Archive for category Book Reviews

Book reviews: get your summer reading list ready!

I so appreciate my cousin, Jennifer Clark Nodland from Bismarck, ND, for her many book reviews she has done over the years. She’s an avid reader and I appreciate her insight!  She’s sharing a few book reviews here on Real Vinings | Buckhead so that my (busy) readers can get a quick idea of what to add (or avoid adding) to your reading list.

Tina Fey BossypantsBossypants by Tina Fey (2011)

Fun, quick, light read. Fey does a pretty good job making me think she’s just “one of us.” She’s just a few years younger than me and put a smile on my face when she revisited her youth and poked fun of what we thought was soooo cool in the 80s.

Vince Flynn Term LimitsTerm Limits by Vince Flynn (1997)

Mixed feeling about this political thriller. This author’s first work suffers from some clumsy writing, but I bet his newer works are cleaner. My real problem with the novel is the foundation of the plot (killing sitting members of Congress because you don’t like them) and the resolution (can’t disclose without a spoiler alert). Anyone else read Flynn’s stuff? Thoughts?

The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright (2011)

The Forgotten WaltzCould. Not. Finish. This. Book. Although this book got good reviews (and the author is a Booker recipient), I found it difficult to read. Hopping back and forth in time – and the main character seemed self-absorbed and cold. If “chick lit” is just code for stories of infidelity and dysfunction, count me out.

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Book Reviews: The Mapping of Love and Death and The Submission

Book Review: “The Mapping of Love and Death” by Jacqueline Winspear (2010)

Book 7 in the Maisie Dobbs series. I was in a reading lull and this book was just what I needed to get back in the groove. The Maisie Dobbs books are like a favorite cotton shirt that I love to wear but need to quickly run the iron over first.

Maisie can be a bit aloof, but she’s got a good heart and 1932 London is a rich backdrop for this tale of murder and sleuthing.

Click here to see more about The Mapping of Love and Death on,

Book Review: “The Submission” by Amy Waldman (2011)

This is a fictional account of what might happen if a blind jury established to pick the design for the 9/11 memorial selects a design by a Muslim American.

Thought-provoking storyline that tells the stories of several characters. Brought to mind several elements of the conflict surrounding the NY mosque near ground zero. Wonder how far we’ve really come. . .

Click here to see The Submission on

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Book Reviews: The Dovekeepers and The Cat’s Table

Even though it’s just barely officially spring, I’m already thinking about summer vacation and plans to relax somewhere while Chase is enjoying his time away from school.

To help me with my summer reading selections, I have enjoyed reading book reviews written by my cousin, Jennifer Clark Nodland from Bismarck, ND.  Below are a couple of book reviews, and I’ll post more two or three at a time.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your next vacation (or spare 20 minutes, for that matter!).

Book Review: “The Dovekeepers” by Alice Hoffman (2011)

Enjoyable read! Storyline follows four women back in Judea at the time of the Roman invasions (70s). Great way to learn history.

The writing is a little heavy on “magic” and a tad flowery at times but overall very rich.

AfterI finished reading, I got online to find out how much was based on actual events – turns out, more than I thought!

Click here to see The Dovekeepers on


Book Review: “The Cat’s Table” by Michael Ondaatje (2011)

Enjoyable read about a boy’s boat trip from Sri Lanka to England in the 1950s.

The story rather delicately unfolds as the boy tells his tale both from his childhood perspective as it was happening in the 1950s and as he remembers it today as an adult.

Pleasantly surprised by some of the unexpected turns in this tale.

Click here to see The Cat’s Table on

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