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Debra L. (countrylane) - Reviews

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10 lb Penalty
10 lb Penalty
Author: Dick Francis
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 71
Review Date: 7/12/2008


If you are a horse lover and you are not reading Dick Francis, now is the time to start. Politics, suspense and horse racing-what more could you ask for! Most horse racing fans are familiar with equestrian author, Dick Francis. This is another of his many tales. English Parliament setting and the dangers and corruption within the racing world make this a "hard to put down" story. I am slowly making my way through everything this author has written. This is one of his better ones. It is a good mystery, a different story angle and there are HORSES in it!


Accident
Accident
Author: Danielle Steel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 194
Review Date: 8/13/2008
Helpful Score: 1


For a romance, this is pretty gripping at times. This is a story of every mother's nightmare; a car full of teenagers have a tragic accident. Lives are shattered in one devastating moment. This book will cause you to reflect upon how you or your loved ones would react in a similar situation. A lot of angles here. The characters all have to face a world that has changed in a single moment. Some can't handle it, but those that do become stronger for the challenge. You may need your tissues in a few spots but I guarantee you will enjoy this book.


Ahab's Wife : Or, The Star-gazer
Ahab's Wife : Or, The Star-gazer
Author: Sena Jeter Naslund
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 110
Review Date: 12/19/2008
Helpful Score: 1


When, as a student, I was forced to read Melville's Moby Dick, I thought the book was the ultimate in torture. Now, after reading AHAB'S WIFE, I find myself wondering if the novel is still buried in my bookshelves. I may have to read it again!

Sena Jeter Naslund, the author of AHAB'S WIFE, was inspired by a brief passage in Moby Dick and her novel tells the same story of the sea intertwined with a life of a very special woman. The 19th Century was not kind to women, ethnics, the handicapped or the poor. It was a man's world. AHAB'S WIFE tells the story of a little girl growing up in hard times. It is a story of new beginnings and gut wrenching tragedy. This little girl, Una, is allowed to grow up free with her dreams intact. As she comes of age, Una seeks what she wants in the world and in the process, Una learns that life is cruel and unjust. AHAB'S WIFE is a novel about inequality and prejudice. It is also about spirituality and passion. Una is the Tom Sawyer of the Seven Seas! Her tale drifts from the lighthouse she grew up in to the whaler she contrived to sail on. This book is full of fanciful characters including sea captains, runaway slaves, dwarfs, lunatics and eccentric artists. This is a roller-coaster ride of epic proportions. Una is a woman living on the fringes of society. She learns that each time the world takes it also gives back. I loved this book-it is a fantastic tale. There are some shocking revelations, some unexpected twists to a story you thought you knew. I found the book to be entertaining and I have discovered a new heroine. A great way to remove yourself from depressing current events if only for awhile.


The Alienist
The Alienist
Author: Caleb Carr
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 84
Review Date: 7/28/2008


Widely acclaimed thriller, a New York Times bestseller, about a serial killer. This book is well researched and fits into the historical fiction category. An in-depth look at New York City in 1896; all the corruption, poverty, mobsters, houses of prostitution and gin mills that existed in that "Golden Era". Prior to the 20th Century, doctors who studied mental pathologies were known as "Alienists" (today we call them psychologists). This tale is about an unlikely team of sleuths: a reporter, a secretary, a police commissioner and an alienist. Together they set out to capture a macabre murderer who is preying on young boys. This book details a very real, dark side of child exploitation. It also presents a new concept for the time-the psychological profile of a killer. This novel reads like an old steam engine, I thought it was a bit of a struggle in the beginning to grasp the story, the parts are fragmented and the momentum is slow. But, once the mental profiling and forensics begin to evolve, the momentum picks up, this tale becomes gripping and hard to put down. I thought the ending was a bit of an anti-climax compared to the earlier chapters. Many topics for discussion-a good book.


All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1)
All the Pretty Horses (Border, Bk 1)
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 379
Review Date: 8/11/2008
Helpful Score: 9


This is good reading! A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER and NATIONAL CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD and after a few pages you will begin to see why this is such an acclaimed novel. This is a modern work of fiction set in the Texas badlands and Northern Mexico. Today it is still cattle ranching country and the region clings to the romance of the "Wild West". The story begins when a sixteen year old boy, devastated by the death of his grandfather and the inevitable sale of the family ranch, decides to run away to Mexico. He convinces his best friend to accompany him. They take only their saddle horses, light provisions and their cowboy skills. The boys discover that life isn't as kind or idyllic as they envisioned. There is a lot of conversation in this novel, lots of it in basic Spanish, which is not clearly translated. I think this was a clever ploy by the author to let the reader feel the confusion the two boys experience. It will not interrupt the flow of the story, it fact, it makes it come alive. There is factual description of ranching life and the desert regions with great attention to detail. At times funny, other times gut wrenching, this is the story about these two boys coming to grip with the reality of life, which is often cruel and unfair. The adventure is full of horses, gun play, bad guys and romance. Somewhere along the way, the boys become men. I really liked this book. I would highly recommend it for young adults. It is a great book about the rites of passage from childhood to adult hood.


Baby Mine (Silhouette Special Edition, No 728)
Baby Mine (Silhouette Special Edition, No 728)
Author: Erica Spindler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 7/3/2008


A very readable book is BABY MINE by Erica Spindler. A Silhouette Special Edition romance. A young couple wait forever, it seems, on the adoption list. But just as their names get to top of the list, the marriage is disintegrating. So, now, for appearances only, they plan to stay together just long enough to meet adoption requirements. Instead, they find themselves discovering what being a family is all about. A predictable outcome, but getting there was fun. Well written and not overly cutsie, an enjoyable little romance.


The Bear and the Dragon (Jack Ryan, Bk 10)
The Bear and the Dragon (Jack Ryan, Bk 10)
Author: Tom Clancy
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 170
Review Date: 8/5/2008
Helpful Score: 1


A classic Tom Clancy and another Jack Ryan: President Jack Ryan faces a world crisis. A assassination attempt on a high level politician sends anti-terrorism specialist John Clark to Moscow. This is a major conflict between two super powers; Russia and China. It took me a chapter or two to get the feel for this one, but after that, you would have had to pry my hands off this book. A close look at each country's military technology and intelligence. You military guys will love this book, but so will the ladies, I know I did. This is a thrilling story with a super plot and action on every page! It made me a Tom Clancy fan. I didn't realize I started at the rear end of a series! (this novel stands alone, don't feel you have to read the previous books) Needless to say-I went back and found the others and read them too. You will learn a lot about how politics, government and the military function-up front and behind the scenes! I wish Tom Clancy had been my history teacher!


Belinda
Belinda
Author: Anne Rice, Anne Rampling
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 241
Review Date: 8/4/2008
Helpful Score: 6


A provocative book. Intensely erotic. The novel is about Belinda. She is 16, a child, with a woman's desires. This is a story about forbidden passion. Anne Rice turns up the heat as soon as you start to read. Belinda wants Jeremy Walker, a mature artist who illustrates children's books. Jeremy is accustomed to painting and photographing little girls but Belinda is no child. The author plays to your sense of justice. I felt as guilty as Jeremy as I turned the pages and just as tangled in the seduction. A shocking series of events remove all traces of innocence from them both. I read this book because I was an Anne Rice fan but this book stands on it's own merit, a compelling story.


Bless The Beasts And Children
Bless The Beasts And Children
Author: Glendon Swarthout
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 7/30/2008


Thirty years have past since I first read this book. I still remember it. That alone should tell you how much impact a book can have. This is a must read book for all young adults. One of those special books that you must read before you die.


The Brethren
The Brethren
Author: John Grisham
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 1035
Review Date: 8/5/2008
Helpful Score: 2


John Grisham is a master storyteller. This book is a romp in prison. Three corrupt judges, doing time, dream up a brilliant extortion scam. This book will have you rolling in the floor laughing at times. But these good old boys are deadly serious as they discover the perfect victim! A very entertaining book! There are quite a few surprises here. You will be grinning or gasping with each chapter. If you haven't read this one yet, don't wait any longer!


Butcher Bird
Butcher Bird
Author: Dean Ing
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 7/29/2008


This is an excellent sci-fi story. A modern setting: Across the Middle East men are dropping dead, their brains broiled inside their skulls. US Intelligence is aware that someone, somewhere has built a hunter/killer aircraft. The assassination machine is on the loose. From the very first page you will be caught up in the hunt to destroy the BUTCHER BIRD. Very suspenseful reading!


Caitlyn McGregor (Frontier Women, Bk 1)
Caitlyn McGregor (Frontier Women, Bk 1)
Author: Kitt Brown
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 7/27/2008


This book captures the spirit of the early Americans as they dream of settling the west. This is the story of a strong willed young woman and her plans to homestead in Kentucky. By chance she is paired with a "greenhorn" gentleman from the East. Together they struggle to make their way down the Ohio River. Their trip is a tedious journey of Indian attacks and savage wilderness during the days of the American Revolution. This is the first book in the FRONTIER WOMEN SAGA and it is an entertaining portrayal of life in that era.


The Caves Of Steel
The Caves Of Steel
Author: Isaac Asimov
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 7/29/2008


Classic Isaac Asimov. If you like science fiction, you should be reading this author's works. This is a fast paced story about a detective and his partner, a robot. Together they are investigating the murder of a scientist. The very man that developed this same robot. I saw shades of this story in the movie I ROBOT, so if that movie appealed to you, this book will too. This is the book the movie was taken from-as almost always, the book is better. More in depth character and plot development. This is an older book that may have been overlooked by the younger generation now reading sci-fi. I would recommend this book as a great starting point for this author.


Communion: A True Story
Communion: A True Story
Author: Whitley Strieber
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 107
Review Date: 8/4/2008
Helpful Score: 7


If you are interested in UFOs and aliens and you have not read this book, I have to wonder why! This is the best book ever written on alien abduction. Very sincere and sensibly written. It will scare the hell out you! Now that there is a US astronaut in the news claiming that aliens and UFOs exist and are regularly visiting the earth, this book is worth taking a look at. This book was a New York Times bestseller and very controversial at the time. But, maybe.......just maybe, this author is telling the truth! It gave me chills but I couldn't put it down, a very good book.


The Corrections
The Corrections
Author: Jonathan Franzen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 323
Review Date: 1/11/2009
Helpful Score: 1


With all the awards this book has won, I don't have to tell you it is a well written novel. I will tell you it is a great story. An entertaining tale of a middle aged woman, Enid, who lives in the Midwest. Enid brings her family together for one more Christmas before her aging husband, Alfred, succumbs to Parkinson's disease. Poor Alfred is loosing his mind, son Chip is a wanna be screen writer/punk, daughter Denise is trying to recover from a failed marriage, and son Gary is the corporate stooge with a dysfunctional family. This is a story about everyone's family. Everything that is wrong in American and everything that is right. This is a funny, satirical look at us!


A Cuppa Tea and an Aspirin
A Cuppa Tea and an Aspirin
Author: Helen Forrester
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 6/14/2008


Written like a biography, this is the story of a woman for whom each day is a struggle. Set in the 30's near the Liverpool docks in England, this story takes you into one of the worst slums in Europe. Historically correct and vivid. This is a poignant novel of fortitude in the face of unimaginable deprivation. An uplifting tale written with understanding and honesty. You will enjoy this book, I promise. It is a rare gem.


Dark Horse (Elena Estes, Bk 1)
Dark Horse (Elena Estes, Bk 1)
Author: Tami Hoag
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 451
Review Date: 7/12/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Another mystery by Tami Hoag and this one delivers more than some of her earlier books. This novel is about the dark side of horse racing. An ex-cop is trying to recover from from being shot, the wounds have healed but the psychological scars have not. She seeks refuge on a quite horse farm only to be asked to help a child find her missing older sister. This is a classic race against time to save lives but with unusual twists along the way. The author's writing is improving-this is her best I think, it is a great thriller with good character development and well researched on the racing side. This book will excite mystery fans and horse lovers alike!


Dark Paradise
Dark Paradise
Author: Tami Hoag
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 435
Review Date: 7/11/2008
Helpful Score: 2


A murder mystery set in Montana. The usual cast of handsome cowboys, mysterious business owners and colorful western characters. What makes this a bit different is the story line. NOT the typical who done it. This best selling author has a good sense of humor. She will have you rolling on the floor laughing and then have goose bumps crawling up your back on the next page. A must read!


Debt of Honor (Jack Ryan, Bk 6)
Debt of Honor (Jack Ryan, Bk 6)
Author: Tom Clancy
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 243
Review Date: 8/5/2008
Helpful Score: 3


Another great Tom Clancy novel. This story begins in Tokyo with the murder of an American woman. From that chilling beginning, this book will have you wondering about future of our country. This book is full of the intricate politics that drive the US; financial, political, military and personal greed and quest for power. Very in tune with today's current events in the world. Another cliffhanger from a master. A huge read that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the climax........and deja vu.


The Deepest Sea
The Deepest Sea
Author: Charles Barnitz
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 7/5/2008


I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. I bought it expecting a science fiction tale and instead discovered a very good historical fiction set in 792 A.D. This is the story of Bran Snorrison, a Viking carver and his journey across the ocean and continents of the 18th century. This is a story of magic and myths and the developing Christian beliefs. A wonderful, entertaining tale you can't help but enjoy!


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