Monday, February 19, 2018

Starting Now


I read Starting Now by Debbie Macomber three years ago and I can't remember much of the story. Lydia is a recently laid off lawyer and she is trying to figure her life out. She ends up on Blossom Street and forms a friendship with the shop owner. She also meets a doctor and begins a relationship.

Not being able to remember the story is probably true for many of Debbie Macomber's stories. I have read most of the Blossom Street series and only a few of the stories stand out in my memory and one in particular affected me. But many of Debbie Macomber's stories are fluffy romances and this story is apparently one of them. At the time I read this, it filled a need for a light read.

Book Rating: 3 stars because the story was forgettable.

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Suzanne's diary for Nicholas


Katie Wilkinson thinks she may have found the perfect man. But he is distant and reluctant to take their relationship very far. He leaves her a journal written by his wife for their son Nicholas. Katie reads about Suzanne's romance, hope for her marriage and her son. Will Katie be able to bridge the grief and loss of her new love?

This is one of those books that I read after watching the movie. I liked the movie well enough but expected the book to be better. In reality, the two are fairly similar. I read the book a while ago and I can't remember there being any large differences between the two.

I think this book is a bit unusual because James Patterson has written only a few romances. He does ok with this story, though it does get a bit sentimental. Some aspects of the story feel a bit contrived. As the story unfolds, you can understand why Suzanne's husband is reluctant to enter a new relationship after so much loss. But to have the story told by a third party to the potentially new girlfriend seems a bit manipulative for the reader.

I enjoyed the story enough to finish it, but it is a bit over wrought.

Book Rating: 4 stars

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Sweetening the pill



I had previously reviewed a book several years ago on this topic called The Greatest Experiment Ever Peformed on Women, by Barbara Seaman. The title sounds like hyperbole, but it really is true. The birth control pill was given to women with very little testing. The side effects were relatively unknown, both short term and long term. It was touted as a cure-all for all kinds of female ailments and was supposed to prevent heart disease, among other things. Instead there were serious side effects, such as breast cancer and death. As time has gone on, some of those side effects have been reduced because the amount of hormone in the pill has been reduced. But the long term side effects still exist and the risk for blood clots are still pretty serious. I can remember my doctor saying I would only gain a few pounds. I gained at least 10 pounds because my craving for carbs increased. I was also more moody and depressed. Doctors just dismiss these problems. Even though these problems may seem minor, they are indications of a hormonal upheaval in the body.

Sweetening the Pill by Holly Grigg-Spall is an updated look at the birth control pill. Holly references Barbara Seaman's book with some newer sources. In this book Holly shares her personal experience with the pill as well as the experiences of others. Very few have positive experiences. Despite that, Holly takes a pragmatic approach. She believes the pill may be useful for some women and so she is not in favor of an outright ban. But women need to have more information about all the possible side effects so they can make an informed choice. The pill can have an impact on every organ of the body, so a decision should never be made lightly. Especially when there are less invasive means of birth control.

I think both of these books are important for women to read. Understanding the impact of the pill is very important. I think most women should avoid the pill, except for rare circumstances. Amazon has mixed reviews on Sweetening the Pill because of poor editing. I personally did not notice any major problems because the personal anecdotes drew me in. The book does have references and sources, though the author does not review them in detail as Barbara Seaman did. Holly and a few others had hoped to put together a documentary to go along with the book. From what I can find Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein were making it, but I don't know how or where to view it or if it was even made.

There is another great blog entry at Groknation on this topic.

Book rating: 4 stars

The books I select for review are books which I personally select from my local library. I do not receive any reimbursement from authors or publishers or free books. I do provide links to Amazon as a convenience to the readers of this blog. I do earn a small referral pittance which is not even enough to buy a soda.