Sunday, February 28, 2016


A note about BOOK REVIEWS. Sort Of.:

These are not, in any way, meant to be comprehensive reviews. They are intended to acknowledge that I have read the book, and give my honest core impressions.

If a real review is what you wish, there are many wonderful book blogs available, and I have provided some tools to find them under the tab marked "Useful Stuff."


The Long Fall (audiobook) - Walter Mosley

This is the first novel in my latest murder mystery series.

I am endeavoring to make my reading list more diverse, and all those people who say we should be color blind never consciously took stock of just how few authors of color are A). published & B). promoted to the masses, compared to the number of white authors and tried to put together a healthy reading list of the former.

If you search hard enough you will actually start to find the names of novelists of color, but getting your hands on them is not always easy once you find them.

So, what did I think of Walter Mosley once I found him? The plot was interesting and our protagonist, Leonid McGill, was slightly reminiscent of such hard boiled PIs as Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, and Mike Hammer, but more introspective. I like him in spite of his faults.

Mosley's prose is a bit more lyric than that of his noir predecessors and the narrator, Mirron Willis, does an excellent job. I've had to enjoy a book in spite of the narrator many times, this was definitely not one of them.

I am glad I found Mr. Mosley, and hope to read a lot more of his work. He has definitely been added to my regulars list.

Blood Oath: The President's Vampire (audiobook) - Christopher Farnsworth

I found this series by accident and had to try it even though I don't usually care for horror or monster stories.

The writing isn't bad, but I guess I expected more humor. A lot of history and backstory was packed in to a short space, presented in flashbacks (lots of them), and making it easy to lose track of the current plot from time to time.

But I think my real problem with it is that it's actually a political thriller rather than a murder mystery, and I'm not overly fond of political thrillers - even ones with morose and melancholy vampires.

You guessed it. I plan to continue on with the series.

The President's Vampire - (audiobook) - Christopher Farnsworth

This, the second book in the series, continues the fight against monsters (human and otherwise) who want to take over/end the world, by the reluctant & pouty vampire. Politics, of course, wreaks havoc with battle to protect humankind (just as in real life).

I am reminded of The X-Files as I read these books. Our heroes, intrepid and unappreciated outsiders, take on monsters from fairy tale and urban legend. Of course the general public can't know the horrors they face and politics leaves them hamstrung at the worst moments, but they prevail - mostly.

Red, White, and Blood - (audiobook) - Christopher Farnsworth

I can see this series as the newest action movie franchise.

Some might want Michael Bey, but I'm rooting for Joss Whedon.

Unlike some series, each book could stand alone but make more sense together as the basic plot continues from one to the next. As the plot continues the picture is getting uglier for our 'heroes.'

Onward . . .

The Maltese Falcon (audiobook) - Dashiell Hammett

I read the book twice and have seen the movie four times and still couldn't figure out where the statue went.

Can we say mcguffin? {WARNING, SPOILER AT LINK}

This was an interesting dramatization, but I preferred both the novel and the movie (with Bogie, of course).


What Color is My World? (ebook) - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The value of this little book is not in the creative writing, but in the valuable overlooked history.

It introduces young people to many scientists, inventors, and people who have made an impact on our world - all African-American and most overlooked by history books.

Its subject matter should be celebrated much more widely.


Breakdown - Jonathan Kellerman

Probably the book I look forward to most each year is the new Alex Delaware novel. Then I read it too fast, and it's over - way too soon.

I am never disappointed.

This time add to the usual mix a sensitive and tragically realistic portrayal of how mental illness is handled in our society.

Now I have to wait another whole year!

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