Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty

Truly Madly GuiltyTruly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Three couples lives are dissected quite thoroughly throughout this book. There was an afternoon BBQ at one of their houses where something terrible happened and for the first half of the book we didn't know what had happened, although it was constantly referred to and hinted at.

If you have patience to just read the book and enjoy the writing, you will love this book. Clementine and Sam have two little girls, Holly and Ruby who are very precious and precocious. Erika is Clementine's best friend from childhood and she and her husband Oliver are enduring IVF treatments. Vid and Tiffany are the neighbours of Erika and Oliver and have a little girl, dakota who is an avid reader. The BBQ in question took place at Vid's and Tiffany's place.

There is also a crotchety old fellow named Harry who lives next door to Vid and Tiffany and who plays an unexpected role.

The underlying theme of the story was guilt that came from simple, ordinary mistakes that we all make. This was a quiet page turner. By the end I felt that I was part of the circle and could feel a loss in ending the book.



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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Always By My Side by Edward Grinnan

Always by My Side: Life Lessons From Millie and All the Dogs I’ve LovedAlways by My Side: Life Lessons From Millie and All the Dogs I’ve Loved by Edward Grinnan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Thank you Net Galley for the opportunity to read this advance copy of this book. I enjoyed this book so much. We also have a golden retriever named Rusty who was a therapy dog but he is aging and is retired now. The book is a reminder to us of what will come soon.

Edward Grinnan has put together a memoir that was very tough to put down. Every page was filled with love, understanding and acceptance. He has looked below the surface of his animals and likes what he sees there. Edward and his wife Julee adore their dogs and have made their lives around them and their needs. Edward shares very openly of his struggle with alcohol and addiction and he shares his faith with us so generously.

The story is about Millie, a golden retriever that came into their lives as a puppy when their beloved dog Mattie died. And this leads us into the stories of each of their dogs.

Excellent read.

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Saturday, December 10, 2016

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Behind Closed DoorsBehind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Terrific story about a psychopath and his victim. Two sisters, one with Downs Syndrome, are taken in by a very charming and seemingly weathy lawyer. He marries the older of the two with the promise that after they are married, the younger girl would be given a home with them.

I would suggest that you not start this book unless you have enough time to just sit and read and finish it because you will not be able to put this page turner down. It is not filled with gore as the subject matter is mental abuse.

An excellent read and I am eagerly waiting for this author's next book.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sting by Sandra Brown

StingSting by Sandra Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Shaw Kinnard is an undercover FBI agent but Jordie Bennett doesn't know that. Her brother, who is a genius financial manager, has become involved with Panella who has bilked millions from innocent people.

An interesting and enjoyable story.



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Thursday, November 24, 2016

The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly

The Wrong Side of Goodbye (Harry Bosch, #21; Harry Bosch Universe, #24)The Wrong Side of Goodbye by Michael Connelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another winner by Michael Connelly. Harry Bosch is an aging but still vital detective who was forced into a retirement that he wasn't quite ready for. To use his time and talent, he is working as a volunteer and partnered with a female detective in the smaller area of San Franando in California. Here he comes upon one of the most horrific cases that he has seen in a long time.

His main work at the moment though is as a private investigator. He doesn't advertise his work although he is quite busy because the work seems to come to him.

An excellent read. I always enjoy Harry Bosch; a likeable and believable character. His daughter is growing and in university now but they are very close. I can feel great things ahead for Maddie.


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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Whistler by John Grisham

The WhistlerThe Whistler by John Grisham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another winner by John Grisham.

What happens when a judge is corrupt, takes bribes and fixes trials. You can bet your boots that someone will eventually notice. The Whistle Blower, a court reporter. The Florida Board on Judicial Conduct has been tipped off on the biggest case they will ever see.

John Grisham is at the top of my favourite writers. His stories have interesting characters that are well drawn. When new characters are introduced they are described thoroughly so you don't have to be guessing and trying to keep track of who is who. The stories are always interesting and make sense.

This is another winner.



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Friday, October 28, 2016

Review: The Tidal Zone

The Tidal Zone The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Adam is a stay at home dad whose wife is a doctor and they have two daughters. He is an excellent father and homemaker, but he does do some teaching at the university so he does get out of the house and earns what he calls his pin money.

The story opens with his oldest daughter, Miriam, having some kind of allergic reaction and needing CPR and reviving. This incident is his undoing. She spends a couple of weeks in the hospital enduring tests and when she returns home, he becomes afraid to leave her alone and guards her faithfully.

This was a very human story, with little story sidelines. If you like being involved in the nitty gritty, day to day trials of a family, this book will blow you away.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Review: The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amy Harris of Broken Wheel Iowa and Sara Lindvist of Sweden have been pen pals for years, having in common their love for books. Sara travels to the US to visit Amy but on the day she arrives discovers that Amy has died. Sara is set up in Amy's house and in time she decides to stay since there is nothing for her at home in Sweden.

Amy owned a huge number of books and so Sara decided that she should set up a book shop and sell the books.

A sweet, predictable story.

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review: Mean Streak

Mean Streak Mean Streak by Sandra Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great romance thriller by Sandra Brown. I listened to the audio of this book and it was excellent. A runner who is also a doctor has planned a run for charity and is in training. Her husband seems to have lost interest in accompanying her and so she goes off on her own. She wakes up later the next day with blood in her hair and in a strange cabin.

There are twists and turns and surprises in this story. Its a good one.

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Monday, October 3, 2016

Review: What alice forgot

What alice forgot What alice forgot by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alice is an efficient, 39 year old over achiever mother of three children. Her husband is a very successful businessman. Alice has a fall at the gym and bumps her head. When she regains consciousness, she has lost her memory of the last ten years and now believes that she is 29 years old and expecting her first child.

She discovers many things about her "mature" life that her "younger" self finds very hard to believe. Not the least of which is that she is separated from her husband and has lost her dearest friend in a terrible accident.

The story made me ask the question of myself. What was I doing ten years ago and how would I cope if that happened to me. Would it give me time to "fix" mistakes that I have made or make amends with people. The answer is, absolutely.

An excellent story and truly a "food for thought" reading experience.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Review: Us

Us Us by David Nicholls
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to the audio of this exceptional book. It starts with Connie and Douglas, a married couple and Connie telling him that she thinks she is going to leave him. This is out of the blue for him and especially more so since Connie has planned a month long trip to visit the capitals of Europe. They have a teenaged son named Albie who is planning on going off to college in the fall.

Regardless of Connie's announcement, they decide to go on their trip as planned as it will be the last family trip together seeing as how Albie will be out on his own very soon.

So the story begins. Douglas starts a thorough dissection of their whole life together, all the highs and lows right from the time that he met Connie. The story is intertwined with what is happening on their vacation and the trials and tribulations of being the parents of a teenager who is just starting to spread his wings.

I know that people have problems with them still going off on their holiday after the announcement from Connie and also allowing Albie to do everything he did and financing his misadventures. However, I felt it was a modern family situation.

I loved the locations around Europe where they visited. It did feel like I was there. My dream (at the moment) is to travel to Barcelona and the family stayed there while Douglas was having medical problems and it did inspire me.


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Sunday, September 25, 2016

Review: Homegoing

Homegoing Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I will say right up front that this is the best book that I have read in many years. The story begins with two girls, Effia and Esi who are born in Ghana in the 18th century. It is the story of their successors and sweeps through centuries up to present times.

Each chapter could be a book in itself as each character is given full attention. We come out of the immersion of the chapters feeling like we truly know each character personally.

Books of this subject, the slave trade in particular, dredge up almost every emotion that I have on my personal menu ranging from frustration, shame, hatred, humility, fear. I can count on two fingers the number of books that have moved me in this way.

The ending was phenomenal.


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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Review: The Girl From the Train

The Girl From the Train The Girl From the Train by Irma Joubert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a book that could knock your socks off. It was the kind of story that from the very beginning you were immersed in and it was very difficult to put down.

A full train is headed for Auschwitz when there is an explosion killing most aboard. A young six year old girl, Gretl, is thrown clear and found by Yakob, a 21 year old that was in the underground resistance movement in Poland. He takes her to his home and his family cares for her for four years, until he is told to take her to an orphanage as they don't have enough room or food to keep her.

Gretl is a very clever little girl and mature for her age. She seems to always make the best of her situation.

It was a book about the war but from a different perspective. A thoroughly enjoyable read.




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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Review: Voyager

Voyager Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an absolutely unputdownable third installment of the Outlander Series featuring Claire and Jamie Fraser. In this part of the series Claire discovers that Jamie didn't die at Coloden and she decides to return to the Scotland of the 1760's. It is a terrifying and painful experience to go through the stones to the past and Claire is quite sure that she will not be able to return.

Jamie and Claire's daughter, Brianna, is now grown enough, as Claire decides, to be on her own. Claire tells her everything and leaves as much information about their lives and heredity as she possibly can for her.

And so she sets off to find Jamie, twenty years after he made her go back in order to save herself and the unborn baby.

What follows is an absolutely gripping novel of suspense, intrigue, murder, mystery and love, not to
mention kidnapping and forces of evil.

How could you not give this book five stars. Absolutely incredible!

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Review: Did You Ever Have A Family

Did You Ever Have A Family Did You Ever Have A Family by Bill Clegg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beautifully written heartbreaking story. June has lost her whole family the day before her daughter's wedding. She is so overcome that she gets into her car and drives aimlessly. This story takes each person in her life and unfolds their story bit by bit.

Eventually she stops at a motel on the Pacific Ocean and settles into a form of twilight life.

An excellent read.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Review: Cocaine Blues

Cocaine Blues Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Hon. Miss Phryne Fisher solves crimes in London. An amateur, but very ambitious. She "collects"people as she goes because she is so kind and generous. There is nothing too good for the good people that she comes across.

One of her society friends has asked her to go to Australia and have a look at what might be happening to his daughter as she seemed very ill when she visited. So off she goes and in her travels finds a lot more than just an ailing wealthy lady.

A very good beginning to a new series that I would like to read more of.

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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Review: A Kiss Before Dying

A Kiss Before Dying A Kiss Before Dying by Ira Levin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This had everything you want in a murder/crime novel. A poor guy, just returning from the war, meets a girl from a wealthy family and decides this is what he wants. However, this girl is at odds with her father and his carefully planned scheme backfires. There are other daughters in this family!

This was a thoroughly enjoyable novel that kept you engaged right up to the very end. It was written in the early 1950's when forensics were still a dream and cell phones were completely out of the realm of thought. Smoking was still all the rage and it seemed that everyone did it and it was accepted everywhere.

I loved this book and I would love to ask Ira Levin what made him portray all the females as completely and utterly unintelligent. Every woman fell for this guy's line, but then again, I guess that is what made the story so fascinating. He was a ladies' man.

A great read.




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Review: Labor Day

Labor Day Labor Day by Joyce Maynard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am giving this book five stars because I thoroughly enjoyed it and I loved the writing.

A lonely young boy, Henry and his sad mother, Adele are shopping one day when a man who is bleeding asks the boy to give him a lift home. The man is an escaped prisoner who had jumped out of the hospital window after an appendectomy.

He stays with the family for six days over the Labour Day weekend. During this time he tells the story of his life and wins Henry's and Adele's hearts.

A wonderful story and I especially loved the last few chapters in this book.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Review: The Pearl that Broke Its Shell

The Pearl that Broke Its Shell The Pearl that Broke Its Shell by Nadia Hashimi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a well written story paralleling The lives of Rahima in 2007 and Shekiba a century earlier. It is basically accountings of the day to day lives of females in Afghanistan. It is an extremely sad story and knowing that it is the truth of the way that girls are treated is beyond unthinkable. You keep thinking that things will improve for the girls but with each chapter things seem to worsen. I have had my fill now of this topic.



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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review: Ice Blue

Ice Blue Ice Blue by Emma Jameson
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

A modern story about Scotland Yard, one of my favourite topics. We start off with an extremely gruesome murder of one of the "elite". The story draws lines between the upper and lower crust of society to the point in some cases as mockery.

The characters of Scotland Yard are very likeable and that is what gives this story its strength.

The main players that I refer to are, Anthony Hetheridge, the 9th Baron of Wellegrave, and Chief Superintendent at Scotland Yard. DS Kate Wakefield is a young detective and DS paul Bhar is also on their team.

This would be considered a cosy mystery and if so I found it delightful. A very good read.



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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Review: The Golden Son

The Golden Son The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderful story and wonderful writing. This is the story of Anil, the son of a fairly well to do family in India who wants to become a doctor. He achieves an internship in Dallas in the US leaving behind everything he knows and his parents, three brothers and his sister.

I love stories that teach us things about the customs and ways of people in other countries. Anil returns to the bosom of his family as often as he can and it occurred to me that the first generation from anywhere must lead double lives. They have left behind everything they know and must learn everything in to their adopted lands in order to get along and blend in.

An excellent read.

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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Review: Fool Me Once

Fool Me Once Fool Me Once by Harlan Coben
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great novel by Harlan Coben. I always have a feeling of coming home when I read one of his novels or even a feeling of talking to a good friend. I like how it just gets right into the story. The characters, if not always loveable, are always understandable.

In this story, Maya is an ex army helicopter pilot who is now a flight teacher. She has a two year old daughter and her husband was murdered two weeks ago. Her sister had also been murdered a few months previously.

Maya takes us on a roller coaster of suspense as she tries to discover the reason for her sister's murder.

A thoroughly enjoyable read.

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Review: My Name is Lucy Barton

My Name is Lucy Barton My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lucy Barton is a writer. Her story starts as a "sort of" journal that she started as she was confined to the hospital for nine weeks due to a complicated surgery. During that time she receives a visit from her estranged mother and they were able to make a peace with each other.

Her story is very emotional making you actually believe that Elizabeth Strout must have herself endured poverty and abuse. The relationships of life are examined; parents, siblings, relatives, husbands, children and friends. The writing is a gentle matter of fact.

There was always a "thing", her words, in her background. Was it abuse? The reader is left to accept that theory or puzzle further.

The ending may have been a bit of a letdown, but then again, whose lives end on big highs.

A thoroughly engrossing read.

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

Review: Lilac Girls

Lilac Girls Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book IMO should be on everyone's compulsory reading list. Its an incredible first book for this author and it brought to life the events of Ravensbruck prison for women and the holocost. I had never heard of Caroline Ferriday and all her good works, but just saying good works is putting it far too mildly. She worked tirelessly it seems, during her whole life to help anyone and everyone.

The story is based on two Polish sisters, one a doctor, a German female doctor and an American socialite. But it is much more than that and I can only say "read this book".

As an aside, the term lilac girls meaning, I believe, is meant to mean that it blooms only after a very hard winter.



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Friday, July 8, 2016

Review: The Body in the Library

The Body in the Library The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Another Miss Marple mystery. Two young girls have been murdered and Miss Marple just seems to know who the murderer is and the motive. In the end she had everything just pat. It was really a bit too pat for my liking.
An enjoyable read.


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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin

Nora WebsterNora Webster by Colm Tóibín
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I wanted to like this book but just couldn't get into it.

A widow in Ireland with four children is getting back on her feet. The story was good but it began to feel like a long ramble and the characters just were not interesting.

In many ways though I did think that it was very true as to what life would be for a widow as young as Nora.



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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review: Spare Change

Spare Change Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ethan Allen was a boy that was so unwanted by his parents that his mother couldn't even bother giving him a proper name and called him the name of a furniture store. She fancied herself a singer and spent most of her life planning on leaving for New York to start a stage career.

Her marriage was extremely rocky and she had a roving eye. This would be her undoing.

Ethan Allen saw and endured much more than a child should ever have to. Between fights, plans for trips to New York and affairs, this story will tug at your heart. The characters are well drawn and likeable for the most part.

Even though the story was somewhat predictable, it was interesting and thoughtful.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Review: After You

After You After You by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Louisa Clark is grieving for Will Traynor. She loved him deeply, but I think the love she felt was deeper than romantic love and how do you move on when you were so close to someone who had made the decisions that he had made.

After Will died, Louisa wondered for several months in Paris and was basically just hanging on by a thread. She finally returned to England and bought a condo in London with the inheritance that Will left her and lands a job in a bar at the airport. Will wanted her to "just live".

Louisa is just going through the motions, drinking too much, not eating properly and just barely living when a terrible accident happens to her and new people come into her life and everything changes.

I loved the first book in the series, Me Before You, and was a bit nervous to read this one. I shouldn't have been worried because this was excellent. Moving on is not an easy task. Louisa had faced a very upsetting episode with Will in the first book and she was a very sensitive person with a history of her own. Will was the one that brought her out of her shell and gave her confidence. How could she let him go! She had wanted him to live.

A great read and especially for anyone who has lost someone. A helpful reminder that we must all "move on".

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Review: Memory House

Memory House Memory House by Bette Lee Crosby
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three and a half stars. This was a shorter story. If you read the notes from the author at the end you will see that the memories come from characters in her other novels. I have read most of them. The stories are longer and more involved and IMO, very good.

I am not sure if I am a fan of the "memory" of an article as described in the book, but it was an interesting concept and the story came together quite well, albeit predictably. It was lovely to visit Ethan Allen again and to see the path his life had taken.

I would definitely recommend reading Spare Change at the very least before reading this book.

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Review: Mrs. Mike

Mrs. Mike Mrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When 16 year old Katherine is sent to stay with her uncle in order to improve her health, she meets, falls in love with and marries Mike Flannigan, a Royal Canadian Mountie. These are very hard times in the early 1900's in Alberta, but Katherine does manage to learn how to survive. Her lung problems improve, probably due to the clean air, exercise and plain food.

This is a love story with all its ups and downs, joy, and heartbreak, and loss. I love reading about how the settlers and Indians survived and took care of each other.

It wasn't until I had almost finished this book that I realized that I was reading non fiction. This made the book more dear to me.

An excellent read.

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Review: The Murder at the Vicarage

The Murder at the Vicarage The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was my first Miss Marple mystery. It was very enjoyable to be able to try to solve the mystery along with Miss Marple, the detectives and the vicar. Agatha Christie lays out the details and clues very clearly.

Miss Marple spends a lot of time in her garden and is able to make observations of the inhabitants of the village. She notices pretty much everything, and especially the little things that others overlook.

Her keen observations lead to logical deductions lead to solving mysteries.

A thoroughly enjoyable read.

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Review: The Street

The Street The Street by Ann Petry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the story of Lutie Johnson and her son Bub. They are African Americans living in Harlem, probably sometime in the forties. The characters in this story were extremely well drawn, to the point that you, as the reader, could feel that you were those people and lived where they lived and could smell the street and see the garbage and corruption.

Lutie worked and studied very hard in order to try to pull them up out of poverty, but life was against her. African American men were refused jobs that paid a decent wage and the women had to work at menial jobs to support them. The men couldn't take it that their wives did all the working, so eventually marriages broke up. This was just the way it was.

Lutie tried to rise up out of that environment. She had dreams of singing and being able to provide properly for Bub, but the rich bosses had all the say.

This book is not a thriller, a murder or anything that could be considered high drama. Its just a very honest, day by day account of the life of one girl and her son. It is one of the best insightful books that I have read and would recommend this to anyone wishing to learn more about the history of the people of the Americas.



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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Review: The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party

The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another winner from this author. Grace Makutsi finally marries her Phuti. Mma Potokwane takes over the preparations for the wedding and Precious gets her beloved white van back. Charlie, on the other hand, discovers that he has twins to support.

This is such a comfortable series to read that it always feel like coming home to a nice warm place with cocoa and cookies.





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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Review: The Double Comfort Safari Club

The Double Comfort Safari Club The Double Comfort Safari Club by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is such a comfortable, loving series. Each new book is like a gem and a feeling of coming home. In this episode the ladies have to make a trip north to a safari camp searching for a guide who has been left some money by an American lady who he was very kind to on her trip some years before. There are dangers involved during this trip, facing down lions, sleeping on floor mats, and travelling on the infested waters.

Mma Makutski's fiancé has an accident and his aunt becomes very hard to deal with forcing Precious and her friend from the orphan farm take matters into their own hands.



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Sunday, April 17, 2016

Review: Tea Time for the Traditionally Built

Tea Time for the Traditionally Built Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Continuing in the lives at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, the ladies have some increasingly difficult cases to solve. A football team of their town, Gabarone, is on a very bad losing streak and the owner would like to know the reason for this. The office assistant's fiancé has hired a floozy to sell beds, but she is actually an enemy of Grace's and we see the end of the lovely little van that is so loved by Precious.

A very fun, comfortable, homey read.

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: The Miracle at Speedy Motors

The Miracle at Speedy Motors The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Continuing life in Botswana and the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency things are moving smoothly for the assistant detective. Her fiancé has bought a new bed for them and had it delivered to her house. Unfortunately, the bed couldn't fit through the door.

Precious finds herself in problems over a mistaken identity and her husband very unselfishly takes their adopted handicapped daughter to a very expensive clinic in Johannesburg.

Charlie appears to be maturing and settling down.

Such enjoyable stories and cases in the everyday life of the agency. Each book makes you feel like you are coming home. I love the polite culture; the way they always refer to each other as Mr. or Mrs. They don't call people fat, but rather traditionally built. People are not dead, they are late. They always use the most polite terms and traditional ways for everything.

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Review: The Good Husband of Zebra Drive

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This remains the most charming series that I have read. Not only are there interesting little stories inside the stories, there are also reminders of lessons we have learned in the past.

In this episode we see the saying that if you love something, set if free. If it comes back, its yours, put into actual practice. The couple are both faced with having to let go of their employees and not in the greatest of circumstances. But their integrity is of the finest level and both are able to handle these things in just the right way.

We are getting a glimpse at the new side of the assistant detective, now associate detective and I looking forward to seeing how her life will develop now that she is engaged to a successful businessman.





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Monday, April 4, 2016

Review: Blue Shoes and Happiness

Blue Shoes and Happiness Blue Shoes and Happiness by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

The two ladies continue to work in the detective agency and have added another part time assistant, a fellow that they inadvertently ran into while he was riding his bicycle. He also helps in the garage with minor mechanical repairs and does pick ups and deliveries.

Some of the detective jobs are a bit tricky and Precious is able to solve several mysteries with one blow.

Things are thriving and with the exception of one very tense time when Mma Makutsi accidentally made a comment to her fiance that seemed to have caused him some second thoughts.

These books are so comforting and with a feeling of home. It is hard to put down and you are always looking forward to starting the next in the series.

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Sunday, April 3, 2016

Review: In the Company of Cheerful Ladies

In the Company of Cheerful Ladies In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every day life continues at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and the garage. Precious runs into a complication regarding her first husband and their apprentice, Charlie does a runner.

This is such a heartwarming and calming series that it is hard to put down and continuously looking forward to the next novel. It is a reminder that we must live every day to its fullest and take everything as it comes.

I am off to start the next installment.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Review: The Full Cupboard of Life

The Full Cupboard of Life The Full Cupboard of Life by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another winning story. Life at the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency keeps on rolling along. Now the assistant has her own thriving little business teaching typing to men in the evenings. Precious has a few cases that she is finding interesting, and the manager of the orphan farm is throwing her weight around and trying to get donations for her children.

Just a great series. It has kept the cold and horrible weather outside and a nice warm feeling for reading these stories inside.



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Monday, March 28, 2016

Review: The Kalahari Typing School for Men

The Kalahari Typing School for Men The Kalahari Typing School for Men by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this episode of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Precious has to face down a new competition and also unravel a very sensitive issue involving her assistant detective.

No wedding is in sight for Precious as yet and the apprentices are back to being extremely prone to the girls, although the younger one did spend some time being "saved", his natural instincts have returned.

The orphans are settling into a routine and Precious does her best to do what is right for them.

This is a thoroughly addictive series. When one volume is finished, you look forward to starting the next one. It feels like coming home, although Africa is a very strange place for me. Botswana feels right with its politeness and considerations for others.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Review: Far From True

Far From True Far From True by Linwood Barclay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another terrific book by Linwood Barclay. It continues with the happenings in promise Falls and what an exciting episode this is.

Who is the killer/s? What are their motives? A cliffhanger and now we wait for the final episodes.

A thoroughly enjoyable read. Sitting with a Linwood Barclay novel is like a trip to the comfort of home.

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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Review: Morality for Beautiful Girls

Morality for Beautiful Girls Morality for Beautiful Girls by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The two ladies continue to operate the detective agency, but now Precious' fiance is not well. She decides that her secretary will take charge of the garage while he recovers from a terrible bout of depression. Meanwhile there are many important detecting assignments to take care of, but the ladies are "up for it".

This is the third book in the series and a thoroughly enjoyable read. when I open one of these books it feels so comfortable, just like coming home.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Review: Harry's Last Stand: How the world my generation built is falling down, and what we can do to save it

Harry's Last Stand: How the world my generation built is falling down, and what we can do to save it Harry's Last Stand: How the world my generation built is falling down, and what we can do to save it by Harry Leslie Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is a mixture of memoir and politics and very well written. I believe it should be compulsory for everyone to read and study this.

Harry's descriptions of life when he was young were horrific and I think we can all say that we would not want that to happen to anyone, ever. But it is happening and Harry has the understanding of the why and how, and the perspective to be able to stand back and watch the pieces fall, once again, as they did in his youth.

An excellent read.

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Saturday, March 5, 2016

Review: Tears of the Giraffe

Tears of the Giraffe Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a lovely, refreshing story. This is a continuation of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Now Precious is engaged to a mechanic who owns his own garage. She has now promoted her secretary to assistant detective and she is doing some great work on her own.

There are also some new additions to the family that are sweet and charming.

As usual, a wonderful read with many human, heartwarming stories.

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Review: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A simply written, beautiful story about a lady, Precious Ramotswe, who opens a detective agency with money that she inherited from her father. She was his only child and he wanted her to open a business for herself, but she decided on the detective agency.

Her little part of Botswana in Africa is her pride and she is very successful in her escapades with many different types of detecting jobs.

A thoroughly enjoyable read. It is the first in a series and I will be looking for and reading the next books in the series.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Review: Leaving Time

Leaving Time Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Alice is an elephant researcher who goes missing for several years after a horrific incident at the sanctuary. Eventually her 13 year old daughter goes looking for her with the help of a PI and a psychic. There is a lot of information about elephants, which is very interesting and with the mystery added in, the story was readable.



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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Review: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I loved the first 15 or so percent of this book with its lush descriptions of Savannah. So good were they that you could feel and smell it. As the story went on though, it became (to me) a series of small episodes which didn't seem to frame a story.

It didn't grab my attention the way I had wanted it to.

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Monday, February 8, 2016

Review: Cracks in the Sidewalk

Cracks in the Sidewalk Cracks in the Sidewalk by Bette Lee Crosby
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Get your box of kleenex out for this read. A young mother has two children and expecting a third when she becomes ill with a terminal brain tumor. This leaves a young father to cope with the children and he is not equipped emotionally, or any other way for it.

The grandparents are left to cope with their loss of their daughter on their own, without the help and support of their son in law and his children.

A very good story that I did enjoy, but I leave a warning along with my recommendation, that you will be very sad while reading this book.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Review: Simon Ships Out A heroic cat at sea. Based on a true story

Simon Ships Out A heroic cat at sea. Based on a true story Simon Ships Out A heroic cat at sea. Based on a true story by Jacky Donovan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A wonderful true story about Simon, a heroic little cat who was found by a sailor and smuggled aboard a ship, The Amethyst, that was seeing active duty. While under heavy fire from the communist Chinese, the ship ran aground and was stranded for 101 days.

The story is told from the perspective of the cat and you really feel that you are right there on the ship right along with him.

This is a good and descriptive story of a battleship at war and a wonderful story for cat lovers. Highly recommended.

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Review: The Alice Network

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn My rating: 5 of 5 stars In an enthralling new historical novel from nati...