Laura Lippman
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September 21, 2007

This contest period's winners each received a copy of THE BONE GARDEN by Tess Gerritsen, CONFESSIONS OF A PREP SCHOOL MOMMY HANDLER by Wade Rouse and YOU'VE BEEN WARNED by James Patterson and Howard Roughan.





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Thomas
Hell to Pay by George P. Pelecanos
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a really, tough, gritty novel that ain't for the kiddies. Derek Strange is a black private investigator who works with his white partner, hot-headed Terry Quinn. Together they try to make their corner of the world, the drug/gang/prostitute/murder infested Washington D.C., a better place. When one of the boys on the Pee Wee football team they are coaching is killed by some drug dealers, Strange and Quinn find themselves hunting for the killers, meeting some of the underworld's most vicious and cold-blooded kingpins D.C. has to offer.

Rachael
Last Breath by Mariah Stewart
Rating: 4 Stars
I'm really enjoying this book. It's my first read by Mariah Stewart and it's just really interesting.

Kellie (acountkel@bellsouth.net)
The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King
Rating: 4 Stars
This was about 6 girls who became friends in college and have continued to meet twice a year since graduation. The setting of the book begins when they are in their late 40s and describes the lives of these women together and apart, dealing with their own personal experiences. I thought King did an excellent job writing about southern women, with their humor, their strength and their spunk. Her writing is full of emotion and I found myself on the quintessential roller coaster ride, laughing out loud and then later with a lump in my throat. I thought this book shows immense talent in expressing deep emotion and humor, and is an excellent depiction of southern fiction. I was surprised to learn she is Pat Conroy's wife. I would definitely be interested in reading another one of her novels.

Marsha
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Rating: 4 Stars
This novel endures even though times and circumstances have changed immensely for women since the years right after World War I. The style of writing is marvelous.

Christy H.
Fairyville by Emma Holly
Rating: 5 Stars
This book has it all --- sex, fairies (big and small), sex, humor, sex, romance, and more sex. Add on top of that a fun plot that is fast and easy and will keep you turning the pages. The characters are wonderful and you will fall in love with Zoe, Magnus, Alex and Bryan. After reading this book, I was once again reminded of why Ms. Holly is one of my most favorite authors.

Jud Hanson
The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the best legal thriller I've read in a while. Successful lawyer Mickey Haller is riding on the edge with two ex-wives and 4 Lincolns, and thinks he's hit the jackpot when Roulet comes along, accused of assault and attempted rape. He realizes that things may not always be as they seem and that's where the thrill ride begins. A must read if you like suspense.

Judy O.
In The Woods by Tana French
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a novel of psychological suspense. A young girl named Katy is found murdered at the site of an archeology dig where they are in the process of building a motorway in Dublin. Detective Rob Ryan is working the case along with his partner, Cassie Maddox. Ryan was the sole survivor of the disappearance of two children many years ago at the same spot as Katy is found. Are the two cases linked? This is a suspenseful, compelling story. My only criticism is that I thought it was too long. Some of the "filler" could have been left out.

Bonnie
Down River by John Hart
Rating: 5 Stars
I received an advance readers' copy and read 237 pages on the first day. It's truly a page-turner of a mystery and so much more. It's also a wonderful story of family ties, relationships and friendship. It'll keep you guessing and keep you reading. A bonus is that it's very well written.

Judith Oldner (jkayeoldner@yahoo.com)
Journey of the Snow Goose by Barbary Chaapel
Rating: 5 Stars
Honestly, I have wanted to do exactly what this lady has done --- set sail and travel along the coast, only she did it for 7 years --- wow!


Judith Oldner (jkayeoldner@yahoo.com)
The Woods by Harlan Coben
Rating: 4 Stars
This is my first book by Coben, but it won't be my last. I just loved it!


Elaine
Buddha by Deepak Chopra
Rating: 5 Stars
Mr. Chopra tells the story of Buddha, from his childhood as a prince, to leaving his wife and child to search for inner peace by years of meditation. This is fiction since the life of Buddha is not known. The book is thought provoking and worth the read.

Marilyn
Just One Look by Harlan Coben
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a good mystery and it definitely keeps you interested. I couldn't put this book down. The plot is complex and fast paced.

Lori Barnes (photoquest@bellsouth.net)
The Wicked Games of a Gentleman by Jillian Hunter
Rating: 4 Stars
I had to give this story 4 stars because of Drake --- I think every woman would love this man. Eloise was a good choice for him. I enjoyed the story line and loved the book. I felt like the end should have came about 40 pages before it did; besides that, it was a enjoyable read

Karen Barash
Away From Her by Alice Munro
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a beautifully written touching story about a long marriage and a spouse's decent into Alzheimer's disease.

Jo-Ann Burton (jenni_purrr@yahoo.com)
Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
Rating: 5 Stars
Thursday Next is at it again as she tries to save the Literary World from itself while training two new cadets --- both of them herself from previous novels --- and getting her son Friday motivated to want to be in the Chrono Guard (which has to do with time management.) She also must tell her husband Landen that her new rug career is just a ruse so that she can keep righting the literary wrongs in the world. There is, of course, much more but you must read the book to find out what else is happening.

Carol Hoyer from VA (pageant4u@hotmail.com)
Proud to Be by Kelly Flinn
Rating: 3 Stars
This is a true account of Kelly Flinn, the first B-52 female bomber pilot, and her account of sexism, bias and prejudice of women in the armed forces. She was charged with having an adulterous affair and was discharged from the Air Force.

If you'd like to learn about the inner workings of the Air Force, this will be good for you. I found the book to be quite boring all the way through Chapter 7. Then she began to discuss the relationship she had and the Air Forces attempt to discredit her.


Rita B.
The Camel Club by David Balducci
Rating: 4 Stars
Good thriller that certainly kept my attention.
The plot isn't very realistic, though.


Sharron
Alphabet Weekends: Love on the Road from A to Z by Elizabeth Noble
Rating: 4 Stars
It's not great literature, but real chick lit. However, it was fun and inspirational to think of alphabet weekends I could have with my hubby!

Bridget
Mr. Emerson's Wife by Amy Belding Brownskip
Rating: 5 Stars
Very interesting novel about the wife of Ralph Waldo Emerson. It starts with her first meeting with him and ends many years later with his death. At the start, Mrs. Emerson is a very independent woman with no desire to marry. She falls in love with Emerson's mind and is encouraged by her sister to marry. Her marriage forces her to give up many things (her home in Plymouth, her name as her husband changes it from Lydia to Lydian). Her spirit remains independent, but the marriage is not a happy one. Lydian's relationship with Thoreau is also included. This is a novel, the writer imagining all the "unsaid things" in the writings of various characters, but it is extremely well done.

Ma Titwonky (matitwonky@gmail.com)
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Rating: 5 Stars
The reason I wanted to read THE KITE RUNNER was because I wanted to learn more about Afghanistan. I've read a number of non-fiction books about the country, but most of them deal with terrorism. I wanted to learn about the people, what life there is like, and how the people of that country withstood the horrible disruption they endured first when the Russians came and then when the Taliban was in charge. This book did what none of those about terrorism could do. It made the Afghanis real people and gave great insight into what their lives have been like for the past 30 years. It is a sad story, but it's one well worth reading.

Roxie
Whistling in the Dark by Leslie Kagen
Rating: 5 Stars
A story taking place in the 1950s that follows one little girl during the summer in a small town where there are little girls being raped and killed. It's not gory, as it is told by a 10- year-old girl.

Christy H. (hawkes@citlink.net)
The Quickie by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
Rating: 5 Stars
Wow! What a roller coaster ride! I've never read a book with so many twists and turns. This action-packed thriller was a fast-paced read (I read it in one sitting). From the very beginning, I was turning pages, thinking, "Can this situation get any worse?!" Yes! It can, and it does. This book had a great storyline with characters that are nothing that you'd expect and anything but ordinary.


Christy H. (hawkes@citlink.net)
When I'm Not Myself by Deborah J. Wolf
Rating: 4 Stars
After Cara's husband leaves her (and their four children) for a younger woman, she is left to pick up the pieces of her life. This was an emotional book dealing with the struggles of infidelity and the loss of oneself and identity. I thought this was a wonderful novel and I look forward to reading more books by Ms. Wolf.

Kali Moore (KalisCrib@aol.com)
The Ultimate Passage by Jean Hackensmith and Kathe Birch
Rating: 5 Stars
This last book in the Passage time travel saga is outstanding. In fact, the entire saga is well above the standards for the "usual" time travel romances. The characters are believable and likable (Heck, I built on a room in my house for them while I was reading the books!) What I liked most, I think, is that the characters are human. They actually make mistakes. Also, the settings for the books are spectacular. THE ULTIMATE PASSAGE takes place in 14th century Scotland, and the hero is from the 24th century! Yes, this guy travels backward in time over 1000 years --- and he is President of the United States, to boot! Where he comes from, sex has been outlawed and "Vulcan-like" people live in domed cities. He is outraged, of course, when he is expected to have sex with his new bride. His fear of sex is truly believable and really funny, too! I can't recommend the book, and the saga, highly enough.

Christy H. (hawkes@citlink.net)
Lake of Fire by Linda Jacobs
Rating: 5 Stars
Linda Jacobs has done it again with this third novel in her Yellowstone series. This time, the setting is 1900 and Cord Sutton is traveling from the Grand Tetons to the Lake Hotel in Yellowstone when he rescues heiress, Laura Fielding from a stagecoach robbery. Both of them are hiding secrets as they travel through the wilderness together, only to have more than just their hidden identities to deal with once they arrive. Ms. Jacobs weaves an intriguing and interesting storyline while she treats you to park and surrounding area history, flora and fauna and the splendors of Yellowstone. I highly recommend not only this book, both both of her previous books: SUMMER OF FIRE and RAIN OF FIRE.

CJ Jones (ajones1021@comcast.net)
The Quickie by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
Rating: 3 Stars
This book just hit the best seller list as Patterson usually does. It has the usual short paragraphs, good characterizations and the plot twists and turns. However, I didn't think it was one of his best. I hate it when a book grabs you at the front end and falls apart at the finale. Thus, the 3 stars --- I'm glad I got it at the library.

Jen Mulsow
The Secrets of the Tsil Cafe by Thomas Fox Averill
Rating: 5 Stars
This was a great book. It takes place in Kansas City and is the story of a family of chefs/cooks, and how they mix the old world with the new.

CJ Jones (ajones1021@comcast.net)
You Made Me Love You by Joanna Goodman
Rating: 4 Stars
This complex book would make a great addition to any book club. It's about three very different sisters and the family dynamics regarding their career choices, locations, and --- of course --- the men in their lives. There parents and grandmother in Toronto also play roles in the plot, which is full of twists and turns. I found this a quick fun read --- no concentration necessary --- with strong characters, sharp dialogue and crisp humor that are deeply embedded in the story.

CJ Jones (ajones1021@comcast.net)
Keeping the World Away by Margaret Forster
Rating: 5 Stars
Between 1907-1909, Gwen John painted a series of paintings of her room in the rue Cherche Midi, Paris. Prior to this, Ms. John was a paramour of the great sculptor, Rodin; she was also one of his models. The novel starts with a host of characters --- young artists from England seeking their start in Paris --- and of course, the affair and its end with Rodin. Gwen John sought solitude in her room and painted her "loneliness" in many many ways. This novel is based on her first attempt, which she gave as a wrapped up gift to Ursula --- one of the few fellow artists who supported her both during and after the affair.

Upon Ursula's return to England, she loses the valise in which the painting was placed, and the book follows the painting through its different owners. The characters in this novel are so vivid and intertwined in richly defined prose. Dont miss this book --- it's hard to describe, but it's a fabulous read!


Ozarks Anne
Watch Them Die by Kevin O'Brien
Rating: 3 Stars
The story starts off great, but a long time and many pages later, we're still bogged down in too many possible stalkers, all manner of suspicious characters, and finally --- after muddling through and eventually scanning lots of pages, we discover the killer is not any of the above. Although several main characters fit the mold of the killer, the reader knew none of them were guilty, for that was far to obvious.

Roxie
The Rest of Her Life by Laura Moriarty
Rating: 4 Stars
The story of a mom whose daughter hits a teenager in a crosswalk while talking on her cell phone. I felt for all the parties involved. Great story!

Roxie
Mary Modern by Camille Deanglis
Rating: 3 Stars
An interesting story about a lady who clones her grandmother. She is expecting a baby, and instead, gets a 22-year-old woman and all the trouble that ensues.

Laura A. Adams (Laura.Adams@ky.gov)
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
Rating: 4 Stars
Very interesting book. A woman has twins but because one has Down Syndrome, the father --- who is also the doctor --- tells the woman that only one lived. The rest of the book is about how that one lie affects the couple, both twins who are living separately and unaware of the other, and the woman who raises the other twin. It is a great read for anyone interested in psychology.

Roxie
Two Truths and a Lie by Katrina Kittle
Rating: 4 Stars
The story revolves around a woman who told her husband when they first met that she had a twin who died. She kept the lie up for 8 years. The story involves a murder, so there is suspense and heartbreak. It's a great story, but the only thing I didn't find believable was reading animals' minds.

Ma Titwonky (matitwonky@gmail.com)
The Sculptress by Minette Walters
Rating: 5 Stars
THE SCULPTRESS won the Edgar Award in 1994. It is a tightly crafted story about a young woman who is arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to no less than 25 years for slaughtering her mother and her sister in the kitchen of their home. She is named The Sculptress because of small figures she makes from clay and keeps with her in her jail cell. When an author is given the assignment of writing a book about he Sculptress and starts to suspect that Olive really didn't commit this crime at all, the story gets more complex as more people are interviewed and Olive's confession begins to fall apart. This book is mystery writing at its very best and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a whodunnit that keeps you guessing until the very end.

Genie
The Chick and the Dead by Casey Daniels
Rating: 5 Stars
Pepper Martin thought maybe her dealings with the spirit world were over once she discovered who killed mafia don Gus Scarpetti. She soon discovers her hope was in vain when a second ghost, Didi Bowman, introduces herself and says,"Gus sent me." Didi insists that is the only one who can help her prove that she is the author of a bestselling novel; not her sister, Merilee Bowman who has taken the credit and the royalties.

Once again, Pepper is crossing paths with a number of unusual people who aren't what they seem to be. They lead her into situations both strange and dangerous. Seems someone is determined to keep the truth about the book buried; possibly burying Pepper as well.


Louise Pledge
Remembering Wholeness by Carol Tuttle
Rating: 5 Stars
Carol Tuttle is a Spiritual Therapist with many patients and much experience in the field. She has developed techniquess for taking control of one's life, planning it and fulfilling those plans, avoiding pain and struggle, etc. I have highlighted so many pages in it.

Genie
Edge of Evil by J. A. Jance
Rating: 5 Stars
TV journalist Alison Reynolds's career came to a sudden end when the TV execs decided they wanted a "younger face." This is only the beginning of major life changes for Alison. Days later, she finds herself headed back home to Arizona when she finds out that her best friend died under strange circumstances. Going home among family and friends, while coping with life-changing situations of career change and divorce, seemed to be a peaceful plan, but doesn't find the peace and quiet she sought, and decides to start an investigation on her friend's death. There's only one major problem --- someone doesn't want Alison "nosing" around.

A subplot unfolds when Alison (with the help of her son) launches an online blog. What begins as a way for her to remain in contact with her views soon becomes an outlet for others in similar circumstances. Unfortunately, a disgruntled reader begins making threatening posts and Alison finds her life threatened from more than one dangerous source.


JaneAnn Railey
Little Bitty Lies by Mary Kay Andrews
Rating: 3 Stars
Though it was a entertaining read, I was disappointed that it wasn't as good as Andrews's first, SAVANNAH BLUES, which was a 5-star read.

Marcia Fram
Saving the World by Julia Alvarez
Rating: 5 Stars
This was a wonderful story, filled with good characters who cared so much for the orphans who carried the smallpox vaccine to so many countries. The underlying story of the characters and their interactions was interesting also, and I enjoyed the writing very much.

Carly
The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber
Rating: 4 Stars
I picked up this book because I had loved Gruber's previous novel, THE WITCH'S BOY. His new novel has several different plots happening at once and switches among them from one chapter to the next. It is a little hard to follow but I am finding it intriguing and fun to read.

Bonnie
Red Sea by Emily Benedek
Rating: 4 Stars
Contemporary thriller set in the Middle East with the FBI and Israeli spies working together to prevent a cataclysmic event in the US that would make 9/11 pale in comparison. A real page-turner.

Alice
Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah
Rating: 4 Stars
Although this is a young readers' book, it was excellent. It's the story of an unwanted child in pre- and post World War II China. I wanted more and found another book by the author FALLING LEAVES. Great book.

Genie
Don of the Dead by Casey Daniels
Rating: 5 Stars
When Pepper Martin's medical doctor father is convicted of Medicare fraud, the ex-rich girl is forced to find a job. With no previous job experience and a degree in Art History, Pepper takes a job as a tour guide in a cemetery. This simple job takes a new turn when she trips and falls, hitting her head on the tombstone of a "whacked" mafia don. This accident leaves her with the unwanted ability to communicate with disgruntled spirits; beginning with don Gus Scarpetti who insists she track down his killer. So begins a series of strange events and unusual people. Pepper must decide if facing several life-threatening situations is worth the risk of continuing this investigation. Of course, giving up will result in having to cope with Gus, the restless spirit, permanently. Decisions, decisions!

Noreen Brown
The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva
Rating: 4 Stars
A must read for anyone concerned about the future of Europe and the US, with a scary premise. It is an easy way to get an understanding of fanatic Islamism.

Christy H. (hawkes@citlink.net)
Power Play by Joseph Finder
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a book that you will not want to miss! It's packed with action, multi-dimensional characters, and a fascinating plot involving the kidnapping of a large corporation's top executives at a fishing lodge in the middle of a desolate wilderness. You'll find yourself on the edge of your seat trying to turn the pages fast enough.

shy eyes
Play Dirty by Sandra Brown
Rating: 5 Stars
Once again, Sandra does an excellent job of grabbing your attention in the first chapter! Grif is an ex-football star caught racketeering and must rebuild his life, then he gets an offer that is too good to be true! It's quite good, and it's nice to have a book about a man for a change.

Angie Tucker
The Dogs Who Found Me by Ken Foster
Rating: 5 Stars
If you have ever rescued a dog, you will love this book. If you haven't, you will be touched by Ken Foster's account as he adopts a dog in New York City in August 2001, only to experience the September 11th disaster with his new pet. Follow him as he moves to the gulf coast, meeting more dogs who become part of his family, ending up in a New Orleans apartment in August 2005. Everyone will love this book.

Carol Hoyer from VA (pageant4u@hotmail.com)
Parched: A Memoir by Heather King
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a story of one woman's journey into alcoholism and back. She spent her life waitressing even though she graduated from law school. She couldn't understand why her life turned out like it did, not realizing that realize she was her own worst enemy.

It will make you cry, get angry and be happy all at once.


Carol Hoyer from VA (pageant4u@hotmail.com)
Angel's Rest by Charles Davis
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the author's first book and it is a must read! From the hills of West Virginia, the author talks about being poor on the wrong side of the tracks as well as the early life of the KKK. His father dies suddenly and his mother was put in prison for his death, but the real killer was.....? His best friend was an elderly black man to whom his mom entrusted his care --- and that didn't set with certain white people in the country.

Ma Titwonky (matitwonky@gmail.com)
Players by Clay Reynolds
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the second novel I've read read by Clay Reynolds, and I will be looking for more of his work. Reynolds writes very complex stories, which follow several characters at the same time until they all meet up at some point close to the end of the book. I enjoy stories like this --- kind of a combination thriller and mystery with just enough craziness to keep things from ever becoming dull. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys complex stories with surprises, some mystery, and some very eccentric characters.

Rita B.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
Rating: 5 Stars
Until now, I thought that HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE was my favorite, but this last volume is the very best!

Ma Titwonky (matitwonky@gmail.com)
A Spot Of Bother by Mark Haddon
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the story of George, who finds an eruption on his skin and is sure he has cancer. All the members of George's family, and including people who are close to them, are involved in this story, and it is one of the best books I've read in a long time. The characters are eccentric, but they are quite believable, each in his or her own way. They all share one key factor in common --- coming to terms with adulthood and what that means to all of them. I highly recommend this book for its humor and for its wonderful grasp of the foibles of human nature.

Corinna
Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
Rating: 4 Stars
I hesitate to give this 5 stars, as I am not finished with it yet. I have about 100 pages left! So far, I absolutely love this book. It's written very well. I like the way the author makes me feel when I read it. It is easily understandable but still educational. I am attached to the characters and feel like I have a connection to them; I find myself wanting certain things --- good and bad --- for the main characters. It had just enough mystery and 'good stuff,' without overwhelming you with detail. I am a HUGE animal lover --- I think that is a huge reason as to why I am so involved with the storyline. Every animal lover should read this book but it is definitely not limited to animal lovers.

I have wanted to read this book for a year now, and I have only heard amazing things about it. I have to agree with most of them! I strongly recommend this book


Kellie (acountkel@bellsouth.net)
The Birdman by Mo Hayder
Rating: 3 Stars
Detective Inspector John Caffrey is the lead detective on "The Birdman" case. Five woman are found dead in a wasteland. Postmortem findings link them and Caffrey is on the trail of a serial killer. Caffrey is also fighting his own personal demons involving a death in the family from long ago. This novel is definitely full of action and suspense. The fact that the reader gets in the killer's head and knows who it is before the protagonist is interesting and unique. Hayder's style is successful, but I don't think she belongs in the same league as the Deaver, George or Connelly. I think the character development was a bit weak. Seeing as this was Hayder's debut, I would be inclined to try another to see if she improves with experience.

Susan in AZ
Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
Rating: 4 Stars
This horror novel by Stephen King's son is really nothing special, but it is really hard to put down. That's why I gave it 4 stars. It had me hooked.

It concerns Jude Coyne, an aging rock star, with little going in his life. He has plenty of money, an assistant to handle all of his business affairs, and a pretty young girlfriend to keep him company. He also has a macabre collection of objects --- a signed confession from a witch who was burned at the stake, a human skull, a snuff film, etc. So, when he sees a ghost for sale on the Internet, he buys it. It comes in the form of a black Sunday suit. Jude is amused by his purchase, until strange things start happening in his house. Terrified by the sinister ghost, Jude and his girlfriend take off on a journey to find the ghost's human family and enlist their help in getting rid of it.

It's an interesting plot with lots of action. I also like the transformation Jude goes through as he faces the ghosts of his own past and finds shreds of goodness in his crusty old soul.

A warning: The book is bloody and has a lot of profanity. It's also fairly crude, so I felt I should warn you. It is really addicting, though, so don't start it if you don't want to finish!


Carol Hoyer from VA (pageant4u@hotmail.com)
We Lived in a Little Cabin in the Yard by Belinda Hurmence
Rating: 5 Stars
A must read for everyone! This book contains 21 true accounts of slavery in Virginia --- people of all ages working hard long hours for no pay, minimal clothing, food and no shoes, as well as accounts of how they worked, adjusted to freedom, and how they were treated. The book also includes accounts of white slaves. None of us will ever know the true impact of slavery on families.

Louise Pledge
Missing by Sharon Sala
Rating: 5 Stars
One reason I liked this book was that the story was quite different from the usual. Parts are tear-jerking, tender, and emotional, while others are depraved and violent.

The main character goes from life as a POW to widower, to psycho, to recluse, and finally, back to normality with many diverse experiences along the way.


Louise Pledge
Barbara Bush: A Memoir by Barbara Bush
Rating: 5 Stars
I love this book! Whether you're a Republican or Democrat (or neither), you'll enjoy learning about the Bush family's adventures. Barbara has a great sense of humor and relates history in a way that's fun to read. I only wish she had written it later in life, after her son became president. Maybe she'll add on to it someday :)

Louise Pledge
Panic by Jeff Abbott
Rating: 4 Stars
This plot was a little deep for me, but I really enjoyed the book, anyway. The main character, who has a very successful and peaceful life, suddenly finds out his very existence is a lie --- his parents are not who he believed them to be --- and soon finds himself enmeshed in several life-or-death flights from the CIA...or is it really the CIA? There are several people who claim to be the good guy (including his girlfriend), and it gets hard to tell who is and who is a mortal enemy, instead.

Warning: If you don't like violence and gore, this isn't the book for you.


Ma Titwonky (matitwonky@gmail.com)
Triangle by Katharine Weber
Rating: 4 Stars
The Triangle Shirt Factory Fire was one of the worst disasters in New York's history. Weber tells the story of the fire through one woman's experience. Esther Gottfeld watched her sister and her fiance jump to their deaths from the 9th story of the Triangle Shirt building. Many of those caught in the inferno chose to jump to a certain death rather than to be burned alive. Esther recounts her memories of the fire to a woman obsessed with the details of the fire, and through the retelling of her story there are some twists and turns that provided a very good mystery along with the factual details of such a horrific event.

Louise Pledge
Night Sins by Tami Hoag
Rating: 5 Stars
I loved this book and couldn't put it down till I finished it. However, there WAS really no finish! It turned out when I got to the end that there is a sequel, so I didn't get to find out what really happened to the victim or others involved in the story. I have to read the next book to find out. Being in Saudi Arabia right now, it's not easy to run out and find that book or to buy from eBay, etc.

So what I'm saying is that I highly recommend the book, but only if you buy GUILTY AS SIN at the same time, so you can read both together.


Rita
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
Rating: 4 Stars
This haunting story explores how interwoven the lives of people in a small Midwestern town can become. The twists and turns of the main characters' lives resulting from this death are both sad and binding.

Ma Titwonky (matitwonky@gmail.com)
Simple Genius by David Baldacci
Rating: 3 Stars
Sean King and Michelle Maxwell team up again in another thriller. I like this duo, but I found this particular story about them rather formulaic. It was almost as though I could see the outline Baldacci used to keep the action moving from one scene to the next. Still, it was a decent thriller, if not one of Baldacci's best.

Louise Pledge
The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale
Rating: 5 Stars
I'm reading this again after many years and I needed the reminders of how negative thinking can ruin your life and your health.

Kay Keller
On The Fifth Day by A. J. Hartley
Rating: 4 Stars
The protagonist is a high school English teacher who, while trying to find out how his brother (a Catholic priest) died, travels overseas and fights for his life at the hands of mysterious "bad guys." This really is a good thriller, and even though it slowed down in the second half, it picked up at the end and came to a satisfying conclusion.

Jon
Wonderful Tonight by Pattie Boyd and Penny Junor
Rating: 4 Stars
Another interesting look at life from the former wife of two of the biggest rock legends of our time. It's unfortunate that she didn't realize how riding the comet with George Harrison and Eric Clapton would effect her after it was all over. Unfortunately, the afterlife of Pattie Boyd seems somewhat tragic, after seeing the life she lead previously. She even put them first in the title. This is a good book for fans of either rock star or of a look behind the curtain.

Joan
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Rating: 5 Stars
A delightful, magical story of two sisters reuniting after 10 years. Both try to resist the special gift they have been given, but know they must accept it to move on in their lives.

Gail
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran
Rating: 5 Stars
An excellent story about Nefertiti, as told through the eyes of her sister, Mutnodjmet. The story begins just prior to Nefertiti meeting Amunhotep and ends with her death. The book draws you into their world so that you see it through both Nefertiti and Mutnodjmet's eyes.


Jon
One Shot by Lee Child
Rating: 3 Stars
This is the third Jack Reacher novel I've read and it had a good page-turning plot. The only issue that I had with it was that the believability factor in this one was a bit thin. Some of the characters' actions and the fact that nobody ever lays a glove on Reacher is a bit hard to swallow.

L. Hann
The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen
Rating: 5 Stars
Tess does it again. This one had me on the edge of my seat the whole night. Now that fall is fast approaching, this is a great book to curl up with on a cool night. You will not be able to put it down.

Julie Towson (Julietowson131@aol.com)
Power Play by Joseph Finder
Rating: 5 Stars
A fantastic read! This is a real page turner that you don't want to end. It's the story of a corporate meeting out in a remote area of Canada with no means of communication with the outside. It's supposed to be a retreat and a "team building" experience, but soon turns into a hostage nightmare.

Antoinette
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Rating: 5 Stars
The best book I have read in ages! I could not put it down once I got involved in the story. The book takes place in Spain and revolves around Daniel, whose father takes him to the Cemetery of Lost Books. He gets to pick one book, which is his to take care of forever. Their is a mystery surrounding the book's author and Daniel and friends are totally involved. Run to the store for this one.

Allan Fredericks (afredericks1@msn.com)
You've Been Warned by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
Rating: 4 Stars
I just finished this book of deep suspense. It is extremely entertaining with many twists and turns. You don't know where it is all heading, but when you get to the last chapter or two, you will be very shocked by the ending. This is one of Patterson's better books.

Antoinette
The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence
Rating: 5 Stars
A Canadian classic that I recommend for everyone. This book is about an older woman looking back on her life. She is over 90 years old, and is a character you won't soon forget. This was an excellent book --- if you have to deal with an older relative who is somewhat unpleasant, you will just love it.

Jean
Murder Most Frothy by Cleo Coyle
Rating: 4 Stars
A lighthearted cozy centering around coffee houses, with interesting coffee facts and tidbits. While these books are quite cozy, they aren't corny. They are light, but also very entertaining.

FO
Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver
Rating: 4 Stars
I enjoyed THE BEAN TREES so much that I had to jump right into PIGS IN HEAVEN right away. Once again, Barbara Kingsolver did not disappoint. Her characters are so engaging that they keep the pages turning. I really enjoyed this book.

Rosalie Sambuco (tigersmama43213@aol.com)
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
Rating: 5 Stars
An American classic that should be required reading for every high school student.

Mary Ann Wendel
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Rating: 4 Stars
This book is very reminiscent of a good gothic novel. It had it all: mystery and intrigue, unique family dynamics, history, suspense, and romance. Some subjects s could be bothersome, but it was written in such a way that you only observed and didn't feel threatened. It was an extremely well-written book, and reminds me of WUTHERING HEIGHTS in a way, though the subject matter of twins and sisters was at the forefront of this great book.

Rosalie Sambuco (tigersmama43213@aol.com)
Killer Instinct by Joseph Finder
Rating: 4 Stars
An exciting story about an American business that makes plasma TVs and other electronic items. The question is, "When is it OK to use underhanded means to further your position at your job?" It was very Interesting.

Becky Cruz (ABamaBecky@aol.com)
Hard And Fast by Lisa Renee Jones
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a very good book for the romance fans out there. It combines romance and the world of pro baseball. Amanda Wright is the new reporter on the block. When Brad Rogers, a gorgeous star pitcher, starts sending her signals that she can't miss, she has to choose between the best story of her life and the best sex. This was a good sexy book.

Rosalie Sambuco (tigersmama43213@aol.com)
The Language of Threads by Gail Tsukiyama
Rating: 5 Stars
A sequel to WOMEN OF THE SILK, this is the story of Pei, a young girl in China who works in the silk factories. This book is her story escaping the Japanese by going to Hong Kong, just before the Japanese occupation.

Rosalie Sambuco (tigersmama43213@aol.com)
Peony in Love by Lisa See
Rating: 3 Stars
I was slightly disappointed with this book. It was interesting and informative; but very slow moving.

Maria Bongiovanni (mariabong@cox.net)
The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle
Rating: 4 Stars
This is an interesting, but tough book to read. This book follows two families: one is very well off, lives in a very prosperous neighborhood, and deals with problems like putting up a guard gate or a wall around their community; the second family is a husband and wife who have crossed the Tijuana border to find work and are trying to find any work in order to eat. They live in the canyon near the 1st family and struggle to survive. It is difficult to see the one family struggle, while the other want for nothing.

F Tessa Bartels
A Dollar Short by Karin Gillespie
Rating: 2 Stars
Actually 2.5 stars.
Waitress Chiffon, her spinster sister Chenille, and philandering husband Lonnie are at the center of this second installment (after BET YOUR BOTTOM DOLLAR). It's a fast, fun read.


F Tessa Bartels
The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
Rating: 3 Stars
A sort of Latina Waiting to Exhale. I enjoyed the book, but I think it may have been better with one fewer character and more on the remaining women's problems. She's a promising author, though, and I'll read more of her work.

Richard
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
Rating: 3 Stars
More like 3.5 stars.
This is a very interesting story about one man's quest to build schools for girls in the small tribal villages of Pakistan --- his way of repaying the debt he feels to the villagers who saved his life when he was descending a mountain climb. He sets out to fulfill his promise without any clue as to how to go about it, but he just keeps going forward. He has accomplished so much. A very positive message.
The reason I don't give it more stars is that the writing isn't very good.


Jean
The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee
Rating: 5 Stars
A tiny little book centered on books, book buying, bookstores, etc. It's just the perfect read for the true bibliophile. An interesting and fascinating read, perfect to cozy up with in your favorite reading chair.

Phyllis
The Royal Mess by MaryJanice Davidson
Rating: 4 Stars
Another lighthearted romp with the Alaskan royals --- it is a funny and delightful book.

Penney Kolb (mkolb48117@aol.com)
The Margarets by Sheri S. Tepper
Rating: 5 Stars
Ms. Tepper is an incredibly inventive author and this book lives up to that.

Margaret grows up as the only child in the Mars colony. The earth has been destroyed through overpopulation and overuse. It is so nearly barren that water must be imported.

She invents six imaginary friends as playmates and as the story progresses, we see the Margarets leaving Mars and scattering away.

How they are gathered again and what becomes of them is a beautiful song of human determination.

The themes of this book and its excellent writing made me unable to put it down, and as soon as I reluctantly reached the end, I poured myself a coffee and turned back to page one.


Coral Harrison
Raising Blaze by Debra Ginsberg
Rating: 5 Stars
A non-fiction book about the author's son who is not quite normal, but no definite thing can be found wrong with him. She is a lone parent but has complete support from her parents, 3 sisters and a brother. RAISING BLAZE describes the problems encountered raising him. A very uplifting book.

Coral Harrison
The Diary of Mattie Spencer by Sandra Dallas
Rating: 5 Stars
This diary has been found after Mattie has been dead. She describes her marriage and move to Colorado by covered wagon on her honeymoon. She has many trials and tribulations, but it is very interesting.

Ruby D
Francesca's Kitchen by Peter Pezzelli
Rating: 5 Stars
A heartwarming story about a widowed Italian American grandmother who takes a part-time job as a nanny in the chaotic household of a single working mother and her two children. This book will have you smiling as you see how she becomes involved in their lives and finds out that things do not always go according to plan.

Maureen D. Dooley
The Cure by Geeta Anand
Rating: 5 Stars
An engrossing saga of one family's harrowing experiences living with two children suffering from an incurable genetic disorder, which renders them so physically incapacitated that 24-hour home nursing becomes essential.

Their father, an MBA Harvard graduate and lawyer, tailors his once boundless career toward working in biotech startups, and later with one of the giants, searching for a treatment, and possibly a cure.

The time window is quite finite an the reader is truly engrossed in the pressure capsule with the players, who are chiseled in remarkably life-like precision, by a journalist-turned-researcher and author.

The conflict of profit vs. compassionate care outlines every page.


Susan C
The Burnt House by Faye Kellerman
Rating: 5 Stars
Another great Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus mystery. I love these characters; Kellerman is at her best when she writes about this couple and their relationship.

Caroline Savard
The Cleaner by Brett Battles
Rating: 4 Stars
I'm still in the process of reading this book. So far, it's an intelligent and realistic read. I'm loving it!

Laura
Cross by James Patterson
Rating: 3 Stars
I always enjoy a James Patterson book, but this one didn't meet my expectations. It was still good, but I finished it with a little bit of a letdown feeling. I'm anxious to read the next book in the Cross series.

Diana (bearzwitch) (bearzwitch@gmail.com)
The Burnt House by Faye Kellerman
Rating: 4 Stars
I have read all of Decker and Lazarus books by Faye Kellerman. With each book, I have been more fascinated with these characters and how they have progressed over the years. It was a wonderful book filled with interesting plot work and ethnic traditions. I feel that I have watched this family grow and become a staple of my reading world.

Alicia Burnette (saveypiratecat@yahoo.com)
The Summer I Dared by Susan Wiggs
Rating: 4 Stars
This was an insightful story about a woman's life taking a turn of events that she didn't see coming. This was an enjoyable read and you'll learn something about lobster fishing as a bonus.

Laurie Blum (laurieblum@hotmail.com)
Crusader Gold by David Gibbons
Rating: 3 Stars
If you enjoyed Atlantis and are fans of Dan Brown and Indiana Jones, CRUSADER GOLD by David Gibbons should be next on your book list! Fact, fiction, adventure --- a great mystery!

Amelia Rand (ameliarand@yahoo.com)
Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish
Rating: 4 Stars
A great story of friendship, acceptance of one another, and an "out of the box" funeral!

Brian
Brendon Mouse's Big Idea to Save the Bad Bird by Greg Watkins
Rating: 5 Stars
The second installment by this author/ illustrator in a character education series of picture books for young readers. It continues with themes of bullying, forgiveness, friendship and diversity.

Margaret Ladue (laduea@frontiernet.net)
The Husband by Dean Koontz
Rating: 4 Stars
I am currently reading this book, and I didn't want to give it 5 stars because I haven't read the ending yet. It is the first book I have read by this author. So far, it is very good; I hope the end does not disappoint.

NMc
Dreaming in Cuban by Cristina Garcia
Rating: 4 Stars
A beautifully written book! The lush language and incredible characters make this a joy to read.

Ann Marie
An Equal Music by Vikram Seth
Rating: 5 Stars
This moving novel of great music, romance and entanglements was hard to put down. It would be a good selection for book clubs to discuss and listen to the music.

Carmee Ross
Crossing Over by Ruth Irene Garrett
Rating: 4 Stars
I am enjoying this book and learning about the Amish life. Ruth Irene Garrett shares with the reader everyday Amish life and how isolated they are from the rest of the world.

Claire from Royal Oak, MI (clairebcw@sbcglobal.net)
Hard Row by Margaret Maron
Rating: 5 Stars
This is another great read in the Deborah Knott series. Her large family of brothers and other kin, her recent marriage to Dwight, the unexpected addition of his 8-year-old son and a gruesome murder keep the suspense moving. The best thing about Maron's books is the way you feel you know all these
people.


Marie
The Burnt House by Faye Kellerman
Rating: 4 Stars
A very Good thriller/mystery featuring Decker and Lazarus. Decker investigates the whereabouts of a missing flight attendant after a horrific plane crash. Recommended.

Marie
Soul Catcher by Michael White
Rating: 5 Stars
Excellent historical novel about runaway slaves and "soul catchers", those who are hired to find them. Highly recommended.

Pamela Schofield
The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva
Rating: 5 Stars
An exciting read, start to finish. Silva makes you think about what is going on in our world right now with this powerful story of kidnapping and terrorism. It is impossible to put this book down once you begin reading it. It brings home the threat our country and Europe faces each and every day.The victim and those who try to save her are brave in the face of certain danger, and you find yourself racing to finish each chapter to see who survives. A must-read book!

M. Blitz
Blood of the Fold by Terry Goodkind
Rating: 4 Stars
The Sword of Truth series continues. A great beginning series into the realm of fantasy.

Tamara Ring
Best Friends by Martha Moody
Rating: 5 Stars
This book traces a friendship from college through middle age. Sally and Clare's development and the progression of their friendship feels true to life. How people adapt and support each other through life's expected changes and devastating revelations is examined in depth, although Moody's writing makes the time fly. I was very sorry to see the book end.

Brian
A Big Beaked, Big Bellied Bird Named Bill by Greg Watkins
Rating: 5 Stars
Great children's picture book! The illustrations are unique and it is an introduction into bullying and friendship. This is the first book in this series, and as an educator and parent, I found it helpful.

Teri (tlb46rka@aol.com)
The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
Rating: 5 Stars
One of the best books I've ever read. It's the story of a Polish couple who managed to save over 300 Jews from the Nazis.

Judith Oldner (jkayeoldner@yahoo.com)
The Woods by Harlan Coben
Rating: 4 Stars
This is my first time reading a book by Harlan Coben and was told by friends that this isn't his best book. So if you are a supense/thriller reader and haven't tried one of his books, this is a great one!

Metalfiend11 (metalfiend11@yahoo.com)
High Five by Janet Evanovich
Rating: 4 Stars
Another Stephanie Plum mystery full of humor. She is on the trail to find her missing uncle.


Angie
Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley
Rating: 4 Stars
I got the privilege of receiving an ARC of this book (out in January). It is a YA coming-of-age story about a Chinese-American girl. It was extremely well written and inspiring. The author does not go too in-depth in exploring a damaged and hurt young woman. She doesn't make the changes in life too easy. It is bittersweet, but lovely. I recommend it! It is relatable to old, young, and in between!

Kendra (KendraPT@aol.com)
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Rating: 5 Stars
I love this book! It's a little like LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE in that emotions can be affected by certain foods. However, it goes beyond that to the relationships between sisters, people being scared of change and of being hurt, and all the behaviors we learn or develop in reaction to our childhoods. A mesmerizing and entertaining read.

Dusty (bjohnson-att@comcast.net)
Blind Alley by Iris Johansen
Rating: 4 Stars
Great book! Eve Duncan is called upon again to use her reconstruction talents to stop and capture a serial killer who is killing and removing the face of his victims. He is trying to rid the world of women who look like Cira, an actress from the ancient city Herculeum, whose beauty was unmatched. His targeted victim is Jane MacGuire, the adopted daughter of Eve and Quinn, so they, Trevor and Jane all join forces to stop his evil killing spree.

Sandra
The Full Cupboard of LIfe by Alexander McCall Smith
Rating: 4 Stars
This book is 4th or 5th in the series starting with THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY. It is as charming and funny as the rest of this series. I always listen to these so I know how to pronounce the names of these South African characters.

Nicole (mike810nicole@aol.com)
Summer at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
Rating: 4 Stars
A great story about re-meeting an old love and healing past hurts. Susan Wiggs really knows how to make characters come to life.

Teri (tlb46rka@aol.com)
The Upright Man by Michael Marshall
Rating: 4 Stars
The second book in the Straw Men series. An interestingly strange storyline that blends horror, suspense and mystery. I'm not sure I loved it, but I'll be reading the next book in the series soon.


Marion Miller (lamamil@aol.com)
The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer
Rating: 4 Stars
A first novel that is a winner. The author tells the story of a family forced to leave Iran. Personal and suspenseful, this is an informative and frightening story.

Suzanne from Texas
Savannah Breeze by Mary Kay Andrews
Rating: 4 Stars
This is my favorite, so far, of Mary Kay Andrews's books. It is the easy-to-read tale of how BeBe Loudermilk is scammed out of all of her money --- even her home and furniture --- and how she vows to hunt that Lothario down and get it back. A quick, fun read!

Tamelin
A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a delightful memoir of a happy childhood, which I found to be a refreshing change of pace. It is both heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny. It's a book I plan to give to all my friends. Enjoy!

Carol
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Rating: 4 Stars
Wonderful blend of fiction and non-fiction for an easy read about some fascinating people.

Pat
Miriam the Medium by Rochelle Shapiro
Rating: 5 Stars
Miriam is a telephone psychic. Her daughter is embarrassed by her, her husband accepts what she is but will not accept her help, and Miriam feels like she has one foot in the spiritual world and one in the real world. When her daughter becomes involved with a young man and her husband's business starts to flounder, Miriam has to use her gift diplomatically. It was a thoroughly enjoyable book, an easy read with a few chuckles. It's great for book clubs, especially when it comes to the relationship issues.

Cathy Morris
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 5 Stars
Great book. This tells the story of a school shooting that took place in 19 minutes and how it affected the life of not only the victims and their families, but also the shooter and his family.

Mitch
Killer Instinct by Joseph Finder
Rating: 5 Stars
Exciting and suspenseful, and makes you want to keep reading.

Paris Castle
1919 - Misfortune's End by Paula Phelan
Rating: 5 Stars
History made interesting --- this book focused on the year 1919 and follows the lives of a middle-class African American family in DC and a working class Irish American family in Boston. It explores how pivotal the year was in US history and how it set the tone for the world we live in today. The characters are three dimensional and easy to relate to. I came away feeling like I had learned something from this fast and enjoyable read.

Labassist
Beyond Reach by Karin Slaughter
Rating: 3 Stars
This is another in Ms. Slaughter's Grant County series. We've come to know and love the characters: Sheriff Jeffery, Deputy Lena, Pediatrician and town Medical Examiner, and by the way, the sheriff's wife, too --- Sara. In the beginning, we find Sara facing a malpractice suit for the death of one of her patients. This is never addressed again in the book as to how it ends --- is Sara cleared? Sara and Jeffery follow Lena back to her hometown where she has been arrested. The action is fast paced as you follow Sara and Jeffery trying to track down the answers to Lena's past. You are fully involved up to the last two pages as to how this will play out --- who is on their side? Who are the bad guys? This part of the book was excellent, but then on the last two pages, there is a surprise ending that totally ruined the book for me. You'll have to read it to see for yourself. It was a very unusual twist that I did not see coming.

Laura
Crisis by Robin Cook
Rating: 4 Stars
I thought this book was a bit long, but most of Robin's books are long. It held my interest throughout the entire book, but the ending was a bit unexpected. Good read!

Wendy Catalano
Witness In Death by J. D. Robb
Rating: 4 Stars
Another great "In Death" read --- murder amongst the actors in an opening night performance.

Wendy Catalano
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
Rating: 5 Stars
The story of 2 friends who spend their summers together over the years. I couldn't put this book down, it was a wonderful read.

Mercedes Castillo Hanvey (merc3069@juno.com)
The Zen of Sushi by Trevor Corson
Rating: 4 Stars
I am not even a huge sushi fan, but this book was delicious!

Susan C
Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup
Rating: 3 Stars
This is the true story of a gal whose state-trooper husband is killed in an auto accident. She goes on with her life by becoming the chaplain he wanted to be. She worked on Maine search and rescue missions in her new role. This book got lots of good press, but I was disappointed with it. At times it was funny, at times preachy, at times sad, but I just couldn't connect with it.

Judy Goldsmith (judyjtg@sbcglobal.net)
Nineteen Minutes: A Novel by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 5 Stars
This is Picoult at her best. This complex narrative is a must read!

Donna Tanner
The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue
Rating: 5 Stars
It's been so long since I've read a book I couldn't wait to get back to every chance I got. This is a fantasy novel --- a genre I generally pass by. I'm so glad this one caught my eye. I absolutely loved it. What an imagination and a gift for writing this author has! I hope he doesn't take too, too long to write another book.

Thomas
The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Rating: 5 Stars
This was a superb book that deals with the torment of having a child kidnapped. Beth Cappadora is checking into a hotel for a class reunion when one of her sons, three-year-old Ben, is abducted just yards away. Nine years would pass before the Cappadora family would find out what happened to him. The story deals with how the long nightmare tears apart the family, as well as their relatives and friends.

Valerie Wiesner (ackleyvalerie@yahoo.com)
The Sanctuary by Raymond Khoury
Rating: 5 Stars
Since I loved THE LAST TEMPLAR, this author's first book, I immediately bought this when it hit the store shelves. I was not disappointed. It has all the elements of an excellent thriller, including three or four mysteries all going on at the same time. In addition, the basic theme of the book is one that is fascinating to just about every person I know (I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read this great book yet by divulging the central theme). I read this book in two sittings, and I must say that I look forward to Mr. Khoury's next one!

Valerie Wiesner (ackleyvalerie@yahoo.com)
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
Rating: 5 Stars
This book is short, but packs quite a punch to one's solar plexus (at least to mine :) It is the story of Edward and Florence, who fall in love and marry in 1962, just before the advent of all the world-changing events of the Sixties in civil rights, women's rights, politics, education, and just about everything else. As a Baby Boomer, I was entranced by this short novel as I had never really thought of what might have become of those souls who were too early for the Sixties revolution, and too late for the zeitgeist of the late 1940s and 1950s. This may be a short novel, but I thought it was an excellent one!

Mia
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the captivating story of various individuals in France during the occupation. It is a wonderful, thought-provoking read.

Sandra Smith (ssmith0028@verizon.net)
Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a fast-paced mystery with Temperence Brennan at her best. I couldn't put it down...all the action takes place in Quebec, this time, but with flashbacks to Tempe's childhood. A really good read that I finished in two days.

Diane Dubay
Learning to Bow by Bruce Feiler
Rating: 4 Stars
Bruce Feiler (of PBS's special and the book of the same name, WALKING THE BIBLE) previously wrote this book about the year he spent in Japan. Although it talks about many aspects of the culture and history, it focuses a great deal on the Japanese educational system. He taught middle school there, so he compares and and contrasts it with the U. S. system. It's fascinating to get his insights on how children are raised in Japan vs. America and how that shapes their cultural identity!

Lori S. (sunbug5505@yahoo.com)
The Sweet Potato Queens' 1st Big-Ass Novel by Jill Conner Browne
Rating: 4 Stars
I have been a fan of the Sweet Potato Queens and their humorous books for years. As the title says, this is the 1st novel (I don't know about the Big-Ass part) written by the head Sweet Potato Queen. And is it ever fun! The SPQs are a group of Southern women who liven up in the St.Patrick's Parade dressed in glittery dresses and poofy red wigs. This novel is the fictional account of how they may have started out. It centers on 4 women and one guy who form their club in high school and continue through adulthood being there for each other through the good times and the bad, as true friends do. Once you read this you will probably want to head to the humor section of your nearest bookstore and check out the real thing.

Amanda From Tx
Thin Air by Rachel Caine
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a compelling story that draws you in from the first page. Granted, you must be familiar with the first five books to appreciate it, but it is amazing that the heroine, Jo, finds that the way to truly knowing herself and her friends, comes by losing herself --- literally.

Lori Fisher
Raising Great Kids On Your Own by David & Lisa Frisbie
Rating: 5 Stars
As a divorced woman and busy single mom, this book arrived on my nightstand at a great time. My boys are just entering their teens, and I am entering an insane asylum! I'm learning a lot about how to cope with teens as a solo parent --- the chapter in this book about parenting teens is worth the price of the book itself.

Valerie Wiesner (ackleyvalerie@yahoo.com)
Still Summer by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Rating: 5 Stars
This is one author whose books I truly enjoy. The newest is a story of old friendships and the tests each of the three friends is put to when they all reunite to go for a sailing vacation. The women had all been popular classmates, known as "The Godmothers" in high school. At the time of their vacation, one of them has just come "home" after living in Europe for many years (her husband has recently died of pancreatic cancer). This story has everything from heartache and betrayal, to innocence and deep emotional bonding as part of its plot, and a huge dose of adventure also. I loved the book!

Bonnie
The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama
Rating: 4 Stars
A beautifully written, fascinating story of a family in Japan before and after World War II. I particularly appreciated the information on sumo wrestling, Noh theater and mask-making, as well as the Japanese perspective on the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The author makes all the characters come alive in this terrific family saga.

Debra Le (deble_2000@yahoo.com)
A Thousand Voices by Lisa Wingate
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the last book in the Tending Roses series, which was an excellent set of books by Lisa Winagte. Family, adoption, love --- they had a little of everything and I truly hate to see it end.

E. Quinn Knight
The Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman
Rating: 4 Stars
THE GHOST ORCHARD is a wonderfully refreshing tale that takes you out of the humdrum world and into a life that is fantasy. It is enjoyable to escape to this place. It is a story of past and present, and the living and the dead. A great read that is hard to put down.

Crystal Blackburn
The Woods by Harlan Coben
Rating: 5 Stars
This book was so good that I read it all the way through in one sitting!

Jeanie
Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers
Rating: 3 Stars
I listened to the audio book. A mother and daughter's lives are outlined by the notes that they leave each other. A very interesting concept and it was an enjoyable audio.

Robert Michlowski
Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor
Rating: 5 Stars
Interesting, fast paced, and makes you want to keep reading.

Steven Schwindt (schwindt68@hotmail.com)
A Commonwealth of Thieves by Thomas Keneally
Rating: 5 Stars
This was a great tale of how white men came to Australia. The subtitle --- "The Improbable Birth of Australia --- is misleading, in that it doesn't consider the native people there before the white man came.

This author wrote SCHINDLER'S LIST and THE GREAT SHAME.


Susan in AZ
Turnabout by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Rating: 4 Stars
This YA novel concerns two women who look like teenagers although they are both over 100 years old. As part of Project Turnabout, they were injected with an agent that reverses the aging process --- termed "unaging." All participants were to be given an anti-drug that would stop both aging and unaging, leaving them to live forever as 20-30 years olds. The trouble is, the anti-drug worked only on lab rats, not on humans. Now, Melly and Anny Beth are teenagers, who will continue "unaging" until they reach toddlerhood, infancy and finally, death. The Project Turnabout patients are supposed to stay at "The Agency," where they can be taken care of as babies. Melly and Anny Beth do not want to live by The Agency's rules. Thus, they are living on the outside, caring for themselves. In the midst of trying to find a reliable caretaker, Melly begins receiving phone calls and e-mails from a reporter, questioning her about her identity. Fearful of being exposed and returned to the agency, or worse, becoming freaks in the eyes of the world, the pair attempts to hide, only to find out that nowhere is safe.

This futuristic thriller is a quick, fascinating read. It also makes some interesting comments on aging and the value of humans connecting in person vs. through computers and telephones.


Linda M. Johnson
Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
Rating: 4 Stars
The author of ANGELA'S ASHES and 'TIS turns to his 30 years of teaching in New York City Schools for this book. I listened to this audio book read by McCourt. As a retired teacher, I related to the trials with administrators and the empathy for his students. I recommend it.

Marsha
The Body of David Hayes by Ridley Pearson
Rating: 5 Stars
One wonders how the author can keep the Lou Boldt series new and fresh and still heart-pounding. He has done it this time in spades. Lou's wife is manipulated into a very frightening position as her past catches up with her.

M. Henry
Voices Carry by Mariah Stewart
Rating: 4 Stars
She is a great author, whose work is always full of mystery and thrills. She keeps you guessing until the end --- VOICES CARRY is a real page turner that will keep you reading to see what happens next. Highly recommended.

Lori S. (sunbug5505@yahoo.com)
The Good House by Tananarive Due
Rating: 4 Stars
I'd never read anything by this author but when it caught my eye and I saw that Stephen King recommended it, I had to give it a try. It started out a little slowly for me, but I hung in there and am I ever glad I did! There's nothing bloody or gory, just a good creepy, eerie book about family secrets, magic, voodoo, curses. love, family, undoing a past wrong... a little bit of everything that makes a book hard to put down once it grabs hold of you. Of course now I have to read more of Due's books.

k.g
Don't Tell Mummy by Toni Maguire
Rating: 5 Stars
This book, which I received from the UK, is an unbelievable memoir of a women who was the victim of sexual abuse from an early age. It is a riveting true story --- very sad, but well worth reading. I could not put it down.

Linda M. Johnson
All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
Rating: 5 Stars
This is my introduction to Robert Penn Warren. His prose is wonderfully descriptive and mesmerizing. I can tell already that I am going to thoroughly enjoy this story based on the life of Huey Long, for which Penn Warren won the Pulitzer.

Susan in AZ
Saints by Orson Scott Card
Rating: 3 Stars
Although I thought this book was well written with an interesting plot, I also found it to be misleading, preachy and offensive. I expected a lot more from Card.

Kellie (acountkel@bellsouth.net)
Hush Little Darlings by Judith Kelman
Rating: 3 Stars
Sarah Spooner is an assistant DA in NY, currently working on the "Velvet Viper" case. He's abducted four young girls and all have been let go. "All they can remember is a strange dream of black velvet walls, fragrant flowers and soft tinkling music." Sarah is teamed up with veteran detective Bullard, and from the start, they are at odds. Sarah takes it upon herself to do some of the detective work, against the direction of her boss, DA Hodges.

This is the first book I have read by Kelman, and I wasn't impressed. This was written like a Fairstein-wannabe. The plot was interesting, but the storyline dragged. The ideas were not completely organized and were somewhat unrealistic. In the sections where the suspense picked up, I did find myself on the edge of my seat, but it was short lived.


G. Sprague
The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant
Rating: 5 Stars
An excellent read that I just could not put the book down. It was my first book by Sarah Dunant and will not be my last. I am now looking forward to reading IN THE COMPANY OF THE COURTESAN.

THE BIRTH OF VENUS is well written, and her syle is fluid. I would recommend this book.


Maureen H
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Rating: 5 Stars
I never would have read this book if not for Oprah. It started out slowly at first, but I am now really enjoying this story. I have come to enjoy spending time with this strange and interesting family.

Peggy
The Wind Dancer by Iris Johansen
Rating: 4 Stars
Set during the Renaissance period in Italy, this is not only a love story but a story of power, betrayal, murder and jealousy.

The main focus of the story is to regain possession of the Wind Dancer. Stolen from its rightful owner, the statue becomes an obsession for the rich, powerful and ruthless individuals who want to possess the statue. The plot thickens with love, hate, jealousy, revenge and murder as they fight to regain its possession.


Mary in HB (mljacobsinhb@msn.com)
Dead End Dating: A Novel of Vampire Love by Kimberly Raye
Rating: 4 Stars
What a fun book! It's much like MaryJanice Davidson with witty dialogue and a little bit of mystery thrown in.


Mary in HB (mljacobsinhb@msn.com)
Perfect from Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life by John Sellers
Rating: 4 Stars
A quick read. Although I was not really familiar with all of the author's favorite music, this memoir was still a clever and nice book about growing up and coming of age in the late 70s and early 80s. This is one book where the footnotes were the whole story. Fans of Nick Hornby will enjoy it.

Mary in HB (mljacobsinhb@msn.com)
A Desirable Residence by Madeleine Wickham
Rating: 4 Stars
A very good read. It's amazing to think this book was written over 10 years ago and it is a timely reminder that both the real estate market and life run in cycles.


Marsha
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a beautifully written love story of a woman who sacrificed her children for the love of Frank Lloyd Wright. The compelling conflicts and struggles detailed will give you a different insight into the lives of two artistic personalities.

FO
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
Rating: 4 Stars
Once again, Barbara Kingsolver has found a way to weave interesting, quirky, yet lovable characters into a simple story of love, life and human connection. I loved this story, which is a refreshing tale of a young woman who sets out on a journey of self-discovery. Along the way, she "inherits" an abandoned baby, who truly changes her life. I loved this book! I cannot wait to read PIGS IN HEAVEN to find out more about what happens to them.

Alicia Burnette (saveypiratecat@yahoo.com)
The Way Life Should be by Christina Baker Kline
Rating: 4 Stars
This was a enjoyable read. It's about a 33- year-old woman named Angela, who searches for her soul mate on the internet, loses her job and ends up moving to Maine. This is where her life takes a turn and where her possible soul mate lives. What woman hasn't pondered the idea if they had found their soul mate? She finds many other things along her journey. The only reason I didn't give the book 5 stars is because there is a little to much information on Italian cooking, which most people would love. There are also some recipes included, which is cool. I had wished the book had ended a little differently, but it was still a wonderful read that I finished in 2 days.

Mary in HB (mljacobsinhb@msn.com)
Dead and Dateless: A Novel of Vampire Love by Kimberly Raye
Rating: 4 Stars
Very fun paranormal romance with a murder mystery thrown in. Great summer reading.


Mary in HB (mljacobsinhb@msn.com)
You're Not The Boss Of Me by Erika Schickel
Rating: 4 Stars
This was more of an anthology of stories than a memoir. It was very funny at times.


Mrs. Granby
Bittersweet Diary by Saundra Seward
Rating: 5 Stars
A great story of determination and courage told through the heart of a 6 year old. The heroine answers the question: at what age does the confident woman get her guts! The dedication page is an inspiration to women young and old! I loved this book and cannot wait for the sequel.

Becky Cruz (ABamaBecky@aol.com)
Power Play by Joseph Finder
Rating: 4 Stars
This book started a little slowly, but it quickly built into a great read. Jake Landry is a wonderful character and I would love to see him in a series of novels.

What starts as a corporate retreat for the top executives of an aerospace company turns into a nightmare when their lodge is held hostage by a group of backwoods hunters. It becomes clear that they were not randomly chosen to be terrorized and these men are not just hunters --- they have a definite agenda.


Sandra F.
The Reavers by George MacDonald Fraser
Rating: 4 Stars
An amusing tale by the author of the Flashman books, this book is set in Elizabethan England, but with numerous historical, literary and pop culture references. THE REAVERS will be published this fall.

Gale
Power Play by Joseph Finder
Rating: 4 Stars
This is an excellent, fast-paced thriller with an intriguing corporate kidnapping plot. POWER PLAY is the first book by Finder I've read, and I'm ready to go searching for more.

Gale
The Cleaner by Brett Battles
Rating: 4 Stars
In this debut novel by Brett Battles, "The Cleaner" is Quinn, whose occupational specialty is "dry work." He doesn't kill people, he just cleans up after those who do. Quinn is called in from vacation to work on what should be a simple arson case, but things get twisted quickly and he begins a globe-hopping adventure to solve the case.

Sandra F.
Master of the Moor by Ruth Rendell
Rating: 4 Stars
Ruth Rendell is the mistress of the atmospheric mystery. This is a bleak tale of murder on the moors.

Sandra F.
An Inheritance by Caro Fraser
Rating: 5 Stars
Orlando, who is born out of wedlock, is unable to inherit his grandfather's estate. This is the story of how he copes with this problem as he grows up. This lady is one heck of a writer!

Sandra F.
The Darkness and the Deep by Aline Templeton
Rating: 5 Stars
Another great book set in Scotland. The lifeboat has been wrecked with lives lost. The question is --- which one was the target? I will certainly read other books by this author.

Sandra F.
Black Order by James Rollins
Rating: 4 Stars
James Rollins' books are set to a formula, but they are entertaining and I do seem to read each new one. BLACK ORDER refers back to the Nazis and their genetics experiments in their search for a superman.

Debbie (delphimo@yahoo.com)
The Virgin of Small Plains by Nancy Pickard
Rating: 3 Stars
An interesting story of Kansas, the weather, small-town people, friendship, first love, loyalty, and corruption. To think that three men could keep a secret for 17 years, but that one must kill to protect this secret!

Marion Miller (lamamil@aol.com)
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Rating: 4 Stars
A wonderful follow-up to THE KITE RUNNER. I enjoyed this immensely. I always found it fascinating when a male author can depict the mind of a female.

Christine McBride
The Rope Walk by Carrie Brown
Rating: 5 Stars
An excellent coming-of-age novel. Ten-year-old Alice hooks up with biracial Theo and they both surprise themselves by learning to love the old man Kenneth, who is dying of AIDS.

Jeanie (kary1716@aol.com)
Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Rating: 4 Stars
LOVING FRANK is about the love affair of Frank Lloyd Wright and one of his clients. Mamah Cheney falls for Wright while he is designing a house for her and her husband. Eventually their secret affair becomes public.

Drawn from history, fiction and fact are blended together into an intersecting anatomy of an affair.


M. Henry
The Blue Zone by Andrew Gross
Rating: 5 Stars
An excellent book that was hard to put down. This is Gross's first book without a co-author. It really grabs you from the beginning --- the Witness Protection Program is a big topic as well as money laundering, drug cartel, and vicious murders. A must to read.

Bridget
A Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond
Rating: 4 Stars
A YEAR OF FOG is a very good novel that I could not put down. A woman loses her fiancé's daughter (a child whom she was coming to think of as her own) while on an outing to the beach on a foggy day. As a result, their relationship changes, leading to tortured times for the woman and her fiancé. She won't give up hope, and one thing and another encourage her to continue searching.

Bridget
Stalin's Ghost by Martin Cruz Smith
Rating: 5 Stars
Smith is one of my favorite writers, and Arkady Renko is one of my favorite detectives. This book did not disappoint. More of Arkady's past is discovered in this novel as the hapless detective is given the assignment of proving/disproving alleged sightings of the ghost. It turns out to be political subterfuge. Along with corruption, a few murders occur along the way that Arkady's relentless questions connect. Just when it seems all is lost...well, I don't want to give too much away.

CJ Jones (ajones1021@comcast.net)
A Good Dog by Jon Katz
Rating: 5 Stars
Jon Katz knows dogs, and his books have always delighted me. Orson is a rescued border collie who's only passion is Jon Katz. In all other things, he is a failure, a menace, and is totally unpredictable. Katz tries everything --- training, psychotherapy, channelling, name changing, before finally accepting that Orson is who he is.

For every step forward, there are three backward. But, Katz stays the course and glories in Orson for as long as he can. You will meet Rose, the perfect border collie, and a host of other critters. From the first page to the last, this book is a work of love. I have a male Jack Russell and could relate to Orson. If you love animals, you will also. This is one of Katz's best.


CJ Jones (ajones1021@comcast.net)
Landsman: A Novel by Peter Charles Melman
Rating: 5 Stars
A fascinating book about New Orleans during the Civil war, this is a page turner that follows the enlistment for less than noble reasons of a young Jewish man and his experiences during the battles. This book, in no way, romanticizes the war. The fellow New Orleanians he encounters enhance the story --- for example, a letter from a young lady of his faith gives him hope for a better life. The bigotry regarding his faith is rampart and degrading on both sides for a young man who has never darkened a synagogue. When Elias Abrams returns to his home, he is faced with obstacle after obstacle --- the deception of the local constabulary, the card game for his honor & his life and his plans for the atonement and his future are riveting. This book is not to be missed.

Lea Ann in Seattle (baxtergr@msn.com)
Woman in Red by Eileen Goudge
Rating: 4 Stars
This book, set on an island in Puget Sound ( though given a different name), follows the island dynamics from World War II to the present. The tangled relationships of the inhabitants of the island make for an intriguing story with a surprise ending.

jhendrix
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 4 Stars
Picoult again takes a moral issue and uses each person's viewpoint to reach the reader with empathy. This story touches everyone who reads it.

Marsha
The Art of Deception by Ridley Pearson
Rating: 3 Stars
In THE ART OF DECEPTION, the Seattle Police Department is again featured, though the spotlight is on Daphne Matthews and John LaMoia for this adventure into the depths of Seattle's "underground" ancient tunnels. This book stretches the imagination, but is not my favorite of Pearson's novels.

Pat Iannucci
Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez and Kristin Ohlson
Rating: 4 Stars
A fascinating look into the lives of Afghan women shortly after the demise of the Taliban.

Marion Miller (lamamil@aol.com)
March by Geraldine Brooks
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a well-written and interesting story about the Father of the March girls, from Louisa May Alcott's LITTLE WOMEN. It tells a wonderful story of the tragedy of the Civil War and its impact on our history.

Kim Kovacs (kkovacs@ix.netcom.com)
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Rating: 5 Stars
This was a wonderful historical fiction novel about a time period I knew very little about --- the 1930s (Depression Era). The plot is a bit predictable in spots, but does have some great twists. It moves right along, and never seems to drag. The most intriguing part of the novel is all the fascinating little historical tidbits Ms. Gruen includes. It's obvious she did a ton of research for this book.

Kim Kovacs (kkovacs@ix.netcom.com)
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
Rating: 5 Stars
THE SPARROW is beautifully written and asks tough moral questions. I'm already reading the sequel!

Kim Kovacs (kkovacs@ix.netcom.com)
The Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan
Rating: 5 Stars
What a delightful book, full of insights into mother/daughter relationships, as well as into a culture with which I am unfamiliar. It does what a good book should --- it engages and educates.

Kim Kovacs (kkovacs@ix.netcom.com)
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Rating: 5 Stars
I wish there was a way to rate a book with more than five stars. This was one of the best I've read in a long time. I can't imagine anyone who likes to read not loving this book.

Devan
The Reincarnationist by M. J. Rose
Rating: 5 Stars
This is absolutely outstanding. It is fabulously written, very descriptive and a well-depicted novel. THE REINCARNATIONIST is a must read!

Margie Meyers (mtnlady@gmail.com)
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Rating: 5 Stars
A great story. I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book, and it caught me from page 1. It's an original story with likable and interesting characters. I loved the play between the main character's present and past. I was torn between savoring every page and not wanting to put it down. I was actually sorry that the story was over when I finished the book. The story continues to stay with me and I find that to be the truest sign of a really good book.

Janet Wooldridge
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Rating: 5 Stars
This book is apparently based on a true story, though its hard to believe at some points. That is part of what makes it wonderful. The author was introduced to the story by a stranger in India, as "a story that will make you believe in God," and in a roundabout way, it does. It also makes you believe in humanity and the power within us to survive against great odds.

The real story seems unbelievable enough --- that a young Hindi man can survive in the ocean [with a tiger on a lifeboat!] for over 7 months and go on to become a mild-mannered professor living in Canada. The fact that experiences like his even happen is enough to make you believe in a higher power within all of us. But, it's not preachy; it is amusing and heart wrenching and entrancing. Martel writes the story from the point of view of the survivor, Pi, and truly brings this man's story to life. If its not real, he certainly made me believe it is. If it is real, it definitely made me look at life differently. That's a good book!


Marlys Davis (marlys366@aol.com)
The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
Rating: 4 Stars
I am reading this for my book club and I'm finding it very absorbing. I knew the basic plot idea before starting and wasn't sure I would like it, but now, I am anxious to find out what happens. It is interesting to see how one secret can affect so many lives.

Dorothy Flood
Playing Dirty by Sandra Brown
Rating: 4 Stars
A professional football player is just released from jail for throwing a game and is offered a very lucrative and unusual proposition. Although you know from the beginning that he will end up with the girl, it has a lot of twists and turns that keep you turning the pages. A real good read that is different for Sandra Brown.

Lea Ann in Seattle (baxtergr@msn.com)
Origin by Diana Abu-Jaber
Rating: 3 Stars
A strange book with many psychological threads. The protagonist, a finger-print expert, believes there is a serial killer of babies who were at first thought to have died of SIDS. As our heroine searches for answers to that mystery, she also searches for the origin of herself, a foundling. I found this a difficult book, even though it received rave reviews in much of the public media.

Ricki (rickimc@aol.com)
Parade of Shadows by Gloria Wheelan
Rating: 2 Stars
This book had so much potential. Unfortunately, it was a dry, almost uneventful read.

Ozarks Reader
Called by Lisa Jefferson and Felicia Middlebrooks
Rating: 5 Stars
Lisa Jefferson is the Verizon Airphone supervisor who talked to Todd Beamer until Flight 93 crashed. You live it with Lisa, and then after the crash, you follow Lisa through life changes stemming from that conversation and prayer.

Barbara B (msbarbobee@yahoo.com)
The Sleeping Doll by Jeffery Deaver
Rating: 4 Stars
This novel features a different character than Lincoln Rhyme. Kathryn Dancer, who was introduced in THE COLD MOON, is the lead in catching Daniel Pell, nicknamed Son of Manson. It is interesting, but a bit slow.

Susan in AZ
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Rating: 5 Stars
I LOVED this "fairy tale for adults." It was fun, magical and engaging. Basically, it concerns Tristran Thorn, a young man who travels over the wall of his city into the magical world of Fairie. He's never wanted to breach the boundary before, but when the beautiful Victoria Forester promises to marry him if he brings her back a falling star, he ventures into the strange, dangerous world beyond his city. Fairie is a world where nothing is what it seems, not even a star. Soon, Tristran finds himself journeying home with an ethereal young lady in tow. But, he is not the only one after the star and her power --- there's a power-hungry lord on her trail as well as a desperate witch. As Tristran journeys back home, he discovers hidden truths about his own birth and heritage.

Gaiman is a wonderful, engaging writer. I love him!


Susan Dyer (susandyer1962@aol.com)
Haunting Rachel by Kay Hooper
Rating: 4 Stars
This one kept me guessing until the very end. A total suspense novel that I found very hard to put down. The ending will blow you away!

Judy Goldsmith (judyjtg@sbcglobal.net)
Bittersweet by Nevada Barr
Rating: 4 Stars
This love story set in the old west includes beautiful scenic descriptions and tells the story of two women who end up resorting to subterfuge to keep their home safe. It's very well done.

Debbie (delphimo@yahoo.com)
The Same Sweet Girls by Cassandra King
Rating: 4 Stars
The story of friendship, love, and death of 6 Southern girls who form a bond in college. Now, 30 years later, the heartaches and problems erode their ideal life and they must change their attitudes about one another and themselves. I enjoyed very much.

Sally B., San Antonio TX
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Rating: 3 Stars
3.5 stars. A sad and very depressing story of a man and his young son who are trying to survive some kind of nuclear disaster that occurred years before.

Cat
Indelible by Karin Slaughter
Rating: 4 Stars
INDELIBLE is 4th in the series, and is another good story. It is written a bit differently from the others, tying two stories into one, but I just love the characters and the stories keep me interested.

Sally B., San Antonio TX
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
Rating: 3 Stars
3.5 stars. A blood-spatter expert for the Miami FL police department goes out and kills, by butchering serial killers. I watched the series on Showtime --- it wasn't very good.

Cheryl
Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
Rating: 1 Stars
I have never read anything by this author and I'm sure this is the only book of hers that I will waste my time on. She is an ultra-liberal and has an abnormal hatred for George W. Bush and our government. Most essays in this book contain gratuitous Bush-bashing that have absolutely nothing to do with what the rest of the essay is about. Unless you share her beliefs, don't waste your time!

lucha
Michael Tolliver Lives by Armistead Maupin
Rating: 1 Stars
After reading all the previous books by this author, including all the Tales of the City books, I couldn't wait for this one. What a disappointment! I am not a homophobe by any stretch, but this book was pure homosexual porn. Every other page featured the main character, Michael Tolliver's gay sexual fantasies in detail, or his recollections of past gay sexual encounters. There was no real story that I could detect. Michael was one of my favorite characters in the Tales of City books and I had hoped Maupin would continue in the same entertaining vein with this latest. Unfortunately, he did not.

Sandy
Hooked by Matt Richtel
Rating: 5 Stars
This book is a thriller about love and other addictions. I couldn't put it down!!!

Judy O.
A Killer's Kiss by William Lashner
Rating: 3 Stars
Lawyer Victor Carl is back with a new mystery, but this time he and his old girlfriend are the main suspects in a murder. Victor gets busy trying to solve the crime and simultaneously, he hopes to win back the love of his former flame. There is a lot of humor in this book, so it's hard to take it too seriously as a crime novel. I have liked some of the earlier books about Victor Carl much better. All in all, a good read.

Holly (Jollyholly1967@aol.com)
Lying with Strangers by James Grippando
Rating: 4 Stars
A very good book that I could not put down. It is a good read if you like fast reading. I even wrote to the author to tell him what I thought and received a response back from him.

Bonnie
Gone by Jonathan Kellerman
Rating: 4 Stars
Kellerman can always be depended upon to deliver a terrific mystery. As a bonus you get writing like this: "The Ferris wheel rotated, slow as bureaucracy." Great line.

Anita Nowak
The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult
Rating: 5 Stars
This was another excellent book by one of my favorite authors. It is the story of a young teenager who is raped, and the extremes parents will go to in their quest to try to protect their child from the pain she has suffered.

lucha
Consequences by Penelope Lively
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a generational story beginning at the outset of World War II. It was a pleasure to read, although it did get a bit slow around the middle, but only briefly. I have read all of Ms. Lively's books and she is a consistently thought-provoking and entertaining author.

Fran
Truth & Beauty by Ann Patchett
Rating: 4 Stars
I enjoyed Lucy Grealy's AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A FACE and found this to be an excellent addition to Lucy's story. This book chronicles the friendship between Lucy and Ann, and Lucy's ongoing medical crisis. I definitely feel that you'd have a better understanding of the story if you've read Lucy's book also.

lucha
The Buffalo Soldier by Chris Bohjalian
Rating: 5 Stars
This was a wonderfully written story about loss and survival. I could not put it down and got similar reactions from people I recommended it to. Chris Bohjalian is an amazing writer.

lucha
The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones
Rating: 5 Stars
A wonderful read that is part love story, part cookbook. There are no real recipes but the descriptions of food preparation and the meaning behind each dish to the Chinese was fascinating. I heartily recommend this book.

Susan C
The Maytrees by Ann Dillard
Rating: 1 Stars
This book was way over my head! I'm from the Cape Cod area and thought this would be a great book, but in my lifetime of reading, I can count on two hands how many books I couldn't finish, and this is one of them! It made no sense to me.

Ma Titwonky (matitwonky@gmail.com)
Simple Genius by David Baldacci
Rating: 3 Stars
There are two separate stories told in this book: one concerns Michelle Maxwell and her past that has begun interfering with her present; the other concerns Sean King being hired to find out whether murder has been committed at a think tank for geniuses located near a CIA compound. Maxwell and King usually are partners on cases like this, and eventually Maxwell does join King to track down what really took place at the FBI facility. When another body shows up and a child is abducted, King and Maxwell have to kick their investigative energy into high to find out what's going on.

This isn't one of Baldacci's best books, but it is a page turner with enough suspense and mystery to keep the reader interested throughout.


Ma Titwonky (matitwonky@gmail.com)
All Encompassing Trip by Nicole Del Sesto
Rating: 5 Stars
Nikki Nasco and her friend Amber Lawson each wake up one morning to discover that the world as they know it has drastically changed. There is no coffee, no light, no hunger, and Nikki has a British coyote wearing a do-rag she names Lefty sitting on her front porch. When, after 3 days, Leftie does not leave, Nikki brings him into her house and her life as she now knows it.

This book is hilarious thanks to many pop culture references and a sense of the bizarre from author Del Sesto. The characters are all quite unique and interesting.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who enjoys offbeat humor with a Douglas Adams-type story.


Kellie (acountkel@bellsouth.net)
Daddy's Girl by Lisa Scottoline
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the first Scottoline novel I have read and it certainly won't be my last. This was an action-packed, suspenseful, romantic novel that was very hard to put down. Natalie Greco is a law professor who accompanies a colleague to a prison for a class he gives as part of a program affiliated with the law school. While they are there, a riot breaks out and Nat finds herself fighting for her life. She receives a dying wish from a CO who is fatally wounded. The wish is the message: "Tell my wife It's under the floor". This sets off a wild and action-packed tale with twists and turns that will have you at the edge of your seat. Mix that with a very protective family and boyfriend, add a little bit of lust for the colleague, and you have yourself a great thriller.

Jane Squires
Murder by Mushroom by Virginia Smith
Rating: 5 Stars
This is the type of book you cannot put down. You are always trying to guess what is going to happen next. Even until the end, you are not sure.

Cat
A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter
Rating: 5 Stars
This is third in the series and I love it as much as the first 2! Are suicides or murders taking place on this college campus? I can't wait to read the next books in the series with all the regulars you've come to love.

Jon (jdweiman@optonline.net)
The Few and the Proud by Larry Smith
Rating: 3 Stars
This is an interesting if redundant book. The anecdotes are unique but they could have been more personal. I enjoyed it but by page 150, I found myself bored.

D. Lohrding
The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey
Rating: 5 Stars
This book encompasses "trust" in all relationships, not just in business as you might guess due to the author.

Tamara Ring
The Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea
Rating: 4 Stars
An illuminating look at life and love in Saudi Arabia amongst a group of four very different women.

Tamara Ring
Fourth Comings by Megan McCafferty
Rating: 3 Stars
This is the latest in a series about Jessica Darling. You really need to have read the first three books in the series to understand this. Though not as good as the earlier installments --- the language is more stilted and doesn't ring quite as true --- it is still an absorbing read. And it's always fun to follow a character's development; in this case it's from earliest high school days through the beginnings of young adulthood.

Pat Miller
Up Close and Personal by Fern Michaels
Rating: 4 Stars
This was a no-brainer to read. After an intense book, I read books like this.

Sheron Yancey (sherondowdy@hotmail.com)
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Rating: 5 Stars
I really loved this book, it made me feel as if I were there. It was enjoyable and fun to read. I love books about small-town living. I am looking forward to her next book.

L. Hann
Bloody Mary by J. A. Konrath
Rating: 5 Stars
J. A. Konrath is a rising star!! If you are looking for a new author his books are great. Suspenseful, funny and easy reads.

Jack Daniels is in love with two men, her partner has discovered Viagra and there is a murderer on the loose that just may be someone Jack knows.


Nicol
Bubbles A Broad by Sarah Strohmeyer
Rating: 4 Stars
Another great Bubbles adventure. If you like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum, try these books.

Nicole (mike810nicole@aol.com)
Red Lily by Nora Roberts
Rating: 4 Stars
A great ending to the In the Garden Trilogy. It was great to finally understand Amelia's story.

Dani
The Quickie by James Patterson
Rating: 5 Stars
I couldn't put this one down, yet I didn't want it to end.

Rita B.
The Abduction by Mark Gimenez
Rating: 4 Stars
I could hardly put this book down, it was truly suspenseful. It's pretty amazing how Gimenez weaves this very tangled web. The last chapter cleans everything up too nicely, though.

Pat Miler
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Rating: 5 Stars
I love anything Nicholas Sparks writes and this book was great! The storyline was wonderful.

Marlene Nese
Lottery by Patricia Wood
Rating: 5 Stars
Perry is an enduring character who is slow but very smart. He wins the lottery, and although his family has been despicable, he shares the money with them. He has good friends who also helps with his winnings. There is both humor and tragedy, and the book takes you into the life of someone who lives with cognitive disabilities but can function in everyday life.

Pat Miller
The Crush by Sandra Brown
Rating: 4 Stars
The plot of this book was excellent, but it was kind of a slow read.

Dusty (bjohnson-att@comcast.net)
Vertical Coffin by Stephen J. Cannell
Rating: 4 Stars
Another story from Cannell that I found hard to put down. After a shutout and fire apparently resulted in the death of a LA Sheriff deputy as well as the suspect, a feud appeared to erupt between a local and a federal SWAT team when members of the teams started to be shot. LAPD Detective Shane Scully sticks with the case when all evidence points to such a feud. With his partner, Deputy Jo Brickhouse, they continue to investigate until the truth is found (cannot tell you the twist at the end of course).

Rebekah Crain
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Rating: 5 Stars
Engaging, thought provoking, and terrifying all in one. A very interesting book that allows the reader a possible glimpse into the life of a high school killer and his family.

Rebekah Crain (littleminx@cox.net)
The Dream Comes True by Barbara Delinsky
Rating: 4 Stars
A nice, light romance that actually has a decent storyline too.

Rebekah Crain (littleminx@cox.net)
Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Rating: 5 Stars
An excellent YA read! This one is sure to please both teens and adults with a taste for the unknown. I'm not big on fantasy, but this one broached more on the "Charmed" side then on your average fantasy.

Rebekah Crain (littleminx@cox.net)
Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky
Rating: 4 Stars
This book was good, but the characters' ignorance and bigoted ways were very irritating.

Lori Barnes (photoquest@bellsouth.net)
The Land of Mango Sunsets by Dorothea Benton Frank
Rating: 5 Stars
If you want a good book from the Lowcountry of South Carolina, here it is. This was a wonderful read, following Miriam through the trials and events in her life.This book kept my interest until the end. I love books that surprise you and make you think of your own life when the book is over.

Lori Barnes (photoquest@bellsouth.net)
Daddy by Danielle Steel
Rating: 4 Stars
This was a wonderful book about love, family, overcoming obstacles and dealing with situations you can only go through because of the people you love.

Mimi Grzymala
Entombed by Linda Fairstein
Rating: 5 Stars
A great detective thriller full of twists and turns through New York City.

Alicia Burnette (saveypiratecat@yahoo.com)
The Beach House by Mary Alice Monroe
Rating: 5 Stars
This was an absolutely wonderful read. Each one of the characters was interesting and played their role in the story. I loved the loggerhead Turtle headings and I learned so much about them. This was a very heartwarming and touching story about a lady named Ms. Lovie, who touched many people's lives. Break out the box of Kleenex for this one, and get the follow-up book, SWIMMING LESSONS!

Pat Miller
Play Dirty by Sandra Brown
Rating: 4 Stars
I enjoy anything written by Sandra Brown but this wasn't one of her best.

Patricia Sanders (patricialsanders@hotmail.com)
Berlin by Pierre Frei
Rating: 4 Stars
This book takes place in Berlin, Germany after World War II. It is written by a German, which offers a different perspective from the other World War II novels I have read.

Sally
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling
Rating: 5 Stars
I really don't know what to add that others have not written. This wonderful book is a fitting end to a fantastic series of books. I managed to finish the book prior to hearing any "spoilers," and I loved the way she brought everything together to a most satisfying conclusion.

Betty Jo (harrises@bayou.com)
It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium by John Ed Bradley
Rating: 5 Stars
This memoir is a moving look at an intellectual, all-SEC football player from small-town Louisiana. His novel makes amends for his disappearance from the world of LSU football for over two decades. It will speak to any former athlete or fan.

Reva Wamsley (prwamsley@roadrunner.com)
Deception Point by Dan Brown
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a fast-paced book. I had a hard time putting it down. NASA has found a meteorite in the polar ice cap that contains fossils. A team is sent to investigate. What happens next will keep you reading.

Dusty (bjohnson-att@comcast.net)
The Nominee by Brian McGrory
Rating: 4 Stars
This is the first book I've read by Brian. It was a great story abort a reporter's investigation into his paper's publisher's murder. He proves that what was listed as suicides were actually murders, and then goes on to solve the case. It was written with McGrory's expertise as a crack reporter for the Boston Globe.

Pamela Schofield
The Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan
Rating: 4 Stars
Lovely book about Mothers and daughters and life in the East and West. It tells the stories of three women who come to America from India and how they connect to their daughters who are raised here. Recipes, customs and cultural aspects are beautifully detailed.

Pearl M
What Came Before He Shot Her by Elizabeth George
Rating: 4 Stars
I snapped up the paperback when it came out and found that this is not one of George's normal Inspector Lynley books. I had a lot of difficulty getting into the book at first, but now I'm having a hard time putting it down. I am almost finished and can't wait for the ending. I have a feeling it will be as incredible as her others. She seems to have so much foresight into the lives of children. Another great read. Kudos.

Noreen Brown
The Quickie by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge
Rating: 4 Stars
This book has more twists and turns than an amusement park ride. You turn each page wondering what's next.


L. Hann
Rusty Nail by J. A. Konrath
Rating: 5 Stars
Jack Daniels is at it again. Someone is sending Jack snuff videos. His mission is to put an end to Jack? Can she find out who before he finds her?

Michele
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
Rating: 4 Stars
A memoir of the author's life after being diagnosed with cancer at age 9. She has half her jaw removed and faces the challenges of being different. Beautifully written. This book will challenge your perception of beauty.

Mary Angela Young
Heart of Texas Vol. 2 by Debbie Macomber
Rating: 5 Stars
The is a very good romance novel.

Kimberly Bower
Lost and Found by Anne Schraff
Rating: 5 Stars
LOST AND FOUND is the first in the series for teenagers. It's 133 pages which is a great length to hold a teen's interest. The story was so absorbing that I couldn't put it down until I finished it. It's about real life and real teen relationships in a high school. The teens at our library can't get enough of them!

Laurie Blum (laurieblum@hotmail.com)
The Saturday Wife by Naomi Ragen
Rating: 3 Stars
An interesting peek into Orthodox Jewish life, especially the challenges of being a Rabbi's wife! Oy Vey!!! You'll cry from one eye and laugh from the other!

Sharon Lumb
1st to Die by James Patterson
Rating: 5 Stars
The book grabbed me from the first page, with the heroine attempting to commit suicide. While reading, I was anxious to find out who was killing the brides and grooms while also starting to suspect why she is ready to end her life. During all this action a police officer, a crack reporter, a DA and forensic authority all meet and decide to create the Women's Murder Club to solve the mystery. There are so many twists in the plot that I could not put the book down. Great plot development.

Thomas (tomjac0850@charter.net)
Long Binh Jail by Cecil Barr Currey
Rating: 3 Stars
While not a real page turner, this is a book worth reading if you are a historian or are interested in a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War. The military detention facility at Long Binh, commonly referred to as "LBJ," was a very violent and dangerous place to be. Drug use was commonplace, as was the ever-present danger of racial tensions becoming a riot, as did happen.

Kay Keller
Shiver by Lisa Jackson
Rating: 4 Stars
This book is a very good read and I found it hard to put down once I got over being scared to read it alone. This is a story of a serial killer on the loose in New Orleans, and the protagonist is the main target. The suspense is terrific! I plan to read the sequel when it comes out.

Julie Towson
Tales from Q School by John Feinstein
Rating: 4 Stars
This is a great book for anyone into golf. It is a behind-the-scenes look at qualifying school to reach the PGA. Every fall, more than a thousand golfers sweat through three phases of hell in the Q School, vying for the thirty slots available on the PGA Tour.

Maureen
Empress by Shan Sa
Rating: 4 Stars
A true story of the only woman to rule in China.

Christy H.
Someone To Love by Jude Deveraux
Rating: 4 Stars
Two romances enhance this delightful paranormal romantic suspense. The fast-paced storyline grips the reader from the moment Jace encounters Ann and never slows down until the final explosive climax. Jude Deveraux provides sub-genre fans with a fabulous tale due to a strong cast of characters, living and dead.

ck
What the Dead Know by Laura Lippman
Rating: 4 Stars
I love a good detective story, and this is a winner! Thirty years ago, the Bethany girls disappeared in Baltimore. Now, there is an accident and the driver intimates she may be one of the girls. However, she refuses to reveal her present identity and barely cooperates with the investigation. The case may be cold, but the kidnapping had a major impact on the family and an investigator. As readers, we become caught up in the psychological impact of the crime, as well as rushing through the pages to discover the truth.

ck
The Polish Woman by Eva Mekler
Rating: 4 Stars
In 1967, a 29-year-old woman goes to a Jewish lawyer in NYC to seek his help. She thinks she might be the child of a survivor of the Holocaust. She saw an obituary in a newspaper and went to his funeral because he was from her same town in Poland. There are many twists in the plot and details of history of Poland during the Nazi invasion. Mekler writes beautifully.

Quinn
The Abduction by Mark Gimenez
Rating: 5 Stars
This is a child-in-jeopardy thriller that really is so fascinating it is hard to put down. The story is captivating and, consequently, I want to go back and read everything he has written. As a psychologist, this was a really gripping story!

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