Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Bringing Up Mike by Mark Duncan

                Bringing Up Mike is a somewhat coming of age story about Joe, a young genius, who never attended high school and works in a secret facility as the tech who keeps computer viruses from destroying the system. At least that is what I think he does since I never really figured much out about that part of the story. His assistant is Mike, an artificial intelligence that Joe made and now he wants to teach Mike to be an “adult”, or at least act like one, as opposed to the four year old emotional intelligence he currently has. Joe decides he needs a break and heads to live with an older couple and attend high school while living in Tennessee. Mike is still in his life via the beauty of the computer network and becomes a part of everyone’s lives in Joe’s new world. Joe also acquires a frightened race horse to nurse back to health with the help of his “foster mother”, Martha, who herself needs some nursing as she recovers from the loss of her son. The book is as much educational as it is a story and for the most part I enjoyed that aspect although there were times I found it to be a bit too preachy. I did enjoy the information about looking after a horse as well as all of the tidbits about Civil War reenactments and BBQ competitions in the South. The formatting and editing worked very well on my ereader. The cover art does not do the book justice because it really doesn’t give a clear idea of what the story is about and does nothing to draw the reader in. All in all it is a good book to read.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Hire Me or Fire Me

                Hire Me or Fire Me is the first book in the Trilogy of Truth written by Alexander McDonald. It is a coming of age memoir of the author’s beginnings in Scotland and subsequent move to Canada where he tried to settle in a variety of places, including Red Deer and Sarnia. The book is broken up into small stories that are like little snapshots into various events in Mr. McDonald’s life and I found this format to make the book flow smoothly and enjoyably. This book was a lot of fun to read and quite hilarious. The author has a way of writing that is upbeat and likeable, even during the poignant parts. So many things that he writes about are ones that reminded me of events in my own life. Haven’t we all had a teacher like Mr. Robbins? The story about the author’s job at the funeral home was both funny and touching. This is a really great book, both interesting and entertaining. The format was fine as I read it on my computer and I loved the cover which is what really drew my interest in the first place. Excellent!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Murder By the Dozen

                If you’re a fan of Agatha Christie, and I am, you are sure to take an interest in Murder by the Dozen. Reminiscent of Christie’s mystery And Then There Were None, Murder by the Dozen is set on an oil tanker where the twelve person crew is being killed off one by one. Enter detective Jan Kokk who is tricked into sailing with the crew by beautiful security officer Kathlee so that he can find the murderer. I enjoyed the book and found it to be a good old fashioned mystery that doesn’t involve blood and gore but is still fast paced. The main characters are interesting and there is lots of information about how a tanker operates that I found to be interesting. My only criticism would be that there are so many minor characters who are suspects that I found it hard to keep them all sorted in my head. The book worked well on my ereader, both editing and the format. The cover and title is what originally drew me in because I am a sucker for any murder set on a ship. This is definitely a great read for those looking for a good old fashioned “whodunit”.