Sunday, January 27, 2019

“Home Fire” by Kamila Shamsie

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✰

Wow. Friendship, love, family, betrayal, prejudice, politics and stereotypes. Told from multiple perspectives this story kept picking up speed until it came crashing to a heart-stopping end that left me sitting stunned with the book in my hands. This isn’t a novel I would have chosen on my own but it was the first book club pick for a brand new bookstore that just opened down the street. Can’t wait for the discussion.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

"Next Year in Havana" by Chanel Cleeton

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✰

This novel consisted of 2 powerful love stories steeped in the rich and colorful history of Cuba. Elisa is 19 and leaving Cuba with her family to seek refuge in Miami in the 1950's. Marisol is her granddaughter who goes to Cuba in present day to return Elisa's ashes to her homeland and discovers some family secrets along the way. I started "Next Year in Havana" with very little knowledge of Cuban history and was amazed by how much research must have gone into this book. Chanel Cleeton's descriptions of the country and the characters were vivid and detailed and the dual story lines flowed together seamlessly. I settled on 4 stars instead of 5 only because I found there were a few times when the story line seemed to take a back burner to the history. Overall though it was a very worthwhile and engaging novel and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Monday, January 14, 2019

"The Bullet Journal Method" by Ryder Carroll

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✰✰

To say I "read" this book is a little bit of a stretch. It was more of a thorough skimming. I've been using a Bullet Journal for 2 years (heading into year 3) and following Ryder's method more or less all along. The book is new though and I was curious if he would be able to add anymore insight into the method and suggest updates and new ideas. 

I was impressed by the fact that this wasn't just a "how to" book but really got into the "why". There was a lot about the importance of mindfulness and the practice of writing things out by hand. I got a few new ideas but I think this book would have been more helpful for someone just starting with bullet journaling.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

"The Perfect Couple" by Elin Hilderbrand

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐✰

I was looking for an Elin Hilderbrand book to read in preparation for seeing her at the Lenox. I borrowed a Kindle Paperwhite from the library to check them out and see if I could get behind not reading an actual "book" and The Perfect Couple was on it. Imagine my surprise when it was the next book in the series of the LAST Elin Hilderbrand book I read, "The Castaways". The book starts out with a dead body and we follow along as the police investigate and more pieces of the story are revealed from different viewpoints. When we went to the Elin Hilderbrand event I was about half way through the book and she asked me who I thought had killed the victim which was tougher to answer than you'd imagine since new motives are being uncovered with each turn of the page. I marvel at the author's ability to continue writing the same story completely differently over and over again.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Elin Hilderbrand at the Lenox Hotel in Boston

Wow! Such a fun time meeting THE Elin Hilderbrand tonight. My mom treated my sister and I to tickets and we went into Boston early and had dinner and then on to the amazingly luxurious Lenox Hotel for the event. Elin Hilderbrand was funny, energetic and inspiring. I loved hearing about her path to becoming a writer and didn’t know that she’s a breast cancer survivor. Also found it fascinating that she still writes her novels longhand in notebooks!! Thank you to "Reading with Robin" for hosting this fantastic event.