I read alot of reviews and request alot of books because they sound good. I like to take a stack to lunch with me and page through to see if I'm going to read it or not. Sometimes it looks good but I haven't time to read it, sometimes something about the books makes me say "meh".
Island of Thieves by Josh Lacey A good adventure for boys in the 9-12 range. A kid gets in trouble and has to stay with his wayward uncle for a week while his parents go on a long desired tropical vacation. He ends up treasure hunting in Peru with his uncle, chased by a local Mob Lord.
80 Days by Matthew Goodman A neat true story of Nellie Bly's attempt to go around the world in 75 days beating Jules Verne's fictional Phileas Fogg by 5 days. The books starts out great, setting up the background of her idea and the trip, tossing in a rival in Elizabeth Bisland who sets out in the opposite direction to beat Nellie. Suddenly the action stops and Goodman writes a long drawn out biographical sketch of Bly. Eeep. Then there are pages and pages devoted to Elizabeth Bisland, a beautiful literary jornalist who was mistress of parlour soirees and who at the last moment joins the chase. I think this journey was truly remarkable and all the focus should have been on Nellie and her adventures. For me, all of those deadstops into exposition ruined the story.
The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan My notes say: Excellent conversational writing style, a bit dreamy as befits a ghost story/insanity story but too digressive. This is another book that seemed really promising, I found the author enjoyable but she kept mentioning things or meeting people then saying "but that story is for later." Agh. Just wait till later to talk about it then.
Fever by Mary Beth Keane This is the story of "Typhoid Mary". She carried the disease but was unaffected by it. Working as a cook in wealthy homes and later a hospital, she brought death to those she worked for and with. A rather slimy doctor identifies her as this carrier and she is locked away on an island in a small isolated cottage for years and then for life. This was a novel, and well written but I found her situation to be too sad and hopeless so I did not keep reading.