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Book Review: The Shark Club by Ann Kidd Taylor

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Title: The Shark Club
Author: Ann Kidd Taylor
Publisher: Viking
ISBN: 9780735221475

Synopsis:

A novel about love, loss, and sharks by the New York Times bestselling coauthor of the memoir Traveling with Pomegranates.

On a summer day on the Gulf of Mexico in 1988, two extraordinary things happen to twelve-year-old Maeve Donnelly. First, she is kissed by Daniel, the boy of her dreams. Then, she is attacked by a blacktip shark.

Eighteen years later, Maeve is a world-traveling marine biologist studying and swimming with the very animals that once threatened her life. Known among her peers as the “shark whisperer,” Maeve is fearless in the water. On land, however, Maeve is dogged by unresolved wounds and indecisive about the path her life will take. After a particularly inspiring assignment abroad, Maeve returns to the small island off Florida’s coast where she grew up and to her childhood home—the legendarily charming and eccentric Hotel of the Muses, where she was raised by her grandmother. There, she is greeted by troubling news.

An illegal shark-finning operation has moved into town, and hundreds of sharks are dying. As Maeve fights to protect the fate of the animals so dear to her heart, she finds that her twin brother may be about to make it big as a novelist, using her love life as his jumping-off point. Will she confront her feelings about her brother’s betrayal—and forgive her childhood sweetheart, Daniel, the missteps of their youth? Or will she dive headlong back into her work and open her heart to Nicholas, her colleague who shares her passion for the ocean?

Set against the intoxicating backdrop of palm trees, blood orange sunsets, calypso bands, and key lime pies, The Shark Club is a love story, an environmental mystery, and an exploration of a woman’s mysterious kinship with the sea and the sharks that inhabit it.

My Review: (more…)

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Book Review: Untethered by Julie Lawson Timmer

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Title: Untethered
Author: Julie Lawson Timmer
ISBN: 9780399176272
Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Random House)

Synopsis:

Char Hawthorn, college professor, wife and stepmother to a spirited fifteen-year-old daughter, loves her family and the joyful rhythms of work and parenting. But when her husband dies in a car accident, the “step” in Char’s title suddenly matters a great deal. In the eyes of the law, all rights to daughter Allie belong to Lindy, Allie’s self-absorbed biological mother, who wants to girl to move to her home in California.

While Allie begins to struggle in school and tensions mount between her and Char, Allie’s connection to young Morgan, a ten-year-old-girl she tutors, seems to keep her grounded. But then Morgan, who was adopted out of foster care, suddenly disappears, and Char is left to wonder about a possible future without Allie and what to do about Morgan, a child caught up in a terrible crack in the system.

Untethered explores what bonds truly form a family and how, sometimes, love knows no bounds.

About the Author:

JulieTimmer-02-copyJulie Lawson Timmer grew up in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from McMaster University and a law degree from Southern Methodist University. She serves as in-house legal counsel to an automotive supplier in Michigan. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband and their children. She is also the author of Five Days Left.

My Review:

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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.