Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
Sinful Folk, written by Ned Hayes, is a beautiful tale. It's amazing that the author was able to weave this tale out of a couple of lines from Decanter. Mear or Merriam is a woman who is forced to flee, with her newborn son. Fearing for both her life and the life or her child she leaves her high position behind. Accidentally she becomes a man, and a peasant, hiding in a small village. The terrible murder of five boys, her son among them, forces Merriam along a journey that threatens to bring all of her secrets to the surface. This tale is highly emotional, it brings attention to the suffering peasants went through, and their lack of power, as well as their survival is based wholly on the mercy of those in power. The suspense is constant, keeping boredom at bay. My heart strings were pulled tightly throughout this tale; my want for the characters success was intense to say the least. Sinful Folk is a harrowing look at the dangers and maltreatment peasants endured. The majority of books I have read that take place in medieval times are based around the nobility. It's refreshing to read a novel about the peasant class. I think Sinful Folk can be enjoyed by a wide range of readers.
Monday, January 20, 2014
I really enjoyed The Arnifour Affair; it takes place in Victorian London, with a good amount of time spent in the famous Whitechapel district. The novel is follows work of a private detective Mr. Pendragon and his partner Mr. Pruitt as they use methods of detection to solve crimes. Mr. Pruitt is the narrator of this mystery; his narration of events adds authenticity to the time period this novel takes place in. I just adore the language that is used throughout the novel. The vocabulary Harris uses is indicative for the time and some of the language is no longer used in modern times. The language helps the reader become wholly immersed in the world that this mystery is taking place in. There isn't a moment that Harris deviates from the mood of the time, no inclines towards modern times. In The Arnifour Affair, Mr. Pendragon is hired to solve the murder of Mrs. Arnifour's husband and the attack on her niece who is left in a coma. Mrs. Arnifour wholly believes that the Yard is botching up the investigation and that they have the wrong man, so she seeks the help of Mr. Pendragon to find the real criminal. The Arnifour Affair is filled with lively colorful characters that make this novel a joy to read. I lost myself in this tale, a tale filled with opium dens, ruined reputations, clever criminals, and mouthy housekeepers.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Journey to Civilization: The Science of How We Got Here was written by a science teacher of 30 years, Roger P. Briggs. In this book Briggs sets out to tell the story of our universe; how it was created and evolved to the world today using only scientific theories and methods.
I am unsure on where to begin with in regards to this book. This is not normally the type of book that I would choose to read, but I agreed to read it and give my honest opinion. Briggs is very enthusiastic and excited about this subject and I could feel his passion for science bleed through the page. His positive energy and passion for sharing this information is apparent in every word. If I had been watching the Briggs give a lecture on this subject, I would have been more involved and able to soak in more because I imagine him being the type of lecturer who is so enthusiastic about his subject that I wouldn’t be able to space out, I would be wholly drawn in. Being that I am not a ‘science person’ and have never sought out reading about science unless it is an educational requirement, I found myself spacing out while I was reading this book. Especially when a math problem is placed before me. As soon as I see a math problem my mind recoils, shuts down and goes to a 'special place' where the math in no longer able to harass it. That being said I did have some issues making it through this book, but my dislike of science and math shouldn’t make people who enjoy science pass over this title.
Journey to Civilization: The Science of How We Got Here; covers a wide variety of scientific specialties from Astronomers, to Cosmologists, from Microbiologists to Physical Anthropologists and a few more I am sure I am missing. Briggs gives a wonderful overview about how life was created, through scientific theory, from the creation of our galaxy, to the first beginnings of life up to where we are today. This book isn't bogged down with overly complicated explanations. Even if I spaced out, it is written for the non-expert or beginning scientist. I think this book would be best enjoyed by students who want to get a general overview of these scientific specialties, as well as people who are interest in the scientific theories of how our world was created and evolved.
Monday, January 13, 2014
Friday, January 10, 2014
Eric Jager presents his historical crime novel Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris in a classic layout for a murder mystery, which works in its favor. The ‘detective’ in this tale, Guillaume de Tignonville or Sir Guillaume, uses logic and reasoning to solve this murder even though it was popular to use torture as a means to solve a crime. He is highly successful in proving what he set out to do when writing this novel, which was to show the forward thinking of Sir Guillaume with the methods he used to solve this crime.
For lack of a better word it’s insane the things people did and got away with during medieval times. Just, crazy! A lot of things that happen in this book could easily be featured in a fiction book. When I look at this book as just a history book, it was easy to understand, it wasn’t boring or stuffy. Although I do not speak French, which I wish I did because it would be awesome to know how some of the names and places are pronounced, the author immediately translated any French phrases he included in the book. I also really liked his descriptions of places and documents, which were followed by picture of the actual documents or artists renditions of architecture or people. There was only one part of the book that was a bit slow, this is right after the crime is solved and the author goes through the history between the killer and victim. I really don’t know how that could be fixed. This is the only part where the book dragged, but it didn’t take away from my love of this book. I would recommend Blood Royal: A True Tale of Crime and Detection in Medieval Paris to people who enjoy reading history, true crime, or fantasy (even though there isn’t any magic.).
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
First I need to say that I received this book as a Goodreads; First Read Giveaway.This book was a good read, a really good read. The main characters are easy to sympathize with, and as well as rich and complex in their emotions and what motivates them. Similar to peeling an onion, Sue Monk Kidd artfully peels back the layers of the complex friendships and family relationships that develop and transform throughout The Invention of Wings. The horrors that people endured through slavery as well as the trials people went through to abolish slavery are artfully depicted in this book. There are more subjects that are covered in this book than just slavery, it’s also a coming of age story as well as a thread that contains the theme of, ‘Not giving up on dreams, to follow your heart/soul, no matter what kind of naysayers you have around you.’ Although this book has darkness in it, this book has more of an uplifting feel to it. The Invention of Wings captures the human spirit, how even in the darkest times of history there are still good-hearted people who will fight injustices and as long as they remain strong they can overcome evil or oppressors. I think that this book would be enjoyed by just about anybody, it should be read and passed on to friends and families. Being that this is my first Sue Monk Kidd book, I look forward to reading her other works.