Saturday, February 28, 2015

What's Back on the Shelf?

A little book housekeeping this weekend. #Snowpocolypse2015 gave me plenty of time to dive into my favorite place in the world - the inside of a book. Here are a few I've re-shelved after turning the pages of my favorite past time.

I'll start with what I didn't entirely love and save the best for last!

The Signet Classic Book of Southern Short StoriesThe Signet Classic Book of Southern Short Stories by Dorothy Abbott
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

While this collection of Southern Classics boasts some big names, there's a reason these stories weren't taught in your high school English classes...they are dreadfully written and terribly dull. With the exception of Kate Chopin and Zora Neal Hurston, I wouldn't punish a single person with this very sad collection. I'm so glad this wasn't my first exposure so some of these author's work or I may have missed out on truly great writing by them - this collection just wasn't it.

Big Little LiesBig Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Liane Moriarty has done it again. I absolutely loved The Husband's Secret and Big Little Lies ranks right up there with it.

From the book premise:
Sometimes it’s the little lies that turn out to be the most lethal. . . .
A murder… . . . a tragic accident… . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.
But who did what?

Big Little Lies intertwines the fate of three women: Madeline, Celeste, and Jane, at pivotal footing in their lives. The relationship of one woman to next creates the backdrop for a murder no one predicted.

Madeline is loud and cocky and loyal with a pension for grudges and a passion for drama. She is struggling to get a handle on her ex-husband turned new and loving father and mate to Bonnie and their daughter Skye. In the midst of this, Abigail (her daughter with the ex) wants to move into the fairy tale land it seems her father now has. It's a crushing blow to Madeline, a hurt she wasn't ready to deal with.

Celeste is Madeline's best friend, but she's keeping a deep secret from her. Her beauty shines only for others to see, but behind closed doors she struggles with the ugly truth of an abusive relationship. She's trying to decide how to protect her twin boys from her berating husband when he's always so good to them. The juxtaposition of good father/bad partner creates a conflict central to Celeste's developing character throughout the novel.

And finally, there is Jane. Simple, plain Jane. She's the new mom to the bunch. Young and bitter, but willing to try again; and definitely hiding a secret. She loves her boy Ziggy beyond words, but who his father is remains a mystery.

When Ziggy is accused of bullying at Kindergarten orientation, a series of events kicks off that will leave no stone unturned; not for these women or any other parent of Pirriwee Primary School. Trivia night for this group of parents will definitely leave questions that don't fit neatly into any category.

This book is a must read - a tearjerker at times, a roving mystery at others, and example of friendship with all its ups and downs. Once started, the pages will turn themselves.

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom ThumbThe Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love. Just love, love, love this book.

Melanie Benjamin has a passion for both history and biography. Her historical fiction novels are known to be engrossing and accurate. She is know for The Aviator's Wife , a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh and the novel Alice I Have Been, both of which I intend to read.

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb was a random purchase for me and I could not be more pleased. I love historical fiction and Ms. Benjamin creates an amazing world that balances perfectly between fact and fable.

Mercy Lavinia "Vinnie" Warren Bump has a name taller than she is. At only two feet, eight inches tall, she is a medical marvel growing up in a small town away from the public's eye. But her height cannot contain the size of her character and rather than hide who she was, she decides to reach out to the renowned P. T. Barnum. Through this connection, she marries the well-known "super star" General Tom Thumb. Their wedding, of course, becomes the talk of the town and this love match developes them both into unexpected celebrities with connections to prominent men in the Civil War all the way to the Whitehouse. With her like sized sister by her side, "Minnie", Vinnie takes the world by storm. This true to life story mixed with fictional characterization proves that size really and truly does not matter. To quote Dr. Suess here: "a person's a person, no matter how small."

Pick up this book now - you will not be disappointed.

View all my reviews

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