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About the blogger:
Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle (US) | Kindle (UK)





Book-blog.com by Debra Hamel is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution - Noncommercial - No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



Book Notices | The Enemy by Tom Wood / The Great Cake Mystery by Alexander McCall Smith / Time's Pendulum by Jo Ellen Barnett

Tom Wood, The Enemy

  Amazon  

I think I'm tiring of Tom Wood's Victor the assassin books. (This is book two, plus there was a Kindle Single that bridged the gap between the two books.) At least, it took me an enormous amount of time to get through this one. I think that Victor and his doings, the details of his work, are as interesting to me as they have been--though Wood occasionally goes into far too much detail about Victor's weaponry. The problem, I believe, is that Wood doesn't provide enough information about some of the other characters in the story or about the big picture to make us really care what's going on. In particular, I've completely forgotten what we learned in book one about the back story of Victor's CIA handlers. So every time they were mentioned in this book, I wished that Wood would make me care about them and provide some summary of their previous history. I also never cared about the various plots going on in this book. Was the fate of the world riding on whether or not someone was assassinated? I don't know. It never seemed to matter very much. (I would add that the naming system of these books is regrettable: The Killer, The Enemy, and next comes The Game. They're interchangeable and not memorable. Even at only three books to date it's difficult to remember which you've read and which you haven't. The Killer was also published as The Hunter, which only adds to the confusion.)

Alexander McCall Smith, The Great Cake Mystery

  Amazon  

Alexander McCall Smith has now published three children's books featuring Precious Ramotswe, the protagonist of his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, as a school-age girl. The books are aimed at kids in grades 2-5, though I read this first book in the series and quite liked it. The Great Cake Mystery is true to the adult series: the story is sweet, the characters charming, and Precious--united here with her dear father Obed, who has died by the time the adult books start--is exactly as she should be. The book itself is also beautiful: the two-tone, woodcut-looking illustrations that appear throughout it are delightful and perfectly appropriate for the story.

Jo Ellen Barnett, Time's Pendulum: From Sundials to Atomic Clocks, the Fascinating History of Timekeeping and How Our Discoveries Changed the World

  Amazon  

This is a well-written, well-argued book. It’s divided into two parts. The first is a history of timekeeping—from sundials and water clocks (as the subtitle suggests) to the atomic clock. This first part also begins with an interesting chapter on “The Planetary Basis of Our Day,” which explains why an Earth day currently lasts about 24 hours and why it was shorter in the past. The second part of the book, less interesting to me, is about radiometric dating. The author refers to the various methods of dating using radioactive decay as “radioactive clocks,” which is how the topic comes to be included in a book on timekeeping.

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