Fourth and Long: The Library Made Me Do It

Yes, another sequel.  Don’t worry.  At most there should only be one more, otherwise this post should,be the last with this title.  I should warm you that I now have an entire blog dedicated to books that I titled ” The Library Made Me Do It.” I’ll be posting this post there as well. Check it out http://pacboxbooks.wordpress.com

Now onto the post.

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Native American historical fiction.  If you ever wondered what life was like for the Mississippeans, also known as the Mound Builders or Cahokians, this book will let you have a fictitious look.  War, kidnapping, political uprisings, crazy dreamers, this book has it all.  It does seem a little repetitive in certain elements such as certain types of characters repeat such as the crazy dreamer, the berdache, the female warrior, the hatred leader which were also in People of the Fire but it doesn’t detract that badly. 

A definitely recommend

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Biography was one of the last few specific genres that was required reading for the Reading Program.  As a Catholic, I knew of Joan of Arc but had never really read anything definitive or specific.  This is a good history that comes from the records of the trial that first sentenced her to death and the nullification trial decades after her death plus remarks from people she knew and had interacted with.  This is definitely not a hagiography which made it so much easier to read.  You get a good understanding of the political events surrounding Joan and what was going on in France at the time that France was at war with England during the Hundred years War.

While it is history written by a historian, it does not come off as a history text.  Plus, instead of starting from birth, you are presented with Joan when she first comes to the attention of certain nobles.  Yes, you go over battles and interactions with nobles but that’s part of the whole picture. What was really pleasing to me was that in her first trial record, you can see that Joan has a sense of with and isn’t afraid to use it even with her life on the line.  She isn’t some two dimensional caricature of a virginal maid.  The author demonstrates that Joan is a real person with real feelings and problems.  Yes, she was pious but not extreme and over the top as if in hagiography.  While not a favorite saint, this book have me a better understanding of who she was and what she did.  She want perfect but she was faithful.

A definite recommend

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So I’ve been working on reading the Inspector Lynley books after having watched the BBC series years ago.  This book doesn’t deal with Lynley but with his friends Simon Allcourt-St. James and his wife Deborah.  An American friend of Deborah has been arrested for murder on the island of Guernsey.  And the murder victim was caught up in projects that may not go forward with his death.  But there’s more than meets the eye and the victim isn’t exactly a decent human being.  An okay read if a but lengthy at over 700 pages.

A recommend

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Remember that Anasazi mystery I posted about before?  This is the second book in the trilogy.  Oh, boy.  It’s several months later and the killer is still on the loose.  This time there’s a new archeological site involved.  I don’t want to spoil so read.

A definite recommend

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The last book in the Anasazi trilogy.  This one takes immediately after the last one.  And this time murder isn’t just happening among the Anasazi.  It’s happening among the archeologists as well.  Dusty Stewart, the lead archeologist, suffers a major loss but also ends up dealing with a mother who had abandoned him as a young child. 

I really loved this book for what Dusty had to go through and deal with.  I especially loved his burgeoning friendship with Dr. Maureen Cole, the physical anthropologist.

A definite recommend

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The graphic novel, one of the required reading genres.

This deals with Iran in the wake of the 2009 elections.  The brother of a missing protestor and his mother search for him after he doesn’t come home.  You see the corruption, the loss, the pain, the suffering that these people go through.

A definite recommend

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A combat historian’s report of a group of Marines who were involved in the November 2004 battle for Fallujah.  This isn’t your typical news report on CNN.  This guy got down and dirty.  He was in the battle with these Marines.

I actually recommend reading this book before reading The Hunger Games.  It will help you understand that one better.

A definite recommend

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The last of the required reading.  I had actually read this book way back in college for an honors course/lecture.  Other than the book dealt with time, I  didn’t remember what it was about.  And it still didn’t make much sense this time, either.  It deals with the different ideas about time and how they might play out.  In this case, they are played out as Einstein’s dreams.

It’s not a bad book but it does seem like it’s more short stories than a novel.

A recommend, with reservations

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