Friday, June 27, 2008

Bookish Ruth: Information for Publishers and Authors

Thanks for taking the time to visit Bookish Ruth. I'm a lifelong bookworm and I will gladly accept books for review. The mystery genre is my true passion but I also read a lot of literary fiction, science fiction and fantasy, historical fiction (I have particularly keen interest in stories taking place in ancient Egypt or Victorian England), young adult and middle grade fiction. Special areas of interest include Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, lighthouses and Vincent van Gogh. Books related to any of these subjects are very, very welcome!

In addition to my blog, I post my reviews on Amazon, LibraryThing and GoodReads. I strive to give fair, unbiased opinion in all of my reviews. You can view a sample of my work by clicking here.

If you have a book that you think I would be interested in, please feel free to contact me using the form below. Alternatively, you can e-mail me at the following address: bookishruth [at] gmail [dot] com.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Book Review of The Moving Finger: A Miss Marple Mystery by Agatha Christie

The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie
“Such a peaceful smiling happy countryside – and down underneath, something evil…”
-- The Moving Finger, p. 28

After a wartime plane crash, Jerry Burton’s doctor advises him to find a nice, quiet country village and “live the life of a vegetable” to speed along the recuperation process. Jerry and his sister Joanna settle in Lymstock, an idyllic country town that is three miles from a main road. It is a place where, as an astonished Joanna observes, “People really call – with cards!”

Jerry’s peaceful, vegetative life in Lymstock is, however, soon shattered. A few days after their arrival, Jerry receives a malicious anonymous letter. The letter alleges that the Burtons are not brother and sister, but an unmarried couple living in sin. Jerry and Joanna are initially quite amused by the novelty of receiving such a letter, but they soon view the letter as a sign of something much more sinister.

All of Lymstock, it seems, has been receiving these letters. When a woman apparently commits suicide after receiving a letter, the search for the writer intensifies. After another character is murdered, presumably by the anonymous writer, a palpable fear settles over the community. Neighbor suspects neighbor and the whole of Lymstock wonders who amongst them could be capable of such despicable acts.

The indomitable Miss Marple makes her first appearance in the last quarter of the novel. For a less skillful writer than Dame Christie, the lack of the primary character could have made this story very tedious for the reader, but Christie’s characters are so well-drawn and compelling that the reader does not notice the loss. The primary sleuthing has been done by Jerry and a few of the other residents of Lymstock, but only Miss Marple is able to connect the myriad of clues and bring the killer to justice.

The Moving Finger
was originally published in the United States in 1942. For a novel that is over sixty years old, it has aged incredibly well. Agatha Christie’s extraordinary understanding of human nature gives her characters and her stories a timeless quality.

One of my favorite Christie novels, The Moving Finger is a compelling read that will keep you guessing until the end.

Rating: 9/10.

Buy The Moving Finger:
Indiebound | Powell's | Amazon

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bookish Ruth Book Review Archive: Alphabetical by Title

Bookish Ruth Book Review Archive

This is the master list of all the books that have been reviewed at Bookish Ruth since its launch on June 14, 2008. The books are organized first by genre, then by alphabetically by title. Series books will be grouped together in series order.

Picture Books:
Abbie Against the Storm by Marcia K. Vaughan
Captain's Castaway by Angeli Perrow
Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight by Kathleen Krull
The Lighthouse Cat by Sue Stainton
The Lighthouse Children by Syd Hoff
Lighthouse Dog to the Rescue by Angeli Perrow
The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Arielle North Olson
Sammy the Boston Lighthouse Dog by Sally R. Snowman
Sirius, the Dog Star by Angeli Perrow
Sisters of Scituate Light by Stephen Krensky
Who Sees the Lighthouse? by Ann Fearrington

Juvenile Fiction:
The Berenstein Bears: The Haunted Lighthouse by Jan & Stan Berenstain
Bella Baxter and the Lighthouse Mystery by Jane B. Mason
The Boxcar Children: The Lighthouse Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Classic Starts: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Chris Sasaki
The Mystic Lighthouse Mysteries: The Mystery of the Dark Lighthouse by Laura E. Williams
The Three Cousins Detective Club: The Mystery of the Haunted Lighthouse by Elspeth Campbell Murphy

Middle Grade & Young Adult Fiction:
The Book of Names by D. Barkley Briggs
Claudia and the Lighthouse Ghost by Ann M. Martin
Fearless by Elvira Woodruff
The Girls of Lighthouse Lane: Katherine's Story by Erika Tamar
The Girls of Lighthouse Lane: Rose's Story by Erika Tamar
The Girls of Lighthouse Lane: Lizabeth's Story by Erika Tamar
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Kaimira: The Sky Village by Monk & Nigel Ashland
A Light in the Storm by Karen Hesse
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
The Ruby in the Smoke by Phillip Pullman

Adult Fiction:
Aberrations by Penelope Przekop
Belly of the Whale by Linda Merlino
Doctor Who: The Doctor Trap by Simon Messingham
Doctor Who: Forever Autumn by Mark Morris
The Silent Gondoliers by William Goldman
The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
The White Mary by Kira Salak

Historical Fiction:
Drood by Dan Simmons
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
The Lost Diary of Don Juan by Douglas Carlton Abrams
Midwife of the Blue Ridge by Christine Blevins

Mystery & Thriller:
Blood Island by H. Terrell Griffin
The Darker Side by Cody McFadyen
Dead Ringer by Mary Burton
First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader
The Keepsake by Tess Gerritsen
The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie
Oblivious by Cyndia Depre
One Bad Apple by Sheila Connolly

Non-Fiction:
Bikeman by Thomas F. Flynn
Grit for the Oyster by Suzanne Woods Fisher et al.
Inside the Hub by Stephen James Walker
The Mysterious World of Sherlock Holmes by Bruce Wexler
Strategies: A Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia Journey by Tami Brady
Torchwood: The Official Magazine Yearbook by Titan Books
What the Dormouse Said by Amy Gash

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Book Review: Strategies: A Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Journey by Tami Brady

Every Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia patient has a unique story to tell. In Strategies: A Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Journey, Tami Brady shares her experiences with these two debilitating illnesses.

I could see a lot of my own experiences in those of Ms. Brady. Like Ms. Brady, my illness made itself apparent after a very stressful period in my life. I also endured the frustration that came from waiting for months for a correct diagnosis. Even after I received that diagnosis, there was very little offered to me in the way of treatment options. As Ms. Brady noted: “No follow up visits. No care regime. The rest was left up to me.” Many patients will see something of themselves in the author’s struggle to adjust to life with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia.

The book, however, seems a little unbalanced. The first ten chapters chronicle her journey to diagnosis and accepting the limitations that come from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. The last four chapters are aimed at specific strategies for living with both conditions. These four chapters are incredibly helpful and well-organized, but they make up a very small portion of the book.

There were also many typographical and grammatical errors throughout the book. These were extremely distracting to me during my reading. I hope that these errors will be corrected in future printings.

I enjoyed reading this book and found it somewhat helpful to my own struggle – both physical and mental – that comes from living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. As Ms. Brady states in the Foreword, “In the end, we are all changed forever. On good days, I believe for the better.”

Buy Strategies:
Indiebound | Powell's | Amazon

Rating: 5/10.