Thursday, May 30, 2013

27. Monkeewrench

By P. J. Tracy.  
Rated 4.5

My Granddaughter Nicky highly recommended this book to me.I was a little leery of it as she tends to read things like Patricia Cornwall books with lots of gore in them.  She isn't bothered by gore as her job exposes her to lots of it while I'm more the cosy mystery type reader.  But this book is kind of between the two types.  Some violence but not too much. :)  And a right out of the blue ending.  I love mysteries that keep you hanging until the very last page.

Publisher Description:

People are dying for the new computer game by the software company Monkeewrench. Literally. With Serial Killer Detective out in limited release, the real-life murders of a jogger and a young woman have already mimicked the first two scenarios in the game.

But Grace McBride and her eccentric Monkeewrench partners are caught in a vise. If they tell the Minneapolis police of the link between their game and the murders, they'll shine a spotlight on the past they thought they had erased-and the horror they thought they'd left behind. If they don't, eighteen more people will die...

Friday, May 24, 2013

28. George VI

By Denis Judd
Rated: 4.5

I hated to pay the kindle price for this book but finally broke down and bought it anyway.  It was very well written and it completes my close look at Britain during WW2 and the post war years I've had going for a while.

Publishers Description:

George VI was the man not born to be king. He nonetheless rescued the British monarchy in the aftermath of the abdication crisis and cemented its prestige with his well-judged performance during World War II and the Blitz. In this acclaimed biography, Denis Judd tells the story of Prince Bertie’s transformation into King George VI including his struggle with a crippling shyness and sense of inadequacy, exacerbated by the stammer which was the focus of the Oscar-winning film The King’s Speech. His marriage to the self-assured and supportiveElizabeth Bowes-Lyons and his unexpected accession to the throne in 1936 changed the direction of the young prince’s life for good. Once on the throne, it was he who bore the weighty responsibility for restoring the nation’s confidence in their monarchy following his elder brother’s abdication, and for maintaining morale during the darkest days of World War II, when, together with Winston Churchill, his dignified presence functioned as a beacon of reassurance to civilians and military alike. Denis Judd provides a fascinating, if sometimescontroversial, reassessment of the man who, quite unexpectedly, came to occupy an extraordinary position in a time of unprecedented change.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

29. Columbine

By:  Dave Cullen
Rated:  4 Stars

The best part of the book was how the community managed to take back their school and put the tragic events behind them and create a normal, positive high school experience for the students in the future.  Of course I knew that perfectly well having "watched" so to speak a friend's kid's have just that.  A normal, positive and excellent  high school experience there.

Book Description:

On April 20, 1999, two boys left an indelible stamp on the American psyche. Their goal was simple: to blow up their school, Oklahoma-City style, and to leave "a lasting impression on the world." Their bombs failed, but the ensuing shooting defined a new era of school violence-irrevocably branding every subsequent shooting "another Columbine."

When we think of Columbine, we think of the Trench Coat Mafia; we think of Cassie Bernall, the girl we thought professed her faith before she was shot; and we think of the boy pulling himself out of a school window -- the whole world was watching him. Now, in a riveting piece of journalism nearly ten years in the making, comes the story none of us knew. In this revelatory book, Dave Cullen has delivered a profile of teenage killers that goes to the heart of psychopathology. He lays bare the callous brutality of mastermind Eric Harris, and the quavering, suicidal Dylan Klebold, who went to prom three days earlier and obsessed about love in his journal. 

The result is an astonishing account of two good students with lots of friends, who came to stockpile a basement cache of weapons, to record their raging hatred, and to manipulate every adult who got in their way. They left signs everywhere, described by Cullen with a keen investigative eye and psychological acumen. Drawing on hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of police files, FBI psychologists, and the boy's tapes and diaries, he gives the first complete account of the Columbine tragedy.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

30. The Ashford Affair

By:  Lauren Willig
Rated:  2.5 Stars
Audio Book

I would have given this book a higher rating except that I felt like it was only half there.  Unless the author is planning to write the other half of this book and publish it as a second book it ends in a very unsatisfactory place.

The character of Bea is very well developed until about half way into the story and then she disappears, both literally and figuratively from the book only to appear at the end to wrap up the ending with an apparently exciting story to tell that was only hinted at but left untold.  It ticked me off to be left hanging like that in a story, hence the 2.5 star rating for what would otherwise have been at least a solid 4 Star rating.

Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Lauren Willig comes The Ashford Affair, a story about two women in different eras, and on different continents, who are connected by one deeply buried secret.
As a lawyer in a large Manhattan firm, just shy of making partner, Clementine Evans has finally achieved almost everything she’s been working towards - but now she’s not sure it’s enough. Her long hours have led to a broken engagement and, suddenly single at 34, she feels her messy life crumbling around her. But when the family gathers for her grandmother Addie’s 99th birthday, a relative lets slip hints about a long-buried family secret, leading Clemmie on a journey into the past that could change everything.
Growing up at Ashford Park in the early 20th century, Addie has never quite belonged. When her parents passed away, she was taken into the grand English house by her aristocratic aunt and uncle, and raised side-by-side with her beautiful and outgoing cousin, Bea. Though they are as different as night and day, Addie and Bea are closer than sisters, through relationships and challenges, and a war that changes the face of Europe irrevocably. But what happens when something finally comes along that can’t be shared? When the love of sisterhood is tested by a bond that’s even stronger?
From the inner circles of British society to the skyscrapers of Manhattan and the red-dirt hills of Kenya, the never-told secrets of a woman and a family unfurl.

Friday, May 3, 2013

26. Dali Lama - Man, Monk, Myth.Mayank

By:  Mayank Chhaya
Rated 4 Stars
Audio Book

I really admire the Dalai Lama.  He is a true man of peace.  This is a well written biography that tells of his early life and the events that caused him to flee from Tibet and his impact on Eastern Thought.  I am being drawn more and more towards the Eastern POV the older I get and the more disillusioned I get with Christianity.  It seems to me that most Christians don't follow the teachings of Christ.

Publisher's Summary

An authorized biography of one of the world's greatest spiritual leaders.
Written with the full co-operation of the Dalai Lama, this fascinating, up-to-date biography captures the public persona and enduring mystery behind one of the world's most important spiritual leaders.