What if another Jane Austen manuscript was found???? Well that is exactly what Samantha finds while on vacation in England. Now she has the chance to be the first person to read a 'new' Jane Austen novel since it was hidden away in an English manor in the early 1800's.
I loved this book. The adventure of searching out the location of the missing manuscript as well as 'reading' it with Samantha and Anthony. It really makes you wonder.... what if? -Jill
I don’t read a lot of Historical Fiction anymore, but that might have to change. I loved this book. It was the book for the Borders Book Group and of course I didn’t get it finished before the meeting. They were kind and didn’t throw out any spoilers. They also made me want to finish it even more with the positive things they had to say about the book.
This book was fun, funny and the characters are so likeable. All the way through you know how it is going to end. You always do with these books, but it is the journey to that end. Throw in some nutty parents with weird ideas, a horseless carriage, just read it. Loved it and so did the book group. -Debbie
Wow! I loved this book. Do I really need to say more? We have a woman in a bad marriage with a history that slowly unravels through the course of the book. With a ‘mystery’ to be solved. A new town where good friends support one another and a hunky man waiting for the right time. This is the second Cathy Lamb book that I have read. I love both of them equally. I really must find time to read the rest of her books.
I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips. No one creates lovable characters the way she does. The books are always fun and emotional with the happy ending that I love.
Annie Hewit is down and almost out when she goes to Peregrine Island. There, childhood memories are confronted and friendships made. I loved each and every character. Hint, I read this book in one sitting – it was that good! -Debbie
This book is recommended for teens, but adults will enjoy it also. A Romeo and Juliet romance with intrigue and adventure set in a dystopian future. I will be looking forward to books two of this series. -Tarra
Many of us have secrets from our past, but Marian has a doosey. At 18 she got pregnant and gave the baby up for adoption.... and didn't tell anyone. 18 years later, her 'secret' comes back to find her.
This is a really sweet story. I loved the characters and the life lesson each of them has to face and come to terms with. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a relaxing and enjoyable book. -Jill
This story is set in the year 2049; in a dystopian society humans are on the brink of extinction due to fertility issues. In order to avoid a collapse of society the company Oxted, develops a very life like ‘teknoid’ as a replacement for human children. The parents contract for a ‘child’ and they receive a ‘baby’ and then return to Oxted at regular intervals for upgrades that make the ‘teknoid’ appear to grow up. The catch is that when the teknoid turns 18 they must be returned to the company and they are never seen again.
The main character is 11 year old Tania, an only child. Tania begins a quest to understand how teknoids differ from humans when her best friend returns to school and no longer looks like a little girl.
The reader learns about Tania’s life and her thoughts as Tania writes in her diary. Tania doesn’t want to start her diary entries with “Dear Diary” (“or anything so Victorian ,” she says) so she addresses her entries to Mr. Zog, an alien that is traveling through space and comes across her diary in the distant future, he probably has tentacles and is an archeologist or something.
I liked the way the story is written, love the Zog thing especially since at the end of each chapter there is an entry by a space traveling alien who has found Tania’s diary.
So the story covers Tania’s teenage years, she loves music and starts a band, they write their own music and play gigs. Then there is the relationship stuff that teenagers suffer with, however the story is anything but typical and the twists at the end of the book are wonderful.
I loved this story, it is well told, interesting and unpredictable and well worth reading.
It is appropriate for 12 years and up (mature 10 years olds possibly). I highly recommend this book for teens and adults. –Jody
This is a story of friendship, family, home, ice cream and of course magic. It truly is a magical tale. Felicity Pickle collects words, she sees them hanging around people and things, some of the words sparkle, some glow or slither, some are shaped like wings, some are star shaped and the ones that Felicity loves the most she writes in her blue notebook.
This is the story of Felicity, her family, and how she helps a town find the magic it had lost. This is a story truly worth reading and absorbing. I loved it and it is suitable for all ages, if the age is too young to read, then someone who can read should read it aloud. –Jody
This is the second book in the Crashers series, and it was just as good as the first one - full of edge of the seat action. Once again, we have insight into the “go team” when an airliner or any other plane crashes. We learn about the specialties and how the investigation might progress. There are bad guys, corrupt guys and heroes. Book three is waiting and I can’t wait to get started. -Debbie
This book is set in the beginning of the war in Iraq. The author interviewed some folks who served in Iraq and were willing to share their insights and experiences. Mr. Myers son shared his views about the Middle East as he had served in the first Gulf War. Mr. Myers daughter-in-law also shared information about problems facing returning veterans.
The story is told from a first person point of view; Robin (nicknamed Birdy) is assigned to a Civilian Affairs unit. This unit is supposed to come along after the combat is over and try to build a relationship with the natives. The reader follows Birdy as he develops relationships with his unit, shares his fears and thoughts as they get shot at, as I.E.D.’s blow up comrades and the first time he has to kill another person. Birdy shares his insights and his confusion as to what their goal is supposed to be and the roadblocks, political, physical and emotional, to achieving those goals. Most of Birdy’s insights are in letters he writes to his uncle who is a Viet Nam veteran. At the end of the book Birdy writes this to his uncle, “Uncle Richie, I used to be mad when you wouldn’t talk about Viet Nam. I thought you were being selfish, in a way. Now I understand how light the words seem. If I ever have kids, I think I won’t tell them much about what I did here, or what I’ve seen. I’ll tell them something because I’ll want them to know about war. But are there really enough words to make them understand?”
This is a well told story, engaging with characters that are very real to this reader. I believe that the author accurately reflected the cultures on both sides, and in addition put a very human face on the soldiers who were in Iraq and on the Iraqi’s themselves. I thought this was probably a fairly accurate portrayal of a war zone; there was no glory, though there was heroism in the form of the members of Birdy’s unit taking care of each other and in their attempts to help the natives when war had devastated their lives and the compassion they showed.
I think this book would be appropriate for early teens and older. Mr. Myers does not focus on the horrors of war but on the people of both sides and how war affects them and he does not show war as a glorious enterprise, he tells it like it is. War is muddy and ugly and though the governments and the media try to make the reasons for war simple and clear cut, they are not. I think this is an excellent message for teens to read and Mr. Myers does it without being preachy. -Jody
I have a new favorite!!! Crashers is one of those exciting edge of your seat books that I love. This book is about a plane crash and the ensuing investigation into what caused the crash. We have the NTSB, the FBI, terrorists, bad guys and best of all, it all happens here in Portland. I am now on the hunt for book two in this series. -Debbie
This is the third book in J. T. Ellison’s Samantha Owens series. Man they just keep getting better, you should read them really!
The main reason I really like Ms. Ellison’s writing is her character development. Each book has doled out bits of information about Samantha Owens and her life, especially her past life. Each successive book has revealed more answers, but then adds more questions. The characters in these stories are well developed, very human and very likeable (except for the bad guys of course). Ms. Ellison also has some wonderful plot twists and turns that keep you guessing. Really, get out there and read these books. -Jody
Sequels are great. It's like getting together with a long lost friend and catching up. When I picked up this book I couldn't wait to find out what happened to Andy, Emily and, of course, Miranda since the infamous Paris trip. Ten years have passed and a lot has changed, but at the same time, a lot hasn't changed.
I enjoyed this book, but I didn't love it. I felt like Andy was a little wishy washy, Emily was funny but something was missing and I didn't feel there was any closure with Miranda's story. Maybe that was on purpose and there is another book in the works, but when I finished the last page, I didn't really feel that the story was finished. Overall, it was good, but not great. -Jill
This was a great mystery/suspense novel that expertly wove the story between present day and WWII. Nora's mother has been murdered, her baby daughter is missing and there is a strange man dead on her living room floor. The questions is why and where is her daughter? To find the answers, Nora must delve into her immigrant parent's past. But every bit of information she finds just leads to more questions.
I really enjoyed this book. There was mystery, suspense, murder, love with a little bit of crazy thrown in. -Jill
This is a non-fiction book about the next big quake in the Pacific Northwest. The author also includes the history of how scientists have pieced together the geology of this area. Ms. Doughton made this ‘story’ suspenseful, entertaining, and educational; she managed to write it in such a way that the lay person can understand yet not so simple as to lose the important concepts. Ms. Doughton also painted clear portraits of some of the key scientists and others instrumental in putting some of the pieces of our NW puzzle together.
I believe that this should be a must read for anyone who lives in the NW. In the last chapters the author provides some excellent tips to prepare for the disaster that is sure to come.
This book is available as a hardcover, or eBook. If you really like charts and graphs and maps, well…they don’t show up well on a plain eReader, just an FYI. -Jody
When the going gets tough, the strong woman inside will always come out. This is the basic theme of TEN BEACH ROAD. Four women from very different backgrounds are pushed together by outside sources and faced with making the best of a tough situation.
I've found that Wendy Wax novels are easy - in a good way. There are compelling characters that you care about and want to see succeed. But at the same time, you are able to just sit back and relax and enjoy a great book, like a nice vacation from thinking. NOTE: TEN BEACH ROAD is the first book in a series. Don't make the same mistake I made and start reading book 2 first. –Jill
This is a wonderful fantasy suitable for children ages 10 and up.
Set in a medieval type of world with knights, barons, kings and of course the ultimate evil looming on the horizon which the protagonists must defeat. The story is well told, the main characters grow throughout the story, and they are not perfect which makes them believable and loveable. The story is never preachy but emphasizes the qualities of honesty and honor, friendship, loyalty and teamwork.
I loved this first book of the series, can’t wait to read the rest (there are 12 so far). -Jody
This is a compelling story of domestic abuse, friendship and the gift of life from one family to another. While reading it, I became so emotionally involved that I forgot it was a novel. I was loving this book up until the last chapter! For me, the conclusion was too abrupt and the story felt unfinished. I didn’t expect the characters to ride off into the sunset, but I would have liked some kind of resolution. If ever a book needed an epilogue, this one was it – in my opinion. Others may see it differently. -Sharri
This is definitely not the type of book I normally read, Paranormal Young Adult, which is why it has been sitting on my shelf since 2011. Yet it survived all the purges I made over the years so I finally sat down and started reading.
The writing is wonderful. The author pulls you into her world. I loved the characters. I am so sorry I let this little gem sit on the shelf for three years before I finally took the time to find all the wonders inside. This is book one of a trilogy so there are more wonders to discover. -Debbie
That Donaldson is a master of epic fantasy is undeniable! OMG! I have followed “The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant” since the release of Lord Foul’s Bane in 1977-read every book multiple times throughout the years. I didn’t have a clue as to how this tale would end but I wanted to be along for the journey; and what a journey it has been!
From Lord Foul’s Bane to its stunning and just conclusion in The Last Dark, the chronicles explore and illuminate the immense depth of the human spirit. Its challenges and possibilities. The value of perseverance. That there is strength in contradiction leaves no doubt. I loved all of the chronicles, but The Last Dark was far and away the best-a true masterpiece! Thank you, Mr. Donaldson, for giving me the literary, and emotional, ride of my life! You did it!!! Highly recommended. -Sharri
Willy Vlautin is a local author. I met him at the local trade show in October. While I assumed he was a new author from his shy and unassuming manner, I was wrong because he has several titles behind him. He says he likes to write about down and out people who have no reason to keep going but they do. They continue to do the right thing in spite of a sense of hopelessness. He makes you care about the characters and cheer for them. I will go back and read more of this author because I love a book that makes me feel for the characters and this book and this author did just that. -Debbie
I am wowed every time I read a Jodi Picoult novel. The depth of her characters and the amount of research she must have to do is amazing. In her novels, the reader is allowed to see a problem, or incident, from every perspective. In HOUSE RULES, Picoult weaves another great tale around a the trial of Jacob Hunt, an 18 year old senior in high school who has Asperger's Syndrome and is accused of murdering his social skills tutor. It is captivating to see how each person; Jacob's mom, his brother, the sheriff, the lawyer, and even the victim interact together, apart and with a person with Asperger's.
As I've said, I love every Jodi Picoult novel I have ever read, but I was reading this one for the Jan's Paperbacks February book group. I can't wait to get together with everyone and talk this one out. So many different points a view. All are welcome, so join us!
A wonderful look at the English homefront during World War II. The story focuses on a single family run silk manufacturer and how the business and the daugher evolves throughout the war. It follows her experiences and trials thoughout the war and its repercussions on her later life.
Wonderful characters and story! - Kim
This book was fun! Ellis Garrett is smart, funny and flawed. I think most women can identify with the issues that Ellis faces and how she deals with them. I laughed a little, cried a little and truly enjoyed this book. It is the author's debut novel and I will be looking for the next. -Debbie
I have read Jane Kirkpatrick before and I love the way I feel like I am in the book. The characters and the period of the book become very vivid. In this case, I felt like I knew Hulda Klager. What an amazing life she led. The support of her family and community was an inspiration and the fact that the community is still supporting her vision by restoring her gardens for all of us to visit. I plan to go see Hulda's Lilac's this spring and I hope that a visit will give more vision to her story. I highly recommend this book to just about anyone. -Debbie
THE NIGHT IS MINE is the first of the Night Stalkers series by M.L. Buchman. This book is fast paced and full of military detail and intrigue. Travelling from the Middle East to Washington D.C., Emily and Mark encounter the FBI, Special Ops, the Secret Service and even the first family in their efforts to thwart a traitor. Falling for each other along the way may just be a bonus.
I enjoyed the book and am currently reading the second book, WAIT UNTIL DARK. -Tarra
I have found a new author of serial killers. I loved this book, I also love the FBI Profiling part. There was a lot of action and plenty of tense moments. At the end, I was completely involved and heard nothing of what was going on around me - I was in that book. I put this book in with the group of my favorites, Cody McFadyn, Chelsea Cain and Shane Gericke. -Debbie
This is an historical fiction set in Portland Oregon around 1860.
This is my first Phillip Margolin book and it was amazing. I found myself immersed in the culture and politics of the time, right down to the mud and dust of unpaved streets. Matthew is the protagonist, a lawyer who had lost his wife on the Oregon Trail and is a man of compassion with a strong moral compass. Matthew finds himself embroiled in a battle to save the life of an innocent man, condemned because of the color of his skin, a man who just wanted his daughter to be free.
There is much more to this story than what I have mentioned here. As I stated I was immersed in the culture, the geography and the issues of that era. I could not put the book down, I had to find out what happened to all the characters in the story, some I needed to know they would be alright and some I was pleased that justice was served. This is a book worth reading, I loved it. -Jody
This is an historical fiction story suitable for ages 10 and up.
It is 1936, the Great Depression is on and 12 year old Abilene Tucker arrives in Manifest, Kansas. Abilene’s father is supposedly working a railroad job and he can’t keep his daughter with him. Abilene is staying with her father’s friend Shady and she finds a box of mementos from 1918 Manifest (she was searching for a place to hide her own mementos when she found the box). Abilene decides to search for anything or anyone who knew her father when he was a boy and the story goes back and forth between 1936 and 1918. Manifest is a town with secrets and many stories which Abilene listens to carefully.
This is a story of the depression, of World War l, of prohibition, the KKK, of immigrants, drought, of healing and coming home. It is a wonderful story! It made me cry and laugh and it is worth reading for any age. –Jody
Wow, wow, wow - that is all I have to say about GONE GIRL. I've been told by many people how wonderful this books is and that it is a 'must read'. They were right. The story kicks off on Nick and Amy's fifth anniversary, when Amy mysteriously disappears. From there, each chapter is told from the perspective of each spouse both before and after the disappearance. What happened to Amy? Did Nick have anything to do with it? What was going on behind the doors of this relationship that appeared ok from the outside, but in truth was deeply troubled. Several times while reading this book I was totally caught off guard and actually said 'what the...' while reading. It is wonderfully written, with deep details into the psyche of each character. I will be recommending this book to anyone that will stand still long enough for me to tell them about it. Look for it to be a book group selection in the New Year. -Jill
Kristina McMorris is one of my favorite authors. Her books are just my style. THE PIECES WE KEEP did not disappoint. Audra is a young mother and recently widowed. She is considering a cross county move from Portland to the East Coast when her plans are disrupted by her young son's vicious night terrors. It is during these sleepless nights that her son starts giving details and information that doesn't seem possible for a boy of his age to know about WWII era events. To help her son, Audra must look for answers. This was a wonderful story that weaved together characters in current day Portland with characters in Europe and America in WWII, while posing the question, 'is it possible we all have past lives?'. -Jill
This is the story of Nisha. Her parents left her at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was 6 years old. This city is for orphaned and abandoned girls where they are trained as musicians, healers, courtesans and more. The society Nisha lives in values boys over girls and families are limited to two children; this is the reason for the existence of the City. As the story starts Nisha is 16 years old, is the courier for the Matron of the City and has been engaging in a dangerous flirtation with a handsome courier whom she imagines a life with outside of the City. Then girls start dying and Nisha finds herself helping to solve the mystery of the deaths and of her own life. The ending surprised me; I love that in a book and I recommend this for those who love fantasy. This was an entertaining read, appropriate for 12 years and up. -Jody
This is the second book in Lemony Snicket’s new series “All the Wrong Questions.” In this story Lemony is still in Stain’d by the Sea (which is no longer by the sea) and some of the questions raised in the first book are answered here (I am not going to give them away if you haven’t read the first book). In this installment there is a missing girl, a missing formula and Lemony describes S. Theodora Markson’s hair as a “wild wad of black yarn” (I love that he is often commenting about his chaperone’s hair). In the first book there were words that were used and then a description of what the word meant, (a word, any word followed by “which here means” then the description of the meaning for the context in which it was used). In this book, words or phrases are used, and then there is an explanation for other meanings that would apply depending on the context. So for the parents out there who would like their children to expand their vocabulary and their understanding of language over all this is a great way to encourage that; a good story and something to learn at the same time. I love Lemony Snicket’s writing and now I have to wait another year for the next installment. I highly recommend this series for ages 8 and up. -Jody
This book had the usual: sex, lies, betrayal, murder. The character development was too lengthy and the book took too long to end. I didn't have the excitement of turning the page so I could read what would happen next. I will try another Laura Lippman book in the future to see what kind of a writer she really is. -Kelli
I always read Robb and I always enjoy the books. THANKLESS IN DEATH is no exception. I love the journey to catching the bad guy. In this case we know who the bad guy is and we still have the journey to catch him. This book was more about the case than the relationships in Eve and Roarke's personal lives, though there was plenty of that. As I always do a Robb book five gold stars. I love them all. -Debbie
Several months ago a Librarian friend said "you need to read THE HOUSE GIRL". "Yes it is in the pile," I answered. I wish I had not waited so long, however it is coming to paperback in early November so I guess it is okay I waited.
This was a really good book. I love the way it moved from 1852 Virginia to 2004 New York and I loved the journey to join the two parts. I would recommend this book and I think it is excellent book group material. I know I will be talking to the Jan's book group about it. -Debbie
This was the first book I have read by this author and it will not be the last one! It had all the elements that I like, great characters, heroic actions, suspense, surprising antagonists and lots of action.
The author did a wonderful job of slowly unraveling the mystery of this story and did a masterful job of leading you in one direction, just when you had it figured out, the plots twists, turns and your scratching your head thinking “what!?”
This story was set in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula among the Mayan ruins. If you love the history and archaeology of this area and you love a good mystery, this is a great read. -Jody
Yep, I'll admit it - I am a self proclaimed Sophie Kinsella fan. I have loved every book she has written and will read anything she releases without even glancing at the back of the book for the summary.
I'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER stood up to all of her other books.
Poppy is at a luncheon with friends celebrating her upcoming wedding when disaster strikes. She loses her engagement ring (a family heirloom) and her cell phone (and link to the world) is stolen. Amid this chaos, she finds a cell phone in the garbage can and sees it as a sign that she was meant to keep it. The phone's true owner, Sam, does not share her feelings and would like his PA's (who quit unexpectedly for a modeling job, hence the phone in the garbage can) phone returned to him. From there, Poppy and Sam are unavoidably tied together via voicemail, email and text message.
All I can say is that Sophie Kinsella books are fun books. They make me happy and I can't wait to get back to them and see what happens. I'VE GOT YOUR NUMBER had the feel of a great 'chick flick'. -Jill
This book is suitable for young readers 9 years and older.
The two main characters are 13 year old boys in a prep school in Maine, circa 1945. Jack is from Kansas and his father is a naval officer stationed nearby, Jack’s mother has recently passed away. Early is rather strange, his father was a VIP at the prep school and when he died of a heart attack Early was just left at the school.
The story is about a quest that the boys go on that includes pirates, volcanoes, catacombs, waterfalls, stars, bears and so much more. I will say no more, it is a must read and I place this one on the shelf next to the Little Prince by Antoine du Saint-Exupery. It is profound and will forever be etched into my psyche. (I know that is totally corny but I can think of no other way to say it) -Jody
Spring Awakening is the third book in the Summerset Abbey series. I just love a good trilogy. You really get to know the characters and follow their stories. Rowena, Victoria and Purdence are all dealing with the changes that war bring to life as well as understanding the new roles they must take on in a changing world. Gone are the days of leisurely picnics with friends on the grounds of Summerset. I would recommend (and have already) the Summerset Abbey series to anyone who loves historical fiction and/or romance. And now that all three books are out, the reader can quickly move through the books to find out what happens without delay. -Jill
Packed with bad guys, good guys, sexy guy, gorgeous woman, a little art history and a romp through France. I loved it. I read Roxanne St. Clair years ago and I don't know why I haven't kept up. Sharing a table with her at the Aussie Dinner at Convention reminded me to get back to her books. I am so glad I did and I have already started another of her books. I will tell you about it next month. -Debbie
This is a fantasy story about a mouse, named Despereaux, who was not very mouse like, he loved music and stories and believed in honor, bravery, courtesy, devotion and most of all he loved the Princess Pea.
This is also the story of a rat, Chiaroscuro, who was not very rat like in that he was enamored of light. There is a third story of a girl named Miggery Sow who wanted, but no one ever cared about what Miggery Sow wanted. Lastly this is the story of how three separate stories merge and become one story in the end.
The tone of the book is a very personal one, conversational, as if the reader is in the confidence of the narrator. The narrator often addresses the reader, such as “reader, can you imagine your own father not voting against your being sent to a dungeon full of rats? Can you imagine him not saying one word in your defense?” or “Reader, do you believe that there is such a thing as happily ever after? Or, like Despereaux, have you too, begun to question the possibility of happy endings?” The narrator is often asking the reader to imagine themselves in the place of the characters, or inviting the reader to display empathy for the plight of the characters, and encouraging the reader to have compassion. Sometimes the narrator suggests that the reader has a responsibility or a duty, as in this passage, “Poor Mig. What will become of her? You must, frightened though you may be, read on and see for yourself. Reader it is your duty,” to care about the all the characters in the book.
This story deals with broken hearts, persevering in the face of opposition, of honor, of courage of compassion and of forgiveness. An example, that I believe is true for most of us “That is, Pea was aware suddenly of how fragile her heart was, how much darkness was inside it, fighting, always, with the light.”
I think this is an excellent book for children. Despereaux is an unlikely hero, he is too small, his ears are too big, and he is rather sickly. There are many obstacles to overcome and doubts to be dealt with but Despereaux continues on because he believes in his quest. The antagonist in this story isn’t one that the author portrays as really bad, Roscuro is confused and has seen light and wants more. Miggery Sow is another character that you can’t hate; her circumstances have not treated her kindly. As the three stories come together there is compassion, empathy, and forgiveness for all which not only saves Roscuro and Miggery Sow, but Despereaux and Princess Pea as well.
I really liked this book. I thought it was wonderful the way the author invited the reader to put themselves in the place of the characters, or asked the reader to ponder some subject such as consequences, “Every action, reader, no matter how small, has a consequence. For instance, the young Roscuro gnawed on Gregory the Jailer’s rope, and because he gnawed on the rope, a match was lit in his face, and because a match was lit in his face, his soul was set afire,” which then led to the rest of the events in the story. Mostly I love the idea that instead of fostering hate, there is the idea of compassion, forgiveness, light and love. The question of happily ever after was addressed at the end and the author said “yes and no and that is as it should be, that is the way life is.” -Jody
Clair Bowen is a psychologist that works with women in abusive relationships. Joe Tanner is a detective in the L. A. County Sheriff's office assigned to cold cases. The husband of a victim calls Tanner periodicdally to check up on his wife's case to see if there are any new leads. After going over the same evidence time and time again, Tanner sees something that doesn't fit. That break ends up linking that murder to four other cold cased. Now one of Clair's patients is missing. Did her abusive soon to be ex-husband kidnap her? Is she still alive and will they find her before it is too late?
A good read, defintly worth your time. I hope that Rick brings these characters back in more books. -Linda