Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More Book Reviews

Yes, I've been busy reading, but I also haven't done reviews in a long time. So, here's more!

The Testament by John Grisham - Money can't make you happy. That's the theme of this book which traces the antics of a family whose patriarch has just committed suicide and left a cryptic will. That's all I'll say. You have to read it. A

Can't Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg - This is another story set in Elmwood Springs, MO. The book starts with an eighty year old woman falling off a ladder after being bit by wasps. From there, she is believed to be dead, goes to heaven, found to be alive, and more. Lots of fun. B

The Prince and the Pilgrim by Mary Stewart - I picked up this book because I love Stewart's Merlin series. This book is also set in Arthurian England but is much lighter in tone than the Merlin books. It is a sweet love story with lots of medieval touches. B

The Summons by John Grisham - Two men are "summoned" to their father's (a judge) house. They arrive to find that the man has died and left a very simple will - but one son finds that the father also had a large amount of cash that has been unaccounted for. The story twists and turns around the money and it's effect on the sons. B

The Broker by John Grisham - A man is given a presidential pardon for no apparent reason. He is escorted out of the country and given a new identity to start a new life. But it's not that simple. Someone - or more than one someone - want him dead. Another Grisham success. A

I'm Fine with God - It's Christians I Can't Stand by Bruce Bickel - This book is written by a Christian to show how behavior by some Christians is damaging to the cause of Christ in the larger culture. The first thing that bothered me about this book is it's title - I don't like saying that you can't stand someone. I just sounds too harsh. While I agree with much of what he says in the book, he doesn't distinguish between what some Christians do and who they are. I would have been much happier to see him say that he can't stand the behavior of some Christians. In any case, the content of the book wasn't bad, but it wasn't very helpful either. C

The Rainmaker by John Grisham - A young lawyer just coming out of law school doesn't have a job, but he has a client. An elderly couple are suing a medical insurance company for not covering the bone marrow transplant needed by their son. But, this is just the tip of the iceberg, as the lawyer discovers. One of my favorite Grisham novels. A

A Painted House by John Grisham - The cotton harvest is a big time of the year for Arkansas farm families. The main character of this book is a young boy whose parents and grandparents raise cotton. This book tells the story of one year's harvest - the Hill People whom they hire, the Mexicans who come up to work, and the tensions that inevitably result. A

Memoirs of a Geisha: a novel by Arthur Golden - In the early 20th century, girls were sometimes taken from their families in rural Japan and forced to live in the cities as prostitutes or, if they were fortunate, as geisha in training. This is the story of a famous geisha - how she got that standing, what life was like as a geisha, the impact of World War 2. An excellent book. A

Pocket guide to the apocalypse : the official field manual for the end of the world by Jason Boyett - This is a very small book by a Christian humorist about Christian views on end times (eschatology). Actually, he does a very nice job of explaining the major theological camps involved. He also includes a list of films inspired by the Apocalypse as well as a glossary of end times terms. My favorite, though, is the end times chronology which lists important people as well as predictions of when the Apocalypse was going to happen. A

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff - The author of this book intertwines the story of Ann Eliza Young, the real-life wife (some say 19th, but probably 27th) of Brigham Young and her divorce and crusade against polygamy with a murder mystery in a fundamentalist Mormon offshoot group (probably supposed to minic the FLDS). The mixing of the stories is a little awkward at times, and the modern story doesn't work as well as the historical story. The historical story, though, does give some background information that helps to understand the modern story. B

There are some great books here that you might want to check out from your local library.

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