5 short reviews for books
|March book reviews 2015
1. Fudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke (Overdrive kindle book, fiction)
Hannah Swensen is a bundle of energy as she runs her cookie shop in Lake Eden, Minnesota. As she takes care of family business and works at being a detective she is the USA picture of normal. She has a special relationship with her mother and sisters. But, her cat is going through abnormal times. Her dates keep her fed with food and information.
This is a tasty mystery story. You can mix up some of the recipes from the index of recipes at the end of the book and spend the afternoon reading about the murder while you bake cookies and cupcakes.
The recipes might be useful for your own batch of community get togethers. And, there is a metric conversion chart at the end. So the recipes work for USA and Metric measures.
People are willing in this story to jump in and help solve the mystery. So, the reader will meet many characters with whom they can relate.
Hannah took a deep breath. And then she said, as clearly as she could, "There's a body in this Dumpster." No doubt, right from the beginning, this is a murder mystery.
Only one of the mysteries in this story is murder. The other main theme is just mouth watering. Although the story does not take long to read, it is entertaining and informational.
2. This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson
( a library audio book from Overdrive)(nonfiction)
Johnson has packed this book with information. As a library journalist she set out to bring people up to date on the changes being produced in libraries in all parts of the globe. Library systems everywhere are being upgraded.
Instead of being a dry technical manual Johnson has produced an exciting discussion about libraries and librarians. Technology is being used to save all kinds of information before it can never be found again.
The need for real librarians with a call to help people find information in local libraries is a challenge that should not be ignored.
Within this story you will find specific information about specific library systems, how librarians deal with the public, how important services are being lost because of financial strain on budgets and librarians playing on the web. Many other subjects dealing with books, web materials, and the library public are not ignored.
Writers have a special place reserved for them in libraries. You will find out how in this nonfiction story. A quote from the book says, "Writers seldom stop writing" Everyone looking for a special occupation, or information about any subject, a cause to fight for and historical memories will find this a worthwhile read. There is a story in this book that should not be over looked.
3. Shakespeare Saved My Life by Dr. Laura Bates
(An Overdrive eBook)(nonfiction)
Would you volunteer to teach prisoners who were incarcerated for extreme crimes? This story is the history of the time Dr. Laura Bates spent teaching Shakespeare to prison inmates in "supermax solitary confinement". (The copyright on this edition is 2013 by Laura Bates)
The story is also about the affect it created in the prisoners lives and especially noted, in the life of Larry Newton, whose experience is highlighted in the story.
The following quote is taken from the Reading Group Guide at the end of the book. It says, The U.S. Supreme Court is currently debating the constitutionality of capital punishment and life without parole for juvenile offenders." "Is rehabilitation possible?"
Reading this story may not answer the questions to your satisfaction but will definitely give you knowledge of the problems to think about.
Larry Newton always had a message for Dr. Bates. He would tell her "Stay Strong." This came from their interaction throughout their experiences with one another and from Shakespeare's writings which they explored.
In different parts of the book Bates says," they taught us a far more important lesson: the value of education. "No one can ever take that from you," my mother told us." "I taught two additional courses in English literature to maximum security prisoners, most of whom were genuinely hungry for knowledge and guidance to become better people."
Education to prevent crime may be only one of the answers but it is an important one. Read this and you will find out why.
4.The Last Call by George Wier (A Bill Travis Mystery) (A kindle book from Amazon)
This is a mystery story based in Texas. It is the introductory story about Bill Travis. The book is free on Amazon. The character is one you may say, "Good there is more," because the author at the end of 2014 had written about 11 other Bill Travis stories.
As a murder mystery it starts with a skeleton and continues with more gunshots and death than the average person wants to experience in real life.
The Author prohibits quotes, "excepting brief quotes written in connection with reviews written specifically for a magazine or newspaper." So I won't be quoting from the story for this particular publication.
A question that comes to mind as you read is: How accurate are the descriptions of eating places, towns, and highways as they pertain to Texas?
If you are looking for entertainment and like modern day wild west stories this one fits that category. A nice holiday away from reality.
5. The Eden Prophecy by Graham Brown (A kindle library book from Overdrive)
A lot of really good story telling draws our minds into contemplation about environment, evil and God's ancient intention for mankind. Scientists are telling us it will be 10 billion years before the sun burns out. How will the environmental influences play out, combined with population growth and religious beliefs. Is the species of man going to join the present extinction rate of species or will we find a way through the environmental problems?
This story just delves into ideas. The who, how, why and what of scripture. There is a story here about personal reactions to extravagant evil. Mankind battling the satanic that all ways wants to be worshiped instead of find a solutional fix for everyone. The threat revealed: "You will be punished. You will all be punished. We have waited and suffered too long"
There is this quote that seems to sail off the tongue with a flourish, "had disappeared like whispers into a swirling wind." So, this is a story with interesting descriptions, believable characters, coincidence in mystery as the characters find appropriate reaction to heartbreak and evil. A good story. What do you think?