Shaine H. - Reviews

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Abraham : A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths
Abraham : A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths
Author: Bruce Feiler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 23
Review Date: 2/7/2011


This is an excellent read and had me "thinking outside the box."
Mr. Feiler's research is so detailed and helped me understand the passion the 3 faiths have towards the Patriarch, Abraham.


Ahab's Wife : Or, The Star-gazer
Ahab's Wife : Or, The Star-gazer
Author: Sena Jeter Naslund
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 110
Review Date: 10/2/2011
Helpful Score: 2


This is a long and interesting read.
The author's use of language and descriptions are mesmerizing.
I always looked forward to picking up the book and reading the next chapters.
However, I found that towards the end of the story the plot seemed to thin out and did not hold my attention as much as at the start.
I learned a lot about the life of the intrepid whalers and their brave wives.


All Quiet on the Western Front
All Quiet on the Western Front
Author: Erich Maria Remarque, A. W. Wheen (Translator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 420
Review Date: 7/20/2012
Helpful Score: 2


Heart breaking to read how a generation of young men were killed or wounded under horrible conditions. And this was supposed to be the "war to end all wars!"


Biggest Riddle Book in the World
Biggest Riddle Book in the World
Author: Joseph Rosenbloom, Joyce Behr (Illustrator)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 7/20/2010


This book is packed with riddles that either have you groaning or laughing.
I bought it to get ideas when I wrote to my grandkids who were living in Iceland.
Those grandkids are now young adults so alas no more use for this treasure.
It is a fun book for grandparents, teachers or kids who love riddles.


The Book Thief
The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 1040
Review Date: 7/10/2012
Helpful Score: 1


From the first page through the last one....this story had me in a firm grip. I could not put the book down.
I found the writer's story telling style very different and unique.
I was sorry when the book ended.


City of Thieves
City of Thieves
Author: David Benioff
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 213
Review Date: 9/10/2012
Helpful Score: 1


Took me less than a week to read this novel.
It grabbed me from the first page and held me through to the last one.
A heartbreaking story of what war does to men interwoven with a heartwarming story of friendship between 2 mismatched characters.
Like all good novels..this one had a happy ending.


Disgrace
Disgrace
Author: J. M. Coetzee
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 186
Review Date: 4/15/2010
Helpful Score: 1


Sorry Mr. Coetzee .... I was disappointed in your book.
It has two fragmented themes running through the story.
Maybe I just did not "get it."
I enjoyed the real story - the one about the professor and his daughter and wished it could have gone on to reveal a conclusion.
However the secondary story that wove between the pages, the one about Byron and his love life - well I just did not get it.
This book left me feeling relieved that it was over!


Favorite Tales from the Arabian Nights' Entertainments (Dover Thrift Editions)
Review Date: 1/9/2010


I read the stories in my youth however decided to read them again in my "old age."
I found them as fascinating and intriguing now as I did then.
The plots cover absolutely everything...from love stories, murders, thieves, swindlers, liars, greed, mystery all rolled up in the most fantastic imaginative writings.
This translated edition by Richard F. Burton, takes a bit of getting used due to the English vocabulary used at the time in 1840s. However it is charming and easily understandable.
If you want to be transported to another time and place - this book will take you there


Galileo's Daughter : A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love
Galileo's Daughter : A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love
Author: Dava Sobel
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 215
Review Date: 4/21/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I tried ... I honestly tried to stick with this book and read it all.
I failed miserably. Only reached page 58!!
For those who are astronomy, history, politics, religious buffs this is a fascinating read.
I could not keep up with all the back-stabbing, lies, fawning and struggles this brilliant man had to endure.
I was hoping it was a story about his relationship with his daughter.
Alas it was not. Maybe if I had persevered she would have become involved in the story.
So I gave up and decided to move on to the next book on my bookshelf.


The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.4/5 Stars.
 180
Review Date: 2/10/2010
Helpful Score: 1


I absolutely loved this book.
The writer's powerful descriptions transported me to his home, neighborhood, town and country.
I just wish I could have visited the Afghanistan of Mr Hosseini's story.
Alas that will never be.
I was sorry when the book ended.


The Lovely Bones
The Lovely Bones
Author: Alice Sebold
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 2262
Review Date: 3/27/2010


I must be the only person to not understand all the "Hoo-Haa" surrounding this book.
I started out enjoying it and then couldn't wait to finish it ... not because it was a good read but because I wanted to know why everybody else thought it was a good read.
I found the story-line so fragmented that it was hard to keep all the characters in place.
It was a relief when it was over and left me with a feeling of "wha???"
Maybe it is only me but I did not have a feeling of "I wish the story had never ended."
It was a relief when it was over.
Sorry Ms Sebold. I must say though that she has a marvelous demand of description and emotions.


Night
Night
Author: Stella Rodway (Translator), Elie Wiesel
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 715
Review Date: 7/20/2012


I gave this book a 5 star rating even though the subject matter is very difficult to read let alone comprehend.
Mr. Wiesel takes you into the camp with him and you live every moment as if you are actually there.


Nine Parts of Desire : The Hidden World of Islamic Women
Nine Parts of Desire : The Hidden World of Islamic Women
Author: Geraldine Brooks
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 94
Review Date: 7/20/2011
Helpful Score: 1


This book was an eye-opener.
I thought I had an idea of what life was like for Muslim women.
My knowledge can only be described as the "tip of the iceberg"
I knew very little.
I can only say - Thank G-d I'm an American.
By the way as usual the author, Geraldine Brooks, leaves not a stone unturned.
Amazing detail and explanations.


Number the Stars
Number the Stars
Author: Lois Lowry
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 418
Review Date: 7/20/2012


A must read for any student studying the Holocaust.
As an adult it had me from Page 1.
There were "upstanders" and the Danes were a shining example.


People of the Book
People of the Book
Author: Geraldine Brooks
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 312
Review Date: 2/24/2011
Helpful Score: 1


This book had me from the beginning to the last page.
A wonderful read...captures one's imagination and at the same time educated me.
I highly recommend it.


Sarah's Key
Sarah's Key
Author: Tatiana de Rosnay
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 1469
Review Date: 3/5/2010
Helpful Score: 2


A non-stop read that held me captivated from the first page to the last.
I learned a lot about an ugly blot in history which was swept under the carpet and never talked about.
The 2 parallel stories was a new reading experience for me. I liked it very much.
This was an excellent book and I look forward to Ms de Rosnay's next one.


Shantaram
Shantaram
Author: Gregory David Roberts
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 83
Review Date: 12/23/2010


Whew!! This was a lengthy but interesting read.
The writer, Gregory David Roberts, has an amazing power of description (Maybe a bit too much at times.)
My one frustration was trying to keep all the characters lined up.
After a while it was just a blur of names, faces, and situations.
Vivid insight into a life one can't even imagine.
A good book for those long winter days/nights.


Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail
Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail
Author: Malika Oufkir, Michele Fitoussi, Ros Schwartz
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 177
Review Date: 5/9/2011


This was one of those books where you had better forget about doing anything else on your "to do" list.
It captured me from the first page to the last.
A quick read and totally captivating.
Also very revealing about the life of the privileged in Morocco.
How naive I was...and how disappointed I am about the inner workings of the leadership.


Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time
Review Date: 7/11/2010


An amazing undertaking under the most difficult conditions.
I hope I'm around in 10 years to see whether or not Mr. Mortenson's Herculean efforts have survived and taken fruit.


Water for Elephants
Water for Elephants
Author: Sara Gruen
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 4731
Review Date: 4/9/2010
Helpful Score: 1


This was a captivating eye-opener of a book about circus life during the Great Depression.
There were parts that were hard to read. The cruelty, injustices, dangers and life style were beyond imagination. The author, Sara Gruen, paid a wonderful tribute to circuses by going behind the scenes and allowing us to be part of the mayhem.
I loved this book from the first opening chapter until the last closing sentence.


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