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Review: The House on Mango Street

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The House on Mango StreetBook Review
4 out of 5 stars to The House on Mango Street, a short series of vignettes published in 1984 and written by Sandra Cisneros. Picture it: Long Island, August 1995. 18-year-old college student receives a letter in the mail, revealing two books he must read prior to attending the freshmen orientation seminar on his first day of college later that month. Young kid says “They’re giving me work to do already? WT…” It went something like that. And it wasn’t that I didn’t want to read, and I was a good student, but seriously… I’m scared of going off to college and already being told to start doing some work. Can’t I have some break before I… never mind. So I read it. And wow, it’s fantastic. A short collection of stories about growing up in Chicago, learning how to live on your own (sort of). Meeting different people. Seeing other sides of life. Learning more than you thought was out there. Embracing change and culture.

Oh… I get it… that’s what’s about to happen to me! Wow… nice book. Thanks. So then I get to the orientation. And they want us to discuss it in a random group that was set up. So we get put in groups of 6. I’m with some weird-looking people. At 18, I looked about 12 still. For some reason, I got stuck with the other 18-year-olds who looked 28. I wanted to call them mom and dad. But I knew better. I kept my mouth shut. Sandra Cisneros has just taught me that. So… I’m very shy and don’t say a word. No one speaks. I realize I guess I must say something. So I said. “I liked it a lot.” Everyone nodded. I said something like “what did you think?”

I’ll save you the drama. None of them read it. I was the only one who did. How embarrassing for them! It was so good… but I played it cool and described the plot. It seemed to open up the conversation, but then we were asked to nominate a leader to step up to the stage and explain your group’s understanding of the book. Oh you know… vengeance… some day… payback…

My lesson. Don’t ever read a book again. JUST KIDDING! You must read this one. It’s a beautiful story and helps you embrace change and difference. And the characters are quite memorable and quirky. Quick read. Maybe 2 hours. You should definitely give it a chance.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Review: Blacklist

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BlacklistBook Review
4 out of 5 stars to Blacklist, the 11th book in the “V.I. Warshawski” thriller and mystery series, written in 2004 by Sara Paretsky. What a fantastic book! It had everything from murder to corporate espionage to communism. Spanning a history of nearly 50 years, the story puts VI in the most scary of situations, and it allows Paretsky to truly tell a tale of remarkable prominence. There are so many connections and seedy things happening, you’re not sure how to begin figuring it out. Plus there are two cases she’s got going on at once. Will they intersect? Something tells me they will… they always do. But I’m not going to spoil it for you. They might not actually come together. The best part of this book is Paretsky’s unyielding way of telling the truth and the reality of what’s happening all around us. I’m about 6 books behind on this series, at least a decade or so, and I can’t wait to catch up this summer. She’s always a treat.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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Review: Tunnel Vision

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Tunnel VisionBook Review

3+ out of 5 stars for Tunnel Vision, the 8th mystery book in the “VI Warshawski” thriller series, written in 1994 by Sara Paretsky. In this book, Paretsky tackles the struggle of the homeless, domestic abuse and city politics. With her building set to be knocked down, VI has to find alternative offices, but she won’t give up. When she’s one of the last people still holding on to her lease, she finds herself being target. First she’s stalked and scared in the building. Then she finds a dead body, who later turns out to be a woman she volunteered with at a shelter. Then it’s connected to a city official, and she’s eventually accused of the murder. How does she get herself into these situations? While a good book in the series, but it wasn’t one of my favorites. It’s still a good series. I think VI’s personality got to me too much in this book. I know she’s under attack. And she’s trying to do the right thing. But she was a tad annoying and self-indulgent in some chapters. Eventually, we get back into the norm where she fights the right people and helps make her point, but it was a little over-done this time.

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About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

Review: Fire Sale

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Fire Sale Book Review
3+ out of 5 stars for Fire Sale, the 12th book in the mystery and thriller “VI Warshawski” series, written in 2005 by Sara Paretsky. I really enjoy this series, and Paretsky’s style is quite conducive to my reading habits and approach. I love the characters, the plot and the setting. The voice is strong. The mystery is always good, sometimes too complex. While I normally give most of her books a 4, this one was a little less for me — purely because of the topic. Whenever a book involves school sports, I tend to find it a tad boring. I’m all for team spirit, and hope that the money falls in the right hands, but like with parts of the book Beartown, I struggled. That said, it’s written well and will appeal to many people. VI is fantastic and I always root for her. I also enjoy when the bad guys/girls get their just desserts. Paretsky does an exemplary job covering yet another great social topic in this one — big business, school sports, young guys approach to pressuring girls and what’s really important in the school district? A definite read for fans.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

Review: Guardian Angel

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Guardian Angel Book Review
3.499999 of 5 stars (therefore rounded down!) for Guardian Angel, the 7th book in the mystery series, written in 1992 by Sara Paretsky. This book was a slight turning point in the series for me. VI has always been a bit of a recluse, a little difficult to swallow and sometimes bitter. But it was part of her charm and personality, and you always understood her. In this book, she’s fighting for something she strongly believes needs to be fixed, and several of her cases are colliding. At the same time, her friends are warning her to slow down, remove herself from a few situations and to think about what she’s choosing to do. While they don’t truly turn their backs on her, they’ve made it clear she’s crossing lines that shouldn’t be crossed. What do you do when you feel your friends have abandoned you for your choices? And what’s a reader to do when you’re concerned about a character you love? Is she going too rogue? Do you believe her? Why and What is going on? Keep asking the questions… it’s worth it at the end, but it does push the envelope for a bit in how much you can tolerate how VI behaves.

That said, the mystery is of course great. VI tackles several social topics, especially understanding who stands up for people when they can no longer stand up for themselves? And when you add in unscrupulous people, battles between lawyers and the bad side of town, it’s bound to get complicated. This one is worth reading if you’ll only sample a few in the series.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: Blood Shot

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Blood Shot Book Review
4 of 5 stars to Blood Shot, the fifth release in a mystery series of 20 books (and still counting), written by Sara Paretsky in 1988. I stumbled upon this thriller and suspense book series during college, upon coming across some of the bright yellow, red and purple covers. After catching my attention, I gave them a chance and then devoured several in a row in the first few years to try to catch up. The main character, VI Warshawski, is a tough female private investigator in Chicago, a fictional character resembling no person I’d ever met before. In this book, VI goes back to the dangerous streets she grew up on to help a childhood friend find the father she never knew; the friend’s mother is dying which leaves a big hole in her life. VI, reluctant to help, gives in and starts an explosive path into history, uncovering crimes among the big business world, including toxic chemicals and the lengths people will go to keep some information secret.

For those new to the series… this is a really great set of “modern day” PI detective books with a strong female lead. For the most part, VI is quite likable; however, it takes a little getting used to. She’s tough, a bit rude and direct, and often fails to realize she’s holding herself back from being open-minded. In the first few, I thought… no one like this exists. Please forgive me, I was a naive 20 year old from the suburbs who thought all people were generally friendly. VI’s a different kind of friendly. If you’re on her good list, she’ll take a bullet for you. Seriously. And she has. But if she’s on your bad list, you might get some acid thrown in your face. OK, maybe not that bad, but you get the drift. The fun part part about these books is they were right in the beginning of technology’s rapid growth on the detection front. Cell phones and computers were just becoming common in the hands of regular people. See was still using coins in a pay phone and an answering service. I can’t imagine waiting for your service to tell you you had a message. Wow! But makes you realize how much harder she had to work to solve her crime — natural talents and ingenuity. Good one to sample from the series.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Review: Hardball

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Hardball Book Review
4 of 5 stars to Hardball, the 13th book in the mystery thriller series by author Sara Paretsky, written in 2009. At 450 pages, it’s one of the longest, if not the longest, books in the “VI Warshawski” Chicago-based series about a female private investigator in the 1980s and 1990s. In this book, family is abundant. VI’s late father pops up in her investigation, potentially revealing he had some dirty dealings. It seems too hard to be true, but sometimes people are pushed to the limits. Nonetheless, it propels VI to try to prove his innocence. Ultimately, the book is about a missing person’s case, over 40 years old. VI tackles issues between races, trying to weed past the bull in order to solve the crime. But more people end up dying, the deeper she gets into the investigation, including a nun. VI’s cousin is in town on a politicking venture… but she may be in more danger than she knows. This is one of the stronger Paretsky books, as it covers a multitude or close to home issues for her, and she’s out to prove and protect her family.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

View all my reviews