Saturday, March 8, 2014
To confuse matters even more, there are very strange goings-on in the village of Ferryport Landing. Can the girls find all the answers they're looking for and find the home they've been needing for so long?
This is a great book for kids around 8-10 years of age.
Friday, March 7, 2014
I had a preconceived notion of what this book was going to be, all because of the 30 second movie preview with Harrison Ford. I was wrong. Yes, there is an alien war but the focus of the book is the character of Andrew "Ender" Wiggin and his training to prepare as a soldier for an upcoming war with an alien race called Buggers.
At the beginning of the book, Ender is a gifted 6 year old who is being evaluated to be sent to Battle School. He is a Third, meaning a third child in a society where it is only legal to have two children. His parents were asked by the government to have a third child, as the first two children were evaluated and rejected by the Battle School. As a Third though, Ender and his entire family are slightly ostracized by society.
Ender passes the evaluation and heads to Battle School. Yes, as a 6 year old and when he's 10, he heads to Command School. He is obviously a special kid.
The book also tells the story of the Peter and Valentine Wiggin, Ender's siblings. I don't necessarily enjoy war stories, (okay unless it's related to World War II), but I really enjoyed this book. The story was much more than I thought it would be. Now I gotta see the movie because no way will they be able to get all this in a two hour movie. And bonus, this is the first of a series, there are more books to read!
Thursday, March 6, 2014
This book caught my eye when it was returned to the library by a patron. It is Tim O'Mara's 2nd novel. He real life job is an elementary school teacher in Manhattan, but he really writes a great book. Raymond Donne, the recurring character, teaches middle school on the wrong side of the tracks in New York. One of his former students with a promising future is found murdered and the evidence looks like it was drug related. Dougie's mother asks former policeman, Raymond, to look into Dougie's death. Raymond feels like he is spinning his wheels until one of Dougie's friends, is killed and another near death, both also students at the same private prep school. None if it adds up but Raymond is on the case and he will do what it takes, no matter what the risks. I am going to read his 1st book, "Sacrifice Fly" now and then anxiously await his next one!
This is a typical Stone Barrington book that Stuart Woods fans will love. It goes fast and furious! Stone is visited by a recently released felon who has "inherited" $7 million! He knows where the loot is stashed and he would like Stone's advice on how to proceed. Of course, any advice given is hypothetical. No good deed goes unpunished, however, and soon others who are looking for the loot come after Stone. Lots of action in this book, both in and out of the bedroom.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The pace of this book is fast and the story covers several decades and moves between Montreal, Toronto and Madrid, with side trips in various other countries. Charlie Bellerose, the main character, has difficulty with his relationships with women. His brother, Nate, has difficulty with men and women and both brothers are tightly coiled, emotionally. Both men have wives from whom they are separated and both men react erratically when their wives take up with new lovers.
Charlie starts the book retelling the story of a friendship between Miles, himself, and Holly, the girl Miles falls in love with. Tragedy befalls the threesome, and the story shifts to the present. Toward the end of the book this tragedy is revisited, but with questionable resolution, in my opinion.
There was an edge to Charlie’s narrative which I really enjoyed, and an undertone of danger in the actions of both brothers. I would recommend this book.
The Hive could have been easily called “The Clique”, but that would not have been nearly as much fun. This is the story of a group of mothers at St. Ambrose School in England. It was difficult to get into the book at first, sorting all the women, their names and nicknames, and their affiliations, but it was well worth the time it took, in the end. A very entertaining part of the book were all the figures of speech and slang used by the British women in conversations. Of great fun for me was seeing “and Bob’s your uncle”, one of my favorite expressions, used in print.
There is, of course, a queen bee, named Bea, in this case. However, many of the other women in the story would like to see Bea unseated. The mother of one of the main characters, Rachel, even has bee hives in her garden as a hobby. The workings of the hives are explained in detail, and serve as an example of the interactions of the women.
The minutes of the St. Ambrose fund-raising committee are about as funny as they can be, laugh out loud funny, in fact. Plenty of the conversations and plots and manipulations are also laugh out loud funny.
I would recommend this book.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
This is the second book Roger Rosenblatt has written in his effort to deal with his grief over the death of his daughter. There are references to philosophy and literature and bits and pieces of what the author gleans from his solitude when he is kayaking.
Throughout the book the author addresses his dead daughter as “you”, retelling moments of her life and describing her personality. He has a conversation throughout the book with his therapist, and those bits are always in quotation form. She says to him “Grief comes to you all at once, so you think it will be over all at once. But it is your guest for a lifetime.”
Rosenblatt is diagnosed with an autoimmune disease during the writing of the book. The symptoms include “anxiety, irritability and anger. No wonder they couldn’t tell I was ill” he says.
Reading how other people cope with grief has helped me deal with grief in my own life. This book does a lot more than that and I will remember it for a long time. Toward the end of the book Rosenblatt says “Be kind, for everyone you meet is carrying a great burden.” Words to live by.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Sunday, March 2, 2014
What a story! Operation Mincemeat was a plan created in 1943 by two British intelligence officers, Charles Cholmondeley and Ewen Montagu. Basically, they had a corpse wash up on a Spanish shore with false papers that made the Nazis think that the Allies were NOT going to land in Sicily, but rather in Greece or Sardinia.
You may have heard about this story before. Ewen Montagu published a book in the 50's and there was a movie made by the same name in 1956, "The Man Who Never Was." However, this is the whole story, not the politically correct version issued in the 1950s.
The book jacket says this reads like an international thriller and it does. Operation Mincemeat was successful, but it took skill, luck and help from lots of people including a high ranking Nazi who actually worked against Hitler throughout the war. If you like a good adventure, add this non-fiction tale to your list of must-reads.