Paris, He Said by Christine Sneed

parishesaidA splendid novel about a young woman living in New York just making ends meet when she is offered a wonderful opportunity to go to Paris with her French lover, a man much older than her and financially well off. There she develops her career as a painter and begins to find herself… and the reader gets to experience the magnificence of Paris.icn_4star(review by Victoria Blaise)

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Saving the Bagdad Zoo by Kelly Miner Hall and Major William Sumner

savingbaghdadzooEach chapter takes a different animal and along with the main story has a section on Fast Facts and the specific animals in Iraq. Well-photographed. It’s a story about war from something one doesn’t about enough. It’s heart-wrenching, esp. the pelican story. Major Sumner deserves a lot of credit. The cover puts it well- a true story of hope and honor and heroes. Now opened, the zoo is an oasis of safety in a city where this is a precious gift.  three and an half stars (Review by Jan Ravase)

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Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of our Everday Lives by Gretchen Rubin

betterthanbeforeThis book could easily be a supplementary textbook for a behavioral science class. If the reader enjoys taking magazines personality quizzes, then this is the book for you. The author identifies you place among the Four Tendencies according to our personal motivations for obtaining everday habits. Being more cognizant of what we choose and why we make certain choices is a benefit of reading this book.three and an half stars         (Review by Lynda Hunt)

Posted in 2015, 3 1/2 stars, Non-Fiction, Self Help, Self Improvement | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza

knockoffThe Knockoff refers to more than cheaply made products. the main character is a woman who returns from a medical leave of absence to a hostile work environment where people and situations aren’t authentic. for the reader who is unfamiliar with technological terms and the trending communication methods, this is a very “user’ friendly tool for catching up while enjoying the back story.I would heartily recommend this book! icn_4star2(review by Lynda Hunt)

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Waltz Into Darkness by Cornell Woolrich

waltzintodarknessOne of my favorite books. This is the book behind ORIGINAL SIN, with southern, less exotic settings and no contrived happy ending. Lou Durand was a gentleman, a prosperous business man. At 37 he was about to marry a woman with whom he shared a proper, then passionate, courtship by mail. The woman, who arrived from St Louis to New Orleans, was not who she claimed to be. Durand saw that face… even after she had done everything to him, from the crude to the criminal, Lou was under her spell. From the author of REAR WINDOW comes a waltz, a death spiral that will keep you enthralled. “The truly cruel part of death is not the end of the body, it is the expiration of all memories.” icn_5star

(review done by: Jan Ravase)

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Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk by Carolyn Keene

The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk (Nancy Drew, #17)When I was 17 and got my first car. Immediately on returning home I threw a suitcase in the trunk (just in case an adventure called). I had grown up Reading my mother’s copies of Nancy Drew and Nancy always had a suitcase in the trunk of the car in case a mystery popped up. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that the original Nancy Drew books were actually published in the 1930s!! I immediately grabbed two off the shelf and was excited to read that they were unedited! The publisher even left the font the same. The publisher also wanted the reader to know that they apologized in advance for any views that might be outdated or offensive to the modern reader. I chose a mystery that I had never read before The Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk. And while I found 1930s-1940s Nancy to be just as brave and willing to follow adventure as the later Nancy, I did notice that her relationship with her father was very different than the warm and loving one I remember from the 60s version. Nancy’s relationship with Hannah Gruen was much colder than the relationship is portrayed in the later publications. There is more of an employer/ employee undertone to all their interactions. In the 60s novels it was much more of a motherly warm relationship, you could almost smell the apple pie coming off Gruen’s character. I did find Nancy to be slightly more brazen than her 1960s counterpart and the adventures to be a little less sanitized. I will definitely be going back to the shelves to compare and contrast my favorite titles. I am giving this book 4 starts due to my emotional attachment to the series. icn_4star

(Review done by: Melissa Greaves)

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The Lincoln Myth by Steve Berry

The Lincoln MythSteve Berry does it again with another killer Cotton Malone novel! Everyone knows that the Civil War was fought to save the Union and keep the United States of America whole. The entire basis for this was the idea that secession is illegal as ruled by the Supreme Court in Texas vs. White in 1869. But what if there were a secret from the Founding Fathers that the Supreme Court didn’t know? One passed down from President to President until Abraham Lincoln chose to hide it as the Civil War cost hundreds of thousands of lives? What if this secret were hidden with the Mormon Church in Utah to prevent them from joining the South in the war? At the request of his former boss at the Magellan Billet, Stephanie Nelle, Cotton Malone is asked to pick up a Billet agent with vital information on a high ranking member of the Mormon Church who may be planning something massive that could destroy the United States. Malone is pulled into a political game of cat and mouse between the U.S. government, all the way up to President Danny Daniels, and the Senator next in line to lead Mormon Church, and the body of a missing agent is found as the game turns deadly. Malone must also deal with the revelation that his girlfriend and long-time ally Cassiopeia Vitt has been seen with the religious right hand man of the Senator, a man who happens to be her former love from before she herself left the Mormon Church long ago. Malone must determine if she is really undercover, or if she has chosen to side with her heritage as the Senator’s radical plan to use Lincoln’s secret to destroy the United States comes ever closer to fruition. This is another great Cotton Malone novel and a worthy entry to the series. Berry digs into the little known (but mostly true) history of the Mormon Church’s involvement with creation of the United States giving both history buffs and mystery buffs something to enjoy. For those who may be wondering, the integrity of the Mormon Church is maintained in the novel as only a few radical members are behind the plot and they do not reflect on the organization as a whole. Overall, this is a great novel and I recommend it to all those who enjoy the series, and also any American History buffs or anyone who is looking for a good mystery! 5 Stars! icn_5star (Review by Barron Angell)

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