Lynn N. (thebookcrosser) - Reviews

1 to 17 of 17
Celine Dion : My Story, My Dream
Celine Dion : My Story, My Dream
Author: Celine Dion
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 5/20/2007


If you are a Celine fan, I'm sure you will enjoy her story, complete with photos (photo pages are a bit loose). Because I have a cousin who is part of her entourage and I was meeting this cousin's father for the first time, I picked up this paperback to education myself a bit about Ms. Dion. I have to admit to just skimming this book. It's a typical celebrity autobiography - not deep, but often deeply entertaining !


Cloud Nine
Cloud Nine
Author: Luanne Rice
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 50
Review Date: 5/20/2007


I have not read this book. I was going to add it to my BookCrossing shelf just to share. Here is a bit from the back cover.
"Sarah Talbot surely thought she'd never live to see antoher birthday. but against all odds, she beat the disease that threatened her life and she reopened her bedding shop, Cloud Nine. It is a new beginning for Sarah...on her first adventure--a ride in a small chartered plane--comes a chance meeting with a man who will change the course of her life...
Shimmering with emotion, grace, and beauty, Cloud Nine is the kind of novel you will cherish..."


The Dog Who Wouldn't Be
The Dog Who Wouldn't Be
Author: Far;ley Mowat
Book Type: Paperback
  ?
Review Date: 7/6/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Mutt, the star of this story, is quite a dog: independent of spirit, wiley, headstrong, creative, moody, occasionally petulant, a determined tracker and hunter, and quite comfortable in a pair of open-car riding goggles ! Today he would have been the topic of a Marley and Me sort of book, with footnotes written by highly respected dog behavorists. But this story is set in rural Canada, in the late 1920s and early 1930s, back in the days when both dogs and boys roamed free, unrestrained and unfettered, when being off-leash wasn't restricted to dog parks and children weren't constrained by overly protective parents and tightly schedules activities. Both Mutt and Farley were open to whatever life had to offer, including unexpected adventures and all the risks associated with unrestrained freedom.
Farley's father, a character in his own right, kept the pot stirred by moving the family from sedate Ontario to the wilds of Saskatchewan, with road trips and side trips galore, all traveled in Eardlie, the family's convertible Model A Ford (a bit player in this story.) Their lives and adventures were shared by resident owls, squirrels, and an odd assortment of friends. Farley's mother, a model of patience, somehow managed to remain relatively unflustered as Mutt chased skunks around the vegetable cellar and owls perched on visiting minister's shoulders !
This story takes the reader into a world very different from today's environment of raised consciousness -- I wouldn't exactly call it 'the good old days', but a time and place worth the visit, a laugh, a tear here and there, and a few hours of our time.


Empress Orchid
Empress Orchid
Author: Anchee Min
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 142
Review Date: 5/27/2012
Helpful Score: 1


Absorbing, rich in detail. The reader is drawn into the inner sanctums of life in the The Forbidden City, as told through the eyes of Orchid, the fourth concubine of the last Emperor of China and the mother of the last Manchu Emperor (mid to late 1800s). Fascinating story, well told.


The English Patient
The English Patient
Author: Michael Ondaatje
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 340
Review Date: 5/20/2007
Helpful Score: 3


I read this book too many years ago to review it in depth. Found this perfect-condition copy at a thrift shop and just had to buy it to share. I love this novel. The film version does not touch the depth of the writing. The characters are rich, the situation they find themselves in unique, the storyline absorbing. If you enjoyed the film but have never read the book, don't pass this one up.


The Grass Dancer
The Grass Dancer
Author: Susan Power
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 5/20/2007


Haven't read this but still might (so many on my TBR).
From the back cover -
"Set on a North Dakota reservation, The Grass Dancer weaves the stories of the old and the young, of broken families, romantic rivals, men and women in love and at war...in a tale as resonant and haunting as an ancestor's memory and as promising as a child's dream".


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 1400
Review Date: 8/10/2011


Story unfolds through letters, allowing each characters' POV to shine while maintaining a central POV to anchor the story (the person to whom most of the letters are directed). Absolutely excellent, unique storyline revealing characters you come to love and gently raising the reader's consciousness about the effect of WWII on the residents of Guernsey Island. Highly recommend this one. Couldn't put it down.


Irish Hearts: Irish Thoroughbred / Irish Rose
Irish Hearts: Irish Thoroughbred / Irish Rose
Author: Nora Roberts
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 395
Review Date: 5/20/2007


Two books in one - Nora Roberts first book "Irish Thoroughbred" and the sequel "Irish Rose"
Had I read these novels in the 80s, when they first came out, I would have enjoyed them much more. This book, comprised of both stories, is still an enjoyable, light, romantic read but, 25 years down the road , encounters that might have seemed romantic and sort of 'sweep-you-off-your-fee' now just comes across as aggressive sexual harrassment !
both stories were predictable but, again, I wanted a light read and that's what I got.
Now on to the next reader.


Joy School
Joy School
Author: Elizabeth Berg
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 193
Review Date: 1/28/2012


I always enjoy Berg's take on life, and I think she has a remarkable ability to write from the perspective of a child/young teen. This story invites us to remember those awkward, trying-to-fit-in, early teen years, self-consciousness about one's family, the first blush of love. Good story. Enjoy.


Little Pink Slips
Little Pink Slips
Author: Sally Koslow
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 3/8/2013
Helpful Score: 1


A fun read. Koslow gives us an insider's perspective on the world of magazine publishing and all the glitz and glam that goes with it. The limo-lifestyle of the higher echelons grates on me a bit (very shallow, very pretentious),but it was tempered by the sweet naivete of our heroine, Maggie. As the storyline develops, there is more depth than I expected, and that was the saving grace of the book for me. If you enjoyed 'The Devil Wears Prada', you will also enjoy this one.


Peony in Love
Peony in Love
Author: Lisa See
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 352
Review Date: 6/30/2011
Helpful Score: 4


Peony In Love is one of the most compelling, intriguing, and hard-to-shake books I have ever read, and I have quite a collection of books set-in and about life in China. This is the third of Lisa See's books that I have read this year. I am hooked.
Peony is a sixteen-year old, upper-class, Chinese girl: cloistered, protected, naive, and prepared to 'marry-out'. She is more educated than is the norm and has been exposed to a play, which will later be banned in China, "The Peony Pavilion". She becomes obsessed with the theme of the play--ideal of romantic love--and the path of her life is forever changed.
The novel pulls us into the heart of Chinese culture shortly after the Ming dynasty ended: the world of foot-binding, arranged marriages, the quiet rebellion of women who write and fight to hide their intellects, and the spiritual/religious beliefs of the Chinese people. It is impossible to put down. It is even more fascinating when you read the author's notes which reveal that the story is based on real events. Telling more would spoil the book for someone else.
I loved this book so much, I won't be passing it along. It has become part of my permanent collection of Chinese-themed books.


Sacred Ground
Sacred Ground
Author: Barbara Wood
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/20/2007


This was pleasant, light âreadâ while driving. I agree with 'jessibud', the voice of this reader wasn't as compelling as some of the others readers of past audio books. However, it was still a good "read".

This is the story of: (1) the history of a cave, as disclosed through an archeological find, and the settling of southern CA, (2) the archeologist, Erika, hired to analyze the finds in the cave, (3)the conflict between those who want to preserve and those who hire the bulldozer in the name of progress, and (4)the lineage and the strength of the women who came before.
The concept of piecing together the history of a place on the basis of the artifacts discovered onsite is totally fascinating to me. The most enjoyable parts of this story for me were puzzles presented, as artifacts were discovered which didn't follow the historical timeline of the site as understood by modern historians. The assumptions made and conclusions drawn could never tell the whole story, which could only be revealed by those who lived in the past. For me, the best parts of the book were the drifting back to the past and the lives of the women who were tied to the cave and the area around what would one day be Los Angeles. I found the shifts a bit jarring though. It would take me a minute to absorb the transistion. I really wasn't much interested in the lives of the present day characters (a bit too âromance novelâ for me), but I thought the way Wood tied everything and everyone together at the end of the novel to be well done.

The story also reconfirmed my belief that Christian missionaries the early European conquerors arrogantly trampled too many belief systems under their heels in their quest to save souls. Whole histories and creation stories disappeared forever. Whole tribes and native peoples lost their roots. I find that very sad.


Sima's Undergarments for Women
Sima's Undergarments for Women
Author: Ilana Stanger-Ross
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 4/5/2014


The story is set in the Hasidic Jewish section of New York, in Boro Park. Sima, although Jewish but not Hasidic, runs a ladies undergarment shop out of the basement of her building. These hidden-away shops are part of an 'underground'community where the women get to be themselves and share their lives and secrets.
In a world where motherhood is the expected ideal, Sima, in her sixties is childless. Her disappointment and lack of self-worth as a wife and women have colored her life a toneless grey. Then Timna walks into her shop and becomes her employee, and unknown to Timna, Sima's surrogate daughter. This is a story of obsession, second chances, women's friendships, and learning to trust and to forgive. Well written and enjoyable to read.


Still Life with Chickens : Starting Over in a House by the Sea
Review Date: 8/25/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Every page in this little book (176 pages) shines with wit, intelligence, insight, simplicity, grace, and a pragmatism that every woman, married or single, can appreciate. Catherine is a woman other women would like to get to know.

Starting over in ones 50s is daunting. Starting over in ones 50s with a precocious 12-year-old daughter in tow is enough to send any woman into terminal panic-attack mode. When Catherines marriage ended, she realized she would have to put her house on the market and move her daughter away from her childhood home. Her daughter was NOT happy about this turn of events, but was bright enough to recognize an opportunity when she saw one. All Catherine wanted to do was sit still in a quiet room for a few months. Sounds reasonable enough. What doesnt sound either reasonable or feasible is being pressured by ones daughter to adopt a brood of baby chicks, to raise as pets, while in the midst of relocating to and renovating a ramshackle residence in a nearby salty, soggy, seaside town. Reasonable it might not have been, but the chicken-care-taking learning curve became the arch that helped Catherine transition from her old, familiar life to her new one, full of unknowns. While Catherine renovates the house with the help of several skilled workmen she reinvents herself, re-establishing her relationship with her daughter, and rebuilds her life. Literally. The woman actually learned to use power tools!

Throughout the book Catherine includes tidbits of information worthy of note things she was learning herself along the way: everything from carpentry to poultry ailments on through the unusual ramifications of beach storms. This book was a delight from start to finish.


The Things We Do for Love
The Things We Do for Love
Author: Kristin Hannah
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 102
Review Date: 8/10/2013
Helpful Score: 1


Enjoyable, heartwarming story. The author gently pulls you in and makes you care about the characters. Some genuine and believable personal growth takes place the way it usually does in real life, under stress and duress. Dreams are redefined, goals are modified, and the definition of family is expanded. While the plot is a bit predictable, there is just enough of a twist at the end to make the read worthwhile.


Voyager (Outlander, Bk 3)
Voyager (Outlander, Bk 3)
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 770
Review Date: 6/28/2007
Helpful Score: 7


...1059 pages later !!!!! Wow. Daunting, when you have this thick book in your hands and you are just at page one, but before long you are hoping the saga never ends. After a two-year sabbatical from the lives/adventures of Claire and James Fraser, Gabaldon's word wizardry pulled me right back into their world. It's another nonstop ride: one breathtaking adventure after another - some improbable but completely absorbing nevertheless. Vivid characters - earthy sex - smokey images, swashbuckling high-seas adventures - this book has it all. For Outlander fans, a must-read


What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day (Audio Cassette) (Abridged)
What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day (Audio Cassette) (Abridged)
Author: Pearl Cleage
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 5/20/2007
Helpful Score: 2


I had such mixed feelings while listening to this tape. It's a gritty story, and if you can hang in there through the low-life language, it's worth listening to.
The audio's narrator is the author herself â a huge plus. She knows the characters and knows how to âreadâ them. Now to the main players.

Ava: Her life is portrayed in the flyleaf summary as glamorous and full of âelegant pleasuresââ¦well, it wasn't. She slept around, did drugs, and lead a prosperous but very shallow existence. Her reality check is an HIV positive test result. Dazed and frightened, she heads home, to a small town near Detroit, to spend some time with her sister, Joyce.

Joyce: She is treading water herself, trying to rebuild her life after the untimely death of her husband. Big city bad-attitude has overtaken her small town, and she is desperately trying to turn things around and shake some sense into the young people of her community. She is in way over her head.

Eddie: A battle-scarred, ex-con, Vet who has meditated his way into a peaceful co-existence with the world. However, he is fully capable of drawing on his carefully censored skills of violence if necessary.

The Rev and his wife: hypocritical pieces of work from word one. You love to hate them.

The general cast: foul-mouthed, ignorant young kids whose vocabularies are limited to using F**k and S**t as nouns, verbs, and adjectives. Young men who call anything female âbitchâ and stupid young women who let them get away with it. Reckless, irresponsible sexual natures and not much desire to rise above their present circumstances. This is what almost made me stop listening to the tape. Couldn't stand being pulled into their world. Wanted to smack some sense into each and every one of them. I have no tolerance for this kind of self-induced ignorance (being uneducated is often unavoidable; being ignorant is a choice).

Anyway, the story does move in a positive direction and you do come out of it believing things can and will get better, but the road won't be easy. Can't imagine being immersed in their world every day of my life.


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