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Life of Pi
reviewed on + 4 more book reviews

This is a very deep and thought provoking read. It is heartfelt, but also light hearted at the same time. I would suggest it to anyone.

The Song of Hartgrove Hall: A Novel
reviewed on + 327 more book reviews

My review is a lot shorter: I couldn't get interested. I think this book is best appreciated by those with a musical background that I, alas, do not have.

Put Up Your Duke: A Dukes Behaving Badly Novel
reviewed on + 4644 more book reviews

I wonder how he would have voted on Brexit.

Oddly Normal Book 2 (Oddly Normal Tp)
reviewed on + 1996 more book reviews

This was a good continuation of the the Oddly Normal series. This is a great series for all ages; me and my 9 year old son has been enjoying these books a lot.

I loved the illustration and color used throughout this graphic novel; it's so fun to look at and easy to follow.

This volume basically expands some on Oddly's background as we get to visit some of Oddly's mother's memories.

Oddly also makes an unlikely group of friends who are highly entertaining. There is a lot of fun in this book as well as some normal "trying to fit into middle school" type of issues. I thought the plot was a bit slow and hope that the next volume starts a more engaging plot.

Overall a very fun read that is great for all ages. The illustration is amazing. This volume provides mostly background and introduces some new characters. I am hoping volume 3 starts a more engaging story.

Bossa Novas, Bikinis, and Bad Ends (Happy Hoofers, Bk 4)
reviewed on + 209 more book reviews

I kept threatening to toss this book aside and not finish it so many times. It was very boring. Even the description of the scenic sites and food of Rio de Janeiro could not improve the unbelievable plot. The premise that the Happy Hoofers Dancers are going to solve a murder of someone they only knew a few hours in a hotel in a country they had never been in before was impossible to believe. That one of the dancers gets kidnapped by the same bad guys three times in one day is too farfetched. As a travel, cookbook, mystery novel, it fails.

APB: Baby (Precinct: Bachelors in Blue, Bk 1) (Harlequin Intrigue, No 1642)
reviewed on + 619 more book reviews

Very good book that starts out with a bang. When his sister's wedding to Gabriel Knight (Kansas City Cover-Up) is interrupted by gunfire, medical examiner Niall Watson finds himself in the middle of trying to find out why. After all of the stress of the day, he comes home to find an abandoned baby in his neighbor's apartment. Lucy suspects that the baby belongs to her former foster daughter, and that Diana is in trouble. She's grateful for Niall's help.

I loved Niall and Lucy. Niall is part of a cop family. Rather that becoming a street cop or a detective, Niall's talents sent him in another direction. He is a medical examiner, the quiet, loner part of the family, best known for his calm and logical mind. He's much more comfortable around dead bodies than live ones. I loved his considered approach to hearing the baby, his logical steps, and then determined action. I loved seeing him take the baby, and then how his mind walked him through what to do next. Lucy's arrival on the scene throws him into a bit of turmoil. He has taken quite a bit of notice of her, being a man, but is a bit awkward around people, so has had few conversations with her.

Lucy is a social worker who is worried about the former foster daughter she hasn't seen in more than a year. A recent call from Diana gave her the feeling that the young woman is in trouble. Finding Niall at her apartment is quite a surprise, as is the reason he is there. Lucy is determined to protect little Tommy, and happily accepts Niall's help. Though he doesn't know it, she has had quite a crush on him. Lucy also has an ex-boyfriend who has become a problem for her.

I loved the development of their relationship. Niall is very drawn to Lucy and frequently confused by the effect she has on him. I really loved seeing his thoughts as he tried to make sense of what he is feeling. I loved his protectiveness toward both Lucy and Tommy. It was sweet to see Niall taking care of the baby. Lucy's crush has been going on for quite a while, and spending time with him now just deepens her feelings for him. I loved the contrast between his nerdiness and her bubbly, outgoing nature. They balanced each other very nicely. I loved the way that she could read him so well. It was really fun to see her explain his feelings to him, especially at the end.

I enjoyed seeing the closeness of the Watson family and their support for each other. All of them are there to be with their grandfather, who was shot at the wedding. I loved seeing how each brother dealt with things according to their personality. I also enjoyed seeing the way that they pulled Lucy and Tommy into their circle. It was something completely out of her experience, and I loved seeing her soak it in.

The mystery of the baby and his missing mother was really good. Diana is missing and someone is trying to get to the baby. I loved seeing Niall's methodical ways bump into Lucy's emotional defense of Diana. Things got rather intense when someone attacked Lucy in an attempt to get to the baby, while someone else is telling her to keep him away from everyone. A dead body adds to the puzzle. The final confrontation is a nail-biter, as Lucy and Niall try to protect Tommy and save Diana.

There is also a little bit about who the shooter was at the wedding. Someone appears to have a grudge against the Watsons and the attack at the wedding seems to be just the beginning. I am looking forward to the next book and seeing what else is revealed.

reviewed on + 11 more book reviews

Re Bug-Eyed Monsters and Bimbos: A Hilarious Collection of Parodies by Some of the Greatest Writers of Science Fiction
Author: Mike Resnick (Editor). This collection was originally titled Shaggy B.E.M. Stories and was compiled exclusively for the 1988 Worldcon (Nolacon II). Seventy-five percent of the original edition sold out over the Worldcon weekend and the rest disappeared soon after. After reading this re-titled reprint, I can see why. So, abandon all hope of keeping a straight face while reading these short stories, from an excellent group of writers who clearly enjoyed their topic. Lots of variety, very tongue in cheek. Full of unexpected gems. There's enough variety that it's worth the time, most have an unusual twist and all were entertaining, and I was introduced to several authors with whom I was unfamiliar and from whom I'd like to read more.

A Premonition of Murder: A Dream Club Mystery
reviewed on + 190 more book reviews

A Premonition of Murder by Mary Kennedy is the third book in A Dream Club Mystery series. Taylor Black is living in Savannah, Georgia helping her sister, Allison "Ali" Black with her shop Oldies but Goodies. Taylor and Ali have been invited by Abigail Marchand to her home Beaux Reeves. Abigail has been having a disturbing dream, and Abigail believes it means her death is imminent. Taylor and Ali are members of the Dream Club and Abigail was hoping they could assist her. Taylor reassures her that the dream could mean many different things. She promises to discuss it at their very next meeting and get back in touch with her. Unfortunately, Abigail is found dead at the bottom of her stairs before Taylor can get back in touch with her. Abigail was pushed down her stairs. The Dream Club sets out to find Abigail's killer. It certainly helps when Ali and Taylor are contacted by Abigail's attorney. Abigail had left a letter requesting that the sisters take a complete inventory of the house. They will finally get a chance to see inside Beaux Reeves (very few people ever get inside the house) and, hopefully, find some clues to help their investigation. Will the Dream Club be able to find the killer before there is another victim?

A Premonition of Murder is the third book in the series, but it can easily be read as a stand-alone. The author did a good job with the mystery. I liked the clues and her misdirection. I was able to pick out the killer early in the book (as soon as I read about the murder), but, thanks to the clever writing, I was starting to doubt myself a little bit (which I liked). I am not sure about the dream interpretations (my parents always taught be that it is hogwash), but I liked the candy shop Oldies but Goodies. How they make any money, though, is beyond me. It seems their intern, Dana (who is supposed to be part-time) does all the work. They are barely breaking even so I do not know how they can afford a part-time employee (we are probably not supposed to think about that). I also wondered about the amount of frozen food they use to serve to customers (instead of fresh every day). Of course, they are too busy sleuthing to make fresh. Another anomaly is the cats that are allowed in the store. You would think they would not be allowed cats in the shop since they serve cooked/prepared food as well as candy (yum). I give A Premonition of Murder 4 out of 5 stars. A Premonition of Murder is well-written and entertaining. I will definitely be reading the next book in A Dream Club Mystery series.

I received a complimentary copy of A Premonition of Murder from NetGalley (courtesy of the publisher) in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.

The Body in the Belfry (Faith Fairchild, Bk 1)
reviewed on + 113 more book reviews

This is the first book in this series-copyright 1990. Quite interesting to read a book 25+ years old. No cell phones make solving the mystery a lot harder! I am just trying this 'cozy' mystery series out. The only thing that seemed off kilter to me was how fast the heroine jumped from being a new mom/retired caterer/preacher's wife in a small town into being a super sleuth. I think the segue could have been more believable and then again I am just a reader and not a writer. Will continue for a few more books. Stay tuned.

Grand Theft Retro (Style & Error) (Volume 5)
reviewed on + 397 more book reviews

This was a comical mysterious enjoyable mystery to read! The mess that Samantha Kidd manages to get into just trying to do her job his honestly incredible ! It was such fun to read that I'm looking up all of Diane Vallere's books and placing them on my TBR pile! What was even greater is that this is the first I've read in this series and even though it was #5, didn't do anything to make the book not good! Fun reads are always welcome in my house!

Lone Wolf Lawman (Appaloosa Pass Ranch, Bk 1) (Harlequin Intrigue, No 1599) (Larger Print)
reviewed on + 637 more book reviews

Lots of action but no real conclusion because it is the first book in the series. Good portrayal of a family with with adult sibling interactions along with the romance.

The Deep
reviewed on + 134 more book reviews

A real bone-chiller! Just DON'T GO SEE THE MOVIE! The computers will be working overtime to make all the ugly, gory scenes come to life. That said, I agree with the previous reviewer. This book had about 150 pages too many, since that is what was consumed by the author's descriptions. He wrote lots and lots and lots of descriptions...he described every scene about 6 different ways. Ad nauseam. In spite of the horror genre, it DID become can that be? Fortunately, there is no need to read any more books by this author, since he has already exhausted every description he could possibly use. Looks like the next one, The Troop, will be more of the same. I would not recommend this book. I've read a lot of horror novels. There are far better writers in the horror genre. Just my opinion. D.

The Perdition Score (Sandman Slim, Bk 8)
reviewed on + 1996 more book reviews

This was an excellent continuation of the Sandman Slim series. I felt like this book was more in keeping with earlier books in the series. It does start a bit slow, but once it finds its stride the book was very hard to put down.

This book did a great job of starting a newish storyline for Stark. I feel like the last few books have kind of been a bit wandering and transitional. Stark does spend some time whining and bitching in the beginning of this book, but he does hit his stride again as the story continues.

I loved the mystery behind black milk. I also enjoyed Stark's working relationship with Abbott. Stark and Candy continue to have an awesome relationship.

The plot around Wormwood was really fleshed out in this book and dealt with nicely. The ending was very well done and I can't wait to see what happens in the next Sandman Slim book.

Overall this was a wonderful addition to the Sandman Slim series. I was happy to see our gritty butt-kicking Stark make a return to the story. I liked the new plot around Wormwood and continue to enjoy all the sassiness, grittiness, and action in this series. Kadrey has a very distinctive writing style and it's one I enjoy a lot. I would recommend this whole series to those who enjoy gritty and action-packed urban fantasy.

Eleanor and Park
Eleanor and Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Teen & Young Adult
Book Type: Hardcover
reviewed on + 1996 more book reviews

This was an engaging read and I enjoyed it a lot. I wish the end had more closure though. I understand that the abstractness of the end is made to reflect the style of the story; it still kind of pissed me off with its incompleteness.

I listened to this on audiobook. The narrators did a wonderful job narrating. This is a book that I would highly recommend listening to on audiobook if you listen to audiobooks. I think it was probably better as an audiobook than it would be as a paper book.

Having grown up in the 80's I really enjoyed the 80's references throughout. I know this is dubbed as a love story; but there is also a lot in this story about abuse at home and bullying.

Eleanor has a pretty awful life right now. Her stepfather is abusive to her whole family and the fact that the kids at school decide to make her life miserable on top of all of this just broke my heart. She is strong in her own right and I am glad she fought to do what she could to keep herself sane and safe.

Eleanor faces a lot of tough decisions throughout the book and is constantly living in fear. I wish that she had felt more comfortable seeking help from her counselor or another adult; however I do understand that she really didn't have any reason to trust adults. I hated that she was having to daily make choices between keeping herself safe and helping her siblings...that's a horrible place to be.

I hated Eleanor's mom for her weakness. I will never understand how women like Eleanor's mom justify their decisions. Eleanor's mom isn't a bad person, she is not actively mean...she is just passive. She allows her husband to hurt her and her kids. Once in awhile there is a glimmer of rebellion when she tries to quietly stand up for one of her kids. Being a mother myself I will never understand women who willingly put themselves in a position where their kids don't feel safe at home.

Park has his own issues but they pale compared to Eleanor's. Seeing the contrast between the two characters was interesting. Park kind of struggled to understand Eleanor's life and also struggled with how to help her. Park is in the middle of trying to accept his own differences and embracing who he is and Eleanor helps him do that.

I also thought Eleanor's anger was portrayed well. Eleanor is angry at everything, but Park doesn't know how to interpret this anger because their relationship is so new. It is a sweet relationship and does remind of the first time you fell in love with a boy/girl.

The only thing I really did not like about this book (I hated this enough to knock off half a star) was the lack of closure. I understand this is an artistic choice that Rowell made. However, I think it's also a bit of a cope out. I mean come on; you get your readers all attached to these characters and then the story just stops. No closure, you don't know where anyone ends up. It sucked bigtime. If this was the first book in a series I would be okay with that...but this is a stand alone and that was a sucky way to end this book.

Overall a very well written book that explores abuse, bullying, and love. This is an excellent coming of age story and I loved all the 80's references. Generally I would recommend...unless you hate stories without closure. If you like closure to your stories I would skip this book; it's just sooo frustrating that there's no closure here.

Pandora Hearts, Vol 1
reviewed on + 1996 more book reviews

I have heard a lot of great things about this manga series but I also know it's tough for a manga series to grab my attention and make me love it in the first volume. Well, this one was grabbed my attention, held it, and made me want the second volume immediately!

The story is a bit complex and confusing at first, but things really come together as the story progresses. I loved the characters; especially Black Rabbit and Oz. The story starts out looking like it's going to be all light and fluffy and then takes a serious turn for the creepy, dark and strange as things continue.

I loved the idea of the Abyss and how it wasn't what Oz thought it would be in the beginning. There are so many interesting mysteries presented to the reader in this volume.

The whole story has a bit of a Victorian theme to it and is kind of a retelling of Alice in Wonderland (maybe?). The illustration is really well done with lots of detail and beautiful characters.

Overall this is a spectacular start to this manga series. I always am a little leery when I start a new manga series because a lot of them are similar. However this one was amazingly engaging and different and I am in love with it. Fans of Black Butler should check out this manga series, it has some of the same type of flavor to it.

Island of Dragons (The Unwanteds)
reviewed on + 1996 more book reviews

This was a well done conclusion to the Unwanted series. The story starts with Henry having to go off and save the giant crab from falling over the waterfall discovered in the previous book. After that the rest of the story is pretty much a huge battle between Artime' and the evil Queen from Warbler island.

All of our favorite characters come together in this final epic battle and when things seem hopeless help comes from an unexpected place.

I loved the sea dragon and her secret, I also really continued to enjoy Spike as a character. It was nice to see Aaron and Alex working together and finding their places in the world. There was a lot of character growth in this last book.

We also get some development around Alex and Aaron's sisters, which can do some seriously crazy magical stuff. These sisters will be the feature characters in the sister series to this one: The Unwanteds Quests.

Overall a very well done conclusion to this series. Lots of awesome characters, tons of action, some great character development, and a great wrap up to the series. Fans of the series will definitely enjoy this wrap-up. I recommend the whole series to middle grade and older readers who love magic and adventure.

The Shack
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I really liked this book and read it after I read Crossroads. I liked this one much better and will probably read it again. It has a lot of good thoughts, makes you angry in some places and crying in others. Overall an excellent read!

3 Truths and a Lie: A Detective D. D. Warren Story
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I really liked this story. Too bad it could have not been longer than 2 CDs. I really like the D D Warren novels. Each book Lisa Gardner writes gets better each time!

Shadowed in Silk (Twilight of the British Raj, Bk 1)
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Shadowed in Silk is an interesting historical fiction book set in India after WWI. Although the novel is more about the British military officers and their wives, this story gives an excellent perspective on the attitudes and feelings of the Indian citizens, who were under British rule. The descriptive writing vividly portrays each scene in such a way that I felt I was right there in the midst of the story, rather than just being an observer.

The complex storyline has a bit of everything that keeps readers turning pages--intrigue, romance, interesting characters, and a great setting. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the Twilight of the British Raj series. I recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction in exotic places

The Avignon Quintet: Monsieur / Livia / Constance / Sebastian / Quinx
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Probably shouldn't be read at one sitting.

Evidence Not Seen: A Woman's Miraculous Faith in the Jungles of World War II
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This missionary woman's story is totally why I am such a big advocate for "enemy love" and being against the death penalty.

Darlene Deibler, who married at a young age to a well known minister 12 years older than her, went right after she was married to Papua New Guinea as a missionary with her groom. After a few years there, WWII caused the Japanese to take over the country, thus putting each of the Deiblers in different prison work camps.

The stories that she shares have a lot of positive attitude despite the hardships, as Mrs. Deibler had a bit of a sense of humor to her and a high trust in God to care for her. While in the camp (warning: spoiler for the rest of the paragraph), a commanding officer of the Japanese army was so moved by her love for God and her openness for not hating him because God told her to love her enemy, eventually became a Christian radio host in Japan! He was sentenced to death but because of her outspoken words for the kindness he showed her, he was spared to a life sentence which then was reduced again and allowed him freedom. He found freedom in Christ and showed it for the rest of his life.

I so enjoyed the things she said about the ways that God eased her heart. It was very sad at times but also good. 3.75 stars.

Promise Me (Myron Bolitar, Bk 8) (Large Print)
reviewed on + 178 more book reviews

It was a very good read I hated to put it down!!

The Japanese Experience: A Short History of Japan (History of Civilisation)
reviewed on

Love this book. It's a great break down of the various cultural aspects of Japanese history.

Journey to the Edge of the World
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A good book to read when it is 110 degrees here in the desert. Kind of like John McPhee in his writing, he talks a lot with the people on his journey.

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