Monday, January 28, 2013

Book review: Episode 4

Don't bother clicking on the pictures to look's just the way I copy the image from Amazon.  Sorry.

Well folks, I've been reading in between episodes of Downton Abbey.  Here's this post's selections:
The Boy In the Striped Pajamas has an interesting premise.  It's the story of a high-ranking officer's family who lives next to the Auschwitz concentration camp.  The 8 year old son of the officer is the narrator of the story.  The boy befriends another little boy on the inside of the fence at Auschwitz but doesn't truly understand what is going on around him.  It was a decent, quick read from a different point of view but I feel like other books have done a better job of telling similar stories. Recommended for those who feel that they can't sit through the hard to find 90 minute screen adaptation.

 I must be on a WWII/Jewish Holocaust book reading kick lately because I also read I Will Plant You a Lilac Tree: A Memoir Of a Schindler's List Survivor.  This would be a good example of a Holocaust book I feel was better than The Boy In the Striped Pajamas.  Told from the first person point of view of a Holocaust survivor who went to numerous concentration camps.  In the process, she lost her family but found her future spouse.  She was lucky enough to be on Oskar Schindler's list and the book includes a picture of her name on it.  Strongly recommended.  The End.

We return to the Pittacus Lore series with The Rise of Nine.  I liked this much more than the last offering, The Power of Six, that I reviewed a few months ago.  Definitely better than the last offering.  I believe there was a new writer in the collaboration for this one which may have helped but it's still teens and aliens and fighting to the death.  Recommended for those looking for a light read that means nothing in the grand scheme of things.  Or just those looking for teens and aliens and fighting to the death.

Notorious Nineteen: Janet Evanovich's latest installment of the Stephanie Plum/Ranger/Morelli saga.  It's time for the love triangle to be over, Janet.  I'm begging you to put this series out of its misery.  It's been over since about book 10.  (Yes, I realize that because I still read the book it perpetuates the cycle.  It's a vicious cycle but I can't get off!).
Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith 
Not sure what to say about this one.  It gives a pretty thorough background of the Mormon faith (beyond the sensationalized polygamy and magic underwear) but I can't say it was without the occasional snarky comment about religion in general from the author.  I would've enjoyed the book better if the author had stayed true to his journalist roots and was more neutral.  Also, the author's contention that it was a book about the murder of two people with a backdrop of the Mormon religion is a fallacy--it's more like a book about the Mormon religion with a splash of information about a highly publicized murder in the early 80's.  Beyond these issues, I still enjoyed the book.  To be honest, I didn't know much about the Mormon faith going into the book so as a nerd who LOVES to learn and obtain knowledge about things, it was great.  It also tells of Joseph Smith, the golden plates, how the Mormon influence in the west shaped early policy for the United States and the 24th of July Pioneer Day significance.
What am I reading now, you ask?  The book club selection for this month, Anna and the French Kiss.

1 comment:

Heidi said...

Thank you Anna! I normally am a big fan of the WW II era - my favorite in historical fiction but can't get into it right now for some reason. So tonight... Here I am at home, nothing to read... Until I remembered I had not read this post yet. Now, 5 min later, I downloaded Stephanie and the kiss from the library and I am set! Didn't even read about it- no idea what it is about. No problem... You recc. , I read!!! :)