I thought this was an extremely well-written and imaginative book that wasn't at all to my taste. Maguire created a lush, detailed world from a characI thought this was an extremely well-written and imaginative book that wasn't at all to my taste. Maguire created a lush, detailed world from a character who only has a few minutes in the movie. The result is an emotional, intelligent, and surprising novel that was ripe for discussion in a book club. It just wasn't something I enjoyed....more
McCullough remains one of the best narrative non-fiction writers out there, even in this, one of his first books. His writing is very accessible, regaMcCullough remains one of the best narrative non-fiction writers out there, even in this, one of his first books. His writing is very accessible, regardless of topic, and his research is deep, wide, and impeccable.
I was highly disturbed by the subject matter of the book, made even harder to take by the author's excellent writing. I had to put the book down several times to give my head a break from the descriptive and completely factual disaster those people faced.
While I enjoyed reading a McCullough that wasn't 800 pages (John Adams) the horrifying experience written so professionally, made me long for his five - pound political tomes. Recommended for anyone looking for high octane adventure in true history....more
There was so much I liked about this book, and I learned quite a bit about these trailblazing early female journalists. However, I felt that this bookThere was so much I liked about this book, and I learned quite a bit about these trailblazing early female journalists. However, I felt that this book was failed by its editor and bloated by its author. My impression is that Goodman deeply loved ever aspect of this moment in history, blindly reporting on things that were at best tangential. The result was a great slowing of the narrative, which ran counter to the main story of the book - an incredible race around the world. Where the narrative should have clipped along, at times it crawled and even stopped as Goodman discussed a topic perpendicular, or almost completely detached for the race. I am glad I read the book, but it was more of a trial than I had anticipated....more
If, like me, you watched the 2015 Dwayne Johnson movie *San Andreas* and spent the entire hour and 54 minutes shouting, "The science is wrong! The sciIf, like me, you watched the 2015 Dwayne Johnson movie *San Andreas* and spent the entire hour and 54 minutes shouting, "The science is wrong! The science is wrong!" then here is the antidote for you.
Despite a mediocre title and generic cover art, the text is quite exciting. Even though the author holds a PhD in the subject matter, he writes expertly for the layperson, and his own enthusiasm for seismology is infectious.
Covering the San Andreas Fault as if it were a movie star, Dvorak starts from its first discovery (by white men) and continues through its history up until its next projected rupture (59% chance of a 6.7 magnitude or greater earthquake between now and 30 years from now).
The biggest glaring omission was the extremely noticeable absence of maps. While Dvorak was good at illustrative descriptions, even I can't envision where all 700 of California's active faults are located. Even simple pencil scrawlings would have been useful. However, this was a very memorable book, and I look forward to reading his tome on volcanoes....more
I have given this book 3 stars because of the information it contains, some of it new to non - academic non-fiction, such as the oral histories of surI have given this book 3 stars because of the information it contains, some of it new to non - academic non-fiction, such as the oral histories of surviving African American Galvestonians. What keeps it at 3 stars is the poor writing that leads me to believe an editor never set eyes on the text. Missing punctuation, made - up words, excessive use of hyphens for dramatic effect, and starting copious numbers of paragraphs with "so" made this a very frustrating read.
I feel that authors of non - academic non-fiction still have the responsibility, in being a purveyor of knowledge and educational information, to make sure it is presented in, if not highly entertaining, at least marginally readable fashion. This book, while presenting good information, fails entirely to be readible. For example, periods at the end of sentences seem like basic features in a functional text.
Lastly, I remain bothered at Roker's insistence in penning a book about the Galveston Hurricane when it has already been covered, masterfully, by Erik Larson. While Larson is credited at the end of the book, I found little in this book that was new enough (save the African American oral histories) to warrant an entirely new book, especially one written so poorly. With Mr. Roker's experience in meteorology, there must be hundreds, or at least dozens of other uncovered stories about which he could write. While I did appreciate what I learned from this text, I would recommend that people save themselves the time and read Erik Larson's Isaac's Storm instead....more
Multi-faceted telling of the over 1,000 New Madrid earthquakes from 1811-1812. From the bio of Tecumseh to the inbred murderers from Thomas Jefferson'Multi-faceted telling of the over 1,000 New Madrid earthquakes from 1811-1812. From the bio of Tecumseh to the inbred murderers from Thomas Jefferson's family, this is a highly readable work of non-fiction that taught me more about the government's land grab from the Native Americans than I ever learned in school. There are moments that are a little rough and not quite polished, but overall this is an enjoyable read that educates as it goes....more