It is evident to me why this book was and is a major influence in the Science Fiction genre and has become a modern classic. Ender Wiggin, a preteen genetically designed to be a brilliant military strategist, finds a way to rise above the dystopia he is born into. He bravely commands others in defense of his home planet, but he also has the greatness of heart to show compassion to those he was trained to destroy. I would recommend reading the book before seeing the film to appreciate the depth of the child-man Card has created.
The author, who is the chief national correspondent of New York Times magazine, takes us behind-the-scenes of our nation’s capital to show how most journalists and politicians of all stripes are motivated by the business of money and fame, while appearing as ideologues in the public eye. He candidly provides ample cases to expose their hypocrisy. This book is fascinating and heightens one’s cynicism of the nature of media and politics in our country.
This book chronicles a year in which Lancaster aims to embrace or replicate Martha Stewart’s many life strategies. Lancaster has a lot going on in her life during this year, limited resources and no “people” working for her. She tries to “live by Martha”: organize her home, throw stress-free parties, make handmade gifts, plant the perfect garden, etc. There are some funny moments amidst the successes and failures. One thing is for sure - Jen has an eventful year and learns some things about herself and her life.
In this compact tome (less than 200 pages) Byatt presents the key Norse gods, their enemies, and the foreordained destruction of them all. The story is framed with a young girl in WWII England who's been removed to the countryside to escape the bombings. She steeps herself in Asgard and the Gods, and we are electrified by the tale. Byatt's own poetic gifts revive the passion inherent in these myths and, will win over those who imagine they have outgrown such stories. The author provides a rationale for this book in an essay at the end. We as a planet are aswim in the possibility of self-destruction.
Steve Jones writes that “to remember Darwin for Origin alone would be as foolish as to celebrate Shakespeare only as the author of Hamlet.” He goes on to show Darwin’s wide-ranging observations in his lesser known publications. Learning that Darwin traveled to Stonehenge to study the effects of earthworms and that he came to “hate barnacles as no man ever did before, not even a sailor on a slow-sailing ship,” made for fun reading.
The shape of American meals was determined by historical forces like the Industrial Revolution, and migrations to urban areas. Dinner used to occur mid day, and a light supper at night. Carroll chronicles the decline of the family dinner, and makes the point that while we spend much less time cooking than we used to, we spend a lot of time watching cooking shows on TV. Did you know that the modern version of breakfast was invented here in Michigan? This is a very readable history of American eating from colonial times through the present.
Stephanie Plum is back! This time she is trying to chase down Joe Morelli’s Uncle Sunny. He has an outstanding bond, and Stephanie really needs the money, so she and her sidekick Lula begin their search, and instead almost get shot, get cursed by Grandma Bella, and they find a giraffe roaming the streets of Trenton. Meanwhile, Ranger is hot for Stephanie to help him find the person responsible for the recent rash Dumpster murders going on in Trenton. You know with Ranger and Morelli on the scene, this must be another sexy thrill ride from Janet Evanovich!
Logan Montgomery, a professional sports trainer, and Holly Brennan, a recent widow, meet on an airplane. Logan, being a nice guy, offers to take Holly under his wing and help her get in shape. Holly has been overweight her whole life, and agrees to make this change in her life. Little did she know she would learn to count on Logan, and maybe even fall in love again. This is a great first book from Stephanie, following in her aunt’s footsteps!
This book is downstairs to the upstairs of Pride and Prejudice. In Longbourn the Bennet family flits in and out of the servants lives instead of the opposite. The main character is Sarah, a housemaid, whose life is neatly summed up in the opening scene of a washday when she slips and falls in pig droppings. But life is not all bad - there is romance among the servants as well as hard work. All of Jane Austen's characters make at least cameo appearances, and the despicable Wickham shows himself to be even worse scum than we had thought possible. A must for Jane Austen fans and all who enjoy historical fiction.