Thursday, August 27, 2015

Citizens Creek by Lalita Tademy

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Citizens Creek
Lalita Tademy

Atria Books
Pages:  432

Lalita Tademy  has brought to life Cow Tom and his family growing and surviving during the great Indian removal and the Civil War.  Cow Tom, a black slave of the Creek Indians, is a linguist and is hired by the United States government to help the military remove the Seminoles from Florida.  With the money received for  this work, Cow Tom hopes to earn enough money to buy his and his wife's freedom.  He also hopes to find his mother who was captured by the Seminoles when Cow Tom was just a boy.  So begins the legacy of Cow Tom and his family.

Rose, Cow Tom's granddaughter, is given the family stories by Cow Tom on his death bed and Rose vows to keep the family together and remain proud of her Creek heritage.

I found the story a wonderful adventure and a great family story.  A story of perseverance and a look at American history that is not talked about in most history books.

The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard

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The Ways of the World
Robert Goddard
Pages:  416

Max (James "Max" Maxted), a World War I fighter pilot who survived being shot down in Germany, comes home and learns of his father's death in Paris.  Mr. Maxted was working with the British delegation on the Treaty of Versailles and it appears that he has jumped out of an apartment building as an act of suicide but Max does not believe this to be true and begin a search for the real killer or killers.  Why would someone want to kill his father?   Mr. Maxted's life proves to be very complicated and Max will find the answers one way or another.

This story is the beginning of a trilogy.

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

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Go Set a Watchman
Harper Lee

Pages 288

From the back cover:

From Harper Lee comes a landmark new novel set two decades after her beloved Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpiece, To Kill a Mockingbird.
Maycomb, Alabama. Twenty-six-year-old Jean Louise Finch—"Scout"—returns home from New York City to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights tensions and political turmoil that were transforming the South, Jean Louise's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family, the town, and the people dearest to her. Memories from her childhood flood back, and her values and assumptions are thrown into doubt. Featuring many of the iconic characters from To Kill a MockingbirdGo Set a Watchman perfectly captures a young woman, and a world, in painful yet necessary transition out of the illusions of the past—a journey that can only be guided by one's own conscience.
Written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman imparts a fuller, richer understanding and appreciation of Harper Lee. Here is an unforgettable novel of wisdom, humanity, passion, humor, and effortless precision—a profoundly affecting work of art that is both wonderfully evocative of another era and relevant to our own times. It not only confirms the enduring brilliance of To Kill a Mockingbird, but also serves as its essential companion, adding depth, context, and new meaning to an American classic.
My Thoughts:
Go Set a Watchman was not really what I expected.  I truly enjoyed  To Kill a Mockingbird with Scout, Jem, and Atticus and I had hoped that this novel would be an extension of that story.   Go Set a Watchman finds Atticus a member of the "good ole boys" city council and a follower of KKK activities.   I had believed that Atticus was a man of virtue and dignity but in this newest book, he is just a perpetrator of the southern racist stereotype who will do anything to preserve the "southern" way of life.  Scout also learns that her boyfriend is also a member of the men's group.

The Cost of Courage by Charles Kaiser

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The Cost of Courage
Charles Kaiser

Other Press
278 pages

The Cost of Courage tells the true story of three siblings and their role in the liberation of France during World War II.  Andre, Christiane, and Jaqueline Boulloche all were members of the French resistance movement and worked diligently toward removing the Germans from their county.

Andre became Charles DeGaulle's personal representative in France while DeGaulle was trying to build his Free French Army in England.  Christiana and Jaqueline worked in Paris as messengers in the movement.  In 1944, Andre is betrayed and is sent to Auschwitz and he sisters narrowly escape capture on several occasions.  The three siblings all survive the war and live for 50 years without telling their story and the story of France's liberation from the Nazis.  

Mr. Kaiser convinces the siblings to tell their story, a story of unsung heroes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

"Last Hit: Reloaded" By: Jessica Clare Review

Last Hit: Reloaded
By: Jessica Clare
There was a time when Nick loved the fear he instilled in his enemies. His tattoos alone promised danger, but it was the look in his eyes that delivered on it. A contract killer since he was just a boy, Nick has now forged a new life and a new identity with the woman who followed him, captured him, and changed him.
He terrified Daisy. Once. But she couldn't resist, and she ignored every warning. It paid off. Now she's part of a new beginning, a fresh start in America helping him to leave behind a reckless and violent past as a professional killer. But the past is never easy to outrun, especially when so much of it thrives on revenge.
A new threat has emerged from the shadows, and now Nick and Daisy have no choice but to rely on Nick's killer skills to protect them from everything they've tried so hard to escape.
My Thoughts
     A continuation from the Hitman series featuring Nick and Daisy, Last Hit: Reloaded focuses on their lives after. After the murder and mayhem, while they are just trying to live their lives and continue. Yet, Nick isn’t able to leave his past behind and is continuously on the lookout for trouble. Daisy is trying to live a comfortable quiet life, but is having issues with making friends and fitting in at college.
     A short scene in the life of Nick and Daisy, I enjoyed entering their world again. I have a soft spot for Nick and the journey he has endured. A former hitman, Nick is hard but Daisy gives him just enough soft to make him a true hero. Never backing down and extremely loyal, Nick is a tried and true killer who tries to hide his true nature to be more of what Daisy wants and needs. Through it all, Nick and Daisy still have a strong connection, no matter what happens.

    An excellent addition to the series, with a few new characters added, I fell back into the world of the Hitman series with no problems. I’m looking forward to Last Kiss and returning to Russia. Without a doubt I feel that you need to read the previous books in the series, both for continuity and to enjoy the book and really know the past motivations of the characters.

Book Details
Publisher: InterMix
Date of Publication: January 20, 2015
# of Pages: 134
Location: Minnesota