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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Have You Read . . . ? (Book Reviews)

'Have You Read . . . ?' is what I think about the books I read.  That said, pretty much the only way I get any books "read" right now is to listen to them in their unabridged audio format.  Do I think this is the same as reading a book?  No.  I'll listen to a LOT more garbage than I would EVER take the time to read.  But, hey, if it's entertaining, it gets my vote.

The most recent post will always appear at the top.  If you wish, use the 'Search This Blog' option in the sidebar to find a particular title (a function that will be much more useful once I have a backlog of reviews).

At the bottom of this page, you'll find the books I just couldn't get into for one reason or another . . . and, therefor, DQ-ed from this list.

I am CURRENTLY reading:

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Purity in Death by J.D. Robb.  Book 15 in the series.


Reunion in Death by J.D. Robb.  Book 14 in the series.

Stout-Hearted Seven by Neta (Lohnes) Frazier.  Hmph - I only faintly remember it now.  (Should really do my reviews a tad sooner!)


Marie Antoinette - The Journey by Antonia Fraser.  Can't remember much about it now (it's been over a year, I think) other than I really enjoyed it.  I'll have to add other books by Fraser to my list.

Borderline by Nevada Barr (Audio Book)
Pretty "mmeh".  Definitely not her best.  Still, I ripped through it.

Borderline by Nevada Barr (Audio Book)
Finding a series that you like is a double, triple bonus because it saves time looking for new, good books!  This is, by far, my favorite of the Anna Pigeon series.


The Wild Child by Mary Jo Putney (Audio Book)
The schmaltzy cover does this book a huge disservice.  (My version didn't have it, and it's not at ALL indicative of the storyline.)  It was an unusual tale, and I enjoyed it.

Desert Heat by J.A. Jance (Audio Book)
Having ripped through all of Jance's 'Ali Reynolds' series, I'm now starting into the J.P. Beaumont & Joanna Brady tomes.  This is the first of the Joanna Brady series:  so far my least favorite of the three series, but still a good read (listen).

The Unplowed Sky by Jeanne Williams (Audio Book)
This was my first reading (listening) of this author.  I really enjoyed her work, but she worked up to the conclusion way too ineffectually, and I didn't even realize it WAS the climax until it was happening . . . at which point I had to rewind to catch what I'd missed.  (Which was nothing, as it turned out.)  Great 7/8s of a book, poor unfleshed-out ending.

I Like You by Amy Sedaris (Audio Book)
I have this in hardcover, and I enjoy the physical book much more than the abridged (all I could find) audio version.  Still, it's a good chuckle if you're taking a long car trip.

When You're Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris (Audio Book)
See comments below (for 'Me Talk Pretty One Day').

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris (Audio Book)
I think this book is my favorite of his . . . or it's the above ('When You're Engulfed in Flames').

P.S.  I'm over the sadness I felt when I read 'Dress Your Family In Corduroy and Denim'.  I still wouldn't have wanted to grow up in his house.


'The Winding Ways Quilt' by Jennifer Chiaverini (Audio Book)
I love nearly anything of hers, but I really enjoyed this one.


'The Christmas Secret' by Anne Perry (Audio Book)
I enjoyed this more than expected, but it wrapped up much too neatly at the end.


'Web of Evil' by Judith A. Jance (Audio Book)
This is just the 2nd book I've read by J.A. Jance, but I like the way she writes.  This particular story had a few inconsistencies / inaccuracies in the way the cases were solved, and that bugged me, but still . . . an over-all good read.  Plus, she's a blogger, and I can relate to her using her blog as an outlet.

'Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim' by David Sedaris (Audio Book)
I enjoy the stories that David Sedaris tells, but I can't read (listen to) a bunch of his books in succession because I find them equally as sad as funny.  Why?  'Cause he was brought up in such a messed up family.  That's what makes me sad:  why couldn't those 6 (?) kids have had a good up-bringing?  I doubt most people feel that way when they read his stuff, but, I can't help it:  I do.

'The Glass Castle' by Jeannette Walls (Audio Book)
Gad, how some children have made it to adulthood in families like this is incomprehensible.  And these parents with NO moral compass?  Wow.  (This is a true story.)  The author writes incredibly well, and you grow with her and see her changing perspective as she changes from an adolescent to an independent woman.

'High, Wide, and Lonesome'  by Hal Borland (Audio Book)
I'm a sucker for historical memoirs (particularly during the American Frontier / Pioneer period[s]), and the only disappointment about this one was its length (too short).

'Bridget Jones's Diary' by Helen Fielding (Audio Book)
Total fluff, but fun & entertaining, nonetheless.  Just don't expect any brilliant witticisms or anything.

 'The Queen's Fool' by Philippa Gregory (Audio Book)
Were I not already a huge fan of the reign of Elizabeth I and familiar with the players, I'd be pretty confused.  There are too many character introductions, and a newbie would be completely lost.  That said and for those who are already familiar with the wives and children of King Henry VIII, 'The Queen's Fool' provides yet another glimpse into this historical time (although, this is a novel).

'The Lost Quilter' by Jennifer Chiaverini (Audio Book)
Even though I'm not a quilter, I really enjoy Chiaverini's books.  And, I like to believe that Elm Creek Manor is a real place.  I'd love to become my own version of Sylvia Compson as I age and turn Swamp River Ridge into a similar destination for groups of friends. 

'The Runaway Quilt' by Jennifer Chiaverini (Audio Book)
See comments for 'The Lost Quilter'.  This was the 7th book I've read of the author's, having already ripped through 'The Quilter's Apprentice', 'The Christmas Quilt', 'The Quilter's Homecoming', 'Round Robin', 'The Cross-Country Quilters', and 'The Sugar Camp Quilt'.

'Carnal Innocence' by Nora Roberts (Audio Book)
This story begins with a rape & murder scene that neeearly made me turn it off.  But, something told me to keep going, and I'm glad I did. Not that such a thing is EVER easy to listen to or read, but there's a real reason for it that "justifies" the text . . . and that I can't reveal or there goes the mystery!  Anyway, if you choose to try to (and then can) get through the beginning, this is one of my most favorite of NR's novels . . . and the mystery-solved at the end is SUCH a surprise that I might listen to it a second time!

'Blue Smoke' by Nora Roberts (Audio Book)
This was the most disturbing book of NR's that I've read.  No, let me rephrase:  this was the FIRST disturbing book of NR's that I've read.  I wasn't expecting a story like this!  I mean, from the 'In The Garden' trilogy to rape & burning people alive?  Whenever an author writes such twisted scenes so well, it always makes me wonder just why it is that they put those things down on paper?  Why give someone already warped a complete how-to regarding turning imaginings into hideous realities?  Besides, if I ever thought up such heinous characters, I know I'd be too embarrassed to publicize it, that's for sure!  There's no doubt that 'Blue Smoke' is well-written and will probably keep you hooked, but a "light read" it ain't.
'Monday Mourning' by Kathy Reichs (Audio Book)
I hadn't read anything by her before, but I liked this.  If memory serves, the ending was wrapped up a little too quickly and neatly (a common problem in murder-mysteries), but it was still enjoyable.  I'll look for more of her books.

'WINTER STUDY' by Nevada Barr (Audio Book) 
When an author writes with a particular PLACE being one of the major characters, that choice always lends itself to criticism . . . and I had plenty!
     The story is set on Isle Royale, and there are location / distance choices she's made that prompt me to wonder if she's ever BEEN to Isle Royale (like, which town it is that people fly out of to get to the island)?  Too, there are MANY inaccuracies regarding winter weather.  For instance, she talks about how eyelashes begin to frost and any exposed skin is in danger of instant frostbite . . . when the temperature is 15° F.  Above.  Uh-huh.  Right.  Oh, and there's a snowstorm with buckets and buckets of snow . . . when the temperature is below zero.  Again, that just doesn't happen.  (20° - above - is the ideal temperature for snowfall, and you just wouldn't get gobs of snow if the mercury was sitting below 0°.)  Sigh.
     That said, the plot has warmed up enough (pun intended) that I am fairly captivated as I near the end.  But, if she focused on the storyline more (good suspense) and left the landscape where it belongs (in the background) she'd have a better chance of landing me as a real fan.   

Other Books I've Read

'Then Came Heaven' by LaVyrle Spence
'Oh, My Stars' by Lorna Landvik
'Edge of Evil' by J.A. Jance
'More Than A Memory' by Dorothy Garlock
'Half-Broke Horses' by Jeannette Walls 

And, here is the sad list of books that I just couldn't get into
for whatever reason and, therefore,
took them out of competition for my time!

'The View from Mount Joy' by Lorna Landvik

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