Monday, December 29, 2008
1. The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan review here
2. The Shepherd of the Hills by Harold Bell Wright review here
3. Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith review here
4. Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich review here
5. Moon Pies and Movie Stars by Amy Wallen review here
6. Stop Dressing Your 6 Year Old Like a Skank by Celia Rivenbark review here
7. Light From Heaven by Jan Karon review here
Books I didn't like so much:
1. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde review here
2. Blood of Paradise by David Corbett review here
3. The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon review
4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky review
I hesitated to put those two classics on the "Did Not Like" list for fear of being branded unsophisticated. However on my sidebar I have the Readers Rights posted and they state that I don't have to justify my reading tastes.I read some great cozy mysteries, wonderful sci fi/fantasy, blood curdling thrillers and horror, and some very funny books! I enjoyed several non fiction books (which I hardly ever read.) All in all it was a great reading year for me!
Saturday, December 27, 2008
My Thoughts: This was a good mystery, it suprised me at the end!
Monday, December 22, 2008
Although Barry retired his column in 2004, he continues to examine current events with his annual "Year in Review" surveys, and the ones he wrote between 2000 and 2006 are collected here. He opens with a 33-page outline of history (from 1000 to 1999) in which we learn that the first book Gutenberg mass produced in 1455 was Codpieces of Passion by Danielle Steel, and that computer pioneer Charles Babbage "died in 1871, still waiting to talk to someone from Technical Support." In 2002, airline industry losses prompted "America West, in a cost-cutting measure, to eliminate the cockpit minibar"; 2003: Jayson Blair, leaving the New York Times"thoroughly disgraced, is forced to accept a six-figure book contract"; 2004: Abu Ghraib photos revealed "soldiers repeatedly forcing prisoners to look at the video of Janet Jackson's right nipple"; 2006: Osama bin Laden released "another audiotape, for the first time making it downloadable from iTunes." As a time line of humor, some of Barry's jokes were probably funnier the year they were written, but it's still a breezy and entertaining read.
My Thoughts: I LOVE Dave Barry's writing. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist, and he deserves the award. If you have ever read his year in review you know what this book is about. If you have never read it you have missed a treat.
Yorkshire Terriers For Dummies is for you if you’re thinking about getting a puppy or adult Yorkie and want to know the best way to take care of this perky little pet. This guide gives you the straight facts on everything you need to know about the health and well being of your Yorkie.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
My Thoughts: I love all books Evanovich and I wouldn't have wanted to miss this one. If you want to know what happened to the rooster You'll have to read it. I'll have to admit, I was a tad dissapointed at the end (of the rooster), but still the book was a cute quick read.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Trying to make coffee when the water is shut off, David considers using the water in a vase of flowers and his chain of associations takes him from the French countryside to a hilariously uncomfortable memory of buying drugs in a mobile home in rural North Carolina. In essay after essay, Sedaris proceeds from bizarre conundrums of daily life — having a lozenge fall from your mouth into the lap of a fellow passenger on a plane or armoring the windows with LP covers to protect the house from neurotic songbirds — to the most deeply resonant human truths.
Culminating in a brilliant account of his venture to Tokyo in order to quit smoking, David Sedaris's sixth essay collection is a new masterpiece of comic writing from "a writer worth treasuring" (Seattle Times).
Saturday, November 29, 2008
My Thoughts: I loved it. The humor Dickens showed in his prose is wonderful. He managed to bring us well rounded characters in a short story. This story shows beautifully the true meanings of family, friends and Christmas which now are sometimes lost now. Read it if you haven't already.
As Hallward tries to make sense of his creation, his epigram-happy friend Lord Henry Wotton encourages Dorian in his sensual quest with any number of Wildean paradoxes, including the delightful "When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy." My Thoughts: I know this is a great classic, but I had a hard time getting through it. I found the characters shallow.
Friday, November 28, 2008
My Thoughts: This is one of the books I read each year at Thanksgiving time to my class. I enjoy the different view it presents. The kiddios enjoy looking up Plymouth Rock on the computer and seeing pictures of it after reading this.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
William and Annie’s unexpected savior comes in the form of an old-school rancher teetering on the brink of foreclosure. But as one man against four who will stop at nothing to silence their witnesses, Jess Rawlins needs allies, and he knows that one word to the wrong person could seal the fate of the children or their mother. In a town where most of the ranches like his have turned into acres of ranchettes populated by strangers, finding someone to trust won’t be easy.
With true-to-life, unforgettable characters and a ticking clock plot that spans just over 48 hours in real time, C.J. Box has created a thriller that delves into issues close to the heart: the ruthless power of greed over broken ideals, the healing power of community where unlikely heroes find themselves at the crossroads of duty and courage, and the truth about what constitutes a family. In a setting whose awesome beauty is threatened by those who want a piece of it, BLUE HEAVEN delivers twists and turns until its last breathtaking page.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Gaius Petrius Ruso is a divorced and down-on his luck army doctor who has made the rash decision to seek his fortune in an inclement outpost of the Roman Empire, namely Britannia. His arrival in Deva (more commonly known as Chester, England) does little to improve his mood, and after a straight thirty six hour shift at the army hospital, he succumbs to a moment of weakness and rescues an injured slave girl, Tilla, from the hands of her abusive owner.Now he has a new problem: a slave who won’t talk and can’t cook, and drags trouble in her wake. Before he knows it, Ruso is caught in the middle of an investigation into the deaths of prostitutes working out of the local bar. A few years earlier, after he rescued Emperor Trajan from an earthquake in Antioch, Ruso seemed headed for glory: now he’s living among heathens in a vermin-infested bachelor pad and must summon all his forensic knowledge to find a killer who may be after him next.Who are the true barbarians, the conquered or the conquerors? It’s up to Ruso—certainly the most likeable sleuth to come out of the Roman Empire—to discover the truth. With a gift for comic timing and historic detail, Ruth Downie has conjured an ancient world as raucous and real as our own.
My Thoughts: This story is not heavy on the historical background - the main characters seem very modern in their thoughts and actions. I found it quite funny in places. Ruso is a most attractive and sympathetic character, as is the slave girl Tilla. You won't learn a lot about life in the Roman Empire, but you'll enjoy this story.
From the back: Mrs. Jane Tabby can't explain why her four precious kittens were born with wings, but she's grateful that they are able to use their flying skills to soar away from the dangerous city slums where they were born. However, once the kittens escape the big city, they learn that country life can be just as difficult!
My Thoughts: I read this little book to my kids almost every year. it always catches their imagination. they can't wait to read the next chapter. I love it myself!
The overwhelming sense of doom with which Little (The Revelation) imbues his newest novel is so palpable it seems to rise from the book like mist. Flowing seamlessly between time and place (from the present-day hassles of HMOs to the once-uncharted territory of the American West), the Bram Stoker Award- winning author's ability to transfix his audience while relinquishing scant details about the foreboding evil is superb. Private investigator Miles Huerdeen is on a mission to find a link between the victims in a bizarre nationwide string of deaths dating back decades, his own recurring nightmares and an elderly client's prophetic handwritten list of dead men's names. Miles's world is suddenly turned upside down when he discovers his own father--who suffered a fatal stroke--purposefully striding around his bedroom, naked except for a pair of cowboy boots, having scared off his "God-Fearing Christian" nurse. Miles's obsession with his father's transformation into a zombie leads him to the families of other dead "walkers" and on a supernatural journey into the Arizona desert. Readers will gladly suspend disbelief for Little's deft touch for the terrifying, as he slowly reveals a shocking connection between the mindless army of reanimated corpses and their ultimate destination, Wolf Canyon, formerly a government-sponsored witch colony, where a vengeful resident's evil powers have yet to be fully unleashed. If booksellers are on their toes, they'll tell readers that Stephen King, a big fan of Little's work, was reading another book by this author at the time of his infamous accident. This novel has the potential to be a major sleeper in the horror category.
From the Back:
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
How did life become so complicated? One minute I'm dating the hottest man in Dallas and the next I'm back in Cedar Dell, Texas, surrounded by grannies, gossip, and green bean casserole -- and helping my dad recuperate from a car accident. Did I happen to mention that I caused a scandal in town when I got pregnant at seventeen? No one has ever forgiven me -- not my hard-hearted father, my brother Mr. Perfect, or my pregnant-for-the-first-time-at-forty sister who's gone totally hormonal.
As if this weren't enough, who should also be back in town but Max Cooper, the former high school football star, who is my teenage son's father. And now he wants to date me?!
Who ever thought that so many new horizons and second chances would open for me during one long, hot Texas summer?
My Thoughts: This was a fun read, with great characters. I truley enjoyed it. However I was a little unhappy with Max, the father of Kate's son. He came off as a real heel. I guess he cleaned up good at the end, but still..... I was also unsatisfied with Kate's father. But don't let these negatives put you off, go read it!
From the oldest known court transcripts in history, Egyptologists have long known about the mysterious death of Ramses III, involving intrigue, ambition, greed, and crimes of passion on a huge, though hidden, scale. In Year of the Hyenas, Brad Geagley takes this event -- a struggle that nearly brought ancient Egypt to its knees -- as the backdrop for a story that is every bit as captivating as the distant civilization it resurrects.
At the heart of the novel is Semerket, the so-called Clerk of Investigations and Secrets, a detective half-paralyzed by problems of his own, with a reputation for heavy drinking and tactless behavior toward the great, the powerful, and the holy, a kind of Sam Spade of the ancient world, deeply (and dangerously) addicted to the truth. Hard-bitten, deeply flawed, he is retained by the authorities to investigate what is considered an insignificant murder of an elderly, insignificant Theban priestess. They fail to inform him, however, that they don't expect him to solve the case. In fact, they don't want him to.
My Thoughts: I found this to be another exciting and fast paced Sano Ichiro mystery novel! If you're looking for a good historical mystery novel that will keep you at the edge of your seat, you need not look any further than this book. I enjoyed the sence of history and place.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place-he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their timely ghostly teachings. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are things like ghouls that aren't really one thing or the other.
This chilling tale is Neil Gaiman's first full-length novel for middle-grade readers since the internationally bestselling and universally acclaimed Coraline. Like Coraline, this book is sure to enchant and surprise young readers as well as Neil Gaiman's legion of adult fans.
My thoughts: I love cozy mysteries and these Biggie books are among my favorites. Even though Job's Crossing is a fictional town, the stories take place in east Texas - where I live! This was an easy comfortable read, a visit with old friends Biggie and JR.
On her tail are three very different detectives - one woman, two men. Two at the beginning of their careers; one staking a lifetime's experience on tracking Witch down, following a hunch to the end.
Dominic Elder's hunch takes him from England to Europe and back, but the clues that solve the biggest crimes, dig out the deepest secrets, are often the smallest ones - ones that only the junior sleuths, fresh out of spy school, pick up. But will he listen?
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Got this from J.Kaye’s Book Blog.
Here are the rules: Bold what you've read, italicize what you own, star* books on your TBR list!
1 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J.K. Rowling
2 Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution - Robert C. Atkins
3 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling
6 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
7 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling
8 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling
9 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling
10 Who Moved My Cheese? - Spencer Johnson
11 The South Beach Diet - Arthur Agatston
12 *Tuesdays With Morrie - Mitch Albom
13 Angels & Demons - Dan Brown
14 What to Expect When You're Expecting - Murkoff, etal.
15 *The Purpose-Driven Life - Rick Warren
16 The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
17* The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey
18 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
19 Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - John Gray
20 The Secret - Rhonda Byrne
21 Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert T. Kiyosaki
22 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
23 Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - and It's All Small Stuff - Richard Carlson
24 The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
25 Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
26 Twilight - Stephenie Meyer
27 The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks
28 The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards
29 The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
30 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
31 A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle
32 Oh, the Places You'll Go! - Dr. Seuss
33 The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
34 Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt
35 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
36 Body-for-Life - Bill Phillips, Michael D’Orso
37 New Moon - Stephenie Meyer
38 Night - Elie Wiese
l39 Chicken Soup for the Soul - Jack Canfield, etal.
40 The Greatest Generation - Tom Brokaw
41 Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer
42 The Celestine Prophecy - James Redfield
43 Wicked - Gregory Maguire
44 Good to Great - Jim Collins
45 Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer
46 Eragon - Christopher Paolini
47 Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood - Rebecca Wells
48 *Your Best Life Now - Joel Osteen
49 In the Kitchen With Rosie - Rosie Daley
50 Simple Abundance - Sarah Ban Breathnach
51 A Child Called It - Dave Pelzer
52 A Million Little Pieces - James Frey
53 The Testament - John Grisham
54 Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul - Jack Canfield, etal.
55 Deception Point - Dan Brown
56 *The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
57*Marley & Me - John Grogan
58 Dr. Atkins' New Carbohydrate Gram Counter - Robert C. Atkins
59 *Life of Pi - Yann Martel
60 The Brethren - John Grisham
61 The South Beach Diet Good Fats Good Carbs Guide - Arthur Agatston
62 The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town - John Grisham
63 For One More Day - Mitch Albom
64 The Polar Express - Chris Van Allsburg
65 *The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
66 The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow
67 What to Expect the First Year - Arlene Eisenberg, etal.
68 Love You Forever - Robert Munsch
69 Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Seuss
70 A Painted House - John Grisham
71 The Rainmaker - John Grisham
72 *Skipping Christmas - John Grisham
73* Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier
74 The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
75 Life Strategies - Phillip C. McGraw
76 Seabiscuit: An American Legend - Laura Hillenbrand
77 The Summons - John Grisham
78 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt
79 The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
80 The Runaway Jury - John Grisham
81 Goodnight Moon - Margaret Wise Brown
82 The Perfect Storm - Sebastian Junger
83 *Snow Falling on Cedars - David Guterson
84 *The Giver - Lois Lowry
85 Embraced by the Light - Betty J. Eadie
86 The Chamber - John Grisham
87 You: On A Diet - Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz
88 The Prayer of Jabez - Bruce Wilkinson
89 Holes - Louis Sachar
90 Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
91 The Shack - William P. Young
92 The Devil Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger
93 *Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
94 A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
95 The Seat of the Soul - Gary Zukav
96 Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul - Jack Canfield, etal.
97 The Partner - John Grisham
98 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
99 Eldest: Inheritance, Book II - Christopher Paolini
100 The Broker - John Grisham
101 The Street Lawyer - John Grisham
102 A Series of Unfortunate Events - Lemony Snicket
103 *The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
104 Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer
105 The King of Torts - John Grisham
106 The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell
107 The Horse Whisperer - Nicholas Evans
108 Hannibal - Thomas Harris
109 The Audacity of Hope - Barack Obama
110 Running With Scissors - Augusten Burroughs
111 The Glass Castle: A Memoir - Jeannette Walls
112 My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
113 The Last Juror - John Grisham
114 The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson
115 Left Behind - Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins
116 America (The Book) - Jon Stewart
117 The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
118 John Adams - David McCullough
119 The Christmas Box - Richard Paul Evans
120 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants - Ann Brashares
121 Sugar Busters! - Leighton Steward, etal.
122 Blink - Malcolm Gladwell
123 The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle
124 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life - Don Piper
125 The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien
126 *1776 - David McCullough
127 The Bridges of Madison County - Robert James Waller
128 Where the Heart Is - Billie Letts
129 The Ultimate Weight Solution - Phillip C. McGraw
130 Protein Power - Mr. & Mra. Michael R. Eades
131 Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul - Jack Canfield, etal.
132 Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer
133 Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
134 *Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin
135 You: The Owner's Manual - Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz
136 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler’s Life List - Patricia Schultz
137 Self Matters - Phillip C. McGraw
138 She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb
139 1984 - George Orwell
140 The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
141 The Millionaire Next Door - Thomas J. Stanley
142 The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory
143 The Zone - Barry Sears, Bill Lawren
144* The Pilot's Wife - Anita Shreve
145 The Lost World - Michael Crichton
146 *Atonement - Ian McEwan
147 He's Just Not That Into You - Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo
148 Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
149 The World Is Flat - Thomas L. Friedman
150 Cross - James Patterson
Look at all the Grishams! I also see a lot of weight loss - which I’ve read - and business books. I can tell by this list that I'm not reading as many new Oprah books, either. Which ones have you read? Any on your TBR pile?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
When Pete the Barncat offers to trade good, juicy steak scraps for a couple of old corncobs, Hank the Cowdog smells a rat. Why would Pete want to trade -- unless the cobs are worth a fortune? So, armed with his Incredible Priceless Corncobs, Hank sets out to plan his Early Retirement. But retirement and the life of luxury don't come as easily as Hank expects. It seems as though everyone is after his treasure -- even his faithful sidekick, Drover! Can Hank save his fortune without losing his friends, or will he have to give up his riches for the sake of the ranch?
My thoughts: What a hoot! I read one or two Hank the Cowdog books to my class every year. This is the first one of this school year. The class enjoyed it and so did I. The laugh out loud moments are priceless! That Pete the Barn Cat is one sneaky cat.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Monday, September 1, 2008
On a century-old valley farm where Father Tim and Cynthia are house sitting, there’s plenty to say grace over, from the havoc of a windstorm to a surprising new addition to the household and a mystery in the chicken house.
It’s life on the mountaintop, however, that promises to give Father Tim the definitive challenge of his long priesthood. Can he step up to the plate and revive a remote, long-empty mountain church, asap? Light from Heaven is filled with characters old and new and with answers to all the questions that Karon fans have asked since the series began nearly a decade ago.
My thoughts: I love these books, they are simple and sweet with lots of good people (with all their quirks), plenty of laughs and much love. Life is good in Mitford and I would love to live there! I haven't read these in order and have still enjoyed them immensely, but it would have been better in order.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
But in this society, millions do live in fear ... of the State. Defending the system from its citizens is the MGB, the State Security Force. And no MGB officer is more courageous or idealistic than Leo Demidov whose only ambition has been to serve his country.
Then the impossible happens. A different kind of criminal - a murderer - is on the loose, killing children at will. At the same time, Leo finds himself demoted and denounced by his enemies, and every belief he's ever held shattered. The only way to save his life and the lives of his family is to uncover the criminal. But in a society that is officially paradise, its a crime against the State to suggest that a murderer - much less a serial killer - is in their midst. Exiled from his home, with only his wife remaining at his side, Leo must find and stop a criminal that the State won't admit even exists."
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
From Janet Evanovich: "In a previous life, before the time of Plum, I wrote twelve short romance novels. Red-hot screwball comedies, each and every one of them. Nine of these stories were originally published by the Loveswept line between the years 1988 and 1992. All immediately went out of print and could be found only at used bookstores and yard sales. I'm excited to tell you that those nine stories are now being re-released by HarperCollins. Naughty Neighbor is the eighth in the lineup."
My thoughts: Well I can tell you I was glad to be able to read more of Evanovich's writing! These clever, cute little books are fun to read even if it's a little predictable. In this one Louisa, who works as a press secretary, becomes involved with Pete Streeter, her upstairs neighbor, when he steals her paper and gets phone calls at all hours of the night that disturb her. When she confronts him well, you just have to read it!
Go here to see a video of an interview with Janet,
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I just finished reading this long book and must say that I really liked it! Science Fiction meets Romance without all the mushy details. Well there was some mush but it was bearable.
In this story the earth has been taken over by beings that call themselves Souls. They are your standard Scifi parasite that takes over the human host and continue on with a human life with the Soul in control. The Soul Wanderer is placed in Melanie's body but finds that she can't suppress and do away with Melanie. They coexist in Melanie's body and soon Wanderer finds herself caring for the people and things Melanie cared for. In time they end up with one of the few remaining groups of "wild" humans that include Melanie's brother and true love Jared. Their story of survival, Wanderer & Melanie as well as the humans, makes for a great read.
My thoughts: Throughout this book the Soul, Wanderer, claimed that Souls were kind, would never hurt anyone. However this view doesn't go with the fact that they took over a whole planet of people and essentially murdered everyone on it. This was never addressed. Even so, I think you will like this book.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Friday, August 1, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008