For many years I considered Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" to be one of those many required readings from high school that was meant to be tediouFor many years I considered Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" to be one of those many required readings from high school that was meant to be tediously plowed through. Was I ever wrong! While the language is more proper and formal than what we are used to today, and certainly the customs and arrangements are very different, P&P is in many ways a simply timeless love story about two people who seemingly dislike each other at first sight, but who are truly so right for one another. A century or two will not diminish this romance! At the heart of the story is the Bennet family, a family that has been "cursed" with five daughters and no sons to inherit the family's home and estate - - lovely, softspoken oldest daughter Jane, spunky and spirited Elizabeth, bookish, serious, almost dour Mary, silly, giggly Kitty and flirty, precocious and spoiled Lydia. Mrs. Bennet's sole consideration and worry in life seems to be finding appropriate husbands for her daughters, mostly so that once Mr. Bennet dies, she shouldn't be kicked out of her home with nowhere to go. It will quickly become apparent to the reader that Mrs. Bennet's favorite child is Lydia, mostly because Lydia seems the closest reflection to Mrs. Bennet's character herself. Into this story comes the Bingley and Darcy families - - sweet, good natured Charles, who quickly falls in love with Jane, his critical, judgmental sister Caroline, who secretly yearns for marriage to Charles' best friend, Mr. Darcy, who seems uninterested in the entire endeavor. As with most romance stories, the road to true love is a bumpy one. Mr. Darcy, although obviously finding Elizabeth attractive, feels that her station in life is beneath his. Elizabeth finds his pride and aloofness infuriating. Jane and Mr. Bingley, although in love, are torn apart by his sister, who believes that a marriage to one of the Bennet girls would be most unfortunate for her family. Add the arrival of Mr. Bennet's cousin, Mr. Collins, who as the next male of kin will inherit the Bennet home - - and his frantic search for a bride and Mrs. Bennet's efforts to assist him; Elizabeth's dear friend Charlotte, a spinster of twenty-seven who accepts what life has offered her and makes some difficult choices of her own, in order that she might be merely content with her arrangements; Mr. Darcy's haughty aunt, and Mr. Collins' benefactress, Lady Catherine De Burgh, who has serious aspirations of her own to make Mr. Darcy her daughter's husband; the seductive Wickham, who shares a secret past with the Darcy family and catches the impressive Lydia's eye, nearly bringing downfall to the Bennet family. All in all, this was an incredibly satisfying story on all fronts - - a rich character study, an earnest romance, and comedy. The ending seemed almost rushed and an afterthought - - but perhaps because I had fallen in love with the stories and characters, I simply did not want P&P to end. Highly recommended. ...more
I wanted to like this book. I love the theory of time travel and the plot of this book sounded solid. And it sure could have been. But after the firstI wanted to like this book. I love the theory of time travel and the plot of this book sounded solid. And it sure could have been. But after the first 100 pages or so, the book lost me (and I did finish it). I just didn't connect with Henry or Clare, much as I wanted to. And the story (and characters) didn't stay with me after I finished the book.
All in all, I was disappointed after hearing so much about this book. I would recommend "Somewhere in Time" by Richard Matheson instead (or the wonderful movie based on the book) if you're looking for time travel romance. Give this book a pass. ...more
I have been a fan and supporter of Sylvia Browne for years and have picked up almost every book of hers. When I lost my beloved cat suddenly, within aI have been a fan and supporter of Sylvia Browne for years and have picked up almost every book of hers. When I lost my beloved cat suddenly, within a week I headed to the bookstore to pick up this book. I knew from some of her writings in other books what our beloved furbabies go home to, but I really wanted the additional comfort of a book devoted just to that subject. I knew, before purchasing the book, that it was designed as more of a picture book, although it is hardly just for children. The pictures are beautiful and although I finished the text and book itself in probably ten minutes, I found myself crying tears of relief and even joy at reading of the happiness, security and health that my precious furbaby now had. Anyone who has lost a beloved pet should read these inspiring words - - and feel the immense relief of knowing that yes, we will see our sweet babies again and they will be restored to full health and gloriously happy. And while this book is absolutely wonderful for children, adults will benefit as well. A definite keeper in my library. Five stars, all the way. ...more
"Before He Wakes" is a frightening tale of sleeping with a monster and a bit of a cautionary tale. Barbara Stager - - devoted wife, loving mother, chu"Before He Wakes" is a frightening tale of sleeping with a monster and a bit of a cautionary tale. Barbara Stager - - devoted wife, loving mother, churchgoer, obedient daughter or cold blooded murderer? If you believe this book, not to mention the State of North Carolina and good, basic common sense, she is nothing more than a cold blooded murderer, masquerading as the devoted wife, loving mother, churchgoer and obedient daughter. This book is an in-depth profile of a female sociopath. There are many true crime books on the market disecting the male sociopath but female sociopaths are more fascinating, perhaps, because there are fewer of them. Jerry Bledsoe's writing is strong, the story is too bizare for fiction and the characters come to life. In reading this tale, my heart bleeds for both Larry Ford's and Russ Stager's families, just as much victims of Barbara's as her husbands were. So self-absorbed, indulged and without conscience was she that she thought nothing of putting bullets in her husbands' sleeping bodies so that she might collect the insurance money. Pure evil. Definitely a good read - - and will make you think twice about the person you sleep next to! ...more
Ignore the many grammatical and typographical errors and go for the substance in this book.
Tells the case of the MacDonald murders (perhaps better knIgnore the many grammatical and typographical errors and go for the substance in this book.
Tells the case of the MacDonald murders (perhaps better known as the Fatal Vision case), with a bit more insight into the victims than the well-done "Fatal Vision" was able to produce. Also with a bit more insight into MacDonald and events that have occurred since "Fatal Vision" was originally published in the 80s.
Ms. Masewicz was a MacDonald supporter and attended the 1979 trial, which left her with many doubts and questions. This book also contains the entirety of the Article 32 transcript, which may have sunk MacDonald and his story, without the multitude of physical evidence. Convinced me 100% of MacDonald's guilt and I had been a doubter. Highly recommend. ...more
Ann Rule's "The Stranger Beside Me" is probably the most frightening of all the accounts of Ted Bundy's murderous career. Why? Because Rule was a formAnn Rule's "The Stranger Beside Me" is probably the most frightening of all the accounts of Ted Bundy's murderous career. Why? Because Rule was a former policewoman, she considered Ted Bundy a co-worker and friend and never saw the sociopathic personality lurking behind his charming facade. As a society, I think we want to believe that we can easily spot those Bundys, Dahmers, Gacys . . . and Rule's book emphasizes the fact that we cannot. Those monsters blend in sometimes seamlessly with the rest of us. Rule's book does a huge service to Bundy's victims by recognizing them as more than just "Bundy victims". Reading about their dreams, their goals and their daily lives makes the horror of their deaths sting even more. Rule's sadness over the story comes through in nearly every page - - sadness at the loss of lives and sadness over what Bundy's life could have been and what he could have offered had he not been so consumed by murder. Having known Bundy before he became infamous as a serial killer, Rule gives insight into Bundy's personality and character, from his childhood, through his adolescence into his political and legal aspirations, all the while fostering a murderous rage toward women. An insightful book, one that makes you check and doublecheck your windows and doors and pray that you never cross the path of someone like Bundy. Definitely one of Rule's best books. Highly recommended. ...more
Perhaps nothing is more frightening or fascinating than the female sociopath and maybe that's partly why this book is so intriguing and such a true crPerhaps nothing is more frightening or fascinating than the female sociopath and maybe that's partly why this book is so intriguing and such a true crime classic (or should be!) In May of 1983, young divorced mother of three Diane Downs shows up at an Oregon ER with her three children. All of them have been shot, by a bushy haired stranger that Diane ostensibly stopped to help. Certainly shocking enough to think that anyone would shoot three young children, but investigation into the incident unravels the tangled life of Diane, a woman who alleges childhood abuse at the hand of her father, physical and verbal abuse from her ex-husband, promiscuous behavior and an obsession with a married lover who had no intentions of leaving his wife, nor of becoming a father to her three children. Diane's solution to her dilemma - - sacrifice her three children on the altar of her married boyfriend, making it look as though some crazy stranger had accosted them. Ann Rule doesn't have the title Queen of True Crime Writers for nothing and this book is superlative. The story moves along quickly, it doesn't get bogged down in the legal aspects of Diane's arrest and eventual trial, or the psychological detail of Diane. Ms. Rule's portrayal of Diane is frightening - - a child/woman who would cold-bloodedly attempt to murder her children in order to have one man, and then unhestitatingly sleep with another man in order to impregnate herself with a child to replace a dead one. Highly recommended. ...more
Ann Rule's "If You Really Loved Me" is the sad, sick, twisted story of David Brown, who loved power, prestige and money so much that he was willing toAnn Rule's "If You Really Loved Me" is the sad, sick, twisted story of David Brown, who loved power, prestige and money so much that he was willing to manipulate his teenage daughter into killing his young wife, in order that he might collect insurance money on his dead wife, buy a nicer, larger home and conveniently marry HER younger sister (his sister-in-law). David Brown has got to be one of the most despicable individuals Ms. Rule has ever written about - - not only did he instigate the murder of his wife (whom he had been involved with since she was a young teenager) but his original plan had his daughter dying from a "suicide" after the crime, he molested his wife's younger sister for years, before marrying her to insure her silence and thought nothing of leaving his baby daughter by his murdered wife without a mother. That's not even mentioning his complete denial of his child by his wife's younger sister. This book excellently reports the crime, the investigation, probes David Brown's background and the eventual trial. A real gem for true crime buffs, it's Ann Rule at her best. ...more
"Everything She Ever Wanted" by Ann Rule is the true story of Patricia Vann Radcliffe Taylor Allanson, a Georgia woman who envisioned herself as a mod"Everything She Ever Wanted" by Ann Rule is the true story of Patricia Vann Radcliffe Taylor Allanson, a Georgia woman who envisioned herself as a modern day Scarlett O'Hara and systematically tore anyone and everyone down who stood in her way of that fantasy. Ms. Rule does an excellent job of researching Pat's childhood as a spoiled and selfish little girl who was coddled constantly by her family, who aged to become a spoiled and self-centered adult who never really truly grew up. Reading about her childhood and the complete lack of boundaries she had, while her family continually fawned over her and found no wrong with absolutely anything she did, had me angered and annoyed. Could fate have been changed if her parents had put their foot down with her? We will never know. Pat's brother ended up a suicide; her mother and father in law murdered; her husband's grandparents poisoned; an elderly employer poisoned; even her own daughter was poisoned. During it all Pat hid behind her frail, helpless female exterior, conveniently fainting when confronted with anything unpleasant, and keeping the mask of her sociopathic character hidden, with absolutely no remorse or concern for the havoc and path of destruction she left behind. This story was so fascinating, so unbelievable that it had to be true. Definitely one of Ms. Rule's very best works. Highly recommended...more