Goofy, funny (the talking dogs are hysterical, and the narrator of the audiobook did a WONDERFUL job with them), interesting characters (although a coGoofy, funny (the talking dogs are hysterical, and the narrator of the audiobook did a WONDERFUL job with them), interesting characters (although a couple of them were very similar) - just right for a beach read or when you need to clear your brain after a hefty/intense/intellectual read. Now I'm ready to tackle some of the medieval non-fiction I'm taking on for a library conference later this year...
Lots of explicit sex if you like that sort of thing. It didn't make me cringe, so I guess that's a plus. It's a little disjointed with three different authors. I assume they each wrote one of the three main "goddesses." My favorite was Shar, the middle-aged heroine and her dog Wolfie. The other two women and their romantic interests were not as well developed (and as I said, at times hard to tell apart.) The mythology was okay, but don't expect anything historical (it was made up.) The romances really didn't have enough tension (will they, won't they?) to create a very satisfying ending (endings?) And the fate of Kamani Gula (the Mesopotamian goddess) and especially Mina (the evil priestess) was just silly. Like cotton candy - fun once in a while, but I wouldn't want a steady diet of it.
Book description: Abby has just arrived in Summerville, Ohio, with her placid Newfoundland, Bowser. She's reluctantly inherited her grandmother's coffee shop, but it's not long before she's brewing up trouble in the form of magical baked goods and steaming up her life with an exasperating college professor. And then there's Daisy, a web code writer, and her hyperactive Jack Russell, Bailey. Her tightly-wound world spins out of control when she discovers the chaos within and meets a mysterious dog trainer whose teaching style is definitely hands-on. Finally there's Shar, professor of ancient history at Summerville College, who wakes up one morning to find her neurotic dachshund, Wolfie, snarling at an implacable god sitting at her kitchen table, the first thing in her life she hasn't been able to footnote. What on earth is going on in this unearthly little town? It's up to Abby, Daisy, and Shar to find out before an ancient goddess takes over Southern Ohio, and they all end up in the apocalyptic doghouse…...more
I have made it halfway through this book, and I just can't go any farther. I'm giving it two stars, because there was enough there to keep me going foI have made it halfway through this book, and I just can't go any farther. I'm giving it two stars, because there was enough there to keep me going for over 200 pages, but I'm just not getting any more out of it. It is exceedingly slow and introspective. The characters are, yes, self-conscious to a fault, anxious, defensive, and obviously don't have a clue what happiness is. The convoluted dialogue is hard for me to imagine anyone actually participating in. I realize this was written in the late 1960s but it felt so much older. I don't know what else was published in Britain in 1970, but seriously? this is the winner of the first Whitbread award?
KIRKUS REVIEW (Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1972): Although this is basically a sentimental book (the title referring to the theme song of one of its two central characters -- a former band leader -- indicates that), it hasn't the appeal of her Logical Girl (1967) and it is more consistent with her earlier work which offered a substantial sociology of Anglo-Jewry. Throughout the first half of this book, ostensibly dealing with the making of a documentary by four or five people, Gerda Charles examines the soul of the Jew always suffering from his Jewishness without even the ""protection of stupidity""; always worrying his way, self-consciously but ambitiously, out of his ""small"" world of the People of the Book at a time, 50 years before this, when in their crass ignorance they were not even ""People of the Word."" This is the past inherited by the Jewish poet, minor, ingrown and consumptive, who will be the subject of the documentary; but it also imposes its allegiances on Michele, a writer and a teacher and a Rabbi's daughter, and Jimmy Marchant, the band leader, who have never found personal happiness. Less susceptible to it is Georges Franck, director of the documentary -- a charmer, a betrayer who finally will hurt everyone in connection with this project but still will enable Michele and Marchant to find some sort of compromise together for their half-lives. . . . The novel moves very slowly since the author is far more interested in permitting her characters to assess themselves and each other -- it is sometimes talky but not preachy. At one point she questions whether life should take precedence over art -- in this case it is life, and Gerda Charles, with her very level intelligence and practical realism, deals with it on just those terms.
3.75. Although it is never stated, Don is clearly someone with high-functioning Asperger's syndrome. I can't speak to how well he may or may not repre3.75. Although it is never stated, Don is clearly someone with high-functioning Asperger's syndrome. I can't speak to how well he may or may not represent a true picture of someone with Asperger's. Don is just Don. The book doesn't label him, and I'm not sure how helpful that is in real life any way. I think we have all experienced being socially uncomfortable and can both empathize with and laugh at the humor in Don's predicament. And he does manage to get himself into some highly amusing situations. Don and Rosie are both quirky, unique characters. This is a light and funny read, and other than that, the plot is completely predictable. Some of the quirkiness began to get a bit tiring by the end, so I'm not sure I want to read the sequel.
Description: Don Tillman is a brilliant, yet socially challenged professor of genetics. Don decides it's time he found a wife and designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page survey that filters out the drinkers, the smokers and the late arrivers. Rosie Jarman is not a perfect candidate. Although he disqualifies her for the Wife Project, Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. Suddenly a relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project....more
My difficulties with audiobooks continues. I don't know if it is the style of this book or my aging brain, because I did enjoy the story and the telliMy difficulties with audiobooks continues. I don't know if it is the style of this book or my aging brain, because I did enjoy the story and the telling of it, but I had to go back and relisten to the first couple of disks and finally get a print copy to read alongside. The second half seemed to go better, and I may or may not finish reading the print copy. But that is by no means a complaint of either the book or the narrator.
This debut novel by Australian Kate Morton is an homage to Rebecca and other gothic-style romances. It would appeal to fans of Downton Abbey, and I was picturing the actors of the TV series as their counterparts in this novel as I listened. As in Downton Abbey, we see life from both the upstairs and downstairs points of view, the devastating effects of WWI on the family, and the unraveling of the social structures in the 1920s, especially for women. There are family secrets, too, which are readily guessed by an astute reader. The plot is slow-moving and drawn out. Probably the British title The Shifting Fog fits better than The House at Riverton. As a gothic novel, I expect the house to be a character in its own right, and I just didn't feel it here. So probably 4 stars as a period piece, 3 stars for plot and development. I would like to have learned more about Grace's life after the events of 1924 and how it affected her. As it is, this is just the confessional of a very old woman who has kept a secret for nearly 75 years.
Book description: Grace Bradley went to work at Riverton House as a servant when she was just a girl, before the First World War. For years her life was inextricably tied up with the Hartford family, most particularly the two daughters, Hannah and Emmeline. In the summer of 1924, at a glittering society party held at the house, a young poet shot himself. The only witnesses were Hannah and Emmeline and only they -- and Grace -- know the truth. In 1999, when Grace is ninety-eight years old and living out her last days in a nursing home, she is visited by a young director who is making a film about the events of that summer. She takes Grace back to Riverton House and reawakens her memories. Told in flashback, this is the story of Grace's youth during the last days of Edwardian aristocratic privilege shattered by war, of the vibrant twenties and the changes she witnessed as an entire way of life vanished forever. ...more
Fans of Jodi Picoult ought to like this one. It's a love story with a twist, a chance to learn something about quadriplegia, and an exploration of theFans of Jodi Picoult ought to like this one. It's a love story with a twist, a chance to learn something about quadriplegia, and an exploration of the pros and cons of the right to die. The love story of two very different people learning how to relate to each other I thought was very good. I knew how it was going to end, although I kept hoping it would be different. Partly, I just wasn't convinced by the choices made. I'm sure it's a tragedy for anyone to become a quadriplegic, but I just couldn't agree with Will's determination to die. Why wasn't he getting counseling for depression? Why wasn't he able to work? And he tells Lou at the end that the past six months was the best of his life. It just didn't add up for me at the end. Will was ultimately controlling and selfish. Lou was a dishrag. She did grow tremendously through prodding from Will, but I didn't get the sense that she had taken control of her own circumstances afterward. Lots of food for thought. This should make for a great book club discussion.
Book Description: Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. ...more
Also published under the title Second Thyme Around. A pleasant enough romantic comedy and just the light-hearted fluff I needed after Cutting for StonAlso published under the title Second Thyme Around. A pleasant enough romantic comedy and just the light-hearted fluff I needed after Cutting for Stone! The story is cute, if somewhat predictable, and the setting is picturesque. The main plot is really about Perdita and her friendship with the elderly and failing Kitty. After Kitty suffers a stroke, it is clear that she cannot continue to live on her own. The author has done a good job of exploring their unusual friendship, issues of failing health, loss of independence, and ultimately dealing with the loss of a surrogate parent. The sub-sub-plots of Janie, who has a crush on Lucas, and Roger, the "long-lost" nephew adds a nice depth and some humor. I was less satisfied with the romance between Perdita and Lucas. After focusing so much in the first part of the book on how badly Lucas had treated Perdita, and on his anger issues, and tendency to be a bully, I just didn't see enough of a change in him to feel comfortable with their relationship. And to try and justify his behavior by saying that Perdita had been too passive and let him get away with it? Come on, seriously? I am glad that Perdita has learned to stand on her own two feet, but the bully is still a bully. Still, I would read more from this author.
Book Description: For years, things have run quite smoothly for Perdita and her organic gardening business. So what if her hair needs a complete overhaul, her sweater has more holes than Swiss cheese, and there's no hope of a boyfriend on the horizon? The last thing Perdita wants is a meddlesome man in her life-but she's about to get one, in the form of her completely infuriating ex-husband, Lucas. Lucas in disagreeable, curt, arrogant, and smolderingly gorgeous. He's also the new chef at Grantly House, Perdita's number-one customer. Worse, Mr. Grantly has the insane idea of starting a television cooking show that will put Lucas and Perdita together as "The Gourmet and the Gardener." Now, things are heating up in the kitchen--and elsewhere. With the bright lights blazing and old feelings stirring the pot, it could be a recipe for disaster...or absolute delight.
Main characters: Henry VIII, Catherine Howard, Katherine (Kitty) Tylney, Jane Boleyn - DowageSetting: England, London, Greenwich Palace Time: 1539-1542
Main characters: Henry VIII, Catherine Howard, Katherine (Kitty) Tylney, Jane Boleyn - Dowager Duchess of Norfolk.
First paragraph: "You're not going to steal anything." I left the question--Are you?--off the end of the sentence. But Cat heard it anyway.
Favorite lines: "We spent yet another rainy day endlessly sewing. I wondered at all the shirts we sewed. For the poor. For Cat's husband. How many shirts did he need? Or was it like the fairy tales, and the things unsewed themselves every night? Was she forever sewing the same shirt, like Sisyphus pushing the rock up a mountain for all eternity?" p. 279
I was pleasantly surprised by this first book in the Gilt Novels series. Told from the point of view of a lady in waiting to Catherine Howard, the 5th wife of Henry VIII. Although Catherine is vain, selfish, spoiled, ambitious and reckless, Kitty is loyal to her friend. At first we see the fun-loving (but reckless) side of Catherine Howard. This can be forgiven while she is a "nobody" in the employ of the Dowager Duchess of Norfolk. But once she has caught the eye of Henry VIII and become the Queen of England, her recklessness puts the lives of those around her at risk. You won't lose much sleep over the eventual fate of Cat, but will Kitty survive and learn to stand on her own two feet? Kitty is based on a real person, but not much is known about her. Ms. Turner has given her a bit of a love interest. The ending is bittersweet - we don't know whether or not there will be a happily ever after for her. The historical setting of the book seems well researched, but the use of contemporary teenage attitudes and mannerisms makes it clear the series is aimed at contempory teens. That might be off-putting for adults used to more "authentic" historical fiction, but it wasn't as off-putting as I had thought it might be from the description of this series as "Gossip Girl meets the Tudor Court."
The books in this series are not chronological and stand alone. They can be read in any order.
Description: When Kitty Tylney's best friend, Catherine Howard, worms her way into King Henry VIII's heart and brings Kitty to court, she's thrust into a world filled with fabulous gowns, sparkling jewels, and elegant parties. No longer stuck in Cat's shadow, Kitty's now caught between two men--the object of her affection and the object of her desire. But court is also full of secrets, lies, and sordid affairs, and as Kitty witnesses Cat's meteoric rise and fall as queen, she must figure out how to keep being a good friend when the price of telling the truth could literally be her head.
About the author: Katherine Longshore grew up on the northern California coast. At university, she created her own major in Cross-Cultural Studies and Communications, planning to travel and write. Forever. Four years, six continents and countless pairs of shoes later, she went to England for two weeks, stayed five years and discovered history. She now lives in California with her husband, two children and a sun-worshiping dog.
The Gilt Novels series info: #1 Gilt ---------------------- #2 Tarnish #3 Brazen #4 Courted...more