Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Wrap-Up

Thanks Callista for hosting this challenge! It was my first!

Here's my wrap-up.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tiny Librarian's Wrap-Up

Hooray, another challenge completed! Thanks to Callista for hosting this fun one!

My books were:
1. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
2. Cocktails for Three by Madeleine Wickham
3. One of those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies by Sonya Sones
4. 21 Proms by various authors
5. Second Chance by Jane Green

Favourite book?
Well, I gave 2 of them 4 stars - The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and One Of Those Hideous Books... I'd say my top fave was the Detective Agency because I found it really charming and it brought back my faith in McCall Smith (the last couple of his I'd read hadn't wowed me as much as 44 Scotland Street).

Least favourite book?
I gave the other ones all 3 stars, so none of them were bad books. I'd say it was probably 21 Proms just because I'm not really that big a fan of short stories, but I don't regret reading it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Second Chance by Jane Green

At last, I'm finished! I managed to still get done in time even though I misread the rules and had to switch 2 books at the last minute.

My review of British chick lit author Jane Green's Second Chance is here.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Death of a Thousand Cuts by Barbara D'Amato


"The Hawthorne House was once known for its remarkable success rate with autistic children. Now, fifteen years after it closed former residents have returned to Hawthorne House for their first-ever reunion. But the gala event turns into a bloody nightmare when the House's revered founder, Dr. Jay Schermerhorn, is found tortured to death in the mansion's basement.

Schermerhorn had enjoyed a worldwide reputation for his innovative methods and compassionate treatment of autistic children. How could anyone have hated him enough to kill him? As Chicago detectives probe deeply into the history of Hawthorne House, a troubling picture emerges-of a man who inspired both fear and hatred in the children and families who came to him for help."

My thoughts:

This book was a good police procedural with an emphasis on the wide spectrum of autism behaviors. I liked how the point of view switched from former patient Jeffery Clifford who has developed ways of coping with the world to detective Emily Folkestone who learns about how autistic people behave.

Date read: 6/1/2008
No. of pages: 386
Year: 2006
Genre: Mystery

One Day the Ice Will Reveal All Its Dead by Clare Dudman


"In this passionate and haunting tale of obsession, endurance, courage and love, Clare Dudman imaginatively re-creates the life of the German scientist Alfred Wegener, whose theory of continental drift--derided and discredited by his contemporaries--would eventually revolutionize our perception of the world.

From the moment he nearly drowns in an icy Berlin canal in 1883 at the age of three, Alfred Wegener's irresistible urge to discover the unknown takes him on an extraordinary quest. Record-breaking flights in hydrogen balloons, several lengthy expeditions across the unexplored and treacherous ice of Greenland, the searing horrors of trench warfare in the First World War all form part of a restless search for truth, knowledge and the meaning of love. Wegener's keen powers of observation and his theories on everything from the flow of ice to the formation of raindrops eventually coalesce into his controversial theory of continental drift, which he struggled his whole life to defend.

Distinguished by Clare Dudman's lyrical evocation of the unforgiving beauty of the Arctic, One Day the Ice Will Reveal All Its Dead is the beautifully written story of one man's unshakable belief in an idea and the remarkable woman whose strength and devotion allowed him to pursue all his dreams. "

My thoughts:

Seen through the eyes of Alfred Wegener, this book about his life mixed both poetry and science. I liked learning about Wegener's expeditions in Greenland and about his trying to convince the scientific community about continental drift.

Date read: 5/15/2008
No. of pages: 401
Year: 2004
Genre: Fiction

1776 by David McCullough


"In this stirring book, David McCullough tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence -- when the whole American cause was riding on their success, without which all hope for independence would have been dashed and the noble ideals of the Declaration would have amounted to little more than words on paper.

Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful drama written with extraordinary narrative vitality. It is the story of Americans in the ranks, men of every shape, size, and color, farmers, schoolteachers, shoemakers, no-accounts, and mere boys turned soldiers. And it is the story of the King's men, the British commander, William Howe, and his highly disciplined redcoats who looked on their rebel foes with contempt and fought with a valor too little known.

Here also is the Revolution as experienced by American Loyalists, Hessian mercenaries, politicians, preachers, traitors, spies, men and women of all kinds caught in the paths of war.

At the center of the drama, with Washington, are two young American patriots, who, at first, knew no more of war than what they had read in books -- Nathanael Greene, a Quaker who was made a general at thirty-three, and Henry Knox, a twenty-five-year-old bookseller who had the preposterous idea of hauling the guns of Fort Ticonderoga overland to Boston in the dead of winter.

But it is the American commander-in-chief who stands foremost -- Washington, who had never before led an army in battle.

The book begins in London on October 26, 1775, when His Majesty King George III went before Parliament to declare America in rebellion and to affirm his resolve to crush it. From there the story moves to the Siege of Boston and its astonishing outcome, then to New York, where British ships and British troops appear in numbers never imagined and the newly proclaimed Continental Army confronts the enemy for the first time. David McCullough's vivid rendering of the Battle of Brooklyn and the daring American escape that followed is a part of the book few readers will ever forget.

As the crucial weeks pass, defeat follows defeat, and in the long retreat across New Jersey, all hope seems gone, until Washington launches the "brilliant stroke" that will change history.

The darkest hours of that tumultuous year were as dark as any Americans have known. Especially in our own tumultuous time, 1776 is powerful testimony to how much is owed to a rare few in that brave founding epoch, and what a miracle it was that things turned out as they did.

Written as a companion work to his celebrated biography of John Adams, David McCullough's 1776 is another landmark in the literature of American history."

My thoughts:

This book is a very informative look at a single year in American history. I liked learning about the British and Loyalist point of view as well as the problems Washington had in keeping the army together. The portraits, letters and the maps also add to the experience.

Date read: 5/13/2008
No. of pages: 294
Year: 2005
Genre: History

3rd Degree by James Patterson


"Plunging into a burning townhouse, Detective Lindsay Boxer discovers three dead bodies...and a mysterious message at the scene. When more corpses turn up, Lindsay asks her friends Claire Washburn of the medical examiners office, Assistant D.A. Jill Bernhardt, and San Francisco Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas to help her find a murderer who vows to kill every three days. Even more terrifying, he has targeted one of the four friends. Which one will it be?"

My thoughts:

This was a good suspenseful mystery as Lindsay and her friends try to figure out who the murderer is before the next victim dies. I liked the characters and the plot and I look forward to reading the next book in the series, 4th of July.

Date read: 4/27/2008
No. of pages: 339
Year: 2005
Genre: Mystery