Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Book Review Club (May 2013)

May?! Are you serious?! Where did April take off to?

Welcome to the May meeting of our little online book review club. We've put together reviews of books we've read and enjoyed. So, please click through the links under my review. Settling in with a good book is a surefire way to slow life down. A way to stop and smell the roses. Uh, er, ink.  ;)

I CAN'T COMPLAIN
(ALL TOO) PERSONAL ESSAYS by Elinor Lipman

Do not fall off your chair, but I am actually reviewing a book for adults this month! Even more shocking, it's non-fiction!

As  you may or may not know, I finish a book by Elinor Lipman and then begin the wait for the next book. So, you can imagine how beyond thrilled I was to discover this spring would bring not one, but two books by one of my favorite authors.

I CAN'T COMPLAIN is a collection of short essays that were written for a variety of venues (magazines, newspapers, websites). The essays are about Ms. Lipman's mother, son, husband, friends, herself, her thoughts on writing. Reading these essays was like having Ms. Lipman in my living room. Minus having to clean my living room! I loved being a part of her inner circle and listening to stories about how she and her husband originally planned not to have children. How her mother couldn't stand condiments. How son learned the facts of life. How she's dealing with life after her husband's death. I could've used her questions for a potential marriage partner a couple of decades ago!

With a book by Elinor Lipman, I know I can get comfy in my favorite chair, crack open the pages and kickback. Because I trust this author to come through for me. She doesn't settle.  She's going to come up with that perfect word, that perfect turn of phrase. She's going to toss in her signature humor at just the right moment because her timing is always oh-so perfect. ( For example, pointing out how her husband put the "mensch" in "dementia" in the chapter about his disease. )  I always walk away from a Lipman book satisfied and feeling good.

What up next for me book-wise? THE VIEW FROM PENTHOUSE B by Elinor Lipman. Of course.

Without further ado, here are the links to this month's AMAZING AND THOUGHTFUL reviews! You don't want to miss them.

MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG ADULT BOOK REVIEWS

 Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: GHOULISH SONG by William Alexander (middle grade fantasy)

Stacy Nyikos: THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate (middle grade)

Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: UNREMEMBERED by Jessica Brody (young adult)


ADULT BOOK REVIEWS

Alyssa Goodnight of the Writers' Road Less Traveled: TEMPEST RISING by Nicole Peeler (urban fantasy)

Patti Abbott: BURIAL RITES by Hannah Kent (historical)

Sarah Laurence: TALE FOR THE TIME BEING by Ruth Ozeki (literary) 

Scott Parker: CALIBAN'S WAR by James S.A. Corey (science fiction)


MEMOIR REVIEWS

 Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country:THE WORLD IS MOVING AROUND ME: A MEMOIR OF THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE by Danyy Laferriere


                                             
Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!




9 comments:

Sarah Laurence said...

Happy May, Barrie, and thanks for hosting! I've never read anything by Elinor Lipman and your review makes me want to address this shortcoming.

Barrie said...

Good morning, Sarah! I'm waiting for my tea to steep, and then I'll head over to your blog for your review. You've never read anything by Elinor Lipman? I'm jealous. It's all ahead for you! My faves: The Inn at Lake Devine, The Dearly Departed, Then She Found Me (loved the movie too).

Ellen Booraem said...

Oh wow, she wrote And Then She Found Me? I loved that movie so I guess I'd better find some of her books. (I haven't read her before either, Sarah.)

Now look what you've done, Barrie!

Barrie said...

Ah, Ellen, then my job here is done. Ha!

Lucy said...

Carol Burnett's books usually affect me that way. Feels like you're chitchatting with an old friend . . . very conversational.

I've never read any of Elinor Lipman's books either but your review makes me want to. :)

Sarah Laurence said...

Barrie, thanks for the list of her best titles. I shall return when there is space in my TBR bookshelf.

Barrie said...

Lucy: You'll love them!

Sarah: I'm also adding: The Family Man. :)

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Barrie, I will jump on this list of reviewers who have never read an Elinor Lipman book and now want to!!

Thanks for hosting yet again... ;)

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

A writer's job is never done!
Thanks for hosting, and an ADULT book!
Surprisingly, me, a retired teacher, a a publicist has sent me two kids book to review for April!
I'm happy!
Cheers from Cottage Country!