Month: June 2013

Book Review: The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes


Rating: 4.5 / 5

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this from Penguin**

In 1916, Germans have occupied the French small village of St. Peronne during World War I. Sophie LeFevre and her sister, Helene, are tasked with feeding the German army every night at their family hotel, La Coq.  Against convention and to the dismay of the whole village, Sophie and the German Kommandant strike up an unusual relationship.  The Kommandant has an appreciation for the arts, and especially for the painting of Sophie, “The Girl You Left Behind” done by her husband Edouard before he left to fight in the war. (more…)

Book Review: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

lean in

Rating: 5 / 5

As Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg knows what it takes to have a successful career, and the difficult road taken to get there. As a mother, she knows the challenges of juggling parenting with bringing home a paycheck.  And as a wife, she knows how important having a supporting partner is for both success and happiness.  In Lean In, Sandberg touches on all these topics and many more.  She goes into depth about how hard it is for women to succeed in the workplace, and the fact that it is not always men or society that hold women back, but often times is other women. (more…)

Book Review: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini


Rating: 4.5 / 5

A father is struggling to provide for his family, though class and society constraints have left him barely able to make enough to support his family every day.  In desperate last-ditch attempt, he sells his young daughter to a family far wealthier, hoping to give her a better life, while financially being able to provide for the rest of his family.  It is a choice filled with conflict, grief, guilt, and it profoundly impacts the next 6 decades for multiple families. (more…)

Book Review: Tao of Martha by Jen Lancaster


Rating: 4 / 5

Seeing as how 2011 was less than stellar, author Jen Lancaster dedicates 2012 to living life the Martha Stewart way, through organization, planning, and a different attitude. Each chapter goes through an event, process, or goal, taking Martha’s advice or executing through Martha’s mindset. Some were a resounding success, and others, less so. (more…)

Book Review: The Stonecutter by Camilla Lackberg


Rating: 4.5 / 5

A lobster catcher is checking his pots on morning when he discovers the body of a young girl caught up in his net.  Initially, it appears that Sara, the elder child of Niclas and Charlotte has drowned, but upon further inspection, it is discovered that freshwater was found in her lungs, not saltwater.  Detective Patrik Hedstrom is tasked with finding out who killed Sara and why.

The Stonecutter is a present day murder with flashbacks beginning in the 1920s at the start of each chapter. Both storylines are interesting, and I couldn’t wait to see how they collided. (more…)

Book Review: And When She Was Good by Laura Lippman


Rating: 3 / 5

No one would ever accuse Heloise of having a charmed life, or be jealous of her upbringing.  Heloise’s (born Helen) father was both verbally and physically abusive to her and her mother, and, seeing limited options at home, runs away with boyfriend, who ends up being a drug user and pusher.  In an effort to escape him, Heloise finds herself at the mercy of Val, a ruthless pimp.  But that was years ago.  Now, Heloise runs a successful, if technically an illegal, business, lives in a tony part of town, and is doing her best to raise her son Scott, in an environment that is as far removed as her own childhood. All is going well until one day another suburban madam is found murdered, and Helen realizes that she recognizes the victim. (more…)

Book Review: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison

revised fundamentals

Rating: 4.5 / 5

Ben Benjamin needs to get on with his life.  He has lost his wife, his home, his family, and never really had a career in, well, anything.  With his savings dwindling and no job prospects on the horizon, Ben enrolls in a class called The Fundamentals of Caregiving.  Upon completing the course, his first client is Trevor, who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Ben soon learns that what he really needs to be a successful caregiver is not outlined in any textbook or taught in night class. (more…)