New Book reviews

These sound like good reads if you have a younger crowd who reads or if you have someone to read to.

The Bookish Babe

smellboundAhhhhhh.  There’s nothing quite like the smell of new books to review.  Thanks to my membership in the CLEAR committee, I am well supplied with the fresh smell of hot new releases and crisp pages to turn.  Here are a few of my favorites this time around.

24126838_900758773420633_7414300376913936384_nBonaparte falls apart by Margery Cuyler

Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.

ISBN: 9781101937686                                                              $17.99

A darling tale of friendship and confidence featuring some of your favorite monsters.   Skeleton, Bonaparte, is falling apart- quite literally.  He’s apprehensive about attending school and how the others might react to his dilemma.  Friends Franky Stein, Blacky Widow, and Mummicula try their best to remedy his situation in the ways they know best.  Alas, none of their methods work.  This book abounds with bone-afide wordplay and is accompanied by sparse pencil drawings by Will Terry.  Recommended.

mommies are amazingMommies are amazing by Meredith…

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At Bertram’s Hotel by Agatha Christie

I’m on an Agatha Christie kick so I picked this up at the library.

At Bertram's Hotel (Miss Marple, #11) Stats: The books was first published in January, 1965 (she died in 1971). In print it’s 223 pages. In audio form it’s only 2 discs – 2’20”. I listened to the BBC version, which is a dramatization, so there are multiple people involved, all playing their own character and sound effects – like a radion drama. Always enjoyable to listen to.

Blurb: An old-fashioned London Hotel is not quite as reputable as it makes out! When Miss Marple comes up from the country for a holiday in London, she finds what she’s looking for at Bertram’s Hotel: traditional decor, impeccable service and an unmistakable atmosphere of danger behind the highly polished veneer. Yet, not even Miss Marple can foresee the violent chain of events set in motion when an eccentric guest makes his way to the airport on the wrong day!

What I like: Mostly I liked the presentation of the story in drama form. I didn’t figure out who was the mastermind behind the chain of robberies, but Christie makes it easy to see who is at least partially involved. She has her usual trick of having many people involved in the story itself to keep you guessing on how they all fit in.

What I didn’t like: Miss Marple is hardly part of the story. I read another of Christie’s Miss Marple stories that was the same way. I suppose an old lady can only be in the center of so many murders, but when she isn’t, the stories just aren’t as enjoyable to me. You don’t get a feel for the other characters in a way that you care enough what is going on. And this was very short too.

Rating: 3/5  Not one of her better stories. I would rate the drama a 4/5.

Happy Birthday Virginia Woolf!

Virginia Woolf 1927.jpg Today is Virginia Woolf’s 136th birthday. I’m sorry to say, for such a known author, I have never read any of her novels.  She wrote 9 novels, 6 short story collections and many other works.

She is was born in England in 1882 and died in 1941 at 49 years old by filling a coat she was wearing with rocks and walking into a river near her home. She fought with depression.

Some recommend if you haven’t read Woolf to start with Mrs. Dalloway (published in 1925), so I’ll give it a try. I’ll be sure to write a review.

Death on the Nile – Agatha Christie

Death on the NileI am writing a mystery (the third book in the Agnes Kelly Mystery Adventure) so I want to listen to good mystery novels and who is better than Agatha? – Not many 🙂

Stats: First published Nov. 1, 1937. Audio book is 8 hours (7 discs). This audio books was narrated by the actor David Suchet.

Blurb: (Goodreads) Linnet Doyle is young, beautiful, and rich. She’s the girl who has everything–including the man her best friend loves. When Linnet and her new husband take a cruise on the Nile, they meet brilliant detective Hercule Poirot. It should be an idyllic trip, yet Poirot feels that something is amiss.

What I liked: I really didn’t have a clue to “who done it” until the very end even though the murder took place on a moving boat. And I think the only reason I figured it out before Poirot announced it was I think maybe I have read the story a long time ago but don’t remember that I read it. But I didn’t remember the surprise at the very end. I wonder why Christie decided to add that last bit. It is interesting as a writer how there is quite a bit of setup before the murder even takes place. That would never fly in a story written today. And not only does the murder kill once, but three times before Poirot figures out who did it. I always enjoy Christie’s portrayal of Poirot – he does think highly of himself.

What I didn’t like: There was a bit too much background information to my liking and it got a little confusing about who was who, because there has to be many different characters since the murder happens on a moving boat and there has to be various people to suspect of the crime. David Suchet does a wonderful job creating the different characters.

Rating: 4/5