Thursday, April 29, 2010

Post Your Own Book Reviews !

It would be great if you, our JCPL customers and fans, would post your own book reviews here. Just use Comment (on this Post) to write your review.

New Book on Conspiracy Theory vs Fact

Voodoo Histories: The Role of the Conspiracy Theory in Shaping Modern History by David Aaronovitch

Very interesting book as it describes how many people prefer to believe conspiracy theory rather than research the facts about current events and recent history. -Jim Wichman

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Timely book on real estate markets and banking

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis 

This book explains the recent financial crisis better then any of the six books I have read on the subject. -Jim Wichman

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Learn to Feel Better & Present the Real You--Using Your "Own" Colors

The Color of Style : A Fashion Expert Helps You Find Colors That Attract Love, Enhance Your Power, Restore Your Energy, Make a Lasting Impression, and Show the World Who You Really Are by David Zyla

It was fun to kick back and relax with the newest book on personal use of color. I was surprised that David Zyla hit a home run helping people find their true "base" colors similar in theory to an old book by Florence Littauer that I considered to be the best on the subject. I just wish he showed the palettes of color, like the old Littauer book.

Colorist/stylist for celebrities, Zyla tells how to use your own body colors to find what makes you feel very comfortable and to express yourself in different situations or occasions. This book can help people get rid of the "wrong" things in their closets, choose a new wardrobe, or just one piece of clothing or an accessory. Learn to make a statement in business, romance, or decor, and be a better you, the way you were created to be!

Becky Brewer

Good garden book: Planthropology

Planthropology: The Myths, Mysteries, and Miracles of My Garden Favorites by Ken Druse  

This is a good book for anyone that enjoys plants and gardening. "It uncovers scientific facts, dispels myths, exposes controversies, tells some rollicking good anecdotes, and, along the way, casually dispenses an abundance of practical gardening wisdom." I enjoyed reading this book. -Jim Wichman

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Hidden Flame by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke

I love history. The older the better, and I especially enjoy Biblical fiction. Davis Bunn and Janette Oke wrote The Hidden Flame as part of a series called "Acts of Faith" about people who lived in the early Christian era. With the freedoms America enjoys, I don't always stop to realize how difficult it would have been to be a Christian at the beginning of the church. If the Romans weren't watching you for signs of sedition (a crime worthy of crucifixion), then the rulers of the temple where accusing you of blasphemy.

Abigail and her younger brother Jacob do their best to survive in this tempestuous time. Jacob suffers all the traumas of orphaned adolescents on top of that. Abigail, as a young beautiful Judean woman finds herself with two suitors for her hand. One is a rich Jewish merchant and one is a Roman centurion. As the plot comes to a head, Abigail finds herself with a surprise fiance. Although this book is entire in itself, a reader can easily see how more titles could be added to the series.

This book is currently in the New Book section. Pick it up for a quick, engrossing trip to the first century AD.


Inside the Kingdom by Carmen Bin Ladin

Having heard things about the treatment of women in Iraq, I wondered how Carmen Bin Ladin would describe Saudi Arabia and the Bin Laden family. Inside the Kingdom gives her account of her life there.

Carmen was raised in Switzerland by a Persian (Iranian) mother and a Swiss father. She met Yeslam Bin Ladin in Switzerland and together they attended college in Californina. Carmen tells how big a step it was to go from American freedom to the strictures imposed on women in Saudi Arabia. She talks about how women aren't encouraged to have opinions on much of anything and how difficult it was for her to hold a conversation with her mother- and sisters-in-law. Due to catastrophic events in the country, Yeslam started to have a quiet nervous breakdown. Carmen knew her own and the lives of her three girls would come under less and less freedom, so after a vacation in Geneva, she and the girls stayed. When called to Saudi Arabia to appear in divorce court, Carmen believed that her husband would have accused her of adultery for which the penalty is death. She hadn't gone back as of the writing of this book.

Just as interesting as her own story, one finds Osama Bin Ladin woven through the tale. One of the most eye-opening passages tells how Osama became a national hero when he went to Afghanistan with heavy equipment to help the Afghanis build bunkers and tunnels during the Russian invasion. It occurred to me, "No wonder he's so hard to find! He built all the hidey-holes himself!"

This book was an education for me. It's short and a quick read. You can find it in the Biography section.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

I'm a sucker for a good title and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer has that in spades. Before I picked up the book, I had a cow in mind rather than the Island of Guernsey which is between France and England.

The story takes place immediately after World War II. A woman writer gets a letter from a man on Guernsey saying that he has a copy of a poetry book with her name and address inside. He tells her one episode that takes place during the German occupation of the Channel Islands in which a small group of people get caught out after curfew. They were on their way home from an illegal pig roast. When she answers his letter with an explanation of how her book may have come into his possession, a friendship begins between her and all the members of the society.

Having spent many hours reading Anne Frank and various books about concentration camps when I was young, this book showed a whole other viewpoint. There were still the difficulties and tragedies one expects during wartime, but I found the bits of humor, the small rebellions, and the strength of friendships to be a refreshing new way of seeing WWII.

By the way, you can find suggestions for the potato peel pie recipe online, but it is never directly given in the book.

When you read this, keep your eye on Elizabeth's story. In my opinion, this is a book not to be missed.