Read Books This will provide a list of the books I've read with a brief review. Users are blocked, contact me for access. I welcome discussions, but I'm tired of spam.

August 30, 2012

Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

Filed under: Humor,Mystery,Series — Tags: — Randolph @ 8:00 pm

Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

The Spellmans are back in their typical dysfunctional way. D (Demetrius Merriweather), an ex-con introduced in Document #4, has joined the crew. We are also introduced to Sydney Spellman, David’s daughter, who seems to have her own neurotic association with bananas. Rae is sitting in trees. And Grammy Spellman is coming to live with the family, if only someone could get along with her.

Investigations are starting to interfere with each other, they have to introduce a Chinese Wall. And then someone in the family will have to defeat it. There is a real shake-up brewing in the Spellman home.

Investigations introduce a neurotic mathematician, someone broke into his home and made toast. Then there’s the family who want to investigate their daughter, and another man who just wants to be followed. A wife who wants to have her husband followed, and whose brother wants her followed.

Naturally, Izzy has to cross everyone she meets, pushing her own luck with the company. She is still seeing ex-boyfriend #13, but for how long?

This book answers a lot of questions:
* Why doesn’t David seek revenge on his sister, Rae?
* Has D been dating a single woman in secret?
* Have D and Grammy Spellman founded a friendship, or a conspiracy?
* Who broke into the mathematician’s house to make toast and do other forms of sabotage?
* How can they get rid of Grammy?

Just in case everything might become reasonable in the Spellmans home, they introduced nicknames. But there is little risk of functionality in this family.

August 26, 2012

The Art of Reading by Timothy Spurgin

Filed under: Literature — Randolph @ 8:55 am

The Art of Reading by Timothy Spurgin

The Art of Reading is a lectures series from Great Courses. The author is an English professor at Lawrence University.

The series discusses how to get more out of a book. It is divided into two parts, the first half examines different aspects of literature and compares works with different styles. The second half looks at works of literature using the techniques from the first half to offer more insight into the works.

The author discusses styles of narration, descriptions, and the use of plot devices to develop the story. He provides clues to recognize different styles and compares works using these styles. He does the same for plot and characters. He discusses the role of the author and his relationship to the narrator and how to “preread” a book to prepare for the reading.

Most of the second half of the book discusses specific works of fiction and how to analyze them using the provided tools. He also discusses related items such as how a book is translated into a movie and why they differ so much, as well as dialog, the use of irony, and rhythm.

I found the series enjoyable and enlightening. Maybe I can get a little more out of reading in the future.

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