Friday, October 31, 2008

Don't Know Much About Anything Else

by Kenneth C. Davis

This author's first book was Don't Know Much About History. Since then he's added several more titles to his fun and factual Don't Know Much About books.

I received 'anything else' from Harpers to review. The timing was perfect because I was leaving in a few days for a road trip to the lovely, beautiful and memorable state of Oregon. I took this book along and each day read a few entries to Candleman and my Mom.

The chapter headings include Famous People, Exceptional Places, Historic Happenings & Civics, Holidays & Traditions, Everyday Objects & Remarkable Inventions, Space & the Natural World, Sports, Entertainment, And More! Each chapter has 20- 60 pages with an entry on each page. The entry starts out with a few paragraphs about the topic followed by several questions. The answers to the question are on the back side of the page.

The first page under Famous People was about Clara Barton. Candleman, who knows something about everything (I thought), had never heard of Clara Barton. There were six true or false questions. Try your hand at one: When the Civil War ended, she led the effort to locate missing soldiers.*

We had lots of fun doing this each day while driving. Sometimes we think we're kind of smart, but this book humbled us. It was fun to learn the interesting tidbits, though. I plan on reading a couple entries everyday and then buying another of Davis' books. You all know about my sad memory, but I hope everything I put in that little mind will be there in the hereafter. In the meantime, learning provides good exercise for the brain.

Win One of My Handmade Beanies!

The Giveaway is hosting a drawing for two of my crocheted beanies. I hope you will stop over there for a browse and enter the contest while you're at it. If you aren't into stocking caps yourself, consider one for a gift.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Written in Blood

by Sheila Lowe

I finished fun murder mystery a few weeks ago, but have been remarkably slow in posting my review. I tell you what - it is so much easier to keep caught up than to try and catch up.

Written in Blood is book two in a series starring Claudia Rose, a forensic hand-writing expert. The series began with Poison Pen. Sheila Lowe has created a fun twist to the crime mystery genre with her heroine.

Years ago, actually centuries ago, when I was in high school I remember hearing about hand-writing analysis. I am a fairly open-minded person, but I was a bit skeptical that handwriting could reveal anything about a person's personality. Yet over the years as I would write different things I would notice that my handwriting changed slightly with my moods. I even checked out a few books from the library and tried to analyze mine and others' handwriting. I was NOT very good at it, but my interest was piqued.

When the offer came to read and review this novel I was most excited to accept. My love of mysteries would have pushed me over the edge even if my interest in hand-writing analysis hadn't already created a strong interest.

I thoroughly enjoyed Written in Blood. Interesting characters, some which you could comfortably hate and others that you cared for their well being. The story was interesting with several twists to add that guessing element I love so in mysteries.

One thing I did not care for was how uncharacteristically trashy the main character would talk when with her girlfriend. When this first happened I had to go back over the page to be sure it was Claudia talking. Her friend had a trashy mouth, and tho I didn't care for the language, it was in keeping with her personality. I didn't think it fit Claudia's.

I would recommend this book to others who like mysteries or anyone who is interested in hand-writing analysis. I will definitely read Poison Pen and look forward to book 3 in the series.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Winner Announced (Finally!)

I have learned a valuable lesson - Do NOT end a book giveaway the day before you leave on vacation! I drew the winners name Thursday night, just like I said I would. I even contacted the winner. What did I think that she might read her email at 2 am and promptly respond so I could get the book in the mail early on the same day I needed to pack?! Even if she was a night owl, I couldn't possibly have mailed the book on that Friday morning. The winner emailed me on Saturday after spending the day before with her mother. She was so nice and told me not to worry about any delay and just to enjoy myself in Oregon.

The winner of "What if . . .?" by Steve N. Lee is the sweet and patient

from My Middle Name is Patience

Thanks to everyone who entered. I hope you will get your hands on a copy of Lee's book, read and review it. Let me know if you do. I would love to read your opinions. And thanks to Carriedaway for being patient.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"What If . . .?" You Could Win This Book

I totally missed Buy-A-Friend-A-Book Week, which is so fun to do. We have moved our computers off the dining room table down to the finished family room. That's reason to cheer, right? I'm still not sure. I liked the closeness of everything when we were living on one floor.

Anyway, our internet and email have not worked well downstairs. Today the phone man came and fixed us up. Yay! So I can finally host that book giveaway.

I received this book to read and review and now I'm going to offer it to you. Let me share with you the blurb from the front book flap.
The ice caps are melting. forest burning. People starving...
The world is dying. Right now.

What if a stranger appeared on the streets of New York claiming to possess the power to hear: And what if people believed him?

What if he spoke of ending poverty and disease, of bring peace and prosperity to the entire world? And what if People followed him?

What if the government feared the delusions he was spreading, feared for the people, the country? And what if they were right to fear him?

What if both sides saw themselves as the good battling the evil, how far would they go to see good triumph?
To be honest, I didn't finish the book. I don't know if it was a timing thing or just what, but I found I just wasn't in the mood for it. The beginning of the book was a bit confusing - I had to go back and reread to figure out if the story was continuing with the same character that just died. I did like this passage:
"... was this how it ended? The world simply spun on as if nothing had changed, while you faded away like a misplaced pencil mark being erased."
As you can see, the writing is great. I look forward to more novels from Lee. He definitely has talent. I

received this book from the author and would like to pass it along to another who wants to read and review it. Chances are high, that most of you will probably really enjoy What if...?

To win this book, just leave a comment. I will draw the winning name on Thursday, Oct 16.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Truth

by Stephen Hawley Martin

When this book arrived in the mail, my husband showed interest in reading it. Since I was behind in my reviews, I handed it over to him. He enjoyed reading it and he got an interesting new slant on some of his beliefs. You can read his excellent review HERE.