Saturday, April 23, 2011

Book Reviews - Catching Fire, Housekeeper & Professor, Uncle

Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)
Catching Fire is the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. (You can see my review of book one here.) This book picks up the story of Katniss Everdeen six months after her return home at the end of book one. Once again, this book was a can't-put-it-down page-turner filled with suspense and numerous plot twists. Several of the twelve districts of Panem are ready to rebel against the Capitol as the 75th Hunger Games begin, where 24 former victors will compete. (That's truly about all I can say without giving too much away!) Great book - Robbie and I both are impatiently waiting for the third book as I'm number five on the list of requests at our local library.

The Housekeeper and the Professor

For May, my book club is reading Yoko Ogawa's The Housekeeper and the Professor. I typically read the book a few days before the meeting, however I was able to borrow someone's copy for a couple of weeks so I read it early. (Hopefully I'll remember most of the details for the meeting in two weeks!) This is a short book that was translated from Japanese. It's about a housekeeper who is sent to work for a professor whose memory only lasts 80 minutes. Each day she arrives at work is like meeting the professor again for the first time. He does still have the memory of the years before his accident, but it stops there (25+ years before) and then only retains the last 80 minutes of each day. Prior to the accident that damaged his memory, he was a Mathematics Professor and he is passionate about numbers (especially prime numbers) and spends his time working to solve complex math problems. He talks about numbers and equations with such a passion that the housekeeper and her son are drawn into his view of the exquisitiveness of numbers. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and recommend it for anyone who enjoys a good story and might be interested in learning about amicable numbers, perfect numbers, twin primes, and Euler's formula.

Uncle (New York Review Children's Collection)

I first read about J.P. Martin's children's book Uncle on Sian's blog, and since we enjoy many similar books I knew I wanted a copy for my library. This book was originally published in the UK and the stories were created by J.P. Martin to entertain his children. Later, his children wanted him to write the stories down so they could share them with their own children, which led to the book. I think this would be a fun book for bed time reading as it involves a fictional fantasy world. Uncle is a rich elephant who rules over Homeward and has numerous rather fun and peculiar friends. There's also the Badfort crowd led by Beaver Hateman, who are always out to get Uncle. Their skirmishes are humerous and the entire book requires quite an imagination - totally fun reading.

BTW- if you have not had a chance to take my blog survey, please click here and share which topics you enjoying reading about on this blog. (Scroll to the bottom of that post for the survey - it will just take a minute.) I'll be sharing the results next week.


  1. I really enjoy your book reviews Melissa....I have to say I am seriously thinking about sending for 'The Hunger Games'. I love children's books and 'Uncle' sounds like my sort of read-I DO miss having children to read to!
    Alison xx

  2. Thanks for the tips. I love reading other people's recommendations, and I think I'll try Uncle (what age is it written for?) like the sounf of the Housekeeper too, but too mathematical for me! I've justscrolled down your last few posts - nice blog!

  3. Lovely book reviews. You will love the last book of The Hunger Games. I've read all three books a few times. Like you said they are a can-not-put-it-down book. I've put Uncle on my get from the library list. It sounds like a book my boys would enjoy. Thanks again for the wonderful reviews.

  4. I'm blown away by all the possible new Uncle fans you have found already in your comments! That has put such a smile on my face - so funny :) Maybe we'll start a big Uncle Revival.

    I do like the sound of The Professor. I'll definitely have to look out for that one, thank you.

  5. I used to be a big reader~you make me miss it!! The book sounds good!!!

  6. The Uncle book is a children’s book and I would say children up to about 11 or 12 would enjoy it and older ones might enjoy reading it to younger ones.

  7. I've read good things about the Housekeeper and the Professor somewhere before, but you've convinced me to add it to my Amazon wish list where I keep track of all the books I'd like to read.


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