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Betty T. (BettySunshine) - , - Reviews

21 to 31 of 31 - Page:
Radio Shangri-La: What I Learned in Bhutan, the Happiest Kingdom on Earth
Review Date: 10/21/2011


Lisa Napoli's description of "the happiest place on earth" certainly made me happy. Ms. Napoli writes beautifully of her visits to Bhutan, a Himalayan kingdom that few are privileged to visit. Her descriptions reminded me of my visits to Thailand where I found the people and the land to be utterly charming. The king of Bhutan works hard to preserve the culture even as the Western world slowly invades the land. Once television was allowed into Bhutan there was no stopping this invasion. There is also the first-time visit to America from one of Ms. Napoli's new Bhutanese friends. We "see" America through Ngawang's eyes which is sometimes humorous and sometimes very revealing of our values.


The Red Hat Club
The Red Hat Club
Author: Haywood Smith
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 150
Review Date: 3/5/2010
Helpful Score: 1


A fun book. Lots of "Southernisms". A story about friendship among women. I didn't expect to like it and was really surprised.


Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt
Author: Beth Hoffman
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 161
Review Date: 10/21/2011


What a charming book! A lovely book on the power of female friendships. A little girl, lost and alone, is taken in by her aunt in Savannah GA. I chuckled over the eccentric characters that is oh-so-typical of Savannah. The book is truly heart-warming.


The Status of All Things
The Status of All Things
Author: Liz Fenton, Lisa Steinke
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 10/25/2015


A fun read...funny...thought-invoking

Kate is a social media junkie, always posting her latest updates, taking lots of selfies. But now it is the eve of her wedding to Max. Kate thinks they are the perfect couple until her bubble is burst when Max suddenly informs her that he cannot go through with the wedding. She is devastated. She returns home and just before going to bed posts on her Facebook page that she wishes she could do the past month over.

Did your mother ever tell you to be careful what you wished for because you might get it? Well, perhaps Kate's mother should have said it. Kate awakens to find that it isn't July 1st (the date she went to bed) but is not June 1st. To put it mildly, she freaks!

A do-over with memories intact. What an opportunity! When she posts a wish as status on her Facebook page, the wish comes true. She cannot undo whatever caused Max to back out of the wedding. Now if she can only determine the exact moment she lost him. She cannot imagine how she will survive without Max so she must do whatever it takes to get him to go through with marrying her this time around. She tells her best friends Liam and Jules about this magic in her life. To prove to them that she isn't crazy she makes a wish for each of them in a desire to make life better for them.

It is a cute story, a fast read. Great writing. Not great literature, but fun. I love the premise of the story. I did pretty much figure out about halfway through what was going to be the outcome. But that is okay because I enjoyed the journey. Kate and her friends come across as very human they make mistakes, they feel vulnerable, they do crazy things. I would have loved to have had them for friends myself.


The Straw Men (Straw Men, Bk 1)
The Straw Men (Straw Men, Bk 1)
Author: Michael Marshall
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 144
Review Date: 12/17/2009


At times riveting, at times dragging. Great concept but left a lot hanging. But then this is the first of a trilogy. It left so many gaps for me though that I don't think I'll read the next two in the series.


The Things We Cherished: A Novel
The Things We Cherished: A Novel
Author: Pam Jenoff
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 10/21/2011


I enjoyed the book even though the story is not all that deep. The two love triangles somewhat mirror each other -- two brothers in love with the same woman. Neither story gets very deep. After all, the book is only 286 pages. It was sometimes hard to grab the thread of the story when it bounced into the past. But the sentimentality of the story saved it. The clock ties the chapters from the past together. Overall, I enjoyed it.


The Triumph of Katie Byrne
The Triumph of Katie Byrne
Author: Barbara Taylor Bradford
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 10/21/2011


The author definitely needs to avoid mysteries. She did a good job with the middle part of the book where she writes about the life of the Bronte sisters. But the entire murder "mystery portion of the book just did not do it for me. It starts out with the tension of the murder and someone perhaps stalking Katie. Then the whole murder part disappears from the story in the middle part of the book while she writes about the Bronte sisters. Then Katie comes back to the US and the murder plot picks up again. The murderer comes totally out of nowhere. No real suspense leading up to who he is. Total let-down by an author I have liked before.


Voodoo Ridge (Cordell Logan, Bk 3)
Voodoo Ridge (Cordell Logan, Bk 3)
Author: David Freed
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/18/2014


I received an advance electronic copy of this book from the publisher for review.
This is the first of David Freed's books I have read but it won't be the last.
Sixty years after a small plane goes down near Lake Tahoe, Cordell Logan happens to spot it as he is flying to Tahoe to remarry his ex-wife who is now pregnant with his child. Once he spots the plane the action begins. There are twists and turns and the book takes you where most authors would not dare go. Who/what was on broad the downed aircraft? Why are people getting killed after the plane was spotted? Two bodies were found at the crash site. One was the pilot, obviously long dead. But the other body was just recently killed. Logan's love is taken hostage by the people behind the recent death. The book grabbed me and didn't let me go.


We Need to Talk About Kevin
We Need to Talk About Kevin
Author: Lionel Shriver
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 105
Review Date: 1/18/2010


I found this book really hard to follow. The mother rambles a lot. Definitely not the book for me.


What Stands in a Storm: Three Days in the Worst Superstorm to Hit the South's Tornado Alley
Review Date: 7/18/2015


Living in the South where there are so many tornadoes, this book caught my attention. It is a non-fiction but reads like a novel. In a three-day period in April 2011, 349 tornadoes touched down within tornado alley. It left at least 324 people dead and caused $11 billion in damage. Most of the dead were in Alabama. This book is the story of the people who survived (and some who didnt) this hell on earth. It is told with compassion and with obvious heartbreak.

Ms. Cross wrote so well that I felt some of the people were my friends. I felt their fear, their heartache, their strength. People put aside football rivalry and helped each other. Some history of storm watching is interspersed. Even this was interesting. After reading this no one should ever ignore the warnings the National Weather Service puts out.


The Woman in the Movie Star Dress
The Woman in the Movie Star Dress
Author: Praveen Asthana
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/18/2015


I am not sure what I expected of this book, but I was not impressed with it. The writing was tolerable but the storyline was just too silly for me. Perhaps I expected a touch of the supernatural (like The Dress Shop of Dreams). After all, the synopsis included this: What if the clothes you wore carried ghostly fragments of your soul, and somehow those fragments got transferred to one who wore those clothes next?

But it was more a story of Genevieve coming to Hollywood like so many others to escape from her past. She gets a job at Annabels clothing store which sells clothing worn by the stars. I was turned off by her constant insecurities and dreaming that just putting on a piece of clothing would cause her to absorb a bit of the persona of the one that previously wore it. That little touch of the supernatural never came. Instead we get scenes like this: maybe it was the outfit channeling Natalie Woods spirit that had made her take those risks.

Genevieves home life is a wreck, and she longs to be rescued from it. (She did have a catastrophic event happen in her childhood.) The possibility of romance enters hers life. She parties, she has casual lovers. She compares every man to a movie star and often finds them lacking. She borrows outfits from the clothing shop. There is not a lot of depth to her. She lives in a dream world. She reminds me of Tony on NCIS who has a running stream of movie references. At first the sprinkling of specific scenes from movies was enjoyable but after a while it just seems like a lot of name-dropping. She ends up with three possible romances. Will she go for the dangerous one, the mysterious one, or the one she has know all her life and finds a bit boring?

One dress in particular becomes the centerpiece of the story. It was known that the lady that owned it (her name was Margaret Brooks) had killed her husband and his lover, for which she was then executed. Now there is a search on for the person that bought this dress from the shop. This womans life circumstances closely mirror those of Margarets. Genevieve is afraid this woman will kill her husband just as Margaret did hers.

I never came to care about any of the characters in the book. I couldnt get into the storyline. It just did not work for me.

I received a free galley of the book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.


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