Whatcha reading?

Whatcha reading?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fighting Terrorism: Binyamin Netanyahu

This was an interesting book not only because of the opinion of the author and how he would go forward; but on how the evidence of terrorism and historical events were grouped together and explained. The author is currently the Prime Minister of Israel and has been called on by the US for his knowledge. He has written several books and is a noteworthy individual on his own account.  I learned a lot about terrorism in our own country as well as globally. He also spoke of what worked and what didn't as well as the importance of timing. This was a short read and thought-provoking throughout.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Don't Sleep, There are Snakes: Daniel Everett

This was a very interesting book about living in the amazons with the Piraha people. The author was a missionary, but I like that he was more focused on learning their language then ruining their culture and changing their beliefs. One thing that stands out that irritated me was when his wife and daughter got malaria and he just left them with his in laws with his healthy children and then went back to the Amazon seemingly "without the luggage". That might not have been how it played out, but he thought he was going to lose his wife and left. ANYway, the rest of the book was amazing. I like how he spoke first of the people so you felt like you started to know them and then compared the language. It was interesting how they lived for the now and didn't get depressed like we do on death and hunger, how they laughed when their houses blew over and didn't mind all the bugs.(though it didn't seem like the mosquitoes bothered them much) Child rearing was approached logically where they don't get coddled, but prepared for the difficulties in life.  The linguistic section was fascinating and he did a great job explaining without using a bunch of jargon or making the story seem dry. The idea of no directions like left or right and just in relation to things in the environment, and the humor that the natives could always be messing with him was entertaining. I liked learning about different communication abilities such as humming and whistling and the differences between the two.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Evolution of Mara Dyer: Michelle Hodkin

It gets better. This book has slow parts in the beginning and middle, but once it gets its footing it moves quickly. I think once you realize the foreshadowing is accurate  and not an attempt to throw you off track, the book gets better. In this one Mara has flashbacks? of a life in India with her abilities. Her grandmother's doll had a necklace inside identical to her boyfriend's necklace and Mara's family becomes even more distant bringing Noah closer. Jude, the boyfriend who mysteriously survived, shows up and the reader questions how many innocent people will die before the experiment is over. I just didn't understand why these people would all be under an experiment when they were originally so geographically separated. I had trouble buying into that.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Pretty Is What Changes: Jessica Queller

Emotional book about finding out you have the cancer gene and what to do with that information. The narrator watched her mother battle two types of cancer and decided to get tested after losing her to a long battle. She tested positive. The book was mostly about what to do with that information and which action to take. Monitor for cancer and always live in fear, or get a mastectomy and wonder if you needed it. She courageously chose the mastectomy. The test result post surgery showed she did have some cancer in one of the breasts, making her realize she chose correctly. This book made me cry often and really forced me to think, the writer was about my age when she found out she tested positive for the gene. A must read.

Friday, January 18, 2013

I Like You: Amy Sedaris

This was a funky and hilarious book on entertaining and hospitality given in scrapbook form, or at least the feeling of getting a piece of the writer was portrayed in the book's style and delivery. Some of the humor left me wondering if she was serious, like having a "garage sale" type table and making guests buy stuff before they leave...

DisQuiet: Julia Leigh

A very short, macabre story. It is interesting in that we never learn the woman's name and the children misbehave constantly, sometimes she corrects them and others she doesn't appear to care. The sister in law comes with their baby who died in birth and put her in the freezer, refusing to bury her. eventually the story ends with the funeral. The story didn't have much affect on me because I didn't get to know the characters or feel much for them.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer: Michelle Hodkin

Wow, What a book!! I love how it ended so up in the air about what she will do with what she just found out. This story was very reminiscent of Hunger Games in that the character is very likable, very real, and I evidently appreciate sarcastic protagonists.
 This was a fast paced Novel, so mush happened in such a short time. A girl wakes up from a coma and cannot remember how her friends died in a building collapse or why she was even there, but she made it out alive. They find two of the three friends' remains. She cannot face school and has constant hallucinations so she convinces her family to move. The hallucinations follow her and she meets a boy that also has "problems". People continue dying around her and then her father is the attorney for a murderer in the area, who is found not guilty. A lot of other things happen, but it is definitely a book worth reading for yourself. Especially when the missing friend shows up in Florida at the end of the book. I want to know why he followed her...   I just wish the outcome with Jamie had been different.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Predictably Irrational: Dan Ariely

An incredibly interesting book about how people react and why we do odd things. I loved the different people he experimented on, from unsuspecting trick or treaters to nurses testing bandage treatments. My favorite chapters where why we are obsessed with free things and the social vrs. market norms. Why people were more willing to volunteer services and get paid nothing rather than get paid a much smaller fee than they normally accepted. Marketing was interesting too, to sell bread machines the company had to make another more expensive machine since there was nothing else like it at the time and consumers had nothing to compare the machine to, not knowing if it was a good deal or not. I liked the testing he did on college students about cheating and due dates. Very entertaining and educational read.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The White Darkness: Geraldine Mccaughrean

A clever original book geared towards teens. After a girl's father mysteriously dies her father's friend, whom she calls Uncle Victor, moves in with them. He plans a trip for them to France and then hides Sym's mother's passport so she can't go. Victor then takes Sym to Antarctica where he is obsessed with the idea of a hole in the earth where other worlds are accessible (think journey to the center of the earth) Through a lot of dirty dealings Sym learns the truth about Uncle Victor, his plans for her, and she learns about herself. The end is interesting where you wonder if Sym's imaginary friend- who is the deceased Titus Oates, is really all that imaginary. I really enjoyed this book!