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February 6, 2009 - February 19, 2009

Last contest period's winners were CeceliaGeorgeLindaSal andSuzanne, who each received a copy of THE ASSOCIATE by John Grisham, HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET by Jamie Ford and TRUE COLORS by Kristin Hannah.

 

Carmen
The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen
Rating: 5 Stars
Spunky Detective Jane Rizzoli is forced to confront the killer that tortured her years ago. He has teamed up with a deadly apprentice. Give me more Jane Rizzoli. Great read.
 
Danelle Drake (drake6jdttha@charter.net)
Exhumed by Elizabeth Zito-Joyce
Rating: 5 Stars
The best ghost story ever read! This has so many twists and turns that you will want to read it twice.
 
Debbi
Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
Rating: 4 Stars
I felt like I was in the midst of the destruction in Sarajevo. The visuals are powerful and the characters are very well drawn. This is a terrific story (based on fact).
 
Cindy H.
Act of Treason by Vince Flynn
Rating: 4 Stars
This is first time I have read a Vince Flynn novel and I enjoyed it. It is a quick, easy read --- lots of intrigue and political corruption. A fun read.
 
ezmerelda
Silent Thunder by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen
Rating: 4 Stars
I'm not even halfway through the book, but would definitely recommend it. It's on my lap right now as I surf the web. I just can't put it down. It starts out with an old Soviet sub found in a harbor in Finland. The CIA is involved and others I haven't figured out yet (but I can't wait to see where it goes).
 
Carmen (oceanlady@aol.com)
Down River by John Hart
Rating: 4 Stars
Adam Chase is a haunted man. Acquitted for a murder, he disappears to start a new life. Now he is back to the river, and the pain he left behind. More murder and intrigue.
 
Carmen
Perfume by Patrick Suskind
Rating: 3 Stars
Unwanted and unloved, Grenouille's story is in 18th-century Paris. He works his way from orphan to perfumer. This is all about his endeavors to create the perfect scent. Nice book, worth a read, especially if you are into flowers and scents, with a little murder thrown in.
 
Judy O. (joswood@msn.com)
One September Morning by Rosalind Noonan
Rating: 4 Stars
John Stanton was a famous NFL football player, but he joined the army in a passionate act of love for his country. When he was killed in a warehouse in Iraq, his family finds out that it was friendly fire that caused his death and not an Iraqi insurgent as they were led to believe. Now his wife, Abby, is out to find the truth. This story will remind you of the true tale of Pat Tillman, the NFL player who was killed in Afghanistan by friendly fire. This is a great story with a compelling villain.
 
Danelle Drake (drake6jdttha@charter.net)
Patterns of Perception by Nicholas J. Cipriani
Rating: 5 Stars
One of the best ever! This book of short stories is just great!
 
Susan
Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich
Rating: 5 Stars
I love this series --- there are always parts that just make me laugh out loud.
 
Dee
Cruel Intent by J. A. Jance
Rating: 3 Stars
A somewhat predictable mystery with "twists" that make the story just a little too unbelievable.
 
Louise
The Morning After by Lisa Jackson
Rating: 5 Stars
I fluctuated between 4 & 5 stars... maybe 4.5. This one didn't hold my interest as well as the prequel (THE NIGHT BEORE) did, and it took me longer to get through it. 

Nevertheless, it was one of those plots that make you wonder how the author ever thought of it: a killer who buries his victims alive.... on top of an already dead (and somewhat smelly) body. 

I liked the connections to other events and characters in some of her other books.

 
Ruth
The House Always Wins by Marni Jameson
Rating: 4 Stars
This author offers up a lot of practical information from the experts as well as personal accounts of her own experiences with home decorating and remodeling.
 
Gale Kearley (marcusnanpop@comcast.net)
Parallel Lies by Ridley Pearson
Rating: 3 Stars
I've just started reading this book. It starts off fairly well. I'm getting more in to it.
 
Ruth
The Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka
Rating: 4 Stars
I totally agree with this architect-author's philosophy of building homes on a smaller scale.
 
Ruth
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Rating: 4 Stars
I wasn't sure if I was going to like this selection for our book club even though others raved about it. However, I did end up enjoying it more than I expected. It was a very touching story.
 
Dee (jddistef@aol.com)
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
Rating: 5 Stars
Wally Lamb has the most amazing voice. His work is nearly lyrical to read. This fictional account of people affected by the Columbine tragedy is heart wrenching and amazing. You won't find a better book this year.
 
Carol Walther
The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte
Rating: 5 Stars
One of the most intelligent writers I've ever read. This is the first book I've read by him and I love it. He's a great wordsmith --- and this has an incredible plot!
 
Marsha
Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
Rating: 4 Stars
Attention all football fans --- and anyone who likes Grisham's writing. This one is for you. A washed-up and disgraced laughing-stock third string NFL quarterback finds a position in Italy in the hardly-known Football Americano league, and what a surprise this turns out to be.
 
Gary
Plague Ship by Clive Cussler with Jack Du Brul
Rating: 4 Stars
Great! Cussler never seems to fail. Fast reading with lots of action.
 
Sharon Long (sharon@sllimited.net)
Beside a Burning Sea by John Shors
Rating: 5 Stars
Wonderful characters, very descriptive, and moving. It makes you think about relationships and the various types of love.
 
Reva Wamsley (prwamsley@roadrunner.com)
Somebody's Baby by Charoltte Vale Allen
Rating: 4 Stars
I enjoyed this book very much. Snow Devane was raised by a single mother. She gets a phone call that her mother is dying and rushes to see her. Her mother confesses to her that she had stolen her as a child from a lady in a supermarket. Snow is astounded by this information and starts working to find out who she --- and the woman she called her mother --- really was.
 
Wendy from West Virginia
The Known World by Edward P. Jones
Rating: 5 Stars
Amazing book. The characters were so well written and the storyline so honest and heartbreaking, yet human and wonderful.
 
Wendy from West Virginia
Hot Flash Holidays by Nancy Thayer
Rating: 3 Stars
A nice entertaining book. Not quite as good as the other Hot Flash Club books.
 
Wendy from West Virginia
The Gardens of Covington by Joan A. Medlicott
Rating: 4 Stars
The continuing story of Amelia, Grace and Hannah, three women "of a certain age" who share a home. A delightful story.
 
Suzanne L.
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
Rating: 4 Stars
Imagine cowering in a cabinet in the back room of the library at Columbine High School while the shooting started. That's what happens to Maureen Quirk, the school nurse, and this is the story of how she struggles to get over the trauma of that day. But it's not just her story, it's the story of her husband Caelum, who must also deal with the tragedy as her loving husband. This book goes well beyond Columbine though --- Wally Lamb delves deep into the character of these two people, and the people around them, as well as a mysterious family secret that comes to light after Caelum and Maureen move hundreds of miles away to Caelum's family farm in Connecticut to start over again.

I actually was reading another book when I started to read a bit of the beginning of this in the book store. Well, I couldn't put it down, had to buy it and finished it before picking the other book back up. 

This is the first Wally Lamb book I have read, but it won't be the last. He really brought the characters to life for me. I could feel their inner struggles, And cared about what happened to these people.

 
Linda B
Penmarric by Susan Howatch
Rating: 4 Stars
This is an older novel, but very interesting and entertaining. It is a family saga about a dysfunctional, aristocratic English family set around the turn of the century through World War II. Most interesting are the parallels to the family and events surrounding the family of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Lots of fun to read and think about.
 
Linda B
Death at Daisy's Folly by Robin Paige
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the third book in a delightful Victorian mystery series. The main characters are likable, and the love interest is one you enjoy and are pulling for even though there are problems. A favorite series in the historical mystery genre.
 
Trulie Deare (chatterlings@gmail.com)
Reading In Bed by Sue Gee
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the story of two women: Georgia, a widow and mother having difficulty adjusting to life without her husband, and Dido, a wife and mother who has recently begun retirement and is planning to enjoy it. They, along with their spouses, have been close friends for years, although they do not share all facets of their lives with each other --- or anyone else for that matter.

During the course of this story, both women are challenged by events in their lives that shake them deeply , emotionally, and if ever a book came with a motto, this one would be, "Never underestimate the power of a woman". What makes this book a cut above the typical "strong woman conquers all" plot is the author's spare but strong prose, and her grasp of just how complicated and devastating the problems are that she gives to her characters.

 
ck
Charms for the Easy Life by Kaye Gibbons
Rating: 4 Stars
Margaret's grandmother, Charlie Kate, was a self-taught midwife, nurse, herbalist, doctor and dentist to a small community during the depression and war. Three generations of women comprised the household. Their story is gently told with lots of humor and a strong sense of morality.
 
Debbie (delphimo@yahoo.com)
Saving Faith by David Baldacci
Rating: 4 Stars
An interesting look at DC lobbyists, the CIA,the FBI, and special interests in DC. After reading this book, no politician is to be believed. As usual, Baldacci has a great story line centered in Virginia, and in the process explains another of the life choices of DC.
 
Jade
The Street Lawyer by John Grisham
Rating: 4 Stars
This book focuses on a different group of people than the normal Grisham books. It does give you something to think about, especially in the light of recent announcements about the lack of ethics in the business community. I enjoyed this book very much.
 
Sharon Long (sharon@sllimited.net)
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 4 Stars
This really makes you think about what you would do for someone you love, and about religion as well as organ donation.
 
Marjorie Clark (marjorie_clark2000@yahoo.com)
The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
Rating: 4 Stars
I am presently reading this book and it is a mixture of historical fiction and modern fiction all based around the Mormon Church and polygamy. Very interesting historical information. I'm enjoying this book very much.
 
Ruth
The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Rating: 5 Stars
Historical family saga that is enthralling and memorable.
 
Bonnie
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Rating: 5 Stars
Wrenching, wonderful novel about a 50ish woman, a Harvard professor, who has early-stage Alzheimer's disease. It's amazing how the author got in the head of this character because we are able to see this disease through her eyes as she deteriorates. Realistic and engrossing, this novel is unique and well worth your time.
 
Jessica
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
Rating: 5 Stars
This one lives up to the hype! A collection of beautifully written stories filled with heartbreakingly real characters, it's difficult to put down. I very strongly recommend this book for any lover of contemporary literature.
 
Connie
Honeymoon by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
Rating: 5 Stars
This was an excellent book. It kept you on the edge of your seat until the very end.
 
Connie
Wife For Hire by Janet Evanovich
Rating: 4 Stars
This was a fast, fun good chick lit read. Not as good as her Stephanie Plumseries, but still good.
 
Cindy H.
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Rating: 2 Stars
I'm not sure what the appeal is. The second book in the Twilight series drags on and on --- definitely in need of some editing.
 
Anne
The Sense of Paper by Taylor Holden
Rating: 5 Stars
Excellent emotional novel that tugs at the heartstrings.
 
Sara M
Honeymoon in Tehran by Azadeh Moaveni
Rating: 4 Stars
This book is a truly excellent memoir. If you're looking for a memoir that details the struggles and censorship that modern Iranians (particularly women) are facing, it delivers. It is chock full of complicated patriotism, scathing social observations and balanced political commentary. But if contemporary romance is your thing, it has that too. The novel spans two years as President Ahmadinejad rises to power, and the author meets the love of her life. I won't spoil the ridiculous and creative ways in which she is oppressed and frankly harassed, but to say it isn't easy to start a family in Tehran.

It's obviously well-written, as Moaveni is an accomplished journalist and author. And for me, the best parts of Azadeh Moaveni's HONEYMOON IN TEHRAN are when her journalistic approach to her tale slips, and we are treated to her voice as a woman and a mom delivering the story's most powerful moments. Highly recommended!

 
Michele
Interred with their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell
Rating: 4 Stars
This debut thriller is about a quest for truth concerning Shakespeare (similar to THE DA VINCI CODE).
 
Marion W.
Evening is the Whole Day by Preeta Samarasan
Rating: 4 Stars
Another dysfunctional family --- but this time, they live in Malaysia, and their fractious lives reflect the tensions simmering among the native Malays, and the immigrant Chinese and Indians.

Appa, the patriarch, is a well-to-do lawyer who leads a double life; mother Amma is a frustrated buyer of jewels and saris; six-year-old Aasha sees spirits, much to the disdain of her brother; and teenaged Uma cannot wait to hit NYC and Columbia U. The poverty-stricken servant Chellam tries to look after the ancient grandmother amid all the friction and unhappiness. Yet there is humour to be found in this book, and great understanding of the human condition.

 
Marsha
Executive Power by Vince Flynn
Rating: 4 Stars
This Mitch Rapp book strives to explain the complicated political maneuvers of the Palestinian and Israeli intrigues. It is packed with violence and thrills.
 
Christy H.
The Stepmother by Carrie Adams
Rating: 5 Stars
THE STEPMOTHER is a novel that will have you laughing one minute and crying the next. Filled with the highs and lows of *real* relationships, Ms. Adams brings out all the painful AND wonderful experiences that make up life. Even though this is a sequel to her first book, THE GODMOTHER, it can definitely be read as a stand alone. My heart and sympathies were torn between both Tessa and Bea. I couldn't put down this fast-paced, thought-provoking novel and even days after I finished it, the story and characters are still lingering in my mind.
 
Cheryl S.
Quest for the Source of Darkness by Patricia Perry
Rating: 5 Stars
This book reminds me of THE LORDS OF THE RINGS TRILOGY. It's similar in the sense that it is good vs. evil and it requires a cooperative effort of different races (elves, dwarves, Herkahs, etc) to protect the source and overcome the evil. I've enjoyed this book and have trouble putting it down when I have other things to do! A great read if you're into books like the Tolkien series.
 
Trulie Deare (chatterlings@gmail.com)
Hubris by Michael Isikoff and David Corn
Rating: 4 Stars
The subtitle to this book is: The Inside Story Of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War. For anyone who wants to read a well-researched timeline of what took place when and where in the events leading up to the US invasion of Iraq, this is definitely a book that should be on the reading list. 

Included is in-depth reporting of the international intelligence information gathered to make a case for invading Iraq, and there's a detailed description of what the author's outline as the "scandal" involving Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson. This book did nothing to change my opinion on whether there was justification for invading Iraq. It was a very good report of the events surrounding the invasion and often it read like a CIA/FBI thriller.

 
Cindy in CA
The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Rating: 5 Stars
Loved this book! Great characters! India Selwyn Jones graduates from a London School, earning her degree in medicine in 1900. She is determined to open a women's clinic in the poor section of town. While working she meets Sid Malone, a notorious gangster, and life changes for them both as they come together in a passionate, yet bittersweet affair. The last third of this book was difficult to put down. I just had to keep reading to see how the author was going to end this 800-page masterpiece. 

This author also wrote THE TEA ROSE, another superb book. Characters from THE TEA ROSE appear in THE WINTER ROSE, but a reader can follow the second book without having read the first.

 
Trulie Deare (chatterlings@gmail.com)
Vengeance by Ian St. James
Rating: 4 Stars
The cover of this book describes it as the story of Tom Lambert, a man devoted to his job until the company he works for is sold right out from underneath him without a word of warning. He's at loose ends, trying to figure out what he'll do with his life when he receives an offer from the man who bought out his company. One thing leads to another, and, again, Lambert is the victim of business treachery. 

VENGEANCE is a good story on that basis alone. But there's more to it than that. It's also the story of Greece during the military junta of 1967-1974. This was not a subject with which I was very familiar, and enough information was included to make this book a historical novel about what the people of Greece went through when they lost their democracy to the vicious rule of military government.

 
Trulie Deare (chatterlings@gmail.com)
Dying To Meet You by B.M. Gill
Rating: 4 Stars
When Lowell Marshall, a concert pianist, is no longer able to pursue his vocation because he develops rheumatoid arthritis in his hands, his life falls apart. He cannot adjust to a job as a piano salesman, and his marriage becomes nothing more than another source of irritation to him.

When he discovers he's inherited a cottage on a small plot of land and decides to move there on his own, no one around him realizes that he's really having an emotional breakdown. His new life in his bare-bones cottage determines how he lives out the rest of his life, and I found this story to be fascinating as well as creepy with tension. I highly recommend this one!

 
Fran
Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
Rating: 4 Stars
The second installment of the Sookie Stackhouse series is chock full of vampires, telepaths and shapeshifters. All this adds up to a fun read! I'm really enjoying this series.
 
Lorraine
The Drowning Tree by Carol Goodman
Rating: 5 Stars
A fifteenth college reunion turns into a horror weekend. This book is full of all kinds of great twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat.

 
Carol
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
Rating: 5 Stars
This young author continues to amaze with this third of four fantasy novels. There are flaws in the story, but they do not detract. Actually, they are flaws his editor should have caught. The story engages through all 763 pages of this young adult book.
 
Ozarks Anne
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
Rating: 3 Stars
A quick read, but not my favorite. A 15-year-old boy meets an older woman on the street, and an immediate affair begins. Midway through, we learn that Hanna (the older, mysterious woman) was formerly an SS guard and took part in horrible acts. Toward the end, I found my mind wandering and had to go back. Sometimes, I wonder what those last few paragraphs had to do with the story.
 
Julie
Pay the Piper by Kate Kingsbury
Rating: 3 Stars
A solid cozy! Cecily Sinclair owns the Pennyfoot Hotel in Badgers End. The Scots have come to town for a bagpipe festival, but one is found dead in the butcher shop. Lots of great Edwardian-period nods in this good series.
 
Dot
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
Rating: 4 Stars
I'm excited to finish the book on tape before I see the movie.
 
Dot
The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
Rating: 5 Stars
I love Percy Jackson!
 
Dot
Last Known Victim by Erica Spindler
Rating: 5 Stars
I am falling in love with the Malone family.
 
Tia (tialaws@tds.net)
Testimony by Anita Shreve
Rating: 5 Stars
Another good book by Anita Shreve. The story is written with each character telling their viewpoint of a situation that blew up like a keg of dynamite that, in turn, affected many people. I couldn't put it down, trying to figure out who and what was happening.

In turn once everyone told their stories that revolved around one night, many things happened and if one person would've done something different, possibly could've changed the outcome. You really have to read this, and I'm afraid to say too much and ruin the story. It's a great book and highly addictive!

 
Rachel
Twilight by Stephenie Meyers
Rating: 5 Stars
Want to feel young again? Well Stephenie Meyer's books will do that, plus more! Excellent writing and so much fun to read. She has a series of 4 titles --- I have read the first three and can't wait to read the 4th!

 
Sandra Hughes
Down River by John Hart
Rating: 4 Stars
A good mystery that keeps you interested the entire book. Very well written.
 
Dorothy Cowling
A Prison Diary by Jeffrey Archer
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a fascinating glimpse into the first 3 weeks of the author's jail sentence. A most illuminating look at the prison system in Britain and a sad commentary on the failure of the system.
 
Juanita
The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond
Rating: 5 Stars
This book has captured my interest. I keep hoping it will have a happy ending, but I am afraid I am wrong.
 
Barbara
Carpe Demon by Julie Kenner
Rating: 4 Stars
Sometimes, you need a light book to just entertain you. This is perfect for that. The "bad guy" surprised me and the conflicts felt by the main character are ones that all working parents --- even ones with more mundane jobs --- will relate to.
 
Kathy Vieira
North River by Pete Hamill
Rating: 5 Stars
A few years ago, one of my book groups read FOREVER by Pete Hamill. It remains one of the best books I've ever read, so you can imagine how excited I was when I realized we were reading NORTH RIVER! Pete Hamill didn't disappoint me this time around, either. A story about a lonely doctor in Manhattan in the aftermath of the Great Depression, Mr. Hamill writes with beauty and great love for his characters, of which Manhattan is one of the main ones. Heartbreaking and beautiful, this is a story for anyone who loves wonderfully written literature.
 
Marya Zanders (caravanz2@yahoo.com)
Return to Paris by Colette Rossant
Rating: 5 Stars
I love the mix of growing up in Cairo and Paris. The Parisian grandmother is a true horror, but almost outdone by the mother. The brother has nothing to recommend him. The kind and loving stepfather is a glorious savior and outdoes all the blood relatives. The religious confusion between Jewish roots and Catholic conversion is well drawn. 

Although the included recipes are far too complex to attempt without a cordon bleu course first, they make for interesting reading and they make it clear why the French take so much time at the table, to take less time enjoying the meal would be an insult to cook or chef who have spent hours on preparation. And because the book is a memoir, it made me miss my own years living in Europe.

 
Sal Williams
The Ghost by Robert Harris
Rating: 4 Stars
The main character of this great, suspense-filled book --- based on a barely disguised Tony Blair is being indicted for war crimes and is hiding in the USA, telling his tales to a ghostwriter who's writing his memoirs. The gossip about this book is that the author is keen to blast Mr. Blair and that much of the book is veiled fact, including the descriptions of Mrs. Blair. Fact or fiction, Harris is a really fine writer who has given us a plot fraught with intrigues from the highest levels of government. This book is a terrific page turner that I could not put down.
 
bk
What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg
Rating: 4 Stars
A woman on an airplane going to her sister in a time of need recounts their teenage lives in the summer of 1958, and the actions and craziness of their mother that affected them forever. The book lets us question all the things we thought we knew as teenagers against the truth of adulthood. The book is well written. I could feel the emotions of the teenage girls as they experienced things in those years of the late 50s.
 
Debi
Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 5 Stars
This is my new favorite author! Picoult writes with sensitivity and insight that pulls you into the story before you know it. In this novel, she examines the religious, and not so religious, aspects of a young girl who has stigmata. When the media finds out, all kinds of chaos breaks loose! Everyone wants to get involved, yet the little girl's needs are ignored. What a powerful novel!
 
Darbys_Closet
Kiss by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the first of Ted Dekker's books that I've read. Very thrilling... I'm always flipping back and forth as to who is "bad" and who is "good". It has a lot of suspense!
 
Shannon
Judas Kiss by J.T. Ellison
Rating: 4 Stars
J.T. Ellison is finally making a name for herself in crime fiction and it's quite deserved. This is the third book in the Taylor Jackson series and it's wonderful. It starts with the brutal murder of a young mother with her child wandering around the house tracking bloody footprints, and the suspense never lets up! Check out her other books ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS and 14 too. I love this new author!
 
Debbie Wernert (MoM3g2b@aol.com)
Eclipse by Richard North Patterson
Rating: 4 Stars
Very up to the minute with all that is going on in our world today with oil and its money and evil. It would make a great movie.
 
Sal Williams
Mrs. Astor Regrets by Meryl Gordon
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the shabby and shameful story of how Vincent Astor's family treated his last wife Brooke during her last years of life. They were supposedly looking after her best interests, but in fact dreadfully neglected her and looted her holdings and effects for immense amounts. It is a scandalous book about sordid goings on and is filled with dirty details of same.
 
Pat Grissom (patmgm@comcast.net)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson and Reg Keeland
Rating: 4 Stars
The author had written 3 books before he died, but all of them will be published. This is the first one and is set in Sweden where the author lived. Blomkvist, the main character, is hired by the head of a dynasty and is told to find out what happened to his 16-year-old niece 40 years ago. The niece disappears and everyone believes she had died. Which family member is a suspect and why? 

The girl with the dragon tattoo has an uncanny ability to ferret out information that is helpful to Blomkvist. The second book in this series will be dealing with the girl with the dragon tattoo in more detail. She hasn't yet talked much about her past.

 
Linda Bedell
Suspicion of Malice by Barbara Parker
Rating: 5 Stars
A thrilling ride into a dysfunctional family resulting in several murders. A side story involves two lawyers who were formally engaged to represent a poor boy accused of one of the murders.
 
Kitty Shopher
The Husband by Dean Koontz
Rating: 5 Stars
This was the best book I've read in awhile. I would say anyone who is a fan or not should read it.
 
Nina
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 5 Stars
Couldn't put this one down. Very thought provoking. I know I'll be mulling this one over for a while.
 
Kitty Shopher
Fatal Burn by Lisa Jackson
Rating: 5 Stars
I'm not done reading it yet but I love what I've read so far. Jackson is a very good author. Can't wait for the ending.
 
bk
The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
Rating: 4 Stars
This novel was an earlier selection for Oprah's book club. Ruth's story begins in grade school, revealing the emotional and physical poverty of her family. She is destined to live with and be controlled by her shrewish mother whose bitterness has been molded by the tragedies in her own life. Despite her limited education and experience, Ruth's voice is one of truth and longing. Like everyone in the world, she only wants to be happy and secure. Finding that in her impoverished existence is a struggle. 

As with many sad young girls, she grasps at the first male who pays attention to her and is doomed to continue the cycle of poverty and hurt. I listened to the 13 hours on tape. Ruth's words and the excellent narrator kept me captivated. As with most all of Oprah's selections, it is more sad than happy. This novel won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Award.

 
Shellie (Shell0616@comcast.net)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Rating: 5 Stars
This book is placed in the Young Adult category but it can really be enjoyed by anyone over the age of 12 or so. It takes place in a time where there is not enough food to go around and the government controls the life of its people. The poor and the rich are segregated to the point of a caste system. There is an annual event called The Game. Each district is required to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12-18 to participate. 

Over several days the children are pitted against one another in a fight to the death, and the one left standing wins. Katniss, the main character, steps up and takes her sister's place when she is chosen. Although brutal and cruel, the book also shows compassion and sacrifice. I highly recommend it.

 
Julie Towson
The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld
Rating: 4 Stars
Freud and Jung are in NYC in 1909 and a murder has been committed. They help solve the crime. There are wonderful descriptions of New York as it must have been at the turn of the century.
 
Liza
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Rating: 5 Stars
Beautifully written novel about a couple living in the 1950s who believe they are better than the pedestrian, vapid people they are surrounded by in their suburban subdivision. They decide to chuck everything and move the family to Europe and live among the more worldly classes. Things don't end as they'd like.
 
Melissa
Avaryan Resplendent by Judith Tarr
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the second trilogy in the series of books about children of a sun god. Very good story spanning many years in time. Extremely hard to put down.
 
Sandy
Divine Justice by David Baldacci
Rating: 5 Stars
The Camel Club is back in action! This time, they must find Oliver Stone and save his butt! There's lots of excitement in this one! Now that I have finished it I can clean some house!!
 
bk
When Madeline Was Young by Jane Hamilton
Rating: 4 Stars
This poignant look at a family is by one of Oprah's book club authors. The tale begins in the 1950s and continues through the Iraq war. It is told through the eyes of a little boy and continues as he grows into a man and then a grandfather.

As with most families there are quirky characters, sad and happy moments, and a lovely family story. I listened to the book on CD and loved Richard Poe's narration. He's the best!

 
bk
Peace Like A River by Leif Enger
Rating: 4 Stars
Set in the midwest, it is a warm tale of family love in the face of devastating circumstances. It is told from the middle child's point of view. The loving but lonely father leads the family on a heroic quest into the Bad Lands. The novel had the feel of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD with life lessons as well as ordinary things. It held my attention throughout. I was sad to see it end.
 
Kitty Shopher
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Rating: 5 Stars
A very good book. I'm glad to see it was made into a movie.
 
Pat Grissom (patmgm@comcast.net)
Alabama Moon by Watt Key
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a Young Adult novel about a man who thinks the government is out to get everyone; thus, he moves his family into the woods (part of the paper mill's vast landholdings), builds an underground house, and teaches his son Moon how to trap and survive. 

Moon's mom dies at a young age, then his dad dies when he is 10 years old. His dad's last words are for him to move to Alaska (from Alabama) because there are people there like them and they'll take care of him.

Very well written --- shows life and the world from Moon's perspective as he knows almost nothing about the outside world.

 
Jan Griffin
Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama
Rating: 5 Stars
He writes as though you were sitting in the same room and he is talking about his life from youth through Law school. You understand where he is coming from.
 
bk
The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly
Rating: 4 Stars
If you enjoyed the Mickey Haller from LINCOLN LAWYER or detective Harry Bosch, then you'll enjoy THE BRASS VERDICT. Both characters go head to head in a high-profile murder case as Haller returns to the courtroom after a stint in rehab.

 
Terri
Tepper Isn't Going Out by Calvin Trillin
Rating: 5 Stars
Murray Tepper likes to park his car and read the paper. He knows the hours that parking is allowed on all his favorite streets and will stay as long as he has time on the meter. This low-key but hilarious book reminds us that there is nothing wrong with doing things for no other reason than we want to. It's called a novel, but I suspect there is a lot of Calvin Trillin in Murray Tepper!
 
George Waggoner
I, Claudius by Robert Graves
Rating: 5 Stars
I have watched the PBS television program based on this book twice, and came across it when I was browsing in Barnes and Noble recently. The book is brilliantly written and the storyline moves rapidly, filled with details of life in ancient Rome. A really terrific read and complement to the TV series.
 
Jeannine
The China Lover by Ian Buruma
Rating: 4 Stars
This novel follows a Japanese singer/actress over a 40-year span starting in the 1930s. Taking place in Japan, China, Manchuria and the US, Ian Buruma uses the metamorphosis of his lead character to bring the culture and history of these Asian counties to life.

The story is fascinating and when you add the beautiful background that Mr. Buruma creates of the Asian culture, the book is very worthwhile.

 
Bingo
Cross Country by James Patterson
Rating: 5 Stars
Dr. Alex Cross is at it again and just as exciting as ever. This time, he's involved in hideous murders that lead him to Africa chasing the killer. I am amazed Dr. Cross survives all the terrible beatings and torture he is put through.

As always, I couldn't put the book down and it was always one more chapter and then I'll close the book --- good luck! Patterson fans know they will like it. If you aren't already a fan, you will become one!

 
Margaret Ladue (laduea@frontiernet.net)
Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky
Rating: 5 Stars
A very good book about family heritage and loyalty, love and trust. I really like all of her books.
 
Sharon Wilk
The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Laxness and Jane Smiley
Rating: 4 Stars
Laxness is an Icelandic writer and winner of Noble Prize in 1955. The orphan Alfgrimur has spent an idyllic childhood sheltered in the simple turf cottage of a generous and eccentric elderly couple. Alfgrimur dreams only of becoming a fisherman like his adoptive grandfather, until he meets Iceland's biggest celebrity. The opera singer Gardar Holm's international fame is a source of tremendous pride to tiny, insecure Iceland, though no one there has ever heard him sing. 

A mysterious man who mostly avoids his homeland and repeatedly fails to perform for his adoring countrymen, Gardar takes a particular interest in Alfgrimur's budding musical talent and urges him to seek out the world beyond the one he knows and loves. But as Alfgrimur discovers that Gardar is not what he seems, he begins to confront the challenge of finding his own path without turning his back on where he came from.

 
Elizabeth Adams (lmadams@q.com)
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Rating: 5 Stars
This book must have gotten into my inner self. I dreamed about it a week after finishing the book. It also taught me the role the French played helping the Germans round up the Jews.
 
Cathy
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
Rating: 5 Stars
Light reading, but what a great story! If you're looking for an escape, this is a good one.
 
Karen
The Widow by Carla Neggers
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the story of a police detective trying to solve the seven-year-old murder of her husband, who was killed on their honeymoon. The characters and storyline were very interesting, and they kept me wanting to continue reading. I had never read anything by this author before and I will probably pick up another title.
 
Debbie
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Rating: 4 Stars
A wonderful introduction into the world of Frank Lloyd Wright and a poignant and sad story about his love for Mamah Borthwick Cheney. The theme of how one decision can change the lives of so many runs throughout the book.
 
Linda
Danger in a Small Town by Ginny Aiken
Rating: 5 Stars
Keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering why Tess, who just moved home after quitting a job, runs into so many problems --- and who is responsible for them.
 
Jo Ann White (nmjaw@yahoo.com)
Second Chance Pass by Robyn Carr
Rating: 5 Stars
Have been waiting for this to be released since I had read her other three in the series. What a beautiful story. Had me laughing in parts and crying in others. Can't wait for the next book to come out in March. Have already pre-ordered it. Great read. Love the characters, and the stories just flow from one to another without missing a beat.
 
Judy O. (joswood@msn.com)
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker
Rating: 5 Stars
What a great, well-written story from a new author! Truly Plaice is born with a condition that has made her larger than usual --- a giant. Truly's sister, Serena Jane, is petite and beautiful.
 
Robin Coker (hillcoker@yahoo.com)
Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell
Rating: 5 Stars
This is one of those books you can't put down and then are sad when you finish it. For me, this was the best Cornwell book --- I've read most of them. If you have read them and love the characters Scarpetta, Benton, Lucy, and Marino, then this is a must read. But if you haven't read any of Cornwell books, you can still pick this one up and enjoy it; she revisits different things that have happened to the characters so you aren't left in the dark.
 
Elizabeth Adams (lmadams@q.com)
The Longest Trip Home by John Grogan
Rating: 5 Stars
My in-laws are devout Catholics, and this book was very enlightening to me about the gap in religious beliefs between my generation and my children's generation. If you loved MARLEY & ME, you will like this one even better.
 
Debbie
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Rating: 5 Stars
This is not a new book, but it is one of the best books I have ever read. The writing is beautiful and so is the author's ability to move between dialect and regular prose.
 
Bev Uebel (hopeuebel@fuse.net)
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Rating: 4 Stars
I'm halfway through this and love it. I may give it five stars by the time I'm finished.
 
Jentam
Twilight by Stephenie Meyers
Rating: 4 Stars
I would never have chosen this book myself, but I received it for Christmas and I actually really like it. The writing carries you quickly into the story and it's one of those books that is hard to put down.
 
Beverly
The More Things Change by Chamein Canton
Rating: 4 Stars
This is romance story of the events leading up to the wedding of Cathy, a plus-size heroine to Marcus, a baseball superstar. It was refreshing to read a romance in which the couple are beyond their 20s, the heroine looks more like the average woman instead of a supermodel, and an athlete who is not all caught in the drama of his super-ego.
 
Annette
Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
Rating: 4 Stars
I was supposed to read this book for an English history class in college years ago, but am just now finishing it. I didn't know what I was missing all those years ago! This starts out as a wonderfully descriptive memoir of life in rural England in the late 1800s.
 
Annette (jjuba@austin.rr.com)
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Rating: 4 Stars
One member of our book club likes this book so much that she's re-reading it to discuss with the rest of us. At only 50 pages in, I'm finding the story very engaging --- Russell is very talented at revealing details little by little so that readers immediately want to know what is going on. I also love how she creates characters that seem larger than life and all too human at the same time.
 
Beverly
Blonde Roots by Bernardine Evaristo
Rating: 4 Stars
This was an imaginative novel that uses humor and satire as we explore our cultural beliefs and how they were formed.

Doris, an Englishwoman, was kidnapped from her family's cabbage farm and is enslaved and taken to Great Ambossa. Her owner's initials are KKK. 

The novel is broken into three parts --- the first parts are written more like a journal where first Doris and the Bwana express their observations on their own and each other's cultures. The third and last part is written as a storyline where we find out about the characters introduced in the first two parts. To illustrate her points, the author does not tell us a time period but borrows from all time periods, such as having boys skate boarding along with having chamber pots.

 
Liz H.
The Invisible Wall by Harry Bernstein
Rating: 4 Stars
Interesting tale by a 93-year-old man about living on the Jew side opposite from the Christians right before the first World War in London, and how love happens, despite money, position, or religion.
 
Debi
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Rating: 5 Stars
I decided to reread this after finding an old copy. There is so much more in this novel than when I read it in high school. I love the author's voice and story-telling style. Scout, Jem, Boo, Dill, and Atticus came alive again! No wonder it's a classic!
 
Bonnie Capuano
Blood Brothers by Nora Roberts
Rating: 5 Stars
Anything Nora does is 5 stars! Just started the book. It's about 3 boys who unite on their birthday and somehow re-awake the Pagan Stone. From that point on every 7 years the town is filled with demons. It really is a good book and I am enjoying it.
 
Janice Hoaglin (jhoaglin@sbcglobal.net)
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
Rating: 3 Stars
I enjoyed this book, although not as much as GARDEN SPELLS. The characters are charming and the story has just enough of the magical to keep it intriguing.
 
Debi
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Rating: 5 Stars
What an awesome book! During WWII in France, a young girl locks her brother in a closet in order to avoid being taken with the family to a detention camp. It flashes back from past to present where a female reporter uncovers the horrible truths behind this story. It is so well woven that the past intertwines with the present to show that life, and love, travel full circle. It haunted me for days after reading it.
 
Karen F
The Pact by Jody Picoult
Rating: 4 Stars
As always Picoult does it again and draws you into the world of two families which deal with the suicide/murder of their teenage daughter at the hand of their best friend's son. The book allows you to read the developing pain and anguish that all go though as the story unfolds.
 
Ricki
What I Was by Meg Rosoff
Rating: 4 Stars
A wonderful tale about the powers of a boyhood crush. I just wish the twist was a little harder to figure out.
 
Debbie
Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo
Rating: 4 Stars
If you liked EMPIRE FALLS, you will like BRIDGE OF SIGHS. The story is told from the perspective of three characters, whose stories are woven into the fabric of an old upstate mill town, whose mills are polluting the water supply. The pull between staying and leaving a town which seems to have no future affects all of the characters' lives in different ways.
 
Linda H. (linda604b@yahoo.com)
Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs
Rating: 4 Stars
Tempe Brennan is called in by Detective Slidell when an odd discovery is found during a home renovation. A hidden room was found containing evidence pertaining to some sort of voodoo ceremony. While investigating this, a headless body is found close by. Are the two related? As they investigate, numerous murders are being carried out. Now, they have to find out who is the murderer. I thought this book was a lot better than BONES TO ASHES.
 
Lana E. Mason
Life Studies by Susan Vreeland
Rating: 4 Stars
Enjoyed the first 1/2 of book about the lives of classic artists (Monet, etc.) better than second 1/2 about life in the present and how a particular painting fit into it. But still thought it was a very good book.
 
D.W. (bwillis1@socal.rr.com)
Wishful Thinking by Carrie Fisher
Rating: 1 Stars
Another Hollywood nonsense book . It only takes an hour to read. It's the author's name that is the attraction.
 
Vivian
Molaka'i by Alan Brennert
Rating: 5 Stars
I was swept away throughout the entire novel and enjoyed reading every page.
 
D. W.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Socoiety by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Rating: 4 Stars
A charming story in the form of letters that describes the island under German occupation. It probably will be a Hallmark movie someday.
 
Sheila
The Great Santini by Pat Conroy
Rating: 4 Stars
I'm re-reading this for my book club --- too many of our members hadn't read Conroy! Although this isn't my absolute favorite of his books (I think THE PRINCE OF TIDES gets that vote), his writing still takes my breath away.

 
Debi
Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
Rating: 4 Stars
This book ends the trilogy of INKHEART, INKSPELL, now, INKDEATH. Although I'm not usually a fantasy reader, I found myself caught up in the inkworld of Meggie, Bluejay, Fenoglio, and Mortola. It even has a glossary to sort out the characters. I gave this one a 4 because it dragged at the beginning while the author was trying to bring the reader up to date on the characters. You really should read these in order. After it picked up speed, there was a great ending! I loved the series even though it was written for young people!
 
Lisa K.
The Last Days of Dead Celebrities by Mitchell Fink
Rating: 3 Stars
It's ok if you like autobiographies. It has stories and interviews from people who were around such celebrities as John Ritter, John Denver, John Lennon, Lucille Ball and others during the last few days of their lives. Some stories were better than others. Some were a little hard to believe.
 
Lisa K
Montana by Debbie Macomber
Rating: 4 Stars
Debbie Macomber has a way of making her characters so sexy and so ordinary at the same time. She makes everyday people sound like they are so glamorous. Her books are always such an enjoyable read.
 
Linda H. (linda604b@yahoo.com)
Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner
Rating: 5 Stars
This book is full of suspense and hard to put down. When a pregnant hooker is arrested, she informs the police that she is an FBI informant and asks for Kimberly Quincy, a Special Agent with the Atlanta office of the FBI. She then informs Kimberly that several hookers are missing and she thinks there is a serial killer. She told Kimberly that the killer was known as Mr. Dinchara, an anagram based on his love for arachnids. But to the young boys he kidnaps, rapes, and ultimately kills, he is known as the Burgerman. Kimberly works with Sal Martignetti, Special Agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, to try to solve the mystery of the missing hookers.
 
Linda H. (linda604b@yahoo.com)
Swan Peak by James Lee Burke
Rating: 4 Stars
Detective Dave Robicheaux and his pal Clete Purcell are in Montana for a fishing vacation when two bodies are found on a ridge behind the home where they are staying. As they assist the sheriff in trying to find out who the killer is, one of Clete's old nemesis comes into play. This is a gangster named Sally Dio, who was supposed to have been killed in a plane crash. But now Clete thinks that he didn't die. A good mystery read.
 
Linda H. (linda604b@yahoo.com)
Blood Trail by C. J. Box
Rating: 5 Stars
This was the first book I have read by this author but after reading this, I will definitely read his other books. In this one, Joe Pickett is a game warden who has been selected by the governor of Wyoming to assist in the apprehension of someone who is murdering hunters. When Joe and a well-known tracker try to locate the killer, another man is killed and the country prosecutor is seriously wounded. 

When he later dies, the search becomes personal for Joe as this man was one of his closest friends. As Joe gets more and more into his investigation, he feels that the murders are not just because the men are hunters but there is another reason for the murders. He has to find out this reason before more are killed.

 
Alice Patterson
Peony by Pearl S. Buck
Rating: 5 Stars
Wonderful book. She was a wonderful writer. I am reading if for my book club.
 
Lynne Perednia (LynneP@netzero.net)
Mourners by Bill Pronzini
Rating: 4 Stars
This is part of theA Nameless Detective Novel series. There is a quiet man who suddenly starts lying to his wife and attending funerals of strangers. Jake Runyon still remains bereft after his wife's death, there is a health scare for someone close to Nameless, and a wide range of other hurting characters. This is a very poignant book.
 
Linda H. (linda604b@yahoo.com)
Tailspin by Catherine Coulter
Rating: 5 Stars
Married FBI Agents Sherlock and Savich work to find out who placed the bomb on fellow FBI Agent Jackson Crowne's plane. As the plane comes down in the mountainous region of southeastern Kentucky, Rachel Abbot watches and runs to the aid of the two passengers as one staggers from the wreckage helping the other passenger. 

When Sherlock and Savich arrive on the scene, they thank Rachel and then are amazed at her story of survival. They find that Rachel is the newly recognized daughter of a U.S. senator who was recently killed in an automobile accident and now someone is trying to kill Rachel. The passenger on the plane is a renowned psychiatrist with a list of important patients. Someone is trying to kill the doctor. With trying to save the doctor, Sherlock and Savich are now drawn into solving Rachel's mystery. You won't be able to put this book down until the last page.

 
Pattie Berryhill (pattiberr@aol.com)
Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts by Laura Benedict
Rating: 1 Stars
CALLING MR. LONELY HEARTS was a waste of my time. I kept thinking it *has* to get better, so I finished the book. It never got better. It is about the Devil.
 
Andria Plonka (plonkaac@sbcglobal.net)
In This Rain by S.J. Rozan
Rating: 4 Stars
Interesting book which I am only about a third through. It has lots of echoes to NO COLDER PLACE.
 
Peggy Haney
Deadly Grace by Taylor Smith
Rating: 4 Stars
Usually, I have the plot figured out half way through, but I am almost to the end and still quite sure who the murderer is.
 
Marsha
The Borgia Bride by Jeanne Kalogridis
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a fascinating tale of the years of the Napoli reign of the House of Aragon and the papal reign of terror by the House of Borgia. The plight of the women involved is well-drawn and will keep your interest until the last page. This is a richly compelling tale of conspiracy, sexual intrigue, loyalty, friendship and drama.
 
Liz DiBona
My Sister's Keeper by Jody Picoult
Rating: 5 Stars
My book club choose this book for the month of January. Everyone who has read it, absolutely loves it. What a great writer. I plan on reading more by this author as soon as I can. You can't put it down.
 
Debbie (delphimo@yahoo.com)
The Charlemagne Pursuit by Steve Berry
Rating: 3 Stars
This is the 4th in the Cotton Malone series about suspense around the world. Per the author's note, the book contains both fact and fiction in the jaunts to Germany, France, NC, Georgia, DC, and Antarctica. The story is entertaining and the action never wanes. This is my first reading of any of Steve Berry's works, and I may read other books.
 
Darcy
Gone Tomorrow by P.F. Kluge
Rating: 3 Stars
This short novel, set on a small liberal arts college campus in Ohio, sets out to be a mystery about a long anticipated but never delivered novel promised by the school's writer-in-residence.

People wonder if this fellow is another J.D. Salinger---maybe a genius, or maybe just a guy living off his past fame. In the end, the book becomes not much more than a study of the effects of the publish-or-perish pressure on professors, as well as the entire campus community.

 
Sherri
The Little Book by Selden Edwards
Rating: 5 Stars
It is one of the most amazing books I have ever read...There is so much to this fabulous tale of Wheeler Burden that one must just READ it...
 
Louise
Sweetheart, Indiana by Suzanne Simmons
Rating: 4 Stars
After the author's sudden death a month ago, I was shaken and decided to read some of her books again. This one she wrote under "Suzanne Simmons". Gillian Charles has inherited from her grandfather a whole town, but the catch is that she has to live there. Someone doesn't want her there

It's a cute story and a fun read.

 
Sonia Z
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Rating: 5 Stars
A dystopian tale of the overthrow of the U.S. goverment by a pseudo Christian theocracy in which women have been stripped of all their rights. Written in 1985 and compared with 1984 my interest was perked to read the story during the last election when Sarah Palin was compared with the Aunties, and in the story, women who want to take power away from women should be careful what they wish for.

The roots of the story date back to the Puritans and the author states that there isn't anything in the book not based on something that has already happened in history or in another country, or for which actual supporting documentation is not already available.



 
Linda M. Johnson (tcheer4life@yahoo.com)
Art in America by Ron McLarty
Rating: 3 Stars
I loved reading the author's first book THE MEMORY OF RUNNING. This book is interesting, but I am listening to it therefore I am very aware of the language (i.e. the "F" word). I'm not a prude, but really feel it's over done in this story of a New York author who moves to a small town in Colorado to write a play celebrating the town's history. Of course, not everyone agrees with what should be included and who should be included.
 
Sonia Z
A Mercy by Toni Morrison
Rating: 5 Stars
This takes place during the 1600s, America's early days on a plantation in Maryland. It's told with Morrison's amazing gift of narrative, through the voices of three women who try to survive in a society at risk. A small book of only 167 pages.
 
Linda M. Johnson (tcheer4life@yahoo.com)
Inside Inside by James Lipton
Rating: 4 Stars
James Lipton is the teacher at the front of the class known as Inside the Actor's Studio shown on Bravo. This memoir is a delightful journey through Lipton's and entertainment's life. Lipton started life as the only child of a teacher mother and a beat poet father who left about the time Lipton was seven. Lipton's trip to law school was detoured by classes at the Actors' Studio, and various jobs (lyricist and writer) he took in order to keep taking classes. There is nothing trite about this book. It is authentic Lipton.
 
Mary in HB (mljacobsinhb@msn.com)
High Tea by Sandra Harper
Rating: 3 Stars
Really 3.5
This is a very charming read about three women who all find their way in life. I really thought it was cute and quick. Oh, you will want to try the recipes in the back of the book, they are yummy!

 
Linda H. (linda604b@yahoo.com)
Final Justice by Fern Michaels
Rating: 5 Stars
The latest in the Sisterhood series where the group of female vigilantes right wrongs carried out by the justice system. In this book, they head to Las Vegas to assist a former childhood friend of one of the vigilantes. While in Vegas, they are approached by a representative of the Nevada Gaming Commission who asks for their help in finding the group responsible for bilking the casinos. For a mere $1 billion, the girls agree to help. Always a good story, this book is no exception.
 
Gina
The Gate Keeper by Nelson DeMIlle
Rating: 5 Stars
John Sutter is back! Ten years after his adventures in GOLD COAST, John comes back to NY to settle estate and to settle scores. A witty book that kept 
me laughing and page turning.

 
Karen F
Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the first book I've read of this author. LOVE WALKED IN is the story of the touching relationship that develops between an eleven year old girl and a woman who is dating her estranged father. The chapters are divided up between the two characters giving you a peek into each point of view of developing events. I would highly recommend it.
 
Paula Podmore
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
Rating: 4 Stars
I was at first confused how the three stories in this book would connect but it did not disappoint me at all. Very descriptive and great writing. I look forward to reading the other two books following this first one. The author has made an interesting detective come to life.
 
Elaine Gasaway
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Rating: 5 Stars
A fascinating book about how talent is not the only element in success, and the advantages that caused talented people to be truly successful. Apparently having the most talent isn't the most important thing. If you have enough talent, and the right breaks, you can be an outlier as well.
 
Michele L.
Mayhem in High Heels by Gemma Halliday
Rating: 5 Stars
MAYHEM IN HIGH HEELS is a hilarious, suspenseful murder mystery. It is brimming with all the key characters from the High Heels series. Maddie Springer is anxious; hiccups ensue, as she tries to locate a killer after her stylish wedding planner, Gigi, is found murdered. Maddie's fiancé Ramirez is in charge of the case. As the two of them work against time to solve the murder, bets are made, and they learn that their love for one another runs deep. Maddie's best friends Dana and Marco assist her with her wedding and unraveling the murder mystery much to her apprehension. What a comical pair of friends, but they are true friends in every sense of the word!

I love how Gemma Halliday intertwines laughter and romance with grit, suspense and murder. Her characters have incredible depth, which makes you feel like you know them on a personal level. Her story, MAYHEM IN HIGH HEELS, sparkles with charm unlike any other murder mystery. Each story in this series is exceptional and adds edgy style to today's romance mystery genre. This madcap tale of a murdered wedding planner with romance and suspense contains more laugh-out-loud antics than a Peter Sellers, Pink Panther movie!

 
Michele L. (deseng@crown.net)
Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl
Rating: 5 Stars
TALK ME DOWN is a hot, scintillating, fast-paced story filled with sexual tension, passion and hair-raising suspense. When Molly, who has secrets aplenty, moves back to Tumble Creek, Colorado, not only does she gain a new man in her life but a stalker as well. 

Ben Lawson is totally drawn to Molly and her beauty. He just wishes she would open up to him more. Molly's stubbornness might irritate him, but the hot, sexy late night interludes fill the emptiness in his heart. He just wants a woman in his life to protect and love. I was so touched by Ben's generous heart and his chivalrous actions. I instantly warmed up to Molly and her independent streak, as I am an independent person as well.

Victoria Dahl has created characters that you will love and hate from the intense emotion that fills the pages. Ms. Dahl creates an atmosphere of sizzling suspense so palpable that I could feel the gripping fear just as the characters in the story felt. She also has action suspense down to an art. The plot keeps rolling with what-ifs until the climactic ending. I have never reached a finale as satisfying as this one! Ms. Dahl's spicy and edgy style is a refreshing take on romantic suspense stories.

This smart, sexy story, TALK ME DOWN, has it all, intrigue, seduction, romance and spark. Be ready to strap yourself in and hang on, this is one roller coaster ride!

 
kathleen
Agnes & the Hitman by Jennifer Cruise & Bob Mayer
Rating: 4 Stars
Haven't finished it yet, but so far it is funny and intriguing. A good mystery with lots of humor.
 
Linda K. (writermom6@yahoo.com)
Snow by Orhan Pamuk
Rating: 4 Stars
The Nobel-prize winner and Turkish native, Orhan Pamuk, produced in SNOW a literary novel with intellect and emotion. The protagonist, Ka, has recently returned from exile in Germany and traveled to the small town of Kars to find answers to pressing questions.

While in Kars, he discovers the inspiration he needs to return to the writing of poetry while pursuing a relationship with the lovely Ipek. Ka is a simple man who unexpectedly finds himself in the middle of political turmoil as the snow cuts off Kars from the outside world.

Pamuk succeeded in developing interesting characters and a captivating plot while posing interesting philosophical questions. If I could I would assign 4 1/2 stars for this book. It's not the best I've ever read, but it is definitely memorable.

 
Lana E. Mason
A Buffalo in the House by R. D. Rosen
Rating: 4 Stars
Raising and loving a baby buffalo to adulthood and the antics and problems that ensued made for a fun read.
 
Lana E. Mason
Two Old Women by Velma Wallis
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a sleeper! It is an Alaskan legend about two old women deserted by their nomadic tribe and how they survived. It was a great read. If you read it, you'll be talking about it.
 
Crystal Blackburn
The Victoria Vanishes by Christopher Fowler
Rating: 5 Stars
This is another great story featuring detectives Bryant and May, the PCU and other oddball characters.
 
Crystal Blackburn
Mary, Mary by James Patterson
Rating: 5 Stars
Another excellent Alex Cross mystery.
 
Maureen
Pitch Black by Susan Crandall
Rating: 4 Stars
Madison Wade moves her adopted teenage son, Ethan, to a small town to get him away from his previous life. The change is not easy for him and he and Madison are viewed with suspicion. Ethan is invited on a camping trip by a friend's father but the father ends up dead and, of course, everyone is looking at Ethan.
 
Carol
Killing Mister Watson by Peter Matthiessen
Rating: 5 Stars
I could not put this book down. The story takes place in the Ten Thousand Islands off the southwest coast of Florida in the 1890-1910's. The story is based on fact, rumors, memories, journals and just plain lies. Which is truth and which is not is all tossed in together. 

Did Mister E.J. Watson kill the help to save on payroll? Did he kill those that stood in his way? Was he some kind of psychopath? This book is the 1st in a trilogy and I can't wait to get to the 2nd book.

 
mary ann
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Rating: 4 Stars
I can see why it's a classic, with its themes of adultery, murder and the overt excessive wealth of the roaring twenties. I actually read it due to the reference from THE DOUBLE BIND by Chris Bohjalian. I did enjoy it but was not as overwhelmed or in awe as I thought I'd be. Maybe I'm used to more contemporary fiction. Still, it's a classic.
 
Suzannefromtexas
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Myers
Rating: 3 Stars
I still can't believe I have read all of these books of the Twilight series, but this one was a much better story than the 2nd and 3rd ones---and when you have invested over 1.800 pages of reading time, you have to go ahead and finish them up. Maybe a little less teen angst in this one, and a few less "he hissed..."
 
S J Rainey
A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand
Rating: 4 Stars
This was a very good read and hard to put down.
 
F Tessa Bartels
Run by Ann Patchett
Rating: 4 Stars
Patchett is a fine writer. Here she crams a lifetime of drama into basically, one 24-hour period in the lives of a widower, his two adopted sons and oldest, biological child, the mother of his adopted boys, and the daughter of that woman (who is a talented and precocious "little sister" to the boys).
 
F Tessa Bartels
The Gravedigger's Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates
Rating: 2 Stars
Huh? It just ends? She tortures us for 500 pages and it just ... ends. I wouldn't have read it at all except for book club, and I won't be reading any more from this author. I recognize her talent, but I just had enough of her writing in the '80s.
 
F Tessa Bartels
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko
Rating: 4 Stars
"Moose" has to grow up fast in Spring 1935. His family has moved to Alcatraz so his dad can get a good job, and his sister, who is autistic, can have a chance at an exclusive school that will help her "be normal." A wonderfully surprising young adult book!
 
Lisa
The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston
Rating: 4 Stars
Clever, original story about a guy who takes a job with a company that cleans up crime and death scenes. Very funny, sharp and Huston is a major talent. A note of warning---this book is not for readers who like their reads on the "cozy" side of the street. This book has strong often vulgar language and graphic descriptions of violence.
 
Lisa
Honestly Dearest, You're Dead by Jack Fredrickson
Rating: 4 Stars
Don't let the corny title fool you. This is a great mystery --- 2nd in the series so far. (First: A SAFE PLACE FOR DYING). A down-on-his-luck divorced research analyst gets a mysterious request to execute a will for a dead woman he's never met. When he attempts to do just that, more puzzles emerge until he realizes he might have known the woman many years ago as his first love.
 
Cindy
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
Rating: 4 Stars
I enjoyed this novel about the first lady. It is a story about what we as women give up in our lives for our families.
 
Mary in HB (mljacobsinhb@msn.com)
Bitten to Death (Jaz Parks, Book 4) by Jennifer Rardin
Rating: 5 Stars
I just love this series. Jaz is strong and independent with a smart mouth. It is truly the snarky comments that keep me in love with the character. Just when things seem to be bad, they get worse and Jaz, barely keeping it together this time, manages to get the bad guys in the end.
 
Mig
Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve
Rating: 4 Stars
The book opens with the city of London chasing a small mining town across the wastes of the former North Sea. This chase is in no way figurative --- the city, as many others have, has become mobile, seated on giant tracks as tanks are --- and will have serious consequences for young Tom Natsworthy, Third Class Apprentice Historian.

This prize-winning YA book, first in a series of four, is very imaginative and written in a clean, uncluttered style. It blends the post-apocalyptic and steam punk genres in a fresh, creative manner. Characters are interesting and the story unfolds at a sharp pace that doesn't feel rushed. The book, and presumably the rest of the series, should appeal to anyone who enjoyed Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, John Christopher's Tripod series, or similar books.

 
Mary in HB (mljacobsinhb@msn.com)
Kitty and the Dead Man's Hand by Carrie Vaughn
Rating: 4 Stars
I just love this series. Kitty is a little less serious in this one, but it still has enough drama to keep you turning the pages.

 
Mary in HB (mljacobsinhb@msn.com)
Witch Fire by Anya Bast
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a very fast-paced story with lots of sex. The dialogue is witty and the characters have some depth. I really enjoyed it and look forward to another in this series.
 
Mary in HB (mljacobsinhb@msn.com)
Speed Demon by Erin Lynn
Rating: 4 Stars
Another adorable mini chick-lit paranormal read from Erin McCarthy. Kenzie pulls off another save in the second book in the Demon series. I like the characters and witty dialogue. It is amazing how the author can develop the story in such a small space.
 
Mary
The Soloist by Steve Lopez
Rating: 5 Stars
First, I don't usually read biographies without knowing anything about the people they are written about. I will definitely say this time, I am glad I did. This is about a Julliard-trained musician who is mentally ill and living on Skid Row in Los Angles.

The story is written by an LA Times columnist who was looking for a great story and found one and much more. The book gives the reader some insight into the mentally ill people who are on the streets and you will discover what glorious stories their pasts hold.

 
Kathy O'Gorman (bamakathy@aol.com)
Cold Rock River by J. L. Miles
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the story of Adie Jenkins, living in rural Georgia in the 1960's. Your heart will go out to her as she struggles to survive poverty and motherhood, with a no-account husband chosen with her hormones and not her brain. Overlap this with a journal of a young slave girl that Adie is lucky enough to be able to read, and you will find two very different women with one heart.

I couldn't put this book down and it has stayed with me long after finishing it. I love books about rural life, and this one put me in the mind of GAP CREEK and the DOLLMAKER, but with characters that were much more realistic and endearing.

 
Mary in HB (mljacobsinhb@msn.com)
Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the first in a series and I really love the author's writing style. There is a lot of wit and the plot is fast paced while developing characters. I can't wait for the next one!
 
Jean
Trial and Error by Paul Levine
Rating: 4 Stars
A fun, light, humorous mystery. I have enjoyed all four of the Solomon and Lordmysteries that take place in Florida. Pure escape!
 
cecilia (cepcham(at)gmail.com)
Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Rating: 5 Stars
If ever you wondered about the story behind Scarborough Fair, search no further --- Nancy Werlin has given the Elfin Knight legend a whole new modern twist! Seventeen-year-old Lucy Scarborough is a foster child who finds out that she had been abandoned as a child due to a terrible family curse. In order to break the curse, she must rely on the love of her foster parents as well as the next-door neighbor boy. Beautifully written, as haunting as the song, full of youthful romance and suspense. You'll not want to put it down!
 
Laverne
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
Rating: 4 Stars
I love Jhumpa Lahiri's writing, and believe she is at her best in short stories. And this time, though the main character(s) of each story are of Indian background, the situations are purely "American"!
 
Lou
The Chase by Brenda Joyce
Rating: 5 Stars
A crime story about a husband who is killed at the birthday party his wife has thrown for him. As the wife tried to learn who could have done it, she finds herself in situations where she doesn't know whom to trust. Even her own father is a suspect.
 
BookFestival
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Rating: 5 Stars
Most interesting, this book explains a lot about success (mostly luck and hard work).
 
Coral Harrison
The Gate House by Nelson DeMille
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a sequel to THE GOLD COAST and is 10 years later. The main characters are John and Susan Stanhope Sutter. If there is a moral to this story it is, do not get mixed up with the Mafia. A different type of story and interesting and easy to read.
 
Cindy Ferrell (ferrellac@aol.com)
Healing Stones by Nancy Rue and Stephen Arterburn
Rating: 5 Stars
The subject of adultery within the Christian faith is asked---and answered---in this touching story of a woman's journey. Set in Washington state, this book proves that there is good, intelligent Christian fiction out there.
 
Cindy Ferrell (ferrellac@aol.com)
The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal
Rating: 5 Stars
The worst part of this book is the cover art. It misleads the reader into thinking this is a light, fluffy chicklit book, when what it is, is the story of a woman finding herself and coming to terms with her past. 

O'Neal weaves food and its textures, flavors and colors into this multi-dimensional story, set in Aspen.

 
Coral Harrison
What a Way to Spend a War by Dorothy Still Danner
Rating: 5 Stars
Many nurses were POW in the Philippines during World War II. This is a true story written of Dorothy's time as a POW. It is well written and tells of the terrible times they had.
 
Kate
The 158-Pound Marriage by John Irving
Rating: 4 Stars
I completely love John Irving, and while the review said it was unlike his other books, I have to disagree. It was deep and controversial and you didn't know whether to be in pain or happy at the end of the novel.
 
Louise
Homecoming by Belva Plain
Rating: 5 Stars
The story of a devious grandmother's plot to reunite estranged family members. A very heartwarming and enjoyable read.
 
Louise
The Night Before by Lisa Jackson
Rating: 5 Stars
I like reading Lisa's books that have some connection with each other. In this one Reuben Montoya, (a character from several of her other books), comes to Savannah when his girlfriend is involved in a series of murders there. In addition, a woman whose husband was murdered becomes the suspect in his and some other family deaths.
 
Bonnie
The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn
Rating: 3 Stars
Okay book about the author's trials and tribulations as a 30 something student at the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. I read it, it was similar to a few other books interspersed with recipes, but basically un-engaging.
 
Debbie
Vampire Royalty: The Rebellion by Valerie Hoffman
Rating: 4 Stars
This novel tells the "truth" about the "real" origin of vampires and how they live among us. Andrew Gabriel and Craven Maxwell are half-brothers from the same royal lineage and as different as night and day! The story is told from the perspective of both vampires and humans.
 
Ashley
Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen
Rating: 5 Stars
A must read for all teens. A book about friendship and finding out what love truly is. Told from a teenage girl's perspective about dealing with your best friend's pregnancy, falling in and out of love, and dealing with your parents.
 
Rosalie Sambuco (crimekitty763@yahoo.com)
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy
Rating: 5 Stars
Polish/Jewish children are trying to escape the Nazis. They are told not to use their real names because they sound too Jewish. So they are given the names of Hansel and Gretel. They meet Magna (the witch) in the forest. I could not put this book down until I finished reading it.
 
Rosalie Sambuco (crimekitty763@yahoo.com)
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
Rating: 4 Stars
A wonderful story about the Vel'd'Hiv. The Veledrome in Paris where the Jewish children were taken by the French police when the Nazis entered Paris as the conquerors. The story contains two separate stories joined together. One in 1942 when the event took place and the other in 2002. It was a story of two families with one story. I highly recommend it.
 
GladysMP
She Drives Me Crazy by Leslie Kelly
Rating: 5 Stars
This book deserves a dozen stars at least. The dialog is humorous and utterly delightful. I fell head over hills for Johnny Walker and hated to have the book end even though I couldn't put the book down and prolong the pleasure.
 
Suzanne Knapp
Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen
Rating: 4 Stars
Just a really good read, especially if you were around in the late fifties as a youngster. Two sisters live out a scary, funny, tumultuous summer and absolutely amaze me with their understanding and their misunderstanding. It was so adult, and yet so young. The book made me long for those days all over again.
 
Jeanie
Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagen
Rating: 5 Stars
Sally and Troo are two sisters who are basically raising themselves since their mother is in the hospital, stepfather is a drunk, and their half-sister too busy with her boyfriend. But a serial murderer is on the loose and Sally tries to find out who it is to protect her and her sister. Great story of their summer with colorful characters.
 
Marie G
Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors
Rating: 5 Stars
A fun young adult novel that sends the characters into the past to Shakespeare's ROMEO & JULIET. Can they get back to their own time safely? Can they keep from having a tragic ending?
 
nancy
Riding Lessons by Sarah Gruen
Rating: 2 Stars
Predictable plot, but it had potential to be a very interesting story. Main character is getting divorced, daughter is a defiant teen, father diagnosed with ALS, parents own riding stable, etc. But, the main character behaved more like a selfish teen than a grown-up which I found very annoying. Not enough about horses, but a decent subplot.
 
Debbie (dwhittemore1@msn.com)
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Rating: 5 Stars
Margaret Lea is commissioned to write the biography of Vida Winter, the most prolific writer in England. When Margaret arrives to interview Vida, she has no idea that she will not only solve the mystery of Vida's reclusive life, but also the mystery of her own birth.
 
Debbie
Two Rivers by T. Greenwood
Rating: 5 Stars
I think this is her first novel and it is really good. It is set in Vermont in the 60s and the 80s and tells the story of Harper Montgomery's life and his love for Betsy Parker. The race riots and Freedom Riders frame the 60s and what happens to Harper, his family, Betsy and her family. A surprising visitor spurs Harper to remember his past. There is a Book Group guide included.
 
RitaB
Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell
Rating: 4 Stars
This is one of Cornwell's best! It's not as graphically gruesome as the others and has a good plot.
 
Elizabeth V
The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian
Rating: 2 Stars
I don't know why this book got such great reviews. I'm on page 201, and I'm still waiting for something to happen. What a bore!
 
Jean M
Too Close To Home by Linwood Barclay
Rating: 5 Stars
A real page turner. An adolescent was hiding in a neighbor's house when someone murders the family. He doesn't tell anyone he was there at the scene of the crime.
 
Angela Satalino
Ladies of Liberty by Cokie Roberts
Rating: 4 Stars
Love the inside scoop on the backbone of the early fathers of our country.
 
Sally B., San Antonio TX
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Rating: 2 Stars
2.5 stars. This was our non-fiction book for our book club. It is actually fiction though based on a real affair between a married woman and the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. She leaves her husband and two children, ages 3 & 8, to travel overseas with him. I just did not buy off on the reasons that she left her family (especially the 3 yr. old girl). Got tired of reading about this woman's destiny and finding her true self.
 
Leslie
In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick
Rating: 4 Stars
True story of the tragedy of the whaleship Essex in the 19th century. It includes a fascinating history of the whale trade that flourished and the accounts of the survivors of the Essex
 
Jean
Murder Most Maine by Kathy MacInerany
Rating: 4 Stars
I really enjoyed this cozy. It was a light, easy read. There are two other titles in this series that I will definitely read.
 
Eugene
Summer Sleep-away by Ofer Aronskind
Rating: 5 Stars
SUMMER sLEEP-AWAY is a really great book that brought back fond memories of summer camp and warmed me up in these cold winter days. 


This is a young adult mystery based around a summer camp, and is a must read for anyone who wants to relive fond memories, as well as a must read for any children who will be going to a summer camp for the first time.

 
Sandra F.
According to Mary Magdalene by Marianne Fredriksson
Rating: 3 Stars
A retelling of the life of Mary Magdalene with the emphasis on the role of women in the early church. Interesting.
 
Sandra F.
Greywalker by Kat Richardson
Rating: 4 Stars
A woman dies for two minutes and is able to see into the Grey --- a place between the real world and the world of ghosts, vampires and other supernatural beings. This is a good read.
 
Sandra F.
Murder Suicide by Keith Ablow
Rating: 4 Stars
A great read about a man who is on the verge of having brain surgery that will alter his life and is found dead - murder or suicide? I highly recommend Keith Ablow for readers who like to read into the night.
 
Sandra F.
The Sanctuary by Raymond Khoury
Rating: 4 Stars
Much like the DA VINCI CODE and others of that kind. Deals with the popular topic of increased longevity. It was fast paced with great characters.
 
Leslie
The Last Mazurka by Andrew Tarnowski
Rating: 4 Stars
Tells the story of the decline of the Polish aristocracy as the country was ravaged on all sides. Told by a descendant, there are poignant memories of Old Poland and the divisiveness and greed that tore a family apart.
 
Sandra F.
The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman
Rating: 5 Stars
An excellent Victorian mystery set in London for teen readers. This is the first of a series and I will certainly read the others.
 
Jean
Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich
Rating: 4 Stars
The Stephanie Plum series is laugh out aloud fun. I always look forward to the joy I receive from reading about Stephanie, Lula, etc. What a mood booster to dispel the winter blues!
 
Leslie
Children of Zion by Henryk Grynberg and Jacqueline Mitchell
Rating: 4 Stars
Heart wrenching collection of Polish children's experiences during World War II presented as a "chorus" of comments rather than a tale. Very difficult but not to be overlooked as a remembrance of The Shoah lest we forget.
 
Sandra F.
Malice on the Moor by Graham Thomas
Rating: 3 Stars
For fans of English mysteries set in scenic places. The characters are better than the plot.
 
MJB
An Accidental Light by Elizabeth Diamond
Rating: 5 Stars
Outside London England, thirteen year old Laura Jenkins is killed after getting off her school bus. Jack Philips is the police officer who was driving the car that took Laura's life. Laura is gone, Jack's life changes completely and also those of her parents. It is the story of loss but also so much more. A great debut book for Diamond. I am looking forward to her next one.
 
Carole Parks (camprva@aol.com)
Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell
Rating: 5 Stars
After the last Patricia Cornwell book, I promised myself that I would not read any future offerings from this author although she had once been my favorite. I firmly believed that she was on an extended vacation and someone else was writing her books---someone completely unworthy. 

When Scarpetta came out, I broke my promise to myself and am I happy that I did! It is the real Cornwell's writing and it is as good as all her early books. She is back from her vacation! If you gave up on her, too, read this book. You'll be glad you did!

 
Fran
Belong to Me by Marisa De Los Santos
Rating: 4 Stars
The sequel to LOVE WALKED IN. This book was like visiting old friends! With as many times as you wonder how life will turn out for the characters of a book you enjoyed, it was great to slip into the sequel and learn of how the marriage of Teo and Cornelia fared! I'm hoping for another installment! What a fun book.
 
Lori Barnes (photoquest@bellsouth.net)
It happened One Night by Leslie Lafoy
Rating: 3 Stars
The first 3/4 of this book was awesome then I found myself skipping paragraphs then pages. The story starts out where Alanna's Aunt Maude is dying and she has requested her Ashes be scattered at a specific place in a specific way and time. This carries Alanna threw a portal where she meets up with Kiervan and the adventure begins. 

This is a wonderful time travel and romance. Very well defined characters main as well as secondary. May I add that Kiervan is a pirate, and I do love those pirates. I would have given 4 stars if my attention hadn't faltered like it did because it was mostly really good. This is a book very worth reading and if you just don't skip ahead and endure the dry spot the ending is really good as well.

 
Todd McCurdy
God Save The Mark by Donald E. Westlake
Rating: 5 Stars
I am rereading all Mr. Westlake's Books. He Passed December 31, 2008. He was a Master.
 
cat matkovic
The Daily Coyote by Shreve Stockton
Rating: 5 Stars
Shreve Stockton decided to move to Ten Sleeps Wyoming, live in a small cabin and take in an orphaned coyote. Shreve, Charlie the coyote and Eli the cat make for interesting reading. And I have to say, caused me to be quite envious! Fabulous pictures galore and fascinating reading, at least to me. A must for animal lovers and whether you agree or disagree with what she's done, still worth a look.
 
RubyD
The Jester by James Patterson & Andrew Gross
Rating: 5 Stars
I loved this book. Set during the time of the Crusades it is a story of the worst of men and the best of men. The story of an innkeeper who went off to the crusades and how it affected his life and the lives of the people around him.
 
RubyD
The Husband by Dean Koontz
Rating: 4 Stars
This was an interesting take on the kidnapping of the wife of an average man. Several plot twists as the husband finds his way to become more than he has been in order to try to free his wife.
 
Lynn Ketelsen
In Cod We Trust by Eric Dregni
Rating: 4 Stars
This book chronicles a year of living abroad in Norway. At times the writer paints all Norwegians with a broad brush, but, for the most part, is right on with his observations. A fun book with good insights into what it is like to drop into another culture.
 
Sandra F.
Watermind by M.M. Buckner
Rating: 4 Stars
Readers of hardcore Science Fiction will really like this book. Ever wonder what happens to all the technological junk that is dumped into landfills? The answer can be very scary.
 
Kellie (acountkel@bellsouth.net)
Paint it Black by Janet Fitch
Rating: 2 Stars
This was disappointing. After all the good reviews I read about this book, I should have known. To me, this was just a drug-induced bunch of babble. There was kind of a plot. A young girl, Josie, loses her boyfriend to suicide. His mother is a controlling witch who hates Josie but needs her to learn about the Michael she didn't know the last few years. The storytelling was just not there. The book was really just a bunch of disorganized thoughts, and was just not my cup of tea. I am not a big fan of authors who focus more on wordplay than they do telling a story.
 
Susan Yoneda
Letter To My Daughter by Maya Angelou
Rating: 5 Stars
The writing is so effortless and yet conveys so much. It is poetry in prose.
 
Steven Schwindt (stevenschwindt@hotmail.com)
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Rating: 5 Stars
I read everything he writes both in books and in The New Yorker. He is an excellent writer with interesting ideas on success.
 
Steven Schwindt (stevenschwindt@hotmail.com)
Postcards from Tomorrrow Square by James Fallows
Rating: 5 Stars
His writings from The Atlantic during his time in China. I was in China for the past two years, so it is very interesting to read his observations on China. (I'm reading it on my Kindle).
 
Steven Schwindt (stevenschwindt@hotmail.com)
Daemon by Daniel Suarez
Rating: 5 Stars
Great computer crime mystery, the kind I like, where I cannot predict what is going to happen.
 
Vicki
Out by Nartuo Kirino
Rating: 4 Stars
This was one dark tale. It is about a group of women who work at a boxed lunch factory on the night shift, and one of them murders her abusive husband. They others dispose of the body, and the tale begins. 

If you are a fan of the dark, this one is for you.

 
Sherman Hughes
The Defining Moment by Jonathan Alter
Rating: 4 Stars
An interesting book on FDR and his first 100 days. Today we have another president bringing us hope, the same as then.
 
Lorrainse M. Larose
The Widow by Carla Neggers
Rating: 5 Stars
Four days after her wedding, her husband is fatally shot. Was it random?
 
Lorraine M. Larose
Kiss Them Goodbye by Stella Cameron
Rating: 5 Stars
After inheriting a plantation, the owner gets killed in a mysterious fire.
 
M. Archer
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Rating: 5 Stars
Really a remarkable book. The writer tells the story of her own dysfunctional childhood in a way that leaves you not only admiring her for all that she has overcome, but also for the attitude of acceptance and love she has developed. It is also just a plain great story.
 
Cindy H
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Rating: 5 Stars
I really enjoyed this book. It makes one think of the ways we learn to cope with our lives. It challenges us to reach within ourselves and to be strong --- to cope and to live with the way our lives are --- to be stronger. And it subtly shows us how crazy and unnecessary racism is.
 
Judy O. (joswood@msn.com)
Broken for You by Stephanie Kallos
Rating: 3 Stars
Wanda Schultz heads to Seattle from the east coast looking for her lost love. She rents a room in a large mansion from a woman named Margaret Hughes. Both women are carefully guarding secrets, but they eventually develop a close friendship and become a family along with an assorted cast of other characters. I found the whole story rather weird and implausible, but it had some good moments. Not my favorite.
 
Phyllis
Gilding Lily by Tatiana Boncompagni
Rating: 4 Stars
A fun read about Lily, a middle-class young woman from Tennessee, marrying into the New York upper class.
 
Trulie Deare (chatterlings@gmail.com)
Dark Horse by Doug Richardson
Rating: 4 Stars
When Mitchell Dutton began his race for a Congressional seat from Texas, he was the "Dark Horse" candidate. However, circumstances changed; he became the front runner, and a new Dark Horse, Shakespeare McCann became Mitchell's opponent. Mitchell believed the way to run a campaign was to allow his position on the issues determine whether or not he got elected. McCann's view of the election process was very different.

Good political thriller -- Shakespeare McCann is a candidate's worst nightmare!

 
Mary Champagne
Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler
Rating: 5 Stars
This book is so much fun and a "must read for all Jane Austen fans." There are just enough references to Austen to keep you reading and the historical references, romance and humor are sure to keep you reading. The premise that you could get lost in a book and be transported in time to that era seems very plausible to book worms like me.
 
Mary Champagne
Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
Rating: 4 Stars
Beautifully written, this novel gives a detailed, sometimes horrific glimpse of what life was like for ordinary people at the close of World War II. It focuses on a family of refugees, the prisoner of war who travels with them and a Jewish escapee masquerading as a Nazi. The plot is complicated and intriguing and the characters come alive. It is a great book and if you don't mind the realism it will be five stars for you. It is well worth the read.
 
Bonnie
Now & Then by Robert B. Parker
Rating: 4 Stars
I like Parker's books and especially those starring Spenser and Hawk and Susan and the rest of the troop. Crisp, witty writing and a tight plot always help too. It can be read in a few hours --- perfect for a long plane ride.
 
Tamara Whitlock
Legends in Time series by Vincent Hobbes
Rating: 4 Stars
I picked up Book One from amazon and instantly fell in love with the series. I ordered a copy of Book Two from the publisher, and loved it even more. It's the best read I've had in months.
 
Shyeyes (dawnymae5@msn.com)
Where Do I Go? by Neta Jackson
Rating: 5 Stars
A new Yada Yada series that brings some of the characters from her previous books into the new series. Very well-done book about homeless women, love, friendship, and most importantly, the power of a God who hears prayers and answers them to supply the needs of those who love and serve him.
 
Phyllis
The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner
Rating: 5 Stars
It's an intriguing story that blends modern day with the Salem Witch Trials. It kept my interest throughout.
 
Marleen Davis (marleenandlouie@cox.net)
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
Rating: 5 Stars
I am loving this book. I can't put it down but I don't want it to end! Fabulous writing, love the characters and the dogs! I can't believe this is his first novel. It's wonderful.
 
LindaB
Tatiana and Alexander by Paullina Simons
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a sequel to THE BRONZE HORSEMAN, about two people desperately in love, separated by the horror and destruction of World War II. In THE BRONZE HORSEMAN, Tatiana and Alexander live through the horrors of blockaded Leningrad, enduring the cold and starvation. In TATIANA AND ALEXANDER, Tatiana has made it to the USA thinking that Alexander is dead. 

This book, which I like better than THE BRONZE HORESMAN, follows Tatiana's experiences adjusting to America, while Alexander is enduring prison, more war, and prison again in Russia and Germany. This is a good book, finally a happy ending.

 
Madeline
Burn by Suzanne Phillips
Rating: 4 Stars
This Young Adult novel about bullying should also be read by adults. It's dark and disturbing but real.
 
Phyllis
Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a nice, easy romance that leaves you feeling warm and cozy. The ending is a little weak, though.
 
Laurie Mc
One Basket by Edna Ferber
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a great collection of short stories written in a time span of roughly thirty years, with the last one written in the early forties. I first read this book when I was a teenager, and my favorite story was "Every Other Thursday", about a servant who relishes her every other Thursday off. I found the book thirty+ years later at a garage sale for a buck, a forties special edition. Now that I have reread it, my favorite story is "Old Man Minick", a tad more suited to my age.

If your attention span needs a break from reading novels, and you don't mind reading an older book by a wonderful author, try this. I think Ferber beats Alice Munro.

 
Madeline
The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner
Rating: 4 Stars
This modern, searching-for-self story is nicely intertwined with the excerpts of a diary written by a young woman during the Salem Witch Trials. It is a compelling read.
 
Lee
Jewel by Bret Lott
Rating: 2 Stars
This is a quiet, almost uneventful story of a woman's devotion to one of her five children. As the jacket promises, this is a mother-daughter story, but the relationship does not live up to the "matchless intensity and beauty" promised by reviewers. Rather than "one of the finest, most indomitable heroines in contemporary American fiction," I found this mother to be likable but ordinary. The only thing I enjoyed about this book was finally finishing it.
 
Lauren Sorgaard
The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
Rating: 5 Stars
This book was absolutely amazing. It's the first in a series and I can't wait to read more. Very well written with characters you connect with as if they are real people.
 
Sylvie Edwards
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
Rating: 5 Stars
This book is absolutely amazing! Mr. Lamb does dysfunctional unlike anyone else that I know. This story takes you up, sends you down and makes you believe that life is sometimes all not that it is cracked up to be.
 
Mary Ann
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Rating: 4 Stars
In this teen sensation book I wanted to see what all the hype was. While I'm not a fantasy reader, this was more of a love story and comedy with thought-provoking ideas such as avoiding temptation, doing what's right, going against nature. The vampires here are good and the high school stories are funny. A good way to get in a discussion with my teenagers.
 
Annie
Rapture for the Geeks by Richard Dooling
Rating: 5 Stars
This should be required reading! A look into the not-so-distant future, when computers are smarter than humans.
 
annie
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Rating: 5 Stars
Heartbreaking portrayal of what it would be like to have Alzheimer's, to experience the doubt, the fear and the submission of this life-shattering illness from the inside.
 
Mary KIlgarriff
Watch Me by Brenda Novak
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the 3rd book of a trilogy. Fantastic suspenseful book that keeps you up till the end. It's a very enjoyable read.
 
Gina
Open House by Elizabeth Berg
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the first novel I have read by this author, but I will definitely be reading more. Such a warm and touching story that everyone will be able to relate to.
 
Juanita
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Rating: 4 Stars
Very good book. Unfortunately, very true and very sad!
 
Mary Schreiner
The Night Inspector by Frederick Busch
Rating: 5 Stars
A civil war sniper must live out his life behind a mask after the war is over. This is a wonderful novel about love and death.
 
Jessica
Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch
Rating: 3 Stars
I'm only about halfway through, but so far it's not quite as good as I thought it would be based on reviews and word of mouth. It seems a bit too much like pure fluff. Maybe the second half will redeem itself.
 
booklover2
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Rating: 5 Stars
Everyone should read this book. While fiction, it is still a very informative story about a much dreaded disease: Alzheimer's. The book goes into great detail describing the life of one successful, brilliant professor and her struggles as this disease invades her life and her brain. 

While it is human nature to avoid "bad things", one really needs to read this book to appreciate its true value. It is a heart-wrenching decline but it is something that we need to have an awareness of because it could easily affect us or family members.

 
Kelly
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Rating: 4 Stars
The book starts slow, but finishes very strong. The subject is unfortunately still very timely.
 
F Tessa Bartels
March by Geraldine Brooks
Rating: 4 Stars
It is a very fine novel that tells the reader about Mr. March, the father in LITTLE WOMEN, and how his service in the Civil War changes him.
 
Ed Hahn
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Rating: 5 Stars
I've heard people refer to this book as "Chick Lit". Anyone who reads it will realize what a great story it is. It is a very well-written exploration of love, betrayal and the South in the early '60s.
 
Debbie (delphimo@yahoo.com)
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Rating: 3 Stars
This is an interesting tale of two women from similar backgrounds and the path that each woman takes in regards to marriage. It's a look at Chinese rules regarding family and culture, and a look at the terrible practice of foot binding. Also a tale of the lies told due to love and honor.
 
Whitney
What If...Your Past Came Back To Haunt You by Liz Ruckdeschel and Sara James
Rating: 5 Stars
I love this book and all of the other ones in the series because you get to choose what the girl does and make the decisions for her. It's really good and I would recommend it to everyone.
 
Bonnie
The 5th Horseman by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Rating: 4 Stars
Not great literature, but that's not why you pick up a Patterson detective novel. This one features the Women's Murder Club starring Lindsay Boxer, police lieutenant. I kept picturing the TV characters in my head (it was a short-lived series) as I read, not necessarily a bad thing. This was an entertaining, quick read --- great for the beach, airplane or just to de-stress.
 
F Tessa Bartels
Ines of My Soul by Isabel Allende
Rating: 4 Stars
Allende is a wonderful writer and the first half of this novel is gripping. But by the last 80 pages, she seems to be trying to wrap it up and the work loses momentum. I would have gladly read 600 pages if they were all like the first 200.
 
Angela L. Perry
The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines
Rating: 5 Stars
It's a wonderful new book that takes our classical view of fairy tale princesses and flips them around. Imagine "Charlie's Angels" in a fairy tale world. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella show us how to save the day (and the prince). An excellent story that keeps you entertained throughout. I never wanted to put the book down. The end of the book left a smile on my face and a wish for the author to quickly finish the next book.
 
Mariah
Montyne's Inferno by L. Sudbury
Rating: 5 Stars
This book is a fantastic romantic thriller. I had a hard time putting it down. It takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. It has great weaving of fact and fiction. You won't believe what your about to read. It's a book that reads like a motion picture.

".a painting can forever speak, long after its creator is gone. .art makes us immortal."

 
Mary Schreiner
Coal Black Horse by Robert Olmstead
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a wonderful story about a fourteen-year-old boy sent on a mission by his mother to bring his father home from the Civil War battlefield, and the coal black horse that accompanies him on his journey.
 
Sandra Hughes
Rocket Man by William Elliott Hazelgrove
Rating: 4 Stars
A really enjoyable book about a man trying to get his life back in order after living the American Dream and having it all. You'll laugh your way through this one!
 
Genie
Your Coffin or Mine? by Kimberly Raye
Rating: 4 Stars
Lil Marchette initially began Manhattan's dating service for vampires and other dateless underworld types. Unfortunately, matching up vamps alone is not paying the bills. After a brief time for consideration, Lil decides to add a division for matchmaking human clients.

In order to gain some free advertising for her service, Lil signs up to appear on a popular dating reality show, "Manhattan's Most Wanted." What better way, to pitch her expertise to an interested audience of eligible women looking for eligible men. 

Lil is trying to forget Ty Bonner, the seductive "made" vamp who broke her heart when he disappeared after spending the hottest night of his afterlife with her. Problem is, she and Ty have an intense mental connection because of a shared blood bond and she's sensing he's in big trouble. A major complication, Lil finds herself heading for "Manhattan's Most Wanted" grand finale and the cameras must be avoided at all costs.

A-laugh-out-loud funny series of events ensues as Lil struggles to save Ty, avoid cameras and save her brother's wedding all at the same time.

 
Debbie (deble_2000@yahoo.com)
The Lost Recipe for Happiness by Barbara O'Neal
Rating: 5 Stars
Elena Alvarez, haunted by an accident during which she is the only survivor, works as a chef and lives with her faithful dog, Alvin. She finally gets the opportunity of a lifetime --- her very own restaurant in Colorado. Needing a fresh start she heads to Colorado.
 
Angie Lindell
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
Rating: 5 Stars
I had heard a lot about this book, but I just finally read it. I *adored* it!!! Breathtaking, atmospheric, and superbly written --- I love how Stephenie doesn't rush anything but lets us become thoroughly familiar with the characters before pushing plot. I found it to be romantic, suspenseful, and just wonderful!
 
Sharron
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a very readable novel told in short stories about various people in a small town in Maine. The link throughout is Olive K. the character you get to know by what others say about her.
 
J. J. Farris
The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis
Rating: 5 Stars
I finished this book in one sitting. For me, it was a "cannot put this one down" book. Having a similar group of friends, I could relate to some of the characters. Thank you, Cheryl Jarvis, for this book.
 
Gina
Body of Evidence by Patricia Cornwell
Rating: 5 Stars
Great Kay Scarpetta novel that has you thinking you know who did it and then, of course, you do not. Very suspenseful.
 
Angie Lindell
New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Rating: 5 Stars
The sequel to TWILIGHT that continues the story of Bella, Edward, and the many fleshed-out, wonderfully drawn characters in Meyer's world. To say I think I may have liked it even more than the first is beyond a compliment from me, believe me. And it's true. The unexpected, least cliché-driven road is the one Stephenie takes us on. I found it breathtaking in every way and a beautiful addition to the series. I can't even wait for the next!
 
Debbie Koenig (ragsk2743@aol.com)
Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell
Rating: 3 Stars
The story seemed to go on forever without a lot of action to fill the more than 400+ pages. I was disappointed.
 
Elaine Gutenstein (EBpooh@aol.com)
1st to Die by James Patterson
Rating: 4 Stars
I always go to Patterson when I want a good, quick read that I *just* have to finish and this one did not let me down! The chapters are short, the writing is great and the end is an "AH-HA" moment --- so much so that I quickly reached for the second in this series, 2ND CHANCE, and am equally as thrilled. 

Patterson does not let his readers down and this series, The Women's Murder Club, is a great guilty read for all us strong woman who just want to let someone else do the work...naturally, four qualified woman!

 
Bill
The Mayor of Lexington Avenue by James Sheehan
Rating: 5 Stars
If you enjoy legal thrillers, then read this book. The plot is terrific, the characters well drawn, and you will experience the highs and lows a trial lawyer feels as he tries to keep his death row client alive.
 
Mary Bushnell
Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
Rating: 4 Stars
This story of how a German mother and daughter survived WWII and the aftermath of shame they carried is great reading. The characters are memorable.
 
Cynthia
Amanda's Rib by Cyndia Depre
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a book that I can see as a movie on the Lifetime channel. Amanda was recently acquitted of murdering her husband, but that is just a blip in this woman's past. You will not be able to put the book down.
 
Nancy154
Run by Ann Patchett
Rating: 5 Stars
Ann Patchett has created wonderful characters and a story that has so many issues the reader can relate to. She writes such wonderful narrative. I had tears in my eyes when Tip watches Kenya run on the track. I didn't want the book to end.

Whether the book is about politics, family, race, or relationships is up to the reader. It's really about all of them. I'll think about this book for a long time.

 
Lori Barnes (photoquest@bellsouth.net)
The Shack by William P. Young
Rating: 5 Stars
I really didn't know what to think after reading reviews on this book. I found it to be extraordinary, especially the descriptions of what the author wanted us to see, and how the story was re-told through the author. Anyone will be able to relate to this book no matter what your religious beliefs are; it has made me see God in a different light and I feel it has helped me to have a more personal relationship with Him.

Whether some think this story is real or accurate, there are many things that reflect back in the bible and just relayed in different wordage. I think the author displayed a huge amount of talent writing this story! This is one everyone should read.

 
Lori Barnes (photoquest@bellsouth.net)
Seal Island by Kate Brallier
Rating: 4 Stars
I really enjoyed this read even more when it got into the several mystery ventures. I really didn't know what the outcome of this story was going to be until they told it. I was able to really see these characters. 

The author has done a wonderful job in bringing you into this story, which was very different from what I thought it was when I read the cover. Being happily surprised was a bonus.

 
Lori Barnes (photoquest@bellsouth.net)
Beloved Embrace by Cassie Edwards
Rating: 4 Stars
Ladies looking for a pirate adventure, look no further. This was a wonderful read. The characters were perfectly suited for each other, though they have very different personalities and were raised in a totally different world than the other. This story will keep you reading. You will not skip any pages or paragraphs in this one.
 
Lori Barnes (photoquest@bellsouth.net)
The Physics of Christmas by Roger Highfield
Rating: 4 Stars
Everyone who loves Christmas will find this book very interesting. The author acts as a guide to illuminating Christmas by viewing the holiday and its rituals through a science perspective. I will list the Chapters so you will have a better idea about the book: Christmas and the Scientist; Santa and Those Reindeer; The Flame and the Tree-Giving and Shopping; Festive Fare; Gluttony: Santa's Genetics; The Bethlehem Star; Snow; Christmas Spirit; Christmas Blues and Seasonal Moods; Santa's Science; and Christmas 2020.

This is a very different kind of book and most will enjoy the information.

 
Ilene
The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb
Rating: 4 Stars
I like the book very much, although I'm not very far into it. So far the characters aren't very likable. I hope I change my mind. They seem very selfish and needy.
 
Fran
The Position by Meg Wolitzer
Rating: 3 Stars
Meg Wolitzer tells the story of a family of six in which the children learn their parents wrote an illustrated book on "pleasuring". Interesting look at how each child saw the book and how it may or may not have shaped their lives after.
 
Elizabeth V
The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian
Rating: 4 Stars
I just started this book, so I really can't rate it yet. It's a rare book that grabs you from page 1 and, although I'd prefer that they all did, I know that books should grab you somewhere before page 100. This book hasn't grabbed me yet, but I'm only on page 47. It got great reviews, so I expect it will grab me soon.
 
leah boyer
Restless Hearts by Marta Perry
Rating: 4 Stars
A sweet Christian romance in which Fiona Flanagan returns to her deceased Mother's Amish community not quite sure what she is looking for. She finds a large, loving extended family, her midwife practice welcomed and Ted Rittenhouse, the local policeman.

I prefer mysteries, but enjoyed this book. It showed up in my mailbox for free, so that made it even more enjoyable. It is a quick read.

 
Reeca
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
Rating: 4 Stars
Very captivating.
 
Debbie Koenig (ragsk2743@aol.com)
Cruel Intent by J. A. Jance
Rating: 4 Stars
Good book that kept me in suspense until the end. I kept picking it up to "read a few more pages" when I should have been doing other things.
 
Wendy Catalano (wendycatalano@hotmail.com)
Just After Sunset by Stephen King
Rating: 4 Stars
A collection of short stories from the King of Darkness. I normally don't read short stories but this book held my interest till the very end.

 
Cathey (dbinpgh@aol.com)
Step-Ball-Change by Jeanne Ray
Rating: 4 Stars
This was a nice story about Empty-nesters...until sister comes for a visit.
 
Leah Boyer
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Rating: 4 Stars
I am currently reading this. I've gotten stuck on the history of the Dust Bowl. So far, pretty good.
 
Maria B. (mariabong@cox.net)
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Rating: 4 Stars
This was a very interesting nonfiction book about a young man who tries to climb a mountain in Afghanistan, gets lost and ends up in a small village, where the people take care of him. He raises some money and returns to Afghanistan to build a school for the children of the village. There is a lot of red tape he has to go through with the country of Afghanistan itself, but his stories and his love for teaching children and the country is eye opening.

I really liked this book and our book club had great discussions about it. Greg Mortenson ended up building 52 schools in Afghanistan, and there is a concert in a church to raise money for his cause in my city next month. I may just go.

 
Jean Mess
Star Bright by Canterine Anderson
Rating: 5 Stars
It's a mystery with a great hero and heroine, Parker and Rainie. I can't wait to get to the end, but when it is done I will wish there'd be more.
 
Judy (juttz@aol.com)
The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffery Deaver
Rating: 2 Stars
I am a huge Jeffery Deaver fan but I have to say that this book was not even close to being the quality of his other books. I kept thinking that somebody else had to have written this book other then him.

I have never thought to stop reading a book because it wasn't very good, but this one was my first.

 
Cheryl S.
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Rating: 5 Stars
Very well-written, short parable. However, very sad at the end. But, it sure makes you think about what you wish for.
 
Helen T.
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Rating: 4 Stars
Beautiful story about a boy whose father died in 9/11. This is the first work of fiction, whether movies or books, that I've been able to get into since 2001.
 
Elizabeth V
The Likeness by Tana French
Rating: 3 Stars
Others loved this book as I expected they would because French got so many rave reviews for IN THE WOODS. But I thought this was just so-so --- too predictable, too unlikely, and the mystery was solved in a way that was too, too neat.
 
Marsha
Cruel Intent by J. A. Jance
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a chilling tale of suspense that features an internet dating service for bored married women, computer hacking, a serial killer, and a good-hearted heroine.

This is the third book featuring Ali Reynolds. It takes place in Sedona, Arizona. It is quite the page-turner.

 
Coral Harrison
Lethally Blond by Kate White
Rating: 3 Stars
Sort of a chick flick but better. It is a mystery, but funny in spots.
 
Val Pearson (lastnerve2000@gmail.com)
The Uglies by Scott Westerfield and Rodrigo Corral
Rating: 5 Stars
This is one book in a series, and is an awesome one at that.
 
Trulie Deare (chatterlings@gmail.com)
Trick Of Light by David Hunt
Rating: 4 Stars
When Kay Farrow's friend and mentor, photojournalist Maddy Yamada, is killed in a hit and run accident, there are numerous questions raised about how such a thing could have happened. Farrow makes it her business to find out, and in the process she discovers a roll of film her friend left in a camera with some disturbing but unclear images.

Kay Farrow is a very unusual heroine in that she gets herself into some heart-stopping situations mainly through stupidity or arrogance, yet in spite of that she was interesting. I learned something about photography and guns through reading this book, and I have to say it was difficult at times to put the book down. it had lots of twists and turns with a very satisfying ending.

 
Darcy
Serena by Ron Rash
Rating: 5 Stars
A hands-down great read. It is like "reading" a movie, with characters you will never forget.
 
Coral Harrison
Burn Zone by James O. Born
Rating: 4 Stars
A good mystery about a terrorist who was going to have a nuclear bomb go off in he US to serve them right.
 
Val Pearson (lastnerve2000@gmail.com)
Pretties by Scott Westerfeld
Rating: 5 Stars
This is book two in the series.
 
Bonnie
The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam
Rating: 4 Stars
Excruciating memoir of the author's forced entry into prostitution as a young girl in Cambodia. She has since married, had children and has rescued hundreds of similarly affected girls through her foundation. A wrenching and inspiring story that must be told. Where is the outrage?!
 
Darbys_Closet
A Fortunate Age by Joanna Smith Rakoff
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the first book for this author. It's about a group of friends in New York from after college, on. Each chapter is formed through a different character's point of view. Good insights to the securities and insecurities of the individuals.

 
Micaela Keeley (micaelakaye@yahoo.com)
Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos
Rating: 5 Stars
I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down and was disappointed when I finished it. I don't want to spoil it for anyone but I will say that I loved the way the author made dead-on comments about the living. 

I also enjoyed the relationship between the brother and sisters and their relationship with their step-mother --- how they remained close through thick and thin. I also enjoyed reading about their individual romances and how the past (their mother's death) affected these relationships. It was very well written and I look forward to the next book by this author.

 
Melissa Applin (mapplin@cyber-south.com)
Star Bright by Catherine Anderson
Rating: 5 Stars
I absolutely loved this book! Parker Harrigan is a dream, and I admired Rainie for her courage, strength, and determination. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a fabulous romance with well-drawn characters, great secondary characters, and a riveting storyline.
 
Pattie Berryhill (pattiberr@aol.com)
The Gate House by Nelson DeMille
Rating: 5 Stars
The main character, John Sutter, is amazingly witty, faced with Mob murders, a reconciliation with his wife after 10 years, and trouble with his in-laws. I'd love to spend an afternoon with John, sitting on his patio and enjoying a tasty beverage.
 
Gail
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
Rating: 3 Stars
This book was well crafted and full of beautiful description, with an unusual protagonist and interesting mystery at its core. Unfortunately, I found it longer than necessary and often repetitious.
 
Lindsey
Dewey by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter
Rating: 5 Stars
A friend gave me this book because the cat on the cover looked so much like the Love of My Life, Baby Bubbie who died in July 2007. She didn't know it was a true story. I think Dewey and Bubbie came from the same family; they both did so many of the same things. A friend said if an animal and person are soul mates then Bubbie and I were true soul mates and his vet at the NC State Veterinary Teaching Hospital said there was such a strong connection between us.

Vicki said Dewey always knew she was his mother even though all the rest of the staff cared for him too. They had a special connection. It's a wonderful book of love and devotion.

 
Sue
The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan
Rating: 5 Stars
This memoir is written with honesty, love, and a great sense of humor. You will fall in love with this family.
 
Ron (rgnnnr@aol.com)
In The Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander Mccall-Smith
Rating: 5 Stars
I have yet to read one No.1 Ladies Detective Agency book that I would not give 5 stars to. This one concerns some illegal goings on at the house of J.L.B. Matekoni and further adventures in the love life (or lack thereof) of Mma Makutsi. These books are so simply written and yet so good and are just plain fun to read.
 
Barbara (pollock@cantonlocal.org)
A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz
Rating: 4 Stars
Tony Horwitz follows the trails of some of the early explorers of the United States. Questioning how the Pilgrims became the most famous of the early settlers traveled the routes of Vikings, De Vaca, De Corondo, De Soto and John Smith among others. 

Even though I have a degree in History I was only marginally familiar with most of their travels. It was a very interesting and informative read.

 
Judy O. (joswood@msn.com)
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
Rating: 5 Stars
The Salem Witch Trials in the very early 1700s in Massachusetts was a period in history which I knew very little about. The author grew up listening to stories about her ancestor, Martha Carrier, who was hanged for being a witch at that time. She decided to learn more about the Salem of long ago, so after many years of research she wrote this historical fiction novel.

It is a fascinating, although grim, look at this terrible time. The main character is Sarah Carrier, the daughter of Martha; and the story is told through her eyes.

This whole event is incomprehensible when looking at it through the eyes of modern society. It certainly shows "Man's inhumanity to man."

 
Sandy
The Bodies Left Behind by Jeffery Deaver
Rating: 5 Stars
I would have given this more than 5! It's the best Jeffrey Deaver book ever! So many twists and turns and shocking surprises ever. 

A couple is surprised in their mountain home by intruders and they make a 911 call which is interrupted immediately. Brynn is the deputy who is sent to investigate and things go from bad to worse to OK and then back to worse, etc. Good guys turn into bad guys! I can see this one as a movie.

 
Ron (rgnnnr@aol.com)
Straight by Dick Francis
Rating: 4 Stars
The main character, a recently injured jockey, receives word that his much older brother has died in an accident and has willed all of his considerable fortune to him, including the ownership of a gem company. 

When attempts are made on the life of our protagonist, one wonders whether the accidental death was really an accident. I love it that the protagonist is always likable, yet flawed and that there is usually a despicable yet believable antagonist who may or may not be the culprit.

 
Pam
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
Rating: 5 Stars
I'm re-reading this book for a book club after having read it several years ago. The writing is just as enjoyable this time. I'm especially in tune with the character portrayal and the humor. If you like adventure, humor, and a realistic style of fiction, you'll like this one.
 
Kaye
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
Rating: 5 Stars
They couldn't have been more different but when 14 year olds Tully and Kate meet at the bus stop, it is the beginning of a lifelong friendship. Different lifestyles, marriage nor fame could keep these two apart. They were each other's balancing point. This book is also the story of mothers and daughters, ambitions, hope and dreams, some shattered and some realized. 

Hannah does a wonderful job with her characters. They are so true to life with plausible dialogue and heartfelt emotions. The setting and time frame are spot on. A very enjoyable book. If you like a real pull-at-your-heartstrings book, then this is a must read.

 
Kathryn Andrews (txtiger02@msn.com)
America Knits by Melanie Falick
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a CD book to listen to while you knit and it's extremely interesting how various artisans crossed into knitting and its design. It is great inspiration and you get to multi-task!
 
Debby Creager (cleo@hbeark.com)
Strange Highways by Dean Koontz
Rating: 5 Stars
I love his work, but this the best by far. I love short stories and this book is full of very strange stories. It has everything from happy endings to just plain weird endings.
 
Tamara Randi (sewradical@gmail.com)
Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama
Rating: 4 Stars
Great insight into our new president's life before he was well known. Written in 1995, it tells about his childhood, growing up as a black boy, and a Kenyan visit to find his family.
 
Renee
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Rating: 5 Stars
I loved it so much; I'm investing in a first edition. This is a beautiful, lovely, tragic, joyous story!
 
Sal Williams
Kiss by Ted Dekker & Erin Healy
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a twisty little story with lots of herrings in it. Accidents, amnesia and double-crossers abound. The characters are interesting and the fact that it is aimed at Christian readers is a plus.
 
Teresa
The Doctor's Wife by Elizabeth Brundage
Rating: 4 Stars
I had mixed feelings about this psychological thriller. I did want to find out how it ended so I kept reading. It involves current issues of abortion, evangelism and marital disenchantment. You be the judge.
 
Bonnie
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri
Rating: 4 Stars
Thoroughly engrossing group of short stories that made me better understand life from a different viewpoint.
 
Dorothy
The Longest Trip Home by John Grogan
Rating: 5 Stars
If you were raised in the Catholic religion, this is a must. It is so true. Not as funny as MARLEY & ME but still a great book. I raised my children Catholic and one married a non-Catholic who later converted. She is the best Catholic in the family.
 
Harriet Stay (hstay@hughes.net)
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
Rating: 5 Stars
This was one of my favorite books of 2008. It is a difficult story and a librarian friend could not finish it because of the subject matter. Yes, it has to do with the murder of children, but not overtly. The skill of this writer depicting the history (1933 &1953) of communist Russia was eye-opening.

The basic premise is that everything is perfect under a communist system; therefore, no serial killer could exist. Leo Demidor believes otherwise and risks his life, that of his wife and of his parents trying to find the murderer. Everything was perfectly presented, complex characters deftly drawn in a thoroughly gripping tale. This will touch your heart and mind. It did mine.

 
Val Pearson (lastnerve2000@gmail.com)
Specials by Scott Westerfield and Rodrigo Corral
Rating: 5 Stars
SPECIALS is book 3 in the series.
 
Karen Terry (mi3sons@mchsi.com)
Just Too Good To Be True by E. Lynn Harris
Rating: 5 Stars
It is one of his best. It is about a mother and son. The son is a famous college football player. The secrets both mother and son have will change their lives forever.
 
RubyD
Plum Island by Nelson DeMille
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the first book by Nelson DeMille that I have read, but it will not be the last. This murder mystery (or thriller?) kept me turning the pages until late at night. He draws you into the story with a good plot, characters, and a bit of humor.
 
Becky K.
Secret Girl by Molly Bruce Jacobs
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a memoir about a woman who sought out a relationship with the mentally handicapped sister her parents gave up as a baby. She reaches a greater understanding of her family and herself based on the new revelations surrounding her sister's life.
 
Margi
Too Close to Home by Linwood Barclay
Rating: 4 Stars
This story is about the murder of a family that lived next door to the narrator and about consequences of past actions. It is an easy read. It kept my interest and I would recommend it.
 
Sally
Swapping Lives by Jane Green
Rating: 2 Stars
I was given this audio book by a friend. Although the book was well read, it was only moderately interesting, even for one of the "chick lit" variety. The book became quite tedious, as the same things were repeated over and over. The author has written better books.
 
Sherrie Gil
Blackstone Chronicles by John Saul
Rating: 4 Stars
I was given this series and I am really enjoying it!
 
Carol
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Rating: 5 Stars
I'm not quite half way through my advanced reader's edition. I'm fascinated with the story and have absolutely no idea how it is going to end.
 
E. Quinn
The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a delightfully written book! It describes two love affairs in mid-century Hong Kong. Two of the characters, Will Truesdale and Trudy Liang, become inseparable in 1941 Hong Kong. They have some great times together, but when the Japanese invade, Will is interned.

Claire Pendleton arrives in Hong Kong as the wife of a civil servant. She begins giving piano lessons to the daughter of a rich Chinese couple where Will is the driver. They fall in love. The author makes sure that the world in which these lovers are is described very cautiously and carefully given their status.

 
Kelly Cardenas
A Parchment of Leaves by Silas House
Rating: 5 Stars
Beautifully written.
 
Jo Ann White (nmjaw@yahoo.com)
For the Love of Pete by Julia Harper
Rating: 5 Stars
The book was very good, suspenseful and funny at the same time.
 
Barbara Bocan (bjbocan@gmail.com)
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Rating: 5 Stars
A beautifully written classic, romanticizing life on the Nebraska prairie in the late 1800s.
 
Julie Towson
The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld
Rating: 4 Stars
This book takes place in early 20th-century New York City. Freud has arrived with Carl Jung and together with a New York City psychologist, they solve a murder. I'm really enjoying the descriptions of New York City in 1909.
 
Janice
Basic Black by Cathie Black
Rating: 3 Stars
The story of how the author worked her way up the ladder of success to become the President of Hearst Magazine while offering business tips on handling typical workplace situations.
 
Margie Bunting
Silks by Dick and Felix Francis
Rating: 4 Stars
I was worried that Dick Francis's age and the fact that his son is helping him write now would ruin the appeal of his books, but I'm happy to say it hasn't happened. This is their second collaboration, I believe, and it's just as exciting and satisfying a read as his previous works.
 
Janeene J
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hannf, Frank Doel, and Marks & Co.
Rating: 4 Stars
I read this short story as it was recommended from another book lover. I really enjoyed the book and the "conversations"/letters between a book lover and the book seller.
 
Janeene J
Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 2 Stars
While I typically enjoy most of Picoult's books, this book didn't resonate with me the same. I love how she tells her stories through the voices of each character, but the religious aspect of this didn't seem to meld with the rest of the book for me. And, when they say why Shay shot her husband, I felt like it was so far back in the book that it wasn't as believable.
 
Bridget
The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
Rating: 2 Stars
I read THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL and absolutely loved it (reread it last summer), but I seem to like each new release less than the book before it. 

Gregory's latest is, by far, my least favorite. I found her plot device of multiple narrators truly annoying in this book. Each time I would start to get into the mindset of the current narrator, I would turn the page and find a new narrator. I would not recommend this one.

 
Dorothy
Silks by Dick Francis and Felix Francis
Rating: 4 Stars
I am so glad that Dick Francis is writing again. He took a few years off to care for his ailing wife who has since passed away, I believe. This latest one is as good as his previous ones...as predictable perhaps, but then sometimes I enjoy a predictable read. As always, there are horses, murder, violence and a touch of romance with a pleasing conclusion at the end. If you have never read this author, don't let the subject of horse racing put you off...which it did me for a long time.
 
Dorothy
Home Another Way by Christa Parrish
Rating: 4 Stars
What a delightful novel this is from a first time author. I really look forward to reading more of her work...and hopefully more about the main character in this book. 

Sarah is a hard, isolated and cantankerous young woman, hiding from the world behind a wall of wild living. When her estranged father dies, a condition of her inheriting his estate is that she must spend 6 months living in his house in the very small town of Jonah. The flawed and faithful characters in this town help her to come to healing and forgiveness.

 
Dorothy
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a must-read novel from the public library. I loved this story set in Britain just after the end of World War II. Juliet, a writer in London, becomes friends with one of the members of this society and this novel is the story of that friendship and of the lives of the people of Guernsey during 5 long years during the war. I had no idea that the German army conquered this little island belonging to Britain and this book vividly brings to life those years and their effect on the people living there. This book is delightful, funny and so wonderfully written that I did not want the story to end. You will love the characters and be moved by the story. Read it and recommend it to all your friends!
 
Kathleen Kelly (momkelly2003@yahoo.com)
Sick Girl by Amy Silverstein
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a story of a woman who tells of her experience with heart disease and subsequent heart transplant. It is sad, depressing at times, but also a very uplifting story. Well worth the time to read it.
 
L. Hann
Absolute Fear by Lisa Jackson
Rating: 5 Stars
Very suspenseful. Great read.
 
Karen
Matrimony by Joshua Henkin
Rating: 3 Stars
This is the story of a couple who meet in college, marry and then have to work their way through the ups and downs that life brings them. I was really looking forward to reading this book because our book club will be discussing it with the author. Most of us in the group found the book hard to read. Some chapters were easy to get through, while others more difficult. I wonder if that has anything to do with how long it took the author to write the book. 

One comment from a member was that it seemed the author was at a different place in his life when he wrote the chapters that were easy to get through.

 
BS
Three Weeks to Say Goodbye by C. J. Box
Rating: 4 Stars
Mr. Box just cannot seem to write any wrong. His books get better each year. THREE WEEKS is not as good as his Pickett series nor the wonderful as BLUE HEAVEN, but it is an awesome read. It is about a childless couple who adopt, then all hell breaks loose as the biological grandfather wants the baby. Good and exciting.
 
Janice Hoaglin (jhoaglin@sbcglobal.net)
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Rating: 4 Stars
What a treat to read this book. It takes me back to the reading of Jane Eyre, and holds all the drama and dark secrets of the gothic treasure. It was totally absorbing.
 
Kellie (acountkel@bellsouth.net)
The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek and Joachim Neugroschel
Rating: 1 Stars
I could not finish this book. I never quit on a book but this one frustrated me to no end. To me this was just a hodge podge of words that made no sense. It could possibly be because this was translated. Whatever, I could not bring myself to be tortured anymore. 

What I was able to gather from the 100 pages that I read is this book was about an Austrian girl named Erica who is a piano teacher. She was totally ruled by her mother. This dominance makes her severely dysfunctional when it comes to other relationships outside her personal jail. I know one of her students has a crush on her and she is trying to avoid him. That's as far as I got. 

I will say there are some sentences in this book that halted my eyes because they were a creative formation of words. That's about the only good thing I can say about this.

 
Norma Vieweg
Lady of the Roses by Sandra Worth
Rating: 5 Stars
LADY OF THE ROSES is the story of 15-year-old Isobel, who sets off to the court of Henry Vl and Marguerite of Anjou to decide on who will pay the highest price for her hand in marriage. On the way to court, she meets Sir John Neville whose family fights on the wrong side of the War of the Roses. But eventually they do end up wed and this is their story. A must read for those interested in history and or historical romance.
 
Janice
The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier
Rating: 3 Stars
I always respected Sidney Poitier as an actor. Now I can understand how the "man" and his principals show through in his acting. Great read.
 
Janice
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
Rating: 4 Stars
A very different kind of love story that transcends time.
 
Janice
Testimony by Anita Shreve
Rating: 5 Stars
I know it is early in the year. but this is one of the best books I expect to read this year. A powerful story about students in a private school and how one event can affect so many lives.
 
Janice
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
Rating: 4 Stars
Great storyline. I enjoyed reading the book very much.
 
Janice
Super Cleanse by Adina Niemerow
Rating: 3 Stars
This book offers a number of different cleansing options from 1 day to 5 days. I tried the 1-day cleanse and most of the ingredients were not common to everyday use, so I had to go shopping and spend quite a bit on 'greens'. There was a lot of juicing. However, the food was very tasty and not a problem to follow.
 
Mary
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Rating: 5 Stars
This book was written from the dog's point of view. I smiled and cheered during points, but cried and realized dreams do come true.
 
B. J. Simon
Scarpetta by Patricia Cornwell
Rating: 3 Stars
I have only just started this but see potential for a higher rating.
 
Linda
Shelter Me by Juliette Fay
Rating: 4 Stars
Fay's first novel tells the story of Janie Marche, mother of two small children, who has lost her husband in a freak accident. Janie's anger and helplessness finally give way to acceptance, strength and new relationships. Well done.
 
Karen
A Single Thread by Marie Bostwick
Rating: 5 Stars
If you enjoy reading Jennifer Chiaverini, this book will not disappoint. It's the story of friendship and hope and trust and all things important to women who are going through a battle with breast cancer... and who just happen to love to quilt.

Have your tissue handy. I am recommending this book to all my book club members and any one else I know that reads.

 
Chris
Living Without God by Ronald Aronson
Rating: 4 Stars
Excellent analysis of truths atheists can hold in the absence of faith in God. Aronson is Professor of the History of Ideas at Wayne State University.
 
Barbara Sussman
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Rating: 5 Stars
Wow. A fabulous book. At the same time endearing, historical, beautiful and heartwarming.
 
Sherrie
Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown
Rating: 4 Stars
A very intriguing thriller mystery. Just when you think you have it figured out...not! There are so many twists and turns. Some of the characters that you love turn out not to be so good!
 
Julianne
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Burrows
Rating: 4 Stars
A sweet story. Book lovers and World War II enthusiasts will enjoy this one.
 
Marjorie L.
The Decadent Duke by Virginia Henley
Rating: 5 Stars
A great book with humor, romance, British political intrigue and history all mixed together. Henley at her best.
 
Diana Raabe
Months and Seasons by Christopher Meeks
Rating: 4 Stars
This surprising collection of short stories is a refreshing change! Meeks knows how to make something important out of what might seem merely ordinary in lesser hands.
 
Sheila Dietz
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
Rating: 5 Stars
When Bauby suffers a massive stroke, leaving him only the use of his left eye, he uses it to write this book. Bauby conveys a balance of loss and accomplishment that each of us would do well to emulate.
 
Sharon
The Private Patient by P. D. James
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the newest Dalgliesh Mystery about murder at a plastic surgeon's private clinic. While P.D. James's books do not have wild sex or graphic violence, her books are well-written mysteries in the style of the English mystery writers of the past. Highly recommended.
 
Teresa Furlong
Detour by James Siegel
Rating: 3 Stars
The book was pretty good. It had some twists and turns, but ended well.
 
Anne
The Sense of Paper by Taylor Holden
Rating: 5 Stars
It's an amazing novel that depicts several locales and has a wonderful plot and characters.
 
Teresa
Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich
Rating: 4 Stars
I really liked this book a lot. A very cute and fast read.
 
Anita Nowak
Power Play by Joseph Finder
Rating: 5 Stars
I thought this was a wonderful mystery with many twists and turns. There were quite a few surprises. It's about a group of executives who are kidnapped while on a business retreat. I usually don't finish books quickly, but I did in this case due to the fact that this was a real page turner that was hard to put down.
 
Teresa
Harvest by Tess Gerritsen
Rating: 4 Stars
I love all her books. I think this is her first one. I started reading some of her more recent titles and am just now getting back to her oldest ones.
 
Jaye
Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich
Rating: 5 Stars
I loved this book! It's funny, surprising and (occasionally) creepy. It's the bestStephanie Plum book in several years.
 
Melanie D
The Innocent Man by John Grisham
Rating: 3 Stars
True story about a murder in small-town Ada, Oklahoma. This is a different kind of book for John Grisham. I am not a big fan of baseball and almost passed this book over, but I do love a good mystery/crime book, and I really liked it.
 
Rhoda MacMaster (Tiggi47@aol.com)
My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor
Rating: 5 Stars
A true story about a woman who suffered a stroke and what she went through from the beginning of her recovery. A good book to learn from regarding strokes and its effects.
 
Pam (PDKC123@aol.com)
The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum
Rating: 4 Stars
This was a really good read, especially since this is the author's first book. I could totally relate to the main character, a young attorney who seems intent on doing things to destroy her happiness. 

As the book progresses, layers are revealed that show why this young woman is what she is. I thoroughly enjoyed it and look forward to more books by the author.

 
Teresa
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Rating: 3 Stars
Good book. A little different from my normal reads.
 
Anne Edwards
Runner by Thomas Perry
Rating: 5 Stars
I've waited nine years for this latest in the Jane Whitefield series, and this one kept me up until 3:00 a.m. to finish it!
Jane, a Native American woman who guides people out of this world to avoid trouble, comes out of retirement to help a pregnant young woman who is being tracked down by a group of hired hunters.
I hope Jane will return in yet another in this remarkable and compelling series!

 
Christy H.
My Sweet Audrina by V. C. Andrews
Rating: 5 Stars
I don't know where I was when I should have been reading this book over 20 years ago! This book puts my dysfunctional family to shame (I feel so much better about us). Talk about dark and weird, and dark and twisted and dark and freaky and dark.... At times I almost felt like I was suffocating reading this book, and yet I could NOT put it down.

Filled with an overwhelming haunting atmosphere and characters who are flawed and bizarre, this was a great mystery with secrets and twists and turns to keep you guessing throughout the book.

 
ruth
The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a family saga that is unforgettable and beautifully written.
 
Marta (martamaymom@netzero.com)
Julie and Julia by Julie Powell
Rating: 5 Stars
I enjoy the pressures of trying to cook like Julia Child. The author is funny and the book has held my interest.
 
Teresa Furlong
Ten Big Ones by Janet Evanovich
Rating: 4 Stars
First one of her books I have ever read. ai thought it was going to be dorky but actually turned out pretty funny. It made me smile and laugh several times.
 
Patty Shogren (p12a11s49@aol.com)
Run by Ann Patchett
Rating: 4 Stars
Another wonderful story by Ann Patchett (BEL CANTO still my favorite) about a family and an accident and the impact it has on the characters.
 
Marsha
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
Rating: 5 Stars
This blend of Shakespearean tragedy and THE JUNGLE BOOK becomes an engaging tale told in several different voices (including canine). It has something for everyone and I highly recommend it.
 
Readinglady5
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Rating: 5 Stars
Great book!
 
readinglady5
Reconstructing Natalie by Laura Jensen Walker
Rating: 4 Stars
Wonderful story about faith, love, family and friends.
 
Readinglady5
Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton
Rating: 5 Stars
A really fun read!
 
readinglady5
Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
Rating: 4 Stars
The first in the Lakeside Chronicles series.
 
Sue W.
Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a juvenile book but a wonderful read for anyone who loves witches and warlocks. Howl's castle door opens to four different places just by changing the handle a certain way. Sophie, from the town of Market Chipping, ends up striking a bargain with Wizard Howl. She lives in the moving castle and tames the fire demon.

Every once in awhile, I need to read a book like this just for a change.

 
Sue W.
The Appeal by John Grisham
Rating: 4 Stars
This one keeps you on your toes wondering about various things, such as the appeal and the Supreme Court judge's seat in a Mississippi election. Do things like this really happen? Can people (corporations) raise so much money and get an unknown candidate on the ticket to run for a government position?
 
Bobbie Cloud (bc2mc3@aol.com)
Black Ops by W. E. B. Griffin
Rating: 5 Stars
This is another novel in the Presidential Agent series by W.E.B Griffin. As usual with Charlie Castillo, the main character, it is a wild ride. I really enjoy reading all the characters in the book. They feel so real and the action is so real, you can actually view this book in your head while reading. This is one of those "can't put down once you start" reads.
 
Noralyn Smith
One Night Only by Ann Christopher
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a sweet Valentine's Day story,
 
Sue W.
The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks
Rating: 5 Stars
A small wooden Indian, given to Omri as a birthday present, comes to life after it has been put in an old cupboard that has a special key. This Indian becomes a very important secret of Omri. It's very dangerous but wonderful. I really enjoyed this young people's book.
 
Lorraine M. Larose
Your Heart Belongs to Me by Dean Koontz
Rating: 5 Stars
A 34-year-old man gets a heart transplant and he thinks the donor is stalking him.
 
Lorraine M. Larose
Just After Sunset by Stephen King
Rating: 5 Stars
Thirteen stories in one book. Good deal.
 
Donna
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
Rating: 5 Stars
The descriptive writing style captivated me from Page 1. It is powerful and beautifully written, although the topic makes for a tough read. The story is woven together wonderfully.
 
Patty Shogren (p12a11s49@aol.com)
Testimony by Anita Shreve
Rating: 4 Stars
Good book about a night when the characters make a bad decision and the impact it has on their family and community.
 
Leslie (lmadreader@aol.com)
Plum Spooky by Janet Evonavich
Rating: 5 Stars
Entertaining as usual!
 
Mary
Hooked on Murder by Betty Hechtman
Rating: 4 Stars
A cozy mystery with fun, quirky characters and a mystery that keeps you guessing to the end.
 
Brandi
The Land of the Mango Sunsets by Dorothea Benton Frank
Rating: 5 Stars
I always enjoy Dorothea's books about the South! Her light and easy writing style engages the reader early on in the book. The quirky characters become like friends that are telling you their secrets! A fun book for a winter weekend!
 
Carol B
Field of Destiny by Patricia Sheehy
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a story of destiny, spirit guides and past lives. I could not put the book down. It is a wonderful read.
 
Linda M. Johnson (tcheer4life@yahoo.com)
The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
Rating: 3 Stars
The story of the Warsaw zookeeper and his wife who helped save over 300 Jews during World War II is an interesting story. The author's voice seemed to change between first person and third person; between story telling and academic tome. Even at the end she explained what has become of peripheral people, but not the zookeeper and his wife. I had to look that up myself.
 
Linda Bedell
Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich
Rating: 3 Stars
Not up to par with her Stephanie Plum series.
 
Kathy Boucher
One Fifth Avenue by Candace Bushnell
Rating: 3 Stars
I'm giving this 3 stars because this is not a "great" work of literature. But, it is charming, fun, light reading for a change of pace. The title is the address of a building in Manhattan, and the story is about the people who live (or want to) live there, struggling to be on "top" in terms of money and social prestige.
 
Debbie
The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee
Rating: 5 Stars
Ok, I'm a book geek who loves absolutely everything about books. This memoir/history is a paean to us bookish types and also imparts some of the history from papyrus scrolls to modern e-books, plus delves into some aspects of the way bookstores are run and who works there, who shops there, and who is most at home in a surrounding of books. It's a delight!
 
Bonnie Capuano
Final Justice by Fern Michaels
Rating: 5 Stars
I love all of Fern Michaels' Sisterhoodbooks. Each one is so unique and fun to read. I have read and own them all. I especially like Myra and Charles. You'll love these books. She has never let me down with her wonderful imagination!
 
Debbie
The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes
Rating: 4 Stars
This book takes place in Victorian England and features conjurers, probable zombies, poets, bureaucrats, and more. There are unexplained deaths and attempts made to solve them, delightfully oddball characters replete with names that could come straight out of a novel by Charles Dickens, and (possibly) a plan for world domination.

This was a lot of fun to read! I'd give it 5 stars except the very ending confused me a little --- I think I've figured it out, but have I?

 
Ro Blake (rhobee@comcast.net)
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the story of Roseanne Clear McNulty, over 100 years old, who is writing the story of her life but keeping it hidden in the floorboard of the asylum in which she has been incarcerated for the past 60 years. She doesn't even share it with Dr. Grene, the head of the hospital/asylum, who has to determine if she is capable of living out in the real world again, since the hospital must close. 

As we read her story, we are aware of the cruelty of the natives of Sligo, Ireland to her and her family mostly because they are Presbyterian and not Catholic. We read about the machinations of the local priest to use Roseanne and her family to advance his own beliefs and those of his hidebound congregation.

As we read about Dr. Grene, we become aware of a strange relationship growing between Roseanne and the doctor. There is intrigue and conflict, love and betrayal presented in prose that sings.

 
Ro Blake (rhobee@comcast.net)
Testimony by Anita Shreve
Rating: 4 Stars
A scandal at Avery Academy involving senior boys and a 14-year-old girl opens up the proverbial "can of worms." Each chapter is written by a different character affected by the scandal. It's a bit confusing at first, with so many different and differing opinions, but it is a gripping story that carries the reader through an amazing and intriguing tale, written by a master.

The moral of the story, if there is one, is that we never know how many people are affected by acts we commit --- accidentally or knowingly. When we say we are hurting no one but ourselves, we are most certainly wrong.

 
Laura Ayala
Shelter Me by Juliette Fay
Rating: 5 Stars
I had just purchased this book when I saw it listed on bookreporter.com as books you have to read. I absolutely loved it! I stayed up too late to finish it and was exhausted the next day, but it was worth it. I loved Janie, the heroine, and loved seeing how the author weaved Catholicism in the story. 

Being a catholic and working at a catholic school, I really connected. Can't wait until her next one. Great recommendation.

 
Julie S. (julyso@grandecom.net)
Dewey by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter
Rating: 5 Stars
I loved this book! It is about a cat that gets dumped in a book drop, which actually turns out to be a blessing. It is a sweet book, right up there with MARLEY & ME.
 
Elizabeth V
The Likeness by Tana French
Rating: 3 Stars
I thought this would be better than it is because she got so much praise for IN THE WOODS. This book is too predictable and too unlikely. 

How can someone pose as someone else, even if she looks like her, and get away with it even when she lives with the other person's roommates who were close to her? Her voice is exactly the same? Her mannerisms are the same? Her walk is the same? It just wouldn't happen, even for a day. 

And how can that person go for walks every single evening and not cause some suspicion or at least curiosity?