Category Archives: Book Review

Book Review: The Woman I Was Born To Be by Susan Boyle

It gets slow in the middle, but when you get to the part about her overnight fame and her incredibly honest reaction to it, it was very inspiring. If you’ve never heard her audition from Britain’s Got Talent, then look it up on YouTube before you read this book.

Content Review: Mild, at the most there were a few swear words.  She’s a very devout Catholic and keeps it clean.


Book Review: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

It’s like Harry Potter meets Ancient Greece with a mix of Bruce Coville’s “My Teacher is an Alien.” It was entertaining, if not a little immature, but the part that was most touching to me was why Rick wrote these stories.  His son loved Greek Mythology and when Rick ran out of stories, he made them up.  He created Percy Jackson off the top of his head and Percy had ADHD and dyslexia like his son did at that time. The author was showing his son how someone became a hero with the same problems he had and, in an indirect way, that he was special.

He talks about this and other things more in his interview here.

Content Rating: Mild, for a few swear words and action.

Book Review: The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

A great murder mystery set in medieval times.  I felt like the main character, William, was a modern character in medieval times. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one that thought this because he addresses it the post script and says that the passages that most people find too “modern” are direct quotes from 14th century texts. I thought the medieval attitude was well portrayed in this book. You could feel the attitude that the world is in decline and that the old days were better than they are now.  I like how he also mentions that there isn’t a story that hasn’t already been told. He talks a lot about books and how “books speak of other books.” I loved this book, but the beginning was hard to get through.  There’s a lot of history that he goes through so get out your Google skills, but it was worth it by the time I got to the end.

Content Rating: Medium, for some suggestive material and some violence.

Book Review: The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan

This book has two parts.  Part 1 is his autobiography and part 2 is various essays on the economy.  The most interesting part of the book was the autobiography at the beginning. If you couldn’t get through that, it doesn’t get better. The exceptions to this are Chapter 21 Education and Income Inequality and the Epilogue – they were both very interesting and thought provoking. If you want to know what the book says without going through the pain of reading the whole thing, the last chapter, the Delphic Future, summarizes the second half of the book fairly well. All in all a very dry book.  However, I did feel a bond with Alan Greenspan because he was a musician before he went into finance.  People thought it was weird that I changed my major from music to finance, but apparently Alan Greenspan did it, too! I liked this book, but then again I’m a finance major.

Book Review: The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Will’s character bugged me most of the time (mostly because he reminded me of Jace from the Mortal Instrument Series).  Sometimes it just didn’t feel like the story and characters “fit” in Victorian England. But overall, it was entertaining.  It was a page-turner for me.  The author is very good at creating an unpredictable story and immersing you in a totally different world.

Content Rating: Medium, for some swearing and some violence.

Book Review: The Great Typo Hunt by Jeff Deck

The cover and title caught my attention at Borders and I had to read it. The book is pretty straight forward as far as the plot, but it was the writing style that made me love this book.  It wasn’t all fluff and entertainment, either.  He grew on the journey and made me laugh my head off along the way.  Here’s some non-spoiler quotes from the book to give you a flavor:

“She described to us six lanes’ worth of unadulterated fear, populated exclusively by motorists whose driving education had been paid for by the blood of pedestrians.”

“The standard clauses of the American dream only included two weeks of vacation a year.”

Content Rating: Medium. I remember it being fairly clean, but there was some language (if I remember right:)

Book Review: Star Wars Trilogy

It was really interesting to read these novels again now that I’ve seen the prequels. The first thing I noticed – the prequels don’t match up to the back story in this book. In fact, the back story from the novels was much more interesting than Episodes I, II, and/or III.

Let’s start with Star Wars Episode IV and it’s more awesome back story.
Obi-wan says, “Vader used the training I gave him and the force for evil, to help the later corrupt Emperors. With the Jedi Knights disbanded, disorganized, or dead, there were few to oppose him. Today they are all but extinct.”

How much better would the prequels have been if Vader was just power hungry and hung out with the wrong crowd? And why are there EMPERORS plural? Again, it sounds like a good guy got in with a bunch of strange politicians and used his Jedi powers for evil.

Then it says the Jedi Knights are disbanded and disorganized. There’s not many details, but wouldn’t it have been more interesting if Vader had just demonized or belittled their religion while ironically still holding on to that very same religion? Or slowly started to blame them, then label them, introduce prejudice and then systematically exterminate them? Sound familiar? Star Wars is, after all, an allusion to Nazism.

On to Episode V.

This is in the movie too, but Luke talks about having been to Degobah before. I think he has and George Lucas forgot.

Episode VI.

This book has back story in it that is the most blatant drift away from the prequels. Too bad it didn’t make it into the movie. It’s AWESOME.

Obi-Wan says, “When your father left, he didn’t know your mother was pregnant. Your mother and I knew he would find out eventually, but we wanted to keep you both as safe as possible for as long as possible. So I took you to live with my brother Owen, on Tatooine…and your mother took Leia to live as the daughter of Senator Organa, on Alderaan.”
What a great story! Secret pregnancies, Padme surviving and hiding her children from her crazy husband, and Owen wasn’t even Luke’s real uncle! Why couldn’t this have been the plot of the prequels?

Later on in the book, talking about Leia it says, “She almost never thought of her real mother – that was like a dream. Yet now Luke’s question made her start. Flashes from her infancy assaulted her – distorted visions of running…a beautiful woman…hiding in a trunk.”  I want to hear the rest of that story.
In the movie, it implies that Leia is talking about her adopted mother. But in the book it’s clear she remembers her adopted mother and her real mother.

Reading this book just made me mad at George Lucas. I couldn’t put it any better than Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.

“I prefer to be disappointed in the order George Lucas intended.”

As far as the writing in the novels goes, it was good for Episodes IV and V. Episode VI, Return of the Jedi, got on my nerves a little with his literal translations of everything Artoo and Chewie had to say. Grawrrrr and beepeiodoo lost their charm really fast.

Book Review: My Life in France by Julia Child

It made me want to cook, eat and live in France! She’s very funny and honest. It took forever to realize that when she said “marketing” she really meant “shopping at the market.” Her story was very inspiring and it was fun to know that she loved cooking for no better reason than she loved eating.  Same here!

Content Rating: Mild.  Julia swears here and there, but nothing terrible.

Book Review: Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

It made me laugh out loud sometimes, but swears so much that I wouldn’t recommend it. The movie catches the essence of what she went through in the book.  There are some scenes in the book that were funny and didn’t make it into the movie, but there are also a few gross stories that didn’t make it into the movie, either.  Overall, the writing was good.

Content Rating:  High, for strong language.

Book Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

I was disappointed by this book – 200 pages in I was still waiting for the story to start. I had to make myself finish it. It was more teen novel with a tiny bit of super-natural sprinkled in.  That being said, I like super-natural stories and I was expecting there to be more of a super-natural element than there was.  So it might be that I didn’t like it because I had different expectations.  Lots of people like this book and it’s a good murder mystery, but I don’t like murder mysteries, either.

Content Rating: Medium, there was a long make-out section that I skipped over and there may have been some swearing (It’s been a while since I read it and I don’t remember:)