I laughed, cried and couldn't put it down!

Book title: Dragonfly in Amber
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Audio Cassette
Dragonfly in Amber - book cover picture

I'm don't normally read romance but had happened upon a historical romance involving time travel that I had loved and recommended to a friend. She is turn recommended Diane Gabaldon's series. I've just finished Dragonfly in Amber and loved every moment. I don't think there was one page in this book or the last, Outlander, where my mind wandered. I highly recommend this book! This author is unbelievably gifted in her abilities to keep your interest along a finely woven, but often unexpected, story line. I can't wait to start Voyager!

EAN: 9780553473308
Publisher: Random House Audio
Diana Gabaldon

Most Intriguing

Book title: Children's Past Lives : How Past Life Memories Affect Your Child
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Children's Past Lives : How Past Life Memories Affect Your Child - book cover picture

This book has been one of the best I've read in awhile. More interesting, perhaps, than the subjectof the text is the question begged by the book: why is it the assumption that "we only go around (this lifetime) once? This "once only" assumption is ridiculous. The entire "life process" is indeed a learning process, and one lifetime is surely not enough. Anyway, it seems obvious (to me) that the people most likely to remember past lives would certainly be children, because it is they who have most recently been here before. I think that a follow up book is most certainly called for, and that others should wonder that, just because we're here once, why should that be the only time (we're here)? Otherwise, what's the point in the first place?

EAN: 9780553574852
Pages: 368
Publisher: Bantam
Carol Bowman

a great book by a superb writer

Book title: Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me - book cover picture

In this book we follow in the footsteps and the thoughts of a man who experiences the worst: his (firts-time) lover dies in his arms and leaves him in a house he does not know with a two-year-old. Nevertheless, Marias succeeds in writing a rather light-hearted book. You could call this a psychological novel, or a stream-of-consciousness novel. It is both, and it is more: it is a book about life lived to its fullest and about thinking about life. A superb read!

EAN: 9780151002764
Pages: 311
Publisher: Harcourt
Javier Marias

Wonderful books, and the order was favored by Lewis himself

Book title: The Chronicles of Narnia Set
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Unknown Binding
The Chronicles of Narnia Set - book cover picture

Yes, I grew up reading these books when the series still began with the exquiste "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe," and I still love the original ordering.

However, there is a strong consensus in the publishing industry that the chronological order is what Lewis himself preferred and that this order has merits all its own. In 1957 Lewis wrote a letter to an American boy in which he wrote, "I think I agree with your order [i.e., chronological] for reading the books more than with your mother's. The series was not planned beforehand as she thinks."

Give this order a chance and you may find yourself delighted and surprised. These books are so beautiful it would be difficult for them to be ruined by any choice of sequencing. Lewis was, after all, a reader of medieval literature, in which chronological order was the accepted fashion for structuring a narrative. He seemed to find the variation found within that structure endlessly amazing.

EAN: 9780027577402
Publisher: MacMillan Publishing Company
C. S. Lewis

His best yet

Book title: True Believer
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
True Believer - book cover picture

The premise of this book somewhat reminded me of another that I recently came across and loved: Bark of the Dogwood. Both books deal with a New Yorker going to some place else (the south in both cases) on a mission. But once there they both find more than they bargained for. I do have to say that the Sparks book was much more acessible and easy to read. While I loved them both, I'm been N. Sparks fan from way back. Jeremy Marsh is the main character in this latest Sparks novel, and his background in journalism and his interests make him a fascinating character enough without the journey to a small North Carolina town being thrown in. But it all works wonderfully and whether you like Mr. Spark's novels or not, there's NO WAY you'll want to miss this one. It's really more along the lines of a good Grisham novel than his usual fare. Highly recommended to book lovers of all genres.

EAN: 9780446532433
Pages: 336
Publisher: Warner Books
Nicholas Sparks

A good introduction text to algorithms

Book title: Algorithm Design: Foundations, Analysis, and Internet Examples
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Algorithm Design: Foundations, Analysis, and Internet Examples - book cover picture

I would not consider this book as the ultimate book for algorithms as the title suggests. :-) However, it is a very readable book, and filled with brief, but concise observations. Do not get me wrong. This book also has very detailed explanations of fundamental data structures and algorithms. Also, the best part of the book is that it lists good references for further readings. I loved this book. I would suggest this book to others. Math hints at the back of the books are useful, and some excercises are quite brain challenging. I think it is a great practice for students, but it is not so fun when students get it for assignments. :-)

EAN: 9780471383659
Pages: 720
Publisher: Wiley
Michael T. Goodrich
Roberto Tamassia

If you don't laugh you'll cry, but bet on fits of both.

Book title: Layover
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
Layover - book cover picture

Lisa Zeidner's LAYOVER is the kind of book you read straight through, hardly stopping to feed yourself or make a trip to the bathroom--it's that good, that engrossing. Zeidner's sparse, beautifully crafted prose is right on the money--the work of an accomplished storyteller and, if this novel is any indication, a closet comedienne. (Let's face it, there simply aren't many writers around who can make you cringe and guffaw in the same breath.) I suspect that Claire Newbold, the novel's grieving, unstable protagonist, will be heralded as the prototypical character for the next century, and as such, she's worth listening to. Kudos to Lisa Zeidner for creating a truly sympathetic character whose behavior we, as readers, may also see fit to condemn (even as Claire runs red light after red light, there we are, slouched in the front seat, glad to be along for the ride). Like the book itself, Claire is smart, funny, and brutally honest. LAYOVER is long overdue.

EAN: 9780060956493
Pages: 288
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Lisa Zeidner
Random House Inc.

There aren't enough stars in the heavens

Book title: Confederacy of Dunces
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
Confederacy of Dunces - book cover picture

There simply aren't enough stars in the heavens for this great book. Laugh out loud funny with a dark underlying and warped underbelly, this rollicking and twisted tale is now a southern classic. The main character of Ignatius has got to be the funniest and most disturbed individual ever to grace the written page. Why this book wasn't made into a movie long ago is beyond me. Would also recommend another great book, similar to this one in its scope, humor, and insight: Bark of the Dogwood by Jackson McCrae.

EAN: 9780517122709
Pages: 480
Publisher: Wings
John Kennedy Toole


Book title: The Medieval Cookbook
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Hardcover
The Medieval Cookbook - book cover picture

This is a beautifully presented book and can give you clear and informative advice. The layout of the recipes can be a little clumsy but this is forgiven once you start using it. She references the recipes which is very good from a research point of view and the pictures inside inspire and delight. Only one thing could be improved and that's a recipe index at the front-but I'm probably just being picky.

EAN: 9780500015483
Pages: 143
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Maggie Black

The Girl from CIA

Book title: A Secret Life (Alias)
Rating: 5/5
Binding: Paperback
A Secret Life (Alias) - book cover picture

I love it, I love it, I love it. Not since my Man from UNCLE days as a kid in the 1960s have I enjoyed buying latest print tie-in to my favorite spy show. Back then, I bought up the Ace Paperbacks the day they hit the drugstore bookstands. These days, I feed my Alias fix, especially during the rerun season, with these books. They're obviously written for the teenaged girl (although why that should be so is beyond me--this is an adult show!), but I won't fault the books for that. Not exactly prize-winning thrillers a la John Le Carre or Robert Ludlum, but this is great entertainment nonetheless. If you're an Alias fan, you owe it to yourself to collect these books. If notthing else, like the Ace Paperbacks UNCLE tie-ins of long ago, these will be collectibles when the show is long gone ...

EAN: 9780553493993
Pages: 208
Publisher: Bantam Books for Young Readers
Laura Peyton Roberts

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