Thursday, April 19, 2018

Hothouse Orchid (Holly Barker, #6)Hothouse Orchid by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sorry to see the series and but those of us who are Woods fans know that the story goes on and on. This one had some interesting and provocative plot shifts. Unlike most of these stories there were some interrupted and dropped plot lines. This kept me wondering where the story was going. Loved it. I heartily recommend the whole series and I recommend them in order.

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Iron Orchid (Holly Barker, #5)Iron Orchid by Stuart Woods
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A little less exciting than the previous episodes but still a great book. This one is not a stand alone book but an integral part of the series. It solidly builds the story and from having read other Woods' series, it clearly keeps up the franchise. I liked it. On to the 6th and final Holly Barker book.

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Blood Orchid (Holly Barker, #3)Blood Orchid by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Completely predictable and utterly enjoyable. Read it in two days. Would have been faster but a guy's got to eat. Sleep is optional.
This is a sensational story with great action. You must read the first books in this series or you will miss some of the action. Just like all Stuart Woods books, there is action, fun and just a bit of intrigue. On to the next. Actually, Holly's fourth adventure is in Stone Barrington's tenth so I've read it already.

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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Orchid Blues (Holly Barker, #2)Orchid Blues by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow, nonstop action until the last few pages. Well written with excellent plot twists. Actually found myself nervous for the characters. Holly is a full rich character and Ham could use a series of his own. Every character that Stuart Woods invents is worthy of a whole book. That might be what makes the books so enjoyable. One to #3.

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Counting The Omer.... Why?

As a child, holidays came and went. Each had its own rituals and foods. Some I didn't even notice, others were pretty much good for a day off from school. Now that I am older, and have time to think about these things, I spend a little more time wondering what it is all about.

When my dear daughter asked me to write her an Omer counter I had to look it up to find out what it was. I find the idea interesting for many reasons. Most of which it makes the counter, if you choose to be one, cognizant of the passage of time and the season more than ever. It gives us a chance to prepare for the holiday that celebrates G-d giving us the Torah.

The Torah, everything you need to know about life in one easy to handle scroll, is an amazing gift and however you believe it came to be, it certainly has had a profound impact on Jews and non-Jews alike.


I found a couple of interesting articles on Counting the Omer. The first is from the blog PunkTorah regarding the counting:

So, what does this all mean to us now? Well, it can mean many things. Counting the Omer can be used as a tool of self reflection. We can take this time to recognize the miracle of the Exodus from Egypt, from the gift of our freedom. The Sages tell us that G-d freed us from slavery in order to give us the Torah on Shavu’ot, so this should be a time of preparation. Counting the Omer gives us the time to learn from the gift of freedom G-d has given us and incorporate it into our lives, to grow one day at a time, taking a spiritual accounting, to make sure that we are heading in the right direction, to look at what we are doing that is right or wrong and to try to make ourselves ready to receive the honor of the Torah.
Counting the days is another way of directing our mindfulness to the passage of time. Be aware of the days as they pass, count them, give them meaning. We have been freed from slavery, rejecting the confusion and idolatry (philosophically, literally, and spiritually) of our own Egypt’s and are being made ready to re-focus our lives.
I guess a good take-away from all of this is that one must make each day count. Make each day worth living for you and the people you love. 

(This is a repeat of a post from last year)
Orchid Beach (Holly Barker, #1)Orchid Beach by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok, I'm just a sucker for a good story with well developed characters. Enough complexity to make it interesting and a little sex to keep me reading. Throw in a little violence and some great public servants and you have a Stuart Woods story. Stir in a little mystery and some red herrings dropped in to get you off the trail. Then add a surprise ending with a good fight. Let us not forget an incredible dog. I just loved this book. I like all Stuart's books.
The main character occurs later in the Stone Barrington series so I know she won't get hurt too badly. On to the next one...

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Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Kremlin's Candidate (Red Sparrow Trilogy #3)The Kremlin's Candidate by Jason Matthews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great read. I loved the first two books of the trilogy and this was the frosting on the cake. The story was from the headlines and the action never seemed to end. Twists and turns and a killer plot. I love a story that could end a dozen ways. The last few pages are incredible, don't peek. I hope Jason Matthews writes more books. He is a great author and seems to have an incredible knowledge of tradecraft. An impressive book.

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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Mounting Fears (Will Lee, #7)Mounting Fears by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another exciting page turner but alas, written in 2009 this series seems to be at its end. This is a great book with a lot of complicated things going on. There is not resolution to all the plot lines but some of them continue in other Wood's series.
I love these books partly because I seem to get totally immersed in his characters. I just can't put them down.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Capital Crimes (Will Lee, #6)Capital Crimes by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great story with great characters. I love the twists and turns and could not put this book down. In fact I read it in a day. I'm beginning to be sad that there is onlly one more book in the series. These are great books but.... I have read the Stone Barrington series and that has tipped me off as to some of the action... still great stories.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Run (Will Lee, #5)The Run by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just loved this book. I'm a sucker for Stuart Woods. These stories are just real enough to be believable and just fanciful enough to be fun. I like stories with twists and turns and this is one of them. Bravo, I'm sorry there are only a couple left in the series.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Grass RootsGrass Roots by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kept me on the edge until the last few pages. In fairness I knew this was not the last in the series so I knew Will would make it out alive. Stuart Woods is quite an author, several times this book took turns I just wasn't ready for. I loved reading it.

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Saturday, March 10, 2018

The NestThe Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a book club selection. An interesting story that seemed to stray a bit at times. After finishing it I begin to see how it all fit together but I was a bit disappointed in the way some of the characters fleshed out. Some seemed full and rich and others, though important to the story, were flat and colorless.
I guess books about dysfunctional people are not my thing. I'll bet after the book club is done discussing it I'll feel differently about he book.

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