For myself, reading and transcribing all these different reviews, I'm amazed anew at the wide variety of readers and reading interests all mingled together. As you've seen in previous weeks, I'm making no attempt at organizing, even alphabetizing, the reviews. We're seeing fiction of all sorts, nonfiction of all interests, YA; by pure coincidence, several of today's shared reviews help illustrate the wide variety of patrons participating: "being Asian myself..." and "as a Catholic..." as two examples. We value the various backgrounds, interests, outlooks, situations, and life experiences of all our patrons, as you, by your questions and simple presence, enrich our world!
250 Best American Bread Machine Baking Recipes, by Donna Washburn. (no rating given.) "There are many bread machine cook books but this is the most inclusive and dependable that I've found. I would give it 5 stars."
American Anthm, by B.J. Hoff. 3 out of 5. "Historical Christian fiction-- set in NY in the 1870s, captures both the hope and despair of the time-- desperate immigrants, revivals, old wealth, and changing cultural norms.
The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, by Matt Barlio. 4 out of 5. "Interesting book. As a Catholic, it confims much of what I already believe but it was written in a down-to-earth format that should cause a non-believer to think twice. Very objective. It will be interesting to compare it to the movie released recently though I think the movie won't be as good as the book!"
The Luxe, by Anna Godbersen. 3 out of 5. "A novel set in the time of courtship, proper young ladies, fancy dresses, and exciting dances, The Luxe captivated my by the wealth of information presented on a whole different lifestyle. The romance and the rebellion weaved into the plot made the book more interesting."
Hector and the Secret of Happiness, by [François] Lelord. 3 out of 5. "While initially engaging and child-like in its simplistic style and clarity, this book soon [became] grating. I don't really know if it can be described as a novel, more as a list book (self-help style) connected with a few simple thoughts. However, the list of how to obtain happiness is accurate, so maybe this book works. It is an easy to read book for summer."
The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova. 5 stars! ("5+"). "An excellent read for anyone who likes vampire lore. A fresh take on the story, it still has enough connections to the original tale (Bram Stoker) to keep it true to the genre. As the characters travel around Eastern Europe one gets a vivid look at the history and sites of some amazing parts of the world, as well. An awesome summer read!"
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, by Amy Chua. 4 out of 5. "The book accurately stated the method in which Asian parents tend to raise their children. Being Asian myself, I was able to personally connect with each of the characters in the book because I knew what they were going though."
The Beach, by Alex Garland. 5 stars! "Great summer read. Interesting take on whether you can have a 'perfect' society. Gruesome ending. I am going to watch the movie with Leonard DiCaprio now to see how it compares. Neat concept. Love the way the author contrasts travelers [and] US tourists. Which are you?"
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. 5 stars! "The Hunger Games surprised me, in a way, by its 'goodness.' When I first picked up this book, I had no idea that it would keep me awake during late nights engrossed in its story. I love this book and it has become one of my favorites of all times."