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Reading wednesday

    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

    I’ve been reading some really amazing, but pretty depressing books lately. I recommend all of them, but indeed they were intense. So when I stumbled upon The Rosie Project I was gleeful. Here is my book review The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

    This book has been around for a few years, published in 2013 it has come in and out of my consciousness but for some reason I never read it. Until now. And I’m so glad I did.

    This is the uplifting story of Don Tillman, an Australian Professor who has extreme difficulty with social interaction, because of his own autism. Don is a genetics professor, and leads his life with a very rigid schedule he doesn’t like to deviate from.

    Don has never had a serious relationship, and thinks his good job, intelligence and even financial status should make him an attractive mate. He believes the problem is with the women. So he embarks on the Wife Project, creating a list of criteria for the perfect women.

    This of course leads to a hilarious set of events, women and activities. Don finally meets Rosie, who defies all his criteria. But he enjoys her company. Of course you can imagine how things unfold.

    It’s a delightful book. Laugh out loud and sweet. An easy read. I’m so glad I found it.

    *****Five Stars for The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

    Read last week’s review of A Burning.

    See this week’s top performing Pin here – 2020 World Travel Awards.

    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review A Burning by Megha Majumdar

    Astonishing and heartfelt, A Burning will grip you from the first page. Here is my Book Review A Burning by Megha Majumdar.

    There have been many books written about the difficult and sometimes horrific life of those who are born to live in the slums of India, including two of my all time favorites; A Fine Balance and Behind the Beautiful Forevers. This debut novel A Burning by Megha Majumdar deserves it’s place among these.

    Jivan is a young Muslim girl from the slums who desires to move up in the world, find a job and have a better life for her and her family. But so many circumstances block her path and then she is accused as a mastermind behind a terrorism attack. Did she do it?

    People around her, including a former teacher and a illiterate friend, find themselves caught up in the drama. They can disown young Jivan, essentially throwing her under the bus, to better their own sorry lives. Will they?

    The masterful writing by Majumdar had me up late with this page turner, at once riveting, sad, astonishing and emotional.

    *****Five stars for A Burning by Megha Majumdar.

    Read last week’s review of The Vanishing Half

    See this week’s top performing pin Maui Hidden Gems here.

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    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

    Reading Wednesday

    The Vanishing Half is the second book I have read by Brit Bennett. Her earlier work The Mothers was not one of my favorite reads, so I was hesitant to tackle The Vanishing Half. But I found a surprising story of family, race and identity. Here is my book review The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.

    The Vignes sisters, Stella and Desiree, are twins growing up in the 1940’s in a rural southern town called Mallard. There hometown is known for being the place where fair skinned black Americans live. The people of Mallard shun their darker skinned ancestors but aren’t able to break into the white world where better jobs and futures await.

    Stella and Desiree are close and dream about the day they can leave Mallard. When they are 16 they run away to New Orleans. But then Stella disappears and Desiree is left wondering where her Vanishing Half has gone.

    Desiree marries a black man, but eventuallyleaves the abusive marriage. She returns to fair skinned Mallard with her ink black eight year old daughter Jude. Jude is looked down upon her entire life by the people of Mallard. Meanwhile Stella is living a life far away in California, putting her entire past and ancestry behind her, she has married a white man who believes she too is white.

    Eventually Jude arrives in California on a track scholarship and through a collection of events finds Stella there living secretly as a white women. The charade begins to unravel as secrets are revealed, lies are questioned and entire lives sit on the brink between two worlds; one black and one white. The Vanishing Half is a fabulously told story of race, family, emotion and the desire to be accepted for who we are. The story explores so many questions about choices we make throughout our lives and how those choices affect future generations.

    *****Five stars for The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

    Read last week’s review of The Girl with the Louding Voice

    My current read The Wild Things by Dave Eggers

    See this week’s top performing pin here – Mahi Mahi Cooking Hawaiian at Home

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    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel by Abi Dare’

    Book Review

    I waited a long time for this book from the library, and it was worth the wait. The critically acclaimed story of a Nigerian girl who never gives up. Here is my book review The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel by Abi Dare’.

    This is a story of neglect and triumph. Of heartbreak and inspiration. The story of a young Nigerian girl named Adunni, born poor and female – two strikes against her. Both work against her in a culture where men decide what happens to girls, and money is controlled by men.

    Adunni just wants to go to school. She craves learning. She craves a different life. She craves having a voice, a voice to speak up for herself and be somebody.

    This inspiring tale of young Adunni’s determination to break free from the poverty, violence and control she is born into. Despite every obstacle in her way she never gives up on her desire to learn and break free from the chains that bind her.

    The book is written in beautiful detail and you will be captivated by the characters. Not just those who befriend Adunni but those who control her. Even their sad state of affairs will touch your heart as Dare’ perfectly describes life in Nigeria for all economic levels.

    Adduni’s courage is an inspiration. I loved this book I hope you enjoyed my Book Review The Girl with the Louding Voice: A Novel by Abi Dare’.

    *****Five Stars for The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare’.

    Read last week’s review of Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart.

    My current read The Cold Millions by Jess Walters

    See this week’s top performing pin Going to Hana Backwards

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    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

    Reading Wednesday

    Winner of the 2020 Booker Prize, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart is a heart-wrenching tale of childhood in Scotland in the 1980’s amongst addiction, poverty and sexuality. This is my Book Review Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart.

    Reminiscent of Frank McCourt’s Angela’s Ashes, but set in Glasgow of the 1980’s, we are introduced to Hugh “Shuggie” Bain, a child in search of love in a family of misfits, violence and addiction. Shuggie lives in rundown public housing during the Thatcher era of the 1980’s. Unemployment, drug and alcohol addiction, hunger and poverty are what Shuggie’s childhood is made of.

    Shuggie’s loyalty to his alcoholic mother, Agnes, even after his siblings give up on her and walk away, leaves Shuggie to care for his mother who falls deeper into drink. Agnes spends all the weekly ration money on alcohol, often leaving Shuggie without food for days. Agnes’ search for love in every man who comes along always ends in heartache and rape, taking her deeper into the drink.

    Stuart tells a story of heartache and addiction, a story of his own childhood played out in the pages of Shuggie Bain. Despite the depressing tale Stuart develops an incredible collection of characters who pass through Shuggie’s life, all told with depth and compassion.

    Don’t let the sadness of this story keep you from it – it is an important book to read, and well deserved of the coveted Booker Prize. Brilliant.

    *****Five Stars for Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart.

    Read last week’s review of Anxious People by Fredrik Bachman.

    My current read The Burning by Megha Majumdar

    See this week’s top performing pin here Going to Hana Backwards.

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    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

    If you enjoyed The Orphan Train or Before We Were Yours, you will probably like Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris, although it’s not as good as either of those. But I still enjoyed it. Here is my Book Review Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris.

    McMorris creates a story around depression era newspaper reporter Ellis Reed and a photo he took of kids and sign that says “Two Kids For Sale”. McMorris uses a real life historic photo to create fictional story of breadlines and hardships in 1931.

    The story weaves through a mother’s dieing wish, a heartbroken but wealthy family, newspaper men (and women) of the era and kids. Many kids whose lives hang in balance and only are searching for love.

    Love is a theme throughout the book, romantic love and family love and you will find yourself cheering for the good guys, feeling mournful for the needy and even sorry for the greedy. A easy and enjoyable read.

    ****Four stars for Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris.

    Read last week’s review of The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

    My current read Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi

    See this week’s top performing pin here Maui Top Five Things to Do

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    Reading Wednesday

    Book Review The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

    You know it’s something special when a book ends and you just can’t stop thinking about it. My heart has been heavy all week since this remarkable novel ended…I loved it. Here is my book review The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel.

    I must preface;

    First this is a trilogy and a masterpiece. You could do only one book, but honestly why would you? Of the three, this final one, The Mirror and the Light was the creme de la creme. Everything about it was brilliant.

    BUT, I must tell you that I listened to all three of the Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell novels on Audible. For me, this kind of deep and historic novel is perfect for Audible. And The Mirror and the Light unfolded like a beautifully choreographed play (a 36 hour play) – captivating me with every word. Of all the Audible books I have enjoyed in my life, the reader of The Mirror and the Light, British actor Ben Miles, could not have been more perfect. Miles’ incredible talent of giving voice to the multitude of characters throughout the book was astonishing. And most astonishing was the depth at which he was able to develop the main character of Thomas Cromwell, even as Cromwell changes through the years.

    The Mirror and the Light chronicles the final years of the life of Thomas Cromwell, right hand man to King Henry VIII in the 1500’s. In Mantel’s earlier works (Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies), Cromwell has witnessed the triumphs and tragedies of England, the Church, and Henry- including the debacle of four of his six wives.

    The story of Cromwell and indeed Henry VIII, is well known in history, but the talent of Mantel’s writing brings us into 16th century England, into Court and indeed at the elbow of these fascinating giants of history during a time of violence, poverty, power and greed.

    The Mirror and the Light now falls in my top books of all time, alongside All The Light You Cannot See, Pillars of the Earth and the Harry Potter series.

    Thanks to Mantel for finishing this trilogy in such a beautiful way and thank you Ben Miles for bringing it to life on Audible. I might just listen to it again.

    *****Five Stars (and more if I could) for The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

    Read last week’s review of Daisy Jones and the Six

    My Current Read The Vanishing Half

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