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

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: 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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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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