My Sister’s Prayer by Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould

Cousins of the Dove, My Sister’s Prayer by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould; 2016; 364 pages; $14.99;  Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon; 978-0-7369-6290-2; provided by the Publisher for the purpose of review; 9/6/16-9/9/16

Why did I read this? Because one of the authors is a good friend of ours and she writes good stories.  This combines two of my favorite genres, historical fiction and mystery.  It is also the second book in the Cousins of the Dove series, the first book My Brother’s Crown is reviewed here.

This is a timesplit novel, story of two sets of sisters one in the beginning days of the United States and one contemporary.  The two sets of sisters mirror each other in their behavior and attitudes.  Both stories really drew me as I got upset at a couple of the choices they made when they couldn’t seemingly see what was right in front of them.  It took a couple of chapters to really grab me but when it did it became a real page turner.  The early American sisters are tricked into indentured servitude in the colonies by a dapper soldier who then colludes with several other men to keep the sisters in indenture.  They are rescued by a couple of men of simple means but great character.  The current sisters are involved in a murder mystery from their childhood, one of the sister is a professional perfectionist and the other is a recovering drug addict who is incapacitated in a severe auto accident.  The addict moves in with the perfectionist to recover from her injuries.   The connecting thread between the two stories is a series of letters written by the early American sisters, whom are the ancestors of the contemporary sisters.

Grade A

What It Is Like To Go To War by Karl Malantes

What It Is Like To Go To War by  Karl Marlantes; 2011; $25.00; 256 pages; Atlantic Monthly Press; New York, NY; 978-0-8021-1992-6; purchased from Multnomah County Library’s Title Wave Used Bookstore; 9/9/16-9/17/16

Why did I ride this?   I first read this in December of last year and was so moved by it that I nominated it for the book group I am part of.  So I reread it with a slightly different eye so that I could lead the discussion.

I read Karls’ first book, Matterhorn, back in 2010 and so when a veteran and good writer writes something with a title like this I decided to read this.  This is a look at how we as a society can better prepare people to be warriors and then support them better when they return from warfare.  He looks at things in a physical, metaphysical, spiritual, psychological and practical sense.  This is a book that should be read by everyone.  It can be a difficult read as it has some frank discussions about what the author has experienced in combat.



The Hilary Rodham Clinton Trilogy

On the Road with Hillary, a behind-the-scenes look at the journey from Arkansas to the U.S. Senate by Patrick S. Halley; 2002; $24.95; 313 pages; Viking, New York, NY; 0-670-03111-9; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 8/10/16-8/12/16 

Rewriting History by Dick Morris with Eileen McGann; 2004; $24.95; 304 pages; Regan Books; New York, NY; 0-06-073668-2; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Central; 8/12/16-8/17/16

Hard Choices, a memoir by Hilary Rodham Clinton; 2014; $35.00; 635 pages; Simon & Schuster, New York, NY; 978-1-4767-5144-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Troutdale; 8/17/16-9/6/16

Why did I read these?  I like to know about those attempting to lead the country that I live in and see what kind of philosophy they have.  I went to Wikipedia and found a list of anti-Hilary books, pro-Hilary books and books by Hilary.

On the Road with Hilary was written by a former Hilary staffer who worker with her when Bill was campaigning for President and then when she ran for Senator from NY.  He is a Democrat and is pretty complimentary, but does believe that she made some mistakes as First Lady and he points them out.

Dick Morris was a former campaign advisor to Bill Clinton when he was running for governor and president.  At some point he turned anti Clinton, it was pretty obvious very early in the book that this was going to be a hatchet job, just by the words he used to describe the Republican and Democratic Parties.  He points out many things that have been hashed over and over in the years since the Clinton’s left the White House, some of which he gave subtle pro Hilary spin when he explained what actually happened.

Hard Choices is Hilary’s memoir of her time as Secretary of State during the first four years of the Obama Administration.  She doesn’t pull many punches but is very diplomatic as she needs to be if she is to be the next President of the United States.

I learned much about Hilary Clinton through these three different viewpoints.

Collecting the Dead by Spencer Kope

Collecting the Dead by Spencer Kope; 2016; $25.99; 306 pages; Minotaur Books, New York, NY; 978-1-250-07287-0; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Troutdale; 8/9/16-8/10/16

Why did I read this?  Because Chelsea Cain, Lisa Gardner and Phillip Margolin all recommended it and the main character is headquartered in Bellingham, Washington, where I have lived before and the author is also from there.

Imagine seeing peoples auras, not just when looking at them, but wherever they have been.   He has acquired a reputation as a Human Bloodhound, making sure to use enough man tracking standard terminology and methods to ensure convictions.  He is the main member of the FBI’s Special Tracking Unit, whose specialty is tracking serial killers.  This story is about the sad face killer and the three main members of the team each contributes valuable insights into the solving of the the crimes.  Even the supporting members of the team are  individuals and pretty well rounded.  This is an awesome debut thriller of a flawed hero, who uses his gift for good, but is racked with guilt over those he wasn’t able to save.  Brad Thor and a couple of other thriller writers get nods throughout the story.

Grade-A, this was the epitome of a page turner, it came home and didn’t even turn the TV on but had to finish the story.


If You Can Keep It, The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty by Eric Metaxas

If You Can Keep It, The Forgotten Promise of American Liberty by Eric Metaxas; 2016; $26.00; 255 pages; Viking, New York, NY; 978-1-101-97998-3; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gresham; 7/29/16-8/9/16

Why did I read this?  It is a subject that concerns me, where is this country headed, can it remain the shining city on the hill that it has been in the past.

Metaxas makes all kinds of arguments about what it will take to keep the United States a republic of the people, by the people for the people.  Some of them sound pretty good, but it doesn’t  seem coherent to me, he does literary critique of The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and also talks of Tocqueville and Os Guiness.  He insists that virtue is a necessary part of what it takes to keep the country on track.  There is a certain point to this, but his definition of virtue would probably not resonate with many.  He does say that attitudes trickle, if our leaders are corrupt it will show in the populaces actions also.  One of the points that he makes is that the country was founded to be a charitable community and that we have often looked out for others, from our neighbors to other countries in many ways.  Also that we should love our country not in a love or leave it way, ignoring all that we have done wrong, but in a way that highlights the good we do.

Grade B, I feel that the book could have been more concise and to the point without so many tangents.


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