What now?

Hellbent, An Orphan X Novel by Gregg Hurwitz; 2018; $26.99; 406 pages; Minotaur Books, New York, NY; 978-1-250-11917-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, North Portland; 2/5/18-2/7/18

Why did I read this?  I have been reading Gregg Hurwitz for the last 20 years and love his writing and try to read everything he writes.

Evan Smoak was the best in the Orphan plan, known as Orphan X, he witnesses the death of his handler and friend at the hands of the current head of the Orphan program.  He finds a message from his handler and discovers a washout from the Orphan program as he is being tracked by the head of the program and at the same protecting innocents and being the Nowhere man.  Evan tries to preserve his life outside the program while being hunted and hunting.  The story continues at a mile a minute pace, never dragging and always exciting.  Several new characters are introduced and we find there is corruption to the highest levels of the United States government.

Grade 10/10


strange way to deliver a message

The Fix, An Amos Decker Novel by David Baldacci; 2017; $29.00; 420 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-1-455-8656-1; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Woodstock; 2/7/18-2/9/18

Why did I read this? Because I really like David Baldacci’s book and am reading my way through his books.  I really like this series, the Amos Decker series.

A man sees a clown, walks to the front of the Hoover building, shoots a woman in the back or the head and then kills himself.   Amos Decker witnesses the crime and his unit is tasked to solve the crime.  As Amos, Alex, Bogart and Milligan team up with Harper Brown of the DIA the investigation takes them in many different directions.  Melvin Mars from the previous book shows up and works alongside the team.  Amos, Alex and Melvin get involved with a cartel and gang in their neighborhood.  There are so many twist and hidden agendas that you may get a little dizzy.


what would you do?

Need to Know by Karen Cleveland; 2018; $26.00; 286 pages; Ballantine Books, New York, NY; 978-5247-9702-7, checked out from Multnomah County Library, St. Johns; 2/3/18-2/5/18

Why did I read this?   I found a really good site, The Real Book Spy, that reviews thrillers and makes recommendations.  This is a debut novel that was highly recommended.

The main character is a married CIA analyst with 4 kids who works on the Russia desk.  She has developed an algorithm that lets her find Russian sleeper agents in the United States.  She gets into the computer of one of the handlers and is clicking through the pictures of his agents and recognizes one of them, her husband.  The story would end suddenly if she turned him in so she begins to rationalize doing other things.  Her life takes several turns that seem amazing and unlikely.  There are twist that will throw you for a loop.  I didn’t like the non linear structure of the story.

Grade 6/10

King Cheeto

Yuge, 30 years of Doonesbury on Trump by G.B. Trudeau; 2016; $14.99; 110 pages;Andrews McNeel Publishiing, Kansas City, KS; 978-1-4494-8133-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Troutdale; 2/5/18-2/6/18

Why did I read this?  Because I like Doonesbury and dislike Trump.

30 years of making fun of Donald Trump, although he often opens mouth and inserts foot.  He also says things that are easy to make fun of.

Grade 7/10

into the wild

Open Season by C.J. Box, 2001; $9.99; 325 pages; G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, NY; 978-0-399-57660-7; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hillsdale; 2/1/18-2/3-18

Why did I read this?  I had heard that C.J. Box and the character Joe Pickett were really good and something I might like to read.

Joe Pickett is a game warden in the most rural part of Wyoming when a hunting guide, that he has had a previous run rides  his horse into  Pickett’s backyard and dies.  He was carrying an empty cooler that was really scratched up on the inside.  It grows into a controversy involving corrupt government officials, environmentalists, an oil pipeline and perhaps an endangered species.

Grade 8/10


abandonment issues and the last word

Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley; 1992; $9.00, 273 pages; Penguin Classics, London, England, United Kingdom; 9780141439471; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Hollywood; 1/25/18-2/1/18

Why did I read this?  Because when I read  a recent book  I realized that I didn’t really know the story that Mary Shelley wrote, but the story that Frank Whale and Boris Karloff filmed in 1931.

Mary Shelley wrote a book a story that not many people really know, they think they do,  but they don’t.  Dr Frankenstein creates a creature of multiple people and then abandons the creature and runs from it in horror.  He didn’t use a abnormal brain, in the story the creature has an advanced brain and is able to learn in several different ways and struggles with being abandoned and the misery that he suffers causes him to want to cause his creator to suffer also, so he takes from Dr. Frankenstein those he loves.   The creature is actually the better man in this story.



the definition of a page turner

The Last Mconfile by David Baldacci; 2016; $29 .00; 420 pages; Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY; 978-1-4555-8645-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gregory Heights; 1/23/18-1/25/18

Why did I read this? I have read several of Baldacci’s books and I enjoy them especially this series, Amos Decker is a engaging series.

Amos is heading from his home to his new job in Quantico when he turns on the radio and hears about the imminent execution of Melvin Mars in a Texas prison.  Melvin was convicted of killing his parents and he is about to be executed when someone in prison in Alabama confessed to the killing. The confession contains details that only the actual killer would know.  Amos decides to ask his task force teammates if they can take on the case to find the truth in the case.  As they dig into the case, things start getting dicey.  People attack them and political strings are pulled to prevent further investigation, but Decker insists on staying with the investigation even when he has no legal protection.  As Amos pulls at the threads he has found more and more things in peoples pasts.  The threads run all the way to Washington D.C., through a multi millionaire defense contractor and to a racist police chief in Alabama.  I stayed up late, and did everything I could to keep reading.

Grade 10/10

Boris Karloff and Peter Boyle Helped

Frankenstein, How a Monster Became an Icon, The Science and Enduring Allure of Mary Shelley’s Creature Edited by Sidney Perkowitz and Eddy Von Mueller; 2018; $28.95; 238 pages; Pegasus Books Ltd., New York, NY; 978-1-68177-629-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 1/15/18-1/23/18

Why did I read this? I was intrigued by trying to figure out how a two hundred year old story written by an eighteen year old woman became such a seminal part of 21st century culture.

This is a series of essays about many different aspects of the Frankenstein story.  There are essays on the theological, psychological, philosophical, medical and entertainment aspects of the story.  The essays are written by a wide range of people from a wide range of disciplines and includes an interview with Mel Brooks.  Some of the essays are easy to read and some not so easy to read.  As in any collection the quality of the essays is uneven.  Cool thing about the cover, all that green on the cover glows in the dark.

Grade  7/10

High Plains Sheriff

The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson; 2005; $16.00; 354 pages; Penguin Books, New York, NY; 978-0-14-303642-5; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Belmont; 1/11/18-1/15/18

Why did I read this?  I had read the latest book in the series, The Western Star,  and I enjoyed it and decided I would read the series.  (As if I didn’t have enough books in my to be read pile.)

Sheriff Walt Longmire is wrestling with an over exuberant deputy, the populace, political forces, a romantic life that involves many different women.  The backstory is that there was a severe sexual assault on a developmentally developed member of the first nation, whose reservation is in the county Longmire is serving as sheriff.  At a trial the young men who perpetuated the attack got a slap on the wrist.  Then one of them shows up dead, shot from long distance with a Sharp’s rifle.  Many of the Sharp’s are owned by people in the county.  Longmire’s list of suspects is long and many are friends or acquaintances.  As the carnage continues, Longmire seemed to be assisted by ghost of the Cheyenne.  The ending is unexpected.

Craig Johnson is a great author who is a great storyteller who I look forward to reading more of.

Grade 10/10


Defining Moments in Black History, Reading Between the Lies by Dick Gregory; 2017; $24.99; 236 pages; Amistad, New York; 978-0-06-244869-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gresham; 1/7/18-1/11/18

Why did I read this?  I am always trying to learn more about the African American experience, Dick Gregory is a respected civil rights activist.  He just passed away in August, 2017.

This was very educational but hard to take seriously because Mr. Gregory is a also a conspiracy theorist  to the nth degree.   I found out a great deal, but like I said he had some great and wild conspiracy theories.

Grade- 5/10

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