Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Book Review: The Survival Handbook

I am an indoor girl. Sure, I enjoy watching Survivorman with my sons, but I like civilization. I hope I never have to use much of the information that is in The Survival Handbook:Essential Skills for Outdoor Adventure, but if I need it, the book is likely to be a great help. I particularly like the clear instructions for finding and preparing water and food and the first aid section.

Because of my lack of expertise in surviving without four walls and indoor plumbing, I asked my husband to take a look at the book. He is an avid hiker, backpacker, and sleep-in-the-woods kind of guy. I was lucky to get the book back. He spent two straight evenings going through page by page, and at the end pronounced the book "very useful."

He liked the variety of information presented. He and I both liked the illustrations, always a strength of DK books. I, personally, miss the classic DK look with photos and clean crisp type, but that is just a stylistic preference and doesn't affect the effectiveness of the book.

Lots of good information. Clearly presented. This book is a keeper, even for an indoor girl like me.

Book Review: Certain Jeopardy

Certain Jeopardy was an enjoyable book. The story was well-told and the characters were believable.

Co-written by an Army Chaplain and an author of many Christian books, it is the story of a Special Ops team on a mission to Venezuela. As the story moved to its conclusion the fast-paced action kept me reading. I enjoyed the way the authors wove the lives of the families back home in throughout the story.

I don't usually enjoy Christian fiction, because so often the belief seems to drive the story. In this book the story was told, and the Christian belief was a part of it, but in a way that fit the story and made sense. It also wasn't simplistic in the Christian/good, not Christian/bad way that I have seen at times in Christian fiction. Not all of the characters were Christians. The leader of the team, arguably the main character, was not, and was presented as a decent man. From a theological point of view, I liked it that this book didn't present belief as a cure-all that would make all of the characters' problems disappear.

Some reviewers have found the lack of swearing disconcerting--it is referred to, but not written--as such language tends to be de rigeur in books involving the military. I found its absence refreshing. I know it's realistic, and it doesn't keep me from reading other books, but it's nice to have a break from it.

Not a great work of literature, but a decent and entertaining read.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

It's a book meme

Found this at RAsburry's Res. If you want to do it, consider yourself tagged and let me know in the comments that you answered it.

Book Confessions Meme

1. To mark your page you: use a bookmark, bend the page corner, leave the book open face down?
Bookmark, post-it note, receipt, or--once in a while--dog ear. Never leave it open. That's a good way to lose a page.

2. Do you lend your books?
Yes. And frequently lose track of them, buy a new one, and then get the original back.

3. You find an interesting passage: you write in your book or NO WRITING IN BOOKS!
Yes, I write in books. I know a book is particularly good if it has lots of underlinings, exclamation points, and turned down pages to mark something i want to go back to.

4. Dust jackets - leave it on or take it off.
Take it off, read the book, put it back on.

5. Hard cover, paperback, skip it and get the audio book?
Don't care if it's hard or paper, although paper is cheaper. Audi books very rarely. Harry Potter for long trips with kids. A few others because hearing the author read hisown words was too good a chance to pass up.

6. Do you shelve your books by subject, author, or size and color of the book spines?Mostly by subject, but there are books everywhere in this house. Sometimes I'll tell one of the kids, "I think it's in the pile under my bedside table. If not there check the shelf along the basement stairs or over by the family room book shelf."

7. Buy it or borrow it from the library later?
I borrow most fiction from the library, except classics. Sometimes I'll borrow non-fiction and find it so good that I go buy it.

8. Do you put your name on your books - scribble your name in the cover, fancy bookplate, or stamp?
Write it in.

9. Most of the books you own are rare and out of print books or recent publications?
Mine are a bit of everything.

10. Page edges - deckled or straight?
Who cares?

11. How many books do you read at one time?
I have lots of books going at any given time.

12. Be honest, ever tear a page from a book?
No, but when I worked in a book store I had to tear covers off of remainders and it almost killed me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

One challenge down

I just realized that I forgot to post when I finished one of my challenges last month.

I completed the Support Your Local Library Challenge. It's a good thing, too, because my to-read pile of books I own is threatening to take over my room!