Category Archives: Reviews

March 09

Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See, Juliann Garey

***** Soho Press, 2012 ISBN 161695129X (ISBN13: 9781616951290) WASHINGTON, March 9, 2014—I usually do not read books about mental illness, but this was on sale on Kindle one day, and, given the glowing reviews, I thought I’d see what all the hype was about. I absolutely LOVED this book. It was heartfelt, beautifully written, witty, […]

Cover The Vanishing, Wendy Webb February 22

Snowy, Remote Minnesota: The Vanishing, Wendy Webb

Hyperion, 2014 ISBN 1401341942 (ISBN13: 9781401341947) ***1/4 Part of the Mysteries from Every State Reading Challenge Julia Bishop has recently lost her husband, her friends, and her entire life. The “Bernie Madoff of the Midwest,” her husband had swindled hundreds out of their life savings before killing himself once his scheme was discovered. Hounded by […]

February 21

That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, Anne Sebba

George Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2011 ISBN 0297858963 (ISBN13: 9780297858966) 0 stars (if I could give negative stars, I would) I can’t remember when a book made me angrier than this one. Compared to this poor excuse for a biography, even the horrid editing in Before and After seems worthy of the Pulitzer. I read this […]

Before and After February 06

A good editor is hard to find in New Hampshire: Before and After, Rosellen Brown

* Picador, 1992 ISBN 0312424418 (ISBN13: 9780312424411) Part of the Mysteries from Every State Reading Challenge   This is another review I was writing in my head since the 10th page. I read it on Kindle and I can honestly say that I have never read such a poorly, carelessly edited book in my entire […]

January 24

A snapshot of 1980s south Florida: LaBrava, Elmore Leonard

Harper Torch, 1983 ISBN 0060512237 (ISBN13: 9780060512231) Part of the Mysterious USA Reading Challenge Having spent a little of my childhood in early 1980s Miami—I am Colombian, after all—this novel brought back a lot of memories and highlighted how much Miami has changed since then. Elmore Leonard’s LaBrava perfectly captures a time and a place, […]

January 15

3+1 books with strong Asian (American) Female Voices

3 works of fiction + 1 work of nonfiction on a particular subject I absolutely love reading about Asian history and culture. However, I find that stories written by men and women—like in every other culture—are extremely different. I find that one of the things that books written by Asian women have in common is […]

The Virgin of Small Plains, Nancy Pickard January 12

Magical, murderous tornadoes in Kansas: The Virgin of Small Plains, Nancy Pickard

**** Ballantine Books, 2006 ISBN 0345470990 (ISBN13: 9780345470997) Part of the Mysterious USA Mystery reading challenge Let me start by saying The Virgin of Small Plains has very little—if anything—to do with religion. The novel opens in the middle of a blizzard; it is January 1987 in Kansas and the weather is threatening to kill […]

Midnight in the garden of good and evil January 09

Crazy, kooky Savannah: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt

****1/2 Vintage, 1994 ISBN 0679751521 (ISBN13: 9780679751526) “You mustn’t be taken in by the moonlight and magnolias. There’s more to Savannah than that.” What this book lacked in the “mystery” category, it more than made up for it in rich description, sensuality and humor, prefect from my Mysterious USA Reading Challenge. I also loved the movie and […]

January 04

3 + 1 good books about bad people

3 works of fiction + 1 work of nonfiction about a particular subject I love books about characters that are kind of bad. I think that what attracts me to these books as a reader is how the author makes a character that we should hate endearing. Some authors do it better than others, and […]

On writing, Stephen King December 30

Top 10 books read in 2013

10.            The Wall Street Journal Complete Real Estate Investing Handbook, David Crook I thought this book was going to bore me to tears, but surprisingly enough, I devoured this one, reading it in one day. I’m planning to re-read it again soon—really. While not a particularly exciting read, this book is fundamental for anybody thinking […]