Category Archives: Reason: LitHub Bingo

Journey by James A. Michener

Just before the turn of the century gold was discovered in the Klondike. Journey tells the tale of a group of Englishmen plus one Irishman as they attempt to take an all-Canadian route rather than go through Alaska to find gold. Ill-prepared, they experience many hardships along the way. As with all Michener novels, sometimes you aren’t sure if it really is fiction or actually non-fiction because of the way he wrote. Even though it’s fiction, I still learned a lot about that gold rush. I recommend this book to historical fiction that is heavy on the historical fans.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 100
Pages Read in 2019: 25,574
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Historical Fiction, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Juniper by Kelley and Tom French

Juniper French was born at just 23 weeks 6 days after a placental abruption. This book is the story of her many months in the NICU, full of triumphs and setbacks, combined with a lot of thoughts and feelings from her parents as they tell it in alternating chapters. Both of her parents were journalists and so they easily wove facts and statistics in among the terror, grief, excitement, and love they went through having such a tiny, sick baby. I enjoyed the book a lot. It was very well-written and even knowing that Juniper survived, I was completely engaged wondering what she would have to overcome next. I recommend it to anyone who likes memoirs.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 99
Pages Read in 2019: 25,373
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Memoir, Reason: LitHub Bingo

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

Upton Sinclair intended to show the plight of poor immigrants, but instead he brought the disgusting things that ended up in food processed in meat packing plants at the turn of the century to the public consciousness. Things changed (such as the Pure Food and Drug Act), but not what Sinclair had intended or hoped. The story itself follows an extended family of Lithuanian immigrants, particularly Jurgis, the man at the head of the family. Jurgis works in meat packing, loses his wife and child, lives as a hobo, discovers his wife’s cousin has become a drug-addicted prostitute due to their circumstances, ends up in jail more than once, becomes a scab and then a socialist, and so much more. Basically, if it could happen to a poor immigrant, it happened to Jurgis. It is an interesting view of that time period and shows how poor immigrants, like now, have always been looked down on and willing to take jobs most people won’t just to survive. I enjoyed reading it a lot right up until the socialist diatribe of the last two or three chapters. Then it just became a lecture, which makes some sense since it was originally published as a serial in a socialist publication and Sinclair himself was a socialist. I recommend reading The Jungle to all adults (though you really won’t miss anything if you just skim the last couple chapters).

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 98
Pages Read in 2019: 25,064
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Classic, Reason: LitHub Bingo

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

Covering his first two years as a vet from the time he arrived to work for an established vet until he got married, All Creatures Great and Small reads like a collection of short stories, sometimes about life in Yorkshire and sometimes about attending animals. The pace is slow, really helping to get the a feeling of life on the early mid-1900s English countryside. It’s an enjoyable book, I only wish he had been a little heavier on the veterinary part of his life. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading about animals.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 97
Pages Read in 2019: 24,807
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Memoir, Reason: LitHub Bingo

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

I’m really at a loss as to why this is such a beloved book to so many people. I found it boring and uninteresting. There were bits here and there that were captivating, but not very many. I just plain didn’t enjoy it. I don’t recommend spending the time it takes to read The Wind in the Willows. There are so many better books out there just waiting to be read.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 96
Pages Read in 2019: 24,350
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Classic, Reason: LitHub Bingo

Good Man, Dalton by Karen McQuestion

Good Man, Dalton begins with two very different stories that eventually converge in a fantastic way. It’s very much a story of “things are not always as they seem,” particularly on the internet. The author is able to hit you right in the feels like John Green, but without the heart in a blender pain typical of John Green. Once I got about 2/3 of the way through, I could not put it down. The ending is predictable, but it’s predictable in all the best ways, ending exactly how I hoped it would. I highly recommend this book!

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 95
Pages Read in 2019: 24,159
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Realistic Fiction, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: LitHub Bingo

The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs

A little bit creepy. That’s the best description of The Darkdeep. A foggy island, four kids, a weird pool in the basement of a houseboat, and something that reads your mind and makes your worst nightmare pop into existence. At times, the story lags and gets repetitive, but it certainly keeps you reading because, seriously, what the heck is the Darkdeep (not to mention the thing in the jar and why are there slugs all over the secret room… so many questions). I recommend this book to middle grade kids and whole families. It would make an excellent read-aloud.

4 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 94
Pages Read in 2019: 23,891
Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks (more book reviews!)

Leave a comment

Filed under Middle Grades, Reason: I Like the Author, Reason: LitHub Bingo