loumarday

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Queen of the Road: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus with a Will of Its Own

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What a great read! I live in Boulder County myself so it was fun to read about things that I've become so familiar with. While I'm somewhere between a princess and a Boulder hippie, I found this book extremely fun and relatable. I liked the casual, easy style of writing; it felt like a friend telling me the tale of her vacation.
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon

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So much non-fiction can be so dry even when the topic is of interest. That is why I love when non-fiction reads like a novel and this did just that. Contrary to others' reviews, I enjoyed the author's foray into the same land as Fawcett, not only physically but mentally as well. I plowed through the second half of the book in one sitting because I was so anxious to learn if Fawcett found what he was looking for as well as if Grann did the same. I was not disappointed with the end. A great read!
The Secret History

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Depressing but what a good read! At times I felt bogged down by too much writing, I felt many of the background stories - while good at developing the plot - were just too long. However, this created an amazing amount of suspense for me. I constantly pushed my lunch breaks a little longer so I could read a couple more pages and find out something, anything. Well done!
The Ridiculous Race

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I love good comedy and this had plenty of it. Steve is definitely the funnier writer of the two and I found is sections on the more traditional travelogue pretty interesting as well. I agree with some of the other reviewers that Vali seemed in it more for the "action" than the sheer experience of doing something only a fraction of the American population could only dream of. That being said, neither of them claimed they were going to write a travel book, only that they were going to write about their experience trying to win the race and have "awesome stories" to tell. I think those expecting something more along the lines of Bill Bryson misled themselves. All in all, I think the book lived up to what it said it was going to be and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Wonder Singer

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"There are moments when the...entire body is suffused with lightness." The whole novel is in the "..." but how cool is this sentence?I really enjoyed this story. It's one of the better books I've read this year. I felt that it had a very fluid quality to it, quite musical in fact, which does fit well with the subject manner, yes?I was, however, torn between listening to the Senora's lyrical passages (I could really picture an elderly lady sitting back in a comfy chair, head tilted back against the chairback, eyes closed, recounting her life) and wanting to see more of the suspense/tension surrounding the deadline Lockwood was battling. We're set up early on in the novel to believe that Lockwood is in a race against Hollywood Hank, but it was then kept in the background for most of the novel. Showing more tension around this storyline probably would have change the tone of the book that I was enjoying so much.All in all, I was much pleased with this novel and recommend it to anyone who is in the mood for a beautiful read. Kudos to Mr. Rabasa.
The Divorce of Henry VIII: The Untold Story from Inside the Vatican

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Like a lot of folks I have a bit of "Tudor fever," so I was excited when I received this book. What a well written and researched account of a side you don't hear much about, the Vatican's side, especially in historical fiction. It was fascinating to read the accounts of Gregorio Casali (and he was no saint), whom I never heard of before, and his role in the divorce of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. While the book was more about Casali's background/life and family and not as much about the divorce itself, I did glean some new bits of Tudor history from its pages.
Words Made Fresh: Essays on Literature and Culture

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I was lured in by this title because I love words, I love books about words, I love word of the day calendars, etc. I did not read the description closely enough because it turns out it's not the type of book for me. I have more secular beliefs and cannot find interest in matters religious or spiritual. I can say, however, that it was well written and Woiwode seems articulate and intelligent. While at times the essays seemed to wander, I did particularly enjoy the final essay on Shakespeare. I found it to be thought provoking and a good conversation starter with my English literature teaching friends.
Drood: A Novel

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I wanted to get into this story because it sounded just like the type of thing I was looking to get into. For some reason, the writing made me think of Dickens as some happy-go-lucky man skipping around reveling in the trouble he was finding. As a thriller, I didn't find that there was much action going on or psychological action either. I also felt the book was excessively long and several passages could easily have been cut. Many, many, many lines in the book were repetitious and just plain annoyed me.The book did lead me to seek out a biography to see how much of Dickens' life portrayed in this novel was based on fact, so it wasn't a total loss in that respect. I also plan to pick up The Moonstone as well.
The Girl Below: A Novel

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I enjoyed this book and do agree with other reviewers that it is a fairly quick read. I found it well-written in terms of language and description. There is however, something about the book that confuses me. I'm not entirely certain that the time travel elements work...while reading I was intrigued by the story and kept waiting for the mystery to be developed more but in the end I think that was my biggest disappointment. Now that I'm finished I think, "what was the mystery really?" As far as a tale about self-realization I think that was the stronger and better working aspect of the novel. All-in-all I would still recommend this story.
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