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Recent customer book reviews and opinions on books

Trying to decide on what books to read next? We've got some ideas for you! Biblio.com customers and booksellers share their thoughts and opinions on books they've read and enjoyed -- or not...


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Nothing Short Of Wondrous

by Regina Scott


On Oct 23 2020, anonymous said:

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Nothing Short of Wondrous by Regina Scott is the second book in American Wonders Collection. It can be read as a standalone if you have not read A Distance Too Grand. I thought Nothing Short of Wondrous was well-written with developed characters. The story moved along at a gentle pace. The author certainly did her research for this book. She painted such a vivid picture of Yellowstone National Park. I could envision the park in my mind with its numerous natural wonders along with flora and fauna. Regina Scott really made the park come alive for me. The story was intriguing. The Calvary were working with limited resources to protect such a large amount of property. It was hard to believe that people were out to destroy such beautiful animals and natural wonders (like the paint pots). I learned some interesting facts about Yellowstone National Park. This book got me curious to learn more. I liked the action that kept the story moving forward to its delightful conclusion. The romance was nicely done. I liked that it did not dominate the story. We get to see people get to know each other while enjoying each other's company. They learn to trust each other as well as respect each other while they fell in love. Lt. William Prescott had an issue in his past that drives him to be a better man. I think it enhanced the story without adding drama to the relationship. I liked the various characters in the story. Alberta, the cook, was one of my favorites along with Kate's curious son, Danny. I look forward to the next tale in the American Wonders Collection. Nothing Short of Wondrous has friendship, mystery, suspense, romance, action, faith, and family all woven together into one interesting tale. Nothing Short of Wondrous is a multifaceted historical novel with perilous paint pots, a curious kid, a problematic poacher, besieged bison, a chivalrous Calvary officer, and an impressive inn owner.

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The Light Of Western Stars

by Zane Grey


On Oct 22 2020, anonymous said:

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The Light of Western Stars is one of my favorite Zane Grey romances. And when easterner Madeline Hammond gets off the train near midnight and things begin to happen right away, you know that this is going to be a good one. Gene Stewart, the other half of the romance is a man's man with the traditional western values but who has at first kind of lost his way because of drinking too much. But that gets straightened out through the love of a woman. The cast of characters includes some cowboys, old time cowboys, you will never forget. There's an animal, a magnificent horse, in the story; an automobile, driven by a cowboy who loves to go fast and scare his passengers, and this plays a vital role in the climax of the story as only ZG can describe and tell it. This is another of his books which take place in contemporary times, written when these events were playing themselves out along the US-Mexico border. This is another of his books which is told primarily from the woman's perspective and would indeed appeal to the female reader; it's NOT a bang, bang shoot'em up with street duels and impossible violence, but realistic characters and events. It's a great book for anyone to enjoy, a historical romance set in the West; not a "western". Buy it.

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The Rainbow Trail

by Zane Grey


On Oct 22 2020, anonymous said:

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The Rainbow Trail brings closure to the novel Riders of the Purple Sage. It answers the question, What happened to Jane and Lassiter? But more importantly, it opens up a new series of events and characters that a reader can identify with and become emotionally involved with. Zane Grey knew how to get the reader hooked and then keep him on the line to the finish, just like he knew how to fish for world record sharks in the ocean. With the back drop being the desert and plateau and canyon country of Utah and Arizona which Zane Grey could so vividly and memorable describe in words no other author has managed to emulate, he tells a story so unique and compelling that I am sure when it was published no one could resist to read it, especially since it brought Riders to a conclusion. Standing alone, it holds up just as well today. A defrocked minister comes west after hearing the story of Fay Larkin, and Jane and Lassiter, from two of his parishioners and decides to hunt for them, and in so doing find himself and his God. The twists and turns he faces in his search make for good mystery and good romance. I proudly recommend it.

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The Christmas Table

by Donna Vanliere


On Oct 17 2020, anonymous said:

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The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere is part of the Christmas Hope series. Lauren's story started in The Christmas Town and I recommend reading it prior to beginning The Christmas Table. All the books in this series are a delight to read. I thought The Christmas Table was well-written with steady pacing. The characters are realistic and relatable. They have fears, joys, heartaches, and tribulations just like real people. This is a dual timeline novel that takes readers between 1972 and 2012. Joan Creighton along with her husband, John and their two children are looking forward to the holidays. John is determined to build the family a dining room table out of walnut he found in an old barn. While Joan tackles the recipes given to her by her mother. Their lives are upended when Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer. Things begin to look grim for the family when John meets someone who gives him hope. Lauren Mabrey discovers she is pregnant which thrills her and her husband, Travis. She wants to make sure that her child has a warm, loving home to grow up in. Her friends from Glory's Place begin the makeover under bossy Miriam's direction. Lauren finds handwritten recipe cards in a dining table that she purchased. They contain detailed instructions along with family memories. Lauren wants to return the recipe cards to their rightful owner and sets out to find them based on clues in the stories. I like how the author tied the two stories together. We see Lauren learning to cook using the cards and enjoying the special tales on each one. The ending was touching. Some of the recipes from the book are included at the end. I am looking forward to trying Aunt Dee Dee's Peanut Butter Fudge (I have been trying to find the right recipe for years). The Christmas Table would make a charming Christmas movie. I enjoyed reading The Christmas Table which is a heartwarming, faith filled tale.

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The Secret Of Quaking Asp Cabin and Other Stories

by Zane Grey


On Oct 17 2020, anonymous said:

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What makes this book significant is the fact it contains two of the most famous of Zane Grey's short stories--The Secret of Quaking Asp Cabin, other wise known as The Mystery of Quaking Asp Cabin and Blue Feather, the Indian story he learned after many years from the wife of a trading post owner on the Navajo Reservation. These two stories make this collection worth having. Two of the other three stories were printed in magazines in the early years of Zane Grey's career, the last is being published for the first time. But all in all this is a book worth owning if you like Zane Grey any at all, and if you have never read one of his novels, the first two I mentioned should be enough to get you to buy. I should also add, The Secret of Quaking Asp Cabin is based on true facts Zane Grey learned, so it is not something he "made up". After all, truth is stranger than fiction and the basis for most, if not all, of his greatest works come from people he met or places he had been as he searched out the lonely trails and isolated vistas of America.

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The Ranger and Other Stories

by Zane Grey


On Oct 17 2020, anonymous said:

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This book contains four of Zane Grey's best short novels, all of which were published in the 1920's in the magazine market, and collected here in one volume to give the public the opportunity to read the best of the best. No one knew the Old West like Zane Grey. He traveled extensively over the region, learning the lay of the land, and the tales spun by the old timers who were still around. He got to know the land and the people who settled it, and out of that relationship came these stories--The Ranger, about a Texas ranger who risks his life to rescue the woman he loves; Canyon Walls, about an outlaw wanting to go straight who finds a family who will take him in, with no questions asked; Avalanche, about two brothers who fight over a beautiful girl who.....; and From Missouri, about an Eastern female school teacher who ventures West with unrealized dreams on her mind. These are the "bread and butter" type of stories Zane Grey wrote, and the female readership of the day couldn't get enough. It was the fact over 50 percent of his readership were women, and he didn't disappoint as many of the lead characters in his books were women, strong women, women who knew their minds, and had the nerve to back it up with action. Get this book, and read it for yourself. If you have never read a Zane Grey novel before, these stories are a great introduction to him.

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Roaring U P Trail, The

by Zane Grey


On Oct 17 2020, anonymous said:

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The Roaring U.P. Trail was the title used when Blue Book Magazine published this novel in serial form. It was shortened to just The U. P. Trail when Harper published it as a book later. This is the British edition, abridged. What can one say about the greatest undertaking ever devised by man--the construction of the transcontinental railroad in the 1860's--and its exposition in story form by the greatest writer of the American West, Zane Grey. Historically accurate from beginning to end, descriptively unmatched by any other writer, and filled with characters enough to fill a mini-series. Of course, there is love found and love lost and then found again; it wouldn't be Zane Grey without that! But beyond the romance, the reader will find the heroism, the strength, the men and women with the kind of fortitude and vision that it took to make this country what it is today. And yes, there is a tragic side to the book. But sadly, the majority of which was excised out about the passing of a life-style; the passing of a people--the Indian; for the progress of the railroad with its technology and its ability to bring huge numbers of people into the country meant the destruction of the Indian. This receives little attention in this abridgement. I would still recommend this book for anyone--historian, or pleasure reader. Also available in hardback is the unexpurgated version, Union Pacific, by Five Star Western which came out in 2009 telling the story the way Zane Grey "really" wrote it before Ripley Hitchcock, Zane Grey's editor at Harper's did his usual deletions and additions. Thankfully, this was the last book he edited of Zane Grey's.

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Zane Grey Western Collection Vol 1


On Oct 17 2020, anonymous said:

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Zane Grey considered himself 1/16th Indian as the Zane side of the family had married Indians in the 18th century. So he had a fondness for the red man and it shows in such works as The Vanishing American and others. Yaqui is the tale of that tribe of Indians and how they were mistreated by the Mexican government and removed from their tribal lands--the mountains of Mexico--and forced into the jungles causing many of them to die from the climate. It was Zane Grey's belief the Yaqui were descendants of the Aztecs. This tribe were made slaves and forced to work in the fields. There is one lieutenant, Perez, who is particularly harsh and sadistic and Yaqui plans his revenge on him, and that makes for one of the most dramatic and memorable endings there ever was to a story. You have to read it to believe it. Great story by Zane Grey. The Mystery of Quaking Asp Cabin can also be found under the title of The Secret of Quaking Asp Cabin or just as Quaking Asp Cabin. The story is based on true facts ZG learned, so it is not something he "made up". Afterall, truth is stranger than fiction and the basis for most, if not all, of his greatest works come from people he met or places he had been as he searched out the lonely trails and isolated vistas of America. It was first published in 1954 in American Weekly some 15 years after Zane Grey died. It can also be found in these two collections--Blue Feather and Other Stories; and Tenderfoot, a Belmont Tower paperback from the mid 1970's.

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Ruth

by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell


On Oct 15 2020, oldlibrarybook said:

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This book should have been entitled, "Saint Ruth." After her youthful dalliance with a handsome, rich Mr. Bellingham, who seduced her when she was at a desperate low ebb in her life, Ruth's behavior was absolutely flawless. When Bellingham deserts a pregnant Ruth, she is saved by Mr. Benson, a minister of the Dissenter persuasion, and his sister. This is a lovely, old-fashioned story--familiar, yet unique--exploring the nature of sin and redemption and providing great insights into the role of women in early 19th century England.

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Murder At the Pta

by Hollis Lee


On Oct 12 2020, anonymous said:

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Murder at the PTA by Lee Hollis is the debut of A Maya and Sandra Mystery series. This book takes the time to establish the main characters and their families. We get to know Sandra Wallage, the wife of United States Senator Stephen Wallage. She has two teenage sons, Jack and Ryan. Sandra was just elected the PTA president at South Portland High School in Maine. She is used to being in the spotlight, but it is not something that she enjoys. Maya Kendrick is a former police officer turned private investigator after her husband was convicted in a corruption scandal. Maya has a sixteen year old daughter, Vanessa who still believes her father is innocent. Maya has a PI business with friend, Frances Turner who is currently eight months pregnant. This leaves Maya carrying the load at the office. It turns out that Maya and Sandra went to high school together. The story deals with scandals, teenage drama, money problems, a boy with a drug problem, and a death. The mystery is not complex. There are a couple of suspects and good clues. I found it a cinch to solve this whodunit. I would have liked a more challenging mystery. I found the story easy to read, but I wish the pacing had been peppier. I liked seeing the changes in the two women as the story progressed. The ending was humorous. I am curious to see what happens next. Murder at the PTA is a cute cozy with thrilling tittle-tattle, a sexy senator, a pregnant partner, chatting at cooking class, private eye practice, and forming friendships.

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