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The Storyteller
The Storyteller
by Jodi Picoult
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.68
186 used & new from $1.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgettable! Not To Be Missed!, July 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Storyteller (Paperback)
The Storyteller is the first book by Jodi Picoult I've read and it certainly won't be my last! As a matter of fact, I've already started another book (Nineteen Minutes) by Picoult; which is very "unpar" for the course for me, as I almost never read two books back-to-back by the same author. However, since I consider The Storyteller to be an exeptional book, the least I could do is to make an exception to my reading habits when it comes to this exceptional author!

I won't take your time by providing a summary of The Storyteller's plot, as this can be seen in the Booklist Description provided above. Rather, I'll offer some reasons why you might want to put The Storyteller on the top of your reading list.

One reason is that Picoult masterfully weaves a multi-layered, powerful plot that goes back and forth between the present and the years leading up to and through WWII, and especially what life (and death) is like in Auschwitz. Secondly, Picoult creates a series of characters that are at least as well developed and believable as any characters I've come "to know" through the many, many books I've read over the past 50+ years. Through these characters you will deeply feel all the emotions people are capable of feeling; and having met these characters, you will likely find yourself compelled to question your beliefs about forgiveness, guilt, and justice. Thirdly, Picoult regularly has the reader travelling on a road filled with twists and turns to ensure that The Storyteller will be a book that is difficult to put down. Finally, unlike many books I read which I tend to forget about soon after finishing them, The Storyteller -- which has as its heart, the Holocaust -- is a book I know I'll Never Forget!. And, I think this will apply to you as well.

Do yourself a huge favor and read The Storyteller as fast as you can get your hands on a copy!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 25, 2014 6:36 PM PDT

A Wolf Called Romeo
A Wolf Called Romeo
by Nick Jans
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.45
47 used & new from $15.63

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Compelling Book That Will Stay In Your Head And Heart Long After Finishing It!, July 15, 2014
This review is from: A Wolf Called Romeo (Hardcover)
Nick Jans does an excellent job in telling the true story (at least from his perspective) of his six-year friendship with a wild, yet gentle black wolf and the people and dogs of Juneau, Alaska.

Rather then reinvent the wheel, so to speak, in describing what A Wolf Called Romeo is about, I'll just extract parts from the jacket cover which should tell you what you need to know in deciding if this book will be of interest to you: "A Wolf Called Romeo is the story of a lone black wolf who returned again and again to interact with the people and dogs of Juneau, living on the edges of their community, engaging in an improbable awe-inspiring interspecies dance and bringing the wild into sharp focus. At first the people of Juneau were guarded, torn between shoot-first-ask questions-later instincts and curiousity. But as Romeo began to tag along with cross-country skiers on their daily jaunts, play fetch with local dogs, or simply lie near Nick and nap under the sun, they came to accept Romeo, as he was called by those who came to know him. For Nick, it was about trying to understand Romeo, then it was about winning his trust, and ultimately it was about watching over him for as long as he or anyone could."

For me, personally, I found A Wolf Called Romeo to be both a very educational read about wolves (although some will argue that Jans, being a wildlife activist, is somewhat biased in the writing), as well as being a very emotional book. The book made made feel that I wanted to be, as were many residents of Juneau, a "Friend of Romeo", as well as making me feel that I was right alongside Nick Jans as he lived through his remarkably fascinating and, ultimately, sad experiences with Romeo.

I agree that some of the points of view Jans presents in this book are biased in favor of Romeo and of wildlife in general; but since I, for the most part, hold similar views as the author, I consider A Wolf Called Romeo to be a very compelling and inspiring read. As such, I would highly recommend it to anyone other than those who consider any type of wildlife to be "fair game."
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2014 5:57 PM PDT

New Balance Women's W1080 Cushion Running Shoe,Silver/Purple,8 B US
New Balance Women's W1080 Cushion Running Shoe,Silver/Purple,8 B US
Price: $134.99
2 used & new from $134.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light and Attractive, July 15, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This review is written by my wife

I have not been a runner for quite a few years but I do like to order running shoes for long walks. These shoes do not disappoint for walking but I do question whether they would be cushioned enough for heavy running. They are very lightweight and look great-the colors are bright and attractive without being too garish. I ordered a size 8 which would usually be just about right for me but I find that they are a little snug in the toebox. A size 8 1/2 probably would have felt a little better but they do tend to stretch out a bit so I think they will be fine in a few weeks. I would recommend going up a half size for most runners to prevent any rubbing issues in the toe area.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 18, 2014 6:03 PM PDT

One Kick: A Novel (A Kick Lannigan Novel)
One Kick: A Novel (A Kick Lannigan Novel)
by Chelsea Cain
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.71

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Having Now Finished One Kick I'm Giving It The Boot!, July 8, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Given my strong interest in thrillers and having enjoyed Chelsea Cain's early books, One Kick is a book I was sure I would like. Unfortunately, this turned out not to be the case
Before stating why I was disappointed in One Kick, let me briefly describe its plot. It's main character is 21 year old Kate Lannigan, who is a survivor after being kidnapped at the age of six and remaining a victim for another five years. In the early months of being rescued, Kate struggled with PTSD and only learning how to fight helped her to cope. By the time she is thirteen, Kate (nicknamed Kick), vowing never to be victimized again, excelled in marksmanship, martial arts, boxing, archery and knife throwing. But when two children go missing in the same month, Kate/Kick goes into a tailspin. During this time, she is approached by a stranger who proposes that Kate uses her experiences and expertise to help him rescue the abductees. Little does Kate realize that the case will lead directly into her terrifying past.

Okay, now for why I was disappointed and, ultimately, disliked the book. Two main reasons...

First off, while the plot has its exciting moments, I mostly found that the author's approach of regularly shifting from the time Kate was held captive to the present too often disrupted the book's pacing. As such, I had a hard time maintaining the level of suspense and thrills I expected and desired when I started reading One Kick.

The second and equally important reason pertains to the main character, Kate/Kick, and her involvement with another key character, the enigmatic John Bishop. While I fully expected to be interested in the Kate Lannigan character based on her experiences and training, my anticipated interest was not highly satisfied as I never came to care much about her. Similarly, I never felt that Cain let me get to know John Bishop well enough to care about him as well. Further, I found the relationship between these two characters to be somewhat predictable.

It is without doubt that One Kick is the start of a new series. I, however, will not be tagging along with Kate "Kick" Lannigan in future books in this series. Put another way, I am giving Kick "the boot."
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 9, 2014 7:35 AM PDT

Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance)
Sycamore Row (Jake Brigance)
by John Grisham
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.31
407 used & new from $1.38

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overall, Worth Reading But Dragged Too Much in The Middle!, July 3, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
In Sycamore Row, Grisham returns to the setting and brings back several of the memorable characters first introduced in A Time To Kill that helped establish him as one of the most popular storytellers writing today.

Be aware, however, If you pick up Sycamore Row because you anticipate it to be as entralling and exciting as A Time To Kill, you are liable to be a bit disappointed. The plot of Sycamore Row is built around a handwritten will prepared shortly before a very ill, very wealthy man from small town Clanton, Mississippi kills himself and leaves the vast majority of his large estate to his African-American maid and nothing to his children and grandchildren. Lawyer Jake Brigance, the hero from A Time To Kill, is hired as the lawyer for the estate to make sure that the dead man's directions are carried out exactly as instructed. This is definitely a challenging case for Brigance as, expected, each of the children and grandchildren hire their own lawyers to contest the will. While this plot is interesting and Grisham does a good job in making the reader feel a sense of "being there'' throughout the book, Sycamore Row does not have the thrills often evident in a Grisham legal thriller, and certainly not like in A Time To Kill.

Further, while never boring to me, I felt that the pace of the book slowed down more times than I would have liked during a good portion of the middle of the book. I felt that if the book was 50-75 pages or so shorter, my attention span would have always stayed at a high level, rather than fluctuating as often as it did. Nevertheless, Sycamore Row is an entertaining read worthy of your consideration -- as long as you don't expect a book filled with non-stop thrills and surprises.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 21, 2014 9:17 PM PDT

10k White Gold Blue Topaz and Diamond Heart Ring (0.1 Cttw, G-H Color, I2-I3 Clarity), Size 7
10k White Gold Blue Topaz and Diamond Heart Ring (0.1 Cttw, G-H Color, I2-I3 Clarity), Size 7
Price: $177.29

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty and Delicate, July 3, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I chose this ring from the Vine program because I thought my wife would like it-this review is written by her.

I really like this blue topaz and diamond ring! The color of the stone is a very pretty light blue and the quality of the small diamonds around the stone and on the band seems to be quite good. All the stones have a nice sparkle and clarity. It is a delicate piece of jewelry which can be worn on any finger. I decided to have it sized for my pinkie and it fits well with my other rings. The selling price on Amazon-between $145 and $180 seems about right.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 4, 2014 8:16 AM PDT

Milo's Kitchen Chicken Grillers Recipe Dog Treats, 15-Ounce
Milo's Kitchen Chicken Grillers Recipe Dog Treats, 15-Ounce
Price: $14.98
6 used & new from $9.49

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Pal, Luigi, Loves These Chicken Grillers (And All Of The Other Treats From Milo's Kitchen)!, June 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
My dog, Luigi, has never met a dog treat or a "people" treat that he doesn't like. So, getting him to eat has never been an issue. What is an issue with this treat is being able to get out of the way fast enough after I break up a few of these treats and place it on the floor for him to eat. While he hasn't told me in a language that I can understand, Luigi makes it very clear that he enjoys his Milo's Chicken Grillers almost as much as the "people" food my wife cooks for him.

While my dog loves these treats for their taste, I like them a lot for two main reasons -- one being that they are made in the USA by a company I trust (Milo's Kitchen, a subsidiary of Del Monte), and the other being that its number one listed ingredient is chicken breast.

At a price of $14.98 for a 15-ounce bag on Amazon, this treat is expensive; but I am careful in doling these out to my pal so that I won't have to buy them as often as some of his other treats. There is no doubt, however, that I will be buying this treat (as well as other Milo's Kitchen treats) again in the near future.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2014 11:13 AM PDT

White-Gold Diamond and Tanzanite Heart Pendant Necklace (0.06cttw, G-H Color, I2-I3 Clarity), 17"
White-Gold Diamond and Tanzanite Heart Pendant Necklace (0.06cttw, G-H Color, I2-I3 Clarity), 17"
Price: $144.70

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, June 23, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This review was written by my wife for whom I selected this item.

I was so looking forward to this necklace because it looked so lovely in the ad. Unfortunately it is so tiny that I don't think most adult (or even teenaged) women would wear it. The quality of the stones is very nice-you can tell that they are the real thing-because of their pretty color and sparkle.

You might want to consider this necklace as a pretty gift for a girl aged 7-12.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 4, 2014 10:02 AM PDT

The Farm
The Farm
by Tom Rob Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $26.00
98 used & new from $8.60

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Big Letdown From One Of My Favorite Authors!, June 19, 2014
This review is from: The Farm (Hardcover)
After reading Smith's Child 44 trilogy, he quickly became one of my favorite authors; and an author whose books I'd buy based on his name alone. Proof of this is my decision to purchase The Farm even though its plot represents a big departure from the type I've come to expect from him. Without going into detail about the plot, which is described in the Amazon Book Description and other reader reviews, I actually admired Smith for stepping out of his comfort zone to provide a sort of a "she-said, he-said" psychological mystery reminiscent of Gone Girl. I think he knew that he could be alienating some of his fan base by delivering a story written in a style very different from the type that created his fan base; and based, on the reviews to-date, The Farm seems to be having a very polarizing effect on readers.

As to me, personally, I was enjoying The Farm (although not nearly as much as I enjoyed the Child 44 trilogy, and especially the first book), throughout most of the book. Specifically, I was entertained by its slow-building plot, Smith's "way with words", and its strongly developed (albeit mostly unlikeable) characters.

Then, I came to the end!

The Farm ended so abruptly and left me with so many unanswered questions, I found myself shaking my head in disbelief and dissatisfaction. As such, The Farm is not a book I'd recommend.

I remain a fan of Tom Rob Smith but not as "die-hard" a fan as a I was prior to reading The Farm. Hopefully, Smith will return to form in his next book.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 6, 2014 2:15 PM PDT

The Auschwitz Escape
The Auschwitz Escape
by Joel C. Rosenberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.07
101 used & new from $13.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 Stars -- Excellent From An Historical Perspective But A Bit Disappointing In Regards To Plot And Character Development!, June 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Auschwitz Escape (Hardcover)
I won't take your time providing an overview of the The Auschwitz Escape, as this can be found in the Amazon Book Description above and in many reader reviews. Rather my review will provide my opinion of the book, which will, hopefully, be of help in deciding if it is a book you want to read.

Given that this book received a 5-star overall rating based on many hundreds of reader reviews at the time I started reading The Auschwitz Escape and given my personal connection with the subject matter, I was confident that I would be providing a 5-star rating when I finished reading it. Having now finished The Auschwitz Escape, I liked the book overall, found it to be a 'page-turner,' and felt that Rosenberg did an excellent job in researching the subject and in providing an accurate historical perspective. However, I did not feel that the book lived up to my expectations from a fictional perspective. As such, my overall rating is 4 stars (rounded up from 3 1/2 stars).

The reasons for my being somewhat disappointed from a fictional standpoint stems from my feeling that Rosenberg did just an average job in terms of plot and character development -- which is what I look for in a good work of fiction.

Plotwise, I felt that Rosenberg often made me feel that I was an "outsider looking in," rather than allowing me to feel that I was "right there" along side the characters experiencing everything they were going through. Perhaps, the author did this intentionally so not to make the reader feel any more emotionally upset than they might have been due to the gut-wrenching nature of life (and death) in Auschwitz. If so, I could understand it -- but I, personally, felt more was needed.

As to character development, I felt the characters were just serviceable enough to move the plot along; but, for the most part, Rosenberg's development of the characters rarely enabled me to feel truly connected with them. In a way, I felt the characters were more "acqaintances" rather then good friends and/or family members with whom I am emotionally bonded.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 6, 2014 2:04 PM PDT

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