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The Powell's Playlist | August 8, 2014

Peter Mendelsund: IMG The Powell's Playlist: Water Music by Peter Mendelsund

We "see" when we read, and we "see" when we listen. There are many ways in which music can create the cross-sensory experience of this seeing...... Continue »
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Customer Comments

techeditor has commented on (115) products.

The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad) by Tana French
The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad)

techeditor, August 20, 2014

What a pleasant surprise! A book that seems at first to be just another young-adult novel, THE FEVER turns out to be a darned good mystery. That is better than just a good mystery. Add "darned" because everybody is suspect, anything could be it, and the solution is a surprise. Plus, although YA bores readers who shy away from "easy reading" and prefer more complex novels that deal with adults and adult situations, THE FEVER becomes almost unputdownable even though its main characters are teenagers and it's an easy read.

High school girls are having seizures, getting sick, and talking strange, one after another. There are lots of high school settings and teenager dilemmas. So, if you shy away from YA, it will be tempting to skim some of the story. If you do, though, you may miss clues to what is to blame. Abbott sticks clues everywhere, in many teenager conversations and situations.

Even if you think you're above this YA reading level, if you like good mysteries, you'll probably enjoy this one.
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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Me Before You

techeditor, August 16, 2014

I finally read ME BEFORE YOU. I hate romance books and heard this is. But it got so many great reviews last year, I thought this one must be special. It is.

This review isn't to give a synopsis; this is not to tell the story but to describe my reaction to it without revealing it. Read this book.

As a handicapped person, I can tell you that Jojo Moyes does successfully relate the frustrations felt by a man trapped in a handicapped body. So, although the story is told mostly by a young woman who takes a job as a caregiver of this handicapped man and although I guess you could say the story ends up being a romance, it is more than that. Even if you wouldn't be caught dead with a romance book, make this an exception.

The first 30 or so pages are a bore. I would have discarded the book after 50 pages if it had stayed that way. But it gets better, so much that I didn't want to put it down.

Only one criticism: Will, the quadriplegic man, is pretty much left to rot for 2 years before Lou comes on the scene. His parents could have come up with things like different wheelchairs and voice recognition software, yet nothing happens until Lou.

That is not realistic. But it does serve the story well.
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Fetch the Devil: The Sierra Diablo Murders and Nazi Espionage in America by Clint Richmond
Fetch the Devil: The Sierra Diablo Murders and Nazi Espionage in America

techeditor, August 7, 2014

FETCH THE DEVIL deserves points for its studious research, a lot of it never before made public. This book reveals some of the extensive Nazi spy networks in America before World War II.

That must be the reason so many other reviews of this book rant and rave about how good it is. I, however, look for more than that. I want to enjoy what I read, not just find it interesting.

A page turner this is not. It reads like a report, even the descriptions of the mother and daughter and their mysterious murders.

Also, this reports more on the network of Nazis and their discovery and apprehension or escape than it does on the unsolved murder case and its investigation. That may disappoint you if you, like I did, expect a true crime story.
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The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps by Michael Blanding
The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps

techeditor, July 19, 2014

It's not that I don't appreciate the subject matter. But I often felt that I was receiving a history lesson rather than reading the story of a Harvard-educated dealer in rare maps who turned into a map thief, stealing maps worth millions of dollars.

Yes, the reader needs to realize the enormity of this crime. So history lessons are in order. But I felt tricked by the dust jacket and flap. They promise a "gripping story" about this man's crimes. Instead, the majority of this short book describes different map makers from maps' beginnings, explaining how these old maps SHOW history.

But it is because I do appreciate this subject matter that I give this book a higher rating than I otherwise would.

Thank you to JulzReads.Wordpress.Com for a finished hard copy of THE MAP THIEF.
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Second Watch (J.P. Beaumont Novels) by J A Jance
Second Watch (J.P. Beaumont Novels)

techeditor, May 23, 2014

I entered a contest for this book at the Thoughts in Progress blog. Now I'm sorry because someone else could have won it, someone who knows and likes Jance's many previous novels. I had never read Jance and was curious about her popularity. Turns out I don't appreciate her even though others do.

This is a book in Jance's J.P. Beaumont series. I got as far as page 63. Beaumont is in the hospital recovering from knee surgery, having incredibly detailed dreams that recall exactly a case he worked 40 years ago. I didn't buy it.

The biggest reason I'm finding it so easy to put this book down: I was expecting a thriller but was not thrilled. By page 63, I was not even interested.
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