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Peggy Vincent "author and reader" RSS Feed (Oakland, CA)
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My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur
My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family, and Big Sur
Price: $7.99

5.0 out of 5 stars is pretty much the center of the Big Sur World, February 23, 2015
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Quirky Big Sur draws me into its isolated California charm, and Nepenthe, with its unique history, is pretty much the center of the Big Sur World.
This book is a paean of love written by a woman who was fortunate enough to spend her childhood in residence at Nepenthe, when her grandmother owned and ran the place.
There are some good recipes scattered throughout, as well as quite a bit of family history, but mostly, it's just a lovely homage to a Different World from the one we live in today.
Relax, and enjoy the ride!


Fourth of July Creek
Fourth of July Creek
Offered by HarperCollins Publishers
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Not one character is without a flaw...just as is true in real life, February 16, 2015
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Honestly, this book knocked my socks off.
Set in mostly in Montana, it follows a rumpled, seriously flawed, often drunk, empathetic social worker who, in spite of his own "issues," takes his job more than seriously, esp when he encounters a barefoot kid WAY back in the mountains who is the product of a strung-out, completely nutso survivalist, a Bible-literalist guy w a submissive/evangelical wife and a passel of malnourished children.
And then there is his runaway daughter, a girl he tracks throughout 2 states in his "spare" time.
It's a big book in every way: it's long, it's deep, and it's wide.
The ending is not happily-ever-after...but it's good enough to satisfy, and it's definitely believable.


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading, February 16, 2015
Should be required reading, esp for those over about age 50.
If all doctors had Gawande's breadth of knowledge, intellect, wisdom, and understanding, we would have better health care in the USA, and the world would be a better place.


The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Way more than a Young Adult novel, February 16, 2015
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Lovedlovedloved it!
To classify it as Young Adult or Coming-of-Age is to do this book an injustice.
It's funny, beautiful, heartbreaking.
While the end is inevitable, at no point did I want to stop reading.
The movie is pretty good, too.


The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction)
Offered by Hachette Book Group
Price: $11.89

5.0 out of 5 stars Mouth-wateringly yummy, February 16, 2015
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This book captivated me from the first page.
It has something for people of all ages: teenager angst, adult responsibility (and irresponsibility), and elder's wisdom.
Beautiful writing, mystery, romance, and it moves many years thru time and location (NYC, CA, Europe).
This, I think, is Donna Tartt's best book. I haven't even much liked a couple of her others and was, therefore, at first reluctant to take on this tome. But I did, and I'm glad of it!


Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West (Vintage International)
Blood Meridian: Or the Evening Redness in the West (Vintage International)
Offered by Random House LLC
Price: $7.99

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars lordy..., February 16, 2015
Oh, lord, I kept waitingwaitingwaitingwaiting for the effing STORY to start, but it was just savagery and gore and dismemberment and torture and killing all the way to the end. Everything died: mules, horses, chickens, plants, rivers, snakes, babies, toddlers, boys, girls, women, men, ranchhands, bartenders, cowboys, good guys, bad guys...No real plot. Just carnage.
I still can't believe I actually finished it. At several spots, when I just couldn't take it any more, I skimmed about 50+ pages...but nothing had changed: just more death and blood.
OMG...really?
Just: No.


Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $8.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars say what???, February 16, 2015
It was HORRIBLE. Only thing going for it is the fantastic title (which is why I bought it).
However, I'm 72, so if you are of a significantly younger generation, you might understand and enjoy it.
For me, though, t was computer-techie-nerdy-weird-sci-fi stuff WAY OVER MY HEAD
I still can't believe it finished it. But I did...and then I threw it across the room.
A bit later, I picked it up and listed it for resale on Amazon.
It is one book I DEFINITELY have no interest in reading a 2nd time.


Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying, 3rd Edition
Final Exit: The Practicalities of Self-Deliverance and Assisted Suicide for the Dying, 3rd Edition
by Derek Humphry
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.45
70 used & new from $5.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Important information, not easy stuff to get elsewhere, August 19, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Essential. I'm glad I'll already have it on hand when the Time comes.


Mink River
Mink River
by Brian Doyle
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.27
127 used & new from $3.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not since The Goldfinch have I loved a book this much, August 3, 2014
This review is from: Mink River (Paperback)
Not since The Goldfinch have I loved a book this much.
Sweeping 3-generational sage set in a very small coastal town in Oregon, a town originally populated by Salish (Pacific Northwest Native-American origins) people, some of whom remain.
Beautiful language with the music and lilt and cadence of the author's Irish lineage. Animistic, a tiny bit of magical realism, wise, deeply loving and hopeful.
A bit of Gaelic (with minimal translation) and Latin (also minimal translation) and a Salish word here and there.
I was hooked from the first page.
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...


Hannah, Delivered
Hannah, Delivered
by Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.40
42 used & new from $9.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another one for the bookshelves, May 3, 2014
This review is from: Hannah, Delivered (Paperback)
I read the ARC of Hannah, Delivered - and I'm honored to review it now that it's been released to the public. It's hard to believe it's not a memoir and that the author isn't even a midwife/OB nurse. It's that good.
My favorite parts were:
Hannah being enchanted w Birth in a hospital setting...and her self-doubts.
Her training experience in New Mexico. Too few midwifery tale books devote much time to the training period, and Hannah, Delivered, fills this gap. Although it is a homebirth training facility in a rural setting rather than a university MSN program, it still rings true.
Her struggles against the medical establishment; very real.
My least favorite, though interesting and mysterious, part was the issue of secrecy surrounding her own birth. I felt it was too ambiguous.
Most of all, I would have loved to read more birth stories! We birth junkies can't get enough of them.
I am asked to read/review quite a few books. I accepted this one, of course, because of the subject matter. I opened it gingerly, hopefully, w some trepidation, and after reading the first 5-6 pages, I said to my husband, "Oh, thank God! She can WRITE!" It's one thing to have a good story, but it's another to TELL a good story in a way that draws people right into the scene. Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew deliveres - in spades.


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