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POTRIDGE's Photo POTRIDGE Posts: 5,275
7/1/18 12:11 P

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The Help by Kathryn Stockett *****

I think we all know what the book is about. I'm a little late to the party. Found this on the bookshelf in a house that I'm dog sitting at. I really liked it! Now I have to see the movie, (I usually try to read the book before I see the movie) and see how much they gunked it up!

DIET IS A FOUR LETTER WORD!!!!

We are constantly creating our "karma" or destiny through our intentions, thoughts and deeds in this moment. It is achieved through countless deliberate acts of selflessness.

It's hard to be happy with others if we are not happy with ourselves.

Just keep on moving and you'll get there.


If you ever want to feel good about yourself, go out and help someone else!


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 7,771
6/30/18 12:42 P

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Saints and Villain by Denise Giardina (3*)
What was I thinking downloading historical fiction about the life of Deitrich Bonhoeffer! Integrity? Nah, forget it! In her afterward the author says "some 'facts' have been altered because of the demands of the story." Had the story been altered to meet the demands of the facts, then we probably would have had a much better book--the truth makes a great story, the author's poetic license not so much. Where the author seriously departed from the facts, the story became a cheesy melodramatic soap opera unsuitable to the serious subject, and the fictional characters, well, even the "non-fictional" ones, were rather weak compared to the real life characters they replaced. The weakest material in the book was the barfworthy affair with the fictional Elizabeth and the arrogant, whiny Elizabeth's perpetual high horse. You will not come away from this book with much real understanding of Bonhoeffer, although the author tries to fool you into believing that you did.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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POTRIDGE's Photo POTRIDGE Posts: 5,275
6/29/18 1:52 P

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A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick ***** Seductively suspenseful, filled with unexpected

twists and turns. Unfolding in a frozen Wisconsin landscape in 1907, it's a haunting story of love and madness, passion and murder. I loved this booked! Had a couple of WTF moments, and I found the characters very likable.

DIET IS A FOUR LETTER WORD!!!!

We are constantly creating our "karma" or destiny through our intentions, thoughts and deeds in this moment. It is achieved through countless deliberate acts of selflessness.

It's hard to be happy with others if we are not happy with ourselves.

Just keep on moving and you'll get there.


If you ever want to feel good about yourself, go out and help someone else!


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COVEGIRL1's Photo COVEGIRL1 Posts: 13,959
6/28/18 6:36 P

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Windfallen by JoJo Moyes ** I did not like the characters and it was hard to follow. I wondered how it would all come together. I don't think it did!


"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney


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PATSGIRLY's Photo PATSGIRLY Posts: 2,427
6/27/18 5:52 P

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Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank

3 stars


The story of two families who spend two weeks each summer together in SC. As the families grow older; things happen.


A good read! I always love Dorothea Benton Franks books.









"Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment." -- Lao Tzu






JULIEA7201's Photo JULIEA7201 Posts: 17,015
6/27/18 8:31 A

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Beyond Reason (The Texas Trilogy) by Kat Martin ****

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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 7,771
6/26/18 2:42 A

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Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee (2*)
This book is a mixed bag of quality and crap. There are two stories of self-destructiveness, the primary one about the professor in a mid-life crisis is an excellent, well-constructed character study rich in insight. However, the secondary story about his masochistic, ditzy, demented daughter moving some sleazebags onto her property and letting them use and abuse her and take all she has is sloppily done with inadequate development of character and motive. It had so many amateurishly unnatural and senseless What The Fudge! moments that I wished I could edit it out entirely so that it wouldn't get in the way of her father's story. So 5* for David's story, 1* for the idiotic Lucy story=3*, then minus1* for a really sucky ending=2*.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 7,771
6/24/18 11:34 P

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Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (5*)
What an unusual book! Imagine a French Charles Lindbergh channelled Emerson and writing it down in the poetic imagery of Robert Frost. It is indeed a series of loosely strung vignettes about the author's life history in the pioneering days of flight while he engages his mind in philosophizing upon what he's seen and experienced and then expresses it in beautiful lyrical imagery. I could see the earthly ingredients that would come to be baked into his great children's fantasy, The Little Prince, being gathered in these memoirs. It was so poignant to read his negative views on suicide and also how it was an appropriate death for an aviator to crash his plane into the sea, knowing that this multi-gifted giant among men, so full of the love of life, risk, and adventure, a mere five years after writing this book would crash his plane into the Mediterranean, during an intensely bleak period of his life, in a possible suicide.

The Pianist: The Extraordinary Story of One Man's Survival in Warsaw, 1939–45 by Wladyslaw Szpilman (6*)
I find it hard to review books that I loved with deep passion, like the Pianist. For one thing there's that depth of humanity and understanding that makes me feel as if it is a desecration to rate someone's most heartfelt thoughts and memories in a work of very personal nonfiction. It also amazes me that it is so devastatingly well-expressed even though the author wasn't a writer. He composes it in a cool journalistic style, with the understated elegance of its prose making the horror related within that much more unforgettably shattering. It also has the feel of the author writing it for himself and not to sell a novel, as if he must write down ASAP a melody that is running through his mind before he loses it forever. Imagine being Szpilman's 12-year old son, finding this book and learning his father's unstated life history through it! This is a great book, and every human will be even more human after he's read it. The material in the appendix is also well worth reading. Like Suite Française, this is a book that was lost, but through the efforts of the author's children, it eventually made it into the world, better late than never, because it was supposed to be.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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PATSGIRLY's Photo PATSGIRLY Posts: 2,427
6/24/18 6:47 P

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Little Sister by Barbara Gowdy

3 stars

This book is hard to describe. A little weird, a little wonderful. It takes you into the main characters' (and maybe yours) consciousness. I will look for other books by Ms. Gowdy.








"Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment." -- Lao Tzu






FRABBIT's Photo FRABBIT Posts: 6,240
6/24/18 5:27 P

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The 14th Deadly Sin - James Patterson 3 stars

One of the better ones in the Women's Murder Club series. Some good suspense as Lindsey Boxer was trying to solve two crimes. One was a serial killer that strikes each year on her friend's Claire's bday. Boxer's husband found the link and there were some creepy scary scenes. The other crime involved 3 cops robbing drug dealers and others. This then tied into a case Yuki took on.

There could always be more character development in this series but for a fun quick read it delivered.

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JULIEA7201's Photo JULIEA7201 Posts: 17,015
6/24/18 12:16 P

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K is for Killer: A Kinsey Millhone Novel by Sue Grafton ****

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POTRIDGE's Photo POTRIDGE Posts: 5,275
6/24/18 11:23 A

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A Higher Loyalty by James Comey *****

I don't usually like political theme books but, I was interested in his take on his positions and what he thinks they entail. He takes us back to how he started, the newsworthy stories that he was involved in and took us up to his firing by Donald TRump. A quick treadmill read!

DIET IS A FOUR LETTER WORD!!!!

We are constantly creating our "karma" or destiny through our intentions, thoughts and deeds in this moment. It is achieved through countless deliberate acts of selflessness.

It's hard to be happy with others if we are not happy with ourselves.

Just keep on moving and you'll get there.


If you ever want to feel good about yourself, go out and help someone else!


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FRABBIT's Photo FRABBIT Posts: 6,240
6/23/18 7:09 P

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The Red Book - Deborah Copaken Kogan - 4.5 stars

Really enjoyed this story of 4 former roommates returning to Harvard for their 20th reunion. Enjoyed the characters though at times I wanted to know even more about them. Enjoyable read.

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COVEGIRL1's Photo COVEGIRL1 Posts: 13,959
6/22/18 8:33 A

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Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani ***** This is a part of the Big Stone Gap series. I love this series of books. I highly recommend them!


"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 7,771
6/19/18 4:58 P

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Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather (6*)
How odd that Cather chose a title about death for a book that is more about life and living it to the fullest in the service of God and man. This fictionalized story, based on the lives of Fathers Jean-Baptiste Lamy and Joseph Projectus Machebeuf, is written in such a starkly beautiful style, so appropriate for the fictional Bishop Latour, who disliked excess ornamentation and so appreciated the beauty of stark simplicity--in architecture, the desert landscape, and the Navajos' oneness with nature. As I age, I find myself appreciating with gratitude those who said "I will go, Lord, if you lead me" and carried the faith through the centuries to us today. In this book Cather makes me appreciate them all the more by showing these courageous, dedicated, and accomplished men and women of the cloth as frail humans, like us, with vulnerabilities, mistakes, doubts, loneliness, and insecurities that they had to overcome to follow their calling--and in some of the most beautiful prose in literature.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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JULIEA7201's Photo JULIEA7201 Posts: 17,015
6/16/18 12:36 P

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Slightly Scandalous (Bedwyn Saga Book 3) by Mary Balogh *****

Love this author! Sense of humor in her characters makes me smile when I read her books. This series ties in with at least one of her other ones and I have a hard time keeping track of the relations but wonderful entertaining read. :)

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COVEGIRL1's Photo COVEGIRL1 Posts: 13,959
6/14/18 2:21 P

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From Garden to Grave by Rickie Blair ***

Edited by: COVEGIRL1 at: 6/14/2018 (14:25)

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 7,771
6/12/18 1:42 A

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Laughing Boy: A Navajo Love Story by Oliver La Farge (5*)
What a truly magnificent, beautiful, thought provoking novel with a most unique and creative story that must have been revolutionary for its day. It is not only a character study of the manipulative, controlling Thin Girl, the missionary-educated misfit, and her obliviously subjugated husband, Laughing Boy, but also a more humane, authentic, and appreciative explication of a Native American ethos than would have been seen in the movies and Western pulp fiction stereotypes of its day. The author was an anthropologist who lived among the Navajo and wrote a thesis on them, so he was more knowledgeable than the average "American" writer and wished to keep the cultural background authentic and infuse genuine humanity into his characters.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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JULIEA7201's Photo JULIEA7201 Posts: 17,015
6/11/18 10:50 P

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Someone to Watch over Me (Bow Street Series Book 1) by Lisa Kleypas ****

A little bit predictable but good read!

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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 7,771
6/11/18 3:04 P

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Five Plays: Ivanov / The Seagull / Uncle Vanya / The Three Sisters / The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov (5*)
Generally, these plays were undramatic drama about people, who by the social standards of the day, would be considered relatively comfortable, but instead they are living lives of quiet desperation, beset with problems which are earthshaking only to themselves and often of their own creation, which wouldn't have happened to wiser, more stable, and foresighted people. You either love Chekhov's plays for his character studies or find his lack of momentous events and action boring. Personally, I am a rather undramatic person, so I love them. I kept thinking that at the times these plays were written, the brutish lives of many starving peasants were reaching unbearable limits making the existential angst of Chekhov's educated, land-owning, self-pitying characters appear so trivial in comparison. He clearly demonstrates how much of unhappiness is about character and attitude, not only the circumstances.

The Purple Plain by H.E. Bates (5*)
In 1943 Burma, unbeknownst to Squadron Leader Forrester (or us), he is under observation for a possible Section 8--or whatever is the British equivalent--even though his remote RAF unit is desperately in need of manpower and Murphy's Law is righteously fulfilling itself at every opportunity. Just when he straightens out and starts to regain his humanity and will to live, it looks as if his death wish will finally be fulfilled, taking several others down with him. This was a really great book with an unusual plot for a WWII novel, about some very human and flawed characters in a miserable situation with both the overused men and planes under a great deal of stress and strain. Although there is war action in this book, it is more of a character study of both the self-destructive flight commander and WWII Burma. Most of the time I didn't know whether I felt sorry for Forrester or just wanted to slap him silly.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 7,771
6/11/18 3:03 P

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Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (5*)
Told from the point of view of a 14-year-old girl who will be spending the next 12 years in Siberian work camps, this is a heartbreaking book, but what a masterpiece, about the Russian takeover of the Baltic people of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania in WWII, that resulted in the deaths of about 1/3 of the population. Wanting to rid the conquered lands of the educated, professional, and successful, those not executed as political criminals were sent to die of cold, hunger, disease, and hard work in Siberian work camps, hidden and not released from slavery until after Stalin's death in 1953. The author made a noble effort to keep the background history accurate and authentic. This is a brutally realistic story that explores the outer limits of humanity, in terms of the nobility of some, the depths of depravity of others, and so many in between lost, hurt, and frightened in a seemingly endless and hopeless nightmare.

The Lover by Marguerite Duras (4*)
Set in 1929 Saigon a miserable 15-year-old French school girl from a dysfunctional family becomes the mistress of a spoiled, weak, opium addicted 27-year-old Chinese millionaire's son, for what money and pleasure she can get to escape her unbearable existence. I can't say that I enjoyed this novella, a work of fiction based on the author's own life story. Buried in too much yada, yada, there was an excellent short story about an affair between maladjusted misfits, and then there were moments when the writing was breathtakingly beautiful, and then there was the rest of it. She kept going off on bunny trails, some relevant to understanding the girl, some relevant to nothing. It was like she cut her book into jigsaw puzzle pieces, shook the box, dumped the pieces on the floor, and said, "you put it together, I don't feel like organizing." I'm so glad it wasn't any longer.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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FRABBIT's Photo FRABBIT Posts: 6,240
6/10/18 6:48 P

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Dune Road - Jane Green 2 stars (**)

40 year divorcee living in an affluent CT community becomes an assistant to a famous but reclusive author. She experiences a hot romance with a handsome newcomer to town. Her half sister she never knew existed comes to town. Her best friend is hit hard by the financial crisis and her other friend, a yoga teacher, is acting strangely.

I expected more from Jane Green. This was too formulaic with no character development. there were very few surprises. Since I get so little time to read I was disappointed I wasted it on this one. (I was away on a trip so didn't have access to my TBR pile)


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COVEGIRL1's Photo COVEGIRL1 Posts: 13,959
6/8/18 10:02 A

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Paris for One and Other Stories by JoJo Moyes ***** I really liked Paris for One. It was very readable ad fun to read. the other short stories were not appealing to me.


"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney


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JULIEA7201's Photo JULIEA7201 Posts: 17,015
6/7/18 11:44 P

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Caroline: Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller ****

Loved the Little House books growing up and so glad I read this one although I don't thinks I would have appreciated it as much when I was younger.

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COVEGIRL1's Photo COVEGIRL1 Posts: 13,959
6/7/18 10:53 A

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The Red Velvet Cake Murder Joanne Fluke ****


"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." Walt Disney


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SUETINGE's Photo SUETINGE SparkPoints: (136,995)
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6/6/18 11:08 P

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The Other Woman - Sandie Jones - 5*

Advance reader copy of the most fascinating thriller I've read in a very long time.

Sue - IL (Central Time)
Ms Sue RavenPuff
TriTerm 21.22.23





Failure is only an opportunity to begin again more intelligently. - Henry Ford

Any idea seriously entertained tends to bring about the realization of itself. - From a fortune cookie


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PATSGIRLY's Photo PATSGIRLY Posts: 2,427
6/6/18 5:28 P

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"Some Things That Stay" by Sarah Willis.
5 stars

Set in the 1950's; it's the story told by the teenage daughter whose family is pretty progressive for the 1950's. They move every year due to her fathers' artistic eye. The girl doesn't want to move anymore and wants to stay in one place.

Edited by: PATSGIRLY at: 6/6/2018 (17:29)







"Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment." -- Lao Tzu






LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 7,771
6/3/18 12:48 P

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Love Walked in by Marisa de los Santos (1*)
A Philadelphia cafe manager, who's obsessed with old movies, falls for a Cary Grant look-a-like. She bonds with his daughter, who was abandoned by his bipolar ex-wife, even though the father is unable to do so, which causes her to re-evaluate his faults and their relationship. I found this cheesy romance to be rambling, wordy, repetitious, pretentious, and oh, so tedious, It was an absolute ordeal to slog through, requiring a great deal of force to make it to the end.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 7,771
6/2/18 3:05 P

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The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (5*)
In an alternative 1985 literature arouses even stronger passions than does sports, and with time travel now common, we thus find an alternative history because too many time travelers have gone back to change history for their own side or enrichment. This book was such a hoot! In this era of trite faddy gender-bending novels, it was so refreshing to read an original and creative genre-bending novel--a time-travel book-travel dystopian alternative history comic crime romance for bookworms. Although it shares a similar Monty Python style of humor with Terry Pratchett and Doug Adams, it is done with enough intelligence and erudition to satisfy those of us who would much prefer remaining on our easy chairs reading the classics to going hitchhiking through the galaxy. What fun if author bubblegum cards were more valuable than baseball cards--anybody out there want to trade a Jane Austen for a Lucy Maud Montgomery?

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 7,771
6/2/18 2:53 P

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Belong to Me by Marisa de los Santos (3*)
City woman and doctor husband wanting to start a family move to a tony suburb where she encounters a down-putting perfectionistic snob and also tries to befriend a free spirit whose secrets and lies present obstacles to closeness. Essentially, Desperate Housewives moves Wisteria Lane to The Real Housewives of Philadelphia Suburbs. This was a badly flawed and boring book. On the plus side it had well developed characters and some sharp, witty dialogue, especially when they were being catty. It could have been a good 200 page novel; too bad it was dragged out to 400 pages by the author's out of control descriptomania and excessive Taurette-like repetition of the f-bomb and blasphemies.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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PATSGIRLY's Photo PATSGIRLY Posts: 2,427
6/2/18 10:50 A

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"Reckless - My Life As A Pretender" by Chrissie Hynde
3 stars

Chrissie Hynde's memoir. It was ok. I expected a lot more on The Pretenders. But, it is her memoir and not the bands. It's her life story up to the first couple of years of the band.








"Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment." -- Lao Tzu






JULIEA7201's Photo JULIEA7201 Posts: 17,015
6/1/18 11:34 P

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Deep Blue (Sinclair Sisters Book 3) by Kat Martin ***

Good story line but for some reason it took me forever to finish this! I have been busy this week but usually I can read this author quicker.

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6/1/18 2:30 P

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POTRIDGE's Photo POTRIDGE Posts: 5,275
6/1/18 12:39 P

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Just finished "I'm Proud of You" by Tim Madigan, the authors memoirs of his longtime friendship with Mr. Rogers. Wonderful book. Made me wish I had met Fred Rogers!

5 stars

DIET IS A FOUR LETTER WORD!!!!

We are constantly creating our "karma" or destiny through our intentions, thoughts and deeds in this moment. It is achieved through countless deliberate acts of selflessness.

It's hard to be happy with others if we are not happy with ourselves.

Just keep on moving and you'll get there.


If you ever want to feel good about yourself, go out and help someone else!


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TEXASTITCHER's Photo TEXASTITCHER Posts: 58,362
6/1/18 9:51 A

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Here we are! This is where you can list the books that you finished in June

All posts need book title, author, and stars; 0 being the worst and 6 being very special.

I would encourage you to comment on books that others have read by sending them a Sparkmail. This topic is just to list books read and finished in June 2018 for the team.

This is a thread where we list all the books that we read during the month of June and rate them by the system listed below. Please note that you need to list title, author, and your rating for it to be counted. Also, please give a description of the book and how it appealed to you. This is a great way to find new books and authors that you might be interested in. Everyone is welcome to join.

If you started a book in May (or any prior month), but finish in June, it counts for June.

DO NOT list books STARTED; only books FINISHED. Include title, author and rating.

Rereads count, audios count, electronics count. Our minimum word count is 25,000.

Book Ratings:

0 stars - Fit for only lining birdcages.
1 star - Agent was better salesman than author was writer.
2 stars - Some parts had promise.
3 stars - Solid read in its genre. Take it on plane.
4 stars - Better than average. Don't lose it on the plane.
5 stars - Recommended. One of the top 10% of books in its genre.
6 stars - Strongly recommended. Beg, Borrow, Buy, or Steal It.


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



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