Friday, November 30, 2007

Nature Girl by Carl Hiassen

Honey Santana sets out to teach a rude telemarketer a lesson, and ends up in a typical mess in the process. She lures the telemarketer and his girlfriend in the Florida Keys with the ruse of an eco-tour, and ends up on an island with her tour-ees, her ex-husband, her son, a PI and a crazed would-be suitor. Typical Hiaasen choas follows...

This is the second book I have read by Hiaasen, and it didn't seem to moved as fast for me as the previous one did. It wasn't a bad book, just slower than I was expecting. 3 stars

Monday, November 12, 2007

Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter

Jeffery Tolliver leaves Grant County to go to the aid of his officer, Lena, who has been arrested. When he arrives to help, she escapes and runs. Jeffery and Sara, his wife, stay and try to find Lena and find out why she won't ask for help. As they start investigating, they find a web of players that they can't quite get to connect. There are skinheads, drug dealers, Lena's uncle Hank, and a burned up Escalade with an unidentified body inside.

This is one of my favorite author's. She tends to be a little dark sometimes, but her mysteries are very well written. The pieces always fit together nicely! The ending on this one made my very mad though. 4 1/2 stars

The Chrysalis by Heather Terrell

Mara is attorney who has been hired to represent an auction house in a lawsuit. The plaintiff is accusing the auction house of selling stolen property. She contends that the painting they are trying to sell was stolen from her family by the Nazi's and rightfully belongs to them. The storyline follows the painting from its creation in seventeenth century Holland to the present.

This mystery was a quick and enjoyable read. I liked how the story gave perspective in both the past a present. 3 stars

Promise Not To Tell by Jennifer McMahon

Kate returns home after a long absence to care for her mother, who is suffering from dementia. When she arrives she finds a young girl has been murdered in the woods near where she grew up. This crime is very similar to the murder of her childhood friend, Del. Del's murder was never solved, and this new murder also brings up questions about the past.

I enjoyed this book and thought it was well written. There are certain aspects of this story that I find far-fetched and that turns me off a bit. I think the scariest stories are the ones that you can actually picture happening. 3 stars

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mimosa Grove by Dinah McCall

Laurel has always been had her mother and her grandmother. The gift of sight is passed down through generations to the women of her family. When her Grandmother passes away she inherits the family home in Louisiana, and decides to move down there. When she arrives, she is not the outcast that she had been growing up. In Louisiana, people with her gift are looked up to and respected.

This was a fast, enjoyable read. The mystery was light, but I enjoyed the characters and the romance. 4 stars

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Body Surfing by Anita Shreve

At 29, Sydney has already had a rough time with her relationships. Her first marriage ended in divorce, and her second marriage left her a widow. Sydney tries to escape the sorrow of her life by taking a job as a tutor for a family over the summer at their beach house. A new relationship and the sense of family she never had finally brings her some peace.

I really enjoyed this book. I hadn't been thrilled with anything I'd read lately, and finally, I found one I really like. The characters are very real and the emotions are vivid. 4 1/2 stars

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Beach House by James Patterson

Peter lives among the rich, but he is not one of them. When Peter is found dead on the beach of his rich employer it is up to his brother to find out who killed him. The authorities are of no help as they are out to protect the rich. Frustrated, Jack takes the law into his own hands.

This was a nice, quick read. Nothing amazing, but James Patterson can always be counted on for a decent mystery. 3 stars

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Opposite Shore by Maryanne Stahl

Rose has stumbled in on her husband in another woman's arms. Worse, the other woman is her sister. Rose and her daughter move away for the summer to try to rebuild their lives. Another typical family drama. Not bad, but nothing special either. 3 stars

Monday, October 15, 2007

Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston

After years of trying to get pregnant and infertility treatments Elinor's marriage, while not good, finally falls apart when she finds out her husband is having an affair. Ted finds solace with another woman, and with her son. A fairly typical story of a family that has fallen apart. 3 stars

Friday, October 12, 2007

Played by Barbara Freethy

A quick, fun mystery with a bit of romance thrown in. The story follows a stolen diamond back to it's rightful owner. 3 1/2 stars

Monday, October 1, 2007

Do They Wear High Heels in Heaven? by Erica Orloff

Lily and Michael were an unusual pair of best friends. Lily was a single mother and Michael was a handsome gay man. When Lily was diagnosed with breast cancer it was Michael who was there every step of the way, and helped pick up the pieces and make a new life with her children when she was gone. I am not usually a fan of chick lit, but I really enjoyed this book. It was very honest and heartfelt, but not sappy. 4 stars

Now You See Him by Eli Gottlieb

When Nick's friend Rob kills his girlfriend and then commits suicide, you expect him to be saddened, but to come through everything ok. Instead Nick's life begins a downward spiral that ends with his whole life falling apart. His marriage fails and his kids are alienated from him. His erratic behavior almost causes him to lose his job. This was a fairly fast read, but nothing amazing in the mystery department. I thought the twist at the end was fairly predictable. 3 stars

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern

An autistic boy goes into the woods with a classmate, and only he comes out alive. The murder mystery in the book seems secondary to me, as the story focuses on Adam and trying to unlock the secrets of what he saw. As a mystery, this wasn't a favorite, but I did enjoy the realistic detail of the struggles of raising an autistic child. 3 1/2 stars

Monday, September 24, 2007

Service Included by Phoebe Damrosch

This was another ARC I received that dealt with food...Damrosch tells her story from coffee shop waitress to 4 star restaurant captain. I found her rise to the exclusive restaurant kind of far fetched. The story was entertaining, but nothing spectacular. She also failed to describe a lot of the dishes beyond their name, and I wasn't even sure what some of the food she was talking about was. 3 stars

The Sharper Your Knife, The Less You Cry by Kathleen Flinn

Flinn lost her corporate job and decided to pursue her dream of studying at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. This was not a book I normally would have picked up, I received an ARC copy, but I really enjoyed it. Her mishaps and growth at school mirrored her life, and the book was very enjoyable. 4 stars

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thoughts on previous books

Palace of Tears: This is a short book about one man's search for a woman he loves from seeing her in a painting. It was a quick read, but wasn't a book that made much of an impression on me. 3 stars

The Red Tent: A keeper for sure! This tale of biblical times told through the eyes of women was fascinating. 5 stars

The Memory Keepers Daughter: A woman gives birth to twins, one of whom has Down's Syndrome. This baby was given away and the mother was told she died at birth. While the premise on this book was interesting, the characters fell flat. I felt no connection to any of them. For me, this book did not live up to all the hype. 2 1/2 stars

Memoirs of a Geisha: A study of the life of a geisha in their prime. I loved the detail in the book as well as the charcters. This is one that I look forward to reading again. 5 stars

The Idiot Girls' Action Adventure Club: While mildly funny the author mainly tells of her drunken mis-adventures. I don't plan to read any of her other books. 2 1/2 stars

Icy Sparks: This is the first Oprah book pick that I hated! I considered not finishing it many times, and probably should have just put it aside. I have not read anything else by the author, and am hesitant to try. 1 1/2 stars

The Girls: I had to keep reminding myself that this tale of conjoined twins was fiction! A wonderfully written story, I felt completely connected to the characters. 4 1/2 stars

A Sudden Country: A very slow moving tale of a family's ordeal on the Oregon Trail. I was often confused on who was speaking, and found the book to drag overall. I set it aside many times but did end up finishing it. 2 stars

The Rest of Her Life: A young woman runs over and kills a fellow high school student. This was a quick, light read but was nothing special. 3 1/2 stars

Wild Fire: Usually I am a huge DeMille fan, but I had a hard time getting into this one. Once I got into it the story it moved along better, but the action seemed far-fetched at best. 3 stars

Friday, September 7, 2007

Books read in 2007 prior to creating blog

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
The Palace of Tears by Alev Lytle Croutier
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen
Here on Earth by Alice Hoffman
Death in Belmont by Sebastian Junger
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
The Girls by Lori Lansens
Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning
The Idiot Girls' Action Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro
A Wicked Snow by Gregg Olsen
Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
Icy Sparks by Gwen Hyman Rubio
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander
The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Night by Elie Wiesel
Talk Talk by TC Boyle
Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas
The Baby Farm by Karen Harper
Dead Wrong by JA Jance
Dress Your Family in Corduroy & Denim by David Sedaris
Fall on Your Kness by Ann-Marie MacDonald
The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho
Fresh Disasters by Stuart Woods
The Husband by Dean Koontz
Keeper of the Keys by Perri O'Shaughnessy
Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult
Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs
The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty
The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen
One For the Money by Janet Evanovich
The Other Daughter by Lisa Gardner
The Pact by Jodi Picoult
Plain Truth byJodi Picoult
Short Straw by Stuart Woods
The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult
To Tame a Highland Warrior by Karen Marie Moning
True Evil by Greg Iles
Twisted by Jeffery Deaver
Two Little Girls in Blue by Mary Higgins Clark
Web of Evil by JA Jance
Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
A Sudden Country by Karen Fisher
Be Very Afraid by SK McClafferty
The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty
Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger
Rasputin's Daughter by Robert Alexander