RaveBookreporterReading a Rick Bragg book is like sitting down with an old friend --- a cantankerous and frequently funny old friend ... His diehard fans will revel in revisiting their favorites, while newcomers will enjoy his wit and wisdom and his insight on a wide range of seemingly ordinary topics ... The genius of Bragg’s storytelling is his ability to spin a yarn that most people will connect with in some way regardless of where they grew up. While he writes about the South, his stories touch on universal themes ... the perfect mix of humor and storytelling, and will delight and enthrall readers of all ages. Upon reaching the final page, some may find themselves immediately starting the book over again (which is what this reviewer did).
PositiveBookreporter...vividly transports readers to 1930s British upper-crust society, focusing on societal conventions, Prince Edward and his lifestyle, the parties and the clubs, and so much more ... This sweeping, stellar tale will delight all kinds of readers, but especially those who enjoy learning about people lost to the passage of time.
MixedBookreporterColleen Oakley’s main characters are reasonably developed but not particularly likable and occasionally feel stereotypical ... People sharing similar dreams is a fascinating and thought-provoking premise, and in her Acknowledgements, Oakley cites some research that provides a good scientific basis for this plotline. This proves to be the most interesting part of the novel...I wish there had been more of a focus on this issue ... readers most likely will be left with some lingering questions. While an explanation is eventually provided for Oliver’s dreams, there is no reasoning given for their romantic elements or why Mia also has these dreams. Also, would Harrison really have been so oblivious to the relationship developing between Mia and Oliver, including their trip out of town? ... a unique premise, but some will find the resolution less than satisfying. The ending is unnecessarily and unexpectedly sad, and may not sit well with those expecting a different kind of story.
Kate Winkler Dawson
PositiveBookreporter... intriguing and in-depth ... While American Sherlock surely will appeal to true-crime aficionados, it also will grab the attention of anyone who appreciates a good story. In addition to gaining an understanding of early forensic science, readers will be treated to a glimpse into several prominent cases (including Fatty Arbuckle’s numerous trials) and an exploration of the societal issues at play during the relevant time periods.
PositiveBookreporterMost of the story flows naturally and realistically. However, towards the end, there is one revelation regarding Dorothy’s first relationship that seems to come out of left field, adding an unnecessary and abrupt element to the narrative. This complication serves to confuse more than enhance the storyline, but thankfully does not impact the book as a whole. Historical fiction fans will revel in the Depression-era storyline, which draws upon that time period’s fascination with radio personalities, including Betty Crocker ... While readers may find the sisters’ stories too neatly resolved, The Sisters of Summit Avenue is still a solid addition to the historical fiction genre and a highly enjoyable read.
MixedBookreporterFlight Girls engages the reader when the story is focused on the female pilots and the work they accomplish both in Hawaii and back in the United States ... Salazar brings these tales to life in an entertaining manner, allowing the reader to understand the important role they played in the war effort while also highlighting the many challenges they faced. Salazar also successfully depicts Audrey’s female relationships and the bonds she and her friends develop ... Where the story stagnates is Audrey’s love life. From the beginning, her relationship with Lieutenant Hart is awkward, unfulfilling and frankly a little baffling. As the years pass and Hart heads to Europe to fight in the war, their story becomes even less compelling, and Audrey’s relationship choices continue to hinder the novel instead of add to it.
PositiveBookreporter\"In Fifty Things That Aren\'t My Fault, Cathy Guisewite proves that she can impart wit and wisdom about life as an adult female in the United States today just as effectively in an essay format as she did when she wrote her highly successful comic strip ... Guisewite’s humor, empathy and insightfulness combine to create a clever and highly entertaining look at the challenges and issues faced by women today.\
RaveThe New York Journal of BooksDugoni scores big ... includes several clever twists and turns, and while it is a bit lengthier then it needs to be, Jenkins’ attempted escape is highly entertaining and serves as a crash course in Eastern European geography and modern-day spy technology ... The perfect pacing and brilliant intrigue of The Eighth Sister result in a page-turning, intelligent tale that will keep readers engaged until the very last page. Dugoni mixes humor, culture and history in equal measure creating a powerful and timely tale. He also proves that Russia remains a pertinent and credible foe for the United States, especially with Putin’s rise to power ... Dugoni’s exhaustive research, detailed in the Acknowledgments, constantly shines through the tale and imbues the mystery with genuine credibility and an added layer of authenticity and realism ... the perfect combination of espionage, history and quick-witted characters—a rare feat in the thriller genre.
PositiveBookreporter\"While the tone is more serious, Langsdorf does infuse humor into her tale ... Entertaining and thought-provoking, White Elephant tackles some interesting issues but may fail to resonate with those who are annoyed by an overabundance of dysfunction and self-absorbed characters.\
RaveBook Reporter\"[Henrdrik] expertly weaves concerns into his diary entries amidst lighter fare, and provides an empathetic and realistic portrayal of getting old that should engender more sympathy for the elderly ... Hendrik’s commentaries on politics, culture and society are often hilarious, sometimes biting and occasionally overdone ... The Netherlands’ treatment of the elderly is clearly a topic close to the author’s heart, and the diary is a bit too focused on it at times. While it is no doubt relevant and important, his heavy-handed and preachy approach may turn off some readers ... the diary of an extraordinary man who lives an ordinary life. He makes an impact on almost everyone he meets, and seeks to understand the crazy world in which he resides. His clever commentary and madcap adventures will leave a long-term impression on everyone who reads his diary. Hendrik Groen is an unforgettable and absolutely spectacular character who readers will wish they could befriend.\
PositiveThe New York Journal of BooksFascinating and heartbreaking ... Emma is a wise choice to tell the quintuplets’ story ... As Woods effectively conveys, everyone around the quintuplets greatly benefits from the girls while no one focuses on their well-being as children; they are treated like a commodity instead of like human beings. The inclusion of Emma’s fictional character to narrate the story and comment on the events adds some neutrality to the tale ... The inclusion of photos would have added to the story significantly. However, upon finishing this novel, readers can comb the Internet and locate hundreds of photos of the girls and Quintland and follow the rest of their stories ... As only the best historical fiction can, The Quintland Sisters transports the reader to another time period and shines a light on an event that has an impact on its era and about which the actual details are little known. Wood is careful to place the quintuplets’ story into context and to demonstrate what frequently and repeatedly occurs in history: greed eventually overshadows even the best intentions.
RaveBookreporter\"Mary Adkins’ stellar debut novel, When You Read This, is witty, entertaining and at times heartwrenching ... When You Read This is an outstanding addition to contemporary literature that effectively addresses the issues people face today in a poignant and cleverly insightful manner. It is a true standout and should not be missed.\
PositiveBookreporter\"Barbash’s choice to mirror Anton’s and Buddy’s conflicts with the wider societal conflicts broadens the story and provides an interesting context for the tale. The Dakota Winters is a charming, character-driven novel that is witty, clever and touching. Readers will revel in Anton’s descriptions of a city and an era that are long gone.\