Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Review: The Aloha Quilt

The Aloha Quilt The Aloha Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this entry into the Elm Creek Quilt series. It's been a while since I'd read something in the series, but it didn't take long to remember the back stories, and I was grateful that the author didn't do too much rehashing -- just enough to jog my memory. And if you hadn't read the series, I think you could still enjoy the book. I especially liked the description of Hawaiian quilting. I am not a quilter, (I knit!) but I appreciate the craft, art, and creativity involved. A good cozy read for a summer afternoon.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Review: Gunpowder Green

Gunpowder Green Gunpowder Green by Laura Childs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second in a series of cozy mysteries set in Charleston, South Carolina. The protagonist is Theodosia Browning who owns a teashop and investigates mysterious deaths. The plot is a bit thin, but the characters are likable, and there are tasty-sounding recipes included. Good, light, escape reading.

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Review: Death of a Scriptwriter

Death of a Scriptwriter Death of a Scriptwriter by M.C. Beaton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Enjoyable as always. It was kind of nice to see Hamish much less dependent on Priscilla in this outing.

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Review: The Cavendon Women

The Cavendon Women The Cavendon Women by Barbara Taylor Bradford
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Book in the series carries on the stories of the Ingrahams and Swanns through the 1920's. There was little suspense, rather a continuation of previously established storylines, and the predictable resolutions of some of those storylines. There was little new character development, and no surprises.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review: The Matchmaker

The Matchmaker The Matchmaker by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Elin Hilderbrand at her best --- if a tad cheesy. I liked all the characters I was supposed to like, and disliked the ones I was supposed to dislike. Her main character, Dabney, is definitely the strongest Nantucket cheerleader I've met in Hilderbrand's books. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, despite the predictability. Quintessential beach read for sure.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Review: Boys in the Trees: A Memoir

Boys in the Trees: A Memoir Boys in the Trees: A Memoir by Carly Simon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I grew up in the 60's and early 70's so I am extremely familiar with the music of Carly Simon and James Taylor, yet I really knew very little about either of them. So I didn't know what to expect out of this memoir when I picked it up at my library. I did not expect the overwhelming sense of sadness. Simon's memoir starts with her childhood, and it's clear that her father's depression, her mother's infidelity, and her own sexual abuse deeply scarred her. It also laid the groundwork for her struggles as an adult to find a sense of self-worth. I was also unaware of Taylor's heavy drug use (I lived a pretty sheltered life!) so it's not surprising that their marriage ended. I liked her honesty and her ability to recount unhappy and unflattering episodes in her life. There's a lot of unhappiness behind the "storybook" portrayals of celebrities and their relationships. I also liked how she described the origins of her songs and lyrics. I'd forgotten how deeply the songs are entrenched in the songtrack of my life! All in all, an interesting read.

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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Review: The Royal Wulff Murders

The Royal Wulff Murders The Royal Wulff Murders by Keith McCafferty
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sean Stranahan, painter, angler, and erstwhile private investigator, finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation when he meets a singer in a small Montana bar.
She hires him to find a particular fish and eventually, to find her brother. Sean discovers much more than he bargained for, including almost losing his life twice. Despite the fact that I am neither an angler nor even an outdoorsperson, I did appreciate the details about trout fishing and Montana's rivers. I also liked the characters, especially Sheriff Martha Ettinger, Harold Little Feather, and the protagonist. Like C.J. Box, the author is passionate about the environment, and I liked the way the plot revolved around the trout fishery and whirling disease. It was cleverly plotted too. However, I did find the pace of the book somewhat slow, and I had hard time reading more than one chapter at a time instead of chunks at a time, which is why I only gave it two stars.

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