I had heard about this book from a few sources but I never got around to picking it up. Finally I was waiting for the new #1 Ladies Detective Agency B...moreI had heard about this book from a few sources but I never got around to picking it up. Finally I was waiting for the new #1 Ladies Detective Agency Book to come out (which it does today!) and since I was in the mood for a cozy mystery I decided to use this book to pass the time. When I saw it was recommended by no other than Alexander McCall Smith, I took it as sign that now was the time to finally read it.
What I didn't expect was how much I would like it! I love Maisie. I could not put this sweet heart warming book down. I haven't loved a book so much in a long time. The mystery was perfect and the soldiers and Simon broke my heart. It made me think about the soldiers fighting in the middle east today. I've already put the next book on hold at the library. I hope I can catch up so I can join in Bookclubgirl.com's Mad for Maisie read a long concluding next month with an author interview with Jacqueline Winspear herself discussing the latest book in this series. I can now be counted among the mad for Maisie(less)
This is one of my all time favorite books. I read this book for the first time when it came out and it immediately captivated me. Jon Krakauer became...moreThis is one of my all time favorite books. I read this book for the first time when it came out and it immediately captivated me. Jon Krakauer became one of my favorite authors and I went on to read all of his other books which were also excellent. Recently I was listening to The Night Strangers by Chris Bojahlian and he happened to mention in an interview at the end of the novel that one his favorite books on tape was Into Thin Air because it was read by Krakauer himself. That made me want to revisit the novel and to share it with my twelve year old daughter. For the past two weeks we have been swept back to Everest in May 1996 as a life and death struggle plays out high on the mountainside. Although I know how the tragedy plays out, the story is refreshed and thrilling as ever as I get to experience it through my daughter's eyes.
The story begins when Jon Krakauer is hired to write a piece on the climbers of Everest for Outside Magazine. Fortunately for him he already had solid mountain climbing experience. Not everyone on Everest had that experience and indeed some people did not even know how to properly put on their snow boots. When a storm hits while many climbers are still high on the mountain life and death decisions are made, many times by people who have had their judgement clouded by altitude sickness or lack of oxygen. The main leaders of the story are Rob Hall, leader of Adventure Consultants and with whom Krakauer was traveling and his upstart rival, Scott Fischer of Mountain Madness. Both Adventure Consultants and Mountain Madness were attempting to lead clients who had sketchy qualifications at best to the summit of Everest. The main quality the clients had in common was their ability to afford the $25,000 to $60,000 it took to mount the summit attempt. Everything would have probably been okay even with the clients lack of experience if a massive storm hadn't happened while many of the clients were near the summit. Many clients didn't head Sir Edmund Hillary's caution. When Hillary was asked if it was possible that George Lee Mallory was in fact the first to summit Everest and not in fact himself, he replied that getting up the mountain was only half of it, you still had to get back down which Mallory did not accomplish. Many of the clients used up all of their gas getting to the top and did not have enough reserve energy to get safely get down.
There are so many stand out moments for me in this book. Like when Beck Weathers gets up from a coma and after having been left for dead stumbles into camp under his own power, or the last heart breaking phone call between Rob Hall and his pregnant wife Jan Arnold who was back in New Zealand, or how Anatoli Boukreev single handedly mounted the rescue effort of several stranded climbers, or the love Lopsang Jangbu felt for his hero Scott Fisher and how much it pained to leave when Fisher was unable to descend the mountain or the brave Nepalese helicopter pilot who risked his life twice to fly survivors off the mountain or how Yasuko Namba fingers trailed over Neil Beidlemans jacket before she collapsed for the final time and how he kept going without even looking back.
Krakauer does a good job of beating himself over some of his actions. Personally to me he is blameless. Everyone attempting Everest should know it's every person for themselves because rescues high up the mountain are impossible to pull off. People who could help, helped but the sad truth is most people who were there that day could barely take care of themselves.
The closest I will probably ever get to Everest is the ride Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom but reading this book is just like being there. Krakauer does such a wonderful job of investigating all aspects of the tragedy. He leaves no stone unturned. Since the event that inspired this book is over ten years ago now there is a wealth of information on the internet regarding where some of the people involved in this story are today. As far as adventure books go I anoint this the gold standard.(less)
If you grew up in t he 70's run and read this book. Alison Arnigram is hilarious! I read Melissa Gilbert's book and even though I was super Little Hou...moreIf you grew up in t he 70's run and read this book. Alison Arnigram is hilarious! I read Melissa Gilbert's book and even though I was super Little House Fan, the book left me feeling luke warm. Alison's book on the other hand really delivers the goods and in such a loving way. Even when revealing a person's weakness, she makes it seem as that is the exact reason that they were so beloved. She is someone I wish I was friends with in real life. Who new Nellie Olson was so cool. After reading this book I will be watching Little House re runs in a whole new way. (less)
I picked this book up when I saw Daniel Radcliff, Harry Potter himself was going to be starring in the screen adaption of the book. I loved this book....moreI picked this book up when I saw Daniel Radcliff, Harry Potter himself was going to be starring in the screen adaption of the book. I loved this book. I think it will be perfect for him to star in. I love the Gothic setting of the misty English manner on the moors. This is a slim little book perfect for a straight read through.
The story is about Arthur Kipp who is an old man and on his second family when we meet him. His stepchild asks him to tell a ghost story and he is so unnerved by the request that he snaps at his family. Wanting to make amends he decides to write his actual ghostly experience for his wife. As a young lawyer he was called to Eel Marsh house to settle the estate of Mrs. Drablow. What unfolds next is the story of what happens in the house and ultimately what became of his first family.
This a great Gothic ghost story. It was a quick read and I could not put it down. I would recommend it to lovers of the English ghost story. (less)
This book may be out of print now and hard to find but it is worth it to find a copy. I had to get mine from a private seller at Amazon. I read a lot...moreThis book may be out of print now and hard to find but it is worth it to find a copy. I had to get mine from a private seller at Amazon. I read a lot of true crime but this book is so much more than that. It is about family dynamics, marriage, home maker vs career mom, cheating, divorce, and so much more.
The gist of the story is that Betty made her family her whole life. She put her husband through school and went about being the best mother she could be. Betty can be kind of a shrew but she goes through the years assuming all is well in her blessed life in La Jolla. One day her husband gets a new office assistant and decides that he doesn't want to be married anymore. Betty loses her mind and does a lot of unseemly things as does her husband and the new woman who has replaced her as Mrs. Broderick. Eventually things boil over and the result is Betty shoots the newly married couple as they sleep. The story of the psychological unraveling of the main characters is fascinating.
There are no sympathetic innocent people in the story except for maybe the kids. As the divorce dragged on, they became manipulators themselves. Bella Stumbo does an excellent job of being even handed in her storytelling. Her writing elevates this to a work of literature rather than another run of the mill true crime story. I would put this book up there with In Cold Blood. This book should serve as a cautionary tale for women who expect their husband and children to be their whole lives. Anyone who is dissatisfied with their mate and contemplating divorce should read this book to see just how bad things could get.(less)
This may be my favorite book so far in the cool down this summer with AC challenge. This mystery employs the "locked door" mystery style which Christi...moreThis may be my favorite book so far in the cool down this summer with AC challenge. This mystery employs the "locked door" mystery style which Christie made so famous. Ten, not so likable people, are trapped on an island with no way in or out and one by one they begin to die according to the rhyme "Ten little Soldiers". The killer has to be one of them but by the end of the novel all of the people have died so who was it? The mystery is all wrapped up neatly in an epilogue that explains the clever ending. I loved this book and never in a million years would have guessed how it all played out. It was confusing keeping all ten people straight at the beginning but I found Christie did a lot of reminding throughout of who was who so by the end everyone was quite clear to me. The scene of Vera confronting the hangman's rope stood out as an especially chilling moment. I would recommend this book to everyone who has not experienced a Christie novel yet including my eleven year old daughter. I can't wait for her to read it and hear what she thinks. (less)
Thank you to Penguin Group for providing me with an ARC of this book to review.
In this book we meet the lead characters, Frank and Dora, a young coupl...moreThank you to Penguin Group for providing me with an ARC of this book to review.
In this book we meet the lead characters, Frank and Dora, a young couple, who have been carrying on a two year affair behind Dora's husband back. Frank is a battle scarred veteran of World War I who is still fighting the battle at night against the demons he brought home from the war in his mind. Due to the affair, Frank has been blacklisted from any university teaching positions by the cuckolded ex husband. A letter arrives from Frank's aunt whom he hasn't spoken to in years, leaving him her house in a backwoods Georgia town. Although she advises him many times in the letter to sell the house and to not live there Frank and Dora ignore the sound advice and due to their low funds take up residence in the house in Whitbrow Georgia. The plan is for Dora to teach the local children at the elementary school while Frank writes a book about his ancestor that used to own a plantation in the area but was killed along with his family in a slave uprising. Although Frank and Dora try to get along with the locals they find many things odd about the town, not the least being that the locals send out two pigs into the woods in a religious sanctioned ceremony and the pigs are never heard from again. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to connect the pigs to "those across the river". I won't reveal who those across the river because that is one of the many surprises of the book. I sort of had the gist of what was going on but there quit a few twists and turns that kept things exciting along the way.
I cannot say enough how much I loved this book. This is the most I have ever liked an ARC and this was the most enjoyable book that I have read in a long time. I could not put it down. I was hooked into the story from the first words of the prologue which made me want to know who the person in the cage was. The ending was so perfect too. I warn you to start it on a weekend because once it hits page 100 you will not want to stop reading. I also warn that it gave me one doozy of a nightmare which combined with the late night reading left me quite bleary eyed the next day. I really loved the historical time period setting melded with the horror and love story of Frank and Dora. The spooky feel of this book makes it perfect for late night autumn reading. I highly recommend this book and it would be a perfect choice for the R.I.P challenge being held over at Stainless Steel Droppings. If you have not read this book stop reading reviews before it is spoiled for you and get reading this book instead.(less)