Thursday, April 29, 2010

Another audio book: Lily White

I read another audio book on cassettes: Lily White by Susan Isaacs. It was a recording on two audio cassettes, running time approximately 3 hours. The abridgement has been approved by the author.

I usually like reading mystery novels, but this wasn't my favorite, although it wasn't bad.

Lee White, a Long Island ciminal defense lawyer, defends Norman Torkelson, a career con man charged with strangling his latest mark. It's interesting to read how the case develops.
At the same time, we also get some of the back story of Lee's life, but really not enough to connect to her. Therefore, it seemed kind of irrelevant in the end, even though it takes up a lot of space in the book.

(This is book number 15 for the challenge)

Friday, April 16, 2010

Walking with God calmed me down

I just finished reading Walking with God by Ginni Otto. I got this book through a book ring on Bookcrossing.

I really enjoyed reading the book. It came just at the right time for me. I was stressed preparing the income tax return and whenever I needed a break, I picked up the book. It really calmed me down to read this story, even the obviously sad parts.

I found the premise of the book very interesting. I'm a Christian and I like Sci-Fi - Rachel's trip was kind of like time travel to me, so it fit right in. At first I also (similar to another reader) thought Why did the author leave out all these other details, especially during Good Friday, but then rethought that, it would have been too artificially crammed to fit all the Biblical details in. The story probably had a better flow this way. I think I would have enjoyed more details on the Jewish customs and how they interact (and sometimes seem to interfere) with the new Christian life of the people in the book.

For the next edition, someone should get the remaining typos out of the book. There were some funny ones in there, mostly misspellings like "know" instead of "now" that the spell checker wouldn't catch.

Overall, a great book, I'm glad I had a chance to read it. If there's a sequel, I'd love to read that as well.

I just found that it's in Google books, if it intrigues you, have a look at the Google books entry for Walking with God.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Passion of Jesus Christ

I finished reading The Passion of Jesus Christ: Fifty Reasons Why He Came to Die by John Piper yesterday. I received this book from a bookcrosser one and a half years ago and finally got around to reading it.
I started during Lent but only finished yesterday. It's good to get all those reminders and also some new aspects that I may not have thought of why Jesus suffered and died.

I think because the author probably wanted a round number like 50 reasons and each chapter on just two pages, sometimes the text seemed a little contrived and didn't flow well. But overall the content was good to read.

I already have someone in mind who I'll probably send this book to very soon. But if you read this and would like the book and are willing to make a journal entry at bookcrossing, please let me know.

For the 50 book challenge,this is book number 13.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Chocolate War disappointing

I was pretty doubtful about the book throughout. Why didn't any of the students tell their parents about the weird things that were going on at school? No parents at all seemed to be involved in anything at the school? That's pretty unbelievable. If there are really schools like that, especially "exclusive prep schools" like this one was supposed to be, that's really sad.

The end was very unsatisfying as well. I'm used by now to novels not having a happy or definite ending, but this was beyond that. More unfinished than any book even with planned sequels that I've ever read.

The cover of the audio book says "The Chocolate War is a brilliant, unflinching portrait of vicious mob cruelty and conformity in an exclusive prep school. A gripping story from one of the most provocative writers in modern young adult literature, it will hold you spellbound until the final, anguished fight on the football fields of Trinity School."

Well, the first sentence is true. But the story is not really gripping. I'm not easily giving up on books so I kept listening to it in the hopes it would improve, but this is so negative, it's definitely not suited for young adults. Every little glimps of courage and positive action is extinguished either immediately or after a while. That's worse than in the most grueling book or movie I've read and seen about eras like Nazi Germany even.

It's a disappointing and depressing book where the only lesson to be learned seemed to be that it's best to give up and conform because in the end everything will be useless anyway and the bad side wins. I guess some people like that kind of thing.

You might wonder why I even chose tho read this book. Well, it was one of the audio books on the sale shelf at my local library. And the description in the back sounded kind of interesting. That's about it. I made this into a bookcrossing book, maybe someone else will like it better.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Two more books

I listened to "A Visit to Mark Twain's House". It's really a radio show that was put on audio cassette, but I'll count it as a book, because it fits in well with all the audio books. I got it as a bookcrossing book, so I made a journal entry there.
This wasn't as exciting as I had expected. Yes, we did get to hear some snippets of Mark Twain's humorous writings, but they didn't package it as interestingly as they could have. Maybe it was Garrison Kaillor's voice, he sounded kind of boring even when telling something funny and he sounded disinterested when he described something that was interesting to him. The fact that music doesn't sound very good on my cheap cassette player may have contributed to it as well.

They do point out some of the interesting things that happened while Mark Twain lived in the house, though, and describe some of the interesting items and furniture he had.

Yesterday, my husband gave me a couple of German books that he didn't want anymore. I quickly read satirical drama The Physicists (Die Physiker) by Friedrich Duerrenmatt, it's less than 80 pages. It deals with issues concerning science and its responsibility for dramatic and even dangerous changes to our world. It also has elements of a murder mystery.

So now I'm up to 11 books for the challenge.