Friday, June 3, 2016

Fortune Cookie (Culinary Mystery)Fortune Cookie by Josi S. Kilpack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It is really nice to see growth in a writer and I really could see it in this 11th of the series. One of her better mysteries as I was perplexed about who had committed the murder. I appreciated the insights into bipolar disorder and Chinese-American culture, as well as the visit to San Francisco. And the book made me hungry for Chinese food, and other yummy goodies for which recipes are supplied. Beyond the mystery, Sadie shows us some of the problems that can occur in a real life romance.

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Friday, May 13, 2016

The Magic Strings of Frankie PrestoThe Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom


This beautifully written book is Mitch Albom's best work yet and I am hoping it will be made into a film. The story is mesmerizing and I couldn't put it down. It is a phenomenally crafted work of literature because Albom has managed to make music, the narrator of the book, convincing, reliable and alive. The full-cast audio audition includes "memories" of music greats such as Burt Bachrach, Tony Bennett, Lyle Lovett, Ingrid Michaelson, Wynton Marsalis, Darlene Love, John Pizzarelli, this will be enjoyed most as an audio book. Highly Recommend. Guitar enthusiasts will especially enjoy it.

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Monday, May 9, 2016

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the TalibanI Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars
Malala and her story are amazing, but the writing leaves much to be desired. It would likely be 5 stars had there been a different co-author. I listened to the audio book, narrated by Malala herself which made it very interesting. I likely would have been frustrated reading it.

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EverymanEveryman by Philip Roth
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.75 stars...
This a short beautifully written yet depressing book about an unhappy old man reviewing his failure at life. I did not love it, and didn't really enjoy it, but I liked it because it held my interest and the prose alone is deserving of 5 stars.

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Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible ThingsFuriously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Yes, she is very funny, but due to her unnecessarily crude language I couldn't get past the first 12 minutes of the audio book.

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Miller's ValleyMiller's Valley by Anna Quindlen


Quindlen, one of my favorite authors, is such a gifted storyteller. This is a character driven novel with a strong, realistic plot that includes love, loss, friendships, and the realities of life. Quindlen gives you the sense that you are right there with her, watching it all happen, experiencing the same nostalgic reminiscing as Mimi, the protagonist narrator.
A family secret is discovered that helps her to understand some family dynamics that have puzzled her throughout her life yet the reader must come to his/her own conclusions. It is a satisfying ending. I loved every word in this beautifully written story and just did not want the book to end, yet it did end, in a strangely satisfying way.
Favorite quote:
"No one ever leaves the town where they grew up, not really, even if they go."

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Everything, EverythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This debut novel is a quick, fun contemporary YA romance novel about a girl with SCID, Severe Combined Immuno Deficiency, who has lived her entire life confined to to her environmentally safe home with only her mother and nurse as companions. But her life changes when a family with an attractive boy moves into the house across the street. It has diverse characters, funny dialogue and a clever illustrative format. I enjoyed it.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Human Age: The World Shaped By UsThe Human Age: The World Shaped By Us by Diane Ackerman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Pretty dull stuff.
This is a collection of various subjects related to current unrelated trends in environmental, biological, and medical science. It had just enough interesting material to keep me reading to page 137, when boringly skimming I realized all the information could be gleaned from 10 minutes on wikipedia and that I was annoyed, and waiting for the book to be over. So I quit. Persons concerned with global warming would likely love it.

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The Twelve Clues of Christmas (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #6)The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just plain delightful fun....one of my criteria for 5 stars. The plot is crisp, and the turns are sharp and deadly. Audio book narrator, Katherine Kellgren, is so good at changing her voice with each character it seems like a full cast recording. I am going to do a search for more books with her as narrator. The books (10 of them, so far) in this series need not be read in order. The characters are never flat,boring or unbelievable, but they remain fresh and interesting.

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Royal Blood (Her Royal Spyness Mysteries, #4)Royal Blood by Rhys Bowen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This (#4) is my second read in the series & I thoroughly enjoyed it, not necessarily because of the mystery itself, but due to the richly developed characters. I listened to the audio version, and the narrator Katherine Kellgren is marvelous! She brings life to each and every character and you often forget that is is just one person reading the story, not individual readers. Each book in the series is self contained and do not need to read in order. I read #6, The Twelve Clues of Christmas, first.
Both books do a beautiful job of channeling vintage Agatha Christie and are pure escapist fun of the best kind.

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