Book Reviews–December 2019 Part One

Welcome!  I have large stacks of books TBR (To Be Read) on my nightstand, plus electronic stacks of books lined up in my Kindle, as well as books on hold at the library.  As I read these books, I love to share my thoughts and opinions of what I’ve read here in this space, because I enjoy sharing my passion for books with others.  I do have an eclectic taste in books, and will choose books based on my mood, or what’s going on in my life that week.  Finally, the page numbers I list here reflect the number of Kindle pages, not paper pages.  Thank you!)  I hope you enjoy this series.

Book #1: 

The Floating FeldmansThe Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland (Length: 366 pages).  I ADORED this book!  This is such a fun, easy, FAST read that is set on a mega-cruise ship.  The unusual setting is a unique twist, but the author’s writing is excellent and I was impressed with her strong character development given how many characters she is juggling here.  All of the family members involved are developed sufficiently for the reader to care about what happens.  The plot IS predictable, as you know exactly how all of the issues will be resolved, but the journey to get there is very enjoyable!  This would be a fantastic vacation/travel read.  

From the publisher:

Sink or swim. Or at least that’s what Annette Feldman tells herself when she books a cruise for her entire family. It’s been over a decade since the Feldman clan has spent more than twenty-four hours under the same roof, but Annette is determined to celebrate her seventieth birthday the right way. Just this once, they are going to behave like an actual family.

Too bad her kids didn’t get the memo.

Between the troublesome family secrets, old sibling rivalries, and her two teenage grandkids, Annette’s birthday vacation is looking more and more like the perfect storm. Adrift together on the open seas, the Feldmans will each face the truths they’ve been ignoring—and learn that the people they once thought most likely to sink them are actually the ones who help them stay afloat.

Book #2: 

The Storied Life of AJ FikryThe Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (Length: 290 pages).  This is a very quick, sweet read, and reminded me of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (which I reviewed here in March of 2018).  The protagonist is a bookstore owner on an island off the East Coast,  He’s a grouchy middle-aged man who is changed (just a little) by some dramatic events in his life. The book covers a lot of his life, but my only (minor) complaint is that it seems to go slowly building up to the events, and then speeds by in the second half, much too quickly in my opinion.  However, this is a books-focused novel, which I adore!  It’s not too deep, but it’s deep enough not to feel like a junk-food read.  Definitely recommend!  

From the publisher:

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over–and see everything anew.

Book #3 : 

What Alice ForgotWhat Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty (Length: 546 pages). This book has been on my Kindle for ages, and is one I could’ve sworn I had read but forgot to read (ironically, given the subject matter here).  I think it’s because I’ve already read a few of Moriarty’s other books.  I absolutely loved reading this book!  The plot is propelled along by the premise of a woman suffering temporary amnesia after a fall.  The past ten years of her life disappear and she finds herself not knowing her children, in the midst of a separation from her husband, and suffering strained relationships with friends and family.  The characters here are very multi-dimensional and complex (yet still likeable if that’s important to you), and I’m excited to see the motion picture that’s being developed for this.   This would be a really good book club book as there is so much to explore here. . . marriage, infertility, familial relationships.   Read this now if you haven’t yet–you won’t regret it! 

From the publisher:

Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over—she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over…


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