Thursday, June 5, 2014

Book Report June 2014

Highway of Eternity (1986) by Clifford Simak

One of my favorite sci-fi authors. This is a time-travel book, but done the way I like it. No weird paradoxes to make your brain hurt. Tom Boone has a talent that enables him to avoid personal catastrophe by “going around a corner.” That’s the only way he can explain it. He uses his talent to help a group of refugees from a million years in the future. There’s quite a lot of back and forth with time, but again, it’s not tiresome trying to wrap your brain around it.
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Miss Buncle’s Book (1934) by D.E. Stevenson

Total fun!! I love cozy country English books. Miss Buncle is a spinster of limited financial means, living in a small village in the English countryside. Of the few options open to her, she decides to write a book about the townspeople, disguising names of course. She even uses a pseudonym so they won’t know that she is the author. Her book is published, and quickly becomes a best-seller. When the townspeople start reading it, though, they know immediately that the book is about THEM. Miss Buncle has included herself in the book, to further mislead them as to the real author. Delightful all the way through.
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Assignment in Eternity (1953) by Robert Heinlein

I’ve read several Heinlein books. Some I liked, some not. He was a freethinker and a proponent of free love, and it showed in his books. I liked the stories, but kind of got tired of all the group sex. This book had 4 short stories/novellas from his earlier years, and I like them quite a lot. Good plots and no sex. What little there was, was only between 2 people, not a group.
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Mona Lisa Smile (2003) by Deborah Chiel

This book was based on the movie, which I never saw. I enjoyed the book quite a bit. It takes place in the 50s at Wellesley. The new art history teacher has some radical ideas about a woman’s role in life. She tries to get the idea across that marriage and motherhood are not the only choices a woman has. She has to battle the powers-that-be as well as some of the students.
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The Duchess Disappeared (1979) by Barbara Cartland

The formula is about the same, but still enjoyable. English orphan Fiona and her niece Mary-Rose are brought to Scotland, as Mary-Rose is the last in the line of a Scottish clan. As a Scot, Mary-Rose is treated well, while Fiona is simply viewed as a servant to her niece. There is a happy ending, of course.
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Kildee House (1949) by Rutherford Montgomery

This YA book tells the story of stonemason Jerome Kildee, who retires to the redwoods. He builds a small cabin and lives peacefully amongst the wilderness. He doesn’t want any connection to people, but welcomes the raccoons and skunks that come around to live in and under his house. The nearest neighbor is quite a long walk away, but the young girl of the family starts coming around to see the animals and strikes up a friendship with the old man.

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