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Last Edited on: 3/31/14 10:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 51
Hot Six by Janet Evanovich
Last Edited on: 3/30/14 12:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 6
Finished --- Lowcountry Summer by Dorothea Benton Frank ---Poignant, funny, thought-provoking story about the Winbley family of Tall Pines plantation in the lowcountry of South Carolina. Told from Caroline Wimbley Levine's point of view, she reveals deep-seated feelings about her ex-husband, her brother and his family and herself. While Caroline is a bit of a snob, she also cares deeply about the people she loves and tries to correct what she sees as their flaws. In the end she comes to terms with their flaws, and deals with her own hang-ups. Well worth the read.
Recipes for Easy Living by Curtiss Ann Matlock --- A sweet coming-of-age book about a 12-year-old girl named Corrine who lives in Valentine, OK. Christmas is coming and Santa Claus is making himself known to people of Valentine in the way of gifts of money. Corrine has all the questions and feelings of a young girl, trying to figure out how she's suppose to act around her mother who has been allowing Corrine's aunt to raise her, her blossoming feelings for a boy she's always considered just a friend and her secret desire to own a horse of her own. Matlock writes with empathy and makes the reader feel a part of Valentine and its people.
The Snake Tattoo by Linda Barnes --- 2nd in the Carlotta Carlyle series... I really like Carlotta. The 6'1'' red-headed PI is working two cases. One trying to find a runaway teen-age girl and the other trying to find a missing witness to clear her former cop "boss" from a brutality charge. A fun, quick read.
Shell Game by Carol O'Connell --- Mallory is investigating the murder of a illusionist [magician] and finds it's tied into the murder of a woman during WWII involving the same group of men. There's lots of twists and turns and the plot sometimes seems to get bogged down with all the references to that murder and how it relates to the present. Lots of time spent on setting up illusions for shows and it was hard to visualize all the details for someone not familiar with magic tricks. Mallory is an odd character [when she was 11-years-old a psychiatrist diagnosed her as a sociopath, and her background makes that understandable when the first books of the series are read]. She's a brillant cop who seems to have no redeeming qualities when it comes to normal human emotions. The reader is torn between pity and disgust when trying to figure her out. That's what makes this series so fascinating.
McNally's Secret by Lawrence Sanders --- 1st in the Archy McNally series. I've read several of this series already and never had read how it all began. Archy is working through his "Discreet Inquiries" to find some stolen Inverted Jenny stamps. What he finds is much more.... always a fun read with Archy!!
Hanging Time by Leslie Glass --- Another series with a strong female character....love it. April Woo is a Chinese-American detective with the NYPD, an Hispanic "supervisor"/partner and a totally old-world Chinese mother who thinks April should just get married. April has some hang-ups, mainly based on her Chinese up-bringing and isn't always as self-confident as she should be, but she's an excellent detective and proves it as she works to solve the murders of 2 young women. With the help of a psychoanalyst, Jason Frank, [who has some conflicts of his own] and her partner, Mike Sanchez, she gets the job done. Excellent series, even if it is an older one.
Dark Road Home by Karen Harper --- First in the Amish Maplecreek series, Good story about an Amish man, an "English" woman and how they work to solve the hit-and-run killing of 4 Amish teenagers. Easy read, lots of background into Amish life. Interesting.
Currently reading--- The Company of Cats by Marian Babson
Up next --- ???
Nancy --- The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank sounds really good. I'll have to put that on my reminder list---I really enjoy Frank's books.
Books read in 2014: Jan. 8, Feb. 7
Last Edited on: 3/31/14 10:35 AM ET - Total times edited: 9
Last Edited on: 3/25/14 6:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 13
Becoming Johnny Vegas - Johnny Vegas - memoir by the British comedian. I'm hoping for a sequel because this book is great about his early life and how his other personality came to be but it ends just as johnny is coming into his own. He says he isn't qualified to tell johnny's story, let's hope johnny feels qualified.
Black Knight in Red Square by Stuart Kaminsky - Spy mystery set in cold war Russia. There wasn't that much mystery since you know pretty much who did it and why, it's more about the capturing of the perp. I didn't love it, like I said not much mystery and I don;t really like spy stuff. It's for the challenge. It was ok, just not gonna make the top 10. It has really good reviews though, maybe I'm just biased against spy stuff.
The World Of Downton Abbey by Jessica Fellowes - Some background of the house used in the tv series, how it cae about, and how the stories relate to what times were really like back then. Not too much new info, some war details and a lot about how society ruled everything. There were so many ridiculous rules they had to live by and were held back by. Some quotes and background on some of the actors too, and details about their costumes.
Her Enemy by Leena Lehtolainen - Finnish mystery, I had never seen a single one of the names before except for the mc who was called Maria. The others were names like Antti, Armi, Eti, Sanna, Not to mention the last names. It's a little distracting but I like unusual names. Not too complicated, not a lot of danger, but a good story.
Stand And Deliver - Adam Ant - audio - Memoir by Mr Ant. Curiously he left out Vanity, he named other celebrity unions, kinda weird. I was surprised how long he had mental problems, since way before he started show biz. Seems he's finally gotten it together so I' happy for him.
Murder On The Leviathan by Boris Akunin - Book 3 in the series, I accidently missed book 2 and it was apparent;y important because the MC is an ambassador now where he was a cop in book 1. Have to go back and check that out. Good story, told differently. The story was told by alternating characters, giving this book no clear MC even though it is the Erast Fandorin series. There were good characters and no clear bad guy.
Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories And Other Disasters by Jean Shepherd - audio - More stories from the A Christmas Story author, of Ralphie growing up, becoming a teenager, and a grown man in New York. Funny but homey, just like the movie. It starts with an elaboration on the top wars from the movie but I think the junior prom story was my favorite.
Skin Tight by Carl Hiaasen - I love Carl. His books are somewhat similar but he's good enough that I don't mind. A man has trouble come looking for him, through no fault of his own, and does what he has to do. This one involves a terrible plastic surgeon, a terrible lawyer, a terrible talk show host (who sounds an awful lot like Geraldo Rivera), some seriously terrible cops, and the usual cast of good guys. The environmental angle was a bit less in this one but greed still abounds.
A Million Ways To Die In The West by Seth MacFarlane - audio - Not a terribly original story but peppered with trademark MacFarlane humor. Definitely worth it.
The Distant Echo by Val McDermid - Excellent mystery, I read it in 2 days because I couldn't put it down. Four Scottish college students (literally) stumble across a dying woman in the snow and become the lead suspects in her murder, turning their lives upside down.
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik - Chick book but it had a good story. A group of women who live in a neighborhood become lifelong friends through a book club they form.
Jeannie Out Of The Bottle by Barbara Eden - audio - Memoir. I've always thought she seemed to be a very well brought up lady and her book just confirms that. Her personal life wasn't perfect, especially since she lost both of her children, but there's no big cry fest or looking for sympathy. Despite being married to one jackass the love life doesn't sound bad at all by Hollywood standards. She's still gorgeous, still working, still healthy (I assume, she makes no mention of any physical issues), married to a man she loves. Not a lot of major bummers here.
Swordfishtrombones by David Smay - audio - From the 33 1/3 series, which dissects famed albums and the people who wrote them. They all have different writers and this one missed. Full of fancy and weird analogies that make no sense. He was trying to be way too cute and totally ruined the story. It was more like a bad LSD trip than anything else. Sucked.
Last Edited on: 5/1/14 12:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 15
Just started He's Gone by Deb Caletti for a book group, only 25 pages in. I hope it gets better.
Sorry about the double post below.
Last Edited on: 3/2/14 8:31 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Midnight in Austenland, I read Austenland awhile back and just saw the movie so it was a good time to read the 2nd book.
I am lsitening to Next Best Thing by Weiner, half way done but it is getting old, this one is not her best work.
I read a lot of WW2 stuff last month, so I am doing fluff right now.
ETA - I like Franks books too! Last Orginal Wife was good. I have Low Country on my TBR, I like to read her books in the summer.
Last Edited on: 3/3/14 11:30 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
The Language of Sisters - Amy Hatvany
1. Doctor Sleep - Stephen King - 5 Stars On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the steam that children with the shining produce when they are slowly tortured to death. Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant shining power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes Doctor Sleep. Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted fans of "The Shining" and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon
2. Villa Triste - Lucretia Grindle - 4.5 Stars Florence, 1943. Two sisters, Isabella and Caterina Cammaccio, find themselves surrounded by terror and death; and with Italy trapped under the heel of a brutal Nazi occupation, bands of Partisans rise up. Soon Isabella and Caterina will test their wits and deepest beliefs as never before. As the winter grinds on, they will be forced to make the most important decisions of their lives. Their choices will reverberate for decades. In the present day, Alessandro Pallioti, a senior policeman agrees to oversee a murder investigation, after it emerges the victim was once a Partisan hero. When the case begins to unravel, Pallioti finds himself working to uncover a crime lost in the twilight of war, the consequences of which are as deadly today as they were over sixty years ago.
The Crying Tree - Naseem Rakha - 3.5 Stars Irene and Nate Stanley are living a quiet and contented life with their two children, Bliss and Shep, on their family farm in southern Illinois when Nate suddenly announces he?s been offered a job as a deputy sheriff in Oregon. Irene fights her husband. She does not want to uproot her family and has deep misgivings about the move. Nevertheless, the family leaves, and they are just settling into their life in Oregon?s high desert when the unthinkable happens. Fifteen-year-old Shep is shot and killed during an apparent robbery in their home. The murderer, a young mechanic with a history of assault, robbery, and drug-related offenses, is caught and sentenced to death. Shep's murder sends the Stanley family into a tailspin, with each member attempting to cope with the tragedy in his or her own way. Irene?s approach is to live, week after week, waiting for Daniel Robbin?s execution and the justice she feels she and her family deserve. Those weeks turn into months and then years. Ultimately, faced with a growing sense that Robbin?s death will not stop her pain, Irene takes the extraordinary and clandestine step of reaching out to her son?s killer. The two forge an unlikely connection that remains a secret from her family and friends. Years later, Irene receives the notice that she had craved for so long?Daniel Robbin has stopped his appeals and will be executed within a month. This announcement shakes the very core of the Stanley family. Irene, it turns out, isn?t the only one with a shocking secret to hide. As the execution date nears, the Stanleys must face difficult truths and find a way to come to terms with the past. Dramatic, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting, The Crying Tree is an unforgettable story of love and redemption, the unbreakable bonds of family, and the transformative power of forgiveness
Last Edited on: 3/26/14 10:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 10
Still reading To See Her Face Again while listening to Divergent.
Just started Day of the Long Sun audio. Comment: Vocabulary of a Oxford English professor, super fast reader of a FF tape, voice of educated auctioneer. (very hard to follow)
Judye / maysied
I finished Austenland (corny and light but not as good as the first book) and I have picked Winter of the World back up, I put it down half way thru, we will see if it piques my interest. I loved Fall of Giants, but this one underwhelmed me.
Just finished James Patterson Alex Cross Series and Womens Murder Club series, can't wait until the next book in both series is released. Also waiting for the next book in the Sword of Truth series. I am starting the prequels to Lord of the Rings, also starting The Sword of Shannara series.
I finished I Promessi Sposi [TheBetrothed] by Alessandro Manzoni. This is labelled by many as the finest Italian novel. Period. I agree. Period. Written in 1828, revised totally by the author. The translation I read tries to be faithful to the revision by the author. The Penguin revision weighs in at 625 pp. For anyone interested in serious literature, I could not recommend it more highly.
Just re-read The Ugly American by Lederer and Burdick. Bought my copy in the 1960's while in college in Boston (I know this because I wrote the date and place in the book.) Still a very powerful novel of how bad American diplomats can be.
Started Something Happened by Joseph Heller. Bought this book when DH and I were in Iran in 1975-76. Don't remember reading it. I'm on page 116 and the MC seems like a self-centered narcissistic jerk. Does it get any better?
Can you tell I'm trying to get some stuff off my TBR? LOL