August 3rd, 2009

mt hood

Books on the Middle East

I'm looking for books on the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan preferred but really any country in that region would be fine.  I prefer non-fiction but I will read fiction, so long as it has a ring of truth to it.  I've already read Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Three Cups of Tea, My War at Home, An Unexpected Light, and Children of a New World.  Any suggestions?

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Book Marks

Doomed Queens: Royal Women Who Met Bad Ends, From Cleopatra to Princess Di by Kris Waldherr

Pages: 176
Rating: 4/5
Genre: Non-Fiction, History

Summary: A short book about the doomed Queens of our time. It tells a quick summary of their story, the faults involved and the places where said queens were thought to go wrong. You are told the fate of each and there are numerous segways on the side that give pertinent facts about each queen's story and every story ends with a witty moral.

Review: I actually really liked this book. It didn't really go in depth about of any of the queen's stories but gave an overview of almost every doomed queen from 835 BCE to 1997. It gave interesting little side notes, like when Waldherr talked of Marie Antoinette, she gave you a brief history of the guillotine. These snippets of information don't interrupt the story flow because they're in dialogue boxes off to the side to be viewed at the reader's pleasure. Waldherr puts her own spin on the past, making these short history lessons amusing and fun to read. There's even a fun, nonsensical quiz at the end to see if you are a "doomed Queen." It was very worth the short time that it took to read. I enjoyed it immensely and it covered some royalty that I had never even heard of and often gave a family tree of royals. You would often see not only the queen, but her mother, sister and daughter at some point in the book. Both Cleopatra's mother and sister are mentioned in this book.

The only downfall that I could find is that, after whetting my appetite, I wanted to know more about many of these queens and therefore spent time researching them and learning more about them.

Ok, so maybe it isn't a downfall. :-D

Currently reading: Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture by Jon Savage.  It's *really* good so far.

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Love Triangles; Gotta Love 'Em

I know, I know--love triangles are cliche in almost every genre of fiction.  But I adore them anyway, and I'm kind of craving them at the moment.

So.  What books have the best love triangles out there, in your collective opinions?  I'm not genre-specific--it doesn't have to be a love story--in the romance genre, I mean--and I'm fine with sci-fi, mystery, supernatural, historical, etc.  Series' are fine too.  (And yes, I am reading the Stephanie Plum series with the whole Ranger/Stephanie/Morelli thing.)

I know that it's a weirdly specific request, but bear with me.  :)

han shot first

The Crucifix Killer by Chris Carter

The Crucifix Killer The Crucifix Killer by Chris Carter

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Robert Hunter works for the Robbery & Homicide Department in Los Angeles, California and remembers well the serial murders that started two years ago. The kills seemed random, but gruesome; victims were tortured and left to die with only one clue to tie them all to the same killer: an odd double crucifix symbol carved in the back of their necks. With clean crime scenes and no other identifying trademarks, the media and police nicknamed the murderer “The Crucifix Killer.” Thinking RHD had caught the right man, a trial was set and a man was found guilty and killed. But Hunter and his partner knew better. Unable to prove their misgivings despite a confession, the two were forced to move forward with their guilt. Hunter suffered nightmares, his partner and wife were soon after killed in a boating accident.

With his partner’s death and the crucifix killings still fresh, Hunter receives a new partner and together they investigate a new murder scene with familiar repercussions. On the victim’s neck is the double crucifix mark he remembers well from a couple of years earlier, but is it the same killer or a copycat? A phone call and familiar voice bring back chilling memories and confirm Hunter’s suspicions: the Crucifix Killer is back.

Chris Carter’s The Crucifix Killer opens to a disturbing scene as Hunter receives a phone tip from what we can only then assume is the killer. He rushes to a revealed location and finds his partner, Garcia, tied and hung onto poles and we wonder, will Hunter be able to save him in time? The rest of the book fills in the five weeks prior to this moment, but unfortunately does little else.

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