Reviews and Comments


Joined 11 months, 1 week ago

From NW Indiana and Arizona. I read whatever strikes my fancy but mostly literary fiction, classics and biographies. I want to spend less time online and more time reading this year.

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The Magician (Hardcover, 2021, Scribner) 4 stars

A fictional biography of Thomas Mann

Review of 'The Magician' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I finished this a while back. It started good but it dragged on in the middle. I didn't know it was a true story until I was halfway into it. Still, kinda meh. I hope in 2023 I have a better reading experience because this year kinda sucked.

Where The Crawdads Sing (2018, Penguin) 4 stars

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. Kya …

Review of 'Where The Crawdads Sing' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I liked this book. The whole time I was reading it I thought "yeah, it's good... it's not great though". So probably 3 stars. The amount of suspension of disbelief asked of the reader was ALMOST more than I was willing to bear. I mean, come on, truthfully, it was VERY unbelievable that a little girl would be able to live alone in the marshland. It was unbelievable that the town folk, the CHURCHES, the STATE would turn a blind eye to this little girl's well being for year after year. I mean, at least they could have dropped off some food, some supplies, whatever. Then when she learned how to read, draw, paint, author books, boat motor never broke down, house never needed dire repairs etc... was almost laughable to the point of ruining the whole thing.


I love nature. When I first went to college I was …

The Essex Serpent (2017) 4 stars

"Costa Book Award Finalist and the Waterstones (UK) Book of the Year 2016." "I loved …

Review of 'The Essex Serpent' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The Essex Serpent is a good book; I enjoyed it. It reminded me of a classic English novel like any of the Bronte sisters’ novels for example or Jane Austen. You have some of the common things going on that you run into in these kinds of books written/set in the (late) 19th century- someone with consumption wasting away, a pastor and family living out in the country, the “enlightened people” from London visiting the country folk, the superstitious villagers, a “forbidden” love interest. Often they have a mystery that kind of drives the story forwards. Or some kind of protagonist/antagonist conflict, something. In the Essex Serpent there are good, believable characters, even if we don’t get to examine them in too much detail (not enough backstory or character development really). You have people visiting other people, even complete strangers coming to dinner just because a common friend introduced you …

All Quiet on the Western Front (1982, Ballantine Books) 4 stars

This edition is in Hebrew. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have …

Review of 'All Quiet on the Western Front' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

4 1/2 stars
Yeah, I liked this. I can see why this is a classic and why it has withstood the test of time. I'm sure it was controversial back in the day because it was kind of gritty and risque'. I'm not one for war stories so the fact that I read this and was engaged until the end is a testament to the authors ability to tell it "like it is" without sugar-coating or sentimentality which would render it corny. And we all know I have an adversion to corny.

So yeah, force yourself out of your comfort zone occasionally and read something you aren't exactly drawn towards. There is a lot of classic literature out there and it's almost always worthy of your reading time. Go for it.

The Storyteller (Hardcover, 2021, Dey Street Books) 4 stars

Having entertained the idea for years, and even offered a few questionable opportunities ("It's a …

Review of 'The Storyteller' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Oh rock (auto)biographies, I thought I broke it off with you. “I want to read more intellectually challenging material” I said to myself. ”I need to grow and change as a reader, as a person”. “All these rock (auto)biographies are the same, I’m done.” I asserted. But, rock (auto)biography, it seems I just can’t quit you. I saw this at the library and, I know, I know, I should have just walked on by. But no, I picked it up and read the inside flap and Dave Grohl said something like “I measure my life in musical increments” and I thought “So do I! I do that too!” so against my better judgment, not being a particular fan of Dave Grohl’s music, I took this book home with me.

The book is not bad. It’s just not the book I wanted to read. I thought Dave Grohl was going to …

Daisy Jones & The Six (2019, Ballantine Books) 4 stars

A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their …

Review of 'Daisy Jones & The Six' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

3 stars

I cannot rate Daisy Jones & the Six any higher than 3 stars for a number of reasons. Mostly though, because of my own biases, admittedly. First of all, the fact that this is written in an interview format is the initial problem. I don’t think it was done very well. Granted, it can be almost impossible, written as such, to see characters change and grow and be privy to their inner dialog and complex back stories. So the characters never became fleshed out to me; they never felt real, they were forever cardboard flat and stereotypes. Plus they were all terrible people in their own ways and it’s hard to garner any sympathy towards them and their plights. I kind of hated everybody. The drug usage was very generic seeming… like the author didn’t know what she was talking about. Dude. Been there and done that.

The …

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Hardcover, 2017, Atria Books) 4 stars

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth …

Review of 'The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

This is a (kind of) good book but it's not great. There is no depth of character even though you are given Evelyn Hugo's whole life story within the pages. Evelyn was a cardboard cutout (and unlikable) and all you really know about her can be summed up in a few sentences. Just somewhat above ok-ish truthfully.

I liked the old Hollywood setting though. I liked the period of time it brought back to life-when America worshipped movie stars, bought magazines to catch up on the latest gossip, went to theaters to watch their favorite stars perform. It really was a big deal back in the 40s to about the mid 70s. Movie studios controlled the artists' lives back in the earlier days and would manipulate and curate the artists' persona, love life, artistic choices, fashion. Cover up messes and hide scandals, too. I grew up at the tail end …