Sunday, September 11, 2011

CBR3 #30 - 36: Mini Reviews

The reviews below represent the books I read in July & August

CBR3 #30 - Queen By Right - Anne Easter Smith
Extensive look at Richard & Cecily York and their "reign" of Scotland during the War of the Roses time period. It was interesting to read about a different perspective during this time period, but I really struggled to get through this book.  Cecily narrates the whole book, but goes between flashbacks and present.

CBR3 #31 - The One I Want - Allison Winn Scotch
Tilly has her fortune told one evening and ends up being given a "gift" of clarity.  Suddenly she is having visions of the future and her "perfect" life is unraveling bit by bit.  As she learns to "use" her gift, she realizes that sometimes life has more to offer than it seems.  Quick read, but it was hard to relate and sympathize with the characters.

CBR3 #32 - Too Big To Fail - Andrew Ross Sorkin (August Book Club)
Must read (thriller-like) book that documents the financial crisis from prior to Lehman Brothers' collapse to when the TARP program was passed & implemented.  The book is not short, but reads well.  It also assumes that you understand the basics of the finance world & the collapse itself. 

CBR3 #33 - This Beautiful Life - Helen Schulman
Explores how a family reacts when a sex video sent to the son accidentally gets posted online and shared and ends up going viral. The premise of this book was interesting, but I found that the multiple narrator approach really didn't work.

CBR3 #34 - Eighteen Acres - Nicole Wallace
Follows a White House chief of staff through an election season, a network reporter waiting for her big break and a female president who might have her own scandal brewing.  Well written book and captures the mystery and intrigue of politics well. 

CBR3 #35 - The Cookbook Collector - Allegra Goodman
A coming of age story of two sisters totally different from each other.  One is a CEO of a technology start up while the other is a grad student in philosophy.  As the technology start up goes public and expands, the grad student ends up finding herself falling in love with her boss - a bookseller and cataloging a collection of antique cookbooks.  Good read, but some of the plot lines were hard to believe they would really happen.

CBR3 #36 - A Visit From the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan
Pulitizer Prize winner for Fiction in 2011, this book tells the story of Bennie - a record producer - and his assistant Sasha throughout their lives as well as their friends and family.  The chapters are arranged in sides of a vinyl record and there is a whole chapter told in Powerpoint.  Great read and smart plot lines make this book a must read. 

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