 

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/02/we-were-lucky-ones.html

A Harvest of Thorns

A Harvest of Thorns - Corban Addison

A Harvest of Thorns by Corban Addison in a dramatic fiction story takes on the very real issue of manufacturing supply chains and the issues that underlie low cost merchandise and corporate profits. A fictional setting allows that message to be conveyed to a wider audience than a nonfiction book on the topic might. If it gets one reader to pay attention the next time he or she buys a piece of clothing, then it succeeds in its mission. I know that I will remember the names of the characters and their stories.

 

Read my complete review at Memories From Books - A Harvest of Thorns

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/02/a-harvest-of-thorns.html

City of Saints & Thieves

City of Saints & Thieves - Natalie C. Anderson

 

City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson is set in Kenya but is the story of refugees from the Congo. The book is at times slow and wraps up too neatly at the end. However, the main character of teenager Tina or Tiny Girl gives this book a young adult feel and creates a character you can cheer for. A promising debut novel.

 

Read my complete review at Memories From Books - City of Saints & Thieves

 

Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/02/city-of-saints-and-thieves.html

Nemesis

Nemesis (Project Nemesis) - Brendan Reichs

 

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs is a fun adventure of friendship, high school rivalries, the government, secret projects, and, the possible end of the world. The book is full of twists and turns. The ending is a cliffhanger; so, I hope there are more books coming in Project Nemesis. Bottom line, I enjoy the story. Even more so, because I think this book works for me and my kids, it gets high marks from me.

 

Read my complete review at Memories From Books - Nemesis

 

Reviewed for the Penguin First to Read program.

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/02/nemesis.html

Dust Bowl Girls

Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory - Lydia Reeder

Dust Bowl Girls by Lydia Reeder captures a moment - a season - in history in great detail. The connection I do not find in the book is with the individuals – players or coach – themselves. This one leaves with with an interesting bit of Oklahoma and basketball history I did not know about, but not a memorable narrative of people who will stay with me.

 

Read my complete review at Memories From Books - Dust Bowl Girls

 

Reviewed for NetGalley

 

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/02/dust-bowl-girls.html