Saturday, August 13, 2011

39. A Year in the Merde

By:  Stephen Clarke
Rated 4 Stars
From:  Library

Publisher's Description:

A Year In The Merde is the story of Paul West, a 27-year-old Brit who is brought to Paris by a French company to open a chain of British "tea rooms." He soon becomes immersed in the contradictions of French culture: the French are not all cheese-eating surrender monkeys, though they do eat a lot of smelly cheese; they are still in shock at being stupid enough to sell Louisiana, thus losing the chance to make French the global language, while going on strike is the second national participation sport after ptanque. He also illuminates how to get the best out of the grumpiest Parisian waiter, how to survive a French business meeting, and how not to buy a house in the French countryside.

38. A House by the Fjord

By Rosalind Laker
Rated 3.5 Stars
From:  Library

This is not a very well written book.  I could swear I have read this author before but when I looked at her bibliography I did not recognize anything. If I was rating this book on writing style alone I would have only given this book 2 stars.  However I learned a lot of interesting stuff about Norway that I didn't know before.  It's a shame this author is not a better writer because this could have been a 5 star read for me.  Oh well . . . .

Publisher's Description:

When Anna Harvik travels to Norway in 1946 in order to visit the family of her late husband, the country is only just recovering from five cruel years of Nazi occupation. So it is with surprise that she finds in this cold and bitter country the capacity for new love and perhaps even a new home.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

36. Last Letter from your Lover

By JoJo Moyes
Rated 4 Stars
From; Library
Format:  Book

I have been in a deep reading slump lately.  But I decided to try something that was a total change of pace from what I had been trying to read and it worked.

This is a very well written and poignant love story with a bittersweet ending. I enjoyed it and recommend it highly as a beach read.  If it' not too hot at the beach that is. :)

Product Description

A sophisticated, page-turning double love story spanning forty years-an unforgettable Brief Encounter for our times. 

It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply "B", asking her to leave her husband.

Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper's archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie's search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

37. Escape

By Barbara Delinsky
Rated 3 Stars
From:  Library
Audio Book

I really liked the premise of this book because I have been there myself.  Who hasn't?  But I did have problems with Emily's whining and thought that she wasn't entirely fair to James.  She should have given the poor guy a little warning that she was so unhappy.  And that ex-boyfriend, what a loser!!!  I am going to rate it a C.  But still, it kept my interest and since I have been having so much trouble with books lately that's saying something. :)

Publisher's Description:

In her luminous new novel, Barbara Delinsky explores every woman’s desire to abandon the endless obligations of work and marriage—and the idea that the most passionate romance can be found with the person you know best.
Emily Aulenbach is thirty, a lawyer married to a lawyer, working in Manhattan. An idealist, she had once dreamed of representing victims of corporate abuse, but she spends her days in a cubicle talking on the phone with vic­tims of tainted bottled water—and she is on the bottler’s side.
And it isn’t only work. It’s her sister, her friends, even her husband, Tim, with whom she doesn’t connect the way she used to. She doesn’t connect to much in her life, period, with the exception of three things—her computer, her BlackBerry, and her watch.
Acting on impulse, Emily leaves work early one day, goes home, packs her bag, and takes off. Groping toward the future, uncharacteristically following her gut rather than her mind, she heads north toward a New Hampshire town tucked between mountains. She knows this town. During her college years, she spent a watershed summer here. Painful as it is to return, she knows that if she is to right her life, she has to start here.

Monday, August 1, 2011

35. Martha; the life of Martha Mitchell

By:  Winzola McLendon
From Library
Format:  Hardcover

I've been in a terrible reading slump but I'm going to give reading another shot.  I have here before me:

Martha, The life of Martha Mitchell, an example of an Uppity Woman who was quite a character .  I found this review and it's lengthy but I found it very interesting.  I wish this mail program had block quote boxes.  Politics is a dirty, dirty business.  After spending darn near a month reading this book off and on I am firmly of the opinion that a) she was right all along, b) she was surrounded by very bad people and c) she fought back in the only way she knew how.  Her husband was a scum bag!

"Martha is the startling, behind-the-scenes story of one of the most famous and controversial woman in American politics -- of what motivated Martha Mitchell and what really happened to her after the Watergate scandal broke -- as told by the journalist who was her close friend and confidante in her last years."

"Here are those legendary middle-of-the-night phone calls; the television appearance when she revealed that her husband, Attorney General John Mitchell, said he'd like to trade some of the liberals in this country for Russian Communists; the time she ordered the Arkansas Gazette to "crucify" Senator J. William Fulbright; declaring "the Vietnam War stinks!" when Nixon desperately trying to justify it; calling for Nixon's resignation before the nation was ready to hear of it."

"Her husband labeled her his "unguided missile," creating the impression that he was an unfortunate but compassionate man saddled with a slightly flaky wife whom he adored too much to suppress. But here Martha reveals that John, with White House backing, put her up to almost all her early outbursts. And a former Nixon aide confirms that Martha was deliberately used by the White House to represent an outspoken view from the right, but one for which the Attorney General and the White House would not be held accountable."

"Most dramatic of all is the story of what happened to Martha after Watergate: how she was manhandled, and sedated to keep her from talking. And when it became necessary to discredit Martha, the White House confidentially "leaked" that she had gone "bonkers." Word was also passed that Martha didn't know anything, anyway, although Administration insiders knew that Martha was an incurable eavesdropper who listened in on John's telephone conversations and on his talks with people who came for meetings at the Watergate apartment. They knew, too, that after John went to sleep, she rummaged through his briefcase, reading secret papers. That these efforts to quiet and discredit Martha were a failure is evident from the message on a floral wreath sent anonymously to her funeral: MARTHA WAS RIGHT. "

"Martha reveals, for the first time, the full impact drinking combined with drugs had on Martha's life, and the poignant story of her love for her husband: though she died penniless and almost alone, Martha never ceased wanting John Mitchell to return to her."