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Search tags: win-50-ya-books
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review 2019-07-22 23:12
Sexy men, a library full of books and homemade bread...sign me up...
Kneading You - C.S. Poe

Christopher Hughes has recently moved to Lancaster, New Hampshire a place that he's hoping will feel like home...now, if he could just find a job there so that he could afford a home.

 

Miles Sakasai is the local handyiman who's been hired to help fix the library up in an effort to bring it into the present so that they can get continued funding and keep the library open.

 

When Chris and Miles meet their attraction is instant and neither man has any commitments to keep them from following their attraction to see where it leads them.

 

As a reader it seems to me that one of the hardest things for an author to do is to write a short story that not only engages the reader but has believable relationships and for me, Ms Poe has succeeded with this story.

 

"Kneading You' is not the first trip to Lancaster, New Hampshire that this author has taken me on...in 'The Color of You' we visited the local high school where we met Bowen Merlin, the new school band leader and Felix Hanson, proprietor of the local apple orchard and were treated to their love story and then in 'Joy' Ms Poe shared the story of Gideon Joy a down on his luck traveler who finds himself stuck in Lancaster and rescued from an encounter with a moose by construction worker Silas Bright. 

 

While 'Kneading You' is the shortest of these three tales the author has still managed to keep it every bit as enjoyable as the previous two stories and I can honestly say I'd love to have at least one more story and that's one where these 3 adorable couples who all live in this small town meet and become friends...somehow, for me it just seems like it would be a good thing.

 

 *************************

A copy of 'Kneading You' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2019-07-22 21:28
Virgil Wander
Virgil Wander - Leif Enger

This is my kind of story, reminiscent of Fredrik Backman’s quirky characters in down-on-their luck communities, or the true-grit folks you might have seen years ago on the television show Northern Exposure. While Virgil is the eponymous hero of this novel, Enger offers us plenty of other characters to love in this small Midwestern town. As promised in the publisher’s notes, this is truly a place where captivating whimsy is the order of the day. A perfect summer read.

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review 2019-07-22 20:55
Sold on a Monday
Sold On a Monday - Kristina McMorris

This book had such an interesting premise, I requested a copy from NetGalley. (thanks, NetGalley!) McMorris presents her story in the form of a complicated moral dilemma—where a seemingly well-intentioned act leads to unexpected challenges and life-changing results—playing out on a couple of different fronts. Ellis Read wanted to tell a story with his photograph, but when things got complicated, he made some ill-advised but understandable choices. The situation, while specific to his era, life and career, is still relatable; especially when choices made in an instant, reflexively, fail to consider long-term consequences. In a story brimming with untold secrets, life decisions are guided by personal experience and sometimes, unbridled ambition. Still, McMorris’ treats her characters with a care and sensitivity that is compelling, and ultimately, uplifting.

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text 2019-07-22 17:12
Reading progress update: I've read 225 out of 417 pages.
Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas

Dorian is so adorable when flustered 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2019-07-22 09:53
The Book of Hidden Things by Francesco Dimitri
The Book of Hidden Things - Francesco Dimitri

TITLE:  The Book of Hidden Things

 

AUTHOR:  Francesco Dimitri

 

________________________

DESCRIPTION:

"Four old school friends have a pact: to meet up every year in the small town in Puglia they grew up in. Art, the charismatic leader of the group and creator of the pact, insists that the agreement must remain unshakable and enduring. But this year, he never shows up.

A visit to his house increases the friends' worry; Art is farming marijuana. In Southern Italy doing that kind of thing can be very dangerous. They can't go to the Carabinieri so must make enquiries of their own. This is how they come across the rumours about Art; bizarre and unbelievable rumours that he miraculously cured the local mafia boss's daughter of terminal leukaemia. And among the chaos of his house, they find a document written by Art, The Book of Hidden Things, that promises to reveal dark secrets and wonders beyond anything previously known.
"

_______________________

 

 

REVIEW:

 

 

*********************************LOTS OF SPOILERS*************************************

 

 

 

 

This is supposed to be a dark magical realism / fantasy novel.  It should probably be marketed as a psychological thriller or a smutty boys-novel or something like that. This is not a book for children or teenagers. The writing style is decent and the concept interesting, though hardly original. 

 

The novel starts off slowly with tantalizing hints of a mystery that needs solving. The description of the scenery and the food is beautifully written.  The exploration of family and friend dynamics, as well as the difference (or lack thereof) between magic, religion and what goes on in your head is interesting.  However, the characters are stereotypically flat (and unloveable) - all four friends are members of a boys club that never grows up, all obsessed (some more than others) with girls and sex, are rather self-centered, and seem to be having a mid-life crisis.  For a magical realism novel, there is a ridiculous amount of ink dedicated to sex, nudity, imaginary sex and the objectication of women.  This all got tedious after the first quarter of the novel, and rather creepy after that.  The "magic" only appears near the end of the book, and you are never sure if it's magic or someone needs some lithium.  In addition, there are unresolved issues (what happened to Art as a kid?  is there magic involved or are they all just mentally unstable?) that are brushed off and the reader is left with speculation and guess-work.  The ending was weak and disappointing.  I could also have done without the animal murders (!!), even though they were there for a valid reason.  As for "The Book of Hidden Things" - this was a complete let down.  It only appears near the end of the novel and is a mish-mash of New Age WooWoo and Catholicism.

(spoiler show)

Vulgar, juvenile and somewhat creepy is my final impression of this novel. 

 

 

WARNING:  Animal cruelty!!!!   

 

 

 

 

 

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