John M. - Reviews

1 to 4 of 4
America the Beautiful
America the Beautiful
Author: Moon Unit Zappa
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 2/18/2010


A little slow and tedious at first, but as a fan of Frank Zappa, I felt I owed it to the author to stick it out. And I'm glad I did, in spite of the "chick lit" vibe I got when I began reading. The story was a funny, sad, and just plain entertaining journey into the crazy, mixed-up world of America Throne, daughter of a genius.

It'd be easy to say that this is fiction based on Moon's own life, but isn't all fiction based on someone's life to an extent?


The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1)
The City of Ember (Ember, Bk 1)
Author: Jeanne Duprau
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 310
Review Date: 12/31/2009


This is a series I'd been eyeing for quite a while, and I'm glad I finally was able to dive in. In a world at once familiar and alien, an unlikely pair of youngsters unlock a secret that may save their entire civilization. The City of Ember may be crumbling around them, but those in charge want to stay in charge and avoid a change that could rock Ember to its foundations.

Duprau creates the vision of a failing world of doom and gloom that is constantly trying to keep the oppressive darkness at bay. The pace is a bit slow at first, but you'll find yourself pulled into the action once things start to take off. Some characters come across as cartoonish almost Dickensian villains, but the heroes are kids you can really root for. Book 2 is already on its way to me, and I can't wait!


One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd
One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd
Author: Jim Fergus
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 683
Review Date: 7/19/2010


This is one of those books that manages to be entertaining, gut-wrenching, and thought-provoking all at once. A kind of "what if?" historial novel, ONE THOUSAND WHITE WOMEN explores a woman's journey to an almost alien world, where her concept of "civilized" people is quickly turned around on itself.

If you liked the non-fiction BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE, you'll enjoy this fictional account of the white man's war against the plains Indians.


A Year Down Yonder (Grandma Dowdel, Bk 2)
A Year Down Yonder (Grandma Dowdel, Bk 2)
Author: Richard Peck, Steve Cieslawski (Illustrator)
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.
 24
Review Date: 1/28/2010


I really enjoyed the first book (A Long Way from Chicago) and, frankly, I never expected this sequel to live up to its predecessor. Turns out Mary Alice Dowdel is even more interesting than her older brother Joey as she and Grandma Dowdel bond in a series of adventures that have to be read to be fully appreciated. A truly wonderful read from front to back and one of those rare books that makes you slow down toward the end so you can enjoy it as long as possible.


1 to 4 of 4