books I've read

Anne Hawn's books

Who Moved My Cheese?
If Democrats Had Any Brains, They'd Be Republicans
Scientific Secrets for Self-Control
Just One Damned Thing After Another
The Vanishing
Exercises in Knitting
The Good Dream
The Very Best of Edgar Allan Poe
The Chosen
BT-Kids' Knits
Talking God
The Professor
The Christmas Files
The Finisher
Home Decor for 18-Inch Dolls: Create 10 Room Settings with Furniture and 15 Outfits with Accessories
Dracula and Other Stories
A New Song
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents

Anne Hawn Smith's favorite books »

I'm reading 150 Books

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Valley of Fear

The Valley of Fear The Valley of Fear by Arthur Conan Doyle

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is an odd Sherlock Holmes mystery that is actually two stories in one. In the first story, we have the usual brillian detective work of Sherlock Holmes when a man is found murdered from a terrible wound to his head. It appears to be a murder, but there is no one to suspect and footprints disappear where they should carry on if someone is escaping. It is the classic "locked room mystery," which Holmes unravels splendidly.

Then comes the second part in America which is the history to the first murder. This is far less satisfactory and several times I bogged down and was tempted to quit, mainly because the reason for reading Sherlock Holmes is one thing and the mindset to read this background story of unions and beneficent societies and mining is another. It would have been nicer if this was explained concisely in less than a chapter.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Christmas Journey (Christmas Stories, #1

A Christmas Journey (Christmas Stories, #1)A Christmas Journey by Anne Perry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The plot of this book was an interesting twist on the idea of punishment as attonement. A young woman guest at a stately country mansion insults another young woman who commits suicide later that evening. Everyone agrees that her cutting words could have pushed the vulnerable young woman over the edge and one of the guests contrives a quest which will atone for her ill tempered remarks and, if completed, will bind the other guests to secrecy and render the careless young woman forgiven. The trick is that she has to travel to the north of Scotland to deliver the suicide letter to the young woman's mother and confess her guilt in the tragic event.

Lady Vespasia Cumming-Gould, another visitor, agrees to go with the young woman, but the journey and the story is much more than she bargained for. The plot is convoluted, but very interesting. The young woman learns more about herself and Lady Vespasia does also. For an easy read in the hectic Christmas season, this book is perfect. It has some substance, but is not too taxing.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

A Christmas Beginning: A Novel (Christmas Stories, #5)

A Christmas Beginning: A Novel (Christmas Stories, #5)A Christmas Beginning: A Novel by Anne Perry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book, but it ended too abruptly. I was just getting the feeling that I knew some of the suspects when the villian was unmasked. Still, it was a nice easy book to read and it is near Christmas, so it was timely. I liked getting to know Runcorn better and to see the mystery from his eyes. I'm also glad he finally got some happiness in his life.

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a TimeThree Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was an excellent book about Greg Mortenson, an avid mountain climber, who, after failing in his attempt to climb K2, became involved with the people of the impoverished Pakastani village where his rescuers came from and where he was nursed back to health. He was impressed by how desperately the villagers wanted a school and the ends to which they would go to get an education for their children, including their girls.

Mortenson, who was raised by missionary parents in Africa, also beleived that the way to solve the problems of violence and terrorism in this area was through education and humanitarian aid. He returned to the United States and began a campaign to raise funds to build schools. Providing education, especially for girls, was not easy in this part of the world and Mortenson dealt with kidnapping, fatwas, corruption and ignorance. Mortenson persevered and the story of his success is remarkable.

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Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Dangerous Mourning (William Monk, #2

A Dangerous Mourning (William Monk, #2)A Dangerous Mourning by Anne Perry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book out of order, so I had to go back and read the first before the beginning of this made sense. I liked the idea of the detective who couldn't remember anything before he woke up in the hospital. What was interesting was the way he came to know himself by looking at the reactions of others and the things he found in his surroundings. As a plot device, this is very interesting.

I enjoyed this mystery and the motivation of the murderer. It was an interesting approach, especially when Monk began to suspect that he was the murderer. Since he had only a few clues to his own personality and some of those were negative, I can see how he might suspect himself. I think Anne Perry has done a good job taking the basic Victorian murder mystery and turning it into something unique and interesting.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

Lucy Rose: Busy Like You Can't Believe

Lucy Rose: Busy Like You Can't Believe (Yearling Books (Paperback))Lucy Rose: Busy Like You Can't Believe (Yearling Books by Katy Kelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the fourth book in the series and is just as delightful as the first three. We see Lucy Rose again her engaging and hilarious self. She desperately wants to be Annie at the play, but this is problematic when her worst enemy gets the part. Lucy Rose is given a much better part, but she doesn't see it at the time.

Added to this is her concern that her mother is dating. Like almost every child of divorce, Lucy Rose has dreams that her parents will get together again and she is horrified when she listens in on a telephone call that makes her think that her mother has a boyfriend.

This is an excellent book for children of divorce. In fact, it would be great if it were required reading for their parents. Lucy Rose's parents bend over backward to accomodate each other for the sake of Lucy Rose and the grandparents do the same. Lucy Rose calls her father when she wants and her mother is always respectful of her love for her father. Even for adults, this book is good.

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