The Barbizon Diaries by James A. Owen

The Barbizon Diaries, An Advance Course in Surviving The Refiner’s Fire, A Meditation on Will, Purpose and the Value of Stories by James A. Owen; 2014; $22.00; 134 pages; Coppervale Press, Taylor, AZ; backed on Kickstarter; 1/4/17-1/9/17

Why did I read this?  Because I backed this on Kickstarter, and because James A. Owen is a great motivator.

The author uses his own story to make his points, a story that many people would be too embarrassed to share.  This is a meditation on authority and authenticity and how we surrender too much of our personal authority to other people in our lives.  We let others write our story for us and don’t realize how much we give up to others.  This is the companion book to Drawing out the Dragons and The Grand Design.  It is a book that I will be revisiting.

Grade A

Order to Kill by Kyle Mills

Order to Kill by Kyle Mills, based on characters created by Vince Flynn; 2016; $28.99; 374 374 pages; Emily Bestler Books, New York, NY; 978-1-4767-8348-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Belmont; 1/2/17-1/4/17

Why did I read this?  Because I like the characters that Vince Flynn created in this series and because Kyle Mills is a good author and has done a good job since Vince Flynn passed away.

Mitch Rapp travels the globe again to fight against the enemies of the United States.  Pakistan’s nuclear warheads are disappearing and he has to find out how and why they are disappearing.  Mitch is being stalked by a assassin being directed by the head of state in a country that is antagonistic to the United States.  He is working with Scott Coleman and other members of the crew.  He has to deal with a decorator that scares him more than any terrorist he has every faced.  He finds a new member of his crew to deal with the decorator while he continues to fight the terrorists and make life safe for those in the United States.

Grade A


The Grand Design by James A. Owen

The Grand Design, A Master Class on Living an Extraordinary Life, A Meditation on Creativity, Ambition, and Building a Personal Mythology 
by James A. Owen; 2014; $22.00; 138 pages; Coppervale Press, Taylor, AZ; backed on kickstarter; 12/30/16-1/2/17

Why did I read this?  Because I backed it on Kickstarter and James A. Owen is a good motivational writer.

I don’t really know how to describe this book.  Some might categorize it as a self help book.  I think it is a different way to look at our lives and see how that change in perspective might help us live differently.  The author uses his own and his family’s story to show how a change in perspective can affect a change in life.  This is a book that I will be reading repeatedly, it is part of a trio of books that are about life changes, Drawing Out The Dragons and The Barbizon Diaries.

Grade A




Plie Ball by Jeffrey M. Katz

Plie Ball, Baseball Meets Dance on Stage and Screen by Jeffrey M. Katz; 2016; $25.00; 295 pages; McFarland & Company, Inc Publishing; 978-0-7864-6406-7; backed on Kickstarter, March 2011; 12/6/16-12/13/16 and 12/20/16-12/30/16

Why did I read this?  Because 5 years ago I backed this book on Kickstarter because dance and baseball are two things that I really like.

The author traces the intersection of baseball and dance from the early twentieth century, when some ball players performed in vaudeville and stars of the day attended games to the Broadway musicals of the 50’s, to High School Musical 2.  It was an interesting look at the similarities between baseball players and dancers and their movements and routines.  He interviewed many dancers and choreographers about what prompted them to choreograph dances about baseball.

Grade A

The Seventh Plague by James Rollins

The Seventh Plague by James Rollins; 2016; $27.99; 425 pages; William Morrow, New York, NY; 978-0-06-238168-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Fairview; 12/13/16-12/20/16

Why did I read this?  Because I am a big fan of the way James Rollins combines historical and scientific fact with current events and rolls them all into an exciting story.

Following clues left by ancient Egyptians, Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla and David Livingstone the members of Sigma Force have to figure out the reason an ancient plague has resurfaced.  An eccentric billionaire thinks that he can reverse climate change by expanding on Teslas’ idea of using the earth and the ionsphere as a battery. Sigma has to find the cure for the plague, stop the eccentric billionaire from setting the sky on fire.  They travel all over the earth from D.C. to the source of the Nile to the North Pole.

Grade A


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