Book reviews for the Monthly Reading Challenge June 2015
Heretics by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
(library book from Overdrive)
Ayaan Hirsi Ali writes: "Today there is a war within Islam--a war between those who wish to reform (the Modifying Muslims or the dissidents) and those who wish to turn back to the time of the Prophet (the Medina Muslims)". Ali writes with experience and knowledge of the Isis movement and of the Muslim social strategy.
She writes about 3 sets of Muslims within the Islam religion. Her understanding of the 7th century, Muhammad and the rise of Islam help the reader connect to events in the news everyday.
Like any good story her opening remarks will grab the reader and pour out facts that continue throughout the book. But, this is not fiction, it is real life that started centuries ago and continues to this day.
As you read you will find accounts of horrendous happenings in the news in the 20 and 21 centuries.
The reasoning behind jihad and other Muslim beliefs is revealed. If you want to understand why today's world is constantly at war this book will help.
How To Write A Novel The Easy Way! Using the Pulp fiction Method
by Jim Driver & Jack Davies
( eBook from Amazon)
There is lots of helpful information contained within this short book. The authors encouragement is also spread within the pages. They write, "Have you ever written an email or a school essay? Assuming you have, you are already a writer."
The authors elongate on the reason writers give up. Of course, for those readers who have never heard of Pulp Fiction, it is explained. The 3 things that move Pulp Fiction are listed.
This is a short book easily read 1 time in a day. There are 4 chapters crammed with facts about finding your own story, writing it, publishing it, and editing it.
At the end of the book there is a note from the author, "Remember, writers are only writers when they write." And, a website to visit where you can sign up and download a new free ebook.
Many times a short book contains little gems of information that help writers this is one of them.
Eyes on You by Kate White
(a library eBook from Overdrive)
True to life type suspense is inevitable in this mystery. The story winds around the life of a tell it all author turned TV news reporter. The female heroine spends her life trying to figure out what turn her existence will take next.
White has written a novel about how women in journalism get their jobs and what it is like to work in those positions. This is a description of media journalism and intrigue.
""Off to the left I noticed VICKY CRUZ, aka "Cruz Missile," on the move through the crowd, her short red bob punctuating the room like the head of a giant kitchen match."" Vicky Cruz is one of the characters Robin watches out for as she moves in the circle of a TV anchor.
The story paints a picture of how people make rash judgments, when someone appears to be rising as a success in the world of high placed jobs. Robin has to rely on publicists, lawyers, and other professionals for advice.
This is a fast paced story with interesting insights into the TV news world.
Gray Mountain by John Grisham
(a library eBook from the Overdrive app)
This is a moving story of the Appalachian Coal Country. From the Author's note, "Thankfully, there are dozens of nonprofits working diligently in the coal fields to protect the environment, change policy, and fight for the rights of miners and their families."
The story starts in New York City. It proceeds from the 2014 money crash and tells about the effects on big business and financial law.
The facts about coal country problems are well researched and presented in a fictional story about a young law students who finds herself out of work. In a bid to keep herself available in her field of law she takes a job as an unpaid intern in a the Mountain Legal Aid clinic in Brady, Virginia.
Mattie Wyatt asks, "Have you ever been to Southwest Virginia?" "I'm afraid not," she said as politely as possible. "Well you're in for a jolt," Mattie said.
The jolt may astonish any inquiring reader. There is murder, intrigue, loss, and some victory as the fictional story unfolds.
Recently, there was a story about schools in Appalachian towns on WQLN PUBLIC TV. Stories like Gray Mountain, are helping to get out the word there is something wrong with the way people in the Appalachian Coal Country are being treated.The book Gray Mountain is an interesting fictional tragedy.
BRISINGR By Christopher Paolini
(Book III in the Inheritance Cycle) (a library eBook from the Overdrive App)
This story has been on the market for awhile. Isn't it nice that if you never finished a series because the writer was not writing it as fast as you are reading it, you can always go back several years later and pick up the rest of the story.
Paolini writes, "As always, this book is for my family. And also for the dreamers of dreams: the many artists, musicians, and storytellers who have made this journey possible."
Brisingr starts with a history of the story so you can catch up with events that have happened in the first two books of the series.
There are elves, dragons, dwarfs, humans, armies, battles, personable trees, sword crafting, villains and others in this story. The publishers include a pronunciation guide and a glossary of words in the Ancient Language at the end of the book.
Book III continues the ongoing saga of a boy and his dragon. Eragon and Saphira have a very unique relationship. If there are humans that can mentally connect with animals this is an advanced view of that mental tie.
Dragons fascinate the followers of fantasy. Fantasy writers have the prerogative of coloring them and building their souls and bodies to make a story of man's desire to connect with great animals.
The inheritance cycle tells about the development of Eragon's relationship with Saphira and how they become a team to fight evil. They start in their youth together and learn, as they grow, to find their place in the society of the story. As a team they have to function together and as individuals apart from each other.
But mostly Brisingr is just a good story to read and enjoy. "No, he said, we are not alone. I have you, and you have me. And there is Arya and Nasuada and Orik, and Many others besides who will help us along our way."