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Welcome! The ultimate luxury for me is curling up with a good book and a warm blanket. The next best thing is reviewing books and sharing them with others.

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12 02, 2017

Review: Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel

By | February 12th, 2017|Categories: Coming of Age, Genre Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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small admissions book coverReviewed by Carrie Ardoin

When Kate Pearson graduated college and was all set to move in with her French boyfriend in Paris, it came as a hard shock when he decided that was the time to break things off with her. In the next months, she fell apart, spending most days on her sofa or bed, going days without showers, and generally being miserable. With the help of her sister and friend Chloe, she finally gets it together enough to land a job at one of New York City’s most prestigious private schools as an admissions officer.

Kate is, at first, quite overwhelmed by a job she’s sure she has no business doing. But meeting these families who would–and do–do anything to get their kids into the perfect school gives her a focus and keeps her busy. Soon Kate is highly invested in her job and slowly but surely getting her life back on track.

30 01, 2017

Review: Traveling Light by Lynne Branard

By | January 30th, 2017|Categories: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , |4 Comments

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traveling light book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

When Alissa discovers the ashes of a man named Roger Hart in a storage unit she impulsively purchases, it becomes the start of an incredible journey across the country with her three-legged dog Casserole, a teenage waitress named Blossom, and the people they meet on their travels to starting a new life.

Life is messy and there are often very few happy endings, as Lynne Branard heartbreakingly documents in Traveling Light. Alissa is easy to relate to; she’s stuck in her current existence, not really knowing what direction she wants to go. Her father wants her to take over the family business, and she’s not sure she wants it, but it is all she knows. Blossom is wise for her age, and has experienced so much more in her life than Alissa has in her own. Blossom challenges her to take risks, open closed doors, and begin an honest dialogue between herself and her family.

10 01, 2017

Review: Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

By | January 10th, 2017|Categories: Asian American, Coming of Age, Genre Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Literary, Literature & Fiction, Satire|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments

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wangs vs the world book coverReviewed by Alisha Churbe

Jade Chang’s novel, Wangs vs. the World is highly entertaining. It is a portrait of a family complete with all of their similarities and their differences. She shows them as they come together and also when they fall apart. The novel is a very quick read. Chang’s prose is energetic and flows flawlessly. She peppers in thoughts about immigration and politics but it is not heavy-handed and fits within the confines of the novel well. The thoughts propel the story to its conclusion.

Charles Wang has lost everything. He once had everything–fancy cars, a lucrative business, many factories, enough money to be comfortable and then some. He has three children, Grace, Andrew and Saina. He’s married to his second wife, Barbra.  His first wife was killed in an accident six months after his youngest daughter, Grace, was born.

13 11, 2016

Review: Losing Me by Sue Margolis

By | November 13th, 2016|Categories: Family Life, Genre Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |2 Comments

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losing me book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

A common calamity faces men and women in the Western Hemisphere. It’s not a sickness per se, but more of a mental condition that afflicts people as they get older and realize that their lives really haven’t had the impact that they always hoped they would have. Some call it a mid-life crisis…others just call it life. In her novel, Losing Me, Sue Margolis tells the story of Barbara Stirling. Past mid-life at 58, she works as a teacher, comes home, talks to the husband, talks to her son and presses repeat day after day. There is a familiar monotony to her days that is comforting in its familiarity but suffocating at the same time. When Barbara is suddenly faced with losing her position, her whole world starts to unravel as she begins to analyze just exactly the life she has built for herself.

4 08, 2016

Review: Wedding Girl by Stacey Ballis

By | August 4th, 2016|Categories: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , , |2 Comments

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wedding girl book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

If you’re a foodie, – whether by genetics, education, marriage, osmosis, passion, or any other reason – you’ll find plenty to like in this charming, very easy to read book. It’s a truly engaging story, with the most amazing readability! The pages turn so fast, it’s incredible how quickly you find yourself 100 pages beyond where you thought you were. Maybe it’s because you distract yourself by laughing out loud so often. I haven’t a clue.

I only know I loved reading Wedding Girl, even loved reading about how a recipe goes together. And identifying with more than one of the main characters. I’ll never be able to produce most of the goodies hatched up by the leading lady, Sunny ‘Sophie’ Bernstein, but I could still imagine – even visualize — them. What fun!

28 07, 2016

Review: Once Upon a Wine by Beth Kendrick

By | July 28th, 2016|Categories: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Romance, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , |3 Comments

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once upon a wine book coverReviewed by Meg Massey

Cammie thinks that life can’t get any worse. She’s working as a waitress after her restaurant failed and her chef boyfriend left her and their business behind. But then she discovers that her aunt Ginger spontaneously purchased a vineyard near the place her family used to visit in Delaware, and her cousin Kat begs her to help them figure out how to make the vineyard work.

When Cammie arrives there, she is shocked to discover that the property is in bad shape. Despite her research about wine, she finds that she may need more help, and that comes in the form of an old flame, local farmer Ian.

11 07, 2016

Review: Barefoot Beach by Toby Devens

By | July 11th, 2016|Categories: Contemporary, Family Life, Genre Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Women's Fiction|Tags: , , , , |5 Comments

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barefoot beach book coverReviewed by Jennifer Jensen

It’s summertime, and since I live nowhere near an ocean, I get to live vicariously through fictional characters who do. Such was the draw for me to get lost in Barefoot Beach by Toby Devens, an author I tried out for the first time. Based on the back cover synopsis, I pictured the structure of the book to be something like Wendy Wax’s Ten Beach Road series, where chapters alternate between different characters and their trials, while focusing on the bonds of their friendships.

In Barefoot Beach, Nora is the focal point of the story.

21 06, 2016

Review: The Dog That Whispered by Jim Kraus

By | June 21st, 2016|Categories: Christian Literature & Fiction, Family Life, Genre Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality|Tags: , , , |5 Comments

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the dog that whispered book coverReviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

Have you ever thought your dog was trying to talk to you? Or at least paying really close attention (cocking his head sideways, raising ears and staring at you with great intensity) when you were talking to him? (Or her, of course!) After you read The Dog That Whispered, you might realize the concept isn’t so far-fetched, after all.

Thurman is the dog who whispers, well, actually growls and grumbles but in an almost conversational way. After seeing him on TV as a dog up for adoption, Gretna Steele felt so strongly about him that she took herself off to the Animal Shelter to adopt him. Only after they were both back at her apartment did she discover that as a tenant of the Heritage Square Senior Apartments and Retirement Village, she was not allowed to have a dog. That little problem meant nothing to Gretna, for didn’t she have a perfectly wonderful son who needed such a dog?

20 06, 2016

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Love & Friendship by Whit Stillman

By | June 20th, 2016|Categories: Comedy, Genre Fiction, Giveaways, Historical, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Romance|Tags: , , , , , , |10 Comments

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love & friendship book coverWelcome to the Janeite Blog Tour of Love & Friendship by Whit Stillman!

Enter to win one of three hardcover copies of the book below–and visit the rest of the blog tour stops for more chances to win!

About the book

Whit Stillman has taken Austen’s never-finished epistolary novella, Lady Susan, reimagined it as a straight narrative, and added the hilarious new character of Rufus, Susan’s apologist nephew, who aims to clear Susan’s good name come hell or high water (even if he is doing it from “the ignoble abode” of debtors’ prison ). Despite many indications to the contrary, Rufus insists that Susan is, “the kindest, most delightful woman anyone could know, a shining ornament to our Society and Nation.” Rufus then appends his earnest tale with a collection of his aunt’s letters, which he claims have been altered by Austen to cast the estimable Lady Susan in a bad light.

15 06, 2016

Blog Tour: Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore

By | June 15th, 2016|Categories: Genre Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Paranormal, Satire, Science Fiction & Fantasy|Tags: , , , , |4 Comments

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secondhand souls book coverPlease join Christopher Moore, author of Secondhand Souls, as he tours the blogosphere with TLC Book Tours!

Reviewed by Caleb Shadis

Secondhand Souls is the second book in the Death Merchants series and if you haven’t read any Christopher Moore books, I would recommend starting with the first book. This is my first Christopher Moore read and although I did enjoy it quite a bit, I think I would have enjoyed it more had I started this story at the beginning.

We start with finding out that the main character from the last book, Charlie Asher, who supposedly died, has actually spent the last year living in a 14” tall meat puppet with a small crocodile skull and a 10” shlong he wears as a cummerbund. And when he gets aroused, he passes out. This should give you some idea of the type of book you are getting into. A bit crass, at times vulgar and entirely  funny.