bookwallah

Reviews
More
The Simple Truth

by

Another thriller that didn't thrill. Plot seemed a tad forced. recommended only for Baldacci faithful.
The Secretary: A Journey With Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power

by

Fresh first person narrative of American foreign policy in the making, from 2008-2011. Written by BBC's embedded correspondent with the American State Department. What makes the read so compelling is the fact that Ghattas grew up in Lebanon during the civil war and presents a decidedly outsider perspective to America's role in the world. Recommended for all who follow international issues closely, regardless of their political persuasions or feelings about Hillary.
The Shadow Patrol

by

Another taut John Wells spy thriller. Wells, morally ambiguous, religiously conflicted, relationally challenged, but operationally a killing machine machine is back doing what he does best: sniffing out trouble, and bring down the hurt. This time it is back to Afghanistan, and all the players are dirty. Recommended for lovers of spy and military genres, others can take a bye.
The Eiger Sanction

by

Saw movie in the 1970s and was irritated by inaccuracies of climbing scenes. Read to see if I disliked it as much as the movie, and I did. Both do a serous disservice to understanding mountaineering.Best thing I can say is it felt like an American spoof on very British James Bond form. Not recommended if you have ever climbed anything.
Why Read Moby-Dick?

by

A wonderful short homage to obsession. Not so much Ahab's towards The Whale, but rather Melville's towards Hawthorne, the struggle to write Moby-Dick, and his struggle with mortality. Perhaps a case could be made for the author Philbrick's obsession with Melville as well.A short read in which those unable to start the classic Moby-Dick may find something to pique their interest. Perhaps of mild interest to sailors who appreciate portrayals of eras that have passed. For those too afraid to start the epic itself you will find a good summary of the best quotes form Moby-Dick.
100 Documents That Changed the World: From Magna Carta to WikiLeaks

by

Unrelated diagrams from a wide swath of history. Some will be very familiar, but many will not. Nice treatment of illustrations, but limited use of color. Almost a coffee table book. Highlights the importance of visual communication. Recommended for those who rely on visual means for technical communication.
Kill Alex Cross: (Alex Cross 18)

by

Better than average Patterson beach read. Alex Cross, detective in Washington DC police force once again outsmarts the entire US Government and all the three letter agencies. Nice vignette highlighting the plight of a homeless kid.
The Wisdom of John Muir: 100+ Selections from the Letters, Journals, and Essays of the Great Naturalist

by

Wonderful introduction to writings of John Muir. Arranged thematically with lots of commentary to set historical context. Climbers will love chapter 7 on some of Muir's more dangerous forays into the unclimbed Sierras. Recommended for all who would like to gain insights into the origins of the American environmental movement.
The Million Death Quake: The Science of Predicting Earth's Deadliest Natural Disaster

by

Layman's guide to understanding the science behind earthquakes. Written in highly accessible style, the author goes to great lengths to makes things understandable. Interesting review of historical events that added to the developing science explaining earthquakes. Final section on what should this mean for us today was lacking. Recommended for anyone living in an active earthquake zone who wishes to more accurately assess the risks.
Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century

by

Books initially shows lots of promise - but end the end a lack of delivery. Book attempts to examine military and intelligence funding of neuroscience from perspective of an ethicist. Research topics vary wildly, and there is lack of sufficient structure to tie it all together. A few interesting chapters, but only recommended for the someone who just wants broadest coverage of topics without needing a story to relate them together.
scribd