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reviewed on + 206 more book reviews


I had never read or listened to any Tess Gerritsen books before this one, but will have to find some more! Just the right mix of mystery, history and suspense. Really enjoyed the narrator, also.


The Help
The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Hardcover
reviewed on + 3 more book reviews


The movie does a surprisingly good job, but the book is always better.


Endurance
Endurance
Author: Alfred Lansing
Genre: Reference
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 3 more book reviews


This was a Christmas gift from my mom, which is the only reason I read it since I had never heard of it before. I'm very glad I did! It was a surprisingly captivating story that reminded me of the strength of others, and made me question what I would do in the same situation. I read a lot of books both fiction and nonfiction, and there are not many I would go back and read again. This is one of those books worth a second reading!


Term Life GN
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It took me a little while to get into the story. I am not a big fan of foreshadowing in a story and this was full of it, in my opinion. But towards the end I really started to enjoy the story. It wrapped everything up nicely.


For Love of the Game
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This is one of my favorite stories. Even non-fans of baseball can fall in love with the poignant and compelling story of a pitcher at the end of his career. It's also a beautiful love story with fully-developed characters.


Girls' Night Out: A Novel
reviewed on + 2418 more book reviews


This is the kind of book I think 'I'm so glad I didn't waste money on this!'

This is a mindless read, it goes nowhere fast and I thought the story very stupid


Callander Square (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt, Bk 2) (Audio Cassette) (Unabridged)
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This book takes place during the Victorian Era in England. It is a time where the behavior of men and women follow many rules and Anne Perry has captured the time period exquisitely. Her characters are well-drawn and the plot is dark and suspenseful. The bodies of two babies have been found in Callander Square. The police are totally baffled. Pretty, young Charlotte Ellison Pitt, however, is curious.

Inspector Pitt's well-bred wife doesn't often meddle in her husband's business, but something about this case intrigues her to the point that staid Charlotte Pitt is suddenly rattling the closets of the very rich, seeking out backstairs gossip that would shock a barmaid, and unearthing truths that could push even the most proper aristocrat to murder.

I listened to the audio and found this book to be very engaging and the mystery held my attention right down to the surprise ending which I did not see coming. This is the 2nd book in the series and I look forward to reading the 3rd. I would recommend this series to those who like to read about Victorian England.


The Portrait
The Portrait
Author: Antoine Laurain
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 120 more book reviews


Great little story. While I enjoyed this book, I felt the The Red Notebook, and even The President's Hat were better stories. Perhaps because the other two were more believable and this Portrait was a little far-fetched. But I do enjoy Laurain's writing style, and love all the references to Paris culture, etc. Fun, quick read.


The Valley of Amazement
The Valley of Amazement
Author: Amy Tan
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 4 more book reviews


This book is very dull and chronicles the lives of Chines courtesans in past time. Perhaps a student of this era might be interested. I liked her other books but stopped reading about halfway through.
Donna Oman


Murder...Now and Then (Lloyd & Hill, Bk 6)
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When I realized that alternating chapters were set in the "present" and in the past (15 years or less) and that the past chapters went into agonizing detail about the characters and how they met, etc. I gave up after only three chapters. It was ok learning about Lloyd and Hill's early relationship, however. A disappointing entry in an enjoyable series.


The Tattered Quilt (The Half-Stitched Amish Quilting Club, Bk 2)
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Written like I was a second grader, slow, with many unnecessary details. Passed on actually reading this one.


The River of Doubt : Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey
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Just could not get into this book - although I gave it a good try. I'm sure it was very interesting further on, but just too dry for me, sorry to say.


Force of Nature (Aaron Falk, Bk 2)
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I liked the story well enough, and the main character is one I would want to read about again. But one thing I wasn't happy about was when the author mentions an injury that the main character sustained at some point in the past (she does this several times throughout the book, and it even becomes more important at the end). You just know there's a backstory, but she doesn't give any form of an explanation. It doesn't bother me when I read a book series out of order (as in this case), and the author often will mention an event or character from the previous book. But they usually include another sentence or two to put it into context. I felt as though this book was not so much a standalone story because of the missing context of how he was injured.


Somehow Form a Family (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
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Do not put this on for a long distance trip; the cadence of the reading and basically flat character anecdotes could lull one to sleep.


Garlic Is Life: A Memoir With Recipes
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Garlic is Life by Chester Aaron. 3.5 stars.

Maybe I'm a bit chintzy with the star rating as I found this a very good book, a quick, delightful read. But I would have liked a bit more depth, more personal stuff, though I suppose private happenings of his life were not his intention with this little book, so I am not being fair.
The author is a retired writer/professor living and farming in the Sonoma, CA area. Growing garlic is happenstance as he is renting a place owned by Gilroy Garlic growers of the famed Gilroy Garlic Festival. Not satisfied with merely the California White grown and distributed all over the country, he experiments with some heirloom varieties from other countries that are gifted to him, ending up with 32 varieties. Lots of memories of growing up with Russian/Polish garlic loving parents are shared, and a bunch of recipes, some of which I can't wait to try.
As garlic growers ourselves (we've grown a bunch of the varieties mentioned in the book), both my husband and I really enjoyed reading about his method of growing the bulbs, his efforts to thwart the garlic-loving gophers that are rampant in the area. Very much recommended, along with getting yourself to a local garlic festival to sample some of the wonderful heirloom varieties. If you are a garlic lover, of course.
By the way, he started this new career at the age of 69!


Deadly Election (Flavia Albia, Bk 3)
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Lindsey Davis is far and away the best author when it comes to the Roman detective genre. Her research is flawless, her dialog natural and unforced, and her humor deft and light. I was so disappointed to be coming to the end of the Falco series and was delighted to discover the Flavia Albia stories. I only regret that there aren't more.


The Inner Circle (Culper Ring, Bk 1)
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Couldn't put this book down!


HHhH
HHhH
Author: Laurent Binet
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 128 more book reviews


Obnoxious, pretentious, and very, very tedious.

Laurent Binent doesn't like fiction, because it's "telling lies." And he doesn't like history, because, well, I mean, who knows what's history? The car might have been blue, it might have been black. So very, very important. So little Laurent has come up with Something new: it's called, Writing About Myself.

On and on, and amazingly drearily, on he goes. Does he buy that rare book by Heydrich's widow? (He does, eventually. Whew, what a relief.) Does his girlfriend kick him to the curb when all he can say when he's told the date of her sister's wedding is Oh wow, that's the anniversary of the assassination!? (Sadly, no. or so he let's us think ...) My usual rule is to grimly read 50 pages, and then I'm outta here. Can't tell you if I make it, as -- and how edgy, how very meta is this? -- the pages aren't numbered. (I'll leave a space for an awed silence ...) I made it to #44 of the painful mini-chapters.

This is actually an insult to the two brave men who assassinated Heydrich, and the innocents who suffered terrible reprisals. I'm going to look for a book -- fiction or history -- that actually does the subject justice.


The Prairie Schooners
The Prairie Schooners
Author: Glen Rounds
Genre: Children's Books
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 15 more book reviews


Our family took part in the 1989 Washington stat centennial wagon train - never having driven or worked with horses and mules before. Along the way, we read this book aloud with our children. It was surprising how many experience we had in common with the greenhorn pioneer.

Historically factual, told in Glen Rounds engaging storytelling style.


Semper Fidelis (Medicus Investigation, Bk 5)
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Another enjoyable story in ongoing series involving Roman Army Doctor in Britannia in approx. 120 A.D. Ruso investigates problems with native (British) recruits during era of erection of Hadrian's Wall. Easy to read, historically interesting, frequently amusing.


The Opium War
The Opium War
Author: Brian Inglis
Genre: History
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 89 more book reviews


Account of British/Chinese opium trade.


Catch Rider
Catch Rider
Author: Jennifer H. Lyne
Genre: Teen & Young Adult
Book Type: Hardcover
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I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about horses with some showing thrown in.


A Hero for Dry Creek (Dry Creek, Bk 6) (Love Inspired)
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I love Janet Tronstad's Dry Creek series. "A Hero for Dry Creek" was the first Dry Creek book that I read. I liked it so much that I looked for more of her books. Next, I read "An Angel for Dry Creek", and I was hooked! I had to read them all. They are so fun to read; and I love the old-timers who gather around the woodstove in the only store in town...a hardware store. It's great!


Sacred Clowns
Sacred Clowns
Author: Tony Hillerman
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Book Type: Audio Cassette
reviewed on + 315 more book reviews


11th in the series with Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee of the Navajo Tribal Police. Detective Leaphorn is now Chee's direct supervisor, and while he might get exasperated at Chee's propensity to go off on his own, he appreciates his intelligence and non-linear thinking. Chee is smarting over being assigned to talk to a runaway kid, the grandson of a Tribal Council member, instead of working on the murder of a popular teacher. While waiting at a Tano Pueblo religious ceremony for the young boy to show up, one of the Tano koshares is struck down and killed. The koshares, or "sacred clowns", are supposed to remind the community to be good people and not to break the laws of the tribe. The murdered koshare was a good man of his people, and the teacher was a good man also - who would want them dead? The only connection discovered was the runaway boy. As usual, lots of excellent imagery of the surroundings, information about various cultural practices of the Navajo and the Hopi, and an interesting mystery. Chee learns that sometimes it might be the right thing not to arrest a guilty man, and Leaphorn is coming out of the depression caused by his wife's death. A new reader could start here but would miss all the backstory about Leaphorn and Chee, which would be a shame.


The Hyde Park Headsman (Thomas Pitt, Bk 14)
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This is the first Anne Perry, book I have read. The story has many twists and turns and very well developed characters. A book that will keep you wondering who the Hyde Park Headsman, is and his motives.


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