5 Star Review

Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh

Available tomorrow: Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh

*****4.5/5 starsjmcveigh-leopardatthedoor

Like Gone with the Wind, but set in 1950s British-occupied Kenya: You’ll love it!

Recommended readers:

  • Fans of British history
  • If you like Gone with the Wind for its historical insights and feels
  • If you like fictional history and a mix of genres

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 5/5 for plot
  • 4.5/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

After spending her adolescent years in England, Rachel has longed for her family’s Kenya farm, where she roamed the land, worked and loved the family’s slaves, that she left behind after her mother’s death. Now, no longer a child, Rachel comes to see the harsh challenges of British-occupied Kenya in the 1950s, both from the native Kenyans to the extremist Mau Mau fighters to the white settlers. It’s like a Gone with the Wind, set in Kenya, where the stark contrast of slaves and owners – along with the dramatic political climate, make this an intense, emotional and thoughtful read. I loved it!

Available tomorrow: Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh

Review: Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow

29430012A Gentleman in Moscow is available now

*****5/5 stars

Amor Towles does it again with prose, plot, and characters who grab hold and won’t let go.  Need a gift this Christmas?  This is it.

Recommended readers:

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 5/5 for characters
  • 5/5 for plot
  • 5/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

On house arrest in Moscow’s grand Metropol Hotel for being a Former Person in the new Soviet Union, Count Alexander Rostov once wrote a poem that inspired revolutionary fervor, and cannot, apparently, simply be shot at dawn. He is instead removed from his old suite of rooms and confined to the attic, where he builds a new life full of the kind of characters you can only hope to meet in your own. It’s a novel of fully-realized tragedy that somehow doesn’t get lost there, instead brimming with optimism and hope. With Rules of Civility, Towles had me for life– I looked up from the ending of that gem feeling as if it were impossible that I could be somewhere besides 1930s New York– and once again, Towles wins me over. Wonderful prose, characters, and plot, the holy trifecta for any writer, complete with literary, historic, and cinema references. With Amor Towles, know that you are reading something from someone infinitely more intelligent than you, but who writes so that you can still enjoy it, who makes you stop and think while still plunging forward to discover what happens next.

To quote the dust jacket: “He can’t leave. You won’t want to.”

Buy it now on Amazon

Fates and Traitors, A John Wilkes Booth Novel

Available now: Fates and Traitors, A Novel of John Wilkes Booth

****4/5 stars

If you’re a fan of history being humanized – Fates and Traitors is a fascinating retelling of the John Wilkes Booth’s life surrounding one of US history’s most notorious events.

Recommended readers:

  • Fans of history that
  • If you like mystery-thrillers with some romance
  • If you want a quick-reading mystery

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 5/5 for plot
  • 4/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Fates and Traitors is a fictional accounting of the life (and surrounding people’s lives) of John Wilkes Booth, the infamous assassin of Abraham Lincoln. History books portray him as an evil villain and it’s not so black and white; there’s much more to the story especially from the point of view of four influential women surrounding him.  Enjoy Jennifer Chiaverini’s fictional telling, and immerse yourself in the interesting and potentially true stories of a complicated man.  From Booth’s childhood, his famous actor-alcoholic father, his siblings, mother – and the elite Washington DC girlfriend who knew nothing of his politics. Even when you know the ending, you’ll continue to enjoy the journey and challenges of John Wilkes Booth and the people around him and how they suffered following Lincoln’s assassination and Booth’s death, despite their differing politics.

Available now: Fates and Traitors, A Novel of John Wilkes Booth

Goodreads Top Books of the Year 2016

There’s three days left to vote in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards for your favorite books of 2016.  Even Erin and Terra at Books for Her didn’t have a chance to read them all – but we got through a lot of them and here’s our picks.

Best Romance: Because of Miss Bridgerton
Best Debut Goodreads Author: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Best Middle Grade and Children’s: Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics (Read by one of our 10-year-old children. Review coming soon).
Get in your votes in here or see the results.
One other notable that we read, but didn’t make the finals:
Best Memoir and Autobiography: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
And finally – we would love to write-in Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave. But don’t worry, we’ll get out our awards for top books of the year soon!

Darkest Journey by Heather Graham

Available Sept. 27: Darkest Journey

****4/5 starsheather graham

Get immersed in this eerie Civil War town – and Heather Graham’s Darkest Journey, part of the Krewe of Hunters Series.

Recommended readers:

  • Fans of Heather Graham
  • If you like mystery-thrillers with some romance
  • If you want a quick-reading mystery

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 5/5 for plot
  • 4/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

 

When Charlene (Charlie) returns to her Louisiana hometown to film a movie, she immediately stumbles upon a body, a recently murdered Civil War reenactor. She immediately calls on an sort-of old flame, Ethan Delaney, who happens to be part of an elite FBI team. In the third Krewe of Hunters novel, you’ll enjoy a quick-reading mystery – with great characters. And  charthe best character of all is the small Southern town, with an eery, fascinating Civil War history and deep, deep roots. I’m not usually a fan of supernatural, but Graham weaves in some interesting “characters” who don’t feel hokey and instead add more drama and interest to the mystery. With three Krew of Hunters series books out just this year, Graham entertains completely with this series – and I can’t wait for the next!

Shop all Graham novels here (tip: You’ll save a buck if you get the paperback vs the kindle.)

Available Sept. 27: Darkest Journey

The Confectioner’s Tale by Laura Madeleine

Available Sept 20: The Confectioner’s Tale

****4.5/5 stars

The Confectioner’s Tale will immerse you in mystery, passion for creating desserts and a turn-of-the-century love affair.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like stories uncovering the past
  • If you’re a fan of generational, historical sagas
  • If you enjoy a turn of the century, changing of times family drama
  • If you liked Lilac Girls, Everyone Brave is Forgiven and more historical drama

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 5/5 for characters
  • 4/5 for plot
  • 4.5/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

In a dual plotline that ties together seamlessly, Laura Madeleine weaves together the same story 80 years apart. In the 1980s a graduate university student discovers a photograph with a note “Forgive Me,” from her beloved grandfather’s things. At the same time a weasely biographer tries to tarnish her grandfather’s memory. Putting her graduate research aside, the girl investigates what happened 80 years ago at the famous Patisserie Clermont, a pastry shop in Paris, and you’ll become immersed in the pastry shop and the passion its people have for creating desserts. You’ll love both storylines and how they dramatically come together. A must-read for anyone who enjoys history, fiction and drama.

Available Sept 20: The Confectioner’s Tale

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Available Now: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

*****5/5 stars- loved itpknight-shoedog

The founder of Nike tells you how he barely succeeded in making the biggest brand on the planet.

Recommended readers:

  • If you’re an entrepreneur or business person
  • If you think building a business is easy
  • And if you’re enthralled with the mega brand called Nike

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 5/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

When you think of Nike, you don’t think of bad management, bad decisions and bad products – you think of money, brand and tons of success. In Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog, the creator himself will tell you what a terrible boss he was, how many mistakes he made, and how often the company almost went broke. In fact you’ll keep wondering how he held on so long – and how his marriage survived so many company and person attacks. Which is why you’ll want to read Shoe Dogs until the end. It’s refreshingly honest into the man who created the biggest brand on the planet.

Available Now: Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Available June 28: All the Missing Girls

****4.5/5 stars

A scary-good psychological thriller, All the Missing Girls will rock your mind with haunted characters and a  reverse chronological plot.

Recommended readers:

  • Fans of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Paula Hawkin’s The Girl on the Train
  • If you like psychological thrillers
  • If you want a brain-busting, page-turner

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 5/5 for plot
  • 4.5/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

A small town in North Carolina is rocked when a teenage girl disappears – and friends and family are left with scars that still haven’t healed 10 years later. Nicolette Farrell left Cooley Ridge right after the tragedy and hardly returned until now, 10 years later, as she’s starting to pack up her family home after her dad moves to assisted living. Only another young girl disappears, and the tragedy brings back old suspects and new ones, haunting the town and it’s people all over again. Who’s to blame for the latest disappearance – and the one from 10 years ago?

All the Missing Girls is scary good: Cleverly written and intricately plotted. The story begins on Day 15 of when Nic returns home and works its way backwards to Day 1, when it all comes together for the reader. And the way it comes together is unpredictable and completely shocking if a little ironinc too. The group of friends are so haunted – and the town of Cooley Ridge and specific locations like the Ferris Wheel and the woods behind the Farrell home take on a personality of their own as events come to life as Nic traverses her 15 days in Cooley Ridge.

Previously a young adult writer, All the Missing Girls is Megan Miranda’s first adult novel – and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Available June 28: All the Missing Girls

Short Fiction Review: You Know When the Men Are Gone

In honor of Memorial Day: You Know When the Men are Gone

*****5/5 stars

41zvHLY+JhL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_When you read all in one sitting and get hit in the gut, right where you live, you give it five stars.

Recommended readers:

  • If you are a reader of short stories,
  • if you are in any way connected with the military,
  • and if you haven’t given your military and its wars much thought, this one is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 5/5 for characters
  • 5/5 for plot
  • 5/5 overall

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

While I don’t pick them up nearly as often as I ought, I have always enjoyed short stories: the all-to-brief glimpse into somewhere else; that vague feeling of unease and dissastifaction that comes with but a hint, or even a lack, of resolution. In You Know When the Men are Gone, Siobhan Fallon gives insight into the experience of soldiers and their families at war:  men and women, officers and enlisted, in Iraq and at home. Set in Fort Hood, Texas,  this series of interconnected short stories weaves together  the small details of  lives at war– separation and return, strained relationships, fear, loneliness and more– in a manner salient, spare, and devastating. It’s spot on, raw, edgy truth laid out in fiction, and goes onto my required reading list.

Available now on Amazon

 

 

Deep Dark by Laura Griffin

Available May 24: Deep Dark (Tracers Series)

****4.5/5 starslgriffin-deepdark

A fabulous action-thriller-romance with a cyber-murder plot, you and your man will love Deep Dark.

Recommended readers:

  • Laura Griffin or mystery-thriller drama plots
  • for action-adventure-romance lovers
  • if you’re a fan of CSI TV series, you’ll love anything Laura Griffin

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 5/5 for plot
  • 4.5/5 overall
  • 3/5 steaminess

REVIEW FROM BOOKS FOR HER:

Laura Griffin is my favorite go-to, never-fail mystery-action-romance author. Even without being my favorite genre, I absolutely fly through her books. Of the last three Tracer Series books I’ve read, she’s nailed it with each one. With just the right amount of action, thrills and love. In Deep Dark, Griffin takes the action to the digital world as detective Reed Novak digs into a murder and solicits the help of white-collar cyber crime gal Laney Knox. Only Laney has a history that Reed begins to uncover also. If you love watching CSI, Laura Griffin’s Deep Dark is going to keep you up all night (or at least past your bedtime).

Order on Amazon: Deep Dark (Tracers Series)