Book Review – The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Secret Life of BeesThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

4.5 stars, rounded up.

Gift from A Little Lyme Laughter Angel 2016.

Pulled into the story from the first page.

Read: 11/11-11/12/2017

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Book Review – Ghosthunting New Jersey by L’aura Hladik

Ghosthunting New JerseyGhosthunting New Jersey by L’Aura Hladik
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounded down.

Essays on “haunted” places the author has been in New Jersey along with random history of the location, people who live there (past and present), and the people the author visited with.

I was not impressed with the writing and found some sloppy editing. Items would be tossed in without clarification or segue in or out and photographs are sometimes placed randomly.

Central and South New Jersey are woefully under represented.

However, having said all that, I do now want to visit every place mentioned in the book – at least the buildings.

Read: 10/23-27/2017

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Book Review – Vanish by Tess Gerritsen

Vanish (Rizzoli & Isles, #5)Vanish by Tess Gerritsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5 stars.

#5 in the Rizzoli & Isles series.

This book moved so quickly, I didn’t want it to end. It’s not that it’s missing anything, I just want MORE!

All the pieces of the plot fit well together. Even though the television show varies so much in plot, I love hearing the characters voices as if they were being said by the actors. In particular, the t.v. writers and the actress who plays Jane Rizzoli nail her; even the books internal monologue could be coming from her.

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Book Review – The English Agent by Phillip DePoy

The English Agent (Christopher Marlowe Mystery #2)The English Agent by Phillip DePoy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5 stars, rounded up.

#2 in the Christopher Marlowe Mystery series.

From mom.

I would have enjoyed more if I had read the first book in the series prior to this – and if my schedule had allowed more reading in one sitting, instead of the short bursts over a period of 10 days. Starting and stopping, I found it difficult to keep the locations and intrigues straight. Again, if I had read the first book, I believe I would have had a clearer understanding.

The writing is crisp and evocative. The history, research, and plotting, ingenious.

I need to get a copy of the first book in. the series (and the third) and then read all of them in order. It’s definitely worth another look.

Read: 10/4-14/2017

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Book Review – The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester

The Professor and the MadmanThe Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

5+ stars.

Brilliantly constructed.

Written by a true philologist. I do not think this subject could have, or should have been written by anyone else.

An apt quote from the book: “Few are the books that can offer so much please to look at, to touch, to skim, to read” (p. 89). This is one of those books.

Perhaps one of the reasons I’m such a fan of Victorian writing, “…any grand new dictionary ought to be itself a democratic product, a book that demonstrated the primacy of individual freedoms, of the notion that one could use words freely, as one liked, without any hard and fast rules of lexical conduct.” It continues:
“Any such dictionary certainly should not be an absolutist, autocratic project, such as the French had in mind. The English, who had raised eccentricity and poor organization to a high art, and placed the scatterbrain on a pedestal, loathed such middle European things as rules, conventions, and dictatorships. They abhorred the idea of diktats – about the language, for Heaven’s sake! – emanating from some secretive body of unaccountable immortals.”

The Victorian era is my favorite in all ways. After reading this book I feel more literate and educated.

The reading suggestions at the end are also particularly noteworthy.

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Book Review – The Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman

The Ghost OrchidThe Ghost Orchid by Carol Goodman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5 stars, rounded down.

Gothic ghost story with a parallel Victorian era spiritualist and a modern day story that takes place in the same location. Though I found some of the plot lines predictable, it was interesting watching the characters react to the way things would unfold; and not everything was predictable.

On the cover of my edition is a blurb from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that I believe nails it: “Compelling reading, a classic page-turner for anyone who like to be haunted by a good read.”

Read: 12/13-12/14/17

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