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Book reviews for "Howard,_Joyce" sorted by average review score:

Dreams Don't Last: A Sharyn Howard Mystery (Avalon Mystery)
Published in Hardcover by Avalon (2002)
Author: Joyce and Jim Lavene
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one of the best mystery-romance i have ever read
it was a good on the edge of your seat mystery but it also gave you just the right amount of romance tied in with it to make it enjoyable i highly recommend this book to anyone

A suspenseful political saga of unsolved murders
The latest Sharyn Howard mystery by the writing team of Joyce and Jim Lavene, Dreams Don't Last is a suspenseful political saga of unsolved murders, election fever, and hidden family secrets in Sharyn Howard's personal and public life. Sharyn is running against ex-sheriff Roy Tarnower, and the race promises to be anything but painless. Dreams Don't Last is tautly written novel of cover-ups and shady motives, with an exciting twist as election day draws near. ...

Gates of Wonder
Published in Paperback by Central Conference of American Rabbis (2000)
Authors: Robert Orkand, Joyce Orkand, Neil Waldman, Central Conference of American Rabbis, and Howard I. Bogot
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Nice and simple
I bought this for my 3 year old not really knowing what to expect. When it arrived my daughter wanted to open it immediately and read it. She loved the beautiful pictures. I loved the simple words. A great introduction to Jewish traditions, thoughts and prayer that you can build on at home.

Wonderful for young children
This book is one of the best I've ordered so far. The writing is in large bold print and there are only a few sentances per page, so it holds a toddler's attention. There is a great message and the illustrations are adorable. Great children's book!

Going on
Published in Paperback by (2001)
Author: Joyce Howard
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"Going On" is less a novel than a channeling. For l50 pages, the reader is perched inside the mind of a mute and homeless man who is taking a journey up the coast of California. We find ourselves entangled in his experiences -- his memories become our memories. We walk along with him; we feel his hunger, his humiliation, the pain in his bleeding feet. Along with him, we get hit by a car, rejoice at a sudden windfall, get drunk, mourn a dying dog. And, along with this outer journey, we experience his inner one as well. We share the man's cynicism about the modern world, his reverence for natural beauty, his panic as he fights to keep painful memories at bay, his flashes of optimism as he meets with the occasional kindness, and finally, his release as he allows himself to open up and free himself of his past. This book is unique and beautiful, filled with soaring philosophic insights and humble, touching details. It inspires all kinds of questions about the nature of burdens and freedom; it is full of metaphors about the soul's evolution, and the real meaning of homelessness.

An Amazing Journey
Joyce Howard's GOING ON is a remarkable amalgam of incident and insight following as it does the journey, both inward and external, taken by a man from the depths of squalor living as an alcoholic derelict, to the dramatic landscape of Big Sur and a final confrontation with his past. This is an educated man versed in poetry, philosophy and metaphysics with an acute awareness of others even though he has lost his own sense of self. His is a soul wounded in a tragedy he has forced himself to forget. But as he wakes up one day with a desperate need for "going on," and begins his odyssey north, the past slowly becomes palpable. The book is filled with lyrical prose describing the landscapes he passes through and the gentle unraveling of memory. It is also filled with the kind of incidents that a wanderer may well stumble upon. In finding his way to Big Sur he finds his way to a home he never knew was there and a final truth that sets him free. Ms. Howard has written with warmth and amazing insight about a character that one comes to fully embrace. Your vision will be altered when you see a Homeless Person after reading GOING ON.

Gates of Awe: Holy Day Prayers for Young Children
Published in Hardcover by Central Conference of American Rabbis (1991)
Authors: Robert Orkand, Joyce Orkand, Howard I. Bogot, Barry Nostradamus Sher, and Neil Waldman
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Must Reading
Rabbi Orkand, and his wife, Joyce, an elementary school teacher, write on a level that will be enjoyed, and understood by children. Generations should share this book.

New Tole and Folk Art Designs: Painting Techniques and Patterns
Published in Hardcover by Chilton/Haynes (1979)
Author: Joyce Howard
Amazon base price: $24.50
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Found an old trunk you'd like to fix up?
Dozens of designs to trace or adapt; how to prepare and paint wood and metal surfaces; color formulas and combinations for acrylics and oils; how to paint traditional and contemporary motifs and more.

Until Our Last Embrace (Avalon Mystery)
Published in Hardcover by Avalon (2001)
Authors: Joyce Lavene and Jim Lavene
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Very highly recommended
Sharyn is the third generation of Howards to be elected sheriff in the small town of Diamond Springs, North Carolina. She has her hands full when word of a bear attack throws the town in a tizzy, especially when a reporter prints a false story claiming that the bear was rabid. The victim was Darva Richmond, the sister-in-law to Beau Richmond, a man previously murdered. Her husband was suing his brother's widow over a large inheritance. While the mauling is tragic, no one initially suspects foul play until officers look beyond initial evidence.

As clues are revealed, Darva's husband seems to be the logic suspect. But his bitter family also provides is also suspicious. Further, Darva's aunt, Miss Eleanore, arrives in town with her accusations. Contradictory reports of Darva's marriage add to the confusion as friends report that Darva and husband Donald were the perfect couple, yet family claims that they were always fighting and didn't sleep together. Donald was contesting his brother's will because it was changed during the last few months of Beau Richmond's life. Donald says he brother was stable enough to make out a new will that changed his heir from being his brother to being his new wife. Millions are at stake.

In addition to a touchy investigation, Sharyn finds herself confronting a host of other problems. District Attorney Jack Winter is determined to express his romantic interest and doesn't hesitate to use political machinations for his own purposes. She also must find a date to attend her mother's engagement party, although her mother's marrying Senator Caison Talbot, a man Sharyn neither likes nor trusts. Her deputies seem to be fighting affairs of the heart that leave her short staffed. Further, because she doesn't see herself or her job as desirable, she's clueless in realizing her medical examiner is interested. To top it off, the dry cleaners dyed her uniforms blue.

Authors Joyce and Jim Lavene combine their creative efforts in UNTIL OUR LAST EMBRACE. A touch of levity gives this mystery punch, making it a fast, fun read. Staunchly independent, and chronically curious, Sharyn Howard is a believable, determined heroine blind to her own possible love interests. Further, the conclusion UNTIL OUR LAST EMBRACE proves to be powerful and satisfying even as it keeps the reader guessing until the end. As each book in the series gets even better, you have to constantly remind yourself that Sharyn and the town of Diamond Springs are a work of fiction. Very highly recommended.

Last Dance - An Avalon Mystery
Published in Hardcover by Thomas Bouregy & Co (24 December, 1999)
Authors: Joyce Lavene, Jim Lavene, James Lavene, and Jim
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Good mystery.
This one is a great mystery. However, there were parts, in my opinion, that were not detailed enough.

It will grab the reader's attention quickly and hold onto it through out the book and is well written.

Yes, this one is worth you money!

Hard to put down until the last page is turned!
Prom night is a special night in every teenager's life; it is a night that should be remembered for the rest of your life. In a way it signifies you are on the way to becoming an adult and growing up. But unfortunately, tragedies occasionally are drawn to nights like these and when that happens it changes everyone's life and not always for the better. Sharyn Howard is following the family tradition, Law Enforcement. Her grandfather was the Sheriff of Diamond Springs, North Carolina and her father had replaced him. Now she has replaced her father becoming the first woman ever elected here for sheriff, unfortunately she had replaced her father because he was shot and killed. Now this small town has once again been shaken to the very foundations. Another young girl has been killed on prom night. The last time was exactly ten years ago at Sharyn's own prom, Leila Bentley was killed in almost the exact same manner. Sharyn isn't sure what is going on, but she has a gut feeling that this was the work of the same person. But to act on that would mean that her father somehow arrested and the town convicted the wrong man and the killer had been here all this time. Now Sharyn must decide if she is going to go against not just her mother and closest friends, but the entire town and reopen the old case to try and solve this one. Authors Joyce and Jim Lavene have created a book that is well worth the money to get it. Last Dance flows smoothly, fast paced with just the right touch. Although there is one section that could have been spread out more, with a smaller leap to the conclusion, it is still a book that is hard to put down and you won't want to put down until the last page is turned.

Tracy Eastgate Reviewer

Tales of H.P. Lovecraft
Published in Paperback by HarperCollins (paper) (2000)
Authors: Joyce Carol Oates and Howard Phillips Lovecraft
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Still the Best
H.P. Lovecraft is my favorite horror writer. At his best, he is unsurpassed by any current author, including Stephen King. He creates nightmarish worlds which are uniquely his own. However, in regard to consistency, he may be likened to a pure power hitter in baseball: for the most part, he either hits a homerun or strikes out. Fortunately, most of the stories in this collection are homeruns. "The Rats in the Wall", "The Call of Cthulu", "Shadow over Innsmouth", "The Colour out of Space", and "The Dunwich Horror" are arguably five of the best horror stories ever written. Most of the others are almost as good. The one clear strikeout in the collection is "The Shadow out of Time" which I found murky, unfocused, and repetitive in style. Speaking of repetitive, a few of the stories do make you wish that Lovecraft had sprung for a thesaurus at some point: if I read the words "eldritch" or "nameless" one more time, I thought I would scream! At any rate, the collection is a good introduction to one of the true masters of the horror genre.

The contents of this book
With so many different Lovecraft collections out there, it may help prospective buyers to know what's actually in this one:

[By Joyce Carol Oates:] Introduction; [by H.P. Lovecraft:] The Outsider; The Music of Erich Zann; The Rats in the Walls; The Shunned House; The Call of Cthulhu; The Colour out of Space; The Dunwich Horror; At the Mountains of Madness; The Shadow over Innsmouth; The Shadow out of Time

This is an excellent introductory selection of short fiction -- Lovecraft didn't write any other kind -- by one of the major figures in the history of what is nowadays called horror fiction (though a very good case can be made that, as with his idol Poe, Lovecraft belongs among the ranks of literary greats, period). Still, there are comparably fine collections available, e.g. THE CALL OF CTHULHU AND OTHER WEIRD TALES, THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP AND OTHER WEIRD TALES (both of which, unlike the collection being reviewed here, have endnotes), THE DUNWICH HORROR AND OTHERS, and AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS AND OTHER NOVELS.

What makes this particular collection a marketing novelty -- indeed, why it was ever published in the first place -- is that it's edited and introduced by a well-established, much-respected mainstream literary fiction writer, namely Oates. The publisher's hope may have been that some of those who wouldn't otherwise consider reading an oldtime pulp horror writer like Lovecraft will finally give him a try, what with Oates's more widely intellectually respected name attached. As one who believes Lovecraft deserves a much higher rank in the proverbial literary pantheon than the literary establishment generally accords him, I have no complaint about trying that approach.

But marketing strategy aside, the main reason a prospective buyer should consider choosing this particular collection is the moderate-length introductory essay by Oates, since the fiction selections are readily available elsewhere. The question, in other words, is: How valuable is her essay?

Somewhat. It's a repackaging of her review of S.T. Joshi's LOVECRAFT: A LIFE that she wrote some years back for THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS. In it, she makes some sophisticated observations about Lovecraft's psyche, literary techniques, and parallels with various great mainstream American writers: Little that serious-minded Lovecraft readers don't already know, but perhaps have never before seen put so well.

Oates's essay, for those who care to do a search, can be found on her own site.

Lovecraft for Starters
Oates provides a nice collection of mature HPL stories which might be a nice introduction for everyone who has not made acqaintance with Lovecraft's work yet. Included are stories such as, The Shunned House, Rats in the Walls (great!), The Outsider, The Dunwich Horror -> mature works!

The stories provided by this selction are very dark, true gothic horror stories which won't disappoint any fan of the genre. Reading Lovecraft's language is like looking at a painting by Van Gogh or Da Vinci - overwhelming!

Lovecraft's words are very sensitive for the story they tell, very true to the heart of the darkness within, as haunting as seeing a ghost by yourself.

Deadly Sins
Published in Paperback by Quill (1996)
Authors: Thomas Pynchon, Mary Gordon, John Updike, William Trevor, Gore Vidal, Richard Howard, A. S. Byatt, Joyce Carol Oates, and Etienne Delessert
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This book is a collection of eight essays. The first seven are each written on the subject of one of the "deadly" sins of sloth, anger, lust, gluttony, pride, avarice and envy. The eight is on despair. Each of the famous authors ruminates on the sin, looking at it from his or her unique perspective.

Overall I found the essays well written, and the book to be easy to read. This book makes for some lightweight reading, short and simple, but without much substance. Overall, I don't recommend it.

Pynchon, Gordon, Updile, Vidal, Trevor, Howard, Byatt, Oates
Eight essays on Sloth, Anger, Lust, Gluttony, Pride, Avarice, Envy, and Despair (yes that's 8 sins). To be honest I bought it because of Pynchon, (whose essay -if you are even a slight fan- makes the buy worth it) but read on to the back cover. I quickly discovered that these authors compiled around the topic of sins is a great way to see inside these writers styles and appraoch to a similar idea. Some I'd read before, and others introduced themselves in this novel. All were unique and interesting in their own right, especially for someone -me- who isn't terribly interested in sins. Highly reccomended!

Letters from Henry Miller to Hoki Tokuda Miller
Published in Paperback by (2000)
Author: Joyce Howard
Amazon base price: $12.95
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Miller Is A Pathetic Old Man
This collection of letters makes Henry Miller look like a pathetic old geezer. Miller, who if you read multiple biographic works on him, never was much of a "real person", but some kind of morphic creature who would become fascinated with something for a while & his entire existence would be geared towards that thing. Sometimes it was UFOs, sometimes the idea of what he thought China was....seemingly anything and everything, just so long as Miller could run away & hide from being an actual individual. During the part of his life covering these letters, he was in his "Japanese phase". Hoki Miller was an attractive woman who was a cheesy lounge singer & wannabe actress working at a Los Angeles Japanese resteraunt. Miller fell in love with some image he concocted & Hoki saw him for the patsy he was. All this woman did was tease & lead on Miller, and like a fool, he went right along. She never gave him the sexual play he so longed for, but he bought her a new white Jaguar that she quickly smashed up. Miller kept tossing money at her, and even went to Japan with her to try to use his fame there to promote Hoki The Hack's failing acting career. The letters in this collection are no literary masterpieces, and would only be of intrest to hardcore Miller fans or maybe somebody looking for a laugh at a rich & famous old man's expense. If you're not really interested in Miller's personal life, I'd suggest spending your money on something else.

Amazing Collections Of Letters!
This is a great collection of letters that will give great insight to Henry Miller's fans. The letters follow this tumultuous relationship & show Henry Miller at his most childish and pathetic. Hoki was a scam artist extraordinaire & Henry went along for the ride, while paying for the car, the insurance, gas, food along the way, etc. This is a must read for any Henry Miller fan. Others will find it kind of pointlessly pitiful.

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