JoAnn G. (bookwoman28) - Reviews

21 to 40 of 167 - Page:
The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca
The Caliph's House: A Year in Casablanca
Author: Tahir Shah
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 3/27/2007


Very like 'A Year in Provence' except that this venture (by a Brit/Afghan family) takes place in far more exotic and possibly dangerous Casablanca in Morocco. Still, great humor told absolutely dead-pan, as the author deals with an untrustworthy architect, workmen who destroy more than they build, superstitious locals, a raft of stubborn servants, and of course, the djinns - those mysterious, wicked spirits who occupy the house and just may be trying to get rid of the new owner.


Capitalism and Freedom
Capitalism and Freedom
Author: Milton Friedman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 3/10/2006
Helpful Score: 1


Friedman is one of the greatest economic minds of the last century, and his books are eminently readable to the layman. His views have been underscored by the worldwide collapse of communism. Like democracy in politics, capitalism is a terrible system in economics, except that all the others are worse...


Carry Me Down
Carry Me Down
Author: M. J. Hyland
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 3/20/2007
Helpful Score: 2


Eleven-year-old John Egan is a mixture of imaginative child and curious, devious, and somewhat weird adolescent, growing up poor and lonely in 1970's Ireland. He dreams of becoming world-famous as a "human lie detector," but his pursuits of this talent manage to alienate and sometimes frighten everyone around him. With a jobless and self-delusional father, a mother spiraling into depression, and a best friend who abandons him for greener pastures, John is left with few resources apart from those inside his unreliable head, and the reader is led with John to the very edge of tragedy. A compelling read, and shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker Prize.


Case of Lies (Nina Reilly, Bk 11)
Case of Lies (Nina Reilly, Bk 11)
Author: Perri O'Shaughnessy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 135
Review Date: 10/13/2006


Attorney and single mom Nina O'Reilly is back in South Lake Tahoe after breaking off a long relationship. Her current client is a heartbroken man whose wife was killed by a stray bullet during a robbery. The robbery victims - who didn't stay around to testify -were three MIT grad students who have the numbers skills to beat blackjack at the casinos. There is a sometimes overwhelming amount of esoteric trivia about pure mathematics in this story, a lot of which I think could have been ommitted without damaging the plot or the character development. Elliott is a weird guy; we get it... I've read most of the 'Nina' series, so it was fun to see where she might be going next in her sometimes chaotic life, but parts of this seemed clumsy, and depended on unlikely coincidences. The Perri O'Shaughnessy sister team has done better.


The Cave
The Cave
Author: Jose Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 1/15/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Saramago, who has been called 'the world's greatest living novelist,' has created an allegorical novel of an elderly potter whose precarious existence is threatened when he can no longer sell his wares. Rave reviews from all the major critics.


Changing Places: Rebuilding Community in the Age of Sprawl
Changing Places: Rebuilding Community in the Age of Sprawl
Author: Richard Moe, Carter Wilkie
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/28/2007


Author Moe Wilkie served as president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Called "A vital addition to the growing literature on the strong ties between urban blight and suburban sprawl" (The Detroit Free Press), and "A hard-nosed and historically based critique. More than a jeremiad against sprawl, Changing Places suggests alternatives" (The NY York Times Book Review)


Chasing the Dime
Chasing the Dime
Author: Michael Connelly
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 288
Review Date: 1/24/2006


A scientist/business owner gets in over his head when he tries to find and rescue a girl he's never met, jeopardizing both his life and the future of his company in the process.


The Child in Time
The Child in Time
Author: Ian McEwan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 26
Review Date: 11/18/2005
Helpful Score: 1


Award-winning author McEwan writes movingly of the struggle of a British children's writer to suvive the abduction of his only child and the subsequent break-up of his marriage.


Cities:  Back from the Edge
Cities: Back from the Edge
Author: Roberta Brandes Gratz with Norman Mintz
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/26/2007


A great read about cities who are making new downtown development work, and the techniques we can learn from their examples.


City Life
City Life
Author: Witold Rybczynski
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/26/2007


Among the many books I acquired doing a degree in Urban Planning, this one was well written, informative, and entertaining.


The Closers (Harry Bosch Bk 11)
The Closers (Harry Bosch Bk 11)
Author: Michael Connelly
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 461
Review Date: 9/4/2006


After three years in early retirement LAPD Detective Harry Bosch is ready to return to a new post - one of an elite team of experienced cops assigned to the Open/Unsolved Unit, aka 'cold cases.' The team has just caught a break, DNA evidence in a years-old case in which a young girl was dragged from her home and killed on a nearby mountain.
But there are those who are anxious that this case NOT be solved, because doing so might open a can of worms concerning the Department's original handling of the investigation, and reveal corruption among certain high level personnel who are still on the job.


Coast Road
Coast Road
Author: Barbara Delinsky
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 40
Review Date: 10/24/2005


A divorced San Francisco architect re-connects with his family when his ex-wife slips into a coma following an auto crash.


Consider This, Senora
Consider This, Senora
Author: Harriet Doerr
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 1/15/2007


'In her customary crystalline prose, Harriet Doerr examines the lives of four North American expatriates in a small Mexican village of a thousand souls. Set on the barren mesa of Amapolas, we see the newcomers settling in their adobe houses and gradually adjusting to an environment of excesses - hot sun, torrential downpour, sweeping landscapes, and a vastness of untouched nature - and watch as each is drawn into the aura of this land and changed.'


Critical Mass: Transport, Environment and Society in the Twenty-First Century
Review Date: 3/28/2007


A British Professor of Environmental Studies takes a thorough look at the enormous cost of transport policies throughout, especially, Europe, North America, and Asia, and reviews the challenge to planners and environmentalists alike to devise a new alternative that would be "people-friendly", sustainable, and capable of contribution toward a solution to poverty and inequity.


A Cure for Dreams (Large Print)
A Cure for Dreams (Large Print)
Author: Kaye Gibbons
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 49
Review Date: 10/19/2005


Acclaimed author Kaye Gibbons writes about 4 generations of southern women.


Dakota: A Spiritual Geography
Dakota: A Spiritual Geography
Author: Kathleen Norris
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 26
Review Date: 1/15/2007


"With humor and lyrical grace, {Norris is} at once a pondering visionary and a news reporter covering the essence of what there is tosee and touch in a land so vast that it seems more like an ocean that it does earth." (San Francisco Chronicle)


Dance with Death (Inspector Ikmen, Bk 8)
Dance with Death (Inspector Ikmen, Bk 8)
Author: Barbara Nadel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 1/30/2007
Helpful Score: 1


I've been following this series for awhile now and enjoy the private lives of the main characters quite as much as their crime-solving techniques. Ikmen, small, disheveled, chain-smoking, married with nine children, and not religious, is almost an anti-hero, but is smart, hardworking, and a firm but doting father. I was very intrigued by the setting of this story, knowing nothing previously of Cappadocia, so much so that I spent some time on the internet looking at actual images so that I could better understand the terrain that forms a key part of the story. Overall, I thought this book was not as well written as earlier ones in the series; there were awkward conversations and entirely too many convenient coincidences. Still, I enjoyed it as a sequel, but would advise any new readers to begin with the first book in the series, "Belshazzar's Daughter."


Day of Atonement (Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus #4)
Day of Atonement (Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus #4)
Author: Faye Kellerman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 42
Review Date: 8/28/2005


Published in 1991, this is (I think) the fifth of the popular Peter Decker - Rina Lazarus series. I've enjoyed them well enough to keep reading whenever a new one comes out. This one is actually set not in LA, but in Brooklyn, as Peter tracks down a runaway from Rina's extended family.


The Dearly Departed
The Dearly Departed
Author: Elinor Lipman
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 34
Review Date: 3/10/2006


A delightful novel about family secrets, untimely death and unlikely alliances. An easy read, but - as the NY Times review put it - "her characters achieve a quiet depth."


Death in Springtime (Marshal Guarnaccia, Bk 3)
Death in Springtime (Marshal Guarnaccia, Bk 3)
Author: Magdalen Nabb
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 9/4/2006


One of the series of Magdalen Nabb's 'Florentine Series,' starring Marshal Guarnaccia. An American girl, studying in Florence, has been kidnapped for ransom. But no one - parents, villagers, friends - are willing to tell the whole truth of what they know about the situation. At one 160+ pages, an intelligent but easy read, with a genuine evocation of the sights and sounds of Florence.


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