Thursday 14 October 2010

Catching Up

I was on vacation last week and didn't blog about the reads I did, so I am catching up today. Didn't read all that much as I was too busy visiting etc.

Finished October 1
Rules of Betrayal by Christopher Reich, read by Paul Michael
This is the third book in the series featuring Dr. Jonathan Ranson and his wife Emma. In this one Jonathan is no longer with Doctors without Borders, but is on his own in Afghanistan, working as a freelance travelling doctor with an Afghani assistant. He hasn't seen Emma since their adventures in London months before.
After Jonathan barely survives an encounter with an Afghan warlord, and Emma is betrayed and tortured, Jonathan is contacted by Emma's superior, Frank Conner, head of Division. He is asked to undertake a mission into the heart of operations of a Middle East arms dealer that Emma was working with.
Lots of fast action and suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat, which is what I expect from this series.

Finished October 3
Cleo: the cat who mended a family by Helen Brown
Written by New Zealand journalist Helen Brown, this personal memoir talks about how Cleo the cat helped her and her children, particularly her son, adjust to tragedy and change. Helen and her family already had a dog and she wasn't interested in adding a cat to the household, but her oldest son Sam was intent on wanting the cat, and willing to give up birthday gifts in exchange. Helen agreed to adopt the cat as soon as it was ready to leave its mother and Sam picked a name for the kitten. When the family was hit by sudden tragedy, the cat was forgotten until it appeared on their doorstep. Helen was again reluctant, until she saw the smile on her son's Rob's face, which hadn't been their since their loss, and she gave in.
As the family adjusted to the cat, and vice versa, the cat distracted them from their sadness and helped them to move on to a new way of living. Through its long life, Cleo again and again helped guide them, cheer them up and keep them positive.
Wonderfully written even through the heartbreak, this book illustrates the power of pets in our lives and how important they can be for such small creatures.

Finished October 9
The Fraser by Bruce Hutchison
Having travelled to B.C. on my vacation, I figured this would be a good choice for vacation reading. Originally written in 1950, this new edition is a facsimile, faithfully reproducing the original text. Well-researched and engagingly written, this history covers the settlement of B.C. which is tightly tied to the history of the Fraser river. Hutchison was a journalist who spent most of his life from childhood in B.C. and spoke firsthand to some of its early settlers.
I learned so much that I hadn't know about the history of this part of Canada that I was very glad I read the book. The last chapter contains musings about the future of the river, and it would have been nice to see an addendum that looked at what had really happened to the river in the last 60 years and how those changes affected the province.
A great read that includes both the big view and the personal stories, this book should be a must read for students of Canadian history. Others will also like the engaging writing and fascinating stories.

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