Posts Categorized: Uncategorized

Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes

January 8, 2013 Uncategorized 13

Title: Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes
Author: Maria Konnikova
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Fun Fact: Motivation can improve IQ test results and memory formation.
Review Summary: Not the most useful as a self-help book, but a fun and inspiring way to learn about psychology.

Can you learn to think like Sherlock Holmes? Drawing on both anecdotes from Holmes stories and exciting studies in psychology, author Maria Konnikova suggests ways in which you can. She’s clearly familiar with and enthusiastic about both her topics – Homes and the psychology behind his way of thinking – and she does a great job making you feel her enthusiasm too. As someone who understands loving a good book, she had me from her description of her first experience with Holmes. She also integrated real-world, relatable examples with her Holmes/Conan Doyle anecdotes and the psychology studies in a way that constantly piqued my interest.

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Perfect On Paper and Other Waverly Bryson Mini-Reviews

January 3, 2013 Uncategorized 0

Over break I was mentally on vacation… and that was even before I had the flu! So some nice light reading was exactly what the doctor ordered and the delightful Waverly Bryson series by Maria Murnane did not disappoint. Sure, there were a few of the cliche problems with chick-lit – a little insta-love and a heroine with a slightly man-dependent ego – but overall Waverly was very relatable and a lot of fun. She was kind of like a Meg Cabot character for adults, although without the strange quirk each of Meg’s characters seem to have. She did however have the quality I like most about Meg’s characters – she seemed real and she seemed like someone I might be friends with.

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Favorite Fiction Reads From 2012

December 31, 2012 Uncategorized 3

As with my non-fiction favorites, this  list is a best of the best look at my fiction reads this year. Although I read a lot of good fiction this year, I didn’t have as hard of a time as I expected narrowing this down to just the five books on the list below. The list is mostly not ordered, but I am starting with a book that was by far my favorite read this year… Read more »

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The King of Clubs in Mini-reviews

December 30, 2012 Uncategorized 3

This is a review of both my last book in last years book-to-movie challenge and my last book for reaching my goal of 150 books read this year! It was a short one, but it was all I could handle when Netflix got rid of the TV show for my original choice at the last minute (drat you Netflix and your evil, inventory changing ways, haha).

Book Review

 

15819761This short story is classic Poirot and I could see it making a great introduction to Agatha’s quirky Belgian detective. The interaction between Poirot and his friend Hastings is particularly funny in this one, which starts with a fairly traditional beginning – detective observes high-profile news item, astutely predicts when a certain person will ask for his help, and then is asked as predicted. Although short enough to leave me wanting more, this did have all the things I like about Agatha Christie, including a surprising twist only Poirot can see and the use of little details plus an understanding of human nature to make some surprising deductions. While definitely not long enough for me to recommend if you’re looking for a cozy detective story to spend the afternoon with, it would be a great introduction to the genre.

TV Show Review Read more »

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Favorite Non-Fiction Reads From 2012

December 29, 2012 Uncategorized 8

Although I read a lot of great books during 2012, today I just want to share the best of the best – the ones I’d really gush over while telling a friend about them. That means I’ve narrowed this list down to my top 5. I do have a slightly more extensive list on Riffle though, a new website advertised as “Pinterest for books”. The list is here. For those of you interested in trying out a new social reading website, I anticipate having invites soon so leave a comment if you’d be interested when those are available 🙂 Now, in no particular order, here my five favorite non-fiction books from 2012… Read more »

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Holes – A Bookish Movie Review

December 26, 2012 Uncategorized 0

There have been books where I’ve liked the movie version equally well, but I think this is the first time I actually liked the movie significantly better. The movie did an awesome job using dialogue directly from the book. This could have been bad since the dialogue in the book felt a little stiff to me. Instead, the movie really brought the quirky characters from the book to life. In the book, the humor of the lines the characters were saying rarely came across; in the movie, the characters often made me laugh out loud. Read more »

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Bookends About Holes

December 23, 2012 Uncategorized 2

38709Title: Holes
Author: Louis Sachar
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Classic, dry Louis Sachar humor but simplistic enough I’d classify it as middle grade fiction, not YA.

In Holes, Stanley Yelnats is found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit and has the choice of going to prison or Camp Green Lake. Unfortunately, Camp Green Lake is neither green nor in possession of a lake and the warden believes digging a hole a day will help the boys build character. However, Stanley quickly realizes that the warden is digging for something in particular and that the mystery of Camp Green Lake may connect to his own family history.

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The Black Count

December 20, 2012 Uncategorized 6

Title: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
Author: Tom Reiss
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★★
Fun Fact: Sugar was once considered a rare substance and prescribed as a cure for nearly everything.
Review Summary: An incredible true adventure told by seamlessly combining personal anecdotes and broader social issues in a fascinating story.

Although many of you have probably read or watched The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers, few people know that many of the adventures in these classics were inspired by the author’s father, also named Alex Dumas. From exciting sword fights to wrongful imprisonment, this true story has it all. Why did Alex Dumas have so many exciting adventures? In the name of “liberty, fraternity, and equality” of course! That’s right… Alex Dumas was a hero of the French Revolution, one who embodied the best qualities of that revolution. Not only did he take advantage of the unparalleled racial equality it caused, his stunning rise through the military never lead him to stop treating all others with the respect and human dignity he believed they deserved.

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