Popular Posts

Recent Posts

Unordered List

  • Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit.
  • Aliquam tincidunt mauris eu risus.
  • Vestibulum auctor dapibus neque.

Text Widget

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation test link ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Pages

Blog Archive

Search

Type your search keyword, and press enter

Ordered List

Contact Us

Name

Email *

Message *

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

(96)Today Will be Different by Maria Semple


Eleanor Flood wakes up in the morning and vows that today will be different.  She vows to do things like initiate sex with her husband, Joe. She will go to yoga, she will have her poetry lesson.  Today will be different.  Until third-grade son, Timby (so named because of a Siri mishap)  is "sick" and the plans for her day are left by the wayside.  Eleanor decides that Joe can handle Timby and his fake illnesses for once, but when she goes by his office she is told that he is on vacation.  Eleanor goes into panic mode.  Joe is her rock.  He puts up with all of her quirks and issues and she knows she doesn't show her appreciation as much as she should.  But why would Joe take a vacation day and not tell her?  With Timby tagging along, Eleanor sets off to find her husband and why he didn't tell her that he was taking some time off.   What will happen when Eleanor finds out the truth?

When I think of Eleanor Flood I alternate between thinking that she is the funniest thing around or she is one hot mess.   Often times she is both.  Eleanor was an older mother who left a very successful career as an animator and is currently working on a book.  But she struggles with holding it all together. She loves her son and husband, but most days she struggles to even function.  It is like she has been in a haze ever since Timby was born.  I couldn't help but to love her.  Her observations were honest and at times quite hysterical.  And I am sure that many would find fault with these sentiments. 

"She's like Parkinson's, you can't cure her, you can just manage the symptoms."

"As everybody knows, being raised Catholic with half a brain means becoming an atheist." 
But this one was so astute that it almost took my breath away.  In a world where social media only fuels that fire to keep up with the Jones' I thought that this quote was so on target.

"This was happiness.  Not the framed greatest hits, but the moments between."

Bottom line - I really liked Today Will Be Different.  I know a lot of people thought that it was too similar to Semple's first book, Where Did You Go Bernadette? but I really love the quirky characters that live in Maria Semple's head.

Details:






Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016

(95)Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick



Thanksgiving weekend means traveling for my family.  For the first time in four years, we were able to go back to the Midwest for the holiday.  We ended up logging nearly 3,000 miles on Clifford the Big Red Van and we pass the time listening to audiobooks.

Anna Kendrick is quickly being added to our list of favorite actresses.   Really, anybody who has seen the Pitch Perfect movies would understand why we say that.  Her new book, Scrappy Little Nobody isn't so much a memoir as a collection of essays.   In that quick-witted way.  those of us who follow her on social media are familiar with Anna Kendrick tells us tales of her life.  Her childhood on Broadway. her first movie the indy hit, Camp.  And then of course she talks about her role in the Twilight franchise.

Anna talks about everything from her early days in Hollywood to performing on the Oscars with NPH. It was all fun and engaging and Anna Kendrick is every bit as charming as you would imagine.  Even when dealing with the paparazzi and her first run in with one at Ikea.   She made some comment about them underestimating her ability to not leave the house for weeks and binge watch Netflix.   That is somebody that I could definitely be friends with.

Bottom line - Scrappy Little Nobody is a quick and fun read. proving that Anna Kendrick is exactly as you would imagine her to be.  Funny, charming, loyal, and hard-working.

Details:

Sunday, November 27, 2016

(94)Before the Fall by Noah Hawley


It is a typical summer evening when a group of people gather at a small airport, waiting to leave Martha's Vineyard on a private plane, eager to get back to the city.  The passengers are wealthy and privileged.  Except for Scott - Scott is a painter just trying to get by and was lucky enough to be offered a ride back to the city.  The thought of avoiding weekend traffic was very appealing to Scott, so he accepts the offer.  They aren't in the air long when something goes horribly wrong and the plane falls from the sky.   Scott and a four-year-old little boy are the only survivors.  All of a sudden Scott is thrown into the spotlight in a way he never thought possible.  People are questioning his survival, they are questioning his presence on the plane, they are questioning his heroic efforts to save the young son, and only living heir, of some very wealthy people.   In the days after the crash things start to intensify, but will they ever find out what happened to cause the plane to just fall out of the sky?

Before the Fall is one of those books that I have been hearing about for months.  Now I see why.  Noah Hawley takes his readers on a doozy of a ride.  As a reader, you know the plane crashed, you know that Scott and JJ survived.  But in a series of flashbacks you get to know the other passengers on the plane. Like one of the men is on the verge of being indicted by the SEC.   And JJ's older sister was once kidnapped and held for three days until a very large ransom was paid.   And one of the pilots once had a fling with one of the Flight Attentendents.   Scott seems like a decent guy who got caught in the drama that comes with a little adorable orphaned boy and his billions.  With each passing day, it is easy for the reader to also get caught up in the drama, but you are desperate to find who was behind the plane crash.   I was a little disappointed with the big reveal, I was expecting something...more.

Bottom line - While the end fell a little flat for me, the build-up leading to the reveal was the stuff that legends are made of.  All in all, Before the Fall was a great book.


Details:


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016

(93)The Choices We Make by Karma Brown


Kate and Hannah have been best friends since the fifth grade. They have been together through thick and thin, through family issues and boyfriend troubles.  Now they are in their mid-thirties and are married to great guys.  Kate is married to David and they have two beautiful little girls. Hannah and Ben are desperate to start their own family.  They have tried everything and are getting ready to explore the adoption option when Kate steps up and offers to be their surrogate.  It is an offer that changes the dynamic of their relationship in ways they never thought possible.  When tragedy strikes it forces Hannah to evaluate what is most important to her and the choices she makes will have long lasting repercussions.

I had a hard time getting into The Choices We Make, but once I did get into it, the book started to go by rather quickly.  The story is told from alternate perspectives so you really get a feel for both Hannah and Kate.  They are both good people.  Infertility is such a personal struggle that I had to keep reminding myself of that when I thought Hannah was getting to be a bit over the top.  There is an "event" that happens that is pivotal to the story and even then I struggled to like Hannah as she was dealing with it.  I think her own husband had a hard time understanding where she was coming from and I was afraid that it was going permanently damage their marriage.   I want to say that there was a happy ending - but it was really the best possible outcome for the story.  But you still might be in danger of needing a hanky or three.  - CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS

Bottom line - The Choices We Make is a heart-wrenching novel about two women, a decades-long friendship, and sacrifices they make in the name of love.   This book would be a good one to share with your best friend over a bottle of wine.

Details:

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Sunday, November 6, 2016

(92)The Perfect Girl by Gilly MacMillan



Zoe Maisey is a teenager with a past.  A musical genius who is a convicted killer.  She made one tragic mistake a few years ago and it nearly destroyed her life.  Three of her friends died because of her mistake.   Her parents divorced because of her mistake.   She did time in the "Unit" because of her mistake.   A few years have passed and Zoe is out of the "Unit" and living with her mother and their "Second-Chance Family" in their new home far away from where the accident took place.   Zoe has a new Step-Dad, a new Step-Brother, and a new baby sister. performing a recital in her new community with her new step-brother when the father of one of her deceased friends interrupts the concert.  The secret that  Zoe and Maria have kept from their "Second Chance" are coming to light and jeopardizing all that they have built.   And then Zoe wakes up to find that her mother is dead.  She is terrified to live a life without the one person who has always been by her side. But worse, what is going to happen to her when the police realize that she is a convicted killer.  They wouldn't think that she killed her mother, would they?

The Perfect Girl was one of those books that quickly sucked me in.  The author tells the story from various viewpoints. Zoe, both in the past and the present.  We get an insight into the accident that destroyed her life. We also get to hear her from Zoe's lawyer, and her aunt Tessa.  It makes for an interesting timeline, but one that easily puts you in Zoe's corner.  Almost from the beginning, I got bad vibes about the new Step-Dad and Step-Brother.  It is revealed that they were keeping their own shocking secrets.   Zoe was the most sympathetic character, even with her past, you couldn't help but want to protect her.   When the truth is revealed about the night her mom died I was surprised at how Zoe constructed the plan she did.  It was a little bit devious but completely brilliant.  - CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS  -

Bottom line - The Perfect Girl is one of those books that you will read in one sitting.  The characters are compelling, the story is gripping, and you can't wait to see what happens in the end.

Details:

Tuesday, November 1, 2016