Friday, May 31, 2019

May Books in Review

May was a very good reading month for me.  I read (16) books and posted short reviews for them as well.  (65 books YTD.

I had one DNF in May - Come With Me; Helen Schulman (just wasn't working for me)

 In May my armchair travels kept me mostly here in the USA with the exception of a brief stint in Italy, Ireland and Canada. The US states visited were: (3) trips to Massachusetts, (3) trips to New York, Illinois, California, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington.

I really enjoyed my May picks overall. I had (2) 5-star reads in May and several in the 4 to 4.5 star range as well.

What I Read
  1. Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting; Anna Quindlen - 4.5/5 (eGalley-May)
  2. The River; Peter Heller - 4.5/5 (library/May)
  3. Here's to Us; Elin Hilderbrand - 3/5 (audio/library-May)
  4. Henry, Himself; Stewart O'Nan - 4.5/5 (print/library-May)
  5. Miracle Creek; Angie Kim - 4.5/5 (audio download/library-May)
  6. The Wartime Sisters; Lynda Cohen Loigman - 5/5 (ARC/Audio Combo-May)
  7. A Stone for Danny Fisher; Harold Robbins - 5/5 (audible-May)
  8. Normal People; Sally Rooney - 4/5 - (eGalley-May)
  9. Daisy Jones and the Six; Taylor Jenkins Reid - 4/5 (audio-May)
  10. The Girl He Used to Know; Tracey Garvis Graves - 4.5/5 (print/library-May)
  11. Women in Sunlight; Frances Mayes - 3.5/5 (ebook-book group read-May)
  12. Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay & a Mother's Will to Survive; Stephanie Land - 1/5 (audio/library-May)
  13. Herstory: 50 Women & Girls Who Shook Up the World; Katherine Halligan - 4.5/5 (audio & print-library - May)
  14. Never Love a Stranger; Harold Robbins - 4/5 (audible - May)
  15. The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls; Anissa Gray - 3.5/5( print & audio-May)
  16. Before She Knew Him; Peter Swanson - 4.5/5 - (audio & print/-May)

Fiction - 13  NF - 3 - DNF - 1

Audios -  10
eBooks  - 1
print     - 5
ARCS/Review Books - 4
audio/eBook Combos - 4
Borrowed from Library - 8
Off my Shelves - 8
June Plans
(so far)

  • The Last Resort; Marissa Stapley - The Harmony Resort promises hope for struggling marriages. Run by celebrity power couple Drs. Miles and Grace Markell, the “last resort” offers a chance for partners to repair their relationships in a luxurious setting on the gorgeous Mayan Riviera.
  • The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted; Robert Hillman - A tender and wise novel about love, family, and forgiveness in 1960s Australia, in which a lonely farmer finds his world turned upside down by a vibrant woman determined to open the first bookstore his town has ever seen--and to leave her haunting memories of the Holocaust far behind.
  • The Secretary; Renee Knight - A novel of psychological suspense about the intricate power struggle between a prominent female executive and her faithful personal assistant—and its explosive consequences.
  • The Ditch; Herman Koch - The bracing and inventive new novel of suspicions and secrecy from Herman Koch, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dinner
  • The Mother-in-Law; Sally Hepworth - A twisty, compelling new novel about one woman's complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in death.
  • What Alice Forgot; Lianne Moriarty - “Funny and knowing...[about] what we choose to remember, and fight to forget.”—O Magazine
  • Hope everyone had a great month!

    Thursday, May 30, 2019

    The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls; Anissa Gray

    AUTHOR:  Anissa Gray
    PUBLISHER:  Berkley
    PUB. YEAR: 2019
    SETTING:  Michigan
    FORMAT:  - (print: 300 pp)
    RATING - 3.5/5

    The Butler sisters have not had an easy life but, no one is prepared for what has just happened.  Althea and her husband Proctor are well know and respected in the town but now, Althea, the oldest sister, has been sentenced to prison time for charity fraud and food stamp fraud.  They have twin daughters who are teens. The other Butler sisters, Lillian and Viola must step in to care for Althea and Poctor's girls, but no one is exactly sure how the arrest and sentencing even came about.

    This is a deep story which focuses on black identity and childhood traumas.  Some of the characters are very complex, others not so much. Each of the women in the story seems "hungry" for something that has left them with an emotional void in their lives.  Told in both the present and in flashbacks, I started this one on audio  but, found I was having trouble with the slang and keeping the POVs straight so I grabbed the print version from  the library which made things a bit easier.

     An important topic but probably not a book that everyone will enjoy.

    Before She Knew Him; Peter Swanson

    AUTHOR:  Peter Swanson
    PUBLISHER:  William Morrow/Harper Audio
    PUB. YEAR: 2019
    SETTING:  Massachusetts
    FORMAT:  - Audio - 10 hr (print: 320 pp)
    RATING - 4.5/5

    Hen (Henrietta) and her husband Lloyd have just moved to a new home outside of Boston, MA,  Hen is a children's book illustrator who has suffered from bi-polar disorder over the years.  When their new neighbors Matthew and Mira invite them over to welcome them, Hen can't help but notice a sports trophy on their mantle that looks exactly like the one that had gone missing two years earlier when a young man was murdered.  Although that murder was never solved, Hen was obsessed with the case at the time. Now Hen has a new obsession, could her new neighbor Matthew, a college professor,  have been involved in the unsolved murder, or is this beginning of another manic spiral for Hen?  

    I really enjoyed this psychological thriller. It had interesting characters, a great back story that wasn't overly bogged down in detail and short chapters with hooks that made you want to keep reading.  A few things seemed a bit far-fetched but, not enough to spoil this one for me.  I liked that the author used real names of places and towns with just a letter change here or there).  This one was a combo print and audio read for me. The narrators; Sophie Amoss and Graham Halstead did a great job.

     If you enjoy twisty, and a bit creepy stories that will keep you wondering, be sure to read this one.

    Tuesday, May 28, 2019

    First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - Mama's Last Hug; Frans De Waal

    Each Tuesday, Vicki, from I’d Rather Be At The Beach hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where  readers post the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book they are reading or that they plan to read. 

    W.W. Norton and Company - 2019


    Mama's Last Hug
    An Ape Matriarch's Farewell

    "One month before Mama turned fifty-nine and two months before Jan van Hooff's eightieth birthday, these two elderly hominids had an emotional reunion.  Mama, emaciated and near death, was among the world's oldest zoo chimpanzees. Jan with his white hair standing out against a bright red rain jacket, is the biology professor who supervised my dissertation long ago.  The two of them had known each other for over forty years."

    I love animals and this seemed right up my alley.  Does it interest you?

    Monday, May 27, 2019

    Never Love a Stranger; Harold Robbins

    AUTHOR:  Harold Robbins
    PUBLISHER:  Audible Studios/Brillance Audio
    PUB. YEAR: ( 1948 - original pub) (2015-audio)
    SETTING:  NY (mostly)
    FORMAT:  - Audio - almost 15 hours
    RATING - 4/5

    Earlier this month my husband and I listened to Harold Robbin's A Stone for Danny Fisher. a first Robbin's book for me, and was I impressed. For years my husband raved about this author and Danny Fisher was his favorite book.  Our next selection was Robbin's debut novel, Never Love a Stranger (1948).  This was an enjoyable listen (read by Will Patton) but, the story was not quite as good as Danny Fisher.

    Set in the 1920's and 30s, Francis (Frankie) Kane was an orphan whose single mother died in childbirth. He grows up in a Catholic orphanage in New York.  When it's discovered he has aunt and uncle they take Frankie in and are very kind to him. However, when health problems affect his uncle, they are forced to move to Arizona and are not allowed to take Frankie out of the state of New York, so back to the orphanage he goes -- until it is discovered that he is Jewish feels forced out, by then he is a teen.  

    Out on his own, confused and feeling rejected by the world at large, the young Frankie quickly toughens up and does what it takes to survive. On the streets he meets Silk Fennelli, the boss of all the numbers rackets and other shakedown scams around the city.  Silk sees Frankie as an honest young man and someone who needs money. Silk begins to test him within his organization of crime.

    Told mostly through first person flashbacks, it was  easy to see how Frankie fell into the life of crime. He was a sympathetic character overall. As is true of most of Robbin's books: crime, beautiful women and to a lesser degree sex seem to be his signature trademarks, this one was no exception. This story was very detailed, which enables the reader to get a better feel for the characters.  We enjoyed this story but felt it wasn't perfect, as some questions remained once we got to the end.  I will admit that the ending Robbins chose brought a tear to my eyes.  Next up for our Harold Robbin's audio will be: Memories of Another Day (1979).

    Have you ever tried this author?

    Herstory: 50 Woman & Girls Who Shook Up the World; Katherine Halligan

    TITLE: Herstory: 50 Women & Girls Who Shook Up the World
    AUTHOR:  Katherine Halligan (Illust. Sarah Walsh)
    PUBLISHER:  Simon & Schuster Young Readers - Dreamscape Audio
    PUB. YEAR: 2018
    SETTING:  n/a
    FORMAT:  - audio and print
    RATING - 4.5/5

    With (3) young granddaughters (ages 5-7), I'm always searching for books that emphasize the fact that girls can be anything they want to be. Dream, work hard and achieve.  When I saw a review of this book somewhere I wanted to try it and, overall, I'd say this book was a hit. This book is targeted at the 8+ age group (grades 3 & 4).

    Herstory is an inspiring book which looks at 50 girls and women from around the world who left a mark on history.   From artists, social leaders, activists, writers, scientists and visionaries, some of the featured included: Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Joan of Arc, Frida Khalo, Helen Keller, Beatrix Potter, Emily Bronte, Rachel Carson, Mother Teresa, Billie Holiday, Maya Angelo, Coco Channel, Malala Yousatazai, Florence Nightengale, Georgia O'Keefe, Marie Curie,  Anne Frank, Eva Peron and many more.

    Nicely done book empowering young girls to dream big.

    I listened to the audio of this one which was very good but, after looking at the nicely illustrated print version, I'll be getting copies for the young granddaughters now.

    Friday, May 24, 2019

    My Summer Reading Picks for 2019

    Every May I can't resist making a list of books that I envision myself reading outdoors: deck, beach, park etc.  Between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day (May 24th and September 2nd) these are (10) books that caught my eye - (a few are ARCS that I want to catch up on) I hope I can stick to this list and read them all.  Have you read any of these? Have you decided on any summer books you know you must read?

    1. Restoration Heights; Wil Medearis - A debut novel about a young artist, a missing woman, and the tendrils of wealth and power that link the art scene in Brooklyn to Manhattan’s elite, for fans of Jonathan Lethem and Richard Price
    2. Drawing Home; Jamie Brenner - An unexpected inheritance, a promise broken, and four lives changed forever: discover "the gold standard of summertime escapism" from USA Today bestselling author Jamie Brenner (Elin Hilderbrand).
    3. The Last Resort; Marissa Stapley - The Harmony Resort promises hope for struggling marriages. Run by celebrity power couple Drs. Miles and Grace Markell, the “last resort” offers a chance for partners to repair their relationships in a luxurious setting on the gorgeous Mayan Riviera.
    4. The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted; Robert Hillman - A tender and wise novel about love, family, and forgiveness in 1960s Australia, in which a lonely farmer finds his world turned upside down by a vibrant woman determined to open the first bookstore his town has ever seen--and to leave her haunting memories of the Holocaust far behind.
    5. The Secretary; Renee Knight - A novel of psychological suspense about the intricate power struggle between a prominent female executive and her faithful personal assistant—and its explosive consequences.
    6. If She Wakes; Michael Koryta - "an edgy suspense story...that brilliantly plays on the primal fear of being buried alive."―Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
    7. Man of the Year; Caroline Louise Walker - Beware the Man of the Year. You may praise him, resent him, even want to be him: but beneath the elegant trappings that define him, danger looms. Caroline Louise Walker’s stunning debut novel, for fans of Herman Koch’s The Dinnerand Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door, delves into the increasingly paranoid mind of a man whose life as the most upstanding of citizens hides a relentlessly dark heart.
    8. The Ditch; Herman Koch - The bracing and inventive new novel of suspicions and secrecy from Herman Koch, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dinner
    9. Summer of 69; Elin Hilderbrand - Four siblings experience the drama, intrigue, and upheaval of a summer when everything changedin New York Timesbestselling author Elin Hilderbrand's first historical novel 
    10. The Turn of the Key; Ruth Ware -“Truly terrifying! Ware perfects her ability to craft atmosphere and sustain tension with each novel.” Kirkus Reviews

    Thursday, May 23, 2019

    Women in Sunlight; Frances Mayes and Maid; Stephanie Land

    AUTHOR:  Frances Mayes
    PUBLISHER:  Crown
    PUB. YEAR: 2018
    SETTING:  Italy
    FORMAT:  - eBook
    RATING - 3.5/5

    Our book group selection for May, Women in Sunlightis a story about (3) older American women who rent a villa in the Tuscan village of San Rocco for one year. Each woman is trying to figure out the next phase of their life: Camille, 69, gave up her art career for marriage and children; she's now a widow. Susan, 64, adventurous, successful realtor, now a widow as well and Julia, 59, with a cheating spouse and daughter suffering from addiction issues.

    Kit Raine is a young American writer, trying to write a biography about her mentor and friend, Margaret Merrill. The arrival of the (3) American women, whose large villa is near hers, finds Kit easily distracted from her writing task as she begins to help the women navigate life in Tuscany.

    There was plenty to discuss with this book: female friendships, later life self-realization, plenty of talk of food, wine, art, history, books and tourist attractions.  Several of us, including myself, were not fans of the writing style, it just didn't flow well and was tough to follow at times.  A few of us did not like the Margaret story line and thought it was unnecessary and that the (448 pp) book could have benefited from a good editor.  All of us thought it would be fun to try living like these women did.  Of course, none of the women had money issues and were free to travel and spend money freely however they chose.  It was amazing, almost too perfect, how well things worked out for these women spending a year together even though they really didn't have a long friendship previously. Of course, each of the women ends up pretty much  happier than ever in the end.  If you like armchair travel and want to feel a bit envious in the end, try this book.

    AUTHOR:  Stephanie Land
    PUBLISHER:  Hachette Audio
    PUB. YEAR: 2019
    SETTING:  Pacific Northwest and Montana mostly
    FORMAT:  - audio/library
    RATING - terrible - 1/5

    This memoir and audio book, read by the author, was a huge disappointment to me. The description felt like a big misrepresentation to me:


    Evicted meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land's memoir about working as a maid, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. Includes a foreword by Barbara Ehrenreich. 

    At 28, Stephanie Land's plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest to chase her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer, were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly. 

    She wrote the true stories that weren't being told: the stories of overworked and underpaid Americans. Of living on food stamps and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) coupons to eat. Of the government programs that provided her housing, but that doubled as halfway houses. The aloof government employees who called her lucky for receiving assistance while she didn't feel lucky at all. She wrote to remember the fight, to eventually cut through the deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor. 

    Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it's like to be in service to them. "I'd become a nameless ghost," Stephanie writes about her relationship with her clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about. As she begins to discover more about her clients' lives-their sadness and love, too-she begins to find hope in her own path. 

    Her compassionate, unflinching writing as a journalist gives voice to the "servant" worker, and those pursuing the American Dream from below the poverty line. Maid is Stephanie's story, but it's not her alone. It is an inspiring testament to the strength, determination, and ultimate triumph of the human spirit.

    The book is nothing like Evicted or Nickeled and Dimed! The author, IMO, the author failed to take responsibility for her life choices. She came across as irresponsible, whiny, and, unappreciative and entitled at times.  When she fell on hard times, she was able to navigate her way around all the services available to her: temporary housing, housing subsidies, food assistance, childcare services and more but still complained about not being able to get organic milk and organic food with her allotments. She uses Go Fund Me for her own benefit, yet when she receives a tax refund instead of trying to plan for the future she buys herself a diamond ring and later finds a way to travel to Europe.  In addition, at times it didn't seem like she had her young daughter's best interest at heart. She takes vacations without her sick daughter, sometimes ended up in abusive situations. When she talks about her jobs as a "maid" she seemed to give cleaning people a bad name. She admits to looking in drawers, medicine cabinets and disparages her clients along the way.

    Can't recommend this one!

    Wednesday, May 22, 2019

    The Girl He Used to Know; Tracey Garvis Graves

    AUTHOR:  Tracey Garvis Graves
    PUBLISHER:  St. Martin's Press
    PUB. YEAR: 2019
    SETTING:  Illinois
    FORMAT:  - library print (291pp)
    RATING - 4.5/5

    Second chance romance stories are not the kind of story that normally appeals to me but, this one was a winner. I sat down, it pulled me in and, I read it in one sitting.

    Annika Rose is a quirky young woman who has always struggle to fit in.  It's evident that she is somewhere on the autism spectrum: loud noises, strong smells, uncomfortable clothes, debilitating shyness and social situations are things she finds hard to deal with.  

    Annika - "simply preferred the company of animals over most humans, the soulful look in their eyes as they learned to trust me sustained me more than any social situation ever would."

    In 1991 Annika attended the University of Illinois and with encouragement from her friend Janice, she decided to join the chess club, something she was good at.  Her father taught her to play at age 7 to help her build confidence and deal with her shyness.  It's there, playing chess, where she meets Jonathan, a kind-hearted guy who patient enough to bring Annika out of her shell.  After college they go their separate ways, he off to NYC with a job on Wall Street and she in her dream job as a librarian at the Harold Washington Library.

    Annika - "If there was one thing I loved almost as much as animals, it was books.  Reading transported me to exotic locales, fascinating periods in history and worlds that were vastly different from my own."

    Now in 2001 (where the story begins) the two run into each other at a grocery store. She's living the safe, comfortable life as a librarian she wanted and Jonathan is back in Illinois. He was injured in the 9/11 attacks in NYC, now newly divorced and looking for a fresh start.

    Even though it's easy to see where this story was headed, it was such an endearing read and I couldn't wait to see it play out. I liked the back and forth backstory from their college days to 2001 when they reconnected.  The first person POV worked well, making it easy feel for Annika, her social struggles and encounters with being teased and bullied. If you are in the mood for a feel-good read, be sure to try this one.

    The (2) quotes I shared  reminded me of why I love animals and books so much.

    Tuesday, May 21, 2019

    First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros - The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls; Anissa Gray

    Each Tuesday, Vicki, from I’d Rather Be At The Beach hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where  readers post the opening paragraph (sometime two) of a book they are reading or that they plan to read. 

    Penguin Random House (Berkley) - 2019


    "You do a lot of thinking in jail.  Especially when you're locked in the box that's your cell.  Mine is about as big as the walk-in closet I had back at home, but in place of clothes, I've got bunk beds, a stainless-steel sink-and-toilet combo, and a compact, padlocked cabinet.  The cabinet's where you keep you valuables, like family pictures, commissary, and letters, including the one from your daughter that's not addressed to you.  The letter that, truth be told, you just can't bring yourself to read, so you've got it tucked inside the bible that belonged to your dead mother."

    Would you pass or keep reading?

    Monday, May 20, 2019

    Mailbox Monday - New Books

    I haven't participated in MM in a long while but I did have new books to share so thought I'd join it. Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.  Here's what arrived over the last (2) weeks by mail.

    Are any of these ones that you plan to read?

    and a gratuitous Lucy in the Cat bag photo

    (she and Ricky turned "1" last week)


    Sunday, May 19, 2019

    Daisy Jones and the Six; Taylor Jenkins Reid

    AUTHOR:  Taylor Jenkins Reid
    PUBLISHER:  Random House Audio
    PUB. YEAR: 2019
    SETTING:  mostly CA
    FORMAT:  - audio (9 hrs)
    RATING - 4/5

    I'm pleased that I decided on the audio version of this book with its (4) different narrators, which made for some very distinct and enjoyable story telling. This is an interview style driven story and although at times the voices sounded depressed or drugged, it worked well considering the book was about sex, drugs and rock n roll.

    Set in the 1970's, a booming time for the music industry, Daisy Jones is just a pretty young teen of 14 who happens to have a voice like Janis Joplin.  Her parents are hippies and not into parenting, as a result, she stays out all night and hooks up with LA's Sunset Strip jet set.  Her dream is to write songs but, with her dynamic voice it isn't long before she is a natural for to Billy and Graham Dunne's band, The Six.  The group is an overnight sensation.  Billy and Daisy marry and have a love/hate relationship fueled by drugs and alcohol.  Their story, much like a train wreck, is hard to turn away from.

    Initially, I was playing on passing on this book, but when I read the analogy to: Fleetwood Mac, a group I just loved, I had to try it for myself.  I loved hearing the stories of various group members, so passionate about their music and very much into living for the moment.  The story was a very fun trip to an earlier time when music was everything it seemed.  The music scene is beautifully captured by this author and while some of the characters seemed to recall important events a bit differently, the overall story worked well.  The band split for good in 1979. 

    Normal People; Sally Rooney

    AUTHOR:  Sally Rooney
    PUBLISHER:  Hogarth
    PUB. YEAR: 2019
    SETTING:  Ireland
    FORMAT:  - eGalley (268pp)
    RATING - 4/5

    Normal People is a quiet coming of age story which drew me in immediately as it's a story about early relationships and missed opportunities.

    Marianne and Connell are both very bright but couldn't be more different, Yet when they meet, something clicks. Marianne's a cold, emotionless teen who comes from a wealthy but dysfunctional family. She's awkward and others her age think she's just plain odd. Connell is handsome and popular, his family is poor and his mother is a cleaning lady for Marianne's family.  One day when he goes to pick his mother up at Marianne's house, they begin to chat and soon become friends and eventually sexual partners.  Fearing he will be teased by his peers if their relationship is found out, he wants them to keep things secret and just between them. She goes along with this, probably because she's used to be mistreated, at least emotionally, by her own family.

    The following year both Marianne and Connell end up at Trinity College in Dublin but here their roles seem reversed. Marianne becomes the popular one, a social butterfly and it's Connell who's feeling insecure, shy, depressed and like he doesn't fit it. Although they come in and out of togetherness, they always seem drawn back to each other.

    The story is told from both of their POVs and although well written, at times I felt a bit frustrated by the story and the failure by both to communicate what they were feeling.  It reminded me about just how very much we are a product of our upbringing.  I also wish that the author delved more into Marianne's family and why she was treated the way she was growing up.

    There are many themes running through this novel: social class differences, relationship dynamics, mental health issues, bullying, young love and more. A deeply drawn story with an overall darker tone. I'm glad I read it and, the more I've thought about this one, the more my opinion changed a bit overall to a slightly more favorable rating.

    Friday, May 17, 2019

    A Stone for Danny Fisher; Harold Robbins

    AUTHOR:  Harold Robbins
    PUBLISHER:  Blackstone Audio 
    PUB. YEAR: (1952 - original pub) (2007-audio)
    FORMAT:  - Audible - almost 16 hours
    RATING - 5/5

    Set around the Depression era, we meet the central character, Danny Fisher, as a young Jewish boy growing up in Brooklyn.  His father, a pharmacist, has just purchased their first home, which he tells Danny is for him even though Danny has a sister. Danny loves his new house, but he quickly learns that he must learn to be tough. 

    Because it's the depression, his family falls on hard times and are forced to leave Danny's beloved home and move to the lower east side to become renters once again.  Danny hates seeing what is happening to his family and must also contend with bullies, racists and violence on the streets of NY.  He learns to box so that he can be tough and, he finds that he is quite good at it as well.  All the while as Danny is trying to find his place in the world, his actions cause problems between him and his family, when in reality he is only trying to make things easier for his mother and father. 

    Beautifully written, detailed, and emotional at times, A Stone for Danny Fisher, is a wonderful story about a lost childhood and the consequences of poor life choices. Harold Robbins knew how to write with a eye for detail. The intricate details are never boring, instead they drew me into the story even deeper, making me feel what Danny was feeling at times.  

    There are some heavy subjects detailed here: anti semitism, bullies, prostitution, sex, violence and corruption. Not since Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, have I been so moved by a story.  Charles Leggett who narrated this audio book was absolutely outstanding. This is one of the best audio book stories I've ever listen more to and, although the audio is almost 15 hours, we couldn't wait to get back to this story every chance we got. Try it sometime, I'm betting you will enjoy it as well.