Thursday, October 29, 2009
About the book: Would you be able to spend a million dollars in cash and leave yourself penniless, if it meant you would then be given many more millions? That's poor Monty Brewster's dilemma in this charming tale which has been made into a movie six times.
Quote from the book: "Monty was on deck when the inspiration seized him, and he lost no time in telling his guests, who were at breakfast. Although he had misgivings about their opinion of the scheme, he was not prepared for the ominous silence that followed his announcement."
My thoughts: My book, which was printed in 1902, has been on my bookshelf for several years. Now I'm sorry that it has taken me this long to get to it! I found this to be a light, entertaining read. It may be dated, but after all it was written over 100 years ago.
Monty Brewster inherited a million dollars from his grandfather. Then he learns that an uncle has left him $7 million but only if he spends, with conditions, all the money left by his grandfather. Watching him try to divest himself of his 1 million dollars, to the great disapproval of his friends, is interesting indeed. I liked the ending. Monty learns who his true friends are and finds his true love, and gets the money. What could be better?
With the reading of this book I have officially finished all my reading challenges for this year, with two months to spare! All my challenges for the year are listed HERE.
Hardcover: 307 pages
Publisher: Grosset and Dunlap; 1ST Edition edition (1902)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
When Germany invaded Poland, Stuka bombers devastated Warsaw — and the city's zoo along with it. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski began smuggling Jews into empty cages. Another dozen guests hid inside the Zabinskis' villa, emerging after dark for dinner, socializing, and, during rare moments of calm, piano concerts. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, kept ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashed explosives in the animal hospital. Meanwhile, Antonina kept her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants — otters, a badger, hyena pups, lynxes.
With her exuberant prose and exquisite sensitivity to the natural world, Diane Ackerman engages us viscerally in the lives of the zoo animals, their keepers, and their hidden visitors. She shows us how Antonina refused to give in to the penetrating fear of discovery, keeping alive an atmosphere of play and innocence even as Europe crumbled around her.
Quotes from book: "Under the Third Reich, animals became noble, mythic, almost angelic--including humans, of course, but not Slavs, Gypsies, Catholics, or Jews."
"In all around 300 people passed through the way station of the Warsaw zoo on route to the rest of their nomadic lives. Jan always felt, and said publicly, that the real heroin on this saga was his wife, Antonina."
My Thoughts: I listened to this on my iPod and found it to be very interesting and heartbreaking. The story of the Zabinskis is remarkable deserves to be told. The zookeeper, Jan, became active in the underground and his wife, Antonina, devised intricate strategies to shelter Jews as they were able to taken from the Warsaw ghetto across the river. I liked learning about this family and other heroes of that horrible time.
Click HERE to see an interivew with the author about this book.
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Co. (September 17, 2008)
In this beautifully written narrative history, Ed Cotham draws upon years of archival and on-site research, as well as rare historical photographs, drawings, and maps, to chronicle the Civil War years in Galveston. His story encompasses all the military engagements that took place in the city and on Galveston Bay, including the dramatic Battle of Galveston, in which Confederate forces retook the city on New Year's Day, 1863.
Cotham sets the events in Galveston within the overall conduct of the war, revealing how the city's loss was a great strategic impediment to the North. Through his pages pass major figures of the era, as well as ordinary soldiers, sailors, and citizens of Galveston, whose courage in the face of privation and danger adds an inspiring dimension to the story.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
About the book: Welcome to Margrave, Georgia—but don't get too attached to the townsfolk, who are either in on a giant conspiracy, or hurtling toward violent deaths, or both. There's not much of a welcome for Jack Reacher, a casualty of the Army's peace dividend who's drifted into town idly looking for traces of a long dead black jazzman. Not only do the local cops arrest him for murder, but the chief of police turns eyewitness to place him on the scene, even though Reacher was getting on a bus in Tampa at the time. Two surprises follow: The murdered man wasn't the only victim, and he was Reacher's brother whom he hadn't seen in seven years. So Reacher, who so far hasn't had anything personal against the crooks who set him up for a weekend in the state pen at Warburton, clicks into overdrive. Banking on the help of the only two people in Margrave he can trust—a Harvard-educated chief of detectives who hasn't been on the job long enough to be on the take, and a smart, scrappy officer who's taken him to her bed— he sets out methodically in his brother's footsteps, trying to figure out why his cellmate in Warburton, a panicky banker whose cell-phone number turned up in Joe's shoe, confessed to a murder he obviously didn't commit; trying to figure out why all the out-of-towners on Joe's list of recent contacts were as dead as he was; and trying to stop the local carnage or at least direct it in more positive ways. Though the testosterone flows as freely as printer's ink, Reacher is an unobtrusively sharp detective in his quieter moments—not that there are many of them to judge by.
My Thoughts: I've read two or three of the Reacher novels but this is the first one written. I enjoyed it, it was a simple straight forward murder mystery/thriller/adventure. It was perfect to listen to because there weren't an over abundance of characters or plot lines. Jack himself is a mystery and I've wondered about him in each novel I've read. Mainly I wonder how he can travel about without even a change of clothes to his name. I'd think he would have at least a backpack. But I worry about unimportant things. I like Jack, even if he doesn't carry a change of clothes with him, he is a strong character and always a good guy. If you like murder mysteries, you'll like this.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
My Thoughts: I was sorry when this book ended! I have to have more, so will get Sweet Thursday ASAP. Above in the description it says that Doc finds true love. That doesn't happen in Cannery Row. I think it happens in Sweet thursday. I read this on my Kindle.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Friday, October 16, 2009
Gus Ramone is "good police," a former Internal Affairs investigator now working homicide for the city's Violent Crime branch. His new case involves the death of a local teenager named Asa, whose body has been found in a local community garden.
The murder unearths intense memories of a case Ramone worked as a patrol cop twenty years earlier, when he and his partner, Dan "Doc" Holiday, assisted a legendary detective named T. C. Cook. The series of murders, all involving local teenage victims, was never solved. In the years since, Holiday has left the force under a cloud of morals charges, and now finds work as a bodyguard and driver. Cook has retired, but he has never stopped agonizing about the "Night Gardener" killings.
The new case draws the three men together on a grim mission to finish the work that has haunted them for years. All the love, regret, and anger that once burned between them comes rushing back, and old ghosts walk once more as the men try to lay to rest the monster who has stalked their dreams. Bigger and even more unstoppable than his previous thrillers, George Pelecanos achieves in The Night Gardener what his brilliant career has been building toward: a novel that is a perfect union of suspense, character, and unstoppable fate.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Champion musher Jesse Arnold has been out of racing for a number of years, ever since she incurred a devastating knee injury. Now she’s ready to get back in shape for this year’s Iditarod. While taking her team on a practice run down a local trail she takes a snowy bump that’s never been there before. It turns out to be a snow-shrouded body. Now, Jesse and her boyfriend, Alaska State Trooper Alex Jensen, are back chasing criminals. And the hunt is on for the killer of a supposed earthquake victim, who was actually murdered. The twelfth audiobook in this critically acclaimed series is sure to delight Sue Henry’s many fans.
My Thoughts: I have been eating up this series for several years but have to say that this is not anywhere near being a favorite. It was very vanilla with un-clues thrown in throughout the story. One of the main things, the near murder of Becker, was never solved. Oh well, I'm waiting for a better one next time. If you want to start on this series start with Murder on the Iditarod Trail, or Murder on the Yukon Quest. One of my favorites was Deadfall - very suspenseful.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
My Thoughts: This is the second book in the Retrievers series and it was interesting. It kept me coming back. The main story, finding a stolen ancient document, helped build the ongoing story of the tension between the lonejack community and the Council nicely. Can't wait to get on with the next one!
When we last saw Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, they had just put things to right in the rough-and-tumble Old West town of Resolution. It's now a year later, and Virgil has only one thing on his mind: Allie French, the woman who stole his heart from their days in Appaloosa. Even though Allie ran off with another man, Virgil is determined to find her, his deputy and partner Everett Hitch at his side. Making their way across New Mexico and Texas, the pair finally discover Allie in a small-town brothel. Her spirit crushed, Allie joins Everett and Virgil as they head north to start over in Brimstone. But things are not the same between Virgil and Allie; too much has happened, and Virgil can't face what Allie did to survive the year they were apart. Vowing to change, Allie thinks she has found redemption through the local church and its sanctimonious leader, Brother Percival. Given their reputations as guns for hire, Everett and Virgil are able to secure positions as the town's deputies. But Brother Percival stirs up trouble at the local saloons, and as the violence escalates into murder, the two struggle to keep the peace.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
About the book: After his surprisingly glorious honeymoon in Paris, life is almost normal for Dexter Morgan. Married life seems to agree with him: he’s devoted to his bride, his stomach is full, and his homicidal hobbies are nicely under control. But old habits die hard—and Dexter’s work as a blood spatter analyst never fails to offer new temptations that appeal to his offbeat sense of justice…and his Dark Passenger still waits to hunt with him in the moonlight. The discovery of a corpse (artfully displayed as a sunbather relaxing on a Miami beach chair) naturally piques Dexter’s curiosity and Miami’s finest realize they’ve got a terrifying new serial killer on the loose. And Dexter, of course, is back in business.
My thoughts: I've been waiting to read this, the next installment in the Dexter series and found it to be a great addition. Dexter's persona was fleshed out a little more and we see a side of Dexter we havent seen before. I've never been much for "modern" art and after reading more about the newer movements in that area I will be sure to avoid it!