Monday, March 07, 2011

February Books

Here are my book reviews for February!

These first two are the March and April books for the mom's book club in my neighborhood that I joined. I ended up having to read them really close together because of library hold situations.

1) Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran

This is a historical novel set mostly in ancient Rome. The story is told from the point of view of Cleopatra and Marc Antony's daughter, Cleopatra Selene, who was raised for a time in Rome after Octavian defeated Marc Antony and conquered Egypt. I'm not usually one to choose historical fiction. I usually find history interesting enough that I don't feel it needs to be gussied up with an author's imaginings. But I was thoroughly impressed with this book. Supposedly it was meticulously researched and presents an accurate picture of ancient Roman society which was fascinating. All of the characters, save two, were real people. At the end the author discusses what happened to each after the conclusion of the story. She also discusses some of the similarities between ancient Roman society and our own society which I found really interesting. Despite the historical backdrop, it is by no means a tedious tome of historical details. It is very readable and engaging. I would recommend it.

2) Blood and Money by Thomas Thompson

This is a true crime story that took place in Houston in the early 70's. I like true crime and especially courtroom dramas so I found it interesting. But it was really long and wordy and probably could have been cut down a little. The crime surrounded a socialite in a troubled marriage who died of a mysterious sickness. Her husband was tried for murder (it was a very weak charge because cause of death was never actually determined) but his case ended in a mistrial. Then a few years later the husband was murdered. So, it was a very sad story full of real-life examples of human depravity. But it went deeper than that. The crimes committed, the circumstances surrounding them and the legal interventions that resulted highlighted societal ills like corruption in the legal system and racial and socioeconomic relations. I liked it but I would only recommend it if you really like courtroom intrigue. Probably half of the book is about lawyers jumping through loopholes.

3) The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn

I read this one after the pastor at my church gave this sermon on gospel generosity. The book had a similar message- that we should give as a result of what has been done for us through the cross. But the book went into more detail on the subject. It had many examples of people who were able to give away many times the amount that they earned while depending on God to supply their needs. One example that I remember was a man who had a family and earned $50,000 per year. He was able to give it all away but still have all of his needs provided for through various means. I believe this man was able to eventually give a million dollars to various Christian ministries all while making around $50,000. It was inspiring and challenging. I would recommend it, it was very short.

I haven't forgotten about my grand prize drawing! Thank you all for commenting! One of you will be the lucky winner! According to the stats that blogger gives me, I think I may have a few more readers out there. But I understand if you want to remain blog lurkers. I also anonymously lurk around a few blogs. I have to go to bed now so I'll do my drawing tomorrow. :o)


Erin said...

I read Blood and Money... then tried to find the house in River Oaks :) I will have to check out Cleopatra's Daughter, have you read the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers - also set in Roman times, very interesting how close it is to today's society!

Peter and Leslie said...

Did you like Blood and Money? I also want to try to find the house in River Oaks!

I have not read the Mark of the Lion series but I have heard great things about it. I also found it very fascinating how Roman society is very similar to our society to day- in good and bad ways! I guess people don't really change...

Vanessa Rogers said...

What drawing? I must have missed that post?