Thursday, June 30, 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."


Revival - (audiobook) - Stephen King

Revival does indeed have many meanings, and leave it to Stephen King to raise the scariest of them.

King has a gift for creating engrossing characters who pull us into the most fantastical of stories. Because of this, we grow up with Jamie and are drawn into the world of Reverend Jacobs in spite of our selves.

And like all King stories, the road ends in a place we don't wish to remain, at least not alone.

The Drowning Man (audiobook) - Margaret Coel

Wealthy collectors with no respect for history run afoul of the ancients, and come between partners.

But in the end, faith and trust can set things right.

Known To Evil (audiobook) - Walter Mosley

Noir set right in the middle of the present. It doesn't seem like it should work, but it does - and well.

McGill is hired to check on a girl, but when she turns up missing, nobody wants him to find her. Nobody!

And he does not like being pushed around.

Sometimes I Wonder About You (audiobook) - Walter Mosley

This was the last in the Leonid McGill series (so far) and I am definitely looking forward to more.

As I stated before, I decided to add more minority authors to my reading list this year and this, my first choice, is definitely a positive addition to my list of favorite authors.

Mr. Mosley has several other series, as well as non-fiction, erotica, plays, and a graphic novel to his name.

I plan to explore more of these offerings over time, but I also plan to explore more authors that seem to 'escape' heavy main stream promotion.

The Long Walk (audiobook) - Stephen King

As with all Steven King books the writing was vivid and visceral, but this was a painful book to read.

One could see this story as a metaphor for life, where one simply has to keep going regardless, and the alternative is death.

Or perhaps it is an exploration of the human spirit when faced with the ultimate challenge.

Whatever its true meaning, I just need an Aleve and a nap.

Go Set A Watchman (audiobook) - Harper Lee

I haven't really wanted to read this book.

At first, the controversy surrounding its publication forced a reevaluation of its predecessor, To Kill A Mockingbird. In my childhood, Gregory Peck was hero and brave soldier, standing strong against the forces of hatred and oppression.

Like so many things of our youth, when reexamined, that turned out not to be the case. I wasn't the only one who failed to look too close and, in my defense, I was only five years old when the movie debuted.

Still, it hurts.

This book still swirls with controversy. Did Ms Lee actually write it? Did she really want it published? Was she victimized by nefarious people? If these questions have been answered I don't know. I stopped reading about the mess when Ms Lee died.

But at last I've read it. Other reviewers say that the key theme of the book is disillusionment. I can agree with that. I felt it through most of the book, that an profound sadness.

The casual racism used throughout the novel by all the characters was difficult to tolerate. It was used as much by Jean Louise, our heroine, as by the racists she supposedly objects to.

I ran across a sentence in another review that pretty much sums what I think about the book. "Go Set a Watchman endorses undeserved tolerance and respect for hateful white people."

Joyland (audiobook) - Stephen King

The story was interesting, but the real strength of this novel is its strong, dimensional characters.

That, in my opinion, is King's strength. If you believe in and care about a character, you will follow her/him through the wildest of plots.

Rumpole of the Bailey (audiobook) - John Mortimer

I watched the series on PBS ages ago and it was fun to revisit cranky old Rumpole and, of course, 'She Who Must Be Obeyed.'

The Wind Through the Keyhole - Stephen King

There are writers, some of them excellent in their chosen genre, and there are story tellers.

Not all writers, no matter how captivating their creations, are story tellers. But in the hands of a story teller, you delve deeper and deeper into other worlds with only their words to guide you through - and you go willingly.

Stephen King is a story teller.


Mycroft Holmes (ebook) - Kareem Abdul - Jabbar

I often wonder who did most of the writing when I read a book that has been cowritten, especially when it was cowritten by a celebrity.

This was a new view of a different Holmes, and it was engaging as well as well written.


Double Homicide - Jonathan & Faye Kellerman

Two novellas that, while not offering the opportunity for plot or character development of the longer form, are still entertaining none the less.

Capital Crimes - Jonathan & Faye Kellerman

Both plot and dialogue seem stilted in these novellas, which is unusual for both authors.

I was disappointed, but also a bit stumped. Jonathan Kellerman is easily one of my favorite authors.

The Murderer's Daughter - Jonathan Kellerman

This book was p-l-o-d-d-i-n-g.

Okay. I understand what is happening here.

Kellerman is creating a new kind of protagonist: a broken person helping other broken people in her own broken way. Kind of like Dexter with more psychology. No?

If he continues with the character I will give her a fighting chance. After all, once he has established her back story it should be full speed ahead. Right? Right?

11/22/63 - Stephen King

I never realized that the facts I learned about this era in history class had left without a true understanding of the time. But King brought the cold war with its fear, paranoia, and hatred alive - as well as their consequences.

And the echo in today's political and social climate is chilling. Perhaps it is time to take stock of who we are and who we want to be

Driving Heat - Richard Castle

Unlike the TV series, this novel showed no sign of ending the Nikki Heat saga.

Like its predecessors, it was a quick and fun read.

The Heat/Rook relationship progressed; the plot was complex enough to hold my interest; and the supporting characters remained integral to the story.

This series remains one of my guilty pleasures.

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