For the "Monthly Reading Challenge"
1. The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber (A library eBook from Overdrive)
“I was going to say something.” he said. Then Michel Faber used 28 chapters to say the most remarkable things. I do not make it a habit to buy the books I read from the library. After all, I think that is what the library is for; to read the books I don’t want to store. I bought this book when I was only half way through it. Why? Because it is the most remarkable story I have read for a long time and one I will probably read again.
Science fiction l is once again reaping a winning novel with Faber’s story about a missionary’s journey to the stars.
“Remember to keep drinking,” she said. “Dehydration is a killer. And be careful in the sun. Don’t get burned like last time.”
“You’re talking like my wife,” he said.
“Well maybe between the two of us, we can keep you alive.”
A writer in People Magazine called it “hair-raising.” In a book review, Marcel Theroux, New York Times called it “Defiantly unclassifiable.”
I say. This story has the power to move you beyond yourself into an explanation of events that may have happened in times we do not know about. Happy reading.
2. A Zen For Murder by Leighann Dobbs (An eBook from the Amazon book store)
The story is placed on an island off the coast of Maine called Mooseamuck. The setting describes a close nit community on an island familiar to tourists. The community of people who are regular householders, in all seasons, are shocked by a murder of one of their residents.
There are descriptive phrases that will take you into the scene, “just as the sun made its appearance, splashing the blue Atlantic Ocean with a wash of pink.”
The mystery is well organized and will keep you entertained throughout the story. The clues Dobbs leaves help you unravel the murder and detect the culprit. The outcome of the situation makes a fun read for an afternoon.
Dobbs manages to leave enough information about the residents without telling all the stories that might be there to tell. “They’d never figured out what her secret was,”.
Enjoy the story.
3. Mrs. Hudson’s Case by Laurie R King (An ebook from the Amazon book store)
Mrs. Hudson is Sherlock Holmes’ housekeeper. The story takes place during a time when Holmes is to busy with another case, to help Mrs. Hudson solve a local mystery. Mrs. Hudson decides to use her own abilities to find a solution.
Although the story is not exceptionally lengthy it is thoroughly descriptive of Holmes. It also shows light into the character of Mary Russell who is the heroine of King’s Holmes and Russell series.
The case gives Mrs. Hudson a characterization depth that is not foreseen in other Holmes and Russell stories.
Such phrases as, “Mrs. Hudson, though, was nothing if not determined,” help any one who follows this series to find a new inspiration in Mrs. Hudson’s character as she reacts to Holmes brisk handling.
As an observer of the action, Mary Russell takes part when she notices some changes in Mrs. Hudson’s habits. Mary feels responsible and dives in to solve her own side mystery.
If you follow the series this story will add depth and knowledge of the characters and settings.
4. Mary Russell’s War: A Journal of the Great War by Laurie R King (An Amazon eBook)
I started the Mary Russell Sherlock Holmes series a few years ago, in the middle. As time goes on, I was determined to catch up by reading the first books of the series. This story is about Mary Russell. It takes place in her life as a teenager.
There is an excellent introduction telling how this story Mary Russell’s War first appeared in a blog kept by Laurie R. King.
I won’t tell you more about the introduction here because the introduction becomes enmeshed as part of the story.
The story begins August 4, 1914. It continues with exceptional descriptions of the time in the USA at the beginning of the first World War. These are descriptions that startle the imagination, as they are views from the mind of a young girl.
As our generation is closer to WWII. Mary’s generation experienced WWI as a child.
And, at the end you are told how Mary first met Sherlock Holmes. It is not the only mention of Holmes in the story but the culmination of a line that runs throughout the Journal. If you have read other Russell, Holmes stories this is the place to gain background as the series continues.
5. Plunder and Deceit by Mark R. Levin (a library eBook from Overdrive)
From the title page, “Big Governments Exploitation of Young People and the Future”.
There are 10 chapters. Each chapter deals with a specific problem that will be handed down to future generations. The problems deal with the nations debt, Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare, education, immigration, environment, and other subjects that are in the news regularly.
It is a difficult book to read and seems to have no clear solutions. As a quote says, “In modern America, the unraveling of the civil society had been subtly persistent but is now intensifying.” Levin has written a book that states his feelings that modern parents have handed this country into the hands of a government that has no vision for the future of the next generations to come.
There are also statistical percentages quoted from studies: about population growth, the types of households within which children are growing up and statistics about the federal debt. The types of in depth statistics he talked about would bear personal research on the part of the reader if you wanted to know and understand the quoted numbers.
From the epilogue we read: “An informed patriotism is what we want.” Levin brings out the fact that generations who experienced the World War’s may have been taught and understand what it means to live in the USA. We may appreciate the country we have because of the Wars that were fought to maintain liberty. Now we rely on Star Wars, the movie, to teach the children.