Judy H. (Judyh) - , - Reviews

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Abraham's Children: Israel's Young Generation
Abraham's Children: Israel's Young Generation
Author: Peter Sichrovsky
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/18/2014


This is an interesting study of a group of young twenty-something Israeli men and women. Each of them comes from different backgrounds with roots in the Middle East, Northern or Eastern Europe, different family situations and cultures, and some are children of Holocaust survivors. They talk about what brought them or their families to Israel and how they feel about the Palestinian situation. Quite a nice view into the minds of today's young Israeli adults. Published in the early 90's, so these Israeli's are now in their 40's or early 50's.


The Abstinence Teacher
The Abstinence Teacher
Author: Tom Perrotta
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 117
Review Date: 9/7/2015


This was a light read, but interesting enough. The story revolves around Ruth, who is divorced and raising a daughter. She teaches sex ed at the local high school. Unfortunately, the local community is infiltrated by a new church that is evangelical and is promoting prayer at public events (like kids' soccer games) and abstinence education in sex ed classes. The characters from the church were so annoying. If I have a hot button, it's people pushing their religion on other people and in public places. Another main character is Tim, who is a recovering addict and Ruth's daughter's soccer coach. He is also a member in the evangelical church. Clearly, conflict happens. I was satisfied with the way the author handled the situations and resolved the issues.


Adversity Quotient @ Work : Make Everyday Challenges the Key to Your Success--Putting the Principles of AQ Into Action
Review Date: 2/28/2014


I took a course from the author in which we used this book along with other materials to understand our own abilities when dealing with adversity and best practices when under stress. I found the concept of the AQ fascinating and have continued to find the things I learned very useful years after.


The Alienist
The Alienist
Author: Caleb Carr
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 538
Review Date: 2/12/2006


A page-turner -- very smart thriller.


Amazing Adventures of the Jewish People
Amazing Adventures of the Jewish People
Author: Max I. Dimont, Max I. Dimont
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 11/22/2013


This book is highly readable, a great resource for someone who wants a detailed and accurate account of Jewish history in a book that is not going to put them to sleep. The author tells the story in a way that is very knowledgeable but not dull.


Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, Bk 1)
Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, Bk 1)
Author: Dan Brown
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 3674
Review Date: 2/9/2006


A page-turner featuring the same protagonist you met in The Da Vinci Code. Great story about a fast-paced hunt through crypts, catacombs, and cathedrals. Great fun.


Animal Farm : Centennial Edition
Animal Farm : Centennial Edition
Author: George Orwell
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 112
Review Date: 2/11/2006


Suspend reality - this is an other-wordly experience. Truly a classic.


Austerlitz
Austerlitz
Author: Winfried Georg Sebald, Anthea Bell (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 17
Review Date: 9/12/2013


Recommended for: readers who love beautiful prose
Read from February 12 to 22, 2013

Susan Sontag, in a 2000 essay in the Times Literary Supplement, asked whether literary greatness [was] still possible. She concluded that one of the few answers available to English-language readers is the work of W. G. Sebald.

Sebald himself sometimes described his work as documentary fiction, which truly makes sense to me -- the term captures the style of prose in which Sebald so beautifully integrates apparently inharmonious elements. "Austerlitz" is a hybrid of factual and heavily-detailed documentary, actual discussion and daily activity, travelogue, and fanciful thought. I found the book at times too dense for reading (when I was tired) and also at times compelling and intensely thought-provoking. The story itself, about the life of a man who was transported away from his family at the age of four by kindertransport train from Prague to Wales, was intriguing, appalling, suspenseful, heartbreaking. I was fascinated also by the style of prose -- the widely ranging thoughts, the imagery, the long run-on sentences, and the incorporation of photos. Since reading this book, published just around the time of the author's untimely death in an auto accident 12 years ago, I can see influences in other books I have read that were published later, such as in the wonderful book by Jonathan Safran Foer, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close". I found an interesting description in the NY Times article by Mark O'Connell of Sebald's style of writing: "Reading him is a wonderfully disorienting experience, not least because of the odd, invigorating uncertainty as to what it is, precisely, we are reading. His books occupy an unsettled, disputed territory on the border of fiction and fact, and this generic ambivalence is mirrored in the protean movements of his prose. Often what is on the page, the writing itself, gives the impression of being only the faint, flickering shadow of its actual referent. What Sebald seems to be writing about, in other words, is frequently not what he wants us to be thinking about." I was never 100% sure what I was reading about in "Austerlitz", and yet I always had the sense that it was important and would explain itself in time or if I considered its meaning long enough.

Sebald was born in Germany at the very end of WWII, and so grew up in the chaotic aftermath in which the adults did not want to talk at all about the war or their role in in. Sebald wrote about the recent history of Germany in an indirect way, as if confronting it head-on was too horrible or even possibly because it made it seem less horrible, that we couldn't grasp the enormity of the immorality of what happened. Instead, he approached the Holocaust obliquely, from a different geometric plane. He attempted to help us to understand what happened in the Holocaust by showing us how much we cannot understand it. Have you ever tried looking at something out of the corner of your eye to see what it really looks like? That's what happens in Sebald's "Austerlitz".

Highly recommended.


Averse to Beasts Reasonless Rhymes
Averse to Beasts Reasonless Rhymes
Author: Nick Bantock
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 8/5/2007


This is a wonderfuly fun combo book and tape that kids and adults will enjoy together. The poems are wickedly funny. On the tape, they are read by the author himself.


Barrayar (Cordelia Naismith, Bk 2)
Barrayar (Cordelia Naismith, Bk 2)
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 66
Review Date: 7/20/2007


One of my favorite all time books. Great Sci-fi with compelling story and characters. The entire series is more than worthwhile, really one you shouldn't miss if you like sci-fi.


Baseball Saved Us
Baseball Saved Us
Author: Ken Mochizuki, Dom Lee (Illustrator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 5
Review Date: 12/28/2013


This is fictional account based on the true story of Japanese citizens interned at camps during WWII as if they were not loyal to the USA after the Pearl Harbor attack. It is not a happy story in all ways, but there were some positive things that show the endurance and perseverance of humans under tough conditions. The Japanese-Americans, adults and kids, set up baseball fields and teams and kept themselves busy and entertained playing baseball. It is a great way to teach kids about this time in history.

The author's parents were sent to the Minidoka camp in Idaho.


Because of Winn-Dixie
Because of Winn-Dixie
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 202
Review Date: 10/5/2007


I loved this story. My son had to read it in the 4th or 5th grade, so I read it also. Very endearing story of a young girl in Florida, living with her dad, and her adopted dog.


Blind Alley (Eve Duncan, Bk 5) (Large Print)
Blind Alley (Eve Duncan, Bk 5) (Large Print)
Author: Iris Johansen
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 12/19/2008


suspenseful thriller about a murder in which the victim's face is erased...


Blow Fly (Kay Scarpetta, Bk 12)
Blow Fly (Kay Scarpetta, Bk 12)
Author: Patricia Cornwell
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 397
Review Date: 10/5/2007
Helpful Score: 3


Another in the Scarpetta series. Well-written, somewhat implausable that such a smart lady could also be so dumb, but the series is fascinating.


Blue Champagne
Blue Champagne
Author: John Varley
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.8/5 Stars.
 6
Review Date: 5/2/2009


This is vintage John Varley and well worth a read by any fan of sci-fi. Loan it to a friend, but make sure you get it back so you can read it again someday!


Body Language in the Workplace
Body Language in the Workplace
Author: Julius Fast
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/12/2006


Insightful book, includes info on use of words and tone of voice, how to handle interviews, how to get more power at work.


Boys Know It All: Wise Thoughts and Wacky Ideas from Guys Just Like You
Review Date: 8/5/2006


Cute book written by boys for boys. Includes topics like what they want to be when they grow up, ideas of fun things to do, who their heroes are, wise-cracks, etc.


The Braided World
The Braided World
Author: Kay Kenyon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 14
Review Date: 2/10/2006


space opera


Breakup (Kate Shugak, Bk 7)
Breakup (Kate Shugak, Bk 7)
Author: Dana Stabenow
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 87
Review Date: 12/1/2013


This was a really funny and action-packed story. The author makes it easy to visualize the beautiful and lonely terrain in the far reaches of Alaska. Kate Shugak is a terrific protagonist. She is smart, independent, and super tough. I read this book first even though it was #7 in the series, and had no trouble getting right into the characters and story. Now I'm reading Book #1 and will work my way through the series.


Budding Prospects
Budding Prospects
Author: T. C. Boyle
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 3
Review Date: 7/19/2007


I loved this book -- it was like watching a train wreck. A couple of guys go out into the back country of California to try making a fortune by growing pot. Encounters with locals, law enforcement, each other and themselves are too bizarre.


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