Friday, September 30, 2011

Still MissingStill Missing by Chevy Stevens
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Product Description

On the day she was abducted, Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old realtor, had three goals—sell a house, forget about a recent argument with her mother, and be on time for dinner with her ever-patient boyfriend. The open house is slow, but when her last visitor pulls up in a van as she's about to leave, Annie thinks it just might be her lucky day after all.

Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent as the captive of a psychopath in a remote mountain cabin, which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist, is a second narrative recounting events following her escape—her struggle to piece her shattered life back together and the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor.

Still Missing is that rare debut find--a shocking, visceral, brutal and beautifully crafted debut novel.

My thoughts

I found listening to her thoughts while captive were very insightful. 'Made me wonder how I would deal in the same situation. Could I do what she did to escape? Would life after be better or worse than what she went through? Who was the man who kidnapped her? Why did he take her?

As I realized the way the book was going to end, there was a part of my mind saying, "NO NO NO NO!"

This such a good book to read or listen to (with a great narrator!) that is almost too realistic.

BOOK REVIEW: Memoirs of a Cotswold Vet by Ivor Smith BVSc MRVCS

Memoirs of a Cotswold VetMemoirs of a Cotswold Vet by Ivor Smith BVSc MRVCS
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Did you ever read the Dr, James Herriot books like All Creatures Great and Small or watched the series on PBS as I did? (Well, you should!) If you enjoyed them, you will also enjoy Dr. Smith's stories which will touch on all your emotions. That's ok as I love critters and the way they open me up to all those things.

Yes, I do recommend this book to ALL lovers of critters!

I listened to them using my credits from Audible.com.

O, you need to know that the reading is perfect for the book!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Juliet by Anne Fortier

JulietJuliet by Anne Fortier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

They saiid:
Twenty-five-year-old Julie Jacobs is heartbroken over the death of her beloved aunt Rose. But the shock goes even deeper when she learns that the woman who has been like a mother to her has left her entire estate to Julie’s twin sister. The only thing Julie receives is a key—one carried by her mother on the day she herself died—to a safety-deposit box in Siena, Italy. This key sends Julie on a journey that will change her life forever—a journey into the troubled past of her ancestor Giulietta Tolomei. In 1340, still reeling from the slaughter of her parents, Giulietta was smuggled into Siena, where she met a young man named Romeo. Their ill-fated love turned medieval Siena upside-down and went on to inspire generations of poets and artists, the story reaching its pinnacle in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. But six centuries have a way of catching up to the present, and Julie gradually begins to discover that here, in this ancient city, the past and present are hard to tell apart. The deeper she delves into the history of Romeo and Giulietta, and the closer she gets to the treasure they allegedly left behind, the greater the danger surrounding her—superstitions, ancient hostilities, and personal vendettas. As Julie crosses paths with the descendants of the families involved in the unforgettable blood feud, she begins to fear that the notorious curse—“A plague on both your houses!”—is still at work, and that she is destined to be its next target. Only someone like Romeo, it seems, could save her from this dreaded fate, but his story ended long ago. Or did it? From Anne Fortier comes a sweeping, beautifully written novel of intrigue and identity, of love and legacy, as a young woman discovers that her own fate is irrevocably tied—for better or worse—to literature’s greatest star-crossed lovers.From the Hardcover edition.

I think:

This a hard book for me to rate. It bounces back on forth between the middle ages and today about two different Juliets. The old story is set in Sienna as is the story in current times.

I started this book with some people from my local library who I still have not met. After checking it twice, and still not finishing, I bought a copy for my Kindle. In my mind, I think of the book in three parts.

Part 1: I loved it and sped right along. There are so many, many great lines I had to stop and share with my husband!

Part 2: It was OK but for whatever reason, I just sort of drug myself through it. It was good with lots of action.  But I found myself listening to lots of audio books instead. I just was not pulled back to the story.

Part 3: This part rocked with twists and turn and suspense enough to pull me gleefully along.

So how do rate it? It has to be above good because of parts 1 and 3. Probably most people would not have the problem I had in the middle - maybe it was because I no longer had bits I wanted to share with my husband and I missed them. The last part was such a delightful roller coaster ride!

I'm going to go eat dinner and when I finish I hope to have my answer.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Review: The Sleepwalkers by Paul Grossman, reviewed by C.w. Grotner

As a member of GoodReads, I read lots of reviews (which is why my wish list gets longer every day). Obviously, many are very good or my wish list would be shorter. A couple of days ago I read one posted by C. w. Gortner that blew me away. I complemented him on the posting and indicated my desire to put it up here (not expecting a reply, any less a positive reply). Yesterday I got a very positive response enabling me to share this with you! (O, fyi, he is an author I follow at GoodReads because I enjoy his story telling.)

Thank you C. W.!


The Sleepwalkers
by Paul Grossman

C.w. Gortner's review Sep 13, 11

Read in September, 2011

One of my favorite periods in 20th century history is pre-Nazi Berlin; a fragile time before the rise of an era of unspeakable darkness, when the city was a fabled cosmopolitan smorgasbord full of vibrancy- an international magnet for artists, bohemians, eccentrics, and the curious. The Berlin we know today is very different from the Berlin of before World War II and Paul Grossman’s THE SLEEPWALKERS offers us a superb evocation of that city’s pathos and tragic hedonism in the weeks leading up to Hitler’s ascendancy, even as a resolute Jewish detective hunts for a killer.

As the title suggests, this is more than a novel about a series of bizarre murders that Grossman’s hero, Detective Willi Krauss, is trying to solve. All of Berlin appears to be sleep-walking, seemingly oblivious to the endemic violence lurking under the surface, epitomized by Nazi thugs and opportunistic politicians scheming to rescue Germany from decades of penury and shame. Krauss, however, senses these fearsome undercurrents, even as he is swept up in a labyrinthine quest to discover why a young woman pulled from the river was subjected to horrific medical experiments. Revered for his recent capture of an infamous serial killer yet haunted by personal loss, Krauss is now beginning to experience a subtle but pervasive fraying of his impermeability. His keen observations of the shifting world around him anchor the novel’s dark, fascinating trajectory into both the high-ranking offices of a crumbling government and Berlin's seamy underworld.

The supporting cast of characters includes an enigmatic prostitute, an extravagant hypnotist, an earnest cadet, a jaded aristocrat, and a street hustler. While some of the characters conform to established clich├ęs, Grossman handles them with sensitivity and style, while his villains— including a terrifying, buck-toothed Josef Mengele—display the sociopathic tendencies which became a Nazi blueprint and are all the more unsettling because they are not fictional. Fast-paced action sequences interspersed with Krauss’s uneasy awareness that the life he’s always believed in is turning to quicksand under his feet give the novel a brooding, unstoppable feel that kept me reading far into the night. Though Krauss fights with every part of his being to halt the shadow sweeping over him, and everyone he loves, we know the inevitable outcome; it is a testament to Mr. Grossman's talent that despite this, we still find ourselves rooting for his idealistic, damaged hero, caught up in circumstances far beyond his control, like so many thousands of Germany's inhabitants.

It's me again! This book is available in all formats and lots of places! And no, I am not getting compensated by any one! Ok, maybe by me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Trip Time!

If you have followed my for any time, you know how I love to take vicarious trips via my friends. Sometime the trips are just snaps....ok, most times...so this time it is a special trip to the California coast. Special? You bet 'cha! The pictures are spectacular! And they are in video mode! And the video is set to music!!! A wonderful photographer from Dunsworth Studios took the pictures which the graphic artist put together with music!!

Huh? You get the excitement of pictures set to music but why all the exclamations?

Ok, I have been working on Ancestry.com for quite a while. One of the people who has shared our common family members (we are cousins on my father's side) is Ms. Louise Ross-Martinez who was not only the graphic artist on this project but has also done one on our family! Now I ask you, how cool is that?!? (More on putting family on video later.)

Now my friends, grab your favorite beverage, sit back, and take a trip with me (and Louise and Jeannie) on a coastal ride on the California Coast!