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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,024
2/1/18 1:30 P

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Good Omens by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman 3*
I was rather disappointed in this book. The story of the apocalypse that almost was had some quotable lines but really was not my style of humor. The story was quite dragged out, so I was glad to just to get it over with.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein 5*
I gave this book five stars because it was so engrossing, the author had obviously done her research, and it added a depth of humanity to what it must have been like to be a young person called upon to give your all when the fate of the world was at stake and your generation was on the front line that had to save it. The weak point of the book was that the Gestapo officer just overlooked her rambling out her life story, hoping that eventually she would get around to rambling out some of the useful intelligence that she had agreed to give them. In spite of that "Seriously!" implausibility element, it was a well-crafted plot and I would highly recommend it as great characters and story, well written, even if the format made no sense.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,024
1/30/18 4:39 P

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Beyond the Gathering Storm by Janette Oke 3*
The series jumps from 1919 to 1939 and is about the next generation, adopted children Henry and Christine. The novel bounces back and forth from Henry's story to Christine's story, which is too bad because Christine's stupid story should have died a natural death long before Henry's but was instead dragged out to ridiculousness to make both stories reach to the end of the book. Actually, you could improve this book about 200% if you just edited out everything to do with obnoxious, neurotic Christine. Oke didn't know when to quit. The series has gone stale and Oke has gone from a fresh voice with stories rich in humanity to a garden variety Christian fiction machine, with generic plots, stock characters, and sacrificing the narrative on the altar of neurotic rumination, boring inner monologues, and outer sermonizing.

When Tomorrow Comes by Janette Oke 2*
What do you get when your next book is composed of the worst thing about your last book: When Tomorrow Comes. Ugh, Oke actually tried to drag out a whole book about the hideous Christine! And she's even more mentally deranged then ever! This book has now degenerated from her boring neurotic inner monologues to her boring psychotic inner monologues and paranoid catastrophizing. If you want a sympathetic heroine, an obnoxious, neuritic, histrionic drama queen just will not do it. Put a fork in it and then toss it in the trashcan, this series has gone beyond done into mummification.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,024
1/30/18 3:05 P

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When Breaks the Dawn by Janette Oke 4*
This book is the second half of When Comes the Spring, covering the 2nd through 4th year of Wynn's Beaver River posting. This book is more somber, with Elizabeth's worries about infertility, Cree children they fostered when a widowed parent was in need, disease taking its toll among the Cree, Elizabeth's school reaching fewer children than she envisioned, and WWI commencing. Wynn is due for re-posting and they are assigned to a larger and more primitive Cree village deeper in the northern wilderness. This is still a short, fast, and emotional read, but the emotions lean heavily in the dismal side.

When Hope Springs New by Janette Oke 3*
Wynn's new post at isolated Smoke Lake involves more hardship than they expected.
Elizabeth is the first white wife ever posted there, and the superstitious Indians shun her bad mojo. There ensues much feelings of uselessness and weeping. Up to this point the story had promise, but then it takes a weird turn and loses all sense of reality when the heroine turns into SuperElizabeth. Seriously, Janettte, what were you thinking, idiocy and plot holes much? Then Wynn gets wounded and re-posted to Lacombe where they become heavily involved in their church's music and children's ministries and the story reconnects with sanity.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,024
1/22/18 1:45 P

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When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke 4*
I read this book a few years ago and did a quick re-read before moving on to the rest of the series. Fear not, the book series has little in common with the TV series other than the title, heroine's name, and Alberta, Canada. Elizabeth Thatcher is a Toronto teacher from a comfortable background who in 1910 goes to stay a while with her brother in Calgary. For refusing her boss's advances she ends up posted in a prairie with just a handful of farms a hundred miles north. She has a lot to learn from the children and their families as well as vice versa. She falls in love with Wynn Delaney, a Mountie who is on leave to care for his sick brother's farm and family, but he doesn't wish to marry because of the harsh living in his isolated wilderness postings. Silly Mountie! The book is short, well-written, exciting and emotional, and quickly completed.

When Comes the Spring by Janette Oke 4*
Elizabeth and Wynn rush their wedding when his posting date is moved up and in the horrendous trip to an isolated Indian trapping village north of Edmonton, she discovers "whither thou goest" isn't as romantic as it sounds. There are only three women who speak English, and Wynn's job involves being the area's only doctor, dentist, search leader, visiting caseworker, counselor, as well as lawman in a vast area, which often keeps him away from home or called out at any hour, in any weather. When the trading post, the village's only source of needed supplies, burns, the residents who have grown dependent on it face deprivation while the owner travels to Calgary to re-stock. Elizabeth is called upon to cope in ways she had never imagined. Another short page-turner, this book is more full of adventure and more exciting and tragic than the first, and it adds a dog.
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Edited by: LADYCALICO at: 1/25/2018 (15:00)
Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


 current weight: 177.0 
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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,024
1/19/18 12:19 P

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Shirley by Charlotte Brontë 2*
I can truly say that this is not only Charlotte Brontë's worst book, but the worst book from the whole family. Oh, my, it did ramble all over the place, on and on. Recommended only for people who like their stories swamped with digressions. The book might have been improved if Charlotte had taken her soap box to Hyde Park and rambled her political rants and social commentary there instead of using this already verbose novel as her bully pulpit, but even without all that yada-yada, it would still be a really oppressively boring book. I felt like a load of rocks had been removed from my back when it was finally done!

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,024
1/17/18 12:20 P

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The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton 5*
This story had much in common with my previous book, Madame Bovary; however, besides both heroines being voracious hos who could never be satisfied, they had very different personalities. Emma Bovary was a foolish dreamer who thoughtlessly lied, cheated, fornicated, and was manipulated and used pursuing greener grass over the next fence. Undine Sprague was a calculating pragmatist who cunningly lied, cheated, fornicated, manipulated, and used pursuing greener grass over the next fence. Both personality types would forever be insatiably thirsting after their next obsessive desire--however, Emma was depressed and miserable, whereas Undine was challenged and enthused. Sure, Undine will have to surpass higher fences to move on to the next unattainable desire--but a girl's got to have goals! Whereas, Flaubert's writing style was dull and ponderous, Wharton's sizzled and sparked.

Edited by: LADYCALICO at: 1/17/2018 (12:23)
Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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BTRFLYDOG's Photo BTRFLYDOG Posts: 7,131
1/16/18 8:46 A

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Origin -Dan Brown 4*

Another book in the Robert Langdon series. Liked the location- learned a bit about Spain this time. This one is closer to Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code.

Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you. - Oscar Wilde

The point of life is not to get anywhere - it is to notice that you are, and have always been, already there - Neale Donald Walsch

Noreen


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,024
1/14/18 11:33 A

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Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert 4*
I feel the same way about Madame Bovary as I did Moby Dick, there is an extraordinary story in there if you can stand to dig among the extraneous trash to try to find the treasure. Digression and more digression added to a severe case of descriptomania--like he can't just tell us that a room had a shelf, he has to list every piece of crap on that shelf! So here is maybe 200 pages of five-star novel swamped by 2-star subplots, descriptions, digressions, and verbosity, so instead of being enthralled by a story that should be clutching at our hearts and souls as well as minds, we may instead find ourselves overwhelmed by the tedium that swamps it.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,024
1/13/18 5:34 P

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 3*
There are many contradictory inconsistencies in the messages in this book, but I am not sure what the author means by them. If they are meant as ironic satire to show both sides of race issues, then this is a 5* book. If they are inadvertent expressions of hypocrisy, then this is a 1* book. Since I can't tell, then I'll go with 3*. However, if you think YA books should be filled with vulgarity and profanity, then this is the book for you. I can't answer Rodney King about why we can't get along; I don't know why it has now become racist and politically incorrect to consider character as more important than color, I don't have a solution for the hate that both Black and White people give, but I am pretty sure that the thug life of destroying neighborhoods, schools, and businesses isn't it.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,024
1/12/18 12:17 P

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Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Høeg 3*
I would like to give this book a higher rating based on creativity for its original plot and unique characters and settings...BUT...oh, those digressions. At first they were helpful in establishing the character of the narrator or explaining why she had bits of helpful knowledge that enabled her to see things that others missed, but soon the rambling, loose associations seemed ridiculous in some places and boring in most places. I personally prefer my suspense novels taut, lean, and tense, not dragged out by personal ruminations and irrelevancies. Then there was that hopeless non-ending! Edit out Smilla's inner ramblings, inject her with some focus, add an ending, and you would have a great 200 page suspense novel. Warning: do not enter until you have perfected the priceless skill of skimming!
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Edited by: LADYCALICO at: 1/12/2018 (12:28)
Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


 current weight: 177.0 
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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,024
1/8/18 10:55 A

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The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin 3*
This was a kiddie mystery but one that might appeal to adults who love cozy mysteries. Sixteen chosen people compete to decipher clues in order to answer "who took my life?" and become the heir to the town founder's $200 million dollar fortune. The mystery part of the book was cute and fun but the characters were generally repulsive and rather poorly developed--I couldn't care much who won except for hoping that the most obnoxious, mean, and abusive character would lose--so of course that was the hideous creep who won. I was surprised to see that it won a Newbery Medal--must have been really hard up that year because this is the least deserving winner that I have ever read.

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


 current weight: 177.0 
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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,024
1/6/18 12:48 P

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--Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris 3*
This book concludes the series with Sookie being framed for murder. It got terrible reviews on Goodreads, but it actually wasn't as bad as I feared it would be. We all knew the series had run out of steam and was being dragged out to make some extra bucks. However, I thought this one was better than the last two books, and much better than my least favorite of the series, Dead Reckoning. Most of the bad reviews came from the people who were angry because Sookie didn't end up with the man they wanted.

--A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. 5*
An absolute science fiction masterpiece (and science fiction is one of my least favorite genres.) Three stories are set 6 centuries apart in the same abbey named after prospective Saint Leibowitz, a former member who was martyred for collecting and protecting what few books and documents remained after a nuclear holocaust and a genocidal purge of all political leaders, smart people, and books by the rabble who blamed them for the technology that ruined their lives. As many generations of abbots preserve what is left of the Christian faith and secular literacy the question is, will mankind learn and improve or repeat the mistakes of earlier history? Not an easy read if you take time to consider the moral and intellectual questions the characters contend with as dilemmas present themselves and decisions must be made. And through it all wanders the medieval legend, the Wandering Jew.

Edited by: LADYCALICO at: 1/6/2018 (13:09)
Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


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FRABBIT's Photo FRABBIT Posts: 6,581
1/4/18 6:33 P

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The Christie Curse - Victoria Abbott

Mystery book involving the possibility of a missing Agatha Christie play. Interesting tidbits about Agatha Christie. Pleasant book but suspense didn't come to the end when it all quickly came together.

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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,024
1/2/18 9:39 A

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Love Came Down at Christmas by Karen Anna Vogel--3*
I've been spending the last week reading Christmas freebies that have sat in my Kindle for way too long-- I can see why. This was a story about a foster child forming a friendship with a widowed Amish neighbor and learning to deal with fears and worries. Cute read, but nothing special. Thus, I start my reading new year with a whimper not a bang.

Edited by: LADYCALICO at: 1/6/2018 (13:10)
Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


 current weight: 177.0 
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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,024
1/1/18 9:17 A

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Please share your reading with the other team members. Let's help each other find interesting books to read, including fiction, non-fiction, plays, novellas, and short story or poetry anthologies.
Please post and rate every book members read during the month and tell each other a little about them. Please list title, author, and a 1-5* rating.
If you choose, please follow with a brief summary of what the book was about and what you did, or did not like about it.

1 star--* hated it!
2 star--** bad but not the worst, some positive attributes.
3 star--*** A good read, entertaining but nothing spectacular.
4 stars--**** A great read, above average.
5 stars--***** An awesome read, among the best!

Lola--Eastern Standard Time
And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
"If you trust in yourself and believe in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy." Terry Pratchett


 current weight: 177.0 
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