August 2014 Archives

The Paris Architect

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Click for availability and more information The Paris Architect, by Charles Belfoure
 
The years the Nazis occupied Paris during World War II can be a great setting for historical fiction and Charles Belfoure has added an interesting book, The Paris Architect, to the genre. His main character, Lucien Bernard, is an architect who is approached by a fellow Frenchman to build a hiding place so a French Jew can hopefully live through the Nazi rule in Paris. Bernard is thrown into a moral crisis and he does come to a resolution of how he will handle the situation. Belfoure's writing of occupied Paris is often gripping with the evils of the Nazi rule evident in so many facets of Parisian life. The characters the authors has created are well drawn, especially the Coco Chanel-type fashion designer who collaborates with the Nazis. The Paris Architect might make good reading for book groups as it can raise good discussion points as Bernard tries to deal with the issues that arise in times of war.
-Roy

The Cuckoo's Calling

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Click for availability and more information The Cuckoo's Calling, by Robert Galbraith
 
Lovers of mystery writing, especially of authors who set their stories in Britain, can take note of a new (by name at least) author, Robert Galbraith, who is beginning a series of stories that will feature a memorable private detective. The Cuckoo's Calling introduces Cormoran Strike, a disabled veteran of fighting in the Middle East for Britain, who is struggling to organize a detective agency. The family of a super model engages him to determine if she did indeed commit suicide or was murdered. While the story might ramble at times, this is basically a fun read. Galbraith (a pen name, as has been widely discussed, for J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame) sets his story within the celebrity world of London models, actors and movie executives and the reader gets a good trip with those assorted characters as Strike solves the mystery. A humorous subplot is Strike's fumbling attempt to add a secretary/office assistant to his detective agency. Galbraith has published a second mystery featuring Strike and The Cuckoo's Calling is a good way to start this series.
-Roy

War Letters

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Click for availability and more information War Letters
 
I recently viewed the PBS American Experience DVD War Letters. It's a very touching, and sad, documentary. What struck me most was the common thread of bravery, fear and loneliness that every soldier faces when fighting in a war - from the Revolutionary War to more recent conflicts like the war in Iraq. It's also a testament to those willing to answer the call of their country. Young people have always risked their lives to protect the United States - regardless of their politics. I would like to think that someday there will be no war; but until then, I'm afraid young men will continue to exhibit the qualities that make the average person do heroic things.
-Carl

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Regarding the Fountain

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Click for availability and more information Regarding the Fountain, by Kate Klise
 
The Dry Creek Middle School drinking fountain has sprung a leak, so Principal Russ requests a new one from Flowing Waters Fountains, Etc. The designer responds that all fountains are custom made. Soon the fountain project takes on a life of its own, one chronicled in letters, postcards, memos, transcripts, and official documents. The school board president is up in arms. So is Dee Eel, of the water-supply company. A scandal is brewing, and Mr. Sam N.'s fifth grade class is turning up a host of hilarious secrets buried deep beneath the fountain.
-Deirdre

Click for availability and more information Danny's Doodles (The Jelly Bean Experiment), by David Adler
 
Danny Cohen and Calvin Waffle are two very different kids. Danny likes playing baseball; Calvin enjoys strange experiments. Danny follows the rules at school; Calvin tries to drive his teacher crazy.

Danny and Calvin decide to team up for the big jelly bean experiment. Will it lead to trouble? Maybe. Will they have fun trying? You can count on it.
-Deirdre

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This page is an archive of entries from August 2014 listed from newest to oldest.

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