This is the second novel in Rollins’ Sigma Force series. I’m slowly being drawn into this Dan Brown meets Indiana Jones type series.
I have mixed emotions about this book. It is a bit different from Jodi Picoult’s previous novels. It reminded me quite a bit of Water for Elephants as it delved into the abuse of Elephants kept in captivity (circuses and zoos). I also found life in the wild for elephants quite interesting and informative. It is obvious Jodi Picoult did a lot of research for this novel.
The storyline, however, was a bit over the top. I enjoy a good story about paranormal but this one just didn’t quite do it for me. I ended up being quite disappointed with the ending although I certainly didn’t see it coming. Nice twist but so totally unbelievable that I was left shaking my head. As with her other novels, she winds through the story by switching perspectives of the different characters in the novels, which I have always enjoyed. Unlike her other novels, for some reason, I found this one was harder to follow.
Karlee Porter was recently featured on Quilt It, a QNNTV.com show. After watching the show, I knew I had to buy Ms. Porter's book, Graffiti Quilting: A Simple Guide to Complex Designs.
I knew the Secretary of State handled the diplomacy side of foreign affairs but had no idea of the depth of the job until I listened to Hard Choices. Hilary Clinton visited well over 100 countries while she held the position. Country by country she details events that occurred, goals for diplomatic solutions, and covers successes as well as the failures. I found it a fascinating read.
Clinton is a polarizing politician. People seem to love or hate her. Regardless of those feelings, this is an excellent book detailing our country’s involvement in world affairs and the dilemmas faced and I highly recommend it.
Although I enjoyed this last book in the trilogy, it didn’t seem quite as good as the first two and I was a little disappointed. It provided more backup to characters and tied up a lot of loose ends. But the ending seemed rushed to me. It did leave itself open for another sequel and I would buy if once occurred.
In Wayward we get to learn a little more about the background of some of the main characters via flashbacks. Nicely done. And yes, one heck of a cliffhanger!!
Wow…I was immediately sucked into this one within 5 minutes of starting the novel. Ethan Burke is a secret service agent tasked with finding two agents that have disappeared in a small town called Wayward Pines. Upon his arrival, he gets in a car accident and things go so very strange after that. Loved this book. I knew nothing about the book or its author when I first started listening so had no expectations.
I’m downloading the sequel after I finish this review!
This novel is the first in a series that I got on sale at Audible so I didn’t have high expectations. I was pleasantly surprised. Action packed with a very human main character, Nate McBride, a retired marine who started a security business with his comrade in arms, Harvey. He reminds me of a kinder gentler Jack Bauer (of 24 fame). I plan to read more of this series.
“Killian makes a living enforcing other people’s laws, collecting debts, dealing out threats and finding people who do not wish to be found. But when Richard Coulter, an Irishman with political connections, offers him half a million to track down his ex-wife and children, Killian finds himself embroiled in something far bigger than he bargained for.”
I was drawn in by his humanity when he realizes the real objective of Coulter and decides to take matters into his own hands.
Brilliance is book 1 of a supernatural thriller series involving individuals with exceptional abilities called “brilliants”. The main character, Cooper, a federal agent who hunts down terrorists and is a brilliant himself, has his world turned upside down when he discovers not all is as he has been lead to believe. Full of action, great characters, and imaginative writing made this a very enjoyable read. I will definitely be reading more of this series.
If a novel causes me to want to exclaim to the characters don’t do that or tell your mother, it’s a good one in my opinion. I winced on more than one occasion at the graphic descriptions but couldn’t stop listening.
The 9th Girl covers the pursuit of a serial killer who dumps his bodies on holidays. Interwoven in the main plot are subplots covering bullying, peer pressure and parenting. Hoag does an excellent job of making her characters full dimensional with all their foibles and I highly recommend.
24:Deadline starts off, the day after season 8 ends, detailing Jack’s attempt to escape capture. But before he can disappear he wants to keep a promise he made to Kim and see her one more time. Hence his journey begins across the country while evading the FBI.
I have mixed emotions about 24:Deadline. I’m an avid fan of 24 and really wanted to love it. But I can only muster a tepid like. Swallow captured the tragedy of Jack’s personal life and the inherent destruction that followed in his wake. But what this novel didn’t capture was the intrigue and finesse of the show. It just hopped from one action event to the next with stereotypical bad guys in both the American and Russian governments.
I’ve enjoyed the Rizzoli and Isles series by Gerritsen. But Ice Cold is atypical to the series. Maura Isles decides to make a side skiing trip with an old acquaintance after a medical conference in Wyoming. Once stranded the action takes off and doesn’t stop until the end. I was hooked!
The Law of Second Chances is a legal thriller that starts out switching between three seemingly unrelated story lines and characters. I figured out the villain before the end but enjoyed how the plot lines were all woven together at the end. The novel touches on the frailties of our justice system and the death penalty without preaching. I’m so cynical about our political system given today’s politics that nothing about the justice system would surprise me anymore. That aside I definitely enjoyed this one and plan to look for more from this author.
I usually review novels one at a time but was rather busy quilting while I listened to the unabridged Audible versions of this series and decided to review the entire series as a single post.I listened the first two books in March, then resumed working through the rest of the series in September, October, and November to finish the latest (Cold Days) . They are addictive..think adult version of Harry Potter. Dark in nature, with gratuitous violence and sexual innuendo, they might be a little too much for children under 14.
Grayson Manor Haunting lacked the sophistication and character development of other paranormal novels I’ve read lately. But the pace kept me going and I finished within a day. I’m not sure I would seek this author out, but I did enjoy the book. I think it might be more appropriate for a teenage audience. It’s definitely been set up for a sequel.
Okay…as I’ve said before I’m a sucker for animal stories. And this one is no exception. It’s a story about the lives of family and friends dealing with the death of a veterinarian named Helena, which is told from Helena’s perspective after her death. The main themes are animal rights and mortality. It pushed all my buttons and I loved it.
Riveting story about a boy raised in South Africa during the apartheid. I’m not a boxing fan but this story is about so much more than that. I found my self totally caught up in the story of Peekay, a child sent to boarding school when he was just 5 years old. At first I wasn’t sure I would be able to stick with the story of Peekay’s unhappy childhood but I couldn’t help but root for his success in overcoming adversity. Each character introduced into Peekay’s life brought an enrichment to it and formed the basis for his moral values.
I have really mixed emotions about this book…mainly because the characters (husband and wife) are both so unlikable. But there was enough whodunnit, more accurately, howdunnit to keep me going. Sociopaths will never be my favorite characters but the book was well written and kept me hooked.
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I remember where I was and what I was doing when JFK was assassinated as well as the reaction of the country. King recreates that feeling in the novel. I also enjoyed his descriptions of life back in the late 50s early 60s…a simpler time.
Time travel is such a fascinating concept. King explores the possibilities of what would happen if you could go back in time to change history. What would be the effect? What if JFK had lived? You’ll have to read to find out King’s vision. 😉
I actually finished The Shack a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been pondering a way to review the novel without issuing any spoilers and it’s turned out to be quite a challenge. Mackenzie Phillips has been struggling throughout his life with his relationship with God. He rediscovers Him in the shack. I don’t agree with all the premises in the novel regarding one’s relationship with God and religion but I was nevertheless touched by it. One’s relationship with God is clearly a personal choice.
I finished listening to Al Franken yesterday afternoon. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them is definitely partisan in nature. If you are a democrat or independent voter, you’ll find it an interesting read. If you are a republican voter, you’ll most likely be put off by it. For the most part, I enjoyed Franken’s tongue-in-cheek humor, although I did feel he went over the top in spots.
What I found most disturbing while reading this book was the depth and scope of the lies told, particularly the lack of response to the warning signs prior to 9/11. Franken provides copious examples of the warnings and briefings received by the Bush administration from the Clinton administration related to the probability of an Al Qaeda attack that were dismissed.
It took me way longer than it should have to finish Ape House. One reason is that I’ve been so darn busy with other projects and finding time to pick up the kindle has been rare. The other reason is that Ape House is not a can’t-put-it-down read…most definitely not in the same league as Water for Elephants. I didn’t want Water for Elephants to end–I couldn’t wait for Ape House to. The unbelievable plot with stereotypical, one-dimensional, animal activist-type good/bad guys might lead to a good action movie but left me wanting as a good read.
I’m going to break my normal policy of not issuing spoilers when writing a book review. I found The Fountainhead an engrossing read. But as the novel progressed, I found myself questioning Rand’s beliefs more and more.
First, romanticizing rape disgusted me. No means no. Dominique wanted to be degraded and raped so it’s okay just doesn’t cut it. That the “hero” of the novel does it, makes it even more deplorable.
Second, Rourke destroys a public housing project under construction, admits it, explains his reasons for the destruction in court, and is declared not guilty by the jury despite the fact he broke the law. The fact that several contracts were broken during the construction, and Rourke’s vision of the building was destroyed in the process, does not justify blowing up the building.
Gosh, where do I begin with this review? I actually finished this a couple of days ago and have been struggling to figure out how I feel about it. My emotions ran the gamut. A Dog’s Purpose tells the story of a dog’s life in first person from the dog’s perspective. I found parts of it delightful but thought there were parts that might be too intense or upsetting for children with a family dog. Quite cute are the things dogs do that get them in trouble with their owner and that they don’t quite get what the problem is. But I felt the novel was very heavy-handed with the tear-jerker aspects of the story (over and over again).
I have always enjoyed P.D. James’ novels as they are reminiscent of the Sherlock Holmes’ genre of crime/detective novels. But Death in Holy Orders was a bit of a disappointment for me. There were quite a few plot sidetracks that I felt did nothing for the novel….almost like a soap opera. And I had a real problem with a priest convicted of child molestation being portrayed as the victim.
Are you looking for the pattern??
After seeing Frances Johnson’s creation,I must admit I was enamored when I saw the original YouTube video of Frances Johnson. After seeing the video, my quest began to hunt down the pattern. It wasn’t as easy as it should be but here are the results.
Google immediately served up these two:
- iOffer.com – Popcorn Pinwheel Bedspread Vintage Crochet Pattern for $3.00. This was a cumbersome process and not one I recommend. You have to wait for Karen’s Variety to respond before actually getting the pattern after payment. Her site, KarensVariety.com, offers it for the same price and provides immediate download after payment. However, for $7.00 you can download The Spool Cotton Company’s Bedspreads pamphlet which includes 10 additional patterns with the Popcorn Pinwheel Bedspread pattern.
- Vintage Home Arts via Amazon for $7.99 ($9.99 after adding shipping). Quite steep for one pattern.
Frankly, the best source for this pattern is one I found completely by accident. I was searching for doily place mat patterns and decided to buy The Crocheter’s Treasure Chest: 80 Classic Patterns for Tablecloths, Bedspreads, Doilies and Edgings (Dover Needlework). Imagine my surprise when I found Popcorn Pinwheel on page 42. I spent a whopping $8.76 with free shipping.
While cruising the book section of Hancock Fabrics last week, I discovered Aran Afghans to Crochet (Leisure Arts #4948). My copy has a different front cover image but the same ISBN number. On first glance, it looks like a reissue of the patterns contained in Fisherman Crochet Afghans (Leisure Arts #250). I quickly tossed it into the shopping cart, purchased it, and prepared to share the delightful news here. Hmmm…then I noticed the names of the patterns had changed…
So I examined the two leaflets side by side. Wow. Two different authors. Bonnie Barker’s designs (#4948) uses the main panels from Anne Rabun Ough’s designs(#250), adds different side stitches before joining the panels and then calls the designs her own. I suppose technically they are. But Anne Rabun Ough wasn’t given credit anywhere in this leaflet as her inspiration. In my opinion, it’s rather like using someone else’s tune with your own lyrics and then selling the entire song as your own.
I loved the first four books of the Camel Club series. If this was the first book I had read from the series, I definitely would not have gone back to read the first four. The Camel Club character roles are so minor and undeveloped they should not have been included. Clearly, their token appearances serve only to allow this book to be classified as part of that series. Subtract the Camel Club characters, subtract the normally fast-paced, intricate plot, and add a scratching-your-head ending, and you end up with a time-consuming, forgettable read–for me, a major disappointment.
Ever since I watched the Popcorn Pinwheel Bedspread video, I’ve been wanting that pattern. This morning while searching for something else on Amazon I ran across a kindle version of 31 Vintage Bedspread Patterns to Crochet. To be honest, if they’d had a print version, I’d have ordered that instead. But they don’t so I thought what the heck…on my kindle it went. I actually think there might be an advantage to using the kindle…no pages to wear out and that battery certainly lasts (I have the old black and white kindle…ha). The instructions are easy to read, pictures, well they are black and white and not the best.
When I first started listening to A Single Thread, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. Although it was a slow start, I got pulled in as each character’s story started to unfold. I decided to read it because it revolved around quilting but non-quilters would enjoy this story as well. Life never turns out as you plan it–something most people can identify with–I certainly could. I think Ms. Bostwick did an excellent job of making each of the characters so very human. This wonderful story deals with meeting life’s challenges head on and about friendship. I thoroughly enjoyed it and plan on reading the next in the series.
Plain and simple, Love You More is a page turner. The story alternates between the perspectives of Tessa Leone, the state trooper accused of killing her husband and daughter, and D.D. Warren, the Boston PD detective tasked with solving the case. I enjoyed the technique used to change the reader’s perception of guilt or innocence as the story unraveled. At times it was a bit over the top but so well told, it didn’t matter.
I just recently purchased Afghan Lover’s Collection and I’m itching to get started on one of the designs–the hard part, deciding which one. It is packed with an outstanding collection of afghan designs. Rarely do I find so many I want to use in one publication. It even has the Pinwheel pattern I adapted for Tunisian crochet.
This story just didn’t work for me. I’ve been sitting here for several minutes trying to put my finger on exactly what is wrong with this novel. Sigh…well, everything. I spent a good chunk of the novel trying to figure out who was good and who was bad with all their subplots. In the end it go to the point I just didn’t care. Beecher was a patsy and Clementine so unlikable I didn’t care what happened to her…romance that wasn’t a romance…thriller that wasn’t a thriller…and history that should have been left alone.
I was fortunate to go straight from finishing Fever Dream to starting on Cold Vengeance. It picks up six months after Fever Dream ends. The first chapter hooked me in with the first “oh wow.” Like Fever Dream, the plot twists are many. And it ends with an even bigger cliff hanger. Unfortunately, this time I’ll have to wait a bit longer before finding any answers.
Let me get this right out of the way: WOW I LOVE The Quilter’s Album of Patchwork Patterns! It contains over 4000 beautifully illustrated images of the blocks Jinny Beyer has researched over her quilting career. It has given me so many ideas for both quilting and crochet projects. It does not include measurement and assembly instructions although she does include design grids for each. The book is ridiculously expensive, but the quality of the publication and the content made it worth it for me. I do wish a CD had been included with the patterns that could be printed out or imported into Electric Quilt.
Let me say first off Fever Dream is not a realistic crime detective novel. Realism aside, it is action-packed with an intricate, intertwined plot. Agent Pendergast discovers his wife’s death of 12 years ago was not an accident and sets out to solve her murder. I was hooked at the start with the flashback back to her death. Pendergast is an ends-justifies-the-means kind of agent which lends to the dangerous situations that occur to him and anyone with him on the case. Despite the “no way” moments encountered, the plot’s twists and turns kept me hooked right up to the end.
Ron and I have been revisiting The West Wing via Netflix and have progressed to season 3. We both enjoyed the show when it originally aired and are just as enchanted with the wonderful ensemble this second time around. I’m an avid fan of Lowe’s character, Sam Seaborn. So when I discovered Rob Lowe had written his autobiography, Stories I Only Tell My Friends: An Autobiography, it was a timely choice for my Audiobook selection.
To be honest, I would categorize this more as a memoir than an autobiography as there are many events in his life that are glossed over in the book. However, I enjoyed him sharing his story from his perspective. I was fascinated by all the individuals in his childhood who would eventually become stars. I was also touched by his love for his wife and sons. His wonderful conversational tone as narrator made it a great listen. I’m not so sure I would have enjoyed it as much reading it. He comes across as self-deprecating and goes out of his way to not sling any mud. Fans of Rob Lowe will love this book. Those looking for the juicy details of the wild side of his past will be disappointed.
It became clear to me once I started listening to The Jefferson Key that it was part of a series. Unfortunately, the problem with starting at the end of a series rather than the beginning is a good chunk of character development is usually done in prior novels and it definitely proved true for the main characters in this novel. In fact,while listening to the author credits, I discovered it was the seventh novel of the Cotton Malone series.
In spite of that, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. It had shades of National Treasure type mystery in addition to espionage. And Berry did an excellent job of incorporating his ficition into America’s real history about pirates and presidential assinations. It was easy for me to imagine this as a movie. If my to be read list wasn’t so long, I’d definitely go back and start at the beginning of this series.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I’ve read almost all the Jack Ryan series and loved it. But I had a difficult time getting through this one. Clancy’s novels have always been filled with numerous characters and intricate plots but the pace of the novels kept me moving forward to the point I didn’t want to put them down. That was definitely not the case here. The characters were flat, the plot confusing, and the pace slow. Either the series needs to be retired or Clancy needs to start writing his own books again. This one was not worthy of his name.
Mickey Haller is a lawyer who helps clients with mortgage foreclosure lawsuits. He is contacted by former client Lisa Trammel, who has been charged with murder and takes on her case. The case evolves while he is defending her at trial. The Fifth Witness does go into detail about preparing for the trial and debating strategies for defense, which some may find boring. I found it quite interesting. However, Lisa Trammel is so thoroughly unlikeable, I got to the point I became ambivalent about whether or not Haller would succeed in her defense.
Until Tuesday is a story about Iraqi vet, Luis, and his golden retriever service dog, Tuesday. I listened to the Audible version of this book, which was narrated by Mr. Montalvan himself. I’ve admitted in the past, and do so again here, I’m a smuck for dog stories and this one is no exception. But this is much more than a story about a man and his dog…
It delved into the work involved in training a service dog, the work involved in preparing the recipient, discrimination faced by people with service dogs, and discrimination faced by people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mr. Montalvan also discussed his experiences in Iraq and his debilitating PTSD manifestations. And finally it covered his disillusionment with how the top brass handled the war and how vets disabled with PTSD have been handled by the VA system.
Tina Fey’s wit and humor shine throughout as she covers growing up, her career, and her family. The audiobook version is wonderfully entertaining and I can’t imagine anyone but Tina narrating it–so many laugh out loud moments. I highly recommend and if you’re a Tina Fey fan, it’s a must.
This is the first of the Repairman Jack series and I definitely enjoyed it. It came accross to me as a combo horror/detective type novel. It is definitely an action packed thriller. I’m looking forward to delving into the second of this series.
I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy Kathryn Stockett’s debut novel when I first started reading it, but quickly became involved with the characters as they unfolded. The story is told in first person by the three main characters, Aibileen, Minny and Skeeter, and tackles racism in Jackson, Mississippi in the early 1960s. I couldn’t stop reading and didn’t want it to end.
When I searched for more information about Kathryn Stockett, I discovered she was born in and raised in Jackson, Missisppi and moved to New York to work in magazine publishing. Wow! I can’t wait for her next novel. Will there be a sequel?
This second novel in Pearson’s new Walt Fleming series leaves me feeling about the same as I did with the first novel…unsure I want to continue with this series. Domestic terrorism, which seems to be on the rise in our country these days, is the basis for the plot. Unfortunately, there were points where I was so squeemish with the graphic descriptions of violence, I was tempted to stop reading. And the characters are still flat. In summary, I miss Lou Boldt.
Cemetery Dance was a ripping good, escape-from-realism yarn. I loved how it all came together in the end with semi-plausible explanations for totally implausible events. Once you get past the total lack of professionalism on the part of the police force as well as the FBI, it’s quite enjoyable. But if you can’t make that leap, this book might not be one for you. I, for one, was clueless until almost the end on the culprit responsible.
Interestingly Freeman’s fourth novel has two titles: In The Dark for the U.S version and The Watcher for the U.K. version. Personally I prefer the U.S. title…more mysterious. This fourth novel in the Jonathan Stride series continues intertwining an unsolved mystery from his high school years with a current peeping Tom case he is trying to solve. I actually managed to figure out the older murder before the killer was revealed but still surprised by some of the various details that unfolded. Enjoyable as always but I couldn’t help thinking Stride sure has a lot secrets in his closet as well as his friends and just about anyone he meets. Not sure I’d want to live in the same town with him.
Ryan Perry is a millionaire with a heart condition that requires a heart plant within a year to avoid death. As he awaits a heart from a matching donor, visions send him to different parts of the country in pursuit of answers to his growing paranoia.
Your Heart Belongs to Me is definitely not one of Koontz’s best works. The ending was totally out of character with the rest of the novel and there were too many subplots left with unexplained loose ends whose sole purpose appeared to be serving as filler.
I purchased this book before I realized it was the part of the Michelle/Sean series…automatic to purchase Baldacci whenever a new release is out. The book started off slowly but kept me interested as it intertwined its way through two plots: first, finding and rescuing the kidnapped niece of the president’s wife and second, solving Michelle’s mother’s murder. I enjoyed the second plot as it unfolded and revealed more of Michelle’s past demons. Although implausible, it was not nearly as outlandish as the main plot of the book involving the president and his wife. The “ya gotta be kidding me” parts of the plot kicked in when the first kidnapper note was received and continued to become more outlandish as the novel progressed. But I did keep reading and I did finish it. I vow to read the description on the book cover before buying anymore of Baldacci’s books. I really don’t want anymore of this series.