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EJ V. (bookgal7) - Reviews

1 to 20 of 49 - Page:
The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author: Garth Stein
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 1021
Review Date: 7/11/2010
Helpful Score: 2


I was reluctant to read this book, but it was a pick of one of the members in my book club. Reading a book narrated by a dog, seemed it would be a little odd and I am not really into race car driving. Loved this book! It was quite sad, but filled with insights and acknowledgment of the complexities of the human experience. There were also moments that made me smile, even laugh. At times, Enzo, the dog, had far better clarity than I may have had in similar situations. I found it to be a fast read and even learned something about race car driving. This book is one I definitely recommend.


Bailey's Cafe
Bailey's Cafe
Author: Gloria Naylor
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 5/4/2023


Gloria Naylor's message is always relevant no matter what is occurring in current events. She is honest, real and raw in her writing. She speaks truth to the American experience and no matter what your identity you can't help but reflect and be changed by her words. Although, she does not write for a light read, she writes with spirit and will allow you emotional and intellectual growth.


The Bluest Eye
The Bluest Eye
Author: Toni Morrison
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 42
Review Date: 1/19/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Toni Morrison is a truly great writer. As is true for most of her books, the story was dark at times and there were parts where Morrison did ramble. However, that did not distract from the potent, realistic, and raw realities of American culture and the African-American experience portrayed in the story. The story leaves a sour taste in your mouth; regardless, I was glad to have taken the opportunity to read such a remarkable book.


The Book of Lost Friends
The Book of Lost Friends
Author: Lisa Wingate
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 46
Review Date: 1/8/2022


The book was engaging from the first paragraph. The story was well crafted and realistically told. It is not a superficial beach read, if you really are taking the time to think of and appreciate the historical part of the fiction. Any American from the southeast could easily find themselves reminiscing in the legacy of one of the leading characters to the point of reflecting on their own family's place in history. I highly recommend the book!


The Book Thief
The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 304
Review Date: 9/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This was a wonderful story. Sad and hard to read at times, but Zusak tells a great tale in a unique and gripping way. I highly recommend the book!


Call Me by Your Name
Call Me by Your Name
Author: Andre Aciman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 29
Review Date: 1/20/2021
Helpful Score: 2


The writing style is what grabbed me and kept me reading. The story is good and realistic, but it is the world that is created and the main character's genuine and authentic thoughts, worries, and feelings that make it so relatable and mesmerizing. I did not find myself loving the book, and also would recommend it easily to a friend. It is a fast read and gives pause for forgiving, not heavy self-reflection.


Can You Keep a Secret?
Can You Keep a Secret?
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 685
Review Date: 8/8/2009
Helpful Score: 2


Surprisingly, I could not put this book down. It was a fun and hilarious read. Although, I did not agree with all of the main characters actions and values; the way she was portrayed made it feel like I had known her a long time and there were moments when I felt quite empathetic toward this fictional character. I appreciated how real the character seemed. It was a great book, that I recommend!


Conversations with Friends
Conversations with Friends
Author: Sally Rooney
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.1/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 1/21/2023


I struggled to get through this book and even wondered several times why I kept reading. All the characters are self-absorbed, which is part of the point and challenging because they never seem to evolve or grow. It felt like when someone starts a telling a story not sure what their point is and then keeps going and you keep waiting for the reason they are talking and it never comes.


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Author: Mark Haddon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 4457
Review Date: 7/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


The book definitely gave me some perspective on workings of the autistic mind, which at some points was hard for me to just be okay with reading. It was a short story, so I read it in its entirety, but it did lose my interest toward the end. I was more interested in the narration and thought process then the actual suspense of the mystery.


Drenched in Light (Tending Roses, Bk 4)
Drenched in Light (Tending Roses, Bk 4)
Author: Lisa Wingate
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 1/21/2023


Love this author and struggled with this series. My favorite book in the series was the second book. There is a Christian theme to all the books and I think that is important to know going in because the author is providing lessons from religion. It was not because of the religious undertone though that I struggled with this book, I mention that so that readers who are not looking for a sermon of any kind are aware. What I struggled with were the challenging issues that were addressed and in general and shallow ways. It was an uplifting book, but also glossed over a lot. That is what makes it fiction and also what made it more of a passing on of life lessons than a relatable fictional story.


Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Review Date: 6/19/2009


I can not even finish the book. Who cares about your internal struggle from having it all to finding the perfect love. If you have taken the time to live your life and be comfortable with transition and who you are this book will not speak to you. However, if you lived the life you thought you were suppose to or that your parents wanted you to live and you are still unsure who you are and what you want, maybe this book will inspire.


Euphoria
Euphoria
Author: Lily King
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 43
Review Date: 10/29/2023


I could not put this book down and will admit that I would not include it in my top 10 favorite books. It is thought provoking and relevant to today's conversations about social and racial injustices and how power and control is perceived and used globally. As historical fiction, it does lead to some thought provoking conversation and desire to do more learning. I am so glad I read the book and recommend reading it with a friend or book club to engage in discussion.


Fall on Your Knees
Fall on Your Knees
Author: Ann-Marie MacDonald
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 505
Review Date: 8/1/2009
Helpful Score: 1


The story was dynamic, interesting and enchanting. At times it got a little long, but it never occurred to me to put it down and walk away. As the story explores four generations of this family, it made me think of my own family and appreciate our dysfunction as far less complicated than the characters. I liked the way in which the author told the story and described Cape Breton. Just beautiful!


Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Bk 1)
Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades, Bk 1)
Author: E. L. James
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1100
Review Date: 3/14/2015


This trilogy is a train wreck. Poorly written and at times you have to just tell yourself that it is trashy and light, so do not over think it because if you do, you will find the holes in the storyline. All that said, I was horrified that I could not stop reading the book. At least it was easy to read because I read all 1600 pages of the trilogy in the matter of days.

If you decide to read it, I apologize and recommend that you stay the distance even though the whole book must be the same cycle of violence on replay over 50 times. At least when at the end, it feels like you accomplished something while horrified that you stayed with it.

My belief is that woman are not entranced by the intimate partner abuse and pedophilia that the media mentions, but the idea that a man can and wants to change. Again, horrified and unable to stop reading.


The Five People You Meet in Heaven
The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Author: Mitch Albom
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2539
Review Date: 7/16/2009


I really enjoyed this book and found it so easy to read. It made me think a lot about life and death and how things are connected. I have found myself referencing lessons I took away from the book when in conversations with friends. I highly recommend the book.


For One More Day
For One More Day
Author: Mitch Albom
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 731
Review Date: 6/19/2009


Great, easy, fast summer read! Highly recommend the book!


Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America (Funny in Farsi, Bk 1)
Review Date: 7/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This is a funny and fun read. It follows the main character through the 70s as a child observing her family as they acclimate to American culture up through the beginning of the 21st century when the narrator is a young adult. It reminds of of the nuances of American pop culture and allows the reader to appreciate all that makes America the country that it is for all it's good and not so good. I recommend the book, especially for those readers looking for something light and fun.


Girl with a Pearl Earring
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Author: Tracy Chevalier
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 1461
Review Date: 7/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This was a wonderful story. It seemed simple yet complex and easy to relate with the characters. A great summer read that I highly recommend.


The Glass Castle
The Glass Castle
Author: Jeannette Walls
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 3454
Review Date: 7/10/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This was a fun story, but it is important to remember it is a memoir and not a biography. I found myself becoming quite emphatic for the protagonist - at times being frustrated and other times getting excited with her.


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 1431
Review Date: 2/6/2015


This book is a lot of fun. I really got into it and found myself wanting to read more. But that is why i am even more disappointed that the ending seemed wrapped up too quickly and easily. It is still a great read, but the ending did seem like an easy way for the author to find a finish.


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