Whatcha reading?

Whatcha reading?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Female Brain: Louann Bizendine

This book was fascinating. It not only talks about the female brain, but compares to the male brain and the teenage brain, scientifically explaining what is going on in different situations and how it differs at different times of the month even after the teenage years. I liked that it was completely readable and not solely a scientific read.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


https://serialpodcast.org/season-one This was really interesting. It was in the format of a woman talking to you about a high school boy, Adnan, who was charged with murdering his girlfriend. He has been in prison for 15 years and the judge has ordered another trial. Evidently some of the facts that put Adnan into prison were not validated. The woman talking does her own investigating and we get caught up in the case ourself. We are on a roller-coaster on believing he is guilty, then innocent, then guilty. The timeframe for the murder is possible, but unlikely. The person who found the body seems suspicious. The friend, Jay, that potentially aided in the crime and pointed fingers to Adnan seems sketchy as his story keeps changing. the story is given in several ways- the site has documents you can look at, people are interviewed and you can hear the interviews. The do a really good job of using actual places and having the interviews all sound like they are coming from different sources, phones, taped interviews etc.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

All The Missing Girls: Megan Miranda

A woman, Nicolette, goes back to her hometown because her brother had to put their father in assisted living. She comes back to help sell the house before she gets married. While at home she meets up with her old boyfriend, Tyler, and their past comes up to haunt them. The story moves linear then jumps ahead 10 days and moves backwards to add suspense. At first I found this really annoying, but once you get used to it, it worked really well- plus you can always go back and read it in linear order. You find out "Nic's" best friend went missing 10 years ago while they were still in school. While Nic is at home cleaning the house she realizes a lot of her stuff including Corrine is missing, then her neighbor goes missing. She breaks into her house and finds her missing memorabilia. The clock starts ticking backwards and we are in confusion as we learn Nic was pregnant, she and Tyler were going to get married, Corrine wasn't the sweet innocent girl Nic tries to remember her as and Nic may have unintentionally killed her. The story from 10 years ago starts to unravel when her father tells the assisted living staff that he remembers seeing Corrine that night she disappeared and the case gets reopened. The neighbor girl trys to black mail Nic as she evidently has been doing to her father over the last few years because she has a photo of Corinne's body on their porch 10 years ago. The boys dig out their barn which had gotten a cement floor about the time of the disappearance and find Corrine's body. Soon after the neighbor girls body is found and we assume she was killed by Nic's pregnant sister-in-law. Nic had unknowingly killed Corrine, hitting her with Tyler's truck in the accident where she lost her baby.

In the skin of a jihadist: Anna Erelle

This is an interesting book in several different ways. A journalist starts talking to a terrorist over SKYPE using a false Identity. She is trying to figure out how young adults get caught up in the "freedom fighting" leaving their country to become a terrorist. Surprisingly enough he reaches out to her because she is a "young woman lost in the world" It was creepy how confident this "Bilal" was on getting this young woman to see things his way. He seemed to truly fall for her, but was outrageous in his demands and attitude. How would a woman want to leave her home to go to a desert and be treated like a slave? It is all very bizarre, especially how he claimed he would marry her and treat her like a queen. What do these people think that means? Bilal insisted no one see "Melody's" face and she come to Syria to be with him. Without her consent he claims they have become husband and wife online because he spoke with a priest who did it. Would a young woman ACTUALLY think that was a valid marriage and she had a husband? How can these new recruits be so naïve- I had a hard time trying to figure out why anyone would do this, he came across soo creepy in addition to being a terrorist and murderer! I appreciated that the author put in the book the trouble she had becoming two people - the rage she would have to hide while being melody and the frustration she had not being able to do more to help innocent people. I was also glad to have her add the human side to further differentiate herself from this man. When she heard he died it really bothered her and she needed to know if her dealings with him had something to do with it. She couldn't stomach the thought that she could have been responsible for someone's death.

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot: Margot Theis Raven

This was a cute little children's book paying homage to the real chocolate pilot Gail Halvorsen. The story is short and sweet about children expecting Gail to drop candy directly to their house from his airplane, some children even included maps for him to use.

The Princess Diarist:Carrie Fisher

I really enjoyed this book. It was mostly about the romance? between Carrie and Harrison and her life while filming Star Wars. I loved her poetry it was both dark and hauntingly personal. The ending was nicely done, it ended the book in an uplifting way talking about doing autograph signings and the crazy things people say. This was a nice tribute to her life in Star Wars, though sadly she wouldn't have known it at the time.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Dressmaker's War: Mary Chamberlain

This was a very good book that pointed out the gender gap during WWII. A young woman hoping to move up from her family's working class, got a job as a dressmaker right before WWII. Shortly afterward she meets a suspicious man, Stan, who seemed to be courting her. He invites her to Paris, where she has always wanted to go because they are so advanced in their fashion. She believes he is taking her there to propose. She makes her family believe she was going for work. What actually happen is War breaks out and they are stuck in France. She is forced to find a job and support them both. France is invaded and since the man didn't have a passport, she was able to get them out into Belgium, where he leaves her. In desperation she seeks asylum in a convent. When the convent is invaded the nuns were sent to Germany to take care of their elderly. A few months into the assignment she realizes she is pregnant and gives birth to a stillborn baby, but she believes the baby is alive and taken to an orphanage. She is sexually abused by one of the old men, who gets her reassigned to a home in dacha right by the camp. She is locked in a room and given sewing assignments, one for Eva Braun. Years later the Americans free her and she makes it back to England believing she will save up some money and come back for her son. Her mother calls her a whore and wants nothing to do with her. She gets a job as a waitress and then becomes a prostitute because she can make more money. Her naivety keeps her from realizing her boyfriend is actually her primp and she is forced to have sex with one of his friends, who ends up being Stan. She kills him and stands trial where it is exposed she suffered a mental break after the birth of her son and her different view of reality causes the jury to think she is crazy, at the end of the book she is walking to be hanged in prison.

The Apocalypse Directive: Douglas MacKinnon

This book was good and really pulled the reader in, but it seemed to end abruptly. There is a conspiracy in the White House. The President and a group of followers of a Christian extremist group work to hasten the end of the world. They have built a bunker at the bottom of the ocean to wait out the nuclear fallout they have plotted to start. The Vice President and a few officials in the CIA have uncovered the plot which was narrowly avoided. The President commits suicide by exploding the bunker killing all those closest to him who were also in it.