Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE by Melanie Benjamin

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I love Melanie Benjamin’s writing, so I was excited to find this book on Net Galley. If you know me, you know I LOVE reading about the heyday of Hollywood. This novel is a fictionalized account based on the true story of the relationship between Frances Marion and Mary Pickford.  I didn’t know any of this and found it both interesting, and a bit sad. If you like reading about old Hollywood, you’ll enjoy this one!

Here’s the description:

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For My Ears: ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE by Elizabeth Strout

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I really loved OLIVE KITTERIDGE and I enjoyed MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON, so I knew I would like ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE. Elizabeth Strout is a master storyteller. She makes the ordinary extraordinary with her subtle emphasis on details. She creates and fleshes out characters like no other author; and she does it through simple prose. She is amazing.

Like her earlier books, it’s hard to describe her novels and make them sound amazing (or even interesting). This one tells the stories of people who touched the life of Lucy Barton. Sounds like a snooze fest, but it wasn’t. I laughed. I cried. I listened to it while commuting and I didn’t mind the drive! (It was superbly read by Kimberly Farr). I got mine through Audible. It will be one of my top books of 2018.

Here’s the overview:

An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss in this new work of fiction by number one best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout.

Recalling Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity, Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others.

Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother’s happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author’s celebrated New York Times best seller) returns to visit her siblings after 17 years of absence.

Reverberating with the deep bonds of family and the hope that comes with reconciliation, Anything Is Possible again underscores Elizabeth Strout’s place as one of America’s most respected and cherished authors.

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DEAD MAN’S CHEST by Kerry Greenwood

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I love watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on PBS. Phryne is definitely in a class by herself. And the costumes are to die for — very Downton! I was thrilled to find a Miss Fisher mystery on Net Galley. I have read other mysteries of favorite shows, but this one was different. It gave a greater depth to the characters and spent a lot of time in character development. There was a mystery, of course, and lots of twists and intrigue, but overall, it was a very solid and pleasant story.

Here’s the overview:

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If you enjoy the series on PBS (haven’t watched it? start now and thank me later!), you will enjoy this novel full of favorite people and fun!

Thank you for my review e-copy!

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My Top 12 Reads/Listens for 2017!

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I’m a bit late to the party on this post (blame my vacation travel, Disney, NYC, or the fact that I got sick), but I wanted to share my very favorite reads (and listens) from the past year.

First I must say that EVERY book I post about is a book that I’ve enjoyed. If I’m not liking a book, I don’t finish it; and if I don’t finish it, I don’t review it (though I will book blast a book I haven’t read – I generally say just that in the post). So, ALL the books I posted about this year are great books!

Here are the ones that stand out – that stay in my mind – that I recommend most often:

(all can be found on my blog for this past year)

THE HUNDRED LIES OF LIZZIE LOVETT by Chelsea Sedoti  YA

THE CHILBURY LADIES’CHOIR by Jennifer Ryan  HF

THE ODDS OF LOVING GROVER CLEVELAND by Rebekah Crane  YA

IN FARLEIGH FIELD by Rhys Bowen   HF

ARMSTRONG AND CHARLIE by Steven B. Frank   KIDS

THE LIFE SHE WAS GIVEN by Ellen Marie Wiseman   HF

THE ALICE NETWORK by Kate Quinn   HF

BEARTOWN by Fredrik Backman  F

THE PARIS SPY by Susan Elia MacNeal  HF

BEFORE WE WERE YOURS by Lisa Wingate  F (I listened to the audio)

LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE by Celeste Ng  F (I listened to the audio)

THE TEA GIRL OF HUMMINGBIRD LANE by Lisa See  F (I listened to the audio)

 

Have you read any of these? What’s on your list?

 

(image from google free photo library)

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