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

One Summer by David Baldacci, 337 pages, read by Pamela, on 08/25/2013

one summerJack, terminally ill and preparing to say goodbye to his family, has a miraculous recovery after his wife is killed in a car accident and struggles to reunite his family at her childhood home on the South Carolina oceanfront.

This was a great story, easy to read, but a clincher toward the end.

28. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

9th Judment by James Patterson, 355 pages, read by Pamela, on 08/20/2013

9th judgmentA young mother and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down while returning to their car in the garage of a shopping mall. There are no witnesses, and Detective Lindsay Boxer is left with only one shred of evidence: a cryptic message scrawled across the windshield in blood red lipstick.

The same night, the wife of A-list actor Marcus Dowling walks in on a cat burglar who is about to steal millions of dollars worth of precious jewels. In just seconds there is an empty safe, a lifeless body, and another mystery that throws San Francisco into hysteria.

Lindsay spends every waking hour working with her partner Rich–and her desire for him threatens to tear apart both her marriage and the Women’s Murder Club. Before Lindsay and her friends can piece together either case, one of the killers forces Lindsay to put her own life on the line–but is it enough to save the city?

28. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

8th Confession by James Patterson, 361 pages, read by Pamela, on 08/16/2013

8th confessionWhen a preacher with a message of hope for the homeless is found brutally executed, reporter Cindy Thomas knows the story could be huge. Probing deeper into the victim’s history, she discovers he may not have been as saintly as everyone thought…

Rich, beautiful, and powerful, Isa and Ethan Bailey were living in the spotlight as San Francisco’s perfect couple–until they are found dead in their luxurious home.

As the hunt for two criminals tests the skills of the entire Women’s Murder Club, sparks begin to fly between Detective Lindsay Boxer and her partner, Rich Conklin, making it difficult to stay focused on the case. The electrifying new chapter in the Women’s Murder Club series, THE 8TH CONFESSION serves up the mile-a-minute twists that only James Patterson can deliver.

12. August 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Mystery, Pamela

7th Heaven by James Patterson, 376 pages, read by Pamela, on 08/09/2013

7th heavenA terrible fire in a wealthy suburban home leaves a married couple dead and Detective Lindsay Boxer and her partner Rich Conklin searching for clues. And after California’s golden boy, Michael Campion has been missing for a month, there finally seems to be a lead in his case–a very devastating lead.

As fire after fire consume couples in wealthy, comfortable homes, Lindsay and the Murder Club must race to find the arsonists responsible and get to the bottom of Michael Campion’s disappearance. But suddenly the fires are raging too close to

Frightened for her life and torn between two men, Lindsay must find a way to solve the most daunting dilemmas she’s ever faced–at work and at home.


30. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Drama, Fiction, Mystery, Pamela · Tags:

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, 419 pages, read by Pamela, on 07/30/2013

gone-girl-book-cover-med2-23664_186x186Marriage can be a real killer.
One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl‘s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media–as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents–the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter–but is he really a killer?
As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

29. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Humor, Pamela

Rococo by Adriana Trigiani, 272 pages, read by Pamela, on 07/27/2013

rococoNew York Times bestselling author Adriana Trigiani, beloved by millions of readers around the world for her humor, warmth, and captivating storytelling in the Big Stone Gap trilogy and Lucia, Lucia, takes on love, lust, tricky family dynamics, and home decorating in Rococo, the uproarious tale of a small Italian American town poised for a makeover it never expected. Bartolomeo di Crespi is the acclaimed interior decorator of Our Lady of Fatima, New Jersey. To date, Bartolomeo has hand-selected every chandelier, sconce, and ottoman in OLOF, so when the renovation of the local church is scheduled, he assumes there is only one man for the job. From the dazzling shores of New Jersey to the legendary fabric houses of New York City, from the prickly purveyors of fine art in London to luscious Santa Margherita on the Mediterranean coast of Italy, Bartolomeo is on a mission to bring talent, sophistication, and his aesthetic vision to his hometown. Trigiani’s glittering mosaic of small-town characters sparkles: Bartolomeo’s hilarious sister, Toot, is in desperate need of a postdivorce transformation–thirteen years after the fact; “The Benefactor,” Aurelia Mandelbaum, the richest woman in New Jersey, has a lust for French interiors and a long-held hope that Bartolomeo will marry her myopic daughter, Capri; Father Porporino, the pastor with a secret, does his best to keep a lid on a simmering scandal; and Eydie Von Gunne, the chic international designer, steps in and changes the course of Bartolomeo’s creative life, while his confidante, cousin Christina Menecola, awaits rescue from an inconsolable grief. Plaster of Paris, polished marble, and unbridled testosterone arrive in buckets when Bartolomeo recruits Rufus McSherry, a strapping, handsome artist, and Pedro Allercon, a stained-glass artisan, to work with him on the church’s interior. Together, the three of them will do more than blow the dust off the old Fatima frescoes–they will turn the town upside down, challenge the faithful, and restore hope where there once was none. Brilliantly funny and as fanciful as flocked wallpaper, filled with glamorous locales from New Jersey to Europe, from Sunday Mass to the American Society of Interior Designers soirée at the Plaza Hotel,Rococois Trigiani’s masterpiece, a classic comedy with a heart of gold leaf.

22. July 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Biographies, Children's Books, Pamela

Maria von Trapp: Beyond the Sound of Music by Candice F. Ransom, 112 pages, read by Pamela, on 07/22/2013

von trappAnyone who has seen The Sound of Music knows how Maria von Trapp’s life began–but what happened after the final scene? Discover what Maria’s life was like after fleeing Nazi-occupied Austria for America. With intriguing facts about her life in the nunnery, her romance with Captain von Trapp, their ten children, and their singing careers, this inspiring story reaches beyond The Sound of Music–and reveals the courage and determination of a kind, energetic, and very real woman.

I watch the “Sound of Music” every winter, but did not realize how much of a life Maria von Trapp lived after the movie ended.  A wonderful read for young and old.

26. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Pamela, Romance

Full Bloom by Janet Evanovich, 344 pages, read by Pamela, on 06/26/2013

index[2]The temperature’s on “sizzle” again in Beaumont, South Carolina, where peach trees are in season and ripe for the picking. So is its newest entrepreneur, Annie Fortenberry, a divorcee who inherited her grandmother’s Queen Ann mansion (and its wacky handyman Erdle Thorney). According to a local psychic, she also inherited a spirit from its glory days as a brothel – not the kind of publicity the Peach Tree Bed & Breakfast needs if it’s hosting millionaire Max Holt’s upcoming wedding! If rumors of x-rated ghosts aren’t stressful enough, Max’s new partner has arrived with an eye on Annie’s master suite. On the inside Wes Bridges may be corporate, but on the outside he’s leather and denim, sporting a two-day beard, straddling a Harley, and sending the B&B’s testosterone level through the roof. Annie’s cool demeanor may be dropping as fast as Wes’s jeans, but leave it to her ex to dampen the passion! His body’s been discovered buried on the grounds along with a stash of illicit love letters and a photograph of one of the town’s most prominent married ladies. Wrapped up in a murder plot, Annie must find the killer, save her own neck, and get back to where she was – wrapped up in Wes’s strong loving arms…

26. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Inspirational, NonFiction, Pamela

Help Thanks Wow by Anne Lamott, 102 pages, read by Pamela, on 06/18/2013

help thanks wowAnne Lamott has created a concise explanation of prayer. In three essential
prayers she shows how to ask for assistance from a higher power, how to
appreciate the good things in life and how to feel awe about the surrounding
world. These prayers will help people to achieve a feeling of serenity and get
through the day without undue stress. Lamott recounts how she came to these
insights, what they mean to her and how they have helped others. Insightful and
honest, this is the everyday faith book that will help all who read it.

13. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Pamela

A Step of Faith by Richard Paul Evans, 279 pages, read by Pamela, on 06/12/2013

step of faith

Life is not lived in the long, downhill stretches of expressways, but in the obscure, perilous trails and back roads where we stumble and feel our way through the fog of our unknowing. Life is not a run. It is just one step of faith after another.

Alan Christoffersen lost his heart when his wife was killed in an accident almost one year ago. He lost his trust when his business partner stole his advertising business. He lost his home when the bank took his house. So Alan decided to leave his painful memories behind and walk from Seattle to the farthest point on the map, Key West, but in St. Louis, he is forced to stop.

Because his severe vertigo is diagnosed as the side effect of a brain tumor, Alan must go to Los Angeles for treatment. He is surrounded by those who care most for him: his father, who is happy to have Alan back in his childhood home; Falene, who has been by his side through his most difficult times; and Nicole, who helped him recover from a mugging in Spokane. One by one, Alan alienates them all, and he resumes his journey in angry loneliness. The people he meets as he walks the dusty southern back roads have lessons to teach Alan about accepting love. He just has to have faith that life can be worth living again; and that the woman he rejected will be willing to forgive him.

13. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Humor, Pamela

Diary of a Mad fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee, 356 pages, read by Pamela, on 06/12/2013

diary of a mad fat girl

Graciela “Ace” Jones is mad-mad at her best friend Lilly who cancels their annual trip to Panama City for mysterious reasons; at her boss Catherine for “riding her ass like a fat lady on a Rascal scooter;” at her friend Chloe’s abusive husband; and especially at Mason McKenzie, the love of her life, who has shown up with a marriage proposal one year too late. Ace is never mad, though, at her near-constant companion, an adorable chiweenie dog named Buster Loo.

Ace’s anger begins to dissipate as she takes matters into her own hands to take down Chloe’s philandering husband-and to get to the bottom of a multitude of other scandals plaguing Bugtussle, Mississippi. Then, she starts to realize that maybe Mason deserves a second chance after all.

With a sharp and distinctive voice, Stephanie McAfee delivers a hilarious and fast-paced tale about Ace Jones and her two best friends-thick as thieves and tough as nails-navigating Southern small-town politics and prejudices, finding love, and standing up for each other all the way.

This was a hilarious book and I recommend it to those who like complete and shear honesty.  I listened to it every evening while cooking dinner and found myself laughing often – I’m surprised my family did not question me as to what was so funny.


05. June 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Pamela, Thriller/Suspense

Best Kept Secret by Jeffrey Archer, 373 pages, read by Pamela, on 05/28/2013

Jeffrey Archer continues his beloved Clifton Chronicle series as Harry and Emma finally begin building a happy life – but a dangerous family enemy is about to resurface.

Best Kept Secret opens a moment after the end of The Sins of the Father, with the resolution of the trial and the triumphant marriage of Harry Clifton and Elizabeth Barrington, finally uniting their family. Harry, now a bestselling novelist, Emma, their son Sebastian, and orphaned Jessica make a new life for themselves, but all is not as happy and secure as it could be. Emma’s brother, Giles, is engaged to a woman who may be more interested in Barrington’s fortune and title than in a long and happy marriage. And Sebastian, though he is bright, isn’t quite the hard worker that his father was at school, and finds a hard time resisting the temptations that his somewhat unsavory friends provide.

It all comes to a head when a new villain is uncovered, a face from the past with grudges against both Harry and Giles – Fisher, who tortured Harry at school and later took credit for Giles’ heroics during the war. Fisher teams up with Giles’ now ex-wife to wreak havoc on Giles’ latest election as well as meddle with affairs inside Barringtons, while Harry and Emma must deal with a new scheme that Sebastian has unwittingly fallen into with a supposed friend. The drama continues for Harry Clifton and his family, bringing this mesmerizing saga into the 1960s.

08. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Humor, NonFiction, Pamela

meet me at emotional baggage claim by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella, 262 pages, read by Pamela, on 05/06/2013

indexA great book for those mothers and daughters who share everything.  Lisa Scottoline and daughter Francesca Serritella collaborate for a humorous look at their mother-daughter relationship as they lay out the chick wit their readers have become so accustomed to.  They broach subjects and areas of their lives that many of us only think about sharing.  No embarrassment from these two.  Mother Mary makes appearances, as well as the dogs and cats. It’s a funny read.  You’ll enjoy it.

01. May 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Drama, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Pamela, Romance

The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani, 475 pages, read by Pamela, on 04/13/2013

shoemakers wifeAdriana Trigiani’s “The Shoemaker’s Wife” is a must read if you enjoy historical fiction.  The book was 20 years in the making and what a book it is.

The book spans two continents, four decades, two world wars, and two families whose chance meeting on a mountaintop in the Alps sets the pace for the adventures and misadventures of the main characters.  It follows the Lazzari and Ravanelli families, most specifically Ciro Lazzari and Vincenza (Enza) Ravanelli from childhood through adulthood. The day to day life is enriched with the colorful and detailed descriptions of home, work and life for Ciro and Enza. The newly married couple strike out on their own to the Upper Midwest of America to the town where Ciro’s father lost his life. In the end, father provided for son in a most fitting way.

My father was a shoemaker for 30 years, so the title intrigued me immediately. Not to mention, Adriana Trigiani has become one of my favorite authors, also.

05. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Drama, Fiction, Pamela

Home to Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani, 305 pages, read by Pamela, on 03/18/2013

The fouhome to big stone gaprth and final in the Big Stone Gap series brings to a meaningful and comfortable close this segment of Ave Maria’s life.  Etta begins her new life in Italy, a family emergency makes both Jack and Ave Maria take a look at what’s really important in life, Jack and Ave Maria travel to the home of his ancestors, and long buried secrets emerge. These lovable characters, Theodore, Fleeta, Iva Lou, Pearl, and even Pete make appearances. They are like family by now to the reader. The ending is warm and emotional. There’s nothing complicated about the book or the characters, just a nice comfortable read.  Five stars for the series.
30. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Drama, Fiction, Pamela

Milk Glass Moon by Adriana Trigiani, 256 pages, read by Pamela, on 02/28/2013

milkglassmoon-hardcoverMilk Glass Moon, third in the Big Stone Gap series, continues the life story of Ave Maria Mullilgan MacChesney. Her family and friends grow up, experience heartache and crisis, and fall in love. Mother and daughter, Ave Maria and Etta, move to a new level in their relationship, one of love and leaving. The characters continue to be as ordinary as they come, making you think you could look within your own circle of friends and see some just like them. Trigiani brings these characters alive with down home humor and everyday happenings written with that southern tone that sets the mood for a good read, once again.

30. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Drama, Fiction, Pamela

Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani, 272 pages, read by Pamela, on 02/16/2013

big-cherry-holler-adriana-trigiani-paperback-cover-artThis second book in the Big Stone Gap series focuses on Ave Maria Mulligan’s life after several years of marriage to Jack MacChesney, two children, and a shift in their relationship. A trip to Italy, the “old country”, brings her face to face with who she is and who she wants to be. The characters are endearing; some odd, some ambitious, some just like friends we all have. Their experiences are normal, although Trigiani writes as if they are special and unique. Five stars, again.

30. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Drama, Fiction, Pamela

Big Stone Gap by Adriana Trigiani, 272 pages, read by Pamela, on 01/26/2013

Big Stone

Ave Maria Mulligan, the self-proclaimed town spinster of Big Stone Gap, is the town pharmacist, part of the Rescue Squad, and director of the town’s outdoor drama. She discovers a family secret after her mother passes away and life changes for her forever. She has much to learn about her family and herself. And, for most of us, it’s never too late for that.

You’ll love how Trigiani intertwines the ancient art of face reading into her book and weaves the characters lives together. This is a delightful read. I’ve read the series (four in all) and couldn’t wait to get the next one in my hands to see where these characters were going. Five stars.

I sincerely wish someone had suggested Adriana Trigiani to me before I just happened to stumble upon her at Missouri River Regional Library.  I am truly transported to the place and era for which she is writing and it’s so refreshing to escape the toils of the world we live in today with characters such as these.

27. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Children's Books, Fiction, Pamela

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea, 269 pages, read by Pamela, on 02/27/2013

Seven fifth-graders relate how their lives are changed by their new teacher Mr. Terupt.mr terrupt


Really interesting to see the different perspectives of the same person, and how each child filtered the world based on what they needed.

27. March 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Fiction, Pamela, Poetry · Tags:

Hidden by Helen Frost , 147 pages, read by Pamela, on 03/01/2013

When fourteen-year-olds Wren and Darra meet at a Michigan summer camp, both are overwhelmed by memories from six years earlier when Darra’s father stole a car, unaware that Wren was hiding in the back.  A verse novel, with hidden messages contained within the writing.hidden.

Don’t let the cover fool you,this is Not a book about fairies or mermaids, but about straight-up life.  It is a mystery with multiple layers.