The Children's Blizzard is a non-fiction book about the blizzard that hit the settlements on the American prairie on january 12, 1888. The area that tThe Children's Blizzard is a non-fiction book about the blizzard that hit the settlements on the American prairie on january 12, 1888. The area that the book focuses most on is the Dakota territory and Nebraska, when the storm hit here it was in the middle of the first clear schoolday for a while. So a lot of teachers were left with the choice of waiting out the storm or trying to make their way to a nearby house, the wrong choice led to a frozen death. This was what earned the blizzard it's name: The Schoolchildren's Blizzard. I originally bought this book because I thought I was about the winter of 1880-1881, or as I am more familar with it: The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I love the Little House books, and The Long Winter is one of my favorites, so I was very excited to read the more non-fictiony version. Even though the book wasn't actually about the 1880-1881 winter I still felt I got a lot information about how that winter would have gone by.
The book starts out a little slow, with us getting to know some of the settlers and their lives, as mostly farmers on this harsh prairie. A harsh place that was advertised more like the promised land. Lines like 'the rain follow the plow' were common, and all you had to do get a piece of land on the prairie, was put down a small fee and then live on the claim for five years. But with fire, grasshoppers and extreme weather, that no one was used to, the latter condition became the hard one.
I was leaning toward 4 stars until the middle of the book, when it really gets going. Especially the two chaptors Explosion and Exposure blew me away. After these chapters I could only give the book 5 stars. Explosion is when the storm hits. We get the stories of many different situations, a lot of them schools, and we hear the tale of how they survived or didn't. I fould myself looking closely for instances where the story only could have been told by a survivor, because Laskin built some suspence by changing between accounts. It got very hard to read and I had to take a break after the chapter. Exposure was even harder to read. Here we follow some victims of the storm, and Laskin paints the picture of how you die in a storm. Again I had to put the book down after reading this. It is by no definition a cheerful book, but it is a very powerful one that stays with you.
But as a great fan of the Little House books I have one complaint of this book. Laskin refers to The Long Winter in his chapter on the trials that settlers face. He quotes a passage from the book and mistakes Laura's schoolfriend, Mary Power, for her blind sister, Mary Ingalls. It is not a big thing, but it is a stupid thing to get wrong. Laskin quotes a conversation that takes place at school, because Laura's sister Mary is blind she doesn't go to school with Laura anymore, and so obviously the conversation can't be with her. You don't have to closely read the books to easily draw this conclusion.
The Children's Blizzard come highly recommened from me. Especially if you, like me, are fascinated with the settling of the west. It is a harsh book to read, but greatly worth it. ...more
Hollow City is the continuation of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. So there will be a couple of spoilers from that. When Hollow city startHollow City is the continuation of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. So there will be a couple of spoilers from that. When Hollow city starts out Miss Peregrine's loop has just been destroyed, and all the peculiar 'children' are in boats on their way away from the island. Miss Peregrine is in her birdshape, and can't turn back. The 'children' are going to find another wren to heal her, while they escape from the Hollows and their masters.
I was less impressed with this book, than I was with the first one. The plot didn't really speak to me in the same way, I am not quite sure why. The pictures, that are one of the things that make this series special, didn't work for me in the same way as they did in the first book. Either they were not as interesting in this book, or maybe the gimmick just didn't work on me twice. I found it incresingly annoying that the peculiar 'children', who are at least as old as, and many cases older that, Jacob's grandfather, keeps acting like children. I get that they have been looked after by Miss Peregrine a considerable part of their lives, but they are not Peter Pan and the lost boys, they would grow up. The relationship between Jacob and Emma I can't really deal with. It just feels wrong. Is is because of the reverse Twilight, or the fact that she was in a relationship with his grandfather? Probable both. And it is definetly they wrong timing.
Okay, I got a little negative there, but it was an okay book. There was more timetravel via the loops, which I really enjoyed. We meet other peculiars, one of whom makes you question the 'children', that was my favorite moment of the book I think.
So all in all the book was okay, though not as good as the first. I am probably going to read the third book at some point. If you liked the first book I would recommend Hollow City....more
The Inheritor's Powder is about poisonings (mostly by arsenic) around 1830 and how legal action was taken. The book focuses on one particular case. ItThe Inheritor's Powder is about poisonings (mostly by arsenic) around 1830 and how legal action was taken. The book focuses on one particular case. It is the case of a rich farmer, who along with his wife and two servants gets poisened by their morning coffee. Sandra Hempel uses this case to bring the book forward and as a spring board to all the aspects of an arsenic legal case along with the society's frightening use of deadly products.
I would give this book 3,5 stars. It is quite good, it didn't catch my attention as much as I would have liked which is why I ended on 3 instead of 4. My biggest complaint is that the case tock a back seat. I understand that it was a great way to branch out to all these things (that also were interesting), but many times there were like 5 lines about the case in 2 chapters and the rest was just tangents. So I would have liked a little more focus on the case, maybe Sandra Hempel could have taken a 2nd case and some of the tagents could have been there, that way the case wouldn't been spread out tas much.
But it was a good book. I felt I learned a lot, I was very surprised at the way the police didn't seem to play much of a part in it, it was mostly up to the doctor who had been treating victim. Very weird, but very interesting.
If this is a subject that interests you I would recommend it. ...more
Divergent had YA charm Insurgent had a fancy rebellion And Allegiant decided to not give a crap about any of that, and do something else completely.
InDivergent had YA charm Insurgent had a fancy rebellion And Allegiant decided to not give a crap about any of that, and do something else completely.
In Allegiant we go outside the fence, which initially I was very keen on. I remember thinking that the book was a little slow getting to this, but little did I know I was reading the best part. Because as soon as we leave the city everything is a letdown. The big secret reason for locking them up seems like a joke. The city is in the middle of a civil war, and not until very late does any of it's former inhabitants care (despite the fact that all (apart from Tris maybe) have friends and family in there. Dispite being told certain bad things that are happening here, I don't care, because I am worrying what is happening back in the city. Most of the book seems to be in a state of limbo. Between the life in the city and when they adjust to the truth of the world outside.
I can't help but feel a little tricked into reading this book. I got lured in by the two first books with YA charm and a different world, and suddenly I am back in our world dealing with racism. Now racism is bad, but if I wanted to read about it I would pick up social realism book. And if you want to show racism from the outside, you are going to have to be more subtle.
I did not enjoy this book. It was just something that had to be read so I could finish the series. And just like I was trying to hurry my way through it I felt Veronica Roth had done the same with the resolution of the situation in the city. When we finally get to it, it is solved too easily and in too short a time. It was this resolution I was craving from the final book in the series, and what I got was not good enough.
So I don't really know what to say. I mean if you made it this far you have to finish the series. I know I couldn't not, especially since these books are so easily read. So by all means read it, but know that it is not in the same league as the other books. ...more
Insurgent picks up right where Divergent stops: Tris is on the train away from Dauntless with Tobias, Marcus, Peter and Caleb. The whole society is inInsurgent picks up right where Divergent stops: Tris is on the train away from Dauntless with Tobias, Marcus, Peter and Caleb. The whole society is in shambles.
I didn't think Insurgent was as good as Divergent. While reading the book I was unsure if I should give it 3 or 4 stars. I ended on 4 because though it started a little weak it finished strong. But I was almost halfway through the book before I felt it committed to the story. And after reading the very end I am extremely excited to read the final book.
Tris and Tobias were annoying to me in this book. It was the common thread throughout the book, that they refused to tell each other anything, and some of those things didn't even matter. This is something I hate in any book, so unsurprisingly is annoyed me here too.
We gained more insight into the other factions, and how the people were different. This was very interesting, it didn't seem forced and there wasn't too much of it. It gave a fine overview of how the faction funktioned before the Erudites decided to their thing.
Overall it was a typical 2nd book in this kind of 3 book series. Very much a middle stage. I eluded to The Hunger Games in my review of Divergent, and I am going to do it again. They have a lot of common threads, and seem to follow the same pattern. It intrigues me how a series can change as much as these do. Characters and writingstyle is the same as in Divergent, but the plotlines are very different.
I would recommend it. And if you can see past Tris and Tobias' inability to tell each other anything, I think you will really enjoy it....more
Divergent takes place in a world in which everyone is split up into five faction. You live with your family until you turn 16, when you get to chose yDivergent takes place in a world in which everyone is split up into five faction. You live with your family until you turn 16, when you get to chose your own faction. But if you don't chose the one you came from most prople from you old faction will see you as a traitor, and you shouldn't expect to see your family again. Here we follow Beatrice, Tris, who is about to make the choice. On the one hand she doesn't feel that she fits in her family's faction but on the other she doesn't want to dissapoint them. In the aptitudetest that should tell them which faction they belong in (not that they have to follow it's conclusion) Beatrice gets an inconclusive. This is a very dangerous answer, and she is told never to mention it, but Trisstill have to chose a faction.
I was not quite sure what to expect when I started to read this book. I had seen the trailer for the movie, but that was about it, and what I got was definetly not what I had assumed from that. When Tris has to make her own way in a faction she becomes an initiative with a bunch of other teenagers. Only ten of the about 20 initiatives will become members of the faction and the rest will become factionless (a fate worse than death, to most people). A lot of the time during the initiaition process the book seemed to be a lot like a book about bording school. This is what takes up about 90 % of the book. But it was done well. There wasn't a whole lot of teenage crap and whining. The book was very to the point and didn't linger on unnessesary things.
I felt it was well written. Tris was a well rounded charecter, and most of the people around her, like so. Maybe not the bullies, they were a bit one dimentional, but then the book wasn't long enough for them to develop.
Overall it was a pageturner and I am glad I ended up reading it, something I wasn't sure I would before I got it for my birthday. I would definetly recommend it. Especially for fans of The Hunger Games. ...more
So this book is about an police detective, Carl, who recently has been shot at in an episode where one partner died and the other got paralyzed. He isSo this book is about an police detective, Carl, who recently has been shot at in an episode where one partner died and the other got paralyzed. He is trying to get over this, while his boss is trying to find a way for the rest of the station to work with/without him, as he apparently isn't a very nice colleague. Carl ends up working on a five year old case about the disappearance of a poliatician, Merete Lynggaard. The only person on the case with him is an eccentric Syrian, Assad.
What can I say... It was alright. A solid 3 stars. I liked the case, it was interesting and original. There was a little too much characterfiddeling with Carl for my tastes though. When I read a crime novel, I do it for the mystery, not to get to know the usually messed up life of the detective (especially if it is messed up). Assad I liked, but at some point I think Jussi just went too far with him. There is a scene when Carl is telling him off, and in my oppinion that is where Assad became too much. But overall I liked him.
So what do you do with a book like this. Well I give it 3 stars and say, read it if it is your cup of tea, otherwise you are not missing much. ...more
The Alloy of Law takes place in the same world as the Mistborn series, but it is many years later. The people from Mistborn are long dead, though someThe Alloy of Law takes place in the same world as the Mistborn series, but it is many years later. The people from Mistborn are long dead, though some of them are legends. Now the world has trains, cars (that not everybody trusts) and newly installed electricity. It is in this place that we find our three protagonist: Wax, a lawman from the Roughs who has to return to the capital to lead his household after the death of his uncle. Wayne, his deputy, a man with a knack for disguises, swords and hats, who tries to get Wax to stay a lawman. And Marasi, a young nobel woman who lives with her uncle while she is attending university. Together these three will spend some hectic days trying to uncover some mysterious robberies and kidnappings that has been taking place in the city.
I loved this book. Initially I wasn't sure I would because Sanderson takes it to more of a modern day setting, but it is more late 19th century to early 20th, so it wasn't really an issue. Plus it was very cool to see the legends that some of the people from the Mistborn series had become. I should point out that we don't spend a lot of time on these, it is just little everyday mentions of them that we some across.
I have finally come to a conclusion as to what it is that makes Sanderson so good. I think it is his ability to make a great group dynamic. In the Alloy of Law I felt he again hit the nail on the head with this. Plus all the charecters are well written and I esecially loved Marasi.
I could keep listing great things, but insted I am just going to recommed that you go read this book and discover all the amazingness for yourself....more
The Constant Princess is a historical fiction about Katherine of Aragon, the first wift og Henry VIII.
Her story is an interesting one. Starting as a cThe Constant Princess is a historical fiction about Katherine of Aragon, the first wift og Henry VIII.
Her story is an interesting one. Starting as a child in warcamps, with her formidable parents Isabella and Ferdinand on their crusaides against the Moors. Getting to England and marring prince Arthur. When he dies she is left to fight for what she wants, with basicly no allies.
I liked it... I wasn't blown away, and it wasn't as good as the other books I have read by Philippa Gregory. Maybe because this is written before she got the hang of it, I don't know, but that could explain it. My main issue was the monolouges. I do not think they served any purpose. Some scenes were just written in first person and the rest in third, though still with insight into Katherine's thoughts. But apart from that the book just didn't catch my attention, as it needs to for me to care.
I don't really have that much to say, except that I had expected more. I am going to continue the series, though, for two reasons. 1) The Other Boleyn Girl is I think generally viewed as the best of Gregory's book and 2) I know that Gregory gets better because her Cousins' War series.
I will recomend it, because it is good. But I will say that I do not think this is Gregory at her best. ...more
Warbreaker is about two kingdoms on the brink of war. A peacetreaty from 20 years ago demands that a princess from the smaller kingdom (Idris) is marrWarbreaker is about two kingdoms on the brink of war. A peacetreaty from 20 years ago demands that a princess from the smaller kingdom (Idris) is married to the God King of the larger one (Hallandren). The eldest princess, Vivenna, has been groomed for this her whole life, but when the moment is there her father sends his yngest daughter, Siri, in her sted. In Hallandren the gods and their priests are debating whether or not they should declare war. Many of them have been keeping an eye on their queen to be, but now that it is a different girl, they suddenly are without information. Well this is just one small corner of what happens, but I can't say much more, but soon the capital of Hallandren will be the battlefield for two princesses, the God King, a lesser god, a mysterious immortal and a couple of mercenaries.
With this book Brandon Sanderson has definetly become one of my two favorite male authers. Warbreaker is written amazingly, the plot has great twists, and both magic and religion has been made in a totally new way. At times there were a lot of explaining of the world, the magic or the gods, but even so the book never stopped being a pageturner.
The charecters where well rounded, and I loved them. Not so much Vivenna in the beginning but I warmed up to her. Siri, on the other hand, I loved from the get go. She was so fresh in her new position, completely ignorant and yet still kept her stubbornness and what she had learned in the few lessons she had bothered to attend. Another great charecter was Lightsong, one of the gods, he is always ready with a funny comment.
Well if you haven't gotten it yet I absolutely loved this book. I would definetly recommend it. And I can't wait for the next one. ...more
The Complete and Essential Jack the Ripper is as the title suggests a book about Jack the Ripper. It is split up into three parts: The Whitechapel MurThe Complete and Essential Jack the Ripper is as the title suggests a book about Jack the Ripper. It is split up into three parts: The Whitechapel Murders, Theories and Mythologies.
The first part, which is the longest, is essentially what happened back in 1888-1889. It gives us the stories of nine possible Jack the Ripper murders. We are told how each body was found, who they were, how they spent their last day. In total as much as we probably know about the victims. And we are told how the press and the public reacted. I really liked this part. It was my favorite, and also the reason why I read this book. It is written very factually, I could maybe have wished that it was a little relatable, but I guess that is hard when it was so long ago, we don't know that much and it has to be completely factual. What this part was missing for me though was a map. I have lived in London for half a year, but I don't think I know any of the streets (I should say that street names might not be my forte). I just think this would have been an easy way to make the book more accessible.
The second part was about all the theories that has benn put forth since the murders began up until now. This was all right, I did want to hear some theories, but maybe I didn't need that many. And the way the authors assumes that the reader remembers every single peripheral charecter and also every single theory didn't work for me. It was very hard to keep everybody straight. Especially when a new theory was refered to as a remake of a previous one and nothing else. But there were some really interesting ideas over the years, and it was fun to read about the changes in theories as the times change and as more information became avaliable.
The third and final part was weird to me. I guess it was about the legend of Jack the Ripper and how he is still remembered, but I found this part to be all over the place. There was a chapter on how Women Against Violence Against Women were against many of things happening around the centennial anniversary. Then there was a chapter that just seemed to list all the movies and tv-shows about Jack the Ripper, something I would have been just as happy looking up on wikipedia. There were some gold nuggets in this part, but overall it just seemed like an afterword gone out of control. I think it would have benefited from being shortened and made into a epilogue.
So all in all I thought the book was great in the beginning and then got a little more boring as it got along. I would recomend it if you want to know about Ripper, but know that the latter part of the book is more suited to be skimmed. ...more
I really liked the subject of the book, it was extremely interesting. It works well for explaining specific things, if you know what you are looking fI really liked the subject of the book, it was extremely interesting. It works well for explaining specific things, if you know what you are looking for. ...more