Book Remarks

‘The House on Mango Street’ by Sandra Cisneros

BOOK REMARKS Marisa Cleveland www.marisacleveland.com “I wanted to will my blood to stop, my heart to quit its pumping.” Sometimes a book comes along that compels a reader to reread it. That happened to me, as I wandered around my local Barnes and Noble. It had a new cover, but in this instance, it wasn’t the cover that caught my attention. ... Read More »

‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell

BOOK REMARKS Marisa Cleveland www.marisacleveland.com “Character is more like a bundle of habits and tendencies and interests, loosely bound together and dependent, at certain times, on circumstance and context.” Dear Readers, If you read one nonfiction book in your lifetime, make it this one! I mean, wow. Just wow. When I first started Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point,” I had no ... Read More »

‘Purity’ By Jonathan Franzen

BOOK REMARKS Marisa Cleveland www.marisacleveland.com “Don’t you like me?” she whispered. “Actually, I love you.” When I pick up a Jonathan Franzen novel, I have a certain expectation for a fluidity of writing and meandering narrative. I expect the author to use family and journeys, deep introspective thinking and humor. “Purity” is missing something of that thoughtful, heavy edge, but truthfully, ... Read More »

‘How It Ends’ – Best friends can make the worst enemies

BOOK REMARKS Marisa Cleveland www.marisacleveland.com If you have a teenager, will have a teenager, are a teenager, have ever been a teenager, or know a teenager, then “How It Ends” by Catherine Lo is a completely relevant read for you. This novel tackles the tough coming-of-age themes while delivering insight on girl friendships, why they end, and how they overcome complex ... Read More »

Someone Like You by Lauren Layne

BOOK REMARKS Marisa Cleveland www.marisacleveland.com “Tonight, for the first time in a long time, he hadn’t been the odd man out. Tonight he’d been part of a pair. Part of a something.”  If you’re in the mood for laughing, crying, and sighing, then Lauren Layne’s “Someone Like You” is the book for you. This is a contemporary romance novel following ... Read More »

A Study of Human Nature: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

BOOK REMARKS Marisa Cleveland www.marisacleveland.com “The date I had in mind was December tenth, but would you prefer the ninth or the eleventh?” Hello and happy February! I’m super excited to be here, because even though I rarely make resolutions, this new year I’d already vowed to read one published book a week when this opportunity to share my book remarks ... Read More »

Juliet’s Answer: One Man’s Search for Love and the Elusive Cure for Heartbreak

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “Shakespeare is a drunken savage with some imagination whose plays please only in London and Canada.” ~ Voltaire (1694-1778) This is the time of year when we are inundated with book lists. After the holiday “Must Buy/Read/Give” lists, the “Cozy Up This Winter” lists appear. Generally those books are mysteries. On those frigid winter days here ... Read More »

Discovering Old Florida

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com The full title of this little gem is “Discovering Old Florida: A Guide to Vintage South and Central Florida.” It is 7 inches in width and 5 inches in height, which makes it very easy to handle, and “tuckable” in that it will slip into your glove compartment or your day bag very nicely. It would ... Read More »

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “Every murderer is probably somebody’s old friend.” ~ Agatha Christie This lovely collection of four short stories republished now, two years after the death of its author, P.D. James, by her estate, has a holiday flavor. If you are a mystery fan, doubtless you have read some of this prolific writer’s work in the past. Included ... Read More »

BOOK REMARKS: The Wangs Vs The World

Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “J. Marshall Weymouth made Charles feel small, like he hadn’t made his first million by the time he was thirty-three years old, like he didn’t have a flaming redhead named Saoirse on call, like he hadn’t blown out of Taiwan with nothing but a urea pipeline and lucked himself into the most ideal wife-and-children combo possible. Made ... Read More »

‘The Nest’

BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “Insanity runs in my life. It practically gallops.”      ~ Cary Grant as Mortimer Brewster, “Arsenic and Old Lace.” I thought that the title, “The Nest,” referred to the family home in this novel, but in fact it is their term for the nest egg that their father set up for them. They themselves shortened ... Read More »

This Was Not The Plan

BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” ~ Satchel Paige This is the story of an overworked, over-ambitious, 30-something New York attorney who becomes a widower with a toddler son. When we meet him, his wife Mira has been deceased for over two years but Charlie Goldwyn is still spending days ... Read More »

The Trespasser

BOOK REMARKS Maggie Gust winetaster13@gmail.com “Of all the things which man can do or make here below, by far the most momentous, wonderful, and worthy are the things we call books.” ~ Thomas Carlyle Mystery, suspense and police thriller readers, rejoice! This book is a rare delight – you will absolutely love every scrumptious word of the 464 pages. Stephen King ... Read More »

Best. State. Ever. A Florida Man Defends His Homeland

BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust I have been a fan of Dave Barry’s humor for most of the 25 years that he has been writing columns, so I was anticipating a great read. He starts out with a strong first chapter, in which he takes on the State of Illinois and their penchant for electing governors who end up in prison. This ... Read More »

A Man Called Ove

BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust “Ove is fifty-nine. He drives a Saab.” Knowing his age is an important point in any man’s story. In Ove’s case, knowing that he drives and has always driven a Saab is essential in understanding him. One’s choice of vehicle reveals much about one’s character, in Ove’s mind. He evaluates others based upon their vehicle brand. When ... Read More »

French Rhapsody

BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust “Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.”  ~ Mason Cooley It has been a long while since I laughed out loud so many times while reading a book. “French Rhapsody” is the title that had my endorphins dancing a jig. A middle-aged married Parisian doctor who has been disillusioned about ... Read More »

Everything We Keep

BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust This is an engaging read for an afternoon or evening of escapism. Kerry Lonsdale is a relatively new writer, with a straight forward style. She has a knack for character description that draws the reader into the story almost immediately. I knew I was going to like Aimee Tierney and her parents by page three of this ... Read More »

Frontier Grit The Unlikely True Stories of Daring Pioneer Women

BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust This little nugget is a delightful find and carries quite a punch for a small book. The stories of 12 fascinating women will captivate you while exposing you to the history they did not teach us in school. The author purposefully chose 12 women of different nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic status, to illustrate the diversity of ... Read More »

Runaway

BOOK REMARKS  Maggie Gust This book is a must-read for any mystery lover, Anglophile, or Baby Boomer. In addition to having an exciting storyline, it is beautifully written with luscious language: “Moonlight cascaded across black water below us as we drove down into a larger town beyond the village of Threlkeld. Its street lamps twinkled in the night, light pollution masking ... Read More »

Everybody’s Fool

BOOK REMARKS  Diane Bostick Guest Reviewer Everybody’s Fool By Richard Russo Knopf Publishers, May 2016 Available at the Collier County Library Available as Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Nook and Audio book I have just had the pleasure, and a pleasure it was, of reading Richard Russo’s newest book, “Everybody’s Fool.” Some might say it has no plot but it actually does, though I ... Read More »