Book Review: The Movement of Stars by Amy Brill

I’m the first to admit writing a book review is not my forté, but once in a while I read something so extraordinary I am compelled to sing its praises. The Movement Of Star by Amy Brill is such a book, and deserving of much better accolades than I am capable.

Set in the mid-1800’s on the island of Nantucket, we are taken along on a woman’s journey of self-discovery. Having lived the insular life of a devotee in the Quaker community, Hannah Price–comet seeker, is unprepared to have the very roots of her faith shaken much less unearthed. Yet, she finds her mind opened and her beliefs challenged by the most unlikely of contenders-Issac, a dark-skinned whaler seeking knowledge of the stars.

I love where this story goes. To be witness to the strength and fortitude it takes Hannah in accepting the challenges to her belief system and exploring the new avenues of possibilities is exhilarating. Juxtaposing her and Issac’s opportunities and the differences in how the world presses it mores and will upon them is emotional, and intense. I found the characters well-drawn and moving, and the settings visually arresting.

This book is beautifully written, and smartly tailored. A complex and layered story whose language is fluid and rides along as if a sea. Amy Brill captures exactly what I imagine life was like for a woman of Hannah’s station. This story feels unique, complete, and satisfying.

I also appreciate Amy’s explanation for the inspiration of this story, the real life lady-astronomer, Maria Mitchell.

You can read a much better, and more comprehensive book review at: Bookmagnet’s Blog



Recommended: Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

I’m not exactly going out on a limb here in recommending a book I haven’t read yet since I’m sure I’m going to love it (I did!). I already love this woman, her message and her willingness to share what she’s learned.

You can get a feel for her and what she has to say on her website here and watch her brilliant TED talks on vulnerability here and shame here. Check out the book trailer for Daring Greatly.

“Our willingness to own and engage with our vulnerability determines the depth of our courage and the clarity of our purpose.” Brené Brown

Some who’ve read the book and reviewed it—Sarah Pinneo on Blurb is a Verb and The Pioneer Woman’s review.

As soon as I get my hands on it I’ll let you know if it does indeed deserve my blind recommendation. I have so much faith in her message I just couldn’t wait for you to hear about it.

UPDATE: Of course I loved it. I highly recommend it.

Recommended: My Book Reviews

I occasionally write reviews on Goodreads. When I have new ones I’ll post a link of my recommended books here.

The Future of Recommended Books

There has been a discussion around the blog-sphere concerning author quid pro quo marketing that leaves readers questioning whether they can trust reviews.

These are legitimate (a word here that means “justified”, in case you are a Republican representative from Missouri) concerns. I myself do not trust the big book seller’s starred reviews anymore.

My end-run is to build a list of reviewers whose opinions I trust. I typical start at Goodreads to see what my friends are reviewing/reading.

The more venues you peruse the more likely it is that you will find reviewers whose opinions you can respect and trust. Some of my favorite reviews come from these bloggers, publications or websites:

Diane Prokop

The Rumpus



I don’t read much science fiction or fantasy so it’s especially import for me to trust the reviewers opinion. These guys are funny too.

Elitist Book Reviews