Karen B. - , - Reviews

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Ahab's Wife: Or, The Star-gazer: A Novel (P.S.)
Ahab's Wife: Or, The Star-gazer: A Novel (P.S.)
Author: Sena Jeter Naslund
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 9/10/2011


A complex and multi-layered story that kept me reading greedily until the final page. Naslund imagines the woman who would marry Moby Dick's Ahab, and gives her a lively history that outshines that of the captain himself. The rich historical detail and honest characters gave the novel great depth.

We meet the title character as a young girl and follow her through her life on the frontier, at a lighthouse keeper's cottage, on a whaling ship and as the wife of the venerable Ahab, but that marriage is only a small part of the story.

The moment I finished the book I wanted to read everything else Naslund had written.


The Book of Ruth
The Book of Ruth
Author: Jane Hamilton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 589
Review Date: 4/2/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Well written but depressing. From the back cover:
- "A sly and wistful, if harrowing, human comedy. Hamilton is a new and original voice in fiction and one well worth listening to."
Boston Sunday Globe
- "Ms. Hamilton gives Ruth a humble dignity and allows her hope - but it's not a heavenly hope. It's a common one, caked with mud and held with gritted teeth. And it's probably the only one that's worth reading about." New York Times Book Review
- "Hamilton's story builds to a shocking crescendo. Her small-town characters are as appealingly offbeat and brushed with grace as any found in Alice Hoffman's or Anne Tyler's novels." Glamour
- "Jame Hamilton's novel is authentically Dickensian...The real achivement of this first novel is not so much the blackness as the suggestion of resilience. At the end, Ruth begins to put together her shattered body, pirit and life. Her words are awkward, as they have been all along, but suddenly and unexpectedly they shine." Los Angeles Times
- "A disturbing and beautiful book." Hilma Wolitzer


The Courtesan (Dark Queen, Bk 2)
The Courtesan (Dark Queen, Bk 2)
Author: Susan Carroll
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 122
Review Date: 5/7/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Couldn't even make it to 100 pages. More romance than historic novel - not my cup of tea. These things should be required to have pink and purple covers and pictures of Fabio to alert the masses. ;- )


Darcy & Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberley
Darcy & Elizabeth: Nights and Days at Pemberley
Author: Linda Berdoll
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.9/5 Stars.
 99
Review Date: 4/25/2011


Jane Austen lovers simply don't want the stories to end. Unfortunately, wexcept for the factthat the characters have teh same names, Linda Berdoll's series is not true to the originals. A waste of valuable reading time!


Darcy's Story
Darcy's Story
Author: Janet Aylmer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 191
Review Date: 4/25/2011


A slog. I found I really didn't care about Mr. Darcy's side of the story. And this was only volume one.


The Dirty, Filthy, Disgusting Joke Book
The Dirty, Filthy, Disgusting Joke Book
Author: Milt Rosen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 0.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/20/2009


This book is from another era. My husband, with his 4th grade humor, chuckled a bit, bt I found the joke offensive. They were not the least bit "dirty" but today's standars - the jokes with sexual connotations were more quaint than disgusting. What offended me was the sexist, ethnic, racial "humor" that makes me wonder how anyone could ever have thought this stuff was funny. I will not be passing it along.


Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Author: Tom Robbins
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 61
Review Date: 5/5/2007


Still funny after all these years.


Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, Bk 3)
Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, Bk 3)
Author: Tana French
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 93
Review Date: 5/18/2012


Another winner form Tana French. I loved the complex family and childhood relationships tied in to the murder mystery. And I love spending virtual time in Dublin.


Foggy Mountain Breakdown and Other Stories
Foggy Mountain Breakdown and Other Stories
Author: Sharyn McCrumb
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 39
Review Date: 3/31/2007


I love McCrumb's Appalachian series. This book of short stories is a great complement to her novels, and some of my favorite characters appear in the stories.


Howards End and a Room With a View
Howards End and a Room With a View
Author: E. M. Forster
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 5/6/2007


Two classics in one handy paperback.


In the Company of the Courtesan
In the Company of the Courtesan
Author: Sarah Dunant
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 231
Review Date: 4/18/2007


The life of a courtesan and her majordomo, a dwarf, in 15th Century Venice. Very enjoyable.


Life of Pi
Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3371
Review Date: 5/6/2007


Once I picked up this book I couldn't stop reading until I'd finished it.


Little Bee (aka The Other Hand)
Little Bee (aka The Other Hand)
Author: Chris Cleave
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 828
Review Date: 5/23/2011


Uplifting is not a word I'd use to describe this book. I did like the character of Little Bee very much - she was a complicated and fascinating person, very multidimensional. I wanted to smack Sarah and scream, "Life is not that ****ing hard, lady!"


Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery
Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery
Author: Robert Kolker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 5/14/2014


This is a well written and riveting true story without any happy endings. I chose it out of prurient interest because I'm about to live in the community where at least one of the victims died, but found it to be a fascinating study of human interaction and a nail-biting thriller that I'd recommend to anyone with an interest in true detective stories and in the human condition. The moment I finished it my husband picked it up (his reading is usually confined to engineering texts) and he hasn't been able to put it down.


Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues
Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife: Pride and Prejudice Continues
Author: Linda Berdoll
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 267
Review Date: 4/25/2011


Miss Austen would not be amused. Neither was I.


Mr. Darcy's Daughters
Mr. Darcy's Daughters
Author: Elizabeth Aston
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 186
Review Date: 4/25/2011


A charming and well-written continuation of the Austen story. I was delighted to find this series, and have continued to enjoy the succeeding books.


The Nebula Awards No. 18
The Nebula Awards No. 18
Author: Robert Silverberg
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 5/6/2007


stories by Michael Bishop; John Kessel; Connie Willis (2 from my favorite sc-fi author!); William Gibson; Barry Malzberg; Robert Silverberg; and Bruce Sterling, among others.


Proven Guilty (Dresden Files, Bk 8)
Proven Guilty (Dresden Files, Bk 8)
Author: Jim Butcher
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 321
Review Date: 3/31/2007
Helpful Score: 1


If you're a fan of the Dresden Files I don't have to tell you that the books keep getting better and better. I love the character development and the way Jim Butcher lends a genuine human element even to his inhuman cast. If you're coming to the books form the new SciFi TV series you're in luck. This is SOOOO much better!


Scarpetta (Kay Scarpetta, Bk 16)
Scarpetta (Kay Scarpetta, Bk 16)
Author: Patricia Cornwell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 253
Review Date: 12/19/2009
Helpful Score: 1


I just finished reading Book of the Dead and Scarpetta in quick succession after taking a few years off from the series. This time around I found Kay's holier-than-thou attitude grating. For me this series has run its course. Still an interesting read as a forsensic mystery, but too easy to figure out whodunit. For this reader 16 was more than enough.


Sense and Sensibility
Sense and Sensibility
Author: Jane Austen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 108
Review Date: 5/5/2007


Austen is a genius. This was my intro to her writing, and I loved it so much I went out and bought all her other books before I'd even finished it.


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