Book Review: From the Corner of the Oval Office by Beck Dorey-Stein

From the Corner of the OvalFrom the Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

Thank you to Random House and Beck Dorey-Stein for this Advanced Reader’s Edition.

In my 20’s I lived in Northern Virginia during the 90’s. During graduate school at George Mason, I considered Law School and going on to work for a lobbying firm owned by one of my professors. I have an understanding of the atmosphere evoked in this auto-biography.

I devoured this book. Magnificent, yet easy to read.

Read 5/21-22/2018

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Repost: 12 Things Readers Really Want Nonreaders to Know

Every reader has friends or family members who just don’t get it. “Why do you read so much?” they might ask, staring at your overflowing bookshelves or your Reading Challenge on Goodreads. “I haven’t read an entire book in years.”

Oh, those poor, unfortunate souls… Haven’t they heard about the very real scientific benefits of reading—like stress reduction and improved sleep? We asked our followers on Facebook and Twitter to share one thing about the comfort, joy, and importance of reading they wish nonreaders could understand. Check out some of our favorite responses below!

1. “Best therapy money can buy…or borrow for free with a library card. Reading helps me sleep, helps me forget about the day, and helps me relax in general.” –Sarah

2. “Opening a beer when you get home will reward you for an hour. Opening a book when you get home will reward you for life.” –Douglass

3. “Reading teaches you empathy, and it really gives you a chance to examine all the grey areas of life. You get to think about and see things from other perspectives—it’s awesome!” –Nyeisha

4. “I feel like I have friends all over the world, through space and time, who I can visit whenever I need a break from my own life.” –Kat

5. “Books are better than the movie. There is so much going on in the minds of the characters that movies can’t show. To really understand the movie characters you love, read the book.” –Linda

6. “The smells of books, whether they’re new and old, are enjoyable and pair well with tea or coffee. People who are loathe to read are missing out on smell-o-vision.” –Ian

7. “It’s one of the ultimate escapes. You can forget where you are and who you are. There have been times I’ve gone to Middle-earth and Hogwarts and Narnia in my head just to survive… Everyone should have that blessed escape.” –Ruby

8. “The more I read the easier it is to express what I am thinking or feeling. Thanks to books, I have the words.” –Melanie

9. “You will always have friends. Real life doesn’t always hand you the right people. But a book is the perfect place to find your people whenever you need them.” –Gillian

10. “Don’t give up on reading just because you tried one or two books that didn’t do it for you. Keep trying, and I’m sure you will find your niche or genre. When you do, you’ll be so glad you did!” –Wes

11. “Reading to me is like unconditional love. I always feel like I’m home when I read a book.” –Susan

12. “Used correctly, a book can transport the reader on an instant mental vacation with no jet lag, TSA, or dysentery!” –Todd

Book Review: Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie

Ordeal by InnocenceOrdeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

Thank you to HarperCollins Publishers and Goodread Giveaways for a review copy of this book.

It’s Agatha Christie, really, what more is there to say… “Perfection”

The characters are developed just enough to keep one guessing. The house seems also to be a character in its own right.

This edition was published to help market the “Limited TV series”, which I am told, is on Amazon Prime. Apparently the adaption is good, but they changed the ending and the murder is done by someone else. I can only guess that this was done to keep the viewer guessing. Personally, I’m not a fan of changing endings in tv or movie adaptions. But, I haven’t seen this one myself, only passing on what I was told.

Read: 4/20-22/2018

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Book Review: Providence by Caroline Kepnes

ProvidenceProvidence by Caroline Kepnes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Solid 5 stars.

My gratitude to Random House for this review copy. It is greatly appreciated.


It made my heart ache.


This is a book about love. I read it in one day, I could not put it down.

Postscript: I think the authors comments in the acknowledgements are spot on.

Serious book hangover.

Read: 4/9/2018

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Book Review: Crux by Jean Guerrero

Crux: A Cross-Border MemoirCrux: A Cross-Border Memoir by Jean Guerrero
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars rounded up.

Thank you to Random House for this Advanced Reader’s Edition. It came in a set of three books, two were memoirs.

On the whole, I don’t read a lot of memoirs, and this book is a fine example of why. It is written by a woman trying to make sense of her relationship with her father. While I was reading her life story, not yet to her teen years and she was already annoying me. Work it out with your therapist, don’t subject me to it. I usually won’t stop a book once I’ve started (especially an ARC), but I decided I’d reassess at the half way mark.

I did make my way through the entire book in three days. It’s an easy enough read (just not my thing). I rounded up on my stars since my review might be skewed by personal preference, and that’s not the books fault.

The travel and mysticism kept it interesting for me.

If the subject interests you, go for it.

Read 5//27-29/18

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Book Review: Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Just One Day (Just One Day, #1)Just One Day by Gayle Forman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

First book in the Just One Day series.

Thank you to Penguin Random House for a review copy of this book.

This book was lovely. The story unravels like petals on a flower, each layer bring it’s own complexity and beauty. Rich characters and locations.

I read this in one day.

Spoiler: The downside is having to wait for the next book.

Read: April 27, 2018

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Book Review: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. HydeThe Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reread from anthology “Sensational Tales of Terror Penny Dreadfuls”.

Not what I remember, and nothing like the myriad adaptions for stage and screen.

Very Victorian in language and gothic moodiness. Uses letters and diaries as a means to back into the story from different directions. I’ll admit I prefer the linear works of Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens; however, I love the language and turn of phrase of R.L. Stevenson, so I will continue to read his works (and reread…).

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Book Review: This is How I Save My Life by Amy B. Scher

This Is How I Save My Life: From California to India, a True Story Of Finding Everything When You Are Willing To Try AnythingThis Is How I Save My Life: From California to India, a True Story Of Finding Everything When You Are Willing To Try Anything by Amy B. Scher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

Thank you to GoodReads, the author Amy B. Scher, and @Gallery Books / Simon & Schuster for this Advanced Readers Copy to review.

Over the years, several people have told me I should write about my journey with Lyme disease and chronic illness. Now I don’t need to, Amy Scher has told a story that mirrors mine, except I’m hoping to try stem cell therapy in the next year or two; it’s something I’ve been researching since I was first disabled in 2009. Almost ten years later, I’m almost ready to try it, and this book comes out. Synchronicity.

What she writes could be a page out of my life (pg 163):
“I could never do what you are doing.”
Honestly, I’m no superhero. You could totally rock this too, if you had to. In fact, we could all do anything if we absolutely had to. I once thought I could never do what I’m doing either, except for now I don’t have a choice and that’s exactly how I’m doing it in the first place. Some nights when I go to bed, I think to myself ‘I cannot do this, not for one more day.’ Eventually I fall asleep…and then…I wake up with a life that is just waiting for me to wade through all over again. You do it because even when — especially when — you think you can’t you’re somehow still making it happen. And you do it every minute of every day — no breaks allowed — because if you don’t every single thing that you’ve barely been holding on to might fall apart too.

The writing in this book is outstanding. The honesty is heart wrenching.

I’m done, because I don’t have the energy to type any longer.

If you’re chronically ill, or know someone who is chronically ill, you should read this book. If you have Lyme disease, this is a must.


GoodReads review

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Book Review: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Baby TeethBaby Teeth by Zoje Stage
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for a review copy of this book.

I love reading author acknowledgements, this book has a fine example.

Unputdownable. (Is that a word? Why, actually, it is! “adjective, informal, (of a book) so engrossing that one cannot stop reading it.” Oxford English Dictionary, online:… )

But I digress.

And to digress again, this excerpt sums up chronic illness perfectly, “She resented her body’s betrayal. She Still couldn’t express how insecure it made her, how she lived on a precipice. The most basic parts of her could fail, and there was nothing she could do to stop it.” (p. 154)

This book kept me up all night, trying to read through all in one sitting.

Wow. Tragic. I hope you… enjoy?

Read 6/4-5/18

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