My Own Little Book Corner

Monday, August 6, 2007

July Book Reviews

Twelve Years as a Slave by Solomon Northup

This was a surprisingly good book. When I saw all the footnotes, appendixes, etc. I was afraid that it may read too much like a textbook, but I was wrong. This account of Mr. Northup’s life from freeman to slave and back to freeman was very interesting. It was a straight forward account depicting his slave owners as he saw them. One was a kind, Christian man, but the one he labored under for 10 years was a drunk who was fond of the whip. This book brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion.

5 stars

Cutting Lisa by Percival Everett

This book promised to be much more than it was. In fact, reading the summary on the back is more thought provoking and entertaining than the book. The book does have it moments of wit and dialogue, but overall a big disappointment. Good premise – not carried out though.

2 1/2 stars

Savannah Comes Undone by Denise Hildreth

An enjoyable book, but not as enjoyable as the first one – “Savannah from Savannah.” In this book Savannah discovers that there is even more to her mom than the surface beauty when her mom ties herself to a 10 Commandment memorial to insure it remains in front of the courthouse. Savannah also discovers a few things about herself – such as how self-absorbed she is. Things get resolved, with a few twists along the way.

3 stars

Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian

Another good one from Bohjalian. I read this one because I had enjoyed “Midwives.” This is the story of an extended family – the mom, Nan, her daughter & family - Catherine, ,Spencer and Charlotte, the son & his family – John, Sara, Willow and Patrick. The granddaughters, Charlotte and Willow spend the summer with the grandmother each year. When the parents come for a visit, tragedy strikes when Charlotte accidentally shoots her dad, mistaking him for a deer. The kicker here is that her dad works for an animal rights group – she’s a vegetarian, can’t wear leather, has never been to a zoo and has definitely been taught not to kill an animal. A good family drama seeing how things are exposed and handled and how people can change.

5 stars

Multiple Choice by Claire Cook

A mother and daughter find themselves working as interns at the same radio station. This creates drama to begin with, because the daughter didn’t know her mom was returning to college even. After some conflict, an aspiring producer decides that he has a gold mine show sitting in front of him – a mother –daughter talk show. So, “I’m Rubber, You’re Glue” hits the airwaves. A fun story that at times sounds more like middle school drama than mother/daughter/college.

4 stars

The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult

Like all of her books I've read, this one drew me in. This one is a little more graphic than other books of Picoluts that I’ve read. The story line is about a 14 year old girl, Trixie who accuses her ex-boyfriend or rape. Trixie’s dad has been a stay at home dad – working on his comic strip and taking care of Trixie while her mom taught college. They each have their own demons that they are dealing with, but the love their daughter and are devasted by what she has experienced. This book will open some eyes about teens and how young some begin entering a world that in reality they are not mature enough to handle, even with "good" parents. A story that also explores how at times we see things more with our hearts than our eyes.

5 stars

The Innocent Man by John Grisham

I'm glad I read this book, but it is not your typical John Grisham. This is a true life story of a man fasely accused of a murder. At times I felt detached, as if reading a blow by blow account, when I wanted to read a story instead. In the authors notes he states that he could have written 5,000 pages. I think he had a hard time deciding what to put in and what to cut and it seemed a little fragmented. BUT, it is a good story and will make you think about the justice system and how sometimes instead of being blind, it has on blinders.

4 stars

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

The story of the Land family.. They have a simple, loving existence with a father who can perform miracles, a sister who writes poetry about the old west, a son who should have been dead at birth, were it not for his father and an older son who loves and protects the family in a way that leaves him charged with murder and on the run. This begins a journey for the family that results in lessons of love, mercy and family. A very well written enjoyable book.


Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

I read this based on the recommendation of our preacher. The story loosely parallels the book of Hosea and since we are in the midst of a series of sermons titled “Minor Keys” this goes along with some of the lessons. I enjoyed this book and the symbolism of God’s unfailing love and mercy. The story is set in the gold rush days of the 1800’s and uses the marriage of an upstanding citizen to a prostitute to tell the wonderful story of God’s love, patience and forgiveness. Without the symbolism I don’t think I would have liked this book much at all, but the symbolism is so strong that it is a touching tale.

4 stars

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

Another one of Gregory’s novels about the royalty of England. The Constant Princess is Katherine of Aragon. In this story we follow her through her childhood, her marriage to prince Arthur and then to Henry VIII. Ms Gregory puts her own spin on the claim that Katherine and Arthur never consummated their marriage and how she ended up married to Henry. It is a love story and a survival story.

4 stars

Esther's Pillow by Marlin Fitzwater

Based on a true story that Mr. Fitzwater had relatives participate in. Set in Kansas it is a story of a community who set out to drive out the new school teacher. This story will make you think about the horrible effects of gossip, jealousy and peer pressure. It's amazing how all of these things can snowball into something so harmful as someone being tar and feathered. It's also interesting to read how deeply the community and families were affected by this. Mr. Fitzwater's writing style was a little too impersonal for me, at times I felt like I was reading a newspaper article, but the story is an interesting one.

3 stars



  • I just finished The Tenth Circle too... It is the second book by Picoult I have read, first book was My Sister's Keeper.

    I really enjoyed the story, but the comic part of the book was hard for me to read. I skipped over a lot of the comic book text and wonder if I missed anything by doing so???

    By Blogger lil ole' me....., At August 22, 2007 at 2:39 PM  

  • I've read 6 of her books now, have one in my TBR pile and one on the way from Bookins. "My Sister's Keeper" was the first one I read. I enjoy her style of writing and also how she makes me think about things.

    I started out reading the comics but about half-way through decided to skip them. On her website it talks about the comics and how there is something secret hidden in each one, but I wasn't interested enough to go back and look for it.

    If you have any favorite authors to share, I'd be interested. I'm always looking for new ones.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    By Blogger Jan, At August 23, 2007 at 4:58 AM  

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