Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Hmmm. I'm not sure about this. It was a quick read, it kept my attention, it was funny and horrifying. I'm still playing around in my mind with the ending. I may need to get back to you on this one.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Gospel According to the Simpsons by Mark Pinsky

This book was pretty lame. Very little analysis--just plot summaries from The Simpsons.

Orrin Porter Rockwell by Harold Schindler

This book is an excellent example of what I consider to be an overriding problem with early Mormon history: every source is either Mormon or virulently anti-Mormon. Schindler makes liberal use of some of those anti sources in this book and so I found it difficult to determine how likely the various reports of Rockwell's evil deeds were. He was more myth than man and I can't say that I trust all the stories of his nefariousness. At the same time, he wasn't a choirboy. This was an interesting read, but it was also almost as frustrating as I find historical fiction since I just couldn't decide what to believe.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach

I loved Roach's first book and this one was equally weird and wonderful. She explores all sorts of paranormal phenomena in a light-hearted, Dave Barryesque sorta way. Recommended.

Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark

We read this because we were covering Peru in history; the boys liked it but it didn't do much for me.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

The United States of Arugula by David Kamp

This was a good history of the creation of "American food" over the last fifty years--not life-alteringly good, but good.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Uh-Oh by Robert Fulghum

What's not to like about Robert Fulghum?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ten Circles Upon The Pond by Virginia Tranel

This was a very unusual, very successful memoir by the mother of ten children. She managed the mix of day-to-day details, life-defining moments, and reflections on faith and feminism in a masterful way. Recommended.

Monday, October 16, 2006

La Bella Figura by Beppe Severgnini

I loved this book because my husband surprised me with it after he heard an interview with the author on NPR. The content was mediocre, but surprise books from the dh are my brand of flowers.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendehlson

This was fabulous--a sort of Holocaust "Roots" but a narrative of discovery instead of a fictionalized account. Words fail me with this one to some extent, but his meditations of life, memory, place, family, and history are pretty amazing. The fact that he was able to discover so much information about his lost relatives is even more amazing. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament

Book Cover

It looks like a coffee table book but it reads like top-notch scholarship.

I read this to the kids this week; it was good but not outstanding. I was amazed at how difficult the vocabulary was for a children's book and figured that for sure my kids would lose interest when they couldn't follow the story, but they hung in there and said they really liked it. Go figure.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Great Plague by John M. Barry

This was disappointing. The 1918 flu epidemic is a fascinating story, but this book gets lost in the personal histories of the scientist who were on the front lines. I was surprised, since Barry's Rising Tide was fabulous.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Brief Notes

This weekend I read:

Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service

Isaiah for Airheads by John Bytheway

The Ten Virgins by Emily Freeman

The first isn't really the kind of book you review and the second two fall under "if you can't say something nice . . ."

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith

I read this out loud to the boys and we all loved it--what a treat.

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