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> What'cha Reading In 2008?
electric boy
Posted: Jan 5 2008, 01:11 PM
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I am now finishing this book:

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This one's up next:


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THE_FIRST_LADY
Posted: Jan 5 2008, 01:50 PM
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maryluvs_clapping.gif i just started reading alex haley's "roots"... unsure.gif the book is like 1000 pages... maryluvs_yes2.gif i just ordered alex haley's "queen", so that book should be on the way soon too...


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Mary Poppins
Posted: Jan 6 2008, 12:30 PM
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Eyebrows arched in literary circles when, in 1995, the New Yorker published Stephen King's "The Man in the Black Suit," a scorchingly atmospheric tale of a boy's encounter with the Devil in backwoods Maine. The story went on to win the 1996 O. Henry Award for Best Short Story, confirming what King fans have known for years that the author is not only immensely popular but immensely talented, a modern-day counterpart to Twain, Hawthorne, Dickens. "The Man in the Black Suit" appears in this hefty collection, King's first since Nightmares and Dreamscapes (1993), along with three other extraordinary New Yorker tales: "All That You Love Will Be Carried Away," an intensely moving story of a suicidal traveling salesman who collects graffiti; "The Feeling, You Can Only Say What It Is in French," about a woman caught in a fatal loop of deja vu; and "The Death of Jack Hamilton," a gritty, witty tale of Dillinger's gang on the lam. Together, they make up what King, in one of many author asides, calls his "literary stories," which he contrasts to the "all-out screamers" though most of the stories here seem a mix of the two, with the distinction as real as a line on a map. "Autopsy Room Four," a black-humor horror about a man who wakes up paralyzed in a morgue and about to be autopsied, displays a mastery of craft, and "1408," a haunted hotel-room story that first surfaced on the audio book Blood and Smoke, engenders a sense of profound unease, of dread, as surely as do the elegant work of Blackwood or Machen or, if one prefers, Baudelaire or Sartre. King's talent doesn't always burn at peak, of course, and there are lesser tales here, too, but none that most writers wouldn't be proud to claim, like the slight but affecting "Luckey," about a poor cleaning woman given a "luckey" coin as a tip, or "L.T.'s Theory of Pets," which King cites as his favorite of the collection, but whose shift from humor to horror comes off as arbitrary, at least on the page (the story first appeared in audiobook form).Then there's "Riding the Bullet," the novella that put King on the cover of Time and rattled the publishing community not for its content a suspenseful encounter with the dead but for its mode of delivery, as an e-book, and "The Little Sisters of Eleuria," another resonant entry in King's self-proclaimed "magnus opus" about Roland the Gunslinger (Roland will return, King lets on, in a now-finished 900-page Dark Tower novel, Wolves of the Calla). Fourteen stories, most of them gems, featuring an array of literary approaches, plus an opinionated intro from King about the "(Almost) Lost Art" of the short story: this will be the biggest selling story collection of the year, and why not? No one does it better.



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Mary Poppins
Posted: Jan 12 2008, 11:52 AM
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Started this last night:

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Treasury of Royal Scandals
From Nero's nagging mother (whom he found especially annoying after taking her as his lover) to Catherine's stable of studs (not of the equine variety), here is a wickedly delightful look at the most scandalous royal doings you never learned about in history class.

Royal Misbehavior
Gleeful, naughty, sometimes perverted-like so many of the crowned heads themselves - A Treasury of Royal Scandals presents the best (the worst?) of royal misbehavior through the ages. From ancient Rome to Edwardian England, from the lavish rooms of Versailles to the dankest corners of the Bastille, the great royals of Europe have excelled at savage parenting, deadly rivalry, pathological lust, and meeting death with the utmost indignity - or just very bad luck.

Michael Farquhar writes about history for The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Dallas Morning News, and Newsday, as well as on the Discovery Channel's Web site.

Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors by Michael Farquhar


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Josh
Posted: Jan 13 2008, 12:01 PM
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QUOTE (Princess Charming @ Jan 12 2008, 06:52 PM)
Started this last night:

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QUOTE
Treasury of Royal Scandals
From Nero's nagging mother (whom he found especially annoying after taking her as his lover) to Catherine's stable of studs (not of the equine variety), here is a wickedly delightful look at the most scandalous royal doings you never learned about in history class.

Royal Misbehavior
Gleeful, naughty, sometimes perverted-like so many of the crowned heads themselves - A Treasury of Royal Scandals presents the best (the worst?) of royal misbehavior through the ages. From ancient Rome to Edwardian England, from the lavish rooms of Versailles to the dankest corners of the Bastille, the great royals of Europe have excelled at savage parenting, deadly rivalry, pathological lust, and meeting death with the utmost indignity - or just very bad luck.

Michael Farquhar writes about history for The Washington Post. His work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Dallas Morning News, and Newsday, as well as on the Discovery Channel's Web site.

Treasury of Royal Scandals: The Shocking True Stories of History's Wickedest, Weirdest, Most Wanton Kings, Queens, Tsars, Popes, and Emperors by Michael Farquhar

The description looks like I'd like that book! maryluvs_giggle.gif maryluvs_giggle.gif
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Mary Poppins
Posted: Jan 13 2008, 01:35 PM
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QUOTE (Josh @ Jan 13 2008, 11:01 AM)
The description looks like I'd like that book! maryluvs_giggle.gif maryluvs_giggle.gif

I'm only up to the second chapter. When I get more into it, I'll let you know if you should pick it up or not. maryluvs_vanity.gif


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Josh
Posted: Jan 13 2008, 01:47 PM
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QUOTE (Princess Charming @ Jan 13 2008, 08:35 PM)
I'm only up to the second chapter. When I get more into it, I'll let you know if you should pick it up or not. maryluvs_vanity.gif

Cool!!! maryluvs_thumbup.gif
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Michelle Williams
Posted: Jan 23 2008, 02:12 PM
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Just started reading this book called "The Shadow of the Wind", so far so good.


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Mary Poppins
Posted: Jan 23 2008, 09:04 PM
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QUOTE (Josh @ Jan 13 2008, 12:47 PM)
Cool!!!  maryluvs_thumbup.gif

I actually gave up on this book. I had a hard time getting into it, but I have a feeling that you may like it.

I'm reading this now.

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QUOTE
Dirty Money is an urban tale of sex, money, murder, and mayhem and shows the pros and cons of the game. Anari is the epitome of a good girl turned bad after world is brutally destroyed. Consumed with her desire for revenge, she, along with her best friend Monica, enter a life of drugs, fast money, and betrayal only to adapt the lifestyle that pushed them in the game in the first place. Hiding their true identities, the pair quickly rises to the top of New Jersey s dope game. Using everyone who crosses their paths, nothing, not betrayal or addiction will stop them from dispensing their street justice. Dirty Money is a page turner that will leave you in awe. Never underestimate the power of a woman..


It's a maryluvs_quote.gif hood maryluvs_quote.gif novel. maryluvs_grin.gif


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Jefferson St. Joe
Posted: Feb 19 2008, 05:35 PM
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Having coauthored five bestsellers with James Patterson (Lifeguard, etc.), Gross makes a solo debut superior to his collaborative efforts, if short of the first thriller rank. His engaging heroine, Kate Raab, a medical researcher in the Bronx, is shocked when the Feds arrest her beloved gold trader father, Benjamin, and charge him with laundering money for a Colombian drug cartel. A hit team's attempt to kill the entire Raab family prompts all of them, except Kate, to start their lives anew in the witness protection program. Kate's choice, predictably, places her in continuing danger, even as she begins to suspect that her father's involvement with the narco traffickers was more deliberate and extensive than he's willing to admit. The secret revelations at the heart of the plot may strike some as a little far-fetched, and the details about the witness protection program fail to convince, but Gross shows sufficient talent for readers to want to see more from his pen alone.
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Josh
Posted: Feb 19 2008, 05:46 PM
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I just finished reading this:

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It was pretty funny.
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Mary Poppins
Posted: Feb 24 2008, 11:23 PM
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While accounts of the unjust arrest and torture of political prisoners are by now common, we expect such victims to come with a just cause. Here, Oufkir tells of the 20-year imprisonment of her upper-class Moroccan family following a 1972 coup attempt against King Hassan II by her father, a close military aide. After her father's execution, Oufkir, her mother and five siblings were carted off to a series of desert barracks, along with their books, toys and French designer clothes in the family's Vuitton luggage. At their first posting, they complained that they were short on butter and sweets. Over the years, subsequent placements brought isolation cells and inadequate, vermin-infested rations. Finally, starving and suicidal, the innocents realized they had been left to die. They dug a tunnel and escaped. Recapture led to another five years of various forms of imprisonment before the family was finally granted freedom. Oufkir's experience does not fit easily into current perceptions of political prisoners victimized for their beliefs or actions. In fact, she was the adopted daughter of King Muhammad V, Hassan II's father, sent by her parents at age five to be raised in the court with the king's daughter as her companion and equal. Beyond horrifying images such as mice nibbling at a rich girl's face, this erstwhile princess's memoir will fascinate readers with its singular tale of two kindly fathers, political struggles in a strict monarchy and a family's survival of cruel, prolonged deprivation. (Apr.)Forecast: A bestseller in France, where Morocco is always a hot issue, this oddly gripping book should also do well here thanks to Oufkir's appearance soon on 60 Minutes and a five-city tour. Film adaptation is a distinct possibility, especially given the book's publisher.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.




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Wee Tony
Posted: Feb 25 2008, 01:18 AM
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Just started reading this:

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Synopsis
The God Delusion caused a sensation when it was published in 2006. Within weeks it became the most hotly debated topic, with Dawkins himself branded as either saint or sinner for presenting his hard-hitting, impassioned rebuttal of religion of all types. His argument could hardly be more topical. While Europe is becoming increasingly secularized, the rise of religious fundamentalism, whether in the Middle East or Middle America, is dramatically and dangerously dividing opinion around the world. In America, and elsewhere, a vigorous dispute between 'intelligent design' and Darwinism is seriously undermining and restricting the teaching of science. In many countries religious dogma from medieval times still serves to abuse basic human rights such as women's and gay rights. And all from a belief in a God whose existence lacks evidence of any kind. Dawkins attacks God in all his forms. He eviscerates the major arguments for religion and demonstrates the supreme improbability of a supreme being. He shows how religion fuels war, foments bigotry and abuses children. The God Delusion is a brilliantly argued, fascinating polemic that will be required reading for anyone interested in this most emotional and important subject.


A timely, impassioned and brilliantly argued polemic on atheism.

An entertaining, wildly informative, splendidly written polemic . . . we are elegantly cajoled, cleverly harangued into shedding ourselves of this superstitious nonsense that has bedevilled us since our first visit to Sunday school’ Rod Liddle, Sunday Times

‘A spirited and exhilarating read...Dawkins comes roaring forth in the full vigour of his powerful arguments’
Joan Bakewell, Guardian

‘Passionate, clever, funny, uplifting and above all, desperately needed’ Daily Express

‘A wonderful book … joyous, elegant, fair, engaging, and often very funny… informed throughout by an exhilarating breadth of reference and clarity of thought’
Michael Frayn

‘Everyone should read it. Atheists will love Mr Dawkins's incisive logic and rapier wit’ Economist

‘Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion should be read by everyone from atheist to monk. If its merciless rationalism doesn’t enrage you at some point, you probably aren’t alive’ Julian Barnes

‘There is not a dull page in Richard Dawkins’s The God Delusion, a book that makes me want to cheer its clarity, intelligence and truth-telling’ Claire Tomalin


It's very good so far. Pretty funny too maryluvs_smile.gif


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shaimaryj
Posted: Feb 25 2008, 03:09 AM
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Wow, I hadn't been to this part of the board in a minute...These are my 2008 reads so far...

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This book was so good. With only 2 novels under her belt, I think Persia Walker is well on her way to becoming one of my favorite writers. I read her first novel, Harlem Redux, back in 2005 and this was was even better.

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In December 1923, Esther Todd was a lovely young pianist, a rising star. One month later, she was on the Most Wanted List. She had vanished along the snowy streets of a stormy night in Harlem and thieves had hit the home of her society patron, pulling off a million-dollar heist.

Were the disappearance and the robbery coincidence or conspiracy? Somebody knew, but nobody was talking. Three years later, the puzzles remained unsolved.

As a crime reporter, Lanie Price covered the initial case. Now a frustrated society columnist, she's ready for a change. It comes in the form of Esther's sister, Ruth.

Desperate for closure, Ruth begs Lanie to dedicate her Christmas column to the case. Maybe someone, somewhere will remember something. Seeking fresh material, Lanie starts asking hard questions, dangerous questions, the kind just about guaranteed to get her killed.




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If such thing as black urban politics exists, the bracket has surely found its most loyal correspondent. William Jelani Cobb's The Devil & Dave Chappelle & Other Essays (Thunder Mouth Press)compiles his writings on Hip Hop, the Million Man March, the Cosby Show, the Tuskegee airmen, and any other topic that perplexes the thinking black person in America. As assistant professor of history at Spellman and contributor to Essence magazine, Cobb has shaped a career out of breaking down the issues that haunt Black America. His style boils with witticisms and deft wordplay that gives the book an engaging read.

The Devil & Dave Chappelle serves as a rare written account from a young black man's perspective. Cobb breaks down the Saturday afternoon barbershop topics with a meticulous intellectual lense. He has a whole essay on why brothers vacation in Brazil, where he digs deep to understand the sex capital's psychological allure to black men. He writes a humorous snippet about an anonymous black man touring Brazil. “He cuts short the conversation because he has a date for a menage a trois set for 10:00 pm. As he leaves, you're thinking this dude wouldn't score a menage a anything back home. But this is Rio.”

Cobb makes black beautiful all over again in this enlightening book. He archives essays on Talib Kweli, Three 6 Mafia, and Notorious B.I.G. and then puts a tie on for pieces on Octavia Butler, Colin Powell, and Barack Obama. The book's title essay attempts to justify Dave Chappelle's post Comedy Central demons. No stone goes unturned in Cobb's montage of editorials. On top of that, the essays run about three to five pages on average which should ease some readers' anxiety.

The Devil & Dave Chappelle solidifies Cobb's reputation as a Hip-Hop desperado. If any particular issue festers within the black community, this young PhD will place it under the microscope. His “Past Imperfect” column runs on AOL Black Voices and he frequently contributes to seeingblack.com. Now that this book has generated a significant buzz, he might even secure that Hip-Hop documentary token interviewee position. 




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Vibe Magazine. Surprisingly, he asserts that the obsession is primarily a male concern, "Because, for so many men, it’s the very definition of not only who they are, but why and where they are… Men measure. Bigger is better."

As proof, in a revealing chapter entitled Hip-Hop Hooray, he likens gangsta videos to porn movies but with a glaring difference. For he contends that one reason for all the misogyny in the music has to do with the rise in 1992 of what he refers to as the "Homo Thug." Apparently, gay gangstas won’t come out of the closet for fear of alienating their fan base, given their ultra-macho personas.

Hung does mix in some historical evidence of the development of the black man as stud stereotype, but ultimately he only convinced this critic that his own interactions with the world are substantially defined by proof of genital prowess.



And this last book is the one I'm currently reading, and is, so far, a very good read. I know ALOT of people who've read this book, and you either love it or hate it. It's been said that Cora Daniels shouldn't have been the author to write this book because she doesn't "know how it is" and "can't relate" to the people she's writing about...I disagree.

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With Ghettonation, acclaimed journalist and author, Cora Daniels, takes on one of the most explosive issues in our country today in this thoughtful critique of America's embrace of a ghetto persona that is demeaning to women, devalues education, celebrates the worst African American stereotypes, and contributes to the destruction of civil peace. Her investigation exposes the central role of corporate America in exploiting the idea of ghettoness as a hip cultural idiom, despite its disturbing ramifications, as a means of making money. She showcases Black rappers raised in privileged families who have taken on the ghetto persona and sold millions of albums, and not so Black celebrities such as Paris Hilton, who have adopted ghetto attitudes and styles in pursuit of attention and notoriety. She also gets personal, exploring her own relationship to ghetto and the ways in which she is both part and outside the Ghettonation.

Daniels infuses this serious look at the degradation of American society with the honesty, found in her debut book Black Power Inc., as well as humor - including lists of events and people that deserve placement in the Ghetto Hall of Fame and a short section written entirely in ghetto slang. The result is not only a timely engrossing expose, that will surely trigger much needed debate, but also Ghettonation is a poignant call for action.



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Jefferson St. Joe
Posted: Feb 26 2008, 01:16 PM
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What makes Pearl Cleage's novel so damned enjoyable? At first glance, after all, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day seems pretty heavy going: HIV, suicide, sudden infant death syndrome, and drunk driving all figure prominently in the lives of narrator Ava Johnson and her older sister Joyce. It isn't long before crack addiction, domestic violence, and unwed motherhood have joined the list--so, where's the pleasure? The answer lies in the sharp and funny attitude Cleage brings to her depiction of one African American community in the troubled '90s. Ava Johnson, for example, might be HIV-positive, but she's refreshingly forthright about it: "Most of us got it from the boys. Which is, when you think about it, a pretty good argument for cutting men loose, but if I could work up a strong physical reaction to women, I would already be having sex with them. I'm not knocking it. I'm just saying I can't be a witness. Too many titties in one place to suit me."
Ada has spent the last 10 years living in Atlanta. When she discovers she's infected, she sells her hairdressing business and heads back to her childhood home of Idlewild, Michigan, to spend the summer with her recently widowed sister before moving on to San Francisco. Once there, however, she finds herself embroiled in big-city problems--drugs, violence, teen pregnancy, and an abandoned crack-addicted baby, to name just a few--in a small-town setting. Ava also meets Eddie Jefferson, a man with a past who just might change her mind about the imprudence of falling in love.

In less assured hands, such a catalog of disasters would make for maudlin, melodramatic reading indeed. But Cleage, an accomplished playwright, has a way both with characters and with language that lifts this tale above its movie-of-the-week tendencies. In Ava she has created a character who not only effortlessly carries the weight of the story but also provides entertaining commentary on African American life as she goes. Discussing the insular nature of the black community in Atlanta, she recalls, "I'd walk into a reception room and there'd be a room full of brothers, power-brokering their asses off, and I'd realize I'd seen them all naked. I'd watch them striding around, talking to each other in those phony-ass voices men use when they want to make it clear they got juice, and it was so depressing, all I'd want to do was go home and get drunk." Later, she describes the preacher's wife's hair as "pressed and hot-curled within an inch of its life.... Hardly anybody asks for that kind of hard press anymore. Sister seems to have missed the moment when we decided it was okay for the hair to move."

As the trials and tribulations pile on, the experiences of Cleage's characters prove to be universal: death, love, second chances. Ava's acerbic, smart-mouthed narrative keeps the story buoyant; by the time this endearingly imperfect heroine and her cohorts have negotiated the rocky road to a happy ending, readers will be sorry to see her go, even as they wish her well. --Alix Wilber


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Mary Poppins
Posted: Feb 26 2008, 05:34 PM
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QUOTE (Jefferson St. Joe @ Feb 26 2008, 12:16 PM)
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I may have to add this to my must read list.

I see you love the Oprah Bookclub books too. maryluvs_smile.gif


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Jefferson St. Joe
Posted: Feb 27 2008, 12:31 PM
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QUOTE (Princess Charming @ Feb 26 2008, 05:34 PM)
I may have to add this to my must read list.

I see you love the Oprah Bookclub books too.  maryluvs_smile.gif


maryluvs_laughing.gif not on purpose, but I guess I am a fan of her book club. A lot of the books that amazon.com recommends to me have the big of OBC stamp on it.

I just finished reading this last night. It was a decent book. Very quick read, It only took me about 4 days to finish it.
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Jefferson St. Joe
Posted: Feb 27 2008, 12:33 PM
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Four women--four friends--share a determination to stop a killer who has been stalking newlyweds in San Francisco. Each one holds a piece of the puzzle: Lindsay Boxer is a homicide inspector in the San Francisco Police Department, Claire Washburn is a medical examiner, Jill Bernhardt is an assistant D.A., and Cindy Thomas just started working the crime desk of the San Francisco Chronicle. But the usual procedures aren't bringing them any closer to stopping the killings. So these women form a Women's Murder Club to collaborate outside the box and pursue the case by sidestepping their bosses and giving each other a hand. The four women develop intense bonds as they pursue a killer whose crimes have stunned an entire city. Working together, they track down the most terrifying and unexpected killer they have ever encountered--before a shocking conclusion in which everything they knew turns out to be devastatingly wrong. Full of the breathtaking drama and unforgettable emotions for which James Patterson is famous, 1st to Die is the start of a blazingly fast-paced and sensationally entertaining new series of crime thrillers.


I just started this one today. I've read other JP books but this is my first WMC book.
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Mary Poppins
Posted: Feb 27 2008, 03:23 PM
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QUOTE (Jefferson St. Joe @ Feb 27 2008, 11:33 AM)
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I just started this one today. I've read other JP books but this is my first WMC book.

I read this a few years ago. It was good. maryluvs_thumbup.gif


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Jefferson St. Joe
Posted: Mar 3 2008, 11:12 AM
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QUOTE (Princess Charming @ Feb 27 2008, 03:23 PM)
QUOTE (Jefferson St. Joe @ Feb 27 2008, 11:33 AM)
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I just started this one today.  I've read other JP books but this is my first WMC book.

I read this a few years ago. It was good. maryluvs_thumbup.gif

I finished this on Friday. It was really good. I love all the different twist at the end. I'm gonna read "2nd Degree" as soon as I finish my nigga novel.

I just looked on netflix and saw they "made for tv" movie for this book. I might have to check it out.
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