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Jo L. (PIZZELLEBFS) - Reviews

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Aunties : Our Older, Cooler, Wiser Friends
Aunties : Our Older, Cooler, Wiser Friends
Author: Tamara Traeder, Julienne Bennett
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 3/21/2009


From Amazon:

Related by blood or by choice, aunties are women who offer jolts of love and companionship, a listening ear, a big heart, splashes of humor and insight, and an entirely different way of viewing the world than that presented by parents. In Aunties, Tamara Traeder, the coauthor of Girlfriends, and Julienne Bennett dish up engaging stories of women who fit the bill and remembrances from their "nieces" young and old. An auntie may provide sanctuary, help celebrate a rite of passage, or point the way to the path less traveled. "You know, when she gets to be 16, she is going to run away from home," the mother of a 5-year-old tells her sister. "Anything I can do now to make sure she runs to your house, I really want to do." Eliza's aunts sewed her into a prom dress that lacked a zipper--possibly to ensure that she didn't wriggle out of it--then returned the next morning to clip their careful stitches and hear her news. Rhett, born in a small Southern American town that "no one ever left," remembers getting tantalizing gifts from an auntie who moved to the epicenter of cool in California just as the 1960s were heating up. Years later, Rhett moved there, too, and now mails her own trail of cookie crumbs to nieces being raised by far more conservative parents. An essentially sweet, lighthearted book, Aunties confers dignity on the meaningful role a caring woman can play in a child's life. --Francesca Coltrera


The Bachelor Club: The Rescue / Stealing Home / Right for Each Other / Joyful Noise
Review Date: 8/23/2006


From Amazon:

The game four young men started as children has turned into a competition to see who will wait the longest to get married-and collect a hefty chunk of invested money. Will Adam's penchant for rescuing lost strays put an end to his membership in the club? Can Will give up dating and hide from love on the baseball diamond? When challenged out of his circumstances by a pretty game show hostess, can Isaac free himself to live again? Will Joseph's lovely music teacher catch him in a web of deceit? Who will pick money over love?


Bad Blood
Bad Blood
Author: Lorna Sage
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 1/20/2007
Helpful Score: 2


From Amazon:

Nobody's unhappy family was ever quite like that of Lorna Sage, whose ruthlessly funny, excruciating, inspiring memoir Bad Blood won England's Whitbread Biography Award. She grew up in the '40s on the Welsh border, in the crossfire between her grandparents, a bitter, bibulous, bookish vicar resembling Jack Sprat and his short, "fat doll" of an ignorant wife. He preached earthy sermons about how one might prefer for a wife "Martha before dinner, Mary after dinner." His wife's "notion of marriage [was] that a man signed you up to have his wicked way with you and should spend the rest of his life paying through the nose." Grandma blackmailed the vicar with his diary of adultery, in which she scribbled vicious comments invaluable to the family historian. She gobbled sweets; he drank, fumed, and helped make Lorna Sage a noted literary critic. There is much more: the vicar's affair with his daughter's school chum, the cosmic impact of Bill Haley and his Comets, Lorna's precocious pregnancy, and the strange way lives ricochet and echo each other. Sage manages to give her rural upbringing a brooding Gothic poignance and the comic force of Cold Comfort Farm. She describes a moment after her grandfather's death in the vicarage, "where everything seemed to be wearing thin and getting see-through, as though a spell were dissolving." But the shades of her clan won't quite fade, and thanks to this book, they're here to stay.


Bat 21
Bat 21
Author: William C. Anderson
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 12/27/2005


Great non fiction book about Air Force Lt. Colonel Iceal Hambleton's ordeal in Vietnam. He'a alone and trapped 12 miles south of the DMZ along a main communist supply route.


Battlefield
Battlefield
Author: Peter Svenson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 7/31/2005


Farming on the site of the Battle of Cross Keys.


Battlefield-Farming a Civil War Battleground:
"This compelling memoir is by turns charming and chilling as the artist-author restores a forty-acre farm field and builds a house in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley...Fascinating." James M. McPherson

"Vivid...The chapters of warfare and farm work ultimately knit together; the reader's understanding of the forty acres makes the battle more comprehensible and and more terrible, and the battle's horrors render the current peaceful state of the land more precious." The New Yorker


Bellydancer: Stories
Bellydancer: Stories
Author: Sky Lee
Book Type: Paperback
  ?
Review Date: 6/15/2006


Reviewer Rita Wong says in Kinesis, "The trilogy of Bellydancer stories presents us with tough-talking, gritty women and men, who know poverty, tragedy and survival first hand. Women who, as one character states, 'are not supposed to live long enough to tell our stories.' The trilogy converges around the mesmerizing figure of Seni, and leads us to revisit 'Pompeii,' a story told by a woman named Dance of the Eternal Spirit. She states, 'I alone, it seems, have chosen not to live in the atrium of my master's house. I don't know if this makes them afraid for me, or afraid of me.' Read together, the bellydancing stories call forth the imperative of our legendary foremothers."


Biting the Moon
Biting the Moon
Author: Martha Grimes
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 33
Review Date: 1/3/2006


Not the usual Grimes book, but I liked it a lot!


She didn't know who she was-or where she came from. But one morning she awoke in a strange bed and breakfast with a message that her 'daddy' would soon return from Santa Fe. Fearing the worst, this nameless young woman disappeared into the wilderness. She christened herself Andi Oliver, from the initials o her packpack, and lived in the mountains, utterly alone. Until she met Mary Dark Hope, a girl who shared her lonliness and confusion. Together, they vowed to track down the one person who held the key to Andi's identity -- the stranger who abducted her.


The Black and Tans
The Black and Tans
Author: Richard Bennett
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 1/17/2010


Although they were only a small proportion of British forces in Ireland, they were the toughest, wildest, & most feared. Sent by Lloyd George's Coalition Cabinet in March of 1920 to make the country "a hell for rebels to live in," they knew and cared nothing about Ireland. They murdered innocent civilians and looted all over the south and west of Ireland. So brutal was their behavior that the Irish named them after a famous pack of wild dogs in Limerick. By July of 1921 they had accomplished their mission so well that they united not only Irish but British public opinion against the government, undermined the coalition, and dealt the Liberal Party a blow from which it never recovered. Here is an account of an ugly and harrowing time in Anglo-Irish history--a time the English struggle to forget and the Irish can't help but remember.


The Black Angel (Charlie Parker, Bk 5)
The Black Angel (Charlie Parker, Bk 5)
Author: John Connolly
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 93
Review Date: 6/15/2006


In the fifth Charlie Parker novel, the private investigator, recently remarried (after the murders of his wife and child), has been trying to pull his life back together. But when his partner's cousin goes missing, Parker can't avoid getting back in the game. And when he realizes the young woman's disappearance is connected to an older, darker mystery, he once again is forced to risk life and sanity in a desperate good-versus-evil battle. Connolly, who resides in Ireland but writes about the U.S. like he's lived there all his life, once again blends the -private-eye novel and the supernatural thriller in a way that's altogether unique. Parker himself, one of the genre's more disturbed heroes, is a complex creation whose depths have still, even through five novels, been barely explored. The Charlie Parker novels are not for everyone (especially those who like their private-eye yarns unencumbered by philosophical or theological overtones), but Connolly has been building a cadre of devoted fans who clamor for his edgy take on the genre. David Pitt


The Black Shrouds (Rue Morgue Vintage Mystery)
The Black Shrouds (Rue Morgue Vintage Mystery)
Author: Constance Little, Gwenyth Little
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/12/2006


From the back of the book:


When Diana Prescott runs away from home and a domineering father to become an actress in New York City, she little suspects that she'll soon become involved in the murder of two old maids at a boarding house full of eccentric characters...

This is an early book in a 'delightful series of books.. set in the '30's and '40's... that never ceases to entertain with witty dialogue and marvelous characters." --Barbara Douglas and Martha Farrington of Houston's Murder by the Book quoted in the Autumn mystery issue of Book Sense.


Blackie and Red
Blackie and Red
Author: Max Brand
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 6/27/2007


From Amazon:

Blackie and Red, a pair of ten-year-old orphans, have a common goal. They want to be able to fight each other to the finish and at last prove who is the better man. This constant feuding has caused them much grief at the orphanage, so they decide to run away. They are rescued from the wild (and each other) by Andy Connell. Connell has seen the two boys fight. From the beginning he sees that Blackie is not hindered by a sense of fair play; however, Red is by nature honest and open. Connell is a prospector who has not yet found his fortune; his greatest challenge is in getting his wife to accept the young orphans.


Blind Pursuit
Blind Pursuit
Author: Brian Harper
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 6/15/2006


Erin Reilly is woken in the middle of the night by her sister's voice pleading for help over her intercom system. Annie, however, was not waiting for Erin. Rather, it was a killer. A man who wanted nothing but to kill Erin and her sister. The man had a tendency to burn his victims, and Erin feared fire. Her job was to "cure" the killer of his disease, or wanting to kill women. If she was unsuccessful, she would die. All the while, Annie is trying to convince the police to help her sister. But they refuse, so Annie breaks in on her own, and tries to save her sister....


Blood Memory
Blood Memory
Author: Greg Iles
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 2/15/2006


Iles's previous thriller, 2003's provocative The Footprints of God, featured an omnipotent supercomputer and an on-the-run duo racing around the globe from North Carolina to Jerusalem. This time, Iles returns to more familiar ground: Natchez, Miss.; New Orleans; and the Mississippi delta, where a serial predator has been killing middle-aged men. Forensic odontologist Cat Ferry, an expert on teeth and the damage they can inflict, is called in by the New Orleans PD to explain the bite marks found on the bodies. Cat, the alcoholic granddaughter of Dr. William Kirkland, owner of the sprawling Malmaison estate and the richest, most powerful man in Natchez, has solved previous murders with her married detective lover, Sean Regan. This time, though, she's pregnant with Sean's baby, and this plus the discovery of old bloody footprints hidden in the carpet fibers of her Malmaison childhood bedroom threaten to plummet her into the depression that's plagued her since she was 15. She thinks one footprint might be hers, made on the night her father died of an ill-explained gunshot wound. Iles weaves in dark strains of child sexual abuse and the resulting repressed memories as Cat searches for the serial killer and for answers about her father's death. This overlong novel lacks the scintillating originality that made Iles's last outing so memorable, but he ties up all the loose ends in an exciting climax.


The Boat
The Boat
Author: Lothar-Gunther Buchheim
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 12/3/2006


A more familiar title may be Das Boot.

From Amazon:

The thrilling wartime novel that inspired Wolfgang Petersen's Academy Award-nominated, blockbuster film! Written by an actual survivor of Germany's U-boat fleet, Das Boot is one of the most exciting stories of naval warfare ever published, a tale filled with almost unbearable tension and suspense. In autumn 1941, a German U-boat commander and his crew set out on yet another hazardous patrol in the Battle of the Atlantic. Over the coming weeks they brave the ocean's stormy waters and seek out British supply ships to destroy. But their targets travel in well-guarded convoys. When contact finally occurs, the hunter quickly becomes the hunted, and a cat-and-mouse game begins as the U-boat hides deep beneath the surface of the sea. Soon, claustrophobia becomes an enemy almost as frightening as the depth charges exploding around them. The release of this supremely gripping, merciless intense story commemorates the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.


Body Heat (O'Roarkes, Bk 1)
Body Heat (O'Roarkes, Bk 1)
Author: Katherine Garbera
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 66
Review Date: 3/31/2007


Andi ORourke is a fire chief and a darned good one-one of only a handful of women in the U.S. to make it. Raised in a family of firefighters, she's a natural, barking out orders and keeping her guys safe at the same time; and her big, tough guys respect her, treating her just like one of them. Away from her job, though, Andi doesnt have a clue how to handle herself with men. Thats why arson investigator Tucker Fields is so dangerous and so tempting. Tucker is no slap-you-on-the-back kind of guy; hes all man. A man who makes Andi feel sexy, alive, desired.

Tucker likes what he sees in Andi. He loves her passion. Her strength. That sizzling sexuality she tries to hide. He sees the ribbing she takes from the guys if she even puts on lipstick. To prove herself in a mans world, Andi has had to fight being a woman. But she's not the only one who knows how to give orders. As they spend days and nights on his investigation, Tuckers determined to start a fire of a different kind, releasing Andi's every inhibition and enticing her into losing all control as he shows her just how delicious being a woman can beand how good love can feel.


Bones To Pick (Sarah Booth Delaney, Bk 6)
Bones To Pick (Sarah Booth Delaney, Bk 6)
Author: Carolyn Haines
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 81
Review Date: 5/1/2009


From Amazon:

Wickedly witty and full of more dirt than a debutante's diary, the mysteries of Carolyn Haines bring the southern Delta to roaring, rollicking life...

Intrepid P.I. Sarah Booth Delaney has been known to single-handedly save her family's Mississippi plantation, converse with Dahlia House's ghost, and capture a killer or two. But when a local girl is found dead in a cotton field, it's enough to make a lady toss back a Bloody Mary before noon on Sunday.

Someone held twenty-three-year-old Quentin McGee's face down in the rich Southern soil until she suffocated. The lawmen think Quentin's lover killed her. When the suspect's brother hires Sarah to prove his sibling innocent, Sarah quickly learns that the victim had plenty of wealthy, powerful enemies. Each had a bone to pick with Quentin for writing a scandalous exposé on her hometown. Adding spice to the gumbo is the news that Quentin was due to inherit the family fortune the day after she was killed...and that a second book was in the works. From illicit lovers and outraged families to slandered aristocrats, everyone is a suspect--and no one is safe...


Bottom Liner Blues: A Mario Balzic Novel
Bottom Liner Blues: A Mario Balzic Novel
Author: K. C. Constantine
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 12/15/2007


From fantasticfiction.com:

Hard times have forced police chief Mario Balzic to patrol the streets. And nothing could prepare him for the strange call from a woman who wants Balzic to stop her husband from attacking a trucker--or for the eccentric writer who plans to take Balzic hostage in a deadly game.


Bread and Rice : An American Woman's Fight to Survive in the Jungles and Prison Camps of the WWII Philippines
Review Date: 2/24/2007


Shortly after the war in the Pacific broke out in December 1941, the author and her husband stashed supplies to last them six months into three suitcases, and headed into the choking bamboo jungles outside Luzon.

For a year and a half, they lived from day to day, hiding among the little-known mountain people who sheltered and helped them in their grim struggle for existence. Always just a step ahead of the Japanese army, they were forced to move constantly—a week here, a month there. The refugees faced monsoon rains and the fear of malaria; they lived on dwindling stores of food; traded even their most precious possessions with loyal Filipino villagers who wouldn’t betray their hideout—and a few who were not so trustworthy—and assisted the bands of young guerrillas whenever possible.

Macauley’s narrative is rich in characterization: Spalding, the American weakling who shared a part of the journey before surrendering to the Japanese; Placido, the always-opportunistic head of his tribe, who nonetheless protected the refugees and provided them with a home; and especially Fabian, the simple and courageous tao, who time and again risked his own life to help the Americans, until finally they were faced with the choice to surrender to the Japanese or see all of Fabian’s family killed. What followed were the horrifying weeks in primitive Japanese prisons until finally they were taken to the internment camp at Santo Tomas, and, later, Los Banos.

Bread and Rice is a young woman’s stirring memoir, written with profound depth and immediacy, of those grueling, terrifying days on the run.


Buckskin Run
Buckskin Run
Author: Louis L'Amour
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 8/26/2005


From Amazon:

"In this unique collection of tales, Louis L'Amour captures the frontier experience as it lives forever in the American imagination.

A young woman heads west to marry, only to find her intended fiancé the subject of dark rumors...."


Vowing to stay out of trouble, a young cowhand rides to get some calico for his girlfriend's new dress. But trouble finds him when he runs afoul of two men, one of whom is a vicious murderer....


By Firelight
By Firelight
Author: Edith Pargeter
Book Type: Paperback
  ?
Review Date: 11/9/2009


From Amazon:

Pargeter (aka Ellis Peters) relates the story, originally published in 1948, of a widowed writer who moves to an old village schoolhouse where she finds herself haunted by visions of a witch hunt.


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