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As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Review: MUSIC FROM ANOTHER WORLD by Robin Talley



5 Stars

LGBT

Sometimes I am so blessed by a book, when it moves me, moulds me, and changes or improves my perspective.  MUSIC FROM ANOTHER WORLD gave me all that, in addition to a long stroll down Memory Lane coupled with seeing those memories of history through others' perspective. Yet at the same time the characters' emotions so powerfully resonated with me, not just the YA protagonists (Sharon, Tammy, Peter) but of some of the adult characters as well such as Tammy and Peter's single mother. I just fell into this story immediately and never wanted to surface. I "lived it," I "was right there," thanks to a very gifted author,  Robin Talley.  It's an enormous pleasure to encounter a novel so touching and thought-provoking and eventually life-changing.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Review: WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens


5 Stars 




My immediate thought when I  first commenced WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING,  a selection of the Rising Stars Book Club at Writing. Com, was to remember BASTARD OUT OF CAROLINA by Dorothy Allison, a novel also notable for the power of its Setting.  Indeed, in both novels Setting is a character in itself,  and this is overpoweringly true of WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING, which opens and closes and is rife throughout with the importance of Setting. Ar times, I felt as if character were unimportant,  as Setting carried the day in every instance.  I think this is a novel of which Thoreau would be proud.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Review: THE FIRE AND THE DARKNESS by Sinclair McKay



5 Stars

Reading about the Dresden Firebombing of February 1945 is a painful and horrific encounter,  as is reading about Hiroshima or Nagasaki,  September 11 2001, the Holocaust or the history of lynching.  Yet we as readers and thinking humans need to be aware of the evils of history as well as the glories. On the other hand,  Dresden 's history also testifies to the invincibility of the human spirit,  above and beyond the biological drive to survive.  For biology alone cannot account for the city 's reconstruction nor for the impetus to record for posterity its tragedy, nor for those outside Dresden who strive to repair and to improve it. There is something in humanity that is propelled to rise above its frequent inhumanity and destruction.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Review: GLISSANDO by Debbie Burke




5 Stars
Jazz is the background, backstory, and thematic soundtrack for this unusual and intriguing novel of a Catskills native, product of a non-practising Jewish household, who trains as a paralegal, happily marries a local correctional officer, then finds herself the wronged spouse and determines successfully to form her own life. Until--at age 55, she joins a university-community jazz band, a great artistic outlet and lots of fun. It's also the commencement of her own midlife crisis, as she finds herself stunningly enraptured by an accomplished trumpet player, her age. When it rains, it pours, and soon she is professionally and romantically involved with an attorney through her firm, while remaining starry-eyed over the jazz musician.

What impressed me the most in this character-driven novel is the protagonist's self-awareness, her acceptance of herself at various life stages, her willingness to grow. She is strong in the right sense: a strong, self-aware, independent woman (who loves dogs). 

This story does include love, romance, lust, marriage. It's erotic but not Erotica. It's the story of a metaphorical "coming of age" and personal growth that lasts a lifetime.












Friday, January 17, 2020

Review: AND THROW THE SKINS AWAY by Scott Archer Jones


4 Stars
Literary Fiction

 A literary novel of Survivorship,  the protagonist Rebecca (Bec) survives an ugly childhood,  a perverted pastor, breast cancer, her pastor husband's faith crisis, depression,  and subsequent military overseas deployment. She also after moving to Northern New Mexico from Dallas,  survives his loss and an up-and-down involvement with a nearby disabled veteran.  Even when she doesn't know her own decisions,  Bec survives.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Review of THE PUBLICIST (1-4) by Christina George

<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30180817-the-publicist-series---book-1---4" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="The Publicist Series - Book 1 - 4: Contemporary Romance Series PLUS a Bonus Book!" src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1463146127m/30180817.jpg" /></a><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30180817-the-publicist-series---book-1---4">The Publicist Series - Book 1 - 4: Contemporary Romance Series PLUS a Bonus Book!</a> by <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6556822.Christina_George">Christina George</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2722033539">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
I started reading this series a couple of years ago, and even though I don't often select chick lit or women's fiction or anything with romance. However, I do admire a feckless hero or heroine and Kate Mitchell, the eponymous publicist of this heartwarming series, is Feckless with a Capital, but that's why she's lovable. And for those who do like chick-lit and romance, and those who like insights into the publishing kingdom, there's plenty here to love for those readers too. The author has paid her dues in the publishing world and clearly knows well whereof she speaks (or in this case, writes).
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Friday, November 2, 2018

Review_OSLO SPIES

<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39074903-oslo-spies" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Oslo Spies" src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1528203458m/39074903.jpg" /></a><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39074903-oslo-spies">Oslo Spies</a> by <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13550573.S_J_Slagle">S.J. Slagle</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2581295179">5 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Review of OSLO SPIES<br /><br />One of the blessings of historical fiction is that when well-written and thoroughly researched, authors enlighten and vivify a given historical period, bringing it to life and simultaneously humanizing it. Such is true of OSLO SPIES, which from the very beginning captures the era, the culture, the history, while creating vivid and vibrant characters with whom readers will resonate. In addition, due to the author's fine grasp of the historical era and what it meant, not just for a nation, but for individuals living through it and after it (World War II, Norway), we are educated in a way that makes us visualize the setting and realize “what life was like” for those living in that era. The novel is also well-written and maintains readers' attention and intrigue.
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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

NOT HER DAUGHTER by Rea Frey_ Review

<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36504901-not-her-daughter" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Not Her Daughter" src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1509387961m/36504901.jpg" /></a><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36504901-not-her-daughter">Not Her Daughter</a> by <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4235710.Rea_Frey">Rea Frey</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2502311217">4 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Review: NOT HER DAUGHTER by Rea Frey<br /><br />How far would any of us go to follow our conscience? I'm reminded of American conscientious objectors during the Vietnam War who emigrated to Canada, of Southeast Asian Buddhist monks during the same era who self-immolated, and of the "vigilante" who stalked the New York City subways to kill criminals. Ultimately, it's an individual choice: obey one's conscience, or follow the law. For Sarah Walker, Portland CEO of a digital company focused on the education of children, there is no choice. There is only despair and impetus. <br /><br />Witnessing a fairly obvious child abuse event in the airport, Sarah is shocked and distraught. Surely this was a one-time event, the consequence of stress and marital turmoil. But when fate puts her at Emma's Montessori School in Washington State, Sarah decides the girl is in need of immediate rescuing. Instead of calling in Child Protective Services, Sarah (who had a neglectful childhood with a bipolar mother and a father who could never focus beyond his own loss), abducts little Emma, and absconds with the child.
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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Review: BETRAYED ANGEL by Tom Haase

Release Date: July 15 2018

<a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40537835-betrayed-angel" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px"><img border="0" alt="Betrayed Angel (Coastal Adventure Series Book 1)" src="https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1529133093m/40537835.jpg" /></a><a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40537835-betrayed-angel">Betrayed Angel</a> by <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7143358.Tom_Haase">Tom Haase</a><br/>
My rating: <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2454554632">4 of 5 stars</a><br /><br />
Review: BETRAYED ANGEL by Tom Haase<br /><br />Hard-charging Chuck McGregor, former Savannah police officer, former Army Airborne on special ops for the Defense Intelligence Agency, finds himself at a loss after finally leaving the military. Almost immediately, his father, a very wealthy hedge fund owner, dies and leaves Chuck majorly well-off. But that doesn't satisfy the void in Chuck 's spirit, and neither does heavy consumption of alcohol. <br /><br />But finding a purpose does, and in this, having friends on the Savannah Police force does. In an accidentally witnessed event on the Tybee Island beach, a purpose reveals itself. Suddenly Chuck discovers the bugaboo of contemporary society-human trafficking--and Chuck 's own moral compass unleashes a new Rambo, as he determines to take down all and sundry, while saving all the victims he can. Go, Chuck!!
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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Review_OOPS-A-NAVY by Gregg Bell

Oops-A-Navy (Navy SEAL Misadventure Book 1)Oops-A-Navy by Gregg Bell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Review: OOPS-A-NAVY by Gregg Bell

Honestly: how did these two ever enter the Navy SEALS in the first place? (Laughing) Let alone survive "Hell Week"? Earl and Shelby are--not a pair, oh no--assigned partners, sent first to Hawaii to "calm down," then, at the Admiral' s discretion, to Guantanamo to track down a "missing" golfer Senator! (For some reason, I kept remembering the visiting Congressman killed at Jonestown.)

Now let me tell you WHY Shelby and Earl don't form the ideal covert partnership. There is nothing covert about Shelby: she is an on-fire loose cannon in the SEALs for one reason: to revenge the deaths of her parents, killed on their catamaran by a Russian torpedo! (So the Admiral sends her to CUBA?!) Earl is a Chicago poet, scion of wealth, mellow. Earl is also recovering from Shelby' s shooting him with a speargun in Hawaii. Tracking through swamp and jungle is so not helpful. (And probably not poetic).
Earl and Shelby bring whole new definitions to the term "feckless." Can anything ever go right?

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Monday, June 11, 2018

ROADTRIP AMERICA'S ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO: 25 SCENIC SIDE TRIPS

RoadTrip America's Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side TripsRoadTrip America's Arizona and New Mexico: 25 Scenic Side Trips by Rick Quinn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review: ROAD TRIP AMERICA ARIZONA AND NEW MEXICO: 25 SCENIC SIDE TRIPS by Rick Quinn, RoadTrip America

Wow! This book is packed with so much information, it's a traveller' s education in itself. It's got me champing at the bit to try out these junkets, and I'll definitely be keeping it close for future reference.

The scenic beauty of the American Southwest is unparalleled anywhere, and author Rick Quinn, a veteran of road trips all over North and South America spanning several decades, directs eager readers "off the beaten track," specifically off Interstates, all the better to discover the views and vistas, the untold secrets, of "the real Southwest." He weaves in historical input as well, in a delightful, exciting, and educational guidebook. Don't miss!

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