Sunday, May 9, 2010

Book Review Blog Carnival No. 43

Hello, and welcome Book Review Blog Carnival No. 43! We have a number of interesting reviews spanning several genres, and I am excited to be hosting the carnival this week. Thanks to all who participated, and hope you enjoy reading the reviews as much as I did!


In this edition, we have an eclectic collection of non-fiction books covering topics ranging from libraries and books to food and moms.

In honor of National Library Week, Clark Bjorke at I'll Never Forget The Day I Read a Book, whose brainchild this carnival is, reviews a book about libraries and librarians interestingly titled This Book is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All, and written by Marilyn Johnson. Bjorke writes, " Johnson may be the next John McPhee, able to tease out a fascinating book on even the most mundane subject."

Moving on from libraries to books themselves, Daniel Alarcon's The Secret Miracle: The Novelist's Handbook is recommended by Scouting Technology and the Arts. Scouting says, "what a smart book to "write". Ask some of the best novelists in the world some questions about books and writing, then edit all the replies. Voilà, book written."

Still on the subject of books, How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler is discussed by Reading Scholar. Says Reading Scholar, " If you have the time and interest I would highly recommend you pick up the book. Read and Re-read the chapter on analytical reading until you can flawlessly practice it. The rest of the book is not worth the time because the best way to learn once you know how to analytically read is to actually spend 45- minutes to an hour slowly reading through a book and really understanding it. Practice is the best teacher."

Here is a review that is particularly appropriate on Mother's Day. Busy Moms Who Love to Read highlights Momover by Dana Wood, a guide for new moms about getting it together mentally, physically, and spiritually, and says "I think this book would make a perfect baby shower gift to any mommy-to-be, as long as she likes to laugh at witty repartee."

Food Rules: An Eater's Manual by Michael Pollan is the subject of a review at Science on Tap. According to Science on Tap, "Stripped of science, gobbledygook, and intimidating biochemical terminology, Pollan spells out a straightforward, common-sense, distilled treatise on "rules" for eating soundly, for all concerned with food and nutrition. He boils it down to this: "Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much," and then spends a chapter explicating each of these basic concepts in more (but very simple) detail."

Science Fiction

Frank Herbert's award-winning classic Dune is reviewed by Josh Hanagarne at World's Strongest Librarian. Josh is glad to have read this book and says that Dune "resists summary because, according to its many fans and foes, it is any number of books and few people have the same interpretation.”

Other Fiction

This edition of the Carnival also includes a variety of other fiction books, including books dealing with a variety of relationships and books with an international flavor.

Colloquium reviews The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards, a book on family, relationships and secrets, and states "Compulsively readable and deeply moving, The Memory Keeper's Daughter is a brilliantly crafted story of parallel lives, familial secrets, and the redemptive power of love." Colloquium concludes that this book is "a quick, mostly engrossing read, and perfect for a book discussion group because of the numerous ethical and moral questions it raises."

Another book addressing relationships is Kristy Kiernan's third novel, Between Friends. Sumana at Books With a Cup of Coffee suggests reading this one, saying " I loved the book, it gives you a picture of families dealing with infertility and other chronic illnesses. It makes you feel their emotions, sadness, happiness…you cry with them, laugh with the..try to understand them. I would certainly recommend this book to everybody who loves a good book."

From family relationships to romantic relationships. A historical romance, A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin is the subject of a review by Missy Frye at the Incurable Disease of Writing. This is the first book in the Wings of Glory series by Sundin, and is a "satisfying blend of action, romance, and history" set during World War II. Missy goes on to say " A Distant Melody is an exceptionally well-crafted novel. The characters are superbly developed and the plot and story are gripping."

Jim Murdoch at The Truth About Lies reviews two books with an international flavor. Romanian writer Herta Mueller was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2009, and The Passport is a 92-page novella written by her. It is a narrative of the difficulties faced by an ethnic German living in Romania when he applies for a passport in order to migrate to West Germany. According to Murdoch, "The Passport is a haunting book. I have no doubt that what Müller went through that resulted in the writing of this book will haunt her for the rest of her life."

Jim Murdoch also discusses Stone Tree, a collection of short stories by the Icelandic writer Gyrdir Eliasson. Murdoch says, "I personally liked the book, not every story, but there were only a couple where I felt cheated on the storytelling front but not of the atmosphere front."

Finance, Economics, and Careers

Bargaineering reviews The Little Book of Big Dividends by Charles B. Carlson, which primarily deals with establishing investing goals and dividend investing. Says Bargaineering, "If you’re a seasoned dividend investor, this book will only server as a refresher (I finished it in less than two hours). If you are brand new and/or want to know if you are missing any key ideas in the strategy, then I would put this book on your future reading list."

Christian Personal Finance writes that Where the Jobs Are Now by Joe Watson discusses industries with fast growth rates and is " reference guide to achieve long-term employment. " While the books is heavy on statistics, " The author hopes “Where the Jobs Are Now” will help ones’ search for a lasting and stable career. And, in this tough economy, it might just be the book many are looking for."

Hobbies and Crafts writes recommends a whole series of craft project books "that often come with tools and materials to make the projects described within." This series is the Klutz Krafts for Kids Kits and titles include Paper Fashions, Lettering in Crazy Cool Quirky Style, Quick Draw Flip Books, Shrink Art Jewelry, and FineCraftGuild's favorite, Paper Fashions Fancy.

Katya at Expat reviews Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes, a book on photography. Says Katya, " If you are passionate or interested in fine art photography, this is a must read."

Self Help

Your Best Library writes about Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks. " Your life reveals who you really are. Relax and enjoy your life. Nurture your desires, so that you can feel who you really are. Discover and love yourself. Always remember that life is not about knowledge, but about fulfillment, satisfaction, and joy.”

I would like to thank Clark Bjorke at I'll Never Forget the Day I Read a Book for dreaming up this wonderful carnival and for giving me the opportunity to host. I have come to learn that the carnival has been in existence since September 2008 - keep up the good work, Clark!


  1. Thank you for hosting the carnival, Aruna. You did a beautiful job.

    Readers should know that they can submit their own book reviews to the carnival at our page on and that we have a fan page on Facebook, where carnival events are posted.

  2. We are a not-for-profit educational organization, founded by Mortimer Adler and we have recently made an exciting discovery--three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos, lively discussing the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost.

    Three hours with Mortimer Adler on one DVD. A must for libraries and classroom teaching the art of reading.

    I cannot over exaggerate how instructive these programs are--we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

    Please go here to see a clip and learn more:

  3. Thanks for hosting this event..a good collection we got here ..

  4. Great Job hosting this event. You have a very efficent layout!

  5. Clark, bookswithcoffee, and Outnumbered Mama: thanks so much for your comments - I truly enjoyed hosting this carnival!

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