Saturday, August 22, 2015

Book Review: The Golem and the Jinni

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker is a fascinating story of Syrian and Jewish myths and cultures at the turn of the 20th century.

I admired Wecker's ability to draw a connection between the Jinni and Golem's cuffs and how humans are cuffed by religion, culture and money.

I enjoyed her descriptions of the world her characters inhabited and how the Golem and Jinni viewed our strange human behaviors providing moments of levity and self-reflection.

Narrator George Guidall's steady pace and accent provided an air of authenticity to the audiobook.

I would highly recommend this novel.

Amazon link to The Golem and the Jinni

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Book Review: The Emerald Atlas

I really enjoyed The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens.

I had feared the novel might be similar to the Magic Tree House series or be written at a level that would not engage adults.

I am happy to say that my fears were unfounded.

While I feel the beginning of the novel started very cliche in the orphanages,once the children reach the lake at Cambridge Falls two or three chapters in, the story becomes very unique with many unexpected twists and many memorable characters. I even had a couple of laugh out loud moments while I listened to the audio book during my commute.

The audio book is a first class recording.

I look forward to listening to the next book in the series, The Fire Chronicle.

Amazon link to The Emerald Atlas

Thursday, January 22, 2015

National Geographic's Roman Empire: A Review

National Geographic's Rise & Fall of the Roman Empire is a 126-page special publication filled with photos and a brief overview of the empire.

Most of the emperors and major events are touched upon covering many areas from running the empire to the the rise of Christianity to slavery to daily life.

However, if you are very interested in Roman military strategy and details of specific battles, this publication does not cover them.

I think Rise & Fall of the Roman Empire is a great overview of the empire. It identifies different areas that you may want to explore in depth in the future.

Unlike Edward Gibbon's six volume The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, the authoritative tome on Rome, you can read National Geographic's Rise & Fall of the Roman Empire within a week and you'll have beautiful pictures to enjoy along the way.

National Geographic's Rise & Fall of the Roman Empire was available in stores in December and January and is still available on National Geographic's website here.