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Review: The Lost Book of Mormon

December 11, 2014

The Lost Book of Mormon

Seemingly to avoid doing any actual work, Avi Steinberg decided to travel the journey laid out in The Book of Mormon, starting in Jerusalem and ending in Missouri.

I just happened to be on Twitter one night when several people were discussing The Lost Book of Mormon: A Journey Through the Mythic Lands of Nephi, Zarahemla, and Kansas City, Missouri by Avi Steinberg.  They were raving about the book and said they felt the need to discuss it with someone.  All their chatter made me want to read the book so I immediately requested it from Netgalley and, boy, was I disappointed.

Several people I know and respect loved this book but it wasn’t for me.  I didn’t find Steinberg’s journey all that interesting and I wasn’t sure what the point of the story was.  I felt he was disrespectful toward Mormonism and his snarkiness wore thin after a while.

Steingberg can tell a story, though, and his writing was solid, but I didn’t appreciate what he was trying to do.

Review copy provided by Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

December 10, 2014

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

I found two more words in A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

1. palaver – “Although Ove doesn’t feel there’s a need to make such a palaver about cooking, as Parvaneh does.”

Palavar has several similar meanings but the one that seems to fit this sentence the best is a long parley usually between persons of different cultures or levels of sophistication.

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2. anodyne – “‘Ove has a heart problem . . .’ he begins in an anodyne voice, following this up with a series of terms that no human being with less than ten years of medical training or an entirely unhealthy addiction to certain television series could ever be expected to understand.”

To me, anodyne sounds like something you’d find on a robot, but it’s not.  Anodyne means serving to alleviate pain or not likely to offend or arouse tensions.  I think either definition fits this sentence.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

At the movies: Gone Girl

December 9, 2014

 

Gone Girl movie poster

By now, I’m sure most people have heard something about Gone Girl – the movie based on the book by Gillian Flynn.  It’s the twisted tale of a young married woman who goes missing.  At first her husband is somewhat relieved that’s she gone but all clues point to him so he becomes desperate to get her back.  I read the book almost two years ago and loved it but wasn’t sure it could be pulled off on the big screen.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I thought the movie was riveting.  Since it’s been a while since I read the book I can’t remember the small details but, from what I remember, the movie followed the book pretty closely.  I was glad I knew what was going to happen because the movie was tense and full of foreboding.  I thought the movie was well cast and the acting was terrific – I even saw it twice in the theater.  If you enjoy thrillers, you’ll want to see Gone Girl.

Mailbox Monday

December 8, 2014

Mailbox Monday December 8

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog.   This was the week when I was supposed to get back into a routine and get a lot accomplished but, I’m here to tell you, it just didn’t happen.  With the holidays looming, I feel like I’m even further behind than before.  I found these books in my mailbox last week:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Friday

 

What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review – Big Nate: Game On!

December 6, 2014

Big Nate Game On

Big Nate has it all going on – at least in his mind.  He puts a positive spin on everything to make himself look good.  Nate plays three sports – basketball, baseball, and soccer – and doesn’t excel at any of them but you’d never know that by talking to him.

Big Nate: Game On! is a graphic novel by Lincoln Peirce that is divided into three sections, one for each sport Nate plays.  Each page can stand on its own, but together, they tell a story.  With its full color illustrations, I found this book to be a delight!  I laughed at some of Nate’s antics and shook my head at others.

I’m sure middle grade readers, particularly those who enjoy sports, will adore this book!  If they’re not like Nate, they’re sure to know someone who is.  This book takes on some issues that are worth discussing as well, like sportsmanship and fair play.  Big Nate: Game On! would make a great holiday gift for a middle grade reader.

Big Nate interior

Click image to enlarge.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site tomorrow.

I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: The Way Life Should Be

December 5, 2014

The Way Life Should Be

Angela is a successful New York City event planner who is beginning to wonder if she’ll ever meet Mr. Right.  When a friend has some success with an online dating service she decides to give it a try too.  She finds someone who looks interesting and quickly gets caught up in messaging him.  So caught up in fact that she makes a major mistake at work and loses her job.  On a whim and a prayer, she decides to pack things up and move to Maine to live with her online paramour.

Of course, things in Maine aren’t what she expected – her fantasy guy turns out to be a nightmare.  Still, there’s something charming about the island and its people and, slowly but surely, Angela finds herself making a life for herself in her new home.

My book club was lucky enough to be chosen for Book Club Girl‘s new 6 month program and the first book we chose to read was The Way Life Should Be by Christina Baker Kline.  When I started the book, I thought it was going to be light and fluffy so I was pleasantly surprised when I found it had some depth to it.

Angela is a wonderfully written character.   She felt like someone I could know so I think many women will be able to relate to her.  She’s worked hard and has a great career but feels a void in her life but she can’t figure how to fill it.   She thinks maybe meeting the right guy will help.  Things don’t turn out the way she thought they would, though, and the lessons Angela’s Italian grandmother taught her in the kitchen help her realize what’s important in life.

The Way Life Should Be was a quick, comforting read for me and I thought it was wonderful!  It not only has well drawn characters, a great story, and wonderful writing – it has recipes!  The copy I have also contains an interview with the author and reading group questions!  My book club was ready to use the questions but found we had plenty to discuss without them.  Even though we’re all older than Angela, we could relate to her and her desire for love.  We had a lot to say about her relationships with her family and friends as well.  Every member of my book club enjoyed the book and said they’d like to read more of Kline’s work.

Review copy provided by Harper Collins.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: A Good Marriage

December 4, 2014

A Good Marriage

Darcy and Bob have what most people would describe as a good marriage.  They’ve been married over twenty years, have raised two great kids, and still get along great.  When Bob is out of town Darcy discovers something in the garage that makes her wonder if she ever really knew her husband.  She tries to put things back in place but it doesn’t take Bob long to figure out that she discovered his hiding place.  They come to an agreement but things will never be the same.

A Good Marriage by Stephen King is a short story that was previously featured in Full Dark, No Stars.  It’s fast paced and disturbing and will have you wondering how well you really know the people you love.  Darcy is shocked by her discovery and wonders if she can live with it.  She wants to protect her children, though, so she has to be careful.  I thought the story was engrossing and loved the tension and am happy to say it’s not as grisly as the cover would have you believe.

The audio version is on 3 CDs and lasts about 3 and a half hours.  Jessica Hecht does an outstanding job narrating A Good Marriage.  She was Darcy to me – if you enjoy audios you need to listen to this book!

Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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