Book Review: Unlocked by Courtney Milan

» 20 May, 2015 » Book Reviews » 0 comments

Book Review: Unlocked by Courtney Milan

Even in an abbreviated form, Courtney Milan knows what’s up. Unlocked is a truly delightful story about second chances, forgiveness, and absolving for past mistakes. Even a tricky romance like this, between a woman and the man who bullied her mercilessly, comes out all right when written by this author. Lady Elaine was first introduced in Unveiled as a sort of unlikeable friend to the protagonist, but now in Unlocked, Milan is able to really explore Elaine’s character and bring out her past. Always a bit different, Elaine was proud of herself until Evan Carlton, […]

Book Review: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

» 19 May, 2015 » Book Reviews » 0 comments

Book Review: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

So this is the big one. Pulitzer prize for fiction, national book award finalist, etc. But, truth be told: All the Light We Cannot See is good, but it’s not excellent. Anthony Doerr’s concept is good, but the book is unwieldy, with a structure that does nothing more than drag things out, and a mystical side-plot that’s entirely unnecessary. Bare bones, this is a good book. But I was relieved when I finished it, and I don’t think I’m likely to think long or hard about anything that happened in these pages. The novel’s structure, […]

It’s Monday, May 18! What are you reading?

» 18 May, 2015 » Wrap-ups » 4 comments

It’s Monday, May 18! What are you reading?

Hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey I started a new job this week, and it’s…time consuming. So reading for the remainder of the summer is probably going to be less rapid than has been heretofore typical. But that’s fine. Otherwise, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the library holds that came in all at once, so I’ve just been working my way through those. LAST WEEK’S READS The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman — This was a DNF, unfortunately. It was too focused on showcasing the author’s writing prowess rather than telling […]

Book Review: She Weeps Each Time You’re Born by Quan Barry

» 17 May, 2015 » Book Reviews » 0 comments

Book Review: She Weeps Each Time You’re Born by Quan Barry

Quan Barry’s She Weeps Each Time You’re Born is a poetic, magical exploration of 20th century Vietnamese history, told through the lens of one family group. This is a debut novel by a poet, and it shows. Not that the book is ever flowery or excessively descriptive—it’s more like Barry has chosen each word with careful thought, as one might when crafting a poem. Because of this, She Weeps Each Time You’re Born gives off every impression of a skillfully crafted piece of art, which does much to accentuate the otherworldly qualities of the protagonist […]

Book Review: Ruby by Cynthia Bond

» 16 May, 2015 » Book Reviews » 4 comments

Book Review: Ruby by Cynthia Bond

I’ve thought for several weeks about what I wanted to say about Ruby. I’m generally not an emotionally engaged reader, and when I review books I rarely mention my feelings. But with this book, it’s impossible to do otherwise. Cynthia Bond’s debut is heartbreaking and destroying and brutal. It’s not a nice book, but it is one that challenges perspectives and thought processes in truly important ways. In this book, Bond focuses on a Southern community and explores its dynamics and asks questions. Ruby asks how a group of people can turn a blind eye […]