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Peggy Vincent's Profile

Customer Reviews: 1216
Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,862
Helpful Votes: 15899


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Reviews Written by
Peggy Vincent "author and reader" RSS Feed (Oakland, CA)

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Martin Marten: A Novel
Martin Marten: A Novel
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Another 5-star winner, May 21, 2016
Brian Doyle...same guy who wrote Mink River, which is one of my all-time favorite books.
EXCELLENT
Like Mink River, it takes a little while to 'get it,' to let the flow of the writing and the oddness of the style and the uniqueness of the characters grab you, but grab you the book does, in spades.
It tells the parallel coming-of-age stories of a boy (Dave) and a marten (Martin) entering adolescence in a teeny town on Oregon's Mt. Hood.
A touch of magical realism, like his other books...just the right amount.
Lyrical, loving, a sense of community, goodness, appreciation for all things animate and inanimate, absolutely gorgeous writing.
I was so very, very sorry to see this book come to an end.


Sihpromatum - Backpacks and Bra Straps
Sihpromatum - Backpacks and Bra Straps
Price: $6.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 15-yo girl on 4-year backpacking trip around world, April 6, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is the 2nd book of the series, and I wish I'd started w the first one.
However, Backpacks and Bra Straps can be read as a stand-alone book. You gain enough insight into the family dynamics to realize that a messy divorce has taken place, and Mom has hauled her 15-yo daughter (the author) out of school to backpack as long as they can make their money last - which turns out to be 4 years. Also along for the ride are an older brother and sister (and briefly a friend of the middle child). The brother, Ammon, is the navigator and primary decision-maker about travel details.
This is an amazing mother...I would REALLY like to read HER story!
Savannah is a good writer, and her youth shines through as she is somewhat reluctantly dragged through a few of the 'stan countries, Russia, China, and ultimately Tibet/Nepal where the 5 hike above EBC (Everest Base Camp) in darkness to watch the sunrise behind the great mountain.
Complaining, laughing, eating weird and repetitious food, dealing w the inevitable tummy/bathroom - squat toilet issues, moldy blankets in rooms of yak dunk or communal dormitories...adventures aplenty.
I'll read the other two books, for sure!


The Island
The Island
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $10.74

4.0 out of 5 stars good read., April 6, 2016
This review is from: The Island (Kindle Edition)
Historical fiction is a fascinating way to allow oneself to be spoonfed history without actually having to read a history book, and The Island was no exception.
It's a very loose story of a mismatched couple and a mother of the woman in the couple who has never shared her Greek past with her daughter.
7/8 of the book, perhaps more, is the story of that missing piece of history: around the time of the Second World War, leprosy struck two women, a mother and daughter, about 20 years apart. They were banished to Spinalonga, a small leper colony off the coast of Crete (which was in operation from the Twenties to the Fifties, when it was closed because a cure for the disease having been found. The book is primarily a fictional imagining of their not-horrible life on that island.
Other tragedies struck the family as well: adultery, murder...
I found the beginning and ending sections contrived, as if the author felt it necessary to ground the book in the current time frame...and I could have done without it.
Otherwise, good read.


Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe
Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe
by Bill Bryson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.26
366 used & new from $0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars not the best of his, April 6, 2016
Okay...not the best of his.
Sometimes he seems to be pushing the exaggeration, and perhaps this is one of those times.
Still, his sense of humor, his love of people, adventure, and life, and his ability to stand aside and see things from his own unique perspective shines through.


U is for Undertow: A Kinsey Millhone Novel
U is for Undertow: A Kinsey Millhone Novel
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm..., March 29, 2016
This one was great...until it wasn't.
I was about 25 pages from the end, wondering how she could wrap things up so neatly...and the answer is: she didn't.
The ending was foreordained from about the mid-point, but abrupt and clumsy in its rendering... with Millhone having not much to do with the downplayed finale at all.
And I see virtually no tie to the title, which is highly unusual for this author.
Not my fave.


Lizzie's War: A Novel (Plus)
Lizzie's War: A Novel (Plus)
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $6.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and honest...and so well-written., March 28, 2016
Farrington's ability to write inside the head of many disparate characters makes me green with envy. Ditto for his terrific dialogue.
I am so happy to have discovered this author and his talented writing.
Every character is finely drawn, realistically portrayed with warts and flaws included...ranging from a Marine under fire in Vietnam, his pregnant wife (Lizzie) and 4 kids left at home, and the local priest who is wrestling with his own demons.
The era, late Sixties, is beautifully rendered it all its complexity.
Love, birth, life, death, guilt, longing, doubt, faith...it's all there.


Night Heron
Night Heron
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Dry-mouthed here, after reading the final 40-ish pages, March 19, 2016
This review is from: Night Heron (Kindle Edition)
Yikes...!!!
One of the most gripping spy novels I've ever read.
An escaped prisoner spent 20 years in what amounts to a Chinese gulag...escapes, and threatens an old accomplice, now highly placed in Chinese politics, w exposure unless he releases some documents that will enable the escaped prisoner to broker a deal w British Intelligence to get him out of China.
Then there is Mangan, a journalist, unwillingly forced into the role as middleman.
7/8 of the book is riveting setup for the final 1/8...the details (harrowing) of their attempted escape.
Yowzers!!!


God Loves Haiti: A Novel
God Loves Haiti: A Novel
by Dimitry Elias Léger
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.64
83 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars I would read it again. In fact, I probably will., March 19, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Debut novel, based on fact (the devastating earthquake in Haiti; the names of the past presidents; events after the quake; geographical accuracy), this story of the star-crossed lives of 3 people (the president, his wife, and her lover) is followed in minute detail.
The whole story leads up to the central issue: will Natasha stay with her husband or seek out/find/reunite w her lover. The answer is unexpected.
Exquisite writing with many moments of levity, probably mirroring the attitude of the Haitian people throughout time, as well as during the immediate aftermath of the quake that reduced the capital city and much of the surrounding parts of the island with such devastation that the dead numbered around 200,000 and were carried to mass burials in dump trucks and bucket loaders.
While the book is not magical realism, there is something in the style of writing and the weaving in and out of time that reminds me of some of the best of that genre.
Incandescent writing.
Many unforgettable characters.
Enchanting epilogue.
I would even read this book again.


Room
Room
by Emma Donoghue
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.69
350 used & new from $0.13

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping...hold onto your hats there in the middle, March 14, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Room (Paperback)
Just saw the movie last night, so i checked: sure enough, I never wrote a review of the book.
I thought it was a brilliantly successful to tell a terrible story in the voice of an innocent child who has lived all 5 years of his life w his young kidnapped mother in a locked garden shed w a skylight.
His whole world is inside those 4 walls.
I won't say more for fear of spoiling this excellent story for those who haven't read it yet...
But I've gotta say it has one of the scariest scenes ever written...so much so that I asked my husband to come sit with me while I got through it.
Tour de force writing.


Pharmax - HLC Immunity + Pro - 30 Sachets
Pharmax - HLC Immunity + Pro - 30 Sachets
Offered by We've Got You covered
Price: $22.46
13 used & new from $22.46

3.0 out of 5 stars Meh, March 12, 2016
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My husband swears by this stuff.
It doesn't do anything for me.


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