Book Review Round-Up

As I’ve been horribly slack in reviewing the books I’ve read, I am going to do two posts of mini-reviews to catch you up to the current month. 

Cokie Roberts – Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation  This was the first of several book club selections I decided to listen to rather than read.  I’ve found it to be a good way to not feel like I’m depriving myself of the choice to read what I want since we have a book to read every month.  Roberts reads the audio version of her book, and I really enjoyed listening to this one since she has a good radio voice.  The book itself was interesting, but I think I would have been a bit bored if I was reading it.  There isn’t much information about these women available so there are times when you get really interested in a woman and the narrative switches to someone else due to the limited source material.  I enjoyed listening to the book, but I was the only person to finish this one before book club (even the person who chose it) so I’m not sure what that says about it.

Deanna Raybourn – Silent in the Grave – I loved this mystery! It takes place in Victorian England and starts with one of the best opening sentences ever:

“To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.”

The entire novel is very cleverly written, and I was completely lost in the setting while reading. There is also a dark and hansome man – Nicholas Brisbane – who seems to be set up as a possible love interest. I pictured him a bit like Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes. I can’t wait to read the other novels in the series, but I’m remembering my pledge not to read the same author several books in a row. I will save them for when I need a really good immersive read.  I can’t recommend this novel highly enough.

Tracy Chevalier – Girl with a Pearl Earring – Remember how I chose 10 books that I was going to read in 2009 and only read two of them? This was one of the books I was supposed to read.  This really shows how much I’ll avoid a book I really want to read when I make it into a challenge. I really enjoyed Girl with a Pearl Earring, and I’m glad I read it before seeing the movie. It was a really fast read with an excellent sense of place. Everyone else on earth has already read this one so no synopsis is needed. I’ll have to Netflix it now. 

 

Michael Chabon – The Yiddish Policemen’s Union – This was another book club book I listened to on audio.  Chabon created an interesting combination of hard boiled mystery and alternate history.  The premise is that some of the Jewish immigrants during World War II had been living in the Alaskan territory in a community, and the U.S. government is about to kick them all out.  The focus of the story is a murder investigation, and this was a bit of a disappointment to me as I was more interested in the alternate history aspect of the novel.  Also, while I am a big fan of the mystery genre, I do not seem to enjoy hard boiled mysteries.  Peter Riegert was an excellent narrator for this title.  He really added a lot to the atmosphere of the novel.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review Round-Up

  1. When Ms. Roberts’ book came out, I wanted to read it and then completely forgot about it (as I always do).

    Neat that it’s on audio. Wish our library had more books than those I’ve donated… ::rolls eyes::

    Love your recaps 🙂

  2. My parents live in a town with a poor library also. They ended up getting a Kindle so my dad could get the scifi he wants to read without driving 45 minutes to the nearest bookstore. Sad. 😦

    Audio is great for long runs. It’s what keeps me going when my runs get in the 2+ hour range.

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