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April 11, 2008 - April 25, 2008

Last contest period's winners were Barbara, Elaine, F. Tessa, Genie and Kendra, who each received a copy of CERTAIN GIRLS by Jennifer Weiner and WHERE ARE YOU NOW? by Mary Higgins Clark.

 

Jennifer Cecil
Duma Key by Stephen King
Rating: 4 Stars
I thought it was a good read. It kept me on the edge of my seat and the ending surprised me.
 
Mya Brooks (mya74@myway.com)
Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
Rating: 5 Stars
Very Funny! I love this book!
 
Deborah Wellenstein (dwellenstein@cox.net)
The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier
Rating: 4 Stars
A quirky novel about the end mankind --- in the form of a virus --- and the afterlife. Different and sweet.
 
Shelley (shelleymcclelland@yahoo.com)
Carrot Cake Murder: A Hannah Swensen Mystery by Joanne Fluke
Rating: 4 Stars
I liked this book! I don't cook but I love to read mysteries with recipes.
 
Buddy Garrett
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan
Rating: 4 Stars
A gritty, compelling story of returning WWII veterans who confront rascism in rural Mississippi.
 
lilyk
Watership Down by Richard Adams
Rating: 5 Stars
A tale of life, love, and loss among a group of rabbits.
 
Linda M. Johnson (tcheer4life@yahoo.com)
Boom! Voices of the Sixties by Tom Brokaw
Rating: 4 Stars
Honest and often personal portrayal of a turbulent time in American History. The book considers the time from the mid '60s to the mid '70s --- the time which included the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy; the riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention, and the 1970 Kent State and Jackson State shootings. This book really hits home for me since this includes my senior year in high school and my college years.
 
sarah woods
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Rating: 4 Stars
Exciting and invigorating!
 
Judy
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 3 Stars
I tried to like this, I really did. But from the very beginning I felt like I had read this before and each little twist only lead me to my guess at the ending (which was on the mark).

Out of one tragedy, June Nealon finds blessed life and the future was every bit as bright. But life is a series of happenstance. People weave into our lives yet leave changed our existence in imaginable ways. Shay Bourne, foster child, "loser" drifts in the happy bubble. In a heartbeat, the world changes for everyone. 

Now Shay wants to change things, and it looks like June's 11-year old daughter born after the night that changed everything is the key to his salvation.

The novel is told through the voices of June, Shay, a priest, an attorney, a cellmate. I wasn't quite sure what the book wanted to be and I felt manipulated by character plots and could never shake that de ja vu feeling right through to the ending.

I've liked so many of Jodi Picoult's works, but this one was just not one of them.

 
Brittany Rebello (deadmonkeys90@yahoo.com)
Willow by V.C. Andrews
Rating: 5 Stars
Although V.C. Andrews writes books that are quite demented in certain ways, they are always very good and they kep you wanting to know more. This one is about an orphan who sets out to meet her real mother after her father dies.
 
Readingrat
A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
Rating: 4 Stars
A quaint Victorian social satire and romance that makes for a short pleasant read.
 
Ivy (ipittman26@yahoo.com)
Seen It All and Done the Rest by Pearl Cleage
Rating: 4 Stars
An engaging read about a woman's return to Atlanta after living in Amsterdam and the problems, challenges and new life that she experiences. Pearl is a master at pulling the reader into Atlanta's west end, it's history and the people who take great pride in their neighborhood and their people.
 
Shelley (shelleymcclelland@yahoo.com)
Honor Thyself by Danielle Steel
Rating: 3 Stars
Predictable but I enjoyed it, as I do all her books.
 
Kathy V.
Murder Melts in Your Mouth by Nancy Martin
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the latest in the series called Blackbird Sisters Mysteries and I have to say that Nancy did it again. She really pulls you into their lives and makes it all seem so real. This is a great book, just like all the others in this series. Nora really has her hands full when her parents show back up and all heck breaks lose. Her little sister doesn't help matters either.
 
Roseann Kies
sTORI Telling by Tori Spelling
Rating: 5 Stars
I highly recommend this autobiography. It gives us true
insight to a misunderstood woman, who is just so nice.

 
Ed Nemmers (theyyyguy@yahoo.com)
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Rating: 4 Stars
One couple's anxiety on their wedding night causes life changing problems.
 
Judy O.
Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama
Rating: 4 Stars
Since I am an Obama supporter, I found it very interesting to read about his "roots". Part of his story takes place in Kenya, after he returns there to meet his father's family. We also learn about his community organizing in Chicago. I had wondered what a community organizer did. In some places I skimmed, as they got a little too long for my taste. All in all, I enjoyed it and learned from it.
 
Stephanie (stoland@ameritech.net)
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Rating: 5 Stars
Absolutely fantastic book!! Funny, sharp, and lots of fantasy elements, it's one of Gaiman's best!
 
Zara Heflin
The Bleeding Dusk: The Gardella Vampire Chronicles by Colleen Gleason
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the third book in this decadent vampire series. I've heard the series described as "Jane Austen meets 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,'" and must say that's an accurate depiction. This book could be read alone, but would be made even better by reading the first two books in the series.
 
Fran
Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston
Rating: 3 Stars
A story of a marriage affected by infertility and the husband's infidelity. A fairly predictable, fast read. I liked this author's first book better, but also enjoyed this one.
 
Robert A. Piacquad (fonzie220@bellsouth.net)
Two Little Girls In Blue by Mary Higgens Clark
Rating: 5 Stars
A great Story that kept you in suspense most of the time. I even like her daughter books too, because she is also a good writer.
 
Sandy Greathouse (Muzzley56@aol.com)
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Rating: 5 Stars
I loved this book! Its one of the best I've ever read.
 
J. Kaye Oldner (jkayeoldner@gmail.com)
Midnight Man by Lisa Marie Rice
Rating: 5 Stars
Rice merges two genres of my favorite genres in one with this erotic romance suspense.
 
laurie lyman
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Rating: 5 Stars
Geraldine Brooks did not disappoint in her newest delivery. What I love about it is the sense knowing one walks away with after reading it. I find that true with all her books. I not only get a good read but I walk away with knowledge about a new subject.
 
J. Kaye Oldner (jkayeoldner@gmail.com)
Play Dirty by Sandra Brown
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviews over Sandra Brown's PLAY DIRTY weren't exactly glowing on Amazon, causing me to be a bit skeptical prior to getting this book. For this reason, I went with the audio format. Normally I can stick with a bad book longer this way. But it turns out, this wasn't necessary.

 
Marjorie Clark (marjorie_clark2000@yahoo.com)
The Appeal by John Grisham
Rating: 4 Stars
John Grisham is at his best at always explaining the law to his readers. This time it's trial lawyers and the supreme court in Mississippi. Like all of his books, this keeps you turning the page and not wanting it to end.
 
Debbie (delphimo@yahoo.com)
The Commoner by John Burnham Schwartz
Rating: 3 Stars
A touching story of a normal person, commoner, marrying into the royal Japanese family. So much time is spent on the early years and then suddenly you jump from young mother to middle-aged woman --- a big gap.
 
Deanna
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Rating: 4 Stars
I learned so much about going through divorce, and the author's trip to Italy is mouth watering!
 
Jodene Gildea
Cross by James Patterson
Rating: 4 Stars
I loved it but wasn't thrilled with the ending.
 
Donna P.
Spin Control by Niki Burnham
Rating: 5 Stars
Wow! This book is great and is such a refreshing read. It's a comedy romance and I highly recommend it to all. This would be wonderful for teens.
 
Julie Siemek (lsiemek@yahoo.com)
The Ex-Debutante by Linda Francis Lee
Rating: 5 Stars
You should have a special category of 6 stars for books like this one. Hilarious from page one. Be prepared to read this one all in one sitting!
 
Barbara Sharpe (barbara.sharpe@yahoo.com)
The Winding Ways Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
Rating: 3 Stars
This book picks up essentially where CIRCLE OF QUILTERS leaves off. The new teachers are coming, the old teachers are leaving. Summer is going to grad school and Judy got a job at another university. However, what's kind of cool about this is that you get each major character's history and how they got involved in quilting. Judy's story broke my heart, in a way, but she overcame it, obviously.

The newest employees are in the book but not described in depth as yet. Anna is the new chef and Gretchen the new teacher. Sarah and Matt have a couple of surprises, too. It also looks as if Jeremy, Summer's boyfriend, and Anna might wind up being a couple. It seems pretty obvious so I hope that I'm wrong about that in future books.

Overall, a good story, but it's best, I think, if you've read the entire series.

 
Barbara Sharpe (barbara.sharpe@yahoo.com)
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 4 Stars
June is a central figure of this book, though we don't hear much from her. In the beginning, she is in a car accident and her husband dies, but her daughter does not. June meets a policeman whom she ultimately marries.

Enter Shay. The story begins with his trial for the double murder of the policeman June married and her daughter, Elizabeth. Actually, the question has become --- should they give him the death penalty or not? One of the jurors, Michael, doesn't want to and is ultimately persuaded.

Fast forward 11 years. We're now at the end of Shay's life and he sees on the news that June's other daughter, Claire, needs a heart transplant. Shay wants to give her his heart but he's scheduled for lethal injection, which stops the heart, leaving it inappropriate for donation. The story centers around Shay's court battle to change his method of execution

I am a fan of Jodi Picoult, but I have to say that her books with mystical themes don't impress me. It just doesn't seem to suit her. In this case, there are people who think that Shay is the messiah. Or A Messiah. The saving grace for me is that there is a lot of discussion of the Gnostics and I always learn something new when books discuss the Gnostics. 

It's a great story, compellingly written as long as you ignore the mystical overtures.

 
Barbara Sharpe (barbara.sharpe@yahoo.com)
Storm Front by Jim Butcher
Rating: 4 Stars
I called my friend M today. I hated to do it, but I had to tell her that her husband was right: I DO like the Dresden Files books by Jim Butcher. At the very least, I liked the first of them. 

Harry Dresden is a wizard who advertises his services in the phone book. Not surprisingly, he is the only wizard listed, so he gets a fair share of nut jobs calling him. This time, however, he gets two calls right after the other: one from a local detective looking for his help, and another from a woman who is trying to find her husband. The detective is calling about a double murder using magic --- and Harry is the only local wizard powerful enough to do it. He is under pressure from the human police and the wizard police because they *both* think he's responsible. Along the way, there is a girl and some interesting fights and meetings with otherworldly creatures. 

Initially, I thought this was a male version --- and rip off --- of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake. The whole being on retainer to the police, the adversarial relationship with some of the police force and then being a magical creature himself. After I read a few pages, I more or less got over that. The writing is more Sam Spade-like than LKH, which can be distracting at first. Again, once I got a few pages into it, that fell by the wayside and I just enjoyed the book. 

The character development isn't that great but that's often true of first books. Lieutenant Karrin Murphy is fairly one dimensional as is Dresden's love interest, Susan Rodriguez. To compare again to LKH, that was true of Dolph and Jean Claude until at least the 3rd book of the series, so I think there's hope. There are (I think) 10 in this series, thus far, so I'm sure Butcher gets better in that arena. He did well enough this time that I want to continue to read the series. 

I'm a fan of series book and this promises to be one that I'll continue.

 
mary ann
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Rating: 5 Stars
Excellant book about an American boy growing up in an Indian family, and his conflict with its traditions, foods, lifestyle and trying to fit in. He is first generation and his parents don't understand the "American Way" and they gave him a terrrible name too. We grow up with him in the novel and learn to love and appreciate his family and his own personal growth. Beautifly written with great narratives and descriptions of food and travel. We can all relate in some way to Gogel/Nikkoli.
 
Bridget
Ransom by Danielle Steel
Rating: 1 Stars
I have not read anything by Danielle Steel in ages. About one fourth of the way into this book I remembered why. Boring, predictable, shallow characters with a predictable ending. Won't read any of hers again.
 
J. Kaye Oldner (jkayeoldner@yahoo.com)
Colter's Woman by Maya Banks
Rating: 4 Stars
It's a very short read at 272 pages and the best part is that it comes with a warning label. 

 
Miss Emma
Omnivore's Dilemma by MIchael Pollen
Rating: 5 Stars
Fabulous read.
 
Robin (rmayerhoefer@cox.net)
Texas! Sage by Sandra Brown
Rating: 5 Stars
Sandra Brown's books are always enjoyable, and the Texas! series lives up to her reputation. Sage is the third book in the series, and the best of the three. Yeah, it's a simple romance, but what's wrong with that?
 
Readingrat
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Rating: 4 Stars
A morality play disguised as a sci-fi novel.
 
Fran
The Butterfly House by Marcia Preston
Rating: 4 Stars
A beautifully woven tale of a young girl who grows up with an alcoholic mother and finds solace in her friend's family. A wonderful story with a touch of mystery to keep the pages turning. I enjoyed this novel more than I expected I would.
 
Genie
Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith
Rating: 5 Stars
Engagement of Precious Ramotswe, Botswana's sole woman detective, to local master mechanic Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni has been announced. This turns out to be more complicated than she imagined. First, plans must be made concerning the setting up house with Mr. Matekoni and the acquisition of an engagement ring while having to cope with the nasty schemes of Mr. Matekoni's angry housekeeper. The unexpected addition of two foster children (one with serious physical disabilities) further complicates the household.

The main investigation begins when Precious is asked by an American woman to find out what happened to her son who disappeared from a commune ten years before. Once again she conducts the investigation using her insight of human nature and down to earth wisdom. Mma Makutsi, her secretary/typist/assistant is given a case of a cheating wife to investigate by herself.

 
Genie
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
Rating: 5 Stars
Great Britain in 1985. The Crimean War has dragged on for over 100 years. A number of readers still enjoy an intense love of literature. Third Most Wanted criminal, Acheron Hades, is stealing characters from England's classic literature and holding them for ransom.

While stealing a character from a book only changes that one book, Hades has escalated his thievery. He is stealing original manuscripts; changing all copies in print. Special Operations Network Literary Division operative, Thursday Next, is on the case. She has been trying to trace Hades ever since he stole Mr. Quaverley from the original manuscript of Martin Chuzzlewit and killed him. Now Hades has zeroed in on JANE EYRE, Thursday's all time favorite book. He must be stopped! After several tries, Thursday manages to stop Hades and rescue Jane.

What a great story! I couldn't put this book down!

 
Liza
Mistress in the Art od Death by Ariana Franklin
Rating: 5 Stars
Who is killing children in 12th-century Cambridge? King Henry II wants the mystery solved, so he summons a "mistress in the art of death" in the form of Adelia, an Italian woman with the medical training to become a skilled forensic investigator. However, she must disguise her occupation and reason for arriving in Cambridge, in order not to be labeled a witch. It is a dangerous job and this historical novel pulled me in from the beginning. It is a novel of suspense, horror, romance and vivid history. Picture THE CANTERBURY TALES meets "CSI." I loved it and can't wait for Franklin's second book due out next year.
 
Virginia Murr
Captain Alatriste by Arturo Perez-Reverte
Rating: 4 Stars
Another intriguing adventure from a gifted author.
 
Karlie
Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky
Rating: 3 Stars
This book is about a caucasian couple that have a baby with African American traits and their journey to find their heritage.
 
Janet Kindron
Lost Souls by Lisa Jackson
Rating: 2 Stars
This was a well-written book but the story did not appeal to me. I am not a vampire person so that aspect was a turn-off. But, I liked her style of writing so I would give her another chance.
 
Laura A. Adams (Laura.Adams@ky.gov)
Edge of Winter by Luanne Rice
Rating: 4 Stars
Good, easy read. Interesting characters. I liked it very much.
 
Thomas
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Rating: 5 Stars
I knew that this bore no real resemblance to most of the movie versions of this famous book. Even the 1931 version starring Boris Karloff is far removed from the original story. 

So, I decided to read Shelley's book in its entirety, and I have not been disappointed. This is a tale with deep meaning. One comes to feel compassion for the monster. How else would a person feel for one who has been rejected at every turn, not just by strangers, but by his very creator? How would we feel if we discovered that God had found us repulsive and wretched, and turned His back on us? It's no wonder the monster asks Victor Frankenstein to create another --- a female --- just as hideous as the original creation, but one who might offer companionship and even love, which is what the monster longs for (as we do). This is a must-read book, especially for those who ever look down on their fellow humans with a sense of superiority and no love.

 
Christy Hawkes
Demon's Fire by Emma Holly
Rating: 5 Stars
This fourth book in the Demon World series was a fascinating erotic adventure read with plenty of twists and turns. 

Warning: the sex scenes are graphic and hot enough to set the pages on fire!

 
Brenda
Summer Blowout by Claire Cook
Rating: 4 Stars
This book was a breath of fresh air. The overall feel of this book was breezy and light, but serious enough to hold my attention the whole way through. I enjoyed the beauty tips scattered throughout the story.
 
Quinn (eqkmath@gmail.com)
Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris
Rating: 5 Stars
Ferris writes a compelling and funny story about life in the office 5 days out of the week! He saturates the story with such wonderful detail the reader feels as if she or he is in the next cubicle. It is easy to see why this book was on the National Book Award finalist list!
 
Bonnie
What is the What by Dave Eggers
Rating: 4 Stars
I probably would have enjoyed this more had I not recently read a non-fiction book about the Lost Boys of the Sudan. This seemed like a rehash.
 
Bonnie
Souvenir by Therese Fowler
Rating: 4 Stars
This first-time author hits a bulls-eye with this novel of choices we make and the road not taken. It's "women's fiction" yet so much more.
 
Christy Hawkes
Killer Secrets by Lora Leigh
Rating: 4 Stars
KILLER SECRETS is the 5th book in the Tempting SEALs series and the action and suspense just keeps getting higher and higher, along with the intrigue and romance

Ms. Leigh does not disappoint with her highly erotic love scenes that fans have come to anticipate and expect. Her fascinating characters have me eagerly anticipating the the next installment.

 
Sherman
One Helluva Ride by Liz Clarke
Rating: 3 Stars
A book about Nascar driving and how it has changed over the years, along with the sport and the drivers. It began with the moonshiners and now it is a multi-million dollar business.
 
Laura A. Adams (Laura.Adams@ky.gov)
A Thousand Spendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Rating: 4 Stars
Great book. A sad but very interesting story that needs to be told.
 
Lonnie Elliott
Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury
Rating: 4 Stars
Once again, Karen Kingsbury has written a true-to-life book that makes you think. Why does our society abandon foster children at the age of eighteen?
 
Janice Wright (jwright@iowatelecom.net)
Inner Harbor by Nora Roberts
Rating: 5 Stars
Roberts's books are an easy read. I just love her characters.
 
Sheree Warner (moonshadow43@gmail.com)
The Alibi Man by Tami Hoag
Rating: 4 Stars
Highly suspenseful. I have always loved her as an author and prefer her earlier works, but this is still worth the money!
 
Sheree Warner (moonshadow43@gmail.com)
What The Dead Know by Laura Lippman
Rating: 4 Stars
It is very suspenseful and keeps you interested throughout the book. I would recommend the book and also the author.
 
Carol Grubbs (carol.grubbs@gmail.com)
Ultraviolet by Nancy Bush
Rating: 4 Stars
A fantastic light-hearted detective story with a vast array of characters. The father of the bride is murdered on his daughter's wedding day and any number of the characters could have finished him off. 

I loved the Jane Kelly, P.I., character. She was, well, so much like me. 

The cover and title were such a turn-off for me, but I am glad i finally got past that.

 
shyeyes
Bleeding Kansas by Sara Paretsky
Rating: 4 Stars
Very good novel about 3 families that have ties to each other back to the Civil War, and have brought forward all the residual attitudes and feelings of each family! Very well done, an different type of book for Paretsky.
 
Noreen Brown
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Rating: 2 Stars
This book could have better if it was half as long. It dragged on and on in some parts.

 
Marsha
Sepulchre by Kate Mosse
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a haunting tale of secrets surrounding a deck of tarot cards and the significance they hold for a young girl in 1891 Paris and again with a present-day biographer. Call it a mystery, a ghost story, an historical novel about the Carcassonne region of France or just a good yarn about the forces of good and evil, it's definitely different.
 
Michelle Miller (miller4plusmore@bellsouth.net)
Like Water for Chocolate by Linda Esquivel
Rating: 5 Stars
This was a great book. The incorporation of recipes and cooking in the story gives it a lot of texture. The characters are interesting, especially Tita, the main character. This was a great read.
 
Michelle Miller (miller4plusmore@bellsouth.net)
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Rating: 4 Stars
I was a little uncertain about this one. I love to read and there really are not too many books that I dislike, but I was worried when I first started reading it and almost put it down. However, once I started getting into it, I really started to like it. Those who like to read historical fiction and about the Knights Templar will like this book. It just has to be given a chance. First impressions can be dangerous!
 
Lori Barnes (photoquest@bellsouth.net)
Light Of The Moon by LuAnne Rice
Rating: 5 Stars
I thought this was an absolutley wonderful book. I was so taken away to the fabled French Camargue and felt like I saw the white horses running in the white sand. It was a mother's last wish for her daughter to return to visit Sarah, who was a mysterious saint linked to her family. This book has a lot to offer: gypsies, white horses, bulls, love, deep-set pain, friendship, patience. This is a book anyone will enjoy to get caught up in.
 
Kathy
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Rating: 4 Stars
A fun twist to the classic ALICE IN WONDERLAND. This is the story of Alyss and her homeland wars, as well as how her story was twisted into the children's story we have today.
 
Marion Miller (lamamil@aol.com)
Consequences by Penelope Lively
Rating: 4 Stars
A delightful read. This is a family saga from a British point of view. The story is good and the characters memorable.
 
Dayna
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Rating: 5 Stars
Memorable and meaningful.
 
Steven Herron-Mager
Death Before Bedtime by Edgar Box (Gore Vidal)
Rating: 3 Stars
I just finished DEATH IN THE FIFTH POSITION by the same author. Maybe this is not the best mystery series I have read, but it is interesting, given that it was written by Gore Vidal under a pseudonym. I was not sure whether to give it 3 or 4 stars because they do have good plots and the characters are interesting. Mr Vidal says he wrote them because of a bad review he received in the 1950's and the reviewing "political" situation at the time. I would not recommend them strongly, but I would recommend them.
 
Debbie Lockledge (dlockledge@co.brazos.tx.us)
Jimmy by Robert Whitlow
Rating: 5 Stars
I would recommend this book to anyone. It was a great read.
 
Catie 75
Sweetwater by Roxana Robinson
Rating: 2 Stars
Uneven; it tries to tell too many stories.
 
Catie 75
Sacred time by Ursula Hegi
Rating: 4 Stars
Great read.
 
M,
The Seduction Of An Unknown Lady by Samantha James
Rating: 5 Stars
This book was fantastic! Historical Romantic Suspense at it's best. The banter back and forth between the hero and the heroine is quite entertaining and their desire to know each other's deepest secrets draws them further and further into a passion they can't deny. This is the second book in a series starting with THE SECRET PASSION OF SIMON BLACKWELL, which I also recommend highly, but you don't need to read the books in order.
 
M.
What Looks Like Crazy by Charlotte Hughes
Rating: 5 Stars
A well-written comedy/ mystery with a cast of quirky characters. This book will have you laughing from start to finish!
 
Cynthia Baxter
Tell Me Where it Hurts by Dr. Nick Trout
Rating: 5 Stars
This non-fiction book is about a "day in the life" of an animal surgeon. There are very sensitive subjects here that make for a lively discussion, --- such as placing a price on your pet or (and I loved this one) the availability of plastic surgery options for your cat or dog. Imagine how your reading group would respond to that one! Highly recommended, but with caution --- there are a lot of emotional moments, so keep your pet handy for a hug.
 
Marie
The Year of Living Bibically by A. J. Jacobs
Rating: 4 Stars
I am really enjoying this book that has taken me deeper into the bible than I ever had gone in CCD classes. Jacobs is a wry storyteller and he makes seemingly arcane rules from the Bible interesting and worth taking on...even in modern day NYC.
 
Lori W.
Star Wars: The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton
Rating: 5 Stars
Love, love, love this novel! Simply a wonderfully romantic and well-put togetherStar Wars Universe story.
 
Fran
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Rating: 5 Stars
Absolutely wonderful. Strout is one of the best contemporary writers. Her weaving together of the different stories is just magical.
 
Tarah Pessel
Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin
Rating: 5 Stars
This is such an easy read --- like you're listening to your friend.
 
Sasha (conannsasha@hotmail.com)
Why Isn't Church Biblical? by Cliff Tucker
Rating: 5 Stars
While the title is a little misleading, this book is a no-holds-barred look into the Church today. How we have strayed from God's word and into feel good messages. This book has inspired me to take a deeper look into the word of God and what he really means. This book shows how one man can transform his life into a God-fearing Christian the right way!
 
T. Thomas
The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks
Rating: 3 Stars
First in a series. It moves rather quickly, but doesn't seem to offer anything new or innovative.
 
Jean
Scoop by Kit Frazier
Rating: 4 Stars
Very entertaining and fast moving. It is classified under romantic mystery. I find the humor in this novel to be similar to Janet Evanovich. I will definitely read another mystery by this author.
 
Michelle (michelle.mccaffrey@verizon.net)
Harmony by Joanna Goodman
Rating: 5 Stars
Finding oneself is always a journey and Joanna Goodman takes us on Anne's journey. This was a really great read that snuck up on the reader and left you wanting to know more.
 
Mo (maestraw@msn.com)
Charley's Web by Joy Fielding
Rating: 4 Stars
Fielding has done it again! She writes thrillers that one can figure out as the book begins, and then she pulls the rug right out from under the reader and the end twists and turns to a resolution that no one knows is coming.
 
Debbie (delphimo@yahoo.com)
Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews
Rating: 3 Stars
DEEP DISH is about dueling Southern cooks who end up in love and determined to host a tv show together. A cute and predictable story.
 
Ezmerelda (ezmerelda@mail.com)
Obedience by Will Lavender
Rating: 4 Stars
Wonderful book. I'm not finished with it yet, but would recommend it already. I ordered based on a review on this site and am highly pleased. Give it a shot. It's creepy and good.
 
Readingrat
The Good Guy by Dean Koontz
Rating: 4 Stars
Enjoyable characters, lots of suspenseful action, and good plot twists, however the ending was less than satisfying.
 
Dena
Shifter by Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Virginia Kantra
Rating: 4 Stars
I bought this anthology for the Alyssa Day novella that is part of her Warriors from Atlantis series. I really liked it but wish her story was longer. I found that I enjoyed all of the stories and now am more interested in the other authors.
 
T. Thomas
People of the Book by by Geraldine Brooks
Rating: 5 Stars
Although I felt the book got bogged down in a couple of places, overall it is outstanding. I highly recommend it.
 
Gisele
Crawfish Mountain by Ken Wells
Rating: 4 Stars
As a native/resident, I like reading books about Louisiana written by native Louisianians.
 
Katie D
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 5 Stars
I love all of Jodi Picoults books, and her latest one is no exception. This time, she is again covering what is faith, as she did in KEEPING FAITH. But readers will discover that this book is even more complicated. It's wonderful, a real page turner.
 
Readingrat
Oil! by Upton Sinclair
Rating: 3 Stars
Upton Sinclair's books always seem to be a struggle for me to finish. He incorporates so much political philosophy into his stories. Not being a very political person, it's hard for me to remain interested in the story once it turns that bend in the road. Overall, I found THE JUNGLE to be a more interesting story due to the working/living atrocities brought to light there.
 
Dena
Vampire Interrupted by Lynsay Sands
Rating: 5 Stars
I loved all of Lynsay's Vampire books and it seems this is the last by the ending. I hope it isn't because her characters, settings, and storylines are really entertaining. This story followed Marguarite a new private eye looking for the mother of 500-year- old vampire. There was humor, mystery, and romance. If you like that, then you will love this book.
 
Frances Drukten
The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen
Rating: 5 Stars
Loved it --- couldn't put it down. I can't wait to read other titles by her. I would recommend it to every mystery fan out there.
 
Jeni
The Dead Room by Heather Graham
Rating: 4 Stars
I just recently found this author. How I ever missed her, I will never know. Her writing is exactly what I love --- mystery, romance, and just enough supernatural to make it believable. I immediately went to Barnes and Noble, hunting for more of her work and there was nothing. How could this be?!! So, never fear --- Amazon to the rescue. I bought 4 more...THE PRESENCE, THE SEANCE, THE VISION, and GHOST WALK.

I love the bits of history incorporated, the varying characters and the clarity with which she writes. I am thrilled to have found her and look forward to reading everything.

 
Carol H.
The Senator's Wife by Sue Miller
Rating: 5 Stars
Another excellent novel by Sue Miller. Bravo.
 
Carol H.
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
Rating: 5 Stars
Well-written novel about the wonderful and the difficult times in the lives of childhood friends.
 
Denise
The Detainees by Roddy Doyle
Rating: 5 Stars
THE DETAINEES is a collection of short stories, all dealing with changing Ireland. As Doyle notes in the preface, he went to sleep one night in one Ireland and woke up the next day in another --- with a more diverse population, and with a booming economy. One story updates the life of Jimmy Rabbitte (the central character in Doyle's breakthrough novel, THE COMMITMENTS); several explore the dance of the old and the new in Ireland. I love Doyle's writing, and was delighted to find this new book.
 
Zara Heflin
Beastly by Alex Flinn
Rating: 5 Stars
This is an enchanting modern-day take on the classic Beauty and the Beast tale. It is marketed as young adult, but I think more mature readers will it enjoy it equally so.
 
Genie
Cat Spitting Mad by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Rating: 5 Stars
Modern-day Celtic cats Joe Gray, Dulcie, and Kit speak and read English. When the Molena Point chief of police is framed for the kidnapping and murder of a young girl, its time for this trio to join forces and join the investigation. These little investigators discover clues by hiding under desks, eavesdropping when they are supposed to be asleep, and carefully moving evidence to trap the real killer 

There is also an interesting sub-plot: someone is killing cats in San Francisco. Who is doing this and how does it relate to the murders and kidnapping? 

Although this is one of several books in a series, it's not necessary to have read the previous ones in order to enjoy this mystery.

 
Debi
The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle
Rating: 2 Stars
I was really disappointed in this book. It dragged in places so I skimmed through the pages. The ending was a trite vignette, as were many other scenes. Its theme is illegal immigration of Hispanics, but I don't think the characterization did justice to either side.
 
Linda B
Hostage Situation by Debra Webb
Rating: 5 Stars
Very intense, and part of the Colby Agency series!
 
Linda B.
Hidden by Eve Klein
Rating: 5 Stars
A new, fresh author who readers will love!
 
Coral Harrison
Play Dead by David Rosenfelt
Rating: 5 Stars
A very good mystery. It is another installment in the Andy Carpenter series. He is a lawyer who inherited $22 million, so doesn't have to work and takes just the cases he wants. He is hired to try to prove Richard Evans --- who has a life sentence --- not guilty. 

Andy has a beautiful Golden Retreiver named Tara. Another Golden Retreiver named Reggie is also a main character in the book.

 
Genie
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith
Rating: 5 Stars
Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series is one of my favorites. No matter how complex the tale, Precious Ramotswe always discovers the truth and gives down- to-earth advice to those seeking her help. The exception to her usual clear thinking seems to involve her own past. When her first husband comes back to town and tries to pull a blackmail scheme, Precious finds herself in the middle of a bad situation. This time, Precious realizes she can't bury the past. No matter how unpleasant, its time to confront some unfinished business.
 
Tonya Keener
T is For Trespass by Sue Grafton
Rating: 5 Stars
She is my favorite author of all time. I have read every thing she has ever written. When I pick up her books I don't put them down till the book is read.
 
Genie
Cat In the Dark by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
Rating: 4 Stars
Joe Grey and Dulcie are modern-day descendants of ancient Celtic talking cats. They witness, with great interest, a series of burglaries in their California seaside village. They discover the culprits are a human and his accomplice, a large black cat named Azrael, who also talks. When Joe Grey and Dulcie confront Azrael about the crimes, he admits they are correct and proceeds to tell them that there will soon be three murders. It is then that Joe Grey and Dulcie compare notes and come up with a list of possible suspects. 

Azrael's human companion turns out to be the brother of Mavity Flowers, one of the hard-working older women in the village. 
His daughter and her husband come to town to visit and clandestinely photocopy their aunt's financial portfolio. When the is found murdered, Joe and Dulcie are on the case, much to the dismay of Joe's human keeper, Clyde.

 
Desmond Warzel
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
Rating: 5 Stars
An exasperating and amusing story of a woman in distress, by one of the first novelists in the English language.
 
Phyllis
Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgans
Rating: 5 Stars
I loved this book. Once I started reading, I hated to stop. It's full of delightful characters and situations; it had me laughing out loud at times and crying at others.

 
Nicole
Good Grief by Lolly Winston
Rating: 5 Stars
I am reading this right now, and it is really a great book! It is about a woman who has lost her husband to cancer, and how she deals with it and gets on with her life!
 
Tammy Sorrell (tesorrell@aol.com)
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 4 Stars
I am currently reading CHANGE OF HEART by Jodi Picoult. I'm really enjoying it so far. I'm a huge fan of all of Jodi's books.
 
Yvonne Huff
I Heard That Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark
Rating: 5 Stars
Love her books.
 
Candace
The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood
Rating: 3 Stars
Just ok. The book was good enough to finish, but not enough to keep me awake until I finished it!
 
Gerry
The Ghost War by Alex Berenson
Rating: 5 Stars
CIA agent John Wells returns in a sequel to THE FAITHFUL SPY. He's back in Washington, recovered physically from his wounds and living openly now with Jennifer Exeley, his former "handler." But still, he's restless, careless with his safety, uneasy in his skin. When the CIA finds evidence of a surge in Taliban activity backed by an unknown foreign power, it doesn't take much to convince Wells to return to Afghanistan to investigate. And what he finds there is far from what anyone expected.

This was well written, fast moving, and always interesting. My only complaint is that the end felt a bit rushed, and I'd have liked a little more explicit detail about the book's final events.

 
Annette Taylor
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Rating: 5 Stars
One of the best books ever.
 
Carolyn Nedrow (cjnedrow@gmail.com)
I Heard That Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark
Rating: 5 Stars
Love her mysteries!
 
Alicia T
Chill Factor by Sandra Brown
Rating: 4 Stars
I really enjoyed this. It made you think you knew what was going on, when in actuality, you didn't.
 
Ann F
A Man Called Dave by Dave Peltzer
Rating: 4 Stars
This is his third in the series. The first book, A CHILD CALLED "IT" is the most well known. This conclusion tells how he not only survived, but went on to lead a very interesting life. I enjoyed the book very much.
 
Michele
Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See
Rating: 5 Stars
Beautifully written. Two girls become "old sames" in 1800s China. Living in different villages, they share their lives with each other by using secret women's writing on a fan that is passed back and forth. The book follows them from girlhood and foot-binding, to marriage and misunderstanding.
 
Katie S
Dogs of March by Ernest Hebert
Rating: 5 Stars
Our book group just finished this book and then we had a visit from the author. His writing is so full of metaphors and wonderful descriptions. It is about a man in New Hampshire and his reaction to the change coming to his town as people from cities move in.
 
Fran
Maybe a Miracle by Brian Strause
Rating: 2 Stars
A strange story about a girl in a coma, who has religious experiences and a healing effect on others. I enjoyed the novel from the perspective of her brother, and the impact of this tragedy on the family, but I could have lived without the religious aspects of the book. I was also quite disappointed in the end, which appeared to be a little too neatly wrapped up.
 
Karen Mead
Any by Stephen King
Rating: 5 Stars
All of his books are amazing and well worth the read.
 
Julie (julietowson131@aol.com)
A Vineyard in Tuscany by Ferenc Mate
Rating: 4 Stars
This book is about the author buying an 800-year-old home in Tuscany and planting over 15 acres of grape vines. It is filled with beautiful descriptions of the people, food and Tuscany. And his adventure of becoming an owner of a vineyard and having his wines receive international acclaim.
 
Margie Bunting
Midnight Rambler by James Swain
Rating: 4 Stars
OK, I know I read a lot, and quickly, but I didn't discover until 2/3 of the way through this book that I had read it before! It's so good that I had to finish it, yet again. You can't go wrong with an exciting, suspensful book from Swain.
 
Karen
Trouble the Water by Nicole Seitz
Rating: 4 Stars
Great read! Honor and Alice could be two friends of mine. The characters were true to life as was the storyline. The author captured the real-life experiences of many us --- how we as women deal with friends, family, and our own illnesses. I had not read the author's previous work but went out and purchased THE SPIRIT OF SWEETGRASS as soon as I finished TROUBLE THE WATER.
 
Anita Yancey
Vanished by Karen Robards
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a very good read that you won't want to put down. It keeps you guessing what's going to happen next all throughout the book. I especially like the character of Jake. I wish more men were like him.
 
Peggy (cali_lb@msn.com)
Bone Song by John Meaney
Rating: 4 Stars
Looking for something original in Sci Fi or Fantasy? Well, this is the book for you. It's a futuristic tale that looks and feels like a dark gothic suspense novel. Two characters, a police lieutenant and a Commander who has a very unusual secret, work together to solve a series of murders. In this world, everything is in shades of black, or so it seems; yet, it compels the reader to keep turning the pages wondering what is going to happen next. It's Blade Runner in a city of the dead. Mr. Meaney is a breath of fresh air in the Sci Fi world.
 
Jean H. (sadiebelle238@comcast.net)
The Tortilla Curtain by T.C. Boyle
Rating: 4 Stars
Timely and thought provoking. I'm reading this for my book club, and it should be a good discussion.
 
Dodalodle from Beautiful British Columbia
The Outcast by Sadie Jones
Rating: 4 Stars
I found this book to be very sad and emotionally disturbing in some parts. It tells the story of a young boy raised in a small community in 1950s England who witnesses his mother's drowning. He struggles in silence dealing with her death and being raised by a cold unemotional father. The community is very straight laced and church orientated with secretly abusive families. A very compelling and riveting novel.
 
Susan Smith
Power Play by Joseph Finder
Rating: 4 Stars
I found this book interesting
 
Renee (tfranzen2124@comcast.net)
The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander
Rating: 5 Stars
I realize I came to this novel a bit late, but with the Romanovs in the news this week, the book feels timely and important. What a wonderful novelist!
 
Mary Ann
Learning Greek by Charles Baxter
Rating: 4 Stars
A very nice story about true love and many chances missed. It is the story of a thoughtful young man and woman who meet on a plane and hit it off. He loses her phone number and doesn't know her last name. They meet several years later, but she is going out with his best friend. And the story goes he secretely still pines for her but gets married to someone else, etc. The plot involves missed chances and finally getting what you are rooting for. It's cever and well written.
 
Mellena Driver
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
Rating: 4 Stars
It is a very good book. My book club is currently reading this and it is a good mystery.
 
Margaret Ladue (laduea@frontiernet.net)
The True & Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt by Elisabeth robinson
Rating: 5 Stars
This book was written in letter form, which was a little different, but I enjoyed it very much. It's a heartwarming story of two sisters.
 
Margaret LaDue (laduea@frontiernet.net)
The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 5 Stars
I love Jodi Picoult's novels. She always has some surprising twists, but my favorite, by far, was MY SISTER'S KEEPER.
 
Robin Coker (hillcoker@yahoo.com)
7th Heaven by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the 7th installment of the Women's Murder Club series, and one of the best. It's one of those books you can't put down and then feel sad that its over. There were many twist and turns, all the way to the end.
 
Ricki (rickimc@aol.com)
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell
Rating: 3 Stars
This is a quick-paced read about three women that seamlessly moves between the past and the present. However, the ending was very disappointing.
 
Pattie Berryhill (pattiberr@aol.com)
Slash by Slash and Anthony Bozza
Rating: 3 Stars
An insight into the life of Guns N' Roses lead guitarist.
 
Jessica (jessieface@aol.com)
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Rating: 5 Stars
I love it. Joe's writing definitely reminds me of his Dad's, but he has his own style. HEART-SHAPED BOX is very spooky but intellectual.
 
Terri
Killer Secrets by Lora Leigh
Rating: 4 Stars
I've enjoyed Leigh's books tracking a group of SEALS with their heroic efforts to save the world along with the steamy sex. This book explored the SEAL, Ian, whose biological father is a big wheel in the drug cartel. The heroine, Kira, has a secret life as a sometime-covert government employee. It was okay. But I think some of the "fresh" has gone out of this series. I'm ready for Leigh to tackle a new line because she is an amazing writer.
 
Kearstie
Peony in Love by Lisa See
Rating: 4 Stars
Charming story about lovesickness in 17th-century China. This ghost story is a good companion to SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN, as it shows the reader that role of women and their influence has changed more than once in China, with the whims of those men who come to power. Also, it offers insight into the reverence of ancestors and the spiritual beliefs of the time and place.
 
Kearstie
Sepulchre by Kate Mosse
Rating: 4 Stars
Exciting and well-written story that centers around a tarot deck, ancestral links, and the eternal struggle between the forces of good and evil. The prose is elegant and characters compelling. It ended a bit too abruptly for my taste, or it would have rated 5 stars.
 
Helen Bridges
Where Are You Now? by Mary Higgins Clark
Rating: 3 Stars
That means enjoyable.
 
Jean Morrison
Eleven on Top by Janet Evanovich
Rating: 3 Stars
Very similar to her previous books.
 
Melissa Ensing
Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor by VanRyn, Cerak, Tabb
Rating: 5 Stars
This true story will grab at your heartstrings, make you weep, and thank God you did not have to live through the same situation. A major car accident, one survivor, one funeral --- but mistaken identity leaves two families' lives flipped upside down and clinging to such faith and hope. The faith of these two families will leave you gripping the book until the very last page. If you only read one book this year, it must be this one!
 
Katie S.
A Joyful Noise by Janet Gillespie
Rating: 5 Stars
A delightful book about the author's wonderful summers on the coast of New England with her Victorian grandmother. Cars were new; boats were wooden; sunny days were endless. It was a different time.
 
Sally Lincoln
The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love by Joan Medlicott
Rating: 4 Stars
While recovering in bed from a fall, my M in L brought me this novel of hers to read ( not one I would have chosen for myself). I did read it and found it such pleasant, easy and comforting read in my prone position. Since then, I have had a friend pick up the next two books in the Covington series from the libraray for me.
 
Dani
Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand
Rating: 5 Stars
I loved all of the characters and their individual stories that mesh together at some point. The writing is beautiful and easy to read.
 
Tracey Byram (traymona@aol.com)
Duma Key by Stephen King
Rating: 5 Stars
Mr. King is back on top of his game with this new book, DUMA KEY. It made me laugh, it made me scared. The characters are well written and the storyline is first rate.
 
Debbie (delphimo@yahoo.com)
Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride
Rating: 4 Stars
A page turner about a serial killer in Aberdeen, Scotland. Detective Sergeant Logan McRae returns to work after a year off due to being knifed by a victim. The horror begins immediately with the discovery of the body of a very young boy. More bodies follow.
 
Sandy Stevens
Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein
Rating: 5 Stars
I loved it. Fairstein is one of my absolute favorite authors. I live in "upstate" New York, so I loved reading about nearby Bannerman's Island. I remember Son of Sam, but never knew the outcome.
 
Valerie Furr (BahamaValF@aol.com)
Wake by Lisa McMann
Rating: 4 Stars
This was a very different type of book for me. It was very interesting and kept me wanting more. It's a good read.
 
Joan
Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts
Rating: 4 Stars
A fast-paced story of three 10-year-old friends who spent the night in the woods and are never the same again. They experience paranormal happenings, and every 7 years since, it continues and intensifies. Now in their thirties, they are trying to bring an end to the sightings, bad dreams and unexplained deaths.
 
Carolyn Moy
Oracle Bones by Peter Hessler
Rating: 5 Stars
This non-fiction book about modern-day China is as gripping as a novel. It's just as good as Mr. Hessler's previous book, RIVER TOWN.
 
Dorothy Olson
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
Rating: 4 Stars
An interesting way to follow the history of a precious book.
The sub-plot of the protagonist was a plus for the reader.

 
Kellie (acountkel@bellsouth.net)
Home Fires by Margaret Maron
Rating: 2 Stars
This sixth book in the Deborah Knott series was not one of the better ones. This was about church burnings in Deborah's home town. Her nephew was under suspicion so naturally, Deborah has to stick her nose in. There is something missing in these books. This one just seemed to drag on and on and I was really bored. Couldn't wait to finish it.
 
D. Lohrding
The Appeal by John Grisham
Rating: 5 Stars
Great, fast moving and full of sly behavior from all types of characters. Mystery and "no good" in the courts.
 
Lois
Christ the King: The Road to Cana by Anne Rice
Rating: 5 Stars
Fascinating fiction based on fact!
 
Tom Showers
Where Are You Now? by Mary Higgins Clark
Rating: 4 Stars
Hope I win!
 
Jeanie
The Appeal by John Grisham
Rating: 2 Stars
I got bogged down in this book and called my friend to just tell me the end and put me out of my misery so I wouldn't have to finish it. It is definitely not one of Grisham's best.
 
Camille
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Rating: 3 Stars
Predictable and repetitive.
 
Phyllis
Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews
Rating: 4 Stars
Funny, sweet book with very likeable characters.
 
Becky Cruz (ABamaBecky@aol.com)
Love At First Bite by Sherrilyn Kenyon, et al
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a collection of novellas that are all paranormal romance. I enjoyed them all. Included are:

"Until Death We Do Part" by Sherrilyn Kenyon

"Ride the Night Wind" by L. A. Banks (this was my favorite)

"The Gift" by Susan Squires

"The Forgotten One" by Ronda Thompson

 
Paula
My Father's Keeper by Kip Vander Hyde
Rating: 4 Stars
I really enjoyed this book. In 2002, a middle-aged man, with a love and admiration for the heroes of WWII, attends a 60th anniversary gathering on Guadalcanal. Through a bizarre metaphysical experience, he wakes up in 1942 on the same beach as the American forces...and his teenage father --- the father with whom he had strained relations most of his adult life. In this most unlikely of places, he has the opportunity to get to know his father and understand the man he became.
 
Suzannefromtexas
Being Dead is no Excuse by Gayden Metcalf and Charlotte Hayes
Rating: 5 Stars
Wonderfully fun! If you are from the South, you know how important it is to"carry food" to the house when someone dies. Well, here is your guide, with recipes included. I wanted to have someone to read along with to share the laughs.
 
E. Quinn Knight (eqkmath@gmail.com)
After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Rating: 5 Stars
The awesome power in this book is that it takes place in a 24-hour period, which has so many details that it feels like a lifetime! The author is absolutely fantastic in his ability to convey the message of the characters in a deep and penetrating manner. It is whimsical, daring and edgy....excellent character development.
 
Phyllis
The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum
Rating: 4 Stars
Emily is afraid of marriage and breaks up with her boyfriend. This is the beginning of Emily finding herself. Great characters and story.
 
Mel
Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
Rating: 5 Stars
A friend gave this to me to read and I was surprised by the story. It was funny and I loved that it went back and forth between a young girl and an adult woman. I wish more books would go from a child's point of view as well as an adult's. It really opened up the possibilities of the storyline.
 
Wendy
Hannah from Loam Hill by Marjorie R. Smith
Rating: 5 Stars
I could not put this one down, it was so moving. I was inspired to see how Hannah was able to overcome her circumstances and build a life for herself despite being paralyzed.
 
Readingrat
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Rating: 5 Stars
This book drew me in from the preface. I was already familiar with the facts behind the crimes of H. H. Holmes, but having been born and raised in St. Louis was much more familiar with the 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair than this predecessor of 11 years. I found both the tale of the challenges of building and running the 1893 Worlds Fair and the tale of the depravities of H.H. Holmes equally riveting.
 
Kathy V.
Death of a Garage Sale Newbie by Sharon Dunn
Rating: 4 Stars
This is number one in the Bargin Hunters Mystery series, about a group of four ladies who go to garage sales togeather and hit the sales in town to save money. One of them gets brutally murdered, and then there's all kinds of cover up. A very good fun read.
 
Bonnie
March by Geraldine Brooks
Rating: 4 Stars
Fascinating fictional account of the Civil War through the eyes of Mr. March, the father of LITTLE WOMEN fame. Having read several of Brooks's previous books, I know she does her homework so I trust her facts re Civil War information. It was entertaining and enlightening, everything a good novel should be.
 
Shelly Itkin
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 5 Stars
A very unusual story, but one that you won't be able to put down. It's extremely touching and will leave you talking.
 
Shelly Itkin
The Appeal by John Grisham
Rating: 2 Stars
Combine some of Grisham's earlier books and you have the newest one, and not one that I would recommend.
 
Vickie McCoy (tangee43@hotmail.com)
Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts
Rating: 5 Stars
A bit of Irish folklore, a sad ghost, an arrogant fairie Prince, a hansome pub owner and a Psychology Professor come home to write and heal. Pure Nora Roberts magic in this first of an Irish trilogy.
 
J. Kaye Oldner (jkayeoldner@yahoo.com)
Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs
Rating: 5 Stars
I didn't know going in that this was forensic thriller, not that it would have mattered. After reading, I feel very differently. I've learned that medical and serial killers are very different from forensic thrillers. I can take the dismemberment of a body, blood spewing like a fountain, and brain splatter. I draw the line at eyeball juices and things found in the nasal cavities. Ewwww! This totally has the YUCK factor. 

But as far as the story goes --- how it's written --- this author brings it home with a sensational thriller. I can see why this series is so popular!

 
Amee
Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott
Rating: 5 Stars
A great idea, very original. I loved it. Similar style as Sarah Dessen. Highly recommended!
 
Kitty Szaro (kszaro@yahoo.com)
Last Known Victim by Erica Spindler
Rating: 4 Stars
A compelling book that keeps your interest with its charming characters, and a need to find out how it all will end and who will still be there, and who the killer is.
 
Kate Green
Mad Dash by Patricia Gaffney
Rating: 4 Stars
MAD DASH is the story of a photograper in the midst of her mid-life crisis. It's well written and has interesting characters, although plodding at times.
 
Heather L. from Tacoma, WA
The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a good parallel to the Stephanie Plum books --- a snappy heroine who works as a PI for her parents, and lots of quirky family members to go along with that. It's laugh aloud funny and a page turner to boot. So far, the series has two books. I sure hope there's more on the horizon.
 
Barbara Stamper
Wyoming Manhunt by Ann Voss Peterson
Rating: 3 Stars
Quick and easy read. It will keep your attention to the very end.
 
Nancy Pagnotta
Amazing Grace by Danielle Steel
Rating: 5 Stars
This was a very easy read. I didn't want to put it down.
 
Kate Green
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Rating: 3 Stars
Walking the Appalachian Trail in the summer of 1996 with an out of shape friend. It was very funny at times and contained editorial information about the Forestry Service. My book club had mixed feelings --- some of us liked it and some were disappointed.
 
Monica
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Rating: 1 Stars
Sappy. Not to be sexist, but, I can't believe a man wrote this! Married, at that! I could see this becoming another romantic comedy or drama --- the predictable and unoriginal kind.
 
Shelly Itkin
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Rating: 5 Stars
A very tender and emotional love story, but a must read.
 
Dusty
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Rating: 5 Stars
This book was a wonderful fictionalized version of history in the 12th century. It is filled with a large cast of characters that are unforgettable. I recommend this book very highly --- though some people might shy away from it since it is over 900 pages.
 
Priscilla Escajeda
The Best Is Yet To Come by Judith Gould
Rating: 4 Stars
It is a story of a family in which the husband has led a double life. He has two families --- one in another country.
 
Kellie (acountkel@bellsouth.net)
Thing of Beauty by Stephen Fried
Rating: 3 Stars
Here is what I liked about this book: It was well written and loaded with great information. Information, not only about Gia, but anything you wanted to know about the modeling industry in the late '70s and early '80s, the culture of that time, New York and the bar scene. The author even had some comments about the politics of the time with some typically left-wing media type comments about Ronald Reagan. 

Here is what I didn't like: I thought I was reading a book about Gia Carangi and her life. Instead, I got more than I bargained for. If you want an education on the modeling industry during the time, this is the book for you. Me, I was never interested in this industry, even as a teenager. The author's attempt to provide detail of the modeling industry was like reading a textbook, or maybe it was an explanation of one more thing to blame on Gia's demise. It might have escalated the downward spiral, but the real source behind Gia's addiction was her childhood. There is no doubt in my mind, after reading this book, the the sole source for Gia's addiction was her dysfunctional family. The author's attempt to use the modeling industry, the culture of that time period, Reagan cutting funding for public drug rehab, did not convince me otherwise. Yes, this is a very sad story and I am very glad I read it. I have been surfing the web to see the collection of covers and pictures of this incredibly beautiful person. It definitely left an impression on me. I just think this story could have been told in a more personal, more concise way.

 
Mo (maestraw@msn.com)
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
Rating: 3 Stars
I liked this book, but not as much as I have liked other books by Hannah. I was disappointed that after I had purchased the book, someone on WOM compared it to another book. It was unfortunate, because I knew all along what was going to happen, I just did not know all the details. I think we need to be more cautious of our reviews, so as not to give away the plot.
 
Mo (maestraw@msn.com)
Dead Girls are Easy by Terri Garey
Rating: 3 Stars
A cute cozy and great beach read about Nikki Styx, who meets the man of her dreams when he revives her in the ER after her heart stops. The only problem is, Nikki now sees dead people. It appears her job is to help them "cross over." Garey is currently writing more in the Nikki Styx series. Lucky us!
 
Mo (maestraw@msn.com)
Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos
Rating: 4 Stars
Life for Cornelia Brown and her husband, Teo Sandoval, from LOVE WALKED IN continues as they move out of the city to start a family. This book is excellent. It is a quick read, and a lot of fun. (Some heavy and poignant points, too.)
 
Mo (maestraw@msn.com)
The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry
Rating: 4 Stars
This was a little difficult to get into, and a little difficult to follow. However, hang in there --- it is an excellent book, full of twists and turns. Barry is working on a sequel!
 
Sandra
Her Last Death by Suzanna Sonnenberg
Rating: 1 Stars
Another "Mommie Dearest" memoir where all the daughter's problems are blamed on the mother and her childhood. A very confused girl in the present time and in her future.
 
Barbara Sharpe (barbara.sharpe@yahoo.com)
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 4 Stars
As always, Picoult delivers a legal book that is as much about the people as the law.
 
Judy O.
First Patient by Michael Palmer
Rating: 4 Stars
Gabe Singleton, an old friend of The President of the United States, becomes the President's personal physician after the current one goes missing. Soon, Gabe is embroiled in an intrigue that is dangerous to many in high places. Can he stop it in time? A good medical thriller.
 
Barbara Sharpe (barbara.sharpe@yahoo.com)
The Winding Ways Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
Rating: 4 Stars
I love this series and the stories keep getting better. What readers of the series will like about this book is that, while it introduces new characaters, it also gives us more "backstory" on things we've already read about.
 
Kay Keller
The Dark Tide by Andrew Gross
Rating: 5 Stars
This book is a winner! THE DARK TIDE is one of the most exciting thrillers I've read in a very long time! I like the short, action-packed chapters, too. It was really hard to put down this book because the story was so good.
 
Jennifer
A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks
Rating: 4 Stars
You just can't put this book down. The suspense of how everything is going to happen will drive you crazy.
 
Mary
Bimbos of the Death Sun by Sharyn McCrumb
Rating: 3 Stars
I have read many of Sharyn McCrumb's mysteries and was eagerly anitipating enjoying this Edgar winner. Maybe I overanticipated, but I was disappointed. It was funny but I thought the mystery was rather weak. The mystery is set at a Science Fiction Conviction, complete with fans who dress like their favorite characters. It's a satire where the headliner egotistical author is murdered.
 
Readingrat
The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith
Rating: 5 Stars
Another wonderfully enjoyable installment in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agencysaga.
 
Mary
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
Rating: 4 Stars
I am a knitter and was given this book. I wasn't really expecting to like it as much as I did. It's about a group of people who meet at a knitting store and develop friendships and support for each other. Knitters and non-knitters will enjoy this book and the well-defined characters.
 
Swapna
Light of the Moon by Luanne Rice
Rating: 4 Stars
This book is really good. The story is interesting and the characters are well written --- I couldn't put it down!
 
Genie
Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
Rating: 5 Stars
Cory Littleton, a demon-possessed sorcerer turned vampire, is leaving behind a trail of death and destruction in Washington's Tri-Cities. Mercy, mechanic and "walker", finds herself pulled into the situation by vampire friend, Stefan, who unsuccessfully attempts to put an end to the sorcerer's demented actions. While her werewolf and vampire friends are physically stronger than she, Mercy discovers walker abilities that make her the only one who can defeat the sorcerer.

During the investigation, Mercy discovers aspects about her own powers that she never realized before. She also begins to understand more about her past and the werewolves who raised her. Ther is also a romantic subplot involving two rival werewolves, Dominate wolf Adam and Mercy's roommate Alfa, Samuel.

 
Juanita
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Rating: 4 Stars
This was recommended by a friend who found the book intriguing. I agree --- I have very much enjoyed reading it.
 
Readingrat
The Watchers by Dean Koontz
Rating: 4 Stars
Like many of Koontz's books, it's about a man, a woman, and a golden retriever who outsmart the bad guys and then live happily ever after. Formulaic, but still fun nonetheless.
 
Michelle
The Edge of Winter by Luanne Rice
Rating: 5 Stars
A good story about the beach in winter, with great detail about an historic event that took place on the beach and how it affects those who live there as well as those who don't. A great story about fathers and sons that would make a great movie.
 
Debbie (delphimo@yahoo.com)
Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin
Rating: 5 Stars
One of the best books that I have read in a long time. The tale of two brothers and their demon father, but the redeeming love of caregiver, Mama Ella Rain. Love and forgiveness are more important than all the money in the world.
 
Debi
Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn
Rating: 5 Stars
Set in Victorian England, this mystery is anything but stuffy! The heroine steps outside the bounds of propriety in order to find out who killed her husband and uncovers some nasty truths. This was a hard book to put down! I can't wait to read the next one!
 
Debi
The Senator's Wife by Sue Miller
Rating: 3 Stars
Even though this book was well written, I couldn't bring myself to like any of the characters. I finished it thinking one of them might have developed some redeeming, realistic qualities, but I was disappointed!
 
Fran
Once Upon Stilettos by Shanna Swendson
Rating: 3 Stars
This second book in the Enchanted, Inc. series by Shanna Swendson is cute, brainless fluff. I enjoyed the first one more as I liked the aspects of Katie discovering Magic. It's still a cute story, though. I plan to read the 3rd book the next time I need a mindless, fun read.
 
Michelle Gartner
Sandcastles by Luanne Rice
Rating: 5 Stars
Great story with mystery, twists and turns.
 
Patricia Skinner (dawns_horizen@yahoo.com)
Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing by Gary W. Eldred, Phd
Rating: 4 Stars
I gave this 4 stars because even though I read every real estate investing book that comes down the pike, it has good info for the people just starting to gain an interest in the possibility of investing in real estate.

Regardless of knowing many of the ins and outs, every book on real estate has something you can glean.

 
Lori Schultz
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
Rating: 4 Stars
For some reason, I had to get half-way into the book before I decided that I liked it. It seemed as though it started well, slowed down, then picked up again, but maybe I was just too impatient. It's the story of a gal who goes back to her hometown to confront her mother about the identity of her father and other issues in her past. Ghost story? I don't know. Mystery? Kind of. Worth reading? Yes!
 
F Tessa Bartels
Mademoiselle Benoir by Christine Conrad
Rating: 4 Stars
Delightful epistolary novel about an unconventional love between a 30-something former New York City math professor, and a 60-something French spinster.
 
Betty Burrier (bettyburrier@yahoo.com)
The Murderer's Club by P. D. Martin
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a wonderful thriller that literally had me from page 1. It is one of those books that will keep you up at night and wonder when your workday will end so you can start reading it again.
 
Heather Murdock (h_owens99@hotmail.com)
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Rating: 4 Stars
Very entertaining.
 
Jen Mulsow
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingslover
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a fantastic book, very uplifting and inspriational. Everyone can do a little something to reduce their carbon footprint, and eat much better tomatoes in the process!
 
Lori Schultz
Inside Inside by James Lipton
Rating: 4 Stars
If you are a fan of "Inside the Actors Studio" on Bravo or if you are a movie fan, you'll enjoy this biography of the dean of the Actors Studio, who began as an actor. This delves into his life, wit, and wisdom of the many many stars he has had on his show: Harrison Ford, Paul Newman, Meryl Streep, Anthony Hopkins, Steven Speilberg, and Johnny Depp to name just a few.
 
Lori Schultz
So Far, So Good by Burgess Meredith
Rating: 4 Stars
Many people probably don't even know who Burgess Meredith was. He was Rocky Balboa's trainer, Jack Lemon's father in the Grumpy Old Men movies... But, he started out on stage and in Hollywood in the 1930s, shared a house with Jimmy Stewart, had affairs with a few well-known actresses, partied it up in the heyday of the now-gone famous landmarks, knew most of the big stars of the day --- John Wayne, Orson Welles, Clark Gable --- and had a great time. This was a great read from an interesting guy.
 
Helen Brady
The Senator's Wife by Sue Miller
Rating: 3 Stars
An intimate story of the private lives of two women and their marriages, one that is just beginning, and one that is over. A thought-provoking story that deals with infidelity and betrayal.
 
PamelaHD (visalia126@yahoo.com)
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
Rating: 5 Stars
Excellent book, particularly for a first novel. I'm a fan of Egyptian history and, while I'm sure the author took liberties for dramatic purposes, I still found the peek inside the Egyptian court fascinating.
 
J. Kaye Oldner (jkayeoldner@yahoo.com)
Lead Like a Pirate by Christopher Novak
Rating: 5 Stars
LEAD LIKE A PIRATE is a quick, insightful and interesting read. The pirate theme is more appropriate than one might think. The book quotes Friedrich Nietzsche: "Merchant and pirate were for a long period one and the same person."
 
F Tessa Bartels
Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen
Rating: 3 Stars
This book was full of odd characters and many plot twists. It's not really a mystery, but it's entertaining. I like his writing and I think I'll read more of his works.
 
Sharon L
Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Rating: 5 Stars
I always felt I had an obligation to read WALDEN but I have tried several times, only to lose the battle about the time he is enumerating the cost of nails. So now dailylit.com has come to the rescue. Daily, they send me via e-mail a segment that should take five minutes to read (or less). In about 140 days I will finish what I have not been able to do in years. Also, with just a little to read at a time, I am reading it carefully and thoughtfully. And you know what --- it is very good!
 
Kathy Vieira
I, Mona Lisa by Jeanne Kalogridis
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a richly layered historical fiction novel about the girl who was the inspiration for the Mona Lisa painting. With many characters to keep track of, this book kept me very busy following everything. We have an author chat coming up with Ms. Kalogridis and I can't wait!
 
Priscilla Escajeda
We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a story that is based on the life of Pat Raming, who was given up for adoption to parents who died before she was five, so she grew up in foster homes. She contacted polio when she was 22 and pregnant. The book is fiction, but Pat Raming inspired it.
 
Linda Bass (LINDARB49@HOTMAIL.COM)
Must Love Dogs by Lna Austin & Tuesday Richards
Rating: 5 Stars
The plague of 2010 almost decimated human life, and now other beings are in charge. Roni Engelmann is a were-dog who is tired of dating one loser after another until her roomate, a vampire, signs her to a dating site, where she meets Corbin --- heir to the Thornburn throne and sick of the pack's females chasing after him for his wealth and title. He falsifies his profile at the dating site by saying that he is human.
 
Karen
Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriquez
Rating: 5 Stars
Excellent true story of one woman helping change the lives of many other women. She provides training/schooling and so much more. The sisterhood and friendships that develop is very heartwarming. A must read!
 
Gloria Pauline
Murphy's Law by Rhys Bower
Rating: 4 Stars
I was fortunate to have received this first of the Molly Murphy mystery series from a friend, along with the next two installments. Molly's trip from Ireland to the US in steerage and her vivid experiences on Ellis Island were compelling. As a single female in 1901 New York City, she gets around. By the time I started reading the third book, FOR THE LOVE OF MIKE, I was looking forward to reading more and delighted to learn there are additional books in this series. Fast-paced and enjoyable reading.
 
Debbie (delphimo@yahoo.com)
Another Thing to Fall by Laura Lippman
Rating: 4 Stars
Again, Ms Lippman shows herself a master of the mystery genre. This time, PI Tess Monaghan and the city of Baltimore contend with the movie industry. An interesting tale of the movie industry.
 
Sandra
The Appeal by John Grisham
Rating: 2 Stars
I liked the beginning very much, but then this book got very tedious and boring. It didn't move fast enough and took me a very long time to read. I didn't care for the ending either.
 
Shannon
Don't Talk Back to Your Vampire by Michelle Bardsley
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the 2nd book in the Broken Heart series following I'M THE VAMPIRE, THAT'S WHY.

These books are a hoot with some very steamy sex scenes thrown in --- enough to make this librarian blush! But then, you notice I've read the 2nd one! 

This is a fun, paranormal chick-lit series not to be missed by fans of Charlaine Harris and Mary Janice Davidson.

 
Rita Carter (gandmari@aol.com)
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Rating: 5 Stars
A wonderfully well written book about 2 young girls in 19th-century China. It delves into many of the customs of the time and follows the girls into womanhood, marriage, trials, and children. A page-turning read. I'm ready to start reading Lisa See's current book, PEONY IN LOVE.
 
Jane (janebeatty92083@hotmail.com)
Ice Trap by Kitty Sewell
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a very suspenseful book. It has lots of twists and turns to keep you reading from page 1 til the very end.
 
Robin Coker (hillcoker@yahoo.com)
The Appeal by John Grisham
Rating: 3 Stars
I finally finished THE APPEAL this weekend. Overall, the idea was a good story and really picked up about three quarters of the way through the book. But, it was a slow read, I usually fell asleep reading it and did not particularly like the ending. I'm still a Grisham fan and will keep reading him, hoping he'll go back to his early days of writing....
 
Anne
Duma Key by Stephen King
Rating: 5 Stars
Edgar Freemantle is a successful businessman with a good marriage and two grown children; that is, until the accident, which broke his ribs, crushed his skull, took away part of his right arm and most of the sight in his right eye. Now Edgar's wife has left him and there seems to be no reason to go with life. On the advice of his therapist, Edgar moves to the remote and mostly uninhabited Duma Key and returns to something he once enjoyed --- drawing. On Duma Key, he meets new people and finds mysteries, friendships, the supernatural, and the power of art. An excellent read with great characters.
 
Phyllis
The Heroines by Eileen Favorite
Rating: 4 Stars
Thirteen-year-old Penny's home has always been visited by women who appeared and left suddenly --- these are heroines from books. Penny is rebellious and feels her mother gives too much attention to these visitors. This leads to Penny being committed for a while. A different concept that is interesting reading.
 
Judy O.
Compulsion by Jonathan Kellerman
Rating: 4 Stars
A killer is using luxury vehicles at the scenes of his crimes. These killings go back at least 9 years. Will Milo Sturgis and Alex Delaware be the ones to stop them? Another good mystery from one of the masters of this genre.

 
Louise
Alone by Lisa Gardner
Rating: 4 Stars
This is not the best Lisa Gardner book I've read, but it may be the most different. A professional police sniper shoots and kills a man who had a gun pointed at his wife and young child. His life becomes very complicated after that, and the story takes a few twists and turns before it ends.
 
Louise
Marrying Mom by Olivia Goldsmith
Rating: 3 Stars
I think the only thing that kept me going in this book (I almost gave it up several times) was the fact that the author stated in the beginning that it had been made into a movie. 

Apparently, it never made it, but I could easily visualize this as a very humorous movie, and that's the way I was seeing it, as I continued to read. 

An almost 70-year-old mom suddenly divorces her retired husband and leaves sunny FL for NY, where her grown children are living. Since none of them wants to get stuck with her, they spend a lot of money trying to make her appear wealthy so she can attract a rich "geezer". 

Once you get into the story (about half-way through), it's pretty funny.

 
Angie
Kitty Kitty by Michele Jaffe
Rating: 5 Stars
In this hilarious sequel to BAD KITTY, Jasmine and her friends are yet again embroiled in a laugh-out-loud caper. If you like to laugh your head off and enjoy a fun, entertaining narrative, check out this book!
 
MargeEHS
Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
Rating: 3 Stars
As a companion novel to the author's FALLEN ANGELS, this does not live up to the first. There are way to many characters for the average reader to keep straight. However, looking back at the start of the current war is very interesting; some government classes may want to use it to get an early perspective on the war.
 
Phyllis
The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
Rating: 5 Stars
I really enjoyed this tale of mysticism --- it's full of good and evil and choices to make.
 
Kellie (acountkel@bellsouth.net)
Killer Market by Margaret Maron
Rating: 3 Stars
My opinion of this author has not changed after reading this 5th book in the series. I think Maron has a very unique style of writing. I love the education a reader gets on a specific industry of North Carolina. In this one it was the furniture/decorating business. She takes an actual real-life industry and weaves a mystery in it. Not only is a reader getting a fun mystery, but they are learning something about North Carolina. This is great, especially if you live in the state. The problem I have with her writing is that I find it difficult to follow her characters. I think Maron could add a few more pages to her books to give a recap of Deborah Knott and her character, as well as more memorable information on the characters particular to the story. I find myself having to go back to figure out who is whom and what part they play in the story line quite a few times. If she did this, the rating would go from a 3 to a 5 in no time.
 
Louise
Just Desserts by Barbara Bretton
Rating: 5 Stars
A cute story of a divorced mother trying to make ends meet with a cake baking/decorating business. It was a light, easy read which helped me recover from a miserable surgery.
 
E. Katz
Keeper and Kid by Edward Hardy
Rating: 5 Stars
A very funny and moving story of a man who unexpectedly becomes a parent. Couldn't put it down.
 
Maureen D Dooley
Send Yourself Roses by Kathleen Turner
Rating: 3 Stars
This memoir/autobiography about the life and career of Kathleen Turner was a book I anticipated liking much more than I did.

Although the issue of her rheumatoid arthritis (RA) was approached, it was never thoroughly discussed; nor was her alcoholism. Much of her early career was also slighted. In general, the numerous scattered references gave a disjointed feeling from cover to cover.

The continual references to herself, regarding many larger issues, became somewhat tiresome. Again, an avoidance technique, or oblivion to the reader's point of view.

As an actress whom I alway enjoyed, my esteem for her stage/screen ability was not lessened; but any ventures of a written nature should be discouraged by this publisher or any other.

 
Lori Barnes (photoquest@bellsouth.net)
Outlaw by Susan Johnson
Rating: 4 Stars
This is an historical romance. Johnnie Carr was a Privateer (quite a handsome one at that). Lady Elizabeth Graham was the lady he took hostage to get his brother out of prison. These were 2 very different types of people who became changed after meeting. Johnny found things in Elizabeth that he never wanted from another woman, who made him a very different man. Any woman who reads this book will be in awe of this man and wish they had one just like this. I found it to be a wonderful love story that showed the strength of how a man can love a woman. It was very touching.
 
Julie C
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Rating: 3 Stars
I've read all of Sophie Kinsella's non-Shopaholic books and this is by far my least favorite. While it was entertaining and a good read, I have come to expect more laugh-out-loud moments from her books than this one supplied. 

If you are looking for a decent, quick read, then pick it up.

 
Debbie Whittemore
The $64 Tomato by William Alexander
Rating: 4 Stars
The title tells you so much about the true cost of gardening! Alexander recounts the years of planning, sowing, weeding, weeding, and weeding some more to attain garden nirvana.
 
Debbie Whittemore
Time Is a River by Mary Alice Monroe
Rating: 4 Stars
This novel has a story within a story. Mia Landen is recovering from breast cancer and heartache (she catches her husband in bed with another woman) in a cabin in North Carolina. She finds the diary of a woman fly fisher from the 1920s. Reading about this very independent and courageous woman helps Mia cope and brings about several unexpected events in her life.
 
Lou
Dead Shot by Annie Solomon
Rating: 4 Stars
I enjoyed the book (although it seemed to move a little too slowly until the last few chapters), but it left me with at least a couple of unanswered questions. I don't think I'm even sure who the murderer was (or why). 

The female subject had witnessed her mother's murder as a small child and has been relieving her trauma (or not) through art, portraying violence and herself, continuously, as a dead body with a lot of blood. She was truly a strange, troubled soul, and it's hard to convince oneself that she can suddenly become "normal" after the last life-threatening experience.

 
Leola
The House by Danielle Steel
Rating: 5 Stars
THE HOUSE by Danielle Steel is wonderful. It is especially for those who love to read about the restoration of old houses. The plot is full of surprises. Great going for Danielle Steel.
 
Coral Harrison
Across the High Lonesome by James McNay Bromfield
Rating: 5 Stars
This has gotten good reports before so I had to read it. It is good. It is about packing and riding in the high Sierras. The description of the beauty is marvelous. It has quite a story with it also.
 
Coral Harrison
Stranger in Paradise by Robert B. Parker
Rating: 3 Stars
Jesse Stone is chief of police and his ex-wife, with whom he's still in love, and who's still in love with him, is an investigative reporter for TV. They help to solve a problem with a 14-year-old girl who ran away from her Dad. It is told in the way Parker always writes. It's easy to read.
 
Miriam
Air Force One by Kenneth T Walsh
Rating: 4 Stars
This was surprisingly interesting. I thought upon first review that it was going to be a very technical book about the planes that have served as Air Force One. Though some of that type of information was there, it was more of a book with a history tone and descriptions of how this facet (air travel and airplane) affects and is affected by the administrations that have used it. It is an easy read with interesting connections between the use of Air Force One to the actual times and events of recent history which many we remember. It is particularly interesting during this time of political news in a presidential election year, and seemed refreshingly nonpartisan, yet conveyed some political education within its content.
 
Leola
The Blue Rose by Anthony Eglin
Rating: 4 Stars
THE BLUE ROSE by Anthony Eglin is a gardening mystery. A couple discovers a beautiful blue rose in their cottage garden. The Horticultural world is unfamiliar with a blue rose. When word spreads about it, the couple's life will go through extreme changes. You won't want to put the book down until you are finished.
 
Leola
Daisy Miller by Henry James
Rating: 5 Stars
DAISY MILLER by Henry James is about a young American woman who travels with her mother and brother to Europe. It is interesting to read the differences between American and European society during the nineteenth century. Henry James wraps these points in an enjoyable story with romance and tragedy.
 
Leola
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
Rating: 4 Stars
THE ENGLISH PATIENT by Michael Ondaatje is basically about a small group of people who shelter together in a bombed out mansion. The main characters are the English Patient --- a burn victim --- and his nurse. All of the characters are dealing with their personal demons as if the bombs were still falling.
 
Leola
The Sister by Poppy Adams
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a book about family dynamics, especially focusing on two sisters. The story reads like a thriller. Each sentence awakens questions about these two women who meet after not seeing each other for about fifty years. Great book.
 
Vickie
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 5 Stars
Any reader of Picoult knows that her books are always on the cutting edge of current issues, and her new book is no exception. With her daughter and husband murdered, June must make the decision about whether to let their murderer donate his heart to her other critically ill daughter. There's a lot of religious discussion with a rabbi and a priest and tons of food for thought for the readers.
 
MerleL
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Rating: 3 Stars
True story of one man's mission to promote peace by building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I found his good work admirable, but the book a little"preachy."
 
RitaB
Seventh Heaven by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Rating: 3 Stars
Another installment of the Women's Murder Club series.
 
Karen
Dark Friday by Jeffrey Leever
Rating: 2 Stars
I was in a bookstore and the author was doing a signing, so I thought, "why not give the book a try?" If you like the Friday the 13th movies, you'll like this book. Not much more can be said.
 
Richard Bartels
The Exile by Allan Folsom
Rating: 5 Stars
A great international thriller. Take one trained assassin, one police officer, the officer's beatiful but tragic sister, and a baroness with ulterior motives --- stir, mix and watch the fireworks.
 
MerleL
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Rating: 4 Stars
Interesting telling of a story of World War Two in a small town in Germany. The narrator of the story is "Death." A very different perspective of events is shown.
 
laurie blum (laurieblum@hotmail.com)
The Girl With No Shadow by joanne Harris
Rating: 4 Stars
A bittersweet reunion for the characters of CHOCOLAT. It's fun to re-visit Vianne, Anouk and Rosette!
 
Marlie Warren (justme1@q.com)
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Rating: 5 Stars
I'm getting totally wrapped up in this book! I love the way the author tells the (true) story of her travels to find herself in Italy, India and Indonesia! I'm almost finished (I'm in Indonesia now) and wish it would just go on and on and ON! Although I've been to several countries, I'm still living vicariously through the author and her adventures! Thanks for such a piece of work for us to thoroughly enjoy!!
 
MerleL
The Distant Land of My Father by Bo Caldwell
Rating: 4 Stars
A story of relationships between a father and daughter against the backdrop of pre-war Shanghai, when the daughter is a child to her adult life in post-war California. Very well written.
 
Marlie Warren (justme1@q.com)
The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
Rating: 5 Stars
The author certainly has a way of making the reader be right there in the middle of the story! I can "see" and "feel" everything she writes about! I love, love, love this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves period history!
 
Leigh Skonberg
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 4 Stars
This was absolutely one of her best books! I told my book club we needed to add it to our list. It was so well written, had a twist or two, and really made you think about capital punishment and the way the system operates. I highly recommend it!
 
MerleL
The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
Rating: 5 Stars
Well written story of the relationships between two women of different classes in present-day India. A real eye opener into daily life of Indian women.
 
Ladyslott (lslott@optonline.net)
Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst
Rating: 4 Stars
Reality TV shows are one of my guilty pleasures, so this book was perfect for
me. Featuring an "Amazing Race"-type of show, it gives a behind-the-scenes
look at how the people react to the pressures of the show. Filled with
some laugh-out-loud moments, as well as rolling of the eyes and some
touching moments, this was a cute and fun read.

 
F Tessa Bartels
The Food of Love by Anthony Cappella
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a wonderfully delicious romantic tale --- a sort of Italian Cyranno de Bergerac with food. It's simply delightful!
 
F Tessa Bartels
Everyone Worth Knowing by Lauren Weisberger
Rating: 3 Stars
This is fun mind candy, but it's not as good as THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA --- there was sloppy editing in the edition I read. And whatever happens to Michael? But, still, it's entertaining in an empty calorie way.
 
T. Thomas
The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Goff
Rating: 5 Stars
Wonderful book. I thoroughly enjoyed this and highly recommend it.
 
T. Thomas
Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie
Rating: 4 Stars
An older book of hers. Funny.
 
Joanne Latva
The Appeal by John Grisham
Rating: 5 Stars
A great book about how money can buy judges and overturn court decisions.
 
Jaonne Latva
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
Rating: 4 Stars
A wonderful story of friendships surviving many years. Lucky is the person who has that strong of a friendship.
 
Readingrat
The Sister by Poppy Adams
Rating: 4 Stars
Ginny and Vivi are two sisters growing up in the English countryside. Ginny is an introvert and is expected to follow in her father's footsteps in his chosen field of lepidoptery. Vivi is an extrovert who longs to escape the country house and find a life for herself in the city. Told in a series of flashbacks, his story follows the two sisters and their parents as the girls mature and begin their adult lives. However, the sudden death of the girls' mother rips the family apart. Now nearly 50 years later, the sisters are living under the same roof again. But both sisters have questions about the events of so long ago and how to begin to live together again. What results is a compelling exploration of family relationships and personal perceptions.
 
Fran
Stone Kiss by Faye Kellerman
Rating: 3 Stars
Another suspenseful installment in the Rina Lazarus and Peter Decker series. I'm enjoying these books.
 
Marlie Warren (justme1@q.com)
A Little Bit Ruined by Patty Friedmann
Rating: 5 Stars
So far so good!! Patty Friedmann is continuing to keep me enthralled in this newest piece of work! I've read all of her books so, somehow, I knew that this one would not disappoint either! I highly recommend this author --- any and all of her books rock!
 
Bridget
The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig
Rating: 3 Stars
I really liked the first two books in the Pink Carnation series so I started to read this one with great anticipation. Napoleonic spies moving from France to England and vice versa, and along with shades of Jane Austen, and surprise revelations...what could I not like? Only, I was very disappointed. The pace of this novel was sluggish. In the first two books, the dialogue was witty and amusing. In this one, the dialogue, as well as the plot, seemed sluggish and a bit tedious. I think I'll wait a while before reading the next book in the series.
 
MerleL
Digging To America by Anne Tyler
Rating: 4 Stars
Thoroughly engaging story about two families who bond through Aisan adoption.They become friends, though their own backgrounds are so different. Read the book to find out about the Yazdans and the Donaldsons.
 
Kathleen
The Kindness of Strangers by Katrina Kittle
Rating: 4 Stars
I am a pretty hard nut when it comes to books that make feel emotional and that possibly make me cry, because I often feel manipulated. However, this book really took me by surprise. This was a heartbreaking story that kept me on the edge of my seat. I could hardly put it down. A great beach read.
 
L. Hann
The Midnight Club by James Patterson
Rating: 5 Stars
Even though it is not an Alex Cross novel, it is still a great read.
 
L Merrill
Obedience by Will Lavender
Rating: 4 Stars
This is an excellent book! It's so different from other books out there and such a unique concept!
 
Dani
The Appeal by John Grisham
Rating: 5 Stars
Old-school Grisham.
 
Dani
The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory
Rating: 5 Stars
Another addictive story of King Henry VIII. It's just as good as the THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL.
 
Julie
Mississippi Sissy by Kevin Sessums
Rating: 5 Stars
A memoir about the author's growing up gay in southern Mississippi in the '50s and '60s. It is beautifully written, poignant and heartfelt. I loved the references to the era, which brought me back to my own childhood in this time frame.
 
Kay
World Without End by Ken Follet
Rating: 3 Stars
I'm still struggling to get into this highly recommended book. I hear it is great, but just cannot get past the many characters in the beginning. I need a good airplane ride to get going with this 1,000 page read!
 
Julie
Obedience by Will Lavender
Rating: 4 Stars
This book is an incredible mind trip. I finally gave up trying to solve the mystery and let the students do it for me. Very interesting debut.
 
Julie
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Rating: 5 Stars
This is my all-time favorite book. It is a wonderfully real love story, as opposed to the cookie cutter stories of Hollywood. It's crafted fantastically and is such a moving piece. The author does a great job of incorporating real world events into the private lives of the characters. I will read this one again and again.
 
Quinn (eqkmath@gmail.com)
Peony in Love by Lisa See
Rating: 5 Stars
I am reading this for the second time with my book club. It is really a fascinating book that is hard to put down. See writes with such fluidity and clarity that the reader becomes so engrossed in the story. I've never been drawn to historical fiction as I have to this book. See knows seventeenth-century China in such a real and focused way. See tells the story of Peony in such a way that every woman or man of the world would be changed by this story. Beautifully written as if one is savoring a great meal!
 
Lindy (tpeac1948@aol.com)
Missing Wittness by Gordon Campbell
Rating: 5 Stars
I absolutely loved this book. I am still missing the characters who became so real to me.
 
Carol H.
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Rating: 4 Stars
Sophie Kinsella's books are always fun, and this one is no different. Lexi Smart has amnesia, due to an automobile accident, and her life becomes frightening and funny!
 
Cathey (dbinpgh@aol.com)
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Rating: 4 Stars
A story set in Barcelona and around the time of the Spanish Civil War. Lots of mystery, suspense and a love story! A great read!
 
Kendra (KendraPT@aol.com)
Third Degree by Greg Iles
Rating: 1 Stars
I usually love Mr. Iles's books, but this one was hard to get into, and once I saw where it was going and how many pages were left for not so much story to play out, I put it down. Maybe there were twists that would make watching a woman held in her house by her nutso husband for 24 hours straight interesting, but I wasn't willing to wait and see.
 
Denise Sachs (deedleweedle@excite.com)
All I Want To Do Is Kill by Dale Hudson
Rating: 5 Stars
A very gripping account of two teenage lesbian lovers who kill their grandparents in order to be together. This was very well written and hard to put down. You really get to know all of the characters and all the details.
 
Shawnee
My Sister From The Black Lagoon by Laurie Fox
Rating: 3 Stars
A Semi-memoir, this book had some really good moments in the first half but went kind of dry over half-way through. It was not humorous enough and not emotional enough; it was just an average read.

 
Shawnee
Homecoming by Bernhard Schlink
Rating: 2 Stars
I really wanted to like this book because I enjoyed THE READER. Unfortunately, the story only held my interest in the beginning and then went nowhere fast. By the end, I was just bored. A so-so book for sure.
 
Kendra (KendraPT@aol.com)
Blasphemy by Douglas Preston
Rating: 1 Stars
I'm delving into my book stash and thought I was in the mood for a Preston book. Unfortunately I was in the mood for a Preston-Childs book, which this wasn't. I only got a little way's into it and then put it down; Iwasn't interested in finding out what happened.
 
CJ Jones (ajones1021@comcast.net)
The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama
Rating: 4 Stars
This interesting and well-written book covers Senator Obama's life from Chicago activism work through the Illinois and US Senate. Highly recommended.
 
Kay
Third Degree by Greg Iles
Rating: 4 Stars
How I'd like for this book to be finished --- but I can't stop reading! A wife is held hostage by her "sick" husband after he suspects (rightfully so) that she is having an affair. The whole family is unraveling. I keep reading to see how the hostage situation ends and if Laurel ends up with Danny and the kids, but I'm beginning to feel as if I'm being held hostage by this story!
 
Mary Ann
The Heartbreaker by Joy Fielding
Rating: 3 Stars
A story about small-town Florida with a serial killer in its midst. Some of the chapters are told by the mysterious killer among then in diary form. The book is full of interesting characters that keep you guessing, and all the victims are young, good-looking girls, aka "heartbreakers." A fun read.
 
Mary F.
Revenge Of A Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan
Rating: 5 Stars
This book tells of a woman who loses her husband, her health and so much more, and how she survives and moves on with her life. A very inspiring book!
 
Dustin (neleel@aol.com)
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet
Rating: 4 Stars
This book was very interesting, about life during the 12th century in England and the rivalry that went on among different factions. I felt it was a bit too long and somewhat redundant. It was, however, very well written and did keep my interest most of the time.
 
Sandra F.
The Riddles of Epsilon by Christine Morton-Shaw
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a book for teens, but was a great read for adults as well. Set on an island off the British coast, the book depended heavily upon atmosphere and the impact of legend on local inhabitants.
 
Sandra F.
The Soul Catcher by Alex Kava
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the first book by Alex Kava that I have read and it was great. Even though books about serial killers abound, this one captured my interest from the first page and held it throughout the book.
 
Karen Mead (cre8tveminde@optonline.net)
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
Rating: 5 Stars
This series is the BEST I've read in years.
 
Genie
Dancing With Werewolves by Carole Nelson Douglas
Rating: 5 Stars
TV reporter turned PI Delilah Street was brought up in an orphanage and has few clues about her birth family. While she acknowledges some abilities as a medium, she doesn't see the importance.

When her boss changes her duties from the police beat to a more frivolous type, Delilah hits the road. During her road trip to Las Vegas, she decides she must investigate a reality police show where she has seen her double. The road to Las Vegas becomes more complicated and dangerous than she ever imagined. The path is littered with werewolves, vampires, weretigers, fae and life threatening experiences compliments of the mob. On the plus side, there is a hot new guy ...


 
Mary Ann
Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
Rating: 4 Stars
An Excellent story set in small-town America that takes place in the 1950s and '60s and brings us through to present times. It centers on several families and the choices we make, how we view society and each other, marriage etc. It's very well written and thought provoking. Reminiscent, but better than his EMPIRE FALLS.
 
CJ Jones (ajones1021@comcast.net)
Beverly Hills Dead by Stuart Woods
Rating: 3 Stars
A quick read about the movie industry during the McCarthy era w/ some twists and turns. Not Mr. Woods's best effort; it was very predictable.
 
Ann
Ice Trap by Kitty Sewell
Rating: 4 Stars
A doctor gets a letter from a daughter he didn't know he had. He returns to Northern Canada to find answers.
 
Lynn
Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein
Rating: 5 Stars
Alex Cooper and her buddies are investigating a possible serial killer on the loose in NYC. This stands up to the rest of the books in the Cooper series. Fairstein introduces us to some little-known historical facts about some new sites in the city. I finished it within 12 hours of purchase!
 
Annie
The Memory of Water by Karen White
Rating: 4 Stars
Two estranged sisters each have a different version of their childhood.
 
Annie
Isle of Palms by Dorothea Benton Frank
Rating: 4 Stars
This book has great characters, and is all about love, friendship, and family. It also has a great setting in South Carolina.
 
Lynn
Codex 632 by Jose Rodrigues dos Santos
Rating: 5 Stars
Who was Christopher Columbus? Was he Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese? A professor accepts a mission to research the question of who was the man who history has said discovered America. This book was much more interesting, and believable than THE DA VINCI CODE. It's no wonder this was on the bestseller list in Portugal.
 
Janice H
The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn by Robin Maxwell
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a interesting approach, with Elizabeth I reading a diary her mother left. It covered most of the common facts of Anne's life but from Anne's perspective. Added to this was Elizabeth dealing with things in her reign as she read through the diary. I thought it was a quick and light read.
 
CJ Jones (ajones1021@comcast.net)
Dreams of My Father by Barack Obama
Rating: 4 Stars
This is about he life and childhood of the Senator Obama; it's lyrical in his search for his background in Africa and growing up in Hawaii. Liberties were taken, but it is beautifully written from the 1st page.
 
Laurie
Vanished by Karen Robards
Rating: 4 Stars
Sarah Mason's 5-yearold daughter has been missing for seven years. She deals with her life by becoming a workaholic. Everything seems to be going well in her world until one night, the phone rings, and when she answers, her daughter is asking for her help. I didn't want to put this book down!
 
Vicki
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Rating: 4 Stars
One of the tweens I work with recommended this book. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it and can definitely now understand the appeal of the vampire love story! I'm hooked and reading the other books in the series as well.
 
CJ Jones (ajones1021@comcast.net)
Away by Amy Bloom
Rating: 4 Stars
I would have given it 3.5 stars. A Russian immigrant arrives in the US and her sexual exploits revolve around her desire to go back to her motherland for her child, thought to be dead. This book has received so much hype, but I found it lacking.
 
D. Lohrding
The Choir Boys by Joseph Wambaugh
Rating: 5 Stars
Great! Wambaugh always comes through with great wit and mystery!
 
Dianne
The Great Santini by Pat Conroy
Rating: 4 Stars
THE GREAT SANTINI is Murfreesboro's Community Read for Spring 2008. Bull Meecham is one tough US Marine, nothing like the Sargent on the "Andy Griffith Show!" I grew up an Air Force Brat, so I thought my dad ran a "tight ship." But, our life was smooth sailing next to the Meecham family's. Conroy slices into a sliver of the Southern life in the late 50s and early 60s, no holds barred. In fact, this book doesn't hold back in any area...high school, military (particularly US Marine Corps) camaraderie, dysfunctional family, family loyalty, friendships, fights, fights, and more fights. The language is rough...just like the characters! Through this book I learned one has to be rough and tough to survive in the military environment. I understand more of my military dad, having had read this book; I ish he were here for me to tell him so!

Salute to all who have served our country in the past or are serving our great country today! They are true and courageous heroes!

 
Jean
L.A. Outlaws by T. Jeffferson Parker
Rating: 3 Stars
Though this book received great reviews, I would rate it 3 1/2 stars. The story dragged a bit and was too far fetched for me.
 
Jean
Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline
Rating: 4 Stars
I really enjoy everything Lisa Scottoline writes. This book was no exception. It moves quickly and was very entertaining.
 
sprzy
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 4 Stars
I love Jodi and eagerly await her next book. This book was slow to get into for me, but when she brought Ian Fletcher into the book from KEEPING FAITH, I could not put the book down.
 
Joanne Friday (jafriday@windstream.net)
Quenchless Fire by Virginia Lee
Rating: 4 Stars
It is like trying to read two books at the same time. There is a story about Old Ireland and a story about an American tourist in Ireland. Both are good stories.
 
Deb
The Book of Dahlia by Elisa Albert
Rating: 4 Stars
This book presents us with a witty, sarcastic, pathetic but very likable heroine --- an aimless 29-year-old woman who finds out she has a brain tumor. What's remarkable is this book is genuinely funny. Albert's debut is excellent!
 
Gerry
Dead Time by Stephen White
Rating: 5 Stars
Colorado psychologist Alan Gregory's ex-wife, Meredith, reappears, seeking help she feels only Alan can give. Suddenly, he and Sam Purdy are pulled into a mystery that reaches back years to a camping trip at the Grand Canyon, involving Meredith's fiancé and five friends whose lives were changed forever when a young woman mysteriously vanishes from the Canyon floor. In a sub-plot, Alan and Lauren are grieving the death of their close friend and neighbor, Adrienne, and welcoming her son Jonas, for whom Adrienne named them as guardians --- a plan that is not approved by Jonas's uncle, Adrienne's brother Martin. This book was very well written, and so fascinating. I finished the whole 400 pages in two days.
 
Kendra (KendraPT@aol.com)
Don't Scream by Wendi Corsi Staub
Rating: 3 Stars
I like the way Wendy Corsi Staub writes. Though I'm finding that she's a bit formulaic (group of kids in school, something happens, they hide it, secret comes back to haunt them), she does still have some good twists in this story. I had no clue who the killer was until the end. I found the side story of the missing girl's stepbrother kind of distracting and eventually pointless. A good read, but I think after two or three, you'd be able to predict the endings. I will give the author points for finding a surprising and twisty way to get to those endings.
 
Kendra (KendraPT@aol.com)
Strangers in Death by J. D. Robb
Rating: 5 Stars
Another awesome Eve Dallas story. The twists and turns are awesome and unpredictable, and the characters are full and satisfying. When's the next one?
 
Vicki
The Kid by Dan Savage
Rating: 5 Stars
This was a wonderful book --- I laughed until my sides hurt and was tenderly moved with tears in my eyes as boyfriends Dan and Terry go through the process of adopting in an open adoption. One of the best books I've read in a long time!
 
Readingrat
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Rating: 4 Stars
A memoir about two beatniks on an hedonistic extended road-trip rampage across the country (and to Mexico) in the late '40s. The attitudes are dated by today's standards and the characters are not very likable, but this book provides an excellent snapshot of the author and his acquaintances during the time the book was written.
 
Debbie (deble_2000@yahoo.com)
Singing With the Top Down by Debrah Williamson
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the second book I've read by Debrah. In 1955, Tulsa Oklahoma, a freak accident kills Pauly and Buddy's parents on a roller coaster. Orphaned, no one seems to want them until Aunt Nora steps up. Single, wealthy and beautiful, off they go on an adventure of a lifetime to get back home to California. Family is whoever you love and draw into your circle.
 
Maryann (marbma@msn.com)
Hope, Faith, and Charlie by Deidre Carey
Rating: 5 Stars
A story of joy through tears and laughter. A chance to look at life for what it is,,a gift. All the blessings we have, to love them and to reach out to each other and most of all to have hope, faith and maybe a little bit of Charlie.
 
Gerry
Betrayal by John Lescroart
Rating: 4 Stars
Lescroart never disappoints! This was a compelling story, and one I enjoyed reading, but also a dismaying portrayal of the waste and greed involved in the current war and the "rebuilding" of Iraq.
 
Vicki
The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
Rating: 4 Stars
A wonderful story about two women and the space between their lives in their respective castes --- how they are entwined; where they separate. Even though the book has tragic moments, it once again demonstrates the triumph of the spirit.
 
Gerry
The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson
Rating: 5 Stars
A new author for me, and one whose future books will certainly make my TBR list! John Wells is a CIA agent who had little success in recruiting informants in Afghanistan, so he decided to infiltrate al-Qaeda on his own. He succeeds in doing so before 9/11, but because he's been out of communication with his "handler" for so long, most of his former colleagues have given up on him, and many assume he's been "turned." When al-Qaeda leader Omar Khadri sends him back to America to prepare for a mission, Wells is on his own, to avoid capture by the CIA and stop Khadri's plan from succeeding.
 
Vicki
The Commitment by Dan Savage
Rating: 5 Stars
After reading THE KID and learning Dan had written more of his, Terry and DJ's life together, I had to get this book! The moment the box arrived on my doorstep I tore into it and have been laughing until my sides hurt again. I was also so touched by Dan and Terry's journey into deciding if gay marriage is for them. Anyone will love either of these books, and as a straight person, I learned so much! I always have considered myself to be accepting and compassionate, but my eyes were opened to some of the things I do or assumptions I have, all while helping me laugh at myself. I feel like a better person for reading both books!
 
Vicki
The Friday-Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
Rating: 4 Stars
I'm not a knitter, so I didn't know how much I'd get into this, but it was a beautiful metaphor for knitting together the story as well. The characters were likable and interesting and the story had some turns I didn't expect!
 
Sunny
Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk
Rating: 5 Stars
A classic coming-of-age story that takes place in 1930s New York about a beautiful young woman who wants to become an actress, and falls in love with the wrong man.
 
CC
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Rating: 2 Stars
I didn't care for this as much as others in my book club. It was "just ok" for me.
 
Gerry
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 2 Stars
Jodi Picoult's books all have topical themes, and this one focused primarily on the death penalty, as well as forgiveness and restorative justice. But, the issues were muddied by her inclusion of far too many coincidences as well as too much religious symbolism and "miraculous" occurrences. I was not surprised that the reviewer from the "Philadelphia Inquirer" panned this one too.
 
Vicki
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Rating: 4 Stars
An epic tale that taught me a lot about history through my favorite medium --- story. It's long, but worth it!
 
Sunny
One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
Rating: 5 Stars
Entertaining story of a group of women who embark on an adventure, living with a tribe of Indians in the late 1800s. This is one of the best books I've ever read.
 
Kendra (KendraPT@aol.com)
Judgement in Death by J. D. Robb
Rating: 5 Stars
Another awesome Eve Dallas story; it's never predictable and full of plenty of twists, but it also provides great back story for Dallas and Roarke's relationship.
 
Ivy
Twisted by Andrea Kane
Rating: 5 Stars
I was on the edge of my seat from the very beginning, and was absolutely surprised to discover the actual culprit. TWISTED indeed offers twists and turns that will have you wondering right up until the last few pages.