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2012 Year in (Book) Review…heehee! By Lisa Paul

Hello my friends, I hope this post finds you all well.  I hope your holidays were happy and the year to come holds nothing but health and happiness for you and your loved ones.

I have received feedback from some of you requesting a top ten (or so) list of my favorite books from Lisa’s Reads this year.  After giving the requests a lot of thought I came to this conclusion….I CAN’T do it.  I just CAN’T.  Why, You ask?  I’ll tell you.  If you read the “About Me” section at the top of the page, or if you have been following this blog over the course of the year, you know that I only post books that I LOVE.  I don’t have a rating system…I don’t do negative reviews…I ONLY post books that have won my heart.  That being the case, how could I possibly choose ten books that I love more than the rest of the books I have claimed to love up until this point.  To me, it would be like asking a parent to choose which child she loves more.  I can’t do it.  As any good mom would say, while I do love all of the children (or in this case my books) the same amount, I love them for different reasons.  So what I thought I would do is list for you ALL of the books I reviewed or even mentioned in my blog this year.  However, I will break them into genres/categories to make it a little less overwhelming for you.  **Please understand, the books listed below are NOT listed in any particular order!** It is also important to note that while, for the purpose of this post, I have placed the books in one list or another, a lot of them can be in more then one genre.  When you click on each book, you will be taken directly to it’s original post, there you will be able to see if the book falls into another genre.  Have fun!

Non-Fiction:

Unbroken:A World War 11 Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand

Fiction/Book Club:

Thirteen Reasons Why” by Jay Asher

The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton

Raising Jake” by Charlie Carillo

Some Assembly Required” Lynn Kiele Bonasia

A Grown -Up Kind of Pretty” by Joshilyn Jackson (more…)

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Fiction Romance Romance/Series S.C. Stephens Series

“Effortless” by S.C. Stephens

Sometimes when one has been disappointed by something/someone they can’t help but try whatever action that led to that disappointment again in hopes of a different outcome. (Just ask any love-sick teenager! Or think about your own mis-steps.) Psychologists call that behavior “crazy”, in the short term..I call it life!

Not too long ago, I read and posted about “Thoughtless” by S.C. Stephens. I loved the story but intensely disliked the main character. I found her (Kiera) to be spineless and whiney. I closed the book (turned off the Kindle..whatever!) and actually ranted to whomever would listen about how disappointed I was in both the author and the heroine (and believe me..I was using “heroine” loosely!). I didn’t think Kiera deserved a ”happily ever after”…I didn’t think she deserved anything…frankly, I was angry. So…maybe the author was better than I thought..she really made me dislike Kiera..good job Ms. Stephens!!

A friend of mine told me that there was a sequel to the book called “Effortless.” I told her to keep the sequel..I wasn’t going to waste any more time on Kiera! My friend begged me to read the sequel..she kept telling me that Kiera redeemed herself. But to tell you the truth, I had no interest in revisiting Kiera (even if I did miss my other “Thoughtless” friends.) However, being the hopeless romantic that I am…or some might say..the “typical girl” that I am..I ended up back at the source of my disappointment hoping this time the ending would be different………. (more…)

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Bookclub Charlie Carillo Fiction Non-Romance

“Raising Jake” by Charlie Carillo

Buy this book here:

Buy for your Kindle:
The Sweet Gum Tree

Buy the Paperback:
The Sweet Gum Tree

I have always been so fascinated by the relationships males have with one another.  Whether it be young boys or gown men, male bonds have an unspoken essence that female relationships just don’t have.  When boys are young, and they have a disagreement  they bite or push each other and then they get over their issue and move on.  As teenagers, they disagree and possibly punch each other and then laugh about it and move on. When they are gown men, hopefully they are past the bodily harm phase but not always, and they use a few choice words, share a beer (or drink of choice) and move on.  Are you getting the pattern?  There is just something about male camaraderie that I really envy.  I don’t want to say that there is NO emotional baggage because sometimes there is, but with guys, 99% of the time what you see is what you get.

That being said, books based on male relationships have always appealed to me.  I am a sucker for almost any book where the main characters are brothers, best friends, fire fighters (swoon), Navy SEAL (swoon and drool), and especially fathers and sons (no swooning.. just a sweet sigh).  When women authors (which is  most of the books I read) write stories, they are able to capture the emotion, the sexuality, the passion and humor in the heroes they are creating.  However, I have learned from some of my favorite male authors, that when men write the stories, they are able to capture the grit, charm, internal conflict and humor that can only come from a man’s perspective.

In Charlie Carillo’s ”Raising Jake,” Carillo is able to take the reader into the to world of a tormented man, Sammy, who just so happens to be a tormented father and son as well.  This is a multi-generational story that takes place through the eyes of a man.  That alone separates it from so many other books I have read.  I can compare Carillo’s writing to that of Jonathan Tropper, my all time favorite male author.  While Carillo does not have Tropper’s sense of humor, he definitely makes up for it with his ability to give each character a depth that will leave you heart-broken and elated at the same time.  In the course of one weekend, and the handy tool of flashbacks, we learn about Sammy’s life before and after fatherhood, we meet Sammy’s awe-inspiring (and title inspiring) son Jake and Sammy’s father Danny.  These three men are the beautifully crafted characters that will put Mr. Carillo on my favorite author list.

I loved reading “Raising Jake”.  I felt like I was riding on the bus with Sammy and Jake and taking the life tour that was so desperately needed for each “boy” to finally become the man he needed to be.  I felt Jake’s confusion and Sammy’s guilt and my own desire to hug them both.  This is not just a book for my wonderful ladies who so faithfully look to me for book suggestions.  I would go out on a limb to say, maybe your husbands (boyfriends) would like this too.

If you are looking for more of a concise book review, please check out my review on Amazon.com. If you go to “Raising Jake” in the Kindle section, I am listed as Lnp416. Check it out.

Tell me what you think.

xo,

Lisa

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