Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WWW Wednesdays (April 25th)

To play along just answer the following three (3) questions...

*What are you currently reading?
*What did you recently finish reading?
*What do you think you’ll read next?

Leave a link to your post (or the answers themselves if you do not have a blog) in the comments of ShouldBe Reading.

What are you currently reading?

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
I’m beginning to wonder if I read too many kid’s books.

Sweet Invention by Michael Krondl
It’s the history of dessert.  I haven’t gotten very far.  I got distracted by Peter Pan.

What did you recently finish reading?

The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
Sad and sweet.  Dark but hopeful. Good characters.

What do you think you’ll read next?

It’s inspired by Peter Pan and the reason I picked up Peter Pan in the first place.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Hush Money Review

Hush Money by Robert B. Parker

(from the book jacket)
When Robinson Nevins, the son of Hawk’s boyhood mentor, is denied tenure at the University, Hawk asks Spenser to investigate.  It appears the denial is tied to the suicide of a young gay activist, Prentice Lamont.  While intimations of an affair between Lamont and Nevins have fed the campus rumor mill, no one is willing to talk, and as Spenser digs deeper he is nearly drowned in a multicultural swamp of politics: black, gay, academic, and feminist.

At the same time, Spenser’s inamorata, Susan, asks him to come to the aid of an old college friend, K.C. Roth, the victim of a stalker.  Spenser solves the problem a bit too effectively, and K.C., unwilling to settle for the normal parameters of the professional-client relationship, becomes smitten with him, going so far as to attempt to lure him from Susan.  When Spenser, ever chivalrous, kindly rejects her advances, K.C. turns the tables and begins to stalk him.

Then the case of Robinson Nevins turns deadly.  It is, Spenser discovers, only the tip of the iceberg in a great conspiracy to keep America white, male, and straight.  Spenser must call upon his every resource, including friends on both sides of the law, to stay alive.

I think the reasons I liked this book are the same reasons I like Spenser books in general.  Spenser and Hawk are great characters.  They are tough guys without being stupid; they are smart guys without being annoying.  And their friendship comes through as real and believable.  You can tell by the way they talk to each other that they have known each other for a long time.  And the book is written with a lot of wit.  So it’s fun to read.  It deals with issues like prejudice and racism without reading like an after school special or a sermon and without belittling the problem.  And since I tend to get annoyed when books preach at me, I appreciated that.  The plot line about Nevins was more interesting to me than the other one but both were fine.  But I was more interested in the people than in either of them.  If you like detective/PI novels and haven’t read any Spenser, you should.  If not this one than another.  They are easy to get hooked on.

Bless Their Hearts Mom Giveaways

Bless Their Hearts Mom is giving stuff away!  Run over there and check it out.

For These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen go here.  Open until April 17th to the US and Canada.

For The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark go here.  Open until April 22nd to the US and Canada.

For The 5 Love Languages of Children by Dr. Gary Chapman and Dr. Ross Campbell go here.  Open until April 24th to the US and Canada.

For The Song Remains the Same by Allison Winn Scotch go here.  Open until April 25th to the US and Canada.

For the Top Shelf giveaway (you get to pick one book from a nice list) go here.  Open until April 30th to the US and Canada.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Planets Review

The Planets by Dava Sobel

(from the book jacket)
The Sun’s family of planets becomes a familiar place in this guided tour of other worlds.  Sobel explores the origins and oddities of the planets through the lens of popular culture, from astrology, mythology, and science fiction to art, music, poetry, biography, and history.  Whether revealing what lies behind Venus’s cocoon of acid clouds of capturing firsthand the excitement at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory when pictures from Cassini at Saturn are beamed to Earth, this intimate account is filled with fascination, beauty, and surprise.

There is a chapter for each planet (Pluto, the sun, and the moon have chapters too) and each chapter takes a different approach.  In most you get some of the same facts like the rotation speed and atmospheric composition and such so you do get some text book like information but there is more to it than that.  Venus is about beauty and includes poetry, Mars is told in the voice of a fragment found on Earth, Saturn talks about the music of the spheres, and Jupiter explores the astrology of the planet.  It is a rather brief introduction to each planet and does not go in-depth very much but the unique approach makes it less a study of the science of the planets and makes it a stargazer’s wondering look at the universe.  It is meant to teach you something but also to show you the wonder, imagination and glory of the planets.