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The Book Shelf: Spring Fest
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I must preface all of my reviews for Spring. I was never quite satisified with any of the books I've read in the last two months. Perhaps, it's because I've been studying for my exams, have been sick, and well, am just plain tired of reading. So, having admitted my general grumpy attitude - here are my reviews.

Quickie Review: April

Book Cover The Patient - by Michael Palmer. Rating: A

  • Wow, a real page turner! The Patient is a first rate medical thriller. So, if you are itching to break in those new adirondack chairs next to your spring garden - this is my pick!
  • Unlike many male writers Palmer's lead character, a female neurosurgeon, is believable. In fact, she's the kind of surgeon that I want to drill a hole in my head! She's compassionate, a dedicated patient advocate, extremely talented and a heroine!
  • As for the rest of the characters we have a G-man, close to being a "dead" agent because no one believes that the arch nemesis, Malloche, is not only a real person, but has a brain tumor at our heroine's hospital. Throw in a demanding, egotistical, power hungry Head of the Neurosurgeon Department who can't resist using a robot prototype, ARCHIE, for neurosurgery and the stage is set for disaster. It's G-men, assassins, and brain tumors galore!
  • The plot was good and I won't tell you anymore because it would spoil the plot. So have fun and let me know what you think!

Book Cover The Brethren - by John Grisham. Rating: B
  • Interesting, but not his best work. The plot was slow and I soon wondered; "Just when in the world were all of these plot lines going to merge!"
  • In fact, I became so bored, I stopped reading 3/4 of the way through and read the end two weeks later!
  • This is a great book for paperback or to check out of the library. Um, I'd save the $28.00 bucks for a movie.

Book Cover Worst-Case Scenario: Survival Handbook - by Piven, J. & Borgenicht, D. Rating: A

  • If you ever need to know how to jump off a bridge, a building or from a moving car, then is book is for you!
  • To be honest, I picked up this cute, little pocket book while standing in line for "Starbucks" coffee. Why? I'm not quite sure. But, I know I'll be able to land that plane when the flight attendant announces: "Does anyone know how to fly I plane?"
  • If you have a friend who thinks he/she knows everything, then pick this up and astound them with your survival skills! Otherwise, it makes a great stocking stuffer for those who shop early for Christmas!
  • P.S. I don't know if their advice works, so please, no lawsuits if you break your leg jumping from a train.

Quickie Review: March

Book Cover The Light of Other Days - by A. Clarke & S. Baxter. Rating: B+

  • I nearly couldn't wait until I got home to start turning the pages from our most cherished hard core sci fi writer, Arthur C. Clarke and his co-author Stephen Baxter, a established sci fi writer in his own right.
  • Clarke and Baxter explores several fundamental philosophical and sociological questions: 1) "What happens to society and people when personal privacy does not exist?", and 2)"What is the nature of truth, when the past can be objectively viewed by all who wish?" and 3) "What becomes of a value in the present and future?".
  • I'd like to say that Clarke and Baxter have put their acumen to use and fully explored these questions. Instead, I I felt like a read a technological manual with a little socio-history thrown in on the side. Character development was average such that I knew enough of the characters, but never felt akin or sympathetic to any of them. They were strangers, I made their acquaintance, but we were never friends.
  • On the other hand, hard core sci fi fans will love this book. Lots of techie detail and the technological advancement developed in the book is driven from the pages of contemporary science.
  • Clarke and Baxter achieve, what other novelists attempt to do - keep the reader engaged long after the book is read. I did. Perhaps, you will too.

Book Cover A Map of the World - by Jane Hamilton. Rating: B+

  • Do you have time to appreciate the gentle turn of the phrase? Then, take a leisurely read of Hamilton's well crafted book.
  • Unlike Clarke's sketchy characters, Hamilton lovingly tells the tale of a young couple, trying to have a go at diary farming, who are unexpectedly confronted with the tragedies life. Her story is powerful and her writing prose.
  • But, be warned this is not your average novel with your happy ending. Hamilton writes of life's ambiguities, its tenuousness, and struggle. To be truthful the only reason this novel doesn't get an A, is because it was soo depressing and I was a bit miffed and depressed at the end. For those seeking a well written novel of everyday life, I highly recommend it.

Book Cover Day of Reckoning - by Jack Higgins. Rating: B

  • Just in time, a no nonsense, murder mystery! This is my first Jack Higgins novel and I can see why he is popular. His book reads like butter. It's fast-paced, dialogue heavy, and action packed. You won't find pages of the angst of psychological torment. It's guns, murder, and a straight forward plot to get your adrelenline up.
  • In this novel you cohort with former E.R.A. freedom fighters, the Mafia, thieves and murders. Lest you not be disappointed with the range of bad guys - you also have good E.R.A. freedom fighters, London's Scotland Yard, and the Israel's Massad. Next, throw in a Presidential VIP and former G-man, you now have a block buster- I believe the phrase is - "shot 'em all up and sort them out later".
  • All and all a roaring book. Too many places and people, for me to keep track of, I admit. Though its not like I did any heavy thinking here, either. A good book for the beach or for a lazy rainy day!

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