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JanB has commented on (13) products.

Sycamore Row by John Grisham
Sycamore Row

JanB, December 2, 2014

I've read every legal thriller that John Grisham has written. I was hooked after reading his first novel, A Time to Kill, the book that this one is the sequel to. He followed up with The Firm and The Pelican Brief, two more terrific entries into the legal thriller genre. After that, I wanted to read everything he wrote. I'll admit there have been a few that weren't exactly winners and some that almost stopped me from reading any more from this author. But I'm loyal and I stuck with him, and boy am I glad I did, because what a great read this one was. I really could not put it down. I really did try though. I wanted to finally go to bed and get some sleep, but stayed up until 2:30 am to finish it. My fuzzy head and bleary eyes the next morning were worth it though.
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Are You Experienced? by Jordan Sonnenblick
Are You Experienced?

JanB, November 29, 2014

Rich’s parents are older than the parents of all his friends. They are also a whole lot stricter. They are very anti-drug and anti-alcohol and rule every aspect of his life. His dad is pretty much a hard ass and rides him constantly about everything. The only thing they have in common is playing the guitar. Rich knows that his uncle Michael died when he and his dad were both teenagers, but that’s all he knows. His dad never talks about his brother and shuts down completely whenever Rich tries to ask anything about him. Every year on the anniversary of Michael’s death he locks himself in his basement music room all night and plays his guitar. But somehow this year his father forgot to lock the closet that holds the guitars. Curious, Rich looks inside and finds Jimi Hendrix’s signed guitar. He knows he shouldn’t, but he can’t help himself. He takes out the guitar and plugs it into the amplifier. The next thing he knows, he’s lying on the ground with a group of people looking down on him. Oh, and it’s August of 1969 and he’s at Woodstock! And who are the people looking down at him? Oh, that would be his fifteen year old dad David, his eighteen year old uncle Michael, and Michael’s girlfriend Willow.

During those three days at Woodstock Rich sees his dad in a whole new light. His fifteen year old dad is a happy, fun loving kid who, shock of all shocks, drinks alcohol, smokes dope, and yikes, makes out with a girl he just met! He and Rich (called Gabriel at Woodstock) hang out with two girls they just met, take off their clothes and swim naked in the pond (Rich wonders if they invented skinny-dipping when they did that), eat pot brownies, and spend hours standing in the rain and the mud with blankets around them, listening to the music. So what happened to his dad? How did he turn into such a strict, controlling dad who is always on Rich’s case about something? Why do they have such a lousy relationship with each other? Rich found out from his mom just before he went down to the basement music room that his uncle Mike died from a heroin overdose. She said that things started to go bad for him the weekend of Woodstock. Can Rich change the course of history for his dad and uncle, and possibly himself? Is that why he’s there? How can he fix things so his uncle doesn’t die? Can he keep him from using heroin? If his uncle doesn’t die, will he and his dad have a better relationship? Will his dad still marry his mom? If he doesn’t marry her then Rich most likely will not be born.

Over those three days at Woodstock Rich’s uncle Mike clues him in on some painful family history that helps him understand his dad better and why he’s the way he is. Mike also lets slip a secret about himself and begs Rich not to tell David. Can Rich do that, or will telling him maybe change the way things worked out for them in the future? Rich does all he is able to do and tries as hard as he can to change the course of history and make things better for his family in the future.
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Prayers for Sale (Reading Group Gold) by Sandra Dallas
Prayers for Sale (Reading Group Gold)

JanB, December 15, 2013

This is the 6th book I’ve read by this author and it is definitely my favorite. The story takes place in 1936 with flashbacks to just after the Civil War. The location is Middle Swan, Colorado, a gold mining town high up in the mountains, where winters are long and conditions are harsh. 17 year old Nit and her husband Dick have just arrived and Nit is feeling lonesome for home and missing her family. She meets 86 year old Hennie, a 70 year resident of Middle Swan who takes her under her wing, introducing her everyone, becoming not only friend, but mother as well. Hennie has always been there to help those in need. I loved how nurturing she was and how she was such a good friend to everyone. She had such a kind and gentle way of giving to people the things they needed yet couldn’t afford. She gave them in a way that let them feel they were doing her a favor by taking the items and not accepting charity. A very sweet book with a very sweet ending. Highly recommended.
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Mistaken Identity by Lisa Scottoline
Mistaken Identity

JanB, November 12, 2012

This is one of my favorite Lisa Scottoline thrillers featuring lawyer Bennie Rosato.

When Alice Connolly calls and asks Bennie to defend her on a murder charge, she never expects to find a client that looks exactly like her. Alice shocks Bennie by telling her "I'm your twin". Bennie knows she doesn't have a sister or a twin. She grew up as an only child of a single mother, one who never told her who her father was or mentioned anything about a sister. She can't ask her mother as she is now in a nursing home and doesn't communicate. Bennie reluctantly takes the case even though she doesn't like Alice at all and doesn't for one minute believe they are related.

Through the course of the novel Bennie finds out secrets her mother kept, almost gets murdered when she digs for the truth about Alice's life, and works hard to save a client that she wishes she never met.
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Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie
Matched (Matched #1)

JanB, November 8, 2012

This is an interesting and quick read about a utopian/dystopian society where the government, here called The Society, controls and decides every aspect of it's citizen's lives. Cancer, heart disease, and birth defects have all been eradicated. Because of natural selection people now live longer, healthier lives. Your job, where you live, and your ideal match for a mate are all chosen for you. Free will and choice no longer exist. What happens if you rebel, want to choose your own path, or question things you shouldn't be questioning? What if you are matched with your best friend who you love, but fall in love with someone else, an aberration who is not allowed to be matched?

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