Monday, May 2, 2011

Books of 2011 - April

Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor: Being the First Jane Austen Mystery1. Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor. Fiction by Stephanie Barron. Series mystery. Quite diverting and never actually made me scream, "Jane would never." So that's a plus. I picked this up at...a library sale? Half Price Books? I can't remember. Anyway, I own this but I'm not going to rush out and buy the next books in the series. I'll be watching for them at the next library sale, is what I'm saying.

Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal2. Agent Zigzag. Non-fiction by Ben Macintyre. I told you last month that Mr. Macintyre is one of my new favorite non-fiction authors. This is the fascinating story of a man that spied for the Germans and the Brits in WW2.

Against the Wind (Zion Diaries)3. I tried to read Against the Wind. Fiction by Bodie Thoene. First things first: I'm not sure who that is on the cover but it is not Elisa Lindheim Murphy. I'm not sure what has happened to one of my favorite authors. The teem of Bodie & Brock Thoene used to be good for reliably engrossing Christian historical fiction. Some time in the past few years they have gone off the rails: there are errors galore, the characterizations are flat (even of previously beloved characters), and they can't even keep their own characters straight. Fail. I ended up skimming this, noting the errors but not reading and enjoying the whole thing so I will not be counting this in my April total.

How to Read a Word4. How to Read a Word. Non-fiction by Elizabeth Knowles. I had to read this one quicker than I would have liked (someone else at the library had a hold on it). Interesting but nothing that really "grabbed" me.

What We Knew: Terror, Mass Murder, and Everyday Life in Nazi Germany5. What We Knew: Terror, Mass Murder and Everyday Life in Nazi Germany. Non-fiction by Eric Johnson & Karl-Heinz Reuband. Extensive research and interviews. Read as research.

The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear6. The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, & Fear. Non-fiction by Seth Mnookin. The first inoculation you will need whilst reading this book is against the author himself. He is derisive, petty, and smug. While I agree with many of his conclusions, I cannot recommend this book. I really wish someone with nothing to gain would write a factual book on vaccinations. I think both sides are far too politicized and there is a lot of money at stake for people holding either viewpoint. This book lost a chance to make a difference by alienating the reader from the first page.

Murder in Grub Street (Sir John Fielding Mysteries)7. Murder in Grub Street. Fiction by Bruce Alexander. Series mystery. Great characters but poor mystery. When the first time you think, "Hmm, these guys are bad. Wonder if they're the murderers?" and it turns out you are right, that's disappointing.

Philip and I also listened to these books on CD while we traveled in April:
Hunting Evil: The Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped and the Quest to Bring Them to JusticeHunting Evil: The Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped and the Quest to Bring Them to Justice. Non-fiction by Guy Walters. We had to turn this off several times when children woke up from naps. Not exactly safe for kids. Well written and compelling however, it definitely challenges the popular view of Simon Wisenthal.
The Curse of the Pharaohs (Amelia Peabody, Book 2)The Curse of the Pharoahs. Fiction by Elizabeth Peters. Philip enjoyed finally meeting the Emerson family. Lots of humor here, and generally "safe" even if children are listening along.

We listened to parts of books by Seth Godin, Donald Rumsfeld, and Agatha Christie but the two books above are the only ones we completed.

Totals for April:
Fiction: 2
Non-fiction: 4

So, what did you read last month?
This post contains Amazon Associate links. Any action taken with these links could result in compensation for me. Opinions are my own and I encourage you to check your library or Paperback Swap first - these books are worth it!

1 comment:

"Gram" said...

There's usually an Elizabeth Peters somewhere in my audiobook queue on my iPod. I think listening to the droll humor is even more fun that reading it. :)

Gotta get my April list up, too, but it will most likely be a few more days. Busy month, maybe?

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