Amy D. (Iowan) - Reviews

1 to 20 of 174 - Page:
Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence -- and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process
Review Date: 1/7/2009
Helpful Score: 3


This first-hand account from Irene Pepperberg summarizes the 30 years she spent doing cognitive and language research with Alex - an African Grey Parrot.

The book is somewhat slight...there's not a lot of meat here, however followers of Alex's endeavors and Pepperberg's studies - along with animal and bird lovers will find interest in its pages.


Aloha Kauai: A Childhood
Aloha Kauai: A Childhood
Author: Waimea Williams
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/16/2009


This book is an interesting glimpse into one woman's life as a Haole (white person) on the island of Kauai in the 50's & 60's. She not only relates the incidents of her childhood, she provides historical documentation of the culture and traditions of the land and its people. If you love the true Hawaii and care to learn more than the resort culture, this is a wonderful book.


The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay
Author: Michael Chabon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 417
Review Date: 12/25/2006
Helpful Score: 1


I cannot begin to describe this book. It pulls you in - and you'll never want to leave. You may struggle a bit at the start...but then you'll be hooked.


Animals in Translation : Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior
Review Date: 3/16/2008
Helpful Score: 3


Fantastic book! It is an unusual mixture of science, philosophy, heart, humor and imagination. If you care for animals and have a curious mind, you will love this book. I'd love to meet Temple Grandin to discuss her ideas in person.


Ant Farm: And Other Desperate Situations
Ant Farm: And Other Desperate Situations
Author: Simon Rich
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 2/2/2008


A very quick read. Short vignettes - some funny, a lot not so funny. You'll read it in one sitting.


Away
Away
Author: Amy Bloom
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 73
Review Date: 5/14/2008
Helpful Score: 2


Lillian suffers the severest of losses, her entire family is killed and her young daughter is presumed dead. When she moves on to create a new - but equally difficult - life in America, she has to give it all away. She gives away her pride, her dignity, her expectations - all to find that she'll get more than she'd expected in the least expected places. Interesting characters, unbelievable situations and a likable lead.


The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Bk 1)
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Bk 1)
Author: Lemony Snicket
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 187
Review Date: 12/14/2006
Helpful Score: 1


Fun read about the misfortunes that befall the Beaudelaire children. For adult readers - this is only an hour or two of reading. This book (and the series) would be great for young readers that read beyond their age group and like mastering new vocabulary!


Blasphemy
Blasphemy
Author: Douglas Preston
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 104
Review Date: 9/13/2008


This book follows the same kind of story arc as many of the Preston / Child books - in fact the characters are far to similar to the stereotypical roles that appear in others. However, it's an interesting premise and an entertaining book. Preston calls into question what shapes belief and religion....whether you agree or disagree, there is plenty to consider as you read. Recommended for Preston/Child fans.


Bleachers
Bleachers
Author: John Grisham
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 314
Review Date: 11/24/2007
Helpful Score: 1


A brief story following the obsession of a small town with football and the bonds between players and coaches. This is a short book that will be most of interest to those that played, had football in their family, or grew up in a town like Messina - where football was the one thing that the town had together.


Bloodstream
Bloodstream
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 297
Review Date: 12/1/2006


Yum, yum - another delicious thriller from Tess Gerritsen. Locust Lake seems like the perfect place for Claire Elliot and her son to start a new life, but something isn't right....and she and Noah may pay the ultimate price when she's too close to finding out the truth. This is a good one - you won't be able to put it down!


Body Double (Rizzoli & Isles, Bk 4)
Body Double (Rizzoli & Isles, Bk 4)
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 414
Review Date: 12/10/2006


Another great thriller from Tess Gerritsen!


The Book Thief
The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 293
Review Date: 3/12/2008
Helpful Score: 2


This is a gem of a book. If you are a member of PBS - you probably have a little bit of Leisl Meminger in you. It is heart wrenching, touching and in a way magical to read about Leisl's life in WWII Germany.


Born on a Blue Day : Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant : A Memoir
Review Date: 5/9/2007
Helpful Score: 8


I loved this book. Daniel's life experience is inspiring and fascinating. Amazing to me that someone who as a child was completely unhinged by a change in the route walked to preschool could travel alone to work in a foreign country as an adult. Great glimpse of pure determination.


Bridge of Sighs
Bridge of Sighs
Author: Richard Russo
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 52
Review Date: 8/19/2008
Helpful Score: 3


I'm not sure which family member of mine described too much self-analysis as navel-gazing, but they would label Russo's book as such. Sure, it follows the intertwined lives of small town characters, but in the end, who cares? About halfway through I realized it wasn't really going to get much better and started skimming - and I don't skim.

Save your time - reread Empire Falls, better yet - watch the DVD.


Brimstone (Pendergast, Bk 5)
Brimstone (Pendergast, Bk 5)
Author: Lincoln Child, Douglas Preston
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 325
Review Date: 4/6/2007


Couldn't put it down. Some of the resolution is a bit far-fetched, but the twists and turns make up for the somewhat questionable ending...


Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions
Review Date: 7/25/2008
Helpful Score: 2


The book that inspired the movie - this is a truly unbelievable and astonishing account of the infamous MIT blackjack team (well,one of them anyway). Even if you've never gambled, after seeing the astonishing results the team achieved, you might think of researching tickets to Vegas. A very engaging story with a likable subject who lives out many people's fantasy.


The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, Bk 3)
The Cabinet of Curiosities (Pendergast, Bk 3)
Author: Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 468
Review Date: 8/3/2007
Helpful Score: 5


Wow....this is the best I've read of Preston and Child. It is fast-paced, full of red herrings and creepy. Great read for any mystery fan.


Can You Keep a Secret?
Can You Keep a Secret?
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 682
Review Date: 2/26/2007


Good fun read....when Emma spills all her dirty little secrets (and I mean all) to a stranger when she thinks the end is near on a bumpy plane ride - she has no idea how those words will come back to haunt her. If you liked Bridget Jones or any of the Shopaholic books - you'll enjoy this one.


Cane River
Cane River
Author: Lalita Tademy
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 199
Review Date: 1/2/2009


We can be thankful that Lalita Tademy found an interest in her family's history...sparked by family memories of Emily "Tite"....a strong woman that passed many generations before Lalita experienced Colfax and Cane River, Louisiana.

The passion she poured into her search for her family's history provides the gift of this novel, which weaves the details and truths she was able to unearth about the generations of slaves that came before her with her own imaginings of the details and happenings of their days.

Unlike some novels about the slave experience, Cane River is written in straight-forward prose with a focus on the people and personalities - not dwelling unnecessarily on the cruelty and ugliness inherent in slavery. In fact, the ugliness of their situation is treated somewhat matter-of-factly, which I supposed it would have been by the slaves themselves, who would have had no choice but to accept their circumstances.

The players in this book are powerful, passionate and intriguing. The action is engaging and plot propelling. A tremendous work of historical fiction.


Chicago World's Fair (American Adventure, Bk 29)
Review Date: 2/17/2008


Because I am an adult reading this book, my review may not be relevant! I am a Chicago World's Fair buff and collector and was curious to read this fictional account. There is a nice smattering of facts and historical notes throughout and the characters are likable and I think young girls would identify with the main character.


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