26 February 2019

Review: The Wartime Sisters

The Wartime Sisters The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In looking at the cover and the title and then reading the text, I was very surprised at this read (I rarely read the synopsis). Right out of the gate I expected it to be as I had envisioned, not that there was anything wrong with that, but I LOVED how it became something else indeed. You could almost feel the jealousy coming from Ruth. Millie seemed so sweet and cute and pretty like Baby Jane was in Whatever happened to Baby Jane. Ok, she didn't end that way, but I like the analogy at the start. I admit that I didn't like the Millie character at first, but then when that pivot happens in the action, I liked her a lot. There were a few sub characters that I wasn't sure added anything to the plot, but they ended up adding a lot to the plot and they added an aspect that I thought was very unique.

I ended up giving this 5 stars because of the surprise factor. I also liked how things twisted around. It wasn't my typical WWII read, it was a bit more....and I liked that.

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19 February 2019

Review: The Girl They Left Behind

The Girl They Left Behind The Girl They Left Behind by Roxanne Veletzos
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book started out fantastic! I was sucked right into the story with the hope of no release. Then I got some questions (some of which I never had answered) and thought that I didn't really like the book. I kept reading and fell madly in love with the last little bit. I was just a big ball of emotion by the end.

I hate to give away to much of the plot, but what happens is Natalia's parents have to go into hiding because they are Jewish and they cannot take their little girl. They leave her and she is adopted by a wealthy family. Then the tables turn and communism takes over and the family loses their wealth and standing. We will meet many character that weave in and out (very quickly at times) of the family's life. The family will experience many different situations in our quick journey with them, but the theme is there "FAMILY". Being together is what they all long for, what they all need to keep going no matter what happens to their social status or the diminishing amount of food on the table...none of that matters as long as they are together.

Natalia has no control over her life in any way at any time in this book. I am not sure I like that part, but I very much like how the book ended.

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18 February 2019

Updated info on Nonresident Library cards

I have had a nonresident library card to the Free Library of Philadelphia for 3 years.  Last week I got an email that my card expires in 30 days and I need to renew if I didn't want an interruption to my service.  We have had a major lifestyle change in the last 6 months and paying for a library card seems impractical, but I felt it was necessary due to the number of books that I read and the titles at my disposal locally.  I have had 3 library cards for years and still can't get all the titles I want.  I will say I did not buy any books last year.  Most of that is due to the lifestyle change, but it still stands true.  I did figure up what I saved in using my library cards.

FLP (Free Library of Philly)--$350
Campbell County Public Library---$187
McCracken County Public Library (my local card)--$437

I came by the dollar amounts by looking the titles up on Amazon for the Kindle price if I read a Kindle book and ebook price if it was an epub. 

I feel that it is worth the money, but decided that maybe I should be more frugal so I set about trying to find a cheaper card or a card that offers even more titles. I first did a Google search and all of the information in blogs/articles was from the beginning of 2018 or before.  I needed updated info. So I began the search by looking up nonresident cards for big cities all around the USA.  I discovered that a few libraries will give you one but you must show up to get the card.  Not really what I had in mind.  A few of them had low fees but the catalog didn't include books I liked to read.  I read mostly historical fiction, books on Hollywood stars and Presidents/US history.  You may have a completely different taste selection so maybe check out the overdrive for other libraries.  The information below was obtained by visiting the library websites.

Cards you can get but need to show up in person:
Detroit Public Library
Portland Public Library
Sacramento Public Library (can get online now, but expires in 14 days without you coming into a branch with ID)
San Francisco Public Library
Los Angles Public Library
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton Co
Lexington Public Library (for KY nonresidents)
Huntsville-Madison Co Public Library ($20 per year)
Carnegie Public Library-Pittsburgh
Willmington (Delaware) Public Library
Warren County-Kentucky (free)
Hawaii State Public Library (can renew for 5 years)

Nonresident cards available not for digital content (Physical content only):
Hennepin Co Public Library (Minneapolis)
Nashville Public Library

Not enough info on the website:
San Diego Public Library (they say it is $32 a year, but don't tell you how to get one)
Dallas Public Library ($250 for unlimited books per year but doesn't tell how to get it)
Columbus Public Library
Durham Co Public Library
Boise Public Library

No mention of a nonresident card:
Denver Public Library
Las Vegas Public Library
Salt Lake City Public Library
Memphis/Shelby Co Public Library
Indianapolis Public Library
Des Moines Public Library
Atlanta-Fulton Co Public Library
Seattle Public Library
Louisville Public Library (has one listed but only for certain KY counties $25 per year)

Not available if you don't live in that state:
Phoenix Public Library
St Louis Public Library
Chicago Public Library
Cleveland Public Library
District of Columbia Public Library
NYC Public Library

Places that offer a card and you can get it online:
Austin Public Library ($125 per year)
Houston Public Library ($40 per year) I wasn't pleased with Overdrive selections
Charlotte Public Library  ($45 per year--$35 for Senior Citizens)
Free Library of Philadelphia ($50 per year)
Brooklyn Public Library ($50 per year)
Orange County Public Library ($125 per year)

Illinois nonresident cards are all listed here and range in price. I have not investigated how to obtain the card because the fees were kind of high.

This one doesn't say who can't get a free digital one, but I have a digital-only card at the Campbell County KY.  It is a great card and like I said, it is free.

14 February 2019

Review: The Age of Light

The Age of Light The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I only knew a little about Lee by reading a book on Picasso once. I then Googled her to see who she was. The photo in Hitler's tub was really cool. Once I started this book I was very invested in the novel. It was not a perfect read for me, but I found it good. I liked that Lee was a woman that was trying to break barriers, but then she regressed a little (while I can't say it was perfect) and didn't break the rest of the way through those barriers. I was hoping she didn't use Man Ray to define her. I can see that she did indeed do things that at that time women did not do and she did them well. I am very glad that I got to read this almost perfect book.

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10 February 2019

Review: Macchiatos, Macarons, and Malice

Macchiatos, Macarons, and Malice Macchiatos, Macarons, and Malice by Harper Lin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free ARC in exchange for my honest review and I am more than happy to give it to you. I thought this was a lot of fun. This time we will leave town and head to a resort a few hours away. We will meet characters that we want to slap across the face and some we want to give a hug to and of course there is a murder. Fran is going to give it her best to be romantic with Matt while trying to solve the murder.

You could read this as a stand-alone but why would you want to? Go back and read the other 8 books in this series, you will love them. As always this one is a quick relaxing read. Perfect for a few hours alone, or a chair on the beach...don't forget your glass of wine and macaron.

***Bonus*** macaron recipe in the back!!!!!

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09 February 2019

Review: The It Girl and Me: A Novel of Clara Bow

The It Girl and Me: A Novel of Clara Bow The It Girl and Me: A Novel of Clara Bow by Laini Giles
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was fun. It started out a little different than I expected it to, but when it ended....ZOWIE!!! I loved how the story wrapped up and then I saw it was based on a true person (Daisy DeVoe) and this really happened. I am not sure how much liberties the author took with the true story, but it the book read like a "it happened but it's hard to believe it did" tale. I very much enjoyed this, as I do the series. I am hoping so much that the author pulls off a Forgotten Actress story on Norma Shearer or Thelma Todd, or even Carole Landis.

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Review: The Forgotten Flapper: A Novel of Olive Thomas

The Forgotten Flapper: A Novel of Olive Thomas The Forgotten Flapper: A Novel of Olive Thomas by Laini Giles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh my word! I have waited forever to read a book on Olive Thomas. I have been intrigued by her since childhood. This was written as if Olive was telling us the story. Fiction that reads like nonfiction. Written in a style most celeb autobios are written in...."I make good choices but those around me don't." It was a perfect way to tell a story about a big celebrity that no one now knows because she died in 1920. She was a big star before talking pictures were a thing and married a Pickford. A Ziegfeld girl, the most beautiful woman alive...Olive was royalty at the beginning stages of Hollywood. Her death was horrible and it is featured in this book just as horribly as I have imagined it.

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08 February 2019

Review: The Light Over London

The Light Over London The Light Over London by Julia Kelly
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book intrigued me. A modern-day lady finds a diary and searches to find out who wrote it and what happened to her. Our WWII heroine...falls for a man...joins the war effort and goes through things that no woman should go through.

I really enjoyed my time spent with Louise (WWII) and Cara. There is a lot of beautiful exchanges between lovers and diary entries.

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03 February 2019

Review: The Dakota Winters: A Novel

The Dakota Winters: A Novel The Dakota Winters: A Novel by Tom Barbash
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I stopped reading Dec 24, 2018, because I wasn't feeling the vibes of the book. The setting was nice, but I couldn't get into the characters. I plan on coming back at some point.

I did come back sooner than I thought. My friend had read this and really liked it. Since I trust her opinion I had to come back and see what I thought.

The Dakota has fascinated me since December 8, 1980. I have never forgotten seeing it for the first time and thinking what an interesting place that it must be. Over the years I have picked up any book that I see written on the famous/infamous structure. This one was a little different because it was the first told from a man's perspective.

This family was kind of screwed up (ok, whose family isn't? )...but they seemed like they were connected in some odd way. Everything seems to center around Dad's (Buddy) nervous breakdown. He is a famous interviewer that had his own tv show. Most of the book is how dad can get over this breakdown and get back on the air.

Along the way, we get to spend some time with the one and only John Lennon. We even get to take a trip with Lennon. On this trip, John will write a lot of the material that will become the Double Fantasy album. Some of the dialogue that Lennon says could really have come from his mouth. There is a neat reunion planned...a reunion that will make Buddy's career rebound and bring Lennon back out onto the top of the world with a dude named, Paul. It all ended on Dec 8, 1980. No reunion, Buddy's show will fail. Anton will have a breakdown. Everyone just falls apart.

It does end nicely. While not a book I will ever pick up again, I did enjoy the time spent within the walls of the Dakota. The cover was also very nicely done.

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01 February 2019

Review: The Lost Girls of Paris

The Lost Girls of Paris The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book took me on a roller coaster of emotions. I hated a character, then I loved them and then I wanted to hug them. While some of the book's text is reminiscent of other WWII stories I have read, this one was very unique in its circumstances. I found myself caught up in the middle of the same emotions that the characters were feeling. There is one part that I was TERRIFIED!! (you will see what I mean).

I thought it was worthy of my time and enjoyed the ending. It wasn't a perfect read for me, but very good.

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