Ev R. (UALabGeek) - , - Reviews

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The 19th Wife
The 19th Wife
Author: David Ebershoff
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 129
Review Date: 10/29/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I really enjoyed this one. The Mormon church is secretive and fascinating and this gives a little bit of its history and a lot of the implications of that history. Three months later I still hear the story playing in my head.


Always
Always
Author: Nicola Griffith
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 12/9/2010


Griffith is by far...by FAR...the best lesbian mystery writer out there. Her dialogue is snappy and fun, the plots keep you engaged and the characters are people you admire and like to spend time with. And this one was the best of the bunch. I totally recommend it. It's a great mystery with just a hint of steamy sex, enough to make it fun.

The worst thing could say about it is that the font seemed small. But wear stronger glasses and read it anyway. If you're a mystery lover, you'll be glad.


American Gods: A Novel
American Gods: A Novel
Author: Neil Gaiman
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 93
Review Date: 9/6/2010
Helpful Score: 2


I dragged my feet about reading this book even though it was recommended to me by a variety of people whose opinions I generally respect. Since Neil Gaiman writes comic books (Whoops! I mean "graphic novels" :-) I figured this wouldn't be my cup of tea.

Boy, was I wrong. It's a great novel with stellar writing, as well as interesting well-developed characters and a pleasing meandering sort of plot development that makes you want to sit down with it after a bad day. I was a reluctant convert, but I'm recommending this to everyone.


Animal Dreams
Animal Dreams
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 491
Review Date: 4/29/2010
Helpful Score: 8


I love all things Kingsolver and this was no exception. It's written in that style of her earlier stuff (The Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven)...great dialogue, memorable characters and the kind of casual profundity that makes a person wriggle with delight and think "I wish I'd said that first."

Cody Noline loses her beloved sister and soulmate to missionary work in Central America, finds herself having an existential crisis, and goes back to her childhood home of Grace, AZ, to hide out. She drifts into town, ostensibly to teach for a single year, but more than that to surround herself with her past.

I love Kingsolver's newer books, but they're heavier. Animal Dreams is light in the best sense of the word. It is populated with characters that you'd love to meet and is a story that makes you feel good about humanity. I wish these people were my neighbors.


The Appeal
The Appeal
Author: John Grisham
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 432
Review Date: 1/25/2011


A well-written potboiler that makes you hate the political system of our country more that you probably already do. The calculating way that elected officials are bought and sold by corporate America is indescribably depressing and Grisham illustrates that with his usual competence.


Babies, Bikes and Broads (Cat Rising, Bk 3)
Babies, Bikes and Broads (Cat Rising, Bk 3)
Author: Cynn Chadwick
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 11/3/2011


This was the third in a series and aside from the dumb names, they're nice little lesbian books. Decent characters, decent plot, a smattering of sex...you could do a lot worse on a long car trip or a rainy afternoon.


Baby, It's Cold (Robin Miller, Bk 5)
Baby, It's Cold (Robin Miller, Bk 5)
Author: Jaye Maiman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 10/29/2009


This was one of the least awful of the crappy, formulaic Naiad mysteries. Maiman, at least, can write. On the bright side, it's got all the dyke drama of any episode of "The L Word". A fun read, and not the slightest bit uplifting.


Black and Blue
Black and Blue
Author: Anna Quindlen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 215
Review Date: 8/19/2010


I read this a couple of years ago and remember it being very well-written and incredibly difficult to read. It's a story about domestic abuse and how it spirals into ever more awful horrors. I had nightmares after I read it...consider yourself forewarned.


The Blue Place (Aud Torvingen, Bk 1)
The Blue Place (Aud Torvingen, Bk 1)
Author: Nicola Griffith
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 8/23/2010


My favorite lesbian mystery writer, Griffith can actually write. I mean, like a real writer and not like one of those interchangeable Naiad writers who know you don't have many other options for your lesbian mysteries with a side of trashy romance novel.

The Blue Place had well-developed characters, a good plot, and Griffith managed to avoid the cliches and formulas that make lesbian novels so predictible and silly. Oh...but it needed a little more smut to make it perfect.

I highly recommend it.


Cause of Death (Kay Scarpetta, Bk 7)
Cause of Death (Kay Scarpetta, Bk 7)
Author: Patricia Cornwell
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 224
Review Date: 10/29/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I like Cornwell, I enjoy her mysteries. But 15 minutes after I put one down I can't remember which one was which. Another well-written formulaic mystery with typical Cornwell gore. Fun fluff.


Conduct Unbecoming
Conduct Unbecoming
Author: Randy Shilts
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 8/23/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Speaking as a lesbian in a military family, I found this book riveting. It's amazing how many reasons there have been to discriminate against gays in the military, possibly the least of which have anything to do with gays in the military. Like so many Pentagon decisions, this one is rooted in politics, and innocent servicemembers and taxpayers pay the price. Fascinating. I HIGHLY recommend it.


The Confession
The Confession
Author: James E. McGreevey
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 1/17/2010


McGreevey has the benefit of hindsight and years of therapy to work through his troubled life. An interesting picture of New Jersey state politics and a self-serving account of his gay epiphany.


Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Author: Gregory Maguire
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 1432
Review Date: 1/6/2010


This was my least favorite of the Maguire books. None of the characters were particularly sympathetic, and I finished it more from curiosity than because it sparked anything for me. Not on par with Wicked, for sure.


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Author: Mark Haddon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 4416
Review Date: 1/6/2010


Loved this! Loved the writing, loved the character, and loved the exactly dead-on depiction of Asperger's. Highly recommended.


Cyanide Wells (Cape Perdido, Bk 2)
Cyanide Wells (Cape Perdido, Bk 2)
Author: Marcia Muller
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 32
Review Date: 12/21/2009


Formulaic and disappointing. I used to really enjoy Marcia Mueller's stuff, but I haven't been too impressed by the last few.


Daughter of Fortune (Daughter of Fortune, Bk 1)
Review Date: 1/25/2011


This is another one of my top ten all-time favorite books. I just bought it for the third time because I keep giving them away to my friends.

Allende's stories are riveting and her characters are brilliantly drawn. The heroine in this one travels halfway around the globe to find her true love and when circumstances change, she adjusts to her new reality and finds a way to succeed. I love this book. I'm saving the sequel, Portrait in Sepia, as a reward for myself later, when I need rewarding.


Dead Ringer (Rosato & Associates, Bk 10)
Dead Ringer (Rosato & Associates, Bk 10)
Author: Lisa Scottoline
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 92
Review Date: 1/6/2010


I love all the Scottoline books. She's got good characters and a good ear for dialogue. This was cut from the same cloth. Good light read.


Deceptions (Connor Hawthorne, Bk 1)
Deceptions (Connor Hawthorne, Bk 1)
Author: Lauren Maddison
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 5/13/2010
Helpful Score: 1


This was a good formulaic lesbian mystery...good writing, decent plot and characters...for the first 90% of the book. Then it went careening off into the loony. After a suspenseful nighttime chase through the desert, our heroines and our story veer into some sort of metaphysical land of cliches, where stupid dialogue goes to die.

If Maddison were smart, she would have killed off all her characters in the desert and spared them all the indignity of the final chapters. Oh...and added more sex.


Finding Manana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus
Finding Manana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus
Author: Mirta Ojito
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 1/6/2010
Helpful Score: 1


This was a short history of Communist Cuba, seen through the eyes of a teenage girl who grew up in a family that didn't support the regime. They spent 20 years trying to get out of the country and finally did, on the Mariel boatlift.

It was a great inside view of a closed society. Both fascinating and horrifying...I loved it.


The Five People You Meet in Heaven
The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Author: Mitch Albom
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2515
Review Date: 11/25/2009
Helpful Score: 2


What a great little book! I just finished reading it and I'm basking in the good feelings it brings about life and love and meaning. I think I'll pass this one on to my daughters.


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