Not sure I should even offer a review, since I decided not to finish this book. Made it 126 pages. It was hilariously funny for about 30 pages, and afNot sure I should even offer a review, since I decided not to finish this book. Made it 126 pages. It was hilariously funny for about 30 pages, and after that it just seemed sad. Her zany, random train of thought - at times brilliant and at other times just silly - reminded me of Robin Williams. Is it the mental illness that drives this kind of manic humor? Or is it the other way around?
This was a book club read that I didn't get in time to read for the meeting. Now it has a hold waiting for it and I can't renew, so back to the library it goes. I could re-request it, but I don't think I want to. Sooooooo many other books waiting to be read.
This would be a great book to dabble in now and then for 30 minutes. But to sit and read cover to cover requires too much energy. It's like trying to keep up with a dog that is constantly saying "Squirrel!"...more
I loved the structure of this book - as we piece together what happened through a variety of written correspondence. I loved the character of Bee, andI loved the structure of this book - as we piece together what happened through a variety of written correspondence. I loved the character of Bee, and her relationship with Bernadette. The social satire was very funny. I would have given this 5 stars until it went off the rails about two-thirds through the book. At that point, the evolving situation became a bit too absurd to be funny, and Bernadette's POV began to overshadow Bee's. The overall takeaway seems to be "Don't believe anything you think you know about anybody." The ending was too big a shift for me, and didn't resolve any of the heavier issues that still face the family. Perhaps that hints at a sequel?
Book description: Bernadette is a frightfully intelligent wife and mother whose intense allergy to Seattle specifically, and to people in general, has driven her to hire a virtual assistant in India to execute even her most basic tasks. Then her daughter, Bee, insists on a family trip to Antarctica as her reward for getting perfect grades in middle school, and Bernadette is faced with the daunting prospect of actual human interaction. On the verge of a breakdown, Bernadette vanishes, leaving her Microsoft-guru husband, a horde of angry parents, and questioning police officers to pick up the pieces. Desperate to find her mother, Bee probes her emails, invoices, school memos, private correspondence, and other evidence, conjuring out of those shards a portrait of a woman she never knew before--and a secret that could explain everything.
It was okay. I'm not a 3rd grade boy into grossology. So for me, mildly entertaining. Billy's friends will go to any lengths to keep him from winningIt was okay. I'm not a 3rd grade boy into grossology. So for me, mildly entertaining. Billy's friends will go to any lengths to keep him from winning his bet to eat fifteen worms and it begins to get a bit out of hand. Even Billy's mother gets called in to help, and comes up with some tasty worm recipes. Friendships are tested and lessons are learned. Maybe.
Description: People are always daring Billy to do zany things. But Billy may have bitten off more than he can chew when he takes his friend Alan's bet that Billy can't eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. If Billy wins, Alan has to fork over fifty dollars. Billy wants the money to buy a used minibike, so he's ready to dig in. He sets up mustard and ketchup, salt and pepper, and sugar and lemon to disguise the disgusting taste. Good news for Billy -- once he gets going, he finds himself actually getting hooked on those juicy worms. Bad news for Billy -- Alan is busy cooking up schemes to make Billy worm out of the bet....more
This sequel to Me Before You is every bit as good. But don't expect it to be like Me Before You. Lou has changed. Will's death left a hole in her hearThis sequel to Me Before You is every bit as good. But don't expect it to be like Me Before You. Lou has changed. Will's death left a hole in her heart that money and travel has not healed. Jojo Moyes gives us an unflinching look at love and loss, and how sometimes it takes a devastating accident, and to have our world turned upside down before we find how to move on. I loved all the zany characters and all their faults. I have half a mind to read everything else Jojo Moyes has ever written...
Book Description: Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started. Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await....more
I thought this was a hoot! Wonderfully silly and the narrator did a terrific job with the voices. It's a great send up of the whole paranormal romanceI thought this was a hoot! Wonderfully silly and the narrator did a terrific job with the voices. It's a great send up of the whole paranormal romance genre, with plenty of action: Think Luke and Leia fighting demon-possessed teddy bears, a character described as Army Barbie, and a government homeland security agent that reminds me of Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter stories. Oh yes, and the Devil himself who lives locked up in a statue. There's also a Hellmouth ala Buffyland....
Book Description: Mary Alice Brannigan doesn’t believe in the supernatural. Nor does she expect to find that Dreamland, the decaying amusement park she’s been hired to restore, is a prison for the five Untouchables, the most powerful demons in the history of the world. Plus, there’s a guy she’s falling hard for—and there’s something about him that’s not quite right.
But rocky romances and demented demons aren’t the only problems in Dreamland: Mab’s also coping with a crooked politician, a supernatural raven, a secret government agency, an inexperienced sorceress, an unsettling inheritance, and some mind-boggling revelations from her past. As her personal demons wreck her newfound relationship and real demons wreck the park, Mab faces down immortal evil and discovers what everybody who’s ever been to an amusement park knows: The end of the ride is always the wildest....more
Easily 5 out of 5 stars, this is one of the most delightful reads of the year. Arthurian tales for ages 8 and up, told with much tongue in cheek humorEasily 5 out of 5 stars, this is one of the most delightful reads of the year. Arthurian tales for ages 8 and up, told with much tongue in cheek humor, and very capably narrated by Steve West. These four tales are laugh-out-loud funny. Steve's voices are perfect. I wanted to immediately start over and listen to them all again. Also available as individual stories, the books could be used as a read along for reluctant readers or adult learners. Not just for children!
Description: Many years ago, the storytellers say, the great King Arthur brought justice to England with the help of his gallant Knights of the Round Table.
Sir Lancelot the Great Of these worthy knights, there was never one so fearless, so chivalrous, so honorable, so…shiny as the dashing Sir Lancelot, who was quite good at defending the helpless and protecting the weak, just as long as he’d had his afternoon nap.
Sir Givret the Short Poor Givret: his size makes him so easy to overlook. But there’s more to knighthood than height, and before long, Givret’s quick thinking lands him a place at the famous Round Table!
Sir Gawain the True The knights didn’t always act quite as gallantly as a true knight should. Even King Arthur’s nephew, known at that time as Sir Gawain the Undefeated, was too full of himself to accept a token of thanks from a rescued princess! Someone needed to teach Sir Gawain that courtesy and friendship are just as important as strength and courage.
Sir Balin the Ill-Fated While most of King Arthur’s knights freely chose a life of duty, for Sir Balin the Ill-Fated, destiny was foretold in a prophecy. Still, no matter how dire the task, a loyal and gallant knight never refuses adventure!...more
Pride and Prejudice told from a cat's point-of-view, interspersed with passages from Pride and Prejudice. The retelling was clever - Kitty doesn't jusPride and Prejudice told from a cat's point-of-view, interspersed with passages from Pride and Prejudice. The retelling was clever - Kitty doesn't just cough, she coughs up hairballs; the balls are the kind you bat around, maybe extra special with a bell inside; the estate has been end-tailed; etc. This is obviously a contemporary adaption - otherwise references to pill pockets and Fancy Feast would be anachronistic. If you like comparing the changes to the original, you will like the juxtaposition of the two texts. I thought it made the story a bit repetitious. The photos were obviously carefully staged with Jane Austen props. I loved the little inside jokes, and featuring other P&P related books like "Jane Austen for Dummies," "The Jane Austen Cookbook," and "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." I would have liked the "kitty" adaptation to have been illustrated using the same cats for Jane Austen's characters and to have been separate from the other type of photos. All in all, I think it could have been less story, more photos.
From the inside flap: "If I can but see one of my kittens happily purring at Netherfield," remarked Mrs. Bennet to her husband, "and all the others equally well-mated, I shall have nothing to yowl about." Pride and Prejudice and Kitties juxtaposes wacky photos of cats with the wicked humor of Jane Austen. Soulful Mr. Darcy gazes at Elizabeth Bennet in fascination; hysterical Mrs. Bennet yowls that no one understands her; somnolent Mr. Hurst passes out on the sofa after dinner; arrogant Lady Catherine hisses at Elizabeth. Each photo includes a hilarous caption that goes along with the text of Pride and Prejudice, told from a feline perspective.
Opening chapter: "Netherfield Park is marked at last." The news caused much romping at the Bennet household for, as every cat knows, a handsome young tom in possession of his own territory must be in want of a mate. ...more
I really liked this book. Yes, the characters are caricatures, with exaggerated faults. Yes, the Major comes across as a bit of a stick-in-the-mud. BuI really liked this book. Yes, the characters are caricatures, with exaggerated faults. Yes, the Major comes across as a bit of a stick-in-the-mud. But that all adds to the comedy of manners. The witty dialog had me laughing out loud many times over. Like a television sit-com, do not expect this to be an accurate representation of life in small-town England. I loved the upside-down take on things: older people finding love, and the more tradition-bound characters actually being more open-minded and willing to change. Along the way the author isn't afraid to poke fun at cultural differences, the generation gap, religion, selfishness and greed. She reminds us that old people can love and grow, that good people sometimes make mistakes, and that the "quiet" things in life have value. This is a book that I will keep and reread. I hope there will be a sequel and perhaps a movie!
Book Description: In the small village of Edgecombe St. Mary in the English countryside lives Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson’s wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, the Major leads a quiet life valuing the proper things that Englishmen have lived by for generations: honor, duty, decorum, and a properly brewed cup of tea. But then his brother’s death sparks an unexpected friendship with Mrs. Jasmina Ali, the Pakistani shopkeeper from the village. Drawn together by their shared love of literature and the loss of their spouses, the Major and Mrs. Ali soon find their friendship blossoming into something more. But village society insists on embracing him as the quintessential local and regarding her as the permanent foreigner. Can their relationship survive the risks one takes when pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition?
Short, cozy, charming setting, humorous situations. Not literature, nor a compelling mystery, but I enjoyed it. The prickly protagonist did well as anShort, cozy, charming setting, humorous situations. Not literature, nor a compelling mystery, but I enjoyed it. The prickly protagonist did well as an agressive business woman in London, but her social skills are sorely lacking. This gives her kind of an appealing vulnerability as she tries to fit in and make friends in her new community. I liked her forthright nature. She says what she thinks and doesn't have a lot of patience for artificial social niceties. This book is the first of a series, and I will probably read more of them.
Book Description: Putting all her eggs in one basket, Agatha Raisin gives up her successful PR firm, sells her London flat, and samples a taste of early retirement in the quiet village of Carsely. Bored, lonely and used to getting her way, she enters a local baking contest: Surely a blue ribbon for the best quiche will make her the toast of the town. But her recipe for social advancement sours when Judge Cummings-Browne not only snubs her entry—but falls over dead! After her quiche’s secret ingredient turns out to be poison, she must reveal the unsavory truth…
Agatha has never baked a thing in her life! In fact, she bought her entry ready-made from an upper crust London quicherie. Grating on the nerves of several Carsely residents, she is soon receiving sinister notes. Has her cheating and meddling landed her in hot water, or are the threats related to the suspicious death? It may mean the difference between egg on her face and a coroner’s tag on her toe…
Series info: Agatha Raisin 01. Agatha Raisin and the quiche of death - read -------------------------------- 02. Agatha Raisin and the vicious vet 03. Agatha Raisin and the potted gardener 04. Agatha Raisin and the walkers of Dembley 05. Agatha Raisin and the murderous marriage 06. Agatha Raisin and the terrible tourist 07. Agatha Raisin and the wellspring of death 08. Agatha Raisin and the wizard of Evesham 09. Agatha Raisin and the witch of Wyckhadden 10. Agatha Raisin and the fairies of Fryfam 11. Agatha Raisin and the love from hell 12. Agatha Raisin and the day the floods came 13. Agatha Raisin and the case of the curious curate 14. Agatha Raisin and the haunted house 15. The deadly dance 16. The perfect paragon 17. Love, lies and liquor 18. Kissing Christmas goodbye 19. A spoonful of poison 20. There goes the bride 21. Busy body 22. As the pig turns 23. Hiss and hers
Not very compelling as a mystery, but I'll give it an A+ for humor and quirky characters. Joe Morelli takes a back seat in this one and Ranger is pracNot very compelling as a mystery, but I'll give it an A+ for humor and quirky characters. Joe Morelli takes a back seat in this one and Ranger is practically non-existant. Grandma Mazur is the main star here. The big blue Buick could be a character in its own right, and then, of course, there is Rex, the hamster. Lots of slapstick humor and laugh-out-loud moments. A wonderful light-hearted escape with no literary merit whatsoever. It would make a great "bad" TV show. C. J. Critt must have worked on her New Jersey accent for this one. I wasn't convinced on her reading of the first book, but this one was fine. I'll definitely keep listening to the series.
Description (from back of case): Stephanie Plum, the sassiest, spunkiest female bounty hunter in America (or at least New Jersey) is back to take on her second case. She's armed with attitude and outrageous fashion sense - not to mention stun guns, defense sprays, killer flashlights, and her trusty .38 - and all the determination a neophyte bounty hunter can muster. In Two For the Dough, she's after a ruthless bail jumper who has an affection for mailing Stephanie deadly notes and pickled body parts, and stealing 24 super-cheap caskets loaded with contraband. When the case overwhelms Stephanie and fast-talking vice cop Joe Morelli, she calls in a real pro: her grandma Mazur, a grey-haired, spandex-wearing dynamo packing heat.
Series info: #2 of series See: One for the Money...more
This book started off a little slow for me, but when it got going it was a fine ride. I will look forward to more of Stephanie, Vinnie, Joe, and RangeThis book started off a little slow for me, but when it got going it was a fine ride. I will look forward to more of Stephanie, Vinnie, Joe, and Ranger. And Grandma Mazur, of course. I will also definitely see the movie....
Description: Welcome to Trenton, New Jersey, home to wiseguys, average Joes, and Stephanie Plum, who sports a big attitude and even bigger money problems (since losing her job as a lingerie buyer for a department store). Stephanie needs cash—fast—but times are tough, and soon she’s forced to turn to the last resort of the truly desperate: family...
Stephanie lands a gig at her sleazy cousin Vinnie’s bail bonding company. She’s got no experience. But that doesn’t matter. Neither does the fact that the bail jumper in question is local vice cop Joe Morelli. From the time he first looked up her dress to the time he first got into her pants, to the time Steph hit him with her father’s Buick, M-o-r-e-l-l-i has spelled t-r-o-u-b-l-e. And now the hot guy is in hot water—wanted for murder...
Abject poverty is a great motivator for learning new skills, but being trained in the school of hard knocks by people like psycho prizefighter Benito Ramirez isn’t. Still, if Stephanie can nab Morelli in a week, she’ll make a cool ten grand. All she has to do is become an expert bounty hunter overnight—and keep herself from getting killed before she gets her man...
Series info: Stephanie Plum series 01. One for the money - read 02. Two for the dough - read --------------------- 03. Three to get deadly 04. Four to score 05. High five 06. Hot six 07. Seven up 08. Hard eight 09. To the nines 10. Ten big ones 11. Eleven on top 12. Twelve sharp 13. Lean mean thirteen 14. Fearless fourteen 15. Finger lickin' fifteen 16. Sizzling sixteen 17. Smokin' seventeen 18. Explosive eighteen 19. Notorious nineteen
This was a delightful book. The characters are funny and engaging. 7-year-old Alice will steal your heart. The ghosts are believable, and the author bThis was a delightful book. The characters are funny and engaging. 7-year-old Alice will steal your heart. The ghosts are believable, and the author builds in a nice tension between Dennis the doubting parapsychologist, and Isolde, the no-nonsense down-to-earth medium. Andie is a terrific, strong heroine. The romance, though, was definitely a side-story, and North was never really developed very well as the romantic hero, so that was the least compelling part of the book. Not a lot of substance here, which is why I didn't give it 5 stars. But if you're looking for a light, funny read with some very original characters, give this a try. Supposedly, it is a retelling of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. I might just have to read it and see.
Description: Andie Miller is ready to move on with her life. She wants to marry her fiancé and leave behind everything in her past, especially her ex-husband, North Archer. But when Andie tries to gain closure with him, he asks one final favor of her. A distant cousin has died and left North the guardian of two orphans who have driven away three nannies already—and things are getting worse. He needs someone to take care of the situation, and he knows Andie can handle anything.
When Andie meets the two children, she soon realizes it’s much worse than she feared. Carter and Alice aren’t your average delinquents, and the creepy old house where they live is being run by the worst housekeeper since Mrs. Danvers. Complicating matters is Andie’s fiancé’s suspicion that this is all a plan by North to get Andie back. He may be right because Andie’s dreams have been haunted by North since she arrived at the old house. And that’s not the only haunting.
Then her ex-brother-in-law arrives with a duplicitous journalist and a self-doubting parapsychologist, closely followed by an annoyed medium, Andie’s tarot card–reading mother, her avenging ex-mother-in-law, and her jealous fiancé. Just when Andie’s sure things couldn’t get more complicated, North arrives to make her wonder if maybe this time things could just turn out differently.
Filled with her trademark wit, unforgettable characters, and laugh-out-loud scenarios, Maybe This Time shows why Jennifer Crusie is one of the most beloved storytellers of our time. ...more
I love Alexander McCall Smith, but this book kind of fell flat for me. I listened to it twice, and don't remember when I finished it for sure, or muchI love Alexander McCall Smith, but this book kind of fell flat for me. I listened to it twice, and don't remember when I finished it for sure, or much about the book. It just wasn't very memorable. Much of the humor depends on a familiarity with academia - it is amusing in a droll sort of way. There is no plot - it rambles forward and backward in time, like a collection of short stories or reminiscences. The dear Professor bumbles through life full of his own self-importance and somehow manages to come out okay.
Description: Welcome to the insane and rarified world of Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld of the Institute of Romance Philology. Von Igelfeld is engaged in a never-ending quest to win the respect he feels certain he is due–a quest which has the tendency to go hilariously astray. In Portuguese Irregular Verbs, Professor Dr von Igelfeld learns to play tennis, and forces a college chum to enter into a duel that results in a nipped nose. He also takes a field trip to Ireland where he becomes acquainted with the rich world of archaic Irishisms, and he develops an aching infatuation with a Dentist fatale. Along the way, he takes two ill-fated Italian sojourns, the first merely uncomfortable, the second definitely dangerous.
Series info: Dr. Von Igelfeld series 1. Portuguese irregular verbs - read ------------------------ 2. The finer points of sausage dogs 3. At the villa of reduced circumstances 4. Unusual uses for olive oil ...more