Posted in Friday Reads, Writing

Friday Reads: Two Books

I’ve started reading two books this week:

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

I started rereading the Harry Potter series just because I thought it was time. (After all, if you enjoy a series, why stop?) The edition of the third novel, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, that I’m reading right now is the UK edition. I hadn’t heard of this series until the first movie came out; probably about the same time that Goblet of Fire was all over my local Barnes & Noble. I borrowed the first book from a friend at church and devoured it in one day! I had to get to the library to borrow the other three.

As each novel and/or movie was released, my mom and I made a tradition of rereading all of the books in the series up to that point… and then rereading in between just because I loved it so much. So I’ve read the early novels at least five times, for sure.

 

Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars

Now, when you hear about the space race and rocket programs, who do you most hear about? The men, right? Did you know that women were just as much involved in getting rockets into space as the men? That’s what Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars is about. Back in these early days – the early- to mid-twentieth century – there were only three jobs available to women: secretary, teacher, or nurse. But, by golly, there were women even in those days that just loved math. Enter the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where the women could work as computers – an ancient term that once referred to a person who performed calculations – and fill notebooks with very intricate computations and trajectories of the rockets they tested.

I can’t wait to see where this book goes. I’ve learned the stories of just a handful of the women so far, being only in Chapter 3, and I have just another week to read it before I have to return it to the library – unless I’m able to renew it – since it’s such a new book.

Posted in Book Review, Friday Reads

Friday Reads: “Unspoken” and “Danger in the Shadows

This edition of “Friday Reads” may contain spoilers of the books I’ve read this week.

Unspoken
image from Amazon.com

A couple of weeks ago, I borrowed Dee Henderson’s novel Unspoken on my Kindle from my local library. I had read the description and thought it would be an intriguing read. Wednesday night, I started reading.

I found myself disappointed.

The male main character is Bryce Bishop, the owner of Bishop Chicago, an antique coin shop. His female counterpart is Charlotte Graham, a mysterious woman who has inherited her grandfather’s great wealth, a trucking/storage business, and millions of dollars’ worth of antique coins that she wants to sell. She was also a kidnapping victim when she was a teen, and refuses to talk about it.

Part of what disappointed me was during the conversations between Bryce and Charlotte about the coins. Each conversation, as part one went on, felt more and more like massive info dumps of coin collecting knowledge with little/poor/no explanation for the non-coin-collecting reader.

Then, when Bryce asks a mutual friend about Charlotte’s past, there’s very little hesitation before the friend reveals the truth. I would have figured the friend would have encouraged him to wait a little longer before asking Charlotte instead. The religious conversation that took place near the end of part one bothered me, too, though I’m not really sure why. Maybe the way Bryce put everything is not how I would have done it.

For what may be only the second time in my life, that I can remember, I had no desire to see how a book ended. I couldn’t finish it, and returned it to the library’s eBook catalog the next day.

Danger in the Shadows
image from Amazon.com

Instead, I picked up an old favorite, another by Dee Henderson: Dangers in the Shadows. My aunt first introduced me to this book, the prequel to the O’Malley series, in 2005, and I was hooked from page 1. It’s a nice blend of suspense, budding romance, and Christian discussions. I’m still in the the first chapter – Sara and Adam are about to meet – so I’ll save more of this for next time. Actually, I plan to read this one slower than I normally do. I want to make notes as I read. I’m interested in writing a Christian romantic suspense novel, and I find this whole series to be a good example of what I want.