Lots of herrings, red and otherwise...

Book title: Skeleton Key
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Skeleton Key - book cover picture

Skeleton Key is probably the best thing Jane Haddam's written to date -- and that's saying something considering how prolific she's been over these past 15 years. Her writing seems to have come alive and taken a more mature direction. The characters are filled out. The settings are wonderful -- I saw them all in my mind's eye. I know the country club. I know the cemetery. I know the village green, corned by churches. And I fell for all of the traps, herrings and wild geese -- enough so, I could practically hear Haddam laughing over the fun creating yet another 'gotcha!' She's a master (mistress?) of such sly doings and is at the top of her form in Skeleton Key. My only complaint is I read it too fast because I couldn't put it down!

EAN: 9780312209094
Pages: 276
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Jane Haddam


Book title: Highland Dream (Wink & a Kiss)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Highland Dream (Wink & a Kiss) - book cover picture

Highland Dream was my first time travel romance, and I loved it! The non-stop action kept me turning pages and wondering, "How will they ever get out of THIS?" Besides the action, Highland Dream also has all the important elements of a good romance, including one of the sexiest men I've ever encountered in romantic fiction (actually two of the sexiest, but one's a virgin!) and a sympathetic, well-rounded heroine. Jix Ferguson is cocky, willful, and a habitual liar, and her antics land her and her friends in one disaster after another, but she loves her friends, always means well, and suffers more than anyone else when her plans go awry. Her mouthiness makes for good laughs, another of the book's strengths. Mallory's humor has an edge, avoiding the strained cutsiness that mars some writers' efforts at humor. This book has it all--action, fiery sexual tension, and lots of laughs.

EAN: 9780505524447
Pages: 320
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Company
Tess Mallory


Book title: Expecting the Best: 9 Months Later (Harlequin Superromance No. 868)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Expecting the Best: 9 Months Later (Harlequin Superromance No. 868) - book cover picture

I fell in love with Zach Harmon almost immediately. The tension in this book was high. Usually, I symphathize with the heroine because the hero is being so blockheaded. Not this time. Even though Zach didn't know he was in love with Shelley, his manner toward her was gentle and caring. Shelley on the other hand, was the blockhead. (I mean that in a good way.) She was putting all kinds of stumbling blocks in Zach's way and not once did her lose his temper -- not even when she purposefully neglected to tell him she was pregnant. (Of course, she had his best interests at heart.) It was a refreshing twist to familiar plot. One I love! Keep up the good work.

EAN: 9780373708680
Publisher: Harlequin
Lynnette Kent

How about 10 stars :-)

Book title: Welcome to Temptation
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Welcome to Temptation - book cover picture

Cruise is great. Her stories are like listening to a friend at lunch. WELCOME TO TEMPTATION is one of her best. Temptation gets a wake up call when Sophie, Amy, and Davy Dempsey hit town. Phin, the mayor, knows he's in trouble when he meets Sophie, but he still goes down without a fight. From porn movies and local theater to water towers and pillars of society this is a great read. I haven't met a Crusie book I didn't like yet.

EAN: 9780312252946
Pages: 352
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Jennifer Crusie

Fantastic book!

Book title: Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe - book cover picture

In addition to arguing very convincingly for a surprising conclusion, it's one of the most lucid introductions to Astronomy, Geology, and Evolutionary Microbiology in existence. By far my favorite piece of science liturature.This book has silenced many a skeptic (at least the ones who will read it). As for the reviewer who tried to slip in the arguement 'life as we know it', read the book before you assume the conclusion is audatious. No scientists are saying that this is the absolute truth. But after you read the book, you realize that the rare earth hypothesis is simply the most likely situation. You can't live your life (or conduct government policy) on what we might not know about. The burden is on the skeptic to argue that there can be some "other kind of life".

EAN: 9780387987019
Pages: 368
Publisher: Springer
Peter Ward
Donald Brownlee

Diez Deditos

Book title: Diez deditos = 10 Little Fingers & Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Diez deditos = 10 Little Fingers & Other Play Rhymes and Action Songs from Latin America - book cover picture

The author, Jose Luis Orozco, is a bilingual educator/singer who keeps English-speaking and Spanish-speaking children interested throughout his books and accompanying music. As a substitute teacher, I have used his books and tapes extensively in elementary school classes over the years. I have had the privilege of attending his concerts at elementary schools several times and have thoroughly enjoyed his work.I recommend the two books authored by Jose Luis Orozco, that I have purchased and read many times with students.

EAN: 9780525457367
Pages: 64
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Elisa Kleven

Even better than the first one!

Book title: Shadow Prey
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
Shadow Prey - book cover picture

Those of you who loved "Rules of Prey" will not be disappointed with Sandford's second installment in his "Prey" series. Taking a different direction from the first one, this book follows Lucas' pursuit of a group of Indian terrorists (Native American, not people from India) who have been murdering oppressors of the Indian community. I loved this book and the whole concept on which it is based. I particularly enjoyed the villain, Shadow Love, a psychotic member of the group who would rather kill anyone he feels deserves to die. The only thing I didn't like about this book was its portrayal of FBI agents as arrogant screw-ups who like to horn in on the cops' investigations. That stereotype is just a Hollywood clich? that has managed to perpetuate every police book/movie in history. Other than that, the book was an exciting read, easily one of the best.

EAN: 9780425126066
Pages: 368
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
John Sandford

Sob inducer

Book title: J.T.
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
J.T. - book cover picture

Ah, "JT"...I used to borrow this book from a friend of mine when I was in elementary school way back in the mid 80's...after school I would buy a Wachamacallit and a handfull of Bazooka Joes, sprawl on my bed & have a sugar and sob fest as I savored both my candy & my millionth reading of this beautiful, achingly sad book.
About 2 yrs ago I ordered this book off Amazon - it having been a good 15 years or so since I'd read it. The day it arrived, I came home from work, tore open the package, stood at the table (still wearing my coat), and - from merely skimming through the last 5 pages - starting CRYING, again! Haha! Needless to say, this is quite a moving tale, and not quite as morbidly depressing as I may be painting it - it also has a solid moral (a child's first lesson in empathy through the care of a stray cat) and a hopefull and sweet epilogue...

EAN: 9780440442752
Pages: 128
Publisher: Yearling
Jane Wagner

Baxter's romp through H.G. Wells' universe

Book title: The Time Ships
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
The Time Ships - book cover picture

A sequel to "The Time Machine" - the first great science fiction novella ever written and still a classic all further works must be compared to - has often been tried. Usually without any success.Not here. Baxter's romp through the Wellsian universe includes not only "The Time Machine" but other Wells short stories, such as his predictions of tank warfare, as well as modern physics and SF themes. Well written, imaginative, and with real characters. Baxter's best work.

EAN: 9780006480129
Publisher: Harpercollins Pub Ltd
Stephen Baxter

Dragon's Fat Cat

Book title: Dragon's Fat Cat: Dragon's Fourth Tale (Pilkey, Dav, Dragon Tales.)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Dragon's Fat Cat: Dragon's Fourth Tale (Pilkey, Dav, Dragon Tales.) - book cover picture

This early chapter book was given to my son by his preschool teacher as a reward for potty training. He was thrilled because it was his first chapter book which meant that he was one of the big boys. That was three years ago and it is still his favorite book to read. The chapters are short enough that you can read the entire book to children before bedtime. It's funny, well written and wonderfully illustrated - the best book he has out of a collection of at least 50 books. I am in the process of trying to find the entire series for him. Definety a don't miss!

EAN: 9780531059821
Pages: 48
Publisher: Orchard Books (NY)
Dav Pilkey

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