Book Review: The Mirrored World by Debra Dean
2 Stars , Fiction , Latest Posts / September 13, 2012

About: The Mirrored World by Debra Dean is a fictional account of the life of St. Xenia. The novel takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia during the 18th Century. The pub­lisher is giv­ing away one copy of this book— use the Raf­fle­copter form at the end of the post to enter. 256 pages Publisher: Harper Language: English ISBN-10: 0061231452 My rating for The Mirrored World – 2 Buy this book in paper or electronic format More Books by Debra Dean Thoughts: The Mirrored World by Debra Dean (Facebook) is has an interesting premise – the life of a Russian saint. This is one of those books where everything is wonderful, but for me the sum of the parts simply didn’t come together to create a whole. The subject is interesting, the time period fascinating, the writing is lyrical and the novel certainly captures a dreamy state of time and place. However, the book simply failed to capture my interest. Even though I appreciated the styling, effort and talent that went into the writing, I found myself having a difficult time reading the novel. I never got vested in any of the characters, I simply didn’t care about them at all. The best…

Thoughts on: Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
2 Stars , Classics , Fiction , Latest Posts / August 18, 2011

About: “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy is a fictional book published in 1891 . The book follows Tess through her trials and tribulations in Victorian England. 544 pages Publisher: Barnes & Noble Classics ISBN-10: 1593082282 My rating for Tess of the D’Urbervilles – 2  Buy & Save on “Tess of the d’Urbervilles”  through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on: Ama­zon | Kindle | Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK Thoughts: “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” (pronounced Derbyvilles)by Thomas Hardy (Biography) is one of those books which I think bored literature professors love. There is much social commentary, hidden meanings, sinister motives and a double entendre to almost every phrase. The more you read the book, the more of you’d discover. I, however, am not bored nor am I a literature professor. The reason I am no longer bored is because I finished reading this very descriptive book. I did like the story, that of a poor, pure farm girl who is being used as a rag for every man she falls for but keeps coming back to them like a long lost puppy until she loses her mind. While Mr. Hardy does lavish the reader with his description of the…

Book Review: The Stairway to Heaven by Therese Zrihen-Dvir
2 Stars , Fiction / March 21, 2011

I got this book for free. Attention Book Bloggers: After this review was published I got several nasty and personally insulting emails & comments on LibraryThing (as well as the comments below).  I do not want to engage in this type of mud slugging hence I will not publish the emails; However, just be aware of this if you decide to read any books by this author. My rating for Stairway to Heaven – 2 About: “The Stairway to Heaven” by Therese Zrihen-Dvir (website) is a short fictional story which takes place in Israel. The book is told from the view point of two women after they had witnessed a horrific act of terror. 160 pages Publisher: Gefen Publishing House ISBN: 9652294748 Purchase “The Stairway to Heaven” through the ManOfLaBook affiliate account on: Amazon |Book Depository US | Book Depository UK Thoughts: I was excited to receive “The Stairway to Heaven” by Therese Zrihen-Dvir as I have been in the Beit Lid bus station more times than I could count and the double suicide bombing really hit home with me. The story revolves around the Beit Lid massacre which happened on Sunday January 22, 1995. Sunday morning is when many…

Book Review: Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
2 Stars , Fiction / February 28, 2011

I got this book for free as part of the TLC Book Tour promotion. My rating for Beatrice and Virgil – 2 About: “Beatrice and Virgil” (book website) by Yann Martel is a fictional book, a follow up to the author’s wildly successful “Like of Pi”. A strange story which is suppose to be an allegory for the Holocaust. Purchase “Beatrice and Virgil” through the ManOfLaBook affiliate account on: Amazon |Book Depository US | Book Depository UK Thoughts: I really didn’t know what to think about “Beatrice and Virgil” by Yann Martel. I didn’t like it yet didn’t hate it either. I was impartial to the book, I wasn’t offended, I wasn’t touched and I didn’t learn anything from it. Maybe it was because I looked forward to reading it. The narrator of the book is Henry, a famous author, who is taken by a play sent to him by one of this fans. The play is about a donkey named Beatrice and a monkey named Virgil. The author turns out to be a taxidermist who might have been a Nazi collaborator and the play is suppose to be an allegory for the suffering in the Holocaust. The taxidermist even…

Book Review: Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas by Ace Collins
2 Stars , Fiction , Non-Fiction / December 24, 2010

I got this book for free My rating for Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas – 2 About: “Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas” by Ace Collins (Website) is a short book, divided into sections, each corresponding to a beloved Christmas song. The book is arranged alphabetically and includes lyrics to most of the songs. A perfect Christmas gift – Buy it here Thoughts: I was looking forward to read “Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas”, not only to get into the holiday spirit but also because I love this type of books since my childhood. These short stories filled with charming facts and little unknown tidbits were always fascinating to me. Not to mention a great resource in case I’ll be on “Jeopardy” one day. The premise of this book is quite interesting, that is telling the history of each carol or Christmas song. Mr. Collins is a good writer and makes the stories he writes about engaging and easy to read, but he lacks some serious research. The core fact of what the author is describing are woven with information which cannot be verified (such as putting thoughts in people’s heads) or is simply misleading…

Book Review: This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2 Stars , Classics , Fiction / September 24, 2010

Tells the fictional story of Amory Blaine, born with a silver spoon in his mouth; heir to wealth, has good looks and sophistication. The story is set in the early 20th Century in the northeastern United States. After traveling the country with his mother, Amory attends St. Regis prep school and, even though lazy in his studies, manages somehow to have his pick between Harvard, Yale and Princeton Universities (he chooses Princeton).

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