Pam H. (PamelaH) - - Reviews

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2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America
2030: The Real Story of What Happens to America
Author: Albert Brooks
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 4/20/2015


This book is about what happens to America in 2030. With people living longer, cancer cured, and money and resources being sucked dry by the elderly, young folks are feeling the pressure and an anger stirs toward the elders. Brooks has great insight into our society and the future. Interesting thoughts regarding the years to come.


Agaat
Agaat
Author: Marlene Van Niekerk
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 9/26/2011
Helpful Score: 1


This was a tough read! To say the text was allusive at times, would be an understatement, but I hung in there and pushed myself to read on. The story takes place in South Africa where a white woman, Milla, takes in an abused and sickly black girl to nurse her to health. Eventually, this girl, Agaat, becomes the woman's servant, then as years go on, her caregiver, because Milla is dying from a terrible disease. Much of the book is written in diary form and in the eyes of Milla. Trying to communicate with Agaat when she was young and terribly abused, certainly pays off when Milla can no longer speak because of her illness. These two women are incredibly close but filled with conflicting feelings toward each other. Of course, class has much to do with their strained relationship. I was incredibly impressed in the way the author relates the thoughts and feelings of someone with ALS. This is a difficult book, but truly brilliant.


The Age of Miracles
The Age of Miracles
Author: Karen Thompson Walker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 41
Review Date: 5/31/2017


Imagine what would happen if the earth's rotation slowed and kept slowing. The days and and the nights as we know them would lengthen. Eventually, as the slowing continued, so again would the length of our days and nights. This is what happens in this wonderfully told story by Karen Thompson. Everything changes, plants and animals die off from too much heat or cold - light and dark to the extreme... This story, as told by a young woman's memory through it all, grabs you. I couldn't put this book down.


Ape House
Ape House
Author: Sara Gruen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 64
Review Date: 8/14/2011
Helpful Score: 2


I liked Gruen's "Water for Elephants" so much, I decided to read this one. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it! I had a hard time putting this book down because I just had to find out what was going to happen to the intelligent, gentle Bonobo Apes who had been taken away forcibly from the Great Ape Language Lab. For Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the lab, it is like losing family and terribly heart-breaking. The race to find and save these incredible creatures from human exploitation ensues with many twists and turns.


The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Author: Garth Stein
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 990
Review Date: 3/28/2010
Helpful Score: 2


It's been a long time since I've actually cried while reading a book. Toward the end of this one, I did. I fell in love with Enzo, the dog who tells this story. He is funny, smart, incredibly perceptive, and brutally honest. My kind of person, er... dog. Great book! Please read it.


Before I Go To Sleep (Larger Print)
Before I Go To Sleep (Larger Print)
Author: S. J. Watson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 7/31/2011


This book had a pretty interesting story line that attracted me. Every morning, Christine wakes up not knowing who or where she is because of a strange type of amnesia. Every morning she has to be told who she is, about her past, the people in her life, etc. Understandably, she is afraid and paranoid most every day. What if you woke up every day in a strange place with people you didn't know... pretty scary, right? I enjoyed this book although it took a bit to grab me, but when it did, I didn't want to put it down. I just had to know what was going on and why, and who to believe. Fun read.


Bel Canto
Bel Canto
Author: Ann Patchett
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 872
Review Date: 1/28/2018


This story takes place in a unnamed South American country and VIPs are attending a fancy party at the Vice President's home â all attendees are from different countries and one of them has brought a translator. Terrorists unexpectedly break into the home and take the people hostage. Surprisingly, true friendships bond and love forms. I liked the differences in the language, class, and culture, and how the hostages and terrorists become close in spite of that. The ending sort of blew me away, but the lives of these people living together up until that, was beautiful. Great read!


Belong to Me
Belong to Me
Author: Marisa De Los Santos
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 128
Review Date: 5/9/2010


A story about a woman who moves out of the city with her husband, and into suburbia where she makes a new life for herself. Surprisingly to her, she makes new friends, and shares their ups & downs, triumphs & failures. She finds friendship where she thought she never would, and finds out a secret that borders on betrayal. A complex story, very moving. I really liked this book.


Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
Author: Anne Lamott
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 216
Review Date: 6/15/2011


Lamott gives some good tips and ideas on writing, also some excellent "assignments" to do. She does much of it with good wit so that it's also a fun read. If you are an inspiring writer, I would certainly recommend this book.


The Bird Catcher
The Bird Catcher
Author: Laura Jacobs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 12/27/2014


Loved the layers in this story. There are many parts to our lives and Jacobs did a great job of telling the story of love and loss in this one. A bird lover, nature lover, an artist. That's Margret, the NYC woman who dresses windows at Saks Fifth Avenue. She has more depth to her than I would have normally imagined of a "city gal" in the uppity parts of NYC who tugs at nature and art and the rights and wrongs involving the two. I'm a bird/nature lover myself, so reading a book that entwines that love really sold me. Although I didn't care for the opening chapter (too wordy), I persevered and was glad I did. Sad and heartbreaking, but done gracefully. This book was a surprise to me. I hadn't heard of it before and on a whim, decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did.


The Bluest Eye
The Bluest Eye
Author: Toni Morrison
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 491
Review Date: 10/15/2011
Helpful Score: 1


A story about the life of a young black girl with a wish to be a beloved pretty white girl. Takes place in the early 40's. A beautifully written, painfully sad story. A tough read.


The Book Thief
The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 1037
Review Date: 3/2/2011


If you only read one book this year, make it this one. Although this book is classified as a "Young Adult Fiction" I was interested in reading it because of the rave reviews it got. I'm glad I did. It is the story of Liesel, a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family, friends, and the Jewish man they are hiding. It's told by "Death" who is trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II. This well written heart breaker blew me away. Add this to your "must read" list no matter your age. You won't be sorry.


Border Songs
Border Songs
Author: Jim Lynch
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 2/19/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I'm interested in knowing how the author came up with this imaginitive story line. An incredibly gifted and dyslexic border patrol cop who loves nature (especially birds), bordering Washington State/BC, pot-smugglers both good and bad, love, small-town characters that are dealing with a quick-changing world... The incorporation of counting bird species throughout the day of Brandon's was a gas. I loved it! He put it all together without a hitch. Definitely worth reading. Take your time and breathe it in.


Clapton: The Autobiography
Clapton: The Autobiography
Author: Eric Clapton
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 76
Review Date: 3/29/2018


I've been a huge fan of Eric Clapton for many, many years and grew up in my teens listening to his music. I still do. Clapton doesn't write as well as he plays guitar and crafts his music, but this was an interesting book nonetheless. Did you know he taught himself to play the guitar? I didn't. I learned more about his addictions than I really knew prior to this and found that his life wasn't easy while growing up. It was fun to read about so many of the other artists that he was friends with and played music with, so many of which I am a fan of. His love of music has always been more bluesy than rocks-y and I saw that during his career, but his interest in fashion and many of the other arts surprised me. Clapton was very open about his life while writing this book and while I saw he had demons, some of which turned me off, I also saw he was willing to lay it all out on the table. He's a real guy, we all have demons - and I love him even more for it.


Comfort Food
Comfort Food
Author: Kate Jacobs
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 8/30/2010


Gus Simpson, a widowed 50-year-old-to-be, with 2 grown daughters has her life turned around when the cooking show she hosted for many years brings in a young, beautiful chef to work with Gus. The story is a "coming of life" sort of tale for a controlling woman. Quite lighthearted, but I must say I found it a bit predictable and at some times, too long-winded. I definitely liked The Friday Night Knitting Club better. Sorry Ms. Jacobs!


Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness
Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness
Author: Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 12/26/2010
Helpful Score: 1


One of the reasons I wanted to read this book is because of my love for crows and other corvids. But there is much more to Crow Planet than stories about crows: spiritualism, conservation, our environment and its changes because of man, (which includes the increasing numbers of crows that live in urban areas) and more. Though there were some good crow stories, I found that Crow Planet has taken us a step further into understanding the circle of life and our impact on it, including ecological imbalance from our interactions with the natural world. I was pleasantly surprised to be reminded of the naturalist's way, something you don't seem to hear much about anymore. Although it was not what I was expecting to read, I'm glad I did.


Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
Author: Vicki Myron
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 542
Review Date: 11/24/2010


On the coldest night of the year, a kitten was abandoned and thrown in a book-return slot at the Spencer Public Library in Spencer, Iowa. The librarian, also the author of this book, found this nearly frozen kitten the following morning and takes him in. So begins the story about this amazing cat named Dewey Readmore Books. Although I found some of Myron's narrative a bit anthropomorphic, I have to say that I too, had a cat who seemed to understand, respond, and know exactly what I needed when I needed it. This is a heart warming story about a cat that brings a town and its people together in amazing ways. There is some town history along with the author's life stories in this book which gives the Dewey story an interesting backdrop. A quick and easy read.


Die Trying  (Jack Reacher, Bk 2)
Die Trying (Jack Reacher, Bk 2)
Author: Lee Child
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 352
Review Date: 11/17/2011


Another suspense filled novel from Lee Child. Reacher saves the day for an FBI agent, Holly Johnson, and for the USA to boot! The military survival cult in Montana never saw what was coming, or what hit them when Jack Reacher showed up! Fun read.


The Doctor's Wife
The Doctor's Wife
Author: Elizabeth Brundage
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 666
Review Date: 2/12/2011


Upstate NY - A successful doctor, his wife who is a college professor, a "perfect" life until the doctor starts helping at a women's clinic where abortions are performed. Add more characters to the mix: a troubled woman and her Evangelical Christian friends, her famous, arrogant artist-husband, and you have the makings of a psychological thriller. This book started out a bit slow and predictable for me, but then it grabbed my attention and I had a hard time putting it down. Good read.


Dog on It (Chet and Bernie, Bk 1)
Dog on It (Chet and Bernie, Bk 1)
Author: Spencer Quinn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 125
Review Date: 7/4/2012
Helpful Score: 1


Written through the eyes of Chet, a private detective's dog, this story takes you on a journey into a missing persons case. Chet is very forthcoming with his thoughts and can be very funny. He is also absolutely truthful, (as all dogs are) which actually makes the dialogue even funnier sometimes! What a fun way to read a suspense story, and yes, funny or not, there is suspense! I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading the series.


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