Saturday, November 19, 2011

63. Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline

Mary Dinunzio is an attornehy in South Philly where she brings in a lot of business and revenue for her firm from her Italian South Philly neighbors.  She is saving to buy a house and get over the death of her husband while fixing the myriad host of issues that come to her.  Then her nemesis from high school shows up and demands that Mary help her get away from her abusive boyfriend that she is afraid will kill her.  The whole situation blows up, involving Mary in a murder, a missing person case and a mob war.  There is some great humor in this book with the fantastic characters who populate Mary's life and she is a pretty fun character herself.  I found some of the story to be a bit far-fetched but I certainly would never have guessed who actually committed the murder.  I read a proff copy and found the spelling and grammatical errors a bit annoying, but overall, I liked the book and thought it was a fun mystery.  Rating:  3.75

62. The Pink Carnation by Laura Willig

The Pink Carnation is a fun tale that spins a sequele to the story of the Scarlett Pimpernel. Eloise is a college student who wants to discover the identity of another spy name the Pink Carnation.  She gains access to secret papers and this is the story she discovers: 

After the Pimpernel's true identity is uncovered, rendering him useless as a spy, the void is filled by another called the Purple Gentian.  Amy Balcourt, who was sent to England from France as a child, dreams as joining the league of the Purple Gentian and restoring the monarchy to the throne of France.  At the age of twenty, she is allowed to return to France along with her cousin, Jane, and a very determined chaperone, Miss Gwen.  On the trip across the channel, the three women are forced to share a room with a scholar, Lord Richard Selwick, who is naturally very handsome but also doing research for Bonaparte.  Amy hates him for being in the employ of her enemy but also is very attracted to him.  The rest of the book follows a very predictable course, but is fun and lighthearted with the exception of some pretty explicit sex scenes and stilted dialog.  Rating:  3 

61. Einstein by Walter Isaacson

I really enjoyed the many things I learned about one of histories most iconic figures.  We all know about Einstein and his theory of relativity and how it  changed physics forever.  This book explores how the man's personality, the culture he lived in and the basic scientific tenets believed at the time led him to make his remarkable discoveries.  While I did not personally get a lot out of all the scientific discussion that Isaacson included to explain Einstein's theories, I did find the in-depth exploration into his life fascinating.  He was truly a genius and deserving of the adulation that he created but also a flawed and eccentric man which made the book so incredibly interesting.   I love the picture on the cover which shows such a twinkle in his eyes.  That sense of humor is portrayed very well in the book as well as his love of humanity but a inability to connect well with those close to him.  All in all, a great book to read to learn more about one of the great ones.  Rating:  4.25