Charlene C. (mccoffield) - Reviews

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The Agatha Raisin Companion
The Agatha Raisin Companion
Author: M.C. Beaton
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 9/26/2014


This small, hard-cover book was published in Britain, London actually, where M.C. Beaton's books were originally published. It was published in 2010, and thus, covers character, locations and events from the first 20 books in the series.

In different chapters, it provides brief "bio's" on Agatha, the Cotswolds, Carsely locales, and other characters in the books - including Agatha's men and her agency's employees.

There is also a chapter that, for each Agatha mystery - books #1 thru #20, gives a brief plot summary and list of victims. Extras include a fun little quiz on Agatha trivia, just a few 'local color' recipes, and more fun trivia in additional chapters.

For me, one of the best features is a 13-page introduction by M.C. Beaton, herself.

Is it a necessary adjunction to the series? No, but it's a fun publication for Agatha Raisin fans.


The Antelope Wife
The Antelope Wife
Author: Louise Erdrich
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 11/9/2011


AUDIO BOOK ON TAPE
6 hours on 4 cassettes
Abridged
Read by the author, Louise Erdrich

A very good introduction to this wonderful writer.


Back When We Were Grownups
Back When We Were Grownups
Author: Anne Tyler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 252
Review Date: 8/2/2014


This is classic Anne Tyler, who is an excellent writer. With her perfect prose, she delivers yet another tale about the lives of everyday people.

This one reminds me a bit of Tyler's Pulitzer Prize winning book, Breathing Lessons.

Caution to those who are looking for an action-packed or dramatic storyline. That's not Tyler's style. She writes in an introspective way about reality, almost always leading the reader to recognize something of oneself in the process.

Four stars!


Bagombo Snuff Box : Uncollected Short Fiction
Bagombo Snuff Box : Uncollected Short Fiction
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 11/9/2011


AUDIO BOOK ON TAPE

13 UNABRIDGED STORIES, 6 hours on 4 cassettes

Back cover says that Vonnegut selected the very best of his early stories for this audio.

Uncollected Short Fiction. Included among the 13 stories on this recording are:
"Thanasphere"; "Souvenir"; "Bagombo Snuff Box"; "The Boy Who Hated Girls"; and "Lovers Anonymous".

Who doesn't love Vonnegut? One of America's greatest writers, and he's at his best, here.


Review Date: 11/9/2011


AUDIO BOOK UNABRIDGED SHORT STORIES
APPROX. 6 HOURS ON 4 CASSETTES, Digitally Mastered

Includes:

A VISITOR TO MOMBASSA by James Holding
BEST EVIDENCE by Dick Stodghill
THE LOST DOG by Isaac Asimov
PLATEAU by Clark Howard
A CAT TOO SMALL FOR HIS WHISKERS by Lilian Jackson Braun
THE WHITE DEATH by Justin Scott
A GOOD STORY by Donald E. Westlake
DWINDLE, PEAK AND PINE by Joyce Harrington
INTRUDER IN THE MAIZE by Joan Richter
NEIGHBORS by Hope Raymond

Edited by Sara Paretsky

Readings performed by these famous actors:

Adrienne Barbeau
David Birney
Joseph Campanella
Arte Johnson


Blood Lure (Anna Pigeon, Bk 9) (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged)
Review Date: 9/19/2013


UNABRIDGED: 11.5 hours on 7 cassettes


The Body of David Hayes (Lou Boldt/Daphne Matthews, Bk 9) (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged )
Review Date: 9/19/2013


UNABRIDGED: 10 hours on 7 cassettes


Borderline (Anna Pigeon, Bk 15)
Borderline (Anna Pigeon, Bk 15)
Author: Nevada Barr
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 65
Review Date: 3/9/2011
Helpful Score: 2


The setting for this Anna Pigeon installment is Big Bend National Park, in Southwest Texas. Most of the action takes place along the cliffs and banks of the Rio Grande, on the border between Texas and Mexico.

Ms. Barr has really come up with a good story line, which involves illegal aliens, dirty politics, and of course murder. This book sports a truly superior cast of characters - I found myself feeling quite sympathetic towards at least a couple of them - and plenty of rather controversial food for thought.

I think this is one of Ms. Barr's better books. It is well written and flows well, like a novel that just happens to revolve around a controversial murder mystery. With plenty of action, to boot, it is a page-turner and will be difficult to put down before completely read.

As a reader of the entire Anna Pigeon series, I have only two complaints. Since Ms. Barr is a retired Park Ranger and has actually spent time in each of the National Parks featured in her books, I wish that she would spend a bit more time describing the grandiose scenery and a bit less time coming up with a multitude of ways to cause her protagonist bodily harm. It is really quite rediculous how many serious injuries Anna, an aging park ranger, can endure, book after book, without becoming permanently handicapped. Thank goodness this particular book does not dwell on Anna getting pulverized nearly as much as other books in the series.

So, I give this 4-1/2 stars out of 5.


Boston Mercy and the Pension Grillparzer/from the World According to Garp/2 Audio Cassettes
Review Date: 11/8/2011


Audio Book approx. 2 hours on 2 cassettes Read by the Author

From the back cover:

JOHN IRVING reads from his own work

The first section of The World According to Garp, Boston Mercy tells the explicit tale of Garps eccentric parentage and conception of Nurse Jenny Fields and the unconscious, fatally wounded Technical Sergeant Garp.

The Pension Grillparzer is quintessential Irving the story-within-a-story that becomes the heros masterpiece in The World According to Garp. Like the novel as a whole, it tells a vivid and engaging tale. The Grillparzer Hotel, inhabited by odd circus performers, including a bear and a frighteningly accurate teller of dreams, wants a better rating to attract more tourists and thus must undergo the scrutiny of a family of inspectors for the Austrian Tourist Bureau.

This valuable recording features [Irvings] own voice reading his selections from GARP, lending both immediacy and perspective to our understanding of this richly textured work.


The Bridge of San Luis Rey
The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Author: Thornton Wilder
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 11/9/2011


NOTE: The editorial review provided for this title is for the hardcover format.

!!! THIS IS THE AUDIO BOOK ON TAPE !!!

UNABRIDGED, over 3-1/2 hours on 3 cassttes.

Read by Sam Waterson, who won a Golden Globe award and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor and for two Emmy Awards.

Thorton Wilder's first major work, The Bridge of San Louis Rey was originally published in 1927. It won Wilder his first of three Pulitzer Prizes, has been translated into more than 30 languages, and was made into a major motion picture.

A true classic!


A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, Bk 10) (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged)
A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, Bk 10) (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged)
Author: P. D. James
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 9/19/2013


UNABRIDGED: 15.5 hours on 12 cassettes


Charming Billy
Charming Billy
Author: Alice McDermott
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 11/9/2011


UNABRIDGED Audio Book ON TAPE

DIGITALLY MASTERED, 9 hours on 6 cassettes

WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD

READ BY ROSES PRICHARD

ORIGINAL RETAIL PRICE OF $29.95


Comfort Me With Apples
Comfort Me With Apples
Author: Ruth Reichl
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 11/9/2011


AUDIO BOOK ON TAPE

Abridged, 6 hours on 4 cassettes

READ BY THE AUTHOR

If you enjoy humor, good food and creative writing, then you should really enjoy this book. I did. This audio book is a very good, lengthy abridgement; I can't imagine that it excluded anything material from the actual book. Unless you have an especially long commute, it should provide you with a full week's worth of entertainment on the road.


A Confederacy of Dunces
A Confederacy of Dunces
Author: John Kennedy Toole
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 589
Review Date: 3/10/2011


I first read this book many years ago, and for me, it took a little while to truly capture my attention. Once I had read several chapters, I was hooked, totally. It is a book that has stayed with me for years, like any really good book does.

The story revolves around the darkly comic adventures of Ignatius Reilly, a total misfit adult overweight man living with his elderly mother in a lower class neighborhood of New Orleans. It immerses the readers into the dialogue, characters and life of New Orleans and the French Quarter, in the era of the early sixties. Ignatius is as peculiar and bazaar as the City of New Orleans, itself.

This book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981, twelve years after the author committed suicide at the age of thirty-two. It was due to the persistence of the late author's mother that the novel even got published. The mother hounded the then professor at Loyola University, Walter Percy, who finally read the manuscript, fell in love with it and the tragic story behind it, and eventually got it published. Percy, a great writer in his own right, never won the prodigious Pulitzer Prize but is credited with that honor going to this author, instead.

I loved this book and will return to it, again. Highly recommended; a 5-star rating.


The Cornish Novels Omnibus (Rose Tevelyan Trilogy) (Rose Tevelyan Trilogy)
Review Date: 8/3/2016


This omnibus contains the first three novels in the Rose Trevelyan mystery series, all three of which are out-of-print and very difficult to find.

I have really enjoyed all of the Rose Trevelyan mystery novels -- I think a total of six were published. But alas, the author passed away (Cancer, I believe) -- so, sadly, there will be no more.


The Corrections
The Corrections
Author: Jonathan Franzen
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 11/9/2011


AUDIO BOOK ON TAPE

9 hours on 6 cassettes, read by Dylan Baker

A lengthy abridgement of the author's best selling and award winning novel.


The Crown of Valencia
The Crown of Valencia
Author: Catherine Friend
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 2/15/2013


I loved this book, as well as its predecessor, The Spanish Pearl. Ms. Friend's talent for writing historic fiction, loaded with adventure, romance, and humor is A+... a real treat to read! Both of these books, set in the 11th Century, kept me enthralled and reading well into the night.

You really need to read the first book THE SPANISH PEARL before reading this sequel, THE CROWN OF VALENCIA! I highly recommend both books!

Since I couldnt write a better plot summary than the one from the back cover of the book, Ive provided the latter, below:


Ex lovers can really mess up our Life. Kate Vincents ex-lover Anna certainly does. Not only does Anna interfere in Kate's love life, but she totally screws up the world by traveling back in time to eleventh-century Spain and changing one event in history. And as anyone knows, you cant alter a major event in history without changing everything that follows. In order to undo the damage Anna has done, Kate must restore the original timeline or Kate and the son she loves will cease to exist. But when she struggles to clean up Annas mess, she finds herself battling not only Anna and her hired thugs, but the woman she has never stopped loving.
Romance, betrayal, intrigue, disobedient children, and religious fanaticism pack this epic adventure with the heroine of THE SPANISH PEARL.


The Dew Breaker
The Dew Breaker
Author: Edwidge Danticat
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 9/19/2013


UNABRIDGED: 6.75 hours on 5 cassettes


Dressing Up for the Carnival
Dressing Up for the Carnival
Author: Carol Shields
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 9/19/2013


Short Stories. Unabridged selctions from the book. 6 hours on 4 cassettes.


Dubliners (Classics on Cassette)
Dubliners (Classics on Cassette)
Author: James Joyce, Gerald McSorley
Book Type: Audio Cassette
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 11/9/2011


AUDIO BOOK ON TAPE

3 hours on 2 cassettes

Contains a selection of eight unabridged short stories from the book, read by Gerard McSorley.


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