Sunday, January 20, 2013

Reviews–January 20, 2003

Books, books, books!! I do love me some books! Regular books on paper are my favorite, but audio is good, too. I have a Kindle but don’t use it too often, but I’m not philosophically opposed to it.

Our library system is having a reading program for adults to encourage us to write reviews for their system, so I’ll be cross-posting my reviews over there.

Agenda 21 – My dad gave me this Glenn Beck book for Christmas. It’s the story of a dystopian society that has come about as the results of the hardcore environmental movement’s agenda. The descriptive elements were good and the characters weren’t too badly developed. My issue was mainly with the plot. There was a developed plot and climax, but it wasn’t very strong. And the climax felt like the real beginning of the book. This is definitely an “issue” book. The authors want to show you the possible result of extreme environmentalism. The epilogue goes in to detail about the actual documents from the 1970s on which the story is based. I have a hard time getting too excited about it since the only significant changes the environmental lobby has gotten us to make have been to change out our light bulbs and get some of us to drive hybrid cars. I don’t think we’re in imminent danger of being forced to live in communes under the authority of faceless bureaucrats. B-

House Atreides – This is one of three prequels to the Dune series of books. It is named for the Atreides family, but there is also a great deal of plot about the Corrino and Harrkonen houses. This book (and the other three in the series) introduces us to the main characters in Dune (which I still haven’t read all the way through). The primary plot lines in this book center around the young Duke Leto and his year-long education on the planet Ix, which comes to an end when Ix is invaded and overrun by an Empire-sponsored house in a plot to make synthetic spice. In the meantime, House Corrino and House Harkkonen are involved in their own scheming and plans. A

House Harkkonen – Second of the three Dune prequels, this continues the story of the universe created by Frank Herbert. The plots and schemes of the Atreides, Corrino, and Harrkonen houses continue unabated with emphasis on the extended Harrkonen family (where DID Raban and Feyd Rautha come from, anyway?). Another good read (although I listened on audio, which was quite well done). A

House Corrino – Third of the three Dune prequels, this book focuses on the activities of House Corrino, the Imperial family. Along the way, we also learn more about Gurney Halak, Thufir Hawat, Duncan Idaho, and the Houses Atreides and Corrino. Another well-paced and interesting book with high quality audio. A

Accelerated by Bronwwen Hruska – I finished this book in two days. It’s really good. This is the story of an upper class New York school and it’s need for boys to fit in so badly that they convince parents and doctors to overmedicate these kids with stimulants. The plot is strong and engaging. The characters are well-drawn. The book drew me in and kept me interested until the end. A

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver – I loved this book, but I’m not sure how to describe it. One day, a young mom finds that the nearby woods, that her father-in-law wants to have clear-cut, have been chosen as the over-wintering site for the monarch butterflies since their traditional site in Mexico has been made unusable due to global warming changes. The aftermath of this (very fictional) event involves the woman’s family, church, and town, in ways that no one could have imagined. This book clearly wants to send a message about global warming, but I didn’t feel like I was being beat over the head with the message. It was a story about relationships with global warming issues as background. A+

A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans – The popular blogger has written another book, this one a documentation of her year of trying to live according to “biblical womanhood”. First, this book is not a theology book. If you want an in-depth discussion of the various issues about women in the Bible, you’ll need to look elsewhere. Second, Evans tries to take an even hand toward the issues she chooses to tackle, but her bias towards a more “liberal” position is evident. That’s OK, but you need to know that it’s there. That being said, I really enjoyed this book. Evans chooses 12 different attitudes that women are to embody to explore each month. Within that month, she delves into more practical things. We get to laugh at her attempts to sew and make challah as well as scratch our heads about the ancient Israelite rules regarding menstruating women. When she gets serious about interpreting scripture, she is charitable towards those with whom she disagrees. Overall, a very good book. A

So, get to a library and get reading!

1 comment:

Diane said...

I just downloaded Agenda 21 to my kindle, it was on sale for 2.99. Hoping to actually read it soon. Would love to hear how things are with your yarn store?