Monday, April 27, 2009

Loving Frank

Loving Frank By Nancy Horan. At first, this title didn't interest me. The main character Mamah has an odd name I did not like nor did I know how to pronounce. She had an inappropriate, dramatic, obsessed yet loving affair with a famous then and now, Frank Lloyd Wright. This account of historical fiction is based on their love affair. How it affected both of their families and tore them apart. The historical buildings being built, the absurd relationships, the deep love that would not dissolve. Nancy Horan hooked me in the first chapter. This book travels through so many lives, so many cities and continued to amaze me. Mamah was no ordinary woman but did she deserve more than everyone else. Could she do whatever she wanted, hurt whomever she needed to to fulfill her heart? Could Frank, who was already famous and getting more so with each passing year? All these questions and more will go through you rmind as you read this page turner. I was surprised how very much I liked this book. Excellent read but word of advice, do not research before or during because the information is readily available and you will ruin the story, especially the end. If you don't know the details prior, only look after you are finished! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Among Other Things I've Taken Up Smoking

Among Other Things I've Taken Up Smoking  By Aoibbeann Sweeney. Miranda lives on tiny Crab Island off of Maine with her father. It is just the two of them. They live a painfully quiet, lonely life on this practically nonexistent island. Her father translates ancient stories and she tries to get any attention of love he can spare. He deeply cares about her but has no ability to have true relationships or show affection. It seems he changed when her mother died years before and he is hiding from the world at this remote location. Miranda, completely naive to world starts to slowly step into town and see outside the island, her father decides she needs to visit  NY where he used to live and work. She stays with his old friends and begins to explore life, sexuality and the world. This novel is unique, funny in a dark humor sort of way. It's hard to say whether I really liked it because I did not care for any of the odd characters but the writing is so good the reader becomes involved and must continue to the finish.

Friday, April 10, 2009

How To Be Good

How To Be Good  By Nicky Hornby.  Okay, first rule - you are only allowed to read this if you really want a laugh! This story is about Katie and David Carr. Katie is a doctor, David is a columnist better known as "The Angriest Man in Holloway" (name of column), they have two children and live in the suburbs of London. If you appreciate English humor you'll truly enjoy this adorable, surprising story! Katie wants back the man she married. She is miserable and as cliches go, looking for love in all the wrong places. David writes a local column about how unfair and miserable life is. You name it, he is angry about it. Sound familiar? Katie wishes everyday, if only David would change their lives would be so much better. Be careful what you wish for! David "magically" changes and she wants to eat her words. He becomes the absolute complete opposite and she cannot stand him! There is alot of underlying meaning in this story, so when you are done laughing it really gives you somthing to think about! Enjoy, I did!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Marrying Anita

Marrying Anita.  By Anita Jain. Think Sex and the City from New York to India. Anita's memoir is a journey of her dating life. It is filled with feeling, experiences and laugh out loud humor. She is witty, intelligent, warm and caring. After growing up in California, later attending Harvard, this writer lived and worked in NYC. She was on the dating circuit literally unable to keep up with the scene. Like SATC Anita was able to find humor in her crazy dating experiences and bizarre guys she meets. Nearing 30 which is when girls in America start to fret, Anita is influenced also by her families Indian traditions (where 30 is way old) and she decides to get serious and find a mate! She decides to live, work and date in India for one year and give that a try. This memoir records in hilarious detail her relationships or lack thereof and her feminine feelings about needing to get married and have kids on this strident deadline the world (and our bodies) has put us on. Could not put this one down, even wrote this wonderful new author a letter and she kindly took the time to write back. I hope she keeps us posted with a sequel!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Brick Lane

Brick Lane  By Monica Ali.  Hazneen moves to England from Bangladesh to an arranged marriage. Chanu is kind, older and truly cares about her. They have two daughters. They live in a low income housing filled with other Indian families. Hazneen has trouble adapting. She is influenced to break away from certain Indian traditions that she finds restricting. She wants to learn, wants freedom. She begins to have an affair with a younger man who is angry and political. He is involved with protests. Hazneen believes that real love and affection exists. She sees herself as an individual and the Indian customs that her husband treasures seem outdated to her and unfair. Chanu dreams of going back to India and he spends his time scheming to make business so he can go back successful and be considered richer and more prominent. The more time that goes by, the less Hazneen wants to go back. It is a depressing story and with characters that are not very likeable. Hazneen is admirable but I struggled to hold my interest through the story.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict. By Laurie Viera Rigler.  Courtney is a woman living in modern day California that is Obsessed with a capital "O", anything regarding Jane Austen and her novels. After a bad bump on the head in a pool, she awakens to find herself in England, in Jane Austens England. It takes Courtney quite awhile to first understand where she is, how she may have gotten there and Yikes! What is she to do now! She focuses on the two most important things, her love life with Edgeworth and ultimately getting back home. She marvels at both the luxury of Janes life ie. house like a castle, maids etc. and is terrified of the ways of this world at that time, ie. bloodletting when you are not feeling well and hygiene habits in general. This novel is laugh out loud funny and a most enjoyable easy read. If you are a Jane Austen fan, the correlation between the two worlds and many characters will be thoroughly hysterical. If you have never read her, No Matter! Still alot of fun. Take this trip back in time and enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Honolulu  By Alan Brennert.   If you remember the beauty of his novel, Molokai, get ready to once again be immersed in this engaging story of Jin. Korea, 1914, country is unstable, future is unsure. Jin becomes a picture bride which is very popular at this time. There are many Korean men working the fields in Honolulu but hardly any women to take care of them. They are lonely and want families, so these men search magazines for picture brides. Unfortunately, similar to internet dating today, what you see is not always what you get! Jin is matched with a man in Honolulu. It all sounds promising and her voyage is financed. On arrival he is not what she expected. He abuses her and she is lonely and afraid. Jin escapes his wrath, finds work for herself and ultimately rebuilds her life. These characters are timeless and the reader can easily visualize this magnificent island where life is anything but easy.