ningerbil (ningerbil) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books 21-25

21. The Good Soldiers, by David Finkel. 2010 Alex Award. The author, a journalist, spent several months with the infantry soldiers 2-16, the Rangers, as they fought in the surge in 2007. It reads like an in-depth - very, very in-depth-- magazine feature. It covers a lot of angles, from the soldiers in Baghdad to the families at home, to the wounded soldiers recovering from their injuries -- physical and mental. It was hard to read some times because of its brutally honest look at the cost of war, but "The Good Soldiers" is well put together and easy to follow. A nice touch is the list of the members of the infantry, pictures throughout the book and the headshots of those killed during battle.

22. The Kids Are All Right, by Amanda, Liz, Dan and Diana Welch. A very neat, very honest story, told from the perspectives of four siblings. They are orphaned after their father dies in a mysterious car accident and their mother dies of cancer a few short years later. They each have their problems but what is heartening is their dedication and love for each other. This love pulls them through some rough times, including drug abuse, troubles with school and, in Diana's case, a rocky relationship (to put it mildly) with her new adoptive parents. The stories are told from alternating perspectives and span a number of years.

23. The Serial Killer's Apprentice, by James Renner. I forgot to include this one in the last batch. Another compilation of Cleveland cold cases and mysteries, many of them new to me. The stories include the heist of $215,000 from a bank in 1969, the death of Joseph Kupchik and the murder of Beverly Jarosz. The stories are short and concise, and I like the addition of the phone numbers and e-mail addresses for those who may have information.

24. Visual Illusions, by James Kingston. A nice picture book with short articles on the many different types of optical illusions out there, and why they work (or at least, usually work). This is a great book for older grade school and up, and can be used to teach both art and science.

25. Myth and Magic: The Art of John Howe. Anyone familiar with the Lord of the Rings movies probably knows of John Howe and Alan Lee. Howe was instrumental in many of the creature designs, scene concepts and armor designs. This book also includes cover art for other works, sketches (several previously unpublished)and pictures from his own stories. He also includes anecdotes throughout, and Howe has an engaging writing style and a very dry wit. His work is simply amazing. I love it how he says he does color sketches poorly. Yeah. I wish mine were half as "bad" as his are.
Tags: non-fiction

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