Thursday, June 30, 2011

Broken Song by Kathryn Lasky

This is the sequel to The Night Journey. This book tells the story of Reuven Bloom who enters the story toward the end of The Night Journey. So we get the WW2 Jewish perspective from a young man this time, rather than a young girl. You will learn about what it was like for Jews in Russia during WW2 and also about the Jewish culture and customs.

The Night Journey by Kathryn Lasky

Those familiar with children's books will recognize the name Kathryn Lasky. She is a prolific writer. The Night Journey tells the story of a young Jewish girl in Russia during WW2 and what she and her family went through as they had to leave their home to find a safe refuge. Fascinating historical references. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen

Prepare to be creeped out. This book kept me reading long past my bed time, with adrenalin coursing through my veins. Set in Vermont, a female medical examiner looking for meaning in life does something totally out of character and sets in motion the ride of her life - or is it her death? Do you like medical thrillers? Murder mysteries? Stories about polygamist lifestyles? You will enjoy this book. Easy to read and with just enough relational interaction to add depth and thought to a beach read. Warning - there are a half dozen or so F words.

The Law of Similars by Chris Bohjalian

While checking my local library for books on homeopathy I came across this novel with that as a theme. This author also wrote Midwives, which I listened to and enjoyed. The Law of Similars has a similar premise. Holistic medicine gone wrong - or is there another answer? This is a well written book, suspenseful and dramatic; the characters have depth. Did I read the whole thing? No. I skipped to the last few chapters to find out the end of the story. The main character revealed a little too much about what was going on in his mind re: most of the females in the book. I know that men think these thoughts; I just don't want to read about it. If you can get past that aspect of the book, you'll enjoy this.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fiber Menace by Konstantin Monastyrsky

Just when you thought you had nutrition all figured out - "eat lots of fiber", someone comes along and proves you wrong. At first I was ready to toss this book on the garbage heap, but as I got further and further into it I realized that he made a lot of sense. All his claims are based on research and body physiology. He knows his stuff. And his "stuff" is a fascinating walk through digestion and how our body deals with the food that we take in.
I will reread this book and make notes and adjust my diet accordingly.
If you keep an open mind you might just find he's not too far out in left field.
Check out his website at

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The 39 Clues book series

The first book of the series was by Rick Riordan and entitled "The Maze of Bones". It held just enough promise that I reserved and just finished reading "One False Note" by Gordon Korman. I now have book 3 on reserve at the library, "The Sword Thief". There are 10 books in all.
The story surrounds two siblings, Amy and Dan. Amy is a shy, timid 14 year old and Dan is a typical rambunctious 11 year old boy. Several years earlier they were left orphans and have been raised by an elderly aunt. There is also a grama in the picture who is very wealthy, but for some reason she has not been raising the children herself. However, they visit her on weekends and are very attached. After the grama dies some strange requests arise out of the reading of her will and so start the children on their journey around the world looking for the 39 clues. Other members of the extended family are also racing to be the first to get to the 39th clue which will supposedly make them the most powerful person or persons on the planet. This makes for some hairy adventures.
Would I give these books to my avid 11 year old reader? No, basically because the children are constantly disobeying authority figures and getting into trouble and he doesn't need that kind of influence. They call each other disrespectful names and that could rub off.
One aspect of the books so far that I find interesting is the extensive descriptions of the settings that the books take place in. Lots of historical information is added in. It almost makes me think that the books were written to try and get kids to learn something while being taken in by the plot.
You can definitely tell that these books are written for children. There isn't a lot of depth here. Beach reading for sure. However, I want to keep reading to find out the final answer to the quest. I hope I'm not disappointed, but little would be lost as these are very quick reading.