Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lauren Takes Leave


I thought the book was very funny. Some of the things Lauren was getting herself into was funny. I liked the idea that Lauren could have a story around being at jury duty just to get away from her everyday life. Although a bit disappointed that the jury duty idea was short lived, I thought that the story took a whole new life when she went to a party and was left loose. The idea that Lauren and her friend Kat were teachers. Oh how people will talk knowing that they are teachers. Her friends Kat and Jodi were her foundation without them this story wouldn't be so funny.
The pole dancing, the bathroom antics, and certainly their trip to Miami was a blast but when does it in real life people who are teachers ever do this? Exactly it is what they would dream of. Thank goodness for understandable husband and new found friends Tim, and Lenny. Lauren at the end decided on her own that her life wasn't so bad after all, decided for some changes to be made.
It's definitely a chick lit book. With a lot of things going on that people just dream of doing.
I give Lauren Takes Leave 4----->
Just because I felt the story got a bit outrageous toward the end there.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Far From Home



I can't help but think when I was reading this story of my own grandmother. My grandmother had a stepmother just like Kitty, Bridget, and Anne did. But I never heard of my grandmother's family needing to leave the house because a new wife was coming in.
They didn't like her as Kitty and her sisters didn't. But they left as as soon as they could.
I guess that's what the custom was when there was no male to carry on the business.

And so goes what happened to those three girls. The father was a blacksmith with no sons to carry on the business.The author does set Kitty in a job that does work out for her. Even though hard work she actually found a family,household that cared. The only tragic part was when the other two youngest had to endure the stepmother. But in that long run they went to America and stayed with their Aunt, and they loved their home. Kitty ended up in Liverpool and made it work there.

I think the author painted a feel good picture of Kitty. She always seemed to be taken care of. She married even though it was a marriage of convince,had a little boy. And sadly her husband was killed but she was left with a nice sum of money from the three grocery's that he owned. Even though it was tragedy Kitty comes out that she goes home to Ireland and makes good to buy the house that she felt most at home at, Harwood Hall.

There was sappy romance written. For reasons of the boy's mother that Kitty never stayed together with the boy she loved, after she came home just happened the two find each other and declare their love for each other. All is made right with the mother. And they live happily ever after.

It was a good story and I'm glad I read it. But I do give Far From Home 4-------> just how it being sappy was written. At the end. And it came too fast, no build up.

Friday, March 07, 2014

The Last Chinese Chef

This was a book that I picked with a coupon I received from getting the Nook HD. Wasn't sure about the story but said what the heck never read anything from this author anyway.
I was very much pleased with this book. At first wasn't sure where it was going. A woman who lost her husband only to find out that he might have a child in China. As it moved on, Maggie the widow, went to China to find out what was going on. In the meantime she had a job to do with writing a food article of this man and his search to be like his family the last Chinese chef. Hmm.. the two met and well naturally I think what else? Romance.
But not so fast. As Maggie got to know Sam the chef, she also learned about Chinese cuisine, Chinese culture. Sam wanted the old world cooking. Even the tools were no longer available. Modern and clean. But is it really that much better? As Maggie interviewed Sam she learnt that boiling, steaming or stir-frying are preferred, in that order, stacking food to conserve fuel.
It didn't matter if chefs were rich or poor. It mattered that food was created for that person. It became an art. To know the diner, to perceive the diner. Feed the body and also the mind and soul. It's about community. It's about sharing!
Sam was translating his grandfather's book, The Last Chinese Chef to English, he was asked if he felt like the last Chinese chef. He answered maybe one of the last. He feels more optimistic than his grandfather. His grandfather felt imperial style would die with his generation. And so did his father think that also. Even the old fashioned gesture of taking a tea cup with two hands is sign of respect is noted to keep.
I found it interesting how American Chinese food isn't taken seriously as their own culture. Everything is short cut and doesn't take their culture of feeding the diner to heart

The story was laced with the hint of romance indeed. I really thought it was weird since I thought that Maggie was much older than Sam. Not until the end of the book that I found out that wasn't the case. Maggie weaved a place in Sam's mind. Even to the point that they were there for each other. Maggie with Sam's cooking (trying to be placed for the Olympics) and Sam being supportive for Maggie while and after she found out the child wasn't her husband's.  Just felt like a rebound relationship. But I'm glad I was wrong. First time in a long time that I actually read a story that was only hinting of romance, and food and culture came first right to the end. Of course Maggie and Sam got together. But in a respectful  and natural way.

I give The Last Chinese Chef 5-------> 
I wouldn't mind reading another story by Nicole Mones

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

To The Nines


I was very much pleased with To The Nines. I was starting to think someone has lost their edge. Finally the series gets back to being funny. Stephanie has her quirkiness back. The sex/love tension between Morelli and Ranger always a nice item to read. Oh to have the problems that Step has with those two. LOL! Not much on Grandma Mazur or Stephanie's family. Thought it would be fun to read about Lula and Stephanie, but I was wrong.

The Lula character was a bit much this time around. I get it Lula is overweight and the way she thinks is waay outside the box. But having to always hear that she needs meat was a turn off. Even at the end of story where she needs food for stressful situation. Ok I got it already. And guess you need something "funny" to close on for Lula.

Connie was an interesting character outside of work. Always a good time, especially in Vegas. Albert and Valerie was good to read also. Switch it up a bit.
Some things that I thought amusing:
A new job for Stephanie with nuts and bolts. Not! Funny stuff describing her co worker. After going undercover to find Singh, she is paired up with Jane Locarelli. Jane looked like she'd just rolled off an embalming table. Now that's a description for ya. She gets some flowers and not so nice photos at her apartment. She drops the photos and calls Joe. Someone broke into my apartment and left flowers and ph-photos. Should I call the police? Honey I am the police. "So I'm covered". "Okay just checking." You got it girlfriend, boyfriend is a cop. A Ranger moment where he puts things in perspective. Joe has no life, he is the job. Stephanie you have one. You shop for shoes,you eat Butterscotch Krimpets, have a hamster, and half owner of a dog, and 30% of a cop, also a scary family. For throughout the rest of book Stephanie thinks, really only 30%
 Finally a time where Ranger and Stephanie work good together even if Ranger pushes Stephanie in a bush while taking someone in. Even if Ranger is her bodyguard with his Merry Men. Merry Men indeed, poor guys always mistaken for something that Stephanie freaks out with.

As I was reading about the game that Clyde was playing I couldn't help but think the story line was a bit on the Saw series side. How each player needed to do something in order to complete the task and stay alive Seeing at work, how movies and writing (books) can go hand in hand.And how they can help one another. That's not saying when a book comes a movie.

I guess it's on to the next one I go. I give To The Nines 4------------->
Just because of the repetitiveness with Lula's eating meat.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Dream When You're Feeling Blue

First time reading this author. The story was a very good one. Not too light and not too heavy. I think the way the author wrote about the war was telling all that there is to tell from a book that is a romance too. I remember the stories my father would tell me. Brings back memories. Especially when the letters that they write is always somewhere in ... My dad's was always somewhere in the South Pacific.
There was something that was said by one of the brother's in the story. He posed a good question. Is war a sin? It makes you think if someone is telling you it's bad to kill someone but the military goes in and things happened like that at times. It is confusing. And with that section I believe was answered a way that a young boy can grasp. Kudos for showing that the women can, and did make a difference. Kitty Heaney did just that. Knowing more about a wrench was more satisfying than doing girly things. She felt she was doing her part.
The relationship of the three sisters, Kitty,Louise,and Tish were strong. They're job to make the soldiers feel better was to write to them about anything. Along writing their boyfriends. Kitty did wonder if writing these boys did any good but her dad,Frank Heaney put it a good way. A soldier needs to believe, he needs us to believe in him. Don't show him by mourning the fact that he's not here. But by celebrating the life we are privileged to lead because of his sacrifice.
Even though relationships didn't work out. I really thought that the girls that eventually found the guys for them would end up with them. But the ending of story did change. I guess those sisters were strong and stuck together. And not to let it go unmentioned their mother,Margaret was a strong woman herself. With raising girls and boys. Six children dealing with eating disorder from her son,and a baby to beat. You have to lean on family to stay strong.

Was a bit confusing when author would write characters, all the children, as calling their parents, Margaret and Frank Heaney  as not part of their family but regarding them as passive caretakers.So that was different. I had no favorite character. All the characters were as equally good. Even the flames,Julian,Hank,and Michael  Other than that I enjoyed the story. Must of since I finished reading it faster than other stories. I wouldn't mind reading another of Elizabeth Berg's books.


I give Dream When You're Feeling Blue 5------------> 
This is a bookcrossing book and hope to send it along to another bookcrosser. Hope they like as I did.