Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel

From Elaine Pasquali

Title:  Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel

Author:  Anya Ulinich

Ever since reading Maus, I have appreciated graphic novels.  This graphic novel  tells the story of Lena Finkle’s life following the end of her fifteen year marriage.  Caught between two cultures, Russian and American, Lena enters the world of online dating and experiences love, sex and loss.  Her present day dating is juxtaposed against previous romantic/sexual experiences.  At the same time she is raising two teenage daughters and juggling a writing career.  While this novel has the sincerity and angst of Maus,  it doesn’t have Maus’ symbolic quality.  An interesting, engrossing, and engaging social commentary about women and divorce.


How to meet boys

From Vendula Schonfeldova
Title:  How to meet boys
Author:  Catherine Clark
Three best friends (the third one came along in the middle of the story, coming from Chicago) went for a summer break to Bridgeport, where grandparents of the girl Lucy lived there. Lucy worked with a boy from the long past in a story, Mikayla, the second girl worked in a club and fell for a coworker of Lucy and made a little drama while Lucy didn’t feel good around this boy. All ended up great. Girls found their boyfriends and enjoyed the summer. Happy Ending.

The Lonely Hearts Club

From Cindy, Teen Book Reviewer
author: Eulberg, Elizabeth
The Lonely Hearts Club
The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg is a very interesting book about a teenage girl who’s sick of being heart broken by the ‘jerks’ in her school, so she decides to form her own club that bans the dating of guys-at least till the members are no longer at their school. She names the club after a Beatles song called “Sgt. Pepper?s Lonely Hearts Club Band” due to the fact that her parents and herself are big Beatles fans(hence her name being Penny Lane-named after the Beatles song Penny Lane). Penny soon realizes that the club is more popular than she thought and more and more people join but with more members comes more problems?Now Penny has to deal with the club’s problems and her own(hint: It’s guy related). I definitely recommend this book to anyone, it was an enjoyable read.

Golden Reads reviews

From Donna Southard:

The Gatehouse, by Nelson DeMille
This is the sequel to DeMille’s novel, The Gold Coast.    I had look forward to reading this book, but I was very disappointed in it after I read it.  I found the narrative of the main character to be very repetitive and it became annoying to read.  The action consisted of the last 50 or so pages of the novel and I found it to not to be worth the time it took to read it.

Almost Moon, by Alice Sebold
This novel begins with the main character reflecting on how her life was before and after she killed her mother.  I found some of the analogies to be well written.  However, I found the book to be very conflicting and overall depressing.  There are a lot of emotional roller coaster moments.

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, by Steve Harvey
This is a funny guide for women to understand how men “think” in a romantic relationship.  Harvey writes like a script from one of his stand-up performances.  I found myself laughing quite often.  This was a fun read and very different from the average self-help book.

The Host, by Stephenie Meyer
I found this book to be very interesting.  It was geared to teens, but I was quickly hooked into reading it.  I found it fascinating how the author created the interactions of alien life forms with humans.  In my opinion, I feel that Meyers created a suspenseful plot, that was a little creepy, and I feel that she did an excellent job in developing her characters.  This book made me really think about “life” as we know it.

The Wednesday Letters, by Jason F. Wright
The novel begins with the introduction of a happily married couple of almost forty years who owns a bed and breakfast in the Shenandoah area of VA.  One night the couple dies within hours of each other.  When their three children arrive to make funeral arrangements, they discover boxes full of letters that their father wrote to their mother every Wednesday of their marriage.  The letters reveal information that the adult children have to reflect on and understand.  This is a quick read with several twists.  It makes one wonder about writing their own “Wednesday Letters” to their significant other.

Golden Reads reviews

From Andrea Payne:

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, by  Steve Harvey

This book was filled with practical and modern advice for single women in dating relationships from a male perspective.  I found the information to be helpful and useful.  I appreciate that the author not only outlines questions that a woman should ask a man, but he also illustrates the context in which she should ask them.

Dancing With the Devil: How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of Hip-Hop
, by Mark Curry
This book while not poorly written can be a little confusing at times as it jumps around a lot, especially in the beginning. The story is not written in chronological order and some events may be difficult to follow at first. Overall, the book is a page turner and I wasn’t able to put it down. The book gave some very revealing and shocking information that many fans would not have otherwise known about the real Diddy or Puff (or whatever he calls himself these days). The book also verified for me personally several lies, I’ve seen Puff tell in interviews, especially regarding the death of Biggie.

Mark Curry’s navet surprised me though. As someone who reportedly hung out with gangsters and thugs long before he crossed paths with Diddy, I couldn’t believe he was that nave to keep giving Diddy chance after chance after chance to release his album and then seemed stunned after learning from a Bad Boy staffer that Diddy never intended to release his album at all. From the accounts that Curry described throughout the book, it was painfully obvious to the reader that Diddy was only using him and stringing him along from the very beginning. It’s sad that it took the death of Curry’s parents and him losing his home to foreclosure to finally wise up.

I also see that Curry writes this is the book’s `first edition.’ I would be interested in a follow up version, especially one that would give insight into Farnsworth Bentley’s ties to Diddy and how he seems to be the only one who has managed to have an actual successful career after being entangled with Diddy for so many years. I would also like to see if Curry has any takes on the Shakir Stewart suicide, seeing as he revealed Stewart’s romantic ties to Kim Porter and how Diddy assaulted him at L.A. Reid’s wedding after finding out.

Hopefully, Curry will partner with a better editor and hopefully consider a movie based on his book. A very good summer read and it should be required reading for any one looking to go into the entertainment business.