The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman is a novel about love, the ties of family, loss, identity and fate. This novel powerfully conjures the condition of the human heart with all of its’ joy, longing, and agony. The three Owens children, Franny, Jet, and Vincent, are on a journey to discover who they are. Along the way they un-earth a few family secrets and cover up a few of their own. The Rules of Magic is a powerful, heart-breaking novel that renders a dazzling portrait of the Owens family and their spellbinding traditions. Continue reading “The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman: a Book Review”
In anticipation of the upcoming release of Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, I decided to read Practical Magic, the inspiration for the 1998 movie of the same title. While I, like so many others, adore the movie, I had never read the book. Although the cast of characters largely remains the same (the movie just forgets to mention a couple of them,) and the general story line is basically the same, the book is very different. It almost has a different “feel” to it, and as readers we receive more thorough portraits of each character that the film doesn’t necessarily offer. Continue reading “Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman”
The Child Finder is the story of a woman, Naomi, whose life calling is to locate missing children. Known simply as the Child Finder, Naomi works as a private investigator with word of her uncanny ability traveling from person to person. Like the children she is hired to find, Naomi was abducted in her childhood. As an adult she has no recollection of the events that transpired while being held captive. Her mind has blocked the trauma and she only has memory of being found by a group of migrant workers after she escaped. She remembers them driving her to the Sherriff’s office, she remembers being deposited with her kindly foster mother, and she remembers meeting her foster brother Jerome. Perpetually haunted by nightmares, Naomi is terrified of her past catching up with her, but has made it her life’s mission to save and help children like her. Continue reading “The Child Finder: a Book Review”
If you’re like me, then you likely have an ever lengthening list of books that you can’t wait to read. Unfortunately, for me reading doesn’t pay the bills so I never seem to have enough hours in the day to devour each book on my list. Regardless, I am going to be making the time to read the 5 books on this list very soon.
As readers, we all have our go-tos. Our books that for one reason or another pique our interest in a special way, manage to captivate our interests even after we know what is going to happen, and live on in our imaginations long after we’ve finished reading them. Most of us have several. Also, if you are an avid reader you will likely have people frequently approach you (usually while you are reading) and ask for book recommendations. Usually, I immediately ask them what they like to read. They’ll stop and think for a moment, and then most of the time they will say one of two things. They’ll either say “I like to read anything, I’m not really picky,” or they’ll say THRILLERS or MYSTERIES. (Not always, sometimes they’ll be like “historical fiction” or “romance” or some other such thing. But, by and large non-readers will gravitate to thrillers because they are so compelling and can generally hold the interest of even the most infrequent reader.) If their answer is either of the two responses listed above, I always, without fail, recommend Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. And always, without fail, I’m right on the money. Continue reading “The Book I Recommend to Everyone and Why”
I’m a little (well, a lot) late posting this review, as this was my vacation read this year. I breezed through this book, as one would expect with any good vacation novel. I found the book to be un-put-down-able, and even though I was able to guess the ‘twist’ less than half way through, I still felt it packed a powerful punch and I’m not ashamed to admit that I found myself teary-eyed when it was done. Continue reading “Summer Reading: The Sisters Chase by Sarah Healy”
The wonderful, hilarious, perfect human that is David Sedaris decided to release his diaries in book format. The first half spans the years 1977-2002 and was released on May 30th of this year. It is without a doubt, everything that I could have hoped for. As a long time admirer of Sedaris, I was particularly looking forward to this book, and am glad to say that it did not disappoint. The book is unflinchingly honest, inspiring, and of course, hysterical. But could we ever expect anything else from dear ol’ Dave?While it is not surprising that the book is presented to readers in a witty but honest and true to life style that is Sedaris’ signature, you will perhaps be a little surprised by the early years of the diary. If you’re like me, all of a the authors you admire occupy a neat, tidy space in your mind in which they have always existed as fully-formed, self-actualized, competent geniuses. Sedaris shows us that at least as far as he is concerned, this wasn’t the case. He started out just as clueless as anyone, and didn’t shy away from making his share of mistakes. Sedaris begins writing his extensive diary collection in 1977 as he is hitchhiking across the country with a friend. These early years reveal a heretofore unknown (or to me at least,) portrait of Sedaris. Sedaris is not bashful about presenting his readers with an accurate depiction of what his life was like at that time. He was addicted to drugs, he was unable to hold down an hourly job and resorted instead to odd jobs, he lived in poverty and he did not live well. He lived in low-rent apartments that were falling apart in violent neighborhoods. He spent hours each day observing people in the IHOP (a question that goes unanswered is how? As he was not able to hold steady employment,) and he was a slave to his addiction. Continue reading “Theft by Finding: a book review”