"Although I love the flavors of Indian food, I don't know much about making it. This book explains everything clearly, so the beginner won't get lost, yet it's also very comprehensive. With so many recipes you'll find it hard to choose which one to try first, and a more experienced cook won't be bored. Many recipes are fairly complex, and call for things I don't have on my shelves or that I can't get easily, but the author often provides ideas for getting good results from more common ingredients. So far, the few simple recipes I've tried have turned out well."
"This collection of stories seems to be built out of very uneven pieces, all of them written in Hill's distinctive, no-nonsense prose. Some stories were sad, or pathetic, or bittersweet, while others were just puzzling, with no real direction or resolution, or maybe they were just too subtle for me to pick up what was supposed to be going on. Only a few pieces were outstanding--either genuine horror stories that succeeded in running chills down my spine and made me want to keep reading and cover my eyes, all at the same time, or insanely creative stories like "Pop Art"--and these make the collection worth reading."
"Kralik's notion of sending thank you notes for the people and things we're grateful for in our lives is an admirable one. Heartfelt and unexpected notes of thanks, expressions that take time and thoughtful consideration to create, are a treasure to the recipient, and I can understand how writing them could be uplifting to the sender as well. Related in his easy to read style, the descriptions of why he wrote the notes he sent, and what he wrote, are sometimes really inspiring. Other parts of this book, however, felt overwritten--hearing voices on the trail? tripping on the sidewalk only to look up and find religion?--as if the author was trying too hard to be motivational."
"For the most part, I like McFadyen's writing, and thought this book, though not as good as his earlier ones, was not bad. However, it cried out for a sharp-eyed editor who could remind the author to stop repeating over-used phrases and descriptions, and to eliminate the overly long stretches of exposition that drag the action to a halt. That's not advancing the story or building suspense, that's padding, and it doesn't belong in a tautly written story. The characters have grown on me, and I hope they get a storyline worthy of them in the next book of the series."
"I loved the author's descriptions of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, but they were, unfortunately, the high point of this book. For the rest, the best word I can use is "artificial". The throwaway bits of Finnish heritage were interesting, but not sufficient to salvage the stereotypical characters (the cast included a dim & overweight small-town sheriff and two ruggedly-handsome-and-manly-yet-sensitive guys), the overly scripted dialog, or the excessively coincidental events of the plot."
"After reading and enjoying Ironside's stylish Death in the Garden, I was really looking forward to this book, only to find that I couldn't force myself to finish it. The story plodded along, tangled in details, trivia, and confusing names, and if it had a point, I'm afraid I wasn't patient enough to find it."
"Sheffield seems to have a flair for writing characters and dialog that can pull a reader into a story. Sadly, in this book the characters and their words are mostly wasted on an often silly plot. What happens in a world deprived of all its electronics could have been, should have been, fascinating reading. But this post-disaster book trots out all the cliches. There's genetic manipulation and cloning, here mixed up with a serial killer and his turtle; a wild-eyed shades-of-Waco religious zealot and her fanatic followers; sex, political intrigue, and ambition. Worse yet, the book is obviously intended as the beginning of a series, with a coy epilogue that promises more to come. No thanks."
"This was a great story idea, an exploration of the changes in the planet and its people as Earth's rotation slows down. However, I was disappointed that in Walker's hands the idea never lived up to its promise, bogging down in predictability, cursory descriptions, and stereotypical characters, and rushed to an unsatisfying ending. It's a not terribly original YA coming-of-age book dressed up in quasi-apocalyptic clothing, and it doesn't do justice to either type of story."
"Vivid descriptions, lots of historical details. I'm sure there were some superb characterizations here too--Cornwell generally does a good job in that regard. But I just couldn't handle the simplistic writing style and massive bloodshed long enough to find them."
"I've seldom come across a book with more twists and turns, a whole boatload of red herrings that sometimes almost overwhelm the plot. The author manages to hold all the pieces together, though, and the story is tightly written and full of interesting premises about biblical history and its implications in modern events. What I thought would be a mediocre knockoff of The DaVinci Code turned out to be a pretty good action thriller, and worth reading."
"Simon Winchester has produced a well-written, wonderful little book (only about 100 pages) that examines a very different aspect of the Charles Dodgson/Lewis Carroll that most readers know. Dodgson's passion for the then-new art and science of photography during his early years at Oxford produced some remarkable photos, and this book focuses on the story behind one of them, young Alice posed as a beggar maid, in fascinating detail. No photos in the text, unfortunately, other than the one under discussion. But the book is fast to read, and well worth picking up."
"Alice I Have Been was undeniably well written. The fictional Alice becomes a fully-realized and complex character in a compelling story that pulled me along. But I was also consistently uneasy with the suggestion, actually the foregone conclusion, that Alice and Dogdson had an inappropriate relationship. I don't know which was more disturbing, the portrayal of Dodgson as a soulful pedophile, or the depiction of Alice as a child seductress wise beyond her years, but both aspects were played up shamelessly, and both are unfair, at the very least, to the real people these characters are based on."
"Very good book overall, with interesting characters and plot. My only problem with it was that Carr often seemed to inundate the reader with details--tantalizing details, to be sure, about characters, or the intricacies of police work, or life and manners in 19th century NYC, or the then-new science of psychology (which was, sometimes, like being back in Psych 101). The details were fascinating, but they often threatened to swamp the flow of the story. Also, like his characters, Carr didn't seem to give much thought to the end of the adventure, so that the book's ending was somewhat disappointing. Still, I'm looking forward to reading the sequel to find out what happened next."
"Some different and delicious-sounding recipes, many with LOTS of butter and chocolate, organized by cookie type. Probably aimed at the slightly more experienced baker, although there is a useful section in the front on baking basics. Good photos, though not every recipe is pictured. The 2 recipes I've tried so far--one with crushed butterscotch candies, the other an espresso/chocolate/white chocolate chunk--were excellent."
"The life of a country veterinarian in pre-WWII England comes vividly alive in this book. But Herriot's animal stories are people stories, too, and the people meet daily hardship with humor, courage, and persistence. There are lessons here, but no preaching, just a series of brief, finely written sketches of the Yorkshire Dales and its people."
"A fun book, fast to read but with engaging characters and a very flowing and literate style. The mystery is not terribly complicated nor particularly mysterious, but the story is enjoyable. Estleman provides a lot of tidbits about early film history, and the Closing Credits section added several new books to my want list. This is an author I'll look for again."
"There was an interesting plot idea here, but it practically suffocated under careless writing, stereotypical characters, stilted dialog, and constant lame attempts to create authenticity and local color. Probably not an author I'll try again."
"A very enjoyable book, with a complex plot, excellent characters, and writing that is well above average. Crombie has a definite knack for handling multiple storylines, and manages to keep them all interesting and moving forward without confusing the reader. I don't really need to be reading yet another series, but this one may be too good to pass up."