For The Monthly Reading Challenge
1. “What If” by Randall Munroe (a library eBook from Overdrive)
Randall Munroe is cartoonist who used to work in robotics with NASA. I enjoyed the stick figure cartoons that illustrated the information of the chapters. Everyone should read the disclaimer in the front of the book. It gives you a hint about the content of the book. “He likes it when things catch fire or explode.” He has a degree in physics.
The introduction is the next important thing to read as you progress through the book. “This book is a collection of answers to hypothetical questions.” Munroe keeps a website, www.xkcd.com where you can theoretically continue to learn more answers to the kind of physics you will find inside “What if”.
Each chapter takes a question Munroe received from people who visit his website and gives a really interesting answer. Some of the answers may give the reader a day of enlightened laughter.
There are also recorded questions with no answers or answers that make sense like, Should I call the authorities? If I had read this book in grade school maybe I would have studied physics. I have a cousin who talked about throwing out her high school physics book maybe I should catch it?
2. “Vanished” by Irene Hannon ( A Library eBook from Overdrive)
The authors definition calls this romantic suspense. Book one of the Guardians of Justice Series introduces you to the characters of a Private Detective firm. The firm is manned by ex police from different types of organizations in the USA that fight crime.
It is a mystery that shows how justice should be acquired in the action of finding criminals and bringing them to justice. Some of the action may not surprise the reader. “No one responded when she called out.”
The story has Christian values. It is mystery wrapped up with suspense and romance. Copyrighted in 2013, you will find reference to modern technology and technique.
“Moira's scream, followed by the sound of a single gunshot,....” the story has action in every paragraph. There is an epilogue that winds up the story. The reader goes away knowing how the characters move on with their lives.
3. “A Sudden Light” by Garth Stein ( A Library eBook from Overdrive)
A fourteen year old boy in the center of his parents separation finds company with the ghosts of his Dad’s rundown childhood home. Or are they really ghosts.
The house is the best old rundown mansion in a wood. “The pillars that encircled it and made up much of its exterior walls were tree trunks.” Just reading the descriptions of this mansion made me want to go there and explore.
Trevor meets his aunt for the first time. Is she really in denial about what is going on in the house? Trevor’s phone calls to his mother in England don’t seem to help him find the answers to family questions.
Is his father healing or dropping deep into a mind warp that Trevor can’t follow. His grandfather does not seem to be the same person his father described. Who is Ben?
His mother pushed him toward his gift. Trevor is a budding author. What will he really write about his family and their history?
4. The Sunday Philosophy club by Alexander McCall Smith (Overdrive eBook from a library)
This is book one in the Isabel Dalhousie series. It is placed in Scotland. There is a mood of thoughtfulness expressed in this story. A lot of the explanation involves the way human society should react but does not.
“Her first thought, curiously, was of Auden's poem on the fall of Icarus.” So, the murder is introduced that will consume the rest of the story.
Isabel has a habit of interfering in the matters that present themselves to her life. What makes this a believable story is that people who often say to themselves, I won’t interfere, are often the ones who fate sticks in the wrong place at the right time.
So, as any philosopher knows, when you are put in that place you must make a choice. And, then you think, why me?
And, as Isabel finds out the words that come out of her mouth make the decision and the choice for her but, also are inclined to make her life frightening and difficult.
Not to worry, she has friends and family close enough to rely on as she works toward solving this crime. Is it a murder story or a story about society where Isabel is living?
5. Trapped by Irene Hannon (a library book from Overdrive)
This is book two in the Guardian of Justice series. The lay out and the editing in this series is excellent for reading an eBook that you have to put down and pick up regularly.
I also enjoy the characters in this series. They expound the best of being able to depend on the people around you when you are in a real fix.
One of girls in this series makes a lot of bad choices. It accentuates the ability of people to have great lacks of communication from older people with experience toward younger people without enough experience.
It also shows how children who are well protected can hold a view of the world, that shows extreme trust of others. Sometimes a little mistrust is a good thing. Also displayed in the story is how someone who is suppose to be listening and following rules of safety can throw caution to the wind and dive into real trouble headfirst.
“Instead, -------------------------, and her nights in a homeless shelter.” Even, the bad guy in this story has problems. “The cop was finally leaving.”
Hannon creates excellent stories in which the action draws the reader forward to the end. However, she disposed of her criminal in a similar fashion as in her first book in this series. Sometime, I will read another in this series to see if her writing moves away from the idea that the bad guy has a way out at the end.