?

Log in

Tammy Talk

Friday, June 15, 2012

10:25PM - #85 Wicked Appetite

Title: Wicked Appetite
Author: Janet Evanovich
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 313 (HB)
Length of time to read: 1 day

Synopsis:
Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down—and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins.

Recommended By:
I love Janet Evanovich…always fun!

Review:
It was a good first book in a series. I always enjoy her books, they are very easy fun summer reads J I liked the characters and the basic story…just waiting for the next book. I hope it continues for a few more books…at least!

10:24PM - #84 Dragon Keep

Title: Dragon Keep
Author: Janet Lee Carey
Genre: YA Fiction
Pages: 302 (HB)
Length of time to read: 3 days

Synopsis:
Far away on Wilde Island, Princess Rosalind is born with a dragon claw where her ring finger should be. To hide the secret, the Queen forces her to wear gloves at all times until a cure can be found, so Rosalind can fulfill the prophecy to restore the family to their rightful throne. But Rosalind’s flaw cannot be separated from her fate. When she is carried off by the dragon, everything she thought she knew falls apart. The dragon sees beauty in her talon where her mother saw only shame, and Rosalind finally understands what her mother has truly denied her.

Recommended By:
Another rec from one of my husband’s friends.

Review:
I liked it more than I thought I would. It was an interesting story and I thought it was well written. I would definitely read another book written by this author.

10:22PM - #83 On the Street Where You Live

Title: On the Street Where You Live
Author: Mary Higgins Clark
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 317 (HB)
Length of time to read: 1 day

Synopsis:
Following the acrimonious breakup of her marriage and the searing experience of being pursued by an obsessed stalker, criminal defense attorney Emily Graham accepts an offer to leave Albany and work in a major law firm in Manhattan.

Feeling a need for roots, she buys her ancestral home, a restored Victorian house in the historic New Jersey seaside resort town of Spring Lake. Her family had sold the house in 1892, after one of Emily's forebears, Madeline Shapley, then still a young girl, disappeared.
Now, more than a century later, as the house is being renovated and the backyard excavated for a pool, the skeleton of a young woman is found. She is identified as Martha Lawrence, who had disappeared from Spring Lake over four year ago. Within her skeletal hand is the finger bone of another woman with a ring still on it -- a Shapley family heirloom.

In seeking to find the link between her family's past and the recent murder, Emily becomes a threat to a devious and seductive killer, who has chosen her as the next victim.

Recommended By:
My husband picked the book up to listen to and I wanted to reread it so we could discuss it when he was done 

Review:
I liked it. It’s been awhile since I read it, so I didn’t remember too much of it and it took me a little while to figure the mystery out. She is always good for a quick and easy read. Never too gross with the details…reminds me a little of Agatha Christie.

12:55AM - #82 The Eyre Affair

Title: The Eyre Affair
Author: Jasper Fforde
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 374 (Softcover)
Length of time to read: 1 day

Synopsis:
Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.

Recommended By:
My book club read it. This was a reread for me J

Review:
I liked it even better this time. Probably because I knew how it ended…but also I am used to his style of writing and I love the way it flowed. I do think the next few books in the series are better, but this is a great start to the series.

12:51AM - #81 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Title: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Author: Washington Irving
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 25 (Paperback)
Length of time to read: 1 hour

Synopsis:
Are all the lights on?

Is there a parent in the house?

Are the windows shut and locked? Double-check!

They HAVE to be if you are going to read this book, which is undoubtedly the scariest rendition of one of the greatest ghost stories ever told: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

While you may have heard of Ichabod Crane, Katrina Van Tassel, and the Headless Horseman, you've never SEEN them quite like this -- through the macabre imagination of the inimitable Gris Grimly.

So, take a deep breath and take a long look. And you may want to bring a flashlight to bed with you tonight.

Recommended By:
I know the basic story but had never read it. It was on my 100 book list to read.

Review:
I didn’t care for the style of writing. The story doesn’t get as deeply into it as I would like either. I didn’t love it…

12:47AM - #80 Draogonquest

Title: Draogonquest
Author: Donita K. Paul
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 355 (Softcover)
Length of time to read: 3 days

Synopsis:
A New Quest Begins

A dragonkeeper of Paladin, Kale is summoned from the Hall to The Bogs by the Wizard Fenworth to serve as his apprentice and tend his newly hatched meech dragon, Regidor. But Kale isn’t going alone. The Hall is sending a student to monitor her performance and report back to the scholars. Worst of all, it’s Bardon–an older boy Kale finds irritating, but who at least can hold his own in a sword fight.

New Friendships Are Forged

Meanwhile, the Wizard Risto has seized another meech dragon, bringing him dangerously close to gaining the power he seeks. So with only a motley band of companions, Kale sets out on a desperate quest to rescue the second meech, to free those dragons already enslaved, and to thwart Risto’s devious plans. It’s up to Kale to lead the search and to embrace the role that’s rightfully hers. But will her efforts be enough to save the land of Amara from the dark future that awaits at Risto’s hands?

Recommended By:
This is the second in a series that I started based on a rec from a nurse my husband works with.

Review:
I really liked it. It was better than the first, the characters were all established and it was flowed well. I really like the main character and the storyline. I look forward to seeing how the story develops. There were a few new characters introduced, but it was done well and they fit into the story perfectly.

Monday, May 14, 2012

3:11PM - #79 The Professor

Title: The Professor
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 378 (HB-Large Print)
Length of time to read: 6 days

Synopsis:
This story of William Crimsworth, who goes to Brussels to seek his fortune, falls in love with Frances, a schoolteacher and lace-maker, and is himself pursued by Mademoiselle Reuter, has often been dismissed as merely a draft of Villette. Yet Charlotte Bronte always stubbornly defended the novel, suggesting a certain lack of depth on the part of the publishers. Portraying a self-made man and his relationships in an individualistic society that worships property and propriety, this peculiarly ambiguous and disturbing love story reveals Charlotte Bronte as a social critic of insight and power.

Recommended By:
Love Bronte and this was on my 100 books to read list.

Review:
I liked it. Not as much as Jane Eyre, but I think it would be hard to love it THAT much…I am a little obsessed with Jane Eyre  It was well written (Of course, It’s Charlotte Bronte!!) and the characters interesting. It was a little slow, but I think I am just used to authors not nearly as good as her who rush you through the story. If you are a fan of classic novels, check this one out!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

6:56PM - #78 Loves Music, Loves to Dance

Title: Loves Music, Loves to Dance
Author: Mary Higgins Clark
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 304 (PB)
Length of time to read: 4 hours

Synopsis:
New York's trendy magazines are a source of peril when a killer enacts a bizarre dance of death, using the personal ads to lure his victims...
After college, best friends Erin Kelley and Darcy Scott move to the city to pursue exciting careers; Erin is a promising jewelry designer, Darcy finds success as a decorator. On a lark, Darcy persuades Erin to help their TV producer friend research the kinds of people who place personal ads. It seems like innocent fun...until Erin disappears.
Erin's body is found on an abandoned Manhattan pier -- on one foot is her own shoe, on the other, a high-heeled dancing slipper. Soon after, startling communiqués from the killer reveal that Erin is not the first victim of this "dancing shoe murderer." And, if the killer has his way, she won't be his last. Next on his death list is Darcy.
Recommended By:
An old favorite.

Review:
This is one that I loved when I was a teenager, and I still enjoyed it even knowing how it ends. I remember the feelings I had the first time I read the book…I loved it and did a book report for school on it J MHC is one of the reasons I wanted to be a writer.

6:49PM - #77 Christ the Lord-Out of Egypt

Title: Christ the Lord-Out of Egypt
Author: Anne Rice
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 321 (HB)
Length of time to read: 3 days

Synopsis:
With the Holy Land in turmoil, seven-year-old Jesus and his family leave Egypt for the dangerous road home to Jerusalem. As they travel, the boy tries to unlock the secret of his birth and comprehend his terrifying power to work miracles. Anne Rice's dazzling, kaleidoscopic novel, based on the gospels and the most respected New Testament scholarship, summons up the voice, the presence, and the words of Jesus, allowing him to tell his own story as he struggles to grasp the holy purpose of his life.

Recommended By:
The book is on my 100 book to read list.

Review:
I didn’t care for it. It was somewhat boring. As I have said in the recent past, I don’t think she is a great writer, but is a good storyteller usually. This time, she failed me. I might pick up the next book in the series, but I am in no hurry to do so. I just didn’t find the story that interesting…

6:48PM - #76 Dragonspell (Dragon Keeper #1)

Title: Dragonspell (Dragon Keeper #1)
Author: Donita K. Paul
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 339 (Softcover)
Length of time to read: 3 days

Synopsis:
One Dragon Egg Holds the Key to the Future.

Once a slave, Kale is given the unexpected opportunity to become a servant to Paladin. Yet this young girl has much to learn about the difference between slavery and service.

A Desperate Search Begins…

A small band of Paladin’s servants rescue Kale from danger but turn her from her destination: The Hall, where she was to be trained. Feeling afraid and unprepared, Kale embarks on a perilous quest to find the meech dragon egg stolen by the foul Wizard Risto. First, she and her comrades must find Wizard Fenworth. But their journey is threatened when a key member of the party is captured, leaving the remaining companions to find Fenworth, attempt an impossible rescue, and recover the egg whose true value they have not begun to suspect…

Recommended By:
A nurse my husband works with.

Review:
It wasn’t the most original of subjects-it was like a lot of other fantasies with Dragons I have read-but it still pulled me in. I liked that the main character is a girl and I loved the minor dragons! I plan to read the next book in the series and hope I enjoy it as well.

6:34PM - #75 One True Thing

Title: One True Thing
Author: Anna Quindlen
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 289 (HB)
Length of time to read: 2 days

Synopsis:
A mother. A daughter. A shattering choice

Recommended By:
I have read a few of her other books and usually enjoy hem.

Review:
It was a good book, sad, but an easy book to read. Not too sappy, which is good…but t still tugged at my heart strings a bit. I thought it was a well told story, it felt authentic and not manipulative like so many about this subject.

6:24PM - #74 Pampered to Death

Title: Pampered to Death
Author: Laura Levine
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 279 (HB)
Length of time to read: 1 ½ hours

Synopsis:
Jaine Austen is looking forward to an indulgent spa getaway--until she learns it's more about deprivation than relaxation. Between miniscule meals and a deadly brush with fame, surviving this vacation will be no piece of cake.

Recommended By:
Was checking for Biographies about Jane Austen and this was recommended.

Review:
This is the 10th in the series (I think), but the first one I read. I wasn’t confused and didn’t feel out of the loop, so that’s a plus. It was an ok read, but I didn’t get hooked and I don’t plan to read any more of the series. The main character is a little bland, but I did enjoy her parents…they made me laugh.

1:28PM - #73 Dune (Final book for April)

Title: Dune
Author: Frank Herbert
Genre: Science Fiction
Pages: 535 (PB)
Length of time to read: 4 days

Synopsis:
Set in the far future amidst a sprawling feudal interstellar empire where planetary dynasties are controlled by noble houses that owe an allegiance to the imperial House Corrino, Dune tells the story of young Paul Atreides (the heir apparent to Duke Leto Atreides and heir of House Atreides) as he and his family accept control of the desert planet Arrakis, the only source of the "spice" mélange, the most important and valuable substance in the universe. The story explores the complex and multi-layered interactions of politics, religion, ecology, technology, and human emotion, as the forces of the empire confront each other for control of Arrakis and its "spice".

Recommended By:
My friend Coyla

Review:
It took me a few days to get into the book, but once I got 1/3 of the way through the book I was pretty hooked. It was well written, but at times I had a little trouble keeping all the characters straight. It was good read though and I plan to start the next book soon.

1:17PM - #72 Twisted (Pretty Little Liars #9)

Title: Twisted (Pretty Little Liars #9)
Author: Sara Shepard
Genre: YA Fiction
Pages: 307 (HB)
Length of time to read: 3 hours

Synopsis:
It’s been a year since the torturous notes from A stopped and the mystery of Alison DiLaurentis’s disappearance was finally put to rest. Now seniors in high school, Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily are older, but they’re not any wiser. The Pretty Little Liars have more secrets than ever - twisted secrets that could destroy the perfect lives they’ve worked so hard to rebuild.

Aria’s jealous of her boyfriend’s new exchange student. Spencer’s getting a little too cozy with her soon-to-be-stepbrother. Hanna’s one scandalous photo away from ruining her dad’s Senate campaign. And Emily will do anything to get a swim scholarship.

Worst of all: Last spring break in Jamaica, they did something unforgivable. The girls are desperate to forget that fateful night, but they should know better than anyone that all secrets wash ashore … eventually

Recommended By:
Been reading the series for a year or so.

Review:
Only one book to go…thank goodness. The story is getting more and more farfetched and I don’t really care anymore. I just found out there is going to be an 11th book. I plan to stop at 10 unless there is a very good reason to read the 11th book.

1:13PM - #71 A Stranger is Watching

Title: A Stranger is Watching
Author: Mary Higgins Clark
Genre: Mystery
Pages: 256 (HB)
Length of time to read: 3 days

Synopsis:
Ronald Thompson knows he never killed Nina Peterson... yet in two days the state of Connecticut will take his life, having found him guilty via due process of law. But Thompson's death will not stop the pain and anger of Nina's husband, Steve. Thompson's death will not still the fears of Nina’s six-year-old son, Neil, witness to his mother's brutal slaying. Not even the love and friendship of Sharon Martin, a journalist who is slowly becoming a part of their world, will ever erase their bitter memories. Only time, perhaps, will heal their wounds. But in the shadows a stranger waits, a cunning psychopath who has killed before, who has unfinished business at the Peterson home...

Recommended By:
A re-read…

Review:
It was a good book, I think this is my fourth time reading it and it was just as good as the first three times he story is well written and fast paced, and the characters are relatable.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

11:01PM - #70 The Wolf Gift

Title: The Wolf Gift
Author: Anne Rice
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 402 (HB)
Length of time to read: 4 days

Synopsis:
The time is the present.

The place, the rugged coast of northern California. A bluff high above the Pacific. A grand mansion full of beauty and tantalizing history set against a towering redwood forest.

A young reporter on assignment from the San Francisco Observer. . . an older woman, welcoming him into her magnificent, historic family home that he has been sent to write about and that she must sell with some urgency . . . A chance encounter between two unlikely people . . . an idyllic night—shattered by horrific unimaginable violence. . .The young man inexplicably attacked—bitten—by a beast he cannot see in the rural darkness . . . A violent episode that sets in motion a terrifying yet seductive transformation as the young man, caught between ecstasy and horror, between embracing who he is evolving into and fearing who—what—he will become, soon experiences the thrill of the wolf gift.

As he resists the paradoxical pleasure and enthrallment of his wolfen savagery and delights in the power and (surprising) capacity for good, he is caught up in a strange and dangerous rescue and is desperately hunted as “the Man Wolf,” by authorities, the media and scientists (evidence of DNA threaten to reveal his dual existence). . . As a new and profound love enfolds him, questions emerge that propel him deeper into his mysterious new world: questions of why and how he has been given this gift; of its true nature and the curious but satisfying pull towards goodness; of the profound realization that there are others like him who may be watching—guardian creatures who have existed throughout time and may possess ancient secrets and alchemical knowledge and throughout it all, the search for salvation for a soul tormented by a new realm of temptations, and the fraught, exhilarating journey, still to come, of being and becoming, fully, both wolf and man.

Recommended By:
Saw Anne Rice on Craig Ferguson promoting the book and it looked good.

Review:
I liked the book. It was reminiscent of The Interview with a Vampire…which was nice for me since I loved the first few books of the Vampire Chronicles. There were a few things I didn’t like about the book, one is a storyline and I do not wish to spoil the book for anyone so I will not share it and the other is…she still is not a great writer. However, she is a good storyteller, and I liked the book enough to hope for a sequel to read soon.

10:17PM - #69 A Mount Vernon Love Story

Title: A Mount Vernon Love Story
Author: Mary Higgins Clark
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 288 (pb)
Length of time to read: 1 day

Synopsis:
The role of leader came naturally to George Washington, the man revered as "the father of his Country." But when it came to the social aspects of life in the mid-18th century, he was both awkward and insecure. It was only through the love of a woman that he found the happiness that gave real meaning to his life.

In matters of the heart, Washington initially stumbles when he falls in love with Sally Wilcox, his best friend's young bride. But Sally is understanding, and sets out to teach George the art of social graces. When he finds himself attracted to Martha Custis -- a young widow with two children -- he summons the courage to ask her to marry him.

As depicted by Clark, their marriage was not without conflict. Their love was strong, and it endured long months of separation and the many dangers that Washington's role as leader of the Army entailed. At the end of his long career, when he and Martha return to Mount Vernon, the fire of their love burns just as brightly as when he took her there as his new bride.

Recommended By:
This was a book I had on my shelves for a few years.

Review:
It was a good read, I have had the book for a few years, but never got around to reading it. I enjoyed my time spent with this novel.

10:03PM - #68 Hide and Seek

Title: Hide and Seek
Author: James Patterson
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 302 (HB)
Length of time to read: 1 day

Synopsis:
Patterson tells this story through two points of view: there's the the first-person voice of Maggie Bradford, who kills her abusive husband in the novel's flashback prologue and has now become a world-famous singer-songwriter ("I love your music, Maggie," Barbra Streisand tells her); and there's a third-person narration that is often filtered through the eyes of Will Shepherd, the celebrated soccer star who romances Maggie after her interim lover, an older tycoon, dies of a heart attack. The devastatingly handsome Will likes to hurt women ("there was a distinctly good part in him, but also a bad part"), however, and sometimes even to kill them. Will seems to want Maggie to save him from himself. Using his beauty and charm on her and her children, he wins her hand in marriage.

That union sets up a major-league deja vu, two murder trials that aren't quite riveting and a final Big Twist that will only surprise those fresh to the thriller genre. Still, Will's descent into cartoonishness, and various loose threads, will probably not bother readers swept along by this lightweight pop fiction.

Recommended By:
This was a re-read.

Review:
It was a good quick and easy read. I enjoyed it, it was not as intense as I remembered, but was still enjoyable.

9:58PM - #67 The Salamander Spell (Prequel to The Frog Princess)

Title: The Salamander Spell (Prequel to The Frog Princess)
Author: E.D. Baker
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Pages: 248 (HB)
Length of time to read: 1 day

Synopsis:
In this prequel to the Tales of the Frog Princess, Grassina is a young princess-in-training. But as the younger sister to Princess Chartreuse, Grassina is not expected to do much beyond behave herself. When a terrible spell stops her mother from being the good Green Witch, and the Kingdom of Greater Greensward seems to teeter on the brink of terror, Grassina sets off on an errand in the swamp and comes back with some surprises for everyone, including skills that only Chartreuse is supposed to have. Soon it is clear that Grassina has begun to find her own way to the magic she thinks she'll never have, and luckily for Greater Greensward, the audaciousness--and the ability--to save the kingdom itself.

Recommended By:
Read the series this was a prequel to.

Review:
I didn’t like this book as much as the others I have read written by this author. I didn’t connect to the characters or the story as much. It lacked something for me…it didn’t seem to have the depth of the Frog Princess Series. I was a quick and easy read though.

9:48PM - #66 Odd Thomas

Title: Odd Thomas
Author: Dean Koontz
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 446 (PB)
Length of time to read: 3 days

Synopsis:
“The dead don't talk. I don't know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn. Maybe he has a gift, maybe it’s a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries
to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out. Sometimes they want justice, and Odd’s otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo's sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it's different.

A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world's worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd’s deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15.

Today is August 14.

In less than twenty-four hours, Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd travels through the shifting prisms of his world, struggling to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock 'n' Roll. His account of two shattering days when past and present, fate and destiny converge is the stuff of our worst nightmares—and a testament by which to live: sanely if not safely, with courage, humor, and a full heart that even in the darkness must persevere.

Recommended By:
A friend (David Bostic) recommended it after I asked him for a rec. of a Koontz book

Review:
I was very happy with the book, it was very interesting. I was saddened by the ending but would like to read the next book in the series so I know what happens with the story. It was an engaging read.

Navigate: (Previous 20 entries)