|BOOKWOMAN_CAT's Book Lists|
|Kristi & Abby the Tabby read together in 2014 (93 titles)
modern literature, mystery, history, biography
|Kristi's 2013 Book List in memory of Maggie, the cat (154 titles)
Happy to say my new reading companion is Abby the tabby, the funniest cat who has ever owned me.
|Kristi & Maggie the cat read together in 2012 (143 titles)
eclectic - modern literature, mystery, non-fiction...
|kristi & Abby's Literature Wish List (812 titles)
modern fiction - women's literature - historical fiction....
|kristi & Abby's Non-fiction Wish List (310 titles)
history, biography, autobiography, religion, psychology, medicine
|The Meryl Streep movie club |
by March, Mia
*** stars. Two sisters and the cousin they grew up with after a tragedy are summoned home to their family matriarch's inn on the coast of Maine for a shocking announcement. Suddenly, Isabel, June, and Kat are sharing the attic bedroom and barely speaking. But when innkeeper Lolly asks them to join her and the guests in the parlor for weekly Movie Nights for Meryl Streep month they find themselves sharing secrets, talking long into the night . . . and questioning everything they thought they knew about life, love, and one another. Each woman sees her complicated life reflected through the magic of cinema: Isabel's husband is having an affair, and an old pact may keep her from what she wants most . . . June has promised her seven-year-old son that she will somehow find his father, whom he's never known . . . and Kat is ambivalent about accepting her lifelong best friend's marriage proposal. Through everything, Lolly has always been there for them, and now Isabel, June, Kat, and Meryl must be there for her. **** As you know if you have read some of my other reviews about "romance novels", I am not fond of them, to say the least. This book, however, is a bit more than will the boy marry the girl. Each woman has a different tragedy, loss, or betrayal to overcome. I became engaged with the book and liked it in the end. I picked up the book because of the title - I adore Meryl Streep and the movies "Out of Africa" and "Sophie's Choice" are some of my all time favorites. It was interesting to see the films chosen as vehicles for examining the issues of the women in the book. Mild recommendation. posted Aug 25, 2014 at 2:59PM
|The cat's table [sound recording] : [a novel] |
by Ondaatje, Michael, 1943-
***** stars. In the early 1950s, an eleven-year-old boy boards a huge liner bound for England. At mealtimes, he is placed at the lowly ‘Cat's Table’ with an eccentric group of grown-ups and two other boys, Cassius and Ramadhin. As the ship makes its way across the Indian Ocean, through the Suez Canal, into the Mediterranean, the boys become involved in the worlds and stories of the adults around them, tumbling from one adventure and delicious discovery to another. And at night, the boys spy on a shackled prisoner – his crime and fate a galvanizing mystery that will haunt them forever. As the narrative moves from the decks and holds of the ship and the boy’s adult years, it tells a spellbinding story about the difference between the magical openness of childhood and the burdens of earned understanding – about a life-long journey that began unexpectedly with a spectacular sea voyage, when all on board were ‘free of the realities of the earth’. With the ocean liner a brilliant microcosm for the floating dream of childhood, The Cat’s Table is a vivid, poignant and thrilling book, full of Ondaatje’s trademark set-pieces and breathtaking images: a story told with a child’s sense of wonder by a novelist at the very height of his powers. ****** I enjoyed this book tremendously. Mr. Ondaatje has a wonderful, almost magical voice. He is able to project himself into the mind of young Michael and the bravery of youthful innocence. I listened to this book read by the author which I highly recommend!! posted Aug 25, 2014 at 2:49PM
|China dolls [sound recording] |
by See, Lisa.
*** stars. In 1938, Ruby, Helen and Grace, three girls from very different backgrounds, find themselves competing at the same audition for showgirl roles at San Francisco's exclusive "Oriental" nightclub, the Forbidden City. Grace, an American-born Chinese girl has fled the Midwest and an abusive father. Helen is from a Chinese family who have deep roots in San Francisco's Chinatown. And, as both her friends know, Ruby is Japanese passing as Chinese. At times their differences are pronounced, but the girls grow to depend on one another in order to fulfill their individual dreams. Then, everything changes in a heartbeat with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Suddenly the government is sending innocent Japanese to internment camps under suspicion, and Ruby is one of them. But which of her friends betrayed her? **** I usually really like Lisa See's novels, but this book fell a little short with me. I thought the "great denoument" was telegraphed with a partial revelation. I have enjoyed her mysteries and her novels set in historical China much more. I did not bond as successfully with these characters. posted Aug 25, 2014 at 12:47AM
|A question of honor |
by Todd, Charles
**** stars. Bess Crawford enjoyed a wondrous childhood in India, where her father, a colonel in the British Army, was stationed on the Northwest Frontier. But an unforgettable incident darkened that happy time. In 1908, Colonel Crawford's regiment discovered that it had a murderer in its ranks, an officer who killed five people in India and England yet was never brought to trial. In the eyes of many of these soldiers, men defined by honor and duty, the crime was a stain on the regiment's reputation and on the good name of Bess's father, the Colonel Sahib, who had trained the killer. A decade later, tending to the wounded on the battlefields of France during World War I, Bess learns from a dying Indian sergeant that the supposed murderer, Lieutenant Wade, is alive—and serving at the Front. Bess cannot believe the shocking news. According to reliable reports, Wade's body had been seen deep in the Khyber Pass, where he had died trying to reach Afghanistan. Soon, though, her mind is racing. How had he escaped from India? What had driven a good man to murder in cold blood? Wanting answers, she uses her leave to investigate. In the village where the first three killings took place, she discovers that the locals are certain that the British soldier was innocent. Yet the present owner of the house where the crime was committed believes otherwise, and is convinced that Bess's father helped Wade flee. To settle the matter once and for all, Bess sets out to find Wade and let the courts decide. But when she stumbles on the horrific truth, something that even the famous writer Rudyard Kipling had kept secret all his life, she is shaken to her very core. The facts will damn Wade even as they reveal a brutal reality, a reality that could have been her own fate **** I am a huge fan of Charles Todd and his two series with Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford. Both series involve World War I - Bess as a nurse and Ian as a Scotland Yard detective attempting to recover from shell shock. I have bonded with both these well developed characters. I pick up each successive novel in the series as much to find out how the protagonists are faring as to enjoy the very well written mysteries. This is #5 in the Bess Crawford series. As always I recommend starting with the first book to appreciate the pain, growth, and accomplishments in each character. posted Aug 25, 2014 at 12:39AM
|The Interestings |
by Wolitzer, Meg.
** stars. The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become an inseparable group. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In "The Interestings", Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. The kind of creativity that is rewarded at age fifteen is not always enough to propel someone through life; not everyone can sustain, in adulthood, what seemed so special in adolescence. The friendships endure and some even prosper, but the relationships also underscore the differences in their fates, in what their talents have become and the shapes their lives have taken. ****** Jules Jacobson, the primary protagonist, requires many years to begin to really question whether "the interestings" really have qualities that make them special, i.e. more important or valuable than non-members of the club. She finally asks herself what the "interestings" she has idolized since her teens have lost through their persistent efforts to opt in to the upper echelons of society. She finally wonders if all of them have inaccurately defined success by believing they would only fit in once they stood out or would only matter if they were extraordinary. It’s Jules’s husband, Dennis, a man unafraid to call himself ordinary, who brings her to this realization. “Specialness — everyone wants it,” he tells her in frustration, fed up with her perpetual comparisons to her childhood pals. His answer and mine is NO!! In fact, what they valued as teens as special had more to do with skills and talents than any psychological depth or warmth that was motivated by or concerned with the well-being of other people or the world. Jules adored the "interestings" simply because they invited her in and convinced her she was special too. I wanted to like this book, but unfortunately the protagonists were not very "interesting" and it took a very likable girl / woman far too long to discover what really makes a person special. Cannot recommend!! posted Jul 25, 2014 at 1:21AM