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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Book Review: The Girl in the Glass by Jeffrey Ford

The Girl in the GlassThe Girl in the Glass by Jeffrey Ford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

Thank you to Goodreads Firstreads Giveaways! And to Dark Alley/Harper Collins publishers as well as the author Jeffrey Ford for this remarkable book.

Gothic, ghost story, historical fiction. Told in flashbacks that jumped around, but once I got used to the style it made sense (both literally and as a storytelling device).

History – the more things change through the decades, the more they stay the same. Politically timely.

I read this more slowly than I read a lot of books. I enjoyed the story, the world, the language, so much, I didn’t want it to end. I especially didn’t want to leave the historical universe.

Great acknowledgements by the author at the end. Exactly how I like my historical fiction, with references and recommendations for further reading.

Jeffrey Ford is a new favorite author, I will be looking up his previous books and looking forward to future publications.

Read: 5/7-20/2018

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Repost: 12 Things Readers Really Want Nonreaders to Know

https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/1348-12-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: 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.

4/11-23/18

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:https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/def… )

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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Book Review: Flashmob by Christopher Farnsworth

Flashmob (John Smith, #2)Flashmob by Christopher Farnsworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 stars.

Second in the John Smith series. This was a Goodreads Giveaway, I’d like to thank the author, HarperCollins Publishers, and GoodReads for the opportunity to read this book.

In preparation for reading this, I read Killfile, the first in the series. I could not put it down and highly recommend it. Flashmob has a great premise, but didn’t hold my attention as much. Though, after saying that, I did read this in two days.

Read: 6/6-8/18

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Book Review: Killfile by Christopher Farnsworth

Killfile (John Smith, #1)Killfile by Christopher Farnsworth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

First book in the John Smith series. Got it because I’ve gotten the second book in the series as a giveaway, and I don’t like to read books out of sequence if I can help it. Especially second books; so much character background is typically included in the first book of a series that is missed if that book isn’t read.

My first impression, that remained throughout the book, is that the voice reminds me of Dean Koontz, but grittier, sharper writing.

This was a page turner, I finished in one sitting. Can’t wait to read the next book!

Read: 6/6/18

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Book Review: The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy

The Forsyte Saga (The Forsyte Chronicles, #1-3)The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

The great Forsyte Saga… I’m so glad I’ve finally read it. Some books deserve to be classics. John Galsworthy caught the essence of the periods he was writing about while telling a captivating story.

After a false start in 2015, I read parts 1 & 2 10/17-12/5/16 and part 3 4/16-25/18.

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Book Review: The Obsidian Chamber by Preston & Child

The Obsidian Chamber (Pendergast #16)The Obsidian Chamber by Douglas Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

Number 16 in the Pendergast series.

Though this is set in current day, the characters and world are quite developed. This is a series I highly recommend reading from the beginning. A series I highly recommend.

Read 3/11-13/18

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Book Review: The Second Winter by Craig Larsen

The Second WinterThe Second Winter by Craig Larsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

Giveaway from the author; thank you very much Craig Larsen for sending me this review copy.

I found the book mesmerizing. It tells of the gritty side of World War II for Polish and Danish civilians. Three separate story lines converging at unanticipated junctures, with a sad, but satisfying, ending.

Read 2/26-3/7/18

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