Monthly Archives: July 2012

Bookends About Pardonable Lies

Title: Pardonable Lies
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Source: library
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: A little more paranormal than I expected this series to get, which threw me, but also much more exciting and action-packed than previous books in the series.

Hello all! I’m currently recovering at my parents’ house in Ohio after the first leg of my move, before heading on to Ithaca on Tuesday, so it’s a great time to get this post up for the summer book club being hosted by Jessica of Quirky Bookworm. This is actually the third book in the Maisie Dobbs series (my review of the first is here) and like all of the books I’ve read so far (through the fourth in the series) it includes a case related to the aftermath of WWI as well as a case that makes Maisie think about her personal experiences in the war. Her first case is an odd one, as she is asked to prove that a man’s son did not survive the war. This leads to a more personal investigation, helping a friend learn about a brother lost in the war under mysterious circumstances. Continue reading

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Six Wives in the 921′s

Title: Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII
Author: David Starkey
Source: library
Fun Fact: The fates of Henry VIII’s wives were the following: divorced, beheaded, died in child birth, divorced, beheaded, and out-lived him (but probably would otherwise have been beheaded).
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Clear, well written, engaging without being overly dramatic, obviously well researched, and a lot of fun to read.

This book was really everything I look for in a non-fiction book about history. It was so engagingly written that it could have been non-fiction, but sources were all cited and deviations from accepted wisdom among Henry VIII scholars were mentioned. The story was presented chronologically, with a few, well integrated digressions to give us the history of each of Henry’s wives. Chapters were short and the introduction of new characters was kept to a minimum, creating a very lucid narrative. New characters were always given context, both in the writing and by some great family trees, and we were often reminded who recurring characters were. This made the massive amounts of information in this 880 page book fairly manageable. Continue reading

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A Group Read Review – Leviathan Wakes

Title: Leviathan Wakes
Author: James Corey
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Very interesting premise, intriguing, and sometimes well written, but it didn’t really draw me in.

Typically classed as a space opera, Leviathan Wakes has a little bit of everything – action, horror, mystery, and of course science fiction. We alternate between two perspective, one a shuttle captain drawn into the mystery surrounding a deserted ship sending out a distress signal and the other a cop searching for a missing girl who we know was on the now deserted ship. This shuttle eventually leads them both to a secret some people are willing to “kill on an unfathomable scale for” – even if that means engineering a war. Continue reading

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A Possible Interlude

Hello all :) This is just a quick notice that I’m moving out of my apartment this week and into my new one next week. I hope to schedule some posts in advance for you to enjoy while I’m dealing with life, but I’d like to apologize in advance if posts get a little erratic for a while!

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Flight From Berlin

Title: Flight From Berlin
Author: David John
Source: from publisher for a TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: An exciting story of escape from Nazi Germany, made more interesting and believable by the author’s inclusion of real people and events.

Starting during the 1936 Berlin Olympics and taking place just pre-WWII, Flight From Berlin is a fascinating look at a pivotal time period as the world decides how to react to Nazi Germany. Almost by chance, an English reporter and a beautiful American athlete-turned-reporter receive information which could effect the outcome of that decision. They also become personally involved with a Jewish family who they hope to help escape. Continue reading

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The Double Helix in the 574′s

Title: The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA
Author: James D. Watson
Source: library
Fun Fact: Not even Watson always knew what he wanted to research. (This may not seem like a fun fact to all of you, but to those of you who are also in research – you’re welcome.)
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: This was a great candid look at the process of research and the drama of the personal interactions that are sometimes involved.

Science sometimes includes a surprising amount of personal drama and just playing around with models until they fit the facts. This account of the discovery of the structure of DNA, by one of the key participants Dr. James D. Watson, includes a lot of both. Written as though from his perspective at the time, The Double Helix presented a fascinating and candid look at the work which led up to this amazing discover. Continue reading

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Monday Musings

This week the Monday Musings question from Should Be Reading is the following: What are you currently reading? Is it any good? Would you recommend it?

Right now I’m reading Flight From Berlin for a TLC book tour I’m participating in this Saturday. I just started it last night and haven’t had a ton of time to read today, so I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. The initial thought and dialog seemed a little stilted and it took me a bit to get into the story. But now I’m starting to like the two main characters and the action is picking up, so I think my initial, more negative feelings were just me struggling to get into a new book. Now, I’m liking it a lot better and I suspect that once we get into the more action packed parts of the novel it’s going to turn into something I’ll enjoy a lot and which I would recommend.

Are you reading anything good these days? Does it often take you a little while to decide how you feel about a new book?

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