Originally posted 2016-08-02 17:00:20. I finished this book nearly two months ago. It has taken me exactly that long to work up the courage to revisit its asinine plot and intensely unlikable characters. Do not read this book. If you feel like reading a Michael Chabon book, why not read Wonder Boys? Pretend that you…

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Originally posted 2016-07-30 12:00:50. I have read The Island of Doctor Moreau twice. I have even repeatedly stomached the Val Kilmer film version of the novel. You might be asking yourself why I would willingly do such a thing. It’s for the same reason that I can never pass up the abysmally awful film version…

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Originally posted 2016-07-26 17:00:15. I enjoyed exactly 50% of this novel. Ok, maybe closer to 60%, since some of the half that I disliked dealt explicitly with the half that I did. The House Girl tells the story of two women separated by hundreds of years. Josephine is an escaped slave whose incredible paintings have…

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Originally posted 2016-07-23 12:00:38. After the trainwreck that was The Madman’s Daughter, the only way to cleanse my palate was to revisit The Island of Doctor Moreau. I enjoy rereading novels like this because I always notice new things the second time around – or in this case, the fourth time around. This time, I…

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Originally posted 2016-07-19 17:00:54. The End of Your Life Book Club is a memoir of Will Schwalbe’s relationship with his mother in her final two years of life. Mary Anne Schwalbe is dying pancreatic cancer. During the time Will spends with her in various waiting rooms, the two create a book club of sorts to…

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Originally posted 2016-07-16 12:00:53. After The Hunger Games and The Twilight Saga, I was left with a really awful aftertaste for the Young Adult genre. That brief interlude into the melodramatic and intellect-demeaning world of teenage fiction only made me remember why I never visited during my own young adulthood. I have been studiously avoiding…

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Originally posted 2016-07-12 17:00:25. Sage Singer suffers from a disfiguring scar across her face, so she hides from the world by working the night shift as a baker. In spite of Sage’s constant reclusive efforts, she befriends the saintly old Josef Weber at her weekly grief support group. The two hang out at the bakery,…

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Originally posted 2016-07-09 12:00:37. “What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?”  Amazon’s tagline for Life After Life worked its magic, and I instantly bought the book. I’ve been fascinated by the concept of reincarnation since Catholic School told me that I shouldn’t be, but Life After Life wasn’t quite what…

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Originally posted 2016-07-05 17:00:18. This book tries too hard. That single thought kept popping up the further I progressed into Reconstructing Amelia. McCreight knows how to write, that’s not the issue; but she is painfully heavy handed with the twists and turns in this curvaceous debut novel. Amelia is a high school sophomore at an…

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Originally posted 2016-07-02 12:00:19. I knew that Stephenie Meyer had something disturbing in mind when she devoted countless pages to justifying the concept of “imprinting.” Apparently, when a werewolf meets his soul mate and loves her very, very much, it doesn’t matter how old she is. Meyer comes back to this point one too many…

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Originally posted 2016-06-25 12:00:32. This week, I unintentionally, read two books concerning demonic children. Figuratively, in We Need to Talk About Kevin, and literally in Rosemary’s Baby. When I am exceptionally irritable, I find it useful to read about individuals in situations that are far worse than those of which I myself will likely encounter…

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Originally posted 2016-06-21 17:00:22. Neglect. Hallucinations. Paranoia. Theodor Geisel expertly weaves together these elements in his 1957 psychological thriller, The Cat In The Hat. Told by an unnamed narrator of questionable reliability, readers are encouraged to subscribe to his hallucinations of domesticated creatures that run amok during the appalling absence of parental authority. Geisel’s story centers…

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Originally posted 2016-06-18 12:00:09. The Middlesteins speaks to anyone that has ever dealt with an unhealthy obsession with food, family drama, and heartbreak. I’m pretty sure that those qualifications cover most of the female population. Jami Attenberg’s simultaneously poignant yet humorous depiction of the Middlestein family results in a stunning novel that is undoubtedly one…

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Originally posted 2016-06-14 17:00:31. Some authors are fantastic at novels, but their short stories are less than satisfactory. For some authors, it’s the other way around. And then, there are the select few that really have a grasp on both realms. With Astray, Emma Donoghue proves herself to be a member of this elite group….

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Originally posted 2016-06-11 12:00:38. Embarrassing confession time: the title of this book, The Mystery of the Lost Cézanne, led me to the assumption that this would be a story about a missing lady named Cézanne. Yes, I took Art History in college. Yes, I am reasonably educated. Alas, it took me about 30 pages to get beyond my…

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