We've all heard that you can't judge a book by it's cover, and I try not to do that. I dive right in and read them. Once I've read them I share my thoughts, reviews, delights and disappointments. I hope they lead others to enjoy a few minutes with a good book.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Prepared for Rage Prepared for Rage by Dana Stabenow

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
I picked up this book because I recognized the author's name. I've read a couple of the books in the Kate Shugak mystery series by Dana Stabenow and I enjoyed both the mystery, and their setting in Alaska.

This book is not part of that series. In fact, it is quite different. I find this one to be more of a thriller with 3 separate story lines: the story of a bitter young middle eastern man determined to teach the U.S. a lesson, a female astronaut preparing to live her dream on her first shuttle launch, and a coast guard captain with political ties tasked with security detail for the launch. We also follow the CIA as they hunt for a terrorist cell across the globe.

The story starts slowly and builds to an exciting climax. The main characters are well defined, and as the plot lines converge we understand just how much that moment means to each one of them. I found this to be an interesting and satisfying read.

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Sweet Revenge not as Sweet....

Sweet Revenge (Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, Book 14) Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
I've read all the books in this series, and I usually enjoy them very much. This one was ok, but seemed a little r epetitive to me. It seemed as if each chapter recapped the previous one. I found myself skimming large sections because I had no problem remembering what happened 20 pages ago. I still love the characters, and I look forward to the next book, hoping that one of my favorite caterers, Goldy Bear, is back to her usual self.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

A great summer read!

If you liked Savannah Blues
by Mary Kay Andrews you will be delighted to follow Weezie & BeBe on their next adventure. I just finished Savannah Breeze. The long time friends join forces to try regain BeBe's dignity and possessions after she puts a little too much trust in a handsome man she met at a charity ball.

BeBe, who is known for her sense of style and designer labels, as well as her astute business sense, finds herself homeless with only the clothes on her as one back. She finds that she does have one asset that she didn't even know about: The Breeze Inn. It's a rundown old motel on Tybee Island. It comes with a leaking roof, tacky decor and an hostile caretaker.

The girls set about fixing up the Inn to provide BeBe with a roof over head and hopes of some income. Then they cook up a plan to recover BeBe's fortune. They even squeeze in time for a little romance.

The book is filled with the kooky, eccentric characters I love from Mary Kay Andrews. It's a fun read for the beach or to take a little vacation by proxy.
Savannah Breeze

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Review of Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler

I just finished Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler. It is a short but likable novel.

Alice J. Wisler's debut novel draws you into the life of Nicole Michelin and her eccentric, but likable, family in Mount Olive, NC. Nicole, a teacher at the local high school, is a fish lover and writes an internet column called "Pretty Fishy". This website introduces her to Harrison, a man half way around the world who holds the key to her past.
The book is easy to read and inspirational. Nicole must be willing to step out on faith and face her fears in order to move forward with her life. I only wish the story were a bit longer so that we could find out how facing those fears impacts her life and relationships with her family and her new friend Harrison.

Rain Song

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I finished Julie & Julia last night. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I used to think that 'memoir' was just another word for autobiography. Autobiography makes me think about book reports I did in middle school. Then I discovered that memoirs don't have to be the dry, historical recounting of someone that I do not identify with. Lately I have discovered that people like me...with lives full of "OS" moments, neuroses & snarkiness...write memoirs too. Those are great fun to read! After stumbling across Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster I changed my tune on memoirs....I devoured all 3 of her books & anxiously await the next - Pretty in Plaid due out May 2009.

You don't have to be a foodie to get into Julie & Julia. Anyone who has ever had that "what's the point?" moment when going through their daily routine can identify with Julie Powell. That moment when you start to think that you are just another drone and that you aren't accomplishing anything. Staring down 30 and feeling she had no purpose, she created a daunting task for herself...cooking her way through a massive tome of french recipes in one year- and blogging about it. Never mind that there was entire chapter on eggs...which she didn't like. Never mind that she didn't have all the tools, or even know where to buy all the ingredients (I don't think my local Publix carries lamb kidneys either). Never mind the unexpected events that threatened to throw her off schedule (blackout - schmackout). Never mind that following all the instructions exactly doesn't guarantee success, only a pile of dirty pots and possibly the use of a few expletives. All the while, people she'd never met were anxiously awaiting the next tale of success or failure on her blog. As was I, cheering her on page after page. Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen

Next up: I will begin reading Rain Song by Alice J. Wisler. It is due for release October 1, 2008. I am getting a sneak peak!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Chapter One

I've often been told I should have been a librarian. I am always in the midst of a book...or two...or three. I'm like a kid in a candy store when I cross the threshold of a bookstore or library. So many books....so little time. I always leave carrying an armload up to my chin. I sometimes experience buyer's remorse when I return to my tiny apartment and attempt to squeeze them onto a shelf or add them to a teetering stack. There is no shortage of reading material around here.

The easiest place to begin is with what I am reading now. I am currently half way through Julie & Julia 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen by Julie Powell. There was a lot of buzz about this book when it came out, but I am just now getting around to reading it. It is about a woman who, finding her life in something of a rut, challenges herself to cook her way through Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I was a bit put off by the concept at first, as I've always found Julia Child's recipes a bit too fussy for my taste. Powell's book, however, is anything but fussy. She make the trials and tribulations of french cooking (as well as everyday life) hilarious and inspiring. After all, it's hard for me to make the excuse that 7:30 is too late to begin making spaghetti if she can work all day, hunt down a store selling something like marrow bones (yes it's as icky as it sounds ) & then come home & cook them.