Thursday, April 28, 2016

A Man Without Breath (Bernard Gunther, #9)A Man Without Breath by Philip Kerr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is quite a book. Bernie is trying to solve some seemingly simple murders with a backdrop of mass murder and genocide. Actual characters, actual locations real historical events make for a real page turner that is exciting until the end. The internal turmoil in Bernie's mind is well matched by the schitzo nature of the German leadership during WWII. Read past the end into the Author's notes at the end.

View all my reviews

Sunday, April 24, 2016

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)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1)Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very delightful book. Strong characters and a plot that crept up and grabbed me. I could almost see the characters probably because I've watched so much British tv. Can't wait to read more of these.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Family Jewels (Stone Barrington #37)Family Jewels by Stuart Woods
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Pure Stone Barrington. A wonderfully pleasant read. I'd call it a page turner but more than that, Stuart Woods stories are just fun to read. I also find myself finding out a lot of things I didn't know. In fact I want to try one of the restaurants from this story next time I'm in New York.
Stone solves the mystery the old fashioned way, with intricate plot twists and clever characters. The old favorites make appearances too so that the book feels a little like old home week after having read the thirty-six previous editions. Thanks Stuart Woods, keep writing these fun and entertaining books and totally turning off my TV for a few delightful hours.

View all my reviews

Monday, April 11, 2016

Prague Fatale (Bernard Gunther, #8)Prague Fatale by Philip Kerr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This might be Philip Kerr at his best... A great, classic mystery and an inside look at people and events that shaped the Third Reich. It was quite a ride. The mystery was a classic, a story that was complex but still completely understandable. I could see the places and events unfolding. So much of this story is based on real people and events. If you read this be sure to read the acknowledgements at the end.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Field GreyField Grey by Philip Kerr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Same old Bernie but older and wiser? Well the story is convoluted and a little hard to follow but still a great picture of this time period, the 50's. Doesn't make the Amis, Americans, look so good but to a non-nazi German, the Americans must have looked like the same trouble all over again.

View all my reviews

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sorry to say I didn't like this much. It could have been a great story but it never seemed to go anywhere. The characters were pretty thin and in reality I didn't much care what happened to them. I wanted to like Comoran Strike and his sidekick secretary but they never did anything that got me interested. He has the stuff of a great detective but never seems to get going...

View all my reviews