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Old 04-22-2013, 12:46 PM   #1351
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13/30 - Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I loved this ... right up until the end. It was so exquisitely detailed I could see everything in my head throughout the entire book. The Midnight Dinners, the circus tents themselves, just everything was described in such great detail.

The ending was just ehhh. I don't know what happened. It's like the author was in a hurry and didn't know how to wrap it up. Up until about 90% in, I was completely absorbed, and then it just fell apart. I would love to see this as a movie (but with a slightly altered ending).

3.5/5 stars

I don't know what I'll read next. I'm waitlisted for a bunch of stuff at the library - hopefully something good will come through soon!
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:58 PM   #1352
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Goal: 52 books this year.

#s 27, 28, and 29 down and done.

#27 - The World According to Clarkson, Volume Three, For Crying Out Loud by Jeremy Clarkson. For anyone who's been driven to wonder just what is the matter with people these days, this is the perfect riposte. Surprising, fearless, and always laugh-out-loud funny, Clarkson's back. And he's got a point...

#28 - The Kingdom Keepers, Book V - Shell Game by Ridley Pearson. As the Kingdom Keepers enter high school, everything is about to change. As guests on the maiden voyage of the Disney Dream through the Panama Canal, the KKs are again charged with keeping the Overtakers (Disney villians and their recruits, distinguished by their emerald green eyes) from establishing their own evil kingdom within the Happiest Place on Earth. Warning! The ending is a cliff-hanger, practically guaranteeing that you must read Volume VI - Dark Passage.

#29 - Florida Heat by Rainy Kirkland. OK, I admit it. I only started reading this because it was a free Kindle download and because it was written by a dear childhood friend. Well, I was pleasantly surprised! Living in Central Florida (where I live!), best friends Jo (a probation officer) and Kate (a Sheriff's Office detective) often work on overlapping cases. Their current cases, however, are particularly nasty: a missing child and his murdered father. As they follow lead after lead with no results, the friends pick up new cases, which turn out to be connected with the child and his father

When I started this book, I wasn't very impressed but I vowed to finish it because I wanted to arrange to meet my friend for lunch and I couldn't face her if I hadn't completed the book. Well, I'm VERY glad I finished it. It was a good story, well-crafted and characters well developed. WARNING though: It's another cliff-hanger! I have to buy her next book to find out what happened!

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Old 04-23-2013, 06:04 AM   #1353
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Book #34 The Confessions of Queen Cinderella by Anton Hur

Review: This book was such a waste of time and Kindle space. The concept could have been good. Years after Cinderella has married Charming,their country is under siege and at war. Cinderella is held in exile and her journal tells of how her life had been before and after the famed ball and is reflective. Now, this alone caught my attention but reading it was a different story.

Ok, let's start off that I felt that the book was not written with a conclusion in mind. The journal is supposed to be on the thoughts of Cinderella and how the fairy tale was not true but I found the writing to be disjointed, repetitive and dull. It dragged on and was just tedious. There is really no plot to speak of until more than halfway through the story and it felt rushed.

I do not feel that the story was well-written and it didn't go anywhere. Some reviews have mentioned that there was some philosophy in 'Confessions' but I found this to be uninteresting and only made me see that Cinderella as a useless consort.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:09 PM   #1354
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14/30 - A Smudge of Gray by Jonathan Sturak

Thank goodness this was a freebie. I've been working on reading it for a while now and finally decided today to power through it. UGH. The storyline was interesting enough, but it started getting unbelievable in every sense of the word towards the end. I nearly gave up, but I had to find out how it ended ... I wish I had just given up.

In other words, don't bother!

1/5 stars
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:27 PM   #1355
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Goal: 52 books this year

#30 down and done.

Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacqueline Winspear, is the latest in Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series.

In her latest case, Maisie is hired by an Indian businessman to investigate the death of his sister, who was in England employed as a governess to the children of a diplomat who had been posted to India. Mr Pramal feels that Scotland Yard has not been very proactive in their investigation, believing that one dead Indian woman in London is very much like another.

As Maisie conducts her investigation with the help of her assistants Billy and Sandra, she begins to have second thoughts about continuing her career and marrying James, the son of the aristocratic family for whom she worked many years ago as a maid. James' mother, the forward-thinking Lady Rowan, recognized a rare intelligence in the child Maisie and undertook to sponsor her education, from primary school through university.

As the investigation wraps up, Maisie must make several life-changing decisions: should she close her agency, putting Billy and Sandra out of work? Should she marry James? Should she succumb to her desire to travel, with a new-found special focus on India?

I love this series, one of three (I think) written by this author. The time frame in history interests me very much (the years between the two world wars), and Windspear is an excellent writer. I highly recommend this author and series; I would suggest that they be read in order as later books refer to events and people in earlier books.

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Old 04-24-2013, 07:31 AM   #1356
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#25 done - a YA book that DS just finished and told me to read - "I Am the Messenger" by Markus Zusak (author of "The Book Thief")

Here's the description:
protect the diamonds
survive the clubs
dig deep through the spades
feel the hearts

Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He's pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That's when the first ace arrives in the mail.

That's when Ed becomes the messenger.

Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who's behind Ed's mission?
A 2005 Michael L. Printz Honor Book and recipient of five starred reviews, I Am the Messenger is a cryptic journey filled with laughter, fists, and love.

This was a very interesting book, worth a read.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:53 AM   #1357
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Book #28 "The Kingdom Keepers 5: Shell Game" by Ridley Pearson

I'm not going to review this book, as it was reviewed just a couple of days ago. I will say that I really enjoyed this book! This was darker and more tense than any of the other books. I can't wait for the next (last) book to be released! Does anyone know when that will be?

Next book: ??? I have 3 on hold at the library, but none have come in, yet. I suppose I could go back to "Team of Rivals", but I really haven't been enjoying it. So, I put it down for weeks at a time. I suppose I'll find something.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:12 AM   #1358
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Goal 45
Book #18

Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Amazon description:
From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes a provocative and unlikely love story that starts on a New York subway car and blossoms under the windmills of the Mojave Desert.Both Sebastian and Maria live in worlds ruled by fear. Sebastian, a lonely seventeen-year-old, is suffocating under his dominant father's control; Maria, a young mother of two, is trying to keep peace at home despite her boyfriend's abuse. When their eyes meet across a subway car one night, these two strangers find a connection that neither can explain or ignore. They dream of a new future and agree to run away together, only to find that each has kept a major secret from the other. In this tremendously moving novel, Catherine Ryan Hyde shows us how two people trapped by life's circumstances can break free and find a place in the world where love is genuine and selfless.


My thoughts:
This book could not have come into my life at a more opportune moment. It practically jumped out at me from the library shelf, as I was walking through the aisle.
This author is extremely intuitive (or possibly experienced?) when it comes to the psyche of damaged people.
When I got the book, I did not realize that she had also written Pay It Forward (I only saw the movie version of that one).
While two very different stories, she once again manages to balance tragedy with the ability to keep living life.

5/5 is my rating on this one.
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Old 04-24-2013, 09:27 AM   #1359
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26/50: THE TRUTH ABOUT YOU AND ME by Amanda Grace

Smart girls aren't supposed to do stupid things.

Madelyn Hawkins is super smart. At sixteen, she's so gifted that she can attend college through a special program at her high school. On her first day, she meets Bennet. He's cute, funny, and kind. He understands Madelyn and what she's endured—and missed out on—in order to excel academically and please her parents. Now, for the first time in her life, she's falling in love.

There's only one problem. Bennet is Madelyn's college professor, and he thinks she's eighteen—because she hasn't told him the truth.

The story of their forbidden romance is told in letters that Madelyn writes to Bennet—both a heart-searing ode to their ill-fated love and an apology.


This YA was so good, I could not stop reading. I read it in a few hours and cried at the end.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:45 AM   #1360
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Finished book #26- Kingdom Keepers 3-Disney in Shadow by Ridley Pearson

I am on to the 4th book in this series.
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Old 04-24-2013, 11:31 AM   #1361
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#29 Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers
5 plus stars!

In 1901 Marta (Swiss) at age 12 is pulled out of school (even tho she is the top student in the entire school) by her father to begin a life of hard work. First she works with local merchants then off to Germany to a housekeeping school, then on to France, Canada & finally California where she settles with her German husband. So many trials & tribulations raising a family amid predjudice/WWII, sickness & so on. Very engrossing book, I could not put it down.
I had forgotten just how good an author Francine Rivers is. Now on to the sequel 'Her Daughter's Dream'
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:48 PM   #1362
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Book 27 of 100 - Vision in White (Bride Quartet #1) by Nora Roberts

Summary by Goodreads:
Wedding photographer Mackensie "Mac" Elliot is most at home behind the camera, but her focus is shattered moments before an important wedding rehearsal when she bumps into the bride-to-be's brother...an encounter that has them both seeing stars.

A stable, safe English teacher, Carter Maguire is definitely not Mac's type. But a casual fling might be just what she needs to take her mind off bridezillas. Of course, casual flings can turn into something more when you least expect it. And Mac will have to turn to her three best friends-and business partners-to see her way to her own happy ending.


These are a re-read for me. If I need a quick get away, easy read, I pick up this series. I am also trying to do a lot of re-reading to save on the book budget! We like to buy way too many books!


Book 28 of 100 - Bed of Roses (Bride Quartet #2) by Nora Roberts

Summary by Goodreads:
As little girls MacKensie, Emma, Laurel, and Parker spent hours acting out their perfect make believe “I do” moments. Years later their fantasies become reality when they start their own wedding planning company to make every woman’s dream day come true. With perfect flowers, delicious desserts, and joyful moments captured on film, Nora Roberts’s Bride Quartet shares each woman’s emotionally magical journey to romance.

In Bed of Roses, florist Emma Grant is finding career success with her friends at Vows wedding planning company, and her love life appears to be thriving. Though men swarm around her, she still hasn’t found Mr. Right. And the last place she’s looking is right under her nose.

But that’s just where Jack Cooke is. He’s so close to the women of Vows that he’s practically family, but the architect has begun to admit to himself that his feelings for Emma have developed into much more than friendship. When Emma returns his passion—kiss for blistering kiss—they must trust in their history…and in their hearts.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:11 PM   #1363
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Finished #15 out of 50:

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

This story takes place in Afghanistan and is about a young boy, Amir, who betrays his best companion, Hassan, by not coming to his aid when bullies attack. To deal with his guilt, he arranges to have Hassan and his father sent away which only serves to cause more grief and heartbreak. Amir moves to America when the Taliban begin to rise to power, and through circumstances as an adult learns the truth of his family, travels back to Afghanistan, and comes face to face with his guilt, slowly finding a way to redemption.

A beautiful & poignant story. I can't say that it is one of the best books I've read, but it held my interest and it touched my heart.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:09 AM   #1364
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15/30 - Rolling Down Black Stockings - A Passage Out of the Old Order Mennonite Religion by Esther Royer Ayers

This is a memoir. I downloaded it from the library, hoping I would enjoy it as much as I did Growing Up Amish by Ira Wagler - I read that last year.

The problem with this book is that for me, it didn't go enough into detail about the Mennonite religion/culture/practices as I would have liked it to, and the details that were given were colored by the author's general dislike for some of them. It read more like a biography of her life - very little information was given about the history of Mennonites or their ways.

It was still interesting, but it wasn't what I had hoped it would be.

3/5 stars

Next up: Defending Jacob by William Landay (waitlist finally came through )
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Old 04-25-2013, 09:47 PM   #1365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glynis View Post
Goal - 100 books

Book #28 "The Kingdom Keepers 5: Shell Game" by Ridley Pearson

I'm not going to review this book, as it was reviewed just a couple of days ago. I will say that I really enjoyed this book! This was darker and more tense than any of the other books. I can't wait for the next (last) book to be released! Does anyone know when that will be?

Next book: ??? I have 3 on hold at the library, but none have come in, yet. I suppose I could go back to "Team of Rivals", but I really haven't been enjoying it. So, I put it down for weeks at a time. I suppose I'll find something.
I'm pretty sure that Kingdom Keepers #6 is already out. I'm almost certain that I saw it at the store at DTD that sells books and movies (along with a lot of other stuff, of course!) The reason I remember is that J was going to buy #5 AND #6, but DD said to leave her something to buy me for Mothers' Day! I hope you can find it locally.

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