“This is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper

 

Read it, or save your time?

A refreshingly candid and witty account of a dysfunctional family that will literally have you laughing out loud. Tropper incorporates a man’s thoughts and perceptions in a way that comes across as very real and honest, which as a female I found particularly interesting.

 

What’s it about?

Judd Foxmans life is in shambles.  After walking in on his beautiful wife having sex with his douchey, radio personality boss, he suddenly finds himself unemployed, single, and living in a dingy basement apartment eating and drinking himself into oblivion.  When he finds out his father has lost his battle with cancer, he heads home to honor his father’s dying wish of having the entire family sit shiva for a full seven days. Dreading the idea of being cooped up with his three emotionally cut-off siblings and their quirky mother, he thinks he has hit bottom – until his estranged wife shows up and announces she’s pregnant with his baby.

As the over the top but nonetheless real-feeling drama and dysfunction unfolds, you can’t help but cry with laughter, and commiserate with the feelings of anger, resentment, and pure love that only your family can simultaneously make you feel.

Reviewer’s Note:

This book is well-written book without being ostentatious and annoying – the perfect combo.   And although most parts are comical, there are quite a few serious moments and profound thoughts that will make you feel like Tropper just really gets it.

Advertisements

What is this site?

LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO WASTE TIME READING A BORING BOOK…

Plain and simple, we aim to inspire your next book selection and prevent you from wasting $13 and hours of your life on a book that quite frankly is just not that entertaining. Our main purpose is to provide you with honest, unbiased opinions from people you can trust, so you can decide whether a book is worth your time or not. In addition to the reviewers recommendation, each review will include a brief overview of the book.  They are concise and to the point – you will find spoiler alerts here.

 You can trust these reviews the same way you can trust a review from a good friend and fellow reading enthusiast.  It is written strictly for women who love to read and who enjoy mostly mainstream novels that are entertaining and engrossing.  This does not mean that the reviews are for chick books only – you will find reviews for a lot of serious novels as well.  However, an extremely well written novel that won a Pulitzer but is boring and difficult to get through will not get good reviews on this site.  If you want reviews on literary masterpieces, this is probably not the site for you.

I have had a passion for reading since I picked up my first Sweet Valley High book when I was 8 years old.  I started this site because I have one too many times found myself a victim in the following scenario:  Not knowing where to discover my next great read, I end up on Amazon, because their “if you liked this you will like this” feature is admittedly pretty good.  I find a few books with promising plots, but before committing I skim through some of the reviews.

Before long, I come across a scathing review.  Even though I know the review was probably written by some literary snob (you know, the type who thinks Tolstoy was a genius and thinks “Something Borrowed” was a travesty), or some strange woman living in the middle of nowhere with whom you have zero in common with, I am turned off despite myself and decide to pass on what is probably a good book.  Not that it matters anyway, since by reading the reviews written by random people, I already know entire story, have an intimate understanding of the characters, and the surprise ending is no longer a surprise.   ANNOYING.

Frustrated, I end up waiting for a friend to recommend something, because I least I know they have good taste that is similar to mine!  This site IS that friend, and offers reviews you can trust.  So do a quick search, find an awesome book to immerse yourself in, and sit back and pour yourself a glass of wine.  It’s the simple things in life that make us happy.

“Once We Were Brothers”, by Ronald H. Balson

Overall Rating: 5/5

Read it, or save your time?  If you don’t love this book, you may want to go see the Wizard and ask him for a new heart…

What’s it about?  An elderly man, Ben Solomon, accuses  well-respected billionaire philanthropist Elliott Rosensweig of being a Nazi SS officer during WWII.  He claims Rosensweig, who he once considered a brother,  betrayed his entire family and committed atrocious crimes.   Although Solomon’s accusations are largely dismissed as the rantings of a crazy old man, Solomon gets a lawyer and sets out to expose Rosensweig.  The question remains throughout the book…is Ronsesweig guilty, or not?

The story flips between present-day Chicago and Nazi occupied Poland, as told through Solomon’s recollections.   The best parts of the book are by far the flashbacks, where you really get a vividly haunting look into Jewish life under Hitler’s regime.

The story is told in a fluid, easy manner that sucks you in and engulfs you.  Be prepared to shed a few tears – some happy, some sad.  I liked this book so much that I pretty much did nothing all week except read.  My husband felt neglected but now he is reading it and is equally engrossed!