Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Care and Management of Lies: A Novel of the Great War

Author: Jaqueline Winspear
Stars: 4
Review by: Judy

Very unusual and interesting book about WWI and relationships.
 

William Shakespeare's The Empire Striketh Back

Author: Ian Doescher
Stars: 5
Review by: BookWorm2

A hilarious treat for lovers of Star Wars and/or William Shakespeare!
 

Hotel for Dogs

Author: Lois Duncan
Stars: 3
Review by: KM

Good in audio. Great for families.

The Memorist

Author: M.J. Rose
Stars: 2
Review by: BookWorm2

With all good mysteries and thrillers there are twists and turns that leave the reader guessing.  This is not one of those novels.  The twists were painfully obvious and eventually became so blatant that reading became a chore.

Bookerfly

from Judy:

St Paul's 9/11 Memorial

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

Author: Neil Patrick Harris
Stars: 4
Review by: Rainbow

Enjoyed listening to the audiobook, read by Neil Patrick Harris.  A very different type of autobiography with his personality showing through the book.

Persepolis

Author: Marjane Satrapi
Stars: 4
Review by: Brian S.

Persepolis is a fantastic graphic novel that focuses on the true story of the author, Marjane Satrapi's, life.  If you're a fan of issues in the middle east, or if you like the movie Argo, then this is a great novel for you.  It's also an easily accessible text to teach you more about the Iranian Revolution.
 

Trust No One

Author: Jayne Krentz
Stars: 2
Review by: DeckReader

Easy read, beach book.
 

Keeping Faith

Author: Jodi Picoult
Stars: 4
Review by: DeckReader

Again, amazing research and good story plot.
 

Change of Heart

Author: Jodi Picoult
Stars: 4
Review by: DeckReader

Typical Jodi Picoult.  You marvel at the research she does for her books along with keeping up with an interesting plot.

The Nightingale

Author: Kristin Hannah
Stars: 5
Review by: DeckReader

One of Kristin Hannah's best.  Novel about WWII and a woman's life and experiences during that time.
 

The Boston Girl

Author: Anita Diamant
Stars: 3
Review by: DeckReader

A grandmother telling her life story to her 22 year-old granddaughter.

Kismet

Author: Jamie Kincaid
Stars: 3
Review by: Shapoppa

I would be biased if I wrote a review for this book. It's a romance novel written by a friend of mine. It's part of a three series book deal she has with Grey Wolf publishing. She's currently working on the second book with a tentative title of Karma.
 

Never Too Late

Author: Amber Portwood
Stars: 3
Review by: Jess L.

Good book for fans of the TV show Teen Mom. I  enjoyed learning about Amber and her story.
 

Oh What a Paradise It Seems

Author: John Cheever
Stars: 5
Review by: Julie

So good it made me want to cry.
 

A Comfortable Wife

Author: Stephanie Laurens
Stars: 3
Review by: Smudge

A light summer read.
 

Bookerfly

from Miss Lucy:

Friday, June 26, 2015

Congratulations to...

... our Week #5 Prize Winners:
  • Brenda714
  • seaquin
 

Progress So Far...

Click on image to enlarge.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Gone too Far

Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Stars: 5
Review by: fine

WOW...just as i reported the last book was getting lost in the formula, this time Suzanne showed her writing chops. This is the best book in the series...Linda Howard, another author I like, agrees with me. We find Sam and Alyssa together looking for the bad guy, and discovering they have a real relationship. Tom gets accused of treason, and Kelly marries him, finally. FBI Max almost admits he wants a relationship with a younger woman that was part of a hostage rescue in an earlier book...of course they all get sexy and catch the bad guys. Tom is declared innocent, but he is not a happy camper, as he feels betrayed by his country..he decides to leave the seal team to start his own security firm, Trouble Shooters, Inc.  Many of his seal team buddies join him. We are off to TSI for the future, I am sure..kinda interesting. This is the first book in the series to come out in hard cover first!!

The Hummingbird's Cage

Author: Tamara Dietrich
Stars: 4
Review by: Miss Lucy

This page-turner by debut author Tamara Dietrich is about a battered wife and how she deals.  The book takes an unexpected turn, which you'll want to talk with someone about after you finish the book.  Luckily, it was recommended by a friend, so I have someone to hash it out with.  This could be a good read for book groups.  I'll be watching for this author to write more books!
 

Lucy & Ricky & Fred & Ethel

Author: Bart Andrews
Stars: 4
Review by: BNbook

Enjoyed reading about the I Love Lucy shows.

The Spellman Files

Author: Lisa Lutz
Stars: 4
Review by: pmastro

Fun, quick read about a very dysfunctional family of private investigators.
 

Our Souls at Night

Author: Kent Haruf
Stars: 3
Review by: BigDa

Simple language, serious matter.  Senior sex.

An Invisible Thread: The True Story of an 11 Year Old Panhandler, a Busy Sales Executive, and an Unlikely Meeting

Author: Laura Schroff & Alex Tresniowski
Stars: 3
Review by: Judy E. ...booklover

An 11 year old panhandler and a busy lady sales executive meet in an unexpected way.  Both have lives that are gradually revealed and become threaded in many ways.  Playing it forward in many ways. A true story.
 

 

Bloody Mary

Author: Carolly Erickson
Stars: 2
Review by: MandyApgar

Specializing in biographies of misunderstood women in history, Erickson handles this one like the others, but it comes out as probably the weakest work. The first half for the most part is rather well done despite being formulaic - pretty little Mary, the pearl of her father Henry VIII and learned mother Katherine of Aragon, is thrust aside in her father's quest for a legitimate male heir. She then lives the next 20 odd years of her life in suspicion and surrounded by danger, until she is able to seize the throne from her cousin Jane and is proclaimed queen only to die shortly therafter having become synonymous with religious persecution intensified by her inner struggles with a troubled marriage. Mary is indeed shown as sympathetically as possible - much attention is given to her motivations for the burnings and religious hysteria of the period, and no - it really is not all on her. (But not that much space is really given to all that, odd since it is her biggest legacy and the source of the title.) A woman who had 2 phantom pregnancies, Mary's prayer book still exists today with a page on devotions to safely carry and deliver a child tear stained to the point of near destruction. Her marriage to her dandified cousin Philip of Spain, who abandoned her. Things like that. However; there are several inaccuracies which I find very uncharacteristic of the author. Many untrue statements concern Mary's one time stepmother Anne of Cleves, and the ladies' close friendship is completely ignored. A few misquotes, and other problems, nothing too overly huge but mistakes none the same, and some of the statements detract from the flow of the book and serve a disservice to understanding Mary's evolution of character.

One Doctor: Close Calls, Cold Cases, and the Mysteries of Medicine

Author: Dr. Brendan Reilly
Stars: 2
Review by: MandyApgar

This had a great deal of potential but he went about a few things wrong. Written by an old school practicing doctor (i.e. one with a wide background capable of making house calls), it is an account of some of his experiences - many told against his own increasing personal health crisis of deciding how to handle his increasingly infirm and disabled parents. He has quite a lot of heart and commitment, which is wonderful, and all too rare in many cases. Going into how he and many other doctors feel our current medical system is dumbing down physicians and burdening the system, he does so without being too political. Which is good. But the terminology he uses never veers from the professional. I've been treated for so many odd things over the years and I truly wish I had a doctor like him in the beginning instead of the turd in PA where I was born, but sometimes I just do not get what he is saying. A professional account written with professional, technical terms that aren't always explained. A true shame as when he is on his own, he is good.
 

A History of Greek Vases

Author: John Boardman
Stars: 3
Review by: MandyApgar

The title is rather self explanatory. It was alright except it had little depth of detail (which was one of the things I picked it up for) and also almost no analysis of technique (which was the other). I will grant you, most people did not study ceramics for 4 years, but there was too little meat for me in this.
 

Mansions in Miniature: Four Centuries of Dolls' Houses

Author: Leonie Von Wilckens
Stars: 1
Review by: MandyApgar

I had a few problems with this. On the point of concept, it is a good idea. A nice, fairly thick and large book featuring doll houses as art (as they originally were) instead of toys. Thing is, it runs about 252 pages of readable material and 62 pages of that is the actual text. That's all, 62 bloody pages is supposed to cover 4 centuries. The text is very dry, and an even bigger fault is how grainy the pictures are. Very few photos are in color and the last several pages are all captioned photos. So many are somewhat hard to interpret, especially when the caption is going on about the colors and detail it would've helped to have been able to see either. A few rooms warrant several pages, with in one case the exact picture reprinted on 2 consecutive facing pages to illustrate 2 different points. A nice idea, but sloppily done.

Victorian Dolls' House Projects: A Day in the Life

Author: Christiane Berridge
Stars: 2
Review by: MandyApgar

A manual on the making of period themed Victorian miniatures, organized by the time of day in which they would be encountered. If you like miniatures, but know little of history, or vice versa, you might like this. My problem was that the history was too simplistic for me and I have known how to make cardboard boxes for over 30 years now. The notes and details on the pieces to be made are good for those who do not already have a background, but the miniatures themselves are fairly simplistic. A nice starting point for those who do not have much of a background perhaps, but that is all.
 

A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities

Author: JC McKeown
Stars: 4
Review by: MandyApgar

A sort of newer style themed Ripley's Believe It or Not, just minus the cartoons. Detailing odd events, people, customs and circumstances in the Roman empire during its glory days, organized by subject and told directly from each source (which are cited below the passages). Had a good deal of somewhat common tidbits - persons giving birth or pretending to play dead to escape Nero's plays - as well as the more obscure - Claudius uncontrollably giggling at the thought of a obese man breaking his chair, etc. A well balanced selection overall and a few things to interest mostly anyone.
 

When the World Was Young

Author: Elizabeth Gaffney
Stars: 3
Review by: Ada

I almost gave up on it, but was happy I persisted.  Gives a good picture of America right after VJ Day.

Stiff

Author: Mary Roach
Stars: 3
Review by: Barb

Different!!
 

The Cruiser

Author: David Poyer
Stars: 2
Review by: SummerShandy

Fictional story about US Navy warfare and politics during an Iraq invasion.  The usual ship's Captain going against orders.
 

The Odds

Author: Kathleen George
Stars: 5
Review by: Ann Mc

Great story about 4 kids mostly living on their own that take in a fugitive. Greer and Potocki are the detectives on the murder investigation.
 

An Apple for the Creature

Author: Charlaine Harris (editor)
Stars: 3
Review by: Karen

Found some new authors.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Plum Spooky

Author: Janet Evanovich
Stars: 3
Review by: Vicki Lawton


This was a cute book - more funny than exciting.  As always, Janet Evanovich creates very colorful characters.

Lean Mean Thirteen

Author: Janet Evanovich
Stars: 3
Review by: Vicki Lawton


This was a nice light read, as are all of the Stephanie Plum novels.  After you've read the first one, each one feels like you are coming home.

Murder Served Simply

Author: Isabella Alan
Stars: 3
Review by: Sallys cats


This is an Amish Quilt Shop Mystery!

Murder Tightly Knit

Author: Vanetta Chapman
Stars: 5
Review by: Sallys cats


For all the 'Amish' readers - another who-done-it!

Memory Man

Author: David Baldacci
Stars: 5
Review by: Sallys cats


You can see why David Baldacci is a best-selling author!  This is a book that can't be put down!

Into the Night

Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Stars: 4
Review by: fine

Once more into the formula.. a sexy love/not love story on the Team.. a WWII subplot. This time Pearl Harbor AND one of the first WWII navy frogmen.. the precursor to the Seals. We begin with the Seals in Afghanistan where our hero for this book, Mike, breaks his kneecap, and still carries a team member to safety!!  While recovering he is assigned to escort a White House staffer as she tours the base.. you know what happens. The President has decided to award the Seal Team a bravery in action service award.. much involves the President and a trip to the Seal base to bestow the award in the midst of terrorists threats. Sam and Alyssa tiptoe around the edge of this, as Sam moves towards a divorce from the wife he 'had' to marry.. turns out she tricked him with a faulty condom!!!  This is the weakest book thus far in the series...still a fun read, but maybe the series is not moving in a good direction.
 

Adult Onset

Author: Ann Marie MacDonald
Stars: 2
Review by: Julie

 A stay-at-home lesbian mother in Toronto struggles with congenital problem with bone cysts that plagued her as a child. Her 2 children are not hers biologically, though, so she worries unnecessarily imho. I abandoned 1/3 way through.
 

Shakespeare Saved My Life

Author: Laura Bates
Stars: 5
Review by: Anne P.

An amazing story of how one woman brought English Literature and Shakespeare to inmates in isolation prison cells. Through her classes she gave meaning and purpose to their lives.
 

My Splendid Concubine

Author: Lloyd Lofthouse
Stars: 5
Review by: Anne P.

This book is historical fiction. It depicts life in China and the role played by one Irishman in the Emperor's Forbidden City.  Great love story between two cultures.

Guidebook to Murder: A Tourist Trap Mystery

Author: Lynn Cahoon
Stars: 4
Review by: Saraswati

I enjoy cozy's for easy summer reading and many follow the same format, but I really did enjoy this book.  This is book 1 in this series about Jill Gardner.  Gardner is restarting her life by running a coffee shop/bookstore in a tourist town in CA.  She befriended an older woman when she moved to the town and is now the sole heir to her fortune.  The usual murder, snooping and falling in love take place, but the story just reads nice.  Enjoy.
 
 

Steamer: A Gourmet Girl Mystery

Author: Jessica Conant-Park & Susan Conant
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This is the first in the mother-daughter team Gourmet Girl series.  This is the story of Chloe Carter, a blogger about food but refuses to be called a "foodie."  She is in the process of getting her degree as part of the conditions of her uncle's will.  While she is getting on with this part of her life she goes on a blind date from an internet dating service and her date winds up dead.  Not a bad summer read.  I am looking into book 2 to see if the story develops into something.

Time Thief: book one

Author: Katie MacAlister
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati


This is the first book in this series where we are introduced to a paranormal group called the Travelers.  We meet Kiya, a young lady going through a rough patch in her life.  She winds up dog watching for the head of a family of Travelers.  She meets up with Peter Faa, an outcast of this family, and learns what she truly is.  I wasn't that thrilled about the book.  It has some of MacAlister's campy humor, but it just felt like I read this story line before.  I will try book 2 to see how the series develops.
 

Against the Mark: The Raines of Wind Canyon Series

Author: Kat Martin
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This is the story of Haley Warren and Tyler Brodie.  We briefly meet Tyler in book 8.  Haley seeks him to investigate the death of her father.  While investigating Haley learns a lot about her family and missed opportunities with her Dad.  We also get introduced to Dylan and Lane that get their own book.  Conspiracy, murder and falling in love make this an easy summer read.  Enjoy.

Against the Edge: The Raines of Wind Canyon Series

Author: Kat Martin
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This is the story of Ben Slocum and Claire Chastain.  Chastain is a social worker from CA that arrives at Slocum's door to tell him that he has a son and said son is missing.  This is a shock to Slocum, but he believes her once she shows him a picture of the child.  The story takes our unlikely couple across the country chasing the kidnappers.  Will good triumph over evil?  Will Slocum & Chastain fall in love?  What will happen to the child?  Enjoy the read and find out.
 
 

Against the Wild: A Brodie Brothers of Alaska Novel

Author: Kat Martin
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This is book 1 in the Brodies of Alaska series.  I read them in the wrong order, but it doesn't matter.  This is a bridge book from the Raines series.  Lane met Dylan Brodie at a wedding of his cousin and her friend where he took a bullet for her.  She has now taken a job refurbishing his fishing lodge.  If only it was that easy.  A fun summer mystery read.
 

Marriage of Inconvenience

Author: Debbie Macomber
Stars: 2
Review by: Saraswati

This book read slow and was somewhat boring.  It is also a reprint of the author's earlier work.  It is about a couple that have been friends forever and decide to have a baby together.  It tries to be funny, but just didn't do it for me.
 

The Hexed: A Krewe of Hunters Mystery

Author: Heather Graham
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This Krewe Mystery is based in Salem, MA.  A lot of witch history brought into this book in addition to the normal murder investigation and falling in love.
 

The Betrayed: A Krewe of Hunters Mystery

Author: Heather Graham
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This book brings one of the newest members of the Krewe to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the murder of his friend.  While investigating he falls in love with a lady with similar para-skills.  Always liked this series.  It makes you wish you could sometimes speak to the dead.

This Book is Overdue!

Author: Marilyn Johnson
Stars: 3
Review by: Sandy

Subtitled How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, this is a love song to the present-day keepers of our society's secrets.
 

Eyes on You

Author: Kate White
Stars: 4
Review by: Barb

An easy to listen to mystery of who done it. Several suspects, so I wasn't very surprised when the bad guy was divulged.
 
 

Gone with the Woof

Author: Lauren Berenson
Stars: 2
Review by: Dolores P.

Some information about Dog shows, but it was slow moving.  Not as funny as most cozies.  It was OK.
 

Bad Blood

Author: John Sandford
Stars: 5
Review by: Dolores P.

 Loved it.  I was glued to it.  I love all John Sanford books, especially the Virgil Flowers series.

Zoo

Author: James Patterson
Stars: 3
Review by: Dolores P.

It was the stuff nightmares are made of!  I picked it up and put it down 3 times.
 

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

Author: Daniel James Brown
Stars: 5
Review by: Judy

Who would believe a non-fiction book  about a 1936 crew team would be so interesting and readable.
 

Cities of the Plain

Author: Cormac McCarthy
Stars: 4
Review by: Bob E

Final installment of the border trilogy including All the Pretty Horses and The Crossing, a riveting and desperate story with a haunting epilogue by an important American author.
 

Out of Control

Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Stars: 4
Review by: fine

It continues...more sexy love affairs...good guys and bad guys.. another WWII heroine...it just dawned on me...Suzanne has dedicated each of these first 4 books to "the men and women that fought for our freedom during" WW II.  In each book she has included WW II people as resistance fighters or spies in different countries.. she puts her book substance where her dedication mouth is.. a  nice touch. We continue with a Seal Team 16 love story, a love story with other characters and an American/Nazi double agent.. the long arm of coincidence gets rather tested here...all of these different subplot people are reading the same autobiography of the spy!!  As her son gets captured and her granddaughter goes to Indonesia to free him with the help of a member of the Seal Team...would you be surprised if they fell in love??  After more of the love/hate stuff...no more major characters introduced.. some more on Alyssa and Sam.. this is going someplace...next...
 

Bad Heiress Day

Author: Allie Pleiter
Stars: 3
Review by: bookmaven

I wish I had a bad heiress day like Darcy Nightengale.
Darcy took extraordinary care of her dying father & in his will she received a dynamite inheritance.
It is an uplifting book of love, friends, faith, and getting it right.
 

World Gone By

Author: Dennis Lehane
Stars: 3
Review by: BigDa

Author is an expert on the mob.

Strapless: John Singer Sargent and the Fall of Madame X

Author: Deborah Davis
Stars: 4
Review by: BKF

If you like John Singer Sargent and his most famous portrait "Madame X" this book is a must read. A stunning biography of the artist, the woman, the controversy, and the decadent life in Paris in the late 1800's! Thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins
Stars: 4
Review by: NancyW

I heard this was a psychological thriller and was a little leery of it, but it was a good story, easy reading that I felt engrossed in for a few days, just as a summer read should be.
 

A Good and Happy Child

Author: Justin Evans
Stars: 4
Review by: Julie


Creepy story  - half Exorcist, half God Knows What, but I liked the characters and the young adolescent protagonist.
 

Singletasking: Get More Done -- One Thing at a Time

Author: Devora Zack
Stars: 3
Review by: Julie

Ways to be more productive...sort of a self-help, but mostly common sense.
 

By Its Cover

Author: Donna Leon
Stars: 5
Review by: Julie

My new favorite mystery writer.

Pay It Forward

Author: Catherine Ryan Hyde
Stars: 2
Review by: Julie

Not as entertaining as the movie.

The Hudson

Author: Tom Lewis
Stars: 2
Review by: Julie

I have to read it.... 

The Castaways

Author: Elin Hildebrand
Stars: 4
Review by: Patti K

I enjoyed the book ~ only had one minor glitch with it. The book is comprised of short (3-4 page) "chapters" ~ each one from a different character's perspective.  I read the book over a week or so and kept having to go back and refresh my memory of who that character was in relation to the rest of the people/story. When I finished the story, I noticed another reader had actually written (in pencil) a flow chart of characters ~ apparently he/she had the same problem keeping track of who was married to whom and who they used to date, etc.  Otherwise, good book and good read.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Double Fudge Brownie Murder

Author: Joanne Fluke
Stars: 3
Review by: mysterylover

Nice summer read. The same characters continue on.
 

Handbook for an Unpredictable Life

Author: Rosie Perez
Stars: 3
Review by: queenbee

I have always enjoyed Rosie Perez, her appearances on talk shows and in movies. I love her Brooklyn accent and her Puerto Rican pride. She wrote a good book and shows you can have a tough beginning and a crazy family and make it out and do something positive with your life. An inspiration to young people that you can survive even when faced with adversity. Thank you, Rosie.
 

A Good Killing

Author: Allison Leotta
Stars: 3
Review by: queenbee

I enjoyed this book. Two sisters, different life paths because of a sexual predator's attack of one and the legal defense who killed the bad guy. Pretty formula mystery, but an easy read and a new author for me. If you like a mystery, this book is worth taking a look at.
 

Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster)

Author: Dave Barry
Stars: 4
Review by: Kerstin

Dave Barry's amalgam of essays is hilarious.  It's a light summer read when you just have time for an essay or two and want to laugh. Highly recommended.
 

Life Studies

Author: Susan Vreeland
Stars: 4
Review by: Smudge

A series of short stories about art; some based on fact, others are completely fictional.  A number of the stories are about Impressionists, and it is helpful, though not necessary, to have seen (or Google), the paintings.
 
 

Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen
Stars: 3
Review by: Skyler F

The plot was slow at times, but overall it was an enjoyable book with a pleasant ending.
 

Shoes to Die For

Author: Laura Levine
Stars: 3
Review by: AnnMarie

Nice light reading.  I was laughing out loud at some parts of the book.
 

All the Dancing Birds

Author: Auburn McCanta
Stars: 5
Review by: Sewing Teacher

Excellent! Sad book, but I highly recommend it to gain insight into Alzheimer's.

 

Knit Two

Author: Kate Jacobs
Stars: 3
Review by: Sewing Teacher

It was a good audio book. Easy to listen to. I love to sew and that is why I choose the book.
 

Over the Edge

Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Stars: 4
Review by: fine

I'm back to Suzanne...still good. This is # 3 in the Troubleshooters series.  A sexy love affair on the Team that begins with love and not love, but not love is actually real love..??..go figure. Another WWII heroic figure. This one a German woman and this time we rescued a plane held hostage by K-stan  terrorists...a lot of them around i guess.  Not any serious additions to the team or the FBI group.  The top FBI guy may have developed something with the woman that became the spokesperson for the hostages...and the beat goes on.

The Knockoff

Author: Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza
Stars: 4
Review by: Ann Mc

Imogene Tate is the editor in chief of a high fashion magazine that goes out on disability for cancer treatment.  When she comes back, the company has changed over to a digital concept.  It's interesting on Imogene's approach to the transition and dealing with her new crazy boss.
 

The Cake Therapist

Author: Judith Fertig
Stars: 3
Review by: Barb

This is a fun summer read, nothing deep, but pleasant that is guaranteed to make you hungry. I enjoyed it.
 

In the Pleasure Groove: Love, Death & Duran Duran

Author: John Taylor
Stars: 5
Review by: Shapoppa

I've been a Duran Duran fan since my teenage years, though I mostly preferred Simon Le Bon over John Taylor. I saw this book on the North Branch shelf and thought it would be a nostalgic read. It didn't disappoint. It's a very interesting personal story of the self-indulgent world of an 80s rock star in an iconic band. I enjoyed this book much more than I had expected to. It's an authentic look at the rise and fall of a rock star, his honest take on who he was compared to who he is now, and that special time in the 1980s when the world was far more optimistic.
 

The Rosie Project, The Rosie Effect

Author: Graeme Simsion
Stars: 4
Review by: bookmaven

I enjoyed The Rosie Project & The Rosie Effect because so many parts of the book are so humorous. I also learned a great deal about Asperger's. Don Tillman is a wonderful person who strives to improve himself.
 
 

Dear John

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Stars: 3.5
Review by: Danielle B

I am a big fan of Nicholas Sparks books, so I knew that I had to read this book. As always, I was very pleased with the story. However, it did not go as I expected it would, which positively surprised me, but also bothered me. I would recommend this book.
 

A Wrinkle in Time

Author: Madeline L'Engle
Stars: 4
Review by: Mitchie L

I was interested in this book because I read an article about it by Anna Quindlen. She said she loved this book as a young girl, so I decided to get it for my 12 year old daughter.  My daughter enjoyed reading it, and so did I. I really liked the fact that Meg, the book's lead character, was strong and courageous.

Fatal Flaw

Author: Marie Force
Stars: 4
Review by: fine

I discovered this author, and her series, quite by accident... a continuation of my interest in a book under $5: this was $4.48..!!! Flaw is that it's the 4th book of Marie's series about a DC homicide detective (Sam) and a Senate staffer (Nick) that became the junior Senator from VA. He became the Senator after his boss, the senator, was killed and Sam solved the crime. It turned out Nick and Sam spent a wild night 6 years before, and they fell in love after the best sex ever...too long a story about why they lost touch over those 6 years. The way the book series came out is VERY interesting...the books came out as ebooks in 2009-2010.  The response was strong enough to bring them out in paperback in 2015. Looks like the total series is 9 books with 5 more coming out over the next 6 months. I am an absolute pushover for this kind of book. I mean pushover...beautiful good guys, solving crimes in the Washington DC area, with a lot of good sex...a lot. The time span for the books, to this point, is less than 6 months during which Sam and Nick rekindle their romance and get married. This book covers their return from the honeymoon, and a series of baffling of murders. Turns out the bad guy in this book is a bad chick, someone Sam dissed in high school and college. Be careful who you diss!  Can't wait for the next book which is due out June 30.
 

Congratulations to...

... our Week # 4 Prize Winners:
  • Sallys cats
  • readsalot

Progress So Far...

Click on image to enlarge.

The Rosie Effect

Author: Graeme Simsion
Stars: 3
Review by: Sallys cats


I read The Rosie Project this spring for our book discussion group.  I found The Rosie Project very funny.  The Rosie Effect has a lot of surprises that started with the first book.  Same people with a few others added in this book!

Where Secrets Sleep

Author: Marta Perry
Stars: 5
Review by: Sallys cats


It was great suspense!  A lot of twists and turns.  Based in the Amish Country.

The Proposal at Siesta Key: Amish Brides of Pinecraft, Book Two

Author: Shelley Shephard Gray
Stars: 5
Review by: Sallys cats


I've read all of her books!  The series "Amish Brides of Pinecraft" is all about New Order Amish, where these families can have a telephone in their houses and other modern conveniences.

Friday, June 19, 2015

We Live in Water

Author: Jess Walter
Stars: 3
Review by: BigDa

Quick reading short stories.
 

Citizen Vince

Author: Jess Walter
Stars: 4
Review by: BigDa

A delight to read his well-crafted sentences.

Letters from Angel: A True Story in Her Own Words

Author: Martin P. Levin
Stars: 4
Review by: jamBob

A sweet story about a golden retriever mix who came from a family with an abusive dad, roamed the streets until a shelter picked her up. At the shelter for only a few weeks she was adopted at the senior age of 9 to a 90 year old man who had lost his wife. Another story of who really saved whom? I love dogs and cringe at dog stories that end in the passing of the pet so I read the end first then started the beginning. It is a story about hope for senior animals found at shelters through no fault of their own. Perhaps a family member has an allergy, they move to a home that does not accept pets, or the economy cannot support the medical care and feeding of a beloved dog. I give this very active elderly man so much credit to invest in this dog when both of them were at the time of their lives when medical issues creep up and we are not as flexible as we would like to be. But it's another story contained within of selflessness, needing companionship, and opening your heart to love, so much love that the expense, pain of loss and inconvenience make it worth it all!
 

Pirate King

Author: Laurie R. King
Stars: 2
Review by: Chris L.

Don't bother reading the first 250 pages of this book. It's boring. However all the action and satisfaction comes in the last 50 pages.
 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Author: Mark Haddon
Stars: 4
Review by: Sandy

For anyone that has ever felt awkward, misunderstood, or just plain different.  This story follows a young English teen of high intelligence, but low social skills; yes, he has Aspergers Syndrome.  How Christopher navigates his world to solve the mystery of a murdered dog reveals his unique brand of bravery. Read or listen, this book is worthy of your time.
 

The Third Gate

Author: Lincoln Child
Stars: 3
Review by: jamBob

Modern day techno search for Egyptian King buried in the muck of the Sudd down the Nile. Interesting thriller by an author who lives in Morristown, NJ. A little slow in the beginning, but got exciting at the end (of course).
 

The Cursed

Author: Heather Graham
Stars: 4
Review by: fine

This book is not part of my author read program. I always have 2 books in reading status. I keep one in my car for waiting room and lunch time reading. I am reluctant to keep a library book in my car, so I use the books I buy at my used book store, or the best remainder section in the area at Olly's Army. I have read Heather before, but I forgot her connection to the paranormal. The group she follows is the Kast of Krewes, an FBI group that uses paranormal skills to solve murders.  Basically they are people that can see and talk to ghosts or their preferred name is 'spirits'. The chief character in this book is Hannah, who owns a B&B in Key West, FL. We have serious bad guys, buried treasure, a bunch of murders, a sexy love story, and a win for the good guys.  Hannah is one of the rare people that can see and talk to spirits. She meets a sexy law enforcement type, that lived in Key West as a kid and also can talk to spirits. There isn't a lot about the Kast in this book. They enter the picture, and after observing Hannah and her lover's spirit-talking skills, they solve the crime and invite them to join the Kast of Krewes. I suspect more of them in later books. I am not in love with the paranormal, but I enjoyed the read. The best part was the treatment of a woman as the lead character. I will probably not go back to her first book to catch up.
 

Plum Lovin'

Author: Janet Evanovich
Stars: 3
Review by: Jess L.

I enjoy all the Stephanie Plum books, and this one was a quick and easy read.
 

Sweet Expectations

Author: Mary Ellen Taylor
Stars: 4
Review by: Keeread

Book #2 in the Union Street Bakery series.
 

Dress Shop of Dreams

Author: Mena Van Praag
Stars: 5
Review by: Keeread

You don't pick the dress, the dress picks you.  But not without the help Etta who owns the shop and is like a fairy godmother.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Place for Us

Author: Harriet Evans
Stars: 2
Review by: Ada

Very difficult to follow the characters and story line.
 

Swan Point

Author: Sherryl Woods
Stars: 3
Review by: LG

Great book from beginning to end.
 

A Bend in the Road

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Stars: 4.5
Review by: Barb

An almost predictable Sparks novel, fun and quick to read at the beach. Will Miles Ryan find happiness for himself and his son Jonah? Can Sarah Andrews find love after her bitter divorce?

The Diabolical Miss Hyde

Author: Viola Carr
Stars: 3
Review by: pmastro

I enjoyed this story. I hadn't read anything with steam-punk in it before and I found it really added to the creepy tone of the story. Dr. Eliza Jekyll is the daughter of Edward Jekyll and shares his dual personality issues. Some other literary figures are involved which is always fun. A good light read.

The Defiant Hero

Author: Suzanne Brockman
Stars: 4
Review by: fine

Back to Suzanne and Seal Team 16...the troubleshooters. This is the second book in this series where we add 5 more seal team characters and 2 more FBI to the group from the first book. So glad they did not all show up in the first book. I did, however,  have to make a list to keep them all straight. This time the main character is a woman that had a long ago unrequited love with seal John Nilsson. She was married to a cheating jerk, and captured  by K-stan terrorists, as was her daughter and her great grandmother. Her GM was a heroine from WWII while in England and ran a 20K in her late 80's...I wonder if she is single?? She fought the help from John and the seal team, for most of the book. Finally GM and her daughter escaped from their capture, and the seal team took down the terrorists. Another book of beautiful good guys and gals, a very nice love story, some sex and a wonderful ending.  I want to continue with these characters.
 

The Lost Years

Author: Mary Higgins Clark
Stars: 3
Review by: Bobbi

Typical Mary Higgins Clark book.  Predictable, fast read, entertaining, but not memorable.

The Fold

Author: Peter Clines
Stars: 4
Review by: SummerShandy

Sci-fi thriller.  Think Stargate with lots of twists!

The Enemy Inside

Author: Steve Martini
Stars: 3
Review by: SummerShandy

Spies, lawyers, assassins and more!  Another great beach read.
 

Ghosts and more Ghosts

Author: Robert Arthur (editor)
Stars: 5
Review by: MandyApgar

Probably my favorite anthology, I needed this after so many crappy reads. But it is a collection of semi paranormal short stories. "Footsteps Invisible" chronicles a blind news dealer trying to help a client escape an enemy even he cannot see. "The Wonderful Day" has the residents of a small town appearing as they really are.  A doctor and his wife buy a rose crystal bell that can raise the dead at the cost of a nearby life, Mr. Homer Milton gains the gift of verse and cannot stop speaking in rhyme, obstinate uncle Otis disbelieves himself out of existence, two bored young men ship the one's aged cat to El Dorado only to find the box return to sender with a very angry and much younger cat inside, and several others as well all combine for a very nice read.
 

The Lost Girls

Author: John Glatt
Stars: 4
Review by: MandyApgar

When a sick, twisted monster named Ariel Castro decides to act out his fantasies of rape and torture he kidnaps three young women - Michelle Knight, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus - and keeps them prisoner for roughly 10 years chained inside his Cleveland home. What he did not account for was how strong the 3 would be. Despite beatings that would kill most people Michelle Knight becomes a sort of protector for the group, taking the hits for others so they do not suffer as much. Amanda Berry bears her abductor's child, and not wanting her to suffer a poor education, sets up a school for the young girl while she and her friends are chained to the walls. Gina DeJesus inspires her friends with her pride in her heritage and faith. All 3 sort of team up to try to deal with a man who, despite years of abuse to his common law wife (resulting in her eventual death) and the probable framing of the lady's true husband for sexual assault, is seemingly made of teflon. Neighbors see the women several times over the years but never question the acts. Finally, when Castro leaves the house one day, Amanda Berry gains the attention of neighbors and kicks out a door with their assistance, allowing the escape of the others (including her then 6 year old daughter). Castro (who never understands all the fuss) is found guilty on numerous counts and is sent to jail, where he is repeatedly disciplined for not following the rules and for being insulting and rude. He finally commits suicide in his cell and the house is leveled.
 

Colonial Latin America (5th ed)

Author: Mark A. Burkholder & Lyman L. Johnson
Stars: 3
Review by: MandyApgar

A nicely academic, balanced, and readable account of life of the period. Apparently quite a renowned text (and deservedly so), it is indeed very balanced in handling the life styles of natives before and after outside impact without any demeaning of the subject on either side (unless violence becomes involved). Also good for its sections on women and children, the slave trade, and colonial church structure.
 

Monopoly: The World's Most Famous Game and How It Got That Way

Author: Philip E. Orbanes
Stars: 1
Review by: MandyApgar

This was bad. Sigh, so many bad books this weekend. But the idea is nice - the story of the game Monopoly. Inspired by The Landlord's Game, a tax credit game created by Elizabeth Magie Phillips in 1903, it later went several evolutions to become established in its current form by the postwar period. The writing in this was terrible first of all. The author worked as Parker Brothers' in house Monopoly expert (think of that, so many out of work and this guy had a title like that) for some time and is indeed well aware of his subject. His problem, and ours, is that he mistakes playing Monopoly for fighting the Battle of Marathon. Not to belittle the guy, but he makes the game (which is actually not the most famous worldwide) sound like the apex of all cultural achievement. Pages upon pages are given to the exact moves of players in certain world tournaments. I really do not care that Harry got a community chest card or Tom and Dick had X hotels. And the pictures as presented are blurry and black and white - I have sold antiques and board games are very lovely items. Color photos of the older games would have not only been more helpful but enlivened a very dull subject. Just avoid this one altogether. And don't even pass Go.
 

A Kingdom Strange: The Brief and Tragic History of the Lost Colony of Roanoke

Author: James Horn
Stars: 1
Review by: MandyApgar

OK, this is paraphrasing of sorts but it will prove my point-
"So, we're building this colony out here. What if something goes wrong?"
"Easy. While I am out, if something happens, just write down somewhere where you went and be sure to ask those really nice natives for help."
"Yeah, we do know a guy from their tribe and they've offered to help. Good idea."
Time passes, expedition returns and no colonists. Instead the name of the adjacent island (from which reports of blonde natives soon come) is found carved upon the agreed upon tree (and elsewhere mind you). So where, oh where, did the colonists go?
 
Seriously?!?! How the @#$% is this a mystery? They did everything but draw a bloody map. Books like this are why I usually try to avoid texts on Roanoke, as they make the whole thing a confounded mystery when it is all just a case of "hey, you stupid twit, we're over here..." And to make things worse irritating mentions of upcoming tragedy are numerous in the text, like a sort of impending doom is taking over the book. I like it not.
 

The President's House

Author: Margaret Truman
Stars: 4
Review by: MandyApgar

An insider's view of White House history and operation as told by the former resident, writer and vocalist Margaret Truman. (Yes, Harry's daughter.) Very, very good for providing credit to those whose work makes the entire building operate - the cooks, butlers, gardeners, etc. as well as giving ample credit to various First Ladies for their role in making the house their home. Except Eleanor Roosevelt, she makes a few claims in an almost snarky way that the latter did not accomplish much and is over estimated. That, and a pretty big error about the life of her uncle Theodore, is why I bumped this down to a 4. It is, however, excellent for insides into the FDR presidencies on (although she really does not care for the Clintons at all), especially that of her father of course - beginning at the infamous luncheon of him and FDR where the latter admitted he knew he was dying and had basically picked Truman as a successor.

The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words

Author: Simon Schama
Stars: 3
Review by: MandyApgar

Very well written, readable account of the history of the Jewish people as told by the noted historian. It should have, however, been broken up a bit more, as there is quite a lot of information within the book and at times seems like almost too much.
 

The King and the Cowboy

Author: David Fromkin
Stars: 1
Review by: MandyApgar

This was bad. Painfully, paint drying bad. The overwhelming problem is a series of glaring errors / inaccuracies that the writer, granted his background, should have avoided. Plus it is just so infernally dull. It was supposed to be about the political partnership of Theodore Roosevelt and Edward VII of England. Supposed to. About half of the book is a biography of Edward and his mother Victoria with the substance said being of little value to the subject and possessing several errors (the incorrect attribution of the "We are not amused" quote for example - a Pulitzer Prize nominee should be able to properly quote the most famous line of a monarch). After that is a much briefer account of TR's early life and career, loaded with much of the same errors including a somewhat bias to make him look uncaring to his family. I would be insulted if I was a Roosevelt and read this. Once the two men get together there are very few pages left indeed and the book's conclusion is a rather slapdash "yeah, they met and this happened....." trailing off. Plus the cover makes them look like, to paraphrase TR's famously acerbic daughter Alice, "little men on the wedding cake."
 

Rivers of Gold

Author: Hugh Thomas
Stars: 1
Review by: MandyApgar

Rather naive and possessing of a key fault to gloss over imperialistic tendencies of certain persons. An account of Spanish empire building through conquest gives one with a lot of substance and there is a lot of detail gone into. But at the same time when the subjects are at their less than heroic best the writing becomes a bit sloppy. Columbus and Cortes are the two worst, reviled today amongst indigenous persons, but their most barbaric acts are either not even mentioned or given a cheery aside. Barely any mentions of the Inquisition. Yes, this is about the Spanish empire, but the darker side should be given credence as well as the light. Going over things in such a manner makes me question inherent bias and the validity of statements made in the book.
 

The Story of Alice

Author: Robert Douglas-Fairhurst
Stars: 1
Review by: MandyApgar

A biography of Lewis Carroll told against the history and legacy of his Wonderland creation. I liked it for showing his thought processes and some of the obscure little details in his personality that led him to give certain characters and major plotlines in either of the Alice books (or his other works for that matter). I did not like it for its pretentiousness, dragging on for almost half the book after Carroll had died and saying perhaps 5 pages of any substance, frequently harping on how his preference for the friendship of young girls was harmless and innocent, but going on and on about certain details therein, and just because it was mostly very, very dull.
 

Washington: The Making of an American Capital

Author: Fergus M. Bordewich
Stars: 2
Review by: MandyApgar

Not exactly good, but not bad either, just an easily readable account of how Washington was chosen as our capital, why it was built there, how, and the people involved. It would have been better if not for a tendency to veer off subject into various biographical details of the numerous people involved, but kudos to its proper credit given to slave labor in building the city (something which most books are too PC to acknowledge).
 

Beautiful Ruins

Author: Jess Walter
Stars: 5
Review by: KrissyReads

I felt like I was delving into a family tree and experiencing all of the raw emotion, dreams, and heartbreak firsthand. The author cleverly uses storylines of the past and present, all charmingly tied together by the novel's conclusion.  This is an interesting tale of the pursuit of fame and realizing what truly matters in life.  Great summer read.
 

Caroline of England

Author: Peter Quennell
Stars: 3
Review by: JL

Overall a good book.  I thought the author spent too much time talking about the ministers.
 

The Secret Life of Violet Grant

Author: Beatriz Williams
Stars: 4
Review by: Smudge

A good read and hard to put down.  The ending will surprise you.

Love with the Perfect Cowboy: A Cupid TX Novel

Author: Lori Wilde
Stars: 4
Review by: Saraswati

This is the last book in the series. Ms. Wilde makes it a point in her acknowledgements to tell the readers about her time spent in that area and how it influenced her writing.  This is the Romeo & Juliet book that does not end in tragedy.  Enjoy this grand finale and great summer read.

Stalked

Author: Allison Brennan
Stars: 4
Review by: fine

I tried to continue my Tom Clancy trip...got 150 pages into the next book, but NO Jack Ryan. It was techno/drug wars and pavlow helicoptors. It was not for me so I returned to Allison and Lucy Kincaid. I saw this book at $5.99...I am a sucker for books below the typical $7.49. This is an earlier Lucy Kincaid story where she is just entering FBI training at Quantico and beginning her relationship with Sean Rogan. It has been 7 years since she was held captive and raped. She later shot and killed her rapist which is still a major factor for her life and has more impact on her FBI life than her relationship life. Even though she is in training, she gets major involved in a murder case and again shows her ability to get creative with the rules. This book is 2 years old and covers a period about one year before the previous Allison book I read. The advertisements on the next 2 books for 2015 are both Lucy books...Allison is making this a Lucy series. I need to go back to book one and start over to see how this evolved.
 

Shadow of Love

Author: Samuel Jay
Stars: 2.5
Review by: BKF

Sequel to Shadow of Guilt, this novel follows Chip Keller as he tries to rebuild his life, find new love and reconnect with his son. Couldn't help but notice some inconsistencies in  storyline between the two books. Wondered why.

Shadow of Guilt

Author: Samuel Jay
Stars: 2.5
Review by: BKF

Written by a Hunterdon County resident, the novel is about Chip Keller, a NJ resident and Public Relations firm owner, heavily involved in politics and the toll it takes on his family and his life.

Patriot Games

Author: Tom Clancy
Stars: 5+
Review by: fine

Wow....fantastic book...must  be at least 2 Tom Clancys..no idea how the same guy could write this book as well as Red Storm Rising. Red Storm was a techno/war novel. This is about PEOPLE..!!! Loved it...I wanted to read Clancy because I was interested in Jack Ryan...most of the novels I like have a hero I like. I have moved into reading authors from their first books to learn how their, and my, hero developed...Red Storm did not mention Jack and this was ALL about him and his family. Clancy's writing is rich: when he is on a lengthy description of a fighter plane I am turned off soon, but when he goes into depth on how Jack is bothered when he witnesses his first killing of terrorists, I am hooked. Or when he goes into depth on what a woman might feel like with a baby growing inside her..no idea how Tom can write that!  I would love to know the readership of these 2 books..my sense would be 2 very different audiences. This is one of the best books I have read...bring on more Tom Clancy.
 

Memoirs of a Geisha

Author: Arthur Golden
Stars: 5
Review by: BusyMom

I've been meaning to read this for ages, and it was worth the wait.  This glimpse into the world of Japanese entertainers was fascinating and made me very happy to not be part of that society.
 

False Impression

Author: Jeffrey Archer
Stars: 5
Review by: BusyMom

I'm adding Jeffrey Archer to my list of authors to watch for.  This was a terrific story delving into the world of fine art. Intrigue and suspense will keep you turning the pages until the book is, sadly, over.  I simply could not put this down.
 

Be Careful What You Wish For

Author: Jeffrey Archer
Stars: 4
Review by: BusyMom

I made the mistake in picking this up, not realizing it was book 4 in the Clifton Chronicles.  Well, I'm definitely going to find the first 3 books as this was a gripping story with unexpected twists in the plot that really kept me on edge.  Definitely a good read!

Gone Girl

Author: Gillian Flynn
Stars: 5
Review by: Mitchie L

A totally absorbing psychological thriller. I could not wait to find out what happened next in this twisted tale. A lot of mystery, dark humor, and satire.

Jack of Spades

Author: Joyce Carol Oates
Stars: 2
Review by: BigDa

Unusual, and easy to skip-read.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bookerfly

from Maryjean B.:

Bookerfly loved coming to the Mumford and Sons festival in Seaside Heights. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Touchstone

Author: Laurie R. King
Stars: 3
Review by: Barb

Not sure of this book that I read for the SCBC. There were parts that I liked a lot and couldn't put down, and others where I just didn't understand (nor want to) the politics. I think it will make for a good discussion. Parts of me want to read the sequels, but I'm not quite sure since there are books I prefer and want to read.
 

Nightingale

Author: Kristin Hannah
Stars: 5
Review by: Barb

I listened to this book and thought it one of Ms. Hannah's best. I loved the topic, WWII in occupied France, and the characters, two sisters, and the love displayed, openly and not shown. I thought it a great summer listen to or read.
 

The Russian Bride

Author: Ed Kovacs
Stars: 3
Review by: SummerShandy

Another good summer read.  Russian mob messes with a super spy's wife - sparks fly!
 

Beautiful Ruins

Author: Jess Walter
Stars: 3
Review by: BigDa

A mixed bag of morality, love story, tour of Italy with all the ends tied up in the furious last few pages.
 

Beautiful Eyes

Author: Paul Austin
Stars: 4
Review by: Mrs. D

Beautiful Eyes is a short, sweet book about unconditional love and acceptance, and how we don't always come to it quickly.  It was written by a doctor who becomes a dad to a baby with Down syndrome.  It's about seeing through a disability to the child, and Paul Austin takes us along his journey as Sarah's father and the transformation he goes through.
 

The Green Mile

Author: Stephen King
Stars: 5
Review by: Mrs. D

What can I say about this author that hasn't already been said?  I love the way his characters talk with you, so down to earth and intimate.  He just speaks my language, I guess.  Yes, I dig his vibe.  And the book is every bit as good as the movie...so if you hated the move, skip this book.  I loved it because he shows us the magic, and the good and evil in the mundane world.
 

The King's Curse

Author: Philippa Gregory
Stars: 4
Review by: Judy

Interesting story about what went on in Henry VIII court.  Margaret Pole is a Plantagenet whose life is entwined with the king and it is her story we are reading not his.
 

February Fever

Author: Jess Lourey
Stars: 4
Review by: LZ99

The latest in the Murder by the Month collection. Same characters that you've been reading about, set on a train traveling west that encounters some challenges due to the weather...and of course, a murder.
Enjoyed this one more than some others in the series. Won't spoil the ending here, but will say that I found myself surprisingly attached to some of the characters, and was sad at the end!

Superfudge

Author: Judy Blume
Stars: 5
Review by: LZ99

Sometimes I really love re-reading some "classics" from my time now that my kids are the right age. Much funnier and more entertaining than I ever remembered it to be--highly recommended!
 

As Gouda As Dead

Author: Avery Aames
Stars: 3
Review by: LZ99

Fun, easy read. Part of the Cheese Shop Mysteries series, and right along the lines of what you'd expect from this series.
 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Congratulations to...

... our Week # 3 Prize Winners:
  • Kate S
  • Shapoppa

Progress So Far...

Click on image to enlarge.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Personal

Author: Lee Child
Stars: 4
Review by: Nanibev


This is a Jack Reacher novel.  A fast paced, page turner of a thriller; sometimes humorous; a perfect summer read.
 

Dead Heat

Author: Allison Brennan
Stars: 4
Review by: fine

Allison is another author I like.. picked her up on my Tom Clancy break.. grabbed this book because it was described as a Lucy Kincaid thriller. Lucy is now a FBI agent and living with Sean Rogan. She has appeared in previous books, but it now seems this might be the direction the series is going. Lucy and Sean come from families with FBI and PI histories and more than the usual family challenges: siblings, parents, and cousins dead..in most cases the results of violent crime or drugs. Lucy herself was raped. Lucy is a brand new FBI agent and is on a big drug case in San Antonio, Texas...almost as usual, Lucy shows extraordinary talent, and a willingness to violate rules to capture/kill the bad guys and rescue a young boy. One of the more interesting elements in the case brings Sean and his much older brother back together, and the book ends with the 2 of them, along with Lucy, heading back to their family to celebrate the birth of a niece..awww.
 

Leaving Time

Author: Jodi Picoult
Stars: 2
Review by: Ada

The parts about elephants (about half the story) were very interesting.  The parts about the characters were very confusing.
 

How to Build a Dinosaur (The New Science of Reverse Evolution)

Author: Jack Horner & James Gorman
Stars: 2
Review by: MandyApgar

While a brilliant man, Horner's books always seem very dry to me. One of the main inspirations for the lead paleontologist character in Jurassic Park, Horner has been studying dinosaurs for decades. In this he recounts how interwoven his work has become with other fields since the book and film solidly brought to mind the possibility of genetically engineering a dinosaur. Along with geneticists, molecular biologists, and the like, he examines the processes behind gene therapy and engineering not only to dinosaurs, but also how such work can impact our species as well. Although we could not come up with a T-rex directly now with the state of things, there are some who could give attributes of the carnivore to its modern day relatives - chickens. Hence the title, giving new rise to the dinosaurs from manipulation of their descendants. But, like I said, he writes in a very dry manner, which may I think put off persons who do not already have some knowledge of the subject. Interesting at times, but it may be too heavy handed for armchair scientists looking for a good read.
 

Back in the Game: A Stardust, TX Novel

Author: Lori Wilde
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This is a new series about the Carlyle Sisters. The sisters are all adopted & well loved, but each has their own issues that have prevented them finding true love until one sister stumbles upon a hope chest that grants wishes.  This is about the first,  but not eldest sister, Breeanne.  Add a little angst, history, humor, and baseball and you have a fun summer read.  Enjoy!
 

No Strings Attached: A Razor Bay Bradshaw Brothers Novel

Author: Susan Andersen
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

This is a story in a series about brothers that are reuniting and finding out about each other while falling in love with their soul mates.  This is about a newly found brother meeting up with his step brothers only to find out a woman he stayed with during his vacation is one of their best friends.  A little mystery and minor challenges makes this an easy, fun summer read.  Enjoy!
 

A Midsummers Night Romp: A Matchmaker in Wonderland Romance

Author: Katie MacAlister
Stars: 3
Review by: Saraswati

No dragons, vampires, or heavy sci fi; just humans and campy humor. From the author of the Importance of Being Alice is book two about brother #2.  This story takes place at the family castle while the original characters are away. Revenge, laughs, and love make for a great summer read.  Enjoy!

The Book Stops Here

Author: Kate Carlisle
Stars: 2.5
Review by: BNbook

Some of the characters were very strange.

Blood Magic (book 3 of the Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy)

Author: Nora Roberts
Stars: 3
Review by: Brenda714

While I enjoy this author, the theme is kind of "been there, done that" with 3 good witches and 1 evil power/witch as central characters. Roberts is good at weaving the spell to keep you reading. It's a relaxing read.
 

Shadow Spell (book 2 of the Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy)

Author: Nora Roberts
Stars: 3
Review by: Brenda714

While I enjoy this author, the theme is kind of "been there, done that" with 3 good witches and 1 evil power/witch as central characters. Roberts is good at weaving the spell to keep you reading. It's a relaxing read.
 

A Spool of Blue Thread

Author: Anne Tyler
Stars: 2
Review by: Lisa McD

This book disappointed me - I had been on the wait list for months, so I think that had raised my hopes of how good a read this would be. Well drawn characters who unfortunately are given nowhere to go. Weak storyline. It's a quiet read, and I would have been happier to have spent my time reading something else.
 

The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins
Stars: 3
Review by: Lisa McD


Similar to Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl in its telling of a mystery story from multiple unreliable points of view, so if you read that and liked it, this could be considered a lighter weight member of that genre. The writing is fairly simple, the story contains just enough twists & turns to make it compelling. A quick read, and I did predict the villain correctly.

The Unsung Hero

Author: Suzanne Brockman
Stars: 4
Review by: fine

Decided to take a break from Tom Clancy...grabbed 2 books from authors I have read in the past to catch up.. Suzanne's Unsung Hero is actually Tom P's uncle..Tom P. was home on sick leave from a serious helo crash...discovered his Uncle had a WWII OS secret, his high school love was divorced, still hot, and still loved him, AND a terrorist thought dead showed up in his tiny Massachusetts seaside town at the Home Depot buying bomb supplies...!!!...good read...bad guys...good guys and sex....now going back to her first book in this series.. not sure if real men read romantic suspense, but this one does.