Middlesex

“Middlesex” is a beautifully written story following the life and history of Calliope Stephanides, showcasing what makes this character different. It’s no wonder this book is on Oprah’s Book Club list. It’s strikingly different, smoothly written and catches the reader with its captivating story line. This is a book with the power to make the reader think twice on judging a person by their appearances.

This is the type of story that attracts the reader, and has the power to change the way they think. To the reader it may feel like this is a story about a person looking at their past and family history for explanation; while also looking for signs of how they become their current self. It’s almost a journey of self-discovery, harsh truths included. The reader may even be left to wonder how they might feel if they read an actual classic (if they haven’t already).

The conflict in “Middlesex” is mostly centralized around the main character. There is the conflict they have with themselves and with their parents. It appears that Calliope doesn’t blame her parents for their actions, or the confusion as she grew up. However, this all seemed to play a major role in the story and character development, especially the conflict the Calliope has with herself. It makes one think, are moments from the past little pieces that show the truth of who we really are?

When the back cover of this book is closed it’s hard to describe the feeling it will give the reader. “Middlesex” has the potential to make the reader feel smarter, more sophisticated or more cultured. There is something mysterious and beautiful awaiting the reader in the pages.

If I had a list of books under the title of must read or instant recommendation this would be included. Even though it’s hard to put into words how this book made me feel, this is one I think more people should read. It’s a book that as much as it’s about the story, it’s also about how it makes the reader feel.

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Behold the Dreamers

“Behold the Dreamers” is an inspirational, heart-warming read. It’s a story that follows the lives of two immigrants and their son during their time in America. They came to America seeking a better life for themselves and finding their true home in the process. No matter the struggle, they kept their relationship together and would compromise to help out each other.

This book is beautifully written. And it’s no wonder why it’s on Oprah’s book club picks list. It highlights life in America, and how it’s different for everybody who lives here. In this case it’s a pair of immigrants who work hard for what they have, not taking anything for granted.

One thing this book might highlight for the reader is the power of money. Just because somebody has money, and fancy things, doesn’t mean they’re happy. (But I think we can agree money can buy books, and book are happiness.) Some of the characters featured in the story were well off, but once the shell was shattered, the reader was able to see what was hiding. Behind the shell is a family that doesn’t always get along, and an unhappy marriage in disarray. While they put on a show to everybody else, the truth was something different altogether.

This book may serve as a reminder to the reader to not take things for granted and that hard work and dedication pays off. It may also show the reader the power of home and what it means to each person. All they need to do is read, and enjoy the story that awaits them behind a beautiful cover.

The Child

“The Child” is a well-written mystery crime novel that follows three women who are all associated with a mysterious skeleton that shows up at a building site when its uncovered. The one women is a journalist who catches a mention of it in the paper and takes it upon herself to make sure the story is heard, and of course to help find answers. Another, is a women who still suffers from the mysterious disappearance of her baby over 20 years later. Finally, there is a women who is a writer. How she fits into the story is a mystery to the reader until the crime is solved.

In true mystery fashion, Fiona Barton does an excellent job keeping the reader guessing at who the true suspect is. The clues are slowly revealed as the reader is able to get to know the characters. Even as clues are revealed, the reader may get the feeling that there are puzzle pieces missing. This helps make the story gripping, leading the reader eager to keep turning the page.

Through the talent of Fiona Barton the reader can get a sense of the tenacity behind the journalist, her desire to have the answers, and help out those who have been suffering for a number of years. This takes the journalist to unexpected places and down a trip that goes back a number of years, with unexpected findings.

Anybody who reads this book won’t be left disappointed with the story. This is the sort of book with a little spooky in the mystery that makes it perfect for Halloween, or just whenever the mood may strike the reader. The writing, it’s style, everything about the book is great.

Reading is…

Greetings to my blog readers! Thank you so much for taking the time to check out my writings on the books I’ve been reading.

I thought I would try out something a little different from the typical book reviews I’ve been posting, while still keeping the book theme going. So, I’m here to tell you what reading means to me, and I think it sort of goes with the holiday spirit I’ve been starting to feel. With the holidays I’m definitely thinking of things that mean a lot to me, like decorating the Christmas tree and getting out the decorations I’ve known since childhood. There’s just so much joy and happiness to spread.

Reading to me is a means of escape, a sort of portable magic. Whenever I open a book I’m transported to the world the author has created for the reader. It doesn’t matter where I’m at, and that is sort of the best thing about it.

There was a time in my life that I stayed in a fair amount because I didn’t really have much money to go out all the time, so instead I would visit the library where there’s all sorts of books for me that didn’t require money. While I didn’t have the ability to go many places, through the stories I read I was able to visit all sorts of places from the comfort of my couch.

While reading has helped me when I didn’t have much money, it’s something that has been a hobby for as long as I can remember. I loved reading books when I was a kid, and would always take them on family road trips. One of my favorite things of reading from my childhood would probably be when I discovered Harry Potter, thanks to my 4th grade teacher. Everyday in class she would read us a chapter from a book, and one of them was “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. I really enjoyed the book and next think I know it was time to order books from the catalogs. What an exciting time! My mom ordered the first book, and I wasn’t the only one who read it. My mom got into the series too. Starting with the fourth book we bought it in stores when it came out and first one of us would read it and then the other one. When the movies came out we even went to see them together too. I am still thankful for a book series that I got to read as a kid with my mom and to share that with her.

Now that I’m an adult with a nice tall bookshelf overflowing with books I enjoy sharing them with others. When I lend out a book I have also found myself asking the person many times where they’re at and what they think of the book. I just can’t help it! I want to know what they think of the book and if they like it, or only sort of liked it like I did.

For all who read this I hope reading can bring you joy and magic like it has for my life. Reading is something that has always been a part of my life and is now transforming into more, like this blog. I’m always curious on why people read, or what it is that they like about it. So I’d like to ask my blog readers, what is reading to you?

Since We Fell

“Since We Fell” is a slow-burner of a thriller that will have the reader ever eager to keep the page turning until the very end. When I say slow-burner, I mean slow-burner. When a reader first picks up this book, they may question what genre they’re actually reading. As they stick with the story, they will not be let down by the talent of Dennis Lehane.

In the beginning, the reader is introduced to Rachel Childs, once a news reporter, now a shut-in. The reader is given a look at her job, relationships and how she ended up in her current position. It seems like a normal book, leaving the reader to wonder when does it become a thriller, or where is the mystery.

Dennis Lehane knows how to keep the reader waiting, and pondering  about the moment the story will transform. Some parts of the story may have the reader questioning their purpose, or why it was included. In the end, it all contributes to the story, and the characters development. As the reader gets to know the characters. they may find themselves beaming at their accomplishments, or shaking their head for the not so great moments. Dennis Lehane has a way of keeping the characters relatable and fully alive to the reader.

Another great part of Dennis Lehane’s writing is how he includes the twists in the story. They come in the most unexpected ways at the most unexpected times. He makes sure the reader isn’t able to guess how, or where the story is going. In a way it adds to the mystery, giving it a little oomph.

This is the sort of book that will blow the reader away. From the beginning they will be hooked, waiting, wondering for the story to reveal itself. From there the suspense only builds, further gripping the reader’s attention until the very last page. The reader will not be disappointed by the work of Dennis Lehane.

The Lying Game

“The Lying Game” is a book that contains more than just a simple mystery for the reader. It’s a book that shows the power of friendship, the powerful bond behind it, the strength and protection a mother may feel, and the power of grief and love.

“The Lying Game” is a story of four women, who are reunited once again with a simple text sent by one of them in need. Once these women are together again, in some ways it’s as though nothing has changed, while at the same time everything has. Old memories are brought back to life, while differences over time make themselves known.

Ruth Ware’s talent is on display as she tells the story through the eyes of Isa. She keeps the reader hanging on, eager in anticipation, waiting to find out exactly what happened to bring everybody together, and the big event in the past. As the story goes on, the reader will get flashbacks from old memories. These memories, triggered by everyday objects or places feel so real, and natural, sort of like they would in real life.

One of the best parts of “The Lying Game” is how it’s such a thrilling read. Ruth Ware will leave the reader in anticipation, trying to fit pieces of the puzzle together, coming up short realizing there is still some information missing. In other parts of the story the reader will feel the urgency of the characters as the past comes back to haunt them. This is the sort of mystery read for anybody looking for something different in this genre.

The Monuments Men

“The Monuments Men” is a book that seeks to capture a different story of events during World War 2. This story is one of the men and women whose job it was to protect, and find artwork and other historical pieces in Europe. In a way, they were modern day treasure hunters.

Those who are featured in “The Monuments Men” either had a background in art, with knowledge on how best to treat the artwork or sculptures, or they stumbled on the right people who thought they would be good for the job. They found a lack of equipment needed to help efficiently complete their mission, support from their unit, and a lack of knowledge of their existence. They didn’t let this stop them, and were resourceful in their accomplishments.

“The Monuments Men” is a story that deserves to be told so that people may know more about what happened. The only downside for the reader is that at times the story is hard to follow. The writing goes with the events of the war, and follows the soldiers and other helpers where they are in relation to the current battles. At times it is a bit more difficult to keep track of who is where, and which is which. Beyond the story line that may have some more difficult moments, there is a lot of history and story to be read awaiting the reader.

Warm Bodies

“Warm Bodies” is a refreshing twist on the typical romance, zombie, mid-life crisis story. In “Warm Bodies” Isaac Marion has found a way to capture all of this in a new way for the reader to experience. The writing of this book has the power to capture the reader’s attention and reignite their imagination.

“Warm Bodies” is about R, a zombie in a sort of mid-life crisis. In his case it’s the zombie version. He shuffles about his life, wandering the empty airport and feeding when necessary until the day he meets a girl. It’s not just any girl either, there’s something special about her. After she enters the story he starts to notice himself changing. This leads him to protect the girl, desiring more from life, and entering into a sort of zombie romance.

One of the best parts of this romance is how the guy tries to get the girl. When R tries to woo the girl, it isn’t quite up to the typical standard. Honestly, even a zombie has limited options in this post-apocalyptic sort of world. Hats off to R, who with limited options, and basically no brain power, charms a girl and gets her to believe again.

A story of unlikely friendships and relationships, a girl who refuses to accept defeat this is a story that will reignite the imagination of the reader. This is a book for just about every sort of reader.

Unbroken

“Unbroken” is a powerful, inspirational book written by the talented Laura Hillenbrand. This is a book that when the reader turns the final page, they will take a moment to sit, and savor what they just read. It’s a book that hits the reader with all the feelings to include a book hangover.

“Unbroken” shows a different aspect of World War 2 that isn’t heard as often. There are only a few stories about the Japanese and some of the events that happened in the Pacific Ocean, because typically the focus is on the events that took place across the Atlantic Ocean. This book brought to life the stories of a man and several others their experience during the war. Even with such a powerfully written book it’s hard to imagine what Louis Zamperini endured. While his story may be unique, he was not alone in his suffering, there are many other stories like his.

Not only will “Unbroken” open the eyes of the reader to what someone may have experienced during World War 2, it shows the reader some of what they experienced when they returned home. After everything they endured, when they returned home they acted differently. Unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be an explanation for their behavior, so they were unable to get the help they needed. Imagine, how much more of a strain this would’ve added to them and those in their life and trying to help them.

“Unbroken” not only gives the reader a look at history, it’s a story of somebody who didn’t quit. Once Louis Zamperini found running, he worked to make his way to the Olympics. After his first time competing there, he made it a goal to compete there again in four years. When at war, even with the Olympics cancelled he would still run to practice when he was able to. After his return home, some things changed, but he still found a way.

What also sets “Unbroken” apart from other non-fiction books is the style of writing. This is a book that reads like fiction; another aspect keeping the reader turning the page. Laura Hillenbrand has incredible talent that isn’t hard for the reader to recognize.

A Million Junes

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“A Million Junes” is a book that contains the power to fully captivate the reader, along with more magic and beauty than the synopsis is able capture. The synopsis gives the reader a glimpse into the world that awaits them in Five Fingers, Michigan.

 

Behind a beautiful cover, awaits a story that will have the reader thinking about Romeo and Juliet with a family rivalry between the O’Donnels and the Angerts. Except here, it’s so much more with a magical sort of twist. Emily Henry’s writing has the power to change the reader’s thinking on the possible outcomes of the book throughout the story. Somehow, she changes the direction of the story, and sneaks in other points of conflict without the reader realizing, or being able to predict how it will all come together.

As can be expected, forbidden romance has a big role in the story, and Emily Henry found a way to turn it into something more. This is a story that is filled with adventure, friendship, teenage worries, grief and self-discovery. The reader will find these mixed throughout the story as they travel along. Don’t worry, the cliché moments of a forbidden teenage romance were included. The story wouldn’t be complete without them.

 

 

Emily Henry has an incredible talent and ability to capture so much in her writing. Within the book awaits the contemplation’s of a teenager, captured fully to include a desire to see her father again, defy family wishes and spend time with the mysterious boy who moved back home, and figure out why certain events are happening. As the story blossoms the reader will be engulfed with the emotions and troubles that await the teenage characters, while also wondering how will the mysterious curse be broken. The writing is truly magical.