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review 2017-06-26 22:49
"When we see each other, what do we really see?"
A Horse Walks into a Bar: A novel - David Grossman,Jessica Cohen

A Horse Walks Into a Bar, David Grossman, author; Joe Barrett, narrator, Jessica Cohen, translator

The book is well written, but I don’t think it will be universally enjoyed. I believe it is for a narrow audience that is familiar with Jewish humor and its universal ideas about guilt and shame.  A stand-up comedian in his mid fifties, Dov Greenstein, is performing in a small nightclub that seems a bit second rate, in Netanya, Israel. He has invited a former school chum, a judge, to attend his performance as a special favor. He has not seen Ashivai Lazar for years, but he has followed his career. Dov has asked Ashivai to come to his performance and tell him honestly how he perceives him. In the audience, possibly by chance, there is also a woman who was a neighbor of his from his childhood. She is now a manicurist and a medium. He calls her Pitz. Each of these three characters has a defining characteristic which is important to the story. How does each of them “see” Dovela? How do they see themselves?

I did not find the story funny, although it features Dov’s entire stand up routine of the night. Interspersed between jokes Dovela relates’s, the background of his life. The two characters who knew him are privy to some of his memories and are affected by them, but the audience experiences frustration when the jokes stop and the monologue grows serious. Some get up and leave, some become drawn to his story. Readers will experience the same ups and downs. All will be forced to think about how things are perceived and how that perception shapes their lives and the lives of others.

This odd little book examines how we all see each other and ourselves. It examines how that perception effects how we all turn out. The humor is often dark and inappropriate. Dr. Mengele, “the angel of death” from the Holocaust Concentration Camp, Aushwitz, is referred to as his family doctor. His mother was a survivor who did not survive wholly well. It is intimated that she is emotionally unstable. Dov walked on his hands to escape from reality and to protect his mother from the stares of others. It drew attention away from her making him the subject of ridicule, instead. It offered him a way to escape from his life, as well. Upside down, he was smiling, not frowning. His father was a brute who physically abused him.

Dov’s jokes and language are crude, even vulgar. His physical description is unpleasant. His performance concerns subjects we don’t usually consider funny. He jokes about cancer, the Holocaust, death, sex and a horse that walks into a bar, which is a joke begun by a driver who is taking him to the funeral of someone who has not yet been identified to him, but he knows there has been some kind of a tragedy he will have to experience against his will.

All three of the people that the story focuses on have had difficulties because of how people saw them, without really seeing them. They made people uncomfortable. Was this performance meant to expose the shared frailties of everyone? He wonders what people think of when they see him! Do they really see him? Do we all wonder about that? I would describe the book as a comedy/tragedy. The reader will decide which takes precedence.

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text 2017-06-26 16:35
I Love This Bar by Carolyn Brown 99 cents!
I Love This Bar - Carolyn Brown

Daisy O'Dell doesn't need anything but her bar. She has her hands full with hotheads and thirsty ranchers, and she's determined to run the Honky Tonk until they drag her cold dead body through the swinging doors. But when a damn fine cowboy walks in one day, her whole life is thrown into turmoil.

 

Jarod McBroy was looking for a cold drink and a moment's peace. Instead he found one red hot woman. She's just what Jarod needs to deal with his ornery Uncle Rural, who won't listen to a damn thing he says until he brings home a good woman. Now if only he can convince her to come out from behind that bar, and come on home with him..

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review 2017-06-17 03:58
Dirty by Kylie Scott
Dirty (Dive Bar) - Kylie Scott

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this audiobook. I bought this audio when it was on sale several months ago planning to read it when I was in the mood for a contemporary romance. I started listening to it when I was ready for a fun romance and it really worked out well for me. This is the first book by Kylie Scott that I have read so I had no idea what to expect but it turned out to a great experience. I had so much fun with this book that I found myself finding chores to do around the house so that I would have an excuse to listen to the book just a little bit longer.

The set up in the book was wonderfully done. My heart broke for Lydia at the same time that I was wanting to laugh at the situation she ended up in. Lydia decides to run away from her own wedding when she realizes her fiance is having an affair with the best man. She jumps the fence and climbs into an open window at the house next door.

Vaughan finds her later that day hanging out in his shower and turns out to be a very accommodating host. They start to bond just a bit before more drama shows up at his doorstep. Vaughan and Lydia had great chemistry from the very beginning of this story but their relationship never felt rushed. I really liked the pair together as a couple and it was nice to see how much they really complimented each other. Lydia just seemed to fit perfectly into Vaughan's life.

Andi Arndt is one of my favorite narrators. One of the reasons that I decided to buy this audiobook was the fact that she is the narrator. She did a great job with this book and I had no problems listening to the book for hours at a time. She performed all of the character voices very well and portrayed a wide range of emotions during the story. I hope to listen to more books narrated by Andi Arndt soon.

I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. This story had a great balance of humor and romance and ended up being a whole lot of fun. I hope to read more of this series from Kylie Scott soon.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this one. It was a fun and sexy story. I loved the set up at the beginning and grew to love the couple over the course of the story. The narration was wonderfully done.

Source: Audible Purchase

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review 2017-05-23 23:10
Good Story and Characters
Betting the Bad Boy (Behind the Bar) - S... Betting the Bad Boy (Behind the Bar) - Stefanie London

Paul’s older brother was Des the bar/restaurant  where they all worked. Noah was a close friend. Des oversaw the operation and finances. Paul managed the bar and Noah was the head barister who also inducted and trained the new hires. Des was in Hawaii with his wife Grace, Paul was knee deep in getting his mixology school off the ground that left Noah to be boss for the month Des was to be gone. Des was to soon expand his business and dropped hints he wanted Noah to manage it. Paul had a girl he was crazy about - Libby so Noah was the only bachelor left. Paige had just been trying to get a job and had been for awhile. And she was stressed about her future. Paige was trying to get an accounting job. Paige had been staying with her friend Sally. Sally just left her know that in a month she would be moving in with her boyfriend. Paige had already been looking for a job for a month. Paige stopped at Des’s bar/restaurant First for a coffee and fell into an interview as another girl. Then Noah was told the other girl wouldn’t be in Paige bet Noah a job she could make him the best cup of coffee he had ever had. Noah thought Paige looked like sex on a stick in a kind of girl next store way. Paige thought Noah looked hot. On Paige’s first day she brushed shoulders with Noah and felt sparks go through her. She hadn’t felt those kind of tingles since her first kiss. Paige had moved to Melbourne about four months ago before that a country girl born and raised. Paige had a different job in the accounting field but had dated a coworker but when she wouldn’t sleep with him he spread it all over the office she was a floozy and she lost her job. She had learned never mix business with pleasure. Noah had been brought up in the foster care system and had several foster parents and he felt he had let them all down but Paul and Des were his best friends. Noah also had three sisters not blood but sisters nevertheless. Noah had a policy to always set the bar low when it came to commitment. That way he didn’t expect much. As a kid Noah had been kicked out of every foster home he had been in. Being a lone wolf meant security. Noah was always desperate to be the one leaving when it came to relationships as he was never in it for the long term. Paul and Noah had been friends since third grade.

I enjoyed this story. I liked how Noah and Paige tried to control what they felt. I was glad when they came together. I liked the plot and thought this was well written. I thought this dragged a little at different times but didn’t stop me from finishing the story. I liked how close Noah was to Paul and Des. I also loved how Noah loved his sisters. I loved Paige’s determination . This was just a good read I loved the characters and the ins and outs.I recommend.

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