JOANNE (joann) - , - Reviews

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1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina
1 Dead in Attic: After Katrina
Author: Chris Rose
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 33
Review Date: 3/13/2011


Chris Rose is a reporter for the Times-Picayune in Louisiana. He continued to write his column for the paper after Katrina devastated New Orleans.

How this man was able to survive and forgo his devastation and continue to see the good and the bad during this disaster is the most striking part of these vignettes about life in the aftermath.

The stories of refigerators that line the roads, appliances being sunk into potholes big enough to do that in, how some people didn't experience any devastation, how some holed up in their homes and didn't face it, how some brought major crime to the area, how some went out of their way to help others, even with just a smile or a touch.

I felt a poignant feeling reading this, as I was reading this as Japan became devastated by it's own horrific weather-related undoing. It makes you ponder what you would do in such a situation.

Cudos to Chris Rose and people like him who are working toward making Louisiana a community again, however slowly that happens.


21 Tales
21 Tales
Author: Dave Zeltserman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/20/2013


These are short stories of the noir genre. They are categorized in groups such as: The Weird, The Hardboiled, The Manny Vassey stories, the Brutal, etc.

These are pretty well-categorized and while this is not a genre that I often read, these were very readable stories.

I have to say that my favorites were the Manny Vassey stories. I really could have read many more of them beyond the three that were included.

Very descriptive wording by the author and the stories pull you in for the short time that you are involved. This is definitely an author I would give another opportunity to take up my time with his writing.


The Actual : A Novella
The Actual : A Novella
Author: Saul Bellow
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 12/18/2006


In this dazzling work of fiction, Nobel laureate Saul Bellow writes comically and wisely about the tenacious claims of first love. Harry Treilman, an aging, astute businessman, has never belonged anywhere: not in the Chicago orphanage where he was sent by his mother, not in high school (too brainy), not even on the streets. AS for his human attachments, they are like everything else in his life, singular and irregular. But Harry's ovservational talents have not gone unnoticed by billionaire Sigmund Adletsky, who retains Harry as his advisor on human affairs. Soon the old man discovers behind Harry's stoic mask as intense foty-year passion for a twice-divorced interior designer, Amy Wustrin. At the exhumation and reburial of her husband, Harry is provided, thanks to Sigmund, the means, perhaps the final means, for discolsing feeling amassed over a lifetime.


All God's Children: Inside the Dark and Violent World of Street Families
Review Date: 9/7/2010


There is a body of a young girl found on the train tracks in Oregon. She has been beaten and burned beyond recognition. It is found out that her name is Jessica and that she had been involved with a family living on the streets.
The street families have their own "laws" and if you do not abide by them, you pay the price.
This book was very well researched and you are quickly pulled into the street life and the different families that reside in Oregon. What is the hardest to realize is the violence of members who claim to be Wiccan and don't want anything to do with our "normal" society.
They have formed families and they turn on each other for their "laws" being broken, whether or not the "laws" were really broken or it was just implied that they were.
Be warned that this is an extremely violent group of people and if you have a weak stomach when it comes to this stuff, don't read the book.
I guess my biggest question is, what appeal is there to living on the streets and living by the code of the families? There were some very intelligent and well familied individuals involved in this book. Are kids really just looking for that kind of freedom? But where do they get the idea that this is the freedom, since the rules of the street families seem so much harsher than that of the normal world?
This was just sad and really makes you think about the roles that parents play and how hard it is being a parent and wanting the best for your children, when they believe that what they are seeking is much more important. Unfortunately, there are lots of influences upon a teenager and you hope for the best.


All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten:  Uncommon Thoughts on Common Things
Review Date: 5/18/2006


Most of what I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:
Share everything.
Play fair.
Don't hit people.
Put things back where you found them.
Clean up your own mess.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life-learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.


All the Light We Cannot See
All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 209
Review Date: 5/12/2017


This novel had the best flowing language I have read in a very long time
Marie-Laure and Werner are two young individuals growing up in different cultures during WW II. Marie-Laure has a constant secret and Werner is an absolute genius with radios and hardware to fix radios.
War always has more than one side and this book is absolute evidence of that.
I was a little disappointed with the ending, but, it is what it is, it was not my work to create.


Amnesia Vs I
Amnesia Vs I
Author: Scott Hetkowski
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 3/17/2010
Helpful Score: 6


Really could not get into the characters in this book. Maybe it is just written with a younger generation in mind.


And Then You Die
And Then You Die
Author: Iris Johansen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 377
Review Date: 9/8/2005


Very fast-paced reading. A little hard to keep up with, but good writing.


Angela's Ashes
Angela's Ashes
Author: Frank McCourt
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 542
Review Date: 11/10/2005


Wonderful writing about a boyhood in impoverished Ireland. Had me so enthralled, I even dreamt about it.


APPARITIONS
APPARITIONS
Author: Raven Bower
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/8/2010


Bailey Khane is an author of novels that tell the stories of young girls that are murdered heinously. What people do not know is that the novels are the real stories of these girls who appear to her as apparitions. Their spirits are wanting Bailey to find the murderer.

Andy Bennett is a private investigator who has read at least one of Bailey's books. The book in question is so accurate in the description of the murder of his sister, Erika, that he believes that Bailey had something to do with the crime.

Bailey lives alone in a cabin on a lake in White Sands, Michigan, and surrounds herself with silver and any other weapon, including a guard dog, Thor, against evil.

The real source of this carnage comes from a very unexpected source and that is really part of the real pull of this story.

This book is really for the reader of horror. Raven Bower does a really good job of creating a novel that keeps you reading and her use of language is top-rate. I hope that she continues writing in this genre. We need more women writing this kind of novel.


Attic Clowns
Attic Clowns
Author: Jeremy Shipp
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/22/2012


These are all short stories, 4 in all, that deal with clowns. There were really only a couple of them that made sense to me. The first short story, Giggles, grabs your attention quickly. That was the only one that did that. And it is my philosophy with short stories that if you are not grabbed by the first paragraph, the story is lost. Giggles was the best of the four.


Autobiography of a Face
Autobiography of a Face
Author: Lucy Grealy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 55
Review Date: 10/17/2005


Very good writing. Didn't really find it all that compelling, though.


B is for Burglar (Kinsey Millhone, Bk 2)
B is for Burglar (Kinsey Millhone, Bk 2)
Author: Sue Grafton
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 458
Review Date: 5/8/2006


Finding wealthy Elaine Boldt seems like a quickie case to Kinsey Millhone. The flashy widow was last seen wearing a $12,000 lynx coat, leaving her condo in Santa Teresa for her condo in Boca Raton. But somewhere in between, she vanished. Kinsey's case goes from puzzling to sinister when a house is torched, an apartment is burgled of worthless papers, the lynx coat comes back without Elaine, and her bridge partner is found dead. Soon Kinsey's clues begin to form a capital M - not for missing, but for murder: And plenty of it.


The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Bk 1)
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Bk 1)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 586
Review Date: 12/18/2006


Dear Reader, I'm sorry to say that the book you are holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they are charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at the beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune.
In this short book alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, and cold porridge for breakfast.
It is my sad duty to write down these unpleasant tales, but there is nothing stopping you from putting this book down at once and reading something happy, if you prefer that sort of thing.
With all due respect, Lemony Snicket


Bad Cat: 244 Not-So-Pretty Kitties and Cats Gone Bad
Bad Cat: 244 Not-So-Pretty Kitties and Cats Gone Bad
Author: Jim Edgar
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 240
Review Date: 2/8/2006


Great little picture book. Some of these pictures are such a hoot! Definitely for cat lovers.


The Bear Comes Home
The Bear Comes Home
Author: Rafi Zabor
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 5/16/2006


A tour de force that reads so well that after a while the reader completely forgets he is dealig not with a human being but with a Gregor Samsa metamorphosed into a John Coltrane double. The incredible adventures of the horn-blowing bear left me mesmerized. The climactic gigs must be amon the best at capturing that sort of artistic creation in fiction. Josef Skvorecky

The hero of this sensational first novel is an alto-sax virtuoso trying to evolve a personal style out of Coltrane and Rollins. He also happens to be a walking, talking, Blake-and-Shakespeare-quoting bear whos musical, spiritual, and romantic adventures add up to perhaps the best novel, ursine or human, ever written about jazz.


The Beast
The Beast
Author: Walter Dean Myers
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 8/10/2006


Seventeen-year-old Anthony "Spoon" Witherspoon is returning to Harlem after four months at an exclusive prep school. He never wanted to leave the city in the first place - especially not to attend the hallowed halls of a mostly white, very preppy New England school.
But now that Spoon is back home, he realizes how much he's come to rely on his prep-school friends and routine. And the thing he looked forward to most - seeing his girlfriend, Gabi - is the most shocking. Last time he visited, she was a vibrant, bright young poet; now, she's a thin, wasted drug addict.
Gabi has fallen to the Beast. It eats away at her dreams, her hopes, her future. She has lost her way in a fragile, desperate world. Spoon doesn't know if he can help her find it again - but he has to try...


The Beekeeper's Daughter (Harlequin Superromance, No 1295)
The Beekeeper's Daughter (Harlequin Superromance, No 1295)
Author: Janice Carter
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 4/4/2006


Just as every bee returns to its hive...
She came home to help her dad. But Annie Collins never expected to run the family business on her own. Nor could she have guessed that the daughter she gave up at birth would seek her out.
Will Jennings never expected to find Ambrosia Apiary-a place that felt like home before he'd ever laid eyes on it-or face the tragedy that made him quit firefighting.
Sometimes, though, the sweetest things happen when you least expect them...


Before & After
Before & After
Author: Rosellen Brown
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 10/29/2005


Strong family deals with a murder by one of its members. Book goes from different members with each chapter. Makes you wonder how you would react to the same situation. Good read.


Belladonna: A Novel of Revenge
Belladonna: A Novel of Revenge
Author: Karen Moline
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 7/8/2006


Who is Belladonna? The year is 1935 and shw is Isabella Ariel Nickerson, an innocent Midwestern girl visiting London for the first time. But she is soon to be torn from the world she knows. Abducted by a cabal of wealthy aristocrats, she will become the sacrificial lamb in a ritual of domination and submission that will rob her of her freedom, her dignity, and her identity. Slowly, the girl known as Isabella disappears and in her place a new woman is born. Masked and bejeweled, the mysterious toast of New York high society, she now calls herself Belladonna. And she lives for one purpose only...revenge.


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