Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the LusitaniaDead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A great book. Erik Larson gets me anxious even though I know the ending. He brings the characters to life and the reader wonders what will become of them. I am so glad that he has shone a light on this episode of history. We tend to forget what transportation and communication was like in that era. He also shows us how utterly human and sometimes small minded even some of our greatest leaders have been. Human frailty and championing of ignorance is not a new condition of mankind, it is a chronic condition.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

This Was a Man (The Clifton Chronicles, #7)This Was a Man by Jeffrey Archer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fitting end to the Clifton Chronicles. At times hard to read because, knowing that it was the final episode, I didn't want it to end. Taking all the characters and weaving them into a final few inches of fabric, knowing that there would be no more was masterful. What a storyteller. This is a brilliant book and was a brilliant series. I do now know more about cricket than I ever wanted to.

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Sex, Lies, and Serious Money (Stone Barrington, #39)Sex, Lies, and Serious Money by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Stuart Woods never fails to provide a delightful read. Imagine yourself with all the money in the world and a rich friend to tell you how to spend it appropriately. That's the main plot of this story. The underlying story is a minor, but interesting, crime conspiracy with Stone and his new friend involved. A lot of delightful sex, mischief and great meal descriptions. In addition jet setting around the the country in private jets.... These books are a joy to read.

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Escape Clause (Virgil Flowers, #9)Escape Clause by John Sandford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Between John Sandford books I forget how good he is. The story is wonderfully presented. The characters have depth and realism, even though they are incredibly weird and almost unbelievable. Virgil is so real and his emotions are portrayed beautifully. The plot is complex and yet I bought the whole thing. Can't wait for the next one. If you've never read John Sandford, this might be a good introduction... I loved it.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Machinations (Machinations, #1)Machinations by Hayley Stone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I guess this book was pretty much fluff for me. A bit end of the world, machines fight humans. The terminator without time travel. Interesting characters. I think my grandchildren will like this book. The story was too predictable and I don't just mean the ending. I sort of knew the storyline as it unfolded.

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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Old Filth (Old Filth, #1)Old Filth by Jane Gardam
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a book club selection. It is very readable and I had trouble putting it down. The problem was that there was very little plot and a ton of character development. I guess I had figured out the "secret" and was not too surprised at the ending. I think I many have learned a lot about the British Empire that I did not know. Maybe I have a better idea of why England is so different from the States.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Cometh the Hour (The Clifton Chronicles, #6)Cometh the Hour by Jeffrey Archer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another episode in the Clifton Chronicles. I love these books. The stories and characters are quite memorable. They seem to have a depth and realism that is wonderful. Reading these stories has given me a whole new look at English society and politics. I look forward to the next episode.

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Be Careful What You Wish For (The Clifton Chronicles, #4)Be Careful What You Wish For by Jeffrey Archer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The saga continues but got a little plodding in the middle of the book. Thought for a minute or two I was done with the Clifton's but he ending left me hanging enough to go on with the story. On to book five. This must be a tribute to the writing of Archer. His characters are rich with realism and emotion. One can almost feel they have met them. Even minor characters seem to have three dimensions. Worth reading.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Best Kept Secret (The Clifton Chronicles, #3)Best Kept Secret by Jeffrey Archer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The master of surprise endings. Great to know there is another of these, in fact several more. Archer develops characters and story lines that are intriguing and eminently believable. His characters don't seem to get old, they seem to mature and become multi-faceted. I am totally enjoying the series.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Circling the SunCircling the Sun by Paula McLain
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a selection for my book club and I enjoyed it very much. I must say its like a great meal or wine. Nuanced and subtle. I took a long time to read it because it was delicious. The writing is beautiful and thought provoking. The story is bigger and broader than a single person or continent. The author manages to reveal the complex nature of the character in ways that I found universal to people around me and myself. None of us are simple and our actions affect all of those around us. These complex relationships were so beautifully shown in a tender and loving way.

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Friday, July 29, 2016

The Black Widow (Gabriel Allon, #16)The Black Widow by Daniel Silva
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a great author. Its like he wrote the book last night. The plot is wonderfully presented but best of all when Silva writes I feel as if I'm there. His descriptions of places and events are so real that you can smell the exhaust from the cars and feel the grit on your hands. I take too long to read his books because each word is to be savored. He outlines the background so beautifully and with a great deal of sensitivity. These are complex locations and issues and he navigates them with grace.
I'm glad he kept Gabriel in his books and look forward to his next adventure.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Letters from SkyeLetters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a book club selection. I'm glad I read it. Interesting way to tell a very small story. Well written and I would say finely crafted. Covers a span of history I find interesting. I wanted to love it and at times I did but parts were just dreary and sad. Even the parts that may have been joyous were tinged with the shadow of infidelity. I guess the point was that we don't control who we love but that may be too simple in the real world....

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