Sunday, July 27, 2014


Moalem, Sharon. Inheritance: How Our Genes Change Our Lives and Our Lives Change Our Genes. New York: Grand Central, 2014.

An interesting look at  medical genetics, written with the general public in mind. Many books on the subject are over the head of the average lay reader, but Moalem, a researcher and practicing doctor in the field of genetics, breaks it down so that most readers will understand. He doesn't cover a great deal of material, focusing on only one or two examples per chapter. He usually does not provide the SNP responsible for inherited conditions in his writing, although a person wanting to know more can likely find articles in library databases that will provide the information if they are willing to wade through scientific details. As a genealogist, I loved his recommendation at the end of chapter 6. He says, "One of the best gifts you can provide them [your siblings, children, and grandchildren] with is a thorough genealogical history, starting with what you know about the health of your own parents and moving on up and across the family tree as far as you can." (p. 122) He also cautions persons considering genetic testing to consider its implications for health and life insurance coverage. There is some great information in the book, but it does bog down a bit in places and probably focuses a bit too much on his own work in places although that it is what is most familiar to him.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Secrets of Hallstead House

Reade, Amy M. Secrets of Hallstead House. New York: Kensington, 2014.

Macy Stoddard of New York City, recovering from the loss of her parents in an accident, takes a nursing job on an island in the St. Lawrence River at Summerplace, also known as Hallstead House. Her job is to provide care and therapy for Alexandria Hallstead who is recovering from a fall. Macy is afraid of the water as she leaves the mainland for the island as she has never learned to swim. She likes Pete, the local man who often works for Alexandria and took her by the island though which puts her more at ease than she expected. She is met with hostility by the housekeeper and her husband the handyman as well as Alexandria's nephew. Macy soon learns that Alexandria's only daughter had met her death by drowning and that Alexandria's husband had suffered a fatal fall. When Macy learns the real reason that Alexandria has invited her to the island, Macy isn't sure that she wants to stay. This story has many of the elements of the classic romantic suspense novel. Readers who enjoyed the works of Phyllis Whitney and Victoria Holt will find much to enjoy in the novel. It suffers a bit in the believability department in a few places, but the pleasure of finding a book that took me back to my early love of this genre more than made up for it. I received an advance e-galley for review by the publisher through NetGalley with the expectation that a review would be written.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Psalms and Prayers for Little Ones

Nolan, Allia Zobel. Psalms and Prayers for Little Ones. Illustrated by Tammie Lyon. Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House, 2014.

This little volume takes several of the Psalms and paraphrases them so younger children can more easily understand them. It then pairs them with a short prayer based on each Psalm. The illustrations are good but not the quality that would be found in a Caldecott medal or honor book. The paraphrases sometimes stray a bit too far from some of the mainstream versions for my own tastes. If that does not bother you as much, this might be a book for your child or grandchild. There are certainly some Scripture truths to be learned here. This review is based on an advance review e-galley provided by the publisher through NetGalley for review. I did find the "Review Copy" in black letters on each pair of pages to be of overkill. Perhaps the publisher needs to learn the art of watermarking the images so they are still readable but easily identified as review copies.