Wednesday, May 15, 2019

The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion
  • ISBN-10: 1925773825 - Paperback $16.99
  • Publisher: Text Publishing Company (May 28, 2019), 386 pages.
  • Review copy courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.

The blurb:
Don and Rosie are about to face their most important project.
Their son, Hudson, is having trouble at school: his teachers say he isn’t fitting in with the other kids, and they'd like Don and Rosie to think about getting an autism assessment. As his parents debate whether a diagnosis might help or hinder, Hudson has his own ideas. Meanwhile, Rosie is battling Judas at work, and Don is in hot water after the Genetics Lecture Outrage. The life-contentment graph, recently at its highest point, is curving downwards.
For Don Tillman, geneticist and World’s Best Problem-Solver, learning to be a good parent as well as a good partner will require the help of friends old and new. It will mean letting Hudson make his way in the world, and grappling with awkward truths about his own identity.
And opening a cocktail bar.

Graeme Simsion's Don Tillman character is one of my all-time favorites.  The first book, The Rosie Project, had me laughing so loudly that I was getting strange looks from my husband.  I was worried that the next books would not be as good, but fortunately each of the books is a treat!
The Rosie Result is the third in the series and introduces us to Rosie and Don's son Hudson.  Hudson has many of Don's traits and their lives seem to have many parallels.  It is clear that the people around them either don't fully understand them or refuse to accept their strengths. It's a hard period for Don but even tougher for his middle school /11-year old son.  
It isn't just that there are bullies or that the teachers and administrators make mean, humiliating, degrading comments.  Don worries that the loneliness that he felt throughout his childhood and young adult life will follow his son Hudson around. It's something that Don undertakes to prevent in his usual methodical, systematic way. However, no matter how carefully prepared, Don's plans don't go as he hoped.  Fortunately, Hudson has his own strategy and strengths.  
The Rosie Result brings some of our favorite characters in tough, real situations with plenty of humor.  Don's honest and innate kindness come shining through. 

About the Author:
Graeme Simsion is a former IT consultant and the author of two nonfiction books on database design who decided, at the age of fifty, to turn his hand to fiction. His first novel, The Rosie Project, was published in 2013 and translation rights have been sold in over thirty-five languages. Graeme lives in Australia with his wife, Anne, and their two children.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Dr. Neal Barnard's The Vegan Starter Kit: Everything You Need to Know About Plant-Based Eating

The Vegan Starter Kit:Everything You Need to Know About Plant-Based Eating 
 by Dr Neal Barnard
  • ISBN-10: 1538747405 - Paperback $14.99
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (December 24, 2018), 176 pages.
  • Review copy courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher.

The blurb:
Many are looking to adopt a more healthful diet but may have questions, like: How do I plan a vegan meal? Is protein an issue? How do I make it work if I don't cook? Which are the best choices at restaurants? 

In THE VEGAN STARTER KIT Dr. Neal Barnard, perhaps the world's most respected authority on vegan diets, answers your questions and gives you everything you need to put vegan power to work. You'll learn how to ensure complete nutrition, and get quick-reference charts for calcium sources, tips for modifying your favorite recipes, and examples of quick and easy meals. Everything you need for permanent weight control and dramatically better health is presented.

THE VEGAN STARTER KIT also includes information on healthy eating in childhood, pregnancy, and other stages of life, and a complete set of basic meals, holiday feasts, snacks, among many other features. 

I've been a carnivore most of my life and hadn't considered becoming vegetarian much less vegan.  However, my doctor and my husband's doctor suggested that we reduce our meat intake and spoke of how undertaking a plant based diet can make a huge difference in our cholesterol levels, reduce hypertension, and help lose weight. 

There is a pilot program at Bellevue Hospital in NYC that we were fortunate enough to enter last week, so I read The Vegan Starter Kit with this new perspective and desire to understand plant based diets.  

Dr Neal Barnard presents strong health based arguments for a plant based diet which helped my resolve. The book is straightforward, logical and not overly complicated. I finished it in an evening but spent more time over the various recipes. If you are considering making a change, reducing your meat and dairy intake, The Vegan Starter Kit is a good way to begin.

About the Author:
Neal D. Barnard, MD, FACC, is perhaps the world's most respected authority on vegan diets. He is a faculty member of the George Washington University School of Medicine and President of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Dr. Barnard is editor-in-chief of the Nutrition Guide for Clinicians, a nutrition textbook given to all second-year medical students in the U.S. He is also editor of Good Medicine, a magazine with a circulation of 150,000. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes and The 21-Day Weight-Loss Kickstart, among many others.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Triple Jeopardy: A Daniel Pitt novel by Anne Perry

Triple Jeopardy: A Daniel Pitt novel  by Anne Perry
  • ISBN-10: 0525620958 - Hardcover $28
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (April 9, 2019), 320 pages.
  • Review copy courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.

The blurb:
Daniel Pitt, along with his parents, Charlotte and Thomas, is delighted that his sister, Jemima, and her family have returned to London from the States for a visit. But the Pitts soon learn of a harrowing incident: In Washington, D.C., one of Jemima’s good friends has been assaulted and her treasured necklace stolen. The perpetrator appears to be a man named Philip Sidney, a British diplomat stationed in America’s capital who, in a cowardly move, has fled to London, claiming diplomatic immunity. But that claim doesn’t cover his other crimes. . . .

When Sidney winds up in court on a separate charge of embezzlement, it falls to Daniel to defend him. Daniel plans to provide only a competent enough defense to avoid a mistrial, allowing the prosecution to put his client away. But when word travels across the pond that an employee of the British embassy in Washington has been found dead, Daniel grows suspicious about Sidney’s alleged crimes and puts on his detective hat to search for evidence in what has blown up into an international affair.

As the embezzlement scandal heats up, Daniel takes his questions to intrepid scientist Miriam fford Croft, who brilliantly uses the most up-to-date technologies to follow an entirely new path of investigation. Daniel and Miriam travel to the Channel Islands to chase a fresh lead, and what began with a stolen necklace turns out to have implications in three far greater crimes—a triple jeopardy, including possible murder.

I'm an avid reader of Anne Perry's mysteries and was excited to read the latest in her recent series with Daniel Pitt, Thomas Pitt's son.  Thomas Pitt's adventures began as a policeman, then as a private detective, the Inspector in charge of the waterways, and then as the Head of Special Branch.  His son, Daniel. faces mysteries but as a young attorney.

This time Daniel is asked by his sister to look into the assault and robbery of a friend of theirs in Washington DC. Jemima and her policeman husband believe that the man attacked and robbed their friend worked at the British Embassy in DC and was able to escape prosecution through invoking diplomatic immunity and traveling to England.  So, Daniel's been asked to defend the young man for another offense but to possibly bring in the crimes of assault and robbery.  Daniel's a junior lawyer and gets the advice and permission of those senior to him, but their investigation leads Daniel to question his client's guilt. 

As Daniel independently investigates, he grows certain that there is something hidden that guides these accusations.  Jemima and her husband must also balance those that helped them during their early years in America with their own sense of fairness and truth.  How far can Daniel rely on Jemima and her husband? How much of the testimony is true? What is pushing the investigation forward? 

Triple Jeopardy gives us better insight into Daniel's strengths and the lengths to which the Pitt family will fight to pursue justice regardless of the personal cost. Also, it's a fun, engrossing read! Highly recommend it!

About the Author:
Anne Perry is the New York Times bestselling author of two acclaimed series set in Victorian England: the William Monk novels, including Dark Tide Rising and An Echo of Murder, and the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novels, including Murder on the Serpentine and Treachery at Lancaster Gate. She is also the author of a new series featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt’s son, Daniel, including Triple Jeopardy and Twenty-one Days, as well as five World War I novels, sixteen holiday novels, most recently A Christmas Revelation, and a historical novel, The Sheen on the Silk, set in the Ottoman Empire. Anne Perry lives in Los Angeles. 

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Donna Leon's Unto Us a Son Is Given (Inspector Guido Brunetti 29th novel)

Unto Us a Son Is Given by Donna Leon

  • ISBN-10: 0802129110 Hardcover $26
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (March 5, 2019), 320 pages.
  • Review copy courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.

The blurb:“Your situation is always ambiguous, isn’t it, Guido?”, his father-in-law, Count Orazio Falier, observes of Donna Leon’s soulful detective, Guido Brunetti, at the beginning of her superb 28th Brunetti novel, Unto Us A Son Is Given. “The world we live in makes that necessary,” Brunetti presciently replies. Count Falier was urging his Venetian son-in-law to investigate, and preferably intervene in, the seemingly innocent plan of the Count’s best friend, the elderly Gonzalo Rodríguez de Tejada, to adopt a much younger man as his son. Under Italian inheritance laws this man would then be heir to Gonzalo’s entire fortune, a prospect Gonzalo’s friends find appalling. For his part, Brunetti wonders why the old man, a close family friend, can’t be allowed his pleasure in peace.

And yet, what seems innocent on the Venetian surface can cause tsunamis beneath. Gonzalo unexpectedly, and literally, drops dead on the street, and one of his friends just arrived in Venice for the memorial service, is strangled in her hotel room―having earlier sent Gonzalo an email saying “We are the only ones who know you cannot do this,” referring to the adoption. Now with an urgent case to solve, Brunetti reluctantly untangles the long-hidden mystery in Gonzalo’s life that ultimately led to murder―a resolution that brings him way more pain than satisfaction.


I've followed and enjoyed Donna Leon's Inspector Brunetti series for years. Her latest novel, Unto Us a Son Is Given, gives us a  deeper glimpse into Brunetti's relationship with his father-in-law, the Count Falier.  The Count's best friend Gonzalo has become deeply involved with a younger man and is taking steps to disinherit his family by adopting this young man, effectively naming him his sole heir.  Brunetti, Paula and their children consider Gonzalo practically part of the family, so Brunetti is unsure whether to intervene and in what capacity.

As Brunetti speaks to more of Gonzalo's friends, he grows increasingly apprehensive of the young man's influence and of Gonzalo's infatuation.  Brunetti conducts his own quiet investigation - there is no crime - to help and protect Gonzalo but must also balance Gonzalo's wishes.  Gonzalo's health has been bad and his death makes the investigation moot.  Until a death occurs and Brunetti must determine the motive behind it and prove the killer's identity.

Donna Leon delivers an unusual mystery in that the crime occurs towards the 25% of the novel.  However, she keeps us engrossed throughout because of Brunetti, Gonzalo, and our concern for the friendships involved.  I thoroughly enjoyed Unto Us a Son Is Given.

About the Author:
Donna Leon is the author of the highly acclaimed, internationally bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series. The winner of the CWA Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction, among other awards, Donna Leon lived in Venice for many years and now divides her time between Venice and Switzerland.