Monday, July 31, 2017

All My Puny Sorrows--#39 finished

A really good read with humor and tragedy mixed in with a good story.  Two daughters raised in a Memonite family in Canada with their mom are the main characters in the novel.  The older & extremely talented pianist also is in the hospital for trying kill herself.  The struggle of the family trying to save her & also come to grips with this reality make this both a torture and a coming together for them.  Lots of good side characters and scenes in the book too.  Just a good read all around.

I will be posting it on PBS at some point, I think there are 30 or maybe 40 WL for it.  This makes 9 books read in July, a very good month for me.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Faith and Betrayal--#39 finished

The author researched a long ago relative that was very well to do in England in the 1850s that decided to leave England behind and join the Mormans in Utah.  The book talked about the missionaries that converted people in Europe and the trip they had to take to get to America and then to get to Council Bluffs, IA before starting off on the Morman trail.  Because Jean Rio was well to do she was able to avoid some hardships--like able to buy additional oxen or cattle when they died.  But the book does a very good job explaining those hardships all around.  Jean traveled with her children and extended family, her husband had died the year before the trip.  Once getting to Utah though things were not as she expected either.  The book discusses much of what was going on with Brigham Young, the plural marriages, that women only able to attain heaven by being attached to a husband, having to give most of her material items she brought with her to the Mormans and being only given a rough house.  Much of this book came from a diary Jean Rio wrote about the travels but once in Utah the diary ends, the author speculates that because of the Morman problems that Jean didn't want to put anything in writing.  Eventually two of her sons leave & move to California but a son & daughter stay.  Jean does leave to California once transcontinental train opens and by then there was more freedom of movement.  A very good read about the people and the time.

I have posted this on PBS, there were 2 WL for it.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Room For Improvement--#37 finished

Writer John Casey put together this book with articles or notes about his lifelong sports.  Mostly rowing with some skiing & running in there too.  Also some stuff on survival camps and boating camps he attended.  Certainly sounds like an interesting life and a love of these sports that helped keep him in shape & going.  Was well into his 70s and going strong at the end of the book.  Nothing really exciting & since I hadn't read anything by him have no real attachment to the stories or book.

I will post on PBS, there are zero copies in system so could go I guess at some point.

The Eternity Cure--#36 finished

The 2nd in a 3 book series about a young lady that becomes a vampire.  The world is a big mess, vampires rule, some humans help the vampires and some are fringe sorts.  Also many humans have become zombie like things called Rabids which basically over run large areas.  In first book Allie was turned into vampire & taught some stuff by mentor and then she got separated & helped a group of humans reach a place called Eden where humans would be safe.  She kept her vampireness hidden from the most of the way & helped but they found out and book ended with her being separated from them.  Zeke was leader's son that she kind of liked but the whole vampire human thing was/is problem.  Well this book she is looking for mentor who was kidnapped by evil vampire guy that also turns another disease loose on humans hurting the blood supply/food for vampires.  She meets up with evil brother--same mentor turned them both, and they are eventually joined by Zeke who came to look for Allie.  They find a cure for new disease but Zeke is caught by crazy evil vampire, that is where 3rd book going.  Good series as far as these vampire world to hell books go.

My oldest read the first & will probably read this one too so holding it at least until then.  Still have first in series too.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

How the States Got Their Shapes--#35 finished

As the title reads that is what this book is all about.  Lots of good information and details.  A little boring stuff mostly with a few interesting stories.  I was hoping for more of the interesting stories but it is what the material is.  It became repetitive at times because each border was discussed for each state and with 4 borders mostly for each state, heard the same basic story each time.

I will be posting it on PBS, I think there are 4 WL for it.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Basque History of the World--#34 finished

I have a friend that is part Basque so I knew a little about the Basques before reading the book but lots of interesting information in here.  It reads a little like a history book at times especially with leading up to the Spanish Civil War and then during the time under Franco.  Interesting people that is divided up into provinces in France & Spain.  The Spanish provinces have been very successful throughout history it seems.  They were leaders of shipping and fishing, iron production and trade.  It is sad that other than a very short time the Basque have not been their own country.  Maybe some day it will happen, who knows what will happen in Europe these next 20 years.

There are a couple WL for this book but not sure if I will mail it off, I may keep it.  I like this author a lot, his books are full of interesting facts & information about various topics.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Big Law--#33 finished

Good lawyer story about a "Big Law" firm where the head of firm is making some questionable decisions in order to improve bottom line for an IPO he was setting up.  This would allow him to then cash out on the stock & rake in bunches of money before these questionable cases flopped or maybe hit, either way he would be gone.  Story told from perspective of a lower level partner that was heading one of these questionable ones--that was probably the worst of the bunch.  It was a case that a competitor had set them up on.  Of course the partner also had shitty things going on in his personal life too.  He comes out in the end.  A good quick read.

There are around 4 WL for the book so I will be posting it at some point probably soon but have enough credits right now so not posting right away.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Whiteout--#32 finished

I hadn't read a Ken Follett book in a while and it was a good read.  A major drug company in Scotland is robbed of their version of the ebola virus that they are working on a vaccine.  Story revolves around the founder of company & his family and everyone getting together at Christmas.  The son who was fired from drug company before is now the inside guy for the robbers.  The tough security chief is also a hot middle age woman that ends up with the founder who is a widow.  Oh well, had good reviews but was just okay for me.

It was a mass market paperback that I took on vacation and mostly read there.  Already too many copies on PBS so I will put it on my donate away pile.

Monday, July 3, 2017

How I Became a Famous Novelist--#31 finished

A 20 something smart guy with good writing skills, is jolted when his ex-girlfriend becomes engaged.   She was a slacker like him in college, at least that is what he thought, but she dumped him and became something and got engaged.  He also loses his job at this time too.  He decides he wants to write a bestseller just so he can show up at the wedding as a success to lord over the ex.  He finds a formula that many bestsellers have & starts writing.  His friend Lucy from college is a really good character that works at a big publishing house & gets his book sold and she edits it for him.  Book starts slow but seems to find a niche and continues, press takes it on slowly.  Good stuff with traveling to a book expo and a small college to read for students.  He knows he sold out on his story & believes the other writers do too.  He gets it handed to him in a debate with a writer he thought was a fraud.  He then opens up & explains in TV interview that he just wrote what people wanted--didn't agonize over writing or put his heart into it.  More controversy sells more books.  Basically a funny story with I am sure a lot of truth to it as well.

There are 2 WL for this book and I will probably post this soon to get it moving along.