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The Good House
My five star book for the year arrived early it seems, and in rather a roundabout way - the title came up on my library's newly acquired audio downloa...more
Feb 18, 2013
Feb 12, 2013
Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, and So-Called Hospitality
Well ... I made it through the book (OK, so I skimmed in places), though at around the 2/3 mark I was sorely tempted to bail! Two stars out of five re...more
Nov 25, 2012
Nov 22, 2012
Life Without Limits
If you have a choice, listen to the audio version: Nick has a good sense of humor ("Aren't you glad you got the audio, so you can hear me sing!"). I b...more
Dec 07, 2010
Dec 07, 2010
The Sunday Philosophy Club (Sunday Philosophy Club, #1)
I was just telling a friend that I rarely leave two-star reviews, but this is one of them. I probably wouldn't have read the entire book (Davina Porte...more
Nov 28, 2010
Nov 28, 2010
Fatally Flaky (Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, Book 15)
“To Carolyn Marino – with deep gratitude for excellent editing and for possessing a kind heart and a light touch”

I cannot vouch for Ms. Marino’s “kind...more
Apr 23, 2009
Apr 22, 2009
The Tudors: The Complete Story of England's Most Notorious Dynasty
Historically accurate perhaps, though incredibly slanted.

Henry VIII was a bully/monster/tyrant. Period. End of Story. Most of the coverage of his reig...more
May 26, 2010
May 20, 2010
Objects of My Affection
I have given up on this book about halfway through ... here's the breaking point at which I decided enough was enough ...

Lucy, the protagonist, has a...more
May 22, 2012
May 20, 2012
Traversa: A Solo Walk Across Africa, from the Skeleton Coast to the Indian Ocean
Incredible story of trekking from Namibia's Atlantic Coast to the Indian Ocean (ending up at Zanzibar). Although the author's attacked by neither man...more
Apr 25, 2008
Apr 12, 2008
The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards
Another in a recent series of audiobooks that can best be described as "exhausting" I'm afraid, with a plot that careens and lurches like a pinball ga...more
Apr 18, 2013
Apr 12, 2013
Bookplate Special (A Booktown Mystery #3)
I'm going to try to describe the problems I had with the book without revealing any (major) spoilers, so please bear with me if things get a bit awkwa...more
Apr 25, 2011
Apr 25, 2011
The Transcriptionist

I was invested in the protagonist, Lena, throughout the book.
NYC setting was very well done.
Satire (or at least critique) of the news biz was wel...more
Jun 02, 2014
Jun 03, 2014
And Then There Were Nuns: Adventures in a Cloistered Life
I liked the author's books on Spain and Italy, but wasn't sure about this one. However, when I ventured up into the Seattle Public Library's stacks to...more
Apr 06, 2014
Mar 31, 2014
Coming Clean
I listened to the audiobook, finding myself neutral as to whether there should've been a professional narrator hired instead of the author reading the...more
Dec 03, 2013
Nov 30, 2013
In the Land of Believers: An Outsider's Extraordinary Journey into the Heart of the Evangelical Church
First, I want to say that, though I have little first hand knowledge of the evangelical scene, Falwell's church probably wasn't the best place to find...more
May 10, 2011
May 04, 2011
My Invented Country
I've never been tempted by Allende's fiction, and I can't say I am now, but this is one well-written, engaging memoir! To break things down, I'd say i...more
Nov 29, 2013
Nov 19, 2013
The Woman Who Can't Forgetthe Extraordinary Story Of Living With The Most Remarkable Memory Known To Science:  A Memoir
Others have criticized this one as too many details of her life, and not enough science, but I found the book interesting; it's a memoir explaining th...more
Mar 02, 2009
Nov 11, 2008
The Tecate Journals: Seventy Days on the Rio Grande
Certainly was a unique trip that I doubt would be possible to duplicate. I couldn't put my finger exactly on why I didn't like the book more, deciding...more
Jan 27, 2014
Jan 27, 2014
Still Life in Brunswick Stew: A Cherry Tucker Mystery
I thought the first book wasn’t too bad, but this one is, to use a southern expression, rather a hot mess. Three quarters of the way through I found m...more
Feb 20, 2014
Feb 22, 2014
Double Down: Game Change 2012
I was concerned that the book wouldn't tell me much I didn't already know, but I had a hard time putting it down. The first section, between the 2010...more
Apr 28, 2014
Apr 29, 2014
My Life in Middlemarch
Perhaps should be 3.5 stars, but not four, from my experience (yours may vary).

From the blurbs, you'd expect a book where the author relates her own l...more
Jun 11, 2014
Jun 03, 2014
The Mangle Street Murders
Bad news first: I loathed the Great Detective, Sidney Grice, who had all of Holmes and Poirot's pompousness and petulance, with nary a hint of their c...more
Apr 17, 2014
Apr 12, 2014
The Art Forger
I'm going to start with a bit of a spoiler, because I just can't discuss the book without mentioning it: the "forgery" itself blows up in their faces;...more
Mar 31, 2014
Mar 28, 2014
Heart in the Right Place
At roughly the halfway point, I was prepared to dimiss the book as a cynical attempt by a well-paid civil servant to cash in on her experience; having...more
Jul 26, 2008
May 04, 2008
All the Little Live Things
Much of the first half of the book is typical story setup: introduction of characters, setting the scene, and the like, which is fine, although it's d...more
Dec 30, 2013
Dec 12, 2013
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
I wrote a longer review that was stolen by the Review Monster (a cousin of the Sock Thief), so here goes try number two ...

I knew Zevin could write as...more
Jul 09, 2014
Jun 14, 2014
The Black Nile: One Man's Amazing Journey Through Peace and War on the World's Longest River
The book served its purpose in filling time on a trip where I knew I'd need something for several bus and train rides; however, I can't say I'd enthus...more
Feb 16, 2014
Feb 15, 2014
The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies
If you were a Romney supporter, skip this one ... just walk on by. Alter admits his bias at the outset, though he promises to be factual in his presen...more
May 28, 2014
May 21, 2014
The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap: A Memoir of Friendship, Community, and the Uncommon Pleasure of a Good Book
Well ... I finally finished the book, so on to the review ... which isn't necessarily a good thing, as I'm of two minds here. I want to be fair, but I...more
Dec 29, 2013
Nov 18, 2013
JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters
Really should be 3 1/2 stars - I couldn't honestly give 4 here as it got so very dense at times.

First of all, yes, it is a "conspiracy book", but so w...more
Aug 27, 2009
Aug 27, 2009
A Day at the Beach: Recollections (Vintage)
This was an impulse download as an available library book for a recent trip. I'd never heard of the author before, and to be honest I don't think I'd...more
Feb 14, 2014
Feb 09, 2014
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