SirryD - Reviews

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Blandings Way
Blandings Way
Author: Eric Hodgins
Book Type: Textbook Binding
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 3/4/2014


Into home building or renovation? Into witty, timeless good humor? This was written as a sequel but is wonderful as a stand alone read. Some of us may still remember a delightful movie starring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy called Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. You would enjoy either the first book, or the film, or this sequel! P.S. Don't know what they mean about "textbook binding" here. This is a traditional hardback from 1950. Very hard to find. Loved it.


Bound Feet and Western Dress
Bound Feet and Western Dress
Author: Pang-Mei Chang
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 2/22/2010
Helpful Score: 2


This is an interesting double memoir. A present day granddaughter tells her story and that of her grandmother. A close relationship between grandmother and granddaughter is a joy to read about today. Such a contrast is shown between the generations and the hardships fought by women through the years. Also a wonderful peek into the very private lives and thoughts of Chinese women in the 19th and 20th centuries.


The Box: Uncanny Stories
The Box: Uncanny Stories
Author: Richard Matheson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 45
Review Date: 3/12/2010


The movie, "The Box" is based on the first story in this collection. Great stories full of imagination. None of these stories could actually happen but they entertain and give one pause to think!


The Breadmaker's Carnival
The Breadmaker's Carnival
Author: Andrew Lindsay
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/22/2011
Helpful Score: 2


Set in the small Italian village of Bacheretto, the characters include a haunted priest, a one-legged dancer, an old man attempting to take a portrait of God, a baker who cannot make hot cross buns, and his child about to become the village martyred Madonna. All of them are involved in a frenzy about to overtake the town when Good Friday (Easter) and April Fools' Day (Carnival) happen to occur on the same day. A well-written, fun, and somewhat irreverant read, that had to take place in Italy!


The Chinese Bell Murders (Judge Dee)
The Chinese Bell Murders (Judge Dee)
Author: Robert Van Gulik
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 12/5/2011


"One of a series of Judge Dee detective novels written in the 1950's and based on a popular genre of Chinese seventeenth century detective stories. These convey an insight into life in imperial China...and make for fascinating reading for students of Chinese history and, of course, for mystery fans everywhere." A unique mystery novel that includes maps and illustrations based on sixteenth-century pictorial blockprints. I enjoyed going back so far in history to read a detective story! If you like mysteries and you also like historical fiction, then this is for you!


Curb Appeal
Curb Appeal
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 10/12/2011


Original designs from the tv show of the same name. Useful information and inspiration.


The Dance of Balance for Body, Mind and Spirit
The Dance of Balance for Body, Mind and Spirit
Author: Annie Pane
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/5/2009


Use Feng Shui to understand yourself and your environment in order to solve problems and make your life better. A beautiful, calming book to get in touch with yourself.


The Dream: A Rebus
The Dream: A Rebus
Author: Kim Palmer
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/3/2011


The drawings in this book are amazing whether or not you can solve the difficult puzzle!


The Edge of Impropriety
The Edge of Impropriety
Author: Pam Rosenthal
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/26/2011


Another great from Pam Rosenthal. Historical romance with a popular woman novelist involved romantically - actually, more than romantically! - with several great men - all related - uncle, brother, nephew, all attractive and sexy - lots of action and intrigue!


Effie: The Passionate Lives of Effie Gray, John Ruskin and John Everett Millais
Review Date: 11/30/2015


Well written Victorian era story of the famous love triangle. Love and art are main characters as well as Effie, Ruskin, and Millais. The period is beautifully drawn and the strength of Effie Gray during her life make one very glad to read her story. Compelling, sympathetic, historically interesting, and for this reader, plenty of art. Loved it.


Empire of Heaven
Empire of Heaven
Author: Linda Ching Sledge
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 11/12/2010


NY Times calls this the "Chinese Gone with the Wind". "Warrior and healer, concubine and spy, Rulan is a remarkable heroine. Her story, inspired by Linda Ching Sledge's years of research into her own family history, is told within a rich and vibrant portrait of China in a rebellious age. This is that rare and beautiful novel that totally immerses the reader in its world." Prequel to "A Map of Paradise" which continues the story of Rulan and Pao An in Hawaii.


A Flower That's Free
A Flower That's Free
Author: Sarah Harrison
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/4/2011


This British author combines history, romance, and adventure into a compelling story that spans several decades and several continents. Her development of characters captures the reader and makes one want to read on. One sails through a 763 page book and wants more.


From Time to Time
From Time to Time
Author: Hannah Tillich
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/21/2012


Anyone interested in the 20th Century theologian, Paul Tillich, should read this memoir/biography by his wife, Hannah Tillich. Eye-opening.


Grandma's Shoes
Grandma's Shoes
Author: Libby Hathorn, Elivia Savadier (Illustrator)
Book Type: Library Binding
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/20/2012


Helping a child adjust to the loss of her grandmother; this story is beautifully illustrated in watercolors by Elivia Savadier. It is told in the first person by the child as she secretly puts on her deceased grandmother's shoes. The shoes take her on a trip of reminiscences which helps her to understand where her grandmother has gone. This book will be valuable for children from 4-8 and even older. Death can be difficult for a child to understand and this story presents it in a gentle and loving way. The story is told without religious references, however they could easily be included as desired.


Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong, China
Author: Ralph Arnote
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 11/12/2010


"A sizzling novel of love, greed, and revenge, set against the Chinese takeover of Hong Kong in 1997...A stylish thriller...there is adventure here as well as romance, played out against the well-evoked, exotic scenery of Hong Kong." Non-stop suspense with great characters.


Hothouse Flower
Hothouse Flower
Author: Lucinda Riley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 11/6/2013
Helpful Score: 1


First, you should know that this title is the same as The Orchid House! The story is beautifully written as are all of Lucinda Riley's novels. They have deep, satisfying characters, great historical background, and a story that goes between the past and the present. I wholeheartedly recommend them all; however be sure to check that you haven't read one already under a different title. I wish that someone (writers, publishers, or reviewers) would let us know this when a "new" title is published.


The Island
The Island
Author: Jill Jones
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 9/1/2009
Helpful Score: 2


I love all of Jill Jones' books. They are all different but well written with interesting premises. In The Island, a body found in London has a connection to an isolated island off the coast of Cornwall in England. An American private investigator travels there to find the killer and falls into some very interesting and dangerous adventures. He also manages to fall in love as he solves the mystery. I read it straight through and loved every minute of it. Read this and then read more of Jill Jones.


Jane Austen In Boca (Large Print)
Jane Austen In Boca (Large Print)
Author: Paula Marantz Cohen
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 9/1/2009


This is a fun, witty book. It is a modern slant on Jane Austin's "Pride and Prejudice. Takes place in a retirement complex in Florida. Perfect read for seniors or anyone who knows a senior - and we all do!!! Full of fun, laughter, and matchmaking!


The Last Station (Movie Tie-in Edition): A Novel of Tolstoy's Final Year
Review Date: 5/6/2011


Alternating narrators from Count Leo Tolstoy's household tell of his attempts to balance his philosophy of poverty and his privileged lifestyle by living humbly in his final days. "In the end, it is not the people around him who speak most eloquently for Tolstoy, but the sincerity of his own words--and those of Parini in his kaleidoscopically rich and skillful novel," said Publisher's Weekly. This reader usually likes to either read the book OR see the movie - not both. However, after reading this engrossing novel, I MUST see the movie!


The Lies We Told
The Lies We Told
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 66
Review Date: 11/10/2010


OH MY GOSH! I've read nearly every one of Diane Chamberlain's novels and loved them all. So well written and complex. She draws you in and never lets you go. I sometimes think there is a similarity in her books but then I realize that while the setting or relationships may be similar they are so only in that they hit a chord - right in your heart and in your head too! Upon a further review of all of them, I must say each is a gem in and of itself. She is a Southern Belle and so it makes sense that her settings are usually in the South. She is more comfortable there! But, "The Lies We Told" is different. It is truly an amazing story. You can read reviews of the story itself elsewhere. Let me just say that it is about two sisters, each with a devastating secret from their childhood. They are very different and each handles the secret, and her life, in very different ways. A major catastrophe(not unlike Katrina)sends their lives into a tailspin. How each handles herself in this situation unfolds throughout the book with each sister given alternating chapters for her own side of the story. I loved it! Couldn't put it down until the last page sadly came into view! Fortunately I was recovering from major surgery at the time and could read it through pretty much uninterrupted! I highly recommend this book (and other Diane Chamberlain novels) to readers of all types of fiction. There is something there for everyone. Thank you Diane Chamberlain! Please keep writing!


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