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[22 Jul 2017 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: Year End Wrap Up for 2016-17

I’m a little late, but I’ve just finished the wrap up of our book club’s 2016-17 reading year.
We started doing something a little different in our ratings this year. Occasionally there are books that a member or two doesn’t finish or doesn’t even attempt. (In our very bookish club, this is rare. We’re serious about our reading, people.) In these cases, it is possible that said book could end up with a decent overall score because anyone who was a “DNR” or a “DNF” didn’t get counted, making its comparison with …

Book Reviews, Books, Featured »

[20 May 2017 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: A Gentleman in Moscow

Set just after the Russian revolution, a former state sympathizer is sentenced to house arrest in the posh Moscow Metropol hotel. Within these confines the Count meets three women who, in their own way, stretch his assumptions of how rich a life is possible within the walls he’s been sentenced to. Mixed in are endearing hotel staff – a family, really – and a host of characters from the Count’s past and his still very much intact well-regarded reputation.
I first heard of this novel at my book club’s December meeting where we …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[28 Apr 2017 | No Comment | ]
Book Clubs :: SOC Sistas Long List 2017-2018

It’s that time of year when my book club is making its selection for the 10 books it will read in the upcoming year. We started this a few years ago, and now it is our favorite night of the year. We think that this year we may have outdone ourselves with the number of incredible options, so much so that we talked about not even making pitches next year & just choosing from the runner-ups. (If you need to catch up on how we do this, go here.)
A Long …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books, Featured »

[7 Jul 2016 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Fates and Furies

This is a novel that begs for discussion; that makes me wish I were back in college writing comparative essays; that makes me want to reread Sophocles, Aristophanes, Aeschylus. Mixing both Greek comedy and tragedy, Groff creates a villainous Mathilde reminiscent of Ron Rash’s Serena and Kathy of East of Eden.
I was warned before I started Fates and Furies to give it time. One of my best reading buds and literary soul-mates said it would take at least 100 pages before I was hooked. I appreciate the warning, but for me …

Book Reviews, Books »

[8 Jan 2016 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Shattered Dreams

Nothing like a book called Shattered Dreams to start out the new year, huh? 🙂
Well, we all have them. Larry Crabb’s book Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Pathway to Joy is the best book I’ve ever read about what to do with them. Through the eyes of Naomi from the book of Ruth, Crabb unpacks the journey of a Christ-follower whose dreams have been shattered.
So often, when bad things happen, we put a “God works all things together for good”  band-aid on it, apply triple antibiotic prayer and expect healing – or at …

Book Reviews »

[31 Dec 2015 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Best Books from 2015

I accomplished a first in 2015 – finishing 100 books. Most years, I read about 65. A few times I’ve topped out near 85, but this year I actually hit three digits. To see the books and some cool stats about them, goodreads puts together a nice year-end summary. Or, for a quick list, divided by books I physically read vs those I listened to, I keep a running list on this site.
But that’s not really what this post is about. People often ask me for  book recommendations, so this post is about the …

Book Reviews, Books »

[15 Aug 2015 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Go Set a Watchman

Many of you have been asking, but it is hard to know where to begin. My thoughts on Go Set a Watchman.
Does Watchman change the way we will or should read To Kill a Mockingbird?
This is the question at the heart of every reader who has paused before picking up Watchman. And my answer is, yes, it will forever change TKM. But it isn’t a bad thing or for the worse. Ultimately, Watchman provides a rounder, more fully developed understanding of TKM.
In high school and college classrooms across the country …

Book Reviews, Books »

[28 Feb 2015 | No Comment | ]
Book Review ::The Narrow Road to the Deep North

“A good book… leaves you wanting to reread the book. A great book compels you to reread your own soul,” says Dorrigo Evans, the lead character of Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North. There’s a whole lotta soul readin’ over here.
Flanagan said it is the book he knew he’d have to write if he kept on writing. For him, it is deeply personal – his father, a survivor of the horror the novel depicts. It won the Man Booker Prize in 2014 and fully deserves it.
Narrow Road centers around …

Book Reviews, Books »

[24 Jan 2015 | No Comment | ]
Book Review :: Missing Person

Written by the 2014 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, frenchman Patrick Modiano, this brief novel takes the reader along the narrator’s journey to learn his own identity. What we know is that early in the Paris occupation, the narrator and several others left Paris. The narrator (presumably) also attempted to escape France altogether. In a sequence of interviews and visits to vaguely familiar locals, the narrator tries to figure out who he is and what happened just prior to his memory loss more than a decade before.
By raising more questions than …

Book Clubs, Book Reviews, Books »

[31 Dec 2014 | No Comment | ]
Year in Review :: Best of 2014

I love everyone’s year end “Best of” lists, so here’s mine – the three best reads from 2014.
Favorite contemporary fiction read from this year: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
This book had me from the start and would also qualify as the best book that took me by surprise. It is the story of a family and the terrible consequences when they lose one their members. The narrator is a young girl who lost her ‘twin’ one summer – the sister being a chimpanzee and her parents being among …