To Lay To Rest Our Ghosts by Caitlin Hamilton Summie @fomitepress @csummie #tolaytorestourghosts #fivestars #bookreview #tarheelreader

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My Thoughts:

To Lay To Rest Our GhostsTo Lay To Rest Our Ghosts by Caitlin Hamilton Summie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 short story stars (even if you don’t typically like short stories!) to To Lay To Rest Our Ghosts! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

This book has won multiple awards, and after reading all the stories, it’s no wonder why. Caitlin Hamilton Summie is adept at writing deeply emotional short stories with a single thread uniting them .

Themes we can all related to of family, reconciliation, and home going, resound within these pages with simple and quiet, yet deeply profound words. I found myself highlighting passages on most every page.

Even if you do not typically enjoy short stories, this is a collection to give a try. Nothing is clipped or rushed. There is plenty of resonance, much on which to reflect, and the loosely-tied themes bring them all together and offer a smooth connection. This book made me fall in love with the short story.

“We’re from the same place, but we have different geographies of the heart.”

Thank you to Caitlin Hamilton Summie for the complimentary copy. I will be revisiting this beauty!

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Synopsis:

Finalist, Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards for Short Stories

Featured in The Millions Most-Anticipated The Great Second-Half 2017 Book Preview

Selected for 35 Over 35’s 2017 List

A Pulpwood Queen Book Club Bonus Book for June 2018

In these ten elegantly written short stories, Caitlin Hamilton Summie takes readers from WWII Kansas City to a poor, drug-ridden neighborhood in New York, from western Massachusetts to woodsy Wisconsin, and from the quiet of rural Minnesota to its pulsing Twin Cities, each time navigating the geographical boundaries that shape our lives as well as the geography of tender hearts, loss, and family bonds. Deeply moving and memorable, To Lay To Rest Our Ghosts examines the importance of family, the defining nature of place, the need for home, and the hope of reconciliation.

Do you enjoy short stories? If you have a favorite collection, please let me know. Happy Reading! Jennifer THR

Throwback Thursday! Everything Here is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee @miratlee @pameladormanbks #everythinghereisbeautiful #bookreview #tarheelreader

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Throwback Thursday is a fun meme created by Renee at It’s Book Talk as a way to share reviews of books that are old favorites, as well as books that have finally been read after languishing for a while.

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For Throwback Thursday this week, I want to feature another of my favorites from 2018 thus far. Everything Here is Beautiful is one of the most perfectly executed books I’ve ever read. For me, the reason was the authenticity of the emotion and relationships throughout.

My Review:

Everything Here Is BeautifulEverything Here Is Beautiful by Mira T. Lee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 Deeply moving, honest stars to Everything Here Is Beautiful! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 

May all books about mental health challenges be this honest, this realistic.

From the start, I was enthralled with Miranda and Lucia’s characters. These sisters had an interesting beginning in the United States after moving with their single mother from China. Family stories are always my favorite, and this one delivered “family” on every level. The story follows Miranda and Lucia throughout their lives, including Lucia’s development of a mental illness and thereafter. What ensued is a true-to-life account of a sister who tried to advocate, save, support her sister, while also trying to find the balance and living her own life. When Miranda wasn’t there, it was Yonah (oh, what a loveable character!), Lucia’s first husband. And when not him, it was Manny (equally loveable in different ways), her second husband and the father to her child. Each person had his/her own way of helping Lucia, and the manner in which the story was told added layer upon layer of perspective from each voice. A side benefit to book was culture- Chinese culture, Israeli culture, Ecuadorian culture, and the culture of mental health.

All of that led to empathy. My biggest hope is that this book will help in gaining insight into the area of mental health (we all have mental health! 😊), perspective-taking, and through that, empathy. It would be typical and easy to feel sad for Lucia and her family members. Anyone would. They went through so much trying to live life while taking care of her. But what’s more important, and most definitely harder, is to move past the sympathy and sadness, which disconnects you from the pain of others, and feel connected to others through empathy- by walking in Lucia’s/Miranda’s/Yonah’s/Manny’s/Essy’s shoes. Through empathy there comes true acceptance, and I think that’s what many facing difficulties with mental health want more than anything.

I’m passionate about mental health, and I’m so grateful that this book was written with truth, heart, and complete realism, even though I will always wish/hope for better outcomes.

Everything Here is Beautiful is what my huggable bookshelf is all about.

This was a Traveling Sister group read that I joined in late, once everyone else had finished. My sisters are awesome and came back to the thread to discuss with me throughout. I think it shows how much we all cared about this book and its characters. 💕

Thank you to Mira T. Lee, Pamela Dorman Books/Penguin, and Edelweiss for the complimentary copy of this deeply moving book.

View all my reviews

Synopsis:

Two sisters: Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister’s protector; Lucia, the vibrant, headstrong, unconventional one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts to hear voices, it’s Miranda who must fight for the help her sister needs — even as Lucia refuses to be defined by any doctor’s diagnosis.

Determined, impetuous, she plows ahead, marrying a big-hearted Israeli only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She will move with her new family to Ecuador, but the bitter constant remains: she cannot escape her own mental illness. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until inevitably, she crashes to earth. And then Miranda must decide, again, whether or not to step in — but this time, Lucia may not want to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans, but what does it take to break them?

Told from alternating perspectives, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its core, a heart-wrenching family drama about relationships and tough choices — how much we’re willing to sacrifice for the ones we love, and when it’s time to let go and save ourselves.

Have you read Everything Here is Beautiful? Do you plan to? Happy reading! JTHR 

Love, Lies and Wedding Cake by Sue Watson @suewatsonwriter @bookouture #loveliesandweddingcake #bookreview #tarheelreader #pubday

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Happy Publication Day to Love, Lies and Wedding Cake! This was a real charmer!

My Review:

Love, Lies and Wedding CakeLove, Lies and Wedding Cake by Sue Watson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 Wedded Bliss stars to Love, Lies, and Wedding Cake! 🎂 🎂 🎂 🎂

I am not much of a royal watcher, but I have Royal Wedding fever! I’ve found myself obsessed with Megan and Harry and their genuine love for each other. So, reading Love, Lies, and Wedding Cake on the heels of that experience was apropos, even if in the form of a fun and heartwarming rom com!

Faye and her Aussie boyfriend, Dan, have traveled the world together experiencing all the most romantic locations. The fun stops when Dan proposes and wants Faye to join him in Australia. Faye has a daughter and is not so sure about uprooting her life, even if Dan is her dream guy.

Love, Lies, and Wedding Cake is all about second chances and following your heart. In true rom com style, I was laughing, and I had warm fuzzies by the end. Once again, these are the best books for lifting my spirits and breaking up heavier reads.

Thank you to Sue Watson, Bookouture, and Netgalley for the ARC. Love, Lies and Wedding Cake is now available!
View all my reviews

Synopsis:

Will Faye get her happy-ever-after or will bittersweet secrets ruin the recipe for love?

Since Faye met her gorgeous Aussie boyfriend Dan, they’ve travelled all over the world to meet in amazing, crazy and romantic locations. They’ve eaten gateaux in a chateau, chocolate torte in a moonlit port, and even had stöllen kisses in a sparkling Christmas market. Neither of them wanted to settle down… until now.

When Dan asks Faye to marry him and to move to Australia it throws a real spanner in the works. Faye’s daughter Emma needs her here, so moving to the other side of the world – even for a hunk like Dan – simply isn’t an option. Is it?

Faye’s been down the marriage road before and it ended up with her having Ryan Gosling fantasies while her ex-husband obsessed about the plumbing. Is that what she has to look forward to? Is she ready to end her adventure? And even if she is, how can she be sure Dan is the right man for her?

A delicious romantic comedy about secrets, second chances and following your heart. Perfect for fans of Cathy Bramley, Jill Mansell and Sophie Kinsella.

Happy Wednesday and Happy Reading! Jennifer THR

My Mother’s Son By David Hirshberg @figtreebks #davidhirshberg #mymothersson #bookreview #tarheelreader

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My Review:

My Mother's SonMy Mother’s Son by David Hirshberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 charming stars to My Mother’s Son! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟.5

Thank you to my friends, Elyse and Angela, for this wonderful recommendation. I am ecstatic after reading this book.

Joel worked as a radio host for over 40 years, and he is our narrator with the present day being the 1950s (one of my favorite time periods of which to read because both my parents were children during that time). Joel tells us the story of his life in post WWII Boston.

Hot button issues of the time form the historical backdrop of this endearing story and include the Korean War, the polio epidemic, the years after the Holocaust, and all the various political scandals.

My Mother’s Son is a carefully woven tale of the same topics that know no time and place- betrayal and hate, and on the flip side, steadfastness and immense love. I took off half a star just because some of the baseball stuff was a little draggy to me (I’m just not a baseball fan). Otherwise, this is book gold!

Thank you to David Hirshberg for this lovely debut, as well as Fig Tree Books and Edelweiss for ARC. My Mother’s Son is available now!
View all my reviews

Synopsis: 

In the spirit of Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America and Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay comes My Mother’s Son, the meticulously-crafted debut novel from David Hirshberg. The story is told by a radio raconteur revisiting his past in post-World War II Boston, the playground and battleground for two brothers whose lives are transformed by discoveries they never could have imagined. From the opening line of the book, “When you’re a kid, they don’t always tell you the truth,” the stage is set for this riveting coming-of-age story that plays out against the backdrop of the Korean War, the aftermath of the Holocaust, the polio epidemic, the relocation of a baseball team, and the shenanigans of politicians and businessmen. Hirshberg deftly weaves together events, characters, and clues and creates a rich tapestry of betrayal, persecution, death, loyalty, and unconditional love that resonates with today’s America.

Happy Reading! Jennifer THR

Star of the North by D.B. John #dbjohn @crownpublishing #starofthenorth #bookreview #tarheelreader

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My Review:

Star of the NorthStar of the North by D.B. John

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 big stars to Star of the North! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Where do I even start with this one. Yowza. So stinkin’ good. Thanks to my friend, Fran, for another stellar recommendation.

A thriller set in North and South Korea- talk about original! And timely! It is 1999 when a Korean American teenager is kidnapped from a beach in South Korea and taken to North Korea. Twelve years later, her twin, Jenna, is certain her sister is still alive and wants desperately to find answers.

There are other stories within this stories, and I know some are hesitant about that. Here, it is brilliantly done because it sheds light on all aspects of the story at a deeper level. One of the additional stories is about a peasant woman living and working in North Korea. I felt like I had my eyes literally on the ground in North Korea, that forbidden place we never get to truly see. The second story is about a high ranking North Korean official who finds out he may be related to a traitor of the state, which is punishable by death.

I was literally spellbound by this book. It was steeped in culture, one I know little about, while also being one of most edge-of-your-seat, gripping and original thrillers I’ve read in a while. Smart, explosive, revealing, and masterful, D.B. John’s Star of the North is an exceptional, phenomenal, and insert every single other adjective to gush about this wondrous thriller.

Thank you to D.B. John, Crown Publishing, and Netgalley for the ARC. Star of the North will be released on May 22, 2018, which is tomorrow!

View all my reviews

Synopsis:

A propulsive and ambitious thriller about a woman trying to rescue her twin sister from captivity in North Korea, and the North Korean citizens with whom she forms an unlikely alliance

Star of the North opens in 1998, when a Korean American teenager is kidnapped from a South Korean beach by North Korean operatives. Twelve years later, her brilliant twin sister, Jenna, is still searching for her, and ends up on the radar of the CIA. When evidence that her sister may still be alive in North Korea comes to light, Jenna will do anything possible to rescue her–including undertaking a daring mission into the heart of the regime. Her story is masterfully braided together with two other narrative threads. In one, a North Korean peasant woman finds a forbidden international aid balloon and uses the valuables inside to launch a dangerously lucrative black-market business. In the other, a high-ranking North Korean official discovers, to his horror, that he may be descended from a traitor, a fact that could mean his death if it is revealed. As the novel progresses, these narrative strands converge and connect in surprising ways, ultimately building to an explosive and unforgettable climax.

Happy reading! Jennifer

 

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea @urrealism @littlebrown #thehouseofbrokenangels #bookreview #tarheelreader

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This is a must-read, and I added it to my “huggable” book shelf, which is my highest recommendation I can give a book, one that I love so much I hug it.

My Review:

The House of Broken AngelsThe House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 epic family saga stars to The House of Broken Angels! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

I have found a new author to love. Luis Alberto Urrea is a storyteller, and that is the highest compliment I can give any author.

Big Angel de la Cruz is the patriarch of his family, and he is dying. The book opens with him having to say goodbye to his mother at her funeral while also knowing he is living his last days.

Big Angel recounts the story of his family and how they came to live in the United States, a tale filled with secrets and lore. The de la Cruz family is complex, the dynamics fraught with the push and pull so native to families. Big Angel’s storytelling is raw and honest, so genuinely authentic, I could see these characters in three dimension and feel their pulses.

The House of Broken Angels is an epic story, one in which to lose yourself. One to help you reflect on your own family and its own push and pull. There is so much to love here and so much with which to relate. There is humor that will make you laugh and heartbreak, too, because isn’t that what families have to walk through together? Indelible is used in the description of this book. Yep, that summarizes it perfectly in one single word. Indelible. And huggable.

Thank you to Luis Alberto Urrea, Little, Brown and Company, and Netgalley for the ARC. The House of Broken Angels is available now!

My reviews can also be found on my shiny new blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
View all my reviews

Synopsis: 

The definitive Mexican-American immigrant story, at once intimate and epic, from an acclaimed storyteller.

In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel De La Cruz, known affectionately as Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader.

Across one bittersweet weekend in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of Big Angel and his mother, and recounting the many tales that have passed into family lore, the acts both ordinary and heroic that brought them to a fraught and sublime country and allowed them to flourish in the land they have come to call home. The story of the De La Cruzes is the American story. This indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us of what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border. Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best, and it cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank.

Do you enjoy family stories? What are some of your favorites? Happy reading! JTHR 

The Mercy Seat by Elizabeth Winthrop @groveatlantic #themercyseat #elizabethhwinthrop #bookreview #tarheelreader

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My Review:

The Mercy SeatThe Mercy Seat by Elizabeth H. Winthrop

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars to emotive and lyrically-written, The Mercy Seat! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Thanks to my friend, Cheri, for this recommendation. As you can see, I adored it!

It is 1943 in New Iberia, Louisiana, and Willie Jones is eighteen-years-old and sitting in prison cell on the eve of his execution by electric chair.

Told through sometimes short vignettes, we hear multiple perspectives in third person carefully pieced together. The DA who prosecuted Willie, Willie’s father who is lugging a gravestone on a highway via an old mule (imagine, oh how my heart hurt), a married couple, Ora and Dale, who have secrets of their own; all of these viewpoints round out this story and add so much depth.

This book was the starkest contradiction of beauty and brutality, pure of heart and total heartbreak. Elizabeth Winthrop’s gift for prose is beyond memorable, not only to my ear as I felt I was hearing these characters speak to me as I read, but also to my heart, as the words were etched firmly there.

I recommend this one without hesitation to my friends who enjoy eloquent writing and deeply moving, important stories. The Mercy Seat is a standout.

Thank you to Elizabeth Winthrop, Grove Press, and Netgalley. The Mercy Seat is available now!

My reviews can also be found on my shiny new blog www.jennifertarheelreader.com

View all my reviews

Synopsis:

A breakout novel by “a bitingly intelligent writer” (New York Times Book Review) set during the hours leading up to the scheduled execution of a young black man for the alleged rape of a white woman in a small Louisiana town in 1943.

“One of the finest writers of her generation” (Brad Watson), and author of three previously acclaimed novels, Elizabeth H. Winthrop delivers a brave new book that will launch her distinguished career anew. An incisive, meticulously crafted portrait of race, racism, and injustice in the Jim Crow era South that is as intimate and tense as a stage drama, The Mercy Seat is a stunning account of one town’s foundering over a trauma in their midst.

On the eve of his execution, eighteen year old Willie Jones sits in his cell in New Iberia awaiting his end. Across the state, a truck driven by a convict and his keeper carries the executioner’s chair closer. On a nearby highway, Willie’s father Frank lugs a gravestone on the back of his fading, old mule. In his office the DA who prosecuted Willie reckons with his sentencing, while at their gas station at the crossroads outside of town, married couple Ora and Dale grapple with their grief and their secrets.

As various members of the township consider and reflect on what Willie’s execution means, an intricately layered and complex portrait of a Jim Crow era Southern community emerges. Moving from voice to voice, Winthrop elegantly brings to stark light the story of a town, its people, and its injustices. The Mercy Seat is a brutally incisive and tender novel from one of our most acute literary observers.

Happy Saturday and happy reading! JTHR

The Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook #elizabethcrook #thewhichwaytree @littlebrown #bookreview #tarheelreader

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My review:

The Which Way TreeThe Which Way Tree by Elizabeth Crook

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 haunting stars to The Which Way Tree! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The Which Way Tree was recommended by my friend, Diane S. Thanks, Diane!

Living in the Texas frontier, Benjamin Shreve has quite the story to tell written in his own twangy voice in letters of “testimony” to a judge. The Which Way Tree is considered a pursuit narrative, and I would add that it was very much an adventure in that pursuit.

Benjamin and his sister, Sam, are pursuing a panther that not only scarred Sam’s face, her childhood, and her future, but also tragically killed her mother. She wants revenge.

I absolutely loved hearing Benjamin’s voice and his natural gift for storytelling. Sam is a strong, invincible girl, and I rooted for her throughout. The abiding and enduring sister/brother relationship between Sam and Benjamin was beautiful to watch unfold. Their struggle to survive was impactful.

There were some triggers (violence human-to-human and between animals and humans), and living on the wild frontier “some” violence is certainly understandable.

Overall, The Which Way Tree is a well-written, engaging, and beguiling tale of the brother and sister bond and a thirst for revenge no matter the cost.

Thank you to Elizabeth Crook, Little, Brown and Company, and Netgalley for the ARC. The Which Way Tree is available now!

My reviews can also be found on my shiny new blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com
View all my reviews

Synopsis: 

The poignant odyssey of a tenacious young girl who braves the dangers of the Texas frontier to avenge her mother’s death

Early one morning in the remote hill country of Texas, a panther savagely attacks a family of homesteaders, mauling a young girl named Samantha and killing her mother, whose final act is to save her daughter’s life. Samantha and her half brother, Benjamin, survive, but she is left traumatized, her face horribly scarred.

Narrated in Benjamin’s beguilingly plainspoken voice, The Which Way Tree is the story of Samantha’s unshakeable resolve to stalk and kill the infamous panther, rumored across the Rio Grande to be a demon, and avenge her mother’s death. In their quest she and Benjamin, now orphaned, enlist a charismatic Tejano outlaw and a haunted, compassionate preacher with an aging but relentless tracking dog. As the members of this unlikely posse hunt the panther, they are in turn pursued by a hapless but sadistic Confederate soldier with troubled family ties to the preacher and a score to settle.

In the tradition of the great pursuit narratives, The Which Way Tree is a breathtaking saga of one steadfast girl’s revenge against an implacable and unknowable beast. Yet with the comedic undertones of Benjamin’s storytelling, it is also a timeless tale full of warmth and humor, and a testament to the enduring love that carries a sister and brother through a perilous adventure with all the dimensions of a legend.

I hope you have a happy reading weekend! JTHR

My Big Greek Summer by Sue Roberts @Susan78338410 @bookouture #mybiggreeksummer #bookreview #tarheelreader

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My Review:

My Big Greek SummerMy Big Greek Summer by Sue Roberts

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 I Love Greece stars to My Big Greek Summer! 🍋 🍋 🍋 🍋

Just when I needed cheering up most, Mandy jumps into a plane to a Greek island, and I was along for the adventure, which was the perfect enjoyable distraction and then some! I have traveled to Greece, and Sue Roberts captures the idyllic setting in a realistic and amusing fashion.

When Mandy finds out her husband has cheated on her, she leaves. Of course she meets a handsome man in Greece, but things are not always as they appear to be. Will Mandy ever heal her broken heart?

In true rom/com style, I smiled, I laughed, and I swooned, all over this escape of a read. Sue Roberts has written an incredibly enjoyable romp, and I hope she’ll take us back to Greece in her next book!

Thank you to Sue Roberts, Bookouture, and Netgalley for the ARC. My Big Greek Summer is available now!

My reviews can also be found on my shiny new blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com

View all my reviews

Synopsis:

A holiday can solve everything… can’t it? A hilarious, hot new summer escape about kissing your past goodbye and learning to love again…

Carefree, thirty-something Mandy thought she’d be married to first-love Danny forever.

So when she discovers her heart-throb husband has had a fling, she realises it’s time to make some BIG changes. But what will Mandy do now she’s single for the first time in her adult life?

Determined to find her spark again, Mandy hops on a plane, ready for adventure and a second chance at happiness. Escaping to a sun-drenched Greek island, the glittering blue seas, golden beaches and delicious cocktails are exactly what she needs.

Over one spontaneous summer, Mandy has the time of her life making new friends in a pretty little Mediterranean village by the sea. And she finds herself unexpectedly falling for a tall, dark, handsome stranger. But Mandy soon realises that even paradise has its problems…

Can a holiday romance really heal her broken heart? Or will someone in Mandy’s old life call her home again?

A hilarious feel-good story of laughter, sunshine and living life to the full, perfect for fans of Kat French, Jenny Oliver and Carole Matthews.

I love to mix genres, and I’ve found rom coms are perfect for in between my heavier literary and thriller reads! Do you enjoy rom/coms or beachy reads?

Happy reading! JTHR

Robin by Dave Itzkoff @ditzkoff @henryholt #robinwilliams #bookreview #tarheelreader

I’m a huge fan of Robin Williams, and when I saw that my friend, Toni, on Goodreads, read and enjoyed this book, I had to pick it up, too.

My Review:

RobinRobin by Dave Itzkoff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 stars to Robin, a thorough and well-written biography of the life of one-of-a-kind Robin Williams! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

This book came highly recommended by my friend, Toni. I’m so grateful I read it.

My earliest memory of Robin Williams includes my mom’s hysterical laughter mixed with my own, while watching re-runs of Mork and Mindy. Robin’s silly humor even translated to small children! My favorite memory of him is when he came to my college’s campus to film Patch Adams, and I walked right by him and managed not to faint! Patch Adams remains my favorite Robin Williams’ movie.

Robin is a biographical compendium of Robin Williams’ life. This book is long on pages, but it does not feel that way when reading. Yes, there are tons of footnotes, but the author clearly did his job of interviewing and researching most every aspect of Williams’ full and varied life. I did not know much about his early life, or even his early career, so I soaked in all the details, and tried to put together the intricate pieces of the Robin puzzle.

Also included was information about his final diagnosis, Diffuse Lewy Body Dementia, which unfortunately, was not a diagnosis Williams’ received when he was still alive. One can only hope it would have offered him some understanding of what was going on physically with his body and cognitively with his thoughts.

Robin Williams was in a league of his own. This biography is a must for any fan, and even if you were not a fan, this is a perfectly written biography full of heart.

Thank you to Dave Itzkoff, Henry Holt and Co., and Netgalley for the ARC. Robin is available now!

All of my reviews can also be found on my shiny new blog: www.jenniferatarheelreader.com

View all my reviews

Synopsis: 

From New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff, the definitive biography of Robin Williams – a compelling portrait of one of America’s most beloved and misunderstood entertainers.

From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his breakout role in Mork & Mindy and his Academy Award-winning performance in Good Will Hunting, Robin Williams was a singularly innovative and beloved entertainer. He often came across as a man possessed, holding forth on culture and politics while mixing in personal revelations – all with mercurial, tongue-twisting intensity as he inhabited and shed one character after another with lightning speed.

But as Dave Itzkoff shows in this revelatory biography, Williams’s comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt, which he drew upon in his comedy and in celebrated films like Dead Poets Society; Good Morning, Vietnam; The Fisher King; Aladdin; and Mrs. Doubtfire, where he showcased his limitless gift for improvisation to bring to life a wide range of characters. And in Good Will Hunting he gave an intense and controlled performance that revealed the true range of his talent.

Itzkoff also shows how Williams struggled mightily with addiction and depression – topics he discussed openly while performing and during interviews – and with a debilitating condition at the end of his life that affected him in ways his fans never knew. Drawing on more than a hundred original interviews with family, friends, and colleagues, as well as extensive archival research, Robin is a fresh and original look at a man whose work touched so many lives.

Are you a fan of Robin Williams, too? Do you enjoy biographies? Happy Reading! JTHR