Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “books”

Katie’s #CBR4 Review #44: Glitch by Heather Anastasiu

Title: Glitch
Author: Heather Anastasiu
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Very cool idea for a world, but the plot is a little too YA cliche for me to really love it.

In this dystopian novel, humanity has given up the ability to feel emotion or think for themselves. Instead, they are all connected to a network which regulates their activities and decides when they should be deactivated. However, many young adults are beginning to “glitch”, suddenly experiencing emotion and also displaying strange new mental powers. As Zoe struggles to hide her glitches and control her erratic telekinetic powers, she also has to deal with feeling emotion for her family and for boys for the first time.

Read more at Doing Dewey.

Katie’s #CBR4 Review #43: The Virtues of War

Title: The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great
Author: Steven Pressfield
Read for: Ancient and Medieval Historical Fiction
Source: library
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: Immersive story which will draw you into Alexander’s era and into some very cool speculation on his personality, based on historical accounts.

The Virtues of War is the perfect mix of fact and fiction to make a good book. The author clearly did his research and uses accurate details to form a fascinating picture of life around 320BC.  However, as he states in the introduction, he’s also able to take liberties with the facts and put battles and speeches in the order which makes the best narrative. Best of all, the book is told as though Alexander is speaking to a nephew, leading to what I think are some of the major strengths of this book.

Read more on Doing Dewey.

HelloKatieO’s #CBR4 Review #45: Rogue by Danielle Steel

The theme of my summer reading list was “other people’s books.” I read books owned by the professor I sublet from. I read books left in the beach house we rented by past renters. I read books left in the hostel I stayed in in Lima. This particularly selection came from the beach house’s shelf of lost books, and it was perfect for hot, sunshiney, 90 degree days on the beach.

Rogue by Danielle Steel is about Maxine, a gorgeous psychiatrist who treats adolescent patients. The book is simple. Maxine leaves her ex-husband after they lead a life of adventure, and raises her children alone, struggling to find a new man. And just when she fines her match – stable, friendly, doctor – she finds herself choosing between her adventurous, handsome ex-husband or her new, reliable, steady gorgeous doctor boyfriend. You can probably guess who she chooses.

More…

Katie’s #CBR4 Review #41: The Book of Tomorrow by Cecelia Ahern

Title: The Book of Tomorrow
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Source: from publisher for a TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: 

Here’s the plot as I knew it going into the story: Tamara’s dad dies, her mother withdraws deeply into her grief, and the previously wealthy mother and daughter most go live with poor relations to get by. While struggling to fit into her new life, Tamara finds a book, which every night reveals the events which will happen the next day.

Based on the description, I was nervous that this book would be very emotional, bordering on too angsty or too sad for me to enjoy. I’m not sure what drew me to read it any way, perhaps the intriguing premise and cover picture, but whatever it was, my instincts were good. Although there were certainly emotional and thought-provoking elements to the story, the story felt most like a really good mystery to me.

Read more at Doing Dewey.

Katie’s #CBR4 Review #40: Six Wives by David Starkey

Title: Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII
Author: David Starkey
Source: library
Fun Fact: The fates of Henry VIII’s wives were the following: divorced, beheaded, died in child birth, divorced, beheaded, and out-lived him (but probably would otherwise have been beheaded).
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Clear, well written, engaging without being overly dramatic, obviously well researched, and a lot of fun to read.

This book was really everything I look for in a non-fiction book about history. It was so engagingly written that it could have been non-fiction, but sources were all cited and deviations from accepted wisdom among Henry VIII scholars were mentioned. The story was presented chronologically, with a few, well integrated digressions to give us the history of each of Henry’s wives. Chapters were short and the introduction of new characters was kept to a minimum, creating a very lucid narrative. New characters were always given context, both in the writing and by some great family trees, and we were often reminded who recurring characters were. This made the massive amounts of information in this 880 page book fairly manageable.

Read more at Doing Dewey.

Katie’s #CBR4 Review #39: Mirroring People by Marco Iacoboni

Title: Mirroring People
Author: Marco Iacoboni
Source: library
Fun Fact: People who think about rabid soccer fans before general knowledge tests do worse than a control group, while people who think about professors before the test do better than the controls.
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Wow – this is some incredibly interesting and well explained research. I’d highly recommend this to pretty much anyone.

Mirror neurons are the part of our brain which allow is to interpret other’s emotions, predict their intentions when they begin an action, and probably enable our ability to communicate using language. In Mirroring People, Marco Iacoboni explains clearly and intelligently the cutting edge research on this fascinating part of our brain – research with which he was intimately involved. The basic premise of this work is that we use the same neurons to preform an action and when we watch other people perform an action. This lets us put ourselves in their shoes to better understand what they’re doing and why.

Read more at Doing Dewey.

Katie’s #CBR4 Review #38: Leviathan Wakes by James Corey

Title: Leviathan Wakes
Author: James Corey
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Very interesting premise, intriguing, and sometimes well written, but it didn’t really draw me in.

Typically classed as a space opera, Leviathan Wakes has a little bit of everything – action, horror, mystery, and of course science fiction. We alternate between two perspective, one a shuttle captain drawn into the mystery surrounding a deserted ship sending out a distress signal and the other a cop searching for a missing girl who we know was on the now deserted ship. This shuttle eventually leads them both to a secret some people are willing to “kill on an unfathomable scale for” – even if that means engineering a war.

Read more here…

Katie’s #CBR4 Review #37: Flight From Berlin by David John

Title: Flight From Berlin
Author: David John
Source: from publisher for a TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: An exciting story of escape from Nazi Germany, made more interesting and believable by the author’s inclusion of real people and events.

Starting during the 1936 Berlin Olympics and taking place just pre-WWII, Flight From Berlin is a fascinating look at a pivotal time period as the world decides how to react to Nazi Germany. Almost by chance, an English reporter and a beautiful American athlete-turned-reporter receive information which could effect the outcome of that decision. They also become personally involved with a Jewish family who they hope to help escape.

Read more here….

Katie’s #CBR4 Review #36: Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear

Title: Maisie Dobbs
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Well written mystery with an impressive female protagonist, convincingly set in the 1920′s but with too much focus on WWI’s leftovers and not enough urgency.

Maisie Dobbs, the lead character after whom the book is named, is an intelligent, independent woman and one of the first generation of women taking on traditionally male roles following WWI. She’s also a brilliant private investigator with a personal life affected by her experience as a nurse in the war.  The war also leaves it’s mark on her professional life, since many of her cases directly relate to the war’s aftermath. This includes the case which is the focus of this book which starts out as “an ordinary infidelity case” but which “soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets”.

Read more here…

Katie’s #CBR4 Review #35: Abandon by Meg Cabot

Title: Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Source: bought for book signing
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: In a lot of ways this is a fairly typical YA romance with a strong heroine, but it’s also well written, enjoyable, and made unique by its’ basis in mythology and the heroine’s unique voice.

Like Dead Beautiful, Meg Cabot’s Abandon trilogy is a re-telling of the Persephone myth, although in this case only the starting point of the story really comes from the myth. The Greek gods aren’t part of the story at all and while a lot of elements of the Greek underworld are used, even the basic explanation for the way the Underworld works is different. What is the same is that the lord of the underworld does fall in love with our heroine, Pierce. He does kidnap her, in a way, but in his defense she’s already dead in this version. She manages to escape and is resuscitated by her doctors; which of these events is the cause and which the effect is left for the reader to determine. Unfortunately for Pierce, escaping the underworld doesn’t resolve anything.  She now has trouble fitting back into her old life and still has to deal with the lord of the underworld appearing to “help” her, usually causing her some trouble himself as well.

Read more here…

Post Navigation