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Review: The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir

The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir The Sound of Gravel: A Memoir by Ruth Wariner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I struggled to get into this book last year when I picked it up as an audiobook. This year, as an ebook, I struggled to put it down. Each chapter was harder than the prior, making you wonder how the next could possibly get worse. Yet, somehow they did. The way Ruth Wariner told her story had you there fully, experiencing each awful moment along with her, feeling her pain. I cannot put into words the amount of relief brought on by the final chapters, as this family finally had a reprieve. This was storytelling at its best.

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Review: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I fell in love with Lillian’s style and wit almost immediately. What a strong, intelligent, poised woman!

“We had one of those Friday dates that turned into an entire weekend, and by the end of it, I loved him so much my larynx ached. Vulnerable love, incorrigible love. Love in which he was both the nausea and the sodium bicarbonate.”

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Review: The Nest

The Nest The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While I didn’t realize it when I started, this book was exactly what I needed to close out the year. It gave me some much needed peace and clarity. That might be assigning too much power to a book, but the escape from my life and the nuggets of wisdom in some of the chapters were, in fact, exactly what I’d needed to wrap up 2017 and its accompanying issues.

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Review: Every Man a Menace

Every Man a Menace Every Man a Menace by Patrick Hoffman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In all honesty, nearly every page of this book felt like something I’d seen before in an action movie or an episode of NCIS, Law & Order, or CSI. Read: mostly CSI. It was chock full of drug and crime tropes. Most scenes were cliche knock offs of the movies and shows.

The one redeeming quality of the book was the way it weaved these scenes together. Rather than reading straight through, the book hopped across points in the story’s timeline and jumped between the main characters’ viewpoints. Everything converged in the final chapter which, again just being honest, should have ended with Gloria’s final question to Jackie. The final 1-2 pages of Chi and Salvador were superfluous and actually pulled away from the “ha!” moment of satisfaction gained from Gloria’s final scam.

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Review: Station Eleven

Station Eleven Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“She had never entirely let go of the notion that if she reached far enough with her thoughts she might find someone waiting, that if two people were to cast their thoughts outward at the same moment they might somehow meet in the middle.”

I’m not quite sure how to put my feelings toward this book into writing. I believe my mind is playing catch up, just now connecting the dots from earlier chapters – just now fully appreciating how the story was weaved.

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