Friday, July 25, 2014

Top Secret Twenty-One: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich

Series: Stephanie Plum
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition 
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345542924
ISBN-13: 978-0345542922

Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies,-

MY THOUGHTS: What can I say. If you read one you read them all.  Great entertainment. and very fast read. Morelli or Ranger, Ranger or Morelli, poor Stephanie.  The real question is which "Grandma" will win the contest of wills.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014



ISBN 0310240085
copyright 2003
357 pages

The GOD I LOVE captures the heart and soul of one woman's powerful, deeply personal journey of hope. It is a journey of Joni's life from childhood to present. At the age of 17 she became a quadriplegic as the result of a diving accident. This book captures the heart and soul of one woman's powerful, deeply personal journey of hope.  It is a sojourn from a child's belief to a tempered faith that transforms and transcends personal tragedy, bringing light to the darkest places and good out of the most difficult situations, and offering glimpses of the glory that awaits God's children. This is a very inspirational book and I highly recommend it.

David and Goliath by Malcom Gladwell

David and Goliath : Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
Malcolm Gladwell

320 pages
  • Little, Brown and Company; First Edition edition, 2013

*Starred Review* Gladwell’s best-sellers, such as The Tipping Point (2000) and Outliers (2008), have changed the way we think about sociological changes and the factors that contribute to high levels of success. Here he examines and challenges our concepts of “advantage” and “disadvantage” in a way that may seem intuitive to some and surprising to others. Beginning with the classic tale of David and Goliath and moving through history with figures such as Lawrence of Arabia and Martin Luther King Jr., Gladwell shows how, time and again, players labeled “underdog” use that status to their advantage and prevail through the elements of cunning and surprise. He also shows how certain academic “advantages,” such as getting into an Ivy League school, have downsides, in that being a “big fish in a small pond” at a less prestigious school can lead to greater confidence and a better chance of success in later life. Gladwell even promotes the idea of a “desirable difficulty,” such as dyslexia, a learning disability that causes much frustration for reading students but, at the same time, may force them to develop better listening and creative problem-solving skills. As usual, Gladwell presents his research in a fresh and easy-to-understand context, and he may have coined the catchphrase of the decade, “Use what you got.” --David Siegfried (BOOKLIST)

My Thoughts - I thoroughly enjoyed David and Goliath.   I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to challenge the way things are and become successful.  He talked about many instances where individuals made choices that changed their lives.  The choices,  while they were not the most popular or expected choices, they are what made the individual person unique and successful.  

Gladwell uses examples from history of people who made choices that while they seemed like mistakes at the time really are what made the person a success.    He talked about how people have overcome the typical problems with dyslexia to become great in-spite of if it such as Richard Branson.  Also he talked about that fact that 12 of our 44 presidents lost their fathers at an early age and achieved.  There was a very good story about the famous first "impressionist" artists and how they had to go against the establishment to get their works recognized.   

This is hopefully and encouraging book that allows the readers to challenge themselves to not give up but try alternative solutions.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Minding My Mother A Memoir by LaMoyne Dowell

When LaMoyne Dowell was born, his mother, 39 years old, was still recovering from breast cancer surgery and a radical breast cancer removal procedure. Three and one half years later, just two months prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, his mother broke her hip revealing that the cancer had returned with a vengeance which rendered her dependent and bedridden. Their relationship became a testament to the power of love between a little boy and his mother. With an older brother fighting overseas and his father having to work to put food on the table,  LaMoyne and his mother were forced to reverse their roles of caring for and nurturing each other -- a true story of how a  family can survive against incredible odds.

96 pages


I loved this book, especially living in the area the books author was from.  It was so good I didn't want to put it down until I was finished.  For a first book, I hope this author continues.  You could feel the emotions in his words.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

  • Series: Divergent Series (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; First Edition edition (May 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062024043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062024046
    SUMMARY:  Kirkus Review "With both the Dauntless and Abnegation factions shattered by the Erudite attack, Tris and her companions seek refuge with Amity and Candor, and even among the factionless. But the Erudite search for "Divergents" continues relentlessly. They have a secret to protect—one they fear could prove more catastrophic than open warfare; one they will slaughter to keep hidden... Rather than ease readers back into this convoluted narrative, the book plunges the characters into immediate danger without clues to their current relationships, let alone their elaborate back stories. The focus is firmly on the narrator Tris, who, devastated by guilt and grief, reveals new depth and vitality. While taking actions less Dauntless than recklessly suicidal, she retains her convenient knack for overhearing crucial conversations and infallibly sizing up others. Her romance with Tobias is achingly tender and passionate, and her friends and enemies alike display a realistic spectrum of mixed motivations and conflicted choices. "

    MY THOUGHTS: I thought the story seemed to go off in several directions. The book is good and I do want to finish the series. I hope I like it better than the Hunger Games series ending".   A slow start but it does pick up, the ending leaves you with a "Cliff hanger" about the factions.  

    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

    The Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver

    The Skin Collector by Jeffery Deaver
    Grand Central Publishing
    448 pages

    Someone is murdering people, killing them by injecting poison as he creates exquisitely detailed tattoos on their bodies. Lincoln Rhyme, the quadriplegic criminalist, and his team race against time to identify and stop the villain before the body count rises. To make matters more perplexing, the unknown perpetrator appears to have learned how to keep his crime scenes clean and evidence-free, from Rhyme’s own writings (specifically an article about an old case involving a killer known as the Bone Collector). How do you catch a killer who’s learned how not to get caught by the best criminalist in the business? Meanwhile, the Watchmaker, the fiendishly clever killer introduced in 2006’s The Cold Moon (but referred to in intervening books), still haunts Rhyme, even after the man’s death in prison, making it hard for the investigator to devote his full concentration to the murder case at hand. Another suspenseful and twist-filled entry in this always-exciting series. --David Pitt (Booklist)

    My Thoughts - I always like a a good mystery and Jeffery Deaver does a fine job.   Another story in the Lincoln Rhyme series and it does not fail to hold the reader interest.   This story could stand on it's own but it is helpful to know the back story of Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs.  Some of the scenarios are a bit far-fetched, but with the Internet and biological terrorism anything could be possible.  I would recommend the book for those who have read other books in the Lincoln Rhyme series and for those who like a complicated twisted mystery.

    Frog Music by Emma Donoghue

    Frog Music by Emma Donoghue
     Little, Brown and Company, 2014
     416 pages, 

    Donoghue flawlessly combines literary eloquence and vigorous plotting in her first full-fledged mystery, a work as original and multifaceted as its young murder victim. During the scorching summer of 1876, Jenny Bonnet, an enigmatic cross-dressing bicyclist who traps frogs for San Francisco’s restaurants, meets her death in a railroad saloon on the city’s outskirts. Exotic dancer Blanche Beunon, a French immigrant living in Chinatown, thinks she knows who shot her friend and why, but has no leverage to prove it and doesn’t know if she herself was the intended target. A compulsive pleasure-seeker estranged from her “fancy man,” Blanche searches desperately for her missing son while pursuing justice for Jenny, but finds her two goals sit in conflict. In language spiced with musical interludes and raunchy French slang, Donoghue brings to teeming life the nasty, naughty side of this ethnically diverse metropolis, with its brothels, gaming halls, smallpox-infested boardinghouses, and rampant child abuse. Most of her seedy, damaged characters really lived, and she not only posits a clever solution to a historical crime that was never adequately solved but also crafts around Blanche and Jenny an engrossing and suspenseful tale about moral growth, unlikely friendship, and breaking free from the past. --Sarah Johnson (Booklist)

    My Thoughts:  Once in I while, I think about living in the "Old Days" and then after reading books like Frog Music,
     I remember why I really would not like to live in the olden days.  The story takes place in 1876 San Francisco and show the very underbelly of life in the city of that time.   This was a time of segregation, corruption, and just plain meanness.  Women were very much lower class citizens, the Chinese immigrant was despised, and the law enforcement turned a blinded eye to much of the corruption in all segments of society.  The murder was real and the story wove around the murder makes one glad that things have changed from those dark ages of American history.  

    This was not my favorite book because of the darkness and hopelessness of the situations presented but I would recommend it to get a feel for the life in a city in the 1800's for the poor and immigrant.