4
Jan
2010

A summary of the books I’ve read in 2014 (most recent on top). Click on Titles to go to Amazon and order.
TBD

A summary of the books I’ve read in 2013 (most recent on top). Click on Titles to go to Amazon and order.
MORE TBD

4 stars The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure
A very strong entry into the fantasy genre. I’ve always liked, but not loved, the movie. This book is much better, most notably because of the author’s satirical and whimsical asides all throughout.
3 stars Ringworld
I loved the last Niven book, that right after I put it down, I had to find another. This one was very good, but not quite as wonderful as the Mote was.
4 stars The Mote in God’s Eye
Very intriguing premise about evolution and out of control populations. Set in a sci-fi universe that’s somewhat sexist to the modern reader, but not quite to the level of Heinlein.

A summary of the books I’ve read in 2012 (most recent on top). Click on Titles to go to Amazon and order.

3.5 stars The River Witch
Rather melancholy story about a woman who loses her career due to a crippling accident, and the people whose lives she touches when she tries to escape to recover in a rented home near a Georgia island river. Not particularly a tear-jerker, just a little wistful. Great read, though. I was surprised I liked it as much as I did.
3 stars The Taste of Night (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 2)
Book 2 in the Sign of the Zodiac, urban superhero series. Very gritty, some what dirty and vengeful, but quite entertaining.
3 stars Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption
Very well-researched account of the life of Louis Zamparini, focusing mostly on his ordeal as a POW held by the Japanese during WWII. One thing this work highlights is the actions and intentions of the Japanese toward their enemies. Our educational system only seems to focus on the “decision” to drop the bomb, not what the basis for the “decision” really was. I thought I would like this book more, because I really loved Seabiscuit, by the same author, but perhaps this subject matter was just a little darker.
3.5 stars River Marked (Mercy Thompson, Book 6)
Back in the Mercy Thompson, walker/werewolf world. I just wish she’d lose the vampire characters. Don’t like them.
4 stars Magnolia Wednesdays
I really enjoyed this novel about a TV investigative reporter, who finds herself living back at home, embroiled in southern suburban angst, and making the best of it. I don’t usually read chick-lit, and I don’t usually read contemporary southern novels. This one was both, and it worked well for me. Smarter than most chick-lit books tend to be.
3 stars PP Julia’s Chocolates
I’m on a Cathy Lamb binge. This was her debut, and was fun, entertaining reading.
No Image Available 3 stars The Last Time I Was Me
Another by Cathy Lamb. Not as good as others, a little slow and harder to get into.
4 stars Henry’s Sisters
Endearing, but over the emotional top, novel about a special needs boy’s quirky trio of sisters and their complicated relationships among themselves and their mother.
3 stars This Perfect Day: A Novel
70s-style sci/fi. Interesting concept about a society completely controlled by what computers think we should be doing. Kind of weird ending, in a very 70s way.
3.5 stars Gunmetal Magic
A pretty good novel taking place in the Kate Daniels Universe, by the same author. Expands on one of the other characters.
2 stars Kitty Steals the Show
This series has gotten boring.
2.5 stars When She Woke
The plot and story would have been much better if the focus was more on the personal ordeal and much less heavy-handed on the anti-Christian flavor. it is one thing to work in an imagined society where the evils of religious based totalitarianism takes over, but the often arbitrary commentary on current religions seemed forced and detrimental to the plot movement. This story just didn’t live up to its potential. And, I got tired of feeling like I was being hit over the head with religion-hate.
3.5 stars Roadside Picnic (Rediscovered Classics)
This novel, written by Russian authors in the ’70s, was quite intriguing. The premise is based on a contaminated zone with deathly, mysterious phenomena and artifacts. Told from the POV of a scavenger who makes a living gathering and selling contraband from The Zone, this novella packs quite a philosophical point or two. Of course, it was fascinating to read a sci/fi story written with influences from Russian modern culture. A little despair, but quite a good book.
2 stars One Mississippi
Did not like. I chose to read this based on the recommendation of a friend who found it to be very funny, and because it was set in the early 70s in Jackson, Mississippi area where I grew up. I found the story to be difficult to wrap around, because in some places, the racial tension elements were spot on, but in others, they were way off. I found myself saying, “that would NEVER have happened” far too many times.
I like the gritty novels that Hiassen writes for adults.
5 stars Outlander: with Bonus Content
I re-read this one for bookclub. The last time I cracked it open was about 10 years ago, after the dear leader of our group recommended it to me at our first or second book club meeting. I loved it then, and I loved it again.
3 stars The Chronoliths
Listened to this as a book on tape while on a car trip with my daughter. We both thought it started out very strong, but fell flat toward the ending. Great contemplative story about the impact of knowing the inevitable and how it affects our outlook.
3 stars Skin Tight
I like the gritty novels that Hiassen writes for adults.
3 stars A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley Mysteries, No. 1)
I don’t usually read mysteries nor much in the detective genre, but this was pretty good.
4 stars Such A Pretty Face
Even though the characters from a quite dysfunctional extended family are so over-the-top, I loved it in a frantic sort of way. Told from the point of view of a child whose mother suffered a severe form of schizophrenia, it was sad, touching and funny.
3 stars Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood, Book 11)
The problem with well-loved series, is that eventually all the books start seeming to be the same. We are there now with this series.
1 stars Gossip: A Novel
I can’t believe I even finished this boring tripe. I suppose I was waiting (and waiting) to get to the juicy gossip, but it never materialized. Boring.
3 stars Cutting for Stone
At least 200 pages (1/3) of this novel about a boy in Ethiopia who grows up to become a surgeon could have easily been excised from the text without any loss of momentum. The human story was a 4 star; all of the doctory details about veins and vas and pus and bowels and exploding uteri was a disgusting 2-stars at best. This book averages out to “average.”
3 stars The Night Circus
After a very strong and delightful beginning, I became so very disenchanted with this novel. It started out as a 5 star, dragged out into a 1 star by the end. The magical realism couldn’t sustain the entire novel. Too bad, really.
4 stars A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel
I’ve read all five of Jackson’s novels, so far. In a return to the form of her earlier novels, including Gods in Alabama, Jackson has made me very happy. This novel is told from three points of view, one of whom is a stroke victim (we are told this within the first pages, so this is not a spoiler). Those chapters all by themselves are phenomenal, but combined with the stories of the other two women, it works magnificently. If you liked Gods in Alabama and Between, Georgia, you will enjoy this book, too.
2 stars The Double Bind (Vintage Contemporaries)
Best I can do is 2 stars. Probably more like 1 1/2. Concept started out great, was very interested, but the author completely lost me with his horrible “abuse” of the narrator’s point of view.
2 stars The Snow Child: A Novel
All the reviews raved on this one. I loved the descriptions of 1920s frontier living in Alaska, but hated most of the rest of this mystical story. Blech.
4 stars The Scent of Shadows (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 1)
I picked up this book on a recommendation based on the fact that I tend to really enjoy the magical urban fantasy genre these days. I was told it is a little weird, but it is a different take on Superheros. That was enough for me to give it a try.At first, I thought, “What the hell am I reading?” The novel starts out as a heaving bosom, throbbing member, icky romance novel. I checked and this novel was published under one of those romance houses. Ugh! But, then, it turned. It completely switched over to creepy evil (really creepy evil) vs not so perfect good guys. I liked it, but probably won’t read the rest of the series.
4 Stars Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, Book 5)
Yay! We leave the stupid vampires and ghosts and get back to wolf-pack dynamics. Although, the stories are starting to get a little bit girly, and I may have to counter that with a Dresden novel.
2.5 Stars Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, Book 4)
And the vampires are back. And some ghosts.
3.5 Stars Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson)
Now we dive into the Fae element of fantasy worlds. This one was better than the previous installment. Again, fast-paced like the first novel, light on the vampires.
3 Stars Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson Novels)
The second installment in the Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series. This one immediately dove into the vampire element of the world. If there is anything I cannot stand about these types of series, it’s the vampires. Why do ALL urban fantasies have to include them? Is there nothing new?
.
4 Stars Moon Called (Mercy Thompson)
This novel is the first in another urban fantasy series that I find highly readable, fast-paced and quite enjoyable. The heroine, Mercy, is a walker, not a skin-walker, but able to turn into a coyote at will. She was fostered by and lives amongst werewolves.
2 Stars Before I Go to Sleep: A Novel
First book club choice of the year. While this was a fast book to read, it bogged down in repetition toward the middle of the book, and then turned into the melodrama of the week.

A summary of the books I’ve read in 2011 (most recent on top). Click on Titles to go to Amazon and order.

? Stars The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery
In Progress. I picked this one up at the store because I loved the cover and could not resist the title.
4 Stars The Sparrow
Wow. Just, wow. If we perceive God as putting us onto our meaningful paths, then how do we deal with the pain when we fail?

I cannot write a review of this book without spoiling it or sounding trite. If the idea of Jesuits making first contact with an alien race intrigues you, go pick it up.

4 Stars The Speed of Dark
I could not put this one down. It’s listed as science fiction, but do not let you put that off; the novel falls more into the slightly futuristic, what-if-we-could-do-this category. 

The story is told from the point-of-view of a highly functioning autistic man. Lou is one of the most engaging and endearing characters I’ve read in very long time; I was torn by Lou’s choices in the novel, but I will not spoil it here. This one is guaranteed to stimulate conversations in much the same vein as Never Let Me Go did.

2 Stars Kitty’s Big Trouble (Kitty Norville, Book 9)
Another entry in the Kitty Norville fantasy/werewolf series – these are rapidly falling off into the phoning it in category.
3 Stars Death Masks: A Novel of the Dresden Files (The Dresden Files, Book 5)
Another Dresden. Comfortable, fast-paced novel, but only if you like the others in the series. Sometimes these series become tedious, but I find if I space them out, they don’t seem as repetitive.
3 Stars The Lock Artist: A Novel
Even though I found it to be a bit contrived, and light on reality in a bizarre criminal environment, this book is very enjoyable to read. I found it interesting and relaxing, as well. It was a Book Club Pick.
4 Stars Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, Book 5)
I love it when a series continues to introduce new and complex characters and plots. These urban fantasy novels are adventure-filled and fast-paced. Still.
no image 3 Stars Twin Beds: Edward Salisbury Field
You will see that the link does not take you to Amazon to purchase a book; rather, it takes you to a blog called The Neglected Books Page. This is a blog that a fellow reader friend mentioned to me where lost and forgotten books are reviewed. You can retrieve ecopies of many of these works from internet archives. 

This particular work was written in 1913, a screwy, but tame, comedy about a mix-up involving a judgemental mother, a newly wed couple, and a wandering stranger ending up in one of their new modern twin beds. This novella was the basis for screenplays for 4 movies filmed in the 20s and 30s, 3 of them named “Twin Beds.”

3 Stars A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 4)
Started out better than Volume 3, but bogged down and got boring. Part of the problem, I think, is that this volume focuses on the characters I just don’t like. There is so much story to tell, that the next book will focus on the same timeline, but the other characters. I still love Daenerys. Want more Daenerys.
3.5 Stars A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3)
Unfortunately, this third novel in the story seems to have gotten bogged down. It’s more tedious and plodding and takes forever to get to any point at all. That is, until the ending. Then it was great again. Could have benefited from much editing, I think.
4 Stars A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2)
The second entry in the series is almost as good as the first. The author continues to build on the characters and personalities of the first novel. At this point in the series, I just love Daenerys. Can’t get enough of her.
3 stars Saving CeeCee Honeycutt: A Novel
What I learned from this book: The only good man is a dead man, and all southern women are nuts.
5 Stars A Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire)
My Review is Here.
4 Stars Veronika Decides to Die: A Novel of Redemption 

Finally, a book that crossed over the 3 star threshold. This book really touched me, as I have suffered depression in the past. The story of a girl who decides suicide is preferable to living a normal, boring, routine life.

1 Stars Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back 

Current book club pick. Read it in a few hours. Didn’t like it because I am a cynical bitch.

3 Stars The Body Finder 

Easy, entertaining teen lit. A tiny bit too mature for my tween, but not too bad in that aspect. Read it in one sitting today, out on the deck, enjoying the glorious weather. It’s been so refreshing to completely waste a day. I needed the escape.

3 Stars The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America 

Normally, I do not choose to read non-fiction. I find them to be repetitive and boring.  This book was really interesting though.   It details the history of the Chicago World’s fair of the late 1890’s mostly from the perspective of the men designing, building and running the expo.  However, the Devil is a serial killer who used the anonymity of a very large city, with plenty of young visitors, to choose his victims.   Evil.     I give this one 3 stars because it held my attention all the way.  If you normally enjoy non-fiction, you might rate it higher.

3 Stars Backseat Saints 

I’ve always loved Joshilyn Jackson’s novels, and this one did not disappoint. The subject matter, that of domestic violence, is darker than her other books, but it was still a good read. Her southern voice is gritty, but authentic.

3 Stars Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, Book 4) 

Entertaining, but a little repetitive.

3 Stars Grave Peril (The Dresden Files, Book 3) 

More!

3 Stars Fool Moon (The Dresden Files, Book 2) 

I am enjoying this urban fantasy thriller series. Easy to read, a little grittier than some other series, and a little bit more of the male POV.

3 Stars Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 10) 

I was worried about the lackluster reviews on this one, and I thought I would be disappointed in it. I wasn’t. This entry in the Sookie series was much more low-key than usual, but it focused on her personal relationships in an entertaining way. Just what I needed to read at the time – relaxing.

1.5 Stars Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum) 

She’s just phoning these in, now.

2 Stars Matched 

I get irritated at these “series” books where the only purpose is to set up the next book. Not compelling at all; what’s sad is that this one had some real potential in the teen/future/dystopia setting.

1.5 stars Confessions of a Shopaholic (Movie Tie-in Edition) 

Lame. But, readable. I read it because I got it free on my Kindle.

2 stars Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel 

Lukewarm.  The historical details about the Japanese American community during WWII were interesting, but the character development in this novel was not well done at all.  I just didn’t care about them enough.   Plus, an on-line grief support group in 1986 was just a tad too unbelievable.  Get your time-lines correct.

A summary of the books I’ve read in 2010 (most recent on top). Click on Titles to go to Amazon and order.

3 stars Storm Front (The Dresden Files, Book 1)
More supernatural fiction, from the male point of view; also from the wizard point of view.
3 stars The Heretic’s Daughter: A Novel Interesting, adequate, historical fiction.
4 stars The Android’s Dream
A minor diplomat, driven by revenge, farts in a meeting and starts an interstellar crisis that involves a genetically engineered, electric blue sheep.
4 stars Spin
One night, in the near future, the stars go out. A boy named Tyler, and his two best friends are outside and witness the event when it happens. Slowly, the human inhabitants of the earth realize they’ve been cocooned in some sort of holding bubble while the rest of the universe ages rapidly around them. For every year on Earth, a 100 million years pass by in real time. What will happen when the sun expands in 30 or 40 years earth time and swallows the solar system? I found this novel to be a very thoughtful and satisfying, character-driven, not techno-babble driven, science fiction novel.
2 stars A Dog’s Purpose
I knew better than to believe the gushing reviews that said this was the best book ever written in the history of books, and that the author “accurately” captured what goes on in a (reincarnated) dog’s mind. Really? While cute and mildly entertaining, this novel is, at best, an easy-to-read, mediocre tale about this dog’s lives, and his favorite owner. I just don’t get the hype over it. Editorial reviews call this a tear-jerker. It tried, but failed to really pull at my heartstrings, and I am a *big* crier when it comes to touching animal stories. I would recommend “The Art of Racing in the Rain” instead. Appropriate for children. I’ll pass this one on to my 12 year old.
0.1 stars Stoney Creek, Alabama
nope.
3.5 stars Kitty Goes to War (Kitty Norville, Book 8 )
Still good.
4 stars Kitty’s House of Horrors (Kitty Norville, Book 7)
It is a real surprise to me that even after 7 books, this series still holds up.
3.5 stars Kitty Raises Hell (Kitty Norville, Book 6)
3.5 stars Kitty and the Dead Man’s Hand (Kitty Norville, Book 5)
3.5 stars Kitty and the Silver Bullet (Kitty Norville, Book 4)
More fun.
3.5 stars Kitty Takes a Holiday (Kitty Norville, Book 3)
Book Three.
2.5 stars The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar
A plodding, fictionalized account of the last days of Tsar Nickolai and his family.
3 stars Kitty Goes to Washington (Kitty Norville, Book 2)
The second book in the Kitty Norville Series. Werewolf jellybeanage.
3 stars Kitty and the Midnight Hour (Kitty Norville, Book 1)
More fun fluff to add to your reading list. This is contemporary chick-lit meets fantasy werewolf tales. Told more from the point of view of the wolves than the ever popular vampire stories.
2.5 stars Home Team: Coaching the Saints and New Orleans Back to Life
As a Saints fan, I was ready to tear into this book. I really admire the things Payton has done with the Saints’ organization, especially committing to moving into a devastated city. Imagine, how difficult that would be. But, neither Payton, nor his writer, did a very good job with the book as a whole. It felt forced, almost rushed, and somewhat superficial. The parts I did like, though, were about the beginnings of his time in New Orleans, as well as the interesting little tidbits about the Superbowl experience that do not make it into other print venues.
2.5 stars Cauldron
I’ve always enjoyed McDevitt’s simple writing style for a light read; but, after reading so many of his adventure sci-fi tales, they are all starting to seem the same. He gets a little preachy on the same topics over and over. Blah.
3 stars On the Edge (The Edge, Book 1)
Fluff, fluff, entertaining fluff.
3 stars The Devil’s Eye (Alex Benedict)
Would have been much better if the length had been edited. The first half moved along pretty quickly, entertainingly. Then, it started to drag too much.
4 stars Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, Book 4)
Book four in the series is a very strong entry.
3.5 stars Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels, Book 3)
More fun in book three.
3.5 stars Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, Book 1)
Went back to read book 1 in this series. Now, book 2 makes more sense.
3.5 stars Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, Book 2)
If you like fantasy (the kind with shapeshifters, pseudoscience, magic) with a healthy dose of sarcasm, this light and easy to read adventure is for you. Unfortunately, I did not know it was book 2 of a series. Now I have to go back and read book 1.
1.5 stars Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name: A Novel (P.S.)
Have you ever had a friend who did stupid things constantly, and those things just made no sense? This book is about her.
3.5 stars Camouflage
I loved The Forever War by Haldeman. I really enjoyed this intriguing story of an alien that has no memory of where it came from.
3 stars The Survivors
This odd, little novel was one of those recommended for you suggestions that Amazon randomly comes up with. I don’t know what of my reading habits told Amazon that I wanted to read a 1950’s pulp sci-fi novel, but this time Amazon guessed well. I really enjoyed this light, interesting read. My favorite part was the killer hooved animals that had a single horn (when reared the height of these marauding “unicorns” was said to be 15 feet). These unicorns didn’t just stampede a man; rather, they dismembered him and then giddily mashed the bits to pulp. Thus –> pulp fiction! 

This novel was originally entitied The Survivors, but is reprinted under the title Space Prison.

4 stars The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Loved, loved, loved this trilogy of novels. This one was a very satisfying conclusion to the story.
3 stars The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel
Another, fun, light-reading experience that’s quite entertaining. Not as good as her other two novels, but still a good book.
3.5 stars Garden Spells
We read a Sarah Addison Allen novel earlier for book club; I enjoyed it very much, so I tried another of the author’s works. I was not disappointed.
3 stars Wicked Lovely
I was pleasantly surprised by this story about a girl sucked into a not-so-innocent, fairy world against her will.
2 stars The Space Between Us
While this novel is well-written, and it is actually quite engaging, I found it to be very depressing and made me feel downbeat while reading it. It may just be a case of the wrong book at the wrong time for me.
4 stars The Art of Racing in the Rain 

sob…

4 stars The Art of Raising a Puppy
Because I’ve never had a dog…
3.5 stars The Sugar Queen
This recent book club pick, was a light, fluffy, yet completely engaging and fun book to read. It was just the perfect escape during a stressful week. I read it in one night. Maybe, I stayed up a little too late doing so, but, hey, it was enjoyable, like candy.
3.5 stars Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)
Not as good as The Hunger Games, but still well-written and fast-paced. It succumbs to the middle book syndrome in a trilogy: familiar faces, comfortable plot, not quite finished because its job is to draw you into the finale.
5 stars The Book Thief
Re-read this one for book club.
4 stars The Hunger Games
This novel is an extremely compelling entry into the young adult literature arena. I cannot recommend it highly enough. The premise is brutal: each district in a future dystopia where America used to be must send two tributes (a boy and a girl in the age range 12-18) who represent their home district in a fight to the death. This annual event is a gruesome combination of Miss America, American Idol and Survivor.
3 stars Marsbound
Very light, entertaining read about a girl who travels with her family to live and work on Mars for a few years, acts like a moody teen, and ends up encountering something interesting. This is not hard-core sci/fi by any means, but it’s fun.
1 star Moonfall
The event of a comet hitting the moon and the people dealing with the aftermath could have been a very, heart-pounding and exciting story. However, Moonfall, reads like this: First this happened. Then this happened. Then this other thing happened. Then something happened… And so on, for the first half. The second half reads like: and then this happened and someone died. and then this happened and someone died. And then another thing happened and somebody died… ugh.
4 stars A Wrinkle in Time
Where was this book when I was a kid? I just read it with my daughter because it was a little more complex than what she normally chooses. She was struggling with a few ideas and needed someone to bounce them off. I would have loved this book when I was 13. It won the Newberry in 1963. How come I never knew about it?
5 stars Dune, 40th Anniversary Edition (Dune Chronicles, Book 1)
The first time I read Frank Herbert’s classic space epic, I was 17. At the time, I thought it was one of the best books I had ever read; definitely a top-10 tome. Well, I picked it up last week to read it again, and I was wowed all over again. Thirty years later, I was moved by the quality of the writing and story telling. Herbert is one of my favorite authors, still, to this day, and he never lets me down.
2 stars The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Most recent book club pick. Too pretentious and quite heavy-handed with philosophy.
4 stars The Girl Who Played with Fire
This is the second book by Stieg Larsson about The Girl. I liked this one even better than the first. My only complaint is that there was not a clean wrap-up in the ending. There is a third book coming out in May, but I believe that will be it, since the author died in 2004.
4 stars The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Vintage) I just discovered this series. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is filled with details about the lives of two gritty characters in Sweden. It’s not like any other book I’ve ever read. A journalist caught up in a scandal and a mystery enlists the aid of a very disturbed researcher to help him finish a job.
3 stars Saving the World (Maximum Ride, Book 3)
This third installation in the Maximum Ride series basically wraps up the story. There are other books following on, but I am not interested in continuing a series indefinitely. It started to get repetitive.
3 stars School’s Out – Forever (Maximum Ride, Book 2)
Last winter, I read the first book in the Maximum Ride series. Written for teen-aged readers, the books are quick-paced, thrilling and dark. A group of genetically modified kids (with wings) have escaped the evil scientists who have been experimenting on children and are trying to stay alive while solving the mystery surrounding their existance.
5 stars The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game
I loved, loved, loved this book, not only for the biography of Michael Oher, but for the fascinating details on how the offensive line has evolved in football over the past 40 years or so. I have not seen the movie, so I wonder how much of the football detail made it in.
3 stars Beautiful Creatures
I have been entertaining my fondness for teen fantasy fiction, lately. This book is centered on a magical girl coming into her powers, having to choose between good and evil. It starts out very strong and entertaining, but falls off a little at the end as the authors tried to wrap it up.
4 stars The Help by Kathryn Stockett. A novel about the black women who served wealthy white women in Jackson, Mississippi during the 1960s. The author did a good job of portraying the vast range of relationships between these women, running the gamut of hatred to love. I’ve read reviews where people took exception to the dialog written for the maids in this book. Their critique is that it’s condescending to portray the black women talking badly but not the whites. In fact, there was a great disparity in education at that time, and the author captured dialog exactly as I remember it; I even picked up phrases I know white women in Jackson used, that I’ve never heard elsewhere.

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