Monday, April 29, 2019

Anonymous Reviewer: The Girl From Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux

Dust off your brain with this #AnonymousReviewer 

The Girl From Summer Hill by Jude Deveraux

The very first line will grab the attention of any lady who reads it! There have been many retellings of "Pride and Prejudice" over the years, and most of them fall short because it's hard to keep a tale interesting when the reader knows the plot already. This one is successful! Jude gives the story a fresh, modern air while still keeping with the spirit of Jane Austen. As a bonus it's set in Virginia, which always makes a story appeal just a bit more to this AR. It's your usual romance plot, but it's not JUST another first class/lower class, famous actor/regular person love story. This AR thinks it qualifies more as a rom-com or even rom-adventure. Deveraux knows how to give her characters depth so that they're not just a batch of young women simply looking for marriage. They have lives of their own and the men are an addition to it rather than the center of it. At the end, I was helped to believe the story by something a child told me a few weeks ago: "Well EVERYBODY can be a good actor because it's just like pretending!"

Monday, April 15, 2019

Anonymous Reviewer: The Deep Blue Good-By By John D. MacDonald

I like my noir like I like my orange juice...spiked with vodka. Well..only on the weekend. The rest of the week, I love it pulpy. John D. MacDonald has his place on the pulp Mt. Rushmore with Leonard Elmore, James Patterson, and let’s throw Joe Ida in there a kick of spice and modernity. Before I sunk into the the Deep Blue Good-By, I had only heard about Travis McGee in the Jimmy Buffett song who provides a ringing endorsement. McGee is a pretty solid dude, and very much the type that you could leave your wife with and not have second thoughts. Your unmarried daughter, might be another story. Perhaps the thing I liked best about characters is their ability to take a beating. It says as much about the character as it does the author. Besides McGee, no one gets beat up better than Walt Longmire..put Craig Johnson on Mt. Rushmore too if you want, and maybe James Bond...not Sean Connery or Roger Moore, James Bond. I’m talking Ian Flemming’s James Bond and recently Daniel Craig. Walt and James both take a thumping and like McGee keep coming back. Deep Blue Good-by is just the first of a series which I would highly recommend with a pulpy orange juice. Additives cost extra and are at your own discretion

Monday, April 8, 2019

Anonymous Reviewer: No Traveler Returns By Louis L’Amour and Beau L’Amour

Louis L’Amour is a classic. If you want to go back in time to the wild west, but don’t want to deal with the dust, typhoid, and relaxed definitions of personal hygiene, L’Amour is a good place to start. Just never squat with your spurs on or drink downstream from the herd.
What tons of people do not know is that L’Amour wrote almost as much about matters not of the old west. NO TRAVELER RETURNS is one of those and according to all the sources this AR read, his first. Apparently L’Amour had been being told his stories lacked plot, so he beefed this one up for publication. Maybe a little too much. As always, the characters and their actions are real, but there is just so much going on that it’s hard to follow at time. As a first effort, this is a great book. L’Amour had been to sea, so he writes with experience. Still it can get too sticky at time. I would recommend this for the adventurer in you, and is a good little read.

New York Times Best Sellers

Monday, April 1, 2019

Anonymous Reviewer: 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers By Doug Stanton

Books about Special Forces rarely get a bad review from this AR. 12 Strong is exceptional! As a military buff, I remember the romantic story of U.S Army troops on horseback in Afghanistan shortly after 9-11. What I didn’t know was that those guys weren’t there because they knew anything about horses, or Afghanistan for that matter. My naivete lead me to believe the U.S. Army had somehow been training guys to ride horses, or they’d found someone in the SF community that could. Boy was I wrong! These guys were buying cold weather gear from REI in the days after 9-11. Cavalry training would be icing on the cake for soldiers trained to live on spit and adrenaline. Stanton does a great job telling the story of these guys who flew into the unknown, adapted, attacked and achieved what few in the U.S. Army, the world, or even history thought was possible. No matter what field you operate in, you can take something from this book and apply it to your daily life. Read it and be awe stuck.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Monday, March 25, 2019

New York Times Bestsellers Thru 3-31

Anonymous Reviewer: A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership By James Comey

Image result for a higher loyalty

If you cannot put partisan politics aside, don’t waste your time reading this book. It’s just not your kind of read. Furthermore, if you are going to be reading the whole time waiting for him to stick it to “the other side,” go read some Glenn Beck or Rachel Maddow. There are no smoking guns, or killer truths about anything. It’s just not that kind of book...


Now that that is out of the way. 

This AR recommends finding this one on audio book, or at the very least find some in person interviews of Director Comey. He really does have a good reading voice. Better still, this is a great book written by someone who has tried to remain as loyal to his job as he can be, and is not at all afraid to tick off either or both sides of an issue. 

My biggest take away was how Comey brought the FBI and in part the Justice Department into the 21st Century as an organization no longer centered on ego, manipulation, and hierarchy. If you truly pay attention, you’ll find the keys to successfully working with a group of people. Listen to what everyone has to say, never marry yourself to an idea, and always try your best. 

Strip off your politics for a change and give this book a read, or listen. Anyone in leadership of any kind would do well by their organization to do so.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Monday, March 18, 2019

New York Times Best Sellers Thru 3-24

Anonymous Reviewer: This Much I Know By Wally Lamb

Not always a fan of Oprah’s Picks, I finally got around to Wally Lamb’s “This Much I Know is True,” a story primarily about a set of identical twins, one schizophrenic, told from the POV of the other twin, Dominick. I will admit that the author seemed to cover the same ground over and over in the first third of the book, however, I love figuring out what makes people think the way they do so I stuck with it. I’m so glad I did. This book will move to the top part of my favorites list. It delves into Dominick’s grandfather’s life as well as his mother’s. Layer by layer he discovers his past, which helps to confront his present. It’s a story of discovery and forgiveness. Even if you’ve read it before, you might want to revisit it since Mark Ruffalo is the Executive Producer as well as actor portraying both Dominick and his twin in an upcoming HBO series.

Monday, March 11, 2019

New York Times Best Sellers Thru 3-17

Anonymous Reviewer: The Boys In The Cave: Deep Inside The Impossible Rescue in Thailand by Matt Gutman

This AR was not at all captivated by this story when it broke. If being completely honest, my first question was "What in the world were they doing in the cave in the first place?"

After reading this book, I am still only mildly interested. Very well written the story was still not captivating enough to hold my attention for long. I found it very one sided and lacking perspective.It would have been nice watching the story unfold from everyone involved. What did the kids do while all this was going on? How did they stay sane? Did they even stay sane?
Also, books take a while to write and even if the author was there, how was this books written so quickly? What was left out? Seems like a lot!

All in all, this AR was not all that impressed. A real deep story is there, but the opportunity was missed to tell it.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

My Library Card Made Me A Less Picky Reader By Erin Mayer

Photo of tables and books at a New York public library

I used to be a picky reader. Not in terms of genre—I’ve always read widely, counting everything from The Great Gatsby to Sharp Objects as all-time favorites. But I used to spend a lot of time deliberating about what to read next. That changed when I got my first library card this past summer, at the age of 27.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Ebooks seem like ‘Netflix for libraries,’ but they’re a drain on budgets by Bob Fernandez

The book-crammed Free Library of Philadelphia has found a way to stay relevant in the 21st century: ebooks. Last year, 28 percent of the Free Library’s total circulation of more than five million books came from ebooks and other digital content.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Anonymous Reviewer: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

One of my favorite people was the cafeteria manager Eva Pollard. Eva is like Jacqueline Woodson in that both overcome much to lead a successful life of giving back. This story takes you through both the South and New York City in the 1960s and demonstrates how there was vicious racism in both parts of the country. It is a great read for middle and high school students.


Monday, February 25, 2019

New York Time Best Seller Thru 3-3-19

Anonymous Reviewer: Callahan's Crosstime Saloon by Spider Robinson

As a perpetual purveyor and patron of joints cataloged under the gin, juke and dive variety, I couldn't help but love this book. If there is a bar in heaven, and I make it, I want it to be like Callahan's. You won't find it unless you need it, the regulars come and go, but this my friends is the bar to beat all bars. Your favorite is going to look like a retirement home's canteen when you finish. Picture a cross between Cheer's and the bar scene in Star Wars. Then you have a pretty good idea of Callahan's on a regular night. Grease up your eye sockets for all the rolling you'll do on Punday, and don't forget your single bills. Mike doesn't take anything but dollar bills. This AR's feeble attempt to review this book won't do justice due the compassion, heart, and over all good spirit of this little page turner.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Book Dash Children's Book App

Book Dash is available from the Play Store on Droid and they are currently working on a iOS version, so be patient. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

Anonymous Reviewer: Osceola and the Great Seminole War by Thom Hatch

Thom Hatch might be the best author on Native American history writing today. His works have hit on just about every major figure in the pantheon and few you’ve not heard of to boot. This offering leaves the read a little wanting for more information about Osceola himself and a little less on the army sent to capture, but this is an inherent problem in writing about a figure from cultures with strong oral traditions. Writing a book on say Stonewall Jackson and his time hunting Osceola, you’ll drown in a seas of written resources. Bring a thimble, however, for written on the Seminoles of the period. That’s not to say there are not any, but they are limited, making Hatch’s job hard. Nevertheless, the story tells and gives the read insight on the only Native American war chief to fight the American Army to a standstill.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Click Bait: 2-15

5-Year-Old Boy Who Opened His Village’s 1st Library On His Front Lawn Approved For 2nd Location



By Lindsey Kennett

Beyond Books—Library Social Workers Build Trust, Share Resources


Monday, February 11, 2019

New York Times Bestsellers Thru 2-17

Anonymous Reviewer: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values by Robert M. Pirsig

Consistently ranked on TOP TEN BOOKS YOU WILL NEVER FINISH or worse TOP TEN BOOKS JERKS HAVE THEIR SHELVES this book is not going to sit on my shelf for long. Not that I think that highly of myself, I want to make room for stuff I'd rather have within ten feet of me.  This AR is going to use their copy as a pass around gift at the next executive Christmas party for the Board of Exxon. Full of deep meditations of life, from the stand point of a dude with waaay too much time on his hands, this book is not at all really about motorcycles or motorcycle maintenance. Don't get your hopes up if you are looking for the long lost squeal to  Hunter S. Thompson's HELL'S ANGELS...keep looking. This one flew mostly over my head, which isn't why I am so down on it. Think of a really complicated theory or idea that you know. Now, try to explain that theory to a person who knows nothing about it, and doesn't speak English. That's about what this book is. Just too much for one brain to understand. Maybe you'll like it better, and understand every word. "At least I finished it" is all I can really say.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Black History Month Recommendations from Dr. Lineburg

February is Black History Month and Dr. Mark Lineburg, Superintendent of Halifax County Public Schools, has shared some of his suggestions for good reads for Black History Month...

Monday, February 4, 2019

Anonymous Reviewer: Eaters of The Dead by Michael Crichton

Be forewarned, this is a work of fiction. Past that this is an interesting piece of work. It’s a fun read for those who bore easily of ancient tales and their poor translations into modern storytelling.  Crichton does his homework surrounding Ibn Fadlan and his travels with Norseman in the 900’s C.E. which making an interesting glimpse into their culture and ways. This alone makes EATERS OF THE DEAD worth a read.

Monday, January 28, 2019

New York Times Best Sellers Thru 2-3

Anonymous Reviewer: The Devil's Rose by BROM

Let the cover sell you the book. This story is fair to middling, but the artwork is the real draw. Short and to the point, Brom doesn’t take time dawdling with minor details. As compact as it is, there is little room for peripheral details. My only complaint would be why the main character is Hell. Not the strongest of reasons, and it makes me think if that’s all it takes, we’re all doomed. Saving the plot and the book entirely is the artwork. Gritty and real are the two words that come to mind. My imagination cranked up to 10 the second I saw this on the shelf and didn’t slow down until the end. This would be a good anchor for further stories too!

Friday, January 25, 2019

Anonymous Reviewer: Bruce Lee: A Life by Matthew Polly

Bios are tough. As a kid, this AR loved to get to the nitty gritty of someone’s life. Spare no detail. As I get older, I’m more about driving a story. Getting stuck is for Jeeps. This biography was up to the doorjamb in no time. Best read by someone who knows about Bruce Lee already, this one is just a tad too much for the novice looking to get excited about Bruce Lee, or martial arts. Thankfully Polly doesn’t try to put Lee in some form of academic importance as a revolutionary in film or martial arts. That would be a bridge too far. Instead we often get a literal blow by blow depiction of Lee from start to finish. For someone who knows VERY little about martial arts, this can get too bogged down for full enjoyment. If you’re looking for a book to get you psyched up to try kung-fu, you might try something else, or watch a Bruce Lee movie.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Anonymous Reviewer: A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah Maas

This is the second book in Maas' series about the magical world of Prythian and its unlikely savior, Feyre, who has now been transformed into one of the High Fae as thanks for her actions.

Monday, January 14, 2019

New York Times Best Sellers Thru 1-20

Anonymous Reviewer: One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke

One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke

If you’re looking for a plot-driven novel, One Whole and Perfect Day isn’t it. However, if you love stories about people and what makes them who they are—especially what makes them a family—you just might love this story. There are too many coincidences for the ending to be a surprise but it’s so satisfying you don’t mind. There’s Lilly, who craves a normal life. Her brother is in and out of schools, driving their grumpy, possibly racist, grandfather to near madness. Her dad left before Lilly was born and her mum, well, she has a good heart even if she does bring home the occasional lame duck. Toss in her grandmother who has an invisible friend and you have just about half the characters in this book. I loved it but if you need the excitement of a murder mystery, pass this one by.