Reviews by pk
Another Excellent Book
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This is another excellent book from Jhumpa Lahiri. The Lowland is about the lives of two brothers and how events in the Naxalite movement in India shaped them both. Lahiri has an amazing way of seeing the sadness, hopelessness, and truth in simple, everyday events. She follows the stories of the brothers and the people they touch beautifully. She also moves back and forth between parts of the stories so that more and more is revealed as the book progresses. Yes, this book is sad at times, but it also has some hopeful notes, which many of her works lack. She shows us an interesting window into the lives of Indian-American immigrants, and all those who struggle to fit in to a new place when family and tradition continue on in the old place. Give this or her other works a try. She's an amazing writer.
Great Steel Drum
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Who would have thought you could check out a steel drum from your library? What a fantastic opportunity.

The drum is about 15" in diameter, easy to set up and it comes with two mallets and a stand. The stand is short, so you'll want it on a table to play. You get a full octave, key of g. Sounds very nice - not like a toy instrument. What fun!
Excellent and still relevant
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Highly recommend this book. A boy wakes up, injured, unable to remember who he is. He doesn't understand the language of the people he meets, but he quickly learns it. The farm family that helps him doesn't understand him, either. What kind of fabric are his clothes made of? Why does he claim he can understand animal's thoughts? And how can he run so incredibly fast? Just exactly WHO is this boy? Everyone wants to know. And some automatically don't like him. As he rediscovers his identity, his adopted family works hard to keep him safe and get him back to his own family.

Though parts of this book feel a little heavy handed with the message, the main theme of accepting people as they are and not being afraid of those who are different is still relevant today.
Excellent Update of Science History Book
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If you want to know more about the history of science, The Double Helix is a great choice. It's through the eyes of a 20- something, up and coming, amusingly cocky scientist (James Watson, the author) and details his part in the discovery of the structure of DNA. This edition, with annotation and original letters, plus the views of others who saw things slightly differently than James Watson, make it all the more fascinating. Yes, there is science involved, but so much of it is about the feel of the times, how it was to be involved in high level science academia back then. It is a gripping read. I would have appreciated a little more background on some of the social and political events of the time, but overall they did a wonderful job bringing more life and interest to this book.
Better for beginning Austen readers?
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I have to disagree slightly with the previous review. I am an Austen fan, and learned much of what I know about customs and manners of the time by reading her novels, plus a few other authors. I found that too many things were annotated and it distracted from the novel too much. I did enjoy descriptions of carriages (with drawings!) and fire screens, for example, as well as other objects of the day that we no longer see. Some of the notes on what actions by characters were typical of the time were useful. But there were too many definitions of words that I think most Austen readers already understand. Some even fit with modern usage and yet the book defines them in a note. If you've read an Austen novel but were confused about it, this will most likely help. If you feel confident reading Austen, it may not be worth it.