Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Secret Keeper

by Kate Morton

I wish I would write my reviews as soon as I finish a book.  It would sure make things easier.

This write-up is from the author's website.
1961: On a sweltering summer's day, while 
her family picnics by the stream on their
Suffolk farm, sixteen-year-old Laurel hides out
in her childhood tree house dreaming of a boy
called Billy, a move to London, and the bright
future she can't wait to seize. But before the
idyllic afternoon is over, Laurel will have witnessed
a shocking crime that changes everything.

2011: Now a much-loved actress, Laurel finds herself overwhelmed by shades of the past. Haunted by memories, and the mystery of what she saw that day, she returns to her family home and begins to piece together a secret history. A tale of three strangers from vastly different worlds--Dorothy, Vivien and Jimmy--who are brought together by chance in wartime London and whose lives become fiercely and fatally entwined...

The Secret Keeper was my favorite read of the year.  I loved it and look forward to discovering other books by Kate Morton.  There was a healthy dose of mystery with sufficient twists and turns to keep the excitement bubbling. 
Have you read a book by Morton that you highly recommend for my next read? 

The Genealogist's Internet

by Peter Christian

I was hoping this book would help me in finding birth, death, divorce, etc. records for some of my ancestors.  It didn't, but it did explain why these records cost us money to get a copy.  We help pay salaries of workers who put them in digital form and for the upkeep of these records.  I know scanning is a tedious job so now I don't mind paying the fee.

Christian offers some valuable internet sites for those working on American or British Isles research, but not so much for other countries. 

Mathematics Minus Fear

Mathematics Minus Fear: How to Make Math Fun and Beneficial to Your Everyday Life 

by Lawrence Potter

This is the 2nd nonfiction book I've read about Math this year.  Does that qualify me as a true geek?  If so, I'm okay with that.

The title of this book is a little miss leading.  I don't think reading it will help anyone who has a fear of math.  I thought it had some interesting historical facts about math.  In ancient times  (I'm not just sure how ancient) the technique for working out 'long multiplications' was to create a grid called 'gelosia' , after the grills which were placed over the windows of houses where nuns or chaste women lived.  Writing that made me realize that the interesting part was the connection to math but that grids over the windows indicated the home of nuns or chaste women.  

There were some fun riddles and math problems sprinkled throughout the book that might prove fun for a math teacher to present to the students.  'As far as how to make math fun or beneficial to your everyday life'  I don't think this book succeeded.