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Memories From Books on Booklikes

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

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

The Great Alone

The Great Alone - Kristin Hannah

The setup and the beginning of The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is intense in the characters, the setting, the situation, and the emotion. It has a sympathetic main character to care about. The events seem frighteningly real. However, as the book proceeds, it seems like a race to incorporate every bad thing that can happen into this one story. Let's just say that it goes too far and undermines the "reality" of the powerful setup of the book.


Reviewed for NetGalley

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/05/the-great-alone.html

The Winter Station

The Winter Station - Jody Shields

The Winter Station byJody Shields once again reaffirms the role historical fiction plays in introducing me to history I don't know. I end up spending more time with the history than the story itself. The history is fascinating. The story as told in the book is compelling in the intensity of the situation but less interesting to read. Nothing much happens. The book is slow-paced and sometimes repetitive with an abrupt ending. 


Reviewed for NetGalley

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/05/the-winter-station.html

Still Me

Still Me: A Novel - Jojo Moyes

Still Me by Jojo Moyes follows the success of Me Before You and After You. This book proceeds in a more predictable fashion than the first two. They all work because the writing draws these characters and makes them come to life and makes them "real." I vest in their stories and laugh and cry along with them. The only question that remains mirrors my thought at the end of the previous book. Is another chapter in the life of Louisa Clark yet to come?


Read my complete review athttp://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/05/still-me.html


Reviewed for NetGalley

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/05/still-me.html

The Sea Beast Takes a Lover

The Sea Beast Takes a Lover: Stories - Michael Andreasen

The content of the stories in The Sea Beast Takes A Lover by Michael Andreasen ranges from the bizarre to the more bizarre. Looking below the surface of the stories though, common themes do emerge. Each story seems to find its anchor in a character's need to be loved. In these completely unrealistic, often disturbing stories, the author manages to capture this very human emotion. It is this intensity that keeps me reading.



Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.

Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2018/04/the-sea-beast-takes-lover.html

Border Child

Border Child - Michel Stone

As a parent, what would you do to make sure your child had the best life possible? Or rather, is there anything you would not do? This is the question at the heart of the immigrant story of Border Child by Michel Stone. The writing beautifully draws me into Héctor and Lilia's world - all emotions that parents everywhere relate to. Best of all, the book leaves me thinking. What would I do? Faced with Héctor and Lilia's impossible decision, what would I do?


Reviewed for NetGalley.


Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/04/border-child.html

My Last Lament

My Last Lament - James William Brown

My Last Lament by James William Brown is a story set in World War II and its aftermath in Greece. It is the story of a young woman who feels responsible for one young man, falls in love with another man, and spends her life torn between the two. It is the story of two young men who both love the same girl. The political and war history is on the periphery; it provides context but not the main story. My parting thought on this book is that in some ways, it reads like a memoir of Aliki's life, her last lament becoming a lament of her own life, if you will. 


Reviewed for the Penguin First to Read program.


Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/04/my-last-lament.html

Miss Mary's Book of Dreams

Miss Mary's Book of Dreams: A Beguiling Story of Family, Love and Starting Again, Perfect for Fans of Chocolate - Sophie Nicholls

Miss Mary's Book of Dreams by Sophie Nicholls is the story of three generations of women – Maadar Bozorg, Fabia, and Ella - and of two sisters Selena and Bryony who enter their lives. Strong women. A bookshop. A really special book. A little big of magic. A beautiful combination for a sweet, engaging story. Definitely one for the "feel good" pile of stories. Note that this book is a sequel to Sophie Nicholl's book The Dress, but it can stand alone as a story.


Reviewed for NetGalley


Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/04/miss-marys-book-of-dreams.html

Long Black Veil

Long Black Veil - Jennifer Finney Boylan

On the one hand, Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan is about an individual emotional journey of self-discovery. This is the "character" part of the book. On the other hand, this book is about a murder mystery and about a group of friends who survive a severe trauma. This is the "plot" part of this book. Unfortunately, the two aspects of this story compete with each other, making this a challenging book for me.


Reviewed for the Penguin First to Read program.



Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/04/long-black-veil.html

The Idea of You

The Idea of You - Amanda Prowse

The main idea underlying The Idea of You by Amanda Prowse is the definition of "you" – a child lost. The book begins with a focus on the grief of miscarriage but then introduces a second story line. The second overshadows what initially draws me into the book. I wish the book had explored more its initial theme of miscarriage and its impact on not just the woman but the family who experiences it.


Reviewed for NetGalley


Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/04/the-idea-of-you.html


Lola: A Novel - Melissa Love

The idea of a story about a female gang leader in a world still completely male dominated is intriguing. Lola's story is set in the world of the LA gangs and drug cartels. Ultimately, this is book about a strong woman in extreme circumstances who manages not just to survive but thrive and carve a life out for herself in a man's world. Considering this is Melissa Love's debut novel, I look forward to her next character. Lola certainly leaves an impression!


Reviewed for the Penguin First to Read program.


Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/04/lola.html

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane - Lisa See

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See presents a culture to explore and a strong heroine to feel for. For me, the first and the second half of the book don't match up. The first half is more focused; the second half feels more scattered and rushed. The deeper and slower pace of the first half works better in this case. The book is still enjoyable in its entirety, but some of the depth is lost to the momentum and speed of the second half.


Reviewed for NetGalley


Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/04/the-tea-girl-of-hummingbird-lane.html

Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage

Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage - Dani Shapiro

The words that come to mind reading Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro are nonlinear, personal, intimate, quiet, and reflective. This slim book is a reflection and commentary on marriage. This is not a memoir with a linear timeline or a plot; it is more like picking through a photo album, drifting from memory to memory until an image more expansive than the photographs themselves forms. The craft of Dani Shapiro's writing makes it feel real and heartfelt.


Reviewed for the Penguin First to Read program.


Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/04/hourglass-time-memory-marriage.html


Himself: A Novel - Jess Kidd

Himself by Jess Kidd is a murder mystery couched in the magic of Irish folklore. The book sets up the folklore and the background beautifully. The beginning is colorful and atmospheric. However, the pace is slow, and the characters, plot or setting don't really build. The plot ends up a little scattered and falls a little short of the build up. I do love the premise and setting and enjoy the descriptive writing.


Reviewed for NetGalley



Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/04/himself.html

Spaceman of Bohemia

Spaceman of Bohemia - Jaroslav Kalfar


I started reading Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfar expecting a story like The Martian by Andy Weir. Both are about an astronaut surviving the elements and loneliness. This is about where the similarity ends. The Martian is a book about survival; Spaceman of Bohemia is a book about a space journey, a metaphorical journey through a man's past, and a somewhat satirical, absurdist commentary through Czech history and current events. Best of all, it is a book that makes me think and leaves me thinking.


Reviewed for NetGalley


Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/03/spaceman-of-bohemia.html

The One-Cent Magenta

The One-Cent Magenta: Inside the Quest to Own the Most Valuable Stamp in the World - James Barron

What is it about a not-very-pretty-looking piece of paper not even an inch in size that could make it worth almost $9.5 million? I know very little about the hobby or business of stamp collecting, but even I recognize some of the names who have played a role in the history of The One-Cent Magenta. The book by journalist James Barron tells the journey of this stamp and the story of each of its owners in a light, easy to read narrative, that is almost gossipy in tone.


Reviewed for NetGalley


Source: http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/03/the-one-cent-magenta.html