Suzanne J. (09suzij) - - Reviews

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Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story (Vampire, Bk 1)
Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story (Vampire, Bk 1)
Author: Christopher Moore
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 108
Review Date: 8/26/2017


One of Moore's best!


The Book of Unholy Mischief (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 7/18/2015


Excellent audio! The narrator has an amazing talent for voices and accents. Chapter after chapter, the author held my attention and had me wanting more.


Catnapped  (Animal Instinct, Bk 1)
Catnapped (Animal Instinct, Bk 1)
Author: Gabriella Herkert
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 46
Review Date: 3/28/2015


Nice mystery/romance set in Seattle. I was hoping there would be more about the missing cat, or any animals for that matter, but the story was more about human relationships.


The Christmas Child: A Story of Coming Home
The Christmas Child: A Story of Coming Home
Author: Max Lucado
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 1.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 5/21/2014


I was disappointed. The Christmas Child story is on one CD, and is only about 30 minutes long. The story is okay. The 2nd CD is a full on Christian-centered retelling of the birth of Christ, told from the angel Gabriel's viewpoint. Both discs contain sound effects that take away from the stories, rather than add to them.


The Cylons' Secret: Battlestar Galactica 2 (Battlestar Galactica)
Review Date: 6/7/2014


Although the 2 folks before me gave this book an average rating of 4, I'd have to go with 2. I normally like a good science fiction novel, especially Anne McCaffrey or any of the Star Trek books, but this one left me cold. It could be because I was never much of a Galactica watcher back in the day, or it could be because I'm not a fan of shooting and fighting scenes. The character motivation was limited. I would not recommend this audio CD.


Family Blessings (Cisco, Bk 2) (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 12/6/2014


I liked this book - it was a feel-good read without being sugar-coated. In real life, there are sometimes fights, mistrust, mistakes, and mis-communications in extended family situations. This book dealt with all of it.

Just so you know, there's some cursing in this book, but I don't recall the f-bomb being flung around much, if at all. There's also some sex scenes, all consensual, and they are neither explicit nor gratuitous.

I found the part about triplet sibling interactions especially interesting, as there are triplets in my extended family.

I wish I'd read the first book, Cisco, Bk 1, before listening to this one. While the author did a good job of referring back to that book in a way that was easy to follow, I still felt like I wanted to know more about Cisco's family, but now I already know what's going to happen in Bk 1.


The Fifth Vial (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
The Fifth Vial (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Author: Michael Palmer, J Charles (Narrator)
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 7/27/2018


This book was awesome! Good vs. Evil, global settings, altruism vs. greed, hospitals, laboratories, detectives, quotes from Plato, and amazing narration to tie it all up. Take a listen!


Floral Decorations for Entertaining With Style
Review Date: 6/23/2013


Nice book for beginner and advanced floral arrangers. I was able to make bouquets and corsages for my daughter's wedding, and I had never done any floral craft before in my life! It also gives holiday, shower, and table arrangement ideas, with simple instructions for beautiful results.


Garden Princess
Garden Princess
Author: Kristin Kladstrup
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 9/19/2015


Family friendly fairy tale; appropriate for all ages. The main characters includes a princess, her family, a witch, and an enchanted magpie.

I liked that the princess made up her own mind about what a princess should and should not do.

I think kids would like this book, as would anyone interested in gardening and botany. I found it so-so.


The Golden Thread (Sorcery Hall, Bk 3)
The Golden Thread (Sorcery Hall, Bk 3)
Author: Suzy McKee Charnas
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/3/2014


This is book three of the Sorcery Hall Trilogy, with Valentine Marsh as the main character. The other two books are The Bronze King and The Silver Glove. I recommend reading them in the correct order, because there are lots of references to the previous books in this one. That said, I was still able to enjoy the story. In addition to getting used to her "gift," Val is also dealing with school, her mom, and her new feelings for boys. It really took me back to my high school days (except for the magic part).


Murder in the Dog Days (Maggie Ryan, Bk 6)
Murder in the Dog Days (Maggie Ryan, Bk 6)
Author: P. M. Carlson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 12/28/2014


Great book - couldn't put it down. Characters were complex but believable, plot moved right along. Interestingly, it was written in 1991, but set in 1975, and contained many references to the war in Viet Nam.

This book can be read as a stand-alone; it does not have to be read as part of the series. I had not read any of the Maggie Ryan books previously, and I didn't feel like I was missing important information.


Murder's Out of Tune (Antony Maitland)
Murder's Out of Tune (Antony Maitland)
Author: Sara Woods
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/27/2014


Very nice British whodunnit, although it would have been much easier and more enjoyable had I read the previous books in the series. There are quite a few mentions of cases and characters which bear heavily on the sleuth's actions. If you've read any of the previous books, you'll probably enjoy this one!


Once Upon a Time in Great Britain : A Travel Guide to the Sights and Settings of Your Favorite Children's Stories
Review Date: 1/7/2018


This is a great book - wish I'd had it when I traveled in Britain a few years back. Although I'm sure the attraction prices have increased since the book was published in 2002, the locations most likely have not. For that reason alone, it would be tremendously useful.

One can only hope that Ms. Wentz is planning a revised version!


The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Abridged)
The Poe Shadow (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Author: Matthew Pearl, Erik Singer (Narrator)
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 5/16/2017


I normally enjoy Pearl's books, but this one seemed to jump around more than usual. Maybe it was the abridging. It seemed like the tracks were arranged randomly on the discs.

Longish musical interludes played between chapters - not between discs, which is where one would expect them.

The narrator was great with voices and accents; he really made it easy to keep the characters straight, even when the action seemed to be skipping around.


The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of The Oxford English Dictionary (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 10/3/2015


Although I'd never wondered how the OED was first produced, I found this story fascinating! This book tells how, in an age when few dictionary's were available, Professor James Murray organized the project of collecting English words, their various uses, histories, and quotations, and organized them into a series of twelve volumes known as the Oxford English Dictionary. The contributions of Dr. W.C. Minor to the project are considerable. It is only after years of collaboration via post that Dr. Murray finds out that one of his best "readers" is incarcerated in an asylum for the criminally insane.

The book is read by the author, and is unabridged on 6 CDs (7 1/2 hours).


Spellbinder
Spellbinder
Author: Helen Stringer; Read by Helen Stringer
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/20/2016


As an adult "listener" and lover of fantasy books, I loved this audio by Helen Stringer. The author has a lovely British accent, the story was quite exciting, and it left me wanting to read more about Belladonna and Steve. Books 2 and 3 are now on my wishlist!


The Sugar Camp Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts, Bk 7)
The Sugar Camp Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts, Bk 7)
Author: Jennifer Chiaverini
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 94
Review Date: 11/28/2012


Jennifer Chiaverini departs from the present day Elm Creek quilters in this wonderful historical novel.


The Sugar Queen
The Sugar Queen
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 308
Review Date: 2/25/2017


Magical.


Tathea
Tathea
Author: Anne Perry
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 7/17/2018


I love Anne Perry's Victorian era books, but I couldn't get past the first 100 pages of this one. This is a more spiritual and soul-searching book, with lots of battle scenes. And boats. At least for the first 100 pages. Not my cup of tea.


Then We Came to the End
Then We Came to the End
Author: Joshua Ferris
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 157
Review Date: 2/10/2018


I bought this book because it had a shiny "National Book Award Finalist" medal on the cover, as well as reviews stating "Entertaining" and "Engrossing" and "Very Funny." Then, inside the book, there were six pages of positive reviews by famous people and publications. Stephen King found it hilarious. One review suggested it might be the next Great American Novel. And to top it off, it was set in my home town, Chicago.

Had to be good, right?

I did not enjoy this book. I love humor - the Jenny Lawson, David Sedaris, Janet Evanovich, Celia Rivenbark, Gary Larson, Woody Allen, Steve Martin type. I like books that make you think - like The Road, The Martian, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. This book just made me sad. The characters were selfish and slothful and dying. They were bigots and whiners. Their attempts to help one another were half-hearted and misplaced. If this is what Chicagoans are like these days, I'm glad I don't live there anymore.

Maybe this book describes what life is like in America, but I sure hope not.


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