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SACTOKAREN's Photo SACTOKAREN Posts: 27,304
2/28/11 11:36 A

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Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance by Richard Powers **** 4 stars
The novel follows the journeys of three young European boys represented in a circa 1913 or 1914 photograph by August Sander. Two parallel narratives, one in the voice suspected to be the author, whose surname, we learn starts with P, offer contemporary perspectives and illustrate the interconnectedness of events. These voices provide contemporary perspectives on technology -- the major theme of the novel. A series of rather academic essays on the nature of photography, including quotes from Walter Benjamin and Hannah Arendt- in the authorial narrative voice of Mr P - are interspersed with the story.
The story begins with the authorial narrative voice of Mr P. first sighting the photograph taken in the months before the outbreak of World War I of three young boys in Germany - a photograph which is titled Three Farmers on their Way to a Dance and which is being exhibited at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The novel follows the fictional fates of these three young men in war time, as well as the stories of Peter Mays, a technical editor for a 1980s electronics magazine and Mr P - the first person narrator of sections of the novel - who is obsessed with the photograph and with concepts of photography and technology.


50 is the new 30.


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SACTOKAREN's Photo SACTOKAREN Posts: 27,304
2/28/11 11:36 A

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A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin **** 4 stars

A modern classic, as gripping in its tautly plotted action as it is penetrating in its exploration of a criminal mind, it tells the shocking tale of a young man who will stop at nothing-not even murder-to get where he wants to go. He has dreams and plans. He also has charm, good looks, sex appeal and intelligence. He also has a problem; her name is Dorothy. She loves him and she's pregnant. The solution may demand desperate measures. He looks like the kind of guy who could get away with murder. Compellingly, step by determined step, the novel follows this young man in his execution of one plan he had neither dreamed nor foreseen. Nor does he foresee how inexorably he will be enmeshed in the consequences of his own extreme deed.


50 is the new 30.


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SACTOKAREN's Photo SACTOKAREN Posts: 27,304
2/28/11 11:35 A

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Bill Warrington’s Last Chance by James King **** 4 stars

One dysfunctional family whose patriarch seeks to heal old wounds. Bill Warrington’s wife died of cancer years ago, but he’s managed pretty well by himself until recently. Now that he’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, Bill decides it’s time to bring his estranged children together while he still can. Mike, the eldest, believes he saw Bill give his mother an overdose of pain pills before she died, and has distanced himself from his father for years. Nick is still drifting aimlessly since his own wife died three years earlier. He leaves interaction with their father to their sister, Marcy, a bitter divorcée struggling to raise her 14-year-old daughter, April, who can’t wait to escape her mother’s domination. Bill hatches a plan to “kidnap” April for a summer road trip (with her at the wheel), and drops clues along the way in hopes the siblings will unite in the effort to find them. Part road odyssey, part coming-of-age tale, King’s novel achieves the exact right balance of humor, redemption, and reconciliation.


50 is the new 30.


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SACTOKAREN's Photo SACTOKAREN Posts: 27,304
2/28/11 11:35 A

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Celebrity Chekhov by Ben Greenman **** 4 stars

Collection of short stories re-written with today’s stars.


50 is the new 30.


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SACTOKAREN's Photo SACTOKAREN Posts: 27,304
2/28/11 11:35 A

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The Accident by Ismail Kadare **** 4 stars

Kadare opens the novel with a vivid description of a roadway mishap in which a taxi carrying a couple who find themselves at the end of a long love affair skids off the road and the passengers die.

He casts the rest of the book as an investigation into the incident. We hear from various interested parties, private and public, and the story of these lovers opens up into a full-blown portrait of their affair, which they carried on in a number of European capitals, against the backdrop of European politics and diplomacy.

Everywhere in the world, events flow noisily on the surface, Kadare writes, while their deep currents pull silently, but nowhere is this contrast so striking as in the Balkans.
Kadare dives deep into the pulling currents of love and death, carrying us down with him into a world which ranges, on the one hand, from dirty limericks about Bill Clintons sexual peccadilloes to profundities about the relation of stories and death.


50 is the new 30.


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SACTOKAREN's Photo SACTOKAREN Posts: 27,304
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Small World by David Lodge *** 3 stars

The unbridled greed, pettiness, buffoonery and intellectual gobbledygook in the world of higher scholarship are the topics of this thorough and thoroughly funny roman a' English department. It's interesting for a couple of reasons, aside from its humor and spoofiness: it's an insider's view of things -- always the best kind -- and it takes its old-fashioned time telling a story, complete with reasonable digressions about the state of literary criticism and what may or may not be a realistic view of the academic life.


50 is the new 30.


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SACTOKAREN's Photo SACTOKAREN Posts: 27,304
2/28/11 11:35 A

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My Reading Life by Pat Conroy audio *** 3 stars

Conroy’s reflections on his life and career. An avid reader, he spent his entire life with his nose in a book and this reveals how books have influenced his life.


50 is the new 30.


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CD9423243 SparkPoints: (0)
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2/28/11 9:58 A

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Hey Fellow Bookworms!!!!! I just finished a wonderful book, by an Author not very well known, and to be honest with you I find some of the best stories written by people that you have not ever heard their name before. The book is: "The Mountain Between Us" by Charles Martin. It was so good it only took me 2 days to read it. It truly is one of the best books I have read in awhile, it will most definitely be on my favorite list....I have just started the new Fannie Flagg book, and so far not to bad, but I will let you know when I get to the end... Everyone have a Blessed Week, Shassysue2

CZARINA98's Photo CZARINA98 Posts: 2,142
2/28/11 8:20 A

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Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood - Rebecca Wells 3.5*

The Sentry - Robert Crais 3*

Cz



Do these jeans make my butt look big?

(No! It's all those hot fudge sundaes that make your butt look big!!!)
DESERTDREAMERS's Photo DESERTDREAMERS Posts: 49,588
2/27/11 10:48 P

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27) This Side of the Grave (Night huntress book 5) by Jeaniene Frost 4 stars

emoticon vampires, ghouls, and zombies - hot sex - battle between new vampire Cat, her vampire husband Bones, and a ghoul zealot who has waited more than 600 years to gain power.


28) Walking Into Murder by Joan Dahr Lambert 4 stars

Professor Laura Morland is on a walking tour of England, and stumbles upon murder and mysteries.

Edited by: DESERTDREAMERS at: 2/27/2011 (22:56)
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Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
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�When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department generally uses water."


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2/27/11 8:46 P

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8. " A Little Ray of Sunshine" by Lani Diane Rich

**** 4star

A quick enjoyable novel about mending bridges with family. Finished in 2 days.

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DRAGONLADY712's Photo DRAGONLADY712 Posts: 1,044
2/27/11 8:17 P

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Harp of Winds by Maggie Furey 6 stars
Sword of Flame by Maggie Furey 6 stars
Dhiammara by Maggie Furey 6 stars

Continuation and conclusion of the Aurian Saga.

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Ann


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DRAGONLADY712's Photo DRAGONLADY712 Posts: 1,044
2/27/11 8:16 P

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Avalanche Express by Colin Forbes 5 stars
Definite improvement of previous book by him that I read.

Crescent Dawn by Clive Cussler & Dirk Cussler 6 stars
Classic Cussler, he always delivers.

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BECLEVER's Photo BECLEVER Posts: 930
2/27/11 5:54 P

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I just finished my book group's current book
:
City of Thieves by David Benioff

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Descriptive word pictures and outstanding character development in a Russian setting during the siege of Leningrad. Not having any food to eat was a certain way to lose weight but it was accomplished at a tremendous loss of mind, strength, and health.

It made a nice follow-up to the Madonna of Leningrad which we read several months ago.

Edited by: BECLEVER at: 2/27/2011 (17:58)
Susan

“Don’t be afraid to give your best at what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.”


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2/27/11 2:27 P

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My third book for February is Lisa Scottoline's "My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space" which I'd rate 4 stars * * * *

Most of these essays appeared as columns in the Philadlephia Inquirer, where Lisa writes a weekly column called "Chick Wit". I'm a regular reader, but still enjoyed re-visiting old themes, and encountering some new ones, in this book. Lisa's daughter Francesca also penned a few of the essays, showing that mom's talents have been passed along to her daughter.

From Publishers Weekly:
Scottoline, a single mom and author of 17 New York Times bestselling novels, also writes for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where her "Chick Wit" column appears on Sundays and is occasionally written by her daughter Francesca. It has also served as fodder for two books, last year's Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, and this one, which contains 70 more essays that are by turns rueful, uplifting, sweet, kooky -- and always amusing. Fans of her mystery and suspense fare will enjoy the opportunity for another warts-and-all peek into the author's daily life, including musings on what it's like to live (and sleep) with five dogs, an addiction to sunflower seeds, and fruitless yet hilarious attempts to communicate with her non sequitur–loving mother. Mother Mary, a spirited octogenarian, gets lots of ink, and rightly so: she's been an important role model for Scottoline and granddaughter. Francesca's writing complements her mother's, particularly in essays like "I Don't" and "Deadhead," in which the former reveals her fascination with the weddings section of the newspaper, the latter, the obituaries. Family photos add to the fun, as does the authors' focus on enjoying life, whether via the delights of a newly empty nest or remembering that, when it comes to women, "Our strength, our wit, and our hearts are more powerful than anybody ever could have imagined." It's a funny, uplifting read for women of any generation. (Nov.) (c)


Gerry
EDT

"We have a choice every day - to act on yesterdays good intentions,
or get an early start on tomorrows regrets."
-Robert Brault

"The difference between try and triumph is a little umph."
~ Author Unknown


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TEXASTITCHER's Photo TEXASTITCHER Posts: 59,725
2/27/11 12:23 P

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I've been reading several shorter romance novels this month (in honor of Valentines)

His Virgin Acquisition – Maisey Yates - 3.5*
The Demetrios Virgin – Penny Jordan - 3.5*
The Italian’s Stolen Bride – Emma Dracy - 3.5*
The Greek Tycoon’s Ultimatum – Lucy Monroe - 3.5*
The Greek’s Innocent Virgin – Lucy Monroe - 3.5*


Jo Ann
Starfish - (CST)
Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still. - Chinese Proverb



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PLYNNWEEKS's Photo PLYNNWEEKS Posts: 243
2/27/11 12:13 P

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8) Silent Reckoning - Debra Webb 3 stars

Another Silhouette Bombshell series, "Silent Weapon", has Merri Walters tracking down a serial killer. The unique thing about Merri is that she is deaf. Her boss, the chief of detectives, is forever trying to protect her. This is cramping Merri's style, but it may save her life as the serial killer from the first story is on the loose again and now Merri is his target. This was a good short mystery story and very straight forward.

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2/27/11 12:07 P

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7) Christmas in Cedar Cove - Debbie Macomber 5 stars

This is a Christmas entry in Debbie's "Cedar Cove" series and it has two separate stories in it. One is about Ruth who is antiwar trying to reconcile her feelings for Paul who is career military. Visiting her grandmother, she gets the shock of her life when her grandmother starts talking about her World War II adventures as a spy.

The second story is about Mary Jo Wyse, how and why she came to town, and the lives she affected along the way. The story is told similar to the Christmas story of the babe being born in the stable under the North Star. Mary Jo, her daughter Noelle, and Mac, her rescuer, feature prominently in one of the later Cedar Cove stories. I love her books. They are down to earth, she doesn't forget details and weaves past characters into current books. She even included the death of a beloved dog. Unfortunately, she only writes one of these Cedar Cove stories a year.

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2/27/11 12:01 P

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6) Devil's Due - Rachel Caine 3 stars

This was part of the old Silhouette Bombshell series "Red Letter Days". Lucia and her partner Jazz open their detective agency with money that comes with strings. They are free to take any case they want, but any red letter (literally) cases must take priority. These cases involve stopping murders, letting murders occur, being in certain places at certain times, etc. This time they free Benjamin McCarthy, a former police detective, from jail which sets off a series of events. These books are rather crazy jumping from one event to the next. They also involve pyschics in two different groups which are working against each other so it makes the books rather freaky to read.

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2/27/11 11:52 A

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5) A Bend in the Road - Nicholas Sparks 6 stars

Two years ago, Missy Ryan's life was ended in a hit and run. Her husband Miles is a deputy sheriff who has struggled with the fact that he was unable to solve the crime. Now he has met Sarah and is starting to move on with his life. Outside events and old hatreds combine to bring the crime to the forefront again. I actually liked this book better than "The Notebook". It was romantic, but the crime of the hit and run saved it from being schmaltzy.

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CD2699608 Posts: 5,422
2/27/11 10:47 A

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Black Creek Crossing by John Saul

4.5 stars

A story about a haunted house, teen revenge and witchcraft. Good read!

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2/27/11 10:08 A

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4* Homestead on the Hillside by Mary Jane Holmes

This is a collection of 3 stories about 3 different homes, and the lives and loves of the people in them, in New England during the mid to late 1800's.

The best story was the first one, about a scheming widow who marries another widower, and sets in place a series of events that cause tragedy for the family. This story also featured my favorite character, the widow's daughter Lenora; a mischievous, trouble making girl who really had a good heart underneath; she was very entertaining and funny to read about.

All 3 stories also had in them a "sickly" young woman, dying with what was probably tuberculosis. I am wondering if perhaps the author lost a sister of her own that way, and that is why it is a part of so many of her stories.

The 2nd story was told in the first person, and the main characters first name was the same as the authors, so I have an idea that at least parts of that story were autobiographical.

As with the first book I read of this author's, Lena Rivers, this wasn't great literature, but a pretty good and interesting read; all 3 stories kept my attention throughout and had some well written characters.



My name is Shari; I have been a Sparker since July 2006, I am now in hospice care for metastatic breast cancer, but I'm not letting cancer stop me from Sparking!

Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

A. A. Milne



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NEWMAC2011's Photo NEWMAC2011 Posts: 4,630
2/26/11 11:40 P

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"The Confession" by John Grisham 5 stars

Donte Drumm is days away from being executed. Although he confessed, he recanted the confession. A man with a terminal brain tumor comes forward to say that he actually committed the crime. Will anyone believe him & can they stop the execution?


~ We can't become what we need by remaining what we are.

Max Dupree


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HEALTHYEATER72 Posts: 437
2/26/11 8:21 P

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Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning........4 stars****

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2/26/11 5:38 P

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7. "Jude's Law" by Lori Foster

3star ***

Average sexy romance involving art, movie stars, fighting, mob type people and of course sex.

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2/26/11 6:47 A

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26) Pale Demon by Kim Harrison 5 stars

I just love this series about Rachel Morgan, a witch rooming and working with a pixie and living (as opposed to dead) vampire. Rachel and her roomies travel from Cleveland to San Francisco by car with Trent (elf) and Pierce (male witch) . It's like a bad family road trip, interupted by attacks by demons.

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Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
Muhammad Ali

�When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department generally uses water."


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2/25/11 10:35 P

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The New Year's Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini -- 4.5
At Bertram's Hotel by Agatha Christie -- 5
Born of Ice by Sherrilyn Kenyon -- 5

Echo from Tucson, AZ
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2/25/11 7:40 P

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The Book of Awesome by Neil Pasricha - 6 stars

This is a light-hearted, fun read. Inspired by the blog (www.1000awesomethings.com), it lists the simple pleasures in life.

I found myself smiling and chuckling as I read this book. Some of my favorites were Old Dangerous Playground Equipment, Seeing a cop on the side of the road and realize you're going the speed limit anyway, Hitting a bunch of green lights in a row, and Tripping and realizing no one saw you.

This book is a wonderful pick-me-up. Had a bad day? Pick up The Book of Awesome and peruse through its awesome things!

"The smallest gesture can have a devastating or amazingly positive impact" -Sonia Nieto


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2/25/11 10:32 A

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The Friday Night Knitting Club - all about a group of women who meet up over time in a yarn shop, Women from all ages and backgrounds, and have different problems. The book draws them together. Wasnt sure I would like it but I loved it.

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2/25/11 9:17 A

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23) Shaman's Crossing: Book One of the Soldiers Son Trilogy by Robin Hobb 5 stars

Robin Hobbs is one of my favorite authors - she develops entire worlds and traditions, then challenges the premises. In Soldiers Son, the tradition is the 2d son is always a soldier (no "heir & a spare"). Nevare is the 2d son, raised in the best traditions of the calvary. He struggles when the "old world" beliefs begin to overwhelm him, and the "modern" world he lives in becomes more and more destructive. (Yep, there are parallels to our world)

24) Hunt at the Well of Eternity by James Reasoner 3 stars

Pulp fiction throwback! Gideon Hunt seeks the "well of eternity" (fountain of youth) in South America. Men are tough and women tough and gorgeous. Bullwhips, Colt 45's archeolgy - not your average tomb raider.

25) Midnight in Death by J. D. Robb 4 stars

A novella in the In Death series - it's Christmas time, and Lt Eve Dallas is overwhelmed with the season as her handsome obscenely rich husband, Rourke, showers her with gifts. Not to mention, the escaped serial killer who wants to celebrate New Years with Eve's death.

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Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
Muhammad Ali

�When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department generally uses water."


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2/24/11 9:24 P

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The Woman with a Worm in Her Head by Dr Pamela Nagami. 8 *

Interesting insight into the world of an Infectious Disease Specialist. Easy to read, but may induce some paranoia! lol

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2/24/11 4:11 P

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Mini Shopaholic by Sophia Kinsella 6******

Very cute as always but not the best written books!

In the latest installment to the wildly popular Shopaholic series (Shopaholic and Baby; etc.), Rebecca Brandon returns with willful two-year-old Minnie, who has taken after her mother in her fierce determination and her addiction to luxury brands. When the financial crisis finally hits the Brandon family, Rebecca vows to stop shopping until she's worn everything in her closet at least three times; Luke scrambles for new business directions; and Minnie remains exceptionally difficult. Still, Rebecca wants to throw Luke a surprise birthday bash, but planning it behind his back and on a budget proves almost impossible. As in all previous Shopaholic books, Rebecca is loud and proud about her luxury-brand obsession and equally at ease being a flighty, sometimes annoying lead, though her well-meaning secret birthday mission scores her much-needed points in the sympathy department. Series fans know what to expect and will get it by the Birkin-load.


- Judy

"There is plenty of work for love to do."


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2/24/11 2:15 P

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6. "How to be Good" by Nick Hornby

3stars ***

At first this was an entertaining novel about a doctor having a crisis concerning her marriage. Then it started to get a little off with the character changes and I had a hard time with it. I will read more by Nick Hornby but boy was i glad when i finished this book.

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2/24/11 1:21 P

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6* Rainwater by Sandra Brown

A short but very touching novel. Ella Barron runs a boarding house in a small town in Texas, during the depression, and has an autistic son, Solly. This story is set in 1934, when a new boarder, Mr. Rainwater, moves in. He is dying from cancer, a secret only his doctor and Ella know. He is very good and patient with Solly, and befriends him and tries to break through his barriers. As the local community deals with a government program to shoot their starving livestock, they also face trouble from racist Conrad Ellis, a greedy meat packer who does not want the starving citizens to take any of the meat from their cattle after they are shot. Mr. Rainwater steps in the side of the townspeople and tries to help, knowing that since he is dying, he has nothing to lose. Throughout all this, Ella and Mr. Rainwater quietly begin to fall in love.

I really enjoyed this novel, and I admired Ella for raising her son and not sticking him into an institution, as many people did with autistic children in those days, especially when autism didn't have a name back then. I also learned something about the depression that I did not know before; the government program of buying up sickly and starving cattle below market price, and shooting most of them. A very hard thing for the families to go through emotionally, even if they desperately needed that money.



My name is Shari; I have been a Sparker since July 2006, I am now in hospice care for metastatic breast cancer, but I'm not letting cancer stop me from Sparking!

Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

A. A. Milne



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PORKCHOP_4's Photo PORKCHOP_4 Posts: 384
2/23/11 11:20 P

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Blasphemy ***
by Douglas Preston

Wyman Ford is a special troubleshooter sent to find out why a 4 billion dollar super collider is still not on-line. He discovers that when the machine is running at full power, it begins to talk to the operators telling them it is God and even performs god-like mind tricks.

Meanwhile, a local evangelist organizes a mob to dismantle the Satanic machine and confront the scientists.

This book has a lot of fast-paced action like all Preston books but slows down during the heavy existential philosophizing.



Edited by: PORKCHOP_4 at: 2/23/2011 (23:21)
Greg "Porkchop" Smith

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2/23/11 11:09 P

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Hope in a Jar --Beth Harbison --- 3
The Lost Quilter -- Jennifer Chiaverini -- 4
The White Tiger -- Aravind Adiga -- 4.5
Sworn to Silence -- Linda Castillo -- 5
Bittersweet -- Nevada Barr -- 3.5
Busy Body -- M.C. Beaton -- 5
All Shall be Well -- Deborah Crombie -- 5
Waking the Witch -- Kelley Armstrong --4.5

Echo from Tucson, AZ
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2/23/11 9:31 P

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I am totally obsessed with the Dark Series by Christine Feehan right now.

It`s about carpathians from the Carpathian Mountains in Romania and their lifemates.Carpathians are an ancient race.After 200 yrs the males lose all color and emotion and if they don`t find their lifemate who will bring back their color and emotion they either have to walk into the dawn and die or ultimately become vampires.The difference between carpathians and vampires is that carpathians don`t kill the humans when they drink their blood,but without a lifemate the bloodlust will eventually make them kill and turn them.
Due to the lack of females born to the carpathians they can find their lifemates with human women who have psychic ability.
I can definetely recommend these books!

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2/23/11 9:19 P

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Madame Tussard-Michelle Moran-*****5 stars
What a pleasant surprise. This account based on true events of the French Revolution is captivating.
Marie, a spirited and very talented woman molded wax figures of royalty and revolutionaries. She lived a full life and after serving in a hideous prison made her way to London. She lived to be ninety years old which in itself is an accomplishment few of that age achieved.

Quit stuffing your face and face your stuff.

Author Unknown


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2/23/11 4:26 P

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A new book from Amazon arrived today: Sanibel Flats, by Randy Wayne White.

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GMAGEE Posts: 76
2/23/11 3:02 P

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Two books this (short) month:

The Masuda Affair by I.J. Parker - 5 stars. This is the new installment in Ms. Parker's Sugawara Akitada series about a government official in 11th century Japan who gets involved in solving mysteries, problems and a murder or two. This is the second of this series that I have read and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I'm going to look for more by her. There are lots of interesting characters and the descriptions of the historical settings and events are exceptional. This time around, as Akitada mourns the death of his young son, he tries to help an orphan encountered in a misty forest, to reconcile with his wife, to unravel the mystery surrounding the death of a famous courtesan, to help his retainer rescue his kidnapped wife, to thwart a few evil government officials, and to keep his job at the ministry. Highly entertaining.

Galahad at Blandings, by P.G. Wodehouse - 5 stars. I love anything by Wodehouse. He's the only author who can get me to laugh out loud. Of course, this one has the usual cast of foppish young men (millionaires as well as financially wanting) in love with stouthearted young women, an absentminded lord and his favorite prize-winning pig, a terrifying aunt, a terrible nephew, old butlers, etc. - and Galahad, the one man who can solve everyone's problems. And no matter how entangled the plot line gets, everything comes out exactly as it should in the end.

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TEXASTITCHER's Photo TEXASTITCHER Posts: 59,725
2/23/11 11:36 A

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This time I have two quick reads and one that is the latest in an ongoing series.

The Society Wife – India Grey - 3.5*
The Italian’s Inexperienced Mistress – Lynn Graham - 3*

Harvest Moon – Robyn Call - 4.5* - This is the latest in that tales about Virgin River California. Overall I thought it was a very good story, but the next to the last sceen (right before the epilogue) came out of nowhere and could have had a little preparation for it.


Jo Ann
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Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still. - Chinese Proverb



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2/23/11 10:29 A

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4* Lena Rivers by Mary Jane Holmes

This novel, published in the 1850's, was a Kindle freebie. It is the story of Lena Rivers, and orphan growing up in the mountains of New England with her grandparents. Her mother died when she was a baby, and she never knew her father because he left her mother before she was born. When her grandfather dies, she and her mother go to live with her uncle in Kentucky. Her uncle is hen pecked by his wealthy wife, who is not happy about having to take in "poor relations", and her 3 children are spoiled.

Lena's grandmother would be considered a "redneck" today, she even chewed tobacco! I loved her character too, she added many moments of hilarity to the story. The story is basically one of star crossed lovers, 3 couples who's lives are not working out because of the interference of her Lena's aunt, who believes her children should marry for for wealth and social position, not love. And there is also a story behind the secret of Lena's parentage.

I enjoyed this story; it's not great literature, but it was fun read. The characters tended to be a little dramatic at times, especially Lena with all her fainting spells, but I think that style of writing was probably popular in novels of this kind in that day. Some of language is not politically correct either, especially in regards to the slaves, but I think that is because of the time it was written in; back then, there was no such thing as being "P.C."

I looked up that author, Mary Jane Holmes, on Wikipedia; she was a quite prolific and best selling author of 39 novels during the mid to late 1800's, almost as popular as Harriet Beecher Stowe. I have a few of her other novels on my Kindle, and look forward to reading those too.



My name is Shari; I have been a Sparker since July 2006, I am now in hospice care for metastatic breast cancer, but I'm not letting cancer stop me from Sparking!

Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

A. A. Milne



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DESERTDREAMERS's Photo DESERTDREAMERS Posts: 49,588
2/22/11 11:17 P

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22) Grave Secret (# 4 Harper Connelly Series) by Charlaine Harris 4 stars

Years before, Harper was struck by lightning - and now she can hear the dead. She travels with her non-blood related stepbrother, Tolliver. In the last book, An Ice Cold Grave, Harper and Tolliver realized they love each other, and not as siblings. Harper has been searching for her missing sister Cameron for years - twisted family secrets are exposed and Harper and Tolliver put in danger.

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Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
Muhammad Ali

�When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department generally uses water."


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2/22/11 6:52 P

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Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach 2.5*

The author spends way to much time explaining how to go to the bathroom in space.
I'll leave it to your imagination.
I would like to read more about the science behind the trajectory to Mars and the ultimate speed of the space craft.
Perhaps NASA was not that cooperative in this book.
Anyway, not for the faint of heart.


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2/22/11 5:51 P

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Homicide in Hardcover: A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle

4.5 stars


The streets of San Francisco would be lined with hardcovers if rare book expert Brooklyn Wainwright had her way. And her mentor wouldn’t be lying in a pool of his own blood on the eve of a celebration for his latest book restoration.

With his final breath he leaves Brooklyn a cryptic message, and gives her a priceless—and supposedly cursed—copy of Goethe’s Faust for safekeeping.

Brooklyn suddenly finds herself accused of murder and theft, thanks to the humorless—but attractive—British security officer who finds her kneeling over the body. Now she has to read the clues left behind by her mentor if she is going to restore justice…

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2/22/11 7:16 A

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Vixen by Jillian Larkin - 3 stars

Great if you loved Twilight or YA, or are interested in the Roaring Twenties.
Short review - 3 teenage girls in Prohibition Chicago make one poor decision after another. Mayhem ensues.

Goodreads Blurb: Jazz . . . Booze . . . Boys . . . It’s a dangerous combination.

Every girl wants what she can’t have. Seventeen-year-old Gloria Carmody wants the flapper lifestyle—and the bobbed hair, cigarettes, and music-filled nights that go with it. Now that she’s engaged to Sebastian Grey, scion of one of Chicago’s most powerful families, Gloria’s party days are over before they’ve even begun . . . or are they?

Clara Knowles, Gloria’s goody-two-shoes cousin, has arrived to make sure the high-society wedding comes off without a hitch—but Clara isn’t as lily-white as she appears. Seems she has some dirty little secrets of her own that she’ll do anything to keep hidden. . . .

Lorraine Dyer, Gloria’s social-climbing best friend, is tired of living in Gloria’s shadow. When Lorraine’s envy spills over into desperate spite, no one is safe. And someone’s going to be very sorry. . . .

From debut author Jillian Larkin, VIXEN is the first novel in the sexy, dangerous, and ridiculously romantic new series set in the Roaring Twenties . . . when anything goes.



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DESERTDREAMERS's Photo DESERTDREAMERS Posts: 49,588
2/22/11 12:37 A

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19) The Keeper by Sarah Langan - a horrible book - been trying to read it for a few weeks, picking at it bit by bit and could only finish 80% or so. No stars. hated it. Really depressing book about a really depressing dying town and bad mojo. I think someone compared it to Lovecroft. Don't think I'll be checking him out anytime soon. To make up for the missing 20%, throw in a novella by J.R.Rain - The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo - 3 stars. Just an introductory type story about a PI investigating a missing teenager who styles herself a vampire slayer. It ended and I went "where's the rest of the story?"

20) Artic Shift: Denali Heat, Book 1 by Lissa Matthews 3 stars Shape shifter romance with "ice bear" DNA. Another shorter book I'm pairing with another book I just couldn't finish after trying and trying - The Unsuspecting Mage by Brian Pratt 2 stars. It could have been better, but it's written in the 3d person present ("he gets up and drinks the ale. He sits ..." not he GOT up and drank the ale, and thought about...") Seems like a vanity press first attempt by the author.

21) Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tattoo by Heather Wardell 4 stars. A woman's marriage is tested when her husband goes overseas for a month's work. Well done story about 2d chances



Edited by: DESERTDREAMERS at: 2/22/2011 (00:38)
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Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
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2/21/11 9:41 P

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"The Buffalo Soldier" by Chris Bohjalian ****

Two years ago, a swollen river raged throug a village in northern Vermont, sweeping the 9-year old twin daughers of Terry and Laura Sheldon to their deaths. Unable to have more children, the Sheldons foster a 10-year old African American boy who has bounced through the system from home to home to home to home. Alfred is cautiously hopeful he might have found a permanent home, but the Sheldons are still obviously grieving and disfunctional - for the first time in his marriage, Terry has slept with another woman who now finds herself pregnant.

Across the street from the Sheldons live a retired couple who introduce Alfred to horses, riding, and the buffalo soldiers - African American cavalry troppers who served in the West after the Civil War. Bohjalian deals with issues that affect us all - the meaning of marriage, bonds between parents and children, the complexity of morals, and the process of turning a community into a family. Tenderly written.

Carol


Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land amongst the stars.


Nothing changes when nothing changes.



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CD6687446 Posts: 9,581
2/21/11 7:22 P

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Left Neglected by Lisa Genova - 5.5 stars

A moving story about type-A personality, career-driven Sarah, mom of three who thrives on the pressures and challenges of juggling her 80-hour a week power job and family responsibilities. One day on the way to work, she looks away from the road for a second to make a phone call and her life is changed forever.

A traumatic brain injury erases the entire left side of Sarah's world.

This was a wonderful book, well written, fast moving. Couldn't put it down. I'll be looking for "Still Alice," also penned by this author.

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2/21/11 7:13 P

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Graveyard of Empires----Afganistan eye-opening!

Mary Canavan


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