Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Book: The Bourne Deception

Highly recommend this Bourne sequel. If you read previous Bourne books, you will love this suspenseful thriller. Main characters: Jason Bourne, Moira Trevor, and Soraya Moore, director at Central Intelligence. This book is packed with action and it is definitely a reward winning read for lovers of thrillers with twists and turns. The book begins with a pact to kill Jason Bourne which nearly succeeds, and Moira and Jason make sure that he is dead to his enemies. Also,in the beginning of the plot, a jet is shot down over Egypt. Is it the work of the Iranians or is there another reason for why the jet was shot down and by whom.?
Strongly recommend that you read this book if you like suspenseful thrillers and Jason Bourne who has more than nine lives!

Grade: A

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Book: The Christmas Pearl

Another excellent story. Definitely recommended.

Grade: A

Book: Land of the Mango Sunsets

Starting to really like Dorothea Benton Frank and her stories involving Sullivans Island. Excellent story. Definitely recommended.

Grade: A

Book: Summer by the Sea

I absolutely love Susan Wiggs, have since the 1st book I read by her. Definitely recommended.

Grade: A

Friday, September 4, 2009

Book: Middlemarch by George Eliot

I give this book an A- because I was so amazed at how all-encompassing it was. I had previously only read Silas Marner - taught it, actually, to many 10th grade English classes.
Middlemarch deals with the lives and loves of a typical English shire of her time. Dorothea has an idealistic attitude towards marriage - which she is disabused of by her hapless and too old husband. The banker is seen to have stolen money from his first wife and cheated her from a reunion with her lost daughter. Class differences are clearly delineated including the effects of the 'entail' system.

Grade: A-

Book: The Red Wheel (vol 1) by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

I give this book an A- because it is only a part of his major war cycle, The Red Wheel. And not one of the works for which he earned the Nobel Prize.
Solzhenitsyn used real German and Russian generals, dukes, czars, etc., but make up a colonel to tie various people and actions together.
The Russian army was so dysfunctional that it could not possibly have defeated the organized Germans. They telegraphed their plans without encrypting the messages, being
sure the Germans would never stay up at night to interpret them: they were wrong.
They planned to strike to the north then the west, etc. and sent their troops marching back and forth to no avail. They claimed victory when they had only retreated to a previously held town. They lied incessantly and tried to appear heroic in cowardly retreat. It is no wonder the author was up a big creek without a paddle. I heartily recommend.

Grade: A-

Book: A Rogue of My Own by Johanna Lindsey

This romance novel "A Rogue of My Own was disappointing. I expected more romance and intrigue with this period. Characters: Lady Rebecca Marshal who goes off to court as a maid of honor and the charming marquis, Rupert St. John. Lord Rupert is supposed to be involved in spy mastering and intrigue but the book really doesn't offer much of this intrigue to interest me. However, he does seduced Rebecca who is forced to marry him . However, they are at odds with each other and sparks do fly. Only lovers of romantic novels will probably read the book. I have read several of Johanna Lindsey's books and found this one to lack substance.

Grade: C

Book: The Coffin Dancer by Jeffery Deaver

Highly recommend this mystery by Jeffery Deaver. Familiar characters include: Lincoln Rhyme and his protege, Amelia Sachs. Setting: New York City. Lincoln needs all his skills as a criminologist to solve this crime. The murderer has a distinct tattoo of the Grim Reaper waltzing with a woman and his an expert at deception. This book is extremely suspenseful and is full of twists and turns. Lincoln also has an added interest in this criminal since he killed two of Lincoln's subordinates during a previous search. Do not underestimate this master of deception, and hopefully you can solve this crime.

Grade: A

Book: Fatal Secrets by Allison Brennan

Highly recommend this mystery by Allison Brennan. The setting is Sacramento, California. The main characters: Sonia Knight, an Immigration Senior Agent and Dean Hooper, an FBI agent. Both agencies are involved with bringing down the illegal operations of Xavier Jones. So Sonia and Dean are very much annoyed with this operation, and are forced to collaborate. Sparks fly and they become romantically involved with a dangerous mission going down. Not only is laundering involved with the criminal element, there is evidence of human trafficking of minors. This human traffickers hit home to Sonia who was rescued many years ago when she was very young but the images will always remain with her of what she experienced during the weeks of being held captive. This mystery is suspenseful and has a lot to offer to mystery lovers.

Grade: A

Book: Tea Time for the Traditionally Built

As with most series, the "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series is starting to run down. The tenth (and latest) is TEA TIME FOR THE TRADITIONALLY BUILT by Alexander McCall Smith and shows signs of being produced more because it is expected than out of the inspiration of a story. There are more--and more flagrant--red herrings than in the earlier books, as if it needed padding out. And the editing has gotten sloppy (assuming it has not been dropped altogether). For example, on page 20, Mma Ramotswe's appointment with Mr. Molofololo is at eleven o'clock; on page 29 it is at ten o'clock. (And why are some men "Mr." and some men "Ra"?) And who is writing the blurbs? "Irrepressible" is not an adjective I would apply to Mma Ramotswe--it is far too frivolous for her. On the plus side, McCall Smith does finally give the younger apprentice a name. But the thinness of the plot makes me think it may be time for McCall Smith to put this series on hiatus, at least until he has a stronger basis for a book.

(By the way, on page 48 it is "Mafeking" and on page 52 it is "Mafikeng", but this is *not* a typo--the first (on a tea tin) was the old British spelling, the second is the current South African spelling.)

Grade: C