There is lots of information on book restoration and how it's done, as well as the world of rare books which I enjoyed a great deal. Nice storyline, p...moreThere is lots of information on book restoration and how it's done, as well as the world of rare books which I enjoyed a great deal. Nice storyline, plenty of intrigue, with great character development. I love a good cozy-mystery, and this one qualifies; it's not the best I've read, but it's well above average. The characters were either made you love them or love to hate them. I enjoyed the heroenes adventure both in and outside of the world of bookbinding. The story moved quickly, and the secondary characters were quirky enough to make her the sane, rational one.(less)
East London, 1888 - a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where chil...moreBook Description: ================
East London, 1888 - a city apart. A place of shadow and light where thieves, whores, and dreamers mingle, where children play in the cobbled streets by day and a killer stalks at night, where bright hopes meet the darkest truths. Here, by the whispering waters of the Thames, Fiona Finnegan, a worker in a tea factory, hopes to own a shop one day, together with her lifelong love, Joe Bristow, a costermonger's son. With nothing but their faith in each other to spur them on, Fiona and Joe struggle, save, and sacrifice to achieve their dreams.
But Fiona's life is shattered when the actions of a dark and brutal man take from her nearly everything-and everyone-she holds dear. Fearing her own death, she is forced to flee London for New York. There, her indomitable spirit propels her rise from a modest West Side shop-front to the top of Manhattan's tea trade. But Fiona's old ghosts do not rest quietly, and to silence them, she must venture back to the London of her childhood, where a deadly confrontation with her past becomes the key to her future.
19.09.2012: ========== One of the best books I read this year. Wow! Finishing this book was the one thing I dreaded. The Tea Rose was a captivating, heartfelt, and engaging read. I was lost in this fascinating, atmospheric world of 19th century London, and would love to go back sometime and revisit the wonderful characters that Jennifer Donnelly created. There are great characters in this story that you will not forget easily, especially Fiona Finnegan who is the central figure with great strength and fierce ambition. Very well written and keeps you guessing. Some time you can predict what may happen; but it keeps you hanging. Other things come as a complete surprise. (less)
When Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told that it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is lau...moreWhen Julie Jacobs inherits a key to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy, she is told that it will lead her to an old family treasure. Soon she is launched on a winding and perilous journey into the history of her ancestor Giulietta, whose legendary love for a young man named Romeo rocked the foundations of medieval Siena. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families immortalized in Shakespeare’s unforgettable blood feud, she begins to realize that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is the next target. It seems that the only one who can save Julie from her fate is Romeo—but where is he?05.06.2012:==========This book is a somewhat entertaining modern day re-telling of the story of Romeo and Juliet, complete with warring families, a look at Italian history, and, of course, love. The story alternates between long passages telling the ancient story, and Julie's passionate relationship with Allesandro--Romeo. Her sister Janice joins her and the danger ramps up as the sisters close in on the prize. They can't depend on any friend or foe being who he seems to be. Harrowing scenes play out in the bone-filled crypts and ancient waterways far beneath the city of Siena, and in the Piazza del Campo where the historic Palio (horserace) is run.I found the fictional old story fascinating, and I loved the romantic setting in Tuscany where memories are long and the events of six hundred years ago are still so alive in the buildings, the art, and the hearts of the people. This novel also has an intriguing mystery and adventure component that pulls you into that beautiful and ancient world Siena, Italy. It leaves you wondering and questioning and hanging on every written word up until the very end.(less)
I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The book unveils the story of the Guernsey Islands during and recently after WWII and how the war changed the lives of...moreI thoroughly enjoyed the book. The book unveils the story of the Guernsey Islands during and recently after WWII and how the war changed the lives of the inhabitants. The form of the book suits is subject and adds to the suspense and drama, allowing for changes in voice and perspecitves that may have been more difficult in a different form. The way the authors weave together the various characters' stories is engaging, basically, each character letting you see what they want you to see, while at the same time giving insight to the other characters that they didn't. I'm happy to have read this story. The residents' tales of wartime in the village, told in letters, were compelling. I was enjoying the more light-hearted present-day (right after the end of the war, that is) story as well, until I felt jarred by the ending. Even though I realize Ms. Barrows had to finish the story alone, I wish she had given more time to the ending so I could have believed in it. (less)
A delight! This book is redolent, full of sensory experiences, and yet it's as ethereal as spirit, too. What I love about this book, absolute love abo...moreA delight! This book is redolent, full of sensory experiences, and yet it's as ethereal as spirit, too. What I love about this book, absolute love about it, is that it's sensory descriptions are so soulful, and it's spiritual elements are so earthy!!While at times the prose is a bit flowery, I was pleasantly surprised! the author giving the foods magical qualities. The Iranian history was nicely woven into the story with a bit of drama, but no self-pity. I found the descriptions of the food, spices, and relishes to be perfectly accurate (I've been cooking Persian food for years.) Pomegranate Soup was a pleasure to read! I'm happy to see more and more Persian authors publishing their post-revolution experiences with humor, grace and quite good storytelling. (less)
The plot is still very exciting and the story grabs you. The plot of "2nd Chance" moves along rather quickly, rarely stopping for a breather. When Lin...moreThe plot is still very exciting and the story grabs you. The plot of "2nd Chance" moves along rather quickly, rarely stopping for a breather. When Lindsay isn't dealing with the stresses of her job, her personal life is there to stress over. Her father returns to get a second chance at being a good dad, she finds out one of her friends is pregnant, and she still is trying to cope with the fact that Chris Raleigh is dead. This was a great 2nd book, better than the first in the series. The characters were developed further, and so were their relationships to each other. And, all that was in the background of a fantastic mystery with tons of twists and turns. Patterson really leads the readers (and the characters) through mazes that seem to never end. And, when you finally do get to the end, you are led through one final twist that is sure to delight the reader. Great effort! (less)
I thoroughly enjoyed Asha Miro's novel. Her journey and discoveries made for a page turning book that I was unable to put down! This is a book for all...moreI thoroughly enjoyed Asha Miro's novel. Her journey and discoveries made for a page turning book that I was unable to put down! This is a book for all Adopted children, those who have adopted, and for those who one day would like to adopt, as well as for those just looking for a very interesting and well written story! This is a book about trying to find out about oneself, and Asha Miro is the young woman who is trying to piece together her fragmented past, from her life in India until she was six until the day she returned to India from Spain, in the hope of finding out more about her adoption, her birth family and why they had given her up. A wonderful book that is far from being sentimental, Asha has no illusions about her life, she is European and cannot give up the trappings of her westernised life but she promises herself she will not forget where she has come from and I would like to think that she keeps that promise, not just for herself but for the faily who lost her and then found her again after so many years.
Carnegie Medal Winner, United KingdomLos Angeles Times Book Prize Winner Borders 2004 Original Voices Award Winner Named a Best Book of 2003 by Publis...moreCarnegie Medal Winner, United KingdomLos Angeles Times Book Prize Winner Borders 2004 Original Voices Award Winner Named a Best Book of 2003 by Publishers Weekly, Booklist, School Library Journal, The Irish Times, The Times (London), The Financial Times and The Albany Times-Union.Sixteen-year-old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true. Desperate for money, she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown entrusts her with the task of burning a secret bundle of letters. But when Grace's drowned body is fished from the lake, Mattie discovers that the letters could reveal the grim truth behind a murder.Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, Jennifer Donnelly's astonishing debut novel effortlessly weaves romance, history, and a murder mystery into something moving, and real, and wholly original.
07.03.2012: ========== This is one of those books where about a third of the way through, you anxiously thumb the remaining pages, knowing that despite your best efforts to savor it, the book will be over all too soon. When A NORTHERN LIGHT falls open, you,the reader, will fall in. While it has been classified as a Young Adult novel, as it does contain some language and situations, every word is absolutely true to the character who is speaking or being spoken of. I urge every teenage girl to read this, then pass it on to her mother, all of her girlfriends, aunts, a favorite teacher--in short, anyone who has a love of words, of learning, of mysteries, and a belief in the power of young women. Donnelly weaves a compelling plot while keeping the story and the characters together. She is truly a gifted writer. I love the historical placement too--this book provides a glimpse of what life was like in rural America in the early 1900's. Most of all, I love that this book is about the struggles and decisions that all women make in pursuit of their dreams. Mattie Gokey is like a kindred spirit! It weaves racism, discovering sexuality, the pains of growing up, and just discovering oneself, plus a historical mystery, all into an amazing novel. I went through excitement, anxiety, laughs, pain, and joy with the main character. Quote from Jennifer Donnelly: ============================ "Ever since I was a child, charachters in books have been as real as flesh and blood people. Open a book and suddenly you can hang out with Tom and Hunk and Jim, Holden Caulfield, or Heathcliff. What can possibly beat that?"That's what I felt with this book.
om Publishers Weekly In this penetrating coming-of-age debut from London-based Lalwani, 14-year-old Rumika Vasi struggles to fulfill her mathematical...moreom Publishers Weekly In this penetrating coming-of-age debut from London-based Lalwani, 14-year-old Rumika Vasi struggles to fulfill her mathematical gifts and her family's demands on them, while also finding friendship and romance. Rumi, labeled gifted in kindergarten, becomes subject to the grim home teaching of her father, Mahesh, a professor of mathematics at the University of Swansea in Wales. The goal: to be accepted to Oxford by age 14. Shreene, Rumi's mother, resentfully accepts the household dominance of Rumi's studies while worrying about how to raise her to be a proper young Indian woman. Rumi longs to be in India, where lots of girls are good at math and where she feels at home among her extended family. The pull of romance is also soon part of Rumi's equation. Lalwani does a nice job with the myriad cultural contradictions: a bewildered Shreene, for example, resorts to archaic scripts from her childhood, leading her to tell Rumi that [o]nly white people have sex and that Indian babies come from prayer. Well done, too, is Rumi's warm relationship with India. Lalwani doesn't have characterization fully down, but the pain and confusion she presents are deeply felt.
14.05.2012: =========== This novel is part of a burgeoning literature of the Indian diaspora in the West, ambitious bright intellectuals struggling with their ancient roots in a new and different world. It is not one of the better works.
I expected to like this book. I had read promising reviews and the premise sounded - and is - interesting. However, I felt it was let down by the writing, which I found muddled and long-winded. When I read, I like to be involved with at least one character in the book. I don't always have to like them or approve of what they do, but I do need to at least care what happens to them. I admired how Lalwani shows us Rumi's view of the world (everything is a math equation), but I didn't particularly care about any of these characters and I actively disliked the father. The book felt disjointed, as if Lalwani was trying to cover too many bases. Also, the writing alternated between the present and past tense, for reasons that I could not understand.
In this perky mystery complete with toothsome hi-cal recipes, Davidson ( Catering to Nobody ) brings back Goldy Bear, the cherubic culinary sleuth wit...moreIn this perky mystery complete with toothsome hi-cal recipes, Davidson ( Catering to Nobody ) brings back Goldy Bear, the cherubic culinary sleuth with Shirley Temple curls. Fleeing her abusive ex-spouse, a physician she dubs "The Jerk," Goldy and her teenage son Arch find a snug third-floor refuge in the Aspen Meadow, Colo., mansion of quirky Gen. Bo Farquhar, a retired munitions and terrorist pro who breezily detonates bombs while gardening and bird-watching. As the general's live-in gourmet cook, Goldly still has time to run Goldilocks' Catering and juggle two suitors--attractive psychiatrist Philip Miller and comfortably chubby cop Tom Schultz. Philip's shocking death--he careens off a cliff in a BMW after munching her brunch--casts suspicion on Goldy. Which of her foes might want to frame her? And who is the critic writing vicious reviews of her cooking in the Mountain Journal ? The plot spins along in good-humored fashion, while Goldy continues to whip up goodies for events like a disastrous "aphrodisiac dinner" for eight and a barbecue at which her luscious dessert smashes on the floor. When Arch vanishes, Goldly panics, but the author makes sure that all enigmas wind up in solutions that will surprise and please.
05/05/2012: =========== This was one of the books by this author that I really enjoyed. The characters have real personalities and reactions you would expect. This story kept me guessing until the end as to who was guilty of murder and why. The plot of the mystery is interesting, but what really sets this book (and the series apart) is Davidson's skill in portraying complex characters, rather than entertaining clue chasers. Goldie is an actual person who when faced with a mystery, can't just drop everything and solve it. She, like all of us, has to deal with work and family first. (less)
A pleasant surprise. I wasn't sure what to expect, but this was an enthralling read. I couldn't put it down. The writing is straight-forward and beaut...moreA pleasant surprise. I wasn't sure what to expect, but this was an enthralling read. I couldn't put it down. The writing is straight-forward and beautifully simplistic. I found the historical aspect fascinating, especially from the European viewpoint as the eastern bloc fell to communism. This is a sequel to The Kommandant's Girl, which I haven't read yet. However, it stands alone well. Easily recommended. The author kept the story moving with an interesting plot with quite a few twists. (less)
04.11.2011: ========== This author has a genuine voice that helps her characters be felt and understood. It takes a real talent for an author to allow h...more04.11.2011: ========== This author has a genuine voice that helps her characters be felt and understood. It takes a real talent for an author to allow her characters to be deep and fully formed. The romance was an unexpected and fun twist. The details on the lifestyle and thinking of an Iranian woman was very enlightening to me. It makes us as women really look at all the freedoms we have and how easy it is to take it all for granted.(less)
This book is a reminder to appreciate the simple, little things in life. It's a reminder that when you're dead, the things you've accumulated and the...moreThis book is a reminder to appreciate the simple, little things in life. It's a reminder that when you're dead, the things you've accumulated and the things you've done will disappear. What will remain is the ways that you've affected or touched other people. This book is a guide to a way that you can live your life where you'll be able to look back at the end and feel peace and contentment. Within this story about the special connection between a spiritual mentor and his pupil, the old man imparts his wisdom his pupil regarding many troubling questions about human existence. (less)
The novel is about all sorts of imprisonment: physical, mental, spiritual. It's almost like a morality play, with stock characters who might as well b...moreThe novel is about all sorts of imprisonment: physical, mental, spiritual. It's almost like a morality play, with stock characters who might as well be wearing signs proclaiming GREED, ENVY, PRIDE, WRATH, etc. People trapped in loveless marriages, indifferent jobs, money-grubbing schemes or self-righteous posturing are victims of the "mind-forged manacles" evoked by Blake. The social criticism may be dated, but the commentary on human nature surely is not. But Little Dorrit is no mere morality tale. Dickens is too big-hearted to be a scold. In fact, he loves his characters so exquisitely he can't let the bad world happen to them. Oh, they undergo various trials and predicaments. Some even die. But Dickens the Kind Creator gives no one a burden she cannot bear or one that does not ultimately improve her or doesn't testify to her inherent goodness. He can't even stand to create a truly evil character. The villains have a cartoonish quality, cut-out understudies for evil, not evil itself. The cigar-puffing black-outfitted Blandois is so farcical a portrait of a villainy I doubt even Dickens' contemporaries took it seriously. The preposterous incompetence of the bureaucrats in the Circumlocution Office (i.e., the British Treasury) is a lampooning of all red tape ever spilled anywhere. The hapless prisoners of the Marshalsea and the poor residents of Bleeding Heart Yard have their foibles, their sins and blindnesses. The puffed up rich and powerful are cast from their false pedestals with contempt.
Revealing the common humanity of them all. No need to debase his characters with barbarity or subject them to violence, actual or spiritual. Like a loving father he gently prods them to light, and like wayward children, they obey. (less)