MamaSylvia's Reviews


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If you're looking for something to read that will suit your taste, it helps to know what a reviewer looks for when deciding whether your taste is similar. I look for an involving story, likeable characters who feel real, and no "deus ex machina" endings or "with this clue that I'm not going to share with the reader, the hero knew whodunit" - I've been known to throw a book across the room when I run into those. I prefer a cheery feel but a few dark/gloomy series are also on my favorites list, such as Ian Rutledge. If a story doesn't start fairly quickly, or if it doesn't hold my interest, I give up on the book. Each review starts with a brief plot description, ideally without spoilers. The second paragraph is what the reviewer thought of the book and why. 1 star is awful, 5 stars is great, NR means I didn't finish it or rate it, usually because I discovered it was a genre I don't like. Hope you enjoy!

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Author: Camacho, Catriona & Rees, Greg, eds.
Title: Wishing on a Star
Genre: Holiday Short Stories
Rating: 3
Christmas-themed short stories by various authors. Includes: Comfort and Joy by Christina Jones, Santa Lives by Tricia Maw, A Christmas Murder by Marsali Taylor, No Smoke Without Fire by Bill Kitson, Proof of the Pudding by Jane Wenham-Jones, What the Dickens! A Euphemia Martins Christmas Story (with an included note that it can be read out of order without fear of spoilers) by Caroline Dunford, Merry Christmas Everybody by Jane Risdon, and Family Matters by Jane Jackson.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. Fast read, and certainly a wide range of stories, from the very ordinariness of gossipy old ladies to two stories involving the supernatural. Pleasant enough but unexciting; nothng I'd spend more than a buck or two on, unless you were a really devoted fan of one or more of the included authors.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/13/2015


 
Author: Lackey, Mercedes
Title: Winds of ChangeMage Winds # 2
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4
Now adopted as a Clansib by the Tayledras k'Sheyna, Elspeth is finally able to train as a mage, while Skif hunts for his lost love Nyara. The k'Sheyna recruit an outside mage to heal their damaged Heartstone. Meanwhile Mornelithe Falconsbane licks his wounds and continues to try to destroy the k'Sheyna and take their power, while finding himself courted by an unknown mage.

Intriguing storyline with some weaknesses. Lackey jumps between locations/plotlines enough that I occasionally lost track of where and what was going on. The k'Sheyna names are similar enough that it was hard for me to remember who had what skills and what history or even who was good and who was bad. I also found it annoying that whatever ability is needed, a Companion suddenly has. If Gwena was a mage, why did Elspeth have to travel halfway across the known world looking for one? This reeks of deus ex machina on Lackey's part, which is a lousy writing technique even when the subjects are some kind of spirit guardian. The title, as in the rest of the books in this series and pretty much most of the Valdemar books, was irrelevant to any of the plots.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/17/2014


 
Author: Lackey, Mercedes
Title: Winds of FateMage Winds # 1
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 3
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/01/2014


 
Author: Williams, Charles W.
Title: War In HeavenAspects of Power # 1
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 2
The head of a London publishing house wants the magic power of a mysterious artifact and to seduce a young boy into his satanic religious worship.

I was so interested in reading Williams that I was determined to finish this book even though it didn't seem that interesting and had elements I normally find a turnoff, including a child in danger. But I just couldn't take it and quit when I was 60% through. Mostly unlikable people, tedious and unfocused storyline - why on earth does this have the reputation of a work of genius? Grammar, spelling, and Kindle formatting were fine. The title didn't seem very relevant to the story.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 05/30/2014


 
Author: Rennison, Louise
Title: Withering TightsTallulah Casey # 1
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: NR
Tallulah eagerly anticipates spending the summer at a drama school but is less than impressed when she arrives.

Some teen books can be enjoyed by adults; many simply bore adults or simply strain credulity. This one was boring and I gave up less than a quarter of the way through.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/18/2013


 
Author: Norton, Andre
Title: Witch WorldWitch World Estcarp # 1
Genre: Sword & Sorcery
Rating: NR
Short stories with somewhat-interrelated adventures of a modern man who escapes into an alternate universe, where Estcarp, ruled by good magic, is trying to keep from being annihilated by magic-hating neighbors.

Although I'm not a big sword-and-sorcery fan, Norton is one of the originals of the genre and I wanted to read her work. It didn't matter that she is a legend; between the gloomy storylines and mostly unlikable characters, I couldn't make it to the halfway point before giving up.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 04/21/2013


 
Author: Christie, Agatha
Title: Why Didn't They Ask Evans? aka The Boomerang Clue
Genre: Historical Mystery - England
Rating: 3
Why Didn't They Ask Evans? aka The Boomerang Clue

A young WWI veteran finds his life in danger after he hears a dying man's last words. He and a bored young noblewoman decide to investigate.

Shades of "Tommy and Tuppence." Christie does a lovely job portraying both a frustrated, unemployed veteran and a rich, titled beauty. But the story is weak at best and even relies at one point on a wild coincidence. I stuck with it to the unsatisfying ending because the main characters were likable, but I couldn't recommend it. The main title was appropriate, but I have no idea where the secondary title came from.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 04/03/2013


 
Author: Alcott, Louisa May
Title: WorkWork # 1
Genre: Historical Fiction - U.S.
Rating: 4
Young Christie turns down an offer of marriage from a plodding farmer to move to the city and pursue an independent life.

eBook downloaded free from www.Gutenberg.org Alcott kept me reading even through she really lays on her preachy paeans to the virtue of (you guessed it) hard work with a trowel. The plot is predictably sappy, no surprise to anyone familiar with Alcott's work. But she makes the reader care about the vividly drawn characters and reluctant to close the book when reaching the end. Gutenberg's volunteer proofreaders did a generally decent job, although they left some incorrect homonyms and some well-meaning soul removed a double "it" that essentially destroyed the sentence's meaning. The title is weak but relevant.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/30/2013


 
Author: George, Elizabeth
Title: With No One As WitnessInspector Lynley # 13
Genre: Police Procedural Mystery
Rating: NR
Acting DI Lynley pursues a serial killer targeting adolescent boys, handicapped by Hillier's showboating of new DS Nkata.

George has finally killed my love for this series. It's just another police procedural; everything I liked about it is gone. I quit a quarter of the way through and don't intend to read any more.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/28/2013


 
Author: Milne, A.A.
Title: Winnie-the-PoohWinnie-the-Pooh # 2
Genre: Children
Rating: 4
Adventures of a little boy and his collection of stuffed animals.

I'd never read this before, neither as a child myself nor to my children. I missed a bet; the stories are charming, if not realistic in the slightest. They offer imaginative events and likable characters and I wish I'd read them while my kids were still young enough to read them with me. Now I'll have to wait until I have grandchildren to read them to. The original illustrations are perfect!
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/27/2013


 
Author: Sayers, Dorothy
Title: Whose Body?Lord Peter Wimsey # 1
Genre: Historical Mystery - England
Rating: 4
Lord Peter asks to help Parker investigate two suspicious events, the appearance of an unknown dead man in an architect's bathtub and the disappearance of a noted financier.

I downloaded this ebook free from Manybooks.net Ripping good mystery demanding a fairly well-educated reader. In this case, Sayers doesn't spell out what Lord Peter and Parker saw on a man's naked body that made it clear he wasn't Jewish, and some character development is done in French (without convenient translation). Whodunit and how is fairly obvious, and Lord Peter is not a particularly sympathetic character in this first book in the series, but Sayers kept me reading even though I didn't like the ending, either what happened or the killer's long letter explaining everything to Lord Peter.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/26/2013


 
Author: Austin, Lynn
Title: While We're Far Apart
Genre: Historical Fiction - U.S.
Rating: NR
A recent widower enlists in the army during WWII, leaving his two young children in the care of a neighbor girl who loves him.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. Wartime stories are rarely cheerful, but this was too depressing for me. Every character was in a dark funk for some reason or other, and frankly I agreed with the characters who thought the father was an idiot for enlisting and abandoning his children. I quit about 10% of the way through.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/24/2013


 
Author: Milne, A.A.
Title: When We Were Very YoungWinnie-the-Pooh # 1
Genre: Children
Rating: 4
Charming poems suitable for toddlers and preschoolers, but enjoyable by adults as well.

Milne does a very nice job at capturing the innocence and wonder of childhood, and I enjoyed reading them. But I'm baffled as to why this is considered part of the Winnie the Pooh canon; a stuffed bear appears in ONE of the poems, with a different name. Sweet, but irrelevant to the Winnie the Pooh tales.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/23/2013


 
Author: Penman, Sharon Kay
Title: When Christ and His Saints Slept
Genre: Historical Mystery - England
Rating: NR
When Henry I dies after making his barons swear to acknowledge his daughter Matilda as queen, his nephew Stephen has himself crowned and civil war breaks out.

Although I've heard good things about Penman's writing, I have read all I want to about this particular episode in English history. Maude was a prideful idiot and Stephen was a weak-willed betrayer. Neither of them particularly deserved the throne, and their civil war would have been a comedy of errors if anything that took so many humble lives could be considered a comedy. I read about the first quarter, just in case Penman managed to capture my interest. She didn't. The title is one of the least-appropriate ever.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/22/2013


 
Author: Corby, H
Title: When Angels FallEmiliano # 1
Genre: Historical Mystery
Rating: 3
In Renaissance Fiorenze, new physician Emiliano investigates a noblewoman's murder while trying to avoid aggravating his Bridezilla sister and mother. But a chance at a love of his own distracts him.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. Corby does an amazing job at recreating the atmosphere of Renaissance Italy, not so much by the casual references to Botticelli and da Vinci (as contemporaries) as descriptions of clothes, meals, and other aspects of everyday life that don't overwhelm the reader. I'm not sure that all aspects of her history are correct, particularly the easy relationships between family and servants, but I don't know for a fact that they are wrong. Unfortunately, the story itself is not as impressive. Whodunit was pretty obvious, although I don't hold that against a book if that is the only flaw. But the plot sometimes vanished under extraneous elements like the preparations for Emiliano's sister's wedding, descriptions of servants, and a completely irrelevant sex scene. (If Corby doesn't consider this pornographic, I'd hate to see what she *does* consider pornographic.) Corby also doesn't seem to know when to end a book. Normally a murder mystery ends with the identification of the killer. Certainly there can be valid reasons for continuing the story past this point and/or adding an explanatory epilogue, but Corby does both and for no story-enhancing goal that I could see. The epilogue was both unnecessary and unbelievable. She uses a lot of sentence fragments, but I'm not counting those as errors because her meaning is clear. Even so, Corby's word/grammar use bordered on bizarre, skipping between present and past tense, randomly capitalizing words, and scattering commas with an utter disregard of rules of grammar. "While it was not one of the prominent palazzos, it touted affluence." "Young lovers arm in arm selected to walk at a slower pace." "May God, give me courage." "Father Andrea handed them two Monks cloaks." "The procession snaked along the narrow streets under a waning Moon." There were occasional Kindle formatting problems, such as line breaks in the middle of paragraphs and font size changes. The title had nothing to do with the story. I did finish the book, so I think there could be an exciting story buried under all the confusion, but it needs serious editing before I can raise the star rating.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/21/2013


 
Author: Carline, Gayle
Title: What Would Erma Do?
Genre: Humor
Rating: 3
Collection of short columns that appeared in the author's local paper, along with commentary.

Carline is nowhere near as funny as Erma Bombeck. Not even in the same universe. The most her columns produced was a rare, mild smile. Her "commentary" was closer to braggadocio than fact, and not even as interesting as the columns. I actually paid money for this, deluded by the reference to the hysterically funny Bombeck. It's not awful, but don't make the same mistake I did. Spelling, grammar, and Kindle formatting were all acceptable.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/20/2013


 
Author: Alexandra, Katherine Sarah
Title: What Fruits are Good for Weight Loss
Genre: Health
Rating: 2
Supposedly information on what fruits to eat to help lose weight.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. Although nicely organized, it's light on facts and heavy on speculation. Certainly not worth paying money for.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/19/2013


 
Author: Stall, Sylvanus
Title: What a Young Husband Ought to Know
Genre: Self-help
Rating: 2
Old book of advice to new husbands on getting along with their wives.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. Although fully as preachy as I expected, I was surprised that it wasn't all too horrible for words. Yes, there was absurd "information" such as "The nervous system of woman is more refined and more delicate than that in men," but there was also a recognition that "neither is superior to the other." Still, statements such as men are more capable of logical thought left me uninterested in reading further. I didn't make it to the 10% mark before giving up.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/18/2013


 
Author: FrogCheeks
Title: Welcome To My Pond
Genre: Humor
Rating: 1
Collection of tweets by the author, mostly crude and/or sexual.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway, and the description can't have accurately reflected the content or I'd never have taken it. Bathroom "humor" at its lowest, nothing actually funny or clever at all - what an 8-year-old would think amusing. I barely got a quarter of the way through before quitting in disgust.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/17/2013


 
Author: Myers, Kevin C.
Title: Weight Loss for Wimps
Genre: Health
Rating: 1
Pep talk on losing weight.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. Okay if you are looking for a pep talk, but I wasn't; I wanted specific ideas to help me lose weight, and this book is very short on them. Nor is it written interestingly. I quit about 15% of the way through.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/16/2013


 
Author: Ferguson, Ellie
Title: Wedding Bell Blues
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: NR
Caught up in preparations for her sister's wedding, when Jess is almost killed she must team with her detective ex-boyfriend Colton to find her attempted assassin.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. I'm not a fan of romance novels, but this one kept me reading through the first half. At that point, it was just too scary and I skipped to the end. Apart from being too perfectly beautiful, Jess and Colton are realistic, and certainly we've all known Bridezilla sisters and mothers. Jess does some really stupid thigs, one of my pet peeves in mysteries. Yes, I know the author has to work harder if the heroine isn't stupid, but she would produce a more believable result. The ending was weak but not awful.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/13/2013


 
Author: Bergren, Lisa T.
Title: WaterfallRiver of Time # 1
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: NR
Usual YA time-travel plot: teen accidentally travels back in time and must save the world.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. Not my thing.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/12/2013


 
Author: Marton, Kati
Title: Wallenberg
Genre: Biography
Rating: 2
More of an analysis of Raoul Wallenberg's life than a real biography.

I would have said it was impossible to make Wallenberg's story less than fascinating, but Marton managed. I tried desperately to keep reading, because Wallenberg was a true hero who saved the lives of thousands of Polish Jews, and his story deserves to be told. But I gave up about a quarter of the way through in complete boredom. Spelling, grammar, and Kindle formatting were all acceptable.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/11/2013


 
Author: Allan, Christa
Title: Walking on Broken Glass
Genre: Fiction
Rating: NR
Fake "memoir" of a woman going through rehab for alcoholism.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway, and I have no idea why. I generally don't like depressing subjects, including this one. The narrator's frequent description of her dislike of sex with her husband, and her vilifying descriptions of him, didn't add anything positive. I only got about 10% of the way through before quitting.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/10/2013


 
Author: Ivie, Judith K.
Title: Waiting for ArmandoKate Lawrence # 1
Genre: Murder Mystery
Rating: 4
Kate and her new friends at her new job try to prove one of them didn't kill her womanizing boss.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. First, Ivie deserves kudos both for editing and reformatting the book in October 2012, and then for posting the revised version under the SAME ASIN, so those who had previously purchased the book (or picked it up free) had access to the revision. From what I hear, this is a little more difficult for the author, but much better for the reader, as people who purchased the original version don't have to pay again to get the cleaner, edited version. Ivie clearly considers her readers, something too many authors fail to do. The story itself was satisfactory, a solid workmanlike mystery with a few twists and turns that surprised me, leading up to a believable resolution. I particularly liked Kate's developing friendships with her co-workers. The beginning was quite weak, with too much backstory/flashback and heavy-handed "that was before I found the body" foreshadowing, but once the murder occurred Ivie kept the story moving right along. A few elements that struck me as unlikely were explained by the end. The strange title relates to a secondary storyline, completely irrelevant to the main plot. Romantic mysteries are a legitimate sub-genre, but generally the lover relates to the mystery in some way. Armando doesn't, which makes the title feel wrong. There were a few typos, but otherwise the grammar and Kindle formatting were acceptable.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/09/2013


 
Author: LaGuire, Camille
Title: Waiter, There's a Clue In My Soup!
Genre: Short Stories
Rating: 3
Small collection of 5 short mysteries (the title story, The Hoosegow Strangler, Trail of the Lonesome Stickpin, Alibi, The Promise), padded with the opening chapters of Have Gun, Will Play, featuring characters from two of the stories.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. The stories themselves are not bad, although a serious weakness is that the solution usually relied on information the reader did not have until the brilliant sleuth revealed it. (Of course, that is also true of most of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories.) The Mick and Casey stories are Western mysteries, an unusual genre. I didn't find either of the characters particularly likable but I didn't throw the Kindle across the room in disgust.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/08/2013


 
Author: Story, Rosalyn
Title: Wading Home
Genre: Fiction
Rating: NR
A crippled jazz trumpeter searches for his missing father after Katrina.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway, and I have no idea why. I don't like depressing stories, and it was a cinch bet that this would be. (And was.) I'm also not wild about stories that focus mostly on the inside of the characters' heads, which this also does. I forced myself to get through the first 10% before giving up. It seems pretty well-written for those who like this type of story: logical plot, good character development, correct spelling and grammar. accurate word use (although Story does occasionally get carried away with descriptions), acceptable Kindle formatting. Just not my thing.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/07/2013


 
Author: Hayter, Sparkle
Title: What's a Girl Gotta DoRobin Hudson # 1
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 1
I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway. Story: A loser complains about bad luck at her job and her husband dumping her for a pretty, young, successful Other Woman.

Unless you like train wrecks, there is no reason to read this book. There is no story, just Robin whining and being manipulated.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/27/2012


 
Author: Berg, Elizabeth
Title: What We Keep
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: 1
A woman is going to see her unloved mother after a 35-year separation and starts reminiscing about growing up.

I HATE stories that are all flashback, and this one didn't catch my interest enough to overcome that hatred. I have not liked any of the books by this author that I have read so far; it seems all she writes is self-important "literary" fiction - IOW, boring.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/22/2011


 
Author: McCourtney, Lorena
Title: WhirlpoolJulesburg # 1
Genre: Christian Romance
Rating: 2
Stefanie is recovering from marriage to an adulterous husband when a suspicious fire destroys the mill they jointly owned. Ryan is an insurance investigator who was best friends with Stefanie as a child. When they meet each other as adults, a new attraction begins.

Claiming the characters are trying to follow Jesus is pretty weak when the first thing they notice about each other is their physical appearance - and, naturally, both of these people were unimpressive as children but now absolutely gorgeous. I gave up about a quarter of the way through.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/18/2011


 
Author: Royal, Priscilla
Title: Wine of ViolenceMedieval Mystery # 1
Genre: Historical Mystery - England
Rating: 3
reviewed by: Sylvia on 05/24/2010


 
Author: Allingham, Margery
Title: Wanted: Someone Innocent
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 1
in omnibus Take Two at Bedtime

Nouveau-poor Gillian Brayton is flattered when a famous schoolmate offers her a job attending to her husband. But is Rita looking for a helper, or a dupe?

Since after the first few pages it was painfully obvious where the story was headed, I skipped to the end.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 05/20/2010


 
Author: Greber, Judith as Gillian Roberts
Title: Where’s the Harm in That aka Where’s the Harm
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 05/18/2010


 
Author: Sawyer, Kim Vogel
Title: Where the Heart Leads
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 05/17/2010


 
Author: Estleman, Loren D
Title: Whiskey RiverDetroit # 1
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 05/12/2010


 
Author: Colley, Barbara
Title: Wiped outCharlotte LaRue # 4
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 12/31/2009


 
Author: Todd, Charles
Title: Watchers of TimeInspector Rutledge # 5
Genre: Historical Mystery Police Proc
Rating: 5
reviewed by: Sylvia on 12/28/2009


 
Author: Parr, Delia
Title: Where love dwellsCandlewood # 3
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/14/2009


 
Author: Lovesey, Peter
Title: Wobble to deathSergeant Cribb # 1
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/14/2009


 
Author: Sawyer, Kim Vogel
Title: Waiting For Summer’s Return
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/13/2009


 
Author: George, Elizabeth
Title: Well-schooled In MurderInspector Lynley # 3
Genre: Police Procedural Mystery
Rating: 5
Lynley and Havers investigate the torture/murder of a young student at a posh boarding school. As they find one appalling revelation after another about life at the school, their list of suspects continues to increase.

Another riveting entry in this series. George writes convoluted plots that resemble a tapeworm with indigestion, but pulls everything together in the end. And the title clearly related to the story.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/12/2009


 
Author: Brown, Rita Mae
Title: Wish You Were HereMrs. Murphy # 1
Genre:
Rating:
I HATE stories featuring talking animals. Brown not only has animals communicating in English, she lists her cat as co-author and an Introduction supposedly written by the cat claims sole authorship. I did not read much of the book before giving up.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 06/10/2009


 
Author: Berenson, Laurien
Title: WatchdogMelanie Travis # 5
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 01/04/2009


 
Author: Todd, Charles
Title: Wings of FireInspector Rutledge # 2
Genre: Historical Mystery Police Proc
Rating: 5
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/24/2008


 
Author: Green, Simon R
Title: Winner takes allHawk & Fisher # 2
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 10/15/2008


 
Author: Binchy, Maeve
Title: Whitethorn woods
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/30/2008


 
Author: Byrn, Anne
Title: What can I bring? cookbook
Genre:
Rating:
I was hoping for some new ideas for portable food from this book. Unfortunately, most of the recipes are well-known to any cook: spinach and artichoke dip, potato salad, even deviled eggs (although Byrn includes several neat topping ideas for the eggs). But there were some great exceptions. Winners included a 15-minute stovetop mac & cheese that even my college daughter thought she could make (no white sauce involved), Mushroom and Gruyere Cheesecake, a very adaptable roast potatoes recipe, baked apricots, and a cheese ball made with Gorgonzola instead of the usual cheddar.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/22/2008


 
Author: Smith, Barbara Burnett
Title: Writers of the Purple SageJolie Wyatt # 1
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/21/2008


 
Author: Lanagan, Margo
Title: White time
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/18/2008


 
Author: Morren, Ruth Axtell
Title: Wild rose
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/13/2008


 
Author: Greenway, Alice
Title: White ghost girls
Genre:
Rating:
This debut novel received rave reviews, and I have to admit the descriptions are vivid. But a novel should have a story, and likeable characters are a plus. This book has neither. Narrator Kate is a obnoxious preteen wimp, and older sister Frankie is an obnoxious teenage wannabe slut. They live in Hong Kong with their mother while their photographer father spends most of his time in war-torn Viet Nam. Rather than a story, Greenway offers a series of tableux: the girls in church, the girls listening to a tape from their father, the girls finding a dead body; unfortunately, none are particularly interesting and none seem relevant to any plot.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/04/2008


 
Author: Sedaris, David
Title: When you are engulfed in flames
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/02/2008


 
Author: Danner, Dorothy Still
Title: What a way to spend a war
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/01/2008


 
Author: Sawyer, Kim Vogel
Title: Where willows grow
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 08/31/2008


 
Author: McMullan, Margaret
Title: When I crossed No-Bob
Genre:
Rating:
Yet another growing-up tale, this one of a poor white girl abandoned by her parents after the Civil War. Just not interesting, and with a particularly unlikable main character.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 08/28/2008


 
Author: Wright, Nina
Title: Whiskey on the RocksWhiskey Mattimoe mystery # 1
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 08/23/2008


 
Author: Lofts, Norah
Title: Walk into my parlour
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 08/21/2008


 
Author: Westlake, Donald E
Title: What I Tell You Three Times Is FalseSam Holt # 3
Genre: Murder Mystery
Rating: 5
reviewed by: Sylvia on 08/19/2008


 
Author: Graham, Barbara
Title: Women who run with the poodles
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 08/10/2008


 
Author: Lofts, Norah
Title: Winter harvest
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 08/09/2008


 
Author: Cosper, Darcy
Title: Wedding Season
Genre:
Rating:
Yet another story full of gorgeous, incredibly talented women and hunky rich men, mostly unlikeable and/or gay. Fiction is one thing, absurd is another. I couldn't finish it and was appalled by the inevitable book jacket references comparing this book to Jane Austen, who filled her books with average-looking people with average problems. (Which is probably why her books are still popular today.)
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/09/2008


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