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Memories From Books
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Memories From Books
Memories From Books

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World War II provides the context for The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan, but the war is not the story itself. The heart of this story are the women of the small village of Chilbury in Kent, England. This story becomes about each woman finding her own individual voice and about learning that the voice can stand alone and can be heard. The end result is a charming story of women, love, and survival tempered by the somber circumstances.

Reviewed for NetGalley

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Given the topic and enormity of the loss depicted, I so wanted to like this book and the main character Hunter Cady. I wanted to marvel at the strength of hope and to cheer for his survival. A journey such as this is often one of healing and self-discovery, but that self-actualization does not seem to happen for Hunter. His journey seems rather to drift from thing to thing, making this not the book for me.

Reviewed for NetGalley

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I look at Juliet's Answer: One Man's Search for Love and the Elusive Cure for Heartbreak by Glenn Dixon as two separate books. One is a personal journey. The other is a history of a place and an organization. While the personal story of this book is not for me, the legend of Casa di Giuletta and the history of the secretaries of Juliet is fascinating. It makes me want to visit Verona and the Casa di Giuletta and perhaps write my very own letter to Juliet.

Reviewed for NetGalley

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The Refugees by Pulitzer prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen is a collection of eight short stories about Vietnamese refugees in the United States. The author himself is a refugee and a child of refugees. Thus, in many ways, these stories are a reflection of his own experiences. The word that comes to mind through all these stories is haunting. Based on that, I will be adding The Sympathizer to my reading list.

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/02/the-refugees.html

Reviewed for NetGalley

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What sets We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter apart from other books I have read about the Holocaust is its simultaneously narrow and expansive scope. Amazingly, this is the story of one family. Yet, it reaches across Poland, Siberia, France, Northern Africa, Italy, South America, and even the United States of America. This is a remarkable story of survival in war. It paints not only a horrific image of the war but also a beautiful picture of family, love, and hope.

Reviewed for the Penguin First to Read program.

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A Harvest of Thorns by Corban Addison in a dramatic fiction story takes on the very real issue of manufacturing supply chains and the issues that underlie good quality, low cost merchandise and corporate profits. A fictional setting allows that message to be conveyed to a wider audience than a nonfiction book on the topic might. If it gets one reader to pay attention the next time he or she buys a piece of clothing, then it succeeds in its mission. I know that I will remember the names of the characters and their stories.

Reviewed for NetGalley

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City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson is set in Kenya but is the story of refugees from the Congo. The book is at times slow and wraps up too neatly at the end. The main character of teenager Tina or Tiny Girl gives this book a young adult feel and creates a character you can cheer for. A promising debut novel.

Reviewed for Penguin First to Read

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Nemesis by Brendan Reichs is a fun adventure of friendship, high school rivalries, the government, secret projects, and, the possible end of the world. The book is full of twists and turns. The ending is a cliffhanger; so, I hope there are more books coming in Project Nemesis. Bottom line, I enjoy the story. Even more so, because I think this book works for me and my kids, it gets high marks from me.

Reviewed for the Penguin First to Read program.

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Dust Bowl Girls by Lydia Reeder captures a moment - a season - in history in great detail. The connection I do not find in the book is with the individuals – players or coach – themselves. This one leaves with with an interesting bit of Oklahoma and basketball history I did not know about, but not a memorable narrative of people who will stay with me.

Reviewed for NetGalley

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The premise - a modern day commune – of Pretty Little World by Melissa DePino and Elizabeth LeBan is intriguing. The “decision” of the characters to make their lifestyle a secret and some of the story lines the book pursues detract from that focus. Personal and marital issues exists in and out of communal living; I would rather the focus had stayed with the story lines centered around the shared living experience.

Reviewed for NetGalley
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