Clever Introduction to Flaubert

Book title: Flaubert's Parrot
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Flaubert's Parrot - book cover picture

This idea-driven novel is filled with brilliant observations, especially in the later chapters, that make me want to read Flaubert. But, in my opinion, the brilliance of these observations is not credibly attributable to personality of the narrator or the power of his trauma. As a result, the essayist Julian Barnes, as well as extensive comments from Flaubert ("With me, friendship is like the camel: once started, there is no way of stopping it.") seemed to carry the narrative load. Regardless, this is a very entertaining book that broadened this reader's horizons. Highly recommended.

EAN: 9780330289764
Pages: 190
Publisher: Pan Books Ltd
Julian Barnes

Back on course!

Book title: Dead Water (Benjamin January (Paperback))
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Dead Water (Benjamin January (Paperback)) - book cover picture

At first I resented this series as Ms Hambly stopped writing the sword-and-sorcery novels I enjoyed, but once I'd read Sold Down the River I was hooked! This is a thoroughly enjoyable series, although I felt the last book, Days of the Dead, lost it somewhere as it was nowhere near as satisfying as the rest of the series. This book, however, is back with a bang! Ben, Rose and Hannibal team up to follow a bank robber on a paddle-steamer up the Mississippi. Add escaped slaves, the Underground Railroad, professional card sharps and ever-present slave dealers into the mix and this book is a winner, both for historical drama, and murder-mystery! I loved it!

EAN: 9780553581560
Pages: 416
Publisher: Bantam
Barbara Hambly

Great Read

Book title: Swimming to Catalina: A Novel
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Swimming to Catalina: A Novel - book cover picture

This was the first book that I had read by Stuart Woods. I picked it up on a lark, and started to read and didn't quit until I turned the last page. There was glamour and power mixed in with money laundering, bookies, and kidnapping. It was interesting until the end, and even put closure on all the issues that had been brought up during the story. I am looking for the next Stuart Woods book I can find to read.

EAN: 9780060183691
Pages: 311
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Stuart Woods


Book title: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister - book cover picture

I usually read slowly, in order to savor books. And yet I read Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister in one afternoon. It is an astonishing and unusual re-imagining of the Cinderella fairytale, focusing on one of the stepsisters, Iris, who is neither truly ugly nor wicked. The action takes place in 17th century Holland, and the novel involves not only the Cinderella story, but a painter's imagination, and the tulip trade. I would recommend this book highly to anyone who is interested in fairytales, art, or just unusual and highly imaginative fiction.

EAN: 9780060392826
Pages: 384
Publisher: Regan Books
Gregory Maguire

Another excellent book to give to expectant parents

Book title: The Self-Calmed Baby
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Mass Market Paperback
The Self-Calmed Baby - book cover picture

I got fed up with searching for a pacifier every time my three month old son started to fuss. Really resented that I ever allowed myself to succumb to using one. I read "The Self-Calmed Baby" as a means to reduce both my son's and my dependence on this thing. More my dependence than his! Along the way I learned new ways to reduce my son's frustration and help him calm himself. And about the dumb things parents do to thwart their childs built in abilities to calm themselves. My son still uses the pacifier but only for specific situations. As a result of reading this book I have gotten pretty good at reading my son's behavior and helping him to help himself. At three months, he's a calm, content baby. I plan to buy another copy to give at the next baby shower. Also highly recommend "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth.

EAN: 9780312924683
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
William A. H. Sammons
T. Berry Brazelton

Ishmaelite life

Book title: White Fang (Puffin Classics)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
White Fang (Puffin Classics) - book cover picture

It is a superb adventure story. Jack London was always concerned about survival even while working himself into a nervous state. A strange animal had pursued them for days, half-dog, half-wolf. She had lured the sled dogs away from the fire. Three had gone missing. Wolves were responsible for the death of another dog and a man. The remaining man and two dogs were vigilant and careful. Finally the man was saved by other men. The wolf cub learned the law was eat or be eaten. Man-animals enforced justice through the use of tools. The cub perceived the men were fire-makers, they were gods. In White Fang's development, elements of nature and nurture warred. I know of no author comparable to Jack London in his ability to depict graphically the struggle of Darwinian forces. The work is as sharp and frank as it was when new. This is one of Jack London's major efforts. Revisiting it causes one to realize how merited its fame is.

EAN: 9780140366679
Pages: 271
Publisher: Puffin Books
Jack London


Book title: Tangerine
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Tangerine - book cover picture

Ed Bloor's novel "Tangerine", the story of an
11-year-old legally blind soccer goalie with a
sinister charmer for an older brother, is a
page-turner that scores at once as a mystery
thriller, a morality tale and a tribute to a
child's awesome courage in battling psychic
and physical obstacles that would daunt most
heroes of fact and fantasy. Alfred Hitchcock
would have made this into a smash-hit. Maybe
someone else will.
Hans Knight,writer and critic.

EAN: 9780152012465
Pages: 304
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Edward Bloor

Incredibly written

Book title: And Then There Were None
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
And Then There Were None - book cover picture

Although I consider all Agatha Christie's book at the top, however, this book I rank it the best of Agatha Christie's. Keep in mind that Agatha Christie is master at writing. Talking about 10 strangers lured, yet invited to a mysterious island. As they share their darkest secrets, one by one, they are murdered. WHo is the murderer? You shall find out yourself. Please give this book a chance! It is excellent! I read this book only in 1 day because it's a page turner. I give this book 5 stars. Best of the best!

EAN: 9780399150180
Pages: 218
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Agatha Christie

A highly engaging story

Book title: The Pilot's Wife : A Novel (Oprah's Book Club)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
The Pilot's Wife : A Novel (Oprah's Book Club) - book cover picture

I stayed up all night to read this book - I was so spellbound that I couldn't put it down. I enjoyed accompanying Kathryn on her amazing journey to uncover exactly why her husband died in such a horrible crash, the graceful way she handled the intrusive media and the compassion she showed to her grieving daughter, as well as to Muerie and her children.

I was fascinated to read in the author's notes that the setting is based on an actual house she saw in Maine and couldn't get out of her mind, and that she set two of her other stories, Sea Glass and Fortune's Rock, in the same house but during different times in history, because a long standing house has more than one story to tell.

EAN: 9780316601955
Pages: 283
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Anita Shreve

Brendan King Review

Book title: The Wanderer
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
The Wanderer - book cover picture

The Wanderer, by Sharon Creech, is a story of a girl named Sophie who takes a sailing trip from Connecticut to England to see her grandfather Bompie with her uncles and cousins. As they travel across the ocean and encounter many things. It is a slowly developing book that picks up around the middle of the story. Each chapter is a section of Sophie's or Cody's, her cousin, diaries. I would recommend this book to 4th grade and up because of the simple words and the book is very easy to comprehend. Also to anyone who reads stories written in the form of diaries especially young girls because they could relate to Sophie. When I read this book it was very interesting to learn the boat lingo and radio code which could be useful if you are a young aspiring sailor.

EAN: 9780060277307
Pages: 320
Publisher: Joanna Cotler
Sharon Creech

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