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Reviews Written by
Carol (Ontario)

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Purgatory (Jack Taylor)
Purgatory (Jack Taylor)
Price: CDN$ 11.96

4.0 out of 5 stars Ken Bruen is a writer like no one else, Sept. 1 2014
Ken Bruen is a writer like no one else. Funny and sarcastic, brilliant, terrible, clever....His style is unique and riveting. His characters are full of flaws like real people! This book kept me up late as I had to finish it and I will give nothing away but to say it has a shocking ending.
I first found out about the Jack Taylor novels by watching a TV series this past spring and I was intrigued. Having read a great deal of Scandinavian crime and British over the years, trying Irish crime novels was new to me and I look forward to more. Just be aware that Ken Bruen "does not do happy" and the books are very "noir".

KISS Guide to Raising a Puppy
KISS Guide to Raising a Puppy
by Liz Palika
Edition: Paperback
32 used & new from CDN$ 0.39

4.0 out of 5 stars well written and human friendly, May 17 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
We got a border collie pup 3 weeks ago. I have found this book to be very easy to read with lots of pictures and not too much un- needed written stuff, human user friendly and well written.
She explains the stages a pup goes through with good suggestions on training.
However as perfect as a puppy is when raised by a professional who makes a living training dogs and writing books, be advised that a puppy is still a "wild beast out of control" at times and nothing in the book will work all the time for a long time. It is a slow slog with successful housebreaking, with the puppy biting everything, especially feet, and going wild and then collapsing into a sweet bundle to nap. I still have yet to master the art of patience.

Shock Wave (A Virgil Flowers Novel)
Shock Wave (A Virgil Flowers Novel)
Offered by Penguin Group USA
Price: CDN$ 10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars great read, March 14 2014
John Sandford is one of my favourite authors. The only novel I did not like was one of the Prey books that features Lucas Davenport's adopted and very irritating daughter Lettie who had way too big a part in that book.
Virgil Flowers is a great character and I am reading them all now in chronological order when possible. Shock Wave was fast moving and clever. Flowers is very entertaining with his rock tee shirts, surfer looks but razor sharp detective skills. Sandford does a terrific job of building the character.
No one says they want a super size box store coming to their town...but everyone shops there. So many people stand to lose when Pye-Mart wants to come to town. This book has plenty of twists and turns and the reader is fooled almost to the end about the true villain. A great read and on to the next Virgil Flowers book!

The Green Gauntlet
The Green Gauntlet
by R. F. Delderfield
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.65
24 used & new from CDN$ 1.11

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great English Literature, Jan. 17 2014
This review is from: The Green Gauntlet (Paperback)
I just finished this trilogy, "A Horseman Riding By" of the Craddock family and people and places in rural England in the first half of the 20th century. I am now going to read the 2 book story "To Serve Them all My Days" also beginning just after WW1 about a school teacher in rural England.
Delderfield was a wonderfully descriptive writer. His books are literature, and no doubt if writing today he would be winning modern literary awards.
His ability to describe the scenery, the diverse flora and fauna, and the people of the Shallowford Estate make it possible to form a clear image in my mind of a gentle world that no longer exists, torn apart by 2 world wars, a depression and huge changes in the social fabric of society that happened by 1950 as the baby boom was in full swing.
However, I did have to keep reminding myself, as a woman brought up in the second half of the 20th century, that Delderfield was writing about a time when women pretty much had no rights and were stay at home obedient servants to their so called superior men. Delderfield was also a product of these times and I suspect that Paul Craddock was in part the way he saw the ideal British country gentleman and the women in his life. A bit liberal/socialist, caring deeply for the ordinary man, but a lot chauvinistic, so I found it very difficult to like Claire Craddock who's only purpose in life was to be attractive and available, who did not really care about her children, who were simply a by-product of her relationship with Paul, except for the beautiful daughter who was killed going to a beauty pageant. Only towards the end of the book did she grow a backbone and redeem herself to some extent. Most of his children are not very likeable except Simon who was the son of Pauls' first wife Grace, a suffragette, who was the polar opposite of Claire, Andy at the end of the book and the offspring of Ikey Paulfrey and Hazel.
However, these books, as well as all the other Delderfield books I have read and re-read over the past 35 years are a wonderful read if you enjoy vast, superbly written family sagas of an England and world that has changed beyond recognition over the past 100 years.

BEFORE and AFTER GETTING YOUR PUPPY: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog
BEFORE and AFTER GETTING YOUR PUPPY: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog
Price: CDN$ 11.70

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars good suggestions but not practical, Jan. 5 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Several months after reading this book and getting a puppy 3 weeks ago I want to re-do this review and down rate the book to a 1 star. First of all if I had tried to feed my puppy via Kongs she would have starved to death as she showed no interest or ability to chew a stuffed Kong for 3 weeks after we got her. Second: Dunbar considers it a "catastrophe" if a pup has even 1 accident in the house. I walk Skye and she pees and poops outside, she is praised and rewarded and I bring her in and 5 minutes later she poops on the floor. Does he really expect us to confine the puppy all the rest of the time to a crate? It is not possible to keep my eyes on her all the time. House breaking challenges are all about being a puppy...not a "catastrophe". He has made me feel so guilty I threw away the book. All the chapters on socialising her are the easy part. She loves other people and the dogs she has met. I much prefer the book "KISS Guide to Raising a Puppy by Liz Palika" as a much more human friendly and practical book if you are considering a book on raising a puppy.
Following is what I thought prior to the reality of a puppy.

We have had 2 Border Collies over 30 years. Neither were very well behaved at times, as how a dog is now trained is a lot different, so thinking about getting a puppy this spring made me decide to get this book. I really like his positive approach of rewarding to train, his chapters on crate training, chew toys filled with food, bite inhibition. Almost everything makes sense.
The only parts that to me are not workable are the puppy socialization sections. Where I live there is no way in 100 years a puppy could meet 100 strangers before it is 3 months old. First of all that would be 100 strangers who wanted to meet my dog never mind the 500 who do not want to. It is never going to happen. If I held a "meet the puppy party" I would be the laughing stock of the community. This is NOT a human baby in a puppy suit that everyone will coo over and other than a handful of friends most people I know couldn't care less if I had a dog. They must do things a lot differently in England. We also have NO dog parks or puppy schools within 200 KM.
This book is perfect for a city dweller who does have the facilities and a ton of good friends who love puppies. In the rural areas I will do what I can using his training methods. Our previous 2 dogs were pretty social despite living a pretty isolated life in a rural area.

Long Summer Day
Long Summer Day
Offered by Hachette Book Group Digital, Inc.
Price: CDN$ 9.99

4.0 out of 5 stars It is a pity R F Delderfield is not read much, Jan. 4 2014
This review is from: Long Summer Day (Kindle Edition)
I have read and re-read almost all of R. F. Delderfield's books over a period of 40 years. There are very few 21st century writers with the literary skills of character development, brilliantly crafted story lines, and descriptive ability to be able to portray historical life in England (or any country for that matter) who can match Delderfield. In this series he paints a portrait of a simpler world that no longer exists, prior to the first world war, and then in the subsequent books in this series shatters that life, showing how every time there is a major catastrophic upheaval how tremendous change and evolution occur, often for the better. For example it is inconceivable to me living 100 years later how women were treated by almost all of British society simply because they knew it was their right to vote and were willing to fight for that right. They made terrible sacrifices and it took the slaughter of WW 1 before that right was granted to most women in Britain and North America. However basic human nature never changes and 100 years ago people behaved just as badly and had the same predudists when faced with people and things they don't understand, as they do today.
I recommend R. F. Delderfield's books to people who are interested in the history of the British over the past 150 years, and admire well crafted, beautifully descriptive family sagas that span generations and are weeks of good reading!

by Jo Nesbo
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 19.96
8 used & new from CDN$ 10.69

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars twists and turns, Sept. 29 2013
This review is from: Police (Paperback)
Rather than give away any of the plot, I will just say that Jo Nesbo does not disappoint in the new Harry Hole thriller. I doubt in modern mystery police thrillers anyone can put better plot twists in a book than Jo Nesbo. For the first part of the book I was convinced of one scenario, only to have that totally spun around, and Nesbo does that several times through the book. He leads the reader, with great skill, down a path convincing them of a truth and then spins it 180 degrees so what you firmly believed turns out to be false. You never can predict what is going to happen, which makes Nesbo number 1 compaired to other so called best selling authors with their predictable plots.

Inferno: A Novel
Inferno: A Novel
by Dan Brown
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.90
301 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars predictable and boring, Sept. 9 2013
This review is from: Inferno: A Novel (Hardcover)
When everyone said how wonderful the DaVinci code was I read it and could not understand how it could have been a best seller for so long. Same with the his other books. The movies were better. I swore I would not read another Dan Brown book. Somehow I did get my hands on this new one "Inferno". To be honest to Amazon, who I buy lots from, I got this copy of the ebook through the Ontario Library Service. I was rather surprised it was available because best sellers usually have a big waiting list. Now I know why. Either most people read the reviews and said "No thanks" or after a few days gave up on this boring and totally predictable race through Florence. I struggled to the part where the hero stole the mask, knowing that was going to happen. So predictable. I can't do it any more. Sorry. I will return the library book. I am so glad I did not buy it.

Light of the World: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
Light of the World: A Dave Robicheaux Novel
by James Lee Burke
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 17.55
66 used & new from CDN$ 0.43

4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful descriptions, the usual violence, Aug. 6 2013
As always James Lee Burke is a master of descriptions, and he makes it easy to visualise Montana's rugged beauty the same as Louisiana's bayous, the smells, the weather changes, and the people.
However, when I read these books it makes me very glad I live where I do, thousands of miles away from anyone resembling, Dave, Clete, Alafair and now Gretchen, because the violence, hatred and just evil people Burke's characters all run into everywhere they go is getting predictable, as is the rich family/evil perpetrators who are always in his stories. There never seems to be any accountability for the acts of violence committed by Dave and Clete and Gretchen, and they always justify their actions. There is a similarity to the plots in all of Burke's books. Only the locations and sub plots change. Regardless, I still enjoy his writing. The books are beautifully descriptive, fast paced with twists and turns and I will continue to buy them.

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Standard Edition
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Standard Edition
Price: CDN$ 23.62
8 used & new from CDN$ 19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A WORLD TO EXPLORE, Feb. 12 2013
Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
SKYRIM is an extraordinary experience that can pretty well take over your free time if you let it! The scenery is spectacular and much is a "Nordic" winter world full of ice and snow and mountains.The terrain is varied and never dull. Lots of bad guys to fight, characters to interact with and things to find and characters to play. It would be possible to play for years. I also played it's predecessor "Elder Scrolls 4 Oblivion" which is just about as good. Other people have given very detailed info on the game play. The book is probably worth buying as well it as it does help you get through areas hard to follow and gives 850 pages all in colour with photos and artwork, believe it or not. That saves a lot of time not having to quit the game and go into a walkthrough site to find out something that stumps you.
However, Skyrim has a few flaws in the software. In many places the colours seem to flicker and flash especially when there is high contrast like bright sun. There are a few places where the game quits for no reason and a google search shows that it is a game flaw that happens to many. Also some of the quests get very repetitive. For example to raise gold you can endlessly play the companions quests and are given about 4 possible scenarios in random locations. The repetitive part is the quest givers say the same speech every time even though you have done that same dragon hunt with the same guy 6 times. I also find some of the chit chat when you interact with someone a bit wordy and again repetative.
All in all I recommend this game for someone with patience to learn it, who enjoys a vast role playing game with lots of action. Not just for teens as I am close on a senior and still get hours of enjoyment from it.

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