30. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Pamela

Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani, 332 pages, read by Pamela, on 01/26/2014

bravaThis is the second book in the Valentine trilogy.  Be sure to read Very Valentine first – lots of back story that’s necessary to make this book more enjoyable.  Valentine Roncalli is nearly on her own now that her grandmother has married and moved to Italy.  Her grandmother has teamed Valentine with her only brother, Alfred, in the family shoe business, Angelini Shoes.  The dynamics of this Italian family are hilarious and probably a lot like many families in America.  A family secret leads Valentine to Buenos Aires, where she meets a long lost cousin, who, not surprisingly, is a shoemaker, too.  There’s a love story woven throughout the pages of this novel as well as lots of family drama.  Very enjoyable.

29. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Pamela, Romance · Tags:

White Christmas by Diana Palmer, 365 pages, read by Pamela, on 01/28/2014

white christmasTwo romantic little Christmas stories to warm your heart – even after the holidays.

28. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Pamela · Tags:

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg, 229 pages, read by Pamela, on 01/20/2014

redbird christmasOswald Campbell has been given less than a year to live.  He moves from Chicago, Illinois to Lost River, Alabama hoping the warmer weather will ease his passing. Lost River is a quaint little town, full of all sorts of characters.  A little girl with a crippled leg and a lame little redbird bring all the town’s residents together to usher in a Christmas miracle.  The characters are endearing; the town happenings are charming.  This is a book about hope and friendship.

14. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

Zoo by James Patterson, 395 pages, read by Pamela, on 01/10/2014

zooAnimals are planning and systematically attacking humans all over the globe. The theory – HAC, Human Animal Conflct.  Jackson Oz has been pushng this theory for years.  Now that it’s happening and thousands are dying, it’s up to Oz and other scientists to figure out what’s causing it and stop it.

You won’t believe the solution to the world wide problem.

But, you will believe that when the U.S. government gets involved, there’s no way the solution will work.

What will happen to society if no one adheres to the solution, especially our government officials?

Instead of man against man, it’s man against nature. This book is a little out of the norm for Patterson, but interesting none the less.

03. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

Kiss the Girls by James Patterson, 481 pages, read by Pamela, on 12/30/2013

girlsIn Los Angeles, a reporter investigating a series of murders is killed. In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a beautiful medical intern suddenly disappears. In Washington D.C. Alex Cross is back to solve the most baffling and terrifying murder case ever. Two clever pattern killers are collaborating, cooperating, competing–and they are working coast to coast.

23. December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Christian, Fiction, Pamela · Tags:

A Christmas Gift for Rose by Tricia Goyer, 183 pages, read by Pamela, on 12/21/2013

roseRose turned her back on the man she loves after he assisted the Englisch during World War II—only to discover she’s an Englischer herself. Born in the midst of the hardships of The Great Depression, Rose grew up in Berlin, Ohio, in the arms of a loving Amish family. But she is overwhelmed by self-doubt when she learns that she was born Englisch and abandoned when her family moved West in search of work. When the man she loves leaves her behind, Rose is certain he left for good. Yet Rose discovers sometimes our greatest gifts are the ones we fear.

18. December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Drama, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Pamela

Prayers for Sales by Sandra Dallas, 305 pages, read by Pamela, on 12/17/2013

prayersSet in the high country of Colorado and during the Depression, this is a story of women’s strengths and friendships amid the harshest living conditions.  Hennie Comfort has lived in Middle Swan for seventy years.  She doesn’t sell prayers, but Nit Spindle, a young wife new to the area, wants to buy one for her little girl who passed away before they moved to Colorado.  This is the segue that Hennie needs to befriend Nit and over the course of the story they share their deepest hardships and secrets while visiting, quilting, and walking the hills in spring.  A few twists and turns in this story line kept me listening to this book.  It’s not all gloom and doom – lots of good things happen to the characters.  Recommended to those who like a little history woven within a story.

14. December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson, 449 pages, read by Pamela, on 12/10/2013

spiderA missing little girl named Maggie Rose . . . a family of three brutally murdered in the projects of Washington, D.C. . . . the thrill-killing of a beautiful elementary school teacher . . . a psychopathic serial kidnapper/murderer who is so terrifying that the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police cannot outsmart him – even after he’s been captured.

Gary Soneji wants to commit the crime of the century. Alex Cross is the brilliant homicide detective pitted against him. Jezzie Flanagan is the first female supervisor of the Secret Service who completes one of the most unusual suspense triangles in any thriller you have ever read.

Alex Cross and Jezzie Flanagan are about to have a forbidden love affair–at the worst possible time for both of them. Because Gary Soneji is playing at the top of his game. The latest of the unspeakable crimes happens in Alex Cross’s precinct. It happens under the noses of Jezzie Flanagan’s men. Now Alex Cross must face the ultimate test: How do you outmaneuver a brilliant psychopath?

02. December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Autobiographies, History, Memoirs, NonFiction, Pamela

I, Toto by Willard Carroll, 96 pages, read by Pamela, on 11/27/2013

I totoDuring the expansion of the Ventura Freeway in Los Angeles, Willard Carroll unearthed a leatherbound scrapbook from a site that was once a pet cemetery. To his amazement, its yellowing pages contained the rags-to-riches story of Terry, the cairn terrier who played Toto in the enduring film The Wizard of Oz. Reprinted here in its entirety, I, Toto traces the canine star’s tragic beginnings, her exhilarating film career, and her happy retirement in Southern California. Best of all, it offers the inside scoop on Toto’s signature role, her costars, and the making of The Wizard of Oz.

There are also some endearing passages about Terry’s (a.k.a. Toto) interaction with Clark Gable, Shirley Temple, and Spencer Tracy.  A book written from a dog’s point of view is not unique, but from this famous dog’s point of view it is unique.

Children and adults alike will like this book.  There are plenty of pictures to entertain the young ones while an adult reads the story.  It’s a very quick read and packed with lots of entertainment about a very special little dog.

01. December 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Pamela, Romance

Heartwishes by Jude Deveraux, 363 pages, read by Pamela, on 11/25/2013

heartwishesHistorian Gemma Ranford lands the job of a lifetime researching the Frazier family history purchased from a family estate in England.  Colin Frazier, the oldest Frazier son, is immediately attracted to Gemma and together they work to find the Heartwishes stone that’s been missing for over one hundred years.  A doctor, a lawyer, an international thief, and a host of nosy neighbors keep this romance moving right along.

26. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Pamela, Romance

Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani, 371 pages, read by Pamela, on 11/23/2013

very valentineThe Angelini Shoe Company is the setting for this Italian American tale which crosses generations and continents and brings to light the wants and needs of two women two generations apart.  Teodora Angelini, owner of one of the last family owned businesses in Greenwich Village, New York, has not told all to her granddaughter and apprentice, Valentine Roncalli.  The business is in trouble of going under and it falls to Valentine to bring the company into the 21st century with new designs that can be sold to the masses or allow her brother Alfred to sell the property to the highest bidder.  A trip to Italy lends itself to a romantic revelation for one of the main characters, and Valentine’s design for the shoe that could put the Angelini Shoe Company on the map finds itself in the hands of a master.  Family dynamics thread their way through this novel as in all Trigiani works.

I grew up in the shoe industry, so this book was of personal interest to me.  I must say some of the descriptions tended to get me bogged down at times and I couldn’t wait for the next exchange of dialogue.  I can’t wait to read the next installment in this series.

24. November 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Drama, Fiction, Mystery, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

House Rules by Jodi Picoult, 532 pages, read by Pamela, on 11/14/2013

house rulesWith Asperger’s syndrome, teenager Jacob Hunt is unable to have the same kind of social life other boys his age have. However, like other kids with AS, he has honed in on one particular interest: forensic analysis. He normally shows up to crime scenes and helps solve the case, but this time he is the prime suspect.  When a murder leads police to question Jacob, they interpret his AS symptoms as a sign of guilt and cast a very public spotlight on Jacob and his family.

The characters are well developed and intriguing to listen to.  Picoult is known to research her topic thoroughly which helped with understanding Asperger’s syndrome and the main character.  A very interesting story.

31. October 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Pamela, Romance

Secrets by Jude Deveraux, 310 pages, read by Pamela, on 10/30/2013

secretsHaving harbored an unrequited love for a man she met in childhood, Cassandra impulsively breaks an engagement to become the now-widowed man’s nanny, but realizes that her chance for winning his heart is threatened by dark secrets.

A cute little romance with lots of secrets and mystery sprinkled throughout.

28. October 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Pamela, Romance, Women's Fiction (chick lit)

Yankee Doodle Dixie by Lisa Patton, 294 pages, read by Pamela, on 10/24/2013

YankeeIn “Yankee Doodle Dixie” Leelee Satterfield returns to Memphis, Tennessee, hoping to start life over after the Vermont debacle of a year ago with ex-husband Baker.  After landing a job she thought she’d fit right into and oohing and aahing over a rock star, as well as going to New York to spend a weekend with him, Leelee finally decides to do what made her a success in Vermont.  She rejuvenates the Peach Blossom Inn.  And, just in time, she finds the ‘perfect’ chef to make her Memphis restaurant a Yankee Doodle Dixie success.

This sequel to “Whistlin’ Dixie in a nor’easter” does not disappoint.  The southern dialogue, Leelee’s best girlfriends, and the situations they get into keep up the drama that the first installment of this series delivered with wit and charm.  It’s a light and entertaining read with laughs throughout.

01. October 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Pamela

Whistin' Dixie In A Nor'Easter by Lisa Patton, 312 pages, read by Pamela, on 09/29/2013

whistlin dixieDripping with Southern charm and feisty conversation, this tale about a Southern belle and her husband operating a quaint Vermont inn is one laugh after another.  Leelee Satterfield, along with her two daughters, follows husband Baker to Vermont where his dream to operate a quaint inn and restaurant goes awry.  Leelee is left to run the inn by herself and does so with a fierce determination when facing a hefty mortgage and the desire to make the inn ‘a go’ on her own so she can eventually return to her beloved Memphis, Tennessee.

She reshapes the inn and restaurant in her own Southern style, with a little help from her Memphis girlfriends.  Leelee realizes she can handle just about anything the Vermonters can throw at her.

And, just so you know, the South does not have a monopoly on “characters”; you’ll discover that once you meet Helga, Rolf, Roberta, Jeb and George Clark.  These characters will keep you in stitches throughout the entire book.

I listened to the book on CD, but it’s hilarious whether you read or listen.

The next installment in the Dixie series is Yankee Doodle Dixie.  Check it out.

27. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Adult Books, Fiction, Mystery, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

12th of Never by James Patterson, 397 pages, read by Pamela, on 09/26/2013

12th of neverA week after giving birth, Lindsay Boxer is investigating two cases: a grisly murder where the main suspect is an NFL player and an eccentric professor who thinks his dreams of a murder are real. Will Detective Lindsay Boxer be pushed to breaking point? An eccentric professor walks into Lindsay’s homicide department to report a murder that hasn’t yet happened. A convicted serial killer wakes from a two-year coma. He says he’s ready to tell where the bodies are buried, but does he have a much more sinister plan in mind? Lindsay doesn’t have much time to stop a terrifying future from unfolding. But all the crimes in the world seem like nothing when she is suddenly faced with the possibility of the most devastating loss of her life.

16. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Humor, Mystery, Pamela

Murder with Peacocks by Donna Andrews, 332 pages, read by Pamela, on 09/14/2013

murder with peacocksHectic plans for three family weddings in one summer are made even more hectic by murder. A bridesmaid three times over, for her best friend, her sister-in-law to be, and her mother, Meg Langslow returns to the little Virginia town in which she grew up to help arrange the events.  I enjoyed getting to know the characters and watching as craziness ensued.  From beginning to end, this is a hilarious book.  I’m looking forward to the next installment.

16. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Pamela

11th Hour by James Patterson, 407 pages, read by Pamela, on 09/15/2013

11th hourWhen millionaire Chaz Smith is mercilessly gunned down, Lindsay Boxer discovers that the murder weapon is linked to the deaths of four of San Francisco’s most untouchable criminals. Then she’s called next to the most bizarre crime scene she’s ever witnessed: two bodiless heads elaborately displayed in the garden of a world-famous actor.

11. September 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Pamela

10th Anniversary by James Patterson, 395 pages, read by Pamela, on 09/04/2013

10th anniversaryDetective Lindsay Boxer’s long awaited wedding celebration becomes a distant  memory when she is called to investigate a horrendous crime: a badly injured  teenage girl is left for dead, and her newborn baby is nowhere to be found.  Lindsay discovers that not only is there no trace of the criminals, but that the victim may be keeping secrets as well. At the same time, Assistant District Attorney Yuki Castellano is prosecuting the biggest case of her life, a woman who has been accused of murdering her husband in front of her two young children. Yuki’s career rests on a guilty verdict, so when Lindsay finds
evidence that could save the defendant, she is forced to choose. Should she trust her best friend or follow her instinct? Lindsay’s every move is watched by her new boss, Lieutenant Jackson Brady, and when the pressure to find the baby begins interfering with her new marriage to Joe, she wonders if she’ll ever be
able to start a family.

28. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Drama, Fiction, Pamela, Romance

The great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 180 pages, read by Pamela, on 08/21/2013

The great Gatsby is one of the great classics of twentieth-century literature.gg

This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession, it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.