Quick and Dirty Reviews for March 2012: Books Rating 4/5 Stars

Here are the three books I read in March that rate 4 Stars. There were none rating 5 Stars.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer (SciFi/Fantasy): Stephenie Meyer was supersmart to write a new book of a different genre during the time she was penning the Twilight saga. Like the much-heralded announcement regarding J.K. Rowling’s new book being adult fiction, each author has chosen a different genre instead of trying to follow up an insanely popular franchise with the same type of books and most likely getting pounded for their trouble. It took me a while to get into The Host, as I am not a huge fan of Sci/Fi, but once I did, I was hooked. A true Sci/Fi fan will have to tell me, but the story seemed new and different.  Benevolent aliens are taking over humans by being attached to their minds. The human body remains, but the Soul (as they are called) takes over while the human mind disappears forever. The Souls see this as a positive thing; to them, humans are an unhappy, murderous race. This story is about how one human fights to remain and to be heard, while the Soul who inhabits this human’s mind wonders if the aliens’ assumptions are right after all.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (Non-Fiction): OK, I first heard great things about the movie, but then my husband read that the book was fabulous. I have to say that for a book about baseball (which I like, but more in person than on TV), stats, mojo, etc. etc., I thought it was great. Very entertaining, clearly written and interesting. Really, I was surprised that I liked it so much. Because Billy Beane’s story, along with the stories of other teams, players, coaches, etc., were woven throughout, the stats meant something and served as the ribbon that tied up everything. It made me wonder why some systems of doing things go on for so long without being proven to work! Highly recommended. If you’re not a baseball fan, use the lessons learned to improve the way you live your life! Didn’t someone say that once – baseball is life?

Ape House by Sara Gruen (Fiction): Now this is the Sara Gruen that I love. The story starts out a little slow, but the stage is being set for what happens after some alleged terrorists blow up a research facility where a group of Bonobo apes live. The Bonobos are removed to an unknown location while the main researcher, Dr. Isabel Duncan, recovers from the explosion. One complaint: the reporter who met the apes before the blast seems a little 2-dimensional and honestly, all that stuff about his wife (depressed, moves to find herself, horrible parents) adds nothing to the story. There is no need for a romance (or even the threat of an affair) in this novel.

I can’t believe the amount of research that was done with regard to the apes – crazy amounts. You will be absolutely fascinated by their ability to communicate with the scientists and their capacity to express their feelings. To round out the story, there is a bit of a whodunit, some monkey porn and animal activists!

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