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I'm in the process of looking for a new book community (need I say more?) so hopefully booklikes is it. For now I'm just figuring out the site.

Stoner - John Edward Williams

This book definitely won't be everyone's cup of tea. In fact if you don't have a certain love of classics this book probably isn't for you. I've come to realize I have different expectations from the classics. I'm more forgiving. I don't read many contemporary novels. Had this been written/published today I probably would have abandoned it as being really very boring.

Not much outside everyday life occurs in this story. It centers on relationships. What effect our relationships with others have on who we are, how we see overselves. What effect do they have on decisions we make how how does that alter the lives we lead.

As I read I remained oddly disconnected from Stoner. Was this a flaw in the writing or was this perhaps brilliant in showing Stoner's personality. After all, as elusive as he was I did come to care about him. I don't know. I'm left a little confused. What I do know is I kept reading and I enjoyed the story.


Typical southern novel

Roseflower Creek: A Novel - J. L. Miles

Poverty. Abuse. Novel was well written and although a sad story it did have its lighthearted moments in seeing life's complications and adults behavior through the eyes of a child. Thought the ending was particularly well done and original.

The Pecan Man - Cassie Dandridge Selleck

Quick read, thankfully. Everything about this was just to perfect. Every chapter being a moral lesson. Two stars for the last couple of chapters that were written more as an epilogue. To bad because I feel the author really can write. If she could have just told the story it would have spoke for itself on racial discrimination and the views the author was trying to get across. Ora just became a preachy do good character that had no depth. The most enjoyable part of the book was when I turned the last page.

For fans of Karen Armstrong

Removing the Habit of God: Sister Christine's Story 1959-1968 - Susan Pickford

This was an easy read, albeit abit slow at times. I felt the author wrote from a place of honesty and not like someone with a score to settle. This is not an expose' of convent life. Written with a clear understanding of choices she made the author takes responsibility for her life. I found the education she received of particular interest. So not an exciting read but thankfully it doesn't drag on. In fact it ended so abruptly I was ticked off I had read it all, but then past the acknowledgements at the very end there is an About the author which somewhat satisfied me. Kindle edition contains many photographs which helped me get a feel for the time period. I must say I enjoyed Karen Armstrong's "Through the Narrow Gate" much more.

Not quite non-fiction

Dead Woman Walking: was an innocent woman hanged? - Allan Peters

I really enjoyed this book once I got beyond my expectations of this being a serious non-fiction book. Not having read other reviews I went with the jacket description. I did feel the author was biased in coming to his conclusions by virtually overlooking the facts but this did not hinder my enjoyment as anyone reading can come to their own conclusions whatever they may be. Many people might not agree with mine as well. I felt he gave the whole story even when it would have better suited his belief to have glossed over alot of stuff. So kudos to the author for that. As for this book opening a new investigation and possibly clearing her name, I don't know if that was written as a selling point or if the author truly believes that but I can't see it. So taken for what it is, a fictionalized biography/true crime, definitely worth reading.

Don't judge this one by the cover

BAD KARMA: A True Story of Obsession and Murder - Deborah Beatriz Blum

Really loved this book. Well written. Highly readable true crime. If you thought you could never have sympathy for a murderer this one just might change your mind. The cover I must say is horrible. I would never have read this if it wasn't free on kindle. Unfortunately I do judge books by their cover, very quickly. I say unfortunately because I often wonder how many good books I'm missing because of this bad habit. So lately I have been trying very hard to rectify my bad book shopping behavior and Bad Karma is just the reminder I needed. If you like true crime don't miss this one. 

Disappointing in the end

Never Smile at Strangers - Jennifer Minar-Jaynes

Mysteries are a genre I don't usually read. I find them to be unrealistic and predictable. This one kept me interested and I did enjoy it but everything fell apart for me at the very end.To dramatic. To much going on to fast. The characters actions and interactions with each other weren't believable. And that is for those most part how I find most mysteries, good until the ending. So three stars because most of the book was really very good.

The Secrets They Kept: The True Story of a Mercy Killing that Shocked a Town and Shamed a Family - Suzanne Handler

Very well researched story. Other cultures fascinate me so I enjoyed learning more about the jewish people and their history. Also interesting was the trial outcome and the aftermath for the family. I had to wonder if this had happened today how the outcome of the trial might have been different as I think the time period may have had some influence. 

600 Hours of Edward - Craig Lancaster

For a first novel this was a really good book. There is a lot of repetition thoughout but eventually it becomes so much a part of the unique character of Edward that we get to know and love that it just begins to flow along with the story. The first few pages are the toughest to get through, the repetition at it's heaviest. It does lessen and I believe the author did this so people could really get a feel for what Edward goes through on a daily basis. I found the first half of the book quite humorous and second half more serious. What I didn't like was how rushed the second part of the book seemed. I believe this was written for some sort of contest so this may be why. As humorous as Edward's life appears to be he is still dealing with Aspergers as well as some pretty heavy emotional baggage regarding family. These, especially the family issues were wrapped up pretty quickly. I'm not to familiar with Aspergers but I am with mental illness in general and I know it can be quite a roller coaster to getting well again. I don't think the author showed how serious and devastating setbacks can be. Again to rushed. Still a very worthwhile read and I will probably pick up the second.book at some point. Hopefully it wasn't written in a time crunch.

The Cape Ann - Faith  Sullivan

Wonderful story. The author obviously took her time writing this novel. Loved all the details of the time period. Story is set in the late 30's to early 40's. Everytime I read the present just slipped away from me. I found the characters and their stories believable and all fit nicely into the main story. This would have been a five star for me but I agree with other reviews I read that Lark's thought process as well as her vocabulary were that of someone older. I was able to put that aside after awhile and enjoy the story but for the first half I was slightly annoyed. I almost didn't pick up this book thinking it was going to be one of those sappy unrealistic feel good stories. I think another review stated something along the same line which is why I gave it a try. Really glad I did.

A book to read twice

Whistle Stop: A Novel - Maritta Wolff

This is a great novel by a wonderful writer. Its like the Joad family moved into Peyton Place and they're all doing crack. And it works. Even though this book deals with some heavy subject matter, especially for it's time, somehow throughout it remains a lighthearted and easy read. I will be thinking about this " fambly" for a very long time.

Cold a Long Time: An Alpine Mystery - John Leake

Not the best writing. In need of some editing. Story quite repetitious at times making it drag. The mystery itself intriguing enough to propel the reader along.

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything - Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Interesting at first but quickly became boring. Didn't read bonus material which included newspaper writeups of author and blogs from their website as well as some rehashing of material in previous chapters. 2 stars for interesting tidbits at beginning of book.

What non fiction writing should be

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune - Paul Clark Newell Jr., Bill Dedman

Excellent book. Well written unbiased account of the Clark family focusing mainly on the life of Huguette Clark. Although there is a lot of unknowns concerning Huguette what I really appreciated was the author stayed away from the endless speculation and surmising that many non fiction writers rely upon to fill their pages. I think his 1989 Pulitzer prize was probably well deserved. The release of this book coincided nicely with the actual court case. Highly recommended.

The Galapagos Affair - John Treherne

Very strange story. If this had been a novel I would have abandoned it as being to unbelievable.

Isadore's Secret: Sin, Murder, and Confession in a Northern Michigan Town - Mardi Jo Link

Interesting story. Didn't care for the writing which I found to be overly dramatic.Story had plenty of drama on it's own to carry it along. Slow going to get through this one but in the end I stuck with it simply because it was true and I had to know how it ended.