Book of the Month – February 2020

At the beginning of each month, we spotlight a staff-favorite book that meets our objective of thoughtfully sharing stories to help our audience experience their world in a smarter, healthier, and happier way.

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Book of the Month – December 2019

At the beginning of each month, we spotlight a staff-favorite book that meets our objective of thoughtfully sharing stories to help our audience experience their world in a smarter, healthier, and happier way.

December’s Book of the Month is:

A Gentleman in Moscow

What is it?

The mega-bestseller with more than 1.5 million readers that is soon to be a major television series

One of five Summer 2019 reading picks by Bill Gates

“The novel buzzes with the energy of numerous adventures, love affairs, [and] twists of fate.” —The Wall Street Journal


He can’t leave his hotel. You won’t want to.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Rules of Civility—a transporting novel about a man who is ordered to spend the rest of his life inside a luxury hotel.

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.

Amazon.com description

What are our thoughts?

I was skeptical at first about reading this book. I added it to my wish list after seeing it appear on some “best of 2016” lists. What made me unsure was when I read the synopsis, I thought I would find it boring.

Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try.

I was rewarded for my efforts.

The book is beautifully written. The characters are charming. The overall pacing felt right. The ending was a bit of a twist.

What made this a 4.5 instead of a 5 star review is that there were points where I found myself asking if whatever section I was reading was relevant. I easily forgave the author because of how well written everything was. However, the issue I had still remains.

There also didn’t seem to be a driving plot. Instead, it was about the life of the main character within the confines of the hotel.

Despite this, I still don’t hold any hard feelings.

“A Gentleman in Moscow” is a charming story. I would say it is especially perfect for reading during the colder months of the year.

I am very glad I gave it a chance and I hope you do too!

– GoodReads review by The Motley Experience founder and editor, Aristidis Marousas

Why should you read it?

December, and the holiday season in general, always feels like the beginning of novel reading season to me. Not that it is the exclusive time to read novels, but there’s something very uniquely special about curling up with a good work of fiction when the season turns dark and cold.

That is why I’d like to start this season off with one of my absolute favorite works of fiction, A Gentleman in Moscow.

While the overall subject matter might seem a bit boring, the writing is absolutely transfixing. I truly felt transported to a bygone era where class (especially how one carried themselves) was of particular importance.

You will grow immensely fond of the characters and fascinated by the day-to-day activities they engage in.

I’ve mentioned in previous installments of Book of the Month that it is important to sprinkle some fiction into your reading diet. For more on the topic a balanced reading “diet”, you can read my recent article, You Are What You Read.

Give yourself (or a loved one) the gift of a wonderful work of fiction this holiday season.


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You Are What You Read

We all know that our diet is very important to our overall health and wellbeing. The food we consume plays a large role in dictating how our bodies, and even minds, operate and function on a daily basis. But have you stopped to consider the effect of what you read on your mind, body, and soul?

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Book of the Month – October 2019

At the beginning of each month, we spotlight a staff-favorite book that meets our objective of thoughtfully sharing stories to help our audience experience their world in a smarter, healthier, and happier way.

Continue reading “Book of the Month – October 2019”

Short Story: My Dear Sister

Chapter 1

“So, yeah…” I finish saying to Alex. He keeps reminding me to call him by his first name. I suppose he helps to make me perceive this as being more of a casual setting.

“I see,” he replies. Then pauses. Oh boy, here it comes. “I think we should see each other more frequently. Perhaps twice a week instead of once a week. How would you feel about that?”

“Sure, that sounds ok to me,” I answer. Do I really have another choice? Patient confidentiality aside, I know he will tell my parents that he thinks I need more sessions.

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Book Review: The Boy Who Drew Monsters

Last year I began my own tradition of reading a horror/thriller book around Halloween. Consider it my way of mentally getting into the season. The first book I read was a classic; The Shining by Stephen King. It was an exciting read and I couldn’t wait to read another creepy kind of novel when this recently passed Halloween season came about. I was planning on reading another of King’s novels, perhaps Carrie. However, I settled on reading a new fiction book I saw on the shelves of Barnes & Noble while book shopping a few weeks ago.

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Book Review: The Name of the Wind

A few weeks ago, we published an article that listed five books on our wishlist. Last week, we reviewed a book on the list, LexiconThis week The Motley Experience reviews another book on the list, one that we were very excited to read. The Name of the Wind is the first in a three book saga by Patrick Rothfuss called, The Kingkiller Chronicle.

name of the wind

The Name of the Wind is the debut novel by fantasy writer Patrick Rothfuss. As stated earlier, it is the first in a series of three books that make up the saga of The Kingkiller Chronicle. The plot of the story revolves around the main character, Kvothe, telling the true story of how he came to be known as the legendary figure known across the lands. He tells his life story to a scriv, or storyteller/reporter, that has come looking for him. For when the book begins, Kvothe goes by the name of Kote, an innkeeper in a small village. Continue reading “Book Review: The Name of the Wind”

Book Review: Lexicon

In a previous article, we listed five books on The Motley Experience’s “wish list”. One of these books was the highly acclaimed novel by Max Barry, Lexicon.

lexicon_usa_hb_big

This is a science fiction novel that reads as a thriller. The premise of the story is based on an organization of people that are talented in the art of persuasion and linguistics, called “poets”, and what happens when they attempt to teach an undisciplined girl from the streets, Emily Ruff, their methods.

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Book Review: Jackdaws

It is 1944 and the Allies are preparing for the invasion of Europe. In the occupied town of Sainte-Cecile, the French Resistance is preparing to blow up the chateau that now houses the crucial telephone exchange connecting the French telephone system to that of Germany. Bombers have been unable to inflict enough damage on the chateau to disrupt communications for more than a few hours at a time, but the Allies need to make sure that communications is down for longer so that there will be as little warning of the invasion as possible.

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Book Review: Life After Life

This week’s Book Review takes a look at Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson

Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson, won the 2013 Costa Book Awards (Novel) and was shortlisted for the 2013 Orange Prize for Fiction and It was also selected as one of the 10 Best Books of 2013 by the editors of the New York Times Book Review

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