Tag Archive: contemporary



Dava Shastri's Last DayDava Shastri’s Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I spent the first half of this book wanting to throw it across the room or just quit reading. The main character was interesting, and I wanted to get more into her head. But her offspring were horrid. They were supposed to be attending to their mother’s deathbed, but all they could do was fight and be hateful.

I guess that is credit to the author to have written such strong characters. Soneela Nankani (Narrator) was fun to listen to, her acting chops showing regardless of which person she was playing.

In the end, I found I liked the book and was happy to read it. And redeeming of beings took place.

I learned about this book on Good Morning America one day. At first, I couldn’t see how it even got featured. But soon, I could see a lot of lessons to be learned with a deeper reading, like in a book club. It was nice to read about a strong woman who obtained everything in the end. But that was at the beginning of the book. It is very worth the read!

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Improbable Magic for Cynical WitchesImprobable Magic for Cynical Witches by Kate Scelsa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know who recommended this, but it was an insightful read. Kate uses Tarot Major Arcana to tell a piece of a teen’s confusing life. I love how we learn the cards as a story unto themselves and how it applies to Elenor’s past.

Kate Sclesa is a young adult novel, and the romances cause angst. But I loved climbing into Elenor’s thoughts and seeing how she caused her worries to grow.

Stacey Glemboski (Narrator) brought this Audible version alive with her voice acting.

Quite an enjoyable and inspiring read.

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Ape HouseApe House by Sara Gruen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a fun book. I was able to pick it up on Libby as an audiobook. The story was great. Paul Boehmer (Narrator) was not the best. The only difference in characters was the Russian prostitute. The other women sounded foolish. All the men sounded the same. That caused me, the listener, to miss who was talking.

I enjoyed the bits about the monkeys and thinking about how much we could learn from other species if we could meet with some language. I thought the author showed the mentality of both humans and apes.

If you get the chance, I recommend this read. I think the psychology and philosophies brought up are interesting to ponder.

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On RotationOn Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Who recommended this to me? Thank you, whoever you are. I am usually not into romance novels, but I loved this all the way through! However, recommended, I do remember looking it up and finding it on Libby.

Mela Lee (Narrator) told the story with believable passion.

I’m crazy about medical stories; a Grey’s Anatomy fan from the beginning, Dr. Kildare, started me out when I was a child. So this story pulled me right in. That it included a younger generation of adults and another culture made it even more engaging.

I may come back to reread this when I need a light distraction again.

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Ali's Well That Ends Well: Tales of Desperation and a Little InspirationAli’s Well That Ends Well: Tales of Desperation and a Little Inspiration by Ali Wentworth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Even COVID19 has nothing on the humor of this fine lady.

I have enjoyed Ali Wentworth on Kelly and Ryan’s show as she is on there as a co-host or guest often. She speaks her truth humorously and always makes me feel we could be friends. I like her take on everything. When she mentioned she’d written a book, I found and put it on hold on Libby.

Even though it was her experience with the virus and her family’s, as scary as that can be for some of us, Ms. Wentworth found the lighter side and shared it with us.

I enjoyed this so much that I have already picked up another of her books on Libby and have her podcast lined up on Audible.

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The Lost and Found BookshopThe Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book would have been a perfect read if I only had a beach. Even so, it felt like You’ve Got Mail in a way. But the list of books mentioned throughout the book to check out was longer. The book series that contained Ballet Shoes wasn’t even mentioned.

What I loved was the multiple generations not just mentioned but given problems seen from both sides of the issues. And the story goes back generations and includes historical events of their times that affected the outcomes of the current characters.

I love how often San Francisco played in the story. I felt I got to travel just the tiniest bit.

The writing was fun, and the narrator, Emily Rankin, was great.

This is a book that I recommend for fun and leisure. Go for it!!!

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One Golden SummerOne Golden Summer by Clare Lydon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was one of those beach-read type of books. Done in a couple of hours. It was fun for the most part. It felt very like the male-female romance books in the part I hate them ost about romance. Jealousy. And lack of communication. But it was cute and a quick read, so great to pass the time.

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Anansi BoysAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

NARRATOR OF Anansi Boys

Lenny Henry, narrator made this one of the most fun books I’ve read (listened to) in a long time. There were so many quotes that I wanted to put into my blog. But that would be spoilers. Go to GoodReads and look them up once you’ve read this book. I would be doing my diamond painting and then suddenly I’d have to stop because I would be laughing out loud. I’d have to calm down before trying to place the little gem into the picture.

What can I say about Neil Gaiman that hasn’t been said? His writing and imagination is fantastic.

This is considered book 2 of the American Gods. But I don’t know if you need to read that first. I did read AG a bit ago and loved it, too. But it isn’t necessary to enjoy this shorty but goody. Okay, maybe it isn’t so short. But after the tomes of Outlander this was a nice break.

I only decided to read this because Whoopi Goldberg is going to star in the theatrical version. Now I can hardly wait to see it!

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The Five WoundsThe Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Libby, the library app, recommended this book as a social read for all. My friends and I all got the notification for it simultaneously. Since we all saw it, we ordered and tried to read it at the same time so we could discuss it later.

It was a challenging read. The writing was okay. But the topic was complex. So how is it I give it four stars?

The book gives five characters a chance to share their point of view. Each has damage to overcome. But, we’ve all seen people that refuse to grow up and accept responsibility. It seems, sometimes, that the pregnant teen is more mature than the rest of the cast. It is through her eyes I could tolerate this story. She gets it and is working hard. Ugh. Until she doesn’t. But she’s human. Right?

The author portrays the story through the LatinX culture in New Mexico. It is also slanted Catholic. Being raised in Southern California, I knew and loved friends of Mexican or Spanish heritage. And though I was raised protestant, many of my friends were Catholic, so I had a bit of an understanding. If you didn’t have a religious background or never participated, this might lose the reader.

If the book doesn’t get you culturally or religiously next, it might generationally. It centers on a family led by the matriarch, soon-to-be great Abuela, two offspring, a granddaughter, and finally, the new baby. I think the author does a good job stepping into each character. They are full of faults and virtues. And each is conflicted due to their past and family.

I must say, some might give up. I almost did several times as it is too real. But stick with it, and you will be rewarded in the end.

Gary Tiedemann (Narrator) did a flawless job. What I mean is that he read females and males with equal grace. I never felt the narrator mocking any of the characters in his voice. Yet, there was a change in characters, so you never feel lost about who is telling their story.

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State of TerrorState of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yikes! This book was so suspenseful I couldn’t get a good night’s sleep until I finished. And even then, it is so easily probable it may prevent sleep for the next decade.

Joan Allen, the narrator, made the story come alive. I think the mixture of a great thriller writer and someone who had been in politics gave the story believability.

I picked up this copy on Libby, the library audio app. I highly recommend this book.

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