Brian M. (BNM24) - Reviews

1 to 9 of 9
Anne Frank, Beyond the Diary:  A Photographic Remembrance
Review Date: 1/8/2009
Helpful Score: 1


Combines excerpts from Anne Frank's diary with photographs of Anne and her family to create a full portrait of a teenager who, in spite of all the hardships she endured, believed "...that people are rally good at heart."


The Apprentice
The Apprentice
Author: Lewis Libby
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2.8/5 Stars.
 9
Review Date: 12/26/2008


Sensitive and descriptive, yet filled with action and emotion. I was one-third through with it before I realized the more public identity of the author. It was absolutely a page-turner.


Back to the Front : An Accidental Historian Walks the Trenches of World War 1
Review Date: 12/25/2008
Helpful Score: 1


The outline is a trip - mainly on foot - along the Western Front of WW1. At each location along the way, the author provides a detailed account of what happened there and dissusses its influence on the course of the war. It probably should not be the first book you ever read about WW1. But it is quite readable. There is a nice balance between the author's present-day adventure and the historical accounts. His writing is very visual so as to help you feel as if you are standing in the place he stands. He is not afraid express his views on actions taken by the generals of the various combatant countries.


A Brief History of Time : From the Big Bang to Black Holes
A Brief History of Time : From the Big Bang to Black Holes
Author: Stephen Hawking
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 76
Review Date: 11/22/2009
Helpful Score: 3


Hawking writes as plainly as possible for the non-expert reader, but the ideas get complicated eventually. At some point, I found myself reading the same way I read some science fiction. That is, just keep on and hope it makes sense before the end of the book. I enjoyed reading this famous book by such a prominent scientest. But it did not spur me to read more on the subject.


Carved in Bone (Body Farm, Bk 1)
Carved in Bone (Body Farm, Bk 1)
Author: Jefferson Bass
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 240
Review Date: 11/29/2009


I was looking forward to reading the book since it was cowritten by a legend in forensic anthropology. Indeed it is a very captivating story and I certainly enjoyed it. I was, however, disappointed that there are a lot of educational moments. These are points which veteran readers of forensic mystery (or if you watch "Bones" on TV) absolutely do not need. It slows down the action immensely. Further, you have to endure a lot of forced and often tired metaphors. While opening a grave, the backhoe scraped the roof of the vault "like a thousand fingernails on a thousan blackboards." Combine these two factors and I am not sure I need to read another one in the series.


Inspector Maigret and the Killers
Inspector Maigret and the Killers
Author: Georges Simenon
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 9/22/2016


I had wanted to read anything by Georges Simenon for a while when I found this book. Simenon crams a lot of plot and character into a short space. Nevertheless his style is terse and pithy. The characters are not the "hard-boiled" type we associate with other crime writer of the era. Rather, Maigret has to deal with his people's problems and personalities which are inseparable from their talents. Even some of the bad guys have redeemable personalities. The story is a little hard to follow and can slow down your progress through this short book, particularly if you get distracted by your unfamiliarity with Paris geography. But I enjoyed it and I need to sample more of Inspector Maigret.


The Janissary Tree (Yashim, Bk 1)
The Janissary Tree (Yashim, Bk 1)
Author: Jason Goodwin
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 48
Review Date: 1/3/2012


I have come to watch out for the description "historical novel" as a code-word for "romance novel." I want a book with an interesting plot that is part and parcel of the place and time, not just plopped down in it. This is definitely one. The author's incorporates a mystery plot which could only happen in the time and place he describes. And his detailed knowledge of the geography, customs, and technology of 19th-century Istanbul is artfully woven around the characters.


TENDER OFFER
TENDER OFFER
Author: Claire M. Johnson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 2/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 1/19/2009


1987
When Jamie Ricklehouse was growing up, an upper-crust heiress in the white-gloved 'fifties, the Two Great Unmentionables were sex and money. No one had sex. Everyone had- the other. It was just what you were, like being Episcopalian and summering on the Sound. It all forwed from The Firm - a distant downtown empire ruled by Jamie's omnipotent Daddy - J.S.
One fateful day, J.S. bestowed his thoroughbred princess in marriage, and entrusted her young husband with her pampered, leisured life. Oh dear. Somehow Jamie's stars got crossed - she's divorced, disinherited, and living at Bare Minimum. She's frightened, bewildered, but still her father's daughter - and fighting like hell to beat life's bottom line.


Viceroy of Ouidah
Viceroy of Ouidah
Author: Bruce Chatwin
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.
 1
Review Date: 2/22/2009


Based on actual historical figures in the history of Dahomey in west Africa. The writing is vivid, brisk, and only occasionally cryptic. Colorful characters act in a setting of which most modern readers were probably unaware until this novel appeared. Chatwin mainly wrote from his own adventurous experiences, and the material for this book was developed during a couple of those adventures.


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