Three Things I learned

The Bone Labyrinth by James Rollins; 2015; $27.99; 471 pages; William Morrow, New York, NY; 978-0-06-238164-4; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Fairview; 12/16/15-12/20/15

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant adrenaline of a good thriller is the Bone Labyrinth.  Genetically modified creatures, the onset of human intelligence, the relationship between animals and humans, the lost civilization of Atlantis, language, Sigma Force and more.  As three separate groups of Sigma operatives chase one secrets from France to Croatia to Ecuador and China.  We get a great story that combines history, science and military espionage.  I will not spoil the story, there are so many disparate parts that Rollins pulls together to make a compelling story.  The hardest thing about reading his books is putting them down.

Grade A

Did I enjoy it?  Immensely.  This is a book that defines the word pageturner.  I couldn’t stop reading until I dropped the book.

What is with the title of the review?  1. 37 is the answer to life, universe and everything.  2. One of my favorite characters gets married.  3. One of my favorite characters dies.

Suffering Sophomore Slump

Codex Born, Magic Ex Libris, Book Two by Jim C. Hines, 2013; $24.95; 326 pages; DAW Books, Inc, New York, NY; 978-0-7564-0816-9; Fiction; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Woodstock;2/11/14-2/12/14

Why did I pick this up?  I had read the first book in this series and was looking forward to this one.

What is the story?  The father of someone who died in the first book is out for revenge.  He only kinda knows about magic so he is about to unleash some really evil stuff.  He uses some magic that is unknown to Isaac and the other Porters.  He is targeting Isaac and Lena and unleashes all kinds of stuff against them.  Isaac has to rely on werewolves and friendly vampires and ancient Libromancers like Gutenberg to win.  It is interesting to see what can be pulled from books to fight evil.

Did I like it?  Yes, but not as much as the first book.  Much of this seemed more forced, this might have a good idea for just one book but not a series.  See if there are any more coming and give them another chance.

Grade-A-.

What is with the title of the review?  Often athletes have a slump in the second year, sequels are not usually as good as the first book or movie.  This series seems to be suffering a sophomore slump

Stevie Wonder nailed it!

A Brief History of Thought, a philosophical guide to living by Luc Ferry; 2010; $14.99; 282 pages; Harper Perennial, New York, NY; 978-0-06-207424-9;purchased from Amazon.com; 11/5-11/9

Why did I pick this up?  It is the book the corner reading society is meeting to discuss next weekend, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have finished it.

What is the story?  A comprehensive history of philosophy from Aristotle and Socrates to the current day.  As with much of philosophy there is a lot of circular talk and obscuring language made to make the reader feel inferior.

Did I like it?  Yes and no, I thought it was a good history but I thought it talked down to the reader.

Grade-C

What is with the title of the review?  This book reminded me of Stevie Wonders’ song Will It Go Round In Circles.

 

Refresher course of WWII

Eyewitness World War II by Simon Andrews; 2004; $15.99; 72 pages; DK Publishing, London, England, United Kingdom; 0-7566-0743-4; j940.53 A217w;Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Albina; 5/20-5/21

Why Did The Whole World Go to War?  and other questions about World War II by Martin W. Sandler; 2013; $12.95; 30 pages; Sterling Childrens Books, New York, NY; 978-1-4027-9621-0; j940.53 S2178w;Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 5/21-5/21

Why did I pick these up?  I am driving from Portland to San Diego next month with some friends and they asked for a history lesson on World War II while we were driving.

What is the story?  Both of these books are histories of World War, the eyewitness book has lots of pictures and is pretty comprehensive and the other book gives answers to some questions that aren’t answered in the other book and that I feel are often overlooked in most books.

Did I like them?  Yes they were both very comprehensive and were a good refresher course in WWII history.

Grade (for both)-A

What is with the title of the review?  I am driving to San Diego with Robert and he asked me to give a history lesson on WWII while we are driving so I needed a refresher course.

Been under it many times

Golden Gate, The Life and Times of America’s Greatest Bridge by Kevin Starr; 2010; $23.00; 215 pages; Bloomsbury Books, New York, NY; 978-1-59691-534-3; 624.230979461 S7963g; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gresham; 5/20-5/21

Why did I pick this up?  Because next month I am driving down the coast of California and will be crossing the Golden Gate for the first time.

What is the story?  Even before the bridge was built the entrance to the bay was known as the Golden Gate, the Spanish had a difficult time finding the bay at first.  For years the city had been finding a way to connect with the North and East bay, ferries got to be overcrowded and not efficient.  The city and counties around the bay, fought for years about financing and design and it took some very strong personalities to get the bridge built.  The design was a committee decision and the original design was scrapped and the lead engineer took more credit than he deserved and downplayed the contributions of others.  The author also, without being tedious, goes into the construction methods of the bridge and helps us understand why it works.

Did I like it?  Yes, Kevin Starr is an incredible author who takes very complex subject matter and makes it interesting and very readable.

Grade-A

What is with the title of the review?  I don’t remember ever being across the Golden Gate,  although my Dad informed me I had been when I was little.  I have been under the Golden Gate innumerable times when I was in the Navy.  I always knew I was home when I saw the bottom of the Golden Gate.