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Month in review

Reviews:
Andreanna by S. L. Gilbow
The Angels of Morgan Hill by Donna VanLiere
Bark up the Right Tree by Jessie and Ruth Tschudin
Beware of Tigers by David Horowitz
Can You Spell Revolution? by Matt Beam
Dark Side of the Morgue by Raymond Benson
Falling Free by Lois McMaster Bujold
Fiction by Ara 13
Fool by Christopher Moore
Gambling for Good Mail by Evelyn Cole
Going Postal: Rage, Murder, and Rebellion by Mark Ames
The Heroes of Googley Woogley by Dalton James
The Letter by Richard Paul Evans
Naked Pictures of Famous People by Jon Stewart
An Ornithologist's Guide to Life by Ann Hood
Politics in Compassion by Jack Schauer
The Price of Silence by Deborah Ross
R is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
Sea Wrack by Edward Jesby
South-Sea Idyls Charles Warren Stoddard
Sparks: How Parents Can Ignite the Hidden Strengths of Teenagers by Peter L. Benson
Stratosphere by Henry Garfield
The Take-Us by John Raymond Takacs
The Three Incestuous Sisters by Audrey Niffenegger
Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa
The Silent Man by Alex Berenson
Ulysses by James Joyce
Vigilante Witch Hunter by Gary Turcotte
Voices Under Berlin by THE Hill
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry
Women in Business by Patricia Annino
The World I Never Made by James LePore



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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8



Comments for An Ornithologist's Guide to Life

The Ornithologist's Guide to LifeAn Ornithologist's Guide to Life: 06/22/09

The dedication to An Ornithologist's Guide to Life makes me tear up whenever I read it but it's important for putting the stories in context. The dedication reads: In loving memory of my daughter Gracie Belle / September 24, 1996-April 18, 2002.

The short stories in An Ornithologist's Guide to Life share the theme of family and loss. They aren't all about death and they aren't all about mothers and children but there is always a need for an intimate connection (through family, friendship, love) and a loss (either feared or actual).

Ann Hood creates memorable characters who linger longer after their stories end. There's a alcoholic woman who seduces a reverend nine years her junior and takes him spelunking. In another one, a pregnant woman recently separated from her husband bakes beautiful deserts to keep herself sane but doesn't eat what she creates. There is a friendship ended over an unwanted pregnancy. And so forth.

With the exception of one story, "Inside Gorbachev's Head" I enjoyed the book, connected with the characters and experienced the wide range of emotions that come with life. "Inside Gorbachev's Head" knocked me out of the moment though. It's the story of now grown children learning the truth behind the parties that went on in their home and next door. It's a much angrier and sensationalist piece than the other ones and it just doesn't seem to fit.

Despite the one disappointing story, I rated the book five out of five on GoodReads. It's a book that will stick with me and that I will consider giving as a gift in the future.

If you've reviewed this book on your blog, let me know and I will link to it.

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Comment #1: Tuesday, June, 23, 2009 at 22:59:34

Vasilly

I have this on my TBR list. I discovered Ann Hood last year and read her memoir, Comfort, about the death of her daughter. It was beautiful and so honest about grief. I currently have The Knitting Circle by Hood on my shelf to read.

Thanks for reminding me about this wonderful writer.



Comment #2: Thursday, June 25, 2009 at 21:16:43

Pussreboots

I will keep Comfort in mind for future reading.