Interesting setting makes this mystery stand out

Review:

His Right Hand (A Linda Wallheim Mystery) - Mette Ivie Harrison

I found this second mystery by Mette Ivie Harrison almost as enthralling as the first, in spite of the fact that I guessed the solution before the end. What sets this series apart is its setting in a modern mainstream Mormon community, a group I don’t know a lot about, and the open, intimate tone of the story. This time the characters are struggling with ripped from the headlines issues of sexual identity and acceptance of difference.

 

Main character Linda Wallheim, the wife of a bishop, is a devout believer but has some troubling questions about her church’s policies and power structure. Her marriage is generally good, but not without challenges, and she’s at loose ends because her youngest son has all but moved out of the house.  When her husband’s rigidly traditional colleague is murdered Linda becomes deeply involved in helping the victim’s distraught, almost unhinged widow and two teenage children. This puts her in a position to notice disturbing patterns which could help solve the crime, drawing Linda further into dangerous circumstances, but church higher-ups insist that some aspects of the situation be kept from the public, hampering the police investigation.

 

The author is a Mormon herself and I greatly enjoyed having a glimpse into that community. It’s a moving, family-focused story and the non-murder themes have some basis in reality–Harrison explains in the afterword that the idea for the book came from an incident she witnessed firsthand.

Original post:
Jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/1296001/interesting-setting-makes-this-mystery-stand-out

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Eye-opening and highly readable biogrphy

Review:

Benazir Bhutto: Favored Daughter (Icons) - Brooke Allen

This short book packs a lot into its 151 pages of text, and doesn’t pull any punches in its chronicle of the life and family background of Benazir Bhutto, a fascinating and complex woman. It also tells the turbulent history of Pakistan, from its origins up to almost the present day, which is at least as interesting as Bhutto’s personal story.

 

Exceptionally charismatic, Bhutto has a mixed legacy that continues to inspire some, including Malala, the Pakistani  Nobel Peace Prize winning teenager who’s an activist for female education, but Bhutto was not free from the taint of corruption and wasn’t completely what I naively expected. Her family is still active in Pakistani politics, making this book especially relevant.

 

The author, Brooke Allen, was able to obtain personal insights from people who had been close to Bhutto, but she also uses what she terms the “foundational research”  of other writers and the book is heavily footnoted citing her sources. Eye-opening and highly readable.

 

I read an advanced review copy of this book supplied by the publisher. Review opinions are mine.

Original post:
Jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/1294558/eye-opening-and-highly-readable-biogrphy

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The determined hunt for a planet that doesn’t exist

Review:

The Hunt for Vulcan: . . . And How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe - Thomas Levenson

This short but fascinating book works as both an illustration of how scientific ideas advance and an engaging focused history that stretches from Newton, whose work crowned the scientific revolution and helped inspire Europe’s Age of Enlightenment, to Einstein, who spent the WWI years absorbed in his nascent theories of relativity which changed the way we look at the world and made possible most further developments in science and technology. Framing the book’s story is the hunt for a missing planet, known as Vulcan (not Mr. Spock’s planet, unfortunately).

 

In 1846 Urbain Le Verrier, a French scientist, used the mathematics of Newton’s theories of gravity to predict the existence and location of Neptune, which was still undiscovered, based on slight anomalies in the orbit of Uranus. With almost perfect accuracy, Le Verrier was able to tell skywatchers where to point their telescopes and several found the planet immediately, a highly exciting moment in physics and astronomy that was downright inspiring to read about.

 

So when Le Verrier used Newton’s formulas to postulate the existence of a planet between the Sun and Mercury based on anomalies in Mercury’s orbit, everyone assumed he was correct–both Newton and Le Verrier had proven themselves almost god-like in their insights after all. Scientists spent 50 years looking for the planet they called Vulcan–some actually thought they had found it and no one was willing to jettison Newton’s universal law of gravitation–until 1915 when Einstein used the theories of relativity and the bending of spacetime by gravity to prove that Vulcan doesn’t, and couldn’t, exist.

 

With biographical sketches, some history of the era, and accessible explanations of the involved science, The Hunt for Vulcan is informative and highly entertaining.

Original post:
Jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/1293533/the-determined-hunt-for-a-planet-that-doesn-t-exist

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Free time travel right now on Audible

The Very First Damned Thing: An Author-Read Audio Exclusive - Jodi Taylor, Jodi Taylor, Audible Ltd.

This prequel short story for Jodi Taylor’s The Chronicles of St. Mary’s time travel series is free now on Audible, even though the Kindle version hasn’t been released yet and will be $.99 in the US when it is.

It’s also read by Jodi Taylor herself, and she’s a great narrator. There are about 4 other short stories connected to the series, and all of them are currently being offered for no cost on Audible.

Original post:
Jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/1291942/free-time-travel-right-now-on-audible

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Reblogged from: Reflections

War and Peace - Larissa Volokhonsky, Richard Pevear, Leo Tolstoy

They wept because they were friends; and because they were kind; and because they, who had been friends since childhood, were concerned with such a mean subject–money; and because their youth was gone … But for both of them they were pleasant tears …

Impoverished widow Anna Mikhailovna accepts 700 roubles from her dear friend Countess Rostov so she can purchase her son’s military uniform. 

 

War and Peace, Part One, Chapter XIV 

Original post:
Jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/1281444/post

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Three day quote challenge–day number 2

Something Rotten - Jasper Fforde

Thanks for the nomination Brokentune!

Here’s Hamlet with a moment of self-reflection in Jasper Fforde‘s  Something Rotten, book 4 in his Thursday Next series:

“Sorry,” [Hamlet] said, rubbing his temples. “I don’t know what came over me. All of a sudden I had this overwhelming desire to talk for a very long time without actually doing anything.”

And here’s a better cover

I’m supposed to nominate 3 other Booklikes bloggers to take up the three day challenge, but I’m just going to leave it open for anyone else who wants to give it a go. Here are the rules:

Rules:

1.  Thank the blogger who nominated you.

2.  Publish a quote on 3 consecutive days on your blog. The quote can be one of your own, from a book, movie or from anyone who inspires.

3.  Nominate 3 more bloggers each day to carry on this endeavor.

Original post:
Jaylia3.booklikes.com/post/1280569/three-day-quote-challenge-day-2

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