Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Queen of Broken Hearts

I really enjoyed The Sunday Wife and The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King and was really looking forward to reading her newest Queen of Broken Hearts. I started this last night and just could never really get into or care about any of the characters in the book. I really enjoy reading books that take place in the south cause it is one of the few places I have never really been and they always sound like such wonderful places. The setting of this book is in Alabama and it's really the only interesting thing in the whole book. Clare the main character is a marriage therapist and to me she really had so many problems of her own I don't see how she could really be a help to anyone else. What I really enjoyed about the book was Clare's ex-mother inlaw who lives in her home made bird sanctuary where she cares for wounded birds. It is on a delta I think and it sounded like a truly awesome place to live. Thats all I liked about the book and I really hope her next one is better.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Once again I stayed up till 1:30 am to finish a book. I started this yesterday and just couldn't put it down. This is the 9th in the Scumble River series by Denise Swanson and I thought this one was really good. Skye's best friend Trixie Frayne convinces her to take a complimentary weekend at the new Scumble River Spa. Trouble begins immediately for the friends when they arrive at the spa and are met by protesters who think women should not indulge in frivolous beauty treatments and the owner of the spa wants Skye to find out who is digging up the grounds looking for a cache of jewels supposedly hidden on the spa grounds years ago. Then of course one of the spa's guests winds up dead in a mud bath. No one will be leaving the spa until Skye can figure out who done it. I really like the heroine Skye Denison. She is a little over weight and loves to eat. She is a school psychologist who also works part-time with the local police department. She dumped her old boyfriend Simon who is the local undertaker. I never really liked him and has now taken up with Wally Boyd the local police chief who seems like a good match for Skye. This is a cute cozy mystery series that has it's laugh out loud moments and unlike some series that seem to get worse with age this one continues to grow on me. A great cozy mystery read.

Into Temptation is by Penny Vincenzi and the the 3rd book in a series about the Lytton Family. Celia Lytton is still in control of the publishing business which has branched out to the U.S. This book transports one back to bygone eras that in Vincenzi's writing sound oh so rich and glamerous. There is still dissent amongst the family members and it is their stories that keep this book going. One can't help but wait with some trepidation to see what will happen next. At 672 pages it is a big book but once I came to the last page I couldn't help but wish that it had gone on for another 200 pages. It still left many unanswered questions but I don't regret one minute that I spent with this series. Ms Vincenzi seems to have a talent for writing big books. All the ones that I have read have never let me done and felt like they dragged at all. They are big books that read quickly and always leave you wanting more. This in my HO is the sign of a great writer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

19 Minutes is about a boy who has been bullied his whole life. By his own brother and by the kids in school. It only takes him 19 minutes to change his life, his parents life and all the kids who go to his school. The book involves many characters and at first you wonder how they all will come together. It works because what any of us may do today might involve people we have no idea it would effect and it could also stem from something that happened long ago. Picoult takes a very controversial subject and makes it into a chilling tale of how we become who and what we are.

Whale Talk

The main character in this book is T.J. Jones. He is black, white and Japanese. His given name is The Tao and he was abandoned by his mother when she got heavily into crack and crank. He is adopted by a loving ex-hippie couple and with the help of a great therapist he is able to overcome his rage over being abandoned by his mother.
He is a senior in highschool and still can get upset by injustice so when a big deal high school football star picks on a brain damaged student, Chris, for wearing his dead brother's letter jacket T.J. hatches a scheme for revenge. He assembles a swim team in a school with no pool made up of the most outrageous outsiders and misfits that he can find in his school. He makes the coach promise them letter jackets if they can all qualify. They all ban together and actually get good enough not to embarrass themselves at meets. The best part of all is the time they all spend together on the bus to get to the meets and to actually share the hurts that have made them who they are. Meanwhile T.J.'s father is fighting some demons of his own from his past and decides to take in another foster child and finds himself at odds with the child's abusive step-father.
This book drew a heated discussion in Iowa lately due to the subject..language.. just what I am not sure , but heard recently that the Pastor who had started the ruckus was backing down. This was a very good book about bullying and what all goes on in schools nowadays. The language is a little rough but sadly this is the way most kids talk now a days. T.J. is a boy fast becoming a man who does all that he can to keep the peace and be himself. Lessons could be learned from reading this book and I hope tons of YA's give it a try.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Philadelphia heiress Nora Blackbird has agreed to wed Mick Abruzzo, son of New Jersey's most notorious mobster. Then Nora and her sister's ominous news-Sweet Penny Devine has disappeared and her family wants her declared dead immediately. Could someone have plotted her final Act? It's up to Nora to figure it out and once again she does in this the 6th in the Blackbird sister's mysteries. This was a cute cozy with Nora once again figuring out the who dun it.

A Crazy Little Thing Called Death

Started and finished this one on sunday. I actually liked it better than some of his stand alones that I have read in the past. The former first lady has died and the most powerful people in the world gather in New York for her funeral. They are all taken prisoner in the church where they are gathered for the funeral. Detective Michael Bennett is called in to work with the kidnappers to get them released safe and sound. Michael's wife is dying of cancer and he is trying to get ready for the holidays and help his 10 adopted children get ready to lose their mother. A little implausible that he has 10 adopted children but I just went with the story and thought it was pretty good. Am not a big fan of Patterson. He publishes much too often and it seems at times they are just thrown together in a night. This one I would give a Ct rating.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Latest reads...

Last week and this weekend I managed to get 3 books read!! Wohoo... lol Wish I had the time and could read 2-3 in a day. Wouldn't that be something. Anyway the first that I finished was A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute. I was sure that I had read this before but I guess not. I fell in love with Nevil after reading On The Beach and A Town Like Alice did not disappoint. Takes place in Malaya where Jean Paget works in 1941 when america enters the war and Japan arrives north of Malay. Jean tries to escape back to England but is captured along with 79 other women and children by the Japanese. Her tale of how the japanese make these women and children march over 1200 miles to find a place for them during the occupation. During this death march Jean meets a soldier and he seems to come to a bad end. After the war Jean goes back to England and learns that she has inheritated money from an Uncle she barely knew. Long story short she learns the soldier from Malaya did not die and he is looking for her while she is looking for him. She goes to Australia where they finally meet up and Jean uses her money to build up the town of Willstown. This was a great story of courage and never giving up. How any of these women survived the death march is amazing in itself and how self reliant Jean was in her dreams and making them come true. A great read!
Up next was a cozy mystery called Death by Syrah by Michelle Scott. This is the 3rd in this series. I like them cause they talk of wine and food. Two of my favorite things! The heroine works at a vineyard in the napa valley and is bothered by too many men wanting her affections. Of course there is a murder and Jean saves the day and hopefully picks the right man at the end but one won't know till the next book comes out! A cute and cozy read.
Yesterday I managed to finish The Cotton Queen by Pamela Morsi. I had started it earlier and put it down to read Alice so decided to finish it. It was pretty good. About a mother and her daughter who live in the south. Usual story daughter doesn't want to be anything like mother but in the end we always I think end up like our mothers in one way or another. It's the usual story of love and strength, a woman finding a way back to herself and her family. Will pass this on to someone from PBS.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Double Bind

I finished this last night and all I could say at the end of the book was wow!! I wish I could have read the book in one sitting and then turned around and read it again. It's a very compelling read about Laurel Estabrook. She is a young social worker involved with the homeless and trying to get them off the streets and into housing. She is haunted by her own demons of her past from when she was biking on a mountain road and survived being attacked but two men. She meets Bobbie Crocker who is homeless and mentally ill who has a box of photographs he won't let anyone see. Bobbie dies and Laurel becomes the keeper of his pictures in order to try and tell his story. How did a man who took pictures of famous people during the 50's and 60's wind up homeless? The pictures become an obsession to Laurel to find out exactly who Bobbie Crocker was. She goes on a mission to find the truth and becomes so involved in the search that she is oblivious to everything else in her life other than finding the truth about Bobbie Crocker. I gurantee that the end of this book will just blow you away. I had to read it twice and am still not sure I understand the whole thing but don't want to give anything away.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Being a librarian in a small town of less than 1300 certainly does have it's moments. We combined with the high-school fall of 2003 so it's nice to be able to serve both the public and the young un's in the school. How I wish I could make all of them into verocious readers, but sadly I realize this is never gonna happen. I have a public patron who I swear her main goal in life is to simply drive me crazy. The rules are that you can check out 2 video's or DVD's at a time. Every single time she comes to the desk she has at least 4 and gives me this sad eyed look just this once? Please.. the other day she was in after school with her kids and had to have a heart to heart with the one daughter sitting around the fireplace. Would have been just fine had she not been at least two sheets to the wind and wanted to be sure the whole library knew she was trying to console her daughter over being bullied... jeesh.. then friday.. after waiting patiently for 5 to come she comes dragging in at 4:55 and procedes to spend 15 mins picking out her 4 dvd's.... Oh and the really bad news is the poor thing told me wednesday that she has a brain anuerysm and wanted to read a book on them.... I didn't know that one could walk around with an active brain anuerysm..... Thank god it's almost 2 on saturday afternoon and I am out of here till monday at 11!


I read The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig this week. I must confess that I mostly skimmed it. I so wanted to like it ,but this being the third time that I have tried to read it I gave up and just sped thru it. With two more in the series am not sure I will ever read the next two. This really surprises me as I am a total historical fiction fan , but for some reason this one just did not hit the mark.
I started The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian yesterday and so far it is very good. Can't wait to get back to it tonight.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Almost Paradise

Almost Paradise by Susan Isaacs. Started and finished this one in record time. At 499 pages will be my second chunkster for the month of February. It's the story of a beautiful man and a beautiful woman and of the generations before that came together to eventually bring this couple together. All the characters seem to come alive in their stories. It's the Cableigh's story from the cold water flat in Hell's Kitchen to the rolling verdant Connecticut farm to the 5th Avenue duplex, from their vastly different backgrounds to a life together that transcends what either alone could acheive. It tells of the ties that bind us all together, and of the missed opportunities that tear us apart. I was actually not that disappointed that there was no happy ending. It ended the way it should have.

When Darkness Falls

I finished this sunday and it was a great read. Very suspenseful and kept me on the edge of my seat. I have only read one other Grippando and want to get to all of them sooner or later. This one takes place in Miami and Jack Swyteck is asked to defend a homeless man who manages to make his $10,000 bail. This is only the beginning of the story and what happens between Jack and the homeless man who prefers to be called Falcon. This story delves into the mystery of The Disappeared, the 30,000 plus Argenineans who because of their opposistion to the military regime vanished between 1975 and 1983. The book is very suspenseful and a thrill ride from beginning to end.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Crimson Portrait

I finished The Crimson Portrait by Jody Shields last night. I had a really hard time getting into her book The Fig Eater and was hoping this one would be so much better. I was wrong. It had great promise. It's about a woman in London in 1915 who's husband is killed in the war. For some promise she opens her house as a military hospital for the most irreparably injured in the war. The widow finds solace in a wounded soldier whose face, concealed by bandages, she cannot see. She wants to remake her lover into her dead husband. Sounds good but the book just never really goes anywhere. There is just not for me enough depth to the story and not enough build up of the characters. I didn't particularly care for any of them and the story was just down right confusing. Reminded me a lot of The English Patient.
Tonight I am gonna give When Darkness Falls by James Grippando a try.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

I started this yesterday and stayed up till 1 to finish it. I really didn't feel it was worth more than a day's read. I am a big historical fiction fan but have rarely been able to get into a combined mystery-historical fiction read. This one was no different. It seemed to take forever to get to the mystery part of the book. The hero finds his wife in bed with another and takes off for the west to look for his lost love and to try and to do something about the way the Indians are being treated during the relocation. Another pitiful act by man against man in the way the Indians were treated. I really need to find a dysfunctional family book to read... The hero finds his lost love and when she is accused of murdering her first husband he takes the blame and she is off to find the real killer. An ok read for one night but I will not be racing off to find the second in the series.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


I finished Black Cross last night. Stayed up till 2 to get it done. I liked it ok, but just ok. I don't think I am really a fan of espionage. It didn't draw me in totally. Some of the book I have to confess that I just sped over. It was good and exciting and was glad about the way it ended. All tied up into a nice ending. Everyone keeps raving about his latest True Evil , but am not sure I will ever get around to it.
I have my chunkster challenge out of the way for the month, but still need to get my TBR book off my shelf at home. Need to pick one and get it started. Enough procrastinating with these books.
I am in the mood for a mystery today so will try Solomon Spring by Michelle Black which will count towards another group that I am supposed to read a book with the last name of the author being B. However it was supposed to be done last month for this group. Sadly all I managed was the A author. I have some catching up to do.

Monday, February 5, 2007


I have decided to join the masses who have blogs. Why I have no idea other then maybe it will help me to post some simple thoughts and feelings I have on the many books I read. I am reading Black Cross right now by Greg Iles. It takes place during the end of WWII and even tho I have read many books on the holocaust I am finding this one hard to read when the chapters go to a concentration camp and one has to read of all the inhumanity to man that went on at this time. It says in the book that the US was not allowed to bomb any concentration camps or the germans would not honor the Geneva Convention in regards to any prisoners of war. To me this is just simply ludicrus. I had no idea that one could decide how they were going to honor the Geneva Convention. So many lives lost for no good reason other then one man's idea of how he felt it should be. And that he was allowed to get away with his madness for so long. I hope to finish this one up in the next day or two as I have several books that I want to get read this month.