Sunday, July 1, 2007

June Books

#31 Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
Barbara Kingsolver
2007
342
Non-Fiction
3 out of 5
Library

"This book is part college course, part how to manual and part family scrapbook. Kingsolver and her family moved across the country from Tucson to Appalachia to get back to her roots and to the farm that her husband had bought years before with the purpose of living off the land and the products of surrounding county farmers all in an effort of making as little impact on environmental resources as possible. I don't know what exactly I was looking for in this book, but it just didn't hit the mark. I think that my problem with the book is that it is 3 books jammed into one. It was like she couldn't decide what audience she wanted to appeal to. Each of the three would have made a great book. She also tends to veer off into tangents which left me with a bit of whiplash. But I do have to say that there are many laugh out loud moments. Many moments of insight and an eye opening into the true cost of food in both natural resources and the bottom line. Oh and the story about the roosters is just hysterical. **Amazon Review Written

#32 Still Life with Murder
P.B. Ryan
2003
309
Cozy Mystery
4 out of 5
PBS

First in the Nell Sweeney / Gilded Age Series. Nell Sweeney is an assistant to Dr. Greaves, a man that has saved her from her past, when one evening they are called out to assist in a birth that will change Nell's life. Next thing she knows she is a Governess to this child and within 3 years is a trusted companion to the head of the house and is sent on an adventure to save the woman's son, who was thought to be dead, from a hanging for a murder that he is being charged with. From opium dens to high society this book looks at the life of the Hewitt family and their many secrets. This book is more character driven then actual murder mystery, but the characters are very engaging and Nell is a very independent thinking woman for the late 19th Century in which this book takes place. ** Amazon Review Written *** PBS Review

#33 Dedication
Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
2007
378
Chick Lit Fiction
3 out of 5
S&S Review Book

Beware the "F" Bomb. Wouldn't it be refreshing if an author didn't have to resort to this just to make a point. And I am quite sure that when I was 30, my mother and I never screamed this at each other. Bouncing back and forth between her 80's adolescence years and 2005. 30 year old Kate tells the story of her needing revenge against Jake Sharpe, her teenage first love whom she is swearing revenge on to the point that he wished he never existed. Jake left Kate and his old band suddenly to become a mega singer leaving everyone in his dust. Kate blames her lack of life in her 20's to the fact that she never quite got to end her relationship with Jake and the unrequited love that she carried for year. Yada Yada Yada. The book bogged down in the middle for me because Kate really didn't seem to grow up very much between her 14 year old self and her 30 year old self. There were quite a few funny moments and it was nice to recollect my high school years. ARC Edition *** Amazon Review Written ** PBS Review

#34 Aunt Dimity Detective
Nancy Atherton
2001
229
Cozy Mystery
4 out of 5
PBS

#7 in the Series. Everyone has a story. In this outing, Lori returns to Finch from a 3 month visit to the states only to find that the horrible Prunella "Pruneface" Hooper has been murdered. With the help of Nicholas, the nephew of the vicars wife, they set out to find the secrets of their little town and to find out who "didn't" have a motive. Everyone in this idyllic village has a secret, but it's up to Lori and Nicholas to keep their secrets but to also solve the crime with some help from the wonderful Aunt Dimity. I enjoy the theme of Atherton's books. They are just the right amount of cozy. ***Amazon Review Written

#35 Kabul Beauty School
Debbie Rodriguez
2007
275
Non-Fiction
4
Library

I know that there is a bit of controversy concerning the "good" that Debbie Rodriguez did in Kabul, but I really enjoyed this quick read book. Debbie is a young woman who is bored with her life and after two failed marriages decides that she would like to join up with an NGO (Non-Governmental Oraganization) and help people somewhere in the world. She is attached to a group of medical professionals sent to Afghanistan and not knowing how she could help - mentions by chance that she is a hair stylist. Little did she know that this profession had been banned by the Taliban and finding someone who could do hair was next to impossible in this country. Westerners, aid works and Afghani women swarmed to her. Knowing that there had to be more then just doing hair she approached US companies to see if they would support her desires to open a beauty school in Kabul to train the women there how to be successful beauticians so they could support themselves and their families without being hidden in the shadows like they had been for some many years. The women, their stories, their personal trials are just amazing and inspiring. Just to know that when presented with insurmountable odds, the human spirit can still beat those odds. **Amazon Review Written

#36 Elsewhere
Gabrielle Zevin
2005
275
YA - Fiction (but don't let that stop you from reading this amazing book)
5+
Library Happiness is a choice. Great Discussion book. Great Book Period. This is one of the best books that I have ever read. My review doesn't do it justice, but that is just because I don't want to ruin this amazing book for you. Liz wakes up on a bunk in a boat not knowing where she is or how she got there. The shock of her life comes when she finds out that she is dead, the victim of a hit and run driver, and what's more important to her 15 year old self is that she will not turn 16 get her drivers license, go to college, get married or even get big boobs. This is a funny and heart-tugging book of Liz's journey through Elsewhere where she never gets older, but has an unexpected life and will grow younger until she is sent back to earth as a new born to experience life all over again. With the help of her grandmother that died before she is born, Liz makes this journey through anger, regret and triumph. It will definitely make you look at the after-life in a totally different way. **Amazon Review Written

2 comments:

:: Suzanne :: said...

Enjoyed your post. I'd like to invite you to link it to the Animal, Vegetable, Miracle blogpost roundup.

Stepfordmomto2 said...

Couldn't find the blog. Sorry