Girard opens his book telling us about Mendel (the father of genetics), moving on to the more recent science of genetics, study of DNAs and cloning. IGirard opens his book telling us about Mendel (the father of genetics), moving on to the more recent science of genetics, study of DNAs and cloning. I would have liked biology better if Girard had been my professor.
Girard makes three chilling statements even before his story begins: Scientists isolated DNA factors. "Once isolated, analyzed each factor to understand how it really worked. Once understood, explored how to modify." The scientist who led the team that cloned Dolly the Sheep, said in reference to cloning humans, "It would be naive to think it possible to prevent." Cloning humans, by the way, is still completely legal in the United States. Everyone just assumes it's not.
What a super background for such a suspenseful novel. Fiction: the U.S. Department of Defense cloned serial killers to develop a new bio-weapon. Yes, fiction ... but it could happen. What if serial killers were cloned in order to study nature vs. nurture? What if some of these teenage clones left the compound on a rampage? A former special ops soldier is asked to track them.
S H U D D E R
That is what I did when I read Cain's Blood. You will too. To be honest, parts of this book held too much horror and gore for me, even though I enjoy reading novels about serial killers.
Cathy and Roxanne are best friends. They have been best friends for life. Cathy is married to Nick Chance; it is a marriage made in heaven -- they areCathy and Roxanne are best friends. They have been best friends for life. Cathy is married to Nick Chance; it is a marriage made in heaven -- they are perfect for each other.
Roxanne has issues and visits psychologists frequently. One afternoon Cathy and Roxanne go for a drive in Roxanne's car. There's a wreck. One dies. One lives.
My review stops here. I do not want to say anymore because of the danger of spoilers. Suffice to say I was absorbed in the book. Some characters I liked, some I didn't, some I sympathized with. We are treated to different POVs (points of view). I wanted to know what would happen next. Even though I had suspicions about what happened, there was a surprise twist at the end.
I hope the author will continue to write and publish more. ...more
Reflections: me climb mountains? Hah! The closest I ever did that was Stone Mountain near Atlanta. We rode the cable car up the steep part and walkedReflections: me climb mountains? Hah! The closest I ever did that was Stone Mountain near Atlanta. We rode the cable car up the steep part and walked down the sloping side. I tripped, slid on my stomach several feet, and ruined my favorite pair of slacks. Didn't even skin my knees, but it was enough to turn me off climbing.
Steph Davis is completely opposite of me. That is what makes reading books so much fun --- we live adventurously through them. Davis dropped out of law school and climbed wherever and whenever she could. "It was a life of pure adventure, and nothing about it was safe," she said. However her marriage and career as a professional climber unraveled. What next?
Davis describes her discovery and exploration of free fall, skydiving, and BASE (building, antenna, span, earth) jumping. Always at her side was her dog Fletch.
I enjoyed reading about Davis' adventures; my favorite parts were when she talked about Fletch, the four-legged love of her life. Fletch tugged at my heart. I felt the book could have been better edited and organized chronologically. Rather it jumps from one scene to another several years in the future back to the first. She describes how she met Fletch and her husband in several points in the book. Fortunately there's an index in the back which I frequently used....more
Reflections: Aeons ago I had a student with Asperger's. He had difficulties reading emotions on people's faces and understanding why they were so mad.Reflections: Aeons ago I had a student with Asperger's. He had difficulties reading emotions on people's faces and understanding why they were so mad. He adored writing stories, creating scenarios and names for his characters, and told me about a girlfriend he met on the Internet because both of them wrote stories.
Ahhh, when I read Anything but Typical, I kept nodding ... my student could have written this.
Jason Blake is 12-years-old. He has difficulties in school and in the community because he is autistic. He calls non-autistic people neurotypical. They don't understand him, they don't understand his thinkings, they have issues with him. Jason enjoys sharing his stories on the Storyboard website. He meets PhoenixBird (gasp! a girl!) on-line. She could be his first real friend.
Jason suggests various ways to be a good writer, such as "Names are important." One of his characters is a dwarf named Bennu. We go "ah-ha!" when we discover why he chose this name.
"Books are like brownies." is another gem we pick up from Jason. There is no one way to write a book, just as there is no one way to bake brownies (chewy or cake-like? one egg or three?) The author, Baskin, has written a perfect book. ...more
Reflections: Ten years ago, a U.S. Army soldier named Jessica was captured in Iraq when her convoy was ambushed. She was rescued by a Special Ops team Reflections: Ten years ago, a U.S. Army soldier named Jessica was captured in Iraq when her convoy was ambushed. She was rescued by a Special Ops team. Two years ago, a humanitarian aid worker also named Jessica was kidnapped by Somali pirates and held for 93 days. She was rescued by SEAL Team Six.
Sniper Elite: One Way Trip is a fiction book about Gil Shannon, one of the most lethal SEAL snipers ever. Gil lives in Montana with his wife when he is not on a military mission. However, he considers his true home to be the Navy. The book opens on Gil's hunting of a bull elk and the calculations in his brain while looking through the rifle scope. We learn through his flashback about his first kill.
In the meantime, a female Black Hawk pilot, Sandra Brux, is captured in Afghanistan. The scenes of what her captors do to her are difficult to read.
The military code is: Leave No Man Behind. It also should be Leave No Woman Behind.
However, the President of the U.S. orders that Brux not be rescued. Say what?! Gil and the others in the special ops community plan to defy this order.
Our hearts race with adrenalin when we learn about another One Way Trip. Gil talks to Brux's husband. He calls his wife --- this phone call is a tear-jerker. No spoilers here about the rescue attempt. At the very last page, a cold chill ran down my spine. ...more
Reflections: I have been told I should write a book --- truthfully, I'm more of a reader than a writer. I'm content with this blog, my too-many FaceboReflections: I have been told I should write a book --- truthfully, I'm more of a reader than a writer. I'm content with this blog, my too-many Facebook posts, and notes to friends.
Natalie Goldberg holds writing workshops. Her newest book The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language focuses on a mantra: Sit. Walk. Write.
Another mantra is: Shut Up and Write!
Goldberg describes her childhood and marriage; then gives exercises and lists of things to meditate upon and write about. This was an interesting book to skim through, however I was not motivated enough to actually want to sit down, shut up, and write. ...more
A debut novel based in London tells the story of a backpacking young woman called to come home because of the impending death of her father. It also tA debut novel based in London tells the story of a backpacking young woman called to come home because of the impending death of her father. It also tells the story of a homeless man in London.
Is there a connection between the two people? Yes. Early in the book, the reader will figure out the connection.
Both characters are written in first-person; I had difficulty at the beginning figuring out which person was speaking. If I could use half-stars, this would be 3.5 stars. We follow the past and present of the two characters. The city of London itself can be considered a character as well.
Each chapter begins with a delightful list of "Ten Things ...." Some examples:
Ten ways other people might describe me. Ten inappropriate thoughts during my father's funeral. Ten things I'd say about London. ...more
Kate Christensen, author of six novels along with a foodcentric blog and a column about drinks, has written her autobiography connecting her life withKate Christensen, author of six novels along with a foodcentric blog and a column about drinks, has written her autobiography connecting her life with desire for food and other things.
She grew up in a free-style family, with a violent hippie-type father. Fortunately he finally left. The family moved frequently. Kate gives vignettes of her childhood with two younger sisters and teenage years. Frequently I winced in pain while reading. She married in her mid-thirties and describes her marriage. He had a conventional calm upbringing completely opposite of hers.
Because this is a book supposedly about food, a few recipes are included. Mmmmm. These recipes help off-set the angst. I don't cook, so won't be trying these recipes. ...more
Read the whole book although I'm not sure why I did. A psychiatrist, a commune, repressed memories coming to light, an estranged druggie daughter. TheRead the whole book although I'm not sure why I did. A psychiatrist, a commune, repressed memories coming to light, an estranged druggie daughter. The psychiatrist is a take-charge type of woman who is determined to investigate, report, and make things right. It is written in first person: "I did this. I remembered that. I went there. I talked to..." By the time I finished, I just didn't care about what happened, the twists and coincidences. YMMV -- your mileage may vary. I hated that because Chevy Stevens' first book was such a favorite of mine. ...more
Reflections: The last ten years I taught, my main responsibility was transition assessment, to prepare Middle School and High School students for lif Reflections: The last ten years I taught, my main responsibility was transition assessment, to prepare Middle School and High School students for life in the great big wide world. Basically, it was "What do you want to be when you grow up? How will you get there?" I tested the students' aptitudes, achievements, abilities and interests. Therefore when I was offered the chance to read The Testing, I jumped at it!
The Testing is a cross between Hunger Games and Divergent. All three begin a trilogy about a girl chosen from her district/faction/colony in a ceremony to compete against others in a Big-Brother society-government-nation. Despite these similarities, each book is unique.
Cia Vale, on graduation day, is now an adult and can wear red. The whole colony gathers together for graduation and to see if anyone from their colony is chosen for THE TESTING for admission to the University. Those chosen are tested for the correct combination of intelligence, ability to perform under pressure and leadership. Of course it isn't a spoiler when I tell you Cia is chosen to be tested .... if she wasn't, there wouldn't be a book to read!
Hours before Cia leaves for THE TESTING, her dad tells her about his own testing. Memories of those who have been tested are wiped. Therefore her dad has memories arising during nightmares. As you probably know, some veterans who return from war are very reluctant to tell their family members and friends what it was like over there and they have nightmares. Cia is surprised to learn that her family did not want her to be chosen. Her dad also warns her:
Do not trust anyone.
So what is Cia to do?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book much more than the other dystopian series. We see Cia's thinking and her reasons for her choices. ...more