Book Reviews

check back... busy reading...always reading
These are MY opinions,  so read my reviews keeping that in mind
Books I've read since starting this blog...
When you want a new book to read
try this link for books to read in categories, fun stuff  book lists by category

Fiction    
A Royal Pain by Megan Mulry A smart, fast paced Romantic story I hated to finish 
Tiffany Girl by Gist. Turn of last century story of a woman who wanted to earn her living in Art. Great!
Perfect Timing by Jill Mansell  A contemporary novel with very likable characters you root for. A woman changes her mind about her upcoming marriage and hilarity ensues.  
A discovery of witches Deborah Harkness This is a good book listened to on CD. The reader is very engaging with character voices. The story kept both DH and I wanting more, and there is more with the story continuing onto two more books in the trilogy. Contemporary story involving love across barriers of genetics.  
Thinking of you Jill Mansell. Likeable characters set in England current day. Funny, charming 
If the shoe fits by Megan Mulry  Contemporary, British, VERY funny and witty, great romance, sexy, apparently love is hard to find even if you are royal! I loved it enough to read the first on in her series, and it's turning out to be great fun too. Two thumbs up. 
 Dangerous to Know Tasha Alexander  another mystery solved by a smart woman, set around turn of the last century, it's written in lovely language, and engaging to the end. Bit off my nails a bit though...
First Sight Danielle Steele. Yawn. The story line of an older woman who grew up with heartache, finally finds love but he isn't free to love, etc was fairly interesting. The author needed an editor to cut out at least a third of the words as she repeats herself endlessly. I finished but only because I skimmed most of it. 
A Nantucket Christmas  by Nancy Thayer. Wonderful read, just the right length and great story of a family finding peace with divorce in the holidays. 
Heirs and Graces Rhys Bowen  Her Royal Spyness series continues. Not the best or the worst but a fairly good story and I love the author for a gentle British mystery.  
Take a chance on me by Jill Mansell one of my new fave authors. Chick lit, whimsical and funny, good characters, set in present day, British, lots of antics. Fun to read. I'm reading all hers.
Homecoming Ranch by a totally terrific author, Julia London I like her so much I printed out an extensive list of her books and plan to read them in order. That much. This book was set in the present, well defined characters you feel like you know, great story line of a woman who discovers she has two sisters and inheireted a ranch in Montana. Relateable and enjoyable read to the absolute last page.  
 Hotel Vendome 
If you find yourself yelling at a book on tape, you might just want to walk away which I did without finishing this book. Oy!  An interesting premise to the story was bludgeoned to death with a repetitious  writing style.  Thumbs down.
The Family Way by Rhys Bowen. In the molly murphy mystery series set NYC turn of the last century. Always fun to read, keeps me engaged, well written with a gently murder mystery solved by a woman. 
The gate by Dann Stouten  a spiritual fable type feel to it but with kernels of wisdom. The writing could be tighter, I skipped long passages of descriptive narrative that had little to do with the story line. 
A summer affair by Elin Hilderbrand was well written. I don't know how I feel about the content. 
The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen Fabulously fun frolic with easy but engaging mystery. Love the main character, and have read all the her royal spyness books. British mystery, need I say more?
Miss Dimple suspects by Mignon F. Ballard
fun easy to read mystery involving three women living in the South during WW2. Not terribly engrossing, but easy to fall asleep to and engaging. I might even look for the first two in the series as the books are small enough not to hurt my hand holding them in bed at night... ringing endorsement, no?
Invitation to Provence  by Elizabeth Adler
Very engaging story, easy summer read. I cared about the characters, the story line, and the outcome. Well done, sort of in the style of Nora Roberts. Light reading and enjoyable. thumbs up. 
Death in the Floating City by Tasha Alexander. I want to read all her work now. Mystery set in approx mid 19th century. Easy to read, very engaging, not graphically violent murders to solve, this one is set in Venice and gave me an appreciation for the history and people of the city.
JULIET by Anne Fortier. So wonderfully written. Some paragraphs were like poetry. Intriguing, couldn't put it down. I am jealous of anyone getting to read it for the first time. New book due 3/14
 True Love by Jude Deveraux What a wonderful story! Set in Nantucket, it combines architecture, mystery, ghosts, love stories, and history. I can't wait til the next in the trilogy comes out! Read it!
The Faraday Girls by Monica McInerney.  I like the slice of life fiction from this author but like her other works, it's slow to get into. Full of character development it describes the British commonwealth countries well, and you begin to get invested in the character's lives toward the middle, then really care toward the end.
Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy  her last book, wonderful characters who's stories you will enjoy, set in Ireland along the water in an Inn. Love her.
Miranda's Big Mistake by Jill Mansell I loved this present day, light-hearted romp of a novel! Laugh out loud funny with wonderful characters. What fun! Now I want to read more. 
Habits of the House by Faye Weldon Touted as better than Downton Abbey but... I stopped at chap 3
Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier  long awaited second novel, adventure and connection between history and today. We loved it, reading it aloud to each other. Well written and action packed.
The girl who stopped swimming by Joshilyn Jackson  What a well written book. DH and I listened to it together on audio cds and it was surprising to the end. I highly recommend listening to the author read it because of the accent! It is very thought provoking, and stimulated discussion about ethics after the end.
The litter of the law by Rita Mae Brown.. mystery with nice characters and solved by pets
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Knot What it seams  by Elizabeth Craig  Murder Mystery series set in the south. Lots of quilting discussed.
A walk in the park by Jill Mansell  she never disappoints. Great contemporary stories with interesting people
Tailgate by Rita Mae Brown and sneaky pie brown.. modern mystery with pet sleuths set in VA
ForAllTime by Jude Devereaux  modern romance set in Nantucket, part 2 of trilogy, with some time travel
Dire Threads  Janet Bolin.. mystery involving sewing shops... like!
Ming Tea Murder by laura childs   mystery set in Charleston, enjoyable easy read
Breaking News by Fern Michaels  mystery in godmothers series. Loved the sound recording
Red Lily by Nora Roberts. 3rd in the trilogy, about a ghost's dealings with the family of an ancient home
Juliet's Nurse by Lois Leveen  this will turn the story of Romeo and Juliette on it's ear!! I listened to it on cd and the reader added so much to the story, which kept me enthralled through the book
SeaSwept by Nora Roberts... how a family can be built from individuals. I liked it read to me on CD
Fireside by susan wiggs, contemporary story of a ball player who gets to know his son, on CD
Lakeshore Christmas by susan wiggs...not as good as the one above, but entertaining on CD
Just Breathe S. Wiggs  contemporary love story blended family on cd
Return to Willow Lake by susan wiggs... continuing the story, as good as the others
Threaded for trouble  Bolin another threadville mystery. Easy to read and fun bedtime reading
Queen of Hearts Rhys Bowen... her royal spyness series of cozy murder mysteries. Loved it!
Night of the living thread by Janet Bolin  another threadville mystery
Born in shame and Born in Fire nora roberts sound recording. Great story of finding family Ireland, great reader
Miss Julia inheirits a mess  Ann Ross   fun mystery old woman solves in the south
English Breakfast Murders by Tracy Child. Cozy mystery set in Charleston tea shop  Reading all of them
Until the end of time danielle steele  story of souls finding each other after death. Not engrossing, just okay.
birds in the air by Frances Dowell... modern day woman learns to quilt as she finds her place in a new town 
The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs  a woman discovers her roots and future and learns of her grandparent's escape from Nazi's. Very good read.
Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler  laugh out loud, wonderful story inspired by Taming of the Shrew, modern woman and Russian scientist become involved. Terrific listen on disc!
The Marriage of Opposites lyrical story of artist Camille Pissaro

Non-Fiction
 The Mandala Book Cunningham   This is visual candy and very exciting to a creative person. I checked it out from the library bur need to have it as a reference on my shelf. Great picture examples of natural mandalas.
Paul Klee Artists in their Time
I learned a lot about the life of artist Paul Klee, saw at least five styles he created, learned how his life experiences effected his art. His work is very 'quilterly' to me.Thumbs up.
Paranormal My Life in Pursuit of The Aterlife Raymond Moody, MD
My takeaway:  After reading several books on the topic of life after 'death' written by respected scientists and medical doctors, they all report the same thing, and it makes sense to me. In this, Dr Moody's  12th or so book, he shares very personal stories of his own life. Thumbs up.
The Light Beyond Raymond Moody, MD
Further scientific research into NDE's; Well researched and easily read. Thumbs up
Infinite Quest John Edward, it was okay...
The Midwife a memoir of birth, joy and hard times by Jennifer Worth  Very engaging and a worthwhile read.
The author describes post WW2 London so that you can see it in your mind. Sometimes shocking, sometimes touching enough to bring tears, it was the book on which the BBC show is based. Read it!
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley A rollicking good LISTEN as DH and I listened to it on CD on car trips. The reader brought the story to life with her accents. Story of a woman who had to overcome life's hardships to find a man who matched her in spirit.I can relate!
Mariners Compass by Earlene Fowler  a Benni Harper mystery. A good story about a woman who inherits a stranger's wealth and has a mystery to solve in understanding why. Her stories mention quilting but don't dwell on it, and are engaging to read. Good beach read.
Eliminating Stress Finding inner peace by Dr B. Weiss small easy read with meditation cd. He says stress creates bodily chemicals that cause illness and mental difficulties that can be controlled by meditations.
Opening Heaven's door by Patricia Pearson  exploring NDE in a Scientific way, not the most engrossing
Untethered soul by Michael Singer. Couldn't read past chap. 1
Ever after  Jude Deveraux third in Nantucket trilogy, fun read, present day with a few ghosts!
What happens when we die by Echo Bodine  from her study of life between lives. Okay, not what I wanted
Reincarnation  by Marilou Trask-Curtin  a personal story of one woman's memories of past lives
Evidence from Beyond  by Ruth Taylor  a woman's brother speaks to her from Heaven

DVDs
 At home with the Georgians  wonderful video of Georgian architecture/ society
Story of England narrated by Michael Wood
Very engaging to a history buff. It gives you a sense that history isn't just text book, that one lifetime led to the next until modern day, connecting all of us in a string. It shows the development of that area of England in an easy to understand way. Loved it!! Ordered from local library.
Call the Midwife  BBC
Oh I love this slice of life series based on a book by a woman living in England just after WW2. The acting is excellent, and the content engrossing, the characters real.  Very well done. I got the DVD from local library.
VEEP  HBO
So very funny, fast paced dialogue, surprising humor has you snorting your coffee out your nose. Love it.  

Murdoch Mysteries CBC this is a wonderful Canadian series set at the turn of the century. The characters are engaging, a woman pathologist, a detective and the police force are well rounded characters, story lines are interesting, wonderful costumes, intelligently written, often introducing all the inventions from turn of the century. 
Vexed BBC So funny, a bit like moonlighting but with British accents! A male/female detective team in modern day solve murders. Their interactions are really funny. The only problem is there are only three episodes per season, wah! The male lead is the actor son of Maggie Smith. 
Pie in the sky BBC  The detective wanted to retire but the force kept him on, he owns a restaurant and a lot of the stories bank back and forth from the perils of that vs solving crimes, not just murders. Very easy to watch, great actors and acting, great scripts. DH and I watched  the shows together and both liked. 
The amazing Mrs Pritchard BBC production of 6 episodes. What if a regular citizen wanted to change the country? She is elected to Prime Minister of Britain. Good story line, some improbable politics 
Broadchurch two seasons of absolutely engrossing story set in England. Intricate story line involving the death of a boy in a small seaside town. Sounds harsh but I couldn't stop watching. Should have won every award for writing and acting! 

Authors and their Series
Diana Gabaldon     Outlander Series  History, action, adventure, romance
 Rhys Bowen        Her Royal Spyness series. strong female character,  set in 1920 England, mysteries

                      Molly Murphy series  strong, interesting woman character, mysteries in turn of century NY
Tasha Alexander    Lady Emily mysteries
Laura Childs    Tea Shop Mystery  series of novels set in present day Charleston. Easy and fun to read
Janet Bolin    Threadville mysteries... series where sewing shop owners solve cases
Fern Michaels  Godmother Series... Funny, smart, mysteries. Four older women with quirks solve mysteries

2 comments:

  1. I like your reading list,, I like easy to fall asleep books in the evening also. Reading Jana Deleon series on my Kindle, fun to have a giggle or two while reading

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  2. Oh thanks for that great list--I have read a lot of the same books--but not Tasha Alexander as yet or Rhys Brown--goodie, goodie--lol love new series...hugs, Julierose

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