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Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods

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Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods features perhaps the most mature theme of this series, The Underland Crhonicles: the exploration of the morality of biological warfare. Moving new characters, such as Hazard and his father, elevate this story from light and carefree to serious and weighty. In addition to being an enjoyable, entrancing tale, this book also offers much age-appropriate social commentary to consider.
Gregor and the Marks of Secret

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This series got better and better!SPOILER ALERT!!I am still tickled that Mrs. Cormaci was invited into the family secret, and DELIGHTED that Lizzie was brought into the Underland! Of course we knew she was the code cracker, but it was utterly charming to see it happen. I also loved Ripred's confession about his use of the prophecies, and Luxa's indulgent awareness of Ripred's deceit. The characters became rich and full in this book, and the moral tension (to fight or to refuse, to help one's family or to help one's friends) resolved itself perfectly. This was an utterly enjoyable (and fast) read.
Gregor the Overlander

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For some reason I had a hard time getting into the first two or three pages of this book. (My mood, perhaps?) I waited a week and picked it up again, and suddenly I was hooked.This is such a fun fantasy idea: giant rats, bats, roaches, spiders, etc., and pale skinned people. The Underland is a delightful new world.As per my review of Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane, the characters are charmingly diverse and well developed with flaws and virtues, every one. These sort of details make this the kind of story I WANT my children to read! Plus, they are fun for all of us!
The Shallows: How the internet is changing the way we think, read and remember

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Carr's research into controversial scientific findings and hotly contested topics seems thorough, balanced, and well-cited. Even though some of his conclusions are unproven and even tenuous, they are also well thought out and supported. I found his arguments that the internet does reinforce certain types of thinking--types that many of us do not value and would label shallow or addictive rather than useful and thoughtful--convincing. As a social commentary, this book is revealing. It even has functioned for me as a sort of self-help book.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie: A Flavia de Luce Mystery

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This precocious heroine and detective is as charming as can be. The child's innocence and lack of experience in some areas, combined with her unavoidably limited social credibility, nicely balance her genius. This allows her to perfectly fill the role of an old-fashioned detective duo, all on her own: she discovers some of the clues, but simply misses other important details--details that Nero Wolfe or Sherlock Holmes would have to hide from Archie Goodwin or Dr. Watson to keep the solution to the mystery unknown.
The Scarlet Pimpernel

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I've rarely read a book that is such a romp as this. Idealistic to the extreme, fast paced, and at times ridiculous, this exciting tale details a hero's hidden identity and the adventures of a woman who is dangerously embroiled in discovering him. Seen in the adventurous tradition of Zorro or Batman, this book takes on a more serious position in literary history. The Scarlet Pimpernel's influence is not to be ignored.
Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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Jan. 11, 2010I read this book in about 3 hours today. The book surprised me. I couldn't put it down, and not simply because I was holding my napping boy for the first two-hour stint.It wasn't my favorite book--it's hard at times, and I don't turn to books for difficulty or sadness. (I read almost exclusively for escape.) The sad elements of the story lent it an air of realism and cultural significance. And I don't love the potty humor.But I did find the book a meaningful exploration of individual dreams versus community identity, and of racism, an exploration that was broad and self-critical rather than narrow or cliche.I'm so glad I read this book.
Star Trek: Voyager: Unworthy

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This exciting continuation of the Star Trek world is fun and fresh without flitting into obnoxious alternate realities or retreating behind established relationships and plots.
Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead

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I wanted to love this book, given its smart smattering of voodoo, its gritty hard boiled feel, and its sympathetic portrayal of the criminal and impoverished in New Orleans. But I couldn't get through it. It seems like an artful book, but something in it or in me isn't working at the moment.
Favorite Socks

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I love every pattern in this book. The techniques explored range from easy to complex. A variety of methods for achieving the same goal (socks!) are described. I love the versatility this book teaches! Oh, and the patterns are lovely.
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