August Book Review Wrap Up

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly features.

Authors, are you interested in having your book reviewed? Visit Book Reviews and complete the form at the bottom of the page. Interested in an interview about your work? Visit Interviews to complete the form. Requests receive a response within 48 hours.


This page contains affiliate links. This means for any purchases made, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.


Red Winter

By: Kyra Kaptzan Robinov     

Nikolaevsk-on-Amur was a peaceful, frozen hamlet in Eastern Siberia, isolated from the rest of Russia and its political unrest. Until the winter of 1920, when Bolsheviks found their way into the town, arresting opposition party members, business owners, foreigners, and Jews. This idyllic village was suddenly turned into a war zone. Ilya, a well-known and respected newspaper editor and lawyer is among those arrested and imprisoned, leaving his wife, Luba, alone to defend the lives of their young children and that of his mother.

Luba’s story is nothing short of heroic as she finds her life of comfort and privilege turned upside down when her home is billeted by Bolshevik invaders, making a mess of the home and laying waste to her family’s winter provisions. Seeking help from what friends remain to her, she is forced to hide her family in pigsties, an opium den, and an abandoned warehouse.

This work of historical fiction is based on the author’s own family history. The fictional character, Luba, was based on her grandmother, who survived the Russian revolution.

Luba’s tenacity and resourcefulness are really incredible. Living in a household with her domineering mother-in-law, who still very much takes charge of the day to day running of their household, with the assistance of servants who are tasked with preparing meals, cleaning, and caring for her children, Luba is able to live something of a charmed life. Her transition in the wake of the Bolsheviks invading her town and her home, is really remarkable. When faced with such challenging circumstances, she shows unbelievable strength.

I’ll close by saying I enjoyed the author’s use of vivid imagery and careful attention to historical accuracy. This is well-worth adding to your reading list.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Advertisements

A Place of Exodus

By David Biespiel

In A Place of Exodus, author David Biespiel shares the story of his experience growing up in a tightly knit Jewish community outside of Houston, Texas. But an argument with his rabbi causes him to move away from his idyllic childhood community. The book explores Biespiel’s journey as a self-proclaimed “retired” Jew and the many ways it shaped his understanding of home.

Biespiel’s exploration of the meaning of home gives the reader a lot to consider. Is home something that exists in time or in space? I found his discussion on how his own experience of leaving the place of his childhood to then frequently move over the next several years and how that experienced shaped his understanding of home really thought provoking.

The use of vivid language paints a beautiful picture of the Jewish experience of Biespiel’s childhood and youth. Anyone who has ever experienced a crisis of faith will find this story easily relatable.

Overall, I found this a captivating and multifaceted story told in beautiful prose. A Place of Exodus: Home, Memory, and Texas is scheduled for release on September 30th.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Become a Subscriber

New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List!


Floating in the Neversink

By: Andrea Simon

In Floating in the Neversink, author Andrea Simon transports her readers to 1950s Brooklyn where we meet 9-year-old Amanda Gerber. Mandy, as she’s known to her friends and family, is faced with a summer away from her best friend, Francine as her family heads to her grandmother’s summer home in the Catskills. Mandy finds solace in being able to spend her time with her favorite cousin, Laura.

Simon creates a coming of age story while exploring the Jewish experience in the mid-1950s to early 60s. The story weaves together a colorful and tumultuous cast of characters in the Gerber extended family. With the story being told from the viewpoint of a child, she’s often shielded from her family history, which means so is the reader, creating an element of mystery to the story. This is a story is a balance of love, friendship, and self-discovery with some darker moments physical abuse and mental illness.

This is a beautifully written, well-paced read.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Art of Tea Organics
Can’t Stop the Funk: A Cadillac Holland Mystery

By: H. Max Hiller

Can’t Stop the Funk is book three of four in the Cadillac Holland Mystery series. This installment is set in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Someone is making offers to homeowners, seeking to buy up homes built by the Make it Right Foundation. But something about the offers isn’t right. Enter Detective “Cadillac” Holland to seek out who is behind the offers and get justice in case of unethical real estate dealings.

This is my first book by H. Max Hiller. The story paints a realistic picture of rampant corruption in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The characters are well-developed and the story is well-paced. I found the story a compelling read that really kept my attention. While part of a series, I didn’t find that not having read the earlier books in the series in anyway took away from my ability to follow and enjoy the narrative.

If you enjoy crime fiction, this belongs on your reading list.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Need a Review?

Are you an authority with a book you’d like to submit for review? Please visit Contact Me and submit your details.

More Titles for Your TBR Pile

March Book Reviews

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

April Book Reviews

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

May Book Reviews

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

June Book Review Wrap Up

So many books, so little time! I am an avid reader and love to share recommendations with fellow readers. My choice in books tend to vary by my mood but some of my favorites are mystery, suspense, thriller, and humor. Get my reviews direct to your inbox every Wednesday and check back here for monthly […]

10 Books for Your Summer Reading List

“Summertime and the living is easy” Trying to figure out your summer reading list for time spent by the pool? I’ve put together a list of 10 of my favorite reads to help get you started. These are in no particular order and all come from my Ultimate Reading List. Need more suggestions? New subscribers […]

The Ultimate 100 Book Reading Challenge

Are you ready for the challenge? I have been hard at work on editing Ruth Long, Age 88 and writing the 99 cent double feature. My new favorite editing tool is the read aloud feature in Word. I have to say there is something hilarious about hearing a Stephen Hawking -esc voice reading Ruth Long, […]


Cup of Tea?

Need something warm and comforting to sip one while you’re reading? Visit my friends at Art of Tea!

Loose Leaf Tea Gift Set Tea Gifts by Art of Tea Art of Tea Organics
Pin it
Art of Tea Organics

Become a Subscriber

New subscribers receive a free download of my Ultimate Reading List!

2 Comments on “August Book Review Wrap Up”

  1. My book just came out. How do I have it reviewed? Is called REFLECTIONS FROM A GLASS HOUSE: A Memoir of Mid-Century Modern Mayhem.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: