Street Mourning by Dianne Day
Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
Mystery, Historical. Fremont Jones returns to her home town of Boston and
is embroiled in a mystery involving her father and his new wife.
Beacon Street Mourning is
the latest book in the Fremont Jones mystery series. I had high hopes that
Fremont would finally grow up in this book, because her immaturity is the
one weakness of this series. The historical details are rendered convincingly
(San Francisco shortly before and following the 1906 quake), the supporting
characters are unique and interesting, and the mysteries are not bad. Fremont
herself is smart, adventurous, and resourceful - just what you want in
a heroine. Her only drawback is the childish way she conducts her personal
life. In this book (#6 in the series), Fremont and her partner/lover Michael
travel to Boston to visit her father who is gravely ill. After her father
dies, her suspicions are aroused and Fremont begins to investigate. We
get to see Fremont in the intellectual Boston society she fled from years
ago. Fremont does grow a bit and develop into a stronger person, but the
author stops short of resolving all of her hang-ups. This is bad for Fremont
and good for publishing more books. I would highly recommend reading the
rest of the series before starting this book, since it is very focused
on character development - more so than any of the previous books. I give
it 4 out of 5 stars and I'll definitely pick up the next book when it comes
A Triumph by T.E. Lawrence
Non-Fiction, Military History. T.E. Lawrence describes his experiences
fighting the Turks in the Middle East Theater during WWI.
I had always avoided reading
7 Pillars because its long, dense, big, long...well you get the idea. But
then Karen read it and enjoyed it, and well...Oh, my god, what an incredible
It is not only a good book
in its own right, filled with fascinating details, adventure, excitement,
and introspection. It not only details a period in history which helped
create the Modern Middle East. It is not only one of most successful examples
of an autobiography that I have ever read.
But it is one of those books.
You know the books that authors read. The books that help shape characters,
dialog, and plot in other stories. Like a stone falling in a pond, the
effect ripples out. I found myself recognizing so many ideas and concepts.
I'd give it five out of five
stars. It is a brilliant book and a fascinating read. One word of warning
however, a bit like a really large slice of chocolate fudge cake. It is
hard to eat in one sitting.
Warriors Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
Fiction, far future. Miles Vorkosigan, the physically disabled son of an
important political figure, fails to get into the Barrayaran Imperial military
academy and has a series of escalating adventures involving intrigue, mercenaries,
worm hole blockades, and a whole lota flim flam.
Lois is one of my favorite
authors and WA is one of my favorite books. It may not be as polished as
some of her later books, but WA, as the start of Lois' long running Vorkosigan
series, makes up for it in sheer power.
There are scenes that make
me laugh every time I read them. And there is a scene that I cry every
time I read it. Yes, I laughed, I cried, it is way better than Cats,.
Beyond that, this is a good
solid adventure story with likable characters. Miles is magnetic. The supporting
cast is well developed.
Quite seriously, I have never
encountered an author who does characterization better. 5 out 5 just for
creating Miles. (Lois could write a book about Miles sitting by himself
in a room for 200 pages and I'd read it.)