Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ove! Ove! Ove!

A Man Called Ove In this bestselling and delightfully quirky debut novel from Sweden, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.

A Man Called Ove was just one of those books that I saw all the praises and doubted it could achieve what I was hoping. I was dead wrong.  It was everything and more.  I don't want to say too much for fear of spoiling the experience that I had, but it was just so real.  The characters were real.  Ove embodied the spirit of my grandfather in many ways that I just felt so connected to him.  This is probably my favorite read of the year.  Please read this book, it doesn't get much simpler than that!

* I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Monday, September 29, 2014

I wish I could visit Higher Grounds Cafe!

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would he answer?

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Cafe, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask, and heaven answers in a most unexpected way."

 To put it simply, I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a wonderful reminder of how powerful God is and He truly can do anything. The story was cute, without being too predictable. This book made me want to go to a coffee shop and had me wishing Higher Grounds Cafe truly existed. I would recommend this to anyone looking for an uplifting, quick read.

* I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review *

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Driftwood Tides

Driftwood Tides"He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore.When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making drifwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife's illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he'd given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby's father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other."

This book was okay, but just didn't go beyond that.  While I appreciated the story of forgiveness and redemption, it just fell flat for me.   I loved that he was an artist of driftwood pieces, but beyond that I probably would not recommend.  It felt too predictable and nothing was really unique to the story.  Something was just off.  I was hoping for more.

*  I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A booklover's dream come true...

 "A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner of Island Books, has recently endured some tough years: his wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and his prized possession--a rare edition of Poe poems--has been stolen. Over time, he has given up on people, and even the books in his store, instead of offering solace, are yet another reminder of a world that is changing too rapidly. Until a most unexpected occurrence gives him the chance to make his life over and see things anew."

I have always been partial to books that are written about bookstores. And this Gabrielle Zevin book is no exception.I truly enjoyed and savored every bit of this book. It was entertaining and just felt real. It's a perfect read for book and bookstore lovers. I immediately went to see other books written by this author, because the writing style was unique and the characters felt like people I could be friends with. I would highly recommend this book! 

*I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Monday, June 9, 2014

Why I started

So far, 2014 has brought some great reads!  I've finished 26 books so far and my goal was 50, so I am pretty sure I will surpass that.  I have really loved the books I have picked recently.  As much as I love to finish a book, I absolutely dread the process of picking what book to read next because the options are overwhelming. 

About a month ago, I hit a bit of a reading slump.  I'm not entirely sure why, but at the time I was signed up for several Buddy Reads and I realized that as much as I love discussing a book, I can't plan this out ahead of time.  Because once the time came to read something, I wanted to read something else.  So I have determined that my Buddy Reads in the future need to be less structured.  So I have cleared my reading calendar and just started reading whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and I am back in my element.

I started this blog as a sort of outlet to talk about what I am reading, and also because I get asked a lot for book recommendations from friends and family.  It's sometimes hard on the spot to remember what all I have read and then to take into account the type of books the person might enjoy.  So hopefully this will help in the future. 

I would love to follow other bloggers as well to get book recommendations from them.  I am a pretty eclectic reader, although I tend to stay away from sci-fi, fantasy and erotica.  Just not for me.  I also keep an up-to-date record on Goodreads of what I have read for the past several years.  Along the way, I hope to revisit and write reviews for some of my favorites.

Until next time...