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Book Review: The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce

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Title: The Music Shop
Author: Rachel Joyce
ISBN: 9780813996685
Publisher: Random House

Synopsis:

“An unforgettable story of music, loss and hope. Fans of High Fidelity, meet your next quirky love story.”—People

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE TIMES (UK)

It is 1988. On a dead-end street in a run-down suburb there is a music shop that stands small and brightly lit, jam-packed with records of every kind. Like a beacon, the shop attracts the lonely, the sleepless, and the adrift; Frank, the shop’s owner, has a way of connecting his customers with just the piece of music they need. Then, one day, into his shop comes a beautiful young woman, Ilse Brauchmann, who asks Frank to teach her about music. Terrified of real closeness, Frank feels compelled to turn and run, yet he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems, and Frank has old wounds that threaten to reopen, as well as a past it seems he will never leave behind. Can a man who is so in tune with other people’s needs be so incapable of connecting with the one person who might save him? The journey that these two quirky, wonderful characters make in order to overcome their emotional baggage speaks to the healing power of music—and love—in this poignant, ultimately joyful work of fiction

My Review:

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Book Review: Always by Sarah Jio

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Title: Always
Author: Sarah Jio
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-1-101-88502-4

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Blackberry Winter and The Violets of March comes a gripping, poignant novel about the kind of love that never lets go, and the heart’s capacity to remember.

While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiance, Ryan, at one of Seattle’s chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can’t believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers, and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense everything connected and felt “right.” But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what and whom she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she’s willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.

My Review: (more…)

Book Review: Modern Manners Tools to Take You to the Top by Dorothea Johnson and Liv Tyler

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When I say Liv Tyler, most people would recognize I am talking about the actress who portrayed Arwen undomiel in The Lord of the Rings but do they know she also has an etiquette expert grandmother, Dorothea Johnson.  Liv and her grandmother have come together to write an amazing manners reference book recently.

The book is divided by six major contents: Meetings & Greetings, On the Job, Electronic Communications, Out and About, Dining Skills and The savvy Host.  It covers from the most basic handshake, interview, on the job, party to table manners.  At the end of each major topic, there are two list to summarize the topic: the DO and DON’T lists.  Other the cute cover picture, the one thing I like most about this manners book is the funny little side stories or facts.  I actually laughed out loud several times.

Etiquette can be very subjective due to culture, region even within the states, generation.   There is no 100% right answer to any rules but there is definitely some big NO NOs one should never do whether in a formal or causal setting.  There is one rule I disagree with authors; turn your chopsticks around and use the handle ends to pick up your potions from a communal platter.  I think a better way to do it is to ask for an extra pair of chopsticks, most Asian restaurants provide communal chopsticks without asking now a day so asking should not be a problem.  The reason why I don’t like to turn the chopsticks to pick up food is because some people like to hold their chopsticks higher (there is nothing wrong with that).  If that person were to use the other end to pick up food, it is like using his/her hands on the communal platter.

I would recommend this book to everyone especially young adults who are looking or just started their careers.

4 out of 5 Stars

Received a free copy through Blogging for Books for this review.