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Jul 17, 2013

For: Christine Falls

Great New Series

Wow. What a way to start this great new series penned by Booker Prize winner, John Banville. A corpse, rich people with secrets, a web of criss-crossed relationships, and Quirke, our hero-pathologist, wedged in the middle and wiggling his way free. Deftly crafted, rhapsodic reading, and all at a page-turning pace. Start reading...

Published by: Maxwell

Dec 8, 2015

For: The promise: an elvis cole and joe pike novel

Worth the wait

Not sure why, but the ship date on this book was delayed for months. I'd already been very anxiously awaiting it. As is typical with Crais' novels, I devoured the book, in less than 48 hours. I might have been quicker, but I had a couple of unbreakable commitments. Cole and Pike novels set a bristling, pants-on-fire pace, with interesting characters, and pretzel-like plot lines. In this book, he brought in K-9 officer Scott James, and his dog, Maggie, who had been in a couple other Crais novels. It just added to my enjoyment of this novel. Now, unfortunately, I'll have to semi-patiently wait for the next book. Hopefully, it won't take as long as this one did.

Published by: Acur81

May 29, 2012

For: The four agreements : a practical guide to persona...

Indeed, Life Changing

I actually gave my only copy to a friend and now I am checking it out and making my daughter read it. Although the rules are nothing new, they are things that we tend to forget because we get caught up in the "daily life" that slowly kills us and our dreams. This book reminds me that I can only control myself and no one else; however, if I allow it, I can give up my own power to someone else (even scarier to think a complete stranger). I highly recommend it! You will have nothing to lose but all [XBR] those negative thoughts and agreements that have cluttered your life!

Published by: SecretReader

Dec 30, 2014

For: Blue labyrinth

Blue Labyrinth

Just when you think there's not much more to mine from the life of enigmatic Special Agent Pendergast, Lincoln & Child come up with yet another riveting thriller, involving the agent, with the rather macabre family history. With the chilling, fast-paced style, to which we've become accustomed, I read this book in just a few sittings. It was that hard to put down. I won't spoil the book for you, but it does involve his evil twin son, Alban, and an incident from the past, involving a family member. If you haven't read any of the previous 13 novels, and you like thrillers, start with "The Relic", and you won't be disappointed.

Published by: Acur81

Feb 24, 2015

For: Dreaming Spies: A Novel of Suspense Featuring Mary...

Excellent mystery

It's been three years, since Ms King's last "Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes" novel, and I had been worried that there might not be more. That worry, like any worry, was useless. Ms King came back with one of the best of the series. Her writing style dovetails so well with Conan Doyle, yet updates it to the later era. Her feel for the 1920's is so good, that you really feel like "You Are There"(for those of you old enough to remember the Cronkite series). BTW, if you enjoy the "Russell" series, for the depiction of the era, you should read her "Harris Stuyvesant" series, set in Europe, in the same era, about an American ex-FBI agent. It's very good also. Anyway, this book, with the usual plot twists, great characters, and excellent pace, might just tempt you to stay up until you finish it. Without giving away anything, it includes ocean [XBR] travel, blackmail, the emperor of Japan, rural Japanese life, and ninjas. The last item alone should be enough to pique your curiosity. If you've read the rest of the series, check this out as soon as possible. If not, shame on you! No, seriously, go and get "The Beekeeper's Apprentice", which is the first of the series. You won't regret it.

Published by: Acur81

Nov 4, 2019

For: Legacy

AGHHHHH

SOKEEFE ALL THE WAY!!! I'm rereading them all in the same WEEK it is coming out. We love you Shannon Messenger!

Published by: Slightly_Nerdy

Nov 26, 2012

For: Mildred pierce [videorecording].

Mildred Pierce [DVD]

This is one of the best television "miniseries" I've ever seen. I've always admired the Joan Crawford feature film version of MILDRED, but this "fleshed out" revival is splendid on all counts. Kate Winslet is magnificent. You will be thoroughly engrossed and greatly entertained.

Published by: KateUU

May 16, 2016

For: The Apartment

The Apartment

I completely agree with the previous reviewer-Grading this novel at 2. I also love Danielle Steel, but her older works, only. Which are many and some are brilliantly written ! "The Apartment" is not one of them. It's not bad, but is very plain and shallow, not insteresting and not exciting either. I didn't rush back to finish reading it. And, yes, it has grammatical and stylistical mistakes, which I cannot stand at all.

Published by: welleducated

Jan 4, 2018

For: Wonder / by R J Palacio

Not an Inspiration as It Claims to Be

It's interesting that I had just finished reading Brian Selznick's 2011 novel "Wonderstruck" before picking up this book. Both had film adaptations released in the fall of 2017, so I decided to read the source material that inspired their visual counterpoint prior to release. But the coincidences don't stop there. Both were published within a year of each other, consisting of the word "wonder" in their title, featuring multiple viewpoints of characters overcoming society with their exceptional abilities, and contain reference to David Bowie's "Space Oddity". The difference is how well one story was executed and how poorly the other was. "Wonderstruck" limited the narrative to two characters and was consistent with switching back and forth between the two timelines, the research into appropriately representing the characters deafness and Deaf culture was evident, and pop culture references were very minimal— tying Bowie's song to the heart of the story. "Wonder", on the other hand, had the opposite feel when tackling these points. The narrative juggled between six characters and switched around in a very jarring way. As soon as the reader would get used to one viewpoint, it would change to someone else. In particular, (START SPOILER) Justin, whose passage is written without any formal grammar or punctuation, was explained by the author as a "running monologue inside his head has no time for capital letters or punctuation: it’s like his thoughts are streaming inside his mind" because he is a musician and that the "notes on a musical staff looked a little like lowercase letters of the alphabet". I too studied music in my education, however I did not and do not share the same thought process as the author did. The fact that I had to search for R.J. Palacio's FAQ for an explanation as to why Justin's part was written the way it was does not make for good reflection on Palacio's writing, or at least writing for this book. Though while the book went along with multiple point of views, I came to expect there would be a section told by Julian, who comes the closest to being the main antagonist. His story would have added an interesting, colorful dynamic, delving into why he treated our main character, August "Auggie" Pullman the way that he did. Palacio explained in the same FAQ page that Julian's story did not affect Auggie's and therefore did not add or progress the plot at all. His involvement in the conclusion is very open-ended and unresolved, and the precept he sent to Mr. Browne, "Sometimes it's good to start over", while the most intriguing of all the precepts the students sent in, was left unexplained. It particularly upset me that Palacio's short story, "The Julian Chapter" is EXACTLY what I had wanted in "Wonder"! It answered all of my questions that I had revolving around Julian's involvement in the novel, and it was well-written and emotionally moving! More thoughts on this will be covered in review specifically for this short story, but to say that Julian didn't "undergo a change" and "could never enhance Auggie’s storyline the way [...] a relatively minor character like Justin’s does" is completely disagreeable. Conversations between Auggie and his friend, Jack via e-mail or text message felt out of place, as it was the only section that used this format. In the short story mentioned above had a better use of it, as the letters and e-mail messages flowed with the character's actions advanced the plot. Here in "Wonder", did not contribute much to continuing the story. (END SPOILER) The book could not go on more than a page without being hit by two to five pop culture references. Its title is borrowed from Natalie Merchant's 1995 single, "Wonder", completely understandable how a writer could be inspired by another form of art, but the other quotes feel thrown in there as a cheap attempt to be motivational and weakly connected to the story, and inconsistently change from being a song lyric to book quote to film line. This arrhythmic format influenced the overall book's complicated structure, making it difficult what to expect from the text. Auggie's condition is not fully and clearly explained. In a 2012 interview with UK's "The Telegraph", it is reported that, "She did not consult doctors regarding Auggie's medical condition, instead researching syndromes on the internet and watching documentaries, but anyway, she says, 'I didn't want to make it specifically any syndrome – I think it's almost unimportant.'" I disagree, as specifying could really help give more awareness to a particular demographic. In the end, I learned nothing about Treacher Collins syndrome from this book, or how it reflects on individuals living with this condition. But even putting specifics aside, I still did not believe that Auggie or the people around him learn how to overcome bullying and embrace tolerance. The plot is overall not quite original either, as it is similar on the surface to the 1985 biographical drama film, "Mask" about Roy L. Dennis (portrayed by Eric Stoltz) and his condition with craniodiaphyseal dysplasia. Moreover, it feels very insensitive to those with Treacher Collins syndrome, or any kind of atypical condition. Its positive message is very shallow. As good intentions may go— Palacio used this story as a vehicle to promote something positive, but the underlying impression is that a perfectly-abled person believes that they're a godsend for those with "disabilities" by writing this book, but in reality has not served true support for these community groups.

Published by: The Unicorn

May 29, 2013

For: Middlemarch

A Gentle But Highly Satisfying Tale

What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?This is a gentle tale of many courtships and marriages, of the relationships in community (as we can tell from the subtitle "A Study of Provincial Life"), and above all of how our actions affect others.People glorify all sorts of bravery except the bravery they might show on behalf of their nearest neighbors.At about page 600 the story threads suddenly intertwined at a highly accelerated pace and I was fraught with anxiety for Mr. Bulstrode, then for Dr. Lydgate, and at last realized how much Dorothea's suffering had matured her. It made for a highly satisfying ending which was capped by Eliot's final summing up of everyone's lives.People are almost always better than their neighbors think they are.Throughout Eliot, as omniscient narrator, drops gentle observation appropriate to the story which are also appropriate to [XBR] our lives in general.Blameless people are always the most exasperating.I cannot possibly share enough of them, or the plot in general, to do this book justice. You must simply try it for yourself.

Published by: Julie D.