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
Christy
All Quiet on the Western Front
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents


Anne Hawn Smith's favorite books »

I'm reading 150 Books

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma


The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #3)The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this, the third book of the series, the children have grown and learned to value their own talents as well as their friends.  Because of the danger, the children are all confined to Mr. Benedict's house to keep them safe.  Suddenly Mr. Curtin, Nicholas' evil twin, has manage to take out the power system of Stonetown and the children are the only ones who can save the town.  The book is full of riddles and puzzles that the children use their unique intelligence to figure out.

This book explores the early story of Constance and helps the children understand her.  I didn't like the fact that she could control minds though.  All of the children are gifted in some way, but all of the abilities are natural like having a photographic memory or the ability to solve problems in creative ways.  Mind control does not fit and moves the book from a series that profoundly gifted children can relate to fantacy.


View all my reviews

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Mysterious Benedict Society


The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1)The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great book for kids and adults.  I am using it for homeschooling.  The book is about 4 extremely gifted orphaned children who answer an add for exceptional students.  Each of the children is exceptional in a different way and they work for the mysterious Nicholas Benedict to enroll in a sinister school also for orphans.  They are able to avert disaster while using their extraordinary talents.

Nicholas Benedict, whom they work for, suffers from narcolepsy as does the headmaster of the school they have infiltrtated.  Both are apt to nod off in times of excitement, strong emotion, and danger.  I did a little reading on the disease and the book is quite accurate on it's effects.

The story is fanciful but still plausible...if here was such a thing as a Benedict Society...and such a dastardly plot.  In other, the reader knows that the story couldn't possibly be real, but if it was, this is the way it would happen.


View all my reviews

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict


The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #0.5)The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict by Trenton Lee Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the best book of the series.  It is a great book for gifted kids and adults, as well as any kid who likes to read.  Benedict's parents were scientists who were killed in an explosion.  He was taken by a relative who died and he was placed in a series of orphanages. He suffered from narcolepsy which often caused him to fall asleep whenever he experienced strong emotions or fear and he also suffered from night terrors which constantly awoke the other orphans. Being a genius, having a photographic memory, and being able to read a book in only a few minutes also set him apart from the other children.

His adjustment was at his latest orphanage was difficult and he was a target of bullies.  Eventually, he was able to use his genius to protect some of the other children and finally make friends.  The book is full of situations that seem insolvable, but Nicholas prevails and manages to carve out a niche for himself.


View all my reviews

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)


The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been using this book for homeschooling my granddaughter and it is wonderful.  I've read it aloud a number of times when my children were young and it is great to listen to myself.

We used the book for both Literature and Bible and there are some amazing Biblical concepts.  The loving creation of Narnia is especially moving and gives a exceptional picture of the creation of our world.  The issue of sin and forgiveness are also explored in a way children can understand it, but is profound for even an adult.  Diggory, one of the main characters disobeys a sign and sets in motion a score of negative consequences that can't be erased.  Later, he is given the chance to make a different choice to help counteract the first choice and wonderfully illustrates the concept of atonement.  The book is full of love, beauty and redemption, but it doesn't skirt the issue of evil and sin.


View all my reviews

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Weighed in the Balance


Weighed in the Balance (William Monk, #7)Weighed in the Balance by Anne Perry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I didn't like this as the rest in this series.  It dragged quite a bit and nothing much happened in the mystery until the last chapters.

The plot revolves about a case which Oliver Rathbone takes involving slander.  A Countess has said that the wife of the exiled heir to the throne of a small Germanic principality has killed him.  He have up his throne for his wife and lived in exile in Vienna.  Their story was a romance for the ages and no one can believe that his wife would kill him.

What I did find interesting was the information about the number of small kingdoms which were caught up in the unification of Germany.  I never thought about what it would mean for these kingdoms which had their own identity and history.  I have even gone to Bavaria, seen Neuschwanstein, and read the history of King Ludwig II and never thought what happened when Germany unified.  Some of the smaller kingdoms fought the Prussian army and others, realizing the futility of resisting, allowed themselves to become part of Germany.


View all my reviews

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Long Spoon Lane


Long Spoon Lane Long Spoon Lane by Anne Perry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was not one of my favorites.  For one thing, it dealt with anarchists and their political agenda, is not one I can relate to, or like to read about.  Of course, the anarchists are only a smoke screen and there is far more going on, but I just couldn't get into this one as well as the others.


View all my reviews

Death of a Chimney Sweep (Hamish Macbeth #27


Death of a Chimney Sweep (Hamish Macbeth #27)Death of a Chimney Sweep by M.C. Beaton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Could an affable local Chimney Sweep actually be a murder?  Hamish Macbeth thinks it's impossible and that there is more to it than meets the eye.  He's proven right when the chimney sweep is found dead also.  What's behind the murders?

This is a nice cozy mystery and a great audiobook where the text is read with all the appropriate accents.  I like this series because it is comfortable and you can always count on it.  If that sounds a little boring, I don't mean it to.  In the middle of books about Afghanistan or the Balkans, or other unsolvable real life situations, there is a place for wonderful books like this series.


View all my reviews

Friday, October 05, 2012

Death of a Valentine (Hamish Macbeth, #26)


Death of a Valentine (Hamish Macbeth, #26)Death of a Valentine by M.C. Beaton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is another book in the Hamish Macbeth series and is a little better than most, so I gave it an extra star.  That is mainly for the trip to the altar that it seems that Hamish can't possibly get out of.  Everything keep inspiring against him and this part of the mystery is actually more interesting than the real one.

These books play a role in my reading life.  They are entirely predictable and easy to listen to as an audiobook.  If I put one of these on my iPod, I can stick with a less than interesting, but necessary task around the house.  They are also a relief between weightier books.


View all my reviews

Thursday, October 04, 2012


The Mysterious Benedict Society: Mr. Benedict's Book of Perplexing Puzzles, Elusive Enigmas, and Curious ConundrumsThe Mysterious Benedict Society: Mr. Benedict's Book of Perplexing Puzzles, Elusive Enigmas, and Curious Conundrums by Trenton Lee Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great book for any child who loves to solve mysteries and to push themselves to do more with his or her mind.  The book is full of logic problems, codes and other puzzlers.


View all my reviews