california

Jun 10, 2018

"You’ll be silent forever, and I’ll be gone in the dark."

Michelle McNamara’s book investigating the Golden State Killer is a truly masterful work. The author explains her obsession with this case and her hopes of discovering the identity of the killer. She presents a staggering amount of research and information in such an engaging and organized way, while her clarity of writing and ever-present empathy enhance the reading experience.

Foolishly, I was not prepared to read about the truly haunting crimes that the Golden State Killer committed in the 1970s and 1980s. The author never

Virgin River

By Robyn Carr
4
Rated by Traci M.
Jul 30, 2017

I am a re-reader. Whether I’m in a reading funk, or waiting for an author’s new release, I would rather pick up a book I’ve read before than take a chance on something new. I don’t know if it’s the comfort of knowing what’s going to happen or the chance to revisit favorite characters that appeals to me, but this habit tends to get me in trouble when I’m trying to weed my book collection.

I recently read an article on re-reading that suggested listening to the audio version of a book you previously read. I’ve never been a big audio listener, especially in fiction, so I decided to give it a

Eight Hundred Grapes

By Laura Dave
4
Rated by Rachel N.
Jul 22, 2016

Georgia Ford runs away from problems in her own life and goes straight to her place of comfort: home. Unfortunately for Georgia, with her parents heading in different directions, her brothers not on speaking terms, and the uncertain future of the family vineyard, life at home is not what she was expecting. Georgia finds that among all her family's issues, she is still unable to escape her own.

This novel is all about the complexity of life's interruptions and how they affect relationships. I was hooked by the end of the first chapter when I found out why people out for a drink were staring

Feb 8, 2013

When a serious injury sends Evie Stryker to Fool’s Gold where her estranged brothers and mother have made their home, Evie finds herself at a crossroads.  Evie left Fool’s Gold, and the family where she never seemed to fit in, at the age of 17 to study dance at Julliard and she never looked back.  Then Evie was injured and her mother and brothers moved her to Fool’s Gold for her recovery and rehabilitation.  Now, as recovered as she is going to be, Evie is chafing at the close quarters to her family in the small California town where everyone knows everyone.  She has taken a job at the local

Oct 23, 2012

Sometimes called The Grapes of Wrath for Mexicans seeking refuge in the U.S., this political novel follows two families:  Candido and America; and Kyra and Delaney.  Candido has been to the U.S. many times, working and sending money home to support his family.  This time he’s brought his young, pregnant wife,   America.  They live rough in a canyon near Los Angeles, making a little money as day laborers and seeking their own American dream, always hiding from authorities.  Kyra and Delaney, an upper middle class couple who consider themselves “liberal humanists”, live in an exclusive community

Apr 4, 2012

If this book is about anything, I surely don’t know what it is. Confined to his home for ten days with a host of his closest friends and family, Max engages in conversations about war, love, family, filmmaking and, well ... everything. They talk about everything when they’re not all sleeping with each other anyway.  So more than being about anything, this book is really a window into a world I’ll never be a part of. And the most profound thing I’ve taken away from it is that the lives of the wealthy are just as fraught with insecurity, inertia, discontent, and, well … all the things a regular

Private Life by Jane Smiley

0
Rated by Katerina J.
Mar 15, 2012

Private Life is the latest book by the Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley. In this brilliant, character driven novel, Smiley created an unforgettable heroine in a quiet devoted wife, Margaret Mayfield Early. Private life chronicles several decades of Margaret’s life, from her childhood in post-Civil War Missouri, through her married life on a naval base in California, up to the early years of World War II. When reading Private Life, I alternated between reading the novel and listening to the audiobook, masterfully narrated by Kate Reading. I was absorbed by the elaborate account of

Zorro by Isabelle Allende

0
Rated by Kathy B.
Jan 19, 2012

Oh, what fun!!!  Allende has invented a beginning for the Zorro stories.  I remember the TV series and I was totally smitten with the swashbuckling, mysterious avenger.  Okay, I was just a kid, but the TV Zorro was a much more convincing character than any other swashbucklers I’d seen—Errol Flynn and Gene Kelly, to name them all.  So to learn the family background and early history of this grande—and in the marvelously literate, slyly humorous manner of Allende’s  unidentified narrator—was a great treat!!   In the early 1800s, as Diego de la Vega of Alta California reaches the appropriate age