July 1st, 2006


#53 - Still Life With Crows

by Douglas Preston

I enjoyed this book, although I won’t say I loved it. It’s set in Kansas, where a series of rather bizarre killings in a small farming town coincides with the arrival of some folks who want to plant genetically-engineered corn. Agent Pendergast (featured in other books by these authors) shows up to investigate. I’m giving it a high rating because it was a page-turner, and pulled me in right away and kept me reading. I found the ending a bit unsatisfying, though. That didn’t spoil that I enjoyed the rest of it though, it just means I’m not likely to want to read it again. I also found that, while it was a bit creepy at times, it wasn’t too scary for me (and I can be a wimp about horror books, which is why I rarely read them any more, after too many Stephen King-induced sleepless nights), and by the end, I’d stopped being scared at all. 8/10, and I’ve heard that other books in this series are even better, so I’ll probably hunt up a few of those, too.

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#54 - I Once Was a Monkey

This is a book for children, featuring stories which illustrate some of the main principles of Buddhism. It’s set during a monsoon, and when a monkey waits out the storm in a temple full of other animals, a statue of the Buddha comes to life and tells them stories, all of which illustrate moral lessons.

While I love the concept and the artwork, I found the prose to be a bit uninspired, for a read-aloud book. My seven-year-old also enjoyed it, but didn’t love it. We’ll probably read it a couple more times, but I’m going to keep my eyes out for something similar that is perhaps a bit more engaging to read. 6/10.