During my recent blogging break I decided that when I returned I’d incorporate more mini reviews into the blog in an effort to ward off further review writing burnout. As all book bloggers know, it’s a lot of work to write reviews for everything we read and sometimes it’s just as easy and convenient to write (and read) mini reviews. So, I’ll be trying out some new ideas here and there in terms of my review writing formats….



Published June 2017 By Atria Books

Short Summary: Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?



I’m the first to admit that sometimes, ok many times, I’ve let books pass me by because of assumptions I make about them or as in the case of Evelyn, I read about 10 pages of it earlier this summer and thought nope, I’m not in the mood for a woman’s story about her 7 husbands. What a HUGE mistake that was and I’m so glad I came around to giving this another try. Being a mood reader is so bizarre sometimes and it took a complete reading slump and Sarah’s Alcohol and Advil post last week to bring this one back into my orbit.

Here’s what I found to be important about this book…I went into it not reading any recent reviews so the entire storyline was a surprise to me and there were SO many unexpected twists along the way. Legendary movie star Evelyn tells her story to young and inexperienced Monique and while you’ll wonder what she’s got up her sleeve for choosing Monique of all people, that will take a backseat as you’re swept into the 1950s glitz, glamour, and excitement of Old Hollywood. As we get to know Evelyn though, we come to find that her life wasn’t all glamour, there was plenty of heartache, drama, betrayals, and secrets to last a lifetime. And that’s what kept me completely captivated and made this a book I spent my entire Saturday reading. I was unprepared for the respect I felt for Evelyn despite not agreeing with so much of what she did; I really did like her…in the end I think she was her own worst enemy most of the time. I can’t forget to mention the supporting characters…sheer perfection! Get your tissues ready for this addictive, gorgeously written novel that’s earned a place on my 5 star bookshelf.





Published March 2017 by Knopf; narrated by Mark Bramhall

Short Summary: In 1986, a shy and intelligent twenty-year-old named Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the forest. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later


Believe me when I say this was the perfect audiobook for not only long dog walks but also cleaning the house, running errands etc. I listened to it nonstop. I was immediately drawn into the story which really starts at the end in terms of when Chris Knight, not of his own volition, ended his 27 years of solitude in the Maine forest. As a lover of psychology, I really wanted to know what made someone choose to leave society behind and basically spend 27 years camping. How did he survive? What did he do for all those years? The awesome thing about listening to this was that Mark Bramhall made Chris Knight come alive, so during the many long interviews it felt like we were hearing from Chris himself and I was beyond intrigued.

I still think about this story for many reasons but mainly for the ways it made me think about it from so many different sides. Chris Knight was a complicated individual and in no uncertain terms broke the law…over and over and over again. I loved hearing from the citizens whose lives he affected, some were forever (negatively) changed and some who brushed him off and even tried to help him. As I said, fascinating! If you’re looking for an engaging story for nonfiction November, I highly recommend this audiobook.



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  1. Interestingly, when I first saw the titles, I just assumed that the first book was the non-fiction(autobiography) and the second one fiction. They both sound great though.

    Its always nice when a book you had initially dismissed ends up surprising you.Evelyn Hugo sounds like a wonderful read. Fab reviews Renee.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I listened to both these books on audio and loved them, too! You’re so right about the narrator for The Stranger bringing Knight to life. Like you I sped through it and the same is true for Evelyn. It was a book that I never would have picked up on my own. Just like you the premise didn’t seem like something I’d go for, but I kept seeing great reviews, so with extra time in the summer, I gave it a go. So, glad I did! I like the mini-review format. (I’ve been doing more, too.)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I couldn’t agree more with what you said about The Seven Husbands… Yesterday I decided to add it to my TBR list and give it a shot. The cover does not appeal to me nor the title, so I wrote it off. Then I realized I was judging a book by its cover and I don’t like to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow!! Both books sound intriguing. I’m really interested in The Stranger in the Woods. I love listening to audiobooks, and this one sounds like something I’d want to hear about.

    Thanks for telling us about these books. ( :

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yay!! Glad you loved both and you sort of had the same trajectory with 7 Husbands that I did! It was such an unexpectedly moving story and I didn’t truly know what it was about going in either. I think that’s the best way – you get unexpectedly delighted 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] Hollywood, 1914. Frances Marion, a young writer desperate for a break, meets “America’s Sweetheart,” Mary Pickford, already making a name for herself both on and off the screen with her golden curls and lively spirit. Together, these two women will take the movie business by storm. *I’m becoming more interested in old Hollywood historical fiction after loving The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo * […]

    Liked by 1 person

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