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1/13/11 10:39 A

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Fall Of Giants by Ken Follett

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The first novel in The Century Trilogy, this book follows the fates of five interrelated families-American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh-as they move through the world-shaking dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women's suffrage. Thirteen-year-old Billy Williams enters a man's world in the Welsh mining pits...Gus Dewar, an American law student rejected in love, finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson's White House...two orphaned Russian brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, embark on radically different paths half a world apart when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution...Billy's sister, Ethel, a housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts, takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with Walter von Ulrich, a spy at the German embassy in London...

Kelly & the KLAD Cockers
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DESERTDREAMERS's Photo DESERTDREAMERS Posts: 49,734
1/13/11 5:27 A

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2 by Connie Shelton about Samantha Sweet - a 50's something woman who breaks into houses for a living and is a baker. (She has a part-time job working for the USDA cleaning up abandoned houses) She also lives in Taos, New Mexico.

11) Sweet Masterpiece emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
We meet Samantha and her neighbors & friends. While cleaning up an abandoned property, she finds the house is not quite abandoned - an old woman lies dying, and gives Sam an odd box (magic!). Sam's next house has a grave in the grass.

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Sam makes a dream come true when she opens her own bakery. Things are heating up with her deputy sheriff love. Politics, shenanegans, and another murder.

Edited by: DESERTDREAMERS at: 1/13/2011 (05:28)
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Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
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1/12/11 8:21 P

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London Bridges by James Patterson 4 stars

Alex Cross continues to hunt for The Wolf, who threatens to attack cities all over the world.

"It is never too late to be what you might have been." -George Eliot



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1/12/11 7:27 P

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What's a Ghoul to Do? (Ghost Hunter Mysteries, No. 1) by Victoria Laurie

6 stars - It's a cross between Ghost Whisperer & Ghost Hunters.

M.J., her partner Gilley, and their client, the wealthy, de-lish Dr. Steven Sable, are at his family's lodge, where his grandfather allegedly jumped to his death from the roof-although Sable says it was foul play. But the patriarch's isn't the only ghost around. The place is lousy with souls, all with something to get off their ghoulish chests. Now M.J. will have to to quell the clamor-and listen for a voice with the answers...

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1/12/11 1:06 P

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Howards End by E.M. Forster 4.5*

This book depicts the distinction between the upper and lower middle classes in England around 1910.

It shows how a man(head of household) can have an adulterous affair and be forgiven, while a single pregant woman can be banished from society in disgrace.

Slow at times the book builds to its climax.

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1/12/11 11:44 A

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
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The Sugar House by Laura Lippman
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I guess this is the fifth in a series. I liked it well enough to seek out the others with the same characters. I wasn't expecting it to have a focus on eating disorders but it was well handled.



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1/12/11 10:48 A

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4* The Queen's Doll Maker by Christine Trent

This story takes place in England and France, during the time of the French Revolution. When a massive fire in Paris destroys her home, her parent's doll making business, and leaves her an orphan at the age of 16, Claudette Laurent struggles to survive in Paris, and soon leaves for England. She finds work as a domestic servant, and at night, begins to make simple dolls that her friend Jack, another servant, sells for her in town. She saves money from the dolls and her meager wages, and eventually is able to open her own shop and make more ornate dolls. Her reputation as a talented doll maker grows, and she is even commissioned to make dolls for Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France.

She soon finds herself a friend of the queen, something that proves to have very dangerous consequences for her during the height of the Revolution.

I really enjoyed this story, both Claudette's and that of Mary Antoinette. I have not read much about the royal families of France, and this has piqued my interest to learn more about them, especially Mary Antoinette.

The only thing about this book I did not like was the math when it came to Claudette's age; at the beginning of the story, it is 1765 and she is 5 years old, which meant she was born in 1760, but 16 years later, when the second chapter jumps ahead to 1781, Claudette is still only 16 years instead of 21. This is the first book this author has written, so I can attribute that mistake to inexperience, but it seems to me that a good editor should have caught that mistake. I hope if Ms. Trent writes another book, she hires a better editor.



My name is Shari; I have been a Sparker since July 2006, I am now in hospice care for metastatic breast cancer, but I'm not letting cancer stop me from Sparking!

Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

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1/12/11 10:22 A

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the mist by carla neggers- 4 stars

From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Neggers's third FBI romantic suspense novel lacks the Celtic charm and passion of its predecessor, 2008's The Angel. Norman Estabrook, a thrill-seeking billionaire, is confined to his Montana ranch after his arrest on suspicion of money laundering and aiding drug traffickers. Estabrook yearns to kill FBI director John March and special agent Simon Cahill as well as catch the anonymous snitch, hotelier Lizzie Rush, who turned him in. Rush has flown to Ireland to warn Kiera Sullivan, Cahill's lover, that their lives are in danger, but her mission gets complicated when she runs into Lord Will Davenport, an attractive SIS agent. In Boston, March's homicide detective daughter, Abigail Browning, goes missing after Estabrook's cohorts bomb the triple-decker house where she lives with her fianc. Neggers juggles the developing romance between Davenport and Rush with standard search and rescue fare as this foggy manhunt rumbles to a predictable conclusion.

FORGET WILLPOWER.

"Losing weight is not about willpower--it's about moments of bravado, like the moment when you ask your waiter to take the bread away from the table right away." ~~Jillian Michaels


~~we don't see things as they are, we see things as we are-- anais nin




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CD8551914 Posts: 58
1/12/11 10:02 A

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A year by the sea: thoughts of an unfinished woman by Joan Anderson.
I enjoyed the imagery in this one. If you've ever lived or been on vacation to a little fishing town on the northern (east or west) coast then you'll feel right at home reading this book.
It reads more like her journal but it evokes a desire to be more confident in your own skin. No matter your age or situation in life.


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1/12/11 9:59 A

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The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. The book was easy to read but very deep.
Definitely a good one if you want to do some "soul searching".
I wrote in a journal little notes and thoughts as I read because it brought so many thoughts and emotions to the surface.

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1/12/11 7:43 A

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Consequences by Penelope Lively. 5 stars!

Follows 3 women beginning in 1938 when a woman meets her husband on a park bench and then he heads off to war....

Edited by: DMB4500 at: 1/12/2011 (07:44)
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1/11/11 9:51 P

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Just finished Witch Way to Murder by Shirley Damsgaard. Light paranormal mystery read, quick and easy and entertaining. 3 stars.

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1/11/11 8:03 P

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Sometimes I get bogged down in books. I've been in a quagmire this month and with joy I started The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg late last night. Family is No deposit, no return. Ms. Berg has an uncanny talent for family relations.
*****5 stars!!!!!!
Now I'll tackle the problematic tomes.
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Quit stuffing your face and face your stuff.

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1/11/11 4:21 P

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"The Lost Girls" by Jennifer Baggett, Holly Corbett, and Amanda Presser ****.5

New Yorkers Jen, Holly, and Amanda are all 28, midway up the career ladder, single and waiting.....not sure for what, exactly. They decide to take a giant leap of faith - quit their media jobs, leave boyfriends (significant and other) and spend a year traveling the world living out of backpacks. They journey 60,000 miles across 4 continents and over a dozen countries, experiencing life the way the locals live it - shooting blowguns in the Amazon, volunteering with orphaned girls at a school in Kenya, hiking with Hmong villagers in Vietnam, meditating at an ashram in India, and driving a camper through Australia. Through it all, they forge a powerful bond of friendship and support, taking them through illnesses, romances, danger, and anything else the world can throw at them. Refreshing positive account of three girls with a sense of adventure and openness to life.

Carol


Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land amongst the stars.


Nothing changes when nothing changes.



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1/11/11 3:54 P

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Play Dead by Harlan Coben. 4 stars keeping me on the edge of my seat.

Shelly ---- Vancouver, WA



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1/11/11 12:20 P

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Juliet by Anne Fortier ***** 5 stars

Loved this book. Lots of new (to me) information about the real Romeo and Guiletta and their fictional future family members.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:19 P

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The Ginkgo Light by Arthur Sze **** 4 stars

Poetry collection.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:19 P

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Edible Stories by Mark Kurlansky **** 4 stars

A novel in 16 parts or 16 short stories one connected to the other.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:19 P

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The Butterfly Mosque by G. Willow Wilson **** 4 stars

An American womans conversion to Muslim.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:19 P

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The Age of Grief by Jane Smiley **** 4 stars

Novella and short stories about life, friendship and marriage.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:19 P

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The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom **** 4 stars

Slave era story.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:18 P

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An Imaginary life by David Malouf **** 4 stars

Story of the Roman poet Ovid during his exile in Tomis.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:18 P

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The Sisters of Hardscrabble Bay by Beverly Jensen *** 3 stars

This book was just ok. A lot of story without much meat. Unlikeable characters.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:18 P

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When I Stop Talking, Youll Know Im Dead by Jerry Weintraub **** 4 stars

Autobiographic story of Jerrys career as a manager and film producer.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:18 P

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The Messenger of Athens by Anne Zouroudi **** 4 stars

Mythical story almost poetic.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:18 P

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Liars, Anonymous by Louise Ure **** 4 stars

Good, solid story with an interesting back story.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:17 P

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Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes **** 4 stars

I liked this book up until the end and then I hated it. You can decide for yourself.


50 is the new 30.


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The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh **** 4 stars

This was a kinky story had some interesting and not too unexpected twists and turns.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:17 P

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Scoop by Evelyn Waugh *** 3 stars

Another book on a must read list that I didnt find interesting.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:17 P

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Ms Hempel Chronicles by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum **** 4 stars

A class year in the life of a bizarre middle school teacher. A flash forward to her running into one of her former students at the conclusion.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 12:17 P

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The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles *** 3 stars

This book showed up on a must read list, but it left me wanting.


50 is the new 30.


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1/11/11 10:27 A

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beyond reach by karin slaughter- audio- 3 stars

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. At the start of bestseller Slaughter's bone-chilling sixth thriller in her Grant County, Ga., crime series (after 2005's Faithless), Dr. Sara Linton, the county's resident pediatrician and medical examiner, is mired in a devastating lawsuit, accused by grieving parents of indirectly causing the death of their terminally ill son. Then Sara and her husband, police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, must travel to rural Reese, Ga., where Lena Adams, Jeffrey's often reckless detective, has been injured in an explosion that killed a local woman. Lena's mysterious escape from the hospital plunges her, Sara and Jeffrey into a dangerous web of meth trafficking, white supremacy groups and long-buried family secrets. Expertly shifting back and forth in both time and point of view, Slaughter builds the suspense to a perfect crescendo, connecting every loose plot strand in a devastating and unforgettable climax. With methamphetamine use on the rise in the country, Slaughter's unflinching portrayal of lives ruined by the drug make her latest a timely and unsettling read.

FORGET WILLPOWER.

"Losing weight is not about willpower--it's about moments of bravado, like the moment when you ask your waiter to take the bread away from the table right away." ~~Jillian Michaels


~~we don't see things as they are, we see things as we are-- anais nin




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1/11/11 9:31 A

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Cross Fire by James Patterson emoticon

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1/11/11 9:26 A

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The Key Lime Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke
in the Hannah Swensen Series 5*s

A nice light read and usually quick (when I have time to read).
A series that you should begin with the 1st book for character development.

Jerseygirl318
Always leave enough room in your LIFE to do something that makes you happy, satisfied or even joyous.
Paul Hawken...

Goals!
Walk a 5K faster than 45 minutes!
Run a 5K!
Control my eating!







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1/11/11 8:37 A

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Hannah's List Blossom Street Series, Book 7 by Debbie Macomber *****

On the anniversary of his beloved wife’s death, Dr. Michael Everett receives a letter Hannah had written him. In it she reminds him of her love and makes one final request. An impossible request — I want you to marry again. She tells him he shouldn’t spend the years he has left grieving her. And to that end she’s chosen three women she asks him to consider. First on Hannah’s list is her cousin, Winter Adams, a trained chef who owns a caf on Seattle’s Blossom Street. The second is Leanne Lancaster, Hannah’s oncology nurse. Michael knows them both. But the third name is one he’s not familiar with — Macy Roth. Each of these three women has her own heartache, her own private grief. More than a year earlier, Winter broke off her relationship with another chef. Leanne is divorced from a man who defrauded the hospital for which she works. And Macy lacks family of her own, the family she craves, but she’s a rescuer of strays, human and animal. Macy is energetic, artistic, eccentric — and couldn’t be more different from Michael. During the months that follow, he spends time with Winter, Leanne and Macy, learning more about each of them…and about himself. Learning what Hannah already knew. He’s a man who needs the completeness only love can offer. And Hannah’s list leads him to the woman who can help him find it.


People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing -- that's why we recommend it daily.


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1/11/11 12:50 A

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10) Dancing in the Moonlight by RaeAnne Thayne 4 stars

Lt Magdalena Cruz has returned from Afghanistan wounded in body and soul - she lost her left foot and some friends to an explosion. Dr. Jake Dalton has always had strong positive feelings for her - but she's had negative strong feelings for his whole family. Can he help her accept who she is and move on? (hint - it's a Romance novel)

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Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
Muhammad Ali

�When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department generally uses water."


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RED_AUGIE Posts: 562
1/10/11 7:35 P

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The Graveyard Book By Neil Gaiman 4*s

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1/10/11 10:27 A

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The Sunday Philosophy Club- Alexander McCall Smith
2 stars (audio)
I'm a big fan of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency Series
so I got this to listen to on a recent road trip. Rather disappointing except for the lovely accent of the reader. But I liked 44 Scotland Street much better and may just stick with that series instead.

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1/10/11 10:20 A

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Open by Andre Agassi 5 stars
This is really a fascinating memoir- very well written.I read fiction most of the time, just occasionally branching out to biographies or history but I'm a big tennis fan and also a long-time fan of Agassi, so I really enjoyed this book (which Santa put in my stocking.) I highly recommend it to anyone who loves the game.

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1/10/11 9:06 A

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nights of the red moon by milton t burton- 3 stars

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Set in East Texas, Burton's rip-snorting third mystery will appeal to fans of Bill Crider, Ben Rehder, and Kinky Friedman. When the bullet-ridden body of Amanda Twiller turns up in front of her pastor husband's Methodist church, Beauregard "Bo" Handel, the Caddo County sheriff, investigates. While Rev. Bobby Joe Twiller isn't a suspect, Amanda, who was addicted to prescription painkillers, left him three months earlier for Emmet Zorn, the flamboyant co-owner of the Pak-a-Sak liquor store. Emmet's link to a reputed Houston mobster takes Bo and his team, including Carla Wallace, Bo's female deputy and love interest, on a thrill ride of surprises that becomes more intense after the shooting death of doper Doyle Raines, the prime suspect in Amanda's murder. Bo's rowdy "good ole boy" zeal may verge on the outrageous at times, but Burton (The Sweet and the Dead) has a created a cowboy hero that readers will want to see more of.

FORGET WILLPOWER.

"Losing weight is not about willpower--it's about moments of bravado, like the moment when you ask your waiter to take the bread away from the table right away." ~~Jillian Michaels


~~we don't see things as they are, we see things as we are-- anais nin




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1/10/11 12:49 A

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While on a cruise (and traveling) I read several books in a series about a small town in northern California. Very enjoyable, interconnected stories.

Virgin River Robyn Carr - 4.5
Shelter Mountain Robyn Carr - 4.5
Whispering Rock Robyn Carr - 4.5
A Virgin River Christmas Robyn Carr - 4.5
Second Chance Pass Robyn Carr - 4.5
Temptation Ridge Robyn Carr - 4.5
Paradise Valley Robyn Carr - 4.5


Jo Ann
Starfish - (CST)
Be not afraid of going slowly; be afraid only of standing still. - Chinese Proverb



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1/9/11 11:09 P

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8) Aphrodite's Kiss by Julie Kenner emoticon emoticon emoticon Another cute but predictable romance. Zoe is a halfling - half mortal and half Protector (they used to be thought to be gods) with superhuman powers. She's almost 25, and her powers are erratic, but she must choose to be fully mortal or join the Counsel. She's always wanted to join her father on the Counsel. She meets PI Taylor - now she has a chance at love, but will she have to choose being mortal?

9) Stupid History: Tales of Stupidity, Strangeness, and Mythconceptions Throughout the Ages by Leland Gregory emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Funny collection of things we all know - that are wrong. Examples: Horace Greeley's immortal line: "Go west, young man." Nope, Greeley reprinted an article by John B. Soule who said the famous line, and credited Soule with it - but everybody thinks Greeley came up with it. Paul Revere did not make the famous ride into Concord, Mass to warn "The British are coming!" He was one of 3 riders sent out on 18 Apr 1775 to warn Concord, but they were stopped by a British patrol. Revere was captured and detained, William Dawes turned back, by Dr. Samuel Prescott rode on to Concord and warned them. (Listen my children and I'll shout out, the midnight ride of Sam Prescott" Um, doesn't scan as well)

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Wars of nations are fought to change maps. But wars of poverty are fought to map change.
Muhammad Ali

�When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department generally uses water."


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1/9/11 10:40 P

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Death Du Jour - Kathy Reichs - 4

This is the second book in Reichs' Temperance Brennan series (the series the TV show "Bones" is based from). Dr. Brennan and Ryan once again find themselves in the middle of a grotesque murder case - this one possibly involving cults and someone dear to Brennan.

I liked this book, but it followed the same script as the first story in the series. I didn't find myself surprised by the plotline - it was too similar to the first book. Yet, it is suspenseful and a great mystery.

"The smallest gesture can have a devastating or amazingly positive impact" -Sonia Nieto


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JAGUAR-SHARK's Photo JAGUAR-SHARK Posts: 134
1/9/11 9:05 P

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I just finished reading Denis Leary's Why We Suck, and give it a 4 out of 6 as far as the rating, just because I don't think its the type of book everyone will enjoy even though I absolutely loved it. Its a humorous, barely punctuated rant on celebrities, society, and growing up. It mostly appealed to me because I found it in the bargain section: $5.99 for a hardcover is definitely a good thing.

I'm now reading One Square Inch of Silence by Gordon Hempton. I'll let you know how this one goes ;)

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CD1514882 Posts: 4,426
1/9/11 8:19 P

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Wake Up Sir by Jonathan Ames
1 *

Everyone on amazon had this rated at the top, I don't know why. It was boring. I think I am in a bit of a bad book rut lately (at least for ones that are supposed to be funny)

a week in the life of Alan Blair, a 30-something novelist and booze hound coasting along thanks to a fall on the ice that netted him a hefty lawsuit payout. Said quarter-million means that Alan can avoid employment and hire a valet named Jeeves, who inhabits the spare bedroom in the modest Montclair, N.J., (amazon)

Edited by: CD1514882 at: 1/9/2011 (20:21)
SUEBEE9's Photo SUEBEE9 Posts: 127
1/9/11 7:22 P

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Finally got my hands on the fourth wedding book in the N. Roberts series. Reading Happy Every After. Predictable, but enjoying it.

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DRAGONLADY712's Photo DRAGONLADY712 Posts: 1,044
1/9/11 6:01 P

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Careless in Red by Elizabeth George 6 stars mystery/thriller

Another goodie by this author.

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Ann


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PEDIPOD's Photo PEDIPOD SparkPoints: (0)
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1/9/11 5:56 P

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Thanks so much, Sara -- you make it sound appealing enough to buy! I also love historical novels with multi-generational characters interacting. I remember Winds of War. What else do you recommend?

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NURSIE8's Photo NURSIE8 Posts: 344
1/9/11 5:38 P

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Hi there,

I am currently reading Fall of Giants. I also read the Pillars of the Earth, which I enjoyed. I find the writing in Fall of Giants more detailed than Pillars of the Earth. I love history and I am really enjoying the historical aspects in Fall of Giants. There is also romance in this book, but history is the main component. I find it very interesting how the countries and characters interact in Fall of Giants. If you choose to read this book, I hope that you enjoy it!

Sara

*~*~*SARA*~*~*

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NILNI22's Photo NILNI22 Posts: 33
1/9/11 4:33 P

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Dracula by Bram Stoker. ***

I was drawn to read this book because there are so many vampire stories out there right now, I just want to know exactly how vampires were portrayed in the more classic stories. The book is basically about Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, the Harker couple, Holmwood, & Morris trying to find ways to get rid of Dracula after he murders Arthur Holmwood's fiancee.



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