Tag Archives: books

Love and Treasure Review


This morning I finished Love and Treasure by Ayelet Waldman. I’ve found lately that I can’t marathon read like I used to. It makes getting books finished hard. This book shouldn’t have been so hard for me to finish. But it was. Because I can’t concentrate. True story.

I first was interested in the author’s name. Ayelet is not a name you hear everyday. According to GoodReads, she was born in Jerusalem. Which makes the name more sense. Or at least the first name. Waldman doesn’t seem like a name that would come from Jerusalem to me. But I couldn’t find the origins of her last name. She’s pretty and I’m very jealous of her hair and it seems like she’s done quite a bit of work all over the world.

Since I’ve gotten home, I’ve been a little obsessed with books that happen in Hungary. So I was really excited about this book because there’s a decent amount is in Budapest. I also have been a little obsessed with World War II in Hungary. The Invisible Bridge (I’m still upset the brother died in that book) and the Hungarian Holocaust Museum did that for me. I did find a book trailer for this book. It’s beautiful. I love it. It gives you information about this book without really giving you information. It’s not a linear book. It’s starts right after the war, goes to modern times and then goes to the early 20th century. The book starts with The Hungarian Gold Train. I didn’t know anything about this. But it was interesting to read up on.

I don’t have many complaints about this book. There were definitely sections I liked more than others. Even though they were all interesting, I was the most involved with the Grandfather’s story with the Hungarian Gold Train. He annoyed me the least. He tried to do the right thing and he wanted all the valuables to be returned to their owners, but no such luck. This was the section I read the fastest. It was the most interesting to me because the era and subject matter. And Ilona was interesting to me. She had to go through a lot. I can’t imagine living through the Holocaust and not having your family anymore. The book did make a point of telling how many Hungarian Jews were deported to camps in a short period of time.

The Granddaughter section was okay but I felt like she was immature for her age. She was definitely the stereotypical American. The way that a lot of Europeans see us. And I don’t know to what extent that Waldman has been in the States or if she made the granddaughter like that on purpose. I don’t know. I just wasn’t a fan of the Granddaughter. If you think about it, how dumb is she? She was with a guy for 12 years, and then was married for a few months before she found out the guy was cheating on her and her family didn’t like him. From the sounds of the guy, how do you not see that he’s crappy? But I shouldn’t talk, I haven’t been in that situation.

The last section wasn’t bad but I really was not invested in those characters. And I have a problem with feminists sometimes. I realize I have a lot to owe to feminist since I can vote and own land and don’t have to rely on getting married. I don’t have a problem with mild feminism. I have a problem with in your face feminism like I felt like some of the characters in the last section was. I think that some of the actions were extreme. I think passion is good when it comes to a cause, not radicalism. Radicalism kind of scares me. It’s like those people don’t have any other way out. I don’t think that the female character need a doctor though. This is the section I had the hardest time reading. But it was nice to have the back story. Though I do wish that events were told differently. Like tell the story chronologically. That’s the way my mind works, that’s the way I want it.

I did find it interesting that anti-Semitism played a role in the whole book. I’m so used to hearing anti-Black or anti-white or anti-Hispanic. I rarely think of anti-Semitism happening today. You would think I would be used to different kind of hate after listening to Hungarians talk about Gypsies. I mean honestly. I think it’s a good thing to talk about. I think it could start conversations within different groups.


The American Heiress Review


I have a friend on GoodReads that liked the fact I marked this book as a to-read. I was like, maybe she’s an avid fan. Nope. She just wants me to read it before her so she can see if it’s worth it. She’s never read it. The book I’m talking about is The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin. The more friends I get on GoodReads, the more excited that I get because that means I have more book exposure and opinions. And I finished a book. YAY!

There’s a promotional quote on the book that compares this book with Downtown Abbey. Reading it, it does have that feel. I can’t say for sure though. I made it through a couple episodes and haven’t made the time to watch all of it. Does that make me a horrible person? Side note: I do get PBS now. Four versions of PBS and I don’t know why I get 4 versions of it. And I don’t always get them. Sometimes I only get NBC and a radar channel. I’ll take the radar channel. It’ll help a lot this winter when I go to town to work.

Let’s start at the beginning. Who the heck pays their maid to help them figure out kissing? That’s when you have a random best guy friend that’s at the party or you whine to your maid about not knowing how to kiss and you’re worried. The kissing of your female maid is weird Cora. It’s even weirder when you pay her. That makes her almost a prostitute. But given the time, I have to remind myself that a best guy friend would not be helping Cora get ready. Having a best guy friend that intimate probably wouldn’t be allowed. Especially with as much money Cora has. Girls like Cora annoy me. They’re rich, beautiful, they’re self-righteous. I don’t care if you’re beautiful or rich. I may be a little envious but what I have a hard time with is when you’re those two things and self-righteous. Maybe not self-righteous. Maybe self-centered. That might be a little better of a word. No wonder the dude ignored her. He saw through her. I do have to commend her for going to a different culture as she did. I first thought that I couldn’t do it like her and then I remembered that I did spend 10 months in Hungary so I could do it if necessary. It’s not easy and Cora needs to be commended for that. I do think that Cora got more relatable at the end of the book.

But at the same time, I have a hard time with him at the beginning of the book when he says ‘but she’s an American’. I hate the prejudice that’s behind it. Yeah, I’ve been outside of the States and I know how people feel about us and it’s not all unwarranted. But give us the benefit of the doubt. Though it does work with the story. I can’t hate it because it works with the story. Though I have hated a book for less. I got frustrated with the Duke because he was fake. I know he didn’t want to marry Cora at first. But it’s part of the story. It was a cultural thing as well. But at the end it did kind of resolve itself, which was nice.

I did feel like their ending was a little convenient. But that’s me.

The mother as crazy but the kind of mother you would expect Cora to have. I didn’t feel bad when her face was burned. I kind of shrugged like my friend Amanda did when she broke a girl’s nose in a basketball game. I also feel like she was a little presumptuous. Like she was pushing Cora a little too much on the Duke. Then I started thinking about that. The main point of the trip was to find a title for Cora and that was an open door.

I liked that the maid part of the story was in. Because I know the premise of Downton Abbey, I expected there to be a maid part of the story. But I like that she was black. I was so heartbroken for her when her mom died at the end of the book. I related way more to her than Cora.

Now a technical thing. Written conversations typically have the quotations with the two marks on either side of the spoken word. This book had just the one mark on either side. That kind of bothered me. At first, for a split second, I thought that I was entering a thought process of a character. Nope, it was an actual conversation. But I got over it and fell into the gist of the writing and how it was published. I did appreciate the language. There were a few words that I didn’t know and I appreciate that. I’ve mentioned before in here that language has gone to hell in very recent times and it’s nice to read of an era and it have the right wording and intelligent wording.

Overall, this was a pretty good book. If you like Downton Abbey, you’ll love it. It definitely feels like that show from what I’ve seen of it.

Epic Book Tag.


I know that it’s super early in the morning. I’m being an insomniac again. I know this is another book tag and not a review. I’m sorry. I’m having a hard time focusing. I do have a 3 day weekend from work so hopefully I can focus enough to finish The American Heiress. I got this tag from The Honest Bookclub. There were 10 questions but 9 was tagging people and 10 was do the shimmy. Let’s say that I did the shimmy and the proof was destroyed and everyone’s tagged 

If you could invite one author and one of their fictional characters to tea, who would you invite and what would you serve them?

Diana Gabaldon and Jane Eyre. That would be a good woman meeting and very smart conversation. I’d serve tea and sandwiches because I’m really good at sandwiches.

What book do you wish the author would write a prequel for?

I kind of what a prequel for The Hunger Games. Like Katniss’ parents or the war that made the Capital the Capital. I think it’s be interesting. That way you can really get into the series.

Which two characters (NOT from the same book) do you think would make a good couple?

D’Artagnon from The Three Musketeers and the main character from Loving Frank by Nancy Horan. I just think that it would be entertaining. They probably wouldn’t make each other happy. But I’d be entertained. That’s what matters right?

If you ran into your favorite author on the subway and only could say one sentence to them, who is it and what would it be?

Jamie, you killed my father, prepare to die….haha, just kidding.

What book made you a reader and why?

It wasn’t a book, it was me falling off a horse, breaking my wrist and having nothing to do for a good chunk of the summer. Let’s not pretend that it was a book that brought me back. It was a stubborn thoroughbred quarter horse mix horse. But the one book from that time that stands out was Catrin in Wales by Mabel Esther Allan.

Incendio! Your bookshelf just caught on fire! Show us the one book you save.

I can’t do it. It’s like a parent choosing a favorite child.

Which dystopian world would you want to live in if you had to choose one? Why?

I think the one that Cinder’s in. Because it intrigues me. And there’s cyborgs. I really need to read the rest of that series. But mainly I pick it because it’s intriguing.

What is your most epic read of all time?

Outlander. I haven’t read a series that I’ve been through the whole long series and still be dedicated. Can’t believe that it was there because it’s obvious.

I’m tired but I got through it! YAY! Now if you want to do the tag, do it.

The Coffee Book Tag


I did steal this from Beachy Reads. I can’t take credit for this tag. And I love coffee. I made some this morning and I enjoyed it. I sat and held my mug even after the coffee was gone. Mmmmmm coffee. Tuesdays were coffee day in Hungary. Starbucks was on the way to bible study. We had to do it. Norbert was our coffee guy for most of the year.

1. Black: Name a series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans.

Well, I had a hard time with Game of Thrones. I muddled through the first book and after that I said no. I couldn’t do it. It seems like everyone who loves these books, are really into it. Or at least the fans of the television show. I’m just not into it and it’s sad because I thought that would be a series that I could get into.

2. Peppermint mocha: Name a book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year.

My first instinct was the first Harry Potter book. But then I was like Little Women. They both confused me for Christmas. Unless Harry Potter was because they were popular in winter because they’re supposed to be darker? And the other one because it’s quaint? I don’t know! I can only guess.

3. Hot chocolate: What is your favorite children’s book?

Amelia Bedelia. They were the first books that I remember really getting into. I also don’t remember reading books by myself before these books. I probably did but I don’t remember them.

4. Double shot of espresso: Name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Amazonia by James Rollins. It was my first Rollins book. It’s the only adventure author I’ve ever gotten into. He’s a smart adventure writer. Rollins writes in a way that makes me interested. It keeps me on the edge of my seat and I want to find out if everything ends okay. I consciously know that it will but I keep reading because I don’t know that emotionally all the time.

5. Starbucks: Name a book you see everywhere.

Everywhere physically or virtually? I’ve seen books by Sarah J. Maas a lot lately. I’m okay with it because she seems like a cool person and the one book I’ve read by her is good.

6. That hipster coffee shop: Give a book by an indie author a shout-out

Chuck Klosterman. I don’t think he’s necessarily an indie author. But I like the one book I’ve read of his. Klosterman wrote Downtown Owl. He’s an author that wrote about small-town North Dakota and got it right. Some people are offended by it but I think it’s reality. It made me laugh. Definitely not everyone’s speed.

7. Oops! I accidentally got decaf: Name a book you were expecting more from.

Wicked. I know that it’s a Wizard of Oz retelling and the Wizard of Oz scares the crap out of me but I expected this book to be better just because…..well just because. I always have high expectations of a Wizard of Oz retelling. I have hopes that I won’t get nightmares. The other night I watched the Wizard of Oz commentary as I embroidered (yes, I’m in my upper 20’s and embroider. I’m an old soul…..I think) and I had a dream about the Cowardly Lion grabbing my ankle while I was in bed. It wasn’t fun.

8. The perfect blend: Name a book or series that was both bitter and sweet but ultimately satisfying.

Outlander? I’m stretching there. There’s war and marital and extra-marital relationships and nice moments and not so nice moments. Let’s go with that. Outlander.

So that’s that tag. I’m not going to tag anyone. I don’t want to but if you want to do it, go ahead.

Little of Life and Book Tag


I’m in a reading slump. Let me explain. September was rough on me. It was the first week back to school for my kids in Hungary and that hit me harder than I expected and, what I think is a bigger deal, my best friend and I parted ways. There’s good reasons why we did that which I won’t talk about. I miss her. I wish we were still friends but right now we can’t deal with each other. Pretty much the hardest thing I’ve had to do is not do anything with her or talk to her but it needed to happen. One day, hopefully, we’ll be able to get back to each other and explain to each other things reasonably. So due to the lack of wanting to people, I read. Also because of the month of September (really life started to suck before September but it’s when life imploded.) I threw myself into books because life was better in books. Now I’m tired of it because I pushed too hard. So I will go back to reviews just taking a break. I feel like I needed to say why the blog has changed for those people who have followed me before the book binge. I don’t want to make anyone feel like I’ve drastically changed. I mean I have but there’s reasons. And all I do is go to work and go home.

Today, I will be doing a random book tag because books.

1.Do you have a certain place you read at home? I recently said I have a book room. That’s where all my books live. But I really don’t have a certain place I read. I just read where I’m at.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper? I don’t have bookmarks. Right now I’m using a plane ticket. I’ve never really liked actual bookmarks. Why buy them when I can use something that has meaning. When I was sixth grader I had an envelope I used and everyone in my class decorated it. It was really cool.

3. Can you stop reading at any time or do you have to stop at a certain page, chapter, etc.? Typically it’s the end of the chapter. There are situations I wouldn’t go to the end of a chapter like an emergency or I am so tired I can’t continue.

4. Do you eat or drink while reading? I don’t really eat while reading but I will drink. Tea, milk, pop, whatever. I do something similar when I bake. I have to have something to drink when I bake.

5. Can you read while listening to music or watching television? Rarely I can have something on while I’m reading. I do have more tolerance for music while reading. Television I just want to watch. I need to do the visual thing. And using the word television makes me feel really old. True story.

6. One book at a time or several at a time? One at a time. I can’t handle several at a time. I get too invested with the characters.

7. Reading at home or everywhere? I always have a book with me in my purse. I generally don’t read it when in public but it does happen. Like if I’m waiting at the doctor or sometimes at a coffee place. But usually if I’m doing something at a coffee place I’m journaling.

8. Reading out loud or silently? Silently. Unless I’m reading to the nephew or nieces. But the nephew and the oldest niece can read now so they read to me now.

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages? How bad do I hate the book? There are books where I’m not enjoying them so I skim. So I don’t necessarily skip pages, I just read super fast. I have a problem with not finishing books. So I power through.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new? Generally keep it like new.

11. Do you write in books? Yes. Not as much as I used to though. It was a major thing when I was in college and I had to go to class and discuss the book. I had a method. I used a highlighter to mark where end notes were (like Barnes and Noble copies) and words to look up and I used a pen to underline lines to remember or that I liked and to write in the margins. I still write in the margins but not necessarily the highlighter.

So that’s the book tag. I might do another one. It depends on if I get out of my reading slump. I have started An American Heiress. I just need to buckle down and get into it.

Beautiful Creatures Review


After a few weeks of not having a way to do so, I did get a new television and dvd player. Now I don’t have to read all the time. But I probably will because I don’t watch t.v. anymore and dvds get boring after a while and I really don’t have friends anymore. So reading it is.

Recently I’ve been reading books that I haven’t truly been enjoying. It’s not that I went into them knowing that I wouldn’t like them, I legitimately hoped that I’d like them. I wouldn’t have wasted my time if I didn’t feel like there was some hope. So I was sick of not enjoying books I was reading. I decided to try a different genre. I have been reading adult novels. So I tried Y.A. It makes sense right? I read Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

I work with a few high schoolers and the one of the seniors was more excited that I was reading this book than I was. I feel like I don’t have a strong opinion about this book. For me, it was an easy read. An easy read is what I wanted and needed. It looks like a long book but with how the publishers use the page, it’s not that bad. The margins are of good size and the print is larger. I bought this at a used book store for $5 so it was a little beat up. While I was reading it, I kept looking at the cover and thinking I saw something and then dismissing it because it was a used book. Of course it was going to be a little damaged. Nope. What I thought was damage is really trees done in a charcoal so sometimes it looks like damage against the black cover. But the letters did have some marking on them so they looked like bubble letters and that just made me laugh because it didn’t fit the book.

Normally I feel like I’d be the one that complain, if only mentally, about teenagers telling each other that they love each other. I mean, what do you really know as a teenager? Yes, sometimes it works out but more often than not it doesn’t. But this book I really didn’t care. I knew that there were paranormal stuff going on the book so I knew the plot wasn’t real life and that’s probably why I didn’t really care as much. I did have times where I felt like the telepathy was a too convenient way of talking to each other. When they were actually narrating or talking about when they were together, it didn’t seem like they had a cheesy relationship but sometimes they mentioned something that made me roll my eyes like making out in between classes by their lockers. No one did that when I went to school. Did I go to weird school? I don’t know.

Favorite scene of the book would probably be the one when the uncle shows up at the disciplinary meeting. I always wish I could pull off something like that. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t pull off the snarkiness. I know here I’m full of snark and in real life people can’t tell the difference between my seriousness and my sarcasm but I couldn’t pull it off when I’m under pressure and I’m in front of a crap load of people. Am I disappointed that the uncle died? Yeah. I didn’t mind him all that bad.

This book is a book where most everyone has a secret. Was I surprised by the secrets? No. But there were secrets and I’m sure that there’s more in the series. Because I’m only like 6 years late when it comes to reading this book. It’s a Y.A. book. As an adult and someone who’s read a few books, I’m supposed to see some of that coming. It didn’t bother me to have the secrets there. Everyone has secrets and what they choose to do with them is their business. It doesn’t change in literature. At least it shouldn’t.

I don’t feel compelled to read the rest of this series. I wouldn’t turn it down but this one is a good simple book that I would read the rest if I needed a simple book. But then I’d have to buy the rest of the series. That’s a true story.

A Simple Plan Review


Sometimes I wonder why I keep reading a certain book. I don’t need to read a certain book all the way through if I don’t like it. I don’t even feel the need to finish it for the blog. Well a little bit but nothing that would keep me up at night. The author doesn’t know me. I’m sure they wouldn’t be overly upset that I didn’t finish their book. I read and finished A Simple Plan by Scott Smith and it’s one of those books that I wonder why I kept reading.

I didn’t like a single character in this book. No one seemed that honest. Yes, Sarah and Hank both talked about being honest and reporting the accident and turning in the money but it didn’t seem like they fought very hard for it. The money got to them. And they couldn’t even use it in the end. All that death and no money. And Jake and Lou couldn’t have that much of simpletons. To me, the author set it up where Hank and Sarah were far superior mentally to Jake and Lou. It was set up in the book like that for a reason, I get that. There was a very specific reason. But how could you not see that coming? I would have been surprised if Jake and Lou would have turned on Hank and Sarah and ended up killing them and Jake and Lou got all the money. Yes, the narrator would have been killed. But that’s where it gets interesting when the narrator changes. Oh. Maybe that would have been too hard for Smith? He probably just wanted to work with an intelligent character and felt like he was too above a character like Jake who cries at every murder. Another thing that bothered me was that Hank and Sarah were the only smart people in the area. No one questioned anything. Oh, snowmobile accident and you died, too bad. Oh, lover’s quarrel and like 4 people dead and Hank just happens to be there, too bad. Oh, no surveillance cameras in the liquor store by the airport. That’s convenient. I know this was in 1980’s but they were smarter than this in the ‘80’s. I’m like 96% sure.

I have a hard time believing that Hank just stopped killing at the end of the book and went on to live a normal life and no one questioned him on anything. Like his brother died and to me it seemed like he was obviously transparent with his grief. Actually, I can’t say that. Maybe it was real and that’s just how Hank deals with killing his own brother. Maybe Hank didn’t feel as much remorse with killing Jake and Lou because they weren’t close and Hank felt that he was getting retribution for them making fun of him and making him feel like he wasn’t a part of their little group. I don’t know. I just don’t think Hank and his family could have just gone on living without ever talking about it ever. There has to be some guilt or something. I have a hard time that people wouldn’t feel some kind of guilt after a situation like this. Maybe I just have too much faith in humanity.

I think 2 posts ago I complained about the inconsistency of the chapters. This book had consistent chapters. They were consistently long. 47 pages is a little much in my opinion. Have a chapter a decent length so it keeps a reader’s attention. In a book that’s over 400 pages, there should be more than 12 chapters right? Am I going crazy with this chapter thing? I never had a problem with chapter length before. Maybe I’m getting a little too picky. Because of the chapters, it kind of ruined the book for me for after work. Who wants to get off work from a nursing home at 11:45 p.m. and read that huge of a chunk of a chapter? I like my option to stop after a normal sized chapter. Why am I obsessing over this? Oh my God.

When I get a book and I start reading it, I go through the front page by page to see if there’s a book mentioned that interests me or something of the sort. They had the author bio in the front. I don’t know if I’ve seen it like this before. All it said was Scott Smith, the title of the book and then Scott Smith was educated at such and such universities and this is where he lives. It was 2 sentences and it was like the second page in. I don’t like that. Leave it to the end. And looking at the colleges he went to, I kind of expected better literature from him, especially with a second novel. Random question. How many quotes promoting a book is allowed on that book? On my copy of this book, there’s one on the front and 4 on the back, then there’s more on the first page, front and back. On the covers, it was to fill up space? And in the book, it’s because it’s customary? I don’t know. It just seemed excessive. Like the author and publisher needed to feel better about themselves and slather the book in praise. I know I’m being harsh on this book but I can’t help it. Smith just set me up for that.