Monday, July 2, 2012

Books of 2012 - June

1. Five Days that Shocked the World. Non-fiction by Nicholas Best. April 28 - May 2, 1945 are five days when the world changed. Covering the end of the war in Europe and the death of fascist dictators Mussolini and Hitler, this book features some eyewitness accounts from some familiar names and some unknowns. It makes for incredibly interesting reading.

2. The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection. Fiction by Alexander McCall Smith. Series fiction. This is the 13th (!) book in the Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency series. Probably not my favorite but a quick, comfortable read nonetheless.

3. Dorchester Terrace. Fiction by Anne Perry. Series mystery. I think the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt series gets stronger as it goes on. I enjoy trying to figure out how the author is going to fit her characters into historical events.

4. The Solitary House. Fiction by Lynn Shepherd. I wanted to like this more than I actually did. With familiar characters from Bleak House (Charles Dickens) and The Woman in White (Wilkie Collins), this was more explicitly gritty than the above mentioned authors were allowed to be. It was also written in present tense which is a literary conceit beginning to wear thin with me.

5. The Footsteps at the Lock. Fiction by Ronald Knox. This mystery is the first book by this author that I've ever read. It was clever and interesting and I'd gladly read more by him.

6. How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and On to Learning. Non-fiction by Carol Barnier. Encouraging homeschooling book on educating the easily distracted child. None of my children would be classified as "hyperactive" but I do have at least one child that is easily distracted and discouraged by schoolwork. This book had some ideas that we tried right away. This book also encouraged me once again that "one size" does NOT fit all when we're talking about kids and learning.

7. Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln. Non-fiction by Jason Emerson. A really well done book about a man who was fascinating in his own right, not just because of who his father was. If you're interested in the presidents of the United States or American history in general, I highly recommend this book.

8. Next to Love. Fiction by Ellen Feldman. A story about three women whose lives are shaped by WW2 and the events following those years. Too graphic for my taste but well crafted if you don't mind that sort of thing.

9. Fantasy fiction that I will not list here.

10. Fragile Beginnings: Discoveries and Triumphs in the Newborn ICU. Non-fiction by Adam Wolfberg. This contains this author's personal experience both as the parent of a child who needed the NICU and as a doctor.

11. Penhally. Fiction by Caroline Gordon. I found this one in a list of recommended reading over at the Ordo Amoris blog. I'm afraid I have to differ in my assessment: this book is appalling. To say that the author's view of people of color is paternalistic is the nicest way to put it. Let's put it this way: the racism in Gone with the Wind is nothing compared to this book. Yuck. And that's not to mention that the plot is vague, the characters opaque, and the structure hard to follow.

12. Yet another fantasy fiction I'm not going to name.

13. The Lifeboat. Fiction by Charlotte Rogan. A fascinating and well crafted debut novel. The POV never changes, which takes a lot of discipline for a writer. It also leads to a feeling of being tricked. You want to cheer on the main character but in many ways she is not a heroine. Not, ultimately, the most satisfying read but certainly an interesting one.

Totals for June:
Fiction: 9
Non-fiction: 4

Can you tell I was in a "how 'bout some fiction or light reading" kind of mood?
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Action taken with these links could result in compensation for me. Opinions are my own.


Gram said...

I've heard great things about the C. Barnier thing. Didn't read the book but believe that I understood the principle v-e-r-y w-e-l-l.

I also read "The Lifeboat" novel recently. (Whatever month it was featured at "She Reads.") We can discuss it sometime privately.

Karin said...

Just checked out a whole bunch at Amazon - but don't think I'll be buying any. Interesting to read some of the review and pass the info on to others who love to read.

MacKenzie said...

I will confess that sometimes I feel like the only reader on the planet who didn't love the Ladies #1 Detective agency. But I just picked up the second book at the library today to give it another try since it seems to fit my current and very picky "not too heavy, not to light" criteria.

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