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Book reviews from ccqdesigns

Alabama United States

Number of reviews: 25
Average review: star star star star

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Asta In the Wings


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

This is an amazing little book. I finished it in one sitting because once I got past the first 10 pages, I just couldn't put it down. Even though it deals with a sad and horrible subject of child abuse, It does it in a way that will bring smiles and laughter to your face. The strength and spirit that Asta has will give you a renewed believe in the spirit of survival.

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The Bastard Of Istanbul


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

This book was a complete surprise to me. Nothing prepared me for the story that I found inside. I found two wonderful quirky families, one Turkish in Istanbul and one Armenian in San Fransisco. How their lives, histories, loves, anxieties, past and present were all tied together was extremely complicated. More than most of them would ever know. This is a multi-generational story of secrets and lies, anger and recriminations. And this is a wonderful, colorful, intense story that let me see, hear ...more This book was a complete surprise to me. Nothing prepared me for the story that I found inside. I found two wonderful quirky families, one Turkish in Istanbul and one Armenian in San Fransisco. How their lives, histories, loves, anxieties, past and present were all tied together was extremely complicated. More than most of them would ever know. This is a multi-generational story of secrets and lies, anger and recriminations. And this is a wonderful, colorful, intense story that let me see, hear and smell Istanbul as each family member moved through it. I highly recommend this book for those who like a complicated, intricate multicultural read.

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Dragon House


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

I first encountered John Shors when I read his novel Beneath a Marble Sky. This new novel, Dragon House, has stepped up John’s impressive writing skills another notch. Dragon House is a love story; the love of a daughter for her father, a sister for her brother, a grandmother for her granddaughter and soldiers for their country. And it is a story of the courage it takes to follow your heart and protect the ones you love.The Story: After Iris’ father dies, she decides to go to Vietnam and complete his dream of opening a center for street children there even though he was absent for most of her life and she is still very angry. He was always trying to run from his demons and she felt from her. Iris’ good friend Noah is just home from Iraq and running from demons of his own and agrees to go with Iris. What follows is a painful, slow process of acclimation to a new country, to finding out whom her father really was and if this is really what Iris wants to do. In the process Iris finds Mai and Minh, a brother and sister living under a bridge that are forced to work for an opium addict, Qui and Tam, a grandmother and granddaughter living on the streets and Sahn the beat cop and Vietnam veteran who hates Americans.My Take: John Shors description of Vietnam, of Saigon and its people brought all my senses alive while reading. I could see and touch and smell the market and the city streets. I could hear the traffic noises and all the scooters zipping past. I could feel the touch of Mai as she brushed up against me and asked if I would like to buy a fan. And my heart went out to all the street children and all the empty stomachs and honest people that try every day to help. And I cried in anger at every crooked official and opium addict and street vendor that expected a bribe. And it brought back all the memories. I have been to these countries, I have seen these children, and I have held their hands and bought their fans and laughed with them and prayed for them. And all I can say is that John Shors has written an amazing book that I highly recommend.

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A Change In Altitude


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

All of us have defining moments in our lives, moments that can change the direction we are traveling in small or large ways. Sometimes we notice those moments and sometimes we don't. And sometimes those moments are so monumental, that they are almost impossible to find a way through them at all. This is the story that Anita Shreve has woven; one woman, one man, one moment and their struggle to find a way through that moment.This is a quiet story, a tender story, a thoughtful story, ...more All of us have defining moments in our lives, moments that can change the direction we are traveling in small or large ways. Sometimes we notice those moments and sometimes we don't. And sometimes those moments are so monumental, that they are almost impossible to find a way through them at all. This is the story that Anita Shreve has woven; one woman, one man, one moment and their struggle to find a way through that moment.This is a quiet story, a tender story, a thoughtful story, not one to rush through. It will not keep you up at night to see who done it, but it will seep into your heart and you will remember those moments in your life that changed you, that turned your path.

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Glassblower Of Murano


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

This one has it all, history, mystery, romance, art, travel, what more could you want! A nice read that flows well, with two stories, one in the 17th century and one in the 20th century that bounce back and forth seamlessly between generations of the same family. And, since I have been to Venice, it was like being back there again and walking the streets, visiting the churches and seeing the beautiful glass again. A very enjoyable book for all.

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The House On Tradd Street


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

I love ghost stories, and this was no exception. This is a quick, light read with a little mystery, a little romance and lots of ghosts. A nice book to enjoy here at the end of summer in the south.

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Where the River Ends


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

Another wonderful book by Charles Martin. This story of enduring love, the heartbreak of cancer, and the power to endure anything will keep you spellbound and cheering and crying all at the same time.

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Nibble & Kuhn


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

Great little book, read it in one day. I love the author's style and will have to find other books written by him.

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The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

This is the best one of the trilogy. Salander is on trial for her freedom and the SIS is out to get her. How can she win her freedom with the secret police as her foe? It is a nail biting thriller with a few quirky "Really?" moments, but they don't hurt the story at all. Just hang on for a great ride.

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The Physick Book Of Deliverance Dane


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

I loved this book, it was a Nancy Drew mystery for adults with magic thrown in. And I love magic!I learned a lot about the Salem witch trials and the area around Salem, I had a lot of fun and it was a great read for the cold rainy weather we have been having. This is a great book for anyone over 16.

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The Solitude Of Prime Numbers


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

Thanks to Goodreads for this first reads book. It was a good book with detailed characters whose lives were painful and lonely. There were times I felt I was reading a YA novel instead of adult fiction and it was an easy read that I finished in one day. There were places in the story that would have been improved by inclusion of details and other places where too much detail bogged it down. But altogether it was a great first effort for this young Italian author.

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The Vanishing Act Of Esme Lennox


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

This is one of the best books I have read in many months. probably this year. Esme is sent to an asylum on her 16th birthday for her hysterics and for what her sister tells the doctors to get her out of the way. And remains there for 61 years just to keep her out of the way of the family sins. When the asylum closes, her great niece is called to come take her home and family secrets start to unravel. This was a system in England in a time when a husband or father could just lock up a wife or dau ...more This is one of the best books I have read in many months. probably this year. Esme is sent to an asylum on her 16th birthday for her hysterics and for what her sister tells the doctors to get her out of the way. And remains there for 61 years just to keep her out of the way of the family sins. When the asylum closes, her great niece is called to come take her home and family secrets start to unravel. This was a system in England in a time when a husband or father could just lock up a wife or daughter that was not wanted or was acting as expected. And they would be left there forever. This is a must read. The story is revealed in pieces from the 4 different characters at different times in their lives through memories, dreams and current times. There is a constant tension to the writing, a constant tension to the story.

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The Turnaround


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

This book was not what I expected at all. It was not the usual murder mystery, but the story of how one afternoon, 6 hotheaded teenagers and drug and alcohol can change many lives forever. The story follows the families of everyone involved in "the incident". It exposes hatred, anger, love and immense sacrifice. It was only the ending that felt wrong to me. It felt unnatural and forced like the author got to a certain point and just wasn't sure what to do from there.

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The Tenth Gift, a Novel


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

What a magnificent book. I have traveled from Cornwall to Morocco, from the present day to 1625 and found love, hate, religious zeal, pirates, puritans, Muslims and Christians. This is a fascinating tale of parallel lives of two different times and lives connected by history and passion. It starts out slow, but hang in there. The ride is well worth it.

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The Help


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

Wow, what a book. I am from the south, and I was 10 years old in 1963. I remember the Sears where my mother worked having a Colored and White Bathroom and a Colored and White water fountain. I remember the outside door at the theater that said colored and led to the balcony and our delight when they finally opened it up to everyone and us teenagers could sneak up there.I was not one of the kids that had a full time maid or nanny that raised them, but I had friends that did. What thi ...more Wow, what a book. I am from the south, and I was 10 years old in 1963. I remember the Sears where my mother worked having a Colored and White Bathroom and a Colored and White water fountain. I remember the outside door at the theater that said colored and led to the balcony and our delight when they finally opened it up to everyone and us teenagers could sneak up there.I was not one of the kids that had a full time maid or nanny that raised them, but I had friends that did. What this book did for me is fill in the gaps that I never knew. I saw what was going on, I heard it, but I never really understood it, and my parents were more like Skeeter, people were just people. Yes, we had a housekeeper that came once a week because my mother had to work full time. She cleaned our house, ate at our table, cooked our dinner that night, and we visited her family at the holidays and took them a turkey at thanksgiving and wrapped presents at Christmas.But I wonder now what else we did that I was not aware of. How did we treat her and others that was considered "normal" then? Were we guilty of the prejudice and segregation-ism that is portrayed in this book? I have to say probably because we were a product of our time. I can only say that I am no longer that product. Everyone should read this book. Everyone. It is so true, correct and real it could have been my town or any town in the south in 1963.

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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

I absolutely loved this book. I picked it to read on a plane to Ecuador, and read it the whole way there and finished it the second day of our vacation. It didn't seem like a 600 page book at all, and I was kicking myself that I didn't pack the second and third book too. What a great mystery. Even though I had some things figured out early on, there were a lot of things I never figured out.

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Skinny Dip


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

This was a great fun read. A who dun it with a quirky cast of characters that can't win for loosing. Folks you just love to hate and end up liking in spite of yourself. If you want to just have a plain old good time, pick up one of Carl's books and enjoy!

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The Bricklayer


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

I received an ARC of The Bricklayer from Bookbrowse.com and I am so glad I did. From the first page to the last I was completely engaged with the characters and the story line and at 390 pages this one is no wimp. And still, it ended too soon. There were so many twists and turns in this thriller that I could not figure out what was happening next and I am the queen of figuring out the ending by the middle of the book. As an added bonus, I have fallen in love with Steve Vail, the Bricklayer, and ...more I received an ARC of The Bricklayer from Bookbrowse.com and I am so glad I did. From the first page to the last I was completely engaged with the characters and the story line and at 390 pages this one is no wimp. And still, it ended too soon. There were so many twists and turns in this thriller that I could not figure out what was happening next and I am the queen of figuring out the ending by the middle of the book. As an added bonus, I have fallen in love with Steve Vail, the Bricklayer, and am so thrilled that this is just the first book in a series. I can’t wait for the second book to come out. So you better get this one on your wish list quick because you cannot have my copy!

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This Is Where I Leave You


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

Judd walks in on his wife in bed with his boss, then his father dies and his dying wish is that his family sits shiva for 7 days. And as with most families, spending 7 days together with spouses, girlfriends, family secrets and old hurts can be more than a little interesting. This was a wonderful book that was funny, sad, creative, crazy and kept me interested right up to the end. And it ended too soon for me.

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The Strangely Beautiful Tale Of Miss Percy Parker


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

A wonderful story of angels, ghosts, demons, ghouls and the humans who live with them. A very enjoyable read for all ages.

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Little Bee


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

The most powerful book I have read in a long time. I recommend it to everyone. The unusual rhythm to the writing is perfect, creative, insightful and the book touched my heart in ways I never expected.

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Hotel On the Corner Of Bitter and Sweet


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

I just finished this wonderful book and immediately went to look up what other books Mr. Ford had written. I was surprised that this was his first novel! This novel was not the quality of a beginner, but of a seasoned successful writer that I want to read more of immediately! His love story of Henry and Keiko in a time of war and prejudice, when Chinese and Japanese could not love, took me away to a time and place and made me want to dig through the basement of the Panama Hotel myself. I cannot ...more I just finished this wonderful book and immediately went to look up what other books Mr. Ford had written. I was surprised that this was his first novel! This novel was not the quality of a beginner, but of a seasoned successful writer that I want to read more of immediately! His love story of Henry and Keiko in a time of war and prejudice, when Chinese and Japanese could not love, took me away to a time and place and made me want to dig through the basement of the Panama Hotel myself. I cannot say enough about this book. It has just become my favorite read of the year, hands down.

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Death At La Fenice


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

OK, I admit, this one I put down. After about 30 pages, it just wasn't catching my interest and with so many great books lying around waiting for me to read, I just couldn't see wasting my time on one that didn't interest me. Oh well.

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Netherland


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

I gave this book 50 pages to stop boring me, but it never did. The story was steeped in the minutia of each and every day of a man's life in New York City after his wife left him and moved back to London. He played Cricket on a team several days a week. And repeat..... I just don't have the patience to wait for something interesting to catch me.

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Crazy For the Storm


Reviewed on Oct 6 2010

I don't usually read memoirs, but this was a win from Book Browse. Crazy for the Storm read more like a fiction novel. Norman was 11 when he, his Dad and his Dad's girlfriend were in his Dad's plane and crashed in the mountains. Norman was the only survivor and had to save his own life. This is his story. It is a wonderfully written book and it is hard to believe that it is his first book and that it is a true story. I would highly recommend this book.

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