[I've been 
reading]

Not Just Anywhere: The Story of WHALE and the Rescue of New Bedford’s Waterfront Historic District   book icon  
by Marsha McCabe (1995)

read: 2 August 2015
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

Picked this up when I was home with a cold and it was laying around. This book is a (deserved) self-congratulatory look back at some of the important preservation that has been done in New Bedford by a group called WHALE (Waterfront Historic Area LeaguE) since the late sixties. Getting together at about the same time as some major highways were planned to go through, this group did a ton of work to help the New Bedford urban renewal project NOT just be a bunch of bulldozers that ran roughshod over the interesting whaling and textile history of New Bedford. The book has a lot of photos and outlines key players in the project from the sixties through the nineties.

Brotherhood of the Holy Shroud   book icon  
by Julia Navarro (2007)

read: 2 August 2015
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Was sort of expecting a Da Vinci Code knock off here and got something that was both better and worse. Better because it was actually written by someone from Italy (in Italian and translated) which gives it a certain verisimilitude. Bad because it was a bit of a slog through religious history (specifically the history of the Shroud of Turin) with one of those dual plot devices which I always find a bit difficult. Bonus props for two strong female leads. Demerits for the huge swath of killings in the last pages of the book. Upshot: I liked it but I’d be a little more discerning about future books by this author.

The President’s Shadow   book icon  
by Brad Meltzer (2015)

read: 30 July 2015
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Have enjoyed other Meltzer thrillers and needed a palate cleanser after those awful Gross books. This was good. Intrigue at the White House. Opposing secret orders. Mystery men and an island where secret experiments were carried out. This one was a little more grim than some of the others. I get the feeling that Meltzer feels he needs to up the ante of what is happening to keep people interested. I’m not so sure I agree but I did like this book and it left us with enough questions that I’m sure another is in the works.

The Androids Dream   book icon  
by John Scalzi (2007)

read: 26 July 2015
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Another totally fun book from Scalzi. This one was, I was sure, working its way to a shaggy dog story conclusion but actually it was much more satisfying than that. Equal parts silly and serious, this book about a future universe where the earth is just one of many inhabited planets and there’s some diplomatic intrigue that needs working out was engaging from start to finish.

The Transcriptionist   book icon  
by Amy Rowland (2015)

read: 23 July 2015
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Was a little concerned about this one because it’s one of those novels written by someone who used to hold the job that the novel is about, but I shouldn’t have worried. This is a nice tight little novel about the weird world of the left-behind (job/person/people/offices) as the worldmoves on by. And lions, sort of. I liked it, I wish I could read it again, Rowland did a great job.

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