Review: The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman

The Museum of Extraordinary Things was not a good fit for me. It was recommended to me by a coworker, and when she described the side-show museum, I immediately wanted to read it. I love books about the circus, and a museum of oddities is kind of like a circus, right? Sadly, this book was too character-driven for my taste. There just wasn’t enough plot. The book jumps back and forth between past and present and between two main characters. Coralie is living on Coney Island with her father. She has been appearing as the Mermaid Girl in his museum since she was ten years old. Eddie […]

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Review: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

A Study in Charlotte is the first in the Charlotte Holmes series. Brittany Cavallaro puts an interesting twist on the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson characters by imagining what their descendants would be like. Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson meet at boarding school in Connecticut. Holmes has been solving crimes since she was a young child, and Watson is a typical teenage boy. When a fellow student turns up dead, the pair strike up a fated friendship and set to solving the case. I’ve never read Sherlock Holmes, but I have watched the BBC show Sherlock and the Robert Downey Jr. movies, so I am familiar with the characters. […]

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Review: My Life with the Liars by Caela Carter

My Life with the Liars by Caela Carter

My Life with the Liars is a wonderful middle grade novel. I don’t usually review middle grade books on this blog (reserving those for my other blog,Mom’s Radius), but since I read this book out of my own interest and not as a mom, I thought I’d share it here. I loved this book! Zylynn was raised in a cult. Right before her 13th birthday her father breaks her out, but Zylynn doesn’t know he’s her father. She doesn’t know much of anything about the normal world. She’s desperate to get back to the Children Inside the Light before she turns 13 and is cast out to […]

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Review: The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt

The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt

The Righteous Mind is a fascinating look into the difference between liberal and conservative political and religious views. It really helped me a lot in my quest to understand what’s happening in America with the election of Trump and the continued rampant persecution of minorities. Haidt uses metaphors to explain his theories, all based in evolutionary psychology. This book is probably one of the best organized non-fiction books I’ve ever read. Each chapter starts with a introduction to what will be covered and contains a quick recap of the ideas presented. The whole book is well organized and Haidt gives explanations of why he’s laid things […]

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Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is amazing. This book is another one that I had heard a lot of people recommend over the last couple of years, but I didn’t really know what it was about. The fact that it had “Bookstore” in the title was enough to make me want to read it. What book lover doesn’t love books about bookstores, right? But surprisingly, this book seemed to me to be way more about computers and technology than about books. It was perfect for me! Clay takes the night shift at a bookstore after he cannot find a job doing computer work during the recession. […]

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Review: Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham

Talking As Fast As I Can is a rather interesting celebrity memoir. Instead of being organized chronologically, it has a more theme-based organization. And it’s kind of a mesh of memoir, advice book, and essay collection. Lauren shares her history as it relates to her acting career, and as promised she talks about her time on Gilmore Girls, both the original series and the reprisal. But she also shares relationship advice and tips for those wishing to get into acting. And then there are some bizarre antidotes that almost resemble essays, i.e. one about electronic devices for children. This book didn’t have as much humor as some […]

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Review: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility did not live up to my expectations. I had heard so many great things about this book, but surprisingly I had no recollection of what it was about before I started listening to it. Nastya is new in town. She’s come to live with her aunt after some sort of horrific attack on her life. She was a concert pianist, but she can no longer play because her attacker crushed her hand. Josh Bennett keeps to himself. He lives alone because his parents are dead, and his grandfather is dying. They’re both damaged, so they develop a unique relationship. This book was […]

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Review: Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Forever, Interrupted by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Forever, Interrupted was my last Taylor Jenkins Reid book. I love her work. She develops amazing characters with interesting plots, and this book was no exception. Less than two weeks after Elsie and Ben’s wedding, Ben is killed in a car/bike accident. Instead of living happily ever after, Elsie has to deal with Ben’s death and her new mother-in-law. She’s grieving and heart broken, and because it was a short relationship, no one understands grief. This book is written in alternating chapters – present day and the past. The reader gets to read about Elsie and Ben falling in love but also Elsie’s struggle to […]

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Review: Come This Way by Michelle Schlicher

Come This Way by Michelle Schlicher

Come This Way is a self-published contemporary women’s fiction novel. I’m not sure I’d ever read a self-published book before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. This book was amazing. It had parallel story lines with multiple characters that all come together at the end. It focuses on all different kinds of love and has a sort of Love, Actually feel to it. Fern, a hiking enthusiast, and her twenty-something daughter Colby get lost in the woods. Their cell phones don’t work, and they have limited supplies. Most horrific to me, Colby didn’t bring her glasses, so after the second day she has to remove her contacts […]

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Review & Interview: The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan

The Yellow Envelope by Kim Dinan

The Yellow Envelope is an incredibly raw and honest memoir about having the courage to go after a dream. After establishing her career and acquiring everything she always thought she wanted out of life, Kim Dinan realized that she wasn’t happy. She didn’t want that life. She wanted to quit her job to travel the world and write. And she was able to convince her husband to support her in this journey. But that doesn’t mean it was easy. With the help of some amazing friends, Kim and Brian’s plans expanded to include giving away money to whomever they chose while traveling the world. This […]

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