Farewell to the East End

by Jennifer Worth

Farewell to the East End

Farewell to the East End is the last book that Worth wrote concerning her time in London’s East End working as a midwife in the 1950s, but interestingly not the last book she wrote about nursing. I am planning to read those as well. Once again Worth splits up parts of the narrative telling stories about her fellow midwives, Trixie, Cynthia, and Chummy. Read More »

Shadows of the Workhouse

by Jennifer Worth

Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth

This book is the second book of the Midwife Series Trilogy on which the BBC drama Call the Midwife is based. Whew, that was a mouthful. Suffice it to say that this book is every bit as sad as the title suggests, in the very best possible way. Read More »

Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s

by Jennifer Worth

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

Once upon a time I stumbled upon the BBC series Call the Midwife on Netflix. I generally enjoy what the BBC has to offer and I devoured this entire series in a matter of a few weeks. I cried every single episode. Perhaps I should preface all the crying with the fact that I am pregnant, and tend to be easily touched into tears when I am pregnant. Read More »

A Mormon Mother: An Autobiography by Annie Clark Tanner

by Annie Clark Tanner

A Mormon Mother by Annie Clark Tanner

My little brother got me this book for Christmas. I suspect that it was heavily discounted from the $1.50 price tag that graced its cover. Though I love free books, AND love my little brother for providing so many, it is often hit and miss with his gifts. It was with trepidation that I started this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. Read More »

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Unseen Guest

by Maryrose Wood

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place and the Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood

I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. These books are charming. I am really looking forward to reading them to my kids in a few years. One thing I enjoy about these books is that there is an underlying mystery that prevails through each book and the reader gets little bits and pieces each time. The reader gets just enough information to start making speculations that are either confirmed or debunked in subsequent books. Read More »

The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World’s Great Drinks

by Amy Stewart

The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart

Disclaimer: I do not drink. So why read a book about drinks? I must say, I have a fascination with the science behind the making of alcohol. I visited a Whisky distillery in Scotland and a Pisco distillery in Chile, so I am a bit of an enthusiast. Read More »

The Night Listener

by Armistead Maupin

The Night Listener by Armistead Maupin

It has been a while since I read something so awful that I debated whether I should finish it or not. Congrats Night Listener, I finished you, but don’t feel better for it. Read More »

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

by Anthony Marra

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

Poor Chechnya. Some countries seem to just have it bad and Chechnya is one of those. I will not delve into political theory or strategy but for those unacquainted with Chechnya’s tragic history, suffice it to say that it is a country surrounded by larger countries with dangerous ambitions, and the Chechen people have paid a hefty price. Read More »

11 Days in December: Christmas at the Bulge, 1944

by Stanley Weintraub

11 Days in December by Stanley Weintraub

I know I promised a break on non fiction WWII books, but this has been on the shelf since I married my husband (it came with him) and it was Christmastime so I thought, why not? Mistake. Read More »

I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring

by Robert I. Eaton and Henry J. Eyring

I Will Lead You Along: The Life of Henry B. Eyring by Robert Eaton and Henry Eyring

I always hesitate when I review religious books about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). It is difficult for me to separate my own religious beliefs and examine a text as a purely impartial reader. For example, as a member of the LDS church I read church texts and the scriptural cannon (Old Testament, New Testament King James’ Version, The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price) weekly, but I never review them as I consider them sacred. Read More »

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and The History of the World

by Sam Kean

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements by Sam Kean

This is the second of Kean’s scientific narratives that I have read, and the first that he had published. Though I liked it less than The Violinists Thumb, it was still interesting and informative. Read More »

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma

by Trenton Lee Stewart

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart

The third installment in The Mysterious Benedict Society is every bit as fun, action-packed, and refreshing as the previous books in the series. I feel like I gush when I write about these books, but they are genuinely wonderful. Stewart’s style is both light and captivating. I find myself cheering audibly for our heroes and cringing whenever the villains get a leg up. I assure you, it is quite amusing to watch. Read More »

Speaking From Among the Bones

by Alan Bradley

Speaking from Among the Bones by Alan Bradley

I truly enjoy reading Flavia de Luce novels. I can’t help it. Bradley manages to capture perfectly inconsistencies that radiate from 11/12 year old girls. He also captures a time that I find fascinating in English history.

Read More »

L is for Lawless

by Sue Grafton

L is for Lawless by Sue Grafton

I’m going to ask for you to indulge me while I go off on a bit of a tangent. I saw W is for Wasted in the bookstore as I was doing all my last minute shopping. I am thrilled that I did not start this series back in 1984 when the series  first was released. Sure, I was five then, so I am not sure mystery novels would have been appropriate reading material, but I am glad I arrived at the tale end. Read More »

Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-first-century Parenthood

by Drew Magary

Someone Could Get Hurt by Drew Magary

I’m a parent. I wasn’t always a parent. I find it hard, now, to remember what my life was like before I had all these irrational fears and before I spent my days worrying about things like potty training progress or which educational school of thought best fits my ideal of the type of people I would like to release into the world. Read More »

The Violinist’s Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code

by Sam Kean

The Violinists Thumb by Sam Kean

I first heard about this book on Radiolab, and yes, I immediately like most of what I hear about on Radiolab. Now, I am not fascinated by scientific details, generally speaking, so I probably would not have selected this book had I not heard some excerpts beforehand and that would have been a shame because this book was GREAT! Read More »

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

by Catherynne M. Valente

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne M. Valente

 

This is the second book in Valenti’s Fairyland series. I was looking forward to it for a LONG time, but with a bit of trepidation. How does one improve or add to a story that I personally enjoyed so much? Read More »

The Oxford Book of Modern Women’s Stories

edited by Patricia Craig

I was skeptical when I initially got this for my birthday. What constitutes a Modern Women’s Story anyway? Happily, Patricia Craig explains what does it for her, and since she is the editor, thats what made it into the book. Read More »

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Olympics

by Daniel James Brown

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

Fun fact about me, one of my life’s goals is to go to a regatta. In my mind it would have been on the Thames, but now I have a new regatta in mind, all thanks to The Boys in the Boat. Read More »

T is for Trespass

by Sue Grafton

T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton

This is my favorite Kinsey Millhone novel thus far. At first, I was a bit thrown off by the narrative. Grafton switches back and forth between Kinsey and a sociopath that she is dealing with, Solana Rojas (alias). I haven’t known Grafton to do that before, but it made the narrative a bit more eerie which I found interesting. Read More »

Silent Courage: An Indian Story

by George P. Lee

Silent Courage: An Indian Story : The Autobiography of George P. Lee, a Navajo by George P. Lee

Oh, so many thoughts about this one. My uncle brought this one to me during Thanksgiving and said, “It is an interesting book. Despite what happened to him later on.” Despite what happened to him later on?! What happened to him later on? To google George P. Lee  then and there, or read the book first? Read More »

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World’s Most Wanted Hacker

by Kevin Mitnick with William L. Simon

Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker by Kevin Mitnick

I slightly dislike these written with books because I am not sure how much was the not so ghost writer and how much was Kevin Mitnick? Which to criticize first, or last? And yes there is plenty to criticize, only where to begin? Read More »

One for the Money

by Janet Evanovich

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

I have a friend, who we’ll call Andrew (that is his name, by the way), who reads a lot of books. I told him that I’d been reading the Alphabet Murder books by Sue Grafton as my ‘bubble gum’ reads. He confessed that he likes to read the Stephanie Plum ‘number books’ for his bubble gum reading. Read More »

A Nasty Piece of Work

by Robert Littell

A Nasty Piece of Work by Robert Littell

I enjoy a good mystery, so I was excited to receive Littell’s novel for Christmas, my excitement faded when I delved in and discovered that, despite success writing stories about the CIA, A Nasty Piece of Work was rife with cliche. Read More »

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

by Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Meh. So many problems with this book, which was sad because I have been wanting to read it for some time. The largest problem is that of legitimacy. Quiet tries to pass itself of as a serious psychological work when it is really just another self help book (gag). Read More »

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I often re-read books that I love, but I rarely re-read them so quickly in succession. I finished this, and promptly started reading it the next week aloud, to my husband. I appreciated the opportunity for that second read. Read More »

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time

by Mark Adams

Turn Right at Machu Pichu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams

I really enjoyed this book, which came as a bit of a surprise. I know I’ve said it before, but I tend not to like when the author inserts himself into the non fiction story. There are clearly exceptions, but they are rare. When I picked up this book at the bookstore, I thought I’d give it a chance based solely on my strange obsession with Machu Picchu. Read More »

You Can’t Say You Can’t Play

by Vivian Gussin Paley

You Can't Say You Can't Play by Vivian Gussin Paley

My husband heard about this book on NPR and we’d had a spirited debate about the merits of not allowing children to exclude other children from play. He got me the book for Christmas so we could, no doubt, continue the debate. Read More »

The Dead Fish Museum: Stories

by Charles D’Ambrosio

The Dead Fish Museum by Charles D'Ambrosio

Ah, the world of short stories. The art of a short story is a difficult one. The author needs to create emotional impact and create interest in a location or character in a short amount of time. Story arcs must move more quickly which is a bit of a challenge. Read More »

Maps and Legends: Reading and Writing Along the Borderlands

by Michael Chabon

Maps and Legends by Michael Chabon


I suspect my husband judged this book by its cover as he bought it for me. He is a graphic designer. It does have a nice cover, but happily the inner workings are just as nice. Read More »