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TEXASTITCHER's Photo TEXASTITCHER Posts: 59,883
12/27/11 12:17 A

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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - John LeCarre - 5.5*

A while ago I picked up several of John LeCarre's audio books for free. On our recent trip we listened to this one. It has been said it is one of the best spy novels written. It is a very good story. You are following along as the hero (George Smiley) uncovers details of a mole in MI6. It was a very good audio version and a great story.

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



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DOLLYBABE57's Photo DOLLYBABE57 Posts: 3,189
12/26/11 10:02 P

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I am reading Joanna Funke,s Christmas time book "The Plum Pudding Killing" It is all about a woment hat owns and runs a Cokkie Shop.Flunke has wriitten several Mysterys about this caractor, and the books really grab your attenion right away. And as an added plus there are erecipes too. 5 stars

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MOM2ACAT's Photo MOM2ACAT SparkPoints: (0)
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12/26/11 9:56 A

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6*
I am Hutterite by Mary-Ann Kirkby

What is a Hutterite? From Wikipedia: Hutterites (German: Hutterer) are a communal branch of Anabaptists who, like the Amish and Mennonites, trace their roots to the Radical Reformation of the 16th century. Since the death of their founder Jakob Hutter in 1536, the beliefs of the Hutterites, especially living in a community of goods and absolute pacifism, have resulted in hundreds of years of odyssey through many countries. Nearly extinct by the 18th and 19th centuries, the Hutterites found a new home in North America. Over 125 years their population grew from 400 to around 42,000.

This is the true story of a girl who was born into a Hutterite community; it was the only life she had ever known until she was 10 years old, when her parents decided to leave the colony because of political tensions. Before leaving the colony, Ann-Marie (now Mary-Ann Kirkby), never tasted macaroni and cheese, ridden a bike, or heard of Walt Disney or rock-and-roll. She was forced to hide her heritage to fit in with her new peers, but she could never forget her childhood roots and longed to go back there.

It was a big adjustment for her parents too; while in the colony, they never had to worry about things like mortgages or paying bills. They were hard workers, but they were use to the colony providing all their needs.

I really enjoyed this book, and learning about the Hutterites and how they lived. It's very clear that the people are very dear to the author, and she writes about them with honesty, love and respect.


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.

A. A. Milne



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DESERTDREAMERS's Photo DESERTDREAMERS Posts: 49,734
12/26/11 5:48 A

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3 more in the Dirk & Steele series by Marjorie M. Liu: Romance novels with paranormals - shapeshifters, psychics, and nonhumans

12) Wild Road 4 stars
Gargoyle Lannes meets a woman in danger who is amnesiac.

13) Fire King 3 stars
Soria has the gift of languages - which is useful when Karr is awakened from a 3000 year sleep

14) Within the Flame 4 stars
Pyrokinetic Eddie meets a shapeshifter dragon woman.

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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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12/24/11 4:24 P

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Kill Alex Cross - James Patterson - 5.5 stars
great book in the Alex Cross series.

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

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TEXASTITCHER's Photo TEXASTITCHER Posts: 59,883
12/24/11 12:45 P

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To Love, Honor, and Disobey – Natalie Anderson - 3.5*
Wedding Night with a Stranger – Anna Cleary - 3.5*


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



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EVRLNGFOO's Photo EVRLNGFOO Posts: 1,237
12/24/11 11:39 A

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12 Christmas Treel Lane ~ Debbie Macomber 6*

this is the final book in the Cedar Cover series. it's been such a great series to read. i have fell in love with the characters and their families. It's been a fun series and i strongly recommend it to anyone who likes her books, likes series or books about friends and families.

this particular book takes place on the days leading up to christmas. It has a few different stories going on as the author ties up any loose ends with the story arcs she had created over the past 12 books. i thought she did a great job with that while also introducing a new family that you grow to love. i'm going to miss this series, but i thought this was a great ending.

Shanna


"whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right" ~ Henry Ford



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TEXASTITCHER's Photo TEXASTITCHER Posts: 59,883
12/22/11 12:40 A

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Lost and Found - Karen L. Syed - 4*

What happens when individuals jump to conclusions. interesting story.

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



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BEN1126's Photo BEN1126 Posts: 3,688
12/21/11 10:00 P

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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson 6*

Steve Jobs definitely deserves to be called a genius. He started by building computers in his garage and wound up with the most successful company in the world, Apple.

Jobs managed to hire and oversee the brightest and most talented engineers and designers.
A perfectionist, Job instisted on quality both inside ( where it isn't seen) and on the outside of his many products.
Jobs revolutionized the PC, resurrected the music industry with the i-pod and i-tunes store, and made the i-phone and the i-pad.
He also saw to fruition the Apple stores which have flourished around the country.
Jobs died recently from cancer at the age of 56.
Jobs was truly an artist.
After reading the i-pod chapter, I ran to my bureau drawer where my i-pod was hiding to study its detail. I didn't know how much work went into its design!


Edited by: BEN1126 at: 12/21/2011 (22:01)
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TEXASTITCHER's Photo TEXASTITCHER Posts: 59,883
12/21/11 2:22 P

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Secretary by Day, Mistress by Night – Maggie Cox - 4*

My reading is slowing down because of the other things that are going on. Interesting story about two children of celebrities and how they deal with it and each other, once they meet.

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



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12/21/11 12:22 P

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4*
Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith

This novel is written by the author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Carl Brown and Annie McGairy meet in Brooklyn, New York, and fall in love. Carl moves to the midwest to attend law school, and in 1927, 18 year old Annie travels there to marry him. The first year is more difficult than they anticipated, living so far away from family and with few friends, but their love sustains them through hardship and poverty.

I really enjoyed this story, it was sweet without being sentimental, and I liked the characters, they were very realistically written. Carl had a temper, but he wasn't a bad person, and Annie was upbeat and cheerful, but also opinionated and willing to speak her mind and stand up for herself. The author really captured what it was like to live in those times when not a lot of people had much money.


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.

A. A. Milne



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12/21/11 11:25 A

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Making Spirits Bright by Fern Michaels, Elizabeth Bass, Rosalind Noonan and Nan Rossiter - 3 stars

A collection of four holiday novellas, the content was very sweet and romantic. A bit too predictable, and a couple of the stories felt very rushed. But it was a nice distraction from the craziness of work right now.

Kelly & the KLAD Cockers
www.kladcockers.com
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12/21/11 10:20 A

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Christmas at Harrington's by Melody Carlson

3*
It's near Christmas time, and Lena Markham is just released from 8 years in prison for a crime she didn't comment. She is trying to restart her life, but instead of going back to her home town, she decides to start over in New Haven, Minnesota. When a second hand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs.Santa in a department store, Lena begins to feel her luck is changing, but also worries what will happen if someone discovers that "Mrs. Santa" is a convicted felon?

I really enjoyed this story, it was a quick read and a "feel good" story, just what I expect in a Christmas book.


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.

A. A. Milne



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DESERTDREAMERS's Photo DESERTDREAMERS Posts: 49,734
12/20/11 3:25 P

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3 more in the Dirk & Steele Novel series by Marjorie M. Liu:

The premise is D&S is a private investigation agency - but many of the members have special skills - psychics, shape-shifters, demons... These are also romance novels, as the team members discover their soulmates. The road to love is definitely rocky and dangerous.

9) Eye of Heaven 3 stars
Blue, Who can manipulate electricity, never knew his father personally, but now the old man is dying, and blackmailed Blue into finding his half-brother, Daniel. Blue finds him in a travelling circus, and headliner Iris with her big cat show. Iris's cats respond so well because Iris is a leopard shapeshifter. Now Blue has to save himself, Iris, & Daniel...


10) Soul Song 3 stars
This one uses D&S peripherally. Kit Bell's music with her violin is magical - M'Cal is a merman enslaved to a soul-stealing witch. Kit can also see how people will be murdered. She tries to save a woman ... M'Cal is ordered to steal Kit's soul (he sings the souls out). They make beautiful music together as they try to escape from whoever wants to kill the woman, and the witch.

11) Last Twilight 3 stars
Amiri, cheetah shapeshifter, is sent to Africa to protect a virologist, Dr. Rikki Kinn. Rikki is investigating a hot spot in the Congo - 1000 villagers dead of a virulent Ebola type virus. Now someone is trying to wipe all evidence of the village, and the investigating health team, off the map. (and I saw on the news about the scientists that have deliberately modified avian flu to make it more transmissible - cue Twilight Zone music)

Edited by: DESERTDREAMERS at: 12/21/2011 (05:25)
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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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CHRIS4338's Photo CHRIS4338 Posts: 1,041
12/20/11 3:07 P

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EIGHT MEN OUT by Eliot Asinof

I am by no means a baseball fan so when I picked this book up off of my husband's nightstand I did not anticipate being sucked in :-) What a fascinating book! You really feel for the ball players who were held up as an example in the growing professionalization of the sport of baseball.

A DEATH AT PEMBERLEY - P.D. James

Super excited to start this new spin on the Pride and Prejudice story by the great English mystery writer. I will keep you posted :-)

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12/20/11 11:33 A

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HERCULE POIROT'S CHRISTMAS, by Agatha Christie.

This was vintage Agatha Christie, with Poirot being his dapper self, the locked room murder, the suspects all in a circle to hear who dun it, and the out of left field perpetrator. I enjoyed it like I enjoy popcorn at a movie--it tastes great and you just keep eating, but there's little nutritive value in the exercise. Still, it was a fun read, and helped to lighten this week's heavy list of tasks before this Sunday.

WEE FREE MEN, by Terry Pratchett

This book is in one of my friend's favorite series set in Disc World, and so I am reading the series at her instigation. I enjoyed the book, although I wouldn't lump it into "my favorites" category. The cover of the book actually says this is in his "young adult" grouping of books, and I can see why. The protagonist is seven years old, and she rescues her baby brother and another 9-year old boy from the Queen of the Fairies. It was painless reading, and I enjoyed reading it on my Kindle while I worked out on the treadmill.

CARPROTH's Photo CARPROTH Posts: 19,335
12/19/11 6:23 P

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Dragon's Time by Anne McCaffrey & Todd McCaffrey ***

Disappointing addition to the Dragonriders of Pern series which I have read over the past 20 some odd years and have found enjoyable (if not great literature). This collaboration jumps around almost as much as the dragons and riders whose story it is supposed to tell, leaving the reader uncertain where (and when) it's talking about. It tries to get way too cute with a plethora of plots, none of which are ever developed well. This definitely marks the end of the series as far as my reading is concerned.

Carol


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


Nothing changes when nothing changes.



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TEXASTITCHER's Photo TEXASTITCHER Posts: 59,883
12/19/11 3:21 P

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A Christmas to Believe In – Claire Ashgrove - 4*
The last of three stories about three brothers and one Christmas. Each book covers the events from one of the brothers viewpoints. They have some overlap when more than one of them are together, but you get the scene from a different viewpoint.

The Ideal Man - Julie Garwood - 5*


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



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12/19/11 1:58 P

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"The Twelve Deaths of Christmas" by Marian Babson - 6 stars.

I reread this because it's a nice counterpoint if you're feeling particularly overwhelmed by sappy (and bad) tv shows at this time of year, or you're dealing with a crabby person or two when all you want is some Christmas cheer (and most bosses frown on drinking spiked eggnog on the job!)

The action takes place in London at a boardinghouse as the renters get ready for the holiday. But all is not candy canes and tinsel as outside their cozy abode, people start dying (not through natural causes) and there seems to be no connection from one to the next?

Who could it be?????

Also great to watch "Scrooge" (The musical with Albert Finney) after reading this book.

Ho Ho HO!
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12/19/11 9:33 A

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An Irish Country Girl by Patrick Taylor. Great read for this time of year.

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JERSEYGIRL318's Photo JERSEYGIRL318 SparkPoints: (0)
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12/17/11 7:27 P

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V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton - 5.5 stars

Great book. Kinsey Millhone story continues...

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

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Run a 5K!
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12/17/11 1:20 P

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In the Garden of Beasts Erik Larsonn 4 stars

Amazon Book Description
Publication Date: May 10, 2011

Erik Larson has been widely acclaimed as a master of narrative non-fiction, and in his new book, the bestselling author of Devil in the White City turns his hand to a remarkable story set during Hitler’s rise to power.

The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.

A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance--and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.


Melissa

"The long run is what puts the tiger in the cat." -Bill Squires
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BARBARASDIET's Photo BARBARASDIET SparkPoints: (446,061)
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12/17/11 1:05 P

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I haven't been posting my books for a while but here are a couple.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein 4 stars, maybe 4 1/2!
Told from the perspective of a dog, it is the story of a man who wants to be a race car driver and his family. Very touching and I cried at the end!

Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe--3 stars
It was fairly entertaining reading, but it was a top line view of his career. He barely touched on the things that were real challenges for him--just then I met so and so and then I made this movie, etc. Kind of a disappointment. But boy, I had forgotten how beautiful he was as a teenager!

~Barbara~

"What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say....Ralph Waldo Emerson"


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12/17/11 10:21 A

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4* A Regency Holiday

Authors: Rebecca Hagan, Lynn Kerstan, Allison Lane, Alicia Rasley


This is a collection of 4 short stories, taking place in Regency Era England during the Christmas season.

In Coventry's Christmas, Amy Thurston is ordered from her family home by her father's widow, and seeks the protection of her guardian, Deverel Brookfield. Unfortunately, Deveral was unaware of the arrangement until Amy shows up on unexpectedly, and Deveral is a man with little use for proper young ladies, or for Christmas.

In Star of Wonder, a mysterious stranger disrupts the meager Christmas of Stella Bryar, who has struggled to support herself and the families servants since the death of her father. What did he come to see her father for? And is he dangerous?

A Christmas Homecoming is the story of Alex Northcote, finally home after 6 years in the military, and finds that his grandmother has arranged a house party, with young ladies as eligible brides. Avoiding the trap would have been easier, if not for his grandmother's companion, who is the woman who jilted him years ago for another.

The last story is Home for Christmas; Verity accepts an invitation from her estranged father to spend Christmas with him at his estate, but ever mindful of her father's sense of propriety, she must scramble to find a man to pretend to be her husband, and father to her born out of wedlock little girl. She finds a handsome and enigmatic stranger who may be the answer to her problems.

I enjoyed all these stories; they were short and sweet light reads. The men all seemed to fall in love too quickly to be realistic, but then, these are short stories, and with them being set during Christmas time, I had no problem suspending belief for a little while.




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.

A. A. Milne



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DESERTDREAMERS's Photo DESERTDREAMERS Posts: 49,734
12/17/11 9:23 A

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8) The Red Heart of Jade (A Dirk & Steele Novel) by Marjorie Liu 2.5 stars

More adventures of the paranormal (psychics, shapeshifters, and other than human) investigators of D & S. Dean lost his best friend and true love when they were 16 - both were shot by a mugger. He thought she died, she thought he died. Sixteen years later, they are reunited in a struggle against forces that could literally end the world. I thought this one was more confusing and less believable (yes, I do see the hypocrisy of saying "unbelieveable" when she's talking about shapeshifters, magic, and psychics!)

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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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MELLISOND's Photo MELLISOND Posts: 1,277
12/17/11 8:54 A

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Oh, I read that series years ago and loved it! There are more than three books. Have you seen the others?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.


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12/16/11 3:44 P

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"To the Rescue: The Biography of Thosmas S. Monson" by Heidi S. Swinton. 4 out of 6.

Most of you probably know that Thomas S. Monson is the current president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He is an absolutely fascinating man. One of his strengths is his personal warmth and love for other people. In 2009, Slate.com ranked him number one in its list of eighty most powerful octogenarians in American.

This book is full of lots of details and many wonderful anecdotes about President Monson, but overall, it was kind of uneven writing. Some parts moved right along, and sometimes I just felt bogged down. I also had some trouble because the author tended to skip around with the chronology, so sometimes she would be talking about one time period, and suddenly the next story would take place before the previous one, which was confusing.

I am very glad I read the book, and would recommend it to anyone interested in the subject matter, but I was a bit disappointed in the writing.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 12/16/2011 (15:45)
Ruth

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I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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12/16/11 11:48 A

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Not Dead & Not For Sale by Scott Weiland**** 4 stars

In the early 1990s, Stone Temple Pilots—not U2, not Nirvana, not Pearl Jam— was the hottest band in the world. STP toppled such mega-bands as Aerosmith and Guns N’ Roses on MTV and the Billboard charts. Lead singer Scott Weiland became an iconic front man in the tradition of Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and Robert Plant.

Then, when STP imploded, it was Weiland who emerged as the emblem of rock star excess, with his well-publicized drug busts and trips to rehab. Weiland has since made a series of stunning comebacks, fronting the supergroup Velvet Revolver, releasing solo work, and, most recently, reuniting with Stone Temple Pilots. He still struggles with the bottle, but he has prevailed as a loving, dedicated father, as well as a business-savvy artist whose well of creativity is far from empty.

These earthling papers explore Weiland’s early years as an altar boy right along with his first experiences with sex and drugs. Weiland discusses his complex relationships with his parents, stepfather, siblings, and the love of his life, Mary Forsberg Weiland. Readers learn the fascinating stories behind his most well-known songs and what it was like to be there at the beginning of the grunge phenomenon, as Rolling Stone proclaimed on its cover: “the year punk broke.” Not Dead & Not for Sale is a hard rock memoir to be reckoned with—a passionate, insightful, and at times humorous book that reads with extraordinary narrative force.


50 is the new 30.


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SACTOKAREN's Photo SACTOKAREN Posts: 27,304
12/16/11 11:48 A

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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner by Alan Stilltoe*** 3 stars

Not my cup of tea but this is an independent review:

Its title story recounts the story of a reform school cross-country runner who seizes the perfect opportunity to defy the authority that governs his life. Beloved for its lean prose, unforgettable protagonists, and real-life wisdom, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner captured the voice of a generation, and its poignant and empowering life lessons will continue to captivate and entertain readers for generations to come.


50 is the new 30.


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12/16/11 11:48 A

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Passage to Juneau by Jonathan Raban*** 3 stars

Jonathan Raban conducts readers along the Inside Passage from Seattle to Juneau. The physical distance is 1,000 miles of difficult-and often treacherous-water, which Raban navigates solo in a 35-foot sailboat. But Passage to Juneau also traverses a gulf of centuries and cultures: the immeasurable divide between the Northwest's Indians and its first European explorers-- between its embattled fishermen and loggers and its pampered new class. Along the way, Raban offers captivating discourses on art, philosophy, and navigation and an unsparing narrative of personal loss.



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CD9543726 Posts: 6,824
12/16/11 7:34 A

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You're (Not) the One by Alexandra Potter - chick lit, which I normally avoid like the plague, and it was fun, though all the chick-lit stuff still bothered me. 3 stars.

JIACOLO's Photo JIACOLO Posts: 44,917
12/15/11 11:54 P

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I just finished the Hunger Games (book 1). It was incredible! I NEED to read book 2!

If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.

- It's Janine!


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To Be Sung Underwater by Tom McNeal***** 5 stars

Judith Whitman always believed in the kind of love that "picks you up in Akron and sets you down in Rio." Long ago, she once experienced that love. Willy Blunt was a carpenter with a dry wit and a steadfast sense of honor. Marrying him seemed like a natural thing to promise. But Willy Blunt was not a person you could pick up in Nebraska and transport to Stanford. When Judith left home, she didn't look back. Twenty years later, Judith's marriage is hazy with secrets. In her hand is what may be the phone number for the man who believed she meant it when she said she loved him. If she called, what would he say?



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LARKSONGRUTH's Photo LARKSONGRUTH Posts: 1,248
12/15/11 1:51 A

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Paradise Lost is truly a great book. It is really quite a lively tale.

Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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TEXASTITCHER's Photo TEXASTITCHER Posts: 59,883
12/14/11 9:44 P

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A Knight Before Christmas – Alicia Dean - 4*

The second of three stories about the King brothers who come home one Christmas. This involves murder, blackmail and a love story.

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



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12/14/11 7:12 P

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"The Hawk's Gray Feather" by Patricia Kennealy-Morrison. ****4 stars****

From the inside cover...A book that blends the incredibly rich threads of Celtic mythology, sicence fiction, and fantasy to create a future tale of chivalry and warfare, love an dhonor, among star systmes far distant from earth...This is the first book of a trilogy within the Keltiad series that tells the Keltic story of Arthur...a time out of legend, when Aruthur himself fought to regain the throne for the royal House of Don. Arthur's enemy was the usurper Edeyrn, more than a mortal man and greatest of Druids, who has sworn to destory the House of Don. And Edeyrn has all but fulfilled his vow. After seizing power more than two hundred years earlier, he sought to cut the people off from their greatest strengths--from the ancient lore and training of true warriors, bards, and druids. Yet down through the centuries there were those who kept the secret knowledge alive, training chosen ones of each new generation in the skills they would need when the time of prophecy came upon them, the time of destiny when the House of Don would strike openly against the hated enemy. Told by Taliesin, Arthur's beloved foster brother and the greatest bard Keltia would ever know.

I really enjoy this trilogy. It is fascinating to see Arthur reclaimed to Celtic culture from which he emerged. I always love a familiar tale told in a new way.

When I get a little money, I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.--Erasmus

One expects so much from a chicken, and is so dreadfully disillusioned.--Sherwood Anderson


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LARKSONGRUTH's Photo LARKSONGRUTH Posts: 1,248
12/14/11 12:38 P

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Yahoo! I finished the New Testament today. This has been a year long course of study with my Sunday School class, and the second part of a two year study that included the Old Testament last year. The Bible is the all time best seller in the English language. If you haven't crack the covers, it's worth taking a look. There are lots of great stories inside, not to mention lots of great advise on how to lead a happy and purposeful life. And let us not forget the poetry. I personally believe that God is a poet--for that is how He gave His word to so many of His prophets. Of course I give this book a 6.

Next year's adventure, the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

Edited by: LARKSONGRUTH at: 12/14/2011 (12:40)
Ruth

Why I am sparking:

I want to protect my health, feel better, look better, and have more energy.


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MOM2ACAT's Photo MOM2ACAT SparkPoints: (0)
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12/14/11 11:58 A

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4*
The Christmas Quilt by Patricia Davids

Gideon Troyer left his Amish community years ago after his long time girlfriend, Rebecca Beachy, rejected him. He fulfilled his dreams of becoming a pilot. He had no desire to return home until he sees a tv news story about Rebecca; he discovers that she is blind, and a quilt she made is going to be auctioned off to raise money for surgery that could restore her sight.

Gideon returns to Hope Springs, so that he can buy the quilt to help Rebecca; he also spends time her when a snowstorm prevents him from returning home, and they are staying in the same inn, but he does not tell Rebecca who he really is. Gideon has a bad cold at the time which "disguises" his voice, but Rebecca feels attracted to him, and can't shake the feeling that he is someone she has met before.

After spending time getting to know her again, Gideon starts to consider giving up his life and freedom as a pilot, and return to the Amish and win Rebecca back, but will she forgive him for leaving in the first place?

I really enjoyed this story, it was sweet without being "syrupy". The only thing that bothered me was the fact that Rebecca's blindness was caused by an injury to just one of her eyes, so why was she blind in both? I understand she had to be totally blind for the storyline purposes, but I don't think the author had all of her medical facts right.

This book is part of a series called The Brides of Amish Country, but it works perfectly well as a stand alone novel. I previously read another book in the series, called The Farmer's Wife, and a few characters from that book made an appearance in this story as well, but there are quick explanations of their back stories so if you haven't read any of the other books, you won't feel lost.


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.

A. A. Milne



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SACTOKAREN's Photo SACTOKAREN Posts: 27,304
12/14/11 11:43 A

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Good Stuff by Jennifer Grant*** 3 stars

A loving tribute to her father in a memoir interspersed with intimate photos, notes, and endearing transcripts of a parent dedicated to love and learning; along the way she gives insight into Cary Grant as caregiver, friend, teacher, traveler, style icon, businessman, and husband to his last wife, Barbara Harris. She fondly notes his favorite pursuits like the racetrack and Dodger games, but she also addresses being the daughter of a star, money matters, and even addresses the gay rumors. She writes sparingly here of her mother, Dyan Cannon, but records her feelings as Grant remarries and a new family emerges as the octogenarian Grant struggles to father another child.


50 is the new 30.


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SACTOKAREN's Photo SACTOKAREN Posts: 27,304
12/14/11 11:43 A

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The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder***** 5 stars

One moment can change everything. Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. She sneaks off to the beach and meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets. The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him and the more she’s troubled by his secrecy. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.



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SADALTON13's Photo SADALTON13 Posts: 1,183
12/14/11 10:37 A

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For our December book for the book club that I am in we read "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein.

Fantastic book!! Would recommend to everyone. Even non-readers would enjoy this book. It captures you from the first chapter. Would make a fabulous movie.


Starting this journey over again. Lost quite a bit during divorce almost 5 years ago and have allowed myself to gain it all back by not weighing myself daily and recording what I eat.
God gives me the strength every day to face all obstacles.


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12/13/11 7:04 P

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The Help by Kathryn Stockett - 6 stars

This book has been on all of the "must read" lists lately, and I can't say that I disagree. Set in 1962 Mississippi, this book gives you an inside look at segregation and the Jim Crow laws. The story takes you through the trials and tribulations of African American maids and the wealthy women they work for.



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


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BEN1126's Photo BEN1126 Posts: 3,688
12/13/11 7:00 P

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Paradise Lost by John Milton 5*

Milton's great epic poem of the Fall from Paradise ranks with Homer's Iliad and Odyssey or Vergil's Aenid.
Milton was blind when he finished his work in the 17th century.
He is considered one of the great poets of the English Language.



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SACTOKAREN's Photo SACTOKAREN Posts: 27,304
12/13/11 5:00 P

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This Burns my Heart by Samuel Park**** 4 stars

Chamara is difficult to translate from Korean to English: To stand it, to bear it, to grit your teeth and not cry out? To hold on, to wait until the worst is over? Such is the burden Soo-Ja Choi, faces in an epic love story set in the intriguing landscape of postwar South Korea. On the eve of marriage to her weak, timid fiancé, Soo-Ja falls in love with a young medical student. But out of duty to her family and her culture she turns him away, choosing instead a world that leaves her trapped by suffocating customs.

Soo-Ja struggles to find happiness in a loveless marriage and to carve out a successful future for her only daughter. Forced by tradition to move in with her in-laws, she must navigate the dangers of a cruel household and pay the price of choosing the wrong husband. The man she truly loves remains a lurking shadow in her life, reminding her constantly of the love she could have had. Will Soo-Ja find a way to reunite with her one true love or be forced to live out her days wondering “what if ” and begin to fully understand the meaning of chamara?


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CARPROTH's Photo CARPROTH Posts: 19,335
12/13/11 11:15 A

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"Night Soldiers" by Alan Furst ****

Tersely written novel of intrigue, war, and the behind-the-scenes shapers of policy and action. In 1934 in a village in Bulgaria, a young man is beaten to death by local fascists bullies. His brother Khristo is recruited into the NKVD (Soviet secret police) and sent to Spain where the civil war is a testing ground for weapons and strategies to be used in the upcoming "big" war all are predicting. Khristo is caught up in Stalin's paranoic purges and flees to Paris , then finds a refuge of sort with guerilla operators in the Balkans. Intersting account with insight into the founding of present day intelligence operations.

Carol


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


Nothing changes when nothing changes.



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DESERTDREAMERS's Photo DESERTDREAMERS Posts: 49,734
12/12/11 11:49 P

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7) In the Dark of Dreams (Dirk & Steele novel) by Marjorie Liu 3 stars

A young girl sees a mysterious boy on the beach - he has a tail ... and he's dragged away into the water by a man who had a tail but walked out of the water. Many years later, Jenny is a research scientist, sailing the seas, while Perrin has been banned from the sea on threat of death. They dreamed about each other for years. That bond may mean the difference in preventing the end of the world as we know it.

SparkAlbuquerque-The Oficial Team Leader

SparkNewMexico - The Official Team Leader

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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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TEXASTITCHER's Photo TEXASTITCHER Posts: 59,883
12/12/11 10:31 P

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Sweet Surrender with the Millionaire – Helen Brooks - 3.5*

A Perfect Bride for Christmas – Dyann Love Barr - 4*
First of three books about the three King brothers and what happens to them one Christmas.

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



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JIACOLO's Photo JIACOLO Posts: 44,917
12/12/11 7:23 P

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Reading The Hunger Games. I'm about half way through it and I am hooked!

If you focus on results, you will never change. If you focus on change, you will get results.

- It's Janine!


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12/12/11 12:45 P

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4* A Plain and Simple Christmas by Amy Clipston

Anna Mae is a former Amish woman who left Lancaster County to marry an "Englisher" and live in Baltimore. Having been gone from the community and the family that shunned her for 4 years, she yearns to mend the rift in her family when she is 8 months pregnant with her first child. She writes to her sister in law in hopes she can arrange a visit for Christmas, but her homecoming isn't as welcoming as she had hoped, and her father is the most stubborn, but she is determined not to give up.

I really enjoyed this story, it was a quick, "feel good" read and the story moved along at a good pace.


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.

A. A. Milne



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SACTOKAREN's Photo SACTOKAREN Posts: 27,304
12/12/11 11:40 A

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Vampire Lust by Sarah Clapman **** 4 stars

A personalized story book from US Novels. The vampire twist should appeal to some - it's quite risque.

50 is the new 30.


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