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rosemaryknits

rosemaryknits

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The Phantom of Fifth Avenue: The Mysterious Life and Scandalous Death of Heiress Huguette Clark
Meryl Gordon
End of The Chain: Life and death in the Aleutians
Robert Wallace Finlay
Bryson's Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer's Guide to Getting It Right
Bill Bryson
Seeing Further
Neal Stephenson, Margaret Atwood, Gregory Benford, Georgina Ferrey, Oliver Morton, Maggie Gee, Margaret Wertheim, Richard Fortey, John D. Barrow, Martin J. Rees, Philip Ball, Richard Holmes, Stephen H. Schneider, James Gleick, Simon Schaffer, Henry Petroski, Paul Davies,
Icons of England
Bill Bryson
Walking Away From Wall Street: From Corporate Bull to Building a Busines
Max Vishnev
Winter's Tale
Mark Helprin
To Marry an English Lord
Carol McD. Wallace, Gail MacColl
That Bear Ate My Pants!
Tony James Slater
Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune
Paul Clark Newell Jr., Bill Dedman

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake - Aimee Bender I listened to the audio version of this book, read by the author. I thought that it was amazing! The writing! The nuance! It's such an odd book, full of the richness of life. I kept thinking, "Ah, NOW I know what it's about..." only to have the author switch gears and go off in a different direction. Most enjoyable.

The author also gave the reading a very sensitive treatment. I really enjoy the lilt in her voice. I highly recommend the audio version.

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Mary Roach I LOVE the way this author writes! She's a hoot! Very enjoyable and entertaining treatment of a topic that many of us would like to just simply ignore. As expected, perfectly disgusting in spots. If you can make it through the first two chapters, then you are home free. I listened to the audio version, and it was GREAT!

Talulla Rising

Talulla Rising - Glen Duncan Not nearly as good as the first one, The Last Werewolf. Quite "meh."

French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters

French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters - Karen Le Billon I am so happy that my friend, DeAnna, recommended this book, and I am very happy that I read it. I love just love reading books about countries foreign to me, by a person who is non-native to that country - I just love this perspective - sort of a Stranger in a Strange Land perspective. I always enjoy this viewpoint.

I was stunned and amazed to learn about the French Way of Eating, positively stunned. I was stunned and shocked at the treatment which the author received upon offering a taste of a strawberry - seriously? People are offended by the offer of A STRAWBERRY? It just seemed so very rude and so very rigid.

However, I have numerous problems with this book, too. First, I'm sick of food being referred to as "healthy" or "unhealthy." You are healthy, I am healthy, my dog is healthy. The people in the hospital are unhealthy, and hope to once again become healthy. Food is NUTRITIOUS or not. It is not HEALTHY, it is NUTRITIOUS. It is BENEFICIAL. It is GOOD FOR YOU. Please, it is not "healthy." *silently weeping.*

I feel so old when crap like this bugs me, heh. And I got to feel old quite a lot while reading this book, since she referred to food as "healthy" about 7 billion zillion times.

Speaking of repetitious, it seems as though she was contracted to write 300 pages long, but could only come up with 60, so she was now faced with the problem of having to say everything 5 times, because she pretty much SAID EVERYTHING AT LEAST FIVE TIMES.

Also, Oh My God what a twit!

Do young mothers these days, honestly, call their hostess to see what is on the menu so as to suggest alternatives for their picky children? Seriously? And she's shocked that her family finds this behavior rude? It's not rude, it's reprehensible! I can't imagine EVER doing such a thing. I just can't. Seriously, people do this? The mind, it boggles.

I was stunned speechless!

Do young mothers these days, honestly, give their kids snacks all day long and then wonder why their kids won't eat their supper? Are people, honestly, this dim? What happened? Once upon a time, people were able to figure this out all by themselves. She needed her mother in law to point it out? Once again, I was stunned.

So, the book was fascinating to me, as a life-long-poorly-traveled American, to have a glimpse into the eating habits and behaviors of the French. It was also pretty eye-opening to learn the eating habits and behaviors of modern young Americans/Canadians because I had no earthly idea that this was going on. No wonder the whole country is obese. It's sobering.

King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village

King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village - Peggielene Bartels, Eleanor Herman Very charming book.

The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation

The Eighty-Dollar Champion: Snowman, the Horse That Inspired a Nation - Elizabeth Letts Excellent feel good story involving a horse and a man. I listened to the audio version, and the narrator did an excellent job as well. I highly recommend. I wouldn't listen to the last hour while driving however, the tears filling your eyes will make it very hard to navigate the road. It's a real tear-jerker in the best possible way. I loved this story.

Welcome to Obamaland: I Have Seen Your Future and It Doesn't Work

Welcome to Obamaland: I Have Seen Your Future and It Doesn't Work - James Delingpole Excellent book - I am a tremendous fan of British Wit, and this author expresses it wonderfully while being the boy who cries, "The Emperor is wearing no clothes!"

The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger's

The Way I See It: A Personal Look at Autism & Asperger's - Temple Grandin, Ruth Sullivan I read through this book because I adore Temple Grandin. However, as a compilation of separate articles, this book has no flow, no continuation, and is rather repetitive, as the articles were originally written as stand-alone pieces. This does not diminish my admiration for Ms. Grandin, however.

I especially love how she points out, over and over again, that parents need to take charge of their kids. Parents need to expect and demand proper behavior from their children. I love the part where she says that her mother forced her to drive to the lumber yard to do some shopping, even though Ms. Grandin begged off, saying that it would upset her so much that it'd make her cry. Her mother replied (and I broadly paraphrase), "OK, well, cry, just go to the lumberyard." Ms. Grandin reports that she went to the lumber yard, she cried, she completed the task, and *never again* was a trip to the lumber yard frightening, and future trips went off without a hitch. I just love this.

If you love Ms. Grandin, you'll most likely like this book, but her other books are far more interesting and informative.

Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City

Imagined London: A Tour of the World's Greatest Fictional City - Anna Quindlen I had such high hopes for this book, but it sorta fell short of the mark. Enjoyable bed-time reading, but not overly imaginative or entertaining. Too bad, it's a great premise.

Gone Girl

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn I like to think that I'm above who-dunnits, but gosh, this one is really good! There are so many twists and turns - it's like watching a magic show where you think that you know how the magician is doing the trick, only to find out that he had you fooled, he was actually doing a different trick. Very clever, and very engaging.

I listened to the book on tape, and the two narrators are excellent.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins Have all of the editors in all the world died? Really? There's not a one left? This book is enough to make me nuts. The grammatical errors, oh my kingdom for ONE STINKING EDITOR!!! Grammatical errors abound. Style problems - oh, don't get me started. It is not OK to present a book like this as "finished."

What interests me is that really good books, such as Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and many others, were rejected by so many publishers that it's a marvel that the author continued submitting their work to yet another publisher. And then we find a book like Hunger Games. Please, don't tell me that it was accepted by the first publisher, please, please, please don't tell me.

I can see where the story line would make a good movie. Provided you like to know, in the first 5 minutes, how the *entire* movie is going to go. Sorta like when we saw the earth moving machines in Avatar. Yeah, like that. This story is enormously predictable. Seriously, writers of America, Young Adults are capable of complex language, plots, and mostly, ideas. Really, they are. However, this one is a waste of time. The whole premise of the Hunger Games doesn't make sense in the first place. I need to go read something by Tolstoy to wash the taste out of my mouth!

What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets

What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets - Peter Menzel;Faith D'Aluisio This is a great book. First, I just love this style of book, where the author and the photographer show you how families around the world do one thing, and in this case, it's showing what a day's typical diet would consist of, and the approx number of calories. Very well done, excellent photos, nice writeups - very educational in thousands of ways. 5 thumbs up!

The Mind's Eye

The Mind's Eye - Oliver Sacks I will never tire of Oliver Sacks' books. The man is decidedly odd, has lived a wonderful life, has had contact with the most bizarre and amazing people and what can I say, I love his books! This one focuses on how we see things in our mind's eye - how we recognize people, places, things - or don't. Utterly fascinating.

Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America

Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America - Nick Rosen Not at all what I was expecting. I guess I was looking forward to something a little more How-to, as food for thought, but this is a presentation of a variety of different people who live off the grid, and how and why they do.

The author's style leaves much to be desired, in my opinion. He presents a person, and says something like, "She's tall, beautiful and has a mouth full of bad teeth." You know, this sort of thing. Very rude, in my opinion, and it really dragged down the whole experience. I'm 1/3 of the way through, and I don't think I'll finish it. It's sad, actually, that the author has to be so gossip-columnist-y. Kinda skanky.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs This was an inventive tale, quite enjoyable. The whole way through, I kept wishing that a better writer had taken the job, though. This idea could be made into a wonderful book, but in this writer's hands, it sort of misses the mark.

Also, I can't stand it when writers set books in the past, but have their characters use modern day jargon, or do modern day things. Sorry folks, as much as we might hate it, folks are part of their time, and books loose their punch (in my opinion) when an author tries to make folks in the past make modern day decisions.

Of course, a book like this features bad guys, and the bad guys in this book are so very shallow and no fun at all. How they came to be is cause for an eye roll, too.

After all that, though, I did enjoy this book, and enjoyed the motif. It was a fun, light read.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope - William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer This book is perfectly amazing. Beautifully and sensitively written, and just amazing. I heartily recommend. It's comforting to know that there are men like this in the world today.