Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November 2015 Bookshelf

Woe is me. 
This describes my month of "reading" and myself perfectly:




Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown
Kindle Edition

I really wanted to read this book in its entirety. I had to renew my check out of it and I still didn't (couldn't?) finish. Many things contributed to this inability to finish the book. I am sincerely interested in this part of history but I let the second check out run its course and decided not to renew a third time.  I was reading it on Kindle so I'm not sure how far I got through the book but I'm guessing I got about 5 chapters in - the chapters were rather lengthy. Brown did a thorough job of sharing the Indian side of American history. Her research shows that the Indians eventually had to act on the defense not on the offense. It was not their preferred way. I read enough of this title and I've read enough of other articles, etc to appreciate Brown's defense of the Indians.  How we, the white man, have treated the Natives of this Nation is deplorable.

Wynn in Doubt by Emily Hemmer
Kindle Edition - 286 pages

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for this free readers copy. In exchange I am giving an honest review.

Hemmer seems to be a rather new author and this title looks like it is her first stand-alone. The other titles credited to her are part of a series.
Wynn Jefferies is a single twenty-something that is a bit lost. She's unmoored and looking for a way to get a life. Literally. Her recently deceased Grandma had a secret Wynn discovers when cleaning out her things and it sets Wynn on a course of discovery. Joining her is her old high school crush who has landed back in town after needing some time off from his own life. Together, against Wynn's family wishes, Wynn and Oliver set out to see if they can find a someone who wanted to stay hidden. In the process Wynn feels certain that she just might find some answers for her own life.
This was an enjoyable enough read if a bit far-fetched. It was a tad too unrealistic for me to totally buy in. From the expectations Wynn assumes her family has of her to the return of Oliver in her life and then the whole secret. All of these things could happen in real life but for all of them to happen to the same person was a little much. I felt annoyed with Wynn. I wanted to tell her to calm down and put her big girl panties on. She was a bit whiny in my opinion. The story and the characters weren't strong enough to keep me very interested and it took me entirely too long to read this title.



The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand
Kindle Edition - 416 pages

Hilderbrand is an author I can always count on for a good story - and usually one that involves tears at some point.
In this Nantucket based novel, Dabney Kimball Beech is a "lifer." She is a fifth generation resident of the island and thanks to a traumatic event in her childhood she refuses to leave the island to travel, visit her daughter in New York City, or even go to a Doctor in Boston. But that's not what Dabney is most known for on the island, nor is it her position as the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce. Dabney is most known for her matchmaking. She's put together 42 couples and hasn't been wrong yet. The first person she ever matched up was herself in high school. She saw pink when she looked at Clendenin Hughes and knew he was her perfect match and she was his. Fast forward about 30 years and Dabney is married to Box Beech and Clen has been in Asia the past 27 years. But Clen is back on the island, Dabney's insides are twisted, and her matchmaking skills seem to be waning. What's going on with the matchmaker and can she finally have her perfect match?
Hilderbrand has an uncanny ability to tap into the humanity of people. She knows what emotional buttons to engage, she knows how to create a character that people can relate to and be drawn in by, and she creates storylines that are mostly believable. Hilderbrand's obvious love and affection for Nantucket makes me want to go there and visit. It's a location that has landed on my bucket list thanks to her portrayal of the island and its fictional residents.






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