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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

The House at Sugar Beach - Helene Cooper Liberia.Cooper's memoir of growing up in, fleeing from, and returning to make her peace with Liberia. Some reviewers have been unhappy that Cooper did not focus more on Liberia's internal conflict, but this is a memoir, not a journalistic appraisal of a country's political and social problems. It's appropriate to her chosen genre that Cooper focuses on her recollections of childhood, preoccupations and relationships, and life experiences, set inextricably in the context of her country's growing strife. There seemed to be plenty of history and commentary on Liberia, with the familial emphasis you would expect in a memoir.Other reviewers have criticized her as lacking emotional expression, which is not what I see. Many memoirs of traumatic events are narrated with a superficial distance but are nonetheless very emotionally evocative, and that is the case for this life story as well.My complaints about the book have nothing to do with the content. There are a few egregiously bad typos ("who's" for "whose" is an example), but this is the editor's oversight, not Cooper's. The typeface in the hardback is a thick, serifed style that is hard on the eye. As a narrative, however, I found it interesting and engaging.