Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Exceptionally intriguing, The Mummy Congress ranks as one of the best books that I have read this year. It reads more like a collection of essays on different topics, all somehow related to the practice of mummification. I honestly don't want to describe it too much for fear that I won't do it justice, but I will say that her picture of Chilean women digging through handfuls of sand for pigment with which to paint their deceased children seven thousand years ago will probably be with me for a long time. Highly recommended.
Posted by Julie M. Smith at Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
It is hard to overestimate Dr. Spock's influence--he taught all those hands how to rock the cradle. Maier's book did an excellent job of exploring his life and exploding the myth of his "permissiveness" (which I had always believed accurate but now see as a political attack raised not by his book but by his opposition to the Vietnam war before it was cool). Maier deftly elucidates the failures of Spock's personal life in a way that makes him seem not a hypocrite but rather a flawed man. Highly recommended.
Posted by Julie M. Smith at Sunday, November 26, 2006
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
I read these to the boys because they were the only juvenile historical fiction about Church history that I could find. They weren't that good: the plots plodded, the characterization was flat, the writing was lame. The third volume was slightly better in that it took on some heavy issues of Mormon culpability in Missouri (my five year old knows about Danite excesses now), but I still can't recommend these.
Posted by Julie M. Smith at Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
When the author was a baby, the Boston Strangler worked in his home. (Fortunately, his mother ignored his invitation to join him in the basement.) This book is fascinating (and, of course, unpleasantly graphic at certain points)--nothing like a good mystery.
Posted by Julie M. Smith at Sunday, November 12, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
To me, novels either "work" or they don't: they either succeed in creating a world--or they don't. This one worked and it was a joy to read even though the topic was horrific and the details graphic. (The only sour note was the revelation at the end of the rector's character.) This is the kind of book that would lead to excellent book group discussions (although it might have a smidge too much sex and violence for some book groups). Recommended.
Posted by Julie M. Smith at Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Erik Larson is one of my all-time favorite writers: Isaac's Storm and The Devil in the White City rank along with Thunderstruck as three of the best non-fiction books I have encountered. I did think the pacing was a little off on this one, but it was still very good.
Posted by Julie M. Smith at Tuesday, November 07, 2006
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