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Sheila's Reads

I love to read. I am very eclectic in my reading but I especially enjoy erotica and erotic romance. I also like movies, live theater and concerts, hockey, and counted cross-stitch.


In the Next Room, or the vibrator play - Sarah Ruhl

Farcical play with a doctor who helps women with hysteria.  He does not want his wife meeting his patients but she is in the thick of things as she meets his patients and their families.  Everyone misunderstands what others are saying leading to some comical scenes.  I enjoyed this play.  It was fun and a quick read.



Killer in Crinolines - Duffy Brown
Chantilly, the UPS driver, is accused of murdering her ex-boyfriend Simon at his wedding to another woman.  Reagan knows she did not do it and sets out to prove it. 
I love these characters especially Aunt Kiki.  This time Chantilly has an admirer named Pillsbury who is in the Seventeenth Avenue gang and her father is an ex-cop.  But with Reagan and the boys in the hood looking out for Chantilly and Boone looking out for Reagan it is only a matter of time before the killer is brought to justice.  Lots of red herrings riddle this story and I never (along with Reagan) saw the murderer coming.  Never suspected that person.  Could understand the reason but never saw it coming.  This was fun and Boone is sweet on Reagan.

EDUCATED: A MEMOIR by Tara Westover

Educated - Tara Westover

Tara was raised on an isolated farm in Idaho. There she was homeschooled on occasion by her mother. Her dad has issues and was working on living off the grid. He supported the family by scrapping and building contracting. Her mother was a midwife and essential oil/homeopathy healer. When Tara was 16 she decided she wanted to go to school. She was able to go to BYU but there were many gaps in her education that needed to be filled. She was fortunate that in her second-year roommates she found that help. She then went on to Cambridge and Harvard.

This book was a fascinating read, like watching a train wreak--you know you should not look but it is impossible to look away. How Tara and her siblings were raised was horrific. That none died is a miracle. I am glad that Tara and some of her siblings got out and found lives in the outside world. Their dad had mental illness and their mother had a traumatic brain injury. They should not have been raising these kids. I loved when her brother Tyler spoke up in support of Tara when she would not come back into the fold and her parents spread lies about her. I am glad that Tara, Tyler, Richard, and Tony supported each other. They were the ones who got out. The others who stayed had issues and I am afraid some of the problems will continue to go down to the next generations.

I am glad I read this but it is tough as she talks about what they went through physically and mentally. I applaud them. I congratulate them on making it.

THE LOST PRINCE by Edward Lazellari

The Lost Prince - Edward Lazellari

Now knowing who the prince is, Cal and his band must find him before the others do. Stashing the kid in a safe place, Dredge tries to make a deal with Dorn but realizes Cal is the better option. Both sides find the prince and battle for him.

This was a good read. Cal has a lot of secrets he is hiding from Cat and, unfortunately, they are exposed. Cat becomes a pawn between the two groups. Betrayal rears its ugly head. Lives will change but how. Kept me on the edge of my seat. Cannot wait to read the next book.


The Book That Matters Most: A Novel - Ann Hood
Ava's husband has left her and her daughter is a drug addict.  With time on her hands, Ava joins a book group.  Their theme for the year is the book that matters most to each person.  Ava picks a book that is hard to find.
I enjoyed this book.  Ava learns about her past, herself, and her mother.  She discovers the answers to questions she has had.  She also learns the story of the book that matters most to her.  This is a keeper.


Innocent in Death - J.D. Robb
An old flame of Roarke's comes into town looking to rekindle the flame.  This causes problems between Eve and Roarke.  Her head says one thing but her heart says something else.  Eve now has to deal with jealousy.  Roarke does not understand why she feels the old flame is a problem and does not ease Eve's jealousy.  Meanwhile Eve has another murder to deal with.
I liked it.  Eve is so human in this book.  She's not happy with being so human.  She's a cop.  She does not feel jealousy.  She is also shutting out her "family" during this time.  For once she and Summerset are on the same side.  I figured out the who but not the why.  A good book!


The Other Lady Vanishes - Amanda Quick
Adrienne is committed to an asylum by her husband.  She escapes to a small town in California where she meets businessman Jacob who comes into the tea shop where she works.  Hollywood's elite come to the town for rest and relaxation where they use the services of the psychic to the stars who lives there.  Jacob and Adrienne are interested in the psychic, at first for different reasons, then to find out secrets from their pasts.
I enjoyed this book.  It has been a while since I read Amanda Quick and did not realize she moved from Regency romances to historical romantic suspense.  The flavor of the 1930's is captured in this book.  I loved Adrienne and Jacob.  The mystery was interesting and believable.  I did figure out the motives of some involved.  I want to read more in the series.


The Island of Sea Women - Lisa See
The women of Jeju Island off Korea's mainland dive to support their families.  Young-sook dives as a young girl with her mother to learn the trade as well as learn to take care of her family.  As a young married woman she dives to support her husband's family as well as her natal family.  Tragedy strikes at all seasons of her life and she learns to live with them and move on raising and supporting her family through it all.
This was a rough story to read.  I did not know much about WWII in the Pacific nor about Korea.  I learned a lot.  These islanders endured so much.  Nature can be hard but man is brutal.  She loses some she love to the sea but many more are lost to the brutality of man.  Young-sook had her pride and it takes her a long time to learn forgiveness.  When she does, she gains so much.  The story begins in 2008 then flashes back to different periods of her life.  She is a survivor but what a cost.

INSPECTOR FLYTRAP by Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell

Inspector Flytrap and The Big Deal Mysteries - Tom Angleberger, Cece Bell
A Venus Flytrap and a goat--who could imagine them as a PI partnership but it works.  Small vignettes of mysteries to be solved with the Venus Flytrap as the gumshoe and the goat as the sarcastic sidekick. 
This is different and unique.  The short vignettes will keep the attention of the early chapter book readers.  It's fun and unexpected in the duo.  I look forward to more.


Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat #1 - Robb Mommaerts, Johnny Marciano
Klawde has been exiled to earth from his planet.  Trying to escape from the rain he rings Raj's doorbell and that is how he becomes a "pet."  Raj himself has his own major problem of how to get out of attending Camp Eclipse.  His mother is not buying his excuses.  Now the two must work together to get Klawde home and Raj home alive from Camp Eclipse.
This is one of the funniest books I have read.  I love the use of the first person-point-of view from Klawde and Raj.  Klawde is cynical and sarcastic.  I like that in a cat!  Raj is just desperate.  The changing point-of-view works very well together.  I liked his teammates at Camp Eclipse and Counselor Turkey Vulture is not to be missed.  Even Klawde is impressed by him.
I hope the rest of the series is a good.

THE HAUNTED LIBRARY by Dori Hillestad Butler

The Haunted Library #1 - Dori Hillestad Butler, Aurore Damant
Kaz, a young ghost, has lost his home and family the same day.  He lands in a library where he meets Claire, a human girl, who can see him.  There seems to be a ghost haunting the library but neither can see this ghost.  Now they must solve the mystery of the ghost and why they cannot see it.
I enjoyed this story.  The world-building is good and gives enough of the main characters pasts that you want to know more about them.  I hope that Kaz can find his family.  The illustrations are good.  This is a good book for early readers who like mysteries.

PRAGUE WINTER by Madeleine Albright

Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 - Madeleine Albright, Bill Woodward
  I found this book fascinating. While telling of her childhood in and out of Czechoslovakia during WWII, Madeleine Albright also gives a history of Czechoslovakia as well as the politics that were occurring during the war. This is the first time I have been given a political history of what is happening in eastern Europe. She explains it very well. I could understand her. I liked how she explained the questions that arose from the politics and answered the question with what happened and what would have made the decisions better. Sometimes she just explained why they did what they did. I liked the humor that popped up from time to time as she explained what was going on or as she spoke of the personalities involved. I liked the personal details from her childhood, growing up after 1948, and finding her family's story. Well done and worth the read. Her writing reads like a novel.

FAIL-SAFE by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler

Fail Safe - Harvey Wheeler, Eugene Burdick
What happens when the safeguards in a system fail to protect us?  An unidentified flying object comes into American air space so all the military might is called up to identify it and protect the U.S. from it.  Once the all-clear is given, one group of bombers don't step down.  They continue as if there is still a problem and begin a flight to the Soviet Union to drop their bombs.  Can the President get them back before they begin a war?
This is as timely know as it was in 1962.  At the end of the book the President and Khrushchev are philosophizing about computers and man.  Their conversation could occur today and be relevant.  We still rely on computers and they are taking over our lives.  I liked the questions this book raised and I have to admit I did not see the ending coming.  I thought it would go the other way.  Still relevant today.

AWAKENINGS by Edward Lazellari

Awakenings - Edward Lazellari
Cal and Seth are linked through their pasts although both have amnesia and can't remember past 13 years ago.  They were sent to this world to protect the prince from their world.  Now they must join forces with Leilani, who has helped them to remember their pasts, to find him before the bad guys do.
I enjoyed this book.  Seth drove me crazy.  I was more interested in Cal's and Danny's stories.  I figured out who the prince is and now I want to know if they are able to find him before the other side.  I like that Cal found a kick-ass wife in Cat but how will their marriage survive as Cal's past becomes more known. 
Can't wait to read the next two books in the trilogy.


The Moral Basis of Democracy - Eleanor Roosevelt, Allida M. Black, Carol Howard Merritt

The history of democracy starts this book off.  It is dry at first.  When Mrs. Roosevelt then goes into her idea of democracy and Christianity it gets much better.  I like how she corresponds how if we are living a truly Christian life we will think of the greater good of the community instead of the individual then democracy will happen because democracy is for the greater good of the community.  Democracy is where equality exists or at least a level playing field exists.  Differences in lifestyles will still exist because of people's skills, talents, and abilities but everyone has an equal chance in a democracy.  I also liked how she states that we have a way to go still (and it is just as true today as in 1940) because we think more of the individual than the community.  This is a book we all need.  It is a timely today as it was 70+ years ago.

DREAD NATION: RISE UP by Justina Ireland

Dread Nation - Justina Ireland
Jane is at Miss Preston's school to learn how to defend and protect in the hope she will be hired by an elite family.  What she gets is the lessons but is then sent west to protect a town.  The secrets she learns cause her to seek her freedom. 
I liked Jane.  She is kick-ass and determined.  She knows what is what and is not willing to pretend that those is power care about her or those of her class.  She is also smart.  She has the skills to save herself and the empathy to save her friends if possible. 
I had a hard time putting this book down.  I hope the sequel comes soon.  I want to know if Jane makes it.  Loved this book!