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FITMARY's Photo FITMARY Posts: 11,521
3/24/20 8:29 P

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Dave Barry, "Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer is Much Faster)," 5 stars

I needed a laugh, and as always I found it with Dave Barry. I love his brand of humor, and this book delivered it in essays about Miami, his daughter learning to drive, soccer, Brazil, Russia... Everything but the kitchen sink. It's not for everyone and it's not great literature, but I was laughing the whole time, and that's worthy 5 stars to me right now!

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FRABBIT's Photo FRABBIT Posts: 7,665
3/22/20 10:26 P

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Over Her Dead Body - Kate White - 4 stars

Great mystery. Editor of magazine is killed and the crime writer is assigned the story. Kept me intrigued.

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LESLIEJEAN43's Photo LESLIEJEAN43 Posts: 36,518
3/14/20 1:02 P

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. This was published shortly before the author's suicide, and has amazing insights into mental illness and the call of suicide to those of us who are vulnerable. Unfortunately, it is her only novel. It describes the protagonist's unraveling, and her stays in mental health facilities. An excellent book!

"Any idiot can face a crisis. It's the day-to-day living that wears you out."
---Anton Chekhov



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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,730
3/14/20 1:22 A

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Death of Kings (The Saxon Stories, #6) by Bernard Cornwell (5*)
With Alfred the Great's demise the Danish invaders gather to oppose the young King Edward but are also joined by several major Saxon leaders and supposed allies of Edward, who prefer to be kings in their own smaller ponds rather than subordinate to a Wessex king in a united England. Betrayals, traps, and treachery most foul abound in this one. This series is not growing dull and Cornwell keeps our sardonic hero Uhtred's blade and tongue sharp.

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: 8,730
3/13/20 10:46 P

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--Redcoat by Bernard Cornwell (5*)
The British army occupies Philadelphia and the American colonists are split between those desiring independence, those loyal to the England crown, and those fearing independence will bring ruin without the support of British trade and protection of British troops. I did not enjoy this book as much as The Last Kingdom, but a less enjoyable Cornwell book is still better than most non-Cornwell books. Instead of focusing on a central magnetic character, it began by introducing several main characters, whose lives had not yet intersected. It took awhile to get moving and to establish who, if anyone, the central character would be. After that, it became a fast-paced, engrossing story that was well worth reading.

--The Reason You're Alive by Matthew Quick (5*)
Crusty old Vietnam Vet and successful financier faces up to widowhood, brain tumor, estrangement from his wimpy henpecked snowflake son, the brutal legacy of Vietnam, and a soldier to whom he did a great wrong. This could be labeled the best book you haven't heard about and will go on the list of my all-time favorite books. I listened to the audiobook, and it was so well done.

Edited by: LADYCALICO at: 3/13/2020 (23:17)
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: 8,730
3/8/20 12:15 A

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The Yard by Alex Grecian (4*)
1889 is a tough time to be a cop in London. The police get no respect after their failure to find Jack the Ripper, and now there's not only a cop killer to hunt down but a new serial killer, who isn't Jack, roaming the streets. Then there's that emerging field of forensic medicine to add to the confusion. Against this backdrop, an intriguing and entertaining murder mystery takes place. I found this to be a well constructed crime novel with some rather interesting characters. This book is entertaining as both historical fiction and suspense novel.

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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BLESSEDBEING's Photo BLESSEDBEING SparkPoints: (334,636)
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3/7/20 10:23 P

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I discovered Heather Webber (who as Heather Blake has written 2 mystery series with magical elements) had a new book out in 2019, Midnight at the Blackbird Cafe. I got it from the library and finished it today. I simply loved it. Set in a little town in Alabama, it's her first women's fiction book. The characters are wonderful--I really want to read more about them, so I hope she'll write more books in this setting. All sorts of family secrets and struggles and emotional issues, with a tiny bit of magic tossed in. I may buy it in hardcover to read over. I'll probably reread it before returning it to the library. It was SO satisfying!

Blessed Be, Amanda

"I love myself the way I am, and still I want to grow;
But change outside can only come when deep inside I know:
I'm beautiful and capable of being the best me I can,
And I love myself just the way I am."

[by Jai Josefs in his amazing song I Love Myself the Way I Am]

Co-leader of the Babysteps Brigade (BBs), A Gathering of Goddesses (GGs), Survivors of Abuse (SAssies) teams.


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LADYCALICO's Photo LADYCALICO Posts: 8,730
3/6/20 11:31 P

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The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way by Bill Bryson (3*)
This book about the inconsistencies and vagaries of the English language, spelling, and grammar and how they evolved is one of Bryson's earlier books before he found his style and is disappointingly dull. There was food for thought and some of his sardonic humor, but not nearly enough.



Edited by: LADYCALICO at: 3/6/2020 (23:32)
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: 8,730
3/5/20 11:02 P

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The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories, #5) by Bernard Cornwell (5*)
Uhtred wins a great battle but while he is off fighting, his wife dies. Uhtred kills a crazy monk who was coached by enemies to badmouth Uhtred's late wife. Rejecting the proposed penitence, he goes raiding to make the money he will need to pay an army to besiege his uncle's fortress. He fails to steal enough, but while in Northumbria, he is approached by Danes to join a raid into Mercia. Since he has sworn an oath to Alfred's daughter, Aethelflaed, who also has custody of his children whom he must protect, he joins the Saxons of Mercia, becomes Aethelflaed's lover, and faces his toughest battle yet. Cornwell can create an atmosphere that feels so authentic that I could almost believe he was a time traveler and actually there, and he's created a most unusual and fascinating character in Uhtred.

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: 8,730
3/5/20 12:35 A

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-- Lords of the North (The Saxon Stories #3) by Bernard Cornwell (5*)
Uhtred returns to Northumberland to seek revenge on the enemies who killed Ragnar and to take back his inheritance from his uncle. Both impossible missions are more impossible than he ever imagined and not made any easier when he is betrayed and sold to a slaver.

-- Sword Song (The Saxon Stories #4) by Bernard Cornwell (5*)
Uhtred is now happily married and a successful military commander. Alfred places him under arrogant cousin Aethelred to take back London from Viking hordes, a difficult task at best even without Aethelred really screwing up and getting his wife, Alfred's daughter, captured by the Vikings that they drove out of London. Now Uhtred has to pull off an even more perilous raid.

Our little Uhtred has grown up and has become a smart and fearsome warrior as well as an acerbic rogue who can weave an engrossing tale from his memories and draw the reader into the midst of the action, and action and romance abound in these two volumes.

Edited by: LADYCALICO at: 3/5/2020 (00:39)
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: 8,730
3/2/20 11:05 A

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--The Last Kingdom (The Saxon Stories, #1) by Bernard Cornwell (5*)
Little Northumbrian Saxon Uhtred's father is killed by Danish invaders, and he is taken as a slave by an affable Dane, Ragnar, who is a kinder father than he's known and who trains him to be a formidable warrior. When Ragnar's enemies slaughter the family and friends at a wedding feast, Uhtred escapes into Wessex where he must serve Alfred the Great, but his belief in the pre-Christian gods, mixed loyalties, and brash personality make him generally disliked and untrusted.

--The Pale Horseman (The Saxon Stories, #2) by Bernard Cornwell (5*)
Angry at Alfred and bored with peace, Uhtred "borrows" a boat and crew to seek wealth by raiding Saxons in the far West. A priest who escaped the slaughter becomes a favorite of Alfred's and is now a powerful enemy of Uhtred. The Danes attack in force but Uhtred rescues Alfred and his family and they hide in the swamps regathering their army. Uhtred is instrumental in retaking Wessex but pays a heavy price.

These first two volumes are essentially one long story and should be read together. They are excellent and exciting reading. Although Uhtred and friends are fiction, Cornwell does his best to keep the historical part accurate. His writing is beautiful to read and he draws the readers deeply into the story. There is also humor in Uhtred's sardonic narrative and dialogue. The biggest problem is that the books are close to impossible to put down and they cost me much sleep.

Edited by: LADYCALICO at: 3/2/2020 (11:17)
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: 8,730
3/2/20 8:29 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! Torture!
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: 186.0 
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