Chris S. (smallbutfeisty) - Reviews

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30-Minute Meals
30-Minute Meals
Author: Rachael Ray
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 121
Review Date: 12/13/2005
Helpful Score: 4


Rachael Ray's recipes are tasty, but for a busy cook, somewhat difficult. Many of the recipes require a great many ingredients, some of which are not commonly on hand.

We enjoyed every recipe we made from this book, but it was not well suited to us.


American Sphinx : The Character of Thomas Jefferson
American Sphinx : The Character of Thomas Jefferson
Author: Joseph J. Ellis
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 6/25/2006
Helpful Score: 3


FABULOUS biography of Thomas Jefferson the political figure as well as Jefferson the man. It reads much like a novel and was a very engaging read. I highly recommend this to anyone seeking a biography.


Babyville
Babyville
Author: Jane Green
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 369
Review Date: 6/21/2006


I enjoyed this book a good deal, and I'm not a mom! It's typical Jane Green--easy to read and an enjoyable story, but nothing that will change your life.


Cocktails for Three
Cocktails for Three
Author: Madeleine Wickham
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 34
Review Date: 8/20/2006


Predictable, but enjoyable, this book (written by Sophie Kinsella) tells the story of three best friends and their struggles to overcome their pasts.


Crow Lake
Crow Lake
Author: Mary Lawson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 217
Review Date: 10/21/2005


This was a beautiful story about overcoming loss. Kate Morrison and her three siblings are dealt a difficult fate... the fate forces each of them to make decisions and sacrifices, often a great personal loss.

The story deals with how the other family members view these sacrifices, and how these choices do not measure up to certain expectations.

After reading this book, I'm suddenly very homesick (despite never having lived on a farm) as it made me long for childhood and the way things "used to be."


The Devil Wears Prada
The Devil Wears Prada
Author: Lauren Weisberger
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 1733
Review Date: 8/29/2005


I don't think anyone picks up a book like this expecting a ground breaking work of fiction. No one hopes to have his or her life changed by the moral of a book like "The Devil Wears Prada," and I am not an exception. I expected a book that would entertain me, keep me interested, and would make life a little less dull. These goals were all achieved.

Looking back over the opening scene of the novel, though, I am confused. It seems to start in the present, then explain how the lead character, Andrea Sachs, got to such a miserable predicament. Yet, this scene is never revisited. This certainly isn't important, but it might have helped the flow of the novel if it were.

No, I was not moved by this book. It will have no lasting affect on me (although I DID fall asleep last night wondering how on earth my wide feet would ever be forced into Jimmys or Manolos, but that's a different issue), but it helped me to fall asleep at night, closing my day in a relaxed way.


Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl
Author: Tracy Quan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 81
Review Date: 2/4/2006
Helpful Score: 6


I couldn't get past the first few pages. The language of the main character drove me nuts... too many exclamation points and sentences ending as questions.

the story seemed interesting, I just couldn't get past the language.


The Dogs of Babel
The Dogs of Babel
Author: Carolyn Parkhurst
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 400
Review Date: 8/29/2005
Helpful Score: 2


After finishing this book, I went into such a funk. Had I seen a Hallmark commercial of any kind, I probably would have started bawling.

However, this is not to say that this book isn't fantastic. It absolutely is. This book made me think and it touched me in an obvious way. This is a quite a different reaction from many of the other books I have read, which are often meaningless ways to pass some time.

This is a story about an incredibly deep romance between two people. The two participants are so different, but yet they bring out the best in each other. We find out about this romance after tragedy has struck.

As you are reading a review of the book, you know that the story occurs after the death of Paul's wife Lexy and that he is seeking meaning to her death. So, the book is also largely about grief and recovering from it.

I didn't want this book to end, and I read it in an afternoon. It was fantastic, hope you enjoy it too!!


Ella Minnow Pea : A Novel in Letters
Ella Minnow Pea : A Novel in Letters
Author: Mark Dunn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 205
Review Date: 5/7/2006
Helpful Score: 2


A great commentary on authoritarian government. It will make you consider how necessary are ALL twenty six letters of the alphabet?


Everything Is Illuminated
Everything Is Illuminated
Author: Jonathan Safran Foer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 323
Review Date: 5/7/2006


I could not get into this book, and was very confused by it. I gave up on it for now, with the intent of trying again when life is less hectic and I can concentrate more.


Family History
Family History
Author: Dani Shapiro
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 127
Review Date: 11/19/2005
Helpful Score: 1


I enjoyed this book and the structure in which it was told. It begins at the end, which grabbed my attention and made me want to know what the heck happened!


Goodnight Nobody
Goodnight Nobody
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 503
Review Date: 1/8/2006
Helpful Score: 8


Weiner's typical formula of overweight woman unhappy with some part of her life has worked for three books. In _Goodnight Nobody_, she sticks with this formula, but also tries something new. It is a mystery of sorts.
The perfect mother is found dead. Her death was not a natural one. So, the community of Upchurch, CT (a whole community of perfect mothers) seeks to protect their families while honoring the deceased.
Kate Klein is not a perfect mother. As the discoverer of the dead body, she feels a connection with the woman who has died and seeks to discover who was responsible for the death.

If this is your first Jennifer Weiner book, you will love it. If you have read several of her books, you will enjoy it, but realize it is not her best book. It's enjoyable for sure, but she has written better stories!


The Great Pretender
The Great Pretender
Author: Millenia Black
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 11/1/2006


This was a really engaging book; I really wanted to know what was going to happen next.

Some of the dialogue was very simplistic, and the sex scenes were a little ridiculous.

Overall, a good book but with a few flaws.


Icy Sparks
Icy Sparks
Author: Gwyn Hyman Rubio
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 612
Review Date: 1/1/2006


This book was enjoyable, but not memorable. Common to Oprah's book club, it's about the downtrodden... Icy is from Appalachia, orphaned, and has a condition she cannot control.


In Her Shoes
In Her Shoes
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 519
Review Date: 8/30/2005


As I was sitting on the couch reading this book, my boyfriend was watching tv. Up popped an ad for the film version of this book, starring Cameron Diaz as Maggie and Toni Collette as Rose. Somehow I fear they will fail to capture the sentiment and wonderfulness of this book.

Jennifer Weiner presents the story of two sisters who are polar opposites: Rose was a nerd growing up, is heavier (and happy about it--she never complains about or seems to struggle with her weight), and has always been driven toward success. Her sister Maggie has dyslexia, is thin and stunning, and seeks fame and fortune. Through the novel they fight, as surely all sisters who are close do. But their friendship and love for each other is forged through common bonds: they rely on each other for one thing or another, lived through the death of their mother, and have been criticized by their stepmother Sydelle.

The story is an enjoyable one, and can be read quickly. I kept wanting to go back to it.


The Kitchen Boy:  A Novel of the Last Tsar
The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar
Author: Robert Alexander
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 229
Review Date: 11/4/2006
Helpful Score: 1


A very enjoyable look into the last days of the Romanov family.


The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 5710
Review Date: 1/15/2006
Helpful Score: 1


Wow. This book was simply beautiful. I must say, I put it off since it was so incredibly popular in 2005, but it had all the elements of a beautiful story--suspense, guilt, jealousy, violence. I'm so glad I read it.


Life of Pi
Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3370
Review Date: 12/27/2005


This book seems overrated to me. Perhaps I'm not getting it, but I found it dull and long and I fell asleep on most attempts to read it.


Little Earthquakes
Little Earthquakes
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 914
Review Date: 9/18/2005


Certainly a women's novel, this book was simply incredible. It's a story of mothers, daughters, and daughters-in-law, and how they manage to surive the first year of their childrens' lives.


The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2262
Review Date: 8/29/2005
Helpful Score: 1


It's difficult to classify The Lovely Bones as a mystery. On the first page, the reader discovers that the narrator is dead, has been murdered, and by whom. I suppose the mystery is in watching the family of Susie, the victim, find out what we the reader already know.

Rather, this is a human interest story. Sebold delves into the ways that a family and community deals with tragedy. Some never move on, some forget easily. Some see the dead in the living. Some go on a quest to solve the mysteries of other dead young women. Some families break under the strain.

Certainly the story is a tragic one; in an age of Amber alerts and where images of missing young women flood our news shows, The Lovely Bones is a timely story. These true life stories parallel this fictional one in many ways; the communities have pulled together, people with no connection to the deceased feel one after her death, etc.

A touching novel, The Lovely Bones will make you feel for the characters. You will celebrate in their triumphs and recoil in their miseries.


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