Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

28c4d1f2e8d048f702c3dbf0990aca8cTitle: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Author: Sherman Alexie
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Genre: Semi-Autobiographical, Young-Adult
ISBN-13: 978-0316-01369-7
Release Date: 2007
Publisher: Little, Brown Book for Young Readers
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Last month I thought I’d focus on reading banned and challenged books as September 21st – 27th is Banned Books Week.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is a semi-autobiographical, young adult novel about Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian reservation. Junior leaves the rez to attend an all-white high school in a neighboring farm town and labeled a traitor by his tribe.

I picked this book for several reasons (1) it ranked in the top 10 of banned and challenged books (2) it’s a novel by an American Indian and (3) it sounded interesting. Continue reading

Booking Through Thursday – Mystery

booking through thursday

This weeks Booking Through Thursday is all about Mysteries.

Do you read mystery novels? If so, why? Is it the mysteries themselves that appeal to you? The puzzle-solving? The murders? Or why don’t you read them? What about them doesn’t appeal?

I love to read mysteries. I’ve always enjoyed mysteries, which started with the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mystery series. I remembering gobbling them up at every opportunity; and thanks to Steig Larsson’s Mellenium Series, I’m addicted to Scandanavian mysteries, crime, thrillers, etc.

I really like figuring out whodunnit, but I don’t like having it solved before I’m even at the halfway point. If that happens it’s like truding through mud to try and finish it. But I love a mystery that really keeps me guessing and on my toes.

When I was introduced to this mystery series it was not through books, it was through the cartoon. Apparently there are over 100 books now that contain my favorite crime fighting dog, and hopefully yours too — Scooby-Doo. Every week Scooby-Doo and his band of crime solving pals would drive that Mystery Machine van right into a mystery. I loved figuring out the mysteries with them. Sometimes I got before the reveal, sometimes not.

I have to admit, I had a cartoon crush on Fred. ^^’ My favorite character and the one I could relate to the most is Velma. She’s the brains of the group. A book worm. She’s super smart and logical and yeah she managed to get herself into trouble, but figures a way out. And I could definitely relate to her not being able to see without her glasses.

And of course if you have any mystery book suggestions, please share them in the comments section.

Review: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Title: Where’d You Go, Bernadette bernadette
Author: Maria Semple
Format: Kindle, 335 pages
Genre: Satire
ISBN-13: 9780316204262
Release Date: August 2012
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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I passed Where’d You Go Bernadette in the bookstore for months before I decided to read it. When I finally decided to read it, I had high hopes — not exorbitant high hopes, but high enough to be disappointed. I really wanted to love Where’d You Go, Bernadette as the passages I read in the bookstore intrigued me and made me laugh. About two-thirds of the way the novel fell flat and I was bored.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette isn’t ‘high literature’ or destined to be a  literary classic, but Semple did weave a tightly woven novel together by using alternative methods. I really enjoyed that the novel is written using email correspondence, letters, FBI documents and an emergency room bill. Continue reading

Review: Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield

cvr9781476711959_9781476711959_lgTitle: Bellman & Black
Author: Diane Setterfield
Format: Kindle eGalley  
Genre: Historical Fiction; Thriller; Ghost Story
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
ISBN: 9781476711959
Release Date: 5 November 2013
Rating: ⭐ ⭐

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I received Bellman & Black as an advanced, uncorrected reader’s proof from the publisher.  I really wanted to enjoy this as according to the synopsis it had all the elements that would make for a really great ghost story or horror story or thriller, but sadly it falls short.

At times I felt as though I was reading Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. William Bellman has a very distinct Scrooge-like characteristic. He is always with his abacus, always crunching numbers, and always coming up with ways to make more money.  The only difference between Bellman and Scrooge is that Bellman treated his employees with the utmost respect from the beginning.  Black when the reader finally ‘meets’ him is an amalgamation of the three spirits.   Continue reading