Title: What You Need To Know Before You Invest Author: Rod Davis Source: library Rating: Fun Fact: The Dow Jones index was created in 1884, when it included 11 companies and was computed by hand. Review Summary: This was mostly an easy read and seemed like a good introduction to the different types of investments.
Investing is a topic that makes me anticipate being confused, bored or both, so I approached this book with a certain amount of trepidation. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up at all if it weren’t for two things. First, my significant other and I are reaching a stage in our careers where knowing something about investing seems responsible. Secondly, my attempt to read through the Dewey Decimal system made this day inevitable. Fortunately, the majority of the book was a much easier read than I expected.
Title: Frozen In Time Author: Mitchell Zuckoff Source: from publisher for review Rating: Fun Fact: The Greenland coastline is longer than the distance around the equator. Review Summary: Another awesome example of narrative non-fiction from Zuckoff, packed with adventure, drama, and a personal touch that makes the reader feel like the know the people involved.
During WWII, planes routinely used Greenland as a staging point to get from the US to Europe. From this story, it seems as though planes almost as routinely ended up crashing due to the wind and poor visibility! In Frozen In Time, a B-17 participating in a search and rescue mission crash lands with all men on board miraculously surviving the crash. A Gruman Duck amphibious plane which is part of a daring rescue mission crashes as well and since none of the men on board survived, the plane is never retrieved. Frozen In Time tells both the story of the many daring rescue attempts necessary to retrieve the men aboard the B-17 and the modern day story of the hunt for the lost Duck.
Title: The Time of My Life Author: Cecelia Ahern Source: from publisher for a TLC Book Tour Rating: Review Summary: Clever, unique, inspirational, with a main character I could definitely relate to – I loved this book!
When Lucy receives the following letter “Dear Lucy Silchester, You have an appointment for Monday 27th July 2011. Yours sincerely Life.” it is neither a metaphor nor a joke. In this wonderful alternate reality, every person has another person who is their life. Their life reflects how things are going for their paired person in their health, appearance, and happiness levels. Needless to say, Lucy’s life is not happy. Having let her relationships and herself go while focusing on a dead-end job she doesn’t like, it’s time for Lucy to make time for her life.
Title: Beautiful Ruins Author: Jess Walters Source: from publisher for review Rating: Review Summary: I was completely blown away by the reality of this novel, with its intense emotion; believable characters; and insights into human nature.
To explain all the things this book is about would require a long summary, such as that on goodreads, but here is my best attempt at a shorter description. Beautiful Ruins involves two main stories. One, set in 1962, describes a meeting between a young, Italian innkeeper named Pasquale and a beautiful American actress named Dee. The other story follows Pasquale as, fifty years later, he tries to find the actress he felt such a connection with. In between, we get to know the many people who become part of their story, including a young assistant producer becoming disenchanted with Hollywood and a young man struggling to find his place in life.
Title: And Then She Fell Author: Stephanie Laurens Source: from publisher for review Rating: Review Summary: The unique premise and appealing heroine made this both a great romance and an exciting mystery.
Henrietta Cynster doesn’t believe she’s meant to fall in love. Instead she’s devoted her time to helping other young women determine if their suitors are truly motivated by love. However, when she breaks up a match that was motivated by good intentions (but not love) she feels honor-bound to help James find another bride. This being a romance, Henrietta and James are immediately attracted to one another, but their own stubbornness and some societal constraints have to be overcome before they realize it. Once they do, the book becomes largely a mystery, although one intended mainly to highlight the depths of their feeling for each other.
Title: An Elegant Madness: High Society in Regency England Author: Venetia Murray Source: library Rating: Fun Fact: In Regency England it was considered a great honor to be invited to watch the fashion icon Beau Brummel get dressed. Review Summary: The tone is straightforward and factual, but the information included is fascinating and engaging all on its own.
Regency England was a time period that technically lasted from 1811-1820 and which you might recognize as the setting of the genre known as “regency romances”. An Elegant Madness is an impressively thorough discussion of the time period, with chapters on everything from clothes to dinners, to society and scandalous sex lives. Although the author’s tone is fairly scholarly and dry, the topics and first hand accounts make for some fascinating reading.
Title: Salt: A World History Author: Mark Kurlansky Source: library Rating: Fun Fact: When mummies (preserved with salt) were moved into Cairo in the 1800’s, they were taxed as salted fish. Review Summary: Mostly an engagingly written overview of history organized around salt, but with a few too many details of specific recipes and cod fishing.
Writing a world history organized by the way everything connects back to salt was a surprisingly brilliant idea. Because salt was a strategic concern in the organization of many countries and their wars, it’s possible to touch on many of the most interesting periods in history by talking about salt. This could very easily have led to a disorganized book, but each chapter focused on a specific country and the book generally moves forward in time. Together, that was enough to give the book a cohesive feel.