Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Read The World - Panama - The Path Between The Seas

 Book: The Path Between The Seas

Author: David McCullough

Pages: 698

Book takes place in the country: YES

The author is from the country: NO

I have visited: NO

This is my 55th read for the year

This is the story of the creation of the Panama Canal.  It tells the story of the men and women who worked together to bring a the dream of an aquatic passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans a reality.  The canal was built beteen 1870-1914 and the story of its triumphs and failures are all captured in McCullough's book.

This was a good one.  I didn't know much about the Panama canal and the story behind it before reading this, so I loved learning about its development.  It was a bit dry and I did find myself re-listening to parts of the book when I would drift off.  But overall, the story held my interest and I am glad I read it.

Stars: 4

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Extra Book - The Last Flight

 Book: The Last Flight

Author: Julie Clark

Pages: 320

This is my 54th read of the year

This is the story of Claire.  She has a seemingly wonderful life - married to a powerful man, wanting for nothing.  But the reality is that Claire is in an abusive relationship that she needs to escape desperately.  

She puts a plan in place to escape until her husband changes her plans.  She is at the airport when she meets someone else - Eva - also trying to escape her life - and the two women decide to help each other.   They swap flights hoping that this is what they both need to start over.

When the plane Claire was supposed to be on goes down, Claire thinks she is free.  Cut off completely from her old life, she starts to put a plan in motion to completely disappear.  She thinks she will step into Eva's life and that will be the last of Claire.  However - things don't always work out like they should.

This was a fair book.  It did keep me entertained, and on the edge of my seat for the first part of the story.  It was pretty suspenseful but I did figure out quite quickly how it was going to end.  No twists for me in this one.  Claire is a much more interesting character to me than Eva - Eva's chapters seemed long and drawn out.  

This book is also heavy on the "men are terrible" theme.  There are no good men in this book at all.  Every women in the story had a terrible back story with a terrible man.  This happens a lot in books, I know, but to me it is always a bit much.

Stars: 3

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Read The World - Brunei - Devil of a State

Book: Devil of a State

Author: Anthony Burgess

Pages: 282

Book takes place in the country: YES

Author is from the country: NO

I have visited: NO

This is my 53rd read for the year

This is the story of a man naded Lydgate - he is a married Passport Officer who has a pregnant mistress on the side.  His mistress is away when his wife arrives to visit him. Lydgate tries to run away from both of them, but his efforts are thwarted.  Around him there is a power pus of the national leader, harassments from the UN adviser, and violent onflicts between an Italian father and son who have been imported to work on the new mosque.

This book was REALLY strange.  It was all over the place and it didn't hold my attention.  It took me forever to read it.  I read about 4 other books around this one because I just couldn't get it to hold my attention.

HOWEVER - there are not many books about Brunei, so this will remain my book for that part of the world for now. 

Stars: 2

Friday, September 11, 2020

Extra Book - Nothing To See Here

 Book: Nothing To See Here

Author: Kevin Wilson

Pages: 277

This is my 52nd book for the year

This is the story of Lillian and Madison.  They went to high school together and when Madison gets caught with cocaine, Madison's very wealthy dad pays Lillian's mom so that Lillian will take the fall.  Thus begins the two divergent paths that these women take.  Until one day when Madison calls Lillian to ask her a favor.  She needs her to take care of her twin step children who have a unique ability that needs to be kept private.  The children catch fire.

Lillian agrees and becomes the children's governess.  She moves to Madison's mansion and helps to care for these kids and begins to love them like her own.  When a new problem comes to light, Lillian and Madison have to make a decision about their futures and the futures of the children.

This is a really weird book.  It wasn't necessarily bad, but I did find myself rolling my eyes quite a few times at the writing.  It was a bit juvenille.  And the ending was terrible.  I couldn't stop listening to it because I just had to see where it was going.  It was a bit silly and bizarre and a little out there.  And somewhat entertaining.  But good writing?  No.

Stars: 3

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Extra Book - A Good Neighborhood

 Book: A Good Neighborhood

Author: Therese Anne Fowler

Pages: 320

This is my 51st book for the year

This is the story of two families who live in the nice neighborhood of Oak Knoll in North Carolina.  Xavier - a young boy with a very promising future as a musician, a scholarship to a prestigous school, and his mother live in an old house with a beautiful tree.  All is fine until the Whitman family builds a huge house and moves in next door.  The house build destroys the roots of the fine tree and what transpires because of it leads both families down a path neither saw coming.  

The story asks what it is like to live by people who are different than you.  What is it like to be a good neighbor even when you don't see things the same way?  How can people coexist that might not necessarily ever be friends?

This was not a great book.  There were a lot of stereotypes in the book and the attraction of the step father to the step daughter was uncomfortable for me.  Took away from the story. There wasn't a lot of character development.  I never really felt for any of the characters one way or the other.

Skip it

Stars:  2

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Extra Book - The Distance From Four Points

 Book: The Distance From Four Points

Author: Margo Littell

Pages: 224

This is my 50th read for the year

This is the story of Robin.  Her husband has died and left her with a lot of debt and a lot of run down rental properties in a town she never wanted to return to.  She has to sell her house in her ideal neighborhood and move into one of the ramshackle apartments to try and pull her life back together.  Moving back to Four Points with her young daughter brings up a past she tried so hard to escape.  What she finds is a place that not only brings her back to the hardest time in her life, but also a place for a fresh start.

I was so so excited to get my hands on this book becuase it was written by a friend of mine.  This is her second novel, and I applaud her accomplishment.  She and I worked on a house in a town just like the one in this novel together and flipped and sold it.  It was quite the adventure and I am glad it lead her to keep writing books about small town America.  She and I grew up in a town very similar to the ones in her books.

It is a good story about a hard subject.  Poverty, slumlords, the world of rental properties.....all a very harsh reality in the place where Margo and I grew up.  I think she does a good job of bringing the reality of that situation to light by also spinning a good outcome for Robin.   Good mix.

Stars:  4