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K. Kahler "bibliophile73" RSS Feed (United States)

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Every Crooked Pot: A novel
Every Crooked Pot: A novel
by Renée Rosen
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.03
75 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing, skillful debut, August 3, 2007
Renee Rosen tells the story of Nina Goldman and her eccentric family with humor, grace and clear-eyed affection. I began rooting for Nina immediately (her father's antics in the very first scene are alone worth the price of admission) and by the last page I felt I was saying goodbye to a very dear friend. Every Crooked Pot is an exquisite, intimate book, and I look forward to Rosen's next.


Between, Georgia
Between, Georgia
by Joshilyn Jackson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.96
265 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put this book down..., July 26, 2007
This review is from: Between, Georgia (Paperback)
Joshilyn Jackson became one of my very favorite writers with her debut, GODS IN ALABAMA, and her second novel, BETWEEN, GEORGIA, exceeded my high expectations. She's my favorite kind of writer: funny and dark, violent and sweet--often within the very same sentence. She has a pitch-perfect ear for dialogue and for making even the most flawed characters sympathetic and real. This is a great, fast-paced, intelligent book, and I can't wait for her next!


This Is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories by America's Best Women Writers
This Is Not Chick Lit: Original Stories by America's Best Women Writers
by Elizabeth Merrick
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.00
171 used & new from $0.01

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the hype and then some, August 14, 2006
These stories are by turns insightful, poignant, fanciful, hilarious and heartbreaking. A fabulous collection that belongs on the shelf of every short story aficionado.


Water for Elephants: A Novel
Water for Elephants: A Novel
by Sara Gruen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.85
513 used & new from $0.01

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BRILLIANT portrayal of a forgotten time, June 21, 2006
Sara Gruen's gorgeous new novel, WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, unfolds as a dual narrative, alternating between Jacob Jankowski's life as a nonagenarian, and his time spent working for a ragtag Depression-era circus as a young man. The plot is captivating (I missed two meals because I didn't want to put the book down) and Gruen's writing, as always, is transcendent. She deftly evokes a fascinating period in American history that deserves to be revisited, and her characters--human and animal alike--will stay with you long after you turn the last page.


Flying Changes
Flying Changes
by Sara Gruen
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
135 used & new from $0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous follow-up to RIDING LESSONS, October 28, 2005
In Flying Changes, the sequel to debut novel Riding Lessons, Sara Gruen continues the story of Annemarie Zimmer and her headstrong daughter, Eva, who is determined to chase her dream of equestrian success despite her mother's misgivings. Again, Gruen is pitch-perfect in her portrayal of this turbulent mother-daughter dynamic, and it's a credit to the author's deft touch that the reader remains invested in her characters even when-especially when-they're behaving badly.

The riding scenes with Eva and her gorgeous Nokota horse, Smoky Joe, are breathtakingly executed: "They are flying. Joe's powerful body is pounding the footing so hard it flies up in chunks behind him. His muscles are so defined he looks like separate pieces you could take apart and reassemble, like Lego. He barrels toward that jump like nobody's business and Eva is right there with him, pumping her arms with each thrust of his head."

Several juicy subplots involving Annemarie's loves, both past and present, propel the story to a conclusion at once tragic and redeeming. Gruen is a hugely talented writer, and her saga of this exceptional family is so authentic and richly textured they seem like people you've known for years. The series would make a spectacular movie!


Cover the Butter
Cover the Butter
by Carrie Kabak
Edition: Hardcover
53 used & new from $0.01

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read all year..., April 18, 2005
This review is from: Cover the Butter (Hardcover)
COVER THE BUTTER, Carrie Kabak's exquisite debut novel, examines the buoyancy of the human spirit. After finding her lovingly restored home in shambles from her teenaged son's party (a rollicking yet poignant scene that alone is worth the price of admission), Kate takes a searing look back at how her life, too, has come to be such a mess. Belittled by her domineering mother, failing to find an ally in her feckless father, Kate struggles to make her own voice heard beneath the white noise of everyone else's demands. Kabak's writing brings alive even the most prosaic objects (I defy anyone to find better descriptions of décor and food, for example) but her gifts are most evident in her rendering of human relationships. Kate's interactions with her mother, Biddy, are by turns horrifying, hilarious and heartbreaking; Kabak perfectly captures the mother-daughter dynamic, the tangled knot of loyalty and knowing when to let go. Kate's relationships with the men in her life are drawn with equal force and a keen wit-most notably the scenes with Rodney, her priggish yet sexually peculiar husband. ("His hair stuck up in tufts and I tried to find it endearing," Kabak writes. "I tried to yearn for the touch of those thin lips that bristled with a moustache the texture of coconut husk.")

Kabak's voice is so vibrant and achingly personal I felt as if I'd known her heroine for years, and her story-and ultimate redemption-stayed with me long after I turned the last page. Carrie Kabak is a brilliant new talent, and I eagerly await her next effort.


Riding Lessons
Riding Lessons
by Sara Gruen
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
166 used & new from $0.01

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous book by a major talent, March 31, 2004
I consider myself a fairly discerning reader, and a book must engage me on the first page or else I'll set it aside. Sara Gruen's RIDING LESSONS is so explosive that not only was I hooked immediately, I lost a night's sleep to finish it. I became so immersed in Annemarie's life that I was saddened when I reached the end of her story.
Gruen writes with astonishing grace about several difficult issues. Her depiction of the power struggle between Annemarie and her daughter is rendered with empathy, and thankfully avoids relying on melodrama or syrupy platitudes. Annemarie's parents are vital, vibrant characters, so alive and skillfully realized you feel like you're eavesdropping on private, painful conversations. Gruen also exhibits a biting sense of humor, imbuing Annemarie with a sharp wit and fragile bravado that leads her into several comical situations. And the sequences about riding can only be described as breathtaking.
RIDING LESSONS is so exquisitely written I often found myself stopping to reread sentences, just to enjoy their structure and cadence. I urge anyone who's tired of the same old stale, formulaic women's fiction to read RIDING LESSONS; I promise it'll restore your faith in the genre. I eagerly await Gruen's next effort.


Key West: History of an Island of Dreams
Key West: History of an Island of Dreams
by Maureen Ogle
Edition: Hardcover
29 used & new from $14.31

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars makes history accessible and interesting..., December 17, 2003
Ogle's use of imagery and language elevate this subject above and beyond your typical scholarly tome. Never dry or overly academic, the author's novelistic treatment makes the history of this magical island come alive. Highly recommended for history buffs, "Papa" devotees, and anyone else who appreciates a masterful blend of information and good old-fashioned storytelling. I eagerly await the author's soon-to-be-published book about beer!


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