Sharron A. (sharrona) - Reviews

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200% of Nothing: An Eye Opening Tour Through the Twists and Turns of Math Abuse and Innumeracy
Review Date: 5/19/2012


Another excellent entry in my "math is fun" list. In elementary school, I hated arithmetic; in college, I majored in math. It was people who thought as this author thinks, and who spoke clearly and enthusiastically about math, who showed me some of the many connections math has to real life, that changed my mind.


Act of Darkness (Gregor Demarkian, No 3)
Act of Darkness (Gregor Demarkian, No 3)
Author: Jane Haddam
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 7/15/2006
Helpful Score: 1


This is the third book in Jane Haddam's "Holiday Mystery" series, and was my first sample of her writing. I enjoyed it. The mystery plot was not too complicated for the reader to figure out from the clues given. I'd like to read more in the series because Gregor Demarkian, the retired FBI agent, now a sleuth in private practice, is an intriguing character.


After All These Years
After All These Years
Author: Susan Isaacs
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 86
Review Date: 6/7/2006
Helpful Score: 1


After a few pages of not being sure I wanted to read this book, I was hooked. Great suspenseful story, especially if you like your revenge "served cold."


Alchemist CD, The
Alchemist CD, The
Author: Paulo Coelho
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 3/28/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Hmmm... I listened carefully to an unabridged audio version of this book. I'm still wondering what all the hoopla was about. I'm not that insensitive but I just didn't get anything new, worthwhile, or even entertaining out of it. What am I missing here?


All The Weyrs of Pern (Dragonriders of Pern Series)
All The Weyrs of Pern (Dragonriders of Pern Series)
Author: Anne McCaffrey
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 246
Review Date: 6/7/2006


Fills in a few blanks in the story line that you might have missed in the other dozens of Pern novels.


An Hour Before Daylight : Memories Of A Rural Boyhood
An Hour Before Daylight : Memories Of A Rural Boyhood
Author: Jimmy Carter
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 8/25/2006


Listening to former President Carter read this abridged (6 hr) version of his autobiography was like having him sitting in the room telling me stories. Very enlightening. It's always amazing to me to listen to the experiences of someone who lived through the Great Depression. Well-written, well-read, and very enjoyable.


Asylum
Asylum
Author: Patrick McGrath
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 0.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 5/8/2009
Helpful Score: 1


This book is totally pointless and depressing. The only thing going for the audio version is the narration by Sir Ian McKellan. There was not a single sympathetic or positive character, not much atmosphere or sense of place, and little motivation for some of the odder events. This book didn't teach me anything, didn't entertain me, and didn't inspire any insight or thinking on my part -- a total waste of time!


A Beautiful Place to Die  (Martha's Vineyard, Bk 1)
A Beautiful Place to Die (Martha's Vineyard, Bk 1)
Author: Philip R. Craig
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 49
Review Date: 11/27/2011


My first sample of Philip R. Craig's "Martha's Vineyard" series, I liked it well enough to request the next few books from fellow PBS members. It was quick, and straightforward. The mystery plot had integrity and made sense at the end. But it was the interesting lead character(s) that made me want to read more.

In style, the storytelling reminded me of John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series, and Robert B. Parker's Jesse Stone series.


The Beggar's Opera
The Beggar's Opera
Author: Peggy Blair
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 3/29/2013


First novel in a new series featuring Inspector Ricardo Ramirez, head of the Havana Major Crimes Unit -- This book is fast-paced and suspenseful, with short chapters, crisp writing, and plot threads that move from scattered to tightly knotted as the story unfolds. Everything that happened at the end was hinted at earlier in the book; some things that were hinted at didn't happen -- and that makes for a good mystery. I will definitely read the second book in this series and will wait impatiently for more.


Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Author: Kate Atkinson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 153
Review Date: 6/4/2006


I read this with my book group. I hated it. Pointless, humorless, and totally irrelevant. (And I'm not that picky about books I enjoy!) But others absolutely loved it.


Between Worlds: The Making of a Political Life (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Review Date: 7/17/2013


Hearing this book, I could almost imagine that Bill Richardson is sitting over in the corner telling me stories. He reads this abridged version of his published memoir smoothly, and makes the listening most enjoyable. As in most of his public life, he takes a positive point of view on events and people, and when there's something negative to say, he does so simply and directly, without rancor. Richardson is one of my most admired Americans, and being reminded a little more about his background and work history only intensifies my respect for him.


Black Water Rising (Jay Porter, Bk 1)
Black Water Rising (Jay Porter, Bk 1)
Author: Attica Locke
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 1/28/2013


Endearing underdog Jay Porter always endeavors to do what's right, but he makes some gargantuan detours on the way. Readers learn tantalizing bits and pieces of information, just as he does, and must tolerate unanswered questions along with him.

Locke structures the tale as a mixture of present-day and past anecdotes, and gradually ties events and people together.

The book was very hard to put down, and I was sorry to see it end. It left me with a few unanswered questions, and thus the haunting uncertainties of Porter's life and future will stick with me.

My only complaint is that this author's work deserves better editing. One particularly perplexing sentence, for example, says "Jay grabs the shotgun from his wife, slides a bullet into the chamber, and points the barrel of the rifle at the intruder."


Blacklist (V. I. Warshawski, Bk 11)
Blacklist (V. I. Warshawski, Bk 11)
Author: Sara Paretsky
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 183
Review Date: 6/7/2006


V. I. Warshawsky's back -- and this is not only the typical fast-paced thrilled, but also a thought-provoking social & political commentary. Perhaps Paretsky's best book to date!


Blackwater Sound
Blackwater Sound
Author: James W. Hall, Dick Hill
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 7/19/2006


A powerful Florida family, its high-tech fortune dwindling, is haunted by an elusive, enormous blue marlin that claimed the life of its eldest son, who was meant to restore the family's prominence. But the Braswells are tormented by even darker secrets, such as incest and treason, that drive this dark, atmospheric thriller to an explosive conclusion, which might have been pulled straight from recent headlines. James Hall pits Thorn, his series protagonist, against the Braswells and their deadly plans. Although an existentially morose antihero is a convention of the mystery genre, Hall manages to transcend it with a fascinating plot and a powerful narrative, resulting in a suspenseful and resonant novel that shows off his well-developed talents for character development, place, and pacing. The author of 11 previous mysteries (including Mean High Tide and Rough Draft), Hall gets better with every book, and this one continues the trend. --Jane Adams for amazon.com

Dick Hill reads this abridged audio version, and does an excellent job. The abridgement leaves a suspenseful story that still hangs together well. A marvelous way to spend about 6 listening hours.


Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West
Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West
Author: Hampton Sides
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/20/2006


After hearing the author interviewed on Book TV, I'm looking forward to hearing his latest book.


Blood Done Sign My Name : A True Story
Blood Done Sign My Name : A True Story
Author: Timothy B. Tyson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 7/7/2006
Helpful Score: 7


This author's description of his childhood and teenage years, in a variety of small towns and rural areas of the south, rang true to me. Many of the details he mentioned made me nod my head and say "Yes, that's the way it was in Virginia in the 1960s, too."

His ability to gently and calmly paint a real picture makes the facts of racial violence and the injustice that enabled it a shocking contrast. I remember these things too -- sit-ins, marches, the assassination of President Kennedy, of Medgar Evers, of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The question I kept asking myself as I listened to this book is "Why did we think things were OK the way they were back then?"

Excellently written, thought-provoking, and a true story that will stay with me for a long time. I must have read about it in the papers when it happened, but after hearing this book (in the author's own voice), it is unforgettable.


Blood from a Stone (Guido Brunetti, Bk 14)
Blood from a Stone (Guido Brunetti, Bk 14)
Author: Donna Leon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 60
Review Date: 7/10/2006
Helpful Score: 1


Although this is the 14th book in the Brunetti series, it's the first I've read. I found the mystery plot to be rather mild, but the political intrigue was fascinating. The insight into the workings of Italy's law enforcement bureaucracies was cleverly written. And the development of the characters and their working and social relationships was very entertaining. The author's style has subtle humor and irony, and presents modern-day Venice in a fond but probably accurate light.


Bloodroot (China Bayles, Bk 10)
Bloodroot (China Bayles, Bk 10)
Author: Susan Wittig Albert
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 107
Review Date: 5/29/2007


Another good entry in the China Bayles series. This one takes us away from Texas to China's ancestral home.


The Book of Fate (Audio CD) (Abridged)
The Book of Fate (Audio CD) (Abridged)
Author: Brad Meltzer, Scott Brick (Narrator)
Book Type: Audio CD
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 12/8/2006


Should be interesting


The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1)
The Book of Shadows (Herculine, Bk 1)
Author: James Reese
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 102
Review Date: 12/25/2006


Back cover says "Alone among the young girls taught by nuns at a convent school in 19th century France, orphaned Herculine has neither wealth nor social connections. When she's accused of being a witch, the shy student is locked up with no hope of escape...until her rescue by a real witch, the beautiful, mysterious Sebastiana. Swept away to the witch's manor, Herculine will enter a fantastic, erotic world to discover her true nature--and her destiny--in this breathtaking, darkly sensual first novel."


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