Friday, July 3, 2009

Book Review Blog Carnival XXI

Welcome to the twenty first Book Review Blog Carnival. This carnival is published every other Sunday on a different blog. You my submit a book review post from your own blog, for the next carnival here.

We have a wide selection of book reviews this week, starting with:


On his blog The Truth About Lies, Jim Murdoch reviews Australian writer Gerald Murnane's new novel, The Plains, a dense story about a filmmaker who spends years researching a film on the seemingly featureless Australian outback and its people. In place of the salt-of-the-earth sheep farmers one might expect to inhabit central Australia the narrator encounters an idealised world filled with aesthetics and intellectuals; wealthy landowners divided into factions idly speculating on metaphysics; I don't believe there's a sheep in the whole book.

Jim Murdoch also wrote a review of The Very Thought of You by Rosie Allison. Jim says it's a story about love, but not a love story. Jim doesn't read love stories.

Ms. Smarty Pants Know It All has read the oldest book in this edition of the carnival, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, first published in 1764, a trailblazing work that practically makes itself its own parody .

Joy, writing in This Girl's Bookshelf compares the movie version of Chocolat the the book by Joanne Harris.

Nymeth reviewed Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by Shyam Selvadurai on her blog Things Mean A Lot. It is a coming of age story set in Sri Lanka.

Sandra read Doris Lessing's 1988 novel The Fifth Child for her blog Fresh Ink Books.

Sandra also reviewed Doris Lessings Ben In The World and Becoming Abagail by Nigerian writer Chris Abani. People who have time to read annoy me.

Science Fiction:

Jeanne, of Necromancy Never Pays, says that she has changed her mind about Joan Slonczewsk"s Daugher of Elysium, which she now sees as a far less optimistic than she thought when she read it after it's debut in 1993. Children will do that to you.


Guest blogger Zarabeth writes about Miranda’s Big Mistake by Jill Mansell on Love Romance Passion.

Normal Girl's Guide to Great Books reviews Summer Blowout by Claire Cook., a summer read by the Author of Must Love Dogs.


KerrieS reviews a Norwegian mystery novel, The Redeemer. by Jo Nesbo, on her blog, Mysteries In Paradise. I guess the existence of Norwegian mystery novels should not be a surprise to me or to Garrison Keillor.

KerrieS also read and wrote a review of Peril and End House by Agatha Christie. Poirot's 6th novel, and his biggest challenge yet. Even the great Hercule Poirot can be swayed by sentiment.

KerrieS must be on vacation, because she had time to read and write a third review, of Shadow by Karin Alvtegen. This one is a Swedish mystery novel.

Children' Books:

Nathan at Inkweaver Review
has written a review of Penny from Heaven, by Jennifer L. Holm, a Newbery Honor Award book about a young girl living in the 1950’s.

Non Fiction:

Global Implications begins a series of weekly book reviews on the subject of Iran with The Devil We Know by Robert Baer.

Serena Trowbridge enjoyed The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale, despite herself, and tells us why at Culture and Anarchy.

GrrlScientist wrote, in Living The Scientific Life, a review of Unholy Business: A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land by Nina Burleigh. This book describes one of the greatest hoaxes of all time as the author follows the path of several ancient biblical artifacts from illegal archaeological digs in Israel through shady antiquities markets and even into the display cases of several famous museums around the world.

GrrlScientist also reviewed Sleeping Naked Is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days by Vanessa Farquharson. Wow, I've been saving the environment all my life and didn't even know it.

Stephen Martile writes about Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker, in his blog Freedom Education.. Steve bought this book in 2006. He must be well on is way to a huge fortune by now, don't you think?

Grant McCreary, of The Birdir's Library, reviews Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imagination and Experience
by Jeremy Mynott., a book that asks why and how people look at, and watch, birds.

Bruno Vigneault, of How To Make A Miracle Happen, watched the video version of What the Bleep Do We Know again. Those miracles are harder to make than it seemed at first.

In Science On Tap Arj has a few quibbles with astronomer/blogger Phil Plai's Death From The Skies, starting from it's cover design. I immediately recognized the cover as a parody of a 1950's science fiction movie poster. Arj calls it ""National Enquirer-like."

I submitted a review of my own, which is located just below this post, Street Gang is a history of Children's Television Workshop and Sesame Street.


Thursday Bram will give away one copy of Wanderlust and Lipstick: The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo by Beth Whitman, to a lucky person who leaves a comment on her review at Working Your Way Around The World.


  1. Thanks for the link! This is a fantastic list of reviews - going to have to read those in my fav categories/genres!

  2. This is my first time participating in the carnival. Thank you for posting my review links. There's quite a variety in the posts listed and some new bloggers for me to investigate. Thanks again.

  3. Thank you for hosting! A lot of books I haven't heard of before but which sound great.

  4. Thanks for hosting the carnival Clark

  5. What a good variety in this carnival! Thanks!

  6. Love your paragraph underneath the title of the blog. I'm Do Follow too so I have a backlink to you from my home. Thanks for hosting!

  7. Thank you all for submitting reviews to the carnival and for your kind comments.


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