Reviews by Beverly D. (Palm Harbor, FL)

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Losing My Cool: How a Father's Love and 15,000 Books Beat Hip-hop Culture
by Thomas Chatterton Williams
a young man's look at hip hop (4/5/2010)
Williams examines the seductiveness and potential dangers of the hip hop lifestyle as it applied to him as a young man growing up in Plainfield,N.J. Ultimately finding his "place" through the study of Hegel, Heidegger and his father's unending belief in study & learning, Williams is able to love the music but ignore the philosophy and find his way as a young African -American philosopher and first time author.
Heresy
by S.J. Parris
blend of fact & fiction (12/5/2009)
For fans of historical thrillers (i.e. Cadfael series) this is for you. A very clever,sophisticated who-dunnit with twists & turns along the way. The writing is good; not great... I did find myself plodding through some sections .
The Lieutenant
by Kate Grenville
Australia & the Astronomer (9/23/2009)
I very much enjoyed this book. Grenville's fictionalized account of the British colonization of Australia gives an immediate & intimate perspective of the newly formed penal colony. The interactions between the "natives" and eccentric protagonist Daniel Rooke are small jewels of description. His interest and friendship with the natives rings true, as does his realization of what's important in his life. I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy literary fiction; a thought provoking read.
The Weight of a Mustard Seed: The Intimate Story of an Iraqi General and His Family During Thirty Years of Tyranny
by Wendell Steavenson
Frustrating (2/10/2009)
This book could have been so much more, if only to put a human face on our "enemies". It does give the reader a sense of how Saddam was able to make Iraq into his personal fiefdom; it did not convey to me how Gen. Sachet's turnaround "moral journey " evolved. The chronological sequence of events, told through different interviews (family, military peers) becomes very confusing. Ms Steavenson's subject remains an enigma. I would not recommend this book.
It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: My Adventures in Life and Food
by Moira Hodgson
echoes of Ruth Reichl (7/6/2008)
What a life ! I love reading about food and the associated memories Ms.Hodgson shares her unusual early years, growing up all over the world, while telling stories of family, friends and travel AND includes recipes. She has a breezy, casual style that makes this book an easy read.
The Fisher Boy
by Stephen H. Anable
Mystery, love story, travelogue ? (3/3/2008)
I had a very difficult time with this first novel. The plot is convoluted to the point that I had a problem trying to sort through all the main characters. Each chapter brings another element into the plot with expansive, even rambling description that does nothing to move the story along. I felt I was being exposed to the author's diligent research. I would not recommend this book.
Before I Die
by Jenny Downham
Good First Effort (9/19/2007)
Before I Die is a good first effort. I felt that the first half of the book needed tighter editing; if you can get there, the second half flowed a lot better with more "action". The adult characters were not as developed as the teens were, guess that's why it's a teen/young adult novel. Because we are given Tessa's feelings about death and dying, the theme is reminiscent of The Lovely Bones.
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