Wednesday, October 19, 2016

August 2015 - Part 1: The Memory Book; The Care and Management of Lies; Tell; Windfall

16. Memory Book by Harold Engel

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this mystery featuring Benny Cooperman. I picked this book to read after Engel's memoir, The Man Who Forgot How to Read, as the main character also developed the same condition, albeit under different circumstances (head injury (Cooperman) vs stroke (Engel)).  I liked how Engel had Cooperman not just struggle with reading and memory but also try to figure out why he was attacked and who did it. I look forward to reading other books in this series.


Date read: 8/5/2015
Series: Benny Cooperman, #11
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Mystery
LibraryThing page

17. The Care and Management of Lies by Jacqueline Winspear

My thoughts:

This was a good book about World War I, describing conditions both on the battlefield and at home.

Date read: 8/11/2015
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Historical Fiction
LibraryThing page

18. Tell by Frances Itani

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this sequel to Itani's book Deafening. Taking place after World War 1, the book brings to front the struggles of families dealing with men home from Europe with wounds, physical and mental.

Date read: 8/14/2015
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fiction
LibraryThing page

19. Windfall by Rachel Caine

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this book featuring Weather Warden Joanne Baldwin as she negotiates her work and life among the Wardens and the Djinn. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Firestorm.

Date read: 8/17/2015
Series: Weather Warden, #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
LibraryThing page


Friday, July 24, 2015

July 2015: Ghost Train to New Orleans; Deafening; The Man Who Forgot How to Read

13. Ghost Train to New Orleans by Mur Lafferty

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this sequel to The Shambling Guide to New York City. I especially liked the Ghost Train with the ghost train robbers on horses galloping along beside it!

Date read: 7/1/2015
Series: Shambling Guides, #2
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Urban Fantasy
LibraryThing page



14. Deafening by Frances Itani

My thoughts:

This is a very moving and thought-provoking book about deafness and the importance of listening in many different ways during the years up to and including the first World War. I know I really like a book when I wish I could meet the characters in real life, and I would love to meet Grania and Lloyd.

Date read: 7/15/2015
Rating: 4*/5 = great
Genre: Fiction
LibraryThing page

15. The Man Who Forgot How to Read by Harold Engel

My thoughts:

A few years ago, I saw a cartoon from WNYC's Radiolab about Harold Engel, a Canadian mystery novelist, who had a stroke and developed the rare condition alexia sine agraphia. He became unable to read, though he could still write. This was a fascinating book about the Engel's ability to adapt and to find new ways to read.

Date read: 7/23/2015
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Memoir
LibraryThing page

Thursday, June 25, 2015

June 2015: Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress; Shambling Guide to New York City

11. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

My thoughts:

I liked this book about young Chinese men who learn about life and love during China's Cultural Revolution.

Date read: 6/10/2015
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fiction
LibraryThing page



12. The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this travel guide to the hidden areas of New York City that monsters need to know about. After reading it, I don't think about places like the Statue of Liberty or the subway quite the same way!

Date read: 6/24/2015
Series: Shambling Guides, #1
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Urban Fantasy
LibraryThing page


Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 2015: Sea of Glory; The Last Hot Time; Gray Mountain

8. Sea of Glory: America's Voyage of Discovery, The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 by Nathaniel Philbrick

My thoughts:

I liked this book about the U.S. Exploring Expedition. Philbrick's prose nicely details both the discoveries and the people involved.

Date read: 5/15/2015
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: History
LibraryThing page

9.  The Last Hot Time by John M. Ford

My thoughts:

I liked this fantasy of a man who crosses worlds to become a doctor for otherworldly characters.

Date read:  5/21/2015
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fantasy
LibraryThing page

10. Gray Mountain by John Grisham

My thoughts:

I liked this book about a lawyer who enters a new world and discovers she can make a difference in people's lives.

Date read: 5/27/2016
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Fiction
LibraryThing page

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 2015: Call the Midwife; Shadows of the Workhouse; Murder at the National Gallery of Art

6. Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse by Jennifer Worth

My thoughts: 

I liked the second book in the Midwife Trilogy series. I especially liked how Jennifer learned to look past the conditions to engage with the people directly. I'm looking forward to reading the third book, Farewell to the East End.

Date read: 4/3/2015
Series: Midwife #2
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Memoir/History
LibraryThing page

7. Murder at the National Gallery by Margaret Truman

My thoughts:

I like this mystery set in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC and in Italy.  There were a lot of twists that kept me guessing throughout the book.

Date read: 4/11/2015
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Mystery
LibraryThing page


Friday, March 27, 2015

Mr. Darwin's Shooter by Roger McDonald

First sentence:

"The day was hot and dusty with scattered leaves of poplars lining a towpath."

Description:

"In this richly detailed novel based on the life of Syms Covington, Charles Darwin's hard-working shipboard assistant and later his house-servant, Roger McDonald shines a light on a man forgotten by history, capturing the breathtaking excitement of the historic voyage of the Beagle and brilliantly illuminating the scientific, religious, and social controversies that exploded around Darwin's watershed theories.

As "Darwin's shooter," Covington collected and preserved invaluable specimens; as the scientist's clerk in London, was he the first man to grasp the full import of their research--the seeds of Darwin's theory of natural selection? Twenty years later, Covington awaits his copy of The Origin of Species with mixed emotions. Embittered by Darwin's failure to acknowledge him, he is also profoundly troubled by his own role in the discoveries that subverted sacred doctrines and shook the Victorian worldview to its very foundation." -- Amazon.com
 
My thoughts:

I liked this account of Syms Covington, an English sailor, who became Darwin's assistant during the voyage of the Beagle. Through his writing, McDonald illustrates well the times and beliefs of mid-18th century England and Australia.

Date read: 3/26/2015
Book #: 5
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Historical Fiction

ISBN-10: 0802143563
ISBN-13: 9780802143563
Publisher: Grove Press
Year: 2008
# of pages: 364
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page



Monday, March 16, 2015

Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth

First sentence:

"Nonnatus House was situated in the heart of the London Docklands."

Description:

"At the age of twenty-two, Jennifer Worth leaves her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London's East End slums. The colorful characters she meets while delivering babies...from the plucky warmhearted nuns with whom she lives, to the woman with twenty-four children, to the prostitutes and dockers of the city's seedier side...illuminate a fascinating time in history." -- LibraryThing.com member description

My thoughts:

I enjoyed this memoir about working as a midwife in the East End of London in the 1950s. Worth's description of the people she met and worked with brought the period to life. I look forward to reading the next book in the series, Call the Midwife: Shadows of the Workhouse.

Date read: 3/15/2015
Book # 4
Series: Midwife Trilogy, #1
Rating: 3*/5 = good
Genre: Memoir/History

ISBN-10: 0143123254
ISBN-13: 9780143123255
Publisher: Penguin
Year: 2012
# of pages: 352
Binding: Trade Paperback
LibraryThing page