Susan P. - Reviews

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Agents of Light and Darkness  (Nightside, Bk 2)
Agents of Light and Darkness (Nightside, Bk 2)
Author: Simon R. Green
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 170
Review Date: 6/23/2006
Helpful Score: 4


The second in the "Nightside" series, in which private eye John Taylor is commissioned to search for the "Unholy Grail" - the cup from which Judas drank at the Last Supper. EVERYONE in the Nightside is after this prize, which promises to confer unimaginable power - and will do ANYTHING to get it. The comedy and horror here are even darker than in the first one - but there are also odd moments of poignance.


Asimov on Science Fiction
Asimov on Science Fiction
Author: Isaac Asimov
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 6/23/2006
Helpful Score: 1


This is a collection of entertaining and informative essays - most of them editorials from Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, others from articles or essays he wrote for other publications - on various aspects of science fiction, including the genre's beginnings, the fans, what makes good science fiction, etc.


Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
Author: Dai Sijie, Ina Rilke (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 683
Review Date: 1/27/2007
Helpful Score: 1


During China's infamous "Culturual Revolution," two city boys are sent to a remote mountain village for "reeducation. They discover and begin surreptitiously reading, a cache of Western literary classics translated into Chinese; they also form a bond with the daughter of the local tailor. It's a bit slow at points, but overall, a moving tale.


Bowled Over: A Roll Down Memory Lane
Review Date: 1/27/2007


A small-sized, square book chock full of vintage illustrations from bowling's "glory days" from the 1950s through the 1970s. Rather charming.


Caruso and Tetrazzini on the Art of Singing
Caruso and Tetrazzini on the Art of Singing
Author: Luisa Tetrazzini
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/31/2009
Helpful Score: 2


This is such a charming little volume, written by two of the greatest opera singers of all time. Even though it's 100 years old, it contains valuable, practical advice for any singer, combined with amusing and instructive anecdotes from their careers. Unfortunately, their performing lives preceded adequate recording techniques, so we don't have much in the way of their actual voices, but book gives a delightful impression of their personalities.


Cathedrals and Castles: Building in the Middle Ages
Review Date: 1/27/2007


A small-format, beautifully illustrated history, part of the Abrams "Discoveries" series.


The Club Dumas
The Club Dumas
Author: Arturo Perez-Reverte, Sonia Soto (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 109
Review Date: 6/23/2006
Helpful Score: 4


A rousing literary mystery, translated from the Spanish, in which "book detective" Lucas Corso is drawn into a fantastical plot involving the murder of a noted bibliophile, the original manuscript of "The Three Musketeers," occult practices, and swashbuckling. It gets a little too tangled by the end, but it's an enjoyable ride most of the way. (And the last line is priceless.)


Colony (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Colony (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
Author: Melinda Metz, Laura J. Burns, Jeff Matsuda
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 6/23/2006


Another in the series of "Stake Your Destiny" books, in which Buffy and the gang must thwart Belakane, whose "Be the Ultimate You!" program is actually a cover for ... well, the cover should give you a clue. The alternate paths will keep you entertained for hours (at least, they did for me).


Forever and Always (Forever Trilogy, Bk 2)
Forever and Always (Forever Trilogy, Bk 2)
Author: Jude Deveraux
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 278
Review Date: 8/3/2006
Helpful Score: 3


This second book of Devereaux's "Forever Trilogy" takes steps into even more pure fantasy - sometimes maybe a little too much. But the story will pull you in, make you laugh, and touch your heart, as lead heroine Darci Monroe Montgomery helps a popular TV star find his missing son - and in the process, just might find out where her mysteriously missing husband is, not to mention hints of just how strong her powers are. Yes, the "happily ever after" at the end of the first book has gone bye-bye - for the time being, at least - but there are bigger things going on here, which seem to promise major happenings in the third book.


Fruits of the Spirit
Fruits of the Spirit
Author: Charles Ron Hembree
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/1/2007


In illustrations drawn from the Bible, literature, and history, the author examines the evidences of fruit of the spirit.


The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (Ballad, Bk 2)
The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (Ballad, Bk 2)
Author: Sharyn McCrumb
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 152
Review Date: 1/28/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Part of Sharyn McCrumb's "Ballad" series. It all starts with an apparent murder-suicide leaves the Underhill children orphans - and what seems an open-and-shut case quickly becomes a spiral of tragedy.


Hex and the City (Nightside, Bk 4)
Hex and the City (Nightside, Bk 4)
Author: Simon R. Green
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 134
Review Date: 12/30/2006


Simon Green's "Nightside" books just keep getting better as the stakes get higher for detective John Taylor. This time, he has a mission to discover the origins of the Nightside itself - as well as finally discover the truth about his mother. The snarky humor and appearances by yet more oddball denizens of the territory are in place as always, but the action is starting to get a bit more grim ...


Hollywood Gothic : The Tangled Web of Dracula from Novel to Stage to Screen
Review Date: 11/3/2008
Helpful Score: 2


If you've read Bram Stoker's "Dracula" and are fascinated by the themes percolating through it, or if your only image of the character is through the movies, or if you just want to know some more about the story in general, this is an ideal place to start. Extensively researched and packed with fascinating historical detail, the book, as the subtitle indicates, discusses "Dracula" from Stoker's writing and research for the novel up to the famous - some might say "iconic" - 1931 movie version starring Bela Lugosi. Skal is a most entertaining writer, and his chronicle of the history is itself as exciting as any thriller.


Improper English
Improper English
Author: Katie MacAlister
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 289
Review Date: 4/6/2007
Helpful Score: 5


To be honest, this is not my favorite Katie McAlister - the story doesn't always hang together well, and Alexandra is a bit of a whiner. However, the sex is as steamy as you would expect and there are many moments of humor - especially the fragments of Alexandra's early novel writing efforts, which are screamingly funny-awful. And her neighbors - gee, wish I could find a place like that!


In the Shadow of Edgar Allen Poe
In the Shadow of Edgar Allen Poe
Author: Jonathon Scott Fuqua
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/27/2007


A graphic novel from DC's Vertigo imprint, using manipulated photographs for the art - which makes for gorgeous result. The story is a fictionalized version of Poe's life from a "long lost" diary; it's deep, dark, rather disorienting and more than a little perverse (sometimes a bit too much for me). But I am, overall, glad to have read it.


Iron John: A Book About Men
Iron John: A Book About Men
Author: Robert Bly
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.6/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 4/1/2007


The classic volume about how contemporary men can become better spiritually and mentally


Lords of the Night: The Full of the Moon / Dark Shadows / The DeVille Inheritance
Review Date: 7/16/2006
Helpful Score: 3


From the back cover blurb:
"A trio of hauntingly romantic tales transport you to a Regency England where dashing lords of darkness offer elegant ladies the thrill of their incomparable love: seductive, dangerous, and forever."


Master of Ecstasy (Mackenzie Vampires, Bk 1)
Master of Ecstasy (Mackenzie Vampires, Bk 1)
Author: Nina Bangs
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 222
Review Date: 6/29/2006


On a trip back in time to 1785, Blythe meets "Mr. Dark-Evil-and-Deadly" himself, an honest to goodness vampire," and well, given the title, you can guess what ensues.


Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese
Mike Nelson's Movie Megacheese
Author: Michael J. Nelson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 8/21/2006


Though I am a big MST3K fan, this book was a little too much of Mike Nelson in one setting, too unremittingly sarcastic. But it is funny enough in spots.


Nightingale's Lament (Nightside, Bk 3)
Nightingale's Lament (Nightside, Bk 3)
Author: Simon R. Green
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 148
Review Date: 10/25/2006


This third novel of the Nightside gets even darker - and funnier - than before, as John Taylor searches for the truth behind Rossignol (that's "Nightingale" in French), an up-and-coming singer whose fans seem to think she has a voice to die for. Literally. It is, as usual, laugh-out-loud funny in many parts, but John Taylor faces a lot more nastiness than he ever has as well, which will give you plenty of chills.


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