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The Dressmaker
The Dressmaker
Author: Kate Alcott
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 13 more book reviews


This is a once you begin, can't put it down book. I was interested by this book the minute I started to read it. It is a gripping tale of the aftermath of the Titanic and how lives changed. Wonderful book!


No One Knows
krystle avatar reviewed on + 9 more book reviews


Disappointing and hard to get through.


Blood in the Water: A Thriller
esjro avatar reviewed on + 710 more book reviews


This debut thriller is fantastic, and it is unfortunate that it didn't seem to find a wider audience. Think Winslow's Border Trilogy, but set in the Boston of HBO's The Wire. Non-stop action, complex characters, and a satisfying ending.


Orphan #8
Orphan #8
Author: Kim van Alkemade
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
justreadingabook avatar reviewed on + 1575 more book reviews


You will find out what you are made of when confronted with your worst enemy in a weakened position.
Do you seek revenge, justice or show mercy?
This story explores all those options when it happens to Rachel Rabinowitz.
You will find yourself wondering what you would do in that situation.


Beauty Expos Are Murder (A Poppy McAllister Mystery)
booksinvt avatar reviewed on + 374 more book reviews


Beauty Expos Are Murder is the sixth installment in the A Poppy McAllister Mystery series set in Cape May, NJ and featuring paleo baker, Poppy McAllister. This book picks right up where #5 ended, and I highly recommend if you haven't read Wine Tastings are Murder you might want to do that first - but, this one can read as a standalone if you chose.

Poppy has made her decision regarding the men in her life and she was looking forward to operating a muffin/paleo booth at the Beauty Expo alongside Gia, owner of La Dolce Vita - that is until a mysterious woman from Gia's past arrives on scene and completely ruins everything. Things only get worse when the plastic surgeon headlining the expo is found dead.

A great addition to the series with so many things happening - Poppy's relationship woes, the death at the Beauty Expo, Poppy's best friend Sawyer is acting very peculiar and obviously hiding something, someone keeps shooting holes in the huge inflatable rabbit that Aunt Ginny has put on the front lawn to celebrate Easter, the Mob may (or may not) be involved, Poppy's cat Figaro has fallen in love, there is something off with the people staying at the B&B, and Poppy has been roped into helping her high school nemesis turned police officer Amber get out of trouble as she's suspected of killing one of her informants. Phew....

You won't want to miss the latest adventures with Poppy and her friends.


Match Game
Match Game
Author: Beverly Brandt
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance
Book Type: Paperback
Readnmachine avatar reviewed on + 1263 more book reviews


A light-hearted chicklit that neither strains your brain nor insults your intelligence.

Sure, they Meet Cute (she's wearing a fish costume and about the be struck down by a runaway gelato cart), sparks fly, there's The Misunderstanding (she's misinformed about his sexual orientation), the Slow Build (complicated by The Misunderstanding), followed by the Big Reveal, the Hot Monkey Sex, and The Menace to It All, which has to be defeated before the Happy Ever After.

That's all formulaic stuff, but Brandt's light hand and a heroine who's not a ditz -- a little klutzy, yes, and a bit slow on the uptake, lift this one above the average for the genre.

Heroine Savannah Taylor is a bit of an anal-compulsive, planning her wedding to Mr. Obviously Not Right with the care and precision of a Moon shot, only to have her big day ruined by a pesky arrest warrant ending in cuffs around the wrist rather than a ring on the finger. It gets cleared up â her identity has been stolen, and those unpaid bills and questionable financial dealings aren't hers at all â but not until Mr. ONR has decided she's too much trouble for wife material. She decides the answer to her broken heart and oh-so-boring accountant job is to take off for Florida and run down the woman who stole her identity and ruined her life, and maybe kick up her heels a bit along the way.

To support herself while she's chasing down her nemesis, Savannah takes a number of unsatisfying jobs (see fish costume, above), rents a room in a sleepy motel suddenly overrun with spring-break college students, and ultimately goes back to boring old accounting where â in a roaring coincidence that actually turns out to be less coincidental than one might think â she finds her identity thief, which is when things begin to get way too real for comfort.

Okay, the ending doesn't bear a whole lot of real close examination. What do you want -- great literature?

Just crank up the tunes, slather on some sunscreen, pour yourself an umbrella drink, and enjoy.


The Wars
The Wars
Author: Timothy Findley
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback


Very well written but hard to read because it's so sad. The writing style lays the whole thing down beautifully, really powerful scenes.


Little Scholastic: Colors (Little Scholastic)
reviewed on


Cute book for toddlers. My daughter's class loves it.


The Russian Cage (Gunnie Rose, Bk 3)
cyndij avatar reviewed on + 781 more book reviews


Third in the series, and don't start here, you'll be lost. It's not the fastest paced book in terms of action, but it moves along steadily. I thought all Eli's family felt real, the grigori villains were a little cartoony, but then we don't get a chance to know them. The jailbreak is sadly marred by a discontinuity in logic (you'll spot it) and happens a lot more easily than I expected, although Harris makes up for it with the attack on Eli's house. Lizbeth is out of her element here among Russian royalty, I liked all the bits about clothes although it did slow things down a bit. Really like Felicia and her growing abilities. I've seen some comments about this is the end of the series, and maybe it is, but I wouldn't mind seeing Felicia and Lizbeth team up.


The Junk-Drawer Corner-Store Front-Porch Blues


Somewhat amusing autobiographical book about a comedy writer. Tons of one-liners, but lacked depth of character.


The New Joy of Photography
The New Joy of Photography
Author: Kodak
Genre: Arts & Photography
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 15 more book reviews


Even though it dates back to the film era, it still has lots of good information that is pertinent to digital photography.


The Photographer's Handbook
reviewed on + 15 more book reviews


Even though it dates back to the film era, it still has lots of good information that is pertinent to digital photography.


Shogun
Shogun
Author: James Clavell
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
reviewed on + 15 more book reviews


Enjoyed it.


Leo Rosten's Giant Book of Laughter
reviewed on + 15 more book reviews


Loved it! Only complaint is that some jokes are repeated under different categories.


Whole Latte Murder (All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery)
booksinvt avatar reviewed on + 374 more book reviews


Whole Latte Murder is the fifth installment in the All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery series set in Boggy Creek, FL and featuring Gia Morelli, owner of the cafe. Gia is looking forward to helping plan her best friend, Savannah Mills wedding to policeman Leo Dumont. Savannah is upset because she can't find an affordable wedding venue but Gia has an idea - unfortunately, before she can follow up with her surprise Savannah goes missing.

Savannah had left earlier in the day to show the Oakley Manor House to reputed loan shark Buster Clarke against the advice of Cafe cook, Cole Barrister. It seems that the house is owned by the Esposito family, rumored to have mob connections and sworn enemies of the Clarkes. When Savannah fails to return from her showing, Gia sets out in search of her friend and stumbles upon the body of Buster in the bathtub, another woman dead in the pond behind the house and Savannah nowhere to be found.

Anxious to find her friend, Gia sets out with the help of Leo's partner, Hunt Quinn and quickly finds herself in the midst of a real estate rivalry and a mob war. With her house being broken into, her trusty canine Thor drugged and someone stealing money from the Cafe, Gia realizes that this time she just might be in over her head.

A twisting plot filled with the return of series regulars makes for a quick and easy afternoon read.


Atomic Robo, Vol. 11: Atomic Robo and the Temple of Od
dragoneyes avatar reviewed on + 552 more book reviews


I felt like I was missing something while reading this book. It wasn't until I was almost done that I found that this was book 11. Wish it showed that somewhere on the book. I thought it was the first in a series. There seemed to be some sort of bond with the characters that I didn't understand. They seemed to know each other without really knowing each other. Being a later book makes sense now. Other than that, the artwork was nice and the story was pretty good.


Bleed, Blister, Puke, and Purge: The Dirty Secrets Behind Early American Medicine
dragoneyes avatar reviewed on + 552 more book reviews


Small book that is full of information. It was written in an entertaining way that made learning more fun. Loved all the facts and did a lot of cringing. Glad medicine has progressed. The title - Bleed, Blister, Puke and Purge didn't fit most of the book. There was only one small chapter that really talked about it, although it was brought up occasionally throughout the book. The 2nd part of the title - The Dirty Secrets Behind Early American Medicine fits more with the book.


Sunrise
Sunrise
Author: Mike Mullin
Genre: Teen & Young Adult
Book Type: Hardcover
reviewed on + 2 more book reviews


The first two in this series were good but this last book was full of cannibalism, gore and some pretty far-fetched ideas. A real diversion from the series, I thought.


Artists in Crime (Roderick Alleyn, Bk 6)
reviewed on + 46 more book reviews


It was such a pleasure to read one of Marsh's mysteries again. I first read these when I was in my teens and was struck by the development of the characters, especially of detective Roderick Alleyn. It was a further pleasure to discover that this is the book when Alleyn meets Agatha Troy, artist.

The two first meet on a cruise, and there is awkwardness on both sides. Later, when both are home and a murder happens in Troy's studio, Alleyn realizes he has not forgotten the artist.

It is something of a classic mystery, with a set of suspects, almost a locked-room situation, so the detective and his trusty Fox focus on the students who were living at the studio. When I read this I had to remember that many of these detective stories from the 30s-50s take place in old British manor houses, houses with many bedrooms and with servants. So it is here. Plenty of room for everyone.

The victim is a live model, killed in a way that limits the number of suspects considerably. But there are always possibilities that someone is not telling the truth and is thus messing up the timeline.

While investigating the murder, Alleyn makes some efforts to be professional yet not unapproachable to Troy. In this he mostly does not succeed. She misreads his signals and he hers. It is rather classic in that respect as well.

Overall, satisfying and, for me, does not suffer from its age.


The Secret Service: The Hidden History of an Enigmatic Agency
hardtack avatar reviewed on + 1758 more book reviews


While a very interesting book on the history of the Secret Service, it was published in 2002 while Bush was president, the author also offers many of his own opinions throughout.

I had hoped for more history about the agency's primary mission to control counterfeiting. While this was often mentioned, there was not much detail about that mission.

One of the author's opinions I really disagreed with was his thought that if the Secret Service had really done a good job of providing security in Dallas, Kennedy would not have been killed. As a result, Kennedy would have completed his term of office, Johnson would not have been his running mate in the next election---pretty much confirmed by others political historians, and Robert Kennedy would have run after his brother's second term. Then Nixon would never have been elected, resulting in no Watergate and would have shortened the Viet Nam war.

He apparently forgot Kennedy got us into the Viet Nam War to prove he wasn't soft on Communism, after he was embarrassed by his Bay of Pigs fiasco. And it was Nixon who got us out of Viet Nam. Plus, 16 years of the Kennedys in office would have changed our country, due to their lack of morals and political corruption. Just read "The Dark Side of Camelot," which the author also references.


Master of Middle-Earth
Destructa avatar reviewed on + 77 more book reviews


This is a decent scholarly study of some of Tolkien's work, albeit published prior to The Silmarillion, which could have filled in a few gaps about the history of Middle-Earth. Where Kocher is able, he sheds light on Tolkien's motives and influences, and references to historical texts. I don't think he is going out of bounds like some critics; he usually cites Tolkien's own statements in support.
There is an in-depth study of some key Middle-Earth peoples, why they act and believe certain ways, and why they were written that way. Another section discusses how The Hobbit did not originally lead into the War of the Ring, with the doom of Numenor, the fate of the High Elves, and all that. The Hobbit was more of a "faery story" for children, which made some pieces fit awkwardly together when Tolkien's 2 massive projects combined into one (the need to write a sequel to The Hobbit, and the sprawling epic of his elves' struggle with Morgoth and Sauron). I haven't usually seen the differences laid out so starkly. The analysis of Aragorn's arc is particularly good, and something to revisit in contrast with the cinematic Aragorn, with increased appreciation for both. There is a close study of what constitutes Sauron's evil, based on values partially informed by Tolkien's religion -- why he valued pity and mercy, for example. The final segment of the book looks at some shorter works of prose and poetry.


Suburban Safari : A Year on the Lawn
09suzij avatar reviewed on + 30 more book reviews


I loved this book! It was amazing to hear someone dissect and comment on the biology of their own suburban back yard. Ms. Holmes discusses how her property impacts and is impacted by her local ecology, as well as by world ecology, in a very personal and readable manner.


The Last One Home (Bravos of Valentine Bay, Bk 11) (Harlequin Special Edition, No 2834)
scoutmomskf avatar reviewed on + 1840 more book reviews


What an incredible finish to the Bravos of Valentine Bay series. Twenty years earlier, young Finn Bravo disappeared on a family trip in Siberia. His family never stopped looking for him, and each book in the series shows that he is always on their minds.

Ian McNeill has no memory of his early years. His memories start with waking up in a hospital, recovering from a bear attack, and ending up in an orphanage where he didn't speak the language. Alone and afraid, the only thing that saved him was the arrival of an American woman who wanted to adopt a baby. She took one look at him and took him instead, giving him her name and raising him as her own. With her death, Ian inherited her company but lost the only mother he remembers.

When the story opens, Ian and his best friend Ella's daughter are at the zoo. Abby pesters him to visit the bear exhibit, which he successfully avoided during previous visits. This time he caves in and begins to wonder what he was afraid of - until one of the bears roared. Thrust back into the past, Ian passed out as memories of the attack resurfaced. As he recovered his senses, other memories also surfaced, leaving him with a need to find out the truth. But what will he do with the information once he has it?

Ian's best friend, Ella, urges him to reach out to his family. Ian resists the idea, feeling that they've been without him this long they don't need him now. What he can't admit is his fear. The only way Ian can face going to Oregon is if Ella goes with him. She's wary, but she knows he'll never go through with it without her, so she reluctantly agrees. You see, Ella has a secret she's only begun to realize - she's in love with Ian, and spending that much time with him is a recipe for heartache.

I loved watching the development of the relationship between Ian and Ella. They've been friends for nine years. Ella is his right hand at work, and he is like a second father to her daughter Abby. Ian never saw her as anything more than a friend until their trip to Oregon when he suddenly realizes that she is a beautiful, sexy woman. Ian believes they can give in to the attraction between them without ruining their friendship. Ella isn't so sure but doesn't want to pass up the opportunity to be with him. While the heat between them is off the charts, it's the deepening connection that proves to be most dangerous. I loved how well Ella knew Ian and helped him through getting to know his family. She knew when to push and when to back off.

My heart went out to Ian. Because of what he went through as a child, he locked away his willingness to love. All of his relationships end after a short time because of his inability to take the next step. When he learned about his family, he initially saw no reason to contact them. Even once Ella convinces him to go, he figures on a quick, "Hi, it's me, I'm not dead, but I'm not interested in getting to know you," visit. Ian's reception by Daniel and the rest of the family bewilders him, and he's a little (or a lot) freaked out by his family's unfettered delight in his presence. He feels no connection to them, thanks to his long-term memory loss. I loved how Ella assured Ian that he would adjust and, in time, would feel that connection. Of course, we know she's going to be correct, and I loved watching the Bravos work their way past Ian's walls.

Ian also has to contend with his feelings for Ella. Their time in Oregon was supposed to be a weekend fling, then back to their original friendship. However, Ian finds he wants more. He tries to convince himself he only wants to extend their fling and says as much to Ella, reiterating that he'll never marry. Ian firmly believes their friendship won't be affected. He discovers how wrong he is after their return to work, and he can't stop thinking about her. At the same time, Ella realizes that she can't keep seeing him every day and pretend everything is fine. I ached for them both as it looked like their friendship was over. But a long conversation with his brother, Matt, motivates Ian to face his fears. I loved how he did it and the revelation he experienced. Seeing him go to Ella and watching them expose their vulnerabilities made an emotional scene that had me glued to the pages. I loved the ending, and Abby's reaction was adorable.

The epilogue was the perfect wrap-up. Family is the most important thing to the Bravos. In every book, the family provides love, laughter, and support for whatever crisis occurs. Finn's disappearance haunted them all, and each one was committed to keeping his memory alive and finding out what happened to him. I loved all the scenes with Ian and the family, from the first one with Daniel to the final wedding. The ones that stuck with me the most were Madison and Aislinn's conversation with Ian that first weekend and the scenes where Ian and Matt spent time together.


The Burning Girl: A Novel
reviewed on + 1212 more book reviews


The novel explores earliest friendship and how it can affect us all through our lives. This is the story of a friendship that began in kindergarten. Cassie and Julia were inseparable for years, sharing games, fun, dreams and hopes. As the story of Cassie and Julia's friendship moves into adolescence the reader realizes that even when one grows up and shares so much with someone we may not know them as well.

In the summer before seventh grade the girls volunteer at the local animal shelter, hike in the woods and secretly visit an abandoned asylum in the woods that becomes their special place. Even during summer, Julia sees their friendshipchanging. Cassie and Julia begin to choose different paths. Cassie follows a rebellious path while Julia focuses on studies and thinks about which college. Friends change. Activities change. They have different school schedules. Nevertheless, Julia thinks about Cassie often.

When was very young when she Cassie lost her father. After years of just the two of them her mother now has a boyfriend whose presence alienates Cassie. She searches the internet, looking for her father and begins to believe that he is out there somewhere, alive. Meanwhile, the boyfriend and her mother restrict Cassie's activities more and more as they spend more time together. She is grounded harshly and for minor reasons.

In spite of their differences, Julia checks on Cassie. She discovers that Cassie's relationship with her mother is fading. Cassie feels the boyfriend has replaced her in her mother's affections. Her home life deteriorates until she runs away and eventually turns to suicide. Can anyone find Cassies and help her? Julia knows she will try.


A Beautiful Corpse: A Mystery (A Harper McClain Mystery)
oldrockandroll avatar reviewed on + 175 more book reviews


I really like the Harper McClain series. She is an investigative reporter in Savannah, Georgia. The descriptions of the area are good. I have never been to Savannah, but I can picture the area thru the author's descriptions. I must admit I read this book out of order in the series. but it did not keep me from understanding what is going on in the book. Would recommend the author for this series of books.


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