Tag: book reviews

Monday Musings

September 10, 2012 Monday Musings 0

This week the Monday Musings question from Should Be Reading is the following: Do you take notes while you read?

I have to or I can’t remember everything I want to say for my reviews! Sometimes if I’m really enjoying a book, I think I’m worse about taking notes because I’m enjoying reading so much. Unfortunately, that sometimes means I finish a book and feel completely incapable of articulating how awesome it was. On the other hand, I never mind stopping to scribble angrily if something is bothering me about a book. Perhaps I should work on being more balanced in my note-taking 🙂

Do you take notes while you read? Do you find it easier to do so for books you love or books you hate?


September is Cooking Month

September 5, 2012 Uncategorized 2

Hello all! This month I’ll be focusing more on non-fiction and less on group reads. In particular, I’ll be doing several reviews of cook books and maybe even some picture-illustrated articles about my experience trying to cook from them. I’m most excited about a slow cooker recipe book I’ve found at the library, which seems geared toward letting you cook when you want to cook. Hopefully it will be good 🙂

Thanks to nahhan on stock exchange for the beautiful photo.


Monday Musings

August 20, 2012 Monday Musings 0

This week the Monday Musings question from Should Be Reading is the following: Have you ever reread a book and found that your opinion changed?

I haven’t ever had my opinion change dramatically or with one re-read, but I have outgrown books that were my favorites for a while. I used to love the Redwall books which were the very first long books I read when I was younger, but now they seem too young. I might re-read them again soon and see if I enjoy them again though. Another one-time favorite was Amelia Atwater-Rhodes’s In The Forests of the Night. Again, I just outgrew it, but I still remember it fondly and may give it another try in the future.

Have you ever outgrown a book or had a re-read not live up to your expectations? On the other hand, has a re-read ever made you like a book better?


A Feeling For the Organism – Barbara McClintock in the 575’s

August 16, 2012 Uncategorized 0

Title: A Feeling For the Organism
Author: Evelyn Fox Keller
Source: library
Fun Fact: Barbara McClintock was the first woman president of the Genetics Society of America and only the third woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: This was an interesting biography, similar to The Double Helix in its’ look at the human interactions behind scientific achievement, but much more technical and not something I would recommend for those without a science background.

Barbara McClintock was a brilliant female scientist, unwilling to settle for a “woman’s job” teaching when she was clearly cut out for research. Her intelligence and insight eventually put her discoveries so far ahead of the rest of her field that it took decades for her to receive the recognition she deserved. In this biography, we learn about both her struggles as a women in science and  the details of her Nobel prize winning research. Read more »


A Group Read – Assassin’s Apprentice Review

August 14, 2012 Uncategorized 2

Title: Assassin’s Apprentice
Author: Robin Hobb
Source: library
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: The writing in the book was good, but not great, and the plot often failed to deliver on built up excitement.

Born illegitimately to a commoner and a prince, Fitz has both the ancient ability to talk to animals and the noble Skill of influencing other’s minds. At a very young age he’s chosen and trained to be the king’s assassin. This puts him in a position to defend the kingdom both from vicious Outislander raiders and from attacks closer to home. Read more »


Monday Musings

August 13, 2012 Monday Musings 7

This week the Monday Musings question from Should Be Reading is the following: Do you snack while you read?  If so, what is your favorite reading snack?

I love to snack while I read, mostly, I think, because I like having something to do while I’m reading. My favorite is definitely chocolate covered raisins, but I’ve been trying to replace them with less excessively sugary snacks. Trail mix and fruit are some of my candidate favorite snacks 🙂

Do you snack when you read? And do you also have a hard time keeping it healthy?


Bookends About The Book of Tomorrow

August 11, 2012 Uncategorized 5

Title: The Book of Tomorrow
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Source: from publisher for a TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: An intriguing and enjoyable mystery that raises a lot of interesting questions.

Here’s the plot as I knew it going into the story: Tamara’s dad dies, her mother withdraws deeply into her grief, and the previously wealthy mother and daughter most go live with poor relations to get by. While struggling to fit into her new life, Tamara finds a book, which every night reveals the events which will happen the next day.

Based on the description, I was nervous that this book would be very emotional, bordering on too angsty or too sad for me to enjoy. I’m not sure what drew me to read it any way, perhaps the intriguing premise and cover picture, but whatever it was, my instincts were good. Although there were certainly emotional and thought-provoking elements to the story, the story felt most like a really good mystery to me. Read more »


Mirroring People in the 573’s

August 9, 2012 Uncategorized 1

Title: Mirroring People
Author: Marco Iacoboni
Source: library
Fun Fact: People who think about rabid soccer fans before general knowledge tests do worse than a control group, while people who think about professors before the test do better than the controls.
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Wow – this is some incredibly interesting and well explained research. I’d highly recommend this to pretty much anyone.

Mirror neurons are the part of our brain which allow is to interpret other’s emotions, predict their intentions when they begin an action, and probably enable our ability to communicate using language. In Mirroring People, Marco Iacoboni explains clearly and intelligently the cutting edge research on this fascinating part of our brain – research with which he was intimately involved. The basic premise of this work is that we use the same neurons to preform an action and when we watch other people perform an action. This lets us put ourselves in their shoes to better understand what they’re doing and why. Read more »


Monday Musings

August 6, 2012 Monday Musings 2

This week the Monday Musings question from Should Be Reading is the following: What attracts you to a book blog? What puts you off in a book blog? Do you share personal stuff on your book blog?

These days I don’t often go looking for more book blogs to read, so the main way I find new blogs is through recommendations from bloggers I like already. I realize as a blogger, you don’t have a ton of control over that, but I think it’s a point in favor of networking 🙂 I also like organized book blogs, where reviews follow some typical format, possibly with a header or a footer containing a summary of the review. I don’t like reviews which begin with the summary taken directly from the book or which ramble too much about things other than the book. Another big turn off for me is  a blog with more than one or two memes. (I’m suddenly wondering if all book bloggers become this opinionated! I don’t think I’d have had a solid answer to this question when I started out.) I share a little personal info in non-book-review posts because that’s my preference for other blogs. I think it’s nice to share a little of yourself so we can get to know each other, but that’s why memes are nice. They’re a place to share information about ourselves without cluttering up a book review.

What do you look for or avoid in a blog? How do you feel about sharing personal info?



Bookends About Pardonable Lies

July 29, 2012 Uncategorized 2

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. Read more »