Rebecca L. (ccqdesigns) - - Reviews

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Anthem
Anthem
Author: Ayn Rand
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/16/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Anthem is Ayn Rands classic tale of a dark future age of the great "We"a world that deprives individuals of name, independence, and values. Written a full decade before George Orwell's "1984," this dystopian novel depicts a man who seeks escape from a society in which individuality has been utterly destroyed. Rand expertly shows how collectivism (including social programs in the United States) destroys freedom and individuality. Her philosophy is simple: "planning" is a synonym for "collectivism," and "collectivism" is a metaphor for communism and tyranny. This important book should be read by all who are concerned about the role of government in modern life. This publication from Boomer Books is specially designed and typeset for comfortable reading.


Any Minute
Any Minute
Author: Joyce Meyer, Deborah Bedford
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 55
Review Date: 9/25/2010
Helpful Score: 3


This book was just what I needed to read at the time I picked it up. I had no idea when I started that it was Christian fiction. The story is a modern day adaptation of "A Christmas Carol". And even though the story is an old one, the message is still a good one. Pass this one on to someone that might need to read it again.


The Art of Deception (Boldt & Matthews, Bk 8)
The Art of Deception (Boldt & Matthews, Bk 8)
Author: Ridley Pearson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 43
Review Date: 1/17/2009


This book grabbed me from the first page to the last. A great read.


Asta in the Wings
Asta in the Wings
Author: Jan Elizabeth Watson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 9/12/2010


This is an amazing little book. I finished it in one sitting because once I got past the first 10 pages, I just couldn't put it down. Even though it deals with a sad and horrible subject of child abuse, It does it in a way that will bring smiles and laughter to your face. The strength and spirit that Asta has will give you a renewed believe in the spirit of survival.


Billy Bathgate
Billy Bathgate
Author: E. L. Doctorow
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/16/2009


In the Bronx of the 1930s, 15-year-old Billy Bathgate hooks up with a legendary mobster, Dutch Schultz. Schultz becomes an unlikely surrogate parent to the boy, introducing him to the ways of the world and training Billy to follow in his footsteps. After Billy falls for Schulz's latest girlfriend, he begins to question the actions of the mob he was so eager to join. As he seeks to protect the young woman, he gains strength in following his own heart and makes a courageous passage from boyhood to adulthood. E.L Doctorow won the 1990 PEN/Faulkner Award for this novel.

This book starts slow but is an interesting detailed look at Billy and how he ended up where he did.


Bombay Time : A Novel
Bombay Time : A Novel
Author: Thrity Umrigar
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 2/3/2014
Helpful Score: 1


Another excellent novel by Umrigar. The characters of a small Parsi community are deep and rich with emotion and color. Living as foreigners in their own country brings trials and a sense of a larger family. I always enjoy this author.


The Bone Clocks
The Bone Clocks
Author: David Mitchell
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 6/20/2017


I struggled to read this book for over 200 pages before giving up. The author can't seem to keep the story going or interesting and gets off on long tangents. The beginning grabbed my interest and this could have been a great book but it completely died in the middle.


The Book of Obeah
The Book of Obeah
Author: Sandra Carrington-Smith
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 4/18/2010


Last Friday night I came home from work and found The Book of Obeah by Sandra Carrington-Smith in my mailbox. I had selected this book from Review the Book based on the out of the ordinary synopsis. I decided to pick the book up after supper and read a little before bedtime; at least that was the plan. This book captured me from the start and would not let me go. I kept looking for a stopping point, a place I could relax and take a breath, set it down and go to sleep, but there was none. I was physically attached to the characters and the prose and I could not stop until it was over, at 4:30 am. The last time a book took hold of me this way was a long time ago. And I have delayed writing this review because I have not wanted to scrutinize why this story touched me the way it did. But, review it I must.
Melody Bennets beloved Grandmama Giselle dies and leaves her one last request. She is to take her grandmothers ashes to New Orleans, have them blessed by a Voodoo Priestess and spread them on Bear Bayou. Melody has lived her entire life in North Carolina with no awareness of her family history on the Bayou, the culture or practice of Voodoo or of any living relatives on the Bayou. What she finds is more than she bargained for and changes everything in her life forever.
This book is steeped in mystery, spirituality, lessons, love, loss and traditions. It makes you question your assessment of Voodoo and other religions and I kept wondering how much was fact and how much was fiction. It has led me on a quest for more information. And, Ive had a wonderful conversation with the author herself who I have found open and delightful to talk to. I have already questioned her about more books to come and as I had guessed, this is the first book in a series so look for more great reading to come.
I see that I still have not told you why this book affected me in such a way, and this I cannot answer. You must read it for yourself, and see if it reaches up for you. But beware; you may want to wait till Saturday morning to start it!


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Author: Junot Diaz
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 389
Review Date: 6/2/2009


I was very disappointed in this book. The language is foul, a lot of Spanish which I don't read or understand, and the subject matter is just not interesting to me. I made it 1/2 way through and put it down and I struggled to read that far. I just could not relate to the characters or their lives.


Carry the One
Carry the One
Author: Carol Anshaw
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.7/5 Stars.
 27
Review Date: 2/3/2014


I found this book to be rather shallow and the characters undeveloped. I could not finish it, I was just too bored.


A Change in Altitude
A Change in Altitude
Author: Anita Shreve
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 65
Review Date: 9/30/2009
Helpful Score: 4


All of us have defining moments in our lives, moments that can change the direction we are traveling in small or large ways. Sometimes we notice those moments and sometimes we don't. And sometimes those moments are so monumental, that they are almost impossible to find a way through them at all. This is the story that Anita Shreve has woven; one woman, one man, one moment and their struggle to find a way through that moment.

This is a quiet story, a tender story, a thoughtful story, not one to rush through. It will not keep you up at night to see who done it, but it will seep into your heart and you will remember those moments in your life that changed you, that turned your path.


Coming Together
Coming Together
Author: Joyce Norman and Joy Collins
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/25/2009


Daisy, an American documentary filmmaker and newly divorced, and Charlie, an American photographer, go to Brazil to film a documentary for a history professor who has written a book on Brazil and its people. Daisy decides to use a local Brazilian photographer to fill out her crew and meets Lois, who soon becomes her love interest. As they start filming Daisy finds that Rio is a beautiful city, full of lovely beaches, flowers, new buildings, and beautiful people. And when they visit Isabella who runs a private adoption agency in her home on the side of a mountain, Daisy meets her second love interest, Clay, a beautiful infant boy that needs a home.

But Daisy is soon to find out that Brazil has a dark side that will affect both her loves and her life. Things are not always the way they seem and the Brazilian government has little interest in its children, there are far too many orphans for them to care for. Can Daisy complete the filming, keep everyone safe and have the loves and life she wants?

From my point of view, this book was a surprise. I think I was expecting something a little different. Coming Together was more of a romance novel that was luckily very light on the sex scenes and more focused on the emotional lives of Daisy, Lois, Charlie and Isabella. It also delved into both the beauty and ugliness of Brazil. It was an easy and quick read that flowed well and kept moving at a good pace. I would recommend this for an easy afternoon at the beach or a nice day in the hammock.


Crafts Business Encyclopedia: Revised Edition
Crafts Business Encyclopedia: Revised Edition
Author: Michael Scott, Leonard D. Duboff
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/6/2009


The modern craftsperson's guide to marketing, management, and Money. Covers all the basics with a great detailed appendix.


Dragon House
Dragon House
Author: John Shors
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 10/23/2009
Helpful Score: 3


I first encountered John Shors when I read his novel Beneath a Marble Sky. This new novel, Dragon House, has stepped up John's impressive writing skills another notch. Dragon House is a love story; the love of a daughter for her father, a sister for her brother, a grandmother for her granddaughter and soldiers for their country. And it is a story of the courage it takes to follow your heart and protect the ones you love.

The Story: After Iris' father dies, she decides to go to Vietnam and complete his dream of opening a center for street children there even though he was absent for most of her life and she is still very angry. He was always trying to run from his demons and she felt from her. Iris' good friend Noah is just home from Iraq and running from demons of his own and agrees to go with Iris. What follows is a painful, slow process of acclimation to a new country, to finding out whom her father really was and if this is really what Iris wants to do. In the process Iris finds Mai and Minh, a brother and sister living under a bridge that are forced to work for an opium addict, Qui and Tam, a grandmother and granddaughter living on the streets and Sahn the beat cop and Vietnam veteran who hates Americans.

My Take: John Shors description of Vietnam, of Saigon and its people brought all my senses alive while reading. I could see and touch and smell the market and the city streets. I could hear the traffic noises and all the scooters zipping past. I could feel the touch of Mai as she brushed up against me and asked if I would like to buy a fan. And my heart went out to all the street children and all the empty stomachs and honest people that try every day to help. And I cried in anger at every crooked official and opium addict and street vendor that expected a bribe. And it brought back all the memories. I have been to these countries, I have seen these children, and I have held their hands and bought their fans and laughed with them and prayed for them. And all I can say is that John Shors has written an amazing book that I highly recommend.


Find Me (Kathleen Mallory, Bk 9) (aka Shark Music)
Find Me (Kathleen Mallory, Bk 9) (aka Shark Music)
Author: Carol O'Connell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 79
Review Date: 1/6/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Another great Carol O'Connell. I could not put this one down, read it in one day!! It was so good, I am ordering all her other books.


The Go-Getter: A Story That Tells You How To Be One
The Go-Getter: A Story That Tells You How To Be One
Author: Peter B. Kyne, Alan Axelrod
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 10
Review Date: 1/6/2009


Great fast read and surprise ending! I could read this over and over again and learn something new every time.


Golfing with God: A Novel of Heaven and Earth
Golfing with God: A Novel of Heaven and Earth
Author: Roland Merullo
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 11
Review Date: 8/21/2010


A good read but I think it would have been better had i been a golfer. There are just too many golfing references and much that I did not understand because of that. But I highly recommend it to all my golfing friends as a great book of inspiration and analogy.


Great American Quilts 1993
Great American Quilts 1993
Author: Sandra L. O'Brien (Editor)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 1/6/2009
Helpful Score: 1


25 beautiful bed quilts with instructions, yardage requirements and patterns as well as basic quilt design techniques. I have made several of the quilts myself and they are easy to follow patterns and have beautiful photography.


The Hand That First Held Mine
The Hand That First Held Mine
Author: Maggie O'Farrell
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 2/27/2010
Helpful Score: 2


I was very happy to receive an ARC of this book since I had just finished reading OFarrells first book. The mood of this book starts out dreamy and slow and almost made me feel drugged and slow as I met the two couples, one in the past and one in the future. I knew that they are somehow connected but had no idea how. The book slowly drew me in and started moving faster until the action was at breakneck speed. And at the end, I immediately wanted to start again to find all the hints that I missed, all the connections that were so skillfully hidden. Maggie OFarrell once again has merged past and present with her uncommon skills of pacing and movement.


The Help
The Help
Author: Kathryn Stockett
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 2454
Review Date: 12/3/2009
Helpful Score: 53


Wow, what a book. I am from the south, and I was 10 years old in 1963. I remember the Sears where my mother worked having a Colored and White Bathroom and a Colored and White water fountain. I remember the outside door at the theater that said colored and led to the balcony and our delight when they finally opened it up to everyone and we teenagers could sneak up there.

I was not one of the kids that had a full time maid or nanny that raised them, but I had friends that did. What this book did for me is fill in the gaps that I never knew. I saw what was going on, I heard it, but I never really understood it, and my parents were more like Skeeter, people were just people. Yes, we had a housekeeper that came once a week because my mother had to work full time. She cleaned our house, ate at our table, cooked our dinner that night and we visited her family at the holidays and took them a turkey at thanksgiving and wrapped presents at Christmas.

But I wonder now what else we did that I was not aware of. How did we treat her and others that was considered "normal" then? Were we guilty of the prejudice and segregation-ism that is portrayed in this book? I have to say probably because we were a product of our time. I can only say that I am no longer that product. Everyone should read this book. Everyone. It is so true, correct and real it could have been my town or any town in the south in 1963.


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