Karen H. - Reviews

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The Art Forger
The Art Forger
Author: B. A. Shapiro
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 60
Review Date: 11/24/2016


Written in the first person, this novel will entertain and inform you about the intricacies of the art world. It is a dark world indeed, and reading this book lessened my appreciation for the masterpieces on display in famous museums throughout the world. I gave it a 4 instead of 5 due to the tone of the protagonist's thoughts-- she seems to have questionable ethics and a whiny victim viewpoint in romance and business dealings that I did not like. I found this tone and attitude versus her supposed degree of talent and expertise quite incompatible in today's world. However, that's a personal bias that did not keep me from thoroughly enjoying the book for its informational and entertainment value. A worthwhile read!


Brunswick Gardens (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt, Bk 18 )
Brunswick Gardens (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt, Bk 18 )
Author: Anne Perry
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 55
Review Date: 5/22/2015


Anne Perry does it again and re-creates the era she is so proficient with. A bit too much emphasis on romance, in my opinion, which makes the book move too slowly for me. The mystery is good and the suspense is held as to who done it, but clues are scarce and unless you are interested in romance you may feel it's a slow-mover.


Cherry : A Life of Apsley Cherry-Garrard (Modern Library Paperbacks)
Review Date: 3/25/2018


A very thorough biography of a young man who by talent and happenstance became an important member of Scott's final Antarctic expedition. I rated it 4 not because of the writing, which was dry but passable and well researched, but because of the overall impression this book left with me. Cherry-Garrard's failure to rescue Scott's doomed party returning from the South Pole was discussed in detail and, frankly, left a sad, ironic taint on this man's fortunate-but-unfortunate life. This book drives home the reality of polar exploration as none other I have read thus far.


The Coldest March: Scott`s Fatal Antarctic Expedition
The Coldest March: Scott`s Fatal Antarctic Expedition
Author: Susan Solomon
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 2/13/2019


Although I have read most of the available books on Robert Scott's last antarctic expedition, this one added to my knowledge and understanding of what happened and why. I found the comparisons between Scott's expedition and modern day Antarctic travel both enlightening and disheartening, and honestly dreaded the back-and-forth-in-time aspect of this work. However, the interesting reflections on the effects of polar winds and weather (which have the benefit of years of data accumulated by man and machine), made up for any regrets I may have had about juxtaposing modern day science with Scott's historic march. Well done!


The Cruise of the Arctic Star
The Cruise of the Arctic Star
Author: Scott O'Dell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 3/27/2017


An enjoyable book combining a personal journey with some history of the California coast. Wish the journey were longer, and more history. Also would like more development of on-board characters, especially "the navigator". Lack of said character development makes this book a more whimsical book than I prefer. Otherwise well written and entertaining. Would like to read more by this author.


Fifty Miles from Tomorrow: A Memoir of Alaska and the Real People
Review Date: 3/19/2015


Having lived in Kotzebue, Alaska it was a revelation to see the old Kotz from a native perspective. This book is very well written and holds one's interest throughout. It is true and real and tells the story well. An amazing story of a boy who, given very few opportunities, made the most of them and became a man who served his people far beyond anyone's dreams. Highly recommend!


Hell on Ice: the Saga of the "Jeannette"
Hell on Ice: the Saga of the "Jeannette"
Author: Edward Ellsberg
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 4/4/2018


Riveting account of Arctic exploration as told through the eyes of a survivor.


The Hundred Days (Aubrey/Maturin, Bk 19)
The Hundred Days (Aubrey/Maturin, Bk 19)
Author: Patrick O'Brian
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 8/28/2018


Patrick O'Brian immediately draws you into the story and the era and doesn't let you go. Brilliant!


Ice Trek: A Journey to the South Pole
Ice Trek: A Journey to the South Pole
Author: Eric Philips
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/7/2016


I give this book three stars for honesty. It's the story of failure, and has no redeeming qualities such as Shackleton's decision to turn back so short of the pole. The undertone of hostility between the three men ruins the voyage. Helpful to me to further understand past voyages, but not really a good read.


Icemen: A History of the Arctic and its Explorers
Icemen: A History of the Arctic and its Explorers
Author: Mick Conefrey
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 7/7/2016


Loved the stories by relatively unknown explorers, such as Samuel Hearne. A different perspective on the Arctic that is welcome and well done.


In the Land of White Death : An Epic Story of Survival in the Siberian Arctic
Review Date: 4/14/2014


This book should be included in the annals of Arctic exploration literature. It is a translation of Albanov's account of his escape from the ice-bound ship Santa Anna. After a year and a half the Russian ship remained ice-bound in the frigid arctic Kara Sea with no hope of escape. With tempers just short of mutiny, the navigator Albanov requested and obtained permission from the captain to leave the ship and begin the dangerous trek across the sea ice to find Franz Joseph land and safety. Initially 15 men decided to go with him, but two returned to the ship. This is Albanov's narrative of their journey. I have read other narratives, such as the Jeannette and the Karluk, and Albanov's is notable for his exquisite description of arctic scenery, and his matter-of-fact and honest portrayal of his feelings and observations. Introspective and poetic at times, it is well written and the translation is superlative. A must-add to any collection of Arctic exploration literature and an intersting and compelling read.


The Letter of Marque (Aubrey & Maturin, Bk 2)
The Letter of Marque (Aubrey & Maturin, Bk 2)
Author: Patrick O'Brian
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 32
Review Date: 4/29/2019


As always, a very enjoyable book in this series.


The Lost Men: The Harrowing Saga of Shackleton's Ross Sea Party
Review Date: 6/21/2018


Extremely well researched and well written account of the Ross Sea Party, the "other half" of Shackleton's expedition intended to cross the continent of Antarctica. Gives a satisfying view of the rest of the story that is not addressed anywhere else in exploration literature. Great read!


The Mauritius Command (Aubrey / Maturin, Bk 4)
The Mauritius Command (Aubrey / Maturin, Bk 4)
Author: Patrick O'Brian
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 54
Review Date: 4/3/2018


An interesting book that studies more of the psychological problems associated with sea travel and its effects on the travelers themselves.


Shackleton
Shackleton
Author: ROLAND HUNTFORD
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.9/5 Stars.
 4
Review Date: 3/22/2016


Extremely well researched, can be tedious but its a great book to fall asleep with. So thorough that you will have no illusions about Shackleton as a hero, but you will see his humanity and his restlessness and admire his tenacity and loyalty to preserving his men's lives, which in itself gave his voyages meaning. Also was pleasantly surprised by Shackleton's poetic nature and now view him as the quintessential Anglo-Irishman from a by-gone era.


Shackleton's Boat Journey
Shackleton's Boat Journey
Author: Frank Arthur Worsley, Frank Arthur Worsley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 2
Review Date: 6/8/2016


Frank Worsley's account tells it like it was. It is not as reserved as Shackleton's account, which makes it more human and easy to related to. Worsley was quite a poetic writer, and some of his descriptions of the natural world around this adventure are priceless. Highly recommend!


Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer
Review Date: 11/30/2014


Its seldom that an author combines a great story with an instructive how to book, but the writing on both counts is superlative. Well researched and you enjoy the story so much you forget you are reading a leadership primer. The photos are fantastic and the introduction by Shackleton's granddaughter is appropriate and helps you relate to the book even more. Well done!


Sheltering Sky (Vintage International)
Sheltering Sky (Vintage International)
Author: Paul Bowles
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 19
Review Date: 1/26/2019


Fascinating, dark, an unparalleled entrance for this American into a foreign world. A masterpiece of psychological drama and inner life. This book grabs you and afterward you won't forget it easily. In fact, you may not forget it at all, which, to me, means it has somehow changed you.


The Verbally Abusive Man, Can He Change?: A Woman' Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go
Review Date: 2/26/2015


Well written that gives hope and enlightenment on a very common issue.


Way Station
Way Station
Author: Clifford D. Simak
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 7
Review Date: 2/13/2016


Way Station....a sci-fi classic. I get more out of it every time I read it. It's got all the elements of a truly great story, including suspense, believable fantasy, and even a touch of romance. In addition, if you're in a philosophical mood, Way Station gives plenty of food for thought as to humanity's role and place in the huge scheme of galactic endeavor. Truly a treat for these cold winter nights!


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