MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Reviews by CarolT

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Mimi Malloy, At Last!
by Julia MacDonnell
Mimi survives - and thrives (2/2/2014)
My mother was born nearly the same year as Mimi, the middle of 10 children, 7 of them girls. She has never talked about her childhood and steered us away when we tried to ask. She had no missing sisters and her parents lived to ripe old age, but there is something about that era that keeps many people from discussing - or even remembering - it; whether the reasons be deep family secrets or the hardship of growing up on a farm during the depression. Hurrah for Mimi and the women in her family who, however, unwillingly, face the past so they can face the future.
Safe with Me
by Amy Hatvany
A good book for a rainy afternoon (11/12/2013)
This is one of those relatively light-in-plot-and-character books that pulls the reader in anyway. I hunger for a book with well developed characters and character/plot driven responses, but until I find the next one, Amy Hatvany's Safe with Me will do.
A Man of His Own
by Susan Wilson
Enthralling (8/11/2013)
As a dog lover, I loved it - and I don't love all dog stories, even some of the most popular have left me cold. But this one, coupled with the historical aspect and the Pax's people family, drew me in held me there. I was sorry to have it end.
The Mouse-Proof Kitchen
by Saira Shah
Excellent (6/18/2013)
Saria Shah draws readers into Anna's well-planned perfect world just as it comes crashing down -- or does it? That question keeps those same readers intrigued until Anna finds the answer.
The Daughters of Mars
by Thomas Keneally
Super! (5/13/2013)
Daughters of Mars is excellent in so many ways. Not only has Keneally created an enthralling plot and interesting three-dimensional characters, but he managed to write in a way that captures 1915. I could be reading a diary written then, not a novel from nearly 100 years later.
One Minus One: Nancy Pearl's Book Lust Rediscoveries
by Ruth Doan MacDougall
Superb! (4/7/2013)
I understand why Nancy Pearl chose this one for Book Lust Rediscoveries. Excellent plot growing from a believable character, who, while she may not react as I would, reacts in a truly reasonable manner to the forces around her. As with all truly good books, once I turned the last page, I found myself imagining how Emily's life might go on. I will look for more by Ruth Doan MacDougall. (Why haven't I run onto her before? My loss.)
Close My Eyes
by Sophie McKenzie
Good read but gullible protagonist (4/7/2013)
Gripping read - once I truly was able to disregard reality and the gullibility of the protagonist. The author does know how to put together a plot and keep the reader turning pages. Now, if she can just develop a truly believable premise....
The Spy Lover
by Kiana Davenport
Surprisingly excellent (12/2/2012)
Three alternating viewpoints makes this a difficult book to get into, but once I was, it was mesmerizing. And the research was impressive - I was right there with Johnny Tom, Era, and Warren.
The Woman at the Light: A Novel
by Joanna Brady
A Woman at the Light (6/28/2012)
A page turner. Excellent for book club discussions. Good historical accuracy, which is a big plus. My only criticism: for most of the book, nearly everything happens to Emily and we see her cope. I would have preferred her to act rather than react.
Wife 22: A Novel
by Melanie Gideon
Mixed (4/2/2012)
Reading this book was a little like reading someone else's online diary, with Google searches (sometimes random) tossed in for reasons that often escaped me. While I can see this for a bookclub discussion, as a novel I'll remember...not particularly.
Until the Next Time: A Novel
by Kevin Fox
Time Travel with a twist (2/8/2012)
Nice time travel and interesting premise, but the device of using the same names in different generations (Sean Michael, Michael Sean) makes the reader work harder than necessary early on. The more the reader has to work, the more likely he or she will put the book down without finishing it.
Proof of Heaven: A Novel
by Mary Curran Hackett
Fast read, Good analogies (9/3/2011)
While some of Hackett's scenes are contrived and she frequently resorted to telling her readers what they should have gotten from a story or scene when she might have trusted them to "get the point" from what she was showing, the book is a good, fast read, with good analogies - searching and finding, what constitutes a family, the pain and pleasure of unconditional love. An excellent book for book clubs, or just for a few friends to read and discuss.
Before Ever After: A Novel
by Samantha Sotto
Before Ever After (6/15/2011)
I, too, am a fan of time travel, so was a little disapponted to discover this is the story of an immortal man. That aside, the author had an an interesting idea and with a little more effort to round out the characters and make time more linear, could have created a memorable book.
The Tudor Secret: The Elizabeth I Spymaster Chronicles
by C. W. Gortner
The Tudor Secret (3/21/2011)
Interesting point of view -- a young male servant -- and good feel for the times in the pacing and language, but a little unbelievable that a young servant would so quickly become enmeshed in intrigue, particularly when the young Princess Elizabeth knows so very well that her life is at stake.
The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World
by Laura J. Snyder
Philosophical Breakfast Club (1/4/2011)
Every page reminds me of yet another person who would really enjoy this book. I may have to buy a peck of them for gifts this next year!! Historian, scientist, mathematician, economist, inquiring mind....there's something here to satisfy nearly everyone's interest.
Ever By My Side: A Memoir in Eight Acts Pets
by Dr. Nick Trout
Ever By My Side (1/2/2011)
A thoughtful memoir about a man, his pets, and the effect they had on each other's lives. Although Dr Trout is a vet, his experiences and his family's are very much like those of the rest of us -- dogs who pull on the leash, cats and dogs who misbehave and love us despite our shortcomings. I have not read his earlier works about his vet practice, but am now interested in finding those as well. Highly recommended for all animal lovers.
Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel
by Tom Franklin
Exceedingly readable -- a page turner (10/7/2010)
Hard to put down, even on the weariest of evenings! I'll read this author's work again.
Death Echo
by Elizabeth Lowell
Disappointing (6/13/2010)
Death Echo is the first book I've read by Elizabeth Lowell and is very likely to be the last. For the first 300 pages, suspense is missing, sex is gratuitous, characterizations are thin, and the plot is weak. Why do Emma and Mac trust each other? Why does anyone trust Alara? Who is Steele and why do we waste time on his point of view? Death Echo could have been a very strong book -- a US city is in danger in a very realistic way -- and Emma and Mac could have been people we cared about. Since Lowell has many books in print, I can only surmise that she is successful enough that her editor sees no point in editing -- her books will sell no matter how weak.

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