Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Book Review: Peter & the Starcatchers (*spoilers)

A fun and well written story about how Peter Pan became the Peter Pan we know today. His journey from being an orphan in London, making friends with Molly who is a Starcatcher, getting attacked by pirates, saving the world, and finding Neverland. 

It also fills in the backstory of why Peter Pan never ages and the creation of Tinker Bell. 
Looking forward to reading the other books in the series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Review: Everything Changes

Figured I should read a "adult" novel (meaning not young adult), and this was a great choice. Not sure where I got the recommendation to read this, but I am glad I did. 

The characters are realistic, but go through quite the roller-coaster of life changing events. Like true life they make good and bad decisions, with consequences. Liked this enough, I may need to check out other books by this author.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Review: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Part of the Flavia de Luce series, this is a story of a young girl, who lives in an old house, with an unusual family, and likes to solve mysteries. Set in the 1950’s, it’s fun and witty, with enough details included to make it a really great mystery.

In this book, she discovers a stranger, dead in their garden, which leads her on a quest to discover his identity, while bringing her closer to her family.

The house where they live, has been in their family for generations, and a great uncle had been an amateur chemist, and had built an amazing chemistry lab in the house. Since no one else is interested in the lab, it’s been gifted to Flavia, and she spends her free time experimenting and brewing new potions. I love the description of her chemistry lab, full of beakers and potions. Would look great in a movie, hu?

While I enjoyed it, I wasn’t sucked into the story like I was in a similar book, The Mysterious Benedict Society (which I highly, highly, recommend), so we will see if I read any others. And why are the international cover versions so great!?

Review: 4 out of 5

Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review: The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs

The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World. What really defines intelligence? Book smarts? Street smarts? Problem solving smarts?

An interesting look at what A.J. learns about the world, and himself, as we reads through the entire Encyclopedia Britanica. Woven between random facts - The serrated edges on coins were created as a deterant to criminals who shave the metals off old coin - he shares stories of how what he is learning is impacting his life, in good ways and bad. At times humorous, he is more likely to remember the odd and off-kilter facts, as opposed to tiny rivers in Namibia. Making it both an educational and enjoyable read.

(I also highly recommend another book by A.J. Jacobs, The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Book Review: Devil's Knot

A gripping true life story of the West Memphis Three, Mara Leveritt wrote a honest and revealing look the murder, investigation, trial and appeals. A horrific story the starts with the brutal murder of 3 young boys, and leads to the arrest and conviction of 3 innocent teenagers as the detectives fumble the investigation, and have to create a scenario in which to frame someone for the murder.

Since it was never proven in court that the 3 accused were innocent, the last statement is my belief, not proven in court. But reading the book, it is shocking how little evidence they had in the murder trial, and how much the judge allowed the prosecutor to get away with. I would guess, given any other judge, prosecutors and detectives, these men would never have been convicted and sent to jail. It's sad that while 3 innocent men spent 18 years behind bars, the original murders are still unsolved.

Good if you like true life mysteries, and luckily this one has a good ending (via NYtimes). (note: this book was published in 2002, so if you read it, be sure to read the current news stories to learn about recent events.)