Book Reviews

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If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

Debut novelist, M.L. Rio has written a captivating literary thriller about an elite group of Shakespearean actors. All seven are in their fourth and final year at Dellecher Classical Conservatory, a place where the competition to keep your spot is decided at the conclusion of each academic year. Oliver is our narrator throughout. He weaves a dark tale of friendship…

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Gizelle’s Bucket List: My Life with a Very Large Dog by Lauren Fern Watt

A bucket list for a dog? Of course! Why not? The cover of this book grabbed my attention first. The contentment on the face of sweet Gizelle hanging her big mastiff head out the window of a car just made me smile. Then I read the description and knew I had to read it. The author, Lauren moves to Times…

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A Thousand Naked Strangers: A Paramedic’s Wild Ride to the Edge and Back by Kevin Hazzard

Kevin Hazzard and his wife, Sabrina were living a safe, quiet life in Atlanta in 2001. Kevin was working as a reporter, while Sabrina was working her way up the corporate ladder. In the aftermath of 9/11, Hazzard became restless. He felt the need to step out of his comfort zone, to test himself. It took seven years, but ultimately…

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Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

This debut novel by essayist, George Saunders is one of the most innovative and imaginative books I have ever read. Bardo is perfect for the title. It is Tibetan for “in-between place”, and that is exactly where 11-year-old Willie Lincoln finds himself after his death in February 1862 from typhoid fever. His soul, like many others finds itself wandering around…

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The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

The Impossible Fortress is an absolute delight! If you grew up in the 1980s or if you just long for a time when life was simpler and sweeter, this novel is for you. The nostalgia alone had me smiling from beginning to end. Who doesn’t remember perusing the cassette tapes at Musicland or Sam Goody, or watching John Hughes movies?…

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The Nix by Nathan Hill

First time author, Nathan Hill could not have chosen a better year to have his debut novel published- an election year. At heart, The Nix is the story of the relationship between a mother, Faye and her college professor son, Samuel. The book begins when Samuel learns his mother, whom he hasn’t seen in twenty years, has publicly assaulted a…

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Good As Gone by Amy Gentry

If you’re looking for the new The Girl on the Train, this is it! A wonderful suspense novel about thirteen-year-old, Julie who is kidnapped from her bedroom at knife point. The only witness is her younger sister who is hiding in the closet. Although Julie’s family is deeply traumatized by the event, they manage to stay together and find a…

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Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (And Everything in Between) by Lauren Graham

2016 has been The-Year-of-the-Memoir for me. I have been reading them like crazy. While I did not watch Gilmore Girls, I did watch Parenthood faithfully and became a huge fan of Lauren Graham. Lauren just seems like a woman I would have all kinds of fun with. After reading her new collection of essays, my suspicions were confirmed. This is…

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American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin

To members of my generation, the name Patty Hearst rings all kinds of bells. She is the granddaughter of one of the richest men the world has ever known, William Randolph Hearst. She is also the subject of one of the most famous photos ever taken. Patty is the poster child for Stockholm Syndrome and of course, one of the…

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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Don’t let the title fool you. While this incredible novel takes place in Russia, it is set entirely in the Grand Hotel Metropol. A Gentleman in Moscow is the story of Count Alexander Rostov who is found guilty by the state of being an aristocrat, a crime for which he is sentenced to house arrest in the famous hotel across…

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