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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)
reviewed on + 29 more book reviews

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.

I Am Terry Walker
reviewed on + 305 more book reviews

Horrific confession-journal of a serial killer.

When a night out at a pub ends with a mindless, drunken murder, Terry Walker discovers that the horror at his actions also brings with it a deep feeling of satisfaction. Trying to recreate the feeling, Terry plots and picks up prostitutes, people he believes no one will ever miss, and murders each using a different method of torture. This story is presented in the form of a personal letter by Terry as he sits in his cell after being caught, tried, and sentenced to 120 years in prison: a confession-journal of his crimes, known and those that, until now, have gone undetected. Terry is writing the missive in an effort to increase his notoriety and is in no way seeking forgiveness.

This horror story starts out strong but does not sustain becoming a short recitation of different torture methods and vaguely how they work each occurring on Christmas of each succeeding year. The presence of a companion â a female tourist he kidnapped early in his years of crime â is mentioned infrequently during the years and I kept wondering (until the conclusion of his narrative) if she were still about or if he'd disposed of her at some point. The reader is privy to Terry's thoughts and his motivations but there's really not much to consider or dissect â I guess, though, that fits in with what we're supposed to be reading: a quick and final confession of these additional crimes.

Horror is not my reading forte and I've not encountered the opportunity to book-talk the genre much. Having said that, when I say I cannot recommend this book, I really mean I am not able to suggest a group of readers that would find it a must-read. It is just too short and too shallow in its current form. It is often hard to understand because of uncertainties due to grammar. I do think the author is on to an interesting idea and it has the potential to become really horrific with care and expansion.

The Dragon Scroll (Sugawara Akitada, Bk 1)
reviewed on + 4 more book reviews

I. J. Parker writes beautiful but compact prose, this was a fast and fascinating read. The mystery was engaging but not frustrating, though I have suspicions several threads seemingly tied up will unravel and get more complicated in the sequel. I really enjoyed the interactions between Akitada and Seimei and Tora, they make a funny, sometimes grumpy team. Akitada is a very driven and relatable protagonist, though it takes a bit of time to settle in his skin and understand him.

My only quibbles were: 1) how some of the female characters were handled. (Parker presents most of the sexism deftly and bluntly, except for a judgment seemingly shared by author and main character alike that conventionally attractive women are either soft angels or vicious snakes.) That aside, I adored both of the sisters and how they interacted with each other and Akitada's squad and wished they'd get their own book, too.

2) Historical context and culture were glimpses at best. We got the clothes and the temples and stuff, but I felt like I learned more about ancient Japanese culture from Konoha in the Naruto anime than I did from Kazusa.

La caja azul. El baston azul/ Blue Box. The Blue Stick (Albums) (Spanish Edition)
reviewed on + 1136 more book reviews

Not a common book, but there are no wishes pending so I will not buy it from the branch library sale shelf for two bits, but will leave it for someone else. Too bad, because Professor Chmielewska conveys her imaginative ideas well and the illustrations have considerable merit. There are actually two stories, printed back to back so that the both covers are front covers, there being no back cover. Note that the protagonist in each story is nine years old and taking an interest in a secret revealed.
This copy is from the LA County library system, was on the shelf for eight years in this branch, and there are still nine copies at other LA County libraries. There are no other copies of Ms. Chmielewska's work in the catalogue.
Looking at LAPL (City of LA) almost all the 63 listings in the catalogue are in Russian. On the other hand, most of the entries for her books on PBSwap are for her books in Polish. Wikipedia's brief entry says she launched her career in the RoK and her books remain popular there, so I assume all have been published in Korean although the above sources do not reflect that very much.

Author: Ellen Goodlett
Genre: Teen & Young Adult
Book Type: Hardcover
reviewed on + 2504 more book reviews

I got this book through the Amazon Vine program to review. This is the first book in a planned duology. I read the first 200 pages in this book and then stopped. I just didn't enjoy the characters in the story. This seems like just a poor imitation of the numerous other YA fantasy series out there.

This book follows the POVs of three different girls: Zofi who is a Traveler (think gypsy), Akeylah who is an Eastern Reach noblewoman with an abusive father, and Ren who grew up as a lady's maid in the capital city of Kolonya. The three girls find out they are all heirs to the throne and are called back to Kolonya to compete for the right to be heir. To mix things up a bit, each girl has a dark secret that she needs to keep hidden and is being blackmailed because of.

I was hoping for an engaging and action-packed YA fantasy, what I got was a bunch of intrigue and characters blackmailing and backstabbing each other. The story takes a long time to get going (it still really hadn't gotten going 200 pages in).

There are some interesting things in this book about war and rebellion; however that takes a backseat to the court politics. The first 200 pages deals with the girls getting called to court and with them trying to navigate the treacherous court waters. It was a lot of backstabbing and treachery and I didn't enjoy it.

I didn't really like any of the characters. Each of the girls is quickly given a love interest which seemed contrived. I did like the concept of the Arts (a way to enhance abilities and perform magic) but there wasn't a lot of time spent on the Arts in this book.

Overall this was an okay, yet disappointing, book for me. If you like politics and backstabbing you might enjoy this. I found it boring and hard to engage with. I didn't like the characters and the story was too narrow in focus, focusing only on petty court politics.

Female of the Species
reviewed on + 74 more book reviews

I love this book and wish it could go on forever. A bittersweet, touching love story about unrequited love and love in all forms. My first Lionel Shriver and certainly not my last. Thank you for putting into words the way we all feel in our lives....

Author: Wendy Mass, Rebecca Stead
Genre: Children's Books
Book Type: Hardcover

Livy and her family have come back to Australia to visit her grandmother. She has not been to see her in five years. Five years ago Livy was so young she does not really remember the last visit but some memories start to come back especially about a funny chicken?? It just so happens that âfunny chickenâ has been hiding in her old bedroom closet for five years waiting for Livy to help him find out who he is, what he is, and where he belongs.

Bob called out to me immediately. The beautiful cover and well... the title of course. I loved the back and forth chapters of Livy narrating one and then Bob the next. The character Bob was adorable I felt so bad that he waited so long for her in that closet. Especially after finding out that grown-ups couldn't see him. Poor little Bob. I also liked the fact that it sort of explains why Livy forgot and what she did to not forget again. Such a cute book!

In a few reviews, I see that some were disappointed with Bob because they have read some of the other books the authors have written and this was different. I think when it is realized that this is a book for juveniles on the younger part of the spectrum than the book more enjoyable. Don't expect this story to have a moral. Just a little comforting and entertaining read.

I would say the age spectrum is baby to 8 or 9 years. The younger ones will love this as you read it aloud. It's cute and not really scary. Bob has a place in my heart for sure.

Stories with Holes / Volume 1
Stories with Holes / Volume 1
Author: Nathan Levy
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on

very odd answers and not that funny. Also very thin.

reviewed on + 4 more book reviews

My Husband really enjoyed. He has spent a lot of time in Wyoming over the years.

Lucas - A Preston Brothers Novel: A More Than Series Spin Off (Volume 1)
reviewed on + 879 more book reviews

Roller coaster of emotions from the first page til the last. Lois âLaney' from her past to her present same for Lucas. They have parts of their backstory/history from how their childhood was until they met when they were 11 when Lois got into her loving stepfather car for a better life with him and left her uncaring mother behind. His new job was with working at Preston construction under Lucas dad. Lucas is the oldest son and second oldest out of the Preston's batch of 7 kids but when Lois and her father Brian showed up his parents welcome them both with open arms and his mother kinds unofficially took Laney like a daughter and teached her her ways of crafts and dealing with the Preston men for the future. Both Laney and Lucas went through so much together and apart but the breaking point was when they were kids and she felt something but he didn't show if he felt something and that caused the whole dating thing for Lucas and the start of Laneys heartbreaking times. The final straw was when she gave Lucas her special gift and later that night he went to his âgirlfriend' and stayed with her. Then that will bring in Lucas rival Cooper Kennedy, and all his skeletons. This isn't a happy tale of friends turn lovers there will be gritty parts that have triggers (men beating on women and rape) but it'll be all after the fact when it's revealed in the hospital.

We Are Called to Rise: A Novel
reviewed on

Son returns from Iraq troubled, parents are divorcing, another Iraq veteran is in the hospital and begins exchanging letters with an American-Armenian 8 year old boy, boy's parents are political refugees trying to figure out how to make it in America. All the stories and characters are loosely connected. A tragic event links them a little more closely. I liked the characters but the ending had some holes in it.

More Loose Change: 15 Quilts from Nickels, Dimes and Fat Quarters
reviewed on

loved the book many good patterns to try in it and can't wait to get started

When You Are Engulfed In Flames
reviewed on + 12 more book reviews

While I'm not normally a big fan of short stories, his are like small novellas, complete with an arc and a satisfying ending.

Black Ice (Ice, Bk 1)
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The job was a killer. â Living paycheck to paycheck in Paris, American book translator Chloe Underwood would give anything for some excitement and passion -- even a little danger. So when she's offered a lucrative weekend gig translating at a business conference in a remote chateau, she jumps at the chance to shake things up. â Then by chance Chloe discovers her employers are anything but the entrepreneurs they appear, and suddenly she knows far too much. Her clients are illegal arms dealers, and one of them is ordered to kill her. But instead, Bastien Toussaint drags Chloe away, and the next thing she knows she's on the run with the most terrifying and seductive man she's ever met. What were his motives -- and would she live long enough to find out?

Mrs. Roosevelt's Confidante (Maggie Hope, Bk 5)
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In this latest riveting mystery from New York Times bestselling author Susan Elia MacNeal, England's most daring spy, Maggie Hope, travels across the pond to America, where a looming scandal poses a grave threat to the White House and the Allied cause. â December 1941. Soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Winston Churchill arrives in Washington, D.C., along with special agent Maggie Hope. Posing as his typist, she is accompanying the prime minister as he meets with President Roosevelt to negotiate the United States' entry into World War II. When one of the First Lady's aides is mysteriously murdered, Maggie is quickly drawn into Mrs. Roosevelt's inner circle -- as Mrs. Roosevelt herself is implicated in the crime. Maggie knows she must keep the investigation quiet, so she employs her unparalleled skills at code breaking and espionage to figure out who would target Mrs. Roosevelt, and why. What Maggie uncovers is a shocking conspiracy that could jeopardize American support for the war and leave the fate of the world hanging dangerously in the balance.

Fast Burn (Body Armor, Bk 4)
Fast Burn (Body Armor, Bk 4)
Author: Lori Foster
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
reviewed on + 27 more book reviews

LOVED IT LOVED IT LOVED IT. The perfect ending to the series.

The Law of Similars
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I was disappointed with this book, the main character was not at all relatable or believable since he was supposed to be a respected lawyer for the state prosecutors office, instead he was a horny, obsessive, lying wack job.
He meets and becomes obsessed with a homeopath, talks her into destroying her notes on a patient that is in a coma to cover her butt better and becomes hooked on arsenic.
Lack luster, a bit boring and the ending sucked.
Loved the Midwife so kept reading hoping for more but nope.

Then She Was Gone: A Novel
reviewed on + 474 more book reviews

An addictive tale of a missing 15 year old girl that had me hooked in the beginning.
The twists and turns made me dizzy, the ending was heartbreaking, spellbinding and kind of creepy.
A very emotional, sad book.

Coming Back (Ink & Chrome,  Bk 3)
reviewed on + 801 more book reviews

another book down! loved it.

The Sorcerer's Trap
reviewed on + 5 more book reviews

I'd call this book for kids 12+, depending on their maturity. I found nothing objectionable, and I'm a bit cautious. The story is about two societies that inhabit a pre-Industrial (feudal-era?) Earth-like world, one is the conquered and serve as workers for the conquerors. The conquerors have magic to keep them in power, but the conquered have a secret bond with some small wise creatures that serves to change their world. A servant boy, his sister, a princess of the conquerors and her brother work together to foil the plans of the powerful sorceror. I felt the characters and story were extremely well developed and am very glad I found this author. The cover illustration is interesting, though maybe a little inaccurate, but the story is an engaging adventure--kids will think about what it would be like to be a servant vs. what it could be like to be powerful and what obligations might go with it. How can two young people change/unite their divided world?

Angels and Ages: Lincoln, Darwin, and the Birth of the Modern Age
reviewed on + 6062 more book reviews

He must have been stoned when he wrote it.

reviewed on + 657 more book reviews

This was a very compelling and unusual read. Joanna Lander is a psychologist who is trying to figure out the mysteries of the Near-Death Experience (NDE). This is the experience reported by many who supposedly come back from death where they are in a tunnel and see a bright light and possibly relatives or friends waiting for them at the end of the tunnel. But what is really happening? Is this a real experience and proof of an after life or is this a message from a dying brain trying to save itself? Joanna has been interviewing many patients in the hospital where she works in Colorado trying to determine the similarities of the NDE's. Then she hooks up with Dr. Richard Wright who has come up with a way to simulate the NDE using drugs. She becomes involved in a program using volunteers to record their drug-induced NDE's but because the volunteers drop out or have limited use, Joanna volunteers to be a subject and her NDE's are not what she expects!

This novel is full of great characters who share their experiences with Joanna (not always their NDE). These include Maisie, a young girl waiting for a heart transplant who is obsessed with disasters including the Hindenburg, the Lusitania, and later the Titanic. There is also Mr. Wojakowski who was in WWII on the Yorktown, an aircraft carrier that sunk during the war. He is full of interesting stories but are they reliable? Then there is Joanna's old high school English teacher, Mr. Briarly, who has Alzheimer's and may be a key to understanding what Joanna experiences during her NDE experiences.

The book really delved into the mind and how it may work. Joanna was constantly searching for something important on the edge of her consciousness but it kept eluding her. I know I have experienced this feeling many times. Overall, I did really enjoy this with a few reservations. Joanna seems to always be going in circles looking for an answer to fit the mysteries of the NDE's. I think the hospital itself was a metaphor for this with its maze of hallways that are very hard to navigate. And in my opinion, the book could have been cut by about half (its almost 800 pages!), but again it was very compelling reading and enjoyable. I have a few other books by Willis that I hope to get to soon.

Amish Celebrations: Four Novellas
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Amish Celebrations by Beth Wiseman is a collection of Amish novellas. The Gift of Sisters is the story of Hannah and Rachel, fraternal twins, who will shortly turn sixteen and enter their rumschpringe. The sisters have always been close, but newcomer Abram Stoltzfus comes between them. Hannah, the beautiful and outgoing sister, quickly catches his attention knowing her sister was interested in him. Gideon has been friends with the twins their whole life, but he has fallen in love with Rachel. Does he stand a chance against the charming Abraham? Will the twins let a man come between them?

A New Beginning takes us to Paradise, Pennsylvania. Noah will soon be baptized and then marry Rebecca Fisher. He decides to enjoy a last Englisch party before his rumschpringe ends. Noah spends the evening talking with McKenna. Two weeks later, Noah calls off his wedding to Rebecca. Paul Fisher, Rebecca's brother, has yet to be baptized and has been quietly meeting with McKenna. After seeing McKenna hug Noah, he jumps to conclusions and quits seeing her. What made Noah change his mind? Will there be a happy ending for these two couples?

In A Christmas Miracle, young Rachel Marie King sneaks off to visit Santa and his elf at the local toy store to request help for her mother for Christmas. Bruce Hanson, the Santa and Joan, the elf, are touched by the little girl's request and send a check to the family. Mary King has five children under the age of seven and she is overwhelmed and exhausted. Gabriel, Mary's husband, does not understand why Mary cannot keep a clean house and take care of the children as well. He is tired of sandwiches and coming home to a disorganized home. Mary visits Bruce to return the check which gives Joan a chance to talk with Mary. Joan feels God is calling her help the worn-out mother and begins visiting her with Bruce tagging along. Bruce has been at odds with God since the loss of his wife but being around the King family is helping him resolve his issues. See how God helps these individuals during the holiday season.

The fourth novella, A Perfect Plan was previously published in An Amish Wedding. I enjoyed reading these lovely Amish stories. They are well-written and engaging. My favorite novella was A Christmas Miracle. It is such a sweet, heartwarming story with good characters, special message, humor and a satisfying ending. I like how the Christian values and themes were incorporated into the story. We see the importance of having strong faith, the power of prayer, how God has a plan for our lives, events happen in God's timingânot ours, the value of helping others and how God is always there for us. Beth Wiseman creates delightful characters. Though each story is short, we get to know them and see them develop. My least favorite story was The Gift of Sisters. I felt the two sisters were too young to become serious about a beau (they are considering marriage). It is realistic with two sisters fighting over a boy, but I thought it was predictable. My rating for Amish Celebrations is 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). Amish Celebrations contains stories that will touch your heart.

Slade House: A Novel
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I found the story to be interesting, suspenseful and twisty but very unusual. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside Slade House. At first, you won't want to leave. Later, you'll find that you can't. This intricately woven novel will pull you into a reality-warping new vision of the haunted house storyâas only David Mitchell could imagine it. The story does move very quickly. Very atmospheric, creepy and sure to stretch your imagination. I look forward to reading Bone Clocks as I have not read that one yet. I would recommend this to those who like books that are different.

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