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: Bent, Danny
Title: You've Gone Too Far This Time, Sir!
Genre: Autobiography
Rating: 1
Autobiography, sort of, supposedly featuring a long-distance cycling trip. But it must have been buried later in the book, I never saw it.

I picked up this book free during an Amazon giveaway and it was still overpriced. There is nothing positive I can say about it; the author wanders along, telling the reader about how wonderful he is. There is no point or organization to the sentences; it looks like Bent is simply in love with his own verbosity. He changes tenses at will. Word use/spelling/grammar are excruciatingly awful. "Educational establishments had rapped him in cotton wool." "An attitude was shaped that no experience was a bad experience." I wasn't able to take much of this book before quitting in disgust; life is too short to waste time on self-obsessed bad writers.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 04/30/2013


 
Author: Oliver, Jarrett
Title: Yummy Tummy Cookbooks: 201 Scrumptious Super BowlYummy Tummy
Genre: Cookbook
Rating: 1
Collection of snack recipes suitable for casual parties.

Many of these recipes, as expected, are the same you've seen in dozens of other cookbooks and websites: tortilla swirls, jalapeno poppers, flavored pretzel/cereal/nut combinations, numerous burger and chili recipes. But the ones that seemed unique enough to check were all taken from websites without permission or credit. That is called plagiarism, Jarrett, and is both illegal and unethical. Roasted Pepper, Basil and Fontina Sandwiches, Festive Spinach Dip, and Mushroom Super Bowl Chili were stolen from cooksrecipes.com; Shaved Pork Loin Sandwich with Caramelized Onions came from AmericanProfile.com; Green Chile Bread Bowl Fondue exactly matches the recipe on meals.com. 1 star for plagiarism.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/20/2012


 
Author: McCourtney, Lorena
Title: Your Chariot AwaitsAndi McConnell # 1
Genre: Murder Mystery
Rating: 3
Andalusia McConnell is downsized by her employer and dumped by her boyfriend just a few days before her 60th birthday. Her life seems to be looking up when an unexpected inheritance arrives, a sleek black limousine, but that sours when a murdered man turns up in the trunk and the police consider her the prime suspect.

Involving story with likable characters, even if Andi did some really stupid things (such as NOT taking the critical missing item directly to the police) and the identity of the killer was obvious. I like having an older woman as a heroine who isn't desperate to catch a man. The major weakness is that McCourtney seems to rely on extreme coincidences to resolve the plot, which annoys me but not enough to stop reading, it just leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 03/23/2011


 
Author: Geagley, Brad
Title: Year of the HyenasSemerket # 1
Genre: Historical Mystery - Anc Egypt
Rating: 4
reviewed by: Sylvia on 05/31/2010


 
Author: Andrews, Donna
Title: You’ve Got MurderTuring Hopper # 1
Genre: Suspense
Rating: 1
AI Turing Hopper worries when her programmer Zack disappears. With the help of two live people, she searches for him and discovers a massive company conspiracy.

I only got a quarter of the way through this because it was a thriller rather than a murder mystery, and I find many thrillers (including this one) too scary. But I don't know that I would have finished it anyway, as it is written in first-person but the narrator changes between Turing and her softperson helpers, which made following the story difficult and distracting.
reviewed by: Sylvia on 12/20/2009


 
Author: Reece, Colleen L
Title: Yellowstone Park nurse
Genre:
Rating:
reviewed by: Sylvia on 09/09/2008


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