My Reviews

Reviews (from most recent):

Heir to a Secret by Melina Richarz Lyons

Heir to a secretHeir to a Secret is the story of a woman who loses her husband suddenly, her reactions and road to recovery. Since the author has written a memoir about this very subject, it is a very believable story. It covers the grief process, the stages that must be experienced before healing is possible.

It’s a book about grief, mystery, friendship and love after a certain age. Addison Cameron is cleaning out… Read more…

 

Crossing the Minefield by Melinda Richarz Lyons

Crossing the Minefield

Crossing the Minefield is a handbook for anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one. It is a non-fiction account of the author’s experience with the sudden death of her husband. One day he simply didn’t wake up. This is my personal worst nightmare, so I was very moved by her story.

The author is a Baby Boomer from Texas. Her husband was only 56 when he passed away. She didn’t expect this to happen… Read more…

 

The Sweet Charm of Distance by Jared Glovsky

TheSweetCharmofDistanceThe Sweet Charm of Distance is what I think of when I hear the term “Boomer Lit”. The combination of the then story and the now story along with the proper amount of nostalgia thrown in is everything boomer lit should be. The writing style is complex, rich in descriptive language, though not overly so, and well-organized even as the author switches time periods from chapter to chapter. I found myself wishing each successive chapter would continue… Read more…

 

Another Vanishing Act by Pasquale Russo

Another Vanishing ActAnother Vanishing Act is a comedic look at a retirement home and the funny characters who live there. I enjoyed the descriptions of the characters and their obsessions. The petty worries and complaints, which made the job of the all-around, do-everything guy, Dan, extremely trying at times. Add to that the evil-doers, bumblers though they all were, and you’ve got a novel packed with some pretty well-defined and funny characters and situations. Read more…

 

Amazing Offers by Eldo St. David

Amazing OffersThis is a gem of a book. It takes place in the fifties and the nostalgia of that time, the appliances, the cars, the decor of the houses, the TV sets (and especially what was on them), coupled with the attitudes of most people during that time was perfect. It’s the tale of Blanche and Mervyn, Harriet and Harvey, and Errol, Blanche’s son. Errol is a disabled boy who doesn’t speak quite right and has trouble with one of his legs. Read more…

 

Cape Maybe by Carol Fragale Brill

Cape MaybeThis is the second novel by Carol Fragale Brill that I have read and reviewed. It’s the story of a young girl, who has lost her father, and eventually loses her mother to alcoholism and addiction. The story follows the path of Katie from pre-adolescence until she is a young woman. It’s a beautifully written account of Katie’s quest for stability in her life after her father dies and her mother spirals downward. Read more…

 

The Boundary Wall at Kana aho by Eldo St. David

The Boundary Walls at KanaahoI was drawn to the subject matter of this novel, being interested in baby boomer literature and the Viet Nam war. It tells the story of a veteran, suffering from PTSD who arrives in Hawaii after being discharged and stays there for the next forty years. It’s raw in spots, as it tells what Ground Chuck did in Viet Nam and what it’s like to be homeless. …Read more…

 

 

Galt’s Gulch by Wolf DeVoon

Galts GulchIt’s not clear whether this reviewer should even attempt to critique this collection of very smart, thought-provoking essays by Wolf DeVoon. I found myself overwhelmed with legalese and not retaining a lot of the facts I read, but many of the ideas I did understand, I agree with. Not all, but many… Read more…

 

 

The Promise of Provence by Patricia Sands

the promise of provencePart travelog, part romance and part good character-driven women’s fiction, this is the story of Katherine, whose husband leaves her abruptly in the first chapter. The story continues for approximately that one year after Katherine and James split up. Katherine loses her marriage, her mother and her job in that time frame. So she has some healing to do.

In parts, I really didn’t know what would happen next, and I like it when that happens. Read more…

 

Blue Coyote Motel by Dianne Harman

Blue Coyote MotelThe cover on this novel is perfect. It is an unusual premise, that of a rather mad scientist who might have been a Nobel Prize winner if he hadn’t strayed from the legalities of his position as a research scientist for a drug company, which causes his termination as an employee. He concocts a feel-good drug which will drive away all the despair, angst and unhappiness from anyone who uses it and tests his creation on a few unsuspecting overnight guests at the Blue Coyote Motel. Read more…

 

Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer by Marsha Roberts

Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby BoomerThe use of the word “parable” in the title, is very apt. It’s what I took away from this collection of stories about the author’s life, that the stories were parables, in that they are inspirational and there is much use of symbolism to represent a concrete narrative. I always believed that God is less hands-on than Ms. Roberts, but who am I to say what is the truth and what is not? It works for her. These stories teach that miracles really do happen. Read more…

 

The Courage to Surrender by John W

The Courage To SurrenderThe Courage to Surrender by John W is an honest and compelling account of decades of alcoholism and drug addiction and the ultimate recovery and sobriety of the author. It is the wish of the author to remain anonymous in order to protect those closest to him, but it is also his wish that his story might be of help to others facing the same challenges. I believe every word this author wrote; it is compelling, and sometimes difficult, to absorb. Read more…

 

Peace by Piece by Carol Fragale Brill

Peace by PiecePeace by Piece by Carol Fragale Brill, is an introspective look at first love and the choices we make. It is told in first person, present tense and there is a surreal, almost haunting quality to the prose. The character is fragile; introverted and unsure of herself, and suffers from anorexia and bulimia. She appears to have low self-image, yet, the reader knows this is without basis.

It’s a character-driven novel with a good story. Maggie sees something, makes assumptions. Read more…

 

The Prince Charming Hoax by Elyse Grant (Shelley Lieber)

ThePrinceCharmingHoaxThe main character in The Prince Charming Hoax switches from authoring a self-help book to a novel, and that might be what happened with this book by Elyse Grant (Shelley Lieber). It’s a story about two friends who just want a stable relationship in their lives, one more stable than the other. It is filled with erotic sex scenes, which is what many readers like and I thought they were pretty well-done without being over-the-top. I would have been
happier with a little less detail but that is a personal preference. Read more…

Goodbye Emily by Michael Murphy

Goodbye EmilyGoodbye Emily is 100% Boomer Lit. What could be more a symbol of our generation than Woodstock, which is where Walter aka Sparky met his wife, Emily. He was there at the festival with his two good friends from high school, Buck and Josh, and together the three of them formed The Buck Naked Band. The references to music are priceless, and made me want to find some of those sixties rock songs again and download them. What a great time it was, and this novel recaptures all of that. The author is a boomer himself so I’m sure he remembers it well. Read more…

 

Don’t Tell Anyone by Laurie Boris

Dont Tell AnyoneOnce in a while, a book comes along that you don’t want to put down. You think to yourself, just one more chapter, or one more section, then I’ll stop for a while and do what I have to do. Such was the case with Don’t Tell Anyone by Laurie Boris. I am glad I got to read this book. It’s about a family; two brothers, a woman who loves (or loved) both of the brothers, a 65-year-old mom with terminal breast cancer, and a friend. It’s told from different POV’s but mostly it’s Liza’s story. Read more…

 

The Varmits by Ted Coonfield

The VarmitsThe Varmits is a memoir which covers approximately two years of the author’s life. It is a frank account of the time he spent there, living at The Country Place which is a farm  he rented/cared for while the owners toured South America. Here he meets up with The Varmits, a group of southern Ohio good old boys who like to play softball, drink beer and get high. Even though the author is involved in higher academics, he fits in with this group just fine.

The author tells his story well, I got a true sense of what was happening in those hills during that time. Read more…

 

Confessions of a Predatory Lender by Irma Fritz

Confessions of a Predatory LenderWith the real estate market decline behind us, as well as the sub-prime mortgage debacle, this makes for a very interesting read as to how it all happened. Having had background in the banking industry myself, I found this to  a be a factual account of how it happened, or could have happened. Interwoven into a good story about a young woman who climbs the career ladder a couple of rungs at a time, is a lot of fun business speak, and office politics galore. Read more…

 

Conversations with Mom by Betsy Robinson

Conversations with MomThe book consists of a series of letters written by the author to her mother, who has been dead for many years, and some very insightful answers back. The letters tell the story of the author struggling with unemployment, while enjoying the freedom it gives her. Still she feels she should work, and she has a lot of other questions she hopes her mother might answer.

The author, Betsy Robinson, has worked in many diverse areas, from an actress and playwright, to an editor and author. Read more…

 

The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club by Duncan Whitehead

GordonstonThe novel begins with a very intriguing chapter, a prologue, which is a great hook. Without spoilers, some unknown person is about to do something, well, pretty nasty to someone else. Then the book takes off and the characters of Carla and Cindy are particularly amusing as they both plot to become attached to the neighborhood’s latest widower, even before the sad event, the death of one of the club members, has taken place. The book goes on to describe more characters that live around the park where everyone walks the dog, and they are all interesting, all well-described and all different, such that it was easy to remember a fairly large cast. Read more…

 

The Writers Conferenc by Marian D. Schwartz

The Writers ConferenceI finished The Writers Conference by Marian D. Schwartz yesterday. I read everything this author writes. I like her style and her characters, and most of all her stories.  This novel is about a yearly writing conference which occurs in Western New York each August. I know this area well, as I was brought up there. I know how beautiful it is, and the descriptions of the scenery was accurate, and nicely expressed. Read more…

 

The Crone Club by S.V. Peddle

The Crone ClubThe novel begins with several women gathered together for a school reunion, and the subsequent club (The Crone Club) which they form, in order to remain in contact. The Crone Club demands of its members that each woman have a dream and a challenge, state what each is, and take steps to realize both. The premise of the book is to follow a few of the women through as they come to realize their potential and reinvent themselves in their sixties. The main character, Cass, is the one with the most to gain as she is in an abusive marriage, and has given up her hope of playing the piano and performing pieces she has written to an audience. Read more…

 

Pieces of a Puzzle by Jenny Gill

imagesThis is the story of a woman who goes to the kitchen to finish up dinner, leaving her husband in the living room, and when she returns he is gone. This was an immediate hook for me. It sounded interesting, the sudden missing husband. The sections jumped around in time, which at first seemed confusing, but I got used to that and once I remembered the time frames, it was easy to know what was happening in the life of the heroine. Read more…

 

Incomplete Passes by Linda Lange

9781462033737_cover.inddIncomplete Passes is a memoir which chronicles the author’s friendship with three other women, and their love of the Green Bay Packers. I learned more about the Pack than I would have believed possible and was surprised to discover how much the female gender could become obsessed by football. Or was it the football players?

The author of this delightful book is Linda Lange. Read more…

 

A Stop in the Park by Peggy Strack

A Stop in the ParkThis is the story of a man who had been told by his father what he should want in his life. It had been drilled into him so often that he took for granted, that he must be successful in business, and with that would come financial rewards. Such is the meaning of life. But what about what he, Michael Stolis wanted to do? These are the questions Michael is forced to confront throught this thought-provoking novel. It is a subject which interests a lot of people. How to have a fulfilling life, and enjoy what you do, rather that putting up with a stressful or unrewarding career for the sake of a predetermined set of rules. Read More…

 

Realities by Marian Schwartz

Realities

The most interesting thing about this novel was that it had no chapters, but was an ongoing series of letters written by a woman, Jenny, to her dead husband. I had never seen this before, and if someone had described it, I would have thought it didn’t sound like something which would appeal to me but in fact, it was very effective. Read more…

 

Better Off Without Him by Dee Ernst

Better Off Without HimEven though this plotline has been done before, it is rarely done with the humor of this book. Brian is the evil husband who drops the D-word bomb, just after  Mona and he have just discussed the most recent plumbing problem in their old  house. Mona is stunned by this announcement, but the way it was delivered made  me wonder about Brian. Was he always this crass, or is it his way of dealing  with a very difficult situation, the demise of a marriage? Read more…

 

I.O.U. Sex by Sandra Nachlinger

IOU SexThe story of three women who wanted to, but didn’t, have sex with their high school boyfriends. This is a subject matter which interests me greatly, the  taboos and inhibitions we were subjected to in the sixties. Here they are forty years later, reading old diaries and remembering what it was like back then, and regretting their parts in causing the frustration the guys must have felt. In a rather drunken moment, they decide that each of them will go back and try to find the old boyfriend and offer to deliver the goods, if possible. That’s the first chapter. Read more…

 

The Advantages of Being an Introvert in an Extrovert World by Alicia Keyes

The Advantage of Being an IntrovertA guide for us introverts, explaining the difference, and how we can cope and how we can compete in a world that seems geared towards extroverts. It’s short, to the point, with a lot of good ideas and some things I never thought of. How introverts are internal thinkers and extroverts are external doers. It is a simplistic, yet helpful guide, for how introverts might overcome the trauma of networking, which is something I, personally, hate to do. But sometimes it is absolutely necessary in order to be successful. This book instructs little ways to cheat a little and get the most out of your networking time. Read more…

 

Goodbye Junie Moon by June Collins

Goodbye Junie MoonThis is the memoir of a whistle-blower. I always admire people who can do this; take risks because they believe in what they are doing, exposing something they feel is just not right. This book is the story of one such whistle-blower, who  exposed corruption during the Vietnam war. The war wasn’t bad enough for this country; we lost 50,000 young men, yet some didn’t want the war to ever end because it was, in effect, a cash cow. A certain group made lots of money by organizing and demanding kickbacks for anyone who was part of the effort to provide badly-needed entertainment to the soldiers. Read more…

 

The Last Season by Marian Schwartz

The Last SeasonThis is the story of Buddy and Ginger’s marriage and two things that happened at about the same time, which caused a huge rift to occur between them. In the beginning, I thought their’s was a successful marriage but the author left subtle hints about what might not be quite right with it. I liked it that she did that, I thought the show don’t tell in this novel was spot on. The characters were well-developed and believable, and the problems they faced could happen to any couple. Read more…

 

There is no Otherwise by Ardin Lalui

There is no OtherwiseI loved the slow, easy pace of this short story, the way the characters were developed, the back story. It was uplifting, in that JP, at sixteen, does what he has to do and the reader knows what kind of man he will become. Not my usual genre either, but the author’s voice came through in such a forthright manner that I look forward to more stories by this author.

 

Jimmy Lagowski Saves the World by Pat Pujolas

Jimmy Lagowski Saves the WorldI found a review of this book on publishers Weekly, who had starred it as a particularly good book. Since I was considering submitting my book to PW for review, I wanted to know, what kind of book would be considered starable? I found out. Not sure I can compete but this book was immensely readable, and as all the other reviews here have stated, the way the stories interrelated was very cleverly done. I recommend this collection/novel to anyone, it was great!

 

On Thin Ice by Johanna van Zanten

On Thin IceOn Thin Ice is a very interesting collection of stories about one character (Adrienne) which take place in the time span of forty years or so. This is always interesting to me, because I enjoy baby boomer stories of the sixties and how various authors depict them. I sensed that the stories might be autobiographical in nature, since the author seemed to have an in-depth knowledge of all the subjects. The stories, while not being strictly chronological, dealt with a crisis or a phase in Adrienne’s life. Read more…

 

The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin

The Seneca ScourgeThis is a new medical thriller just out last week. I read it in just a few days, and if I could have read as much as I really wanted to during that time, I would have completed it even sooner. It’s a page-turner, an exciting, never-a-dull-moment story, of a deadly form of virus rapidly claiming victims by turning their lungs into useless tissue. Each patient has a set amount of time before succumbing so there is a sense of urgency to find a cure when it becomes clear that what is being dealt with is a pandemic. Read more…

 

An Unexpected Twist by Andy Borowitz

An Unexpected TwistI read whatever Andy Borowitz writes. His political humor is without rival, and this short book is a funny approach to an extremely serious problem.

It made me realize that anything can happen — to anyone, at any time. Good lesson here, to appreciate each day.

 

Sidereal Days by Earl McElfresh

Sidereal DaysSidereal Days is the story of a rock and roll group, The Sparrows, who started out together in the early sixties when the four members were in high school. It was a garage band at first, but the more they played, the more they wanted to play, and the better they became. In a sense, this first book (there are two more books that continue the saga of the Sparrows) is a coming-of-age story told in a low-key humorous way that I found very compelling. Read more…

One thought on “My Reviews

  1. Hi Lynn,

    How would you feel about doing a review of my next book, soon to be (self-) published, with the title Losing Dad, Finding Dad. As you see I kept the working title. I will attend the San Francisco writers conference in February and will have some printed books by that time, hopefully. I would email the ms to you.
    Thanks for considering,
    warm regards,
    Johanna

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