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 30,000 pages.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Missing, A Short Mystery

Missing, A Short MysteryMissing, A Short Mystery by Sylvia A. Nash
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is actually a short story and it is a bit light weight, but nice for an easy read. The story centers on a young man,, David Chandler, who is missing after writing a book, Murder by Accident, which is uncannily like the story of Andrew Martin who was Andrew's biological father, although he didn't know it. The story has it roots in the generation before Andrew's and the complicated relationships of the 5 young people who all grew up together.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sleeper

SleeperSleeper by Barry Friedman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book got a little thin in the middle. The story starts out well with the child present a mysterious illness and the seemingly uncaring mother staying by her side, but talking to no one. Then comes the overbearing father and an aunt and uncle more to create some tension and to give more suspects when it becomes apparent that someone is doing her harm.

Then there is a side plot which involves the child that I find terribly thin. The surgeon is unrealistic to me...at least I hope so. I find it hard to believe this goes on with malpractice hovering over all hospitals.

The ending also is weak. We need some hints throughout the novel in order to make this work and there are some issues which are unresolved.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Momma Don't Hit Me

Momma Don't Hit MeMomma Don't Hit Me by shannon bowen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book and it's sequel, Momma, Stop! I'll be Good! is so sad. A young woman, due to very thin apartment walls, is able to hear the abuse of a young boy called "Kevin." At first, she is not certain if it abuse and she is reluctant to get involved, but as the nights progress, she becomes more and more upset over what she hears. While there is physical abuse, it is the emotional abuse that is worse. She is forced to listen to a character destroying barrage which would emotionally cripple even an adult. The young woman struggles to determine what is the right course to take in view of the fact that she can't see what is going on and doesn't always know what led up to the incidents she hears.

Even when she decides to get involved, the laws of New Hampshire, and its overburdened system leave Kevin suffering for over a year.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Momma, Stop! I'll Be Good!

Momma, Stop! I'll Be Good! (Shannon's NH Diaries)Momma, Stop! I'll Be Good! by shannon bowen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In this book, Kevin's situation is still dire and the young neighbor who reports is isn't sure if she has helped Kevin or made the problem worse. It is certain that he is being abused, but the overburdened New Hampshire Social Services is limited by the law, not enough funds and, I think worse, very few options that are good for Kevin. It is obvious that they are all between a rock and a hard place.

The book doesn't have a lot of answers, but it does make the plight of children like Kevin, and also the role of a concerned stranger, much clearer. In a perfect world, Kevin would be sent to loving relatives while his mother received the help and care she needed, but that isn't always possible, and when it is not, children like Kevin suffer.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

Cruel Deception

Cruel DeceptionCruel Deception by Gregg Olsen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fascinating book about Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. It is also the story some people who showed incredible tenacity in hunting down the proof that Tanya Reed had smothered her infant daughter, Morgan and was attempting to do the same to her son, Michael. It is hard to believe that a person, usually a mother, would risk her child's life in order to draw attention to herself and to become a "partner" with the doctors and nurses who try to protect the lives of her children.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Run, Mummy, Run

Run, Mummy, RunRun, Mummy, Run by Cathy Glass
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is different from most of Cathy Glass' books. Usually, she writes about foster children which they have had, but this is about an abused woman who thinks she has married the perfect man, but after the marriage, he begins to dictate more and more to her and to isolate her. It doesn't take long before he starts physical abuse.

The author made it easy to get inside the mind of a person who is being abused and understand why they find themselves powerless to fight back. I think that is the hardest thing to understand. Sitting her reading the book, I know exactly what she should do, but the insidious nature of the soul destroying intimidation places a person into a completely different world.

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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The Corpse Reader

The Corpse ReaderThe Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. It was so refreshingly new. It is set in the thirteenth-century Tsong Dynasty. It is based on the work of a real person, Cí Song, who is considered to be the founding father of forensic science.

The book starts out with Ci Song as a scholar who is supported by his grandfather who is a noted scholar. Unfortunately, the grandfather dies and Song is forced to return home and become subject to his crass and dissipated older brother. When a crime is committed, he is forced to flee and he returns to the city where his talent for "reading corpses" eventually leads him to the Emperor himself.

Even though one misfortune after another dogs his footsteps, his talent is recognized by his mentor at the school he once attended and he is able to continue to study. There is a serial killer who is killing and mutilating within the circle of even the Emperor himself and Song finds himself in a race to find the killer or be executed.

The author is Spanish and I look forward to more of his books.

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Two for Sorrow (Josephine Tey, #3)

Two for Sorrow (Josephine Tey, #3)Two for Sorrow by Nicola Upson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a little hard to rate. It isn't as much a mystery as a "true crime" story with a more current mystery added on. In 1903, two women were hanged as "baby farmers." That is, women who cared for mothers during the birth of their children, mainly illegitimate children and were supposed to be finding them good homes. In reality, they often killed the babies while they maintained the delusion that the children were in happy homes. This was all mixed up in the extremely contradictory practices and laws of the Victorian era. In so many cases, the women had very little choice and what was done to many of the was criminal.

Josephine Tey, the main character, and also a real person was writing a book about the life of the two women hanged and the author has her involved in a number of coincidences which at times stretch the imagination. The point of the book isn't who committed these crimes, but why.

There is also a section of the book devoted to a lesbian relationship which I found very distracting as it had virtually nothing to do with the book. While somewhat grounded in truth in that Tey was almost certainly a lesbian, this relationship is fictitious and does nothing to contribute.

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